2018-09-13Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/19461
Contested cooperation: the ethnic-German welfare cooperatives in the Vojvodina (1930s)
Although the ethnic-German cooperative union in the Vojvodina, operating as a branch of the political minority movement, was designed to embrace as many economic and social organizations with ethnic-German members as possible, it did not remain united. The discord began with the establishment of welfare cooperatives as successors to former voluntary burial associations. The central organization of the ethnic-German welfare cooperatives, the Zewoge, was founded under the auspices of the ethnic-German cooperative union in 1931 and became the focal point for the former burial associations as well as newly established local welfare cooperatives. The driving force behind this development was Johann Wüscht who came into conflict with the physicians’ section of the ethnic-German cultural organization. This began a process of separation of the Zewoge from the ethnic-German cooperative union. The Serbian union of welfare cooperatives assisted the Zewoge in gaining and securing its independence from the ethnic-German cooperative union in Novi Sad. This was surprising since Wüscht, the top manager of the Zewoge, announced that the ethnic Germans were involved in a demographic struggle with the Serbs in the Vojvodina. For strengthening the position of the minority, he advocated measures spanning from social hygiene to eugenics.
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