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Communists Exploit Partisan Movement in Yugoslavia After the War


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#1 Tamino

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 06:02 AM

After the war, Communist Party assumed power and it's general secretary became a dictator of Yugoslavia. Communist terror had several serious consequences and opposition to communists was banned. 

 

In 1948, after Stalin accused Tito of being a nationalist and moving to the right. This events lead to a break with the Soviet Union. The Yugoslav communists, despite the break with Stalin, remained as hard line.

 

Besides other negative effects, communist terror had a consequence in forced expulsion of the ethnic Germans and exodus of majority of Italian minority in Dalmatia and Istria. 


Edited by Tamino, 05 January 2016 - 07:24 AM.

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#2 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:29 AM

There was no big difference between the ethnic cleansing of Germans and Italians, both were not bloodless,  but it had much more to do with "Balkan style politics" than with communism, we have seen some more of the same after Tito's death, Stalin was totally accurate in accusing Tito of nationalism, and it's also correct to call him a dictator, but he was probably "the lesser evil" and is revered by many as a great leader.

 

Tito seizing power was a foregone conclusion once the allies decided to back him over the controversial Mihailovic, that decision was sponsored by Stalin but the others went along.

 

Tension between Italy and Yugoslavia lasted well into the sixties with occasional incidents, there was a rather tight moment during the recent civil war when it was suggested to evacuate trapped troops (IIRC Croatian) though Trieste  as there are still some very bad memories there.   


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#3 Tamino

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:21 AM

Balkans itself is founded on ignorance, primitivism, lack of compassion and everything else negative in human nature. During the world war, brutality of Balkan murderers has surpassed everything imaginable. Compared to them Nazis look ridiculously amateurish and, perhaps, just Polish and Ukrainian guards in concentration camps were equal or worse. We both know them very well and I might despise them even more than you rigthfully do.  And yet, in 21th century, Balkan chauvinists are still proud of all their miserable habits and deeds. Recently, there was commemoration and a mass dedicated to one of the worst ethnical cleansers – Ante Pavelić, the head of puppet Croatian government during the world war. That sacrilege took place in a Catholic church under sponsorship of Croatian clerics.
 
If you observe ethnical maps of Balkans, and eastern Europe in general, at the beginning and at the end of 20 century, consequences are pretty clear. From mixed, rich multi ethnical regions it turned into several of 99+% ethnically clean areas. New democracies have completed the job of their predecessors – ethnical cleansing is now practically completed. 
 
My familly has partially roots at the Adriatic coast and I know how much have Istria and Dalmatia lost culturally by the exodus of Italians who were intelectual elite of these two Adriatic regions. I regret that exodus has happened at all.
 
What happened in Balkans has nothing to do with ideology - it is just grim "cultural" heritage.

Edited by Tamino, 05 January 2016 - 08:22 AM.

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#4 Sheldrake

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 09:16 AM

 

Balkans itself is founded on ignorance, primitivism, lack of compassion and everything else negative in human nature. During the world war, brutality of Balkan murderers has surpassed everything imaginable. Compared to them Nazis look ridiculously amateurish and, perhaps, just Polish and Ukrainian guards in concentration camps were equal or worse. We both know them very well and I might despise them even more than you rigthfully do.  And yet, in 21th century, Balkan chauvinists are still proud of all their miserable habits and deeds. Recently, there was commemoration and a mass dedicated to one of the worst ethnical cleansers – Ante Pavelić, the head of puppet Croatian government during the world war. That sacrilege took place in a Catholic church under sponsorship of Croatian clerics.
 
If you observe ethnical maps of Balkans, and eastern Europe in general, at the beginning and at the end of 20 century, consequences are pretty clear. From mixed, rich multi ethnical regions it turned into several of 99+% ethnically clean areas. New democracies have completed the job of their predecessors – ethnical cleansing is now practically completed. 
 
My familly has partially roots at the Adriatic coast and I know how much have Istria and Dalmatia lost culturally by the exodus of Italians who were intelectual elite of these two Adriatic regions. I regret that exodus has happened at all.
 
