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2 0 1 3

Alexey Timofeev

Splintered wind:
Russians and the Second World War in Yugoslavia
Translated by Vojin Majstorovi


o s c o w 2 0 1 3

63.3(4) 62-6 94(497.1) 1939/45 41

S E L E C TA
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: / . . ., 2013 ( ). . 19411945 . , , , , - . , : , . , , , , , , , . , , . ? . ( ) ? ? . ? ? , , .

978-5-905040-09-2

., , 2013 .., , 2013 .., , 2005

In memoriam of Prof. Miroslav Jovanovic (1962/2014). Unforgettable friend, You are always with us

CONTENTS
Translators foreword.............................................................................................. 9 Introduction...........................................................................................................13 The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia.................................17 I. ROLE OF THE RUSSIAN EMMIGRATION IN THE CIVIL WAR AND THE OCCUPATION OF YUGOSLAVIA Russian emigration on the eve of the civil war: from loyal minority to victims of the April War.....................................................................................................29 Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia.............................................35 migrs in military and police anti-partisan formations in Yugoslavia..............47 The anti-communist activity of civilian Russian migrs in Yugoslavia during the war........................................................................................................63 The social life of Russian emigrants in the occupied country..............................67 The influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on emigration and pro-German Russian military units during the Second World War in Yugoslavia...................85 II. SOVIET COLLABORATORS IN YUGOSLAVIA AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE GERMAN-LED MILITARY CAMPAIGNS AGAINST THE PARTISANS AND THE RED ARMY The phenomenon of collaboration or Civil War during the occupation of the USSR? . .......................................................................................................99 Soviet citizens in the German occupational forces in Serbia and Yugoslavia, 19431945................................................................................. 113

III. ROLE OF THE USSR IN PREPARATION OF THE PARTISAN AND CIVIL WAR Organization and preparation of the Partisan war in the USSR until the beginning of the Second World War............................................................. 141 Role of the Comintern in organizing and preparing for the partisan warfare.......................................................................................153 Education and preparation of the Yugoslav partisan cadres before the Second World War.........................................................................................164 IV. The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers The Soviet influence on the launching of the struggle against the occupier and the breakout of the civil war in Yugoslavia.................................................. 181 Official relations between the USSR and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia before the War ....................................................................................................196 Contacts between the government in exile and etniks with the USSR until the autumn of 1944 ........................................................... 215 Relations between the USSR and NOP...............................................................250 The Red Armys Military Operations in Serbia. .................................................268 Red Army and JVuO in the autumn of 1944: the unsuccessful cooperation.....281 The experience of the encounter: the Red Army and the population of Serbia.307 Conclusion...........................................................................................................330 Bibliography........................................................................................................334 Pictures................................................................................................................364

Translators foreword
Alexey Timofeevs Splintered Wind: Russians and the Second World War in Yugoslavia is a translation of his manuscript, which has been partially published previously in various articles and books in Russia and Serbia from 20042012. Timofeevs exhaustive study illuminates the multiple ways in which White migrs and Soviet Russia influenced the course of events in Yugoslavia during the Second WorldWar. Naturally, a lot has been written about German policies in the Balkans. As even a quick glance through this monographs bibliography will reveal, much has also been written about the British involvement in Yugoslavias prewar politics, their role in Yugoslavias civil war from 19411945, Londons military support for Titos Partisans, and Churchills competition with Stalin for influence in the postwar Balkans. However, far less is known about how the Soviet Union shaped events in Yugoslavia during the war. The Soviet dictatorship, which severely restricted access to its archives, could be partially blamed for this shortcoming in the historiography. However, Yugoslav Communists also sought to conceal the nature and the degree of Moscows influence in Yugoslav affairs during this period. Socialist Yugoslavias founding myths were its unique type of communism and Belgrades independence from Moscow, which the Titoist regime maintained, could be traced to the Second WorldWar. Although much has been written in the last twenty years to correct the Cold War era assumption that Yugoslav-Soviet relations were always riddled with difficulties, and furthermore, the assumption that the 1948 Tito-Stalin split was virtually inevitable, the Soviet role in Yugoslavia during the Second World War remained unexplored in the English-language historiography. In light of the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, most Western scholars understandably focused on ethnic relations and violence in the Balkans in the period 19411945.

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Translators foreword

However, without a proper understanding of the multifaceted nature of Russian involvement in Yugoslav affairs, we simply cannot have a complete picture of the regions history. Splintered wind: Russians and the Second World War in Yugoslavia fills this glaring gap in English-language scholarship. The present monograph is based on extensive research in Russian and Serbian archives, libraries, memoirs and contemporary newspapers. Additionally, Timofeevs comprehensive study brings to light the works of dozens of researchers from the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia who have labored since Perestroika on various aspects of migr Russian and Soviet connections with Yugoslavia during the Second WorldWar. Timofeev discusses wide-ranging forms of Soviet influence on the course of events in Yugoslavia. These include (but are not limited to): the extensive Soviet training of the future Yugoslav Partisan leadership cadres; Moscows changing policies towards the Kingdom of Yugoslavia on the eve of the war; the difficult Soviet relationship with their British allies vis--vis Yugoslavia during the war, as seen from Moscows perspective; the Kremlins role in the commencement of Partisan military actions in Yugoslavia; the activities of the Soviet Military Mission to Tito; the German deployment of sizeable Soviet collaborationist units against the Yugoslav Partisans; the Red Armys military operations in Yugoslavia in the spring of 1944; and the Red Armys relationship with the Serbian nationalist and royalist etnik followers of Draa Mihailovi. In addition, as Timofeev demonstrates, the large, well-organized and irreconcilably anti-communist Russian community felt comfortable in Royalist Yugoslavia in the interwar period. The Yugoslav authorities were, for most part, sympathetic towards the plight of the Russian emigrants, while most Russians living in Yugoslavia were loyal towards their second homeland. However, Russian mobilization in the German-led anti-communist crusade contributed to the growing estrangement of ethnic Russians in Serbia from the wider Serbian society, which, as the war progressed, was increasingly hostile towards the occupiers and their collaborators. Timofeev documents the exiled Russians varied participation in the anti-communist struggle: personal contacts and friendship between the Serbian far right and the leading Russian Church officials, the migr ties with the German military and political leaders in the Balkans, the Russian communitys fundraising for humanitarian causes, and their organization into anti-Partisan military units which were deployed against Yugoslav Communists. In view of the migrs dedication to the anti-communist struggle, they emerged as one of the most reliable anti-communist constituents in Germandominated Serbia in the years 19411944. Arguably, it is impossible to have a full picture of Serbian history during the German occupation without taking into account the White Russian communitys extraordinary degree of mobilization against communism.

Translators foreword

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Timofeevs study also illuminates numerous other issues, which could be of interest to scholars in various fields. To cite just several examples, his book discusses at length how well-educated Russian emigrants contributed to Yugoslav interwar society, culture and arts; Serbias wartime collaborationist governments activities; how migr Orthodox Russians and collaborationist Cossacks in Croatia fit into Ustaa genocidal policies against the Orthodox Serbs; Red Army conduct towards the Serbian civilian population in 1944; and the military and social encounter between the anti-Bolshevik migr Russians, reinforced by Cossacks, Vlasovs army and various other units from the Soviet Union, and the Red Army at the end of the war. Although Timofeevs book is primarily about Soviet and migr organizations policies, he vividly and at times, extensively, depicts the human side of the Russian factor in Yugoslavia during these extraordinarily tumultuous and violent years. For example, he portrays the warm and alcohol fuelled encounter between the Soviet Military Mission and leading Yugoslav communists after the former finally reached Yugoslavia, and the extremely difficult living conditions of the Red Army soldiers who fought in the Balkans. Perhaps most tragic, and most poignantly depicted, was the fate of the Russian migr community in Belgrade which was effectively annihilated when the Soviet and Yugoslav forces entered the city in the autumn of 1944. At best, the White Russians were forced to flee from their second homeland, a painful experience for many of them, which Timofeev illustrates with clarity by quoting from migr memoirs and poetry. At worst, they were hunted down by Soviet security agents, and if they survived initial interrogations, they were dragged to Soviet prisons. Overall, Timofeevs study presents a well-overdue look at Moscows role in wartime Yugoslavia, from a perspective never seen before in English language publications. As such, it will become an important resource for scholars interested in the region.
Vojin Majstorovi, University of Toronto.

From blood spilt in battles, From powder turned into powder, From suffering of punished generations From souls baptized in blood, From hateful love From frenzied crimes A righteous Russia will arise For her I pray And I trust in one eternal mission She is forged by blasts of the sword She is founded on the bones In desperate battles she avenges She is being built upon burning relics, She is drowning in deranged prayers Maximilian Voloshin, 1920

, , , , , , , , . : , , , , . , 1920

Introduction
In the 20th Century, Russia experienced a sharp and an unexpected schism. Russian society was broken into two parts in 1917, as a result of internal and external circumstances. The Bolsheviks succeeded in gathering workers, peasants, part of the intelligentsia and even the majority of the Russian Imperial Army General Staff under the banner of proletariat revolution and social justice. The Socialist-Revolutionaries, Circassians, traditional-minded peasants from the Cossack lands, monarchists and the University professors who preached democracy and liberalism under the Czars rallied to the anti-communist camp. The victory of the Reds in the Civil War (19181923) did not result in reunification of the society. Instead, the schism was formalized with the emergence of two distinct, unequal in strength, but conceptually opposed entities: the so called Soviet Russia and Exiled Russia. The latter was comprised of the active first and second generation of Russian emigrants.1 The phenomenon of a divided nation by a civil war was not something new in European history. To name just a few, there was the American-English war in North America 17751783 and the French emigrants opposition to the republican France after the French revolution. However, Russia was the first of several nations which were divided by a revolution in the 20th Century. This division of Russia during the interwar period impacted other countries. The Russian societys fragmentation peaked during the Second WorldWar.2 Some
1

SeeM.ovanovi, Ruska emigracija na Balkanu (Belgrade: igoja tampa, 2006), for discussion of the concept of Exiled Russia. Over one million Soviets fought on Hitler side during the war. The sheer quantity of those willing to assist the occupiers exposed divisions in the society as well as the fact that the wounds from the civil war had not healed yet. The level of collaboration is also staggering in comparison with the insignificant number of collaborators from the Russian Empire during the First World War (only the Polish legion) or the small number of English soldiers in the service of the Nazis. SeeD.Littlejohn, Foreign Legions of the Third Reich (San Jose: R.J.Bender Publishing, 1987).

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Introduction

historians refer to the Second World War as a European civil war.3 According to this theory, the events of 19361945 amounted to a great civil war between the liberal (Anglo-American) and the totalitarian (USSR) variants of left-wing ideologies on the one hand, and the far right wing proto-fascist countries on the other. What the Soviets and their liberal Western Allies had in common was the belief in progress. Also, both were geared towards the modernization of their respective societies. Their opponents embraced the traditionalist, anti-modernizing and anti-democratic ideologies such as Fascism, Nazism, Francoism and other similar movements.4 In this theoretical framework, the great European civil war began with the Spanish Civil War (19361939), which anticipated the future fierce fighting between Nazism and Communism. In this conceptualization, the liberal states were less ferociously opposed to Nazi-fascism due to their resistance to suffering high casualties which hindered the functioning of democratic institutions. The temporary removal of the Soviet Union from the global slaughterhouse cannot be explained by a genuine and natural geo-political partnership between Germany and Russia. Instead, the Nazi-Soviet pact was a temporary reprieve before a conclusive battle, which ultimately resolved the outcome of the European civil war.5 The end of the war between the modernizing and the retrograde forces did not bring an end to division of Europe, as it brought about a new conflict between communist and capitalist camps. These two wider civil wars influenced the situation in Serbia where several internal conflicts raged. One civil war raged between the Red Partisans on the one hand, and national JVuO (The Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland or also
3

This approach argues that as Europe lost its dominant position in the world, it simultaneously began the process of forming a united European state. This theory was first formulated by K.M.Panikkar, an Indian politician and historian. SeeK.M.Panikkar, Asia and Western Dominance: a Survey of the Vasco da Gama epoch of Asian History (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.,1953). In Europe, however the idea of a European Civil War was first mentioned by the venerated American historian S.Ambrose in the famous BBC Documentary The World at War. In scholarship, the notion that the Second World War could be viewed as a European Civil War was raised in P.Preston and A.Mackenzie, The Republic Besieged: Civil War in Spain, 19361939 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996). R.Boyce delivered lectures from 2004 with the same hypothesis. For this, see R.Boyce and J.Maiolo eds, The Origins of World War Two: The Debate Continues (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). F. Ferrarotti from the University of Rome, A.Adamthwaite from University of California, Berkley, and J.M.Roberts from The Duke University also contributed to development of this concept. Also, see A.Adamthwaite, The Spanish Civil War ideological battleground of a European Civil War? (Keynote address at international conference Democratic powers and the Right in interwar Europe, University of Salford UK, June 2006). It is not accidental that these movements in various European countries, regardless how well established they were, united in offering support to the Third Reich as the flag bearer of the anti-democratic and anti-liberal tradition. Sometimes this happened even though there was traditional antipathy towards the Germans (Zbor in Serbia, for example) or despite the formal lack of participation of its state in the war (Falange in Spain). It is indicative that German losses on the Eastern Front, as well as the Soviet losses, represent the majority of military losses during the Second WorldWar.

Introduction

15

known as etniks) and soldiers loyal to the collaborationist government of GeneralM.Nedi on the other. The second civil war was waged between the traditionalist forces of General Nedi and D.Ljoti who declared that they were fighting on behalf of the traditional Serbian peasantry and Orthodoxy on the one hand, and the modernizers on the other. The latter could be further subdivided into D.Mihailovis camp which raised the banner of liberal democracy and Josip Broz Titos who fought for the workers democracy. In addition to this ideological background, the crisis of the Yugoslav state also resulted in an ethnic civil war between the nations of that country (Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Kosovo Albanians, Vojvodina Germans and Hungarians, Macedonians and Bulgarians). Even though the flames of the ethnic civil war were obviously fanned by the neighboring countries, it remains an undisputable fact that the majority of victims of the war in Yugoslavia suffered at the hands of their co-citizens.6 Serbian society was bound to pass through the same path of Golgotha of national division which was experienced by Russia during the Revolution and the CivilWar. The Soviet Russia and Exiled Russia greatly influenced the Yugoslav society, especially the Serbian society, in this process. However, if the Russian society began to heal after the Second World War, with the divisions having been definitely overcome in our time, the Serbian societys schism was not bridged by the Second World War, and intellectually, it remains present even in our time.7 The analysis of the Second World War in Serbia and more generally in Europe, in the context of a multi-layered civil war, should not lead researchers to conclude that this was a struggle between two equally criminal one-party dictatorships, as
6

According to recent statistical research, Germans killed around 125,000 Yugoslavs during the military operations, the anti-Partisan actions and bombings. In addition, they exterminated 65,000 Jews from Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. The number of Yugoslavs killed during the Second World War by other Yugoslavs was much higher. Only on the territory of NDH, the Ustaa henchmen murdered 320,000 Serbs. The total losses in Yugoslavia during the Second World War were around one million people. SeeB.Koovi, rtve Drugog svetskog rata u Jugoslaviji, (London, b. n. 1985); V.erjavi, Gubici stanovnitva Jugoslavije u Drugom svetskom ratu (Zagreb: Jugoslavensko viktimoloko drutvo, 1989); Z. Janjetovi, Od Auschwitza do Brijuna. Pitanje odtete rtvama nacizma u jugoslavenskozapadnonjemakim odnosima (Zagreb, Srednja Europa) 2007. Symptomatic of the healing of the wounds caused by the Russian Civil War is a conversation between Vlasov, the Soviet officer, and Smyslovskii, a Civil War veteran, during their service in Wehrmacht: in April or May 1943, during a visit to the front around Pskov and Riga after a good dinner, we talked until four in the morning. The conversation lost its official character as Vlasov related to me at length and very interestingly his military operations against the Germans. He was showing me on the map the order of battle, and as he got carried away, he shouted: Here we beat you well! Whom do you mean you? I asked him coldly. The Germans of course answered the general. Ugh, so, you communists defeated bloody fascists here? Andrei Andreevich noted my expression and laughed. No, I think otherwise, he said: here Russians beat the Germans. Russians were always undefeatable! I added. Of course! answered Vlasov, and we dropped the fascist-communist topic, switching to purely Russian topic, and in that way we found language which made it possible for us to have a very interesting talk the entire night. B.A.Holmston-Smyslovskii, Lichnye vospominaniia o generale Vlasove, Suvorovets 30 (avgust-oktAJ, IABr 1949) 4553.

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Introduction

some German historians tend to do.8 A European wide civil war and civil wars within several states definitely occurred. Yet, one must keep in mind that German expansionism was an important factor in the war. Unlike the war on the Western front, the wars in the Balkans and Eastern Europe were strongly influenced by the Nazi regimes perceived need for the so called living space. Apart from the genocide of the Jews (the world historys greatest and cruelest example of state violence) and Roma, parts of the German elite led by Adolf Hitler wanted to conquer several Slavic nations. The Nazi leadership denied the statehood to countries which stood in the way of German expansionism, while bringing into question the physical survival of inhabitants of these states. The Poles, the Russians and the Serbs belonged to this group of undesirable nations. Even the creation of their military units (even as Wehrmachts allies) was permitted only after the worsening of the military situation for Germany. In its policies, the Reich relied on the rich tradition of the Austrian Empire and tended to assign its dirty work to separatist-minded nations in multinational Slavic states. For instance, the Nazis used Ukrainians and to a lesser extent the Belorussian nationalists against the Poles, while against the Russians, they utilized Baltic, Ukrainian and Asiatic nationalist formations. Likewise, the Nazis deployed Albanian, Croatian and Muslim detachments against the Serbs. After the war, Yugoslav and Soviet ideology of proletariat internationalism meant that their respective historiographies tended to deemphasize and marginalize the ethnic aspect of these phenomena. The sensitive character of multinational states also contributed to historians ignoring the fact that the resistance movements in the USSR and Yugoslavia until 1944 came largely from nations most threatened by the Nazis: the Serbs and the Russians. Neglecting the existential character of the Second World War for the Serbs and the Russians would be as wrong as ignoring the civil war which happened within these two nations. However, the question of ethnic character of the war is beyond the scope of this study. The subject of our research is the character of the encounter between the Serbs and the Russians within the context of the civil war in Serbia and Yugoslavia during the Second WorldWar.9 The first and main task of this study is to analyze the Russian factor in Serbia and Yugoslavia during the civil war and to highlight the multidimensional nature of the Russian involvement. The second very important point is to reassess certain myths which pervade the Serbian and Russian historiographies. The third goal is to attempt to analyze the mutual perceptions of the Serbs and the Russians during the war, as an important factor which helped forge
8 9

I.Gofman, Stalinskaia voina na unichtozhenie, (Moscow: Ast-Astrel, 2006). Therefore, we will assess the Yugoslavs activities in Moscow during the war (the diplomatic mission, activities of KPJ members and the formation of the 1st Yugoslav Brigade) as they related to the Soviet involvement in Yugoslavias civil war.

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

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the present-day mutual images of Serbian and Russian societies and elites. Within the framework of this question, it is central to distinguish between realistic and idealized mutual images and to determine the consequences of the lack of clarity on this issue.

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia


The Second World War has probably been studied more extensively than any other topic. Nonetheless, this subject is still relevant. The bibliographies and monographs on the Second World War can be divided into following categories:10 1) International background to the war and causes of the war 2) War in Europe and North Africa: ) German invasion of Western Europe 19391940. b) The Battle of Britain. c) Operation Overlord and liberation of Western Europe. d) Soviet-German war 19411945. e) Battles for Mediterranean and North Africa, 19391945. f) The Battle for Atlantic 3) War in the Far East: ) War between Japan and China b) Japanese expansion and collapse of colonial European Empires c) The Battle for Pacific d) The end of the war in Far East in 1945. 4) Wars periphery: ) Colonial inheritance and war b) War and the Latin American countries c) War and the Middle Eastern Countries d) War and the Sub-Saharan Countries e) War and the British Commonwealth 5) Broader themes in the war: ) Intelligence and special operations b) Occupation and the so called New Order
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E.L.Rasor and L.E Lee, World War II in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with general sources: a handbook of literature and research (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997), 4558; G.Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

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The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

c) Collaboration d) Resistance movements e) Economic mobilization in the Second World War f) Prisoners of war and internees g) Genocide and the Holocaust h) Migration: refugees, expellees and people without homes in the war and after it i) The Influence of the war mobilization and global changes in economy on society j) Women and children in the Second World War The scholarship from the superpowers which directly participated in the conflict in the Southeastern Europe is voluminous. The Anglo-Saxon historiography has several monographs11 and monumental The History of the Second World War which was published by Office of Public Sector Information.12 German historiography of the Second World War also has several monographs,13 but its main contribution is the ten volume Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite published by Weltkrieg Militrgeschichtliches Forschungsamt between 1979 and 2008.14 The main contribution of the Russian historiography is the six-volume Soviet-era Istoriia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny Sovetskogo Soiuza 19411945 gg and the twelve-volume Istoriia Vtoroi mirovoi voiny 19411945.15 The events in Yugoslavia 19411945 were of limited significance within the framework of these classical histories, as well as in the framework of the outlined scheme of division of topics of the Second WorldWar. It is evident that the Yugoslav front was important. However, it was one of many theatres of war, and not amongst those where the decisive battles were waged by the great world powers.16
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J.F.Fuller., The Second World War 19391945. A Strategical and Tactical History (London: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1948); W.Churchill, The Second World War, 6 Volumes, (Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 19481953); H.Liddell, History of the Second World War (London: Cassel, 1970). Numerous volumes were published. The volumes were divided into series: United Kingdom Military Series, United Kingdom Civil Series, Foreign Policy Series, the Intelligence Series, Medical Series. There are also several volumes which are not part of the series. The first volume appeared in 1949, and last in 1993. Presently, the second edition of several volumes is being published, most recently in 2004. K.Tippelskirch, Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges (Bonn: Athenaum-Verlag, 1959). Especially impotant for Yugoslavia is the third volume, G.Schreiber, Bernd Stegemann, Detlef Vogel: Der Mittelmeerraum und Sdosteuropa Von der non belligeranza Italiens bis zum Kriegseintritt der Vereinigten Staaten (Stuttgart:: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1979). Istoriia Vtoroi mirovoi voiny 19411945 6 volumes (Moscow: Voen. izd-vo Ministerstva oborony Soiuza SSR, 19731982) and Istoriia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny Sovetskogo Soiuza 19411945gg (Moscow: Voen. izd-vo Ministerstva oborony Soiuza SSR, 19601965). M.Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima kraljevske vlade i namesnitva 19411945: (propaganda i stvarnost) (PhD Dissertation, Belgradeski Univerzitet, 2004), 1.

