Just before the outbreak of the Second
World war, the Serbian-led government of Yugoslavia (Kingdom of Yugoslavia)
had become more pro-Axis. Under young King Petar and his uncle Prince Regent
Pavle, Yugoslavia moved steadily away from France and towards Germany after
the death of King Aleksandar, who was assassinated by Croatian terrorists
in 1934. As early as February 1936, in the moments of growing animosity
between Serbia and Croatia, Adolf Hitler promised to support the Yugoslav
government of the Prime Minister Milan Stojadinovic. In 1937, Milan Stojadinovic
- who was a staunch Serb nationalist - had visited Mussolini in Italy.
Some say that Mussolini aroused his enthusiasm for Fascism thus Stojadinovic
formed the squad of the "Green Shirts" for his party ('Yugoslav Radical
Association', later 'Serbian Radical Party') and adopted the Aryan right-hand
salute. However, when Stojadinovic took the title "Vodja" (Leader), Prince
Pavle (an obvious anglophile) sacked him and replaced him with Dragisa
Cvetkovic (Yugoslav Prime Minister from 1939 until 1941.) However, Cvetkovic
mostly maintained the pro-Axis foreign policy.
Throughout the interwar years, Yugoslavia had attempted to build diplomatic links to many non-Axis countries such as France and Czechoslovakia. After 1933, it developed close ties through the Balkan Entente with Greece and Romania. However, during the late 1930s it was Hitler's Germany that was Yugoslavia's closest economic partner. Following the German annexation of Austria in 1938, the Yugoslav government on one hand tried to maintain a position of independence, while being increasingly pressured to ally itself more closely with Germany. Thus, Yugoslavia joined the Axis on March 24th, 1941, when it signed the Tripartite Pact in Vienna - an act which sparked off demonstrations (in Belgrade) secretly organised by the British secret service. After the signing of the Pact, Dragisa Cvetkovic assured Hitler that Yugoslavia "would be ready to maintain its position of independence and cooperate with the German Reich."
However, the Yugoslav Army soon overthrew the government of Prince Pavle and Dragisa Cvetkovic, and vowed to resist the Axis. It was an event which triggered the German invasion of April 1941. On March 26, 1941 two Yugoslav Army generals - Dusan Simovic and Bora Mirkovic - led a MI6-assisted putsch against the Cvetkovic's government. General Simovic was shortly after named as new Prime Minister. Hitler thought it was betrayal and decided to punish disloyal Yugoslavia. Germany and its allies (Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria) invaded the country on April 6-7th, 1941. On 6th of April, Goebbels read the Order of the Day to the German Army of the East, in the name of the Fuhrer: "Soldiers of the Southeast Front - Since early this morning the German people are at war with the Belgrade Government of intrigue. We shall only lay down arms when this band of ruffians has been definitely and most emphatically eliminated, and the last Briton has left this part of the European Continent. These misled people realize that they must thank Britain for this situation, they must thank England, the greatest warmonger of all time. The German people can enter into this new struggle with the inner satisfaction that its leaders have done everything to bring about a peaceful settlement. [...] At this point the criminal usurpers of the new Belgrade Government took the power of the State unto themselves, which is a result of being in the pay of Churchill and Britain. As in the case of Poland, this new Belgrade Government has mobilized decrepit and old people into their inner Cabinet. Under these circumstances I was forced immediately to recall the German national colony within Yugoslav territory. [...] In addition, Yugoslavia for weeks has planned a general mobilization of its army in great secrecy. This is the answer to my eight-year-long effort to bring about closer co-operation and friendship with the Yugoslav people, a task that I have pursued most fastidiously."
After little resistance, the Germans captured the Serbian capital by April 12th - after first subjecting it to a massive air raid. The royal Yugoslav army fell to pieces, and by April 14th, the King and the new government had fled to Athens.
German invasion. The heroism and martyrdom of General Milan Nedic.
