Milan Ristović

the Third Reich and Orthodox Churches in the Balkans
in the Second World War



Mistrust and hostility toward churches, particularly due to their political influence, remained a constant feature of the Nazi regime’s foreign policy.[1] Such attitude, characteristic of the Nazi interior policy, was greatly intensified during the war in all occupied territories, including the Balkans.

Positions of German representatives in allied states or military and civilian occupation authorities during the war in the European Southeast toward Orthodox churches have been defined in accordance with specific German interests in each territory. They have changed as required by political and military needs of Berlin in each of the Balkan states, ranging between extremes: combating the influence of the church, particularly in occupied Yugoslav areas, and intentions to use it in the future for German goals. Strong national character of Orthodox churches has been persistently emphasized as a special obstacle to the expansion of German influence in most Balkan countries.

Interest in the possibility of using the cleverage of Orthodox churches for the expansion of influence in the European Southeast was intensified just before war spread into these territories. The idea was to strengthen anti-communist front, while eliminating British influence on the hierarchy of certain Orthodox churches, pursued largely via the Church of England. Even before the outbreak of the war, the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) was regarded in the Third Reich as an adverse factor, particularly due to its anti-Axis orientation, ties established with the Church of England and possible role in organizing and fostering anti-Nazi resistance.

In the attempts to establish contacts with Balkan Orthodox churches, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs availed itself of the services of the German Evangelical Church, notably its Church Foreign Office (Kirchlichen Aussenamt).[2] A representative of this Office, Dr. Gerstenmaier, attended the conference of Balkan Orthodox Churches held in July 1940 in Novi Sad.[3] According to his report, a proposal was made in the Foreign Office of the Evangelical Church to use the implementation of the conference guidelines concerning intensified propaganda activity against the expansion of the Soviet influence for German purposes, while providing material support.[4]

Since the beginning of occupation in April 1941, SPC was a serious political and intelligence-security problem for occupation authorities. Due to this, one of the goals in the first days of war was to arrest church dignitaries, particularly those who have been considered the most overt opponents of German politics, notably patriarch Gavrilo Dožić, bishops Nikolaj Velimirović and Irinej Đorđević.

A year later, when circumstances dramatically changed following the attacks at Yugoslavia and Greece and occupation by the Axis power in April 1941, Gerstenmeier was again in the Balkans on a new mission at the order of the Reich’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[5] As a “scientific assistant associate of the Department for Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, he visited Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania between the 2nd and 22nd September, meeting with representatives of certain Balkan national churches, and made a very detailed report of the results of this visit.[6]

Gerstenmaier claimed that difficult situation of the Serbian Orthodox Church was a “natural consequence” of patriarch Gavrilo Dožić’s anti-German policy, who has thus “greatly contributed to the catastrophe of his country and church”. Pointing to extremely difficult position of the SPC and its congregation in Independent State of Croatia (=NDH), he conveyed his impression that “Orthodox circles in Serbia hold a heavy grudge against Croats’ actions. Ustashe (Members of Croat fascist movement-M.R.) have forced tens of thousands of Serbs in Croatia to convert to Catholicism”, while others have been killed or expelled without property. Gerstenmaier proposed to the German ambassador in Belgrade Felix Benzler that instead of, in his opinion “absolutely anti-German and chauvinistic-Serbian” inclined metropolitan Josif, the person to be appointed as patriarch’s deputy should be the most prominent Serbian theologian, bishop Nikolaj Velimirović, patriarchs opponent, although his shortcoming, in German opinion, was his pro-British orientation.[7]

Although at the head of the ally Bulgarian church, Sofia metropolitan Stefan was unfavorably assessed in Gerstenmaier’s report, primarily due to his dislike of Germany and unconcealed pan-Slavic orientation. Yet, Bulgarian church counted on German support in dealing with their conflict with the Greek church.[8] Relations with the Bulgarian church were the main topic of his talks with metropolitan Damaskinos in Athens. The most favorable situation, in his opinion, was in Romania, where the church leadership was very active in supporting Romanian war effort against the Soviet Union. In all Balkan capitals Gerstenmaier had a task of soliciting members of church hierarchy and circles close to them for an anti-communist propaganda campaign to be conducted under the German supervision.[9]

