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Zrenjanin (Municipality, Serbia)

Last modified: 2006-07-22 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 had 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.

István Molnár, 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 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 1920s, 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 city in Banat, the part of Vojvodina east of Tisa river and north of Danube.

Željko Heimer, 14 December 2000

Former flag of Zrenjanin (Nagybecskerek)?

[Flag of Nagybecskerek]

Former flag of Zrenjanin - Image by István Molnár, 24 September 2002

Source: Sándor Széll. Városaink neve, címere és lobogója [szs41].

István Molnár, 24 September 2002

Széll's book shows the flags of several cities formerly held by Hungary. The book is our only source of these flags, but it is not clear as to what period these flags were used as claimed by the book. I doubt very much that they were used during the time of Austria-Hungary. It seems very much more like they were designed in 1941 - but it is not even clear weather the designs shown in the Szell's book are just proposals or if they were ever prescribed in any formal way and after all whether they were used. At least for the moment, I believe that the former flag was in use at most in years 1941-1944.

Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005