Yugoslavia (the “land of South Slavs”) was a Balkan multi-ethnic state which emerged from the ruins of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy (est. 1867) and was officially announced to exist on December 1st, 1918 under the original name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[i] The name was changed in June 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The country existed under such name till April 1941 when it was destroyed, occupied, and divided by the Axis Powers and their Balkan satellites. Legally, the state emerged from the 1917 Corfu Pact signed by the Government of Serbia on one hand and the South Slavic political representatives from Austria-Hungary (the Yugoslav Committee) on the other. Up to the end of WWII, there were recognized three branches of the same Yugoslav tree: the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes. That was for the first time in history that the South Slavs began to live together in their own national state.
Administrative division of Yugoslavia from 1929 to 1941
The Serbs and the Croats were all the time two biggest ethnonational groups in Yugoslavia, either before or after WWII. There were confessional differences between them too – the Serbs were the Christian Orthodox, while the Croats were the Roman Catholics. In the middle between them, in Bosnia-Herzegovina lived the Bosniak Muslims of the Serb or/and the Croat ethnic origin. Both the birth and all years of the state were difficult, as the Croats eyed with suspicion the Serb efforts to predominate in political life. However, for the unification, Serbia during WWI suffered mostly out of all Yugoslav lands and peoples as Serbia alone lost 270.000 men, or almost 40 percent of those mobilized, half of its industrial equipment followed by 1/3 of its plants.[ii]
The country’s ethnonational, confessional, and cultural diversity and differences were politically expressed in two contrasting and opposing designs upon the nature and political system of the new state. The Slovenes and the Croats joined the Yugoslav union with Serbia (enlarged at the very end of WWI with Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo-Metochia, Vojvodina, parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro) primarily for defensive reasons in order to protect their ethnographic lands against both the Austrian and Italian post-war irredentist and revisionist territorial pretensions especially by the Italian side. Nevertheless, the Slovenes and the Croats demanded the Federal Republican state, which would provide an extensive territorial, national, cultural and political autonomy for each component: Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia. However, by contrast, the Serbs required the centralized monarchy with royal Serbia’s dynasty of the Karađorđević’s.[iii] Serbia, contrary to both Slovenia and Croatia, entered a new state as an independent and internationally recognized political subject. Finally, the centralized constitution (the Vidovdan Constitution, June 28th, 1921) was adopted by a narrow parliamentary majority.
A new Parliament was dominated by the Serb parties as the Serbs were the most numerous ethnic group in Yugoslavia but not having an absolute ethnic majority. The Croats formed with some representatives of other national groups a permanent parliamentary opposition protesting that they were being politically and nationally discriminated. However, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Slovenes and the Croats enjoyed an economic and financial privileged position and, therefore, exploiting the rest of the country. The strongest bank in the country was in the Croatian hands (Prva Hrvatska štedionica, est. 1846). The same situation was in the second (Socialist) Yugoslavia in which economy and finance were directed to work to Slovenia’s and Croatia’s favor.
The country in foreign affairs tried to maintain the “Versailles Order” in the region after WWI signing treaties of friendship and cooperation with Czechoslovakia (in 1920) and Romania (in 1921) and, therefore, creating a group of states known as the “Little Ententé”. However, at the same time, there were constant disputes about the borders with Italy and Bulgaria and to a certain extent with Greece too. Formal treaties of friendships were signed with Italy in 1924, Greece in 1929, Poland in 1926, France in 1927, and Bulgaria in 1937. Nevertheless, despite the treaty with Italy, the Yugoslav Government was always very suspicious of Benito Mussolini’s Balkan policy especially after the Italian occupation of Albania in April 1939. Belgrade knows very well that Mussolini was encouraging the Croatian ultranationalists (Ustashi) to act against Yugoslavia and trying to encircle Yugoslavia from the south by tightening Italy’s grip on Albania.
After the political assassination of the Croatian leader Stjepan Radić in the People’s Assembly (Parliament) in Belgrade by a Montenegrin MP Puniša Račić in 1928 (after Radić’s public provocations on the ethnic basis), the Croats announced their boycott of parliamentary life and set up their own Government in Zagreb. There was also an idea to proclaim the independent Republic of Croatia. However, the King Alexander I Karađorđević (born in Montenegro in 1888)[iv] responded to such secessionist tendencies by dissolving the Parliament, proclaiming himself a dictator, and banning all political parties (till 1935) on January 6th, 1929. In fact, he introduced a royal authoritarian regime.[v]
The modernization of the economy after the unification was hampered before 1929 by the exigencies of the post-war reconstruction, by the need to get into position the basic institutions and infrastructure and finally by the preoccupation of the Government with purely political issues but not by economic development. Yugoslavia, like many other European countries, was terribly affected by the Great Economic Depression (1929‒1933). Being largely agricultural, the Yugoslav economy had been reasonably prosperous in the 1920s, but in 1930‒1933 world’s agricultural prices collapsed and, therefore, causing, widespread hardship among farmers and workers.