In 1941 SPC was the target of brutal Ustashi measures the intention of which was complete eradication of SPC in all territories under their control. During the meeting with Hitler in Berlin on 6 June 1941, the “leader” of Croat fascists Pavelić took the opportunity to accuse SPC of “historic deceit” and “annexation” of a part of Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the “ethnic alienation” of which, in his opinion, it played an important role.[10]

At the time of spread of Serbian uprising in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), German ambassador in Zagreb Siegfried Kasche, reporting to Berlin about talks with Pavelić and his close associate Eugen Kvaternik in late August – early September 1941, recommended complete abandonment of the use of the term Serb for “Orthodox population in Croatia” as one of the (“political”) instruments for crushing the uprising. Since in his opinion it was “almost impossible” to eradicate Orthodox Church in the NDH, he thought that it should be taken away from the jurisdiction of the Serbian patriarch and placed under the control of the Croatian state.[11] Kasche claimed that the SPC placed itself “entirely at the disposal of English propaganda” and has itself woven the last threads of conspiracy that ultimately led to German attack and complete collapse of the Yugoslav state.[12] Positions of one of the leaders of the Ustashi movement, Gustav Perčec, about efforts of “Belgrade” in the inter-war period to create a “jugoslawisch-prawoslawen Religion” have also been cited to prove similar claims.[13] On 20 July 1942 Kasche reported to Berlin of a trip to Belgrade of a SIPO officer and SD SS Obersturmbanführer Heinrich, on a special assignment to monitor the activities of churches in the Balkans.[14]

In evaluating the relationships between the Croatian Ustashi state and Catholic Church, their close ties and interrelationships have been emphasized as well. Hence, as “church-political threads are being spun toward the East and Southeast” it was proposed that “due to world-view and political reasons” their “…overseeing by SD bodies would be extremely necessary”.[15]

To corroborate the proposal for sending to Zagreb a special “kirchen-politischen Sachbearbeiter” from among the closest circle around the chief of Der Sichercheitspolizei und des SD at the end of September 1942, in an official document sent to Legationsrat Picot it was pointed out that there are opponents to “New Europe” and national-socialism among the leadership of the Catholic Church in NDH, while the Catholic Church uses Croatia as a “specially suitable base for the penetration into other parts of the Balkans, East and the German Reich”. It was warned that due attention should be paid to the “radiation of Islam in the Balkans and the entire East with its center in Sarajevo”. Special “increased attention should be devoted to Orthodox Serbs and other religious groups, due to their connections”.[16] That is why warning was reiterated that it is necessary to monitor the action of “all religious streams and aspirations” in view of the possible consequences for Reich’s interests.[17]

A voluminous Abwehr document from the beginning of 1943 particularly discussed the role of confessional communities as a factor in the development of political ideas in the Yugoslav and (remaining) Balkan territories. This analysis was made, as its author, Sonderführer Dr. Barte specially emphasized, on the basis of captured Yugoslav documents that were in the possession of OKW.[18] It was stressed that the Yugoslav idea emerged under the influence of pan-Slavism around the Croatian Catholic bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer while, on the other hand, Russian pan-Slavic policy found fertile ground particularly among the Serbs, Montenegrins and Bulgarians. This has later made it possible for communist ideas to be easier accepted, because they have been interpreted as a “Slavic form of life” and ultimately contributed that “…Balkan Slavic communities that have not been inclined to communism and ideologically distant gradually become interested in it”.[19]

However, in addition to Orthodox South Slavic peoples, “whose inclination to Russia and its pan-Slavism is not accidental … Catholic Croats and Slovenes were also zealous promoters of the Slavic idea for a while, although they did not emphasize the Russian tone”. After the lost war in 1918, pan-Slavism in Bulgaria was particularly widespread among the followers of agrarian leader Aleksandar Stambolijski, who sought ways to establish connections with his Western South Slavic neighbors, primarily Serbs and Montenegrins. These ties, thought Dr. Barthe, were strong among the supporters of the “Greater Yugoslavia idea” and in “leftist radical circles”, which “considerably facilitated the operation of communism in the Balkans”.[20]

