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Pogledaj Full Version : Persecution of Croats in the First Yugoslavia and its Political Consequences



Željko Zidarić
9th-June-2012, 03:09 PM
Source: Dr. Ante Cuvalo (http://www.cuvalo.net/?p=43)



We [the Serbs] are masters of your [Croat] lives and your possessions. You have nothing but two choices: either to stay in this country and be obedient, or to move out of our state. We want to dominate. We want to rule. We want to control your body, your soul, and your possessions, because we are the guarantors and the foundation of this great Homeland of ours .1


High Hopes and Big Disappointments

Regardless of the social, economic, and political predicaments to be faced by individuals and peoples in Europe, the end of the First World War was greeted enthusiastically. It was seen as the beginning of a new and better future for the world. Peoples who lived under the oppressive and/or foreign rule of the collapsing empires were especially exhilarated: they thought that the bells of freedom were real. Their hopes and expectations were heightened by declarations such as those of the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, that the war was fought to make the world “safe for democracy” and by promises that national self-determination would be one of the guiding principles of peacemaking. Furthermore, important social and political changes were taking place. Revolutions were in the making; kaisers and tzars were gone; the newborn countries were promulgating democratic or what looked like democratic constitutions; peasants were becoming an organized political force; in older democracies, women were gaining the right to vote; and new laws promoting higher social justice, including the eight-hour workday, were being passed. These and similar positive changes were signs of a hopeful future.

The Croatian people, despite all the post-war economic hardships, also were caught up in the wave of enthusiasm. Woodrow Wilson’s portrait hung on the walls of numerous homes in Croatia. He was the man of their hopes. They believed that on the ruins of the Habsburg Monarchy they, along with other nations, finally would be able to achieve their dream of national and personal freedom. Even the small minority of Croatian politicians who rushed to unite Croatia with Serbia and Montenegro thought that their decisions would secure freedom and democracy not only for the Croats but for all in the newly formed country. Unfortunately, Croats soon realized that the post-war exhilaration was baseless. The reality was cruel and bloody.

Soon after the war, grave disappointments began to be felt in Croatia and the rest of Europe. The war years had hatched two opposing totalitarian ideologies that threatened the entire continent. Many of those who doubted the virtues of liberal democracy looked to the extreme Left or Right for answers. The result was that out of twenty-seven countries in Europe that professed democracy during the immediate post-war era only ten were able to preserve even a modicum of democracy by the end of the 1930s. It became obvious that the Great War and the post-war peace treaties did not lay the foundation for a better future but for another cataclysmic cycle.

The Croatian people did not have to wait very long for the new state to show its true face. Persecutions began even before the official unification of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (known as Yugoslavia after 1929) took place on December 1, 1918. In some official Serbian documents, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and other former Habsburg regions united with Serbia were declared as “occupied lands” and the civilian population in these regions was subjected to Serbian military laws .2 Instead of a partnership an occupation began!

The persecution of the Croats in the period between the two World Wars has not been well- known or adequately researched. It was one of the taboo subjects in both monarchist and socialist Yugoslavia. Judicial, police, military, and other records in the country are still waiting for serious research on this important subject. This introductory survey and the partial list of persecutions that follow are based mainly on secondary sources and are intended to give the reader at least a taste of the bitter Croatian experience in monarchist Yugoslavia. However, for lack of available sources to the author, the survey is limited to persecutions from 1918 to 1936 only. We thought that a list and a short description of the main semi-official organizations involved in terrorizing all those who were considered enemies of the state would also be helpful; and, at the end, several political consequences of the persecutions will be mentioned.

Self-imposed Guardians of the State

The use of terror in monarchist Yugoslavia was applied against all those who were seen as enemies not only of the state but of the Serbian centralized and unitary regime. The real object of oppression, however, was not some aberrant individuals but an entire group, a political party, a whole people. In the old Byzantine tradition, the guardians of the state saw politics only as extremes: if one is not with us he must be against us. Politics of negotiations and compromises were not an option. For them that was seen as a defeat. Accordingly, there was no choice but to crush mercilessly all the “dark forces” in the country. Croats as a people were seen as the most dangerous state enemy, because they were not willing to give up their national identity and opposed the militant and Serbian-controlled state. It was necessary, therefore, to force the Croats into submission, to break their national will, to humiliate them, to prevent them from forming a unified, strong national political front, and to deprive their national struggle of sympathy support and legitimacy in the world.

The first anti-Croat terrorist acts were committed even before the official unification of the state took place. From October 29, when the Croatian Sabor (Parliament) severed Croatia’s ties with the Habsburg Monarchy till December 1, 1918, when the common state was proclaimed, all leading Croatian political, cultural, and religious persons who were seen as political opponents to the union, were either arrested, physically threatened, and/or lost their jobs. The man who assumed all powers in Croatia was Svetozar Pribicevic, the leading Serb politician in the land, and under his command all those who opposed unification with Serbia had to be silenced or crushed.

Only five days after the unification, a peaceful march at Zagreb’s main square was turned into a blood bath. Nine Croatian soldiers and five civilians were killed, and seventeen persons were wounded. A month later, the first post-war political trial in Zagreb was over and 23 Croats were sentenced from one and a half to ten years of prison. The harshest terror in the post-unification era, however, was exerted against the Croatian peasants, who made up the overwhelming majority of the people.

Towards the end and immediately after the war, the villages in Croatia, as in many other regions of Europe, were undergoing various political and social changes. The peasants had seen their sons sent off to the front from which many did not return. They were financially and physically exhaused by ever-increasing taxes and other war burdens, of war profiteering and the war itself. The Croatian peasants lost their traditional respect for state authority as well as monarchy. They became acutely aware of their precarious political, economic, social, and national position, and wanted change, some even a radical one.

In a number of places in Croatia the countryside was controlled by the “Green Cadres,” the rebellious bands of soldiers who had deserted and who were joined by various other social elements. Most of these were sons of peasants; and, it is estimated that the rebels’ numbers reached 200,000 at one point. The peasant population was, willingly or unwillingly, their main ally. This meant that many villages in Croatia were in near chaos toward the end of the war. Furthermore, the echoes of the revolutions in Russia and in neighboring Hungary were felt in Croatian villages too. Then, at the end of the war, they were pushed into a new state without being asked what they wanted. This new political arrangement did not ease the political, economic, and social tension in the villages. On the contrary, the new rulers and their harsh methods inflamed Croatian villages to the breaking point.

The peasants became well aware of political and social ideals, like personal and national freedoms, equality under the law, and social justice, but instead of getting closer to achieving such goals after 1918, they saw their situation in the new state getting worse. For example, Croatian peasants had to pay more kinds of taxes at higher rates than under the Habsburgs. Some taxes increased as much as eight hundred percent in comparison to the pre-1918 period. For example, the peasant had to pay tax on his home-made wine regardless if he sold it or had it only of his own use. The control over the tobacco production was so strict that persons had to pay fines, endure beatings, and even jail terms for smoking their own home- grown tobacco. Taxation easily turned into a national issue because a peasant in Croatia paid four times higher taxes than a peasant in Serbia. Even his vote was worth less than that of a citizen in Serbia. For example, the number of voters needed to elect a parliamentary representative were: Vojvodina 3,221; Montenegro 4,350; Serbia and Macedonia 5,657; Croatia and Slavonia 6,840; Bosnia and Herzegovina 7,478, and in Dalmatia (southern Croatia) 8,106 3 The peasant was especially offended by registration, stamping, and military mobilization of all large domestic animals (horses, mules, oxen). Most of the time, such animals and their owners were forced to participate in military maneuvers for long periods of time and quite often during planting or harvest seasons. These and similar pressures resulted in numerous peasant rebellions against the new regime in several parts of Croatia. Some independent peasant republics were proclaimed shortly after the new state was formed.

Among the most sensitive issues for the peasants in the immediate post-war era was the recruitment of their sons into military service. In many Croatian villages these efforts were marked by bloodshed. Everyone was weary and wary of war and militarism, especially the Croatian peasant who now had to serve a new state which behaved as a foreign power and oppressor from the outset. The problem of recruitment was also complicated by implementation of a Serbian law by which the village “zadrugas” (communes) and their leaders were responsible for bringing in the new recruits. But such village “zadrugas” did not exist in Croatia for very long. This resulted in military and gendarme expeditions into Croatian villages that apprehended, beat, and otherwise mistreated the recruits or, if they could not find them, their immediate family members, including mothers and sisters. Such raids would often result in killing, major destruction of property, and threats and insults of a national and religious nature. The relatives were kept in jail and most often maltreated till their sons or brothers surrendered to the military authorities.

Terror became the main means to pacify Croatia. In response, the peasants at first turned to rebellions and then accepted the political program of the brothers Antun and Stjepan Radic, who advocated a peaceful struggle for personal, national, and peasant rights. By embracing the program of the Croatian Republican Peasant Party, the peasantry became the backbone of the Croatian resistance during the 1920s. But peaceful politics did not bring desired results. On the contrary, the plan “to level off [Croatia] by the Serbian opanak [peasant footwear]” 4 continued. This culminated with the assassination of Stjepan Radic and his friends in Belgrade’s Parliament in 1928 and the King’s proclamation of a personal dictatorship a few months later. From that point on, more radical political forces in Croatia turned to violence as the only means of freeing themselves not only from the regime but from the Yugoslav state itself.

Statistical Indicators

Statistical data give a clear picture of the officially sanctioned bloodshed and oppression suffered by the Croats living in monarchist Yugoslavia. One source states that in the five years of 1929 to 1934, that is, from King Aleksandar’s assumption of dictatorial powers until his assassination in Marseilles, the following court sentences were imposed on the Croats for political “crimes” 5:

19 were condemned to death by hanging

16 were killed while serving a prison term

30 death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment

85 condemned to death but fled the country

146 were condemned to 20 years of hard labor

484 received penalties from 10 to 20 years jail terms

962 were condemned from 5 to 10 years

2,035 condemned from 1 to 5 years

15,000 condemned from one month to one year of prison

The evidence presented in the Appendix to this article, although partial and collected from secondary sources, strongly indicates the nature of the Yugoslav state and its predisposition toward the Croatian people. It includes over 4,700 cases that can be summarized in the following way.

Killings and imprisonments

231 killed by gendarmes and/or military forces

102 wounded

3,715 arrested

49 killed while in jail

40 condemned to death - out of that 22 executed

16 sentenced to life imprisonment

250 tried for verbal insult of the King’s name

14 condemned in absence

Beatings

642 beaten and maltreated - out of which 27 children 48 groups of people maltreated and beaten (individual names not known)

Other persecutions

493 lost jobs or forced to retire 26 newspapers and organizations banned

Women

7 killed

42 arrested

48 beaten and maltreated

Social and/or professional categories (if known)

1,445 peasants either jailed, tried and/or maltreated

472 students

450 workers

153 professionals

117 craftsmen and small business owners

68 state office holders

39 soldiers or policemen

According to regions (if known)

3,176 Northern Croatia

791 Dalmatia

355 Lika and the Littoral

203 Slavonija and Srijem

169 Bosnia and Herzegovina (the primary focus of this study was the Republic of Croatia and not Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Number of Cases according to years

1918 - 155

1919 - 36

1920 - 92

1921 - 209

1922 - 5

1923 - 60

1924 - 5

1925 - 705

1926 - 1

1927 - 8

1928 - 60

1929 - 110

1930 - 107

1931 - 205

1932 - 671

1933 - 1,529

1934 - 312

1935 - 466

The above numbers and categories clearly indicate that the harshness of the persecutions was directed against Croats, regardless of profession, age, gender, or place, and that the intensity of the persecutions reflects the political “moods” in the country at the time.

The Art of Torturing

Because the guardians of the state were guided by their hatred of real or imaginary enemies, they implemented a vast variety of tortures against their victims. The purposes of torture were not only to break the spirit of the victims and to send a message to others, but in many cases to show by sadistic measures, their absolute disdain for the “enemy.”

A common practice for gendarmes was to burst into a village and for a minor incident, or even for no reason at all, beat anyone they encountered, destroy property, and jail people without any legal stipulations. In order to humiliate a Croatian peasant, gendarmes would often force him to genuflect three times in reverence for the Serbian traditional military cap (sajkaca) and impel him to acknowledge that “the Serb was his master and god.” It was also a common practice for the police to beat or even execute their victims in broad daylight on a city street. Verbal insults, swearing vulgarities, and blaspheming everything holy to the Croatians were a common practice. The gun-butt was a favorite weapon in beating the common people. Its use was so prevalent that one of the Ministers of the Interior was nicknamed “Kundak” (gun-butt).

Those who ended up in prison endured all sorts of humiliations and tortures, from being cursed to being tortured to death. The following were some of the more common means of torturing political prisoners: merciless beatings over the entire body especially the kidney area; pounding the soles till they crack; knocking out teeth, breaking ribs, finger joints, and other bones of the body; jumping on the stomach and groin; sticking needles under nails; crushing testes; tying one’s hands to hooks on the walls, so he could not sit down and then hanging bricks on the testes; sleep deprivation for a week at a time; and even placing live coals in the armpits and then tying the arms to the body until the coals cooled. Numerous prisoners were tortured to death and some were simply shot. The official explanations were that they committed suicide or were shot while trying to escape.

Those working in prisons were proud of their inventiveness in torturing inmates. One such ill-famed tormentor was Dragomir (Dragi) Jovanovic in Belgrade’s prison. He even received a state patent for “inventing” new and more horrific means of torture. One of his “inventions” was driving wooden pegs soaked in gasoline under the nails of an inmate and then setting the pegs on fire. (This same Jovanovic was one of the chief officials and executioners in Belgrade during the Second World War.) The Belgrade jail, Glavnjaca, became a symbol of the Karadjordjevic regime and of the Yugoslav state. (An emigrant paper named Protiv Glavanjace/Against the Glavnjaca was published in Belgium at that time.) The persecutions and humiliations went so far that the families of the victims would receive a bill to pay for the bullets by which their close relatives were shot.

Besides using visible means of torture all oppressive regimes have other ways to persecute their opponents. These are more silent and perfidious. For example, losing or fear of losing one’s job is often used as a major instrument of political punishment. The insecurity of one’s own and/or his family’s material existence can often be harder than physical punishment. This type of persecution was overwhelmingly used by the Yugoslav regime and it is hard to measure its impact on society, and on the Croatian national life in particular. State Watchdogs

The official guardians of the state and the main instruments of the Belgrade regime were the armed forces, gendarmes, police, and the state revenue police. Among them, the gendarmes were the main “sword of the regime.” This semi-military force was formed in January of 1919 to impose “order” in the country. But “order” was never achieved and the number of gendarmes increased from 10,000 to 60,000 by the early 1930s. The gendarmes were also often augmented by military forces on raiding missions. Besides the above mentioned forces, there were 15.000 secret police agents, plus military intelligence, and king’s “special agents.”6 In addition to the above official guardians, there were a number of semi-official watchdogs of the state who were more than eager to help the regime to crash, what they labeled, the “anti-state elements,” “dark forces,” and “defeatists”! The following were the best known such organizations.