In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded and then disgracefully dismantled by Germany and it's allies. Province of Kosovo and Western Macedonia were put under Albanian control, Montenegro became an Italian protectorate, Hungary took control over some parts of Vojvodina (Northern Serbian province), Bulgaria took the rest of Macedonia and Ustashi Croatia annexed some Western Serbian provinces like Slavonia, West Srem, Kordun, Bania, Lika, etc.
On April 30th, 1941, the Germans formed a provisional Serbian government under the leadership of Milan Acimovic, a former Yugoslav Minister of the Interior. Near normality existed until the German conflict with the USSR. The subsequent terrorist actions of the communist gangs of "partisans" caused the Germans to worry that law and order would collapse in a critical strategic area. On August 29th, General Milan Nedic, a Serb WW1 vet and former Yugoslav Minister of War, was made President of a new Government of National Salvation. He tried to avoid this function but the Germans threatened that "their only alternative would be to bring in the Serbian opponents (i.e. Croats, Bulgarians, and Hungarians) to keep law and order". Good old General Nedic was well aware of the atrocities already committed by the Croat Ustashis and Bulgarians and was genuinely concerned that the Serbs might be exterminated. He asked for a force of 50,000 German soldiers to help him keep the peace, but he was forced to rely on units of Serb volunteers. Thus, Nedic assisted the formation of Serbian State Guard (SDS) and Serbian Volunteer Corps (SDK). Some say that recruiting advertisements for the SDS specified that "applicants must have no Jewish or gypsy blood."
Speaking of Jews, the government of General Nedic shortly afterwards organised the famous "Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition". The exhibition was opened on 22nd October 1941 in Belgrade and the central theme was the Jewish-Communist-Masonic plot for world domination. Besides the exhibits at the exhibition, a great amount of propaganda material was prepared: over 100 thousand various brochures, about 60 thousand posters, 100 thousand flyers, 108 thousand samples of 9 different types of envelopes, over 100 movie clips, four different postage stamps (left) etc. Organisers of Exhibition proudly announced: "This concept of exhibition will be unique not only in Serbia and the Balkans, not only in Europe, but in the world."
Nationalist newspapers such as "Obnova" ("Renewal") and "Nasa Borba" ("Our Struggle") praised this exhibit, explaining that the Jews were the ancient enemies of the Serbian people and that Serbs should not wait for the Germans to liberate them from the vicious influence of the Jews. A few months later, Serbian authorities issued postage stamps commemorating the opening of this very popular exhibit. These stamps, which juxtaposed Serbian national symbols portrayed Judaism as the source of the world evil.
As a result, in August 1942, Dr. Harald Turner (the chief of the German civil administration in Serbia) announced that Serbia was the only country in which the "Jewish question" was solved and that Belgrade was the "first city of a New Europe to be Judenfrei." Turner himself attributed this success to Serbian help. The fight against destructive Jewish influence had actually started six months before the German invasion when the government of Serbia issued legislation restricting Jewish participation in the economy and university enrolment.
As for the the Jews in the past, during four centuries Balkans have been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. In Serbia, Serb population suffered whilst Jewish communities had enjoyed all religious tolerance, internal autonomy, and equality before the Turkish occupational law. This ended with the breakup of the Turkish Empire and the renewal of the Serbian independnce. Soon after a Serbian rebellion against Turkish rule (1804), Jews were expelled from the interior of Serbia and prohibited from residing outside of Belgrade. In 1856 and 1861, Jews were further prohibited from travel for the purpose of trade and domicile.
Regarding relationship between Serbian governerment and Germany, I should mention that General Milan Nedic officially visited Adolf Hitler on September 19th 1943. He told German Fuhrer that he should not regard Serbian people and renegade communist gangs as identical. He informed Hitler that thousands of Serb patriots are voluntarily fighting to protect their country from the Red terrorists and Hitler showed his understanding and credit.
