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Zrenjanin (Municipality, Yugoslavia [Serbia])

Last modified: 2001-11-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: zrenjanin | nagybecskerek |
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History of Zrenjanin

Zrenjanin (formerly, Veliki Beckerek* ; Hungarian, Nagybecskerek ; German, Grossbetscherek) is a town and district in Vojvodina, close to the Romanian border. The town has got 81.382 inhabitants (1990 census).

  • 1331: First mention of the town as Civitas Becske in the Torontal country in the Kingdom of Hungary. The area has been inhabited since the Roman era.
  • 1551-1716: Ottoman rule.
  • 1718-1778: Part of the Governorate of Temesch, in the Habsburg Empire. Resettled by Spaniards, Germans and French.
  • 1769: Borough.
  • 1778: Reunification with Hungary, part of Torontal county.
  • 1850-1861: After the defeat of the Hungarian Independence War (1848-1849), allocated to a new province (Governorate of Temes and Serbian Vojvodina).
  • 1861-1918: Capital of Torontal county.

The 1910 population census yielded 26.006 inhabitants, divided as follows:

  • Census by mother language:
    • Hungarian: 9.148 (35.2%)
    • Serbian: 8.934 (34,4%)
    • German: 6.811 (26,2%)
    • Slovak: 456 (1,8%)
    • Romanian: 339 (1,3%)
    • Others: 318 (1,2%)
  • Census by religion:
    • Roman Catholic: 13.838 (53.2%)
    • Greek Orthodox: 9.341 (35,9%)
    • Jewish: 1.232 (4,7%)
    • Lutheran: 806 (3.1%)
    • Calvinist: 676 (2,6%)
    • Others: 113 (0,4%)

In 1918, the city was under French occupation. From 1920 (Treaty of Trianon) to 1941, the city was incorporated to Yugoslavia. In 1941-1944, the area was occupied and annexed by Germany. The Treaty of Paris reallocated it to Yugoslavia in 1947.

Istvan Molnar, 12 December 2000

*Veliki Beckerek, the original name in Croatian/Serbian, similar to the Hungarian and German names, was changed to Petrovgrad in 1934 (I guess it was after the new young king Peter II). After the Second World War, the city was renamed to Zrenjanin, after the national hero Zarko Zrenjanin Uca (1902-1942). Zrenjanin Uca has been a communist activist and leader of the Communist Party in Vojvodina since late 1920's, He was jailed several times before the Second World War. During the War, he led the partisan struggle in Vojvodina, and was killed as Vojvodina delegate on his way to the AVNOJ meeting in 1942.

Zrenjanin is the biggest and most important city in Banat (i.e. the part of Vojvodina east of Tisa river and north of Danube).

Zeljko Heimer, 14 December 2000

Flag of Zrenjanin (Nagybecskerek) in Austro-Hungarian Empire

[Zrenjanin in Austro-Hungarian Empire]by Istvan Molnar

Source: Szell, S. Varosaink neve, cimere es loboguja, 1941

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