Unification or Death ( The Black Hand)

This terrorist organization was officially established in 1911, with help and under the protection of Serbian miliary forces, but its real beginnings go back to 1903. A group of officers belonging to this organization assassinated King Aleksandar Obrenovic of Serbia and his wife Dara and secured the royal throne to the Karadjordjevic dynasty in 1903. It also attempted to assassinate King Nikola of Montenegro and his family in 1907. The Black Hand became the “unseen government” of Serbia. The organization modeled itself after the Italian Mafia, and the use of terror was the primary means to achieve its goal of Greater Serbia which, according to the Constitution of the organization consisted (besides of the Kingdom of Serbia) of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Old Serbia and Macedonia, Croatia, Srijem, Vojvodina, and the Sea-coast. By 1914 the Black Hand had close to 150,000 members according to some estimates. Although the Black Hand was officially eliminated during World War I (1917), because King Aleksandar out of fear and/or personal revenge turned against the organization, its sympathizers, goals, and methods were still very much alive during the inter-war period.

The White Hand

It is believed that because Prince Aleksandar was prevented from taking full charge of the Black Hand, he founded his own conspiracy organization within the Serbian military forces and named it the White Hand. Lieutenant-Colonel Petar Zivkovic, who became Prime Minister and the symbol of royalist oppression in the early 1930s, became head of the new organization. The White Hand was an army within the army. Its purpose was to eliminate the Black Hand and to be a semi-official protector of the state and Karadjordjevic’s regime. Most of the political, judicial, economic, as well as military state decisions were made by such shadow forces in the country, first the Black Hand and then the White Hand.

The Chetniks (cheta means a cohort or a group)

The first written rules of Chetnik guerrilla type warfare were a translation of a Polish manual published in Belgrade in 1848.7 But the real beginning of the present-day Chetnik movement dates from 1903, when Serbian military officers organized a special training “school” for volunteers for the purpose of undertaking terrorist actions in Macedonia. At the time, Macedonia was a part of the ailing Ottoman empire and the main target of Serbian expansionism. The Chetniks became a useful instrument in executing special assignments (ethnic cleansing) of all who were not either Serbs nor ready to become Serbs in the regions that Serbia wanted to acquire. The Chetnik played a similar role during the two Balkan Wars and World War I, when they “cleared the land” of Turks, Albanians, Bulgarians, Macedonians and, toward the end of World War I, of Muslims in Sandzak and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Between the two world wars, although the Chetniks were split among themselves, they were united in guarding the state and in the struggle against “dark forces.” The Union of Chetniks for Freedom and Dignity of the Homeland became close to the Serbian Democratic Party, which was seen by many as not tough enough on the enemies of the state. This resulted into a split in 1924, when the Union of Serbian Chetniks - For the King and the Homeland was founded. This group became the tool of the Serbian Radical Party; the leader of this Chetnik faction, Punisa Racic, assassinated two and wounded three members of the Croatian political leadership in Belgrade’s Parliament in 1928. The regime rewarded the Chetniks by giving them arms and permission to use them, land grants, and money: in fact, they were not required to obey many state laws. Also in 1924, the Union of Serbian Chetniks - Petar Mrkonjic (Named after king Peter) was formed in Sarajevo. The last two Chetnik organizations were especially aggressive in establishing their chapters in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an openly expressed goal of establishing a Greater Serbia.

Organization of Yugoslav Nationalists (Organizacija Jugoslavenskih Nacionalista/ORJUNA)

The ORJUNA was formed in Split by the royal regional administrator in Croatia in 1921. Its roots are in an organization named Yugoslav Progressive Nationalist Youth (Jugoslavenska Napredna Nacionalisticka Omladina/JNNO). Its “heroic” baptism of fire came when its members burnt the first issue of a newly founded Croatian newspaper in Split, “Hrvatski List” (Croatian Gazette). The ORJUNA was under the patronage of the Serb Democratic Party in Croatia. It gathered militant youth who supported the unitary Yugoslav state. Its chapters were formed first in Dalmatia, then in other parts of former Habsburg regions. The real reason for its formation was to have a terrorist organization for “special assignments.” As such ORJUNA became the leading instrument of terror against Croatian “separatists,” “communists,” “defeatists,” and all other “dark elements” in the country.

In that spirit ORJUNA gave instructions to its members in Croatia (August 1921) that “in these days of our activities, develop as much energy and action as possible. Our organization has to be firm and disciplined and stand firmly and resolutely against the separatists. After the assassination of Minister Draskovic [July 21, 1921], there is a need to start a struggle till the elimination not only of the communists, but of all those who are sowing hate against unitarism, the state, and Yugoslavism.” 8

ORJUNA terrorist activities were committed quite openly and often with great pride. Its leadership emphasized that “its terrorist actions contributed more than anything else to its own legitimization in the entire country….In practice, ORJUNA will propagate its goals by all possible means. It does not renounce the use of force. On the contrary it emphasizes the need for such type of actions.”9

ORJUNA had special units known as Action Groups, which were organized in military fashion. According to one estimate, by 1925 the Action Groups had about 10.000 members.10 They had military style maneuvers on a regular basis, used military equipment, and usually the leading Chetnik figures were heading such Action Groups. Their holy principle “Victory or Death” was accompanied by yet another sacred declaration: “Whoever is not with us, is against us!” 11

Serbian National Youth (Srpska Nacionalna Omladina/SRNAO)

The SRNAO was formed in 1922 at Belgrade University as the antitheses of ORJUNA, which was seen as too much Yugoslav-oriented and as such was polluting the true Serbian spirit and watering down their political goals. The ideology and political program of the SRNAO was formulated in a slogan: “All the Serbs to Serbia, Serbia to all the Serbs!” The goals of its existence, therefore, were “guarding of the Homeland and the king, the spread of [Serbian] nationalism, and defense of Serbian accomplishments to the extermination of all anti-state and anti-national elements.”12

The SRNAO was very close to the royal regime, to the Radical Party, to Punisa Racic’s Chetniks and to the Union of Serbian Chetniks “Petar Mrkonjic” in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For example, on the occasion of the consecration of the SRNAO flag in Sarajevo, there was a personal delegate of the king, the government representatives, and a Serbian Church delegation. Leading men from all centers of power in Serbia were members of SRNAO. Nikola Pasic, the prime mover of Greater Serbian policies and the symbol of Serbian unitarism, was SRNAO’s honorary president and its main financial supporter .13 The biggest obstacle to SRNAO’s expansion in Croatia was the split between Svetozar Pribicevic, the main Serb politician in Croatia, and his former allies in Belgrade. Real confusion entered the SRNAO ranks, however, when Stjepan Radic, the leading Croat politician, made a deal with Pasic and entered the Belgrade government in 1925. The SRNAO did recover to some extent after the assassination of Radic(1928). After the King assumed all the power in the country and proclaimed Yugoslavism as the state national ideology (1929), SRNAO continued to work for its well defined goals but now under the Yugoslav name.

Some other semi-official terrorist organizations Organization of the Reserve Officers and War Veterans - It emphasized its “readiness and availability” to defend the state and vowed to fight “against all anti-state elements.” 14

The Alliance of Volunteers - It constantly reminded the public that the state was not secure, its foundations were not firm, and that it was threatened by outside and inside enemies. It expressed readiness to continue the struggle for the security and stability of the state .15

Organized Youth - Its main mission was to destroy the Montenegrin Federalists and the followers of the exiled King Nikola of Montenegro.

People’s Defense - Its main purpose was “to defend the newly established state by organized actions” against all external and internal “anti-state destructive activities and defeatist elements.” 16

People’s Guard - It was organized in April of 1920. Its members proved themselves to be worthy of the regime’s support during the violent suppression of the railroad workers’ and miners’ strikes in 1920. The Guard members served as shock troopers against the workers and their families. After the proclamation of the ill-famed “Obznana” banning the Communist party (December 29, 1920), the Guard numbers increased rapidly. They put themselves in the “service of the state” in order to eliminate the “destructive elements which in these days [1920s] were ready to attack the state.” 17 These formations were armed by the military authorities and were tools in the hands of the regime to do its “dirty work.”

Patriotic Youth Front - This was a terrorist organization of the Bogoljub Jeftic’s fascist party.

Young Yugoslavia - This was an ORJUNA militant organization for secondary school students who because of their age could not become full members of political parties.

All of the above groups followed the fascist model of organization, or at least they tried to. Fascists in Italy and Germany were hailed for their zeal and organizing capabilities. Such admiration is expressed, for example, by “Jugoslovenska straza” (Yugoslav Guard) (June 23, 1935): “…[While] the fascist Italy is able to mobilize so many fascist formations and while Hitler’s Germany resounds by the marches of the German youth, the Yugoslav youth can and must steel its soul and its muscles by joining the Chetnik organizations, where it will prepare itself for tomorrow’s obligations that it must accept.”

But these groups admired not only the fascist organizational model, they admired also Hitler for his anti-Semitism. The paper “Jugoslovenska straza” (Yugoslav Guard) clearly expresses such feelings when on October 6, 1935 wrote: “Hitler was right when he went so far as to banish all of those who had even the smallest amount of Hebrew blood in their veins. Hitler was right when he pushed out such a vile sect from Germany.”

Propaganda

The Yugoslav regime and its official and unofficial guardians always looked at their opponents as mortal enemies that had to be no less than totally obliterated. Not only did they themselves believe this, they were also very active in promoting public acceptance of this malevolent belief and the means of implementing it. It is sufficient to quote just a few examples of Serbian national propaganda that express this fanatical hatred.

After a Communist sympathizer assassinated interior Minister Milorad Draskovic on July 21, 1921 (believed to be a setup by the regime), use of terror was legitimized by the Belgrade Parliament a few days later. A new wave of persecutions began. The Serb paper “Straza” (The Guard) (July 23, 1921) in the Croatian city of Osijek exhorted its readers: “Let us learn from the ill-reputed Horthy! [Miklos Horthy, the last commander of the Habsburg navy and the man who crushed in blood the Communist regime in post-World War I Hungary.] Under the knife all those who think Bolshevik thoughts! Under the knife even women and children so that even their names do not remain! The final encounter with the anti-state elements must start right now. Serb villages and all who are nationally aware must be constantly ready. In order to stop the Bolsheviks, we must organize National Guards everywhere. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. We all must get ready in order to settle the score with them [Bolsheviks] once and for all. Anyone who is not with us, is their ally, and he should be dealt with accordingly. Let us sharpen our knives, load our guns, the enemy has declared war against us. Either we or they [must perish].”

This total struggle not only was meant to be waged against the Communists but also against all who were perceived as enemies. The paper “Pobeda” (Victory), the voice of ORJUNA urged on August 4, 1921 that “a struggle must be undertaken till the total elimination not only of the Communists, but also of all those who are sowing hatred against unitarism, the state, and Yugoslavism.” An ORJUNA leader in Vojvodina was even more explicit: “Communists, those who advocate the republic, and the Habsburg black sympathizers [Croatians], have found themselves at the same camp. Those heterogenous elements are united by the abominable hatred of our state” and therefore have to be eliminated.18 On December 14, 1924, the newspaper “Srbadija” expressed the deeply held, uncompromising principle of either we or they: “If we [Serbs] want to preserve ourselves we must struggle using all available means in order to crash and destroy every opponent because the Croat Bolsheviks, Magyars, Germans, and Turks will destroy us if we re not quicker than they. Forget the stupidity that we are one people with three names. Scorn the ‘brothers’ who are after our existence and our head. Deal with them quickly and decisively.”

Stjepan Radic, the leading Croat politician at the time, was a constant target of Serbian nationalist forces. A day after he was arrested in Zagreb and a month before national elections, the SRNAO voice in Novi Sad, “Srbadija”(January 7, 1925) stated: “The gallows must crackle under the weight of the infamy of Stjepan Radic. Mehmed Spaho [leading Bosnian Muslim politician] must be forced to feel the pains of a man impaled alive on the stake… The moment has to be utilized to finish up all important chores before the elections, so that afterwards it can be crystal clear who we are, what we are, what is our name, and who is the master in this Serbia of ours.” According to the Serbian nationalists “one can only master over people like Croats, but never cooperate and work with them in a common effort.” 19

Political consequences

Persecutions of Croats in the newly formed South Slavic state had the opposite effect from what the guardians of the state and of the regime intended. Instead of preserving the state, it undermined its very existence. The fact is that most of the Croats could not identify with the Yugoslav state from its beginning because the state itself and the Serbian centralist regime was imposed upon them. The persecutions that followed simply alienated them even further from the Serbs and the state. Those Croats (and even some Serbs from Croatia) who once worked for the unification of the South Slavs became quicky disillusioned with the state and joined the anti-centralists and even anti-Yugoslav elements. Influential individuals outside the country who promoted unification of the South Slavs before and during the First World War and used to raise their voices against mistreatment of the Serbs and others in the Habsburg empire suddenly fell silent. Instead of condemning the use of terror and pressuring the regime to reform the country, they often blamed the victims. As a result, Croats increasingly felt more isolated in their desperate need for human and national rights.

The persecutions also helped to politicize and homogenize the Croatian nation, especially the rural population. Terror became a catalyst in crystalizing Croatian goals for nationhood. If there was confusion toward the end of World War I about which road to take, it became clear that Yugoslavia was not the answer. Elections clearly indicated that the Croats wanted a federalist republic as a minimum and an independent state of their own as maximum. As the terror against Croats increased, so did their demands escalate along with increasingly radical means to achieve them.

Another important consequence of the terror was a break with Croatian political traditions and pluralism. The old institutions of Sabor (parliament) and Ban (viceroy) were abolished. The traditions of personal liberties, rule of law, and tolerance of religious and ethnic differences were greatly undermined. Reserves of national energy were used up in inevitably resisting the attempts at Serbianization. According to Serb expansionists, their need to crush any move toward Croatian national identity was necessary because Croats did not have a history or culture of their own, besides being of a servile nature meant to be obedient to others.

Croatians are usually depicted as the destroyers of both Yugoslavias. As a result, historians who would like to believe that Yugoslavia was a natural and positive historical development and the Serbs its true makers and defenders, ignore the persecutions of Croats and others,20 which in reality sealed the fate of the country from its very beginning. It is Serbian centralism, messianism, expansionism, and terrorism that eliminated even the possibility of a successful unification of the South Slavs.

The Yugoslav experiment tragically interrupted the historical continuity of the Croatian people. Experiences in that state had major negative effects on Croat political, economic, social, and cultural developments. The 1918-1990 period was another long and often bloody intermission in the centuries-long history of Croatia. However, the gap is bridged now, and the future of the Croats is in their own hands. It is up to them not to dwell in the past but to live up to the challenges of the present and the future.

NOTES

1 Srbadija. The official organ of the Novi Sad Regional Committee of the SRNAO. February 7, 1925.

2 Narodne Novine. April 28, 1919. See also Rudolf Horvat, Hrvatska na mucilistu. Zagreb: Kulturno-Historijsko Drustvo “Hrvatski Rodoljub,” 1942, 81.