However, the fate of the heroic General in the end was sad and tragic indeed. At the end of the war, Allied forces captured him and sent him back to Serbia into the hands of the Communists. General Nedic never betrayed his ideals. He was brutally murdered on February 4th by one of the Communist chiefs, Aleksandar "Leka" Rankovic, and was buried in unknown place. Milan Nedic will always be remembered as one of the greatest Serb heroes in the long history of the Serbian nation. When many others would have given up after fleeing their country before German invasion, General Nedic stood up in the most dangerous times and continued to fight for salvation of Serbia. He sacrificed all for his people even his very life.
Dimitrije "Mita" Ljotic - his life and Struggle.
"We want to stop the continued moral decline of the nation. We want to restore the honour and our former high national principles." Dimitrije Ljotic (From an article titled "What We Are Fighting For",1935)
Milan Nedic's close friend and main associate was Dimitrije "Mita"
Ljotic. Dimitrije Ljotic was the son of Vladimir Ljotic, Serbian consul
in Salonica. Born August 12, 1891 in Belgrade (then Kingdom of Serbia),
he spent many years in the Serb town of Smederevo. His distant cousins,
among them Djordje "Ljota" Dimitrijevic (from where they got their family
name) came from Blace (presently in region Toplica) in the first half of
the 18th century. Dimitrije's grandfather, also named Dimitrije, was a
great supporter of the Karadjordjevic dynasty. Dimirtije Ljotic completed
elementary school and his first 3 years of high school in Smederevo, then
he went to Salonica where he completed high school, staying with his father.
Following his completion of middle school, he continued his studies in
Law school, and at the same time studied at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade,
where he obtained a diploma in July 1913. Dimitrije was immediately recruited
into the army on the eve of the Balkan wars. During recruitment, he refused
to take the oath because, as they say, he was a young Tolstoyan "pacifist"
at that time. The oath was also not taken because people of his age group
were never mobilised. However, it was contrary to his nature to remain
an idle observer so he enlisted as a volunteer in the military hospital
where he stayed until the end of the 2nd Balkans war in 1913. At his own
request he worked in the most hazardous and exacting wards - those dealing
with cholera cases. His witnessing of human suffering frim the ravages
if both war and disease left a deep and lasting impression on young Ljotic.
He totally broke away from Tolstoyism.
In the autumn of 1913, at the end of the Balkan Wars, on the orders of King Peter I, Ljotic went to Paris to continue his post-graduate studies. There he stayed for 9 months, returning to Serbia following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary in Sarajevo.
"Three things, other than school, kept me busy in Paris: Church, library, and museuma. To learn as much about the value of positive human knowledge and discover the relationship with Christianity". At the time, the young Ljotic was greatly influenced politically by the French nationalist politician Charles Maurras. Following the WW1, Maurras watched with great enthusiasm the great successes of the new Italian and German leaders. He was a great enemy of the Jews, secret societies, and fully understood capitalism, while favouring the corporate system. With his colleague Dode, Maurras formed in 1908 the national-royalist paper "French Action" where nationalist and right-wing ideas were put forward. Ljotic was influenced by these and other nationalist ideologies, which reinforced his deep patriotic and monarchist feelings and understanding of the Fascism. He read their literature and visited nationalist and royalist meetings. He often spoke these words "It is imperative that we are monarchists, because we have our own national dynasty".
Following the start of WW1, Ljotic returned to Serbia from Paris and was called up in the army. As a junior officer and later a reserve officer, he stayed in the army until June 1920 when he was demobilised. Until then Ljotic served on the frontline. In 1919 the army designated him a railway commander in Bakra, near the Italian border. At the time of his demobilisation, a general strike of railway workers erupted on April 16, 1920. The strike ended after one day following Ljotic's intervention, where he arrested 36 workers and handed them over to the authorities. The strike clearly had a communist character to it, organised by the communists with 2 goals: stop the flow of weapons against Hungary (Bela Kun), and to halt demobilisation in order to provoke confusion and unrest in the army among reservists.