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

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The British and American,17 German,18 and Soviet19 historiographies formulated their approaches to the Second World War in Yugoslavia relatively clearly. The literature in English language offers the richest insight into the history of the British and the American policies in the Balkans, especially towards Yugoslavia. It also sheds light on etnik and Partisan movements, their conflict and relationship with the Anglo-Saxon allies.20 It must be noted that the Russian historiography is stagnating, as it continues to focus on topics which it already explored. In these circumstances, it is hardly in a position to offer something new to historiography of Yugoslavia.21 However, the publication of Soviet documents, which until recently have been inaccessible to researchers, have illuminated the events in Yugoslavia.22 The published docu17

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M. Howard, The Mediterranean Strategy in the Second World War (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968); P.Auty and R.Clogg, eds, British Policy towards Wartime Resistance in Yugoslavia and Greece (London: Macmillan press, 1975); E.Barker, British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War, London: Macmillan 1976); M.C.Wheeler, Britain and the War for Yugoslavia, 19401943 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980); M.McConville, A Small War in the Balkans: British Military Involvement in Wartime Yugoslavia (London: Macmillan 1986); W.Deakin et al., British Political and Military Strategy in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe in 1944 (New York: St. Martins Press 1988); K.Ford, OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance, 19431945 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992). K.Olshausen, Zwischenspiel auf dem Balkan. Die deutsche Politik gegenber. Jugoslawien und Griechenland von Mrz bis Juli 1941 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1973); K.H.Schlarp, Wirtschaft und Besatzung in Serbien 19411944 (Stuttgart: F.Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden, 1986); SundhaussenH., Wirtschaftsgeschichte Kroatiens in nationalsozialistischen Groraum 19411945 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1983). S.S.Biriuzov, ed., Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily v borbe za osvobozhdenie narodov Iugoslavii (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1960); V.I.Klokov, Borba narodov slavianskih stran protiv fashistskikh porabotitelei (19391945) (Kiev: AN-USSR, 1961); V.N.Kazak, Pobratimy. Sovetskie liudi v antifashistskoi borbe narodov balkanskikh stran (Moscow: Mysl, 1975). W.R.Roberts, Tito, Mihailovic, and the Allies, 19411945 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1973); M.J.Milazzo, The Chetnik Movement and the Yugoslav Resistance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975); J.Tomasevich, The Chetniks: War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 19411945 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975); L.Kachmar, Draza Mihailovic and the Rise of the Chetnik Movement, 19411942, New York: Gardlan PublishingCo., 1987); M.Wheeler, Pariahs to Partisans to Power: The Communist Party of Yugoslavia in Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 19391948, ed. T.Judt (London: Routledge, 1989); TrewS., Britain, Mihailovic and the Allies, 194142 (London: Macmillan, 1998). The Russian monographs which deal with the events in Yugoslavia 19411945 usually offer the expanded version of the Soviet thesis from the 1960s. N. Vasileva, Balkanskii uzel, ili Rossia I iugoslavskii factor v kontektste politiki velikikh derzhav na Balkanakh v XX veke, (Moscow: ZvonnitsaMG, 2005); A. L. Moshchanskii, Na zemle IUgoslavii, Belgradskaia strategicheskaia nastupatelnaia operatsiia (28 sentiabria 20 oktiabria 1944) (Moscow: BTV-kniga 2005); A. L. Moshchanskii, Bitva za Balkany. Boevye deistviia v IUzhnoi Evrope 28 oktabria 19401 iiunia 1941 goda (Moscow: BTV-kniga 2007). Nonetheless, there are several Russian authors who have new approaches. A.Timofeev, General Milan Nedich i ego pravitelstvo. Serbskaia istoriografiia in Dvesti let novoi serbskoi gosudarstvennosti, ed. Volkov V. K. (Saint Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2005); N. Pilko, Sloveniia v gody okkupatsii (Saint Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2009); S.Beliakov, Ustashi: mezhdu fashizmom i etnicheskim natsionalizmom (Ekaterinburg: NOUVPO Gumanitarnyi un-t, 2009). N.Lebedev and M.Narinskii eds., Komintern i vtoraia mirovaia voina. Sbornik dokumentov (Moscow: RAN-IVI, 1994); L.Reshin et al., 1941 god v 2 knigakh (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyi fond Demokratiia, 1998); O.Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill. Vstrechi. Besedy. Diskussii: Dokumenty, kommentarii,

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The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

ments pertain to Stalins secretariat, NKID (The Peoples Commissariat for Foreign Affairs), NKVD (The Peoples Commissariat of Internal Affairs, which included the secret police), RU RKKA (the military intelligence) and the Comintern (The Communist International).23 In addition, Russian studies of collaboration in the USSR during the Second World War have added new insight into this topic as it relates to the Balkans.24 Recently, the British and American scholars, and to a degree their German counterparts, have begun to reevaluate the Serbs contribution to the anti-Nazi war effort, while reassessing the importance of Nedis regime for the Nazis.25 The authors of these studies are also redeveloping the fairly old thesis which minimizes the significance of March 27 and Yugoslavias entry into the war, in comparison to the more persistent Greek resistance.26 Also, some Western scholars are reexamining the thesis about the prevalence of anti-fascist sentiments amongst the Serbs of Serbia and NDH (the Independent State of Croatia), effectively placing terms Serbian (associated with etniks) and anti-fascist (associated with the Yugoslav
19411945 (Moscow: Nauka, 2004); A. Korotkov, A. Chernev and A. Chernobaev eds., Na prieme u Stalina. Tetradi (zhurnaly) zapisei lits, priniatykh I.V.Stalinym (19241953 gg.) (Moscow: Novyi khronograf, 2008). I.Linder and S.Churkin, Krasnaia pautina: tainy razvedki Kominterna. 19191943 (Moscow: RIPOL Klassik, 2005); E.A. Primakov, ed., Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki 6 volumes (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia, 19972006); V.A. Kirpichenko, ed., Pozyvnye voennoi razvedki (Vospominaniia veteranov sluzhby radiosviazi voennoi razvedki) (Moscow: Geia, 1998). About Vlasov and his project see S. Drobiazko, Russkaia Osvoboditelnaia Armiia (Moscow: AST, 200); K.Aleksandrov, Ofitserskii korpus armii general-leitenanta A. A. Vlasova, 19441945 (Saint Petersburg: Russko-Baltiiskii informatsionnyi tsentr BLITS, 2001); K.Aleksandrov, Protiv Stalina. Vlasovtsy i vostochnye dobrovoltsy vo Vtoroi mirovoi voine. Sb. statei i materialov (Saint Petersburg: IUventa, 2003); K.Aleksandrov, Armiia general-leitenanta A.A.Vlasova 19441945. Materialy k istorii Vooruzhennykh sil KONR (Saint Petersburg: SpBGU, 2004). About the Cossacks in the service of the Third Reich see H.Felmy, The Cossack Corps. (n. p.:US Army Historical Division, 1946); S.Drobiazko, Vostochnye legion i Kazachi chasti v sostave Vermakhta, in Materialy po istorii russkogo osvoboditelnogo dvizheniia 19411945,, ed. A.Okorokov (Moscow: Arhiv ROA, 1997); A.Khodoborodov, Rossiiskoe kazachestvo v emigratsii (19201945 gg): sotsialnye, voenno-politicheskie i kulturnye problem (PhD Diss., MGU im. M.V.Lomonosova, 1997); A.Okorokov, Kazaki i russkoe osvoboditelnoe dvizhenie, in Materialy po istorii russkogo osvoboditelnogo dvizheniia 19411945,, ed. A.Okorokov (Moscow: Arhiv ROA, 1997); N.Bugai, Kazachestvo Rossii: ottorzhenie, priznanie, vozrozhdenie (Moscow: Mozhaisk-Terra, 2000); V.Belovolov, Kazaki i Vermakht (Murmansk: Stanitsa Leningradskaia, 2003); P. Krikunov, Kazaki. Mezhdu Gitlerom i Stalinym. Krestovyi pokhod protiv bolshevizma (Moscow: Iauza, 2005). About the Caucasian and the Central Asian units which fought on Hitlers side, see G.Mamulia, Gruzinskii legion v borbe za svobodu i nezavisimost Gruzii v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (Tbilisi: Mamulia, 2003); O.Romanko, Musulmanskie legiony vo vtoroi mirovoi voine (Moscow: AST, 2004); E.Abramian, Kavkaztsy v Abvere (Moscow: IAuza, 2006). W.Manoschek, Serbien ist judenfrei. Militrische Besatzungspolitik und Judenvernichtung in Serbien 1941/42 Schriftenreihe des Militrgeschichtlichen Forschungsamtes (Mnchen: R.Oldenbourg, 1995); P.Cohen and D.Riesman, Serbias Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History, College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1996. M.Von Creveld, Hitlers Strategy 19401941: the Balkan Clue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973); A.Zapantis, Hitlers Balkan Campaign and the Invasion of the USSR (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987).

23

24

25

26

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

21

Partisans) in opposition to each other.27 This position has scholarly roots in the Yugoslav historiography which equalized etniks with fascists,28 and the Serbs memory of Jasenovac with the Croats memory of Bleiburg.29 In addition to these studies colored by contemporary politics, there are recent histories of the Second World War in Yugoslavia based on studious scholarly research. These studies have reevaluated the realistic dimension of the partisan war in Yugoslavia, the damage which the resistance movements caused to the Third Reich and the role of the allies in spreading the flames of the civil war in Yugoslavia.30 Regardless of the existing diversity of scholarship, D. Sadkovi argued that there are few non-biased English language studies about the Second World War in the Balkans.31 Present-day Serbian scholarship is in the process of reassessing the old Yugoslav historiography. However, it has practically failed to incorporate recent historiographical trends in its scholarship.32 The Yugoslav historiography of NOB (The National Liberation War) was voluminous, but its narrow focus on the communist party considerably diminished its value. The quantity of research on the topic of NOB in Yugoslavia can be judged by Bibliografija NOR-a, published in 1989, which dealt only with Serbia. It listed 8,997 titles.33 An important tool for researchers is Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o NOR-u naroda Jugoslavije, which was published in 19491985 and has 161 books.34 The best Yugoslav scholarship is Branko Petranovis voluminous study.35 Zundhauzen correctly concluded that Yugoslav literature about Yugoslavia/Serbia in the Second World War is almost
27

28

29 30

31

32

33

34

35

M.Hoare, The Chetnik-Partisan Conflict and the Origins of Bosnian Statehood Yale (PhD Diss Yale University, 2000); M.Hoare, Whose is the Partisan Movement?: Serbs, Croats and the legacy of a shared resistance, The Journal of Slavic Military StudiesV. 15 / 4 (2002); M.Hoare, Genocide and resistance in Hitlers Bosnia: the Partisans and the Chetniks, 19411943 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). The traditional Yugoslav historiography directly influenced these newer trends. For example, see A. Dedijer and A. Mileti eds., Genocid nad muslimanima 19411945: Zbornik dokumenata i svjedoenja (Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1990); E.Redi, Bosna i Hercegovina u drugom svjetskom ratu (Sarajevo: Oko, 1998); E.Redi, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Second World War trans Aida Vidan (New York: F.Cass, 2005); Hoare, Genocide and resistance. H.Zundhauzen, Istorija Srbije od 19. do 21. veka (Belgrade: Clio, 2009), 367. K.Schmider, Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien 19411944 (Hamburg: Mittler, 2002); HeatherW., Parachutes, Patriots and Partisans: The Special Operations Executive and Yugoslavia, 19411945 (London: Hurst, 2003). J.Sadkovich, North Africa and the Mediterranean Theater, 19391945 in World War II in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with general sources: a handbook of literature and research, ed. L. Lee (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997), 144. An exception is S.Pavlovi, Hitlerov novi antiporedak. Drugi svetski rat u Jugoslaviji (Belgrade: Clio, 2010). Z.Panajotovi, Bibliografija o narodnooslobidlakom ratu i socijalistikoj revoluciji Srbije 19411944. Godine: (knjige, broure i lanci 19441985) (Belgrade: Republiki odbor SUBNOR Srbije, 1989). Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilakom ratu jugoslovenskih naroda, Volumes 114 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijiski institut, 19491985) = Zbornik NOR-a. PetranoviB., Srbia u Drugom svetskom ratu 19391945, Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki i novinski centar, 1992).

22

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

endless.36 Hence, it is possible to identify only the basic historiographical directions of these studies. The Serbian historiography of the Second World War can be divided into several groups. The first group seeks to shed light on the number of Serbian victims during the Second WorldWar.37 The second group, which deals with the end of the Second World War and the period right after it, explores the impact of the Partisans victory on the Serbian civil society and Serbia in general. This relatively recent but popular approach follows two contemporary historiographical trends: calculating the number of victims of the communist regimes while examining social history in decisive historical moments.38 The third group studies JVuO and it represents a natural reaction to decades-long diminishment of the realistic significance of Mihailovis movement.39 This group has produced scholarship which is well grounded in sources. However, there are also a large number of highly biased studies amongst both the supporters of Partisans and etniks.40 There are few newer studies of the occupation of Serbia and Yugoslavia, even though there is a series of monographs which discuss the political and economic aspects of the occupation.41 Unfortunately, the recent Serbian historiography has
36 37

38

39

40

41

Zundhauzen, Istorija Srbije, 366367. For historiography of this group, see: M.Koljanin, Istraivanje holokausta u Jugoslaviji Izraelskosrpska nauna razmena u prouavanju holokausta (Belgrade: Muzej rtava genocida, 2008). One of typical works which exemplify this approach to studzing the Second World War in Yugoslavia is M.Bulaji, Jasenovac ustaki logori smrti: srpski mit?: hrvatski ustaki logori genocida nad Srbima, Jevrejima i Ciganima (Belgrade: Struna knjiga, 1999). D. Bondi, Belgradeski univerzitet: 19441952 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004); S. Cvetkovi, Izmeu srpa i ekia: represija u Srbiji. 19441953 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2006); N.Milievi, Jugoslovenska vlast i srpsko graanstvo 19441950 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2009). K.Nikoli, Istorija ravnogorskog pokreta: 19411945 (Belgrade: Srpska re, 1999); B.Dimitrijevi and K. Nikoli, eneral Mihajlovi. Biografija (Belgrade, Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004); G. Davidovi and M.Timotijevi, Zatamnjena prolost. Istorija ravnogoraca aanskog kraja, knj. 13, (aak: Medjuoptinski istorijski arhiv, Kraljevo: Narodni muzej, 20022004). On the one hand, there are publications by various explicitly pro-Partisan organizations such as SUBNOR branches, Society for the Truth about National Liberation War in Yugoslavia (Drutvo za istinu o NOR-u i Jugoslaviji), The Union of Anti-Fascists of Serbia (Savez antifaista Srbije). These publications include: J.Radovanovi, Dragoljub Draa Mihajlovi u ogledalu istorijskih dokumenata (Belgrade: Fondacija Dragojlo Dudi: Sekcija boraca Druge proleterske srpske brigade, 1996); B.Latas, Saradnja etnika Drae Mihailovia sa okupatorima i ustaima (19411945). Dokumenti, Belgrade, 1999; M.Zeevi, Dokumenta. Album iz istorije ravnogoroskog pokreta (Belgrade: Subnor Jugoslavije, 2001); StuparD., Patriotizam ili izdaja. Ravnogorsko etnitvo 19411945 (Belgrade: Drutvo za istinu o antifaistikoj narodnooslobodilakoj borbi 19411945, 1999). There are also, on the other hand, their similarly committed ideological opponents, M. Samardi, General Draa Mihailovi i opta istorija etnikog pokreta (Kragujevac: Novi pogledi, 1999); M.Samardi, Borbe etnika protiv Nemaca i ustaa (Kragujevac: Novi pogledi, 2006). M.Ristovi, Nemaki novi poredak i jugoistona Evropa: 1940/411944/45: planovi o budunosti i praksa (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki i novinski centar, 1991); D.Aleksi, Privreda Srbije u Drugom svetskom ratu (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2002); and the exhaustive research by B.Boovi Specijalna policija u Beogradu: 19411944 (Belgrade: Srpska kolska knjiga, 2003) which

The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

23

not produced any wide-ranging scholarship on society in Serbia and Yugoslavia during the occupation.42 As a result, there are only highly prejudicial studies on this topic from the communist period, and in part, some foreign works cover this subject.43 Another gap in contemporary Serbian historiography is the shortage of source-based studies which would objectively assess the Partisan movement without the communist regimes ideological fetters. Although there are no such recent scholarly studies on these topics, there is a series of very polemical works which rely on dubious sources.44 The complex situation in Yugoslavia during the Second World War45 was further complicated by the fact that the events of 19411945 had the character of a civil war.46 The numerous historiographical approaches and the divided memories
expanded the older Yugoslav historiographal research: B.Boovi, Beograd pod komesarskom upravom 1941 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1998); M.Kreso Njemaka okupaciona uprava u Beogradu, 19411944 (Belgrade: Istorijski arhiv Belgradea, 1979).. There are few exceptions, however. SeeM.Savkovi, Kinematografija u Srbiji tokom Drugog svetskog rata 19411945 (Belgrade: Fakultet dramskih umetnosti, 1994); O.Milosavljevi, Potisnuta istina: kolaboracija u Srbiji 19411944, Belgrade: Helsinki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji, 2006); Lj. kodri, Ministarstvo prosvete i vera u Srbiji, 19411944. Sudbina institucije pod okupacijom (Belgrade: Arhiv Srbije, 2009). M.E.Reed, The Anti-Fascist Front of Women and the Communist Party in Croatia: Conflict within the Resistance in Women in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, ed. T.Yedlin (New York: Praeger, 1980), 128139; B.Jancar, Women in the Yugoslav National Liberation Movement: An Overview, Studies in Comparative Communism 14 (1981), 14364; B.Jancar Yugoslavia: War of Resistance, in Female Soldiers, ed. N.Goldman (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1982), 85106. On the one hand, there are publication houses like Pogledi and others on the right of the political spectrum. M. Samardi, Saradnja partizana sa Nemcima, ustaama i Albancima (Kragujevac: Pogledi, 2006). On the other hand, there are their political opponents from the Society for the truth about National Liberation War and their publications such as: Ustanak 1941. 60 godina posle: (govori i lanci), (Novi Sad: Drutvo za istinu o antifaistikoj narodnooslobodilakoj borbi 19411945, 2002); oliM., ed., Odbrana istorijske istine o NOR-u i SFRJ: zbornik saoptenja i diskusija sa tribine: Da li aci u Srbiji ue falsifikovanu istoriju, odrane 17. januara 2003. godine u Beogradu (Belgrade: Drutvo za istinu o antifaistikoj narodnooslobodilakoj borbi u Jugoslaviji 19411945, 2003); oliM., ed., Antifaistiki narodnooslobodilaki rat u Jugoslaviji i savremenost: zbornik saoptenja i diskusije sa istoimenog okruglog stola, Belgrade, 2628. novembar 2003 (Belgrade: Drutvo za istinu o antifaistikoj narodnooslobodilakoj borbi u Jugoslaviji 19411945, 2004). This situation in the Serbian historiography has been noted by numerous Serbian scholars. See: T.Kulji, Prevladavanje prolosti: uzroci i pravci promene slike istorije krajem XX veka (Belgrade: Helsinki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji, 2002); K.Nikoli, Prolost bez istorije: polemike u jugoslovenskoj istoriografiji, 19611991: glavni tokovi (Belgrade: Institut, za savremenu istoriju, 2003). BjelajacM., ed., Pisati istoriju Jugoslavije. Vienje srpskog faktora, zbornik radova (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2007). The situation is somewhat similar in Slovenia where attempts to move beyond the civil war appear to have been more successful than in Serbia: Z.Klanjek, Pregled narodnoosvobodilne vojne 19411945 na Slovenskem 19411945 (Ljubljana: Partizanska knjiga, 1989); J.Voduek-Stari, Prevzem oblasti 19441946 (Ljubljana: Cankarjeva zaloba, 1992); B.Godea, Kdor ni z nami, je proti nam: slovenski izobraenci med okupatorji, Osvobodilno fronto in protirevolucionarnim taborom (Ljubljana: Cankarjeva zaloba, 1995); P.Bortnik, Pozabljena zgodba slovenske nacionalne ilegale, Ljubljana: Mladinska Knjiga, 1998); B.Godea, B.Mlakar and M.orn, rtve druge svetovne vojne v Sloveniji, in Prispevki za novejo zgodovino (Ljubljana: Intitut za novejo zgodovino, 2002); B.Mlakar, Slovensko domobranstvo: 19431945: ustanovitev, organizacija, idejno ozadje, (Ljubljana: Slovenska matica,

42

43

44

45

46

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The historiography of the second world war in Yugoslavia

of the civil war deserve to be studied on their own. In the last hundred and fifty years, civil wars erupted in several countries with rich historiographical traditions: the USA (18611865), Russia (19171922), Spain (19361939) and Greece (19461949). Regardless of circumstances of each of these civil wars, there was only one way to overcome the legacy of the civil war in historiography: to examine the positions of all belligerents, without exception, and to analyze their motivations and visions of the future, as well as to account for crimes committed by all sides. The reasons why one side triumphed in a civil war need to be understood, but attempts to compensate the losing with a historiographical victory should be avoided.

2003).


