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INFO   :::  Press Release - PAGE 3 > Appeal to the International Community


Appeal to the International Community

Belgrade, July 2012.

Signatories of this appeal ask the embassies of the friendly countries to inform their government and general public about the ongoing, dramatic cultural involution in Serbia the far-reaching and adverse consequences of which affect Serbia’s society and its social conscience, as well as its relations with neighboring countries and the international community.

For more than twenty years the collaborationist Tchetnik movement has been morally and politically rehabilitated by official politics. The process will soon culminate in a judicial rehabilitation of the movement’s leader, Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic, tried for collaborationism in WWII and sentenced to death in July 1946.

The political program of the Tchetnik movement was creation of a Serb, ethnically homogenous state – the Greater Serbia – and elimination of „disloyal“national minorities. The partisan movement was its main stumbling bloc in the way of achieving these goals. Consequently, the Tchetnik movement closely cooperated with occupying forces despite having been declaratively formed to resist them. In 1943 Draza Mihailovic wrote, „My enemies are partisans, Ustashi, Muslims and Croats. Once I defeat them I will go for Italians and Germans.“

This resulted in many crimes by Tchetniks against civilians, especially in Sandzak and the region’s Bosniak population: these crimes had all the characteristics of genocide. Throughout Serbia Tchetniks committed crimes against civilians they suspected of assisting partisans. So on December 20, 1943 in the village of Vranic nearby Belgrade they slaughtered 67 people – old men, women and babies.

Till 1943 the Yugoslav Royal Government in exile in London had deluded the allies that Mihailovic’s Tchetniks fought against fascism. However, through their envoys the Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army the allies learned the truth. Today’s supporters of Tchetniks accuse „comrade“Churchill for this turn of the tide, labeling him a communist.

In September 1944, faced with ironclad proofs, King Peter called upon Tchetniks to place themselves under Marshall Tito’s command and join the People’s Liberation Army as the only anti-fascist movement in the country. Some obeyed, while the great majority retreated with Germans. Hidden out in mountains Draza Mihailovic and his closest associates continued fighting against a new Yugoslavia that derived from the anti-fascist struggle.

Trial of Draza Mihailovic was Yugoslavia’s international obligation under the Agreement on the Establishment of International Military Tribunal and UN General Assembly Resolution on Punishment of War Criminals. Court proceedings were open to the public and covered by numbers of domestic and foreign reporters. Draza Mihailovic was sentenced to death for the same crimes for which Marshall Petain in France, Musert in the Netherlands, Quisling in Norway and other fascist collaborators were executed: for high treason, collaborationism and crimes committed by the troops under his command.

Under the pretext of the necessity to break up with the communist legacy, invoking the Resolution 1481 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and claiming that Serbia could not accede European Union unless it rehabilitates Draza Mihailovic, Serbia’s political and intellectual elites begun rehabilitating the Tchetnik movement and its Greater Serbia program – all of which resulted in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia in 1991-95. War crimes committed in these wars, especially the Srebrenica genocide, are identical to Tchetnik crimes in WWII. Persons indicted and sentenced by ITCY such as Biljana Plavsic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Radovan Karadzic, Vojislav Seselj and others have proudly called themselves followers of Draza Mihailovic and the Tchetnik movement.
It was in the footsteps of this ideological pattern that Serbia’s political class launched judicial rehabilitation of the Tchetnik movement and Draza Mihailovic. In 2006 it passed a law on equal rights for Tchetniks and partisans, whereby proclaiming Tchetniks fighters against fascism. In 2011 it passed a law on rehabilitation providing rehabilitation of all persons sentenced after WWII on „political, religious, national or ideological“ grounds, regardless of whether or not they had committed crimes. This law also provides considerable damages, pensions, etc. for those who are rehabilitated.

Today judicial rehabilitation of Draza Mihailovic is on the agenda of the Higher Court in Belgrade.

Fueling an atmosphere of Tchetnik euphoria, relativization of fascism and anti-fascism, the growing animosity for other nations, cheers to Draza Mihailovic at sport stadiums, establishment of various extreme rightist organizations, denial of Srebrenica genocide and war crimes in 1991-95, and negation of Serbia’s responsibility for these wars are even more threatening than rehabilitation of Draza Mihailovic. The People’s Liberation War has been completely erased from collective memory. On the other hand, Serbia is overflowed with Tchetnik iconography, commemorations, monuments, songs, books and movies – all this testifies that the political class is after systematic indoctrination of masses with the Tchetnik ideology.

The public broadcasting service, Radio-Television of Serbia, prepares a 15-episode serial about the Tchetnik movement meant to present the heroic partisan struggle against fascism as a senseless interethnic war of „Serbs against Serbs. “ The serial will put across the message about the necessity for national unity in opposing all enemies of the Serb nation. At the recent commemoration to Draza Mihailovic in St. Sava church in Belgrade, Biljana Plavsic, who had served her time for the crimes committed in Bosnia, said, „I’ve always admired Draza Mihailovic and followed his example in the defense of Serbhood.“ Seven priests of the Serb Orthodox Church said prayers. Quoting ICTY indictee Vojislav Seselj, one of them messaged the West:

„We have assembled here to honor a great son of Serbia. Brothers and sisters, in the past twenty years we have witnessed the West’s demonization of the Serb nation. But, as another hero of ours now in The Hague said, ’You, the scum of the Earth, are not normal’.“

No doubt that this is what Serbia’s political class messages by rehabilitating the Tchetnik movement and Draza Mihailovic. And in doing this, it directs the Serb society towards xenophobia, autism, intolerance and denial of generally recognized norms of the international law.

The signatories of this appeal raise their voice against such developments not only in the name of historical truth but also for the sake of Serbia and Serb people’s prospects.


Alliance of Anti-Fascist of Serbia

Women in Black

Alliance of Anti-Fascist of Vojvodina

Anti-fascist Action, Novi Sad

Civil Initiatives

Group „Spomenik“

Policy Center

President of Coordination Committee IV of Vojvodina Convention Zivan Berisavljevic


Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights

Youth Initiative for Human Rights

Center for Cultural Decontamination

Foundation „Biljana Kovacevic Vuco“

Belgrade Center for Human Rights

Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina

Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies



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