In the Autumn of 1920, Ljotic married and joined the right-wing Radical Party. He lived in Smederevo where he opened a law office, finishing his law studies in September 1921 in Belgrade. In 1929 when the King's "dictatorship" was declared, Ljotic and many like-minded people were very happy and satisfied. In that he saw the Yugoslav state moving forward and also the open possibilities for his ideas and programs. As a supporter of the Karadjordjevics he requested from the King an audience. As a well-known monarchist, the King named Ljotic as Minister of Justice in the Petar Zivkovic's government which he joined on February 16, 1931. It is interesting that he always walked to work, not wanting to use his official car, which he had full rights to. The Ministry of Justice was involved in drafting a new constitution, which was later rejected by King Aleksandar. In the constitution, Ljotic's programs of corporate sytstems was included and solutions which were earlier adopted by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. But to King fundamental was proposal that people should elect their representatives by secret ballot, but the nomination of candidates, instead of coming from various political parties, would be made by regional electoral colleges, consisting of representatives of "stalezi" (professional and cultural organisations). Because the proposed constitution was not accepted, Ljotic resigned his post in protest which the King ratified. Ljotic then returned to his law career. When he resigned from his post, Ljotic asked the King his permission on whether he could continue his work in the political field, where he could obtain a followers for his ideas, the King agreed. Dimitrije Ljotic thus continued his political struggle, forming the Yugoslav National Movement ZBOR, and papers "Otadzbina" (Fatherland), "Zbor", and "Budjenje (Awakening)". He was smeared and attacked by all, as the government did not sympathize with his struggle against freemasonry, political parties, and corruption. Those in power systematically set out to suppress the growth of ZBOR. Rallies and meetings were sabotaged, ZBOR publications were severely censored, and ZBOR members intimidated and persecuted. Whilst the battle continued against the corrupt authority, ZBOR found itself increasingly under attack from organised Communists who sought to disrupt meetings and discredit Ljotic and his followers by every possible means. On the other hand, Dimitrije Ljotic was one of the fircest opponents of communism, and the most popular anti-communist writer in Serbia and Yugoslavia. He was one of the first to recognise the role of the Jews in the communist revolution, the forcing of liberal-democracy and capitalism. Jews are, according to Ljotic, a cursed people. In his views, there are 4 methods the Jews have of ruling over other nations and the whole world, which include: Capitalism, Democracy, Freemasonry, and Marxism. He openly called for action against Jews and their products because they were and are the most cynical and dangerous opponents of Christian peoples, Christian values, and the Christian way of life. Ljotic was a devout Orthodox Christian. The great Orthodox spiritual leader and philosopher, Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic, said of Mita that he is a "politician with a Cross". In his public letter entitled "Dear Comrades", Ljotic wrote: "Remember that beyond the sphere of Christ's influnce there is no basis for the saving of nations and of individuals, neither is there an alternative way, alternative truth and life. Everything else, no matter how attractive it could be, is the undoing of individuals as well as nations. Consequently, Zbor did not venture, nor did it want, nor was it able to choose some new way, some new basis, some new truth, some new mode of life beyond the way, the truth and the life of our Lord Jesus Christ..." All in all, Mita was indeed a true patriot, sincere Christian and a charismatic leader.
In the pre-WW2 years his political popularity as well as number of ZBOR
followers rose steadily and when the war broke out he joined the Government
of National Salvation. He was one of the closest friends and associates
of General Milan Nedic (left, meeting Adolf Hitler). As he was during peaceful
time the chairman and spiritual leader of the ZBOR movement, in the same
way he lead the Serbian Volunteer Corps (SDK) during the war.
