Dr. Mirna Zakić
Dr. Mirna Zakić (*08.03.1982) studied history at the American University in Bulgaria and the University of Maryland. She obtained her Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland in 2011. Since fall 2011 she has been Assistant Professor of History at Ohio University, where she teaches courses on the political, social and cultural history of modern Germany and Europe, with a focus on the Third Reich, World War II, the Holocaust, and their postwar legacies. Her current research focuses on ethnic German communities in Southeast Europe, the transnational spread of National Socialist ideology, and the interplay of ideology and ethnicity in World War II. She is revising her book manuscript tentatively titled The Furthest Watch of the Reich: National Socialism and Ethnic Germans in World War II.
- Article “The Price of Belonging to the Volk: Volksdeutsche, Land Redistribution and Aryanization in the Serbian Banat, 1941-1944,” The Journal of Contemporary History (forthcoming 2013/2014)
The Furthest Watch of the Reich: National Socialism and Ethnic Germans, 1941-1944
Project description: My proposed monograph, The Furthest Watch of the Reich: National Socialism and Ethnic Germans, 1941-1944, will examine the relations between the Third Reich and the Volksdeutsche of Southeast Europe within the context of the occupation of parts of the Yugoslav lands by the former during World War II. This project departs from the trends evident in the historiography of this period: a reduction of these relations to a top-down imposition unmodified by the Volksdeutsche's local concerns and experiences (in English-language literature), a legitimizing national 'myth' about unqualified collaboration and penetration by Nazi ideals (in postwar Yugoslav historiography), or an emphasis on the Volksdeutsche's postwar suffering without reference to the wartime context (in Serbia historiography since the early 1990s). Instead, this study introduces complexity and nuance by examining why National Socialism as an ideology appealed to the Volksdeutsche, what other reasons they had for collaboration, and what social developments and political decisions drew them ever deeper into complicity with Nazi crimes, despite private reservations some Volksdeutsche may have had. The specific focus on the Volksdeutsche minority in the Serbian (Western) Banat under Reich occupation, its interactions with Adolf Hitler's government, and its participation in military operations and the Holocaust in the Banat, Serbia and the Independent State of Croatia allows for an in-depth analysis of the issues of occupation, collaboration and ideology.