The royal personal dictatorship strengthened the growth of different ethno-terrorist organizations of which the most significant and later the most notorious became the Croatian Revolutionary Organization (the HRO) – known as the Ustashi (Insurrection), under the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina born Roman Catholic Ante Pavelić (1889−1959), known as the “Butcher of the Balkans”. The Ustashi were accusing the King of running the policy of a “Greater Serbia” followed by the oppression of the Croats but at the same time, the Croatian Revolutionary Organization struggled for the creation of an independent Greater Croatia in which there was no place for the Serbs. The organization became worldwide known after carried out the assassination of the Yugoslav King together with a French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou on October 9th, 1934 in Marseille as he arrived in France for a state visit. The murderer was a Bulgarian who was connected with the Croat Ustashi living and training in Hungary who, in fact, organized the crime. For some time the tensions with Hungary were high and even there seemed to be war.
The following years are remarked by extreme political tensions on the relations between Belgrade and Zagreb as the Croats required at any price the creation of an autonomous (in fact, semi-independent) province of (a Greater) Croatia within Yugoslavia. The ethnopolitical conflict between the Croats and the Serbs in the second half of the 1930s was not so much a product of some natural hatreds and tensions rising to the surface, but were rather a consequence of the growth of nationalist ideologies and doctrines in the power vacuum that had been created by the assassination of the King Alexander I Karađorđević in 1934.[vi] At the very eve of WWII in order to prevent Croatian separatism and siding with Germany and Italy in the case of the war against the Axis Powers, Belgrade finally agreed on the Croatian autonomy apparently under the pressure by London and Paris. Subsequently, a huge and ethnically mixed Banovina Hrvatska (the Banat of Croatia), incorporating a large part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was created on August 26th, 1939 by the signed agreement between the Yugoslav PM Dragiša Cvetković (of a Roma origin but not Serb) and the Croatian national and political leader Vladimir Vlatko Maček. Nevertheless, the greatest part of the Serbs, Serbian political parties, and the Serbian Orthodox Church did not support the agreement as they understood it as a “Serbian Münich” – the capitulation under the Croatian ultimatum and the Western (French and British) political pressure. Nevertheless, this asymmetric semi-Federal system enabled six Croats to join the common Yugoslav Government with the focal task to find a compromise with a Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.
Banovina Croatia in 1939-1941
Being disappointed with the economic help Yugoslavia received from France, and being frustrated of Mussolini’s political intentions in the Balkans, the Regent Prince Paul (whole life being Anglophile), started to look towards Nazi Germany for trade and protection from the Italian territorial aspirations in Dalmatia and Albania (Italia irredenta). As a matter of success, a German-Yugoslav trade treaty was reached in 1936. As a consequence, the treaty led to a significant increase in trade, so that in 1938 Germany took 40 percent of the Yugoslav export. Undoubtedly, the Yugoslav treaty with Germany reduced the threat from fascist Italy which signed the Rome‒Berlin Axis agreement with Hitler in 1936. In 1937, therefore, Italy signed a treaty with Yugoslavia that was of enormous significance for the latter as two countries agreed to respect each other’s borders, to increase trade and to deal with the terrorists (i.e., with the Croatian Ustashi). As the international situation drastically deteriorated during 1939, Yugoslavia found herself uncomfortably aligned with the Axis Powers on one hand but on another, practical support by the Western democracies was totally missing.[vii]
[i] Snežana Trifunovska (ed.), Yugoslavia Through Documents: From Its Creation to Its Dissolution, Dordrecht−Boston−London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1994, 157−160.
[ii] John B. Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000, 54−55. About Serbia in WWI, see in [Mira Radojević, Ljubodrag Dimić, Serbia in the Great War 1914−1918: A Short History, Belgrade: Srpska književna zadruga−Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, 2014].
[iii] Norman Lowe, Mastering Modern World History, Fourth Edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
[iv] The future King was born in Cetinje (Montenegro) on December 17th, 1888 as a son of Serbia’s Petar I Karađorđević (the King of Serbia from 1903) and the Princess of Montenegro, Zorka (the oldest daughter of Montenegro’s ruler Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš) [Бранислав Глигоријевић, Краљ Александар Карађорђевић, I, Уједињење српских земаља, Београд: БИГЗ, 1996, 24].