What happened in Balkans has nothing to do with ideology - it is just grim "cultural" heritage.

 

Tamino,

 

You raise some interesting issues and quite rightly lament the human impact of the creation of ethnically cleansed nation states in the Balkans your comments. However, these are sweeping statements condemning whole cultures in a way that appears to say more about your own cultural baggage than offering insight.   

 

I agree that the concept of the "Nation State" did not fit well in culturally mixed eastern Europe - or the middle east. These were the unintended consequences of the policy of self determination for nations championed by the USA in WW1 and the Atlantic Charter in  WW2. Western Europe is not immune to the cancer of social divisons on religious or ethnic lines, in e.g  Northern Ireland.

 

Arguably the biggest argument for the European Union is that  it has been the mechanism for diffusing these problems within Europe. EU citizen have the same rights to live anbd work regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, cultural heritage.



#5 Tamino

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 09:54 AM

... in a way that appears to say more about your own cultural baggage than offering insight...

Sheldrake,that's not me, just my »heritage« that doesn't really belong to me, but it is still there and I don't deny that. I would be glad to see also others looking back into their own »heritage« without rosy glasses. Then, we wold be able to deduce something from our past. Otherwise, dealing with the past has no purpose at all.


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#6 YugoslavPartisan

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:06 AM

Sheldrake,that's not me, just my »heritage« that doesn't really belong to me, but it is still there and I don't deny that. I would be glad to see also others looking back into their own »heritage« without rosy glasses. Then, we wold be able to deduce something from our past. Otherwise, dealing with the past has no purpose at all.

Totally agree with you.


“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ~ Epicurus


#7 lwd

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 01:12 PM

....

What happened in Balkans has nothing to do with ideology - it is just grim "cultural" heritage.

 

 

But that very "cultural heritage" has been significantly influenced by various ideologies and they have been incorporated into the conflicts to the point where it is very difficult to separate them.
 



#8 Tamino

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:34 PM

But that very "cultural heritage" has been significantly influenced by various ideologies and they have been incorporated into the conflicts to the point where it is very difficult to separate them.
 

In my view it is the opposite: first some cultural level had to exist in the first place and then it could be incorporated into almost any arbitrary ideology. Ideology just serves the purpose to articulate public sphere of the culture, to justify its consequences, to make them appear appealing, acceptable, conceivable or even desirable. In other words, to promote ideas, wrong or right into a norm for the majority of population.


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#9 lwd

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:40 PM

This is becoming a discussion of semantics but IMO a rather important one.  I view an ideology as a collection of beliefs or principles.  So the various religions would constitute ideologies as well as the simple belief that "we" are better then the "others".  That's got a cultural component as well.  As you note some use ideology as an excuse or a tool to control as well.  In essence though I see this as a chicken vs egg sort of thing.  Culture and ideology often (always?) go more or less hand in hand.



#10 Tamino

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 10:35 PM

Culture is much broader than politics, ideologies and propaganda - these former affect public sphere of society. Average and below average people are more likely affected by these apparent, often rude instruments of exercising power in any society. On personal level, however, people are often manipulated much deeper in more subtle way by clergy, different societies, education, personal experiences, enforcing traditional values etc. We can observe today how cultural and cleric manipulation may escalate into a conflict that endangers the whole world. ISIS is founded on subtle manipulation on personal, cultural, religious and emotional level. It is not ideology - these people fighting at the middle east are completely overwhelmed by dangerous culture and culture is difficult to defeat except by ...  


Edited by Tamino, 05 January 2016 - 10:40 PM.

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#11 Kai-Petri

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 03:49 PM

Tito killed all the "crazy ones " and kept peace. Is that good? Dob´r know, but afer he died the political idiots started the civil war which was expected. The UN went in, and everybody just laughed, they needed  NATO to stop the war. For instance the Sarajevo ice hockey rink and tv tower has just been shot to pieces or full oh holes because they did not think of anything else to do.