SPC, as it was stressed, was politically the most active of all Balkan Orthodox churches. That was far from the situation in which it acted in ethnically and religiously compact Kingdom of Serbia. Having lost the position of state church in 1918, SPC became one of the critics and footholds of the criticism of the Yugoslav idea. Its pronounced Serbian tradition defined its position toward the Yugoslav idea. Due to dispersion of the Serbian people almost all over the Yugoslav territory it lost its land, so that “…Greater Serbia is its only appropriate goal, and strengthening of Serbdom at the expense of other (ethnic and religious – M.R.) groups the assumption of its existence”. As such, along with Serbian politicians of different orientations, just prior to war in 1941 it called for and cherished hopes “in gathering of Serbdom … on Serbian-religious basis”.[21]

The “Eastern sin” of all Orthodox Balkan churches was their strong support to national ideas and diligent participation in political struggles. According to this German opinion, Serbian patriarch Gavrilo Dožić championed this cause. He is claimed to have “played an exceptionally important role in the background of the coup of 27 March 1941”, when he tried to influence Prince Regent Pavle to give up the intention of joining the Tripartite Pact. One of the great faults ascribed to him was establishment of close relations with the Church of England in 1939 and 1940 and open support to the Greek church at the time of the Italian attack on Greece in 1940.[22]

Serbian Orthodox Church was accused of political instrumentalization in the implementation of “Greater Serbian power policy” and of the spread of “pan-Slavism”, which was “very strong in Serbia” from which “a kind of pan-Bolshevism has already arisen”, while close connection with Moscow still existed (in 1941! – M.R.) via – Bulgaria![23] Such “argumentation” did not suffer in the least from pronounced contradictions “in the field” (poor relations between the SPC and Bulgarian church, non-existing relations with the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union and extreme animosity toward Bolshevism).[24] The role of the SPC as a political factor, particularly Dožić’s activity and positions have been interpreted as an expression of “clerical power politics in medieval fashion”.[25] “Pan-Slavism” was in Berlin a reason for suspicion toward its Bulgarian allies, particularly toward the end of war.[26]

Germany recognized a the combination of “Serbian conspiracy policy” and influence of Orthodox church on state and national tradition and its political influence among the Serbs as a threat for its interests in the Southeast. The attitude of occupation authorities toward the head of the SPC must be observed in the light of such viewpoints.

A Sonderkommando led by SS major Hinze arrested Serbian patriarch Gavrilo in the Ostrog Monastery, Montenegro, on 25 April 1941. His name was on a separate wanted list and during arrest, transfer to the Gestapo prison in Belgrade and investigation he was treated with pronounced brutality. RSHA headquarters in Berlin considered Patriarh’s arrest and interrogation as an exceptionally important task. With this in view, the IV Administration chief Heinrich Müller dispatched SS-Lieutenant Neuhausen to Belgrade at the beginning of May 1941 to conduct investigation about the activities of the Serbian patriarch together with SS-Lieutenant Loss from the same service who had already been there. While in prison, Dožić was particularly interrogated about his activity during the signing of the Tripartite Pact and the 27-March coup.[27]

Owing to intervention of Milan Aćimović, head of the Serbian collaborationist “Commissary Government”, the prison regime was somewhat mitigated. The leadership of the occupation administration was aware that unfavorable treatment or possible death of ill patriarch in prison could cause revolt among the people and this also contributed to the decision to transfer him into strict house arrest in the Rakovica monastery.[28] Members of the Synod have not been allowed to visit the patriarch until 7th July 1941, when he was briefed about the situation in the Church.

Patriarch Gavrilo said to German investigators that he regarded the actions of the Yugoslav Government as the true cause of ensuing political coup.[29] In the report for German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentropp on interrogation of patriarch Gavrilo it was emphasized that his statements, combined with captured Yugoslav documents, make it possible to get a picture about “…participation of Orthodox Church in foreign-policy intrigues of the former Yugoslav Government”[30] Although SPC was less politically active than the Catholic Church (this position differs from the opinion of certain other German analysts of this problem), it became in Yugoslavia an important internal factor of anti-German course, i.e. “instrument of English imperialism”, primarily as the result of “English policy” pursued before the outbreak of war.[31]

Despite extremely negative attitude toward Dožić’s role, RSHA representative (officer of the IV Administration in Belgrade, SS-Lieutenant Wandesleben) thought that it was nevertheless necessary to work with the patriarch, while representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that patriarch remained the biggest hindrance to all attempts to attract SPC and instrumentalize it for German needs.