[v] On the authoritarian regime of Alexander I Karađorđević, see in [Bridžit Farli, “Aleksandar Karađorđević i kraljevska diktatura u Jugoslaviji”, Bernd J. Fišer (priredio), Balkanski diktatori: Diktatori i autoritarni vladari jugoistočne Evrope, Beograd: IPS−IP Prosveta, 2009, 65−104].
[vi] Similarly to this case, the ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia in the 1990s were very much the consequence of the collapse of socialism which created the power vacuum [Andrew Heywood, Global Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 188].
[vii] On this issue, see more in [Aliaksandr Piahanau (ed.), Great Power Policies Towards Central Europe, 1914−1945, Bristol, England: E-International Relations, 2019].
Churchill once said that in war the truth is so precious it has to be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies. In Germany over the last two months one clearly saw the fabrication of such a bodyguard.
Even as air attacks proceeded against civilian targets—destroying factories, electricity works, refineries, bridges, streets, railway lines and apartment blocks— German government representatives spoke of a ” humanitarian action ” . Despite the fact that the NATO attacks unleashed the massive wave of refugees and reduced towns and villages in Kosovo to ruins , it has been maintained to the very end that the aim ...
Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”. It was a “ho-hum” bit of news. Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the ...
Article by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: „Nationalism and Territorial Claims of the Yugoslavs: Challenge to Re-Map the Balkans in the 21st century. Case Study“, Journal of Security Studies and Global Politics, Vol. 2, № 1, 2017, Islamabad, Pakistan, online: http://sciplatform.com/journals, ISSN (online) 2519-9609, pp. 69−81 (PDF)SaveOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and ...
More than forty years later: The 5000 page Saville Commission Report into the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry, Northern Ireland, while calling for compensation to the victims’ families, fails to identify who were the perpetrators, both within H.M government and the British Army.
“The North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is continuing to scrutinise the Saville report to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against British soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday on January 30th, 1972. While progress has been made on the issue of compensation there have been no substantial developments in relation to the possibility of British ...
March 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia.For over a month Canada has been bombing Yugoslavia. Without a parliamentary resolution, without a declaration of war and without a shred of legality Canadian war planes are attacking the nation that stood at the forefront of the fight against both Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists during World War II.The Nuremberg trial ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” Yet this is precisely what Canada and its NATO allies have done.The Canadian government said it was bombing ...
On April 6th 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia. By April 10th, Croatian fascists led by Ante Pavelic were allowed by Hitler and his ally Mussolini to set up an “independent” puppet state of Croatia. Hitler granted “Aryan” status to Croatia as his fascist allies carved up Yugoslavia. Pavelic had been awaiting these developments whilst under the auspices of Mussolini in Italy who had granted them the use of remote training camps on a Aeolian island and access to a propaganda station Radio Bari for broadcasts across the Adriatic. As soon as the new fascist state of Croatia was born, a ...
On November 21st, 2015 it was the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord – a treaty signed by four Presidents (the USA, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) that led to an end of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As a result of the Dayton Peace Accord a new “independent and internationally recognized state” emerged: Bosnia-Herzegovina as a confederation of two political entities (the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation) but ethnically strictly divided into three segments composed by the Serb, Croat and Muslim (today Boshnjak) controlled territories. In contrast to the Republic of Srpska (49% of the territory ...
On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel. In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The ...
This article was written and originally published in January 2015.
„God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“
The West Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. ...
The former Yugoslavia was engulfed by many conflicts and ethnic and religious differences tore away at the very fabric of this nation. Like all wars, atrocities took place on all sides but the mass media in general focused on Serbian atrocities, while neglecting brutal crimes committed against the Serbian community. This certainly applies to the glossing over of war crimes done by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
However, more and more evidence is coming to light about brutal KLA death camps and killing people for organs. Therefore, will former KLA members be charged with war crimes and will the “real truth” ...
After the referendum’s results held in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on September 30th this year and the Western reactions on it (by the EU & NATO) it is absolutely clear that this small Balkan country is finally proven to be the Western puppet colony without its own real Government and above all the national sovereignty. To remind ourselves, the people of Macedonia were called to express their wish to change or not a state’s name into the Northern Macedonia and, therefore, its national name into the Northern Macedonians, in order to avoid further obstructions by neighboring Greece in ...