 

Ethnic cleansing? Yes. Why the houses with marks were saved in north Croatia. Why were old people hammered with nails to their barn doors in Northern Croatia? A joke?

 

The best joke ist yhjat Radovan Karadzic, who said he is only to be trusted, took the money away from his Serb country men through black market and got rich, that´s the king of your soul.

 

Muslim young women were sent to rape camps amd sent home pregmant, their father gave them a pistol.

 

Tamino. Are you sure nazi propaganda was a child program?

 

Or is there a darker side in you? A wish a to revnege instead of killing something else? I can sense it.  Pure Communism cannot do it. There were loads of rebel and robber groups while Germans were there and this could not move you a bit. Tito kept the country stable by destroying the extreme material but so does Putin.


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#12 bronk7

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 06:39 PM

''Their other major advantage, which became more apparent in later stages of War, was in the Partisans being founded on a socialist ideology rather than ethnicity. Therefore, they won support that crossed national lines, meaning they could expect at least some levels of support in almost any corner of the country, unlike other paramilitary formations limited to territories with Croat or Serb majority. This allowed their units to be more mobile and fill their ranks with a larger pool of potential recruits.''

 

this is from Yugo Partisan's wiki link....



#13 Kai-Petri

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:16 PM

I did read there were several groups there, Tito on one hand, and some robber gangs on the other. I guess you can never leave them out of the picture. We Finns had men who vanished from the army and hid in the forests and got help from families and also stole things/food etc. Wonder how many Germans had.


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#14 Tamino

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 01:07 PM

I did read there were several groups there, Tito on one hand, and some robber gangs on the other. I guess you can never leave them out of the picture. We Finns had men who vanished from the army and hid in the forests and got help from families and also stole things/food etc. Wonder how many Germans had.

Let me recall you that the Axis forces were supplied entirely by stealing from local population and the surplus was send to feed the Reich whilst the local civil population was starved to death. Tough times and much tougher, merciless aggressors.
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#15 bronk7

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 09:27 PM

the US helped the partisans, no?



#16 lwd

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 10:26 PM

How could the Axis forces be supplied entirely by stealing from locals?  Were they producing 88mm AA, HE, and AT rounds?



#17 bronk7

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 11:12 PM

How could the Axis forces be supplied entirely by stealing from locals?  Were they producing 88mm AA, HE, and AT rounds?

Tamino meant food supplies...correct?



#18 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 06:53 AM

Did the US help the partisans ? would require a pretty long answer, the short one is yes they helped "some" partisans, though I believe the support was more British than US.

 

There were a number of "bands" in Yugoslavia, with some actually fighting on the side of the invaders, and Tito initially was just one if the many, Mihailovic being the other "big one". Tito showed remarkable skill on uniting very different "cultural" groups towards the common goal of fighting the invaders and limiting inter band fighting.

 

Up to the decision by all the allies to back Tito and drop Mihailovic it was by no way a sure thing he would have come out as the dominant figure after the axis defeat, it's quite possible Yugoslavia would have had it's civil war in 1945 not 35 years later. To go back to the initial question stating the communist "exploited" the partisans post war is incorrect, the partisans, as they existed at war's end, were led by Tito and he had always been a communist, so they would be exploiting themselves.

 

Any attempt to describe the situation in Yugoslavia in a few lines is hopeless, initially there was a disbanding army that with some units deciding  to "go to the mountains" and continue the fight rather than turn in the weapons to the occupation forces. Then there were multiple ethnic groups and religious distinctions as well as ideological ones, and most of them gave birth to some sort of armed formation that were not very prone to collaborate with each other. There were also two different occupation forces (Italy and Germany),  with conflicting long term goals, and each was ethnically tied to significant local minorities, three major supporting allies (USSR, GB and USA) each with it's own agenda and initially supporting different local forces, and finally there was also a deposed king.

 

Just to make things more interesting the Germans also brought in Cossack troops, and that meant not just the soldiers but also their families that attempted to settle in the areas allocated to them,  and after the September armistice 1943 a very large number of Italian troops found themselves stranded in Yugoslavia with no way of going back home as the Germans controlled the roads.


Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 13 January 2016 - 06:54 AM.

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#19 Tamino

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:30 AM

Our view on this complex but tragic part of our common historical background are quite similar. But let me address this sentence from your previous post:

 

... To go back to the initial question stating the communist "exploited" the partisans post war is incorrect, the partisans, as they existed at war's end, were led by Tito and he had always been a communist, so they would be exploiting themselves.

....

Before the war communists were banned and really a marginal fraction of population has ever supported their ideas. At the beginning of the war there were 12.000 communists of which just 3. 000 survived the war. At the end of the war Peoples Deliberation Army had 800.000 soldiers who predominantly have never adopted communist ideology. They were ordinary old-fashioned people, peasants and workers who just wanted simply to go home and restore their lives and families from whatever has left after complete destruction of a country. How could they exploit themselves? Their victory was exploited by cunning Tito and his "Red Gang".


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#20 lwd

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 02:59 PM

IMO a very good summary of the complexities of the situation. If anything this part:

.... There were also two different occupation forces (Italy and Germany),  ...

Could be considered to be simplifying the actual situation given that parts of Yugoslavia were also occupied by Romania and Bulgaria.
 



#21 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 10:11 AM

Let me recall you that the Axis forces were supplied entirely by stealing from local population and the surplus was send to feed the Reich whilst the local civil population was starved to death. Tough times and much tougher, merciless aggressors.

 

The axis did that everywhere. Not a surprise from nazis.


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#22 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 10:48 AM

Just for the robbery part of nazis:

 

During WWII, the Germans assessed "occupation costs" against the countries they had conquered. Basically the German occupation administrations told the conquered countries each year how much they owed, and then the occupation administrations proceeded to collect it. To keep their own costs low (and to provide opportunities for corrupt personal enrichment), the German occupiers also speculated in the "black markets" of some of the conquered countries. This interesting report provides a great deal of information on the "occupation costs," the scale of the "black market" speculation, and currency rates in Nazi-occupied Europe during the 1940-1944 period. These activities later formed the basis for "Plunder and Spoiliation" war crimes charges against some of German administrators.

 

http://forum.axishis...pic.php?t=62936

 

http://www.nizkor.or...-05-39-06.shtml


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#23 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 10:09 AM

I would agree a lot of the rank and file were non political, but unless completely ingenuous, they knew what Tito's ideology was, but my post was mostly against the idea the communists took over the partisan movement post war, in 1945 they were already in control and had "removed" all internal opposition as that is the way they usually operated.

 

I'm a bit suspicious about "too exact" figures for illegal/underground organisations, it's not exactly as if the communists wanted to be counted. A 75% death rate in the pre-war cadre, if real,  is impressive, very few organisations would survive that.


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#24 Tamino

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 09:34 PM

I would agree a lot of the rank and file were non political, but unless completely ingenuous, they knew what Tito's ideology was, but my post was mostly against the idea the communists took over the partisan movement post war, in 1945 they were already in control and had "removed" all internal opposition as that is the way they usually operated...

I agree with this statement completely. Fundamental aim of comunists was to elliminate all oposition in order to establish dictatorship. This is something that existed even before the war has started. Communists are subversive by their definition and by their own ideology. Ellections after the war were just a farce - they rulled the country even before the end of the war. Hitler has stated very clearly subversive element in both Nazi and Communist ideology in his 1932 speech "Ich bin intollerant" In this regard Communists and Nazis are equal.

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#25 lwd

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:05 PM

Were they really a complete farce?  Wouldn't Tito have been elected in a free election as well?  In this regard I have sort of viewed him like Ho Chi Minh, a communist certainly but also a national hero who fought the invaders both intelligently and with dedication.  The same must have been true of a fair number of the lower ranked elected as well.  Considering at that point most of the people would have quite reasonably been interested in the peace the Communist promised (and delivered) how much rigging of the election(s) was required?






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