As the fact that Germany was losing the war became more evident and when the Red Army was closing in on Serbia, Ljotic sought to evolve an appropriate strategy. In 1944, he secretly proposed that all Serbian Nationalist forces (Serbian Volunteer Corps, Serbian State Guard and Serbian Chetniks from Serbia, Montenegro and Hercegovina) should evacuate to Slovenia, where (together with Slovenian nationalists) a United nationalist front to combat the communists would be formed. This plan was never realised because of disunity, and Serbian nationalists that escaped communist terror broke up and emigrated elsewhere. On April 23rd, 1945, while on his way to a meeting with nationalist and Church leaders, Dimitrije Ljotic was tragically killed in a car accident in Slovenia, where he was later buried.
ZBOR (Collective Combat
Organisation of Work)
"We fight (...) because, although it looks like we live in cowardly times, we believe that many think as we do, are dedicated to these aims, ready for sacrifice, and confident of victory." Dimitrije Ljotic ("What We Are Fighting For",1935)
In the 1930's, in Serbia (and
in Yugoslavia), there existed many nationalist groups and movements. Following
his resignation from the Yugoslav government, Dimitrije Ljotic frequently
organised meetings of a certain elite where the national problems, possibility
of organising politically and later occupying government positions were
discussed. In that group, among others were: Stevan Ivanic, Dr. Cedomir
Jovanovic, lawyer Milan Acimovic, Dusan Stojanovic, Jagos Draskovic, Dusan
Jankovic, Ljubomir Barac, engineer Ranko Vujic, Dragoslav Jefremovic, engineer
Andrija Ljolja, Dr. Mirko Kosic, lawyer Nedeljko Brankovic and many others.
At the time, "Otadzbina" (Fatherland) was their official bulletin. The
1st issue was published on February 25, 1934. Mita Ljotic at the time had
one more activity of interest - collectivism. He formed the "Union of collective
wheat farms" in Smederevo, and the "Farm Purchasing Collective". In his
hometown of Smederevo he was maybe the most popular figure which was proven
during one of his speeches, when he spoke through a microphone and when
old and young, men and women, crowded the main street. The whole city came
out that day to see and hear Mita. His speech was, they say, similar to
a thunder storm... something never before seen in Smederevo. He was indeed
a rousing orator.
In Serbia, before the assasination of King Aleksandar in Marseilles, a convention of all Nationalist groups was held in Belgrade. Delegates signed a statement declaring the fusion of all groups into one movement for the whole country. Three days after the signing of this document, the King was assassinated by Croatian terrorists in Marseilles on October 9, 1934. This further sped up the process of forming one, united Nationalist movement. On December 4 (1934), a 2nd meeting was held in Zagreb, where Ljotic's group recieved the main role. The groups reached a consensus by the end of December, and on January 6 (1935), symbolically in the apartment of Dr. Vinko Zoric in Ljubljana (Slovenia), a document was signed forming the Yugoslav National Movement ZBOR. ZBOR in Serbian means "Gathering" but actually it was an abbreviation which stands for "Collective Combat Organisation of Work". Representatives of all groups joined Temporary Council under the leadership of Dimitrije Ljotic. The main synthesis introduced the program of the unified groups. According to this, the people would be actively involved in law making and would keep watch on the government by people's representatives, which would be the expression of discipline and political thought. Every government in a country must be complete and realistic, as must be its obligation. Only the King is 'untouchable'. Greater attention will be given to villages than it was until now. Further, all can be and should be employed, because there are jobs for all, and it is necessary that everyone works. To accomplish this, an agricultural plan must be implemented where every section must be inerconnected into one single unit. The government would then proceed to deal with this one unit. It is requested also that the government take care of the relationship between labour and capital in the goal of economic harmony. "In social and economic affairs, we fight for the right of the people to take affairs into their own hands. We demand that, in these respects, no general national policy be planned or carried out without the active participation of representatives of national professional organisations..." ("What We Are Fighting For",1935). ZBOR is against political parties and Parliamentary-democratic system. It is requested that all political parties be liquidated and best representatives of the sections (classes, occupations) would form the parliament and the national elite would form the government. "(Consequently) power must be made dependent on such personal answerability, that all weaklings and cowards, all scoundrels and egoists will flee to the rear, as once they fled from the war front. That is where they still belong. This is the first, and fundamental, principle of our struggle. We fight therefore for a national, popular politics, and against the politics of parties, cliques and factions." ("What We Are Fighting For",1935). It is also requested that secularism be scrapped in favour of a return of the Church to its rightful place in society to achieve Church-state harmony. Especially important is the racial-biological protection of people's strength and family, which was adequate with Germany's and Italy's national regimes' program.
