Yugoslav-German Agreements on Seasonal Work between the World Wars

  • Marjan Drnovšek
Keywords: Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Germany, international agreements, migrations, seasonal workers, Dravska banovina, Prekmurje


At the time of the first Yugoslavia the flow of emigration turned towards Western European countries, especially France and Germany. Among emigrants, rural seasonal workers from the labour pools of Prekmurje and Medjimurje prevailed. A relatively large portion of seasonal workers went to work within Yugoslavia (Slavonija, Banat, Bačka, Baranja). The paper highlights two agreements on the hire of seasonal workers, concluded in 1928 and 1939 between the first Yugoslavia and Germany. Both determined the organisation, departure and return of workers, with working contract samples being attached in the annex. In 1939, an agreement on permanent rural workers and the regulation on medical examination were also made. The implementation of the agreement echoed in public, provoking both negative and positive reactions to the working and living conditions in the new environment. In both cases, Germany as the hiring state had the last word, especially in defining annual quotas which fluctuated from one year to another. The paper is a part of a wider project on the emigration of Slovenes to Germany and is mainly based on archive and published material.