- ? - - , , ? .., 1944 , ! . . . . . . , , , . , , . : , - , , , , , . , , . ! ( ) , , . , , , , , ! , . ! . . , . , 1977

Belgrade
Will I return? Will I soon see The depth of your flowing rivers And insane, blinding city, Where I was happiest the most? N. B., 1944 Again I am wondering in known streets, From which the war took me away How good it is! I am here-my own. I am at home. As if they returned my youth to me. What speed the memories have. And how many years can fit in one moment. To this park I hurried to a date And to this house to collect a batch of books. Trembling here I ran to an exam, And there shone strict temple of arts Sorrow for it I carried for years On all useless and foreign paths. Streets offer their hands to me, They are waiting for their lost daughter, But after lengthy and complete separation I cannot recognize the face of every home. I know that there can be no return But still with soul full of warmth, I search for a window which once An unknown love, unrecognized, entered. It is, as formerly, open. Forever! (As is the happiness of two people) And down there where rivers embrace In its inconceivable blueness: And old park, and church and Monument Oh, my city, forgive me, forgive! Because I am not at fault for my betrayal, The war mixed up all my paths. I am not yours! The page has turned. With another country the destiny tied me. But always, for eternity I will dream of you. And in my heart I will protect you as a star. Nona Belavina, 1977

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

Russian emigration on the eve of the civil war: from loyal minority to victims of the April War
In early 1941 around 30,000 Russian emigrants lived in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, who obtained high level of rights and freedoms due to support of the ruling Serbian elite. The life of the Russian emigration in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia has drawn considerable attention from historians who noted the Russians contribution to science, arts and education in Serbia.1 In a largely agrarian country after the destructive First World War, relatively well educated and trained Russian emigrants succeeded in obtaining high positions in society. First of all, the number of Russian emigrants in Yugoslavia must be determined. First important demographic characteristic of Russians in Yugoslavia was their constant decrease in numbers from their arrival until the end of the 1930s, as a result of natural mortality and immigration. The second characteristic was the slowing down of this process and eventual stabilization of the Russian population at the end of the decade, as children grew up and became adults. The total number of Russian emigrants in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1937 was 21, 150.2 According to the census carried out in June 1941, around 20,000 Russian emigrants lived in Nedis Serbia.3
1

V. A. Tesemnikov, Rossiiskaia emigratsia v Iugoslavii (19191945), Voprosy Istorii 10 (1982); O. uri, Ruska literarna Srbija 19201941. Pisci, kruoci, izdanja (Gornji Milanovac: Deje novine, 1990); IU. A.Pisarev, Rossiiskaia emigratsiia v Iugoslavii, Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 1 (1991); V.I.Kosik, Russkaia IUgoslaviia. Fragmenty istorii 19191944, Slavianovedenie 4 (1992); M.Sibnovi, M.Mezhinskii and A.Arsenev, eds., Ruska emigracija u srpskoj kulturi XX veka, zbornik radova Volume 12 (Begrad: Filoloki fakultet, 1994); M.Jovanovi, Doseljavanje ruskih izbeglica u Kraljevinu SHS 19191924 (Belgrade: Stubovi kulture, 1996). Around 42, 500 Russian emigrants resided in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1924, Jovanovi, Doseljavanje, 163186. This information was based on the report of individual Russian colonies collected by the Bureau

30

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

Until the withdrawal of German forces from Serbia in the autumn of 1944, the number of Russians in Serbia fluctuated. First, the older generation could not survive the hungry war years. Second, part of younger emigrants with or without families moved to Germany and other European countries where they could find employment more easily. Third, a number of Russians joined the German war effort in the East as translators, technical specialists and volunteers (their numbers were not too large as a result of German suspicions of all Russians). Despite these three factors, the number of Russians in Serbia increased as a result of concentration of the forces of the Russian Defense Corps and smaller police units comprised of Russians from the entire Balkan Peninsula (NDH and other occupied parts of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, as well as parts of the USSR under the Romanian occupation). In exceptional circumstances, family members joined these German mercenaries in Serbia.4 The social status of Russian emigrants in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was not only determined by their formal status as refugees (Yugoslavia offered the Russian emigrants more rights and privileges than any other country), but also by very strong and informal connections with the Serbian-dominated elite of the interwar Yugoslavia. These informal connections were based on the Serbian elites love for Russia, devotion to Orthodoxy, generally conservative (but not traditionalist) views, opposition to communism and the shared belief that extreme left-wing views must be repressed with violent methods.5 All of this meant that Russians were loyal to Yugoslavia and the ruling Karaorevi dynasty. Their loyalty was based on friendly attitudes of a large part of the Serbian elite towards Russian emigrants. These circles were led by the King Alexander Karaorevi (18881934) and Patriarch Varnava Rosi, both of whom were educated in Czarist Russia and sympathized with the Russian refugees. Therefore, the Russian community in Yugoslavia comprised mostly of active participants of the civil war and their families. The Russian colony turned into the center for right-wing Russian migrs, and as such was markedly different from

(GARF, R-6792, o. 12) and parts of the census are still preserved in the Special Police funds (AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP II, d. 4441). The question of the families of the soldiers, from the occupied Soviet territories, serving in the Russian Corps emerged in early 1944. The Germans tended to transfer these families together with other Soviet refugees to Galicia, which caused concern among their relatives from ROK (VA, k. 31, f. 1, dok. 14/156. As a result, the following was quite popular amongst the Russians in Yugoslavia: lectures on military topics, educating male children in the military (Cadet) institutions and reading military books. A large number of books on military topics were continuously republished, illustrating the Russian communitys interest in martial topics and science. J.Kaaki, Ruske izbeglice u Kraljevini SHS/Jugoslaviji. Bibliografija radova 19201944. Pokuaj rekonstrukcije (Belgrade: Univerzitetska biblioteka Svetozar Markovi, 2003), 1516.

Russian emigration on the eveof the civil war: from loyal minorityto victims of the April War

31

liberal migr societies in Prague and Paris.6 This was apparent to Russian emigrants who came to Yugoslavia: On the [train A.T.] station in Novi Sad as if from the grave, a resurrected a picture of distant past [appeared A.T.]: general in Russian uniform with two Georges [sic! medals on the chest A.T.]. Here in Yugoslavia, many Russian soldiers have preserved their Russian uniforms.7 The positive atmosphere towards refugees from Red Russia was further cemented by the Yugoslav governments principled anti-communism, its refusal to establish diplomatic ties with the USSR and to allow the legal existence of a communist party. After the death of King Alexander, who was a graduate of the elite Russian school Pazheskii Corps, and the death of Patriarch Varnave, who studied at the St. Petersburgs Spiritual Academy, the Russian emigration lost its support in the highest echelons of the Yugoslav state. Prince Paul, who took over after Alexander, was born in St. Petersburg in 1893, and his mother was a Russian aristocrat. Upon birth, he received Russian citizenship, obtaining Serbian citizenship only in 1904. Nonetheless, his parents divorce in 1895 and more importantly his education at Oxford University turned him into a classical Anglophile, who sympathized with the British conservative circles. Patriarch Gavrilo, who had negative experiences with Russian monks in Deani monastery in his youth, was much colder towards Russians than his predecessor Patriarch Varnava.8 In the menacing international situation, the Yugoslav and the Serbian ruling elite began to polarize over foreign policy. The key question was whether the country should orient itself towards Germany, Britain or the USSR. An improvement in relations with the USSR would have led to mellowing of the regimes anti-communism, and therefore, invariably it would have worsened the status of Russian emigrants. Improvement of ties with Germany or Britain did not influence the position of emigrants, but it increased the probability of Yugoslavias involvement in the war. Yugoslavia no longer had the powerful political leaders who could secure its neutrality. Spring of 1941 brought the war to Yugoslavias doorstep. The gigantic battle between Nazi Germany and democratic Britain shook the world. Each side had its victories and losses, its fumbling ally (Italy and France) as well as a vision of future for Europe and the world. It must be emphasized that the dark secret of the Holocaust was not known yet. The USA and the USSR had still not joined the
6 7 8

Rossisskii Gosudarstvennyi Voennyi Arkhiv (RGVA), f. 730, o. 1, d. 173, 26. Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 269. MaevskiiV.A., Russkie v Iugoslavii: Vzaimootnosheniia Rossii i Serbii. vol. 2, (New-York: Istoricheskii kruzhok, 1966), 225, 257; R.Radi, ivot u vremenima; Gavrilo Doi (18811950) (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2006). L.V.Kuzmicheva, Predstaviteli imperatorskogo doma Romanovykh o Karageorgievichakh i Petrovichakh, in Novovekovne srpske dinastije u memoaristici, ed. ivkoviT. (Belgrade: Istorijski institute, 2007) 261284.

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Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

war, and the British prospects for victory against Hitler seemed slim, as the Nazis controlled almost entire Europe. With hindsight, it can be concluded that there were no reasons for Yugoslavia to join the war. At the time, all of Serbian territories were gathered within Yugoslavia. Also, all of Yugoslavias neighbors lost territories due to the creation of the South Slavic state. Yugoslavia was an offspring of Versailles, and with the fall of France, the Versailles system ceased to exist. Internal situation (tense ethnic relations, political instability, and the youth of King Peter II), also did not favor Yugoslavia joining the war. Partial involvement of Yugoslavia in the Triple Alliance in these circumstances seemed logical, if absolute neutrality could not have been preserved. Virtually all neighboring countries (except Greece) had already joined the Nazi-led bloc. Therefore, the entry of Yugoslavia into the pact would definitely undermine their open desire for partition of Yugoslavia, which in their view, was the last relic of Versailles in the Balkans. The Comintern, to put it mildly, did not follow friendly policy towards Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the price of joining the Triple Pact was exceptionally small.9 Moreover, as Hitler pointed to Yugoslav negotiators, Berlin was in an alliance with Moscow.10 The alliance was signed, and Yugoslav politicians received from German side a firm guarantee of their neutrality.11 The British government organized a coup dtat in Yugoslavia even though it knew that the assistance from Britain would be unlikely and in the best of scenarios only symbolic.12 The coup was followed by massive disorders on the streets of Belgrade.13 Churchill wrote in his memoirs without a trace of remorse: On the morning of April 6 German bombers appeared over Belgrade. When silence came at last on April 8, over seventeen thousands citizens of Belgrade lay dead in the streets or under debris. Out of the nightmare of smoke and fire came the maddened animals released from their shattered cages in zoological gardens. A stricken stork hobbled past the main hotel, which was a mass of flames. A bear, dazed and uncomprehending, shuffled through the inferno with slow and awkward gait down towards the Danube.14
9

10 11 12 13 14

Yugoslavia would not have been forced to offer assistance to Germany and Italy militarily. It also did not have to allow the Axis troops to transfer through Yugoslavia. Germany also guaranteed Yugoslavia territorial integrity and it promised to take into account interests of Yugoslavia in gaining access to the Aegean Sea, which could be realized through recognition of Yugoslavias sovereignty over the port city of Thessaloniki. (N.D.Smirnova, Balkanskaia politika fashistskoi Italii. Ocherk Diplomaticheskoi istorii (19361941), (Moscow: Nauka, 1969), 241. W., Churchill, Vtoraia mirovaia voina Volume II (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1991), 76. N.Belov, Ia byl adiutantom Gitlera (Smolensk: Rusich, 2003), 328. Churchill, Vtoraia, 76. Smirnova, Balkanskaia politika, 242. Ibid., 86.

Russian emigration on the eveof the civil war: from loyal minorityto victims of the April War

33

After the attack by Germany and its allies on Yugoslavia, the Russian emigrants expressed, through their representatives Metropolitan Anastasii and Vasilii Shtrandman (the head of the Delegation for Defense of Interests of the Russian Refugees), endless devotion of the Russian emigration and their unshakeable loyalty now and in future15 The editorial of the semi-official newspaper Russkii golfs called on their compatriots to restrain from conversations, to mind their own business, and if necessary, to fulfill their debt towards the country which accepted them with such hospitality.16 Russian refugees (as other citizens of Serbia) viewed the deliberately cruel bombardment of Belgrade on April 6, 1941,17 as brutal and senseless.18 Belgrade refugee colony was the biggest in the country, and therefore, numerous Russian refugees became victims of the German air raid. The bombing did not only take human lives. The fires engulfed Serbian (National Library, Patriarchy, and others) and Russian cultural institutions. The scientific institute N.P.Kondakov building was almost completely destroyed, as well as its library. In addition, D.A.Raskovskii, the secretary of the Institute and researcher of nomadic nations was incarcerated by bombs together with his young wife.19 The Russian emigrants called up for military service answered the call unwaveringly. As a result, 12% of Russian participants of the April War lost their lives.20 Nonetheless, on April 17, Yugoslavia quickly surrendered as a result of treachery of the internal subversive elements (of several separatist minded national minorities). In the midst of this catastrophe, 173 Russian emigrants found themselves together with Serbian soldiers and officers in the German prisoner of war camps. Majority of the Russian prisoners (officers, military technicians, military engineers, pilots and air-defense specialists) were kept in the infamous Colditz Castle between Leipzig and Dresden.21 The partition of Yugoslavia divided the Russian emigration since maintaining contacts between disparate parts of occupied Yugoslavia became suddenly very difficult.22
15

16 17 18 19 20

21 22

Russkii golos, April 6, 1941, 1. Interestingly, this pronouncement did not represent the view of all the Russian emigrants. Even though Germany was an enemy of the Russian emigrants host country, Yugoslavia, Russians infrequently sympathized towards Germany. Famous director Iurii Rakitin recorded this pro-German attitude in his journal. See Iu. Rakitins uncatalogued Dnevnik in Pozorini muzej Vojvodine in NoviSad. Russkii golos, April, 6, 1941, 1 Belov, Ia byl, 332. G.Ostrgorskii, Zametki k Slovu o polku Igoreve (Belgrade: Institut imeni N.P.Kondakova, 1941), 5. Ibid., 1. eninA., Sadanje stanje ruske emigracie u ugoslavii, 23. 11. 1943, MIP, prilog Pov. br. 6544/43 in akovljeviR., Rusi u Srbii, (Belgrade: Beoknjiga, 2004). Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF), R6792, o. 1, d. 515, p. 1. Arhiv Jugoslavije (AJ), AJ, IAB, BdS, br. B-153, pp. 1, 2.

34

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

The attitude of Russian refugees towards Germany was quite ambivalent. On the one hand, they viewed Germans as enemies who attacked their second homeland, while on the other, considerable number of Russian emigrants in Yugoslavia felt antipathy towards their allies from the First World War, France and England. A renowned Russian scientist, Professor N. V. Krainskii,23 described these sentiments in his voluminous book which attracted the attention of numerous Russian refugees in 1940: the crimes of our former allies from the Great War against Russia are countless. Among them: assistance to foreign states in spreading the flames of the revolution and support for the Bolshevik regime in Russia during the previous twenty-five years. A series of Western European political leaders continue the activities of the French and the English ambassadors in Petrograd, who participated in the overthrow of the Imperial government and afterwards supported the Soviet system they wholeheartedly supported the February revolution, the alliance of Miliukov-Kerenski, and after all this, the devastating for Russia Versailles peace treaty and separation of western territories from Russia. Apart from all of this, they also played with the White movement as a cat plays with mouse 24 Numerous Russian emigrant authors and philosophers who were popular in Russian migr circles supported the Nazi Germany on the eve of the Second WorldWar. The most well-known among them were authors P.Krasnov and I.Shmelev, while not far behind them was Ivan Ilin, the authoritative philosopher whose writings are viewed today as the ideological foundation of modern Russia. He greeted the arrival of Nazis to power in 1933 and was not willing to unconditionally condemn them even in 1948.25 Obviously, the majority of Serbs did not approve of such attitudes. As a result of the Versailles Treaty and the interference of Britain and France in the Balkans, most Serbs viewed the Western Allies in a positive light. Moreover, many Serbs viewed the USSR as mother Russia, which signed a treaty of friendship and mu23

24

25

N.V.Krainskii (18691951) a notable Russian scientist and psychiatrist, he worked on developing a theory to treat patients who were chronically mentally ill. He was a Monarchist and he participated in the Civil War in Russia. He taught at the Department of Psychiatry and experimental Psychology at the University of Belgrade from 1928. He published more than 200 scholarly works. He returned with his family to his native city of Kharkov in USSR, where he continued to pursue his interest in science until his death. For more information, see P.T.Petriuk, Professor Nikolai Vasilevich Krainskii izvestnyi predstavitel otechestvennoi psihiatricheskoi shkoly (k 135 letiiu so dnia rozhdenia), Psikhichne zdorovia 2 (2004): 8993; A.D.Kaplin, Kto ne zahochet sdatsia inogda sumeet vybratsia. Zhiznennyi put i nasledie N.V.Krainskogo (18691951): Kratkii ocherk, (paper presented at the conference Mezhdunarodnyi nauchnyi simpozium Kharkovskii universitet i serby, Kharkov, Ukraine, 2009. N.V.Krainskii, Film russkoi revoliutsii v psikhologicheskoi obrabotke (Belgrad: Sviatoslav, 1940), 461. P.A. Nikolaev, ed., Russkie pisateli XX veka. Biograficheskii slovar (Moscow: Simpozium, 2000), 778; N.Mikhalkov, Manifest Prosveshchennogo Konservatizma (Moscow: Sibirskii tsiriulnik, 2010); I.Ilin, O fashizme, in Sobranie sochinenii: v 10 t., ed. Lisitsa IU. (Moscow: Russkaia kniga, 1993).

Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia

35

tual assistance with Yugoslavia on the eve of the bombardment of Belgrade. The dark side of communism (camps, destruction and expulsion of the national elite) was skillfully hidden by communist agitators. An important segment of Yugoslav society, workers and students mainly, viewed the communist ideology with considerable sympathy. Therefore, the Russian refugees unrelenting hostility to communism began to influence how the local population viewed the Russian community as a whole. S.N.Paleolog, who was in charge of the Russian refugee question in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, described this attitude in 1921 in a secret report to General Lakumski: members of the higher classes act towards us without any judgment (the government, clergy, intellectuals, and officers). All of them understand very well Russias role in Serbia in the past and in the future, and they view their assistance as their debt the middle class (citizens of cities and traders) are perfectly indifferent towards Russians, viewing us as a good element for exploitation (they charge us a lot, especially for rent) and they always try to begin conversations with how Serbs are putting aside three millions for Russians. Feelings of sympathy are very rare. Peasants, with whom we had very little contact, have a benevolent attitude towards us, but they are honestly uncertain and they always ask us: why did we travel here from Russia.26

Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia


The standard German policy after occupying a European country was to organize the life of the local societies, including the Russian emigrants, by creating one united organization which would answer to the security institutions of the Third Reich.27 This forceful restructuring meant that all other organizations and press would be abolished, while the legal association would be strictly controlled. Russian emigrants immediately began to seek a new way to organize after the occupation. As a result, conflicts erupted. On April, 10, 1941, the Committee for First Aid to Victims of the Bombardment met in the Russian House. The committee comprised of S.N.Latishev, N.I.Goloshcapov, D.A.Persiianov and R. A. Folkert. In the same building on April 13, with the help of Shtrandman and financed by Americans, free food was provided with posters stating: Ameri26 27

Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 260261. S.V.Karpenko, ed., Mezhdu Rossiei i Stalinym. Rossiiskaia emigratsiia i Vtoraia mirovaia voina (Moscow: RGGU, 2004).

36

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

can Red Cross provides free lunch. The Committee posted a written announcement displaying its displeasure about the American involvement, and on May 15, members of the Committee warned the representatives of the German occupying forces about their opponents activities.28 This was not the only accusation which the right wing Russian migrs made against Shtrandman, who worked in the Russian embassy in Belgrade before the First World War and was appointed Russias ambassador to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the Admiral Kolchaks Omsk government.29 Towards the end of the 1930s, an anonymous brochure was published, which Gestapo believed, was written by the Don Cossack Colonel Rodionov.30 The pamphlet accused Shtrandman of being a Mason, which he and his friends denied.31 It also charged him with being sympathetic towards left-oriented organizations, while sabotaging right-wing organizations, adding that majority of his colleagues were left-wingers and destroyers of Russia and deceivers of the emigration.32 In similar vein, Vladimir Kutirin, an enthusiastic German collaborator denounced Shtrandman, in order to reveal his true character, as he claimed.33 Kutirin accused him of stealing money from the State Credit and cooperating with the British intelligence. After the occupation, Shtrandman admitted to Gestapo that he had friendly relations with the British embassy employees and that they hunted and played tennis together in the diplomatic tennis club. He also confessed that his acquaintances included British intelligence agents,34 who were in charge of intelligence and subversive activities in the English embassy.35 According to Shtrandman, one of the British intelligence officers, Preen, offered him a salary of 3,000 dinars per month to become a British informer, but supposedly, Shtrandman rejected the offer.36 It is difficult to determine whether Shtrandman was telling the truth, but either way, Germans firmly believed that Shtrandman was not fit to be
28 29

30

31

32

33 34 35 36

AJ, IAB, BdS, br. St-131, 55. M.Jovanovi, Doseljavanje ruskih izbeglica u Kraljevinu SHS 19191924 (Belgrade: Stubovi kulture, 1996), 63, 6668. Probably, the author was the well known writer IvanA.Rodionov, an author of numerous stories about the life of Don Cossacks. It is interesting that N.N.Berberova confirmed in her memoirs that Shtrandtman was a free mason, even though she refered to him as far-right. N.N.Berberova, Liudi i lozhi (Kharkov: Kaleidoskop, 1997), 299. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. St-131, X.Y.Z. (Rodionov?) G. g. Shtrandtman, Struve, A.Ksiunin, Pronin i Ko Belgrad, b. g.,8. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. St-131, 2. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. St-131, 5. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. H-36, 36. This was an exceptionally generous offer. An average monthly income of a Russian refugee was 500 600 dinars, which was sufficient to survive but not much more than this.

Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia

37

a leader of the Russian emigration. The Russian community was bound to receive new structural organization and new leaders. Aleksandr Ivanov, a Belgrade journalist and a bookstore owner, offered his assistance to Germans to establish a Russian migr organization in early May. He made this offer to the Belgrade Military Commander who referred him on May 7 to the Special Commissar for Belgrade, D.Jovanovi, who in turn forwarded his ideas to Belgrades Einsatzgruppe.37 Ivanov shared his ideas with the Security Service (SD) about the creation of an organization for Russians in Belgrade. In response, Ivanov received gratitude and an explanation that steps in that direction had already been taken and that his ideas will be used in its implementation.38 This new organization, which was mandated with organizing and defending the Russian emigration, was headed by Mikhail F. Skorodumov (18921963).39 Skorodumov was a Guards Officer, he participated in the First World War from the very beginning, he was wounded several times and he fell into captivity. He tried to escape unsuccessfully, but he was swapped as part of a prisoner exchange in 1917 after which he returned to Petrograd. Skorodumov fought in the Civil War from the very beginning, participating in the Battle for Kiev, during the Dniester March and in defense of Crimea. His fate after the Civil War was typical for a White officer. He was evacuated to Gallipoli from where he was transferred to Bulgaria with the mass of Russian soldiers. There, he actively participated in the Russian All-Military Union (ROVS).40 The Bulgarian government, headed by the Bulgarian Agricultural Alliance in 19211922, was in the process of improving ties with the Soviet Union. Bulgarias Prime Minister Stamboliski even met with the Soviet delegates in Geneva in April of 1922. As a result, the position of Russian migrs began to considerably deteriorate in Bulgaria. The refugees were forcefully evicted from the country, the embassy was closed, and there were several instances of assault on Russian officers and their families.41 The Bulgarian
37 38 39

40

41

For more information about the organization of the occupational apparatus see Boovi, Beograd. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. I-6. D.A.Vertepov, ed., Albom Russkogo Korpusa (New York: n. p., 1960); D.A.Vertepov, ed., Russkii Korpus na Balkanakh vo vremia II Velikoi voiny 19411945 (New York: Soiuz chinov Russkogo Korpus, 1963). V.Tretiakov, ed., Vernye dolgu 19411945 (New York: Obedinenie I polka Russkogo Korpusa, 1961), 2. From April (1922), the situation changed all of a sudden. Stamboliskis government, seeking support on the left, moved closer towards the communist party the Bulgarian communists led a passionate campaign against the Russian officers. They did not limit themselves to words. There were frequent attacks and beatings of individual officers. A bomb was thrown during a Russian amateur play in a Junkers school Bulgarian soldiers searched Russian women in the roughest way possible. The arrested are ill-treated and insulted, sometimes they beat them, as was the case with Colonel Samokhvalov. However, none of them is accused of anything concretely, and none of the arrested are handed over to the courts. The instances of Russians being beaten on the streets are increasingly more frequent. Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 203.

38

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

government expelled General Skorodumov to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In Belgrade, Skorodumov was one of the organizers of the action which gathered in Belgrade Russian soldiers who were killed during the First World War throughout Balkans. He was also central in organizing the construction of a majestic monument to the Russian soldiers at the New Graveyard (Novo Groblje) in Belgrade.42 At an official ceremony marking their reburial on May 24, 1935, Skorodumov had an opportunity to address the gathered emigrants: Today, with burying these bones we are not only burying the bones of our fallen soldiers, our holy bones, but we are also burying our Russian stupidity.43 He openly expressed his view that the First World War was meaningless for Russia while criticizing the countries which benefitted most from the war England and France.44 Skorodumovs view of the First World War was shared by a part of the emigration gathered around the Alliance of the former Czarist Russian Officers which was known as the Russian National Army.45 The Russian National Army, headed by Skorodumov, was a right wing organization. Its membership consisted of inflexible monarchists who refused to reconcile themselves with the defeat in the CivilWar. They viewed the Bolsheviks as occupiers of Holy Russia, accusing them of spilling rivers of Russian blood and exiling from the country the national elite. The symbol of the Russian National Army, the so called Militia Cross, appeared in 1935 on the monuments of Russian soldiers at the New Graveyard and in 1941 on the iron helmets of ROK members.46 All of Russian emigration, and not only in Yugoslavia, was divided into two opposing camps: defenders and defeatists. The former believed that Hitler wanted to destroy Russia, while the latter held that he only wanted to destroy communism. Therefore, defenders considered it necessary to assist Stalin in defense of Russia, while defeatists wanted to aid Hitler. To be objective, it should be noted that these oscillations were understandable at the time. Despite the unambiguous nature of Mein Kampf, the German leadership was not comprised of open
42

43

44

45

46

This is the largest, and from aesthetic point of view, the most attractive monument to Russian soldiers in Serbia. The Serbian daily Politika wrote about the opening of the monument on January 13, 1936. M. F. Skorodumov, ta treba da zna svaki Sloven, a naroito slovenski politiar (Belgrade: n. p., 1939). The victorious Allies treated Russia as if it had not been an ally, even though London and Paris had formal relations with the so called White Russia. Holm Zundhauzen illustrated this point very well in his overview of Serbian history by placing Russia in the same group of countries as the Central Powers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Soviet Union). Zundhauzen, Istorija Srbije, 328. M. F. Skorodumov, Pamiatka Russkago Narodnago Opolchenia. Ideologia, zadachi, organizatsiia (Belgrad: RNO, 1935); G.V.Nazimov, Zabytye mogilnye kholmiki. Posviashchaetsia General-maioru Mikhailu Fedorovichu Skorodumovu, Dobrovolets No. 2 (2), (2003); G.V.Nazimov, Zhiznennyi put rossiianina bez Rodiny (Moscow: Zhurnal Moscow, 2009). A.V.Okorokov, Znaki russkoi emigratsii (19201990) (Moscow: Collectors Book, 2005), 6667.

Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia

39

Russophobes. At the time, Hitler had not openly expressed his wish to destroy the Russian state.47 As an example, we can cite the German Field Marshal von Bock, who was in charge of the Army Group Centre from the beginning of the attack on the USSR until December 18, 1941. He found out only at the end of 1941 about the Nazi leaderships plans for Russians and the Russian state.48 The Russian refugees in Serbia were sometimes incredibly nave. For example, the journalist Sergei Zavalishin, addressed the Belgrade Gestapo for personal reasons on May 24, 1941. As guarantee of his loyalty he cited that he was a correspondent, editor and co-owner of the newspaper All-Slavic Cry (Vseslavianskii klich) and All-Slavic Tribune. According to him, these newspapers held views close to Axis powers.49 The pan-Slavic term All-Slavic and even the word Russian must have raised doubts amongst Gestapo employees. A good example of the German policy is the censorship of an article written by J.P.Grabe, the Secretary of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile in Serbia (as he was called in his Gestapo dossier). In 1941, the Germans already formulated their policies in the East. In the article which had a loyal title The Serbian Church against Communism and which was published by an entirely loyal newspaper Naa Borba, J.P.Grabe objectively analyzed the relationship between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile after the First WorldWar. Nonetheless, the German censor found and deleted two dangerous terms: Yugoslavia and eternal, great, Slavic Russia.50 V.K.Shtrik-Shtrikfeldt, who participated in the establishment of the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), the organization of Russian Nazi collaborators, and was ROA leader A.A.Vlasovs friend, described an event which happened approximately at the same time. The Nazi ideologues ordered that the lyrics of the famous Russian song about Stepan Razin be changed, replacing the Russian river with the mighty river.51 Certainly, few people in the spring of 1941 could have predicted such turn of events. On May 22, 1941, the Military Commander of Serbia ordered the creation of an organization of the Russian migrs Bureau for the Defense of Interests and the Assistance of Russian Emigrants in Serbia. Skorodumov was appointed its chief. The Bureaus permanent seat was in Belgrade in the Russian House. On June 11, 1941, on the orders of the German Military Commander, the Bureau participated in assisting the Belgrades municipal authorities in organizing
47

48 49 50 51

Nazis Plan for the Future of Russia. 16. July 1941 in Himmlers files from Hallein, Office of Military Government for Germany (US), (N. p.: Office of the Director of Intelligence, 1945). V.K.Shtrik-Shtrikfeldt, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera (Moscow: Posev, 1993), 4041. AJ, IAB, BdS, Podaci o licima, Zavaliin Sergije. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. G148, 21. Shtrik-Shtrikfeldt, Protiv, 175.

40

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

the census of the Russian diaspora in Serbia. All emigrants over the age of 16 received a special personal document, which was their proof of Aryan ancestry. According to this census, 7,020 adult Russian migrs lived in Belgrade. This figure included only Russians who had the Imperial Russian citizenship and it excluded Russians who received Yugoslav or any other citizenship.52 On May 15, General Skorodumov announced the Order Number 1.53 This order explained the structure, aims and responsibilities of the Bureau. The Bureau had six departments, which were led by following officials: the Chancellery and Finances Colonel N. L. Neielov; the Secretariat of the Bureau CaptainA.A.Obaturov; the Culture and Education the Cavalry CaptainI.V.Richkov (the administrative-economic part); the Russian Red Cross ProfessorDr. Krainskii (he was also the head of the Russian Educational-scientific institutions; the Administrative Department SenatorS.N.Smirnov; Registration and Press A.V.Lanin.54 The Order Number One also announced the creation of an official list of members of the Russian colony in Serbia. It also envisioned the creation of Higher Scientific-Educational Institution, with scientific and educational departments, which would include all military and educational forces under Krainskiis leadership. The Russian-Serbian gymnasium continued to operate in the Russian House until the arrival of the Soviet troops in 1944. In the summer of 1941, a humanitarian cafeteria was opened for the poorest Russian refugees. In the same order, Skorodumov announced that all other Russian organizations were to shut down and were obliged to hand over to the Bureau their finances and documentation. After receiving an approval from the Bureau, some of the organizations could continue to operate. The same strict procedures were introduced for the Russian press, except that they also required the approval of the German authorities. Appeals by individual Russian migrs and refugee organizations were to be made only to the Bureau, severing ties between the Russians and Serbian and German institutions. On June 16, General Skorodumov addressed the refugees in a text which was posted in the Russian House. Skorodumov again reminded the emigrants of their difficult position due to heavy catastrophe which befell the brotherly by blood nation which offered shelter to the Russian refugees. He also mentioned the recent undeserved persecution and insults caused by the English propaganda and the Comintern. Skorodumov compared the contemporary situation with the events of 1917 when the same agents destroyed our Homeland. They also hid behind the Czars name and with the treachery from above and the stupidity from below
52 53 54

AJ, IAB, UGB SP II, br. 44/41. AJ, IAB, ika Jovanovi, br. 115 Proglasi i objave 19411945, PRIKAZ 1. As stated in the text. The text is full of Serbian words and which reveals the penetration of Serbian language into the everday language of the Russian refugees in Serbia.

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they destroyed our Homeland. He expressed certainty that, despite the temporary misunderstanding by the Serbian people, some time will pass until the cheated Serbian people will understand that Russians based on Russias previous experience, anticipated the course of events and wanted to save the Serbian people from the catastrophe. Furthermore, Skorodumov cautioned the Russians to be careful in their actions and to take care of their internal refugee organization. He recommended that the Russian emigrants should take the following steps: 1) Raise the moral, activate the role of priests in the modern world, lower taxes on religious rites. 2) Unite all military organizations into one department, and remove divisions between the elite Russian soldiers and the second-rate soldiers. 3) Redirect education into more national stream and introduce trades in all male and female Russian educational institutions. 4) Create conditions for healthy families the root of a healthy national state. 5) The financial situation of the Russian emigration should not be based on foreign donations but on development of competitive Russian private companies, which could become a source of income for its founders as well as the unemployed members of the community, the impoverished children and older people. 6) Humanitarian societies should be merged and placed under strict control, while the employees of these institutions should not live off donation. 7) All previous political and other divisions should be forgotten. Everybody should unite around the Bureau. At the end, General Skorodumov called on emigrants to keep away from those who spread rumors on behest of paid agents who want to spread confusion and stage provocations. In the name of the Bureau he promised that he would strictly punish, regardless of age, education or position, anybody who used too much alcohol, caused fights in public space, bagged, as well as any Russian woman caught behaving indecently, improperly dressed or publically engaging in prostitution. The violators of these rules were to be sentenced to forced labor in one of the monasteries without the right of return. In this way, Skorodumov hoped to defend the honor and reputation of the national, exiled Russia. Skorodumov was critical of the term refugees for Russians in Serbia, stating that they were emigrants.55 During this period, the Nazis skillfully hid their anti-Slavic attitudes, while emphasizing their anti-communism which was very close to ideas of the politically active members of the emigration. As a result, the Russian emigration be55

AJ, IAB, ika Jovan. ovi, br. 115 Proglasi i objave 19411945, Obrashchenie nachalnika Russkogo Biuro b SerbiiGen.M.F. Skorodumova.

42

Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

came more active after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. At the time, an interesting document appeared a pronouncement addressed to Russian People in Emigration Everywhere, which was written by Russian journalists in Serbia, members of right-wing groups: A.V.Lanin, V.M.Pronin. E.Mesner, M.Solamahin, V. K. Gordovski, N. Talberg, N. P. Rklitskii, E. Shel, D. Persiianov, N.Chuhnov, Vl. Grinenko. They wrote that: on June 22 came the moment which was awaited by all nationally-oriented Russian people since 1917, the decisive battle of the new world order against the communist Soviet government. Moreover, the authors of the pronouncement naively stated that the German armed forces announced a merciless war not against the Russian people or Russia, but against the communist international victory over communists must bring to the Russian people liberation and salvation, true liberty, peace, order, justice and national Russian government, the government of Russians, and not internationalists, which will give birth to new Russia which will unite in friendly work all [the new state will A.T.] give land to peasants and Cossacks, it will provide for workers and their families, it will defend private They called on the Russian emigration to be ready for prompt return to their homeland to participate in construction of Russian future in alliance with two great Empires: Russian and German.56 It is interesting to compare this announcement with the statement made by the Minister of Internal Affairs and SS leader, Heydrich Himmler, in Poznan on October 4, 1943, which was recorded and used in Nuremburg process as evidence against the Nazi police chief. In this speech, apart from acknowledging the brutal destruction of the Jews, Himmler revealed his attitude towards Slavic nations: I am absolutely indifferent to how Russians live, how Czechs live. All that is good in other nations which belong to good blood such as ours, we will take from them, if necessary, and we will even take their children and raise them. The question whether these nations live well or are starving, interest me only so far as we need slave labor for our culture, and except this, it is of no interest to me. I am not interested whether ten thousand Russian women will die during the digging of anti-tank ditches. For me only one thing matters when will this ditch be ready for Germany57 Skorodumovs activities after June 22, 1941, raised the alarm of the German occupational authorities. The Bureau organized numerous preparatory courses for future administrators in Russia. Skorodumov and his colleagues made several statements about the prompt return of emigrants to Russia. Skorodumovs belief that the exiled Russians would be able to return to Russia after the Germans won
56

57

AJ, IAB, ika Jovan. ovi, br. 115 Russkie zhurnalisty v Serbii Russkomu narodu I Russkoi Emigratsii. K.P.Gorshenin, ed., Sbornik materialov Niurnbergskogo protsessa nad glavnymi nemetskimi voennymi prestupnikami, (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo iuridicheskoi literatury, 1954) vol. 1, 788.

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the war ran counter to Third Reichs policies which were aimed at atomization and weakening Russia. The Germans had no interest in allowing the banished former elite to return to Russia. The Nazis were particularly concerned with Skorodumovs idea that the Russian National Army should be renewed. At the end of July, Skorodumov began negotiating with Count von Heideck-Corwin, an SS agent in Zagreb, about evacuating Russian emigrants from NDH. A group of 200 people prepared to depart for Belgrade. In the last moment, the Belgrade SD intervened and ordered the arrest of von Heideck-Corwin for overstepping his authority.58 Simultaneously, in the spring and the summer of 1941, the etnik and then the Partisan movements began to gain strength. Partisans began the uprising in Serbia at the end of the summer, by attacking the Serbian municipal authorities and police stations, opponents of the communist ideology, and less often, the Germans. Among the victims were up to three hundred brutally murdered Russian emigrants and their families, and even more Russians were attacked.59 The understanding between the Russian refugees and the Serbian population was breaking down. Batushka Stalin and the Red Army caused diametrically opposed reactions amongst the majority of the Serbian population and the Russian anti-communist migrs who remembered very well what the Red Terror entailed. The Russian white migrs were viewed as blood enemies of Batushka Stalin, and as a result, there was a wave of murders of Russians, not to mention the everyday arguments and assaults on the streets. It was much easier to slit the throat of an isolated Russian family which due to poverty found itself in the Balkan countryside, than to murder an armed German soldier behind whom stood the mighty occupational apparatus, or even an ordinary collaborator who had colleagues and relatives willing to avenge him. Skorodumov wrote after the war that before the end of the summer around three hundred people fell at the hands of the Serbian communists.60 It is impossible to verify the accuracy of this number. The SD recorded a series of murders, assaults and robberies against Russian migrs, but it must be added that SD paid attention to attacks on Russian migrs only when they worked for a German institution. Otherwise, local police authorities refused to conduct investigations, treating all crimes as criminal, in order to avoid attracting the attention of Gestapo or Serbian Special Police. As an example we can cite the tragic case which was described by Nona Belavina, daughter of a priest Sergei Belavin. At nine oclock at night, three armed men forced their way into the municipality building and forced the municipal accountant to take them to Father Sergeis
58 59

60

AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. N91, 4. GARF, R6792, o. 1, d. 327, p. 2832; N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus na Balkanakh vo vremia II Velikoi voiny 19411945 gg. Vospominaniia soratnikov i dokumenty. Sbornik vtoroi (Saint Petersburg: S-Pb gos. un-t, 1999), 44. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 44.

44

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apartment. Under the threat of arms, the accountant shouted: Father Sergei! Who is it? answered the calm voice. Me, Bora continued the scared accountant. Enter, the door is open answered the priest. Two assailants entered the apartment and stayed there one hour afterward, they left, forcing the priest to walk ahead of them with rifle butts. One of them carried a large bundle wrapped in a table cloth. In the alleyway, the priest tried to run away, but the third assailant caught him and viciously beat him with the rifle butt. The peasants who gathered around the house of the unfortunate priest heard the gun shot and after a certain period of time they came to the place of the tragedy. The priests body had a wound and his throat was slit five to six centimeters deep. Several stab wounds were on the chest. The Father Sergei was buried without proper rites because he was the only priest in the area.61 Nona was studying in Belgrade and came to visit her father in a village near Poarevac when he was murdered. Father Sergei was forty-nine years old and he worked as a priest for eighteen years in various Serbian rural parishes. Despite the sad circumstances of her life in Serbia, Nona lived a long and happy family life. She succeeded in life as a poet, a mother, a grandmother and a respected member of the Russian migr community in the USA. Nonetheless, she preserved her love for her second fatherland. Memories of her youth were hidden in the depth of her soul, but she never forgot the country of her youth which she expressed in her poem Belgrade which she wrote after her short visit to Serbia in 1977, for the first time after she left the country in 1944, in order to avoid an encounter with the Red Army.62 In the light of the worsening security situation, the Russian migrs with rich military experience began forming self-defense units on their own initiative. Here is a typical example: Cossack inhabitants of abac, after the Communists slit the throats of five Cossacks and their families, formed two armed detachments under the command of Lieutenant Ionnikov, and afterwards, together with the German units, they defended against the attacks by communists who had surrounded them and attacked them.63 In the town of Bor in Eastern Serbia, armed defensive detachments were also formed on the initiative of the Russian migrs. In these circumstances, with German blessing, Skorodumov decided to organize the Russian Corps. Skorodumov planned and hoped that Russian Corps
61 62 63

AJ, IAB, BdS, br. B922, 12. N.Miklashevskaia (Belavina), Stikhi (New York: n. p., 1985), 122. Pavel Ikonnikovs detachment had 124 Cossacks and it existed from October 12, 1941. AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. I-122; AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP, d. IV 269/25; N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 45; G. Babovi Babovi, Letopis apca. 19331944, ed. S. Petrovi Todisijevi (abac: Biblioteka abaka), 104, 119, 221.

Russian emigrant civil organizations in Yugoslavia

45

would be transferred to the Eastern Front after it eliminated communism in Serbia. On September 12, 1941, he announced mobilization of men aged 1855.64 The speed of these events scared the Germans. Intoxicated by Blitzkriegs success, the Germans were convinced that they could defeat the Red Army without the assistance of Russian nationalists, who, the Nazis feared, could make it difficult to implement their plans for colonizing the occupied territories. In their view, Skorodumov and the people around him were behaving too independently. On September 14, the Belgrade-based Russkii Biulleten was banned and its publisher Lanin was arrested.65 General Skorodumov and the chiefs of departments whom he appointed were removed from their positions. Skorodumov was temporarily placed under arrest. According to Skorodumovs contemporaries, he publically announced his withdrawal from public life, saying that he would return to the Russian Corps as an ordinary soldier when the Soviet Bolsheviks would come to Serbia. In September of 1941 this announcement seemed silly, but Skorodumov kept his word. After his release from jail until 1944, he lived off his small business as a first-class cobbler. When the arrival of the Soviet troops to Serbia was imminent, General Skorodumov again returned to the Corps as an ordinary private and together with the Corps he left Serbia forever. Skorodumov and his allies were replaced in the Bureau with more loyal people General Vladimir Vladimirovich Kreiter headed the Bureau, while Boris Aleksandrovich Shteifon (18811945) commanded the Russian Defense Corps. Even though the majority of the Russian emigration in Yugoslavia was concentrated in Serbia, other parts of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia also had several colonies which encountered their own problems after the occupation. The massacres of the Orthodox population in NDH also affected Russian emigrants, mainly the priests.66 Nonetheless, after the Germans intervened with NDH authorities, the situation stabilized. The Russian emigration, typically, was subjected to a single organization the Representation of the Russian Emigration to NDH. The head of the Representation was Georgii Fermin, the former Czarist consul in Vienna and Zagreb, while his deputy was Dr. Engelgardt.67 The Military Department was led by notable participants of the Civil War in Russia, Generals Danil Pavlovich

64 65 66

67

N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 45. Novo Vreme, September 15, 1941, 2. ROCA priests and monks involvement with the so called Croatian Orthodox Church in 1942 is quite a sensitive issue (out of sixty-two there were twenty Russian priests in this organization, among them its head Germogen Maksimov). V. Djuri, Ustae i Pravoslvlje (Belgrade: Kum, 1989); I. Goriachev, Khorvatskaia pravoslavnaia tserkov v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny, in Vlast i tserkov v SSSR i stranakh Vostochnoi Evropy, 19391958 gg: Diskussionnye aspekty, eds. Murashko G. P., OdintsovM.I., (Moscow: Inslav RAN, 2003), 220231. GARF R5752, o. 1, d. 8, 34.