Instructions from RSHA headquarters contained the position that further activities of intelligence outposts in Serbia (EG SIPO, SD) dealing with SPC work must be guided toward using the Serbian Church to “unconditionally prevent penetration of Catholicism to the Balkans”.[32]

The entire operation of the SPC in Serbia was under the control of German police and intelligence organs (SIPO and SD, BDS-Church Department, Abwehr, Gestapo), which attempted to infiltrate their agents into the church.[33] Archbishop Josif who was replacing the arrested patriarch, was under constant surveillance prompted by suspicion that he worked for British intelligence. SS-second lieutenant Maier reported in August 1941 of his anti-German actions and positions to SIPO and SD officer for church issues, accusing archbishop Josif of “…deliberately bringing SPC into an inactive state only to make it serve English rather than German interests”.[34] Other bishops have been similarly evaluated.[35]

An attempt at the end of August to persuade the patriarch to make a proclamation for the Synod in which he will condemn communism did not succeed, and other attempted pressures from other sides failed as well. Aćimović’s “Commissary Government” demanded in August 1941 from Serbian episcopate and clergy to sign a public “appeal to the Serbian people”. Only 10 members of church hierarchy, clergy and professors of Theological Faculty responded (out of 420 signatories).

The pressure on SPC leadership in October 1941 by the minister of education in the new collaboration Government of general Nedić passed without the expected result. Nedić called on the representatives of the Synod to support him and his “Government” and help in fighting “communists, partisans and looters”. The answer of archbishop Josif was that the “Serbian Church … cannot get involved in any political combinations, particularly not the ones that are contrary to our evangelical and St. Sava’s principles”. The Church should not be embroiled in a fight in which “a brother has risen up against his brother, while the enemy is pushing them to mutual extermination”.[36]

Followers of a small fascist movement “Zbor” and their “leader” Dimitrije Ljotić attacked the Church leadership because they did not clearly side with Nedić and condemned the armed resistance against the occupier. They accused the SPC that it has been rotting from within attacked by “red demonism”.[37]

The Synod demanded from occupation authorities to undertake measures to stop Ustashi pogroms against the Serbs both those in Vojvodina and in Kosovo. During 1941 two memorandums with data on the suffering of people and churches in the territories that were included within the borders of NDH were handed to German military administrative commander.[38] Dr Miloš Sekulić brought copies of memorandums sent to general Danckelmann to London, to the Yugoslav government. Discussions about collected data on victims of crimes committed in NDH against the Serbs turned into a fierce and intolerant quarrel between the Serbian and Croatian politicians in emigration full of grave accusations and repudiations of the validity of data, starting the flywheel of schism in general Simović’s government that will ultimately result in its fall.[39]

According to German-Ustashi agreement reached at the conference in Zagreb on 4 June 1941, planned, mass-scale deportations of the Serbian population from the NDH to Serbia included (survived) SPC priests, primarily those imprisoned in the Caprag prison camp near Sisak. Thus 334 priests with families (out of 577 who were in these territories in 1941). arrived to occupied Serbia. In 1942 and 1943 the Synod of the SPC through mediation of the Nedić administration, handed to German occupation authorities four memorandums on forceful conversion into Catholicism in NDH. After receiving the third memorandum, German envoy Benzler warned Nedić that he must not allow this document to be taken out of the country.[40]

German special plenipotentiary for the Southeast Hermann Neubacher attempted in the fall of 1943 to arrange for Gavrilo Dožić and Nikolaj Velimirović to be released from captivity. He got consent from Ribbentropp and Himmler, but Hitler strongly opposed his proposal. According to Neubacher’s words, Hitler answered that “…Gavrilo is our enemy, which he had proved (at the time of) outbreak of conflict with Belgrade.”[41]