3 Vladimir Radic, Zlocin od 20. Lipnja i Medjunarodna Stampa. Paris: n.p., 1931, 22.

4 Dragoljub Jovanovic, Ljudi. Ljudi… Medaljoni 46 umrlih savremenika. Belgrade: D. Jovanovic, 1975, 65.

5 John I. Pintar, Four Years in Tito’s Hell. Buenos Aires: H.P.K.: 1954, 17.

6 Struggle. Translated by Louis Adamic with a Preface by the Translator. Los Angeles: Arthur Whipple, 1934,7.

7 Pravilo o cetnickoj vojni. Protolmacio iz’ pol’skoj sa n’kim prom’nama, izmetcima i dodasima Matija Ban. Belgrade, 1848.

8 Pobeda. August 4, 1921.

9 Vidovdan. May 30, 1925.

10 Politika. June 3, 1925.

11 Dobroslav Jevdjevic, Izabrani clanci. Novi Sad: Jovanovic & Bogdanov, 1925, 5.

12 Srpska rijec. December 13, 1924.

13 See Nusret Sehic, Cetnistvo u Bosni i Hercegovini (1918-1941). Sarajevo: ANUBiH, 1971, 68.

14 Ratnicki glasnik. 1922, 69. As in Berislav Gligorijevic, “Organizacija jugoslovenskih nacionalista (Orjuna).” Istorija XX veka. Vol. 5. Belgrade: Institute drustvenih nauka, 1963, 318.

15 Jugoslavija (Almanac of the Veterans’ Alliance). 1922, 153.

16 Narodna obrana. 1926, 10; Gligorijevic, Orjuna, 318.

17 T. Kazlerovic, Obznana. Beograd, 1952, 13; Statist. Beleske Ust. Skupstine, 1920-1921, I, 20; Gligorijevic, Orjuna, 320.

18 Jevdjevic, Izabrani clanci, 42.

19 Balkan. March 28, 1922.

20 See, for example, Alex N. Dragnich, The First Yugoslavia, Search for a Viable Political System. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1983.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Sadkovich, James J. “Terrorism in Croatia, 1929-1934.” East European Quarterly 22:1 (1988) 55-79.

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Struggle . Translated by Louis Adamic with a Preface by the Translator. Los Angeles: Arthur Whipple, 1934.

Željko Zidarić
9th-June-2012, 03:48 PM
Ante Cuvalo (http://www.cuvalo.net/?p=44)

1918

Sep. 9 About 100 Serbian soldiers arrived for the first time at the town of Vukovar and, among other misdeeds, confiscated boats loaded with grain on the Danube river.

Oct. 29 Croatian Sabor (Parliament) broke off all ties with the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary). The Sabor declared the constitutional connection with Hungary terminated, and proclaimed Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and independent state. The Sabor then went on to give executive authority in the new state to the National Council in Zagreb.

Oct 31 A-H Empire turned over the A-H fleet to the Croats on the quarter deck of the Viribus Unitis.

November A number of leading Croatian intellectuals in Zagreb receive letters threatening to hang them on light poles. Many people were afraid to walk the streets at night. Among the arrested in Zagreb were: Ivica dr. Frank (people’s representative), Aleksandar Horvat (people’s representative),Ante Matasic (general), Mirko dr. Puk (lawyer), Pavao Rauch (former ban/viceroy of Croatia), and Drago dr. Safar (lawyer).

Among the arrested and then forced to retire were the High Court Judges: Milan Accuti, Mirko dr. Kosutic, and Josip Tarabochia.

Among those forced from Zagreb into hiding were Ljudevit dr. Ivancic (priest in Zagreb) and Lovro dr. Radicevic (priest in Zagreb)

Nov.8 Franjo Sarkotic (general in Sarajevo) arrested.

Nov.9 Zvonimir Vukelic (newsman in Zagreb) arrested.

Nov.16 Mihovil Mihaljevic (field Marshall) forced to retire.

Nov. 17 Izidor dr. Krsnjavi (univ. prof. in Zagreb) forced to retire. Ivan Malus (school supervisor in Zagreb) forced to retire. Milan dr. Sufflay (a leading intellectual and univ. professor in Zagreb) forced to retire. ? Heim (judge in Zagreb) forced to retire.

Nov. 21 Lacko Labas (provincial governor in Bjelovar) forced to retire.

Nov. 22 Antun Liposcak (general) arrested.

Dec. 1 Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formed (renamed Yugoslavia in 1929).

Dec. 4 Zagreb newspaper “Hrvatska” banned.

Dec. 5 The gov. officials in Zagreb were ordered to declare this day a holiday with public celebrations in honor of the Serbian king Peter’s “krsna slava.” After the morning parade in honor of the king, Croatian soldiers stationed in Zagreb began a parade of their own, with their marching band. They protested unification with Serbia and demanded a democratic republic of Croatia. The marchers were met by force. On that day 9 Croatian civilians and 5 soldiers were killed, and 7 civilians and 10 soldiers were wounded. (It is estimated that over 100 people were hurt or killed but the newspaper were forbidden to write the truth.)

Among the killed were: Mato Gasparovic, Nikola Ivsa, Stjepan Juresa, Viktor Kolombar, Dragutin Kostelac, Josip Lupinski, Andro Martinko, Milos Mrse, Slavko Scukanac, ? Sentmartoni, Mijo Stanicer, Miroslav Svoboda, Antun Tasner-Juricic, and Ferdo Versec.

Among the arrested was the general Ante Matasic. Jailed over two months and then retired. Arrested again in 1929. After his release, his movements were restricted to the city of Zagreb.


1919

Gendarme forces maltreated large number of peasants in Zdala, Severin, Raca, Popovaca, Grubisno polje, and other places. Many of them were striped naked and beaten.

Jan. 6 The following Croatians were sentenced in Zagreb because of the Dec. 5, 1918 demonstrations: Ivica Percic (soldier) to 10 years,Rudolf Cecelja (soldier) to 7 years, Josip Simatovic (soldier) to 7 years, Ivan Babic (soldier) to 3 and a half years, Janko Herceg (soldier) to 3 and a half years, Franjo Kovacic (soldier) to 3 and a half years, Dragutin Mort (soldier) 3 and a half years, Adolf Schwartz (soldier) to 3 and a half years, Blaz Barac (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Stjepan Crncec (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Franjo Gasparac (soldier) 1 and half years, Marko Koren (soldier) 1 and a half years, Marko Majsl (soldier) 1 and a half years, Mirko Milosak (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Janko Pomjan (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Tomo Potlacek (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Josip Ruklic (soldier)to 1 and a half years, Konrad Skrebin (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Stjepan Tresoglavac (soldier) to 1 and half years, Mirko Vragovic (soldier) to 1 and a half years, Mustafa Basagic (soldier) ?, Mirko Drobac (soldier) ?, and Andrija Fijan (soldier) ?.

March Two elected parliamentary representatives from the Croatian Party of [State] Rights/HSP, dr. Prebeg (lawyer) and dr. Pazman (university professor) arrested.

Military censorship of the press imposed in Croatia.

Mar. 8Croatian Republican Peasant Party/HRSS/ sent memorandum to the U.S. President Wilson and to members of the Peace Conference in Paris asking for self-determination of the Croatian people.

Mar. 25 President of the Croatian Republican Peasant Party (HRSS), Stjepan Radic, and two of its board members arrested. Although no charges were filed against him, Radic was held in jail without a trial untill Feb. 19, 1920. He was arrested again on March 22, 1920 and finally, he was released on Nov. 28, 1920, the day general elections, in which he and his party won an overwhelming majority of votes in Croatia.

May Josip Zrnek (worker) died in jail under torture.

July 13 Three people (a restaurant owner in Zagreb, his wife and a waitress) arrested by military authorities and badly beaten because the man said “This is not a Greater Serbia.”

July 22 Spontaneous rebellion of soldiers in Varazdin.

August Army confiscated all the goods that Croat emigrants had brought with them returning from the USA.

Bartol Vukovic (peasant from Brodska Varos) killed by gendarmes.

September A Croat police officer in Zagreb beaten and maltreated by military authorities.

A “prominent citizen” in Zagreb 70 years old beaten, maltreated, and his dog killed on his own property by a military captain.


1920

A group of “well-respected citizens” in Sisak arrested while eating in a restaurant, kept overnight in the local jail and maltreated because gendarme Lolic was drunk and he felt like doing it.

“Many peasants” beaten in the name of king Peter and forced to genuflect three times and give homage to the Serbian traditional military cap, known as “sajkaca.”

A veterinarian in Petrinja, after being asked to come to the office of the local commanding army officer, was maltreated and beaten by the officer. After escaping, the veterinarian was beaten again the next day by the same officer.

February A man was killed by soldiers in Sisak. While his wife was crying over his dead body, the commanding colonel swore at her and gave her two hard blows.

Feb. 20 Nine peasants in Delnice badly beaten by soldiers. Their money was also taken.

Mar. 22 ? Teslic, a Serb and a former Austrian Colonel, attempted to kill Stjepan Radic during a public gathering of the Croatian Peasant Party in Sisak. When Radic was about to begin his speech, Teslic fired four shots at him. After escaping the assassination, Radic was arrested and finally released on Nov. 28, 1920, the day of general elections.

Apr. 16 All public meetings banned in Croatia.

July A military colonel took a boat from a Croat citizen in Petrinja. After his complaint, four soldiers were sent to bring the man to the military compound. They were unsuccessful. But the next day, the citizen was found, beaten, and maltreated.

August Soldiers attack a number of civilians in Zagreb.

September A “large number” of peasants were killed during the attempts of the gendarmes and the military to put down peasant rebellions in northern Croatia. “Many peasants” were killed in Kutina county. Two peasants killed in Ivanjska.

Sep. 5 Forced branding of large domestic animals.

Peasants rebel in Veliki Grdjavac.

Josip Sulicek (peasant) killed by gendarmes.

Sep. 6 A peasant from Sveti Ivan Zeleni killed by gendarmes.

Sep. 8 Ivan Likoder (peasant from Repusnica) killed by gendarmes.? Pintaric (peasant from Repusnica) wounded by gendarmes. Ivan Vraznic (peasant from Repusnica) wounded by gendarmes. Gabor Uroic (peasant from Repusnica) wounded by gendarmes. ? Alapic (peasant from Gracanica) wounded by gendarmes.

Sep. 9 ? Gunjak (peasant) arrested and on the road from Osekova to Kutina killed by gendarmes. ? Pokaz (peasant) arrested and on the road from Osekova to Kutina killed by gendarmes.

Sep. 10 30 peasants in Petrinja badly beaten by the gendarmes in front of other citizens.

Sep. 16 3 peasant huts with all possessions burnt by gendarmes in Novoselce near Zagreb.

Filip Halic (79-year old peasant from Novoselce near Zagreb) killed by gendarmes in front of a hut in his vineyard.

Oct. 4 City Mayor of Vinkovci publically attacked by Serb military officer.

Nov. 28 Elections for the Constitutional Assembly. Croatian Republican Pleasant Party/HRSS/ received majority of votes in Croatia. Its leader, Stjepan Radic, released from jail on the election day.

Dec. 5 Croatian youth organization “Sokol” banned.

Dec. 12 Anti-Croatian demonstrations in Ruma/Srijem. Croatian businesses and homes attacked. All public signs written in Latin script demolished. Military authorities in the town were protecting the attackers.

Dec. 15 Mirko Marcinko arrested and severely tortured.

Dec. 20 Vinko Zugcic (peasant from Novoselce near. Zagreb) arrested and killed by gendarmes.

Vid Zavolic (peasant from Novoselce near Zagreb) wounded by gendarmes.

Dec. 22 A major strike by miners in Husino near Tuzla, Orasje, Breza, and other mining places in Bosnia. Gendarmes, “People’s Guards” (Serbian volunteers), and army unites put down the strike. 32 miners and peasants were killed and many more seriously wounded. Robbery, rape, and expulsion from homes followed. Croatian settlements were special targets because the desire was to portray the Croats as Communist sympathizers.

Dec. 29Government in Belgrade issued a document, “Obznana”, by which the Communist Party was banned in the country. Persecutions intensified.

Dec. 30 Stjepan Supanc (worker) killed in Vukovar.


1921

Jan. 4 Anka N. (Postal clerk in Vukovar) attacked by soldiers, maltreated, and arrested.

Jan. 26 The following Croats arrested in Zagreb. Trial began on June 12, 1921. On August 6, 1921 sentenced to:Pavao See 12 years, Rudolf Vidak 4 years, Milan dr. Sufflay to 3 and a half years, Jakov Petric to 3 years, Franjo Skvorc to 3 years, Dragutin Taborsak to 3 years, Josip Spoljarec-Drenski to 2 years and 4 months, Ivan Havelka to 8 months, Milan Galovic to 6 months,Ivan Kovacic to 6 months, Gabrijel Kruhak to 6 months, Ivo dr. Pilar 2 months, Andrija Medar freed, Antun Pavicic freed, and Florijan Stromar ?. Feb. 16 18 mineworkers in Tuzla condemned to death by hanging.. One of the condemned miners was Jure Kerosevic.

June Vladimir Copic arrested and sentenced on Feb. 2, 1922 to 2 years.

June 29 Unsucccesful attempt to assassinate king Aleksandar in Belgrade. Excuse to attack sympathizers of the Left and other opponents of the regime. It is estimated that about 10.000 people were arrested in the country and maltreated.

June 28 Centralist Constitution for the newly unified country approved by 233 votes; 35 delegates voted against, and 161 representatives were absent in Belgrade Parliament. July 2 150 workers arrested and maltreated in Split and sentenced from 3 to 8 months.

July 21 ORJUNA (Organizacija Jugoslavenskih Nacionalista/ Organization of Yugoslav Nationalits) attacked and seriously injured four “communists” in Split.

ORJUNA attacked and damaged the house of Mr. Jelaska in Split. ORJUNA demolished the house of Mr. Pinto in Split.

ORJUNA attaked and demolished the house of dr. Vrankovic in Split. July 22 ORJUNA attacked offices of Zagreb papers “Obzor,” “Hrvat,” and “Jutarnji list.” It led violent anti-Croatian demonstration in Zagreb.

ORJUNA attaked “Radnicki dom” (Workers’ Hall) in Osijek.

July 24 Rudolf Horvatic (civil servant in Zagreb) wounded by a railroad police, Dusan Kruzica, while riding a train from Sesvete to Zagreb.

Ivan Kosanda wounded togather with Rudolf Horvatic.

Zlatko Arnold (bank clerk) killed by a railroad policeman, Dusan Kruzica, while riding on Sesvete-Zagreb train.

August Catholic religious congress in Split attacked by ORJUNA.

A Catholic religious procession in Sinj attacked by gendarmes.

Aug. 2The Law for the Protection of the State was approved by Belgrade Parliament. Persecutions intensified.

Aug. 9 Drago Gizdic (worker in Dubrovnik) killed by ORJUNA.

Aug. 16 King Peter died. Because the Zagreb’s city council did not send a special delegation to the funeral, it was dissolved.

Dec. 11 The “Croatian block” won the municipal elections in Zagreb. But the elected representatives were not allowed to govern. A special city Commissar was appointed be Belgrade.


1922

Newspaper “Hrvatski Glas” banned.

Equipment belonging to youth organization “Croatian Sokol” in Ogulin confiscated and given to the “Yugoslav Sokol.” During a public gathering of the “Yugoslav Sokol” that followed in the same town, several leading Croats jailed.