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Drachenko (1876194?) and Ivan Alekseevich Poliakov.68 As a result of active lobbying by the Representation, parts of migrs were returned to civil service, which was the only source of income for the Russian refugee families. Also, Russian National-Socialist movement emerged in Croatia, a veritable curiosity. Small and extreme, the movement had its emblem, bulletin and representation in Russian colonies in Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Mostar and Sarajevo. Mikhail Aleksandrovich Semionov from Osijek was the founder of the movement and the owner of the industrial company Kaiser-Semenoff. He was also active in mobilizing the Russian migrs for the German police.69 The position of the Russians in NDH was especially perilous in the first year of the Ustaa state. From August 1941 to January 1942, four Russian Orthodox priests were murdered.70 Even though after the intervention of the German embassy on May 31, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of NDH sent an explanatory note to all of its offices that the limitations placed on Serbs did not affect the Russian Orthodox population, this order had no real effect until the Croatian policies towards the Orthodox population changed in 1942 as a result of the states inability to suppress the Serbian uprisings in Bosnia and Croatia. During 1941, the Russian Orthodox emigrants, as well as Serbs, were forced to wear a blue armband with the sign P ( pravoslavac Orthodox). Russian monasteries were shut down, the Archbishops Germogen and Teofan and eight monks moved to a women monastery Hopovo. This was the sole Russian monastery on the territory of the NDH, which the Russian nuns restored just before the war. According to a Russian report in the autumn of 1941, Hopovo monastery was on the verge of being shut down: the Croatian authorities closed the main Church, orphanage, and monks were being forced to leave the monastery. A bigger problem emerged when the NDH adopted a law that all Church holidays had to be celebrated according to the Georgian calendar. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) pleaded with the German Foreign Ministry to reverse this decision. As a result, the Russian priest in Zagreb received permission to lead a mass according to Julian calendar, but the attendance was strictly limited to Russians. The Russian emigrants situation improved only after Pavelis regime created the Croatian Orthodox Church. Russians became
68

69 70

N. Rutych, Bigraficheskii spravochnik vyshikh chinov Dobrovolcheskoi armii i Vooruzhennykh Sil Iuga Rossii. Materialy k istorii Belogo dvizheniia (Moscow: Regnum: Rossiiskii Arkhiv, 2002). V.Kalving, Grazhdanskaia voina v Rossii: Belye armii. Voenno-istoricheskaia biblioteka (Moscow: 2003). V. Klaving, Grazhdanskaia voina v Rossii: Belye armii. Voenno-istoricheskaia biblioteka (Moscow: AST, 2003). Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija u Jugoslaviji. Elaborat UDB, (Bilea: s. n., 1953), 655659. M.D.Smiljani and D.trbac eds., Spomenica pravoslavnih svetenika rtava faistikog terora i palih u narodnooslobodilakoj borbi (Belgrade: Savez udruenja pravoslavnog svetenstva FNRJ, 1960), 39, 40, 48, 59, 86, 88, 96, 130.

migrs in military and police anti-partisan formations in Yugoslavia

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useful in this new policy and the head of Croatia returned some Russians into state service. However, this change increased the hatred of the Partisans towards the emigrants, as a result of which several attacks were carried out against them. Monastery Hopovo was burnt down by the Partisans in 1943, and the remaining monks moved to Serbia.71 Smaller Russian colonies remained in other areas of occupied Yugoslavia, under the rule of Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary. The Russian emigration found itself under the control of migr organizations in the aggressor states. Russian migrs in the Italian part of Slovenia were united with Ljubljana colony and incorporated into the Alliance of Russian Colonies in Italy, which was headed by the Duke of Lichtenberg, Prince SergeiG.Romanovski (18901874),72 Several Russian emigrants (professors of Ljubljana University Evgenii Vasilevich Spektorski and Alexander Dmitrievich Bilimovich) unsuccessfully tried to return to Russia to assist in its rebirth, as they stated in their written pleas to the German consulate.73 Similar situation happened in Macedonia, where the local colony was placed under the Sofia migr organization. It was the same in occupied Vojvodina and Montenegro under the Italian protectorate.

migrs in military and police anti-partisan formations in Yugoslavia


A part of Russian emigrants participated in several military formations which the Germans used against the Partisans during the war. The biggest such unit was the Russian Defense Corps. After the suppression of the ambitious Skorodumovs projects, the Corps was used for only one purpose anti-Partisan actions in Serbia. Thereafter, the Corps received the German appellation, The Russian Defensive Group, and was placed under the German command.74 The unit numbered 1, 500 people towards the end 1941,75 and was used in local anti-Partisan operations, as well as in defense of the mines near Krupanj, Bor and Trepa. After the winter of 19411942, when Germans with the assis71

72 73 74

75

M.V.Shkarovskii, Russkaia tserkovnaia emigratsiia na Balkanakh v kontse 1930kh 1945 gg., in Zarubezhnaia Rossiia, 19171939, ed. V.Iu.Cherniaev, (Sank-Peterburg: Liki Rossii, 2003). Rutych, Bigraficheskii spravochnik. Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 666. Aleksi, Privreda, 230231; M.Obradovi, Dve krajnosti u politikoj delatnosti ruskih izbeglica u Srbiji (19411945), Tokovi istorije, 12 (1997). D.Petrovi, Kvislinke formacije ruskih beloemigranata na teritoriji Istone Srbije tokom Drugog svetskog rata, Razvitak 6 (1966). Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 1, ed. M.Krsti (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1973), 723.

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tance of Nedis SDS (Serbian State Guard), Ljotis SDK (Serbian Volunteer Corps), loyal etniks and the detachments of the Russian Corps succeeded in destroying the Partisan bases in Serbia, the second phase of the civil war and occupation ensued in Serbia, which lasted until the arrival of the Red Army units in the Balkans. During this time, the Russian Defense Group grew in size due to volunteers arriving from the Russian communities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Greece. The Russian Defense Group was integrated into Wehrmacht during 1942, and renamed The Russian Defense Corps. It comprised of five detachments. The Corps never functioned as a united military formation. The largest functional units of the Corps were detachments which were partially or in their entirety placed under the command of various German or Bulgarian occupational divisions as auxiliary troops. Apart from the occasional local operations, the soldiers of the Corps mainly manned the bunkers which defended bridges or railroads, especially in the Ibar River Valley. They also defended the mines and factories of Bor Trepa and Majdanpek, Krupanj, and together with the SGS, SDS and SDK units, the Corps protected the borders of Serbia along Drina and Danube Rivers. According to contemporaries, the Corps received a very important strategic objective to defend the most sensitive places in the economic mechanism of the occupied Serbia. 76 The Corps was formed as a volunteer unit, although there were threats and concealed blackmail against those who refused to enlist. Over the years, a large number of male refugees entered its units, which after the war, had a lethal impact on the demographics of the Russian emigration in Serbia.77 The service in the German military forces additionally blackened the image of the Russian emigrants amongst the Serbs. There were several cases of Russian migrs being murdered in sneak attacks in the late evening hours, when soldiers were on leave.78 In October 1944, the Corps organizers finally had the opportunity to meet the units of the Red Army on the battlefield. At the time, 11,197 people served in the Corps. The name of the Corps changed, as the Defense appellation did not fit the circumstances of the frontal battles. The Corps suffered heavy losses in the unsuccessful attempts to block the penetration of the Partisans and the Red Army into Serbia, as well as during withdrawal to Slovenia via Bosnia when its units engaged in relatively cruel and bloody battles. After the unexpected
76 77

78

Ruska emigracija, 679. It must be noted that the emigrants in Serbia made up only a part of the Corps. Apart from the emigrants from other Balkan countries, the Corps was also reinforced with Soviet prisoners of war. In February and March of 1943, 300 Soviet prisoners of war from the camp in Rovno, Ukraine volunteered to serve in the Corps and they were sent to Belgrade with the approval of General Bader. Bundesarchiv Militrarchiv (BA MA), Freiburg, RW 40/40. D.iri and B.Stani, Plakat br. 99 in Katalog zbirke politikog plakata Muzeja grada Belgrade 19412000 (Belgrade: n. p., 2005).

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death of the General Shteifon, the Cossack Colonel Anatolii Ivanovich Rogozhin became the commander of the Corps.79 By the end of the war, the bulk of the Corps troops managed to leave the Yugoslav territory and surrender to the British. At the time of the capitulation, the Corps had only 5, 584 people. During less than four years of its existence, 17,090 people served in the Corps, and the total number of casualties (killed, seriously wounded or missing in action) was 6,709.80 Another relatively large Russian migr military formation in Yugoslavia during the Second World War was the Variag Battalion which grew into a detachment. This detachment was organized by the Commander of SS police forces in Serbia Gruppenfhrer August von Meyszner, who was not satisfied with the Russian Corps monarchist ideology, which was free of racial prejudices.81 As a result, M.A.Semenov was accepted into SS and he received the rank of Hauptsturmfhrer (captain) in the SS division Prince Eugene. Semenov trained an infantry unit of 400600 people, mostly the extreme right wingers, in the barracks of the Russian Corps. Semenov and his fellow ideologues (N.Chukhnov, Grinev, Osterman and E.P.Lavrov) were based in Palace-Hotel in Belgrade. The Russian Hipo Battalion which had three platoons was based in the Guard Barracks in Banjica. The battalion was financed by the SS but it was placed under the operational command of the local Wehhrmacht commander. In the meantime, the adroit Semenov received the German citizenship, becoming von Semenoff. Since there were not many volunteers for a police career in the service of the Third Reich, Semenov was forced to spread the rumor that his battalion was preparing for special operations on the Eastern Front an airborne attack on Novorossiisk. After the battalion was formed, it received the status of an auxiliary police unit and was used against the Partisans in Yugoslavia.82 The companies which were formed by Semenov were based in Smederevo and Poarevac. A special cavalry squadron was formed in 1943. It comprised of radical youth, and it was placed under the command of
79

80 81

82

There were rumors of a suicide, however, his sudden death would not have been surprising either in view of sharp and controversial reversals in his life which could have undermined his health, especially considering the hopeless situation he found himself in at the end of the Second WorldWar. Rossisskii Gosudarstvennyi Voenno-Istoricheskii Arkhiv (RGVIA), f. Lichnye dela ofitserov Generalnobo Shtaba, ShteifonB.A.; S.A.Mankov, Kharkovskie tsekhovye predki generala B.A.Shteifona (19911945), in Deviatye Peterburgskie genealogicheskie chteniia Genealogiia gorodskikh soslovii (Saint Petersburg: n. p., 2005); E.Zub, I takie zemliaki byvaiut Boris Aleksandrovich Shteifon, Sobytie No 28 (2004). Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus, 403405. This can be seen from Meyszners confidential report to Himmler on October 23, 1942. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 2, ed. D.Gvozdenovi (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1976), 805809. N.V.Chukhnov, Smiatennye gody: ocherki nashei borby v gody 19411965 (New York: Vseslavianskoe izdatelstvo, 1967), 2425; V.Shatov, Bibliografiia Osvoboditelnogo dvizheniia narodov Rossii v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (19411945) (New York: Vseslavianskoe izdatelstvo, 1961).

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Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

Mikhail Shidlovskii and was based near Grocka at first, and then near Bela Crkva. Another migr Hipo unit was based in Kikinda.83 There is very little information on what happened to these Russians in the German police uniforms. In the Archive of Yugoslavia, the fund of Dravne komisije za utvrivanje zloina okupatora i njihovih pomagaa (The State Commission for Determination of Crimes of Occupiers and Their Collaborators) holds documents of the Department for Material Aid for SS family members in Serbia, which was based in Bekerek (Petrovgrad). Out of 2,050 personal dossiers, 279 people can be identified as Russians by their place of birth, or if they were born after 1921, by their Russian first names and surnames. The majority of these people served in the III Hipo Battalion which was part of the Second Volunteer Police Regiment Serbia in 1944 (III Hipo.Batl./Polizei Freiwilligen Regiment 2 Serbien). However, a number of Russians also served in other parts of this Regiment. The Second Volunteer Police Regiment Serbia was formed out of smaller Hipo units which were consolidated in 1944.84 Judging by their personal SS numbers, the majority of Russians SS troops were recruited in three or four waves from the middle of 1942 to early 1943. Based on this, we can presume that these people were young anti-communists, nationalist Russian migrs who were recruited by Semenov. Part of the Russian migrs remained in this unit until the very end of its existence in 1945, but its most active members had a different fate. LieutenantN.D.Korvnikov, Semenovs wartime comrade, told to his interviewer the following events which occurred several months into his service in the Smederevobased 11th Hipo Regiment. Semenov identified Korvnikov and several other young men as reliable. Thereafter, he was transferred to a special training camp in Upper Silesia in Germany at the end of 1942. After the training was completed, their unit was reinforced with Soviet prisoners of war. In early 1943, Semonov left Serbia and joined their unit. For almost two years, these former Russian refugees from Yugoslavia served in an organization known as Zeppelin (Unternehmen Zeppelin/RSHA Amt VI). They engaged in diversionary tasks on the Eastern Front. At the end of 1943, the surviving Russian migrs from Yugoslavia were sent for brief training to city of Cheb in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, where they were promoted to officers. Afterwards, their group grew into a larger unit, which was reinforced with Soviet prisoners of war. Eventually, three battalions were formed, each comprising of three companies. Individual companies were temporarily integrated into the German units and they participated in frontal battles against the Red Army on the Eastern Front. At the end of 1944, Semenov
83 84

Ruska emigracija, 706; , f. DK, 724 Schiedlovski Michael, 609. NeufeldtH.A., HuckJ., TessinG., Zur Geschichte der Ordnungspolizei 19361945 (Koblenz: s. n., 1957); NixP., JeromeG., The Uniformed Police Forces of the Third Reich 19331945 (Solna: Leandoer & Ekholm, 2006).

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returned to Yugoslavia with his surviving soldiers to fight against the Yugoslav Partisans.85 The first group of Semenovs soldiers reached Kamnik, Slovenia, in September, 1944. They immediately engaged in battles with the Partisans. Semenovs unit was known as the SS Hunting Battalion (SS Jger Bataillon), and it had around 500 soldiers. The Battalions Commander was Hauptsturmfhrer Genadii Grinov, a Don Cossack from Novocherkassk who escaped to Yugoslavia after the Russian Civil War in Russia.86 Since Grinov and part of his officers were from Cossack lands, they allowed the wearing of Cossack fur hats. As a result, the Slovenian Partisans called them Cossacks. According to the Partisan information, the battalion was comprised of three companies, each consisting of 150 people. Each company had four platoons and one heavily armed platoon with machine guns and light Italian mortars. In addition, the Battalion received a special mortal platoon which was armed with 82mm Soviet mortars. The battalion had enough automatic weapons one German MG-34, four Soviet Maxims, four heavy Italian machine guns, six Czech light machine guns, several Soviet automatic rifles and four anti-tank guns.87 Grinov, the Commander of the Battalion, and several of his officers arrived to Ljubljana, in November, 1944. Semenov soon joined them, followed by a group of Soviet prisoners of war in January, 1945, who were supposed to replenish the units ranks. A Regiment was formed out of migr officers and Soviet soldiers, which was headed by SS Standartenfhrer Mikhail von Semenov. His deputy was SS Hauptsturmfhrer (and later SS Sturmbannfhrer) Genadiy Grinov), who also added von to his name in order to improve his Slavic surname. The Regiment had the 1st and 2nd Battalions and a special diversionary company which began engaging the Partisans in February, 1945. Before the end of February, another battalion was formed in Ljubljana, which was immediately thrown into battle against the Partisans. In addition, the Regiment received a mortar company, an artillery battery and a commanders and a pioneers platoons. According to archival sources, the Semenovs units numbered 2, 500 people on February 20, 1945. Its official name was the First Special Regiment SS Variag (Sonderregiment SS I Varger). The Regimental headquarter staff comprised of migr officers, however, five of the most senior officers had taken German citizenship. The Commander of the 1st Battalion was A.S.Orlob, 2nd battalion Kachengin, and 3rd Battalion Oster85

86 87

KazantsevN., O Variage to, chto nikogda ne bylo skazano, Nasha strana (Buenos Aires), May 8, 2010; KovtunI.I., ZhukovD.A., Russkie esesovtsy v boiu. Soldaty ili karateli? (Moscow: Iauza-Press, 2009). , DK, 25041 Grinjov Genady. Podroben opis sovranih edinic na teritoriju kontroliranem po NOV in POS (n. p.: s. n., 1945), 38; , DK, 50024, Orlow Aleksander.

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man. The lower-ranking officers came largely from the Soviet prisoners of war who volunteered to serve for the Germans. The soldiers of the unit carried the emblem ROA, and for propaganda purposes, they were treated as Vlasovites.88 The Regiment Variag deployed up to one battalion in any one operation, mainly in the cleansing of terrain actions aimed at the Partisans. The success of the unit was evident in the fact that the Commander the Regiment received the Iron Cross, initially of the Second Class and then the First Class.89 At the end of the war, part of the troops were captured by Partisans and executed in Koevski Rog together with other Yugoslav collaborators. The remaining part of the Variag, as well as ROK, succeeded in fleeing Yugoslavia and they surrendered themselves up to the British. The Soviet soldiers were handed over to the Bolsheviks, while migrs were offered an opportunity to move South America.90 The proponents of Cossack and Ukrainian separatism in emigration were less successful than the Russians. A small group of Cossack separatists failed to form a large organization, and as a result, the height of their activity was spreading propaganda materials amongst the Russian Corps soldiers which had little impact. The problem was that the majority of ordinary Cossacks were concerned with everyday issues of survival; they created local households, had children who did not speak Russian well, let alone preserve the tradition of Cossack separatism. The educated Cossacks the officers were deeply imbued with the Russian national spirit and monarchism. The goal of creating a separate Cossack nation was without prospect for success from the very beginning of the occupation. During the census of Russian refugees in Serbia immediately after the occupation began, Germans did not even offer the option of identifying oneself as a Cossack. Instead, all were declared to be Russians. The only result which the Cossack separatists achieved was that the Germans permitted the creation of All-Cossack Union in Serbia, which was located in a private apartment in Belgrade in Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 77, and later in Street of Kraljice Natalije 90, next to the Russian House, where the Russian Bureau was based. The fact that the Cossack separatists had more Atamans (leaders) than supporters, made the situation only worse. General Alferov, who participated in these events, believed that the Cossacks had neither peace nor unity [There was] too much politics and all type of intrigues and little honesty. There is the struggle for power, even not for power, but for shadow of power. And
88

89

90

AIZDG, 64/III, 157/IIII, AFK, 281/IV; Arhiv SUP Ljubljana, Mikroteka VII-10, 258; Zbornik NOR-a, t. VI, knj. 18, ed. S.Kovaevi (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 711. Zakharov V. V., Koluntaev S. A., Russkaia emigratsiia v antisovetskom, antistalinskom dvizhenii (1930e 1945 gg.), in Materialy po istorii russkogo osvoboditelnogo dvizheniia 19411945,, ed. A.Okorokov (Moscow: Arhiv ROA, 1998), vol. 2, 106108, 471472. DrobiazkoS., KarashchukA., Russkaia osvoboditelnaia armiia (Moscow: AST, 1999), 4.

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in this struggle the Cossack leaders and various types of characters who pretended to be at the top forgot about the main thing: about the Cossacks.91 Independent Cossacks did not want to be submerged with nationalist and monarchist ROK soldiers. According to the head of the Cossack separatists in ROK: Russian action has reached its height. We are completely sidelined, we are ignored, and all of our questions are answered with [the advice A.T.] that we should endure.92 All attempts to create a unit independent of ROK failed. Pavel Poliakov, the leader of the Cossack separatists in Serbia, desperately sought a solution: Few days ago a certain Mr. Semenov appeared here, who works for German gendarmes. He had a meeting with me. And that conversation was in form of half-interrogation, half-monologue. ToMr. Semenovs questions of how and to what degree could we Cossacks participate in the battle, I answered that we had put forward so far at least ten plans for Cossack units of various types, from administrative police units to labor and military units, but unfortunately, we had no success. At this the conversation came to an end since Mr. Semenov did not come to the second meeting which we arranged. At the beginning I offered him 250 people who were forty-six years old. Now, I know that Semenov, together with Lanin opened an office in Belgrade and he is recruiting everybody at a ceremony for Russian police, a German colonel Kevish delivered a speech in which he said that there were some Cossack generals who are agitating against the police, so these generals should remember that we will take care of those who are sabotaging German plans93 In December, 1942, ROK was reformed. Cossacks and Kalmyks (who in Czarist Russia also sought the Cossack status) were concentrated in the 1st Regiment. Despite this, the majority of Cossacks and officers of the Regiment were monarchists and Russian nationalists. They were definitely not separatists or supporter of an independent Cossack state. General-MajorV.Zborovskii, the Commander of the 1st Regiment, was a former officer of the Czarist Cossack Guard, and later on he was the Commander of the Guard.94 The Cossacks only success was the creation of the 1st Company of Independent Cossacks as part of the 1st Regiment of ROK. Aleksandr Mikhailovich Protopopov was the Commander of this unit.95 Nonetheless, the creation of a pro-separatist Cossack unit did not herald in new German policy towards Cossacks. Poliakov wrote on May 27, 1943: the general line is going somewhere far from us, and I could stand on my head, but even then nothing good will happen.
91 92 93 94 95

GARF, R5752, o. 1, d. 9, 2. Ibid., 2. Ibid., 2. V.Tretiakov, ed., Vernye dolgu 19411945, 810. Ibid, 48.