Nevertheless, an order by Kaltenbruner, chief of security police and SD dated 19 January 1944 prohibited taking any measures against the Serbian patriarch without his (Kaltenbruner’s) order.[42] SS general Müler asked on 14 May 1944 for a report on the state of health of patriarch Gavrilo and Nikolaj Velimirović. Having in view their influence among Orthodox believers in the Balkans, it was considered that their possible death in German prison might have very bad propaganda effects. Their transfer from Serbia to Dachau concentration camp, where they stayed from mid-September until early December 1944, as well as intervention by Neubacher, eager to use SPC dignitaries for his own plans, are illustrative of great mistrust toward Dožić and Velimirović as well as of the desire to put their spiritual (and political) influence in one way or another in the service of German interests.[43]

Enthronement of the Russian patriarch, Moscow metropolitan Sergey, resulted in increased attention in the circles in Berlin, in charge in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of monitoring Orthodox churches. In the fall of 1943, under the impression of changed attitude of the Soviet state toward the Russian Orthodox Church (RPC), a detailed analysis of hitherto German policy toward Balkan Orthodox churches with proposals for its correction was made in the Foreign Ministry Department Inland D (“Kirchliche und konfessionelle Angelegencheiten”). Its author, Dr Haeftgen, proposed a new German strategy toward Orthodoxy due to changed attitude of the Soviet political and state leadership toward the church and its transformation – at a time when its position in the Southeast was weakened – into an effective foreign policy tool.[44]

According to his estimate, the Soviet Union had two “power factors” at its disposal in the Balkans, “one of which was dynamic and the other static, with appeal for the soul and sentiments of peasant Balkan peoples”. The first one was “…resistance movement of bandit leader Tito, who in addition to his national-revolutionary tendencies, owing to his legitimizing via Moscow, is at the same time pan-Slavic oriented”.[45]

The second were structures of the Orthodox Church, which after the exclusion of old political parties by more or less authoritarian domestic regimes “remained only untouched and legal organizations” and “owing to its strong and traditional deep-rooted position among the Balkan peasantry had the possibility to successfully issue political slogans”.

And “Tito’s resistance movement, due to discrediting Stalin’s patronage” clashed in Orthodox churches with serious religious hostility, which “should certainly come in handy to the main communists’ rival (general – M.R.) Mihailović. However, serious doubts have been expressed that one day hitherto opposing factions, with skillful steering from Kremlin, may become reconciled and thus “…the course of political development in the Balkans be irreversibly diverted from the course we hold desirable”.[46]

It was unwillingly admitted that all German attempts to mobilize Balkan Orthodox churches against “hypocritical Moscow’s play” and their moving to protest against the election of patriarch Sergey remained futile – with one sole exception. It was newly-proclaimed “Croatian Orthodox Church the positions of which are irrelevant in other parts of the Balkans, because it is led by a refugee Russian metropolitan (Hermogen from Dniepropetrovsk) and the entire church is known as a political creation aimed at saving orthodox Croats from being equated with the Serbs, i.e. their destruction by catholic Croats”.[47]

A foothold for a change of German policy towards orthodoxy in the Balkans was offered by the present differences between the Greek and Russian orthodoxy, as the latter separated from Constantinople in the 16th century. Balkan orthodox churches remained dependent on Ecumenical Patriarchate as the highest church instance until recent times and as autocephalous still belonged to its sphere of influence. Growing tendency was also noticeable for recognizing the supreme spiritual power of Constantinople patriarchs. Other orthodox churches, such as Finnish, Estonian, American, Australian, have already recognized the Constantinople patriarch as the supreme authority, who on the other hand never insisted on that and in this regard was opposite to the Russian Orthodox Church which “…using pan-Slavic tendencies aspired toward religious and political dominance over Balkan churches.[48]

Re-introduction of scholarships for orthodox theology students from all Balkan countries and opening of an orthodox theological department on one of the German universities (in Vienna) was proposed as an effective tool of a long-term German church policy.[49]

It was proposed that these changes be carried out “… only under the foreign-policy coordination (original emphasize) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore with the exclusion of interior German departments … and only by church means and persons” because Stalin and Anglo-Saxons “…are using … systematically their church bodies”. A suitable German instrument would be Church Foreign Office of the German Evangelical Church which developed and had a long track record of trustful relationship with competent orthodox instances in the Southeast.” Church Foreign Office had not been used previously out of consideration for German interior church policy. Americans (catholic bishop Spellman), English (bishop Baxton) and Russians (patriarch Sergey) penetrated, with some success, in the vacuum thus created.[50]