About 400 Croat teachers and professors were dismissed from their jobs.

Jun. 8 King Aleksandar married Romanian princess Mariola. Croatians not welcomed at the wedding. The wedding costs were over 65 million dinars.

Jan. 29 A large number of peasants, including women and children, were attacked and mercilessly beaten by 14 gendarmes in the village near Topusko. Many were incapacitated for a long time because of the harsh beatings.

Feb. 21 ORJUNA attacked members of “Croatian workers union.” Army intervened on the side of ORJUNA.

Feb. 23 Ivan Colovic arrested and sentenced to 2 years. Spent 7 months in jail before the trial.

Djuro Salaj arrested and sentenced to 2 years. Spent 7 months in jail before the trial.

March A number of Croatians were attacked by ORJUNA members who were armed by pistols given to them by the military authorities.

? Snidarsic (Zagreb lawyer) shot by ORJUNA members. There was no investigation.

ORJUNA members attacked the house in Zagreb where retired Croatian military officers were having a private party.

June ORJUNA undertook major attacks throughout Zagreb.

June 4 A large number of the “Croatian Sokol” children and their escorts, mostly women, from Karlovac, Jastrebarsko, Ogulin and other towns attacked by local Serbs during the Sokol’s field trip to Plitvice Lakes. A number of people injured, investigation was not permitted and no one was punished.

June 14 All chapters of the organization “Croatian Woman” banned and its property comfiscated because they participated in organizing a pilgrimage to the tomb of Ante Starcevic three days earlier.

Women’s organization “Katarina Zrinski” also banned because of the pilgrimage to the grave of Ante Starcevic.

Zagreb chapter of the “Croatian Sokol” banned and posessions confiscated because they made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Ante Starcevic three days earlier.

July ? Rozic killed in Zagreb.

Dec. 9 Franjo Vrtat (Novigrad near Koprivnica) jailed for organizing HRSS meetings.


1923

At an ORJUNA meeting attended by the Minister of the Interior an open discussion on assassinating Stjepan Radic (the leader of the Croats) too place.

January During the pre-election campaign, a young man in the village of Kras (Dobrinjstina) was killed after a HRSS public meeting. During the same period, a man was killed in each of the following places: Crikvenica, Otocac, and Vrginmost .

Three HRSS representatives from the region of Sibenik were jailed.

Four members of the HRSS Main Board were jailed.

Three HRSS representatives from Cepin (Osijek) were jailed.

ORJUNA attacked Croatian Sokol members in their hall in Gospic. Because of the attack, the local Sokol organization was deprived of the hall.

Armed ORJUNA members clashed with Croatian youth in a coffee shop in downtown Zagreb. Eight people were wounded.

Jan. 28 ORJUNA members broke up a Croatian Republican Peasant Party (HRSS) gathering in Vinkovci.

February ORJUNA attacked political gatherings organized by Prof. Kerubin Segvic in Split.

ORJUNA attacked two followers of the HRSS in Drnis.

ORJUNA assaulted Dr. Vandekar, son in law of Stjepan Radic, in the town of Metkovic.

ORJUNA attacked a public meeting of the HRSS in Tuzla.

Feb. 3 Public meeting of the HRSS in Kostajnica broken up by ORJUNA members and their simpatizers. Those attending were attacked and more than 30 of homes were damaged.

Feb. 4 Six people seriously, and 18 lightly wounded by ORJUNA members in Crikvenica. One of the wounded died next day.

Feb. 5 Offices of the “Hrvatski list,” newspaper in Osijek, raided and vandalized by ORJUNA. A bomb was thrown into the main office.

Feb. 8 ORJUNA members placed a bomb in the hall of the Croatian workers union in Dubrovnik. Local government officials in the region of Dubrovnik banned public gatherings of Croatian political parties.

March Marko Grsic Filipovic wounded by a bullet in the head in the town of Senj.

A Zagreb Croat who stated that he would vote for Radic was forced by a gendarme to kiss the picture of Nikola Pasic, the leading Serbian politician at the time and a symbol of Greater Serbianism.

In Koprivnica, gendarmes opened gun fire on Croatian peasants.

In Split, any one who cried out “Long live Radic” received a 30- day jail sentence.

Gendarmes attacked a peasant from Cerje Tuzno and robbed him of his possessions.

Mar. 4 Peasants from the village of Cukovac (Ludbreg) were fired upon because they prepared a welcoming celebration for the HRSS leaders, including Stjepan Radic. Those who fired on the peasants were not punished. Instead, a peasant from Cukovac, a sympathizer of Radic, was sentenced to a one day jail term for not voting “properly.”

ORJUNA and its sympathizers attacked a public meeting of the HRSS in Otocac. Two peasants were wounded and a 14 year old boy was killed.

Mar. 18 After police attacked and dispersed a crowd gathered in Zagreb, OJUNA members opened fire on those running from police. A 16-year old boy was seriously wounded and a 20- year old man and a woman received lesser injuries.

Mar. 18 Second general elections held in the KSHS. The HRSS received an overwhelimg vote among the Croatians (420,000 votes and 69 Deputies).

April Jurije Soce (Sarajevo) killed by ORJUNA members.

June Kerubin Segvic on trial. He wrote in an article that ORJUNA was helped by the government.

Jul. 21 Stjepan Radic, President of the HRSS left the country and visited London, Vienna and Moscow looking for international understanding of the Croatian cause.


1924

Mime Rosandic (forestry engineer) arrested and maltreated.

April ORJUNA member attacked Jewish properties in Zagreb.

Aug. 1 Stjepan Radic, leader of the HRSS returned from abroad to Zagreb. It became clear that the outside world did not want to hear about “the Croatian question.”

November A gendarme attempted to assassinate August Kosutic, a leading politician in Croatia in Kastel Stari. Treated for head wounds in gendarme station. Jailed right after his return to Zagreb. Soon after, he took a long trip to the USA in order to avoid physical attacks or even assassination.

The Minister of education, S. Pribicevic, retired 3 leading professors (supporters of HRSS) at the Zagreb University. One of the three was Dr. Ladislav Polic. Dec. 23 Declaration to ban the Croatian Republican Peasant Party/HRSS because it joined the Socialist International. Its public meeting and all its publications were banned. The law of public order and protection of state to be implemented against the HRSS, all its archives to be confiscated, and its leadership arrested.


1925

January Police harassed leading Croatian politicians, among them Dr. Josip Lorkovic, Dr. Albert Bazala, Dr. Stjepan Skrulj, Dr. Stjepan Buc, Dr. Krajac, and others.

Seven peasants from Kustosija (near Zagreb) arrested because they displayed a Croatian flag.

The HRSS and Communist representatives in the Osijek city council were stripped off their political positions.

Jan. 1 The Law for the Protection of State, originally passed against the Communists, extended to the Croatian Republican Peasant Party/HRSS/. Criminal procedures were undertaken against its leadership.

Jan. 2 Police searched apartments and offices of all leading HRSS politicians in Zagreb and throughout the country. Many of them were arrested and released after a short detention. But the following were arrested and kept in jail for 6 months: Dr. Vladko Macek, Dr. Juraj Krnjevic, Dr. Stjepan Kosutic, Augustin Kosutic, Josip Predavec. A few days later, the secretary of the HRSS, Serif Kuzmic, was also arrested.

Offices of Osijek newspaper “Hrvatski list” raided and editors maltreated.

The house of Ivan dr. Loncarevic (lawyer in Mitrovica) raided and vandalized.

Jan. 3 600 peasants from Sibenik region arrested, taken to Sibenik, and about a half of them were jailed.

A number of Croats in Sibenik jailed. Among them were: Marko Berovic, Augustin Bujan (priest), Josip Drezga, Dr. Miho Jernic (dentists), Mate Kalmeta, Sime Zenic, Ivan dr. Krnic (former gov. high official). Next day, he was taken to Ogulin. Three Croatian homes in Susak/Rijeka raided.

Jan. 4 Ten members of the HSS in Imotski arrested.

Prof. Pavao Brkic arrested.Dr. ? Cuzzi (Split) arrested. Josip Paf (Sinj) arrested.Prof. Kerubin Segvic (editor of “Croatian Review” in Zagreb) arrested.Dr. ? Sokol (Split) arrested. Pavao Vucic (Sinj) arrested.Dr. Mile Vukovic (Imotski) arrested.

Jan. 5 Stjepan Radic, President of HRSS, arrested. Rudolf Bicanic (economist in Zagreb) - his apartment raided. Dragan Devcic (merchant in Djakovo) jailed for 14 days. Stjepan dr. Hefer (lawyer) jailed for 14 days. Ivo dr. Majcan (lawyer) arrested. ? Mirtejic (in Djakovo) jailed for 14 days.

Pavle Radic (leading man in the HRSS and Croatian representative in Belgrade parliament)- his apartment in Belgrade raided.

Viktor Tomlinovic (priest in Nasice) jailed.Djuro Turkalj (in Djakovo) jailed for 14 days.

All school teachers members of the Croatian Peasant Party dismissed from their jobs.

Jan. 6 Gendarmes opened fire on a crowd of Croats in Ozelj near Karlovac. One peasant killed and two wounded.

Jan. 7 “Croatian Sokol” youth organizations in Velika, Mihaljevac, and Brestovac near Pozega banned.

Jan. 8 Offices of the “Srijemski Hrvat,” Vukovar paper, raided and vandalized.

Seven peasants in Ceric near Vukovar arrested.

Dr. Ivan Majcen (Donji Miholjac) jailed for 6 days.Matijevic (president of the HSS in Bogdanovici) jailed with a number of other HSS members.

All HSS representatives and their secretaries in Donji Miholjac jailed for 5 days.

Jan. 9 In the village of Ladjevac, a local priest (Rev. Mikan) was arrested.

Jan. 13 “Hrvatski List,” Osijek newspaper, banned. After changing the name into “Hrvatska Zora” it was banned also. Jan. 13Rude Bacinic, a leading HRSS representative from Dalmatia, arrested in Belgrade.

Jan. (mid)The president of the local election committee and a member of the HRSS, Prof. Josip Hager, was arrested. He was accused of insulting the king and the regime. Besides being suspended from teaching, he was arrested again at the end of the month and sentenced to a 10 day jail term.

Jan. 25“Hrvatski Branik,” Vinkovci newspaper, banned.

Jan. 31 Djuro Zivic, a HRSS sympathizer, from Novo selo (Varazdin) was arrested, kept in jail till Feb. 8, 1925, and the case against him dragged on till 1927.

Jan. (end) Dr. Milovan Zanic was arrested.

The secretary of the HRSS Zagreb branch arrested

Police in Varazdin attempted to prevent the HRSS from handing to the local court the election lists and harassed the leading HRSS officials in the city, Dr. Ursic and others.

Nikola Separovic, a baker from Vela Luka living near Delnice, arrested. Accused of insulting the Belgrade regime. Feb. (beg.) Gendarmes beat up four peasants in the village of Lukavac. Two of them were seriously hurt.

Feb. 8 The day of elections, police, gendarmes, and even military forces were employed throughout Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to intimidate the non-Serb electorate. Many members of local election committees were harassed and/or arrested. There were numerous clashes between the voters and the gendarmes, and a number of people were injured and even killed.

In a clash between the gendarmes and the voters in Veliko Trgovisce a peasant was killed, and two gendarmes were wounded. Next day, 20 peasants were arrested and, after long tortures, 11 were released and 9 put on trial.

In the village of Stajnica (Lika) four peasants were killed (including an 80 year old woman) and many were wounded by the gendarmes. Stajnica was a stronghold of the HRSS party.

The mayor of the town of Susak (near Rijeka) was suspended from his functions and deprived of his salary because he was not supporting the Serbian Radical party.

In the village of Straznjevac (Varazdin) gendarmes arrested more than 10 peasants accused of displaying a flag with a slogan: “Faith in God and Peasant Solidarity” and of preventing the gendarmes from arresting the HRSS committee-men. After being maltreated and kept in jail for a while, they received from one to four months prison terms.

After the election results were announced, the HRSS supporters were prevented by police, gendarmes, and the military throughout Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from celebrating the victory.

Feb. 8 General elections - HRSS gained total victory among the Croats.

Feb. 11 “Hrvatski List,” Osijek daily newspaper, banned again.

Feb. 17 “Hrvatski Glas,” Osijek daily newspaper and successor to “Hrvatski list” banned.

Mar. 22 Dr. Albert Bazala (leading intellectual and people’s representative) physically attacked by Serbian members of parliament.

May 25 “Novi List,” daily newspaper in Susak/Rijeka, banned.

July 18 Stjepan Radic was released from jail. He and his party joined the government in Belgrade. His party’s name from now on is simply Croatian Peasant Party /HSS/; the adjective Republican is abandoned.


1926

May Attempt to assassinate Stjepan Radic (leader of the HSS) in Srijemska Mitrovica


1927

January On the island of Krk, displaying of the Croatian flag was banned and civil servants and school teacher came under special pressure because the local elections were coming up. (Jan. 23, 1927). In Varazdin, the city council and the city mayor were removed, and a government official (a gendarme officer) took control of the city.

In Osijek, a communist election leaflet stating “Long live the Republic” was banned.

On the island of Korcula, the HSS candidates were arrested.

In the provinces of Backa and Baranja, the HSS candidates and supporters were under great pressure to abandon their loyalty to their political party. Jan. 4 The ban against the HSS activities (imposed at the end of 1924) was abolished.

Jan. 23 On the day of local elections, about 2000 HSS members were coming to greet Radic at his home in Zagreb. Police dispersed the crowd and injured a number of people.

Aug. A regional representative of the Serbian Democratic Party from Vrelo near Korenica was arrested and sentenced to a 14 day jail term. The Serbian Democratic Party in Croatia came under pressure because its leader, S. Pribicevic, abandoned his policy of Serbian unitarism and became a federalist.

Aug. 28 In Sv. Jakov (near Crikvenica) gendarmes dispersed a HSS meeting and arrested one participant.

Sep. (beg.) In the village Krivi Put (Lika) the president of the local HSS was arrested and sentenced to 14 days of prison.

In Ludbreg, two HSS members were sentenced to a 14 day jail term each. Spt. 11Parliamentary elections. During these election there were no major eruptions of violence but voting manipulation by the regime was worse than in previous elections.


1928

June 20 Serbian Parliament representative, Punisa Racic, opened fire in Belgrade Parliament on Croatian deputies. Stjepan Radic mortally wounded (died on Aug. 8,1928), Dr. Djuro Basaricek killed, Pavle Radic killed, Dr. Ivan Pernar wounded, and Ivan Grandja wounded.

June 20-22 Massive demonstrations in Zagreb. 5 people killed; 50 wounded, more than a hundred arrested.

Dec. 4 Zagreb students demonstrated. Several killed and wounded by the gendarmes. 1929


1929

Jan. 6 King Aleksandar assumed all power in the country, dismissed Parliament, suspended Constitutions, and banned all political parties.

April 30 Djuro Djakovic and Nikola Hecimovic, after being arrested and tortured, were led to the country border and shot.

May Dr. Milovan Zanic (lawyer and a former representative in parliament from Nova Gradiska) sentenced to 6 months for suggesting that king Aleksandar should be asked to return civil rights to the citizens. He had been arrested also in previous years.