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It is difficult to force yourself as a friend on a man whom, it seems to me, is indifferent to this friendship. A man came to see me from the Eastern Front, not a Cossack, but a smart and a judicious man. He said that they would only allow to go to the East [Russia A.T.] those who understood the German wishes, their new ideas and the direction. After this, I tossed around in bed all night, and in the morning I came to conclusion that I do not understand anything. It seemed to me before that our wish to sacrifice everything in the name of the struggle in the East, our general wish to participate in it under the slogans of new principles and new Europe, that our past anti-communist and nationalist activity was a sufficient guarantee for everything. But no we either did not get something, or we are missing something, or we are completely unnecessary and we are too much of a burden96 Poliakovs greatest disappointment was in June 1943, when he met Dr. Himpel, the Eastern Ministrys specialist on Cossacks. In Belgrade, Mr. Himpel had to meet General Zborovskii, Colonel Galushkin, Neumenko, Tatarkin and Vdovenko. All of them [were A.T.] monarchists, from extreme to the usual he met me by accident the conversation with me ended quickly, we did not even talk for one hour for two days while he stayed in Belgrade, Mr. Himpel talked to Neumenko, Tatarkin, Vdovenko, Kreitor for more than two hours, he visited Naumenko for dinner, and he visited him again for the second time General Kreiter was present everywhere, as well as his deputy Serdakovski. Kreiter the head of the Russian Bureau, and Serdakovski was his right-hand and a fan on General Turkul, our open enemy. At the dinner Kreiter delivered a brief speech: here you go Cossacks, you have finally received the first aid. If you were always first in Russia, you are also first now. He, Kreiter, hopes that soon after the Cossacks, the other Russians will depart to fight together with Cossacks for the freedom of the joint fatherland. All present were very satisfied with Kreiters speech In my conversation with Mr. Himpel, I paid attention to his words: Cossack News (the publication of Cossack separatists A.T.) writes too sharply against Russia. He told the same thing to General Shkuro, who narrated this to me in great detail, because even though they did not invite him, he went to the dinner as the senior Kuban officer. In my conversation, when I mentioned the Cossack literature, Mr. Himpel mentioned Krasnov as an author renowned around the world. He did not like my words about Cossack literature at all, and he literary said that in such a case we can talk about the literature of the city of Tula. He knows nothing about the young authors Mister Himpel also followed Mr. Sturmbannfhrer Rexeisen, a man who holds a very high positionHe carries a lot of weight and his word means a lot. I saw him only once. Our conversation did not succeed because when
96

GARF, R5752, o. 1, d. 9, 16.

migrs in military and police anti-partisan formations in Yugoslavia

55

I told him that I am only a Cossack, and not a Russian, he politely ended with me all communication.97 Similarly, the Cossack separatists in Bulgaria and NDH, who cooperated with their Belgrade-based counterparts, had no success. An attempt to form another company failed individual Cossacks arrived, but due to health problems or old age, they were not accepted, and the remainder independently joined police units.98 Ivan Poliakov, the Ataman of the Cossack National Union in Serbia, summarized the meager results of the Cossack separatist activities in a letter to Vasilii Glaskov, the leader of the Cossack National Movement, dated August 26, 1943. Looking back on the two-year work of the Union, I can openly say all of this was in vain. Our line is obviously unacceptable, about national formations there is not even a word. The entire military operation is in the hands of the Russian legitimists. German military authorities do not take us seriously. In general, the Cossack question has been put on the backburner. The separation of Cossacks in the Russian Corps was only nominal, a lot of Cossacks are left in Russian Regiments They view the Cossacks as type of a military formation, and not a nation.99 In Croatia, the Cossack separatists were even less successful. Poliakovs fellow ideologue from Croatia, S.K.Fastunov, wrote in May, 1942 that there were only four Cossack nationalists in all of Croatia.100 The last recorded activity of the Cossack National Union in Serbia was a telegram which a Cossack separatist leader, Glaskov, sent to Prague from Linz on September 30, 1944: three days ago I arrived to Linz with the first group of our Union to Linz, where our brother Taburetskii was supposed to wait for me as promised to me in Belgrade. All day today I was looking for him but I could not find him. We arrived with a group of police family members, we have been accommodated in a settlement camp where we went through all formal checks and now I dont know what will happen with us next. We do not want to stay in the camp because its administrators are Russians from Belgrade, who will definitely hinder us. Now we are keeping ourselves apart as a special group. Please let me know whats going on with Taburetskii and what we should do next. Nedozhgin stayed in Belgrade to collect the second group and he will come here with them. Right now, there are thirty-four of us here with women and children. Be quick to respond. Glory to the Cossacks! EngineerM.Morozov.101 Ukrainian separatists also did not do too well in Serbia, but they encountered more understanding in Croatia since they were able to convince the political
97 98 99 100 101

Ibid, 21. Ibid, 24. Ibid, 24. GARF, R5752, o. 1, d. 8, 4. GARF, R5752, o. 1, d. 9, 27.

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Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

leadership of NDH about the supposed historical similarities between RussianUkrainian and Serbo-Croatian relations.102 V.Voitanovskii headed The Ukrainian Representation to the NDH Government and simultaneously was the representative of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN),103 a nationalist far rightwing organization which was led by Andriy Manly.104 Soon after the formation of the NDH, in the middle of the spring of 1941, General August Mari (18851946), the head of the Ground Forces of Croatia, ordered the formation of a Ukrainian battalion to be based in Biha. Croats assumed the senior positions in the unit, while junior officers and sergeants were Ukrainian nationalist refugees. A large part of the soldiers were recruited from local Ukrainian and Russyn populations who moved to the Balkans during the Habsburg Monarchy. By the end of 1941, the Battalion suffered such high casualties that the soldiers had lost moral and martial spirit. Therefore, the ranks were replenished with Croatian soldiers and the battalion was turned into an ordinary unit of the Croatian Home Guard (Domobrani in Croatian).105 Some Russian migrs served directly in the units of puppet regimes which were set up after the occupation of Yugoslavia. More than fifty former officers in Croatia (mainly those married to Croats) continued their service in the ranks of the Croatian Home Guard in the NDH.106 Some of these Russians in the 369th Reinforced Infantry Regiment fought on the Eastern Front 19411943. The Croatian Legions journal revealed several names of Russian officers Lieutenants Mikhail Korobkin, Mikhail Zubchevskii and Lar Tohtamishev. Also, the Soviet volunteers appeared in the unit, as well as in other German formations. Paveli gave out only three silver bravery medals to the Legionaries, two of which were awarded to Russians Korobkin and Zubchevskii. The remainder of the unit was withdrawn from its positions on January 12, 1943, and it was transformed into two labor companies consisting of Russian volunteers and prisoners, until they were captured by the Soviets.107 There were practically no Russian migrs in the Serbian military (as well as in civil) service, unlike in Croatia. The reason for this was the Prime Minister of Serbia General Milan Nedis decree of May, 1942, that all Russians must be
102

103

104 105 106 107

At the time, Serbian nationalists also noted the similar fate of Russians and Serbs who suffered from the German mistrust, D. Ljoti, Memorandum Nemcima (1.1944), Sabrana dela Volume IX, ed. Z.Pavlovi, (Belgrade: Iskra, 2003). Ie. Matsiah, Ukraintsi v Horvatii, in Orhanizatsiia ukrainskyh natsionalistiv: 19291954 (s. l: s.n, 1955), 399. S.A.Shumov and A.P.Andreev, Banderovshchina (Moscow: Eksmo, Algoritm, 2005). Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 710. Ibid.,715. V. Miki, Zrakoplovstvo Nezavisne Drave Hrvatske. 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut Vojske Jugoslavije, 2000), 129138; T.LiksoT., D.anak, Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo u Drugom svjetskom ratu (Zagreb: Nacionalna i sveuilina knjinica, 1998), 108109.

migrs in military and police anti-partisan formations in Yugoslavia

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released from the state service, regardless whether they had Yugoslav citizenship prior to the occupation. One of Russian police civil servants, S.A.Golubev, wrote: according to the decision of the Sir Minister of the Internal Affairs in May, 1942, I was fired from the state service based on the Law on Official persons, as a Russian.108 The Serbian authorities fired non-Serbs in order to provide employment for the large number of Serbian refugees which were arriving from literary all sides. Nikolai Dmitrievich Gubarev was a rare exception. Gubarev arrived to Serbia as a child, early on he was left without his parents, but he started working in police from 1928.109 In 1941, he transferred to Special Police which fought against the rebels: in the beginning he headed the Department for the Struggle against the Communists, and later on he was the main specialist in the struggle against Mihailovis supporters.110 Several Russians fought in Nedis volunteer units (mainly in Milo Vojinovis Detachment). However, all of Russians were transferred to Hipo by the middle of 1942.111 The Russian migrs heeded in great numbers the call to serve in various formations in the Balkans. In this context, it is important to compare the number of Russian emigrants in the Balkans (around 30,000 in Yugoslavia, and 15,000 in Bulgaria) out of whom the Russians Corps was mainly formed, in contrast to other large Russian colonies which did not participate in such great numbers in the events of 19391945. According to the information from the Nance Committee for the Support of Refugees, there were 100,000 Russians in France, 80,000 in Poland, 40,000 in Germany, 9,000 in Czechoslovakia and 8,000 in Belgium.112 A significant number of emigrants fought only in France on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition, around 3,000, but mostly as a result of the compulsory mobilization in 1940, and not as volunteers as was the case in the Russian migr units in the Balkans. According to the contemporary German military doctrine, one million civilian inhabitants can form around two divisions,113 or it could provide 34% of the total population, considering that a German infantry division had around 17, 734 soldiers and officers.114 This average percentage of the normal mobilization was greatly exceeded by the Russians in the Balkans and the number of volunteers
108 109

110

111

112

113 114

AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP, d. Golubjev Sergija. Russians in the service of the Serbian police were not a rarity. The Serbian police especially valued their reliable anti-communism in the struggle against such movements, , f. 14, f. 24, . 115, 83150. AJ, IAB, Suenje saradnicima okupatora (Beerevia Boidara, Vukovia Svetozara i Gubarev Nikole), XXXVII/73. KovtunI.I., ZhukovD.A., Russkie esesovtsy v boiu. Soldaty ili karateli? (Moscow: Iauza-Press, 2009); Babovi, Letopis, 103. S.V.Karpenko ed., Mezhdu Rossiei i Stalinym. Rossiskaia emigratsiia i Vtoraia mirovaia voina (Moscow: RGGU2004), 7. F.Galder, Voennyi dnevnik, tom 3 kn. 1 (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1971), 256. B.Miuller-Gillebrand, Sukhoputnaia armiia Germanii 19441945 gg (Moscow: Izografus, 2006), 86.

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in the Russians Corps and auxiliary police formations, even if we take into account the specific demographic and social features of the emigrants in which the men with war experience were more present than was normally the case. We will try to reconstruct the motivation for this extraordinary mobilization. First, material reasons should be considered. As a result of mass firings during the war, emigrants had to provide for themselves and their families to survive. Due to large number of Serbian and Slovenian refugees from NDH and Slovenian territories adjoined to the Reich, the Serbian government decreed in 1942 that all Russians should be let go from the state service regardless of their citizenship (even those who had Yugoslav citizenship),115 which brought many Russians into a precarious position. In these circumstances, service in the ranks of the Russian Corps was a relatively attractive option. In 1942, rank and file soldiers and sergeants received 6075 Reich Marks (RM) per month (with bonus for family 90105 RM), junior officers from 105145 RM (with bonus for the family 145210 RM), officers 210340 RM (with the family bonus 270430 RM), senior officers (from captain to the colonel) 400620 RM (with the family bonus 520800 RM).116 In view of the artificial exchange rate (one RM for twenty Serbian dinars),117 the Russians salaries were relatively large.118 It is noteworthy that the ordinary troops and corporals in the Eastern Legions, the Russian and the Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions in the service of the Third Reich received 3042 RM (fifty-four for those with families).119 In Variag and other auxiliary police units the salaries were even higher, which attracted to their ranks individual soldiers and sergeants from the Russian Corps.120 It must not be forgotten that by 1941 two decades had passed from the end of the Civil War and that being a mercenary as a way of life was no longer as appealing as it was during the time of Colonel Miklashevskii.121 Even though the
115

116 117 118

119

120 121

Reenjem Gospodina Ministra unutranjih poslova III. br. 285 od 18. maja 1942. godine, otputen sam iz dravne slube na osnovu 104, t. 16 Zakona o inovnicima, kao Rus UGB SP, AO/PO, 15/5.. GARF R6792, o. 2, d. 68, 4, s. 97. GARF R7493, o. 1, d. 10, 133. One could rent a room in Belgrade for 275 dinars per month, 300 dinars was enough to feed one person (eggs, fat, cornbread, flour, beans, coffee and wine (GARF R 7439, o. 1, d. 4, pp. 552572). Nonetheless, the salaries which the German soldiers received, even after the Russian Corps was formally put on the same footing as the Germans, were even larger. Die Besoldung eines Soldaten der Wehrmacht, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Soldat/Besoldung. htm. Except that in the occupied part of the USSR one Reich Mark equaled 125 Soviet Rubles. S.I.Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga (Moscow: Eksmo, 2005), 182 1183. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 128129. On Christmas Day in 1924, 200 Russian soldiers and officers under the command of Colonel Miklashevskii, on behest of the Yugoslav government while funded by the Albanian opposition, entered Tirana, overthrew the pro-communist government of Fana Noli and established the rule of AhmetZog. Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 5658; A.V.Okorokov, Russkie dobrovoltsy. Neizvestnye voiny XIXXX vekov (Moscow: Avuar konsalting, 2004), 8389.

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majority of Russian migrs who had arrived to the Kingdom of SCS participated in the First World War or the Civil War (62%), the number of professional soldiers in their ranks was relatively small (28.6%),122 since the bulk of the Russian professional army was killed in the bloody battles 19141918.123 The middle and younger generations were totally integrated into peaceful civilian life, so that in the case that they were fired, it was easier for them to leave for Germany which had more employment opportunities.124 However, military service during a global war, participation in active anti-Partisan operations in difficult mountainous terrain against the numerous, ideologically motivated and a resolute enemy, required more than mercenary motives. Those who wanted to secure themselves materially without great risks did not stay too long in the Corps. These military refugees caused bitter emotions amongst the patriotic Russian migrs. Anatolii Maksimov described such a situation. Maksimov joined the Corps but was quickly disappointed and managed to leave it, heading off to work in safer Germany and occupied France. When a fifteen year old girl from a Belgrade Russian emigrant family, a daughter of Maksimovs friend, found out about his plans to leave the Corps, she was enraged. At first she impulsively threatened to call Gestapo, and when she calmed down a bit, she threw out the coward from the apartment regardless of the curfew or the impoliteness of this act.125 Some migrs really did try to find new employment in Germany or the Protectorate and they left Serbia. The daughter of Dr.N.V. Krainskii went to work in Germany, and she was subsequently joined by the old professor. The traces of this migration movement are preserved in Gestapos archives, which had to issue a security clearance to each person who voluntarily asked to work in Germany.126 Undoubtedly, non-material motivations also influenced the Russian emigrants to take up the riffle after twenty years of a peaceful life. The members of the anti-Partisan formation cited several non-material motives. As an initial reason they cited the need to defend themselves against the Partisan and Communist terror. It must be conceded that there were several murders of the Rus122 123

124

125

126

Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 183. Russia lost in the First World War around 2, 300,000 officers and soldiers. At the beginning of the war, there were 1,423,000 officers and soldiers in the Imperial Army. KrivosheevaG.F., Rossia i SSSR v voinakh XX veka: statisticheskoe issledovanie (Moscow: Olma-Press, 2001), 91109. Russian emigrants who went to occupied Western Europe did not have problems with adapting to their new environment. See M.Vasilchikova, Berlinskii dnevnik, 19401945 (Moscow: Nashe Nasledie: Poligrafresursy, 1994); AJ, IAB, f. BDS, d. G-703). This was a consequence of the German policy of maximally exploiting the labor resources of occupied countries and its satellites. Ristovi, Nemaki novi poredak, 248; Aleksi, Privreda, 313. MaksimovA., Kratkaia biografiia Anatoliia Maksimova dlia zhurnala Foks, chast tretia, accessed September 16, 2012, http://fox.ivlim.ru/showarticle. asp? id=2463. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. G-151, G-144, G-110, E-9, E-4, D-611, D-46, C-24, B-365, B-208, B-169, B-1087, B-73, B-28.

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sian migrs and their families, and even more physical and verbal assaults from the left-oriented inhabitants of Serbia, as a result of which the life of migrs in the provinces became unpleasant and even dangerous.127 The most important motive to serve on the Nazi side was the wish to return to their place of birth not as wretches who had to admit their mistake, but triumphantly as victors. That is why the events of 19411945 in the collective consciousness of the emigrants are viewed as continuation of the unfinished Civil War in Russia against the Bolsheviks. The memories of the bloody and traumatic events of the Bolshevik Revolution and the general hatred of monsters in the Red Kremlin were an important (perhaps even the most important) factor in providing cohesion to the entire social group of the Russian migrs. A letter written by the organizer of the unit Russian Commandos, General Andrei Grigorievich Shkuro, testifies to the importance of this factor amongst the older and middle generations. The letter was sent in the summer of 1941 to the leader of the Ukrainian emigrants in Zagreb, who were at the time the only ones who could send their sympathizers to the Eastern Front. In this letter, which was translated to Ukrainian language, Shkuro wrote about his wish to return to his homeland and help in its liberation from communism.128 After the creation of the Russian Corps, and the arrival to the Balkans of the 15th Cossack Division, the General no longer had any use for pro-Ukrainian fighters and he stopped writing letters to Ukrainian nationalists. In these circumstances, the right-wing Russians viewed the Partisans as bearers of the enemy ideology, while the Russian Corps was considered to be the kernel of the future liberation army.129 This is the reason why the first fighters of the Russian Corps in September, 1941, were educated youth who attended military courses before the war as volunteers, instead of unemployed and unqualified workers without permanent source of income (which is more typical of mercenary armies). High-school and University students attended military courses before the war and enlisted in the so called Detachment for Pre-Mobilization of the Youth, which was formed by Colonel Mikhail Timofeeevich Gordeev-Zaretski and the ROVS 4th Department (The Russian General Military Alliance).130 The junior officers and officers in the Detachment were young, mostly educated and employed, Russian emigrants who had completed the three-year military-course run by
127 128

129

130

AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. B-922, J-408. O.Kucheruk, Bazhaiu shche raz posluzhiti moii batkivshchini (general Andrii Shkuro i Organizatsiia Ukrainskikh Natsionalistiv), Viiskovo-istorichnii almanakh No. 3 (2001). P.P.Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus na Balkanakh i vo vremia II Velikoi voiny 19411945 gg. Istoricheskii ocherk i sbornik vospominanii soratnikov (New York: Nashi vesti, 1963), 21, 90. Russian General-Military Alliance (ROVS Russkii obshchevoinskii soiuz) was the only direct descendent of the White Guard units after they were evacuated from Crimea. ROVS had its branches in all the countries where Russian emigrans lived.

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ROVS.131 The Russian Corps fighters viewed the struggle with Titos Partisans from a global perspective. They considered it to be a local front against the communists. This global approach could be found in the works of Evgenii Eduardovich Mesner, the Corps ideologue who also dealt with the strategy and the tactics of the anti-Partisan operations.132 We must not ignore the evident integration of Russian emigrants in the Serbian society, which had de facto become closer to them than the imagined and idealized Czarist Russia which lived in their memories. After the lightening and mighty assault of the motorized units of the Red Army in the autumn of 1944 against the 2nd ROK Regiment, panic erupted in German and Russian garrisons along Danube. As a result of their hasty withdrawal from Poarevac, the advancing Soviet and Partisan forces captured the documents of the 2nd ROK Regiment.133 As a result, the archive of the Military-Historical Institute in Belgrade holds a folder with fifty-two dossiers of sergeants and junior officers of the 2nd Regiment.134 This collection of documents offers a unique chance to investigate the men of the Corps. The majority of dossiers belonged to the older people from the first generation of migrs. Only one dossier belonged to a younger man, whose father also served in the Corps. This young man, Mikhail Lermontov, the namesake and descendent of the famous poet, was a signaler, since as a young man he had more opportunities to study according to German regulations. At the same time, the average matrimonial status of this ROK sample was unusual. Based on these documents, we can assert that members of the Corps were well integrated into migr and Serbian societies. According to dossiers, out of 52 Corps members, only 36% were single, while 64% were married. Notably, the majority of those who were married had Serbian wives. These relationships comprised happy families, and they were definitely not fictive. Out of all the children mentioned in the dossiers, two thirds were out of the Russian-Serbian relationships. It is interesting to note that the children from these marriages had typically either Serbian names or Russian names which could easily be adapted to the Serbian milieu. This testifies to the fact that these people were well integrated into Russian migr community, as well as the Serbian society. In view of the fact that the absolute majority (fifty one out of fifty two) of the people from the sample had higher education, we can say that the fertility rates were much higher than was typical for this category of Russian emigrants in general.135 We can suppose that the marriage rate (including those married to
131 132 133 134

135

Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus, 52; N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 56, 79. E.Messner, Hochesh mira, pobedi miatezhvoinu! (Moscow: Voennyi universitet, Russkii put, 2005). Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus, 403405. The remainder of the archive was destroyed towards the end of the war just before ROK surrendered to the Anglo-American allies. For more details about the Russian emigrations in the Balkans, see Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija.

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Role of the russian emmigration in the civil war and occupation ofYugoslavia

women from their second homelands) would be higher had we had the sample from 1st Regiment, which was formed by Don and Kuban Cossacks. At the same time, other characteristics of the Corps members of this sample are completely typical, which testifies to the fact they were representative of wider migr circles in Serbia. The majority of the fifty-two people were born in the European part of Russia, and those born in the Southern and Western Russia Kharkov, Kiev, Grodnen and Vilnius regions dominate the sample. This was typical of the Russian emigration in the Balkans in general, who arrived to the Southeastern Europe from Southern Russia. The religious and national composition of the men also needs to be noted. The majority of them were indisputably of Great Russian (according to the surnames) origin. However, there is one Pole (surname name and the Catholic religion), an Orthodox German from Volga Region (surname) and several who definitely had Little Russian and Belorussian roots (surnames and the places of birth). One Russian ROK Lieutenant even recorded in the questionnaire the information for his wife, who was an Orthodox Finn judging by her surname and place of birth. In this sense, the general indifference towards the ethnic origins of the ROK members (in the traditions of the Czarist Russian Military) was obvious. In their view, what counted was the membership in the Orthodox community and the loyalty to the Russian State Idea. The level of mobilization of the Russian emigrants in the anti-communist struggle in the civil war in Serbia and Yugoslavia became even more pronounced in the last phase of the war from the autumn of 1944 to the spring of 1945. As Germanys defeat became evident, they developed the most varied ideas to avoid defeat. During these decisive moments, contacts between Serbian and Slovenian anti-communist formations multiplied with each other and the Russian anti-communist formations. The general direction of withdrawal from Serbia to Slovenia unified the Slovenian Home Guard led by Lav Rupnik, SDK and part of etnik leaders (Momilo ujic and others). They also developed contacts with units of General Vlasov with the aim of realizing an adventurist idea to set up an anticommunist Slovenian state in Northern Yugoslavia.136 Ljoti held on to this idea, and he even sent Boidar Najdanovi to General Vlasov as an emissary. Ljoti also established close relations with units of the 15th Cossack Division and with officers of the Variag Regiment.137 These ideas were supported by Russians as

136

137

R.Pareanin, Drugi svetski rat i DimitrijeV.Ljoti (Belgrade: A..Jeli, P.Jankovi, 2001), 479480, 483; B.Kosti, Za istoriju naih dana (Belgrade: Nova Iskra, 1996) 206234. B. M. Karapandi, Graanski rat u Srbiji, 19411945 (Belgrade: Nova Iskra, 1993), 429430; Ia.A.Trushnovich, Russkie v Iugoslavii i Germanii, 19411945, Novyi Chasovoi 2 (Saint Petersburg, 1994).

