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Matija Spudič

The Šterntal camp during the Second World War.[1]

Matija Spudič was born in 1937 in Zemun in Serbia as a descendant of Danube Germans. At the beginning of the war, his family moved from Serbia to Maribor. The father and his two brothers were mobilised in Volkssturm. They waited at home in uniforms for the call. Near the end of the war, the uncles defected to the partisans, but the father was captured and sent to forced labour, digging anti-tank trenches somewhere in the Drava field. His group was released by a German officer. Since the family was German, they were all taken to the concentration camp Strnišče pri Ptuju (Šterntal). Mr. Matija tells of the hardships in the camp, the bad food, eight people being crowded in a small room; he also remembers a special space in the camp, from where they heard screams and thuds at night. The family managed to survive, and in the autumn of 1945, they returned to Maribor. The father’s carpentry workshop was taken away from him, so he was doing undeclared work, meaning he was unemployed. The family was failing and dealing with a great shortage.

[1] Photograph of the camp. The concentration camp Strnišče pri Ptuju (now Kidričevo) was the central camp dedicated to the internment of all Germans in Slovenia and was set up by OZNA (for more about the camp, see: Milko Mikola, Documents and testimonials on the post-war concentration camps in Slovenia, concentration camps Strnišče, Hrastovec, Brestanica and Filovci, Ministry of Justice, Ljubljana 2007, p. 12 – 19.

We received the written testimony at the Study Centre for National Reconciliation on 22 September 2009.

Written testimony:

Prepared for publication by: Mirjam Dujo Jurjevčič