June 28 The leader of the Serbs in Croatia, Svetozar Pribicevic, once right-hand man of the Belgrade regime, was confined to a small village in Serbia for his cooperation with the Croat political leaders. From 1931 till his death in 1936, he lived in exile.

July 17 Dr. Ante Pavelic (Zagreb lawyer and representative in Belgrade parliament) condemned to death in absence and his property is confiscated.

Gustav Percec condemned to death in absence and his property is confiscated.

Oct. 3 Displaying of Croatian flag is banned. Oct. 31 The following Croats were arrested and sentenced on June 30, 1931. Marko Hranilovic (student, 20 years old) condemned to death by hanging plus 20 years jail term!! Matija Soldin condemned to death by hanging plus 20 years jail term. Hung on November 25, 1931..

Stipe Javor (from Brinje/Zagreb merchant ) to 20 years. Because of beastly tortures he died in jail on March 27, 1936. Stipe Javor’s wife and two daughters were also arrested and maltreated in order to force him to talk. Antun Herceg (newsman) to 20 years. Dragutin Kriznjak (peasant) to 18 years. Stjepan Horvatek (merchant’s helper) to 15 years. Pavao Glad (hospital clerk) to 15 years. Milan Siladi (blacksmith from Busevac) to 6 years. Antun Vezmarovic (forest guard) to 5 years. Luka Markulin (peasant from Odra) to three years. Mijo Bizik (craftsman) to 18 months. Marija Hranilovic (Marko’s sister; secretary) to 18 months. Gabrijel Kruhak (office clerk in Zagreb) to 18 months. Janko Kruhak (craftsman) to 18 months. Mirko Kruhak (office clerk in Zagreb) to 18 months. Stjepan Markulin (peasant from Odra) to 18 months. Mile Starcevic (office clerk) to 18 months. Luka Cordasic freed. Josip Knoblehar freed. Stjepan Kopcinovic freed. Stjepan Novacic freed. Cvjetko Stahan freed. Mijo Babic escaped the country and condemned in absence. Zvonimir Pospisil condemned in absence. Mladen Lorkovic (Zagreb lawyer) avoided the arrest by escaping the country .

Dec. Blaz Djogic (peasant from Siroki Brijeg) killed by gendarmes

Dec. 5 King Aleksandar banned the “Croatian Sokol” that had over 40,000 members.

Dec. 19 Vilko Begic (military colonel) arrested. Freed on June 14, 1930.

Jaksa Jelasic (professor in Zagreb) arrested and sentenced to 3 years plus the loss of civil rights for 4 years.

52 Zagreb students arrested together with Begic and Jelasic.

Dec. 29 The following Croats were arrested, tried in Belgrade, and on June 14, 1930 sentenced: Ivan Bernardic (merchant’s assistant from Barilovic) to 15 years, expulsion from Zagreb for 3 years, and the loss of civil rights for life. Stjepan Matekovic (craftsman from Kostajnica) to 10 years. Filip Paver (state clerk in Zagreb) to 10 years. Martin Franekic to 8 years the loss of civil rights for life.Ivan Skrtak to 6 years and permanent loss of civil rights. Cvjetko Hadzija to 5 years and the loss of civil rights for 5 years. Ante Stefanac to 4 years and the loss of civil rights for 4 years. Velimir Mocnaj (book store owner in Karlovac) to 3 years and the loss of civil rights for 3 years. Ivan Prpic (lawyer from Jastrebarsko) to 2 years. Ivan Ban (merchant’s assistant from Kresevo) to 1 year and loss of civil rights for 3 years. Franjo Veselic to 1 year. Ljubomir Kremzir to 6 months. Pavao Margetic to 6 months. Bozo Arnsek freed. Mirko Debanic freed. Albin Gasparac freed. Franjo Kuntic (restaurant owner) freed. Ivan dr. Lebovic (lawyer) freed. Milan Levnajic freed. Antun Stefanic freed.


1930

Ivan Rosic jailed 14 days for placing a wreath on the grave of Stjepan Radic. Jan. 4 Dr. Vladko Macek (leader of the HSS) arrested, tried in Belgrade and freed on June 14, 1930. Seven Croatian prisoners that were acquitted together with Macek at the trial in Belgrade and four of their lawyers were celebrating their release. That was considered a crime and all were sentenced to a 30 days prison term.

May Over 100 Croats arrested. Accused of planning to place an explosive under the train taking a delegation to see the king in Belgrade. Among them were: Antun Budrovac - later sentenced to a jail term. Franjo Canic - later sentenced to a jail term. Franjo Carevic - later sentenced to a jail term. Antun Herman (shoemaker in Djakovo) - later sentenced to a jail term. Zeljko Klemen - later sentenced to a jail term. Karlo Kovacevic - later sentenced to a jail term. Sime Mikic - later sentenced to a jail term. Ivan Ruskan - later sentenced to a jail term. Luka Stjevic - later sentenced to a jail term. Anka Sultajs (woman) - later sentenced to a jail term. Andrija Tilman (postal clerk in Djakovo) - later sentenced to a jail term.

June Josip Predavec (Vice President of the HSS) condemned to 2 and a half years of prison.


1931

During the year “a number of Croats” killed by Chetniks and/or gendarme forces.

Zvonimir Topilnik (bank clerk in Livno) died in jail under torture.

Dr. Dragutin Toth arrested and tried with 13 more members of the HSS.

Ivan Jedlicka tortured and died in Virovitica prison.

Jan. 14 Obrad Pavlovic (Croat from Backa) killed near Italian border.

Feb. ? Bosnjakovic (craftsman in Djakovo) died in jail under gendarmes’ torture.

Josip Poropat (young man from Zagreb) killed by gendarmes and his body was thrown from the 3rd floor into the courtyard.

174 Croats arrested in Zagreb

Feb. 17Djuka Ilijanic (peasant) died in Zagreb under torture.

Feb. 18Dr. Milan Sufflaj (a leading Croat intellectual) assassinated.

April Ante Pavelic (peasant from Bosanski Brod) arrested and severely tortured. After his release, escaped to Austria and soon died of complications caused by tortures.

May Josip Nadj (merchant from Ferdinandovac) died in jail under torture

May 4 Trial of 22 Croats began in Zagreb. Among the 22 volunteer defending counsels was Dr. Vladko Macek, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party who a year earlier was himself tried and acquitted in Belgrade. (See Oct. 31, 1929)

May 23 In Belgrade, 3 Croats were sentenced to death, one of them in absence. 11 others received a total of 126 years jail terms. Two were sentenced to 20 and 15 years, but they escaped the country. One of the accused was acquitted.

June Milka Hranilovic (a woman) jailed because of her son’s activities.

June 31 Ante Crvic, Ignac Domitrovic, and Mijo Seletkovic were condemned in absence.

July 12About 12,000 people attending the Eucharistic Congress in Omis. Gendarmes opened fire on the masses. Two people killed and many wounded.

July 23 Six months after their arrests, a group of Croats tried in Belgrade and sentenced. Among them, Ivan Rosic (shoemaker’s assistant) to death by hanging (hung).

Aug. 1 man (peasant from Lencak near Lasinja) killed by gendarmes. Aug. 10Ilija Petrovic (Nova Gradiska) died under prison torture in Zagreb.

Aug. 11The following Croats were sentenced: Ivan Ljevakovic (father’s name Matin from Lipak; streetcar controller in Zagreb) to death. Later commuted to life imprisonment. Ivan Ljevakovic (father’s name Franjo; peasant from Lipak) to 15 years. Adolf Miler sentenced in Belgrade to 15 years. Ivan Saub to 10 years. Petar Nozaric to 2 years. Stjepan Papac to 2 years. Ignac Terihaj to 10 months. Milan Lukac (from Nova Gradiska) freed. Josip Miklausic - cooperated with prosecution. Martin Nagy - cooperated with prosecution. Hung himself in jail. Supposedly suicide.

Dec. 8 Chetniks in the country of Benkovac terrorized Croats who did not participate in the elections. Five peasants killed and many wounded. 1932

Villages in Lika region were terrorized and possessions confiscated after the Lika rebellion.

129 Croats were tried for verbal “insult of the king’s name” in the regions of Petrinja, Bjelovar, Zagreb, Ogulin, and Varazdin alone.

Pastor of the Catholic parish in Krasna/Lika arrested because of his “provocative” sermon. A number of Croats in Pazariste/Lika were severely beaten by gendarmes. Among them were: Joso Alivojdic, Petar Dasovic (75 years),

Ilka Hodak (24 year woman), Tomo Marinkovic (beaten daily for 10 days), Jerko Rukavina (70 year), ? Smiljcic (14 years), Manda Stimac (older woman), Jure Zivkovic - his skull was broken and the gendarmes left him for dead.

23 people (from 23 to 92 years of age) severely beaten by gendarmes force in Brusani/Lika. Among them were: Sule Devcic (92 years old) and Mican Lisac (73 year old)

Ivan Domitrovic (peasant from near Imotski) killed by the Chetniks in his home.

Jozo Olujic (Opanci/Imotski) killed by the Chetniks.

Towards the end of the year, a group of Croats were arrested and sentenced in Jan. 1933. Among them: Franjo Furlan to 7 years, Stjepan Tomljenovic 7 years, Sime Balen to 4 years, Nikola Busljeta to 2 years, Mile Sikic 6 months, Antun Balen freed, and Jakov Kubretovic freed.

Five Croats killed on the border to Italy and to Hungary.

Towards the end of the year, 121 people (mostly peasants from Prijedor region) brought to trial in Banja Luka.


1932

Feb. 18 Ive Dusevic (20 years old man from Ljubac/Zadar) killed by Chetniks.

Feb. 20 A peasant in Bosanski Brod killed by gendarmes.

March Blaz Savic (peasant in Benkovac region) deprived of any assistance because of his nationality and political beliefs- died of hunger.

Mara Troskat (a woman in Banjevac/Benkovac) deprived of any assistance because of her nationality and political beliefs - died of hunger.

Nikola Zrilic (Sopoti/Benkovac) deprived of job and social assistance because of his nationality and political stands - died of hunger.

Mar. 4 Many peasants from Lisani/Tinja arrested and held in jail for a long time while their children had no food.

Mar. 6 Students at the University in Zagreb display 3 Croatian flags; many of them arrested and maltreated. Branko Buzjak (student in Zagreb) seriously wounded by police.

Mar. 25 ? Aljinovic (truck driver in Ston/Peljesac) killed by Chetniks

April 4 The Government led by General Petar Zivkovic, known for his harsh rule, forced to resign. Hops were high that the new Government would be less oppressive, but such hopes did not materialize.

April 24 About 200 peasants expressed their disatisfaction by marching to the city of Ludbreg. March crushed by gendarmes, leaders arrested and punished.

Apr. 30 Jakov Peraic (peasant in Polaca/Zadar) killed and robbed by a Serb border guard.

May A large number of people maletreated, beaten, arrested or punished by other means in Suska/Rijeka, Bjelovar, Ogulin and other places.

May 12-14 About 600 peasants peacefully demonstrated demanding removal of the local administration in Kosinj/Lika. Gendarmes crushed the protest in blood.

May 15 Gendarmes crushed spontaneous political demonstrations in Senj. Many people were injured, arrested, and punished.

May 26 Gendarmes used a brutal force to crash demonstrations in Split. A large number of people arrested and maltreated.

June Tomislav Corak (peasant from Brdari/Sanski Most) killed by gendarmes.

Ivan Eres (peasant) killed by gendarmes near Hungarian border.

June 7 An attempt to assassinated Dr. Mile Budak, a well known Croatian writer, takes place in Zagreb.

June 14 Attempted murder of two men in Zagreb by members of Young Yugoslavia.

June 20 Commemorations for the Croatian victims shot in Belgrade parliament in June 1928. Arrests, beatings, and shootings by gendarmes take place in many parts of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Secretary of HSS in Bosanski Brod arrested. Gendarmes open fire on the crowd gathered in front of the local jail.Twenty people wounded and many more arrested.

Stjepan Matkovic (Bosanski Brod) killed by gendarmes. A peasant (Bosanski Brod) killed by gendarmes. A peasant woman (Bosanski Brod) killed by gendarmes.

June 20-21 A large number of peasants from Draganic/Karlovac arrested and maltreated.

June 29Gendarmes opened fire on a Catholic religious procession in Stubica/Zagorje. One man and one woman were killed. Numerous people wounded. Many were maltreated and jailed after the event.

July Ivan Kajda and Pavao Lukac (peasants from Virovitica) killed by gendarmes. Aug. Two peasants in Donja Stubica/Zagorje killed by gendarmes.

Aug. 16 Gendarmes attacked the village of Braslovlje/Samobora. A few peasants were killed and several wounded.

Sept. After the “Lika Rebellion” many Croatians jailed and most of them, after being beaten and tortured, where released. Twelve of them taken to Glavnjaca jail near Belgrade where they were maltreated and spent 9 months before they were tried. Andrija Artukovic, Marko Dosen, Josip Tomljenovic, Ivan Saric, and Nikola Oreskovic escaped from the country.

“A few dead and several wounded peasants” (in Oroslavlje/Zagreb region). Gendarmes used violence because Croatian flag was hoisted.

Pasko Kaliterna (merchant in Split) and Fabijan Plazinic (Split) jailed, tried in Belgrade, and freed on March 14, 1933.

Sept. 14 Stipe Devcic (peasant in Jadovno, Lika) killed by gendarmes.

Sept. 21 Djuro Kemfelja (peasant from Stubica Gornja) jailed and sentenced to 18 months in Belgrade on March 14, 1933.

Petar Posaric jailed and sentenced to 8 months in Belgrade on March 14, 1933.

Oct. Viktor Kosutic jailed; sentenced to 10 months in Belgrade on March 14, 1933.

? Pecnikar (railroad official in Zagreb) died as a consequence of police tortures.

Oct. 5 Dr. Ivan Pernar (leading Croat politician) jailed and sentenced on March 14, 1933 to 1 year of jail term.

Oct. 17 Dr. Vladko Macek, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, arrested on account of an interview printed in an English newspaper.

Nov. Luka Devcic (peasant from Lika) died in jail under gendarmes’ torture.

Nov. 20-28 Three peasants from Nin county killed by gendarmes.

Dec. ? Frkovic (craftsman in Benkovac) died under gendarmes’ torture. Sime Grgic (Nin) died in jail under gendarmes’ torture.

Mile Kordun (peasnat from Mumici/Nin) killed by gendarmes.

? Misura (tavern owner in Benkovac) died as a consequence of gendarmes’ tortures.

Dec. 5 “About 100 students and city people” arrested and tortured because of an explosion that took place in Zagreb on Dec. 1, 1932. Dec. 9 Miro Perkovic (peasant from Ljubac/Nin) killed by gendarmes.


1933

98 people were tried for verbal “insult of the king’s name” in the regions of Petrinja, Bjelovar, Zagreb, Ogulin, and Varazdin alone.

“At the beginning of the year,” 8 people were jailed from 10 to 14 days in Podravina.

Ivan Borac (peasant from Razanci/Zemunik) mortally wounded by a Chetnik in front of the church right after the church service.