The anti-communist activity of civilian Russian migrs in Yugoslavia during the war

63

well in 1945. Vlasov even congratulated Nedi on Christmas.138 Even though these ideas did not end up materializing into anything concrete, their very existence was indicative of the Russian mobilization in the Yugoslav civil war.

The anti-communist activity of civilian Russian migrs in Yugoslavia during the war
The Russian emigration was also involved in the anti-communist propaganda efforts during the civil war and the occupation of Yugoslavia. Russian graphic artists, who played an important role in the golden age of the Yugoslav comic book and contributed greatly to the development of this branch of art, participated in the visual struggle against the communist ideology. Konstantin Kuznetsov, one of the founders of the Serbian comic book and a very talented cartoonist, drew caricatures in Nedis humorous newspaper Bodljikavo prase, mali zabavnik (Spiky piglet, a short comic book). He also drew posters: Pria bez rei (A Story without Words), La sa istoka (A Lie from the East), and others. He also designed brochures for the German propaganda publishing house Jugoistok. Kuznetsov drew the famous posters Poljubac engleskog Jude (Kiss of an English Judas), Ivane, ta misli? (Ivan, what are you thinking?) for the propaganda department of Jugoistok.139 His popular comic book which was published during 19431944 Pria o nesrenom kralju (Story about an Unfortunate King) was famous. In the story, he wrote allegorically about various kings: the Old King (Alexander), the Young King (Peter II), the Nobleman of the Evil Ruler (Winston Churchill), the Bandit (Josip Broz Tito) and the Northern Bloodthirsty Ruler (Stalin). Vsevolod Konstantinovich Gulevich (19031964) created during the war a series of the so-called nationally-ideal heroes of the German Epoch (Nibulenzi) and the Serbian Middle Ages (the Sword of Destiny).140 The famous Iuri Lobachev, in dire need of money, also graphically edited Nedis newspapers.141 In addition, a series of lesser known Russian emigrant painters cooperated with Jugo138 139

140

141

Shatov, Bibliografiia; Anonymous, Nasha BorbaNo. 54 (1945), 2. M.Jovanovi et al, Ruske izbeglice u Jugoslaviji kroz arhivsku gradju: catalog izlobe (Belgrade: n. p., 1997). Z.Zupan, Ruski emigranti u srpskom stripu, Knjievna re 27 503 (1998); Z.Zupan, Konstantin Kuznjecov, Putevi 6 35, (1990); S.Dragini and Z.Zupan, Istorija jugoslovenskog stripa (Novi Sad: Forum, 1986); Ruska emigracija, 796; O.L.Leikind, K.V.Makhrov and D.Ia.Severiukhin, Khudozhniki russkogo zarubezha, 19171939. Biograficheskii slovar (Saint Petersburg: Notabene, 1999). .Lobaev, Kad se Volga ulivala u Savu (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1997), 112, 114, 116, 117, 121.

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istok, General Nedis Department of Propaganda and the contemporary press more generally. Jugoistok published several works written by Russian authors or their translations.142 The Russian migrs also played a role in the Anti-Mason and Anti-Communist exhibition which was organized by Belgrade municipality in 1941.143 Russian migr journalists also contributed to the wave of the anti-communist propaganda. For instance, the already mentioned Evgenii Mesner, who had a good military education (Mikhailovsk Artillery School and the Academy of the General Staff), worked as a military commentator in Serbian (Vreme, Optinske novine) and Russian (Segodnya!) migr newspapers before the war. During the war, he served as a soldier in the Russian Corps. Also, he briefly edited the newspaper Obnova and he actively worked for Novo Vreme where he wrote about military events outside of Serbia.144 The migrs employed in education delivered anti-communist lectures across Serbia. Fedor Fedorovich Balabanov (18971972) was a theologian who studied at the University of Belgrade. He worked before the war as a teacher of religion, psychology, Church Slavonic language, petrology and philosophy in seminaries in Prizren and Sremski Karlovci.145 After June 22, 1941, he pleaded with the German authorities to let him go to his homeland to lecture against communism and atheism. They sent Balabanov to Banat instead, where he delivered anti-communist lectures about the Red Terror, collectivization, Kolkhozes, repressions and social degradation under communism. He accepted this work with such enthusiasm that he worked out an unsolicited general plan and methodological recommendations for anti-communist agitation which he delivered to the Belgrade SD.146 Russian migrs delivered similar lectures in Serbia proper. Dr. Rostislav Vladimirovich Pletnev,147 and Vasilii Ivanovich Altov,148 a history teacher and a seminarian respectively, lectured throughout Valjevo region. They were accompanied by the stars of the Serbian right-wing ideology, notable Zbor followers Mihajlo Olan and Borivoje Karapandi.
142

143

144 145

146 147 148

G.Adamov and M.Shile, Tajne okeana: nauno-fantasticni roman (Belgrade: Jugoistok, 1943); J.Izvoljska and .Kesel, Raspuin. Sumrak carstva (Belgrade: Jugoistok, 1942). N.Jovanovi, Antimasonska i antikomunistika izloba u Beogradu, in NOR i revolucija u Srbiji 19441945, eds. J.Marijanovi, V.Glii, M.Borkovi (Belgrade: Institut za istoriju radnikog pokreta Srbije, 1972); Kreso, Njemaka okupaciona uprava; K.Nikoli, Nemaki ratni plakat u Srbiji 1941 1944 (Belgrade: Bonart, 2000); VA sobr. Komandant Srbije, f. propagandno odeljenje Jugoistok. Vojni Arhiv (VA), sobr. Nedievska arhiva, k. 88, p. 14, d. 7, p. 2. I.V.Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov v Iugoslavii (2040e gg. XX veka) (Moscow: Pravoslaveyi Sviato-Tikhonovskii bogoslovskii institut, 2000), 230. AJ, IAB, f. Bds, d. V-361, p. 5; d. V-336, p. 414. VA, sobrd. Nedievska arhiva, k. 30, p. 5, d. 1, p. 32, 78 VA, sobrd. Nedievska arhiva, k. 30, p. 5, d. 1, p. 34, 77.

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The informal contacts between individual Russian emigrants and the wider Serbian surrounding was perhaps less obvious, but nonetheless, an important feature of emigrants anti-communist activity. The traditionally close relations between the Czarist Russia and Serbia influenced the spreading of idea amongst an important part of the Serbian elite about the dangers of communism as a violent, atheist, anti-national and anti-individualist ideology through their contacts with Russian emigrants. The most obvious manifestation of this was the close relationship between the Russian emigrants and the far-right movement Zbor.149 These contacts were viewed positively by both Russians and Serbs.150 In addition, the military wing of Zbor, the Serbian Volunteer Corps, marched to the Russian military melodies. This was unusual for the Serbian armed forces, which typically blended Austrian and Balkan melodies. One of the most popular SDK tunes Na suncu oruje nam blista (Our weapons shine in the Sun) was freely copied from a popular Russian military song Oruzhem na solntse sverkaia, which was written by Vladimir Aleksandrovich Sabinin, an author of many Russian love songs.151 The Russian emigrants participated in the civil war in Yugoslavia for other reasons than anti-communism and desire to return to Russia with the victors (Germans). The Russian emigrants were also integrated to a great degree into the life of their new homeland, which manifested itself through high rate of mixed marriages, the introduction of local expressions and habits into the language and everyday life of the migr community. The Russians in Serbia had created deep, internal and intimate ties with the country in which they spent two decades. The combination of these feelings and the extreme anti-communism led many to conclude that the battle with the Serbian resistance movement was about assisting the Serbs. Pavel Avchinikov, an educated officer, an active participant in the Civil War in Russia who worked in the local tax agency, vividly wrote about this reality to his beloved wife Leposava Pei from the snowed-in mountains of Western Serbia two days before Christmas in 1942. Avchinikovs Platoon was cleansing the terrain near Makov Kamen, which ended in pursuit and heavy battles in which the leader of the Partisan Detachment Vlatko Kova the Spaniard was killed, four Partisans were wounded and eleven were captured. He viewed this action as as149 150

151

AJ, IAB, f. BDS, d. V-361, p. 5. Trushnovich, Russkie v IUgoslavii; Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus, 19, 358; D.Ljoti, Memoar upuen Vojnom zapovedniku u Srbiji (1943), in Sabrana dela Volume VIII, ed. Z.Pavlovi, (Belgrade: Iskra, 2003); Memorandum Nemcima (1944), Pismo grofu Grabeu, Depee Pavlu uriiu, Depe Momilu uiu, Depee Drai Mihajloviu in Sabrana dela Volume IX, ed. Z.Pavlovi, (Belgrade: Iskra, 2003); G.Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod vo II Mirovuiu voinu. Lektsiia (po magnitofonnoi zapisi) (New York: n. p., 1978). Najdanovi D., Tvrava. Zbirka dobrovoljake lirike (Minhen: Iskra, 1977); B. Savchenko, Kumiry rossiiskoi estrady (Moscow: Panorama, 1998); V.Kalugin, Antologiia voennoi pesni (Moscow: Eksmo, 2006).

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sistance to peasants who in majority of cases themselves ask for these outlaws to be punished for all evils which they commit, taking away peoples food, poultry and wine. In his private letter, Avchinikov expressed open pity towards the unfortunate, fooled, unconsciously mercenary agitators, who in most of the cases succeed to escape The success of this action could not hide the feeling that this everyday life, full of dangers and efforts was meaningless and did not provide answers to crucial questions: for whom? What for? Who needs all of this? In the winter of 19411942, he was thinking about the departure for the Eastern Front. He could not avoid concluding that the holy God knows how and what will be. We have fallen into a whirlwind, we had the best wishes and hopes, now there is nothing else to do but to wait to see how the situation will develop further. Personally, I want to believe in a positive outcome, because I have ideals and pure intentions in my soul, so I will be patient, while I can endure it. His words were filled with sorrow.152 Unfortunately, the majority of emigrants came to realize too late that Germans used migrs anti-communism to exploit the occupied country. An exceptionally small number of emigrants decided to join the struggle against the Germans. Only individuals joined the Partisans. Some of them died completely anonymously but two men achieved success with Tito. Vladimir Smirnov, an engineer and graduate of Belgrade University, went to the forest in 1941, in the colloquial jargon of the day. During the war he became a member of KPJ and the head of the Technical department of the NOVJ Supreme Headquarters. He contributed to the Partisans success at the Battle of Neretva (he was responsible for destroying the bridge and then reconstructing the improvised bridge over which the Partisans fled the encirclement). Fedor Mahin, the former White officer who was recruited by the Soviet intelligence during the interwar period, joined KPJ in 1939. He went to the forest in 1941 when he was fifty-nine years old. He worked in the propaganda section of the NOVJ Supreme Headquarters and towards the end of the war he became the head of the Historical Department of the General Staff. Finally, a smaller group of Russian refugees decided to form the Union of Soviet Patriots (SSP), which acted illegally (mainly in Belgrade) in spreading propaganda and offering aid to the Partisan in the occupied territories.153 Even though the members of this movement cited the middle of 1942 as the birth of SSP, neither Gestapo nor the Partisan intelligence knew of this organization nor did they pay attention to their activities.154 The
152 153

154

AJ, IAB, f. BDS, d. -188. J..Giljoten, Dve moje domovije (Gornji Milanovac: 1991); Lobaev, Kad se Volga ulivala u Savu, 118, 121, 129. Delatnosti sovjetske obavetajne slube u Jugoslaviji do 1948. Izvetaj za interne potrebe (Belgrade: n. p., 1953).

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Gestapo documents mention the leaders of SSP F.Vistoropski, V.Lebedev, I.Odiselidze as suspicious persons only several times.155

The social life of Russian emigrants in the occupied country


It is quite hard to reconstruct the social life of Russian emigrants during the occupation due to poorly preserved sources. Most sources come from the largest Russian group in Yugoslavia during the war, which was concentrated in Belgrade due to economic and security issues. When the occupying authorities replaced General Skorodumov with Kreiter and Shteifon, the Germans wanted to rely on ethnic Germans who had (or claimed to have) German blood, the so called Volksdeutsche, who were viewed in the Nazi racial hierarchy as second only to Reichsdeutsche. It was obvious that the newly appointed leaders of the emigration identified themselves as Russian czarist officers rather than second-rate Germans. Vladimir Vladimirovich Kreiter wrote in Russian in his communication with the German authorities, and then had his messages translated with the official translator bureau, so as not to shock the Germans with his lack of knowledge of his supposed mother tongue.156 Boris Aleksandrovich Shteifon was not an ethnic German he was actually of Jewish origins. His father converted to Orthodoxy in Kharkov, enabling his son to pursue career in the Czarist Military.157 However, both of them viewed themselves (before the war officially, and after the breakout of the war unofficially) as monarchist-legitimists (proponents of absolute monarchy in Russia), which influenced their behavior during the war.158 It must be noted that racism and ethnic close-mindedness were not typical for the majority of Russian emigrants, which is why the Russian-Serbian marriages and their children were well accepted by the Russian milieu.159 In Serbian society these children frequently felt themselves rejected or at least foreign, which led to their isolation or desperate attempts to integrate into the wider Serbian mi155

156 157

158

159

M.Obradovi, Dve krajnosti u politikoj delatnosti ruskih izbeglica u Srbiji (19411945), Tokovi istorije, 12 (1997): 148. A.Timofejev, General Krejter o budunosti ruske emigracije u Rusiji, Tokovi istorije 4 (2006). RGVIA, f. Lichnye dela ofitserov Generalnogo Shtaba ShteifonB.A.; Mankov, Kharkovskie tsekhovye; E.Zub, I takie zemliaki byvaiut Boris Aleksandrovich Shteifon, SobytieNo. 28 (2004). V.Bodisko, Russkii Korpus 19411945, Kadetskaia pereklichka No. 28 (1981); Ruska emigracija, 645646. The Russian tolerance unpleasantly surprised the Germans after the formation of the Russian Corps. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 2, ed. D.Gvozdenovi (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1976), 808.

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lieu.160 The Russian society, in contrast, viewed the Serbian wives of its members as newly acquired Russians and the offspring of such marriage were accepted without any reservation. They observed, neutrally, that the children from the provinces [where emigrants were dispersed and where the mixed marriages were more prevalent so that even children of Russian parents were integrated into the Serbian surrounding A.T.] speak Russian poorly.161 Towards the end of the 1930s, and especially with the onset of the war in the Balkans, migrs expressed their anti-communism with increasing vehemence, while not forgetting their Russian origins. As a result, part of the population (especially in the western parts of Yugoslavia) saw Russians as compatriots of the Red Plague, while leftist Yugoslavs viewed them as the enemies of the so called first country of socialism. The isolation grew with the death of two prominent Russophiles, King Alexander and Patriarch Varnava. These sentiments separated migrs from the local milieu, and despite their successful integration,162 the refugees increasingly lived in the all-Russian, relatively homogenous social group with similar traditions, views, status and characteristics. The members of this group often viewed themselves as the bearers of European ideas, habits, civilization and progress in the Balkans.163 However, such ideas were limited to observation, and did not grow into condescending behavior, as was the case with some members of other European nations in the Balkans.164 The view of the Russian emigration as the bearer of the cultural traditions of the Czarist Russia unified the Russian exiles across the European boundaries. After the beginning of occupation, many of the Russian communitys habits had to change. The leading members of the emigration by their education belonged to intelligentsia class, whose defining characteristic was the love for
160 161 162 163

164

Nashi vesti 296, 1984, 1820. Vedomosti Okhrannoi gruppy 32, 1942, 4; Russkoe delo 27, 1943, 3. About the Russian emigrants adaptation to Yugoslavia see Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija. Novyi put, 1942: 7, 4; 41, 3; 65, 2; 1943: 67, 1; Russkoe delo, 1943: 2, 5; 4, 4; 5, 4; 13, 4; 16, 4; 17, 4; 19, 4; 22, 4. Germans, and even Italians, rated the populations of the Balkans relatively low, but strictly according to the so called scientific method (Ristovi, Nemaki novi poredak, 248270, 328331). The English attitude towards the people of the Balkans was also very arrogant, as recorded by numerous would be Lawrences of Arabia who were in Serbia 19411944. Roothams memories lacked the self-restrain in this regard. See J Rootham, Miss Fire: The Chronicle of a British Mission to Mihailovich, 19431944 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1946). He was quite condescending towards the local population (Serbs and Vlachs). They wore funny round gray hats, he was in a backward country amongst the most backward [parts of that Yugoslavia A.T.], where the rate of illiteracy and venereal diseases was very high, while marriages and loyalty was low, and so on (Ibid., 27, 63). In the postwar memoirs written by the Russian emigrants, there was a lot more understanding towards the local population of Serbia and Yugoslavia, while the negative phenomena were treated as individual instances and not the dominant trait of the Serbs as a whole. For instance, the Russian migrs explained the worsening attitude towards them on the eve of the war and during the occupation as a consequence of communist propaganda and other external factors.

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debate, as well as free expression of critical views on local and international social and political events. Majority of migrs participated in Russias Civil War (or were family members of Civil War participants). Therefore, they were prepared to risk their lives (or at least their material well-being and status) for the defense of their social and political views. This is the reason why the pre-war emigration had such a large number of periodicals, many of which were fleeting and had tiny budgets, but covered a wide range of migr views on political and social issues.165 With the arrival of the Germans, this diversity was forcefully liquidated. In the very beginning of the occupation, as a result of strict censorship, the publications of journals were completely curbed. Russkii Biulleten, a weekly informational publication of the Russian emigration, edited by Aleksandr Lanin, appeared only on June 13, 1941.166 Ten issues of the publication were published, before the early victories on the Eastern Front convinced the Germans that they did not require the assistance of the Russian migrs, as result of which they fired Skorodumov and his colleagues, shut down Russkii Biulleten which was preparing the migrs for their return to Russia. After the Russian Corps was created on December 23, 1941, a second weekly Vedomosti Okhranoi Grupy began to come out. It was edited by Evgenii Mesner, a Russian police officer and a former Colonel in the General Staff of the Imperial Army.167 The ROK weekly was a propaganda mouthpiece, but it also featured articles about the daily life of civilian migrs.168 The civilian emigrants in Serbia experienced a drastic shortage of information. As a result, the Bureau decided to put out a special publication for their needs. On February 8, 1942, the first issue of Novyi Put was published, under the editorship of Boris Ganusovskii who had the identification of a Volksdeutche even though his German origins were suspicious.169 Ganusovskii published twenty-one
165

166

167

168

169

Throughout the interwar period, at various times, there were more than 300 Russian publications in Yugoslavia, Kaaki, Ruske izbeglice, 350. Before the war he was a journalist, and he wrote for and edited a series of newspapers which espoused right wing views such as Nashe budushchee, 1926; Svodka, 1927; Sloven, 1927; Vseslavianskii klich, 1938; Partizan, 1938; Obozrenie, 1939. Lanin was a member of the right wing group gathered around Skorodumov. After the April War, he wrote a brochure which explained the reasons of the speedy collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, A.V. Lanin, Agoniia Iugoslavii: vospominaniia ochevidtsa (Belgrad: n. p., 1941). Even before the war Lanin, as a sympathizer of the Third Reich, established close relations with the SD Sturmbannfhrer Kraus, who was tasked with creating a fifth column in Serbia. After Lanins departure from the position of editor, he wrote reports to Gestapo under pseudonym M-12 in which he informed on Russian emigrants, AJ, IAB, f. BdS, D-250, D-818, kartoteka agentov; Kaaki, Ruske izbeglice. His theoretical works on anti-partisan operations were written after the war and they were based on his experience in the Russian Corps, Messner, Hochesh mira. Occasionally other shorter Russian Corps publications appeared: Signal. Izdanie Russkogo Korpusa came out in eighteen issues in 1943. There were also thirty-five issues of Pomteshnyi Zhurnal russkogo okhrannogo korpusa v Sofii during 19421943. All of this is according to Shatov, Bibliografiia. Before the war Ganusovskii earned money by working as a driver and a car salesman. Even though he

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issues of the newspaper. On June 1943, Novyi Put and Vedomosti Ohranoi Grupy were merged into one weekly publication Russkoe Delo which was published until November 15, 1944. The latter was edited by Konstantin Miler, who was also a Volksdeutshce. In addition, a group of Cossack-separatists attempted to start their own publication, Rech. Rech existed for a short period of time due to lack of resources and public interest, since the majority of Cossacks in Serbia were opposed to an independent Cossack state.170 The last publication of the white emigration in the Balkans Russkoe delo disappeared when it was merged with Za Rodinu, which was published from 1942 by the 693rd Propaganda Company of the Wehrmachts 2nd Armored Army. The new newspaper was called Borba and it was edited by Mesner. Borba was created with the intention of being used as a propaganda pamphlet aimed at Soviet soldiers of the Third Ukrainian Front.171 The Propaganda Department of the Cossack Division also published periodicals on the territory of the occupied Yugoslavia 19431945.172 Boris Ganusovskii, a Lieutenant by this time, partook in this endeavor after the newspaper Novyi put was shut down.173 This publications audience were the Divisions soldiers, but invariably, it circulated amongst their relatives, acquaintances and in the soldiers wider environment.174 The 162nd Turkmen Division, which fought against the Partisans in Croatia and Slovenia, also had its own newspaper.175 Also, the ROA propagandists began to publish Russkii Vestnik in NDH, aimed at numerous nationalities from the former Russian Empire fighting in the Balkans. Apart from
arrived to the Balkans without his parents with a group of evacuated cadets, he managed to enroll at the University of Belgrade because of his abilities and the Yugoslav government support for the Russian refugees. Together with his friends from the Cadet Corps he began the humorous journal Bukh!!! (19301936) which was popular among the emigrants because of its firm anti-communism and humorous approach towards the everyday problems faced by the exiles. B.Ganusovskii, 10 let za zhelezym zanavesom. 19451955. Zapiski zhertvy Ialty. Vydacha XV kazachego korpusa (San Francisco: Globus, 1983). GARF R5752, o. 1, d. 9, 24. Borba, f. p. 47579. [1944: 67] [1945: 1117 ianv.] according to Shatov, Bibliografiia; A.V.Okorokov, Osobyi front: Nemetskaia propaganda na Vostochnom frontye v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voyny (Moscow: Russkii put, 2007), 199. Biulleten propagandista 1oi Kozachei divizii, Kozachii klich, Ofitserskii biulleten Pervoi Kazachei divizii, Propoagandnyi vzvod Pervoi Kaachei divizii govorit vam o polozhenii appeared periodically 19431945. B.Ganusovskii, 10 let; A.I.Skrylov and G.V.Gubarev eds., Kazachii istoricheskii slovar-spravochnik (Moscow: Sozizdanie, 1992). Wherever the Division was stationed, there were contacts between the local Russian emigrants, the Division and the anti-communist rebels. The ROK hospital was also used by the wounded soldiers of the Division which also led to strengthening of ties between its members and the civilian Russian population, and it had to have led to spreading of the news from the Cossack newspapers. Vojni muzej, Zbirka fotografija, XV. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps. It was called Svoboda. Organ 162i pekhotnoi nemetskoi divizii and it came out in 19421943, according to Shatov, Bibliografiia; Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 629; J.Hoffmann, Die Kaukasien 1942/43: Das deutsche Heer und die Ostvlker der Sowjetunion (Freiburg: Rombach, 1976).

