Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History

Explore the extraordinary past of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through the pages of the book 'Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History.' Uncover political events, economic development, and cultural heritage of these Banat towns through richly documented stories. Follow the evolution from the earliest days to the present, delving into the intricate threads of political intrigues, economic transformations, and cultural ascensions. Experience the past through the eyes of the author as the pages of the book unfold before you, providing a unique perspective on the life and legacy of these significant locales.

Explore historical events: Koča's Frontier, 1788-1789 war with the Turks. Serbian refugees in Vranjevo after defeat. Impact on Bečej's and Vranjevo's history

The Last Refugees from Serbia in Vranjevo

War with the Turks 1788-1789, Koča's Frontier

Even after the expulsion of the Turks from the regions of southern Hungary, the Balkans remained at the center of Austrian expansion for a long time. In preparation for the war with the Ottoman Empire, Austria conducted extensive agitation among the Christian population in Serbia, counting on their assistance when the war shifted to the Balkans. Due to the arbitrariness of the Janissaries and under the influence of Austrian propaganda, a considerable number of Serbs emigrated to Hungary, where special volunteer units called "freikorps" were formed, serving as precursors to the Austrian army in the upcoming war.

Thus, the Serbs accepted the war declared on February 9, 1788, as the beginning of the struggle for liberation from the Turks. Captain Koča Anđelković, a livestock trader who had moved with his family to Kovin before the war, was appointed by the Austrian command as a freikorps to propagate the war in his region in Serbia and incite an uprising against the Turks. Koča, with his insurgents, quickly managed to rid Požarevac and all villages from Smederevo to Jagodina of the Turks, endangering the Turkish communication between Belgrade and Smederevo to the south. This uprising of the people in Serbia was called "Koča's Frontier."

However, Austria delayed its offensive, causing dissatisfaction among Koča's insurgents, who, in addition to the shortage of weapons, ammunition, and food, began to abandon the unit in large numbers. Koča and the remaining personnel moved to Banat.

Upon the insistence of the Austrian command, Koča reorganized his unit, reinforced with two companies of Banat freikorps, and crossed into the Pomoravlje region. However, this time, he could not withstand the strong Turkish forces. The Turks invaded Banat, and during the incursion, Koča Anđelković's units suffered losses, and he was captured and impaled near Tekija.

For the history of Bečej and Vranjevo, this uprising is of particular importance because, after the defeat of the insurgents in Koča's Frontier, a portion of refugees from Serbia settled in Vranjevo.

Due to the Turkish violence that followed in Serbia, the people fled across the Danube to Banat. Besides escaping Turkish terror, the population accepted this migration to Banat also because of Austrian propaganda. To ensure better distribution of the immigrants, the Austro-Hungarian authorities appointed special commissioners for refugees. Paulus Blaho, the county fiscal based in Veliki Bečkerek, was appointed for the Torontal County.

Higher authorities ordered humane treatment of refugees and provision of necessary food when leaving the registration places. If there was no food in state warehouses at the registration places, refugees were given cash to supply themselves.

To enable refugees to purchase everything they needed in their settlement areas, the Hungarian county council issued a proclamation to all financial institutions that they could exchange Turkish currency at the rate of one Turkish piaster for 42 krajcars.

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