Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview
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He had never heard of Tito (see Tito, Josip Broz) before the war, and thought that he was a Russian. In any case, he considered his task to be to raise a Yugoslav army and hold it in readiness for the time when the Germans were weakened and were forced to leave Yugoslavia Above all, he considered that direct attacks on the Germans were mad; therefore, his troops conducted sabotage and minor skirmishes with the enemy. Mihajlovic, despite his hostility to communism in general, cooperated with Tito's partisans for a time. However, he deplored their recklessness which often resulted in appalling casualties among the civilian population. Finally, Mihajlovic's troops fought the partisans, and the war turned into a civil war.

In the end, Mihajlovic's lieutenants collaborated with the Germans, not because they liked them, but because they fought against the communists. Mihajlovic himself never collaborated with the enemy. Mihajlovic placed his trust in the Western Allies, but his organization was inefficient, and the Allies eventually chose to support Tito and the partisans.

The general was adopted into the Yugoslav government-in-exile in 1943, but this government was dissolved because of basic disagreements between Serbs and Croats over the postwar political settlement. Tito and Mihajlovic remained bitter enemies until the very end. Each attempted to impose his own ideology on the people. Mihajlovic's army tried to regain its prestige by sheltering Western pilots shot down over Yugoslavia; but this came too late, and it was too little. Mihajlovic was eventually captured in the Montenegrine mountains, tried for treason and executed in 1946.


Bibliography

Djilas Milovan, Wartime ( London, 1977); Djonlagic Alexandar, Yugoslavia in the Second World War ( Belgrade, 1967); Seitz Albert B., Mihajlovic: Hoax or Hero? ( Columbus, OH, 1953); Tomac Peter, ed. The Trial of Dragoljub-Draza Mihajlovic ( Belgrade, 1946); The Trial of Dragoljub-Draza Mihajlovic: Stenographic Records of Documents ( Belgrade, 1946).

Milosevic, Slobodan ( 1941-). Although Milosevic's parents were Montenegrines, he was born east of Belgrade, in Serbia. His father was a theology professor, and his mother, a schoolteacher, was a committed communist. Milosevic's parents separated after World War II, and both committed suicide separately. In 1959, Milosevic enrolled at Belgrade University and joined the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. At the university, he was elected chairman of the university's committee on ideology. In 1964, Milosevic graduated with an economics degree.

He was soon employed by the Belgrade Communist party apparatus as an economic and legal adviser. In 1968, he became an executive at Technogas, the state- owned gas company, and in 1973, he became its general director. In 1978, Milosevic was appointed president of Beobanka, the United Bank of Belgrade. This enabled him to establish some Western contacts, and he even visited the United States in 1979.

In 1984, he became a full-time party worker, and he was appointed chairman of the Central Committee of the Belgrade City branch of the Yugoslav Communist party.

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