ZBOR's emblem will be the sword behind shield with an ear of wheat on it. ZBOR members have their anthem, the song called "Vojska Smene" ("The Army of Change"). Ljotic's followers also had many mottos, such as "S verom u Boga i pobedu ZBORa" ("With faith in God and victory of ZBOR"), or "Nastavljamo borbu do pobede" ("We will continue the battle until victory"). ZBOR had its youth wing named Beli Orlovi ("White Eagles"), who were proven loyalists to the movement and its leader Ljotic, and who fought bravely on the streets against communist thugs in order to stop their infiltration into their schools and universities.
In the war years, thousands of ZBOR members formed the "Serbian Volunteer Corps" (SDK), commanded by General Kosta Musicki, that fought valiantly against communist "partisan" hordes the entire war. Dimitrije Ljotic was during the war, as in peace, a political and spiritual leader who inspired his fighters on the front lines. "Serbian Volunteers" (SDK), with other anti-Communists, were largely successful in driving the Communists from Serbia and scattering them throughout the surrounding province. Within several months, law and order were restored. In German military documents, "The Volunteers" are mentioned as one of the best anti-communist guerrilla formations in all of Europe. In November 1944, the part of Serbian Volunteer Corps was transferred to the Waffen-SS, renamed as the "Serbisches Freilligen Korps der SS" and fought as a Waffen-SS unit on the Eastern front until the end of the war.
Following Ljotic's sudden and tragic death, the fortunes of the Serb nationalists cause rapidly declined, and shortly afterwards the small part of the nationalist forces (Chetniks mostly) crossed to Italy. A larger group of several SDK regiments and most of the Slovenian "Domobran" units (together they numbered over 100.000 fighters), after some months of continous and bitter clashes with the communists, eventually retreated to Austria. Tragically, they were all captured by the Britons and forcibly transported back into Yugoslavia. At Tito's orders they were summarily machine-gunned and then thrown in the caves of Kocevski Rog and other places in Slovenia. It was three weeks after the war ended and a very few have succeeded in saving their lives.
Who were the Chetniks?
The original Chetniks (Chetnik, Cetnik = trooper) were Serb paramilitaries founded to protect the Serb population of Macedonia from the Turks and Albanians, in the years after 1903. Later there were also Chetnik battalions (special forces) in the Royal Yugoslav Army.
In 1941, when Germans occupeid Serbia, General Dragoslav "Draza" Mihailovic (ex-Yugoslav Minister of War) formed the new Chetnic movement to resist the German occupation and fight against the communist gangs of "partisans". Mihailovic's Chetniks should, in fact, be called the "Royal Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland" (Kraljevska Jugoslovenska Vojska u Otadzbini) - a body founded on May 13th, 1941. However, as they say, Chetnics were later forced to cooperate with the Germans.
A veteran of the Balkan and First World War, Mihailovic was greatly affected by the Toplica Rising of 1917. It was put down in the most brutal way - 35,000 being killed - and [to Mihailovic] it proved the futility of guerilla forces taking on regulars head to head, and bred in him a determination that civilians should be spared as much suffering as possible.