Without German counter-action, Russian church policy could rapidly penetrate the “Byzantine space”. For the success of a “new German policy toward Balkan orthodoxy” this “purely foreign-policy and extremely sensitive complex must be protected from interference from the territory within the German church policy”. That would mean that criteria in the control of activities of churches and combating their influence in the Third Reich itself would not in its “hard…variant” be implemented toward Balkan churches as up until then. [51]

A German critic of this proposal thought that it would be wrong to avail itself of the services of the only expert available, bishop Heckel, head of the Foreign Policy Office of the German Evangelical Church, because according to Orthodox and Catholic canon law he was the holder of an “unfounded title”. It would not be easy for him in the mission in the Balkans to come in touch with Church structures, because it is clear that despite his title he is leading a political mission, the success of which can be doubted in advance.[52]

Since, according to this opinion, it was obviously “almost” impossible to carry out such serious undertaking only with the help of Evangelical church, “the only way remaining, therefore, was via orthodox clergymen”. It was reminded that in the report of 15 November 1943 he mentioned how in preparing his journey to the Balkans he relied on an (unnamed) “orthodox archimandrite”, with whose help he hoped to “achieve assumptions on the basis of which it would be possible to carry out necessary political measures for managing orthodoxy under German administration in the future”.[53]

All this activity did not produce any effect on the change of actual attitude toward Balkan churches in the last year of German wartime presence in the Balkans. Mistrust in unreliability of Balkan allies was increasingly pronounced, and so was reliance primarily on own military force in the attempts to continue to keep the Balkan space under control. In such atmosphere there was no room for experiments, including those relating to the relationships with orthodox churches.[54] The last attempt at the end of war (1945), to involve patriarch Dožić and bishop Velimirović in the organization of an anti-communist bloc composed of members of different political and military formations from the Yugoslav territory was the mentioned Neubacher’s unsuccessful initiative.[55]






[1] On this issue see: Gunther Heydemann und Lothar Kettenacker (Hrsg.), Kirchen in der Diktatur. Drittes Reich und SED-Staat, Gottingen, 1993.

[2] Archive of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (=ASMIP) PA, 1960, DDR, 84/36, No. 431422, “Die Schande des Bonner Neokolonialismus und seines Kreuzritters Gerstenmaier”, Erklärung von St. Sekr. Winzer auf der Pressekonferenz des Ministeriums für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten der DDR am 4. November 1960. In the 1960s Gerstenmeier was the president of West German Bundestag.

[3] Ibid, Twardowski, Gesandsch. Belgrad, an Ausw. Amt, Pol IV Jugoslavien, 17. Juli 1940. In the 1930s Gerstenmeier was the president of the West German Bundestag.

[4] Ibid, Heckel, Deutsche Evang. Kirche, Kirchl. Aussenamt, A 2389, an Ausw. Amt , 21 August 1940.

[5] Ibid, Twardowski, Dt. Gesandsch. Belgrad, 30 Aug. 1941.

[6] Ibid, Dr. Habil. Gerstenmeier, Konsistorialrat, Betr. Ortodoxe Kirchen des Sudostens. Reisebericht September 1941.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] A. Hillgruber (Hrsg.),Staatsmäner und Diplomaten bei Hitler, Teil I, 1939-1941, 577.

[11] Politisches Archiv, Auswartiges Amt (=PAAA), Inland IIg Kroatien, 83- 60 E, Deutsche Gesandschaft Agram, Pol. 2 Nr.2-A430742, Zagreb 20 July 1942.

[12] PAAA, Buro d. St. Sekretär, Kroatien, Bd. 2, Tel. Nr. 1102, Kasche, 2. IX 1942.

[13] W. Frauendienst, Jugoslawiens Weg zum Abgrund. Schriften des deutsch. Instituts für Aussen­politische Forschung, Berlin, 1941, p. 128.