Ante Dobrila (post-office clerk in Senj) sentenceed to 14 years.

Marko Dosen (merchant from Lika) escaped from the country because of persecutions. His family was also persecuted and their business license suspended in May of 1933.

Sime Dusevic (peasant from Asin near Nin) killed by gendarmes Milivoj Cumic. He also killed P. Grgic and was decorated with the “Medal of St. Sava” for special merits.

Ivan Gabaj (peasant from Hlebine) is arrested, severely tortured and then shot to death by gendarmes.

Franjo Mraz (peasant from Hlebine) tortured and killed by gendarmes.

Pavle Perkovic (peasant from Perkovici near Sl. Brod) killed by Chetnik Rusic.

? Rasic (peasant from the region of Sl. Brod) killed at a public meeting by Chetniks.

? Rupcic (from Senj) sentenced to 3 years of jail.

Vladimir Secko (merchant’s helper in Senj) sentenced to 18 years of jail.

About 600 large animals were confiscated by gendarmes and 48 houses and barns were torched in northern Dalmatia and Lika, especially in Podgorje and Devcici.

? Stojilovic (peasant from Oreskovica) killed on the day of local elections by Zivot Radivojevic. Drago Vlahovic (clerk in Senj) sentenced to 8 years of jail.

Blaz Vukutin (peasant from Pakostani) died because of tortures suffered in jail.

Jan. 60 peasants from Djelkovac, Koprivnica, and other villages in the area were led barefoot to Prlog jail where they were maltreated and tortured.

The following peasants were jailed and gravely tortured: Antun Babat, ? Dretar, Josip Havajic (Tortured to the point of death. Last minute medical intervention kept him alive.), Josip Jurasin, Franjo Makar, ? Petkovic, ? Stancin, Pavao Turek, and Ignac Zlatar. Sandor Trajber killed by gendarmes near Donja Lendava.

Jan 21 Dr. Valdko Macek (Leader of the Croatian Peasant Party/HSS) jailed. Charges filed against him in March. He is transferred to state security jail in Belgrade. Sentenced to 3 years of jail term on April 29, 1933.

Feb. Vilko Begic jailed.

Vladimir Bogovic (clerk in Karlovac) commited suicide because of persecutions.

Feb. 15 Josip Silobrcic (pharmacist in Biograd near Zadar) jailed and tortured.

40 peasants from the region of Sibenik arrested and taken to the city. All accused of anti-state activities. After 185 days of solitary confinement, Silobrcic and 10 others were taken to Belgrade and declared innocent on December 20, 1933 because the charges were brought against them “arbitrarily.”

Mar. 11 Antun Ivanov (peasant from Preko/Zadar) tortured to death while in jail.

Mar. 14 Cvjetko Nizic (from Preko/Zadar) tortured to death while in jail.

April Ruzica Knezevic (peasant woman from Perusic) died because of the beatings she suffered at the hands of gendarmes.

April 18 A group of peasants from Recice were taken to Karlovac jail and tortured. One of them, Andrija Pavlic suffered terrible tortures.

April 24 Gendarmes used force to suppress students’ demonstrations in Zagreb.

April 29 Gendarmes used force to stop student demonstrations in Zagreb. May About 200 students in Zagreb jailed and terrorized for displaying Croatian flag.

Josip Kostelac (student in Zagreb) jailed and greatly tortured. Sentenced in December 1933.

? Bekavac (peasant from Prolozac/Benkovac) killed by a Serb member of the Sokol organization.

Sime Dijan (Lika) sentenced to 6 months because he did not report suspected nationalists to gendarmes.

Petar Grgic (Murvice/Zadar) killed by gendarme Milivoj Cumica.

Andrija Nadnicic (Lika) sentenced to life imprisonment.

Five others tried with Nadnicic received sentences from 3 to 8 years.

May 20 The following peasants and former HSS parliamentary representatives from the region of Garasnica were jailed: Tomo Madjeric, Misko Racan, TomoVojkovic, At the same time, many peasants from the region were terrorized by gendarmes and taken to Zagreb prison in order to reveal a presumed “great plot” against the state.

July A woman killed in an attack on a Catholic religious procession in Split.

More than 50 Croats accused of belonging to Ustasha movement were tried in three groups in Lika. Among them the following were sentenced: Josip Cacic to life imprisonment, Stjepan Mabasa to life imprisonment, Milan Silhovic 10 months, and others in the group received jail terms from 6 to 15 years.

July 10 After spending 9 months in the notorious Glavnjaca jail near Belgrade, the following Croats were sentenced: Jure Rukavina (forcefully retired officer) condemned to death. Tortured so much that he had to be carried on a stretcher to the court. It was expected that he would succumb to the tortures and die, the king commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. After the king’s assassination the sentence was commuted to 20 years. Jerko Sudar to “eternal servitude” (after king’s assassination the sentence was commuted to 20 years). Leopold Super (peasant from Brusani) to 20 years. Ivan Abramovic (a young craftsman) to 15 years. Jure Gazic to 15 years. Antun Super (shoemaker from Brusani) to 15 years. Josip Baric (peasant from Brusani) to 12 years. Josip Vukic (merchant’s helper from Tribalj/Crikvenica) 10 years. Ivan Rukavina (peasant from Pazariste Donje) to 3 years. Dane Babic (peasant from Brusani) to 9 months. Josip Super (from Brusani) freed. Pavao Baric (peasant from Brusani) freed. A week later, the third group of suspected “Ustashe” was tried in Lika.

July 14 J. Predavec murdered.

July 24 Mirko Neudorfer (former gov. minister and HSS representative) murdered at Ladislavac/Zlatara.

Aug. Augustin Franic (peasant from Sukosani/Dalmatia) killed by Chetniks.

Sept. 9 Ivo dr. Pilar (59 year old well known intellectual and opponent of the regime) officially committed suicide but it is believed that he was murdered.

Sept. 27-28 A large number of students in Zagreb jailed and/or terrorized.

Oct. A terrorizing expedition into the village of Vinice and the surrounding area takes place. This resulted into: Josip Krobot (peasant from Gornje Ladanje/Varazdin) killed. A few hundreds of peasants severely beaten and terrorized.

Dec. 1 Post-office clerk (Selska cesta) killed for singing Croatian patriotic songs.

Dec. 16 King Aleksander in Zagreb. Failed plot to assassinate him discovered.

Dec. Massive arrests (more than 1000 people) and maltreatments in Zagreb. Many of them highschool students. Others expelled from the city.


1934

“Many peasants” arrested in Koprivnica region. Among them the following were sentenced to life inprisonment, later commuted to 15 years: ? Horvatinovic (from Gola), ? Novak (from Gola), ? Posezi (from Gola), ? Suboticanec (from Gola), Janko Varga (from Novacka Gola), ? Pavlic (from Djelkovac), ? Petak (from Djelkovac), ? Sabol (from Djelkovac), ? Vuljak 1 (from Djelkovac), ? Vuljak 2 (from Djelkovac), ? Vuljak 3 (from Djelkovac), ? Sijak (from Grbasevac), and ? Vutuc (from Grbasevac).

“About 100 peasants, workers and students” in Zagreb arrested and maltreated. About 20 people severely tortured.

Ivan Saric (peasant from Zemunik) beaten so badly by gendarmes that he died of the injuries received.

Jan. 11 Ivan Varga (peasant from Dubrave/Medjimurje) killed by gendarmes. In July 1934, his son received a bill to pay 13.15 dinars for the five bullets by which his father was killed.

Mar. 13 Trial of eight Croats begins in Belgrade. They are sentenced on March 21, 1934: Stjepan Pizeta (peasant from Gornje Ladanje/Varazdin) condemned to death. Franjo Zrinski (peasant from Gornje Ladanje/Varazdin) condemmned to death. Tomo Kelemen (mason from Gornje Ladanje/Varazdin) “perpetual servitude.” Mijo Kalaman 1 (mason from Gornje Ladanje/ Varazdina) to 1 year. Mijo Kelemen 2 (peasant from Gornje Ladanje/ Varazdina) to 1 year. Marko Krobot (peasant from Gornje Ladanje/Varazdin) to 5 months. Josip Petkovic freed. Milja Brodar (woman) freed.

Mar. 29 Josip Begovic (student in Zagreb) condemned to death by hanging. Petar Oreb (worker from Vela Luka/Korcula) condemned to death by hanging. Hung on May 12, 1934. Antun Podgorelec (masonary apprentice from Suhopolje/Vinkovci) condemned to death by hanging; later commuted to life. After spending three months in jail where they were tortured, a group of eighteen people were sentenced: Nikola Murkovic (lawyer from Gospic) to 2 years, Ante Vlajnic (merchant in Perusic) to 20 months, Martin, Dosen (Licki Osik) to 12 months, Dr. Fran Binicki (pastor in Licki Osik) to 10 months, Mile Butkovic (merchant from Perusic) to 10 months, Nikola Kolacevic (merchant from Kaniza) to 8 months, Mate Zalovic (peasant from village of Vuksice) jailed eight months, Nada Kolacevic (housewife from Gospic) to 6 months, Nikola Polic (pastor in Gospic) to 6 month, Andrija, Brkljacic (Gospic) to 5 months, Ante Brkljacic (Gospic) to 5 months, Mate, Brkljacic (peasant from Kaniza) to 5 months, Josip Matijevic (student from Kaniza) to 5 months, Nikola Matijevic (student) to 5 months, Ivan Stilinovic (peasant from Gopsic) to 4 moths, Marko Smolcic (student under age from Karlobag) sent to a home for delinquent youth, Ivica Murkovic (a retired military officer from Gospic) to ?, and Mime Rosandic (forestry engineer from Gospic) freed but kicked out from work.

Mar. 30 Mato Keselic - (peasant) ambushed and killed by gendarmes near Vrpolje.

Apr. Villagers in Sv. Kriz (Krapina) openly protested against terror of the local gendarmes. Repraisals followed and over 50 villagers were jailed and maltreted.

Apr. 12 About 100 Zagreb Croats arrested and maltreated.

Apr. 20 Two peasants in the village of Lanusa near the Italian border killed.

May 30 Trial of eight Croats began. They were sentenced on June 4, 1934: ? Zindric was aquited. Josip Katusic (permanent residence in the U.S.A.) to death. Ivan Barakovic (civil servant in Osijek) to 15 years of prison. Others received received from 6 month to 10 years jail terms, including Stjepan Crnicki (civil servant in Zagreb).

Aug. Valentin Rosulja - (peasant) killed by Chetnik brothers: Jovan, Milan and Nikola Djurcic.

Josip Sabov - killed by chetniks in Horgac, Backa.

Aug. 1 Ivan Kovacevic - (peasant) killed in Otocko near Bosanski Brod.

Sept. Four political trials: Two people condemnd to death, five received life sentences, and others received sentences from one to 15 years.

Ivan Lucic - (worker) died in Susak(Rijeka) jail while being tortured.

Sept. 11 The following were sentenced in Zagreb from 10 to 24 months of prison terms because of an “anti-state” leaflet: Vinko Begic, Juraj Horvat,Andrija Hrsak, Ljudevit Ivekovic, Dr. Ivan Pernar - lawyer (30 months), Andrija Raspor, Karlo Sejkot, Lenka Stimac (woman),

Sept. 20 The following were sentenced: Stjepan Sever (peasant from Podravina) to 12 years. Ivan Kraljic (people’s representative from Podravina till Jan. 6, 1929) to 8 years. Stjepan Prvcic (peasant from Podravina) to 8 years. Blaz Badalec (peasant from Podravina) to 6 years. Ivan Glavak (peasant from Podravina) to 3 years. Marija Glavak (peasant woman from Podravina) to 3 years. Ivan Ostriz to (peasant from Podravina) 2 years. Ivan Horvatinovic (peasant from Podravina) to 2 years. Marija Badalec (peasant from Podravina) to 1 year.

Oct. 9 King Aleksandar assassinated in Marseilles.


1935

From January 1935 to January 1936, 96 people were killed by gendarme forces.

Members of the “Catholic action” maltreated throughout Croatia just because they belonged to a Catholic organization.

A number of the members of the Catholic organization “Zrinski” in Djurdjevac were arrested. They were severely beaten in Pitomaca, on the way to prison, and again while investigated in jail. Teenage boys in the village of Djurdjevac had their hands beaten by gendarmes so hard that they were disabled for a lengthy period.

A number of villagers were hid in the nearby woods out of fear of the gendarmes and they were afraid to come back home. The whole village lived in fear.

A number of peasants beaten up by gendarmes in Mala Erpenja, the region of Krapinske Toplice. Among them were: Stjepan August, Florijan Belin (60 years old), Makso Golubic, Rudolf Golubic, Slavko Golubic, Juraj Juranic, Makso Juranic, Mirko Juranic, Andro Kordej,Franjo Kos (50 years old), Janko Mihel (20 years old), Josip Mihel (70 years old), Vilim Mihel (40 years old), Franjo Rusek (35 years old),Otokar Sostaric, Viktor Sostaric (merchant), Vjekoslav Stengl (25 years old), Makso Svecnjak, and Stjepan Svecnjak.

A “multitude of peasants” beaten up by gendarmes in Zabok. Among them: ? Sepec (beaten by five gendarmes while plowing his land), Marko Bivol, and Ivan Borovcak.

Peaceful peasants terrorized by gendarmes in Vojni Kriz near Cazma. Among the most severely beaten were: Franjo Ciglencki, Franjo Krivacic, and Danijel Magdic.

14 peasants beaten up by gendarmes in Sesvete near Ludbreg.

In Bizovac (Valpovo) gendarme supervisor Vasilije Dinic, arbitrarily arrested Stjepan Kis and beat him severely while in jail. The same officer beat Andrija Perosevic, who ended up in the hospital because of the severe beating.

In Adolfovac near Osijek workers, Luka Vukovic, Antun Gurdel, and Milan Grgic, were arrested, and beaten to unconsciousness. Vukovic’s teeth knocked out; had to be taken to Osijek hospital; Grgic’s breast bone was broken. From the local gendarme station they were dragged to Osijek prison and beaten severely.

Janko Simatic (peasant from Adolfovac) severely beaten by gendarmes.

Ivan Krelo (peasant from Kravice near Osijek) on the way home from work arrested, taken to gendarme station, and severely beaten. As a consequence he lost hearing on one ear.

Ilija Kereman and Josip Gorzan (peasants from Laslovo) severely beaten by gendarmes.

20 peasants beaten up by gendarmes in Korodje near Osijek. The most severely beaten were: Tobi Arpadz, Marko Mihalj, Mihalj Miskolic, Danijel Pozar, Feri Sabo, and Janos Sosaj.

200 people from Zitnik and Klanac/Lika walked to Gospic to protest the stealing of voting registration lists. They were ambushed by gendarmes using military rifles. Bozo Markovic (76 years old) was first seriously wounded and then a gendarme used a bayonet to finish him off. Martin Starcevic (38 years) was also killed; first shot and then his skull was smashed by a gendarme. Joso Lulic (58 years) was seriously wounded. Stipe Markovic (36 years) was hit by four shots in the back. Also were wounded: Nikola Milinkovic ( 28 years), Ivan Snjaric (40 years), Ivan Zupan (30 years), and 28 other people.