Although Mihailovic emerged as
Yugoslav King Peter's Minister for War, he was only one of several peoples
leaders in 1941. Groups sprang up all over Kingdom of Yugoslavia, often
having nothing to do with him in the first instance. Many groups were formed
just to defend Serb population from the Croatian Ustashas, others to protect
a particular village etc. Actually, the Chetniks volunteer forces were
first organised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other groups also developed
in Dalmatia and Montenegro. It took Mihailovic a year to win their allegiance.
Duke Momcilo Djujic is well-known and was one of the most influental Chetnik commanders outside central Serbia. He was born on February 27, 1907 in the village of Kovacic near the town of Knin (in todays Croatia). After graduating from high school in Knin in 1924, he attended a school of higher education in Sibenik, and then entered the Serbian Orthodox theological seminary in Sremski Karlovci in 1929. Ordained in 1933, he served as village priest in Strmica, a small Serb community a few kilometers north of Knin, and began participating in local Chetnik activities as early as 1935, when the first armed associations or groups were founded in the surrounding area.
Politically, Djujic gravitated toward the Serb nationalist ideas and by 1941 he was an ardent supporter and follower of Dimitrije Ljotic and ZBOR. These leanings greatly facilitated Djujic's initial contacts with the Italian forces in April 1941. The first armed Chetnik groups in the Knin area gradually evolved into companies, battalions and regiments, and at the end of February 1942 the Dinara Chetnik Division was formed by Djujic to take command and over this rapidly growing force.
Back to Dragoslav Mihailovic... He based an all-Chetnic command in Serbia from where he directed his forces to avoid large-scale fighting with the Germans and Italians and wait for an Allied invasion that would "liberate Yugoslavia and restore the monarchy." By 1944 the Allies withdrew their support. Sir Julian Amery, who held a senior position in the SOE in Cairo, commented in the "Sword and the Shield":
"When we saw that the Russians were going to liberate Yugoslavia we had to drop Mihailovic but, instead of saying 'you're very welcome to come out' - we did invite him out - we justified changing sides by branding his supportors as fellow travellers of the nazis which they never were. Incredibly, Mihailovic survived for more than a year after the Communist takeover. He remained in Yugoslavia throughout, and refused to flee, quoting Danton 'You cannot carry your country with you on the soles of your shoes'."
At the end of war, Chetniks in central Serbia were forced out from their headquarters at Ravna Gora. Mihailovic and his few remaining followers were captured by the communists (March 1946) and brought to Belgrade, where they were tried and executed.
In 1945, most Chetnic forces withdrew to Bosnia in a desperate attempt to form a "united Chetnic army". Frozen and ravaged by typhus, some retreated northward into Slovenia and Italy, but most - an estimated 90,000 - died in Bosnia.
Contrary to general belief, Mihailovic
was not a genuine Serb nationalist. He was commander-in-chief of the Yugoslav
Army, fighting to establish a constitutional Yugoslav monarchy. He was
more a Yugoslav nationalist.
In more recent years Chetniks are a very much different as a political movement. In the last 10 years they were fighting to protect Serb interests only as Ex-Yugoslavia falls apart.
In closing I would like to mention that during WW2, Serb nationalists and anti-Communist forces enjoyed sincere and active support from the Serbian Orthodox Church. I will leave you with the words of Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic who's one of the most influential church leaders and Orthodox philosphers after Saint Sava (the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church). Bishop Nikolai, who is Saint to many Orthodox believing Serbs, wrote: "Europe is presently the main battlefield of the Jew and his father, the devil, against the heavenly Father and his only begotten Son . . . (Jews) first need to become legally equal with Christians in order to repress Christianity next, turn Christians into atheist, and step on their necks. All the modern European slogans have been made up by Jews - the crucifiers of Christ: democracy, strikes, socialism atheism, tolerance of all religions, pacifism, universal revolution, capitalism and communism... All this has been done with the intention to eliminate Christ . . . You should think about this, my Serbian brethren, and correspondingly correct your thoughts, desires and acts." (Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic in his book "Addresses to the Serbian people - Through the Prison Window").