[14] PAAA, Inland Iig Kroatien, 83-60E, Deutsche Gesandschaft Agram, Pol. 2 Nr. A430742, 20 July 1942.

[15] Supra n. 11, op.cit.

[16] PAAA, Inland IIg, Kroatien, 83 - 60 E, Bd. 1, Tatigkeit des SD, Der Chef der Sichercheitspolizei und des SD, IV B 3, 3207 42 gRs,  an A.A. z. Hd. Von Legationsrat Picot, Berlin, 28. IX 1942.

[17] Ibid.

[18] National Archives Washington (NAW), microfiche (Mf), T 71/ 5, OKW, Nr. 01055/ 43, I (D H). Amt Ausland, Abwehr - Amtsgruppe Ausland, Geheim!. Das politische Kräftespiel auf dem Balkan. Ergebnisse aus jugoslawischen Beutedokumenten, 398491..

[19] Ibid, p. 4.

[20] Ibid, 29.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Radmila Radić, Verom protiv vere. Država i verske zajednice u Srbiji 1945-1953, [Faith against faith. The State and Religious Communities in Serbia 1945-1953], Belgrade 1995, pp. 40, 41.

[23] Bundes Archiv-Koblenz,(=BA), R 63 (Südosteuropa Geselschaft), von Steinfurth, s. 58, Budapest, Oktober 1941, Zur Lage in Serbien, str. Vertraulich.

[24] W. Frauendienst, op.cit., p.129.

[25] Ibid, p. 130. W. Frauendienst also insists on the ties between the SPC and Church of England. For him, the meeting of the Gibraltar bishop Harold Buxton with Dožić in the Patriarchate Hall was “die peinliche Szene” (a “painful scene”).

[26] BA, R 63, 214, Informationsbericht 26, Wien, 29. IV, 1944, s. 177-180, Bulgarische Politik.

[27] Radić, op.cit., 53.

[28] Nemačka obaveštajna služba [German Intelligence Service], vol. VIII-IX, Belgrade, 1956, 983, 984; Radić, op.cit, 41, 45.

[29] W. Frauendienst, op.cit., 129.

[30] National Archives Washington (=NAW), Microfiche (=MF) T 120/1757, 024552-024552-557, undated.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Nemačka obaveštajna služba [German Intelligence Service], vol. VIII-IX, 1956, 989, 990; R. Radić, op.cit., 55.

[33] R. Radić, op.cit., mentions that The Holy Synod of Bishops had to furnish a copy of the minutes of all its meetings to Gestapo, 60

[34] R. Radić, op.cit. 345, note 97.

[35] Ibid, 60, 64

[36] According to: R. Radić, op.cit., 56-58.

[37] Ibid, 59.

[38] Ibid, 46.

[39] On this see. B. Krizman, Jugoslovenske vlade u izbjeglištvu [Yugoslav Governments in Exile], 1, Belgrade/Zagreb, 1981, 22-27, 209-212, 223-226 and 252-276.

[40] R. Radić, op.cit. 61.

[41] According to: H. Neubacher, Sonderauftrag Sudost 1940-1945, Gottingen, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, 1956, 158.

[42] Nemačka obaveštajna služba [German Intelligence Service], vol. V, Belgrade, 1958, 992.

[43] H. Neubacher, Sonderauftrag, 158.

[44] PA AA, Inland I- D, Kirche 1, Deutschland, Kirche . Aufzeichnung zur Frage der deutschen Politik gegenüber der Balkan-Ortodoxie, undated 1943.

[45] Ibid, 3.

[46] Ibid, 4.

[47] Ibid, 5

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid, 11.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid, 11, 12.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Ibid.

[54] PAAA, R 61083, Aktivierung der Balkanortodoxie gegen den Bolschewismus, Dr. Six dem RAM, Berlin, 9 January 1945.

[55] Compare: Neubacher, Sonderauftrag...158. Patriarch Gavrilo and bishop Nikolaj Velimirović were in Kitzbühl at the time of liberation. Patriarch returned to Yugoslavia in February 1946, while Nikolaj stayed in emigration where he continued church work in the Serbian diaspora. He died in the U.S. in 1956 and was canonized in 2003; R. Radić, Verom protiv vere..., 72, 200, 263.