The crumbling “liberal” West is in a desperate hurry in the Balkans. More than a quarter century since the first Western states, pushed by Germany, unilaterally recognized the secession of the former Yugoslav federal republics of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and about 19 years since NATO’s air and land attack against what had remained of the country (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro) resulting in NATO’s occupation and subsequent forced amputation of Serbia’s Kosovo and Metohija province (by way of recognition of its unilaterally declared independence of February 2008 by the main Western powers, some – but not all Muslim ...
Selim Demolli gripped the table with his hands, and his lip trembled with anger as he spoke.
The previous day he had talked to an imam about his son, who was killed three years ago in Syria. He asked the imam for a religious explanation about what happens to a dead person whose parents have not forgiven him. The answer was hard to take.
“He is not a shahid [martyr]. Those who did not get a blessing from their father cannot rest in peace. The imam even told me so. They are called ‘cursed’,” Demolli said.
Demolli’s son Burim was killed in October ...
Ema Miljkovic-Bojanic, M. A.
Institute of History of
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Malcolm’s Apology of the “Pax Ottomana”
(Ab)using of historiography and historical facts for political ends is not a novelty introduced towards the end of the twentieth century. Its instances have been known throughout history, so that “practically there is not a single epoch of human history that was not controlled – by the Church, state, nation, party, leadership…” But precisely at a time when historiography seemed to be getting rid, at least partly, of the grip of “supervision” and when a critical approach was getting the upper hand, the ...
Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: Global Research. Selected articles (second edition), Vilnius: UAB “Mylida”, 2016
ISBN 978-609-408-840-7, UDK 911.3:32 So-121
Text of the printed book
The book reviews by:
Dr. João Carlos Graça, Lisbon School of Economics & Management, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal
Prof. Dr. Krisztina Arató, Vice-director of the Institute of Political Sciences at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
Dr. Christian Rossi, Department of Social Sciences and Institutions, Cagliari University, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
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The Slavic Congresses
The idea of South Slavic political unification was surely a part of a broader pan-Slavic movement and ideology. If from nothing else, it can be proved from a very fact that the official flag of all kind of Yugoslavia (from 1918 to 2003) was, in fact, an insignia of the 19th century pan-Slavic movement, whose anthem was also used as an official state’s anthem of Socialist Yugoslavia (“Hey Slavs”).
The first clear political expression of an idea of pan-Slavic reciprocity, solidarity, and possible unification was done at the First Slavic Congress held in Prague from May 5th to June ...
Should anyone have had any doubts, the barbaric murder of US photojournalist James Foley fully exposes the true nature of the Islamist terrorists menacing the Middle East. Unfortunately, the savagery exhibited in what happened to James Foley was not unique—beheadings and suicide bombings have become standard tactics in the Islamist terrorists’ way of war. Just weeks before Foley’s murder Kosovo jihadi Lavdrim Muhaxheri posted similar photos of himself “in action” in Iraq. Such Islamist-terrorist ritual beheadings were seen during the Bosnian jihad as well, when extremists would produce “promotional videos” of their efforts showing the decapitation of Serb prisoners, or, in another case, ...
PrefaceThe article deals with relations between on the one hand the supporters of pan-European identity, which has to take the place of the particular national ones, and on the other hand the proponents of maintaining specific national identities as the top priority within the European Union (the EU). Certainly, the European Union continues to expand its borders, individual national currencies are becoming unified into the common EU currency - Euro (€), and the political and economic climates are gravitating towards pan-continental unification. However, what does this unification process mean in terms of identity? The crucial question is: Will the success ...
During the 1990s, the United States planned to break up Yugoslavia and build America’s largest military base in Kosovo (Camp Bondsteel) a strategic location giving the US access to the oil-rich Caspian Sea, which would also threaten Russia’s defence capabilities. In order to achieve their goals, the CIA imported fighters from Afghanistan who went on a rampage of killing and destruction. A mass media disinformation campaign blamed a proportion of the crimes of the CIA-backed fighters on their victims – mostly Serbs.Between 1992 and 1995, CIA terrorists murdered 2383 Serbs in Srebrenica. When the Bosnian Serb army finally arrived in ...
Not satisfied with having sponsored the artificial creation of Kosovo, the United States has now decided to ram the mafia state through NATO and the European Union. A new member with such characteristics is the last thing that Europe needs right now. However, it should work wonders for the consolidation of U.S. political and military agenda in the region, not to speak of the flourishing heroin trade from Afghanistan…both of which, as Engdahl points out in this sharp analysis, pose a threat to Russia and may backfire in the end.In one of the more bizarre foreign policy announcements of a ...
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