Gendarmes attacked peasants in the village of Dobranje near Metkovic, maltreated them and killed Ivan Devija.

Group of peasants returning from Starigrad (island of Hvar) to the village of Vrbanj were attacked by gendarmes and severely beaten. A day after, gendarmes beat up 39 villagers.

Rev. Blaz Tomljenovic (pastor in Smiljan/Lika) sentenced to pay 500 dinars because of a Sunday sermon.

Rev. Ivan Ilijic (pastor in Dubasnica/Krk) sentenced to pay 500 dinars for having another well known priest from nearby Krk, Rev. Milan Defar, help him during the Easter holidays. He is charged with sheltering an “unknown person”!

Rev. Milan Defar (priest from Krk) arrested on false charges and later banned from teaching catechism in the local highs chool.

Rev. Janko Medved (priest in Novalja/Pag) chained and taken by boat to the town of Rob, publically humiliated, and sentenced to 8 days jail term.

Rev. Ivan Condic (pastor in Rascani/ Imotski) arrested while in Sinj, led to Zagvozd. While there, the local gendarme commander, Ilija Gajic, cursed his “Catholic God,” called him swine, criminal, and other names, and knocked him to the floor and maltreated him physically over two hours. A day after, Condic was sentenced to 12 days of jail and to pay a 1000 dinars fine.

? Pavlinovic (a merchant from Imotski region) arrested together with Rev. Ivan Condic, maltreated by gendarme commander in Zagvozd and sentenced to 12 days of jail and a 1000 dinars fine.

Gendarmes killed “several people” and injured many others in Primosten near Sibenik.

Feb. 19-20 Gendarmes killed 15 and injureed many Croatian peasants in Sibinj and Slavonski Brod.

May 4 Msgr. Ivan Mrakovcic, chancellor of the Krk diocese, arrested. In order to humiliate him, he is led through town by a group of gendarmes as the worset criminal.

May 5 General elections held.

In the village of Vid, near Metkovic, gendarmes maltreated peasants including children on election day, and positioned two machine guns in the village threatening the population.

On election day, Rev. Mate Rahelic, pastor in Hreljina, arrested at 11 P.M., taken to Susak/Rijeka jail, and held without being charged.

May 11 Franjo Sostaric (peasant from Selnice/Zlatar) shot and killed by gendarmes.

May 19 Gendarmes opened fire on a crowd of local peasants in Kravarsko near Zagreb after a Church celebration. As a result: Djuro Virek and Antonija Jambris (woman) were killed, and Franjo Kanceljak, Stjepan Cekovic, and Franjo Virek (Djuro’s son) were seriously wounded. A number of other peasants were injured.

June 23 Chetniks attack Croatian guests in a well-known restaurant in Zagreb.

Aug. 23 After 11 months of imprisonment and torture, trieal of 37 Croats started in Sarajevo. They were: Antun Alaupovic, Ivan Brcic, Jelisaveta Car (woman), Josip Car, Mate Coric, Stefica Erbic (woman), Tugomir Gelic (Franciscan priest), Mijo Grgic, Antun Hladnik, Leopoldina Hladnik (woman), Marija Hladnik (woman), Tereza Hladnik (woman), Nikola Jarak, Dragutin Juric, Vjekoslav Juric, Vjekoslava Juric (woman), Ante Kacic, Franjo Kolumbic, Augustina Korac (woman), Filip Korac, Miron Kozinovic (Franciscan priest), Blaz Lorkovic,Ela Lorkovic (woman), Josip Milinkovic, Ana Pecek (woman), Emil Pecek, Franjo Pecek, Rafo Prusina (Franciscan priest), Petar Puljic, Ana Sef (woman), Donko Surjan, Petar Surjan, Augustin Tomic (Franciscan priest), Ivanka Trampus (woman), Augustina Ungerman (woman), Franjo Ungerman, and Jozefina Ungerman (woman). Sentences were given on September 17, 1995.

Dec. 11 A few gendarmes were forcfully entering many houses in the village of Djurdjanci/Djakovo and empting them of all posseasions. The official excuse was tax collection. After the peasnts’ resitence to this terror, over 20 more policmen arived at 2:00 A.M. next morning and a large number of peasnats were taken to the local gendarme station. Half-naked, cold, and hungry they were severly beaten and maltreated for a few days. Among other tortures, they were forced to hit each other. Even those who came to village as visitors were beaten and arrested. Men from the village that were not arrested were in hiding in the woods for days. The real cause of the terror: some of the villagers participated in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Croatian anthem in Djakovo on December 8, 1935.

The leading gendarme torturer was Avdo Kujundzic (stationed in Djakovo) and the local acuser was an ill-reputed Chetnik Andrija Separac.

Among the arrested and/or tortured were: Adam Begovic, Anka Begovic (maltreated) (woman), Antun Begovic, Bozo Bosnjakoic, Ana Bosnjakovic (woman on the run), Ilija Bosnjakovic (10 year olf boy), Ivan Bosnjakovic, Marko Carevic, Andrija Djakovic, Pavao Kovacevic,Andro Kusic, Nikola Lett (merchant), Mijo Lett (merchant), Pero Lovrenovic, Ivo Majanovic (the village elder), Ivo Majanovic, Damjan Marinovic, Kuzman Marinovic, Franjo Merc, Fabo Nikolic, Ivan Perkovic, Martin Prokopec (visiting the village), Pero Salic, Mate Saric, Pavo Saric, Pero Saric, Martin Sners (old man), Manda Spanjovic (attempt of rape) (woman), Marko Stojkovic (53 year old; visiting the village), Stipe Trepsic, and Marko Vrtaric.

ADDITIONAL PARTIAL LIST OF CROATS WHO WERE IMPRISONED DURING MONARCHIST YUGOSLAVIA.

Asancaic, Nikola (merchant from Gospic) Bacic, ? (shoemaker from Senj) Bakovic, Pero (student in Zagreb) Balan, Sime (student from Jablanac) Baradic, Jako (peasant from Banjevci/Benkovca) Bedekovic, Vjekoslav (merchant’s helper in Gospic) Begovic, Vaso (restaurant owner in Begovici) Bernobic, Pavle (lawyer in Virovitica) Bicanic, Rudolf (lawyer in Zagreb) Biljan, Marijan (sailor from Kuklica/Preko) Biljan, Tomo (type-setter in Kosinj) Bizik, Mijo (merchant’s helper in Koprivnica) Bosnjakovic, Marija (peasant from Andijevci) (woman) Bozjak, Mate (peasant from Kraljev Vir) Bradic, Ante (peasant from Starigrad) Brcko, Franjo (peasant from Kraljev Vir) Brkljacic, Zivo (peasant from Kaniza) Budak, Ante (student in Zagreb) Budrovac, Antun (tailor in Budrovici) Bulat, Krizan (peasant from Banjevci/Benkovac) Busljeta, Nikola (worker from Starigrad) Buterin, Sime (peasant from Starigrad) Buterin, Vicko (restaurant owner from Starigrad) Butorac, Ivan (forest guard from Pazariste Donje) Butorac, Zorka (secretary from Senj) (woman) Cacic, Ivan (peasant from Klanc) Cacic, Josip (state employee from Gospic) Cacic, Martin (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Cacic, Nikola (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Cacic, Nikola Jr. (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Cacic, Vice (shoemaker from Buzina) Carevic, Franjo (office clerk from Djakovo) Cerovski, Bozo (office clerk from Zagreb) Cilovic, Djuka (electritian from Zagreb) Cudina, Marko (peasant from Pridraga) Dasovic, Stipe Peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Davidovski, Dragan (from Zagreb) Devcic, Dragica (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) (woman) Devcic, Ivan 1 (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Ivan 2 (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Ivan (called Jovo) (peasant from Likovo Sugarje) Devcic, Manda (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) (woman) Devcic, Marko (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Martin (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Nikola ((peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Nikolica (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Pavao I. (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Pavao S. (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Devcic, Zorka (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) (woman) Dian, Drago (peasant from Sukosani) Dobrila, Ante (post-office clerk from Senj) Dosen, Ante (peasant from Rizvanusa) Dosen, Ivica (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Dosen, Jadre (restaurant owner from Gosipic) Dosen, Lovro (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Dosen, Martin (peasant from Licki Osik) Dosen, Martin M. (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Dosen, Milka (peasant from Rizvanusa) (woman) Dosen, Misko (peasant from Rizvanusa) Dosen, Stipo (peasant from Rizvanusa) Drazic, Ante (peasant from Sukosani) Ersetic, Feliks (merchant’s helper from Vukovar) Faber, Stjepan (locksmith from Zagreb) Fehervari, Stjepan (bookstore clerk in Osijek) Ficke, Nijo (peasant from Imrovac) Filipovic, Ivan (tailor from Vinkovci) Fiocic, Franjo (worker from Gosipic) Francetic, N. (peasant from Licki Novi) Frkovic, Juraj (merchants helper from Gospic) Frkovic, Marko (harness-maker) Frkovic, Martin (harness-maker from Benkovo) Frkovic, Pero (peasant from Gospic) Frlen, Franjo (worker from Susak/Rijeka) Frlen, Senta (from Susak/Rijeka) (woman)? Furjan, Djuro (locksmith from Martinec/Cazma) Gajer, Mile (peasant from Udbine) Galovic, Josip (peasant from Desinec) Galovic, Mate (peasant from Perusic) Gasparovic, Josip (from Brod na Kupi) Gasparovic, Stjepan (mason’s helper from Crikvenica) Glavak, Ivo (peasant from Fercec) Glojnaric, Mirko (newsman??) Vidi Gmaz, Milan (peasant from Oroslavlje) Goric, Jure (peasant from Novigrad) Gradicek, Matija (merchant from Oroslavlje) Gradicek, Mijo (peasant from Oroslavlje) Gross, Aleksandar (cabinet-maker’shelper from Djakovo) Gruhek, Gabrijel (clerk from Zagreb) Grzan, Ivan (cabinet-maker from Pazariste Donje) Gutic, dr. Viktor (lawyer from Banja Luka) Gvozdic, Ivan (cabinet-maker from Soljani) Harapinac, Miso (peasant from Spisic/Bukovica) Hecimovic, Luka (lawyer from Perusic) Herceg, Antun (newsman from Zagreb) Horvat, Franjo (harness-maker from Zagreb) Horvat, Jurica (printer from Zagreb) Horvat, Vlado (printer from Zagreb) Horvatic, Vid (clerk from Zagreb) Hronic, Franjo (peasant from Trnik) Hronic, Mijo (peasant from Trnik) Hronic, Stjepan (peasant from Trnik) Ivanovic, Josip (peasant from Markovci) Jandric, Imbre (peasant from Trnik) Japundzic, Josip (clerk from Gospic) Jedvaj, Stjepan (restaurant owner from Bistra) Jelic, Ivan (clerk from Brezine) Jelic, Pasko (merchant’s helper from Knin) Jelkovic, Mijo (peasant from Recica) Juretic, Filip (peasant from Sibinj) Jurisic, Ivan (Peasant from Perusic) Jurisic, Ivan 2(Peasant from Perusic) Jut, Vjekoslav (shoemaker from Perusic) Kapovic, Mira (from Visi?) (woman) Karcic, dr. ? (lawyer from Ruma) Karlic, Stipe (peasant from Slatnik) Kartela, Andrija (peasant from Puticani) Katalinic, Vlado (student from Senj) Kirhmajer, Mile (barrel-maker from Djakovo) Klanac, Juko (peasant from Posedarje) Klemen, dr. Zeljko (lawyer from Osijek) Knez, Ferdo (clerk from Srijemska Mitrovica) Kolacevic, Ivan (bookshop owner from Gospic) Kozarcanin, Ivo (writer and poet from Zagreb) Kraljevic, Andrija (peasant from Banjevci/Benkovac) Kraljic, Ante (restaurant owner from Zagreb) Krekovic, Dane (peasant from Perusic) Kruhak, Mirko (shoemaker from Konjscina) Kugler, Bojan (clerk from Zagreb) Lamesic, dr. Marko (lawyer from Ruma) Lanec, Juliusk (locksmith’s helper from Senj) Lenac, Franjo (house-painter from Senj) Levacic, Mijo (peasant from Merhatovec) Levaic, Tomo (merchant from Sibenik) Ljevakovic, Ivan (policman from Lipik) Ljevakovic, Ivan (peasant from Lipik) Lucic, Kazimir (merchant from Slavonski Brod) Magus, Mato (restaurant owner from Senj) Malbasa, Stjepan (clerk from Dugopolje) Mandusic, Sime (worker from Rupe) Marinac, Antun (cabinet-maker from Pazariste Donje) Marinkovic, Marko (peasant from Banjevci/ Benkovac) Markovic, Ivan (peasant from Perusic) Markulin, Mara (peasant from Odra) (woman) Markulin, Petar (peasant from Odra) Markulin, Stjepan Jr. (Peasant from Odra) Martinovic, Josip (sailor from Kuklica) Martinovic, Tomo (peasant from Kuklica) Matijas, Josip (clerk from Trogir) Matonicki, Djuro (student from Virje) Menjaka, Ivan (peasant from Kosut) Micek, Ivan (worker from Batin) Micurin, Tomo (peasant from Trnik) Mihovilic, Ivan (truck-driver from Senj) Mikic, Jure (mechanic from Djakovo) Mikic, Simun (merchant from Djakovo) Miklauzic, Josip (worker from Zagreb) Miler, Adolf (peasant from Sirac/Daruvar) Milinkovic, Vinko (merchant from Gospic) Milkovic, Mijo (shoemaker from Drenovci Brodski) Mirkovic, N. (Student from Gospic) Miskulin, Mate (merchant from Gospic) Mokrovic, Franjo (from Zagreb) Muhar, Ivo (peasant from Klanac) Muhar, N. (Peasant from Pazariste Donje) Murkovic, Ivan (peasant from Gospic) Nadinic, Fudrija (peasant from Sukoisani) Nemec, Blaz (mason from Merhatovec) Nemerschmidt, Albin (upholster from Gospic) Niksic, Tomo (merchants helper from Gospic) Novak, Vinko (peasant from Novacka) Nozaric, Petar (shoemaker from Breznik) Oljica, Josip (peasant from Sukosani) Ozanic, Marko (waiter from Vrgin Most) Papac, Stjepan (printer from Krasno) Papista, Ivan (tailor from Zabok) Paricic, Roko (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pasaric, Pero (railroad clerk from Zagreb) Pavici, Roko (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Ivica (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Josip (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Lovro (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Marijan (sailor from Poljica) Pavicic, Martin (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Pavao (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Pavlica (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavicic, Vid (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Pavlic, Josip (peasant from Djelkovac) Perkovic, Pero (peasant from Brinje) Peter, Stjepan (carpenter from Djelkovac) Petrovic, Stjepan (merchant’s helper from Hlebine) Pill, Tomo (peasant from Ruma) Plese, Pavao (policeman from Ramljani) Pocrnic, Ivan (clerk from Perusic) Polegubic, Petar (peasant from Banjevci/ Benkovac) Polegubic, Tomo (peasant from Banjevci/ Benkovac) Poljak, Rok (peasant from Bistra) Prpic, Ivan (student from Senj) Prsa, Josip (post-office clerk from Oborovo Prvcic, Stjepan (peasant from Koprivnica) Pusic, Marija (house-maker from Zagreb) (woman) Radeljak, Stjepan (worker from Zagreb) Rajkovic, Nikola (clerk from Zagreb) Rancevic, N. (Court clerk from Senj) Reli, Franjo (barber from Osijek) Ribic, Ivan (sailor from Biograd) Rozman, Stjepan (peasant from Bistra) Rukavina, Juraj (retired officer from Perusic) Rupcic, Nikola (student from Licko Lesce) Ruskar, Ivan (merchant from Bernardovac) Rusko, Djuro (peasant from Gola) Sabic, Sime (mason from Sunja) Sabol, Stjepan (from Djelkovac) Saric, Karlo (peasant from Lukovo Sugarje) Saub, Ivan (merchant from Pakrac) Secke, Vlado (painter from Senj) Sepek, Franjo (butcher from Zagreb) Serzija, Marija (peasant from Banjevci/Benkovac) (woman) Sigecen, Misko (peasant from Martinec/Czama) Sijevic, Luka (peasant from Djakovo) Sikic, Mile Student from Jablanac) Siroki, Ivan (peasant from Novacka) Sjak, Rudolf (peasant from Grbasevac) Sjaus, Ivo (peasant from Tribalj) Sjaus, Mile (peasant from Tribalj) Skolic, Djuro (tailor from Zagreb) Skrlin, Josip (peasant from Bistra) Smolcic, Mato (peasant from Gospic) Smolic, Sime (peasant from Sukosani) Smolic, Slavo (peasant from Puticani) Sokac, Bartol (peasant from Stubica Donja) Sostaric, August (blacksmith from Zebovac) Spanic, Tom (peasant from Desinec) Spehanac, Ante (clerk from Karlovac) Starcevic, dr. Mile (professor from Zagreb) Starcevic, Ivan (peasant from Klanac) Starcevic, Josip (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Starcevic, M. (peasant from Klanac) Starcevic, Martin (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Starcevic, Mile (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Starcevic, N. (peasant from Pazariste Donje) Stilinovic, Milan (truck-driver from Kaniza) Stimac, Ivan (forest guardian from Perusic) Stimac, Lenka (peasant from Perusic) (woman) Stimac, Manda (peasant from Perusic) (woman) Strtan, Ivan (butcher from Zagreb) Subotinec, Babro (peasant from Novacka) Sucek, Djuro (peasant from Kraljev Vrh) Sucev, Valent (peasant from Kraljev Vrh) Sudar, Ljerko (peasant from Brusani) Suhan, Jakov (peasant from Knigora) Suletic, Grga (worker from Dubrovnik) Sultaj, Anka (secretary from Djakovo) (woman) Super, Dujo (peasant from Brusani) Svast, ? (clerk from Senj) Tomasic, Ivan (peasant from Djelkovac) Tomasic, Stjepan (peasant from Djelkovac) Tomljenovic, I. (from Novoselo) Tomljenovic, Ivan (student from Gospic) Tomljenovic, Stjepan (worker from Cavle) Tonkovic, Stjepan (peasant from Nebojane) Toret, Josip (merchant from Sisak) Troskat, Mate (peasant from Banjevci/Benkovac) Turk, Stjepan (peasant from Oroslavlje) Ujhari, Stjepan (worker from Sombor) Valic, Adam (merchant’s helpeer from Jelenje) Varga, Janko (peasant from Otocka) Vedric, Stjepan (peasant from Novacka) Vezmanovic, Stjepan (forest-guard from Busevac) Vidak, Sarlota (from Zagreb) Vlahovic, D. (proprietor from Senj) Vukic, Kuzman (sailor from Triblja) Vuljak, Antun (peasant from Djelkovac) Vuljak, Stjepan (peasant from Djelkovac) Vutuc, Rudolf (carpenter from Koprivnica) Zajec, Drago (truck-driver from Zagreb) Zalec, Djuro (peasant from Mokrice) Zarek, Jandre (peasant from Perusic) Zarek, Josip (harness-maker from Perusic) Zarek, Mile (peasant from Perusic) Zeleznik, Ivka (tailor from Zagreb) (woman) Zelnik, Ignac (from Nasice) Zignic, Ivan (tailor from Zabok) Zniderec, Mijo (mason from Cakovec)


