The Gottscheer Peddlers and Nazi Propaganda

  • Marjan Drnovšek
Keywords: Germany, peddlers, Kočevarji, Gottcheer, Slovenia, nazism


Between the two world wars, the Kočevje region in southeast Slovenia was home to a German minority known as the Kočevje Germans (Gottscheer). In the 1930s, they seasonally migrated to Germany where they worked as peddlers, plying their traditional trade in tropical fruits and confectionery and organizing games of chance. Many were enthusiastic about the new Nazi regime, attended short political courses and gradually became exponents of Nazi propaganda. Nevertheless, their primary concern in the economically depressed Kočevje region remained the earning of income. The paper describes the attitude of the Yugoslav authorities towards the Gottscheer peddlers and the growing tension between them and the local Slovenes. A preserved list of the peddlers from the 1936/37 season is also analyzed.