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One of the most blatant terrorist acts of the Belgrade regime in Croatia took place in Senj on May 9, 1937. Gendarmes killed and wounded several young people just for displaying the Croatian flag and singing patriotic songs. The killed were: Katica Tonkovic (girl), Marko Smolcic, Franjo Jelaca, Nikola Bevandic, Tomo Niksic, and Petar Frkovic, and the wounded: Jakov Milkovic, Ante Dosen, Branko Milinkovic, Zlatko Vlahinic, Vladimir Nizija, and Mile Biljan. The above picture was taken during the funeral mass of the killed at St. John’s Church in Gospic.


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The picture on the right is a photocopy of the bill received by the son of Ivan Varga to pay 13.15 dinars for the five bullets by which his father was killed on January 11, 1934.

Željko Zidarić
9th-June-2012, 03:51 PM
American intellectuals organized by Roger N. Baldwin, Chairman of the International Committee for Political Prisoners, sent the following letter to the Yugoslav representative in Washington on November 24, 1933.

Dr. Leonide Pitamic,

Minister of Yugoslavia,

Washington, D.C.

Sir:

For some years past dispatches in the American and foreign press have indicated that political prisoners in Yugoslavia are suffering inhuman treatment. This committee has noted the reports and has on occasion intervened in behalf of some particular prisoner as have many associations and individuals throughout the world interested in checking persecution for political opinions and activities.

More recently, we have obtained documentary material form one of our associates, Louis Adamic, and American writer of Yugoslav birth, lately returned from a year’s stay in his native land as a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation. Mr. Adamic’s standing as a writer of integrity and accuracy is above question. We have substantiated to our satisfaction the genuineness of the material he has brought corroborating previous information.

In the light of these reports, and Mr. Adamic’s specific information, we desire to protest, through you, to your government against the whole system of political persecution which marks the regime in Yugoslavia today and particularly against the incredible tortures inflicted on political prisoners under that system. These reports involve authentically reported tortures at police headquarters in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Skoplye, Novi Sad and other cities, as well as in various state penitentiaries. They affect the various groups opposed to the policies of the present government: the Croat, Slovene, Moslem, and Macedonian nationalists; the Socialists, Agrarians, and Communists.

These reports make it evident beyond question that scores if not hundreds of these prisoners are beaten and tortured before being brought to trial. The records show about 120 known cases of persons either directly killed or so tortured that they died. Such cruel and revolting methods employed during the so-called examination of prisoners are described as sticking needles under prisoners’ fingernails, placing live coals between armpits and body, prolonged beating on the soles of the feet, driving sharp instruments into the heels and perpetrating outrages upon sexual organs. These methods are used in attempts to force confessions incriminating themselves and other men and women active in opposition movements.

But the tortures described are not confined to the period of preliminary examination. They continue after commitment to prison. Even those prisoners convicted of such trivial offenses as distributing opposition literature or belonging to opposition groups are systematically beaten and starved. Some are reliably reported as having been inoculated with disease germs, others have had iron bands clamped around their heads for months at a time. Conditions in the prisons are reported to be so inhuman that many prisoners must sleep on the bare floors of their unheated and wet cells. Against these unbearable conditions 248 men and women in the Sremska Mitrovica Prison are now said to be on a mass hunger strike.

Solitary confinement of political prisoners and for long periods of time is another method against which we direct our protest. A reliable report come to us that Dr. Yovanovitch, former professor at Belgrade University, a well know political economist and leader of the Yugoslav Peasant Movement, is, or until very recently, was for several months in solitary confinement. We are advised, too, that Dr. V. Machek, leader of Croat Peasant Party, in serious ill health, is incarcerated under unsanitary conditions which may lead to his death.

We learn, too, that scores of prisoners particularly among the intellectuals, are exiled to the malaria-infested regions of Macedonia where they are required to report to the local police every few hours day and night.

Your government must be aware that knowledge of brutalities such as these arouses the indignation of the civilized world. In the name of a section of the American public opposed to such severity against political opponents, we protest against the policies and methods of your government. So long as 2100 opponents remain in prison under conditions such as these they are a standing indictment of the claims of your government to recognition by the civilized world.

While we are aware that condition in prisons in our own country are not above reproach, that political persecutions sometimes take place here as elsewhere, we are just as quick to condemn them here. But of all the reports which have come to us in recent years these from Yugoslavia are among the most appalling and barbarous.

We are, Sir,

Very truly yours,

For the Committee: Roger N. Baldwin, Chairman.

Authorized Signatures William Allen White, Author, Editor-Publisher of Emporia (Kansas) Gazette

Theodore Dreiser, Novelist, Poet, Dramatist; New York

Arthur Garfield Hays, Author, Lawyer; New York

Oswald Garrison Villard, Editor, Author; New York

Mary Austin, Author; New Mexico

Sherwood Anderson, Novelist, Poet; New York

John Dos Passos, Novelist, Dramatist; New York

Norman Thomas, Author, Political and Civic Leader; New York

Harry Elmer Barnes, Historian, Publicist; New York

W. E. Woodward, Novelist, Biographer; New York

Burton Rascoe, Author, Critic; New York

Ernest Boyd, Author, Critic, Editor; New York

Kyle Crichton, Author, Editor; New York

Edmund Wilson, Author, Critic; New York

Upton Sinclair, Novelist, etc.; Los Angeles

Bruce Bliven, Author, Editor; New York

George Soule, Author, Editor; New York

Louis B. Boudin, Author, Historian, Lawyer; New York

Benjamin Stolberg, Author, Critic; New York

Mrs. Paxton Hibben, Author, widow of close personal friend of late King Peter of Yugoslavia

John Haynes Holmes, Minister, Publicist, Civic Leader; New York

Erskine Caldwell, Novelist; Maine

Horace Gregory, Poet, Critic; New York

Grace Lumpkin, Novelist; New York

Clifton Fadiman, Critic, Editor; New York

Richard L. Simon, Publisher; New York

Eliot White, Minister; New Jersey

Lenore G. Marshall, Editor; New York

Carleton Beals, Writer; New York

Newton Arvin, Critic, Professor; Northampton, Massachusetts

George Leighton, Author, Editor; New York

Carey McWilliams, Author, Critic, Lawyer; Los Angeles

V.F.Calverton, Author, Editor, Critic; New York

Alfred M. Bingham, Editor; New York

James Weldon Johnson, Author, Poet; Connecticut

Margaret Reese, Social Worker; New York

Nels Anderson, Sociologist; Columbia University

Edward J. Allen, Economist; Columbia University

Florence L. Voorhis, Librarian; Seth Low Jr. College

John M. Brewster, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College

Paul C. Clifford, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College

Matthew N. Chappell, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College




Einstein Accuses Yugoslavian Rulers in Savant’s Murder

The following article concerning the assassination of Dr. Milan Suffly appeared in the New York Times on May 6, 1931.

Charges the Slaying of Sufflay, Noted Croatian Leader, Was Inspired by Government. Links King to Terrorism

Protests With Heinrich Mann Virtually Lays Parliament Killing Monarch

Increase in Cruelty Seen

League for Rights of Man Is Urged to Take Action Against “Horrible Brutality” of Belgrade Regime.



Berlin, May 5.-Accusing the Yugoslav Government of the murder of a Croatian, Professor Milan Sufflay, who was struck down in the streets of Agram (Zagreb) on Feb. 18, Professor Albert Einstein and the novelist Heinrich Mann, the brother of Thomas Mann, have sent a joint letter to the international headquarters in Paris urging a protest against the “horrible brutality which is being practiced upon the Croatian people.” The letter also was signed by the German headquarters of the league.

The Paris headquarters, upon receipt of the communication, immediately undertook steps toward an effective protest to Belgrade.

”As the professor was walking home on the fatal day he was attacked from behind with an iron rod, according to our information, and felled,” the letter of protest reads. “On the next day, he died and he was buried on the twenty-second beside other Croatians.”

Professor Sufflay was noted for a long list of scientific books, the letter continues.

”Yet Agram newspapers were not allowed to report his activities, and the news of his death was suppressed,” the protest goes on. “Condolence telegrams were not delivered. The time of the funeral was not allowed to be made public and the raising of the mourning flag on the university was forbidden. The authorities went so far as to expel those school children who took part in the funeral and to remove wreaths which were bound with the Croatian national colors from the grave.

”The name of the murder was known. It was Nikola Jukitsh. His organization (Young Yugoslavia) likewise is known. It was even known that arrangements for the murder had been worked out on the night of the eleventh in the home of the military commandment of the city, General Beli Markowitsch, at a session in which members of the Young Yugoslavia organization, Brkitsh, Godler, Martschetz and the murderer Jukitsh, took part. Yet the Agram police officially stated the next day that the name of the murderer was not known.

Turning to the events leading up to the murder, Professor Einstein and the other signers charged that when the King visited the Croatian capital in January numerous leading Croats received letters, signed “For the King and Country,” in which their lives and those of their families were threatened if they uttered any protest while the King was there. Professor Sufflay received one of those letters, it is charged.

”The name of these terrorist organization was Young Yugoslavia, the protest continued. “The King, in an address to the organization, told how the Croatian representatives to the Parliament had been put out of the way at his request. An example of this was the shooting of a Croatian leader on the floor of the House on June 20, 1928.”

Following the King’s visit the murder of political and intellectual leaders of the Croatians was openly demanded in the government press, says the letter.

”The official organ, Nascha Sloga, in Suschak, on Feb.18 wrote,’Skulls will be spilt.’ The same evening Professor Sufflay was struck down,” the letter says.

In January the delegates to the Croatian National Assembly sent a memorandum to Geneva calling attention to the situation in Croatia.

”The facts show that the cruelty and the brutality practiced upon the Croatians only increases,” Professor Einstein’s letter says. “In view of this frightful situation, we urge the International League for the Rights of Man to do everything possible to suppress this unrestrained rule of might which prevails in Croatia.

”Murder as a political weapon must not be tolerated and political murderers must not be made national heroes. The league should muster all possible aid to protect this small, peaceful and highly civilized people.”

Sufflay a History Professor

Professor Milan Sufflay, who was murdered in Agram (Zagreb) on Feb.18, had been a Professor of History at Zagreb University for ten years. He had written many works on the history of Albania. In 1920, because of his connection with Croat extremists, he was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment for lese-majeste and high treason. On his release he resumed his political activities.

Protest against the Yugoslav dictatorship of King Alexander have been frequent since the murder of Professor Sufflay and the many “suicides” of Croats and Macedonians in the prisons of Belgrade and Zagreb.

Three Serbs were arrested in Vienna recently who were alleged to have been sent there on a murder mission with the knowledge of the Zagreb Chief of Police.

The bitter feeling in Yugoslavia has resulted in numerous bombings and assassinations.

When King Alexander proclaimed the dictatorship two years ago his chief problem was the deadlock caused by the refusal of Croatia to be dominated by a parliamentary government recruited largely from extreme Serbian sources.

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