170 171

172

173

174

175

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these, members of military formations and the civilian migrs also had access to universal newspaper in Russian language the Russian version of the German propaganda newspaper Signal which was printed between October 1941 and July, 1944. Despite the ban on Russian publications in the NDH, numerous home-made publications circulated amongst the Russian community in Croatia, testifying to the migrs cleverness rather than the number of printing presses.176 The Special Representative of the Russian Emigration to the NDH, the Zagreb version of the Belgrade-based Bureau, which was headed by the former Czarist Consul in Vienna and Zagreb Georgii Ferminin, lacked the funds to publish newspapers and journals. Nonetheless, individual members of the Representation periodically wrote and reproduced by hand a special Izvod vesti for the Russian colonies in Croatia and Bosnia.177 Izvod Vesti was edited by General Daniel Dratsenko, and from 1942 by General Ivan Poliakov.178 The number of Russian emigrants in others parts of Yugoslavia was even smaller. Therefore, there was only a special emigrant publication in Vojvodina, which was printed by the Russian Church in NoviSad.179 Two Church periodicals were published in Serbia: the official publication of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which was edited by the secretary of ROCA Synod Iuri (Georgii) Grabe180 and the extreme right-wing publication which was edited by Eksakustodian Maharablidze.181 Maharablidze headed the Protopresbytor Chancellery during the First World War, he was the former secretary of the ROCA Synod, and although he was a critic of Grabe, he did not castigate Bishops or the Synod. These were the only publications which were published by the Russian emigration before the war and during the German occupation. The extreme elements of ROCA gathered around the Maharablidzes periodical. Amongst them were the famous publicist, preacher and a Protopresbytor Vladimir Vostokov and the last Protopresbytor of the Russian Imperial Army Georgii Shavelskii. The journalistic trends of the Third Reich reflected in the Russian press which was published in Serbia during the war.182 The Nazi mentors introduced into the Russian press the Bolshevik linguistic reforms which appeared in Russia after
176

177 178 179

180 181 182

Letopisi Vremennykh let 16421942 Butyrskogo leib-Zrivanskogo polka (Sarajevo: s. n., 1942); Iaroslavna (Zagreb: Izdanie molodezhi Russkoi kolonii v Zagrebe), 19421943. Ezhenedelnoe izdanie russkikh voennykh organizatsii na territorii NDH, 19411944. GARF, R5752, o. 1, d. 8, 34. Biulleten Predstavitelstva Vysokopreosviashchennogo Serafima, Mitropolita Berlinskogo i Germanskogo i Sredne-Evropeiskogo okruga dlia pravoslavnykh russkikh prikhodov v Korolevstve Vengrii (according to Kaaki, Ruske izbeglice, 49). Tserkovnaia zhizn, 19331944. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 19321944. Novyi put No. 53, 1943, 2.

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1918, resulting in negative reaction amongst the conservative emigration. Russkii Biulleten which was printed by inflexible legitimists, held on to the rules of the old orthography. The official voice of the ROCA, Tserkovnaia Zhizn also held on to the old orthography. The Church opposition publication, Tserkovnoe obozrenie, took the middle course by dropping the yat and hard sound in September of 1943, but it tried to keep other characteristics of the old complicated system of cases. The editors, however, promised that they would reintroduce the hard sign and yat in the future, explaining the fact that these letters were dropped by their reliance on Bulgarian typewriters and printing press.183 The newspaper of the Russian Corps discontinued the use of the hard sign at the end of words in the spring of 1942 in order economize paper. However, they continued to utilize the old letters yat and i.184 Novyi put similarly economized the space, preserving the alphabet while dropping the hard sign at the end of words. The divisive question of orthography emerged with full force only after the appearance of the newspaper Russkoe delo, which consolidated the publications of the Russian Corps, Russian Hipo detachments and the Bureau for Defense of the Rights of the Russian Emigration in Serbia. In the first issue, the editors announced that they would publish the newspaper according to the new orthographic rules, so that in this way we would eliminate even the unimportant barriers which could emerge in the exchange of ideas between the Exiled Russia with the detachments of the new Russian generation which is now fighting against Bolshevism in the name of Russia and who had partially joined our ranks.185 Due to too subtle attempt to explain the will of the German mentors, the editors were bombarded with tens of angry and even aggressive letters, which accused the editors of lacking national consciousness, culture and resistance to the red poison. In response, the editors called the authors of these letters the new old believers, pointing out that the new orthography was used by 180 million Russians in the homeland, that the new rules were prepared by the Czarist Academy of Sciences before the Revolution, and that the reform was essential in uniting the entire mass of the Russian people.186 Nonetheless, the editors had to advocate for linguistic reforms in several issues. The editors published a detailed scientific explanation of the new orthography, which was written by Aleksandr Pogodin, a historian and a linguist, as well as a brief explanation of the essence and the bases of the new orthography by Vladimir Topor-Rabchinski, a Russian literature expert and teacher
183

184 185 186

This is a very strange explanation considering that until 1945 the Bulgarian alphabet had the hard sign and double e. In addition to this obviously illogical argument, Makharablidze kept using the letter i which did not even exist in Bulgarian alphabet, Tserkovnoe obozrenie 9, 1943, 1. Vedomosti Okhrannoi gruppy, No. 14, 1942, 4. Russkoe delo, 1, 1943, 2. Ibid., 1943: 7, 5; 10, . 4.

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of the Russian language and literature in the Cadet Corps in the Russian-Serbian gymnasium.187 The linguistic reforms were probably also caused by the need to economize paper. The problem of shortage of paper was critical as the migr newspapers were constantly decreasing in size. Russkii Biulleten had ten pages, Novyi put had four, and Vedomosti Ohranoi Grupy had six, but with the twice smaller format, which provided the Russian emigration in Serbia with seven pages of weekly news. Russkoe delo initially had six pages, and from issue number nine, it had only four pages. The editors of migr papers tried to compensate for the shortage of paper and the outrage over the new orthography by increasing the emigrants fighting spirit and strengthening its sense of community and missionary vision. A journalist of the newspaper Novoe vremia, with an Orthodox first name Vasilii and the renowned surname in the New Europe Rosenberg, summarized the papers achievements after the first year of its existence. Novoe vremia belongs to a group of idea newspapers of the renewed Europe it creates public opinion it defends and explains the spiritual values which.it considers necessary for cultural, moral and material development of the people and the nation.188 This was an open acknowledgment of the fact that the Russian migrs military publications were an instrument of the German propaganda and that they simply copied the political information from the German or Serbian (under the control of Germans) newspapers. Emigrants who were used to newspapers reflecting the social thought and political discussions of the Russian society, could not understand the new editorial policy. Russian emigrants situated in small Belgrade apartments in the attics or in bunkers in the hills tended to express their political ideas in letters to the editors, thereby documenting the traces of passionate discussions which they engaged in with their acquaintances, friends, colleagues and family. Unfortunately, these political and hypercritical articles ended up in garbage bins.189 The editors were flooded with countless articles, letters and advice about various issues. As a result, the editors pleaded with the readers to stop writing political essays, urging them instead to send reports of informative character about cultural activities testimonies of everyday life, literary pieces and notes,190 not failing to remind the readers that Russia was ruined by criticism.191 In this way the newspaper (as the militarys propaganda arm) attempted to defend the societys strateIbid., 1943: 16 4; 16, . 4. Novyi put, 53, 1943, 2. Russkoe delo, 4, 1943, 5. Ibid., 3, 1943, 5. Ibid., 4, 1943, 5.

187 188 189 190 191

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gic reservoir during the wartime the clarity of spirit.192 The forced optimism and the shortage of truthful information resulted in the Russian community trying to read between the lines. As a result, they tended to read too much into published information, such as when some Russians believed that the advertisement for Lev Tolstoys play The Living Corpse was sign that things were not going to well for the occupational authorities.193 The shortage of information was particularly felt by lonely soldiers of the Russian Corps in isolated garrisons and the crews in separated bunkers, as well as individuals in smaller migr colonies in rural Serbia. Shteifon and Kreiter tried to fill this gap through special Russian shows on Radio Belgrade.194 The first Radio show was broadcast on August 17, 1943, and it lasted for thirty minutes. The show began with the prayer I Believe, which was performed by the Russian Corps Choir. This was followed by General Shteifons brief address and information about the everyday life of the Corps, an overview of political events of the week, which were interrupted by the Russian Czarist marches, Russian national songs and Russian poetry.195 The Russian shows were broadcast every Tuesday at 14 oclock, and they were repeated at 18 oclock with additional content.196 The basic problem, however, was the shortage of radios. In order to listen to Russian radio shows, the military radio-stations and radios were used in barracks of the Russian Corps, as well as military propaganda machines which had a powerful PA system,197 which broadcast songs and announcements up to 200300 meters.198 The Russian migr colonies also organized free and public listening of radio, as was the case in the theatre hall of the Russian House. They gathered to listen to political news, radio dramas, Russian symphony, Opera arias and love songs, Don and Kuban Cossack choirs, Russian and Ukrainian folk songs and chastushki (humorous songs). The artistic part of the program was comprised of a mixture of gramophone recordings from the collections of Belgrade Radio and live performances by popular emigrant singers.199
192 193 194

195 196 197 198

199

Vedomosti Okhrannoi gruppy, No 75, 1943, 6; Russkoe delo, 1, 1943, 6. Ibid., 25, 1943, 3. Even though these were first radio programs in the Balkans for Russian emigrants, these were not first radio programs in Russian language. In the summer of 1941, Radio Belgrade aired brief programs in Russian and Ukrainian languages for the Ukrainians and the Cossacks, Kazachii vestnik No. 1, August 22, 1941, 7. Russkoe delo, 1943: 11, 1; 12, 3. Ibid., 1943: 13, 4; 14, 3; 23, 3; 24, 3. Ibid., 13, 1943, 3. D. Lerner, Psychological Warfare Against Germany, DDay to VE-Day (New York: G. W. Stewart 1949). Russkoe delo, 1943: 24, 4; 25, 3; 26, 3; 28, 3; 29, 3; 30, 3.

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The idea of members of the Russian community gathering for public listening of the radio was enthusiastically greeted by emigrants. Consequently, the oral newspapers were created. Oral newspapers emerged in the military, Churches and individual colonies. The oral newspapers became so popular because they allowed the isolated Russian refugees to meet and socialize. According to the organizers of oral newspapers: In the monotonous life between mountain peaks and wild forests in lonely small towns, they [Russian emigrants A.T.] had a reason to gather together for one to two hours, to relax from the pressure of responsibilities, to relax and listen to some reports, songs, recitations and gramophone records.200 It is difficult to precisely ascertain the degree to which emigrants attended oral newspapers and whether they were as popular as the Russian propagandists claimed. The drinking of tea (chayanka), another form of public communication, was less ideological and formal. Apart from this traditional Russian drink, emigrants consumed other drinks and appetizers, but the drinking of tea marked an informal way to socialize. Traditionally, there were two types of chayanka. The first was a meeting of an organization, a society, school or a group with shared memories (for instance, the meetings of Attendees of Professor Shumfs Pedagogy or the meetings of Students of Military-Scientific Courses Abroad organized by General Kornilov)201 and were carried out as ceremonial lunches at the expense of the participants. The second type was known as chayanka-kontsert (tea drinking concert), which was ordinarily organized for humanitarian purposes. The proceeds were collected for the winter needs of the poor, old and ill members of the emigration, development of Russian educational institutions, improvement of nutrition and purchase of clothes for children in migr orphanages. The money was collected by organizations such as the Alliance of Russian Women or the Parents Union of the Russian-Serbian Gymnasium and Cadets Corps. These events were open to all interested parties. Typically, they were held in the hall of the Russian House (or the colonys local hall), with several tables and chairs set up near the stage, while further away were lines of chairs. The restaurant sold tea, alcoholic beverages and appetizers to patrons, who enjoyed various performances on stage. The proceeds which came from the symbolic entry fee, the cost of sitting at the table, money collected from the restaurant, lottery and direct donations by participants were donated to a humanitarian cause.202 The classical theatre performances and concerts staged in the Russian House were also an important part of the life of the Russian community in Belgrade.203
200 201 202 203

Russkoe delo, 1943: 27, 4; 29, 4; 19, 3; 21, 3; 21, 4. Noviy Put, 1943: 50, 4; 53, 2; 54, 4; Russke delo, 3, 1943, 6. Ibid., 1943: 2, 6; 3, 6; 5, 6; 7, 6; 9, 4; 22, 4; 23, 4; 24, 4; 25, 4; 28, 4. This aspect of the cultural life is vividly described in V.I.Kosik, Chto mne do vas, mostovye Belgrada?

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During the war, visitors to the Russian House could enjoy several dramas and performances by ballet, opera and musical artists. During the last theatre season in the Russian House (19431944), the Russian classical drama, ballet and opera were on repertoire. The pride of the Russian audience, regardless of the war, were classical opera performances Eugene Onegin and Czars Bride. The singers from the Serbian National Theatre participated in the performance of these operas.204 The attendance at these performances was high, which can be inferred from the fact that the entry fees covered the expenses of the Russian troupe. The Russian troupe paid taxes to the Serbian government, from which only humanitarian and amateur concerts were exempt.205 The diverse repertoire offered in the Russian House 19411944 was the same as before the war, including Ibsen, Ostrovskii, Hamsun and the forgotten in our time popular drama authors of the Czarist Russia Lev Ukrvantsov and Aleksandr Kosorotov.206 Talented actor and director Aleksandr Cherepov207 led the troupe of the Society of Russian Scene Artists in Serbia. The troupe was so successful that in July 1943, it announced an audition to accept new members of both genders.208 Apart from the troupe of the Society of Russian Scene Artists in Serbia and the Russian actors from the Serbian National Theatre, the ensemble of the Russian Corps, Jolly Bunker led by its star Sergei Frank also performed in Serbia. Sergei Franks ensemble was integrated into the Russian Corps as a branch of the National Socialist organization Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude, KdF). Nonetheless, it also performed humorous and musical performances for Russian migr civilians throughout Serbia. Apart from these, the amateur troupe of the Russian-Serbian Belgrade Gymnasium, supported by the Parents Committee, also performed regularly in the Russian House. Their performances were humanitarian, and the proceeds were collected for impoverished students.209 The Russian emigrants also expressed themselves creatively through artistic exhibitions. The largest exhibitions were organized in the summers of 1942 and 1943 in the Pavilion of Cvijeta Zuzoria on Kalamegdan Fortress.210 Sergei
204

205 206 207

208 209 210

Ocherki o russkoi emigratsii v Belgrade (19201950e gody) (Moscow: Inslav RAN, 2007). Each issue of Russkoe delo and Noviy put dealt with cultural events in Serbia in their respective sections Theatre and Arts and Belgrade Chronical. Noviy put, 54, 1943, 4. Noviy put, 58, 1943, 4; Russkoe delo, 11, 1943, 4. O.Markovi and D.oli, Aleksandr erepov i Rusko Dramsko Pozorite za Narod in Ruska emigracija u srpskoj kulturi XX veka, zbornik radova, t. II, eds. M.Sibinovi, M.Meinski, A.Arsenjev (Belgrade: Filoloki fakultet, Katedra za slavistiku i Centar za nauni rad, 1994), 136137.. Russkoe delo, 6, 1943, 6. Russkoe delo, 21, 1943, 4. About the prewar history of this exhibition place see: R.Vueti-Mladenovi, Evropa na Kalemegdanu: Cvijeta Zuzori i kulturni ivot Belgradea 19181941 Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2002).

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Kuchinski, a popular artist in the interwar Yugoslavia amongst the emigrants, was the organizer of exhibitions. He was actively assisted by a talented Russian migr artist Stepan Koleshnikov,211 as well as painters and artists Reznikov Sosnovski, Verbitski, Zagorudniak, Rik and Rik-Kovalevska. The first exhibition was opened on August 2, 1942, and 300 works of art by twenty-four artists were exhibited (S. Alisov, K. Antonova, O. Benson, A.Bikovski, G.Boiadzieva, A.Verbicki, O.Danilevich, V.Zagorodnuk, A.Zolotarev, S. Koleshnikov, O. Kolb-Selecka, S. Kuchinski, S. Latishev, B. Linevich, M.Orbeliani, Reznikov, Rik, Rik-Kovalevska, Sosnovski, Hrisogonov, Chelnokova, Shapovalov, Shramchenko and Iuzepchuk). The themes which the exhibition covered were wide-ranging: Serbian and Adriatic Coast landscapes, still life, scenes from everyday life in the Balkans and the Russian community, and motives from Russian fairytales. The style on display was a mixture of classicism and realism with elements of naturalism which fit well into the official artistic taste of the Third Reich.212 The exhibition was firmly supported by German, Serbian and Russian officials. On the opening day, the exhibition was visited by the Serbian Minister of Education Velibor Joni and the Belgrade German Military Commander General-Major Adalbert Lonchar, while head of the Russian Bureau General Kreiter opened the exhibition. On the last day of the exhibition, the head of the Administration Staff of the Military Commander in Serbia, SS-Gruppenfhrer Harald Turner was present. He had a detailed conversation with every artist who participated in the exhibition. 213 Regardless of the August heat, the exhibition was well visited so that the organizers extended it by seven days. Overall, more than 3,000 entrance tickets were sold, and the visitors (Serbs, Russians, occupational officers and soldiers) bought numerous paintings.214 A group of Russian artists met on November 28, 1942, to plan another exhibition, spurred by the success of its predecessor.215 Painters developed an ambitious idea to gather artists not only from Serbia, but also from Bulgaria and other neighboring countries. However, the occupational authorities rejected this attempt to expand the geographical boundaries of the exhibition. The complex structure of
211

212

213

214 215

. Podstanitskaia, Stepan Kolesnikov (Moscow: Russkii Antikvariat, 2003) Podstanitskaia, Stepan Kolesnikov. H, Grosshans, Hitler and the Artists (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1983); P.Adam, Art of the Third Reich (New York: H.N Abrams, 1992). A.Steinweis., Art, Ideology, and Economics in Nazi Germany: The Reich Chambers of Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts (Chapel Hill: North Carolina University Press, 1993); E.Michaud, The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004). General Turner was responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews and for organizing the notorious concentration camp Sajmite. See: Manoschek, Serbien. Noviy put, 1942: 25, 3; 26, 3; 27, 1; 27, 34; 28, 3; 29, 3; 30, 3. Noviy put, 42, 1942, 4.

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the competing Third Reichs diplomatic, political and security services, responsible for control of the Southeastern Europe, as well as the vanity of the Balkan satellites made the unification of Russian artists very complicated. Due to the German foot-dragging, the exhibitions organizers failed to announce the event to all of the interested Russian artists on time. Consequently, around two hundred paintings by eighteen artists were exhibited, which was less than at the first exhibition. The opening of the exhibition was attended by notable guests from the occupational apparatus, members of the diplomatic corps, and the Serbian government representatives. The exhibition was opened on June 20, and since it was so well visited, it was extended by seven days. This time, the artists sold a large number of their works, but also received orders for new portraits and landscapes.216 As a newspaper put it, the works which were foreign to contemporary decadence, the rotten esthetical taste in the service of abstract ideas were obviously well received by the visitors.217 Artists who partook in the exposition belonged to those who did not bow to modernism and suffer from its despotism, which invariably drew the sympathy of visitors from the Reich and its allies.218 The commercial success of the exposition spurred the organizers to organize another brief exhibition prior to the next scheduled event for the summer of 1944.219 The leading Russian painters in Serbia Boiadziev, Verbicki, Zagorudniak, Zolotarev, Kovalevska, Kolesnikov, Kolb-Selecka, Kuchinski, Rik, Sosnovski, Hritsogonov and Shramchenko partook in this one-day exhibition. The exhibition was organized on December 15, 1943, and there was an auction of the paintings and a Russian music concert. Part of the proceeds was spent on winter aid for the poor, ill and older members of the Russian emigration. It should be noted that the first exposition in 1942 raised 6,000 dinars, while the one-night event (December 15, 1943) raised 202,000 dinars for humanitarian causes.220 This unexpected success convinced the artists that there was room for one more event, which was advertised as New Year Exhibition which ran from
216 217 218 219

220

Noviy put, 65, 1943, 4; Russkoe delo, 1943: 1, 6; 2, 6; 3, 6; 4, 6; 5, 6; 6, 6. Russkoe delo, 6,1943, 4. Ibid., 6,1943, 4. This exhibition, like other cultural activities in the Russian House, was brought to an abrupt end in the summer of 1944 when the evacuation of the German occupational apparatus and Russian migr institutions began. It became obvious that the Red Armys arrival to Yugoslavia would be inevitable in late August, 1944, after the successful completion of the Yasso-Kishinev Operation which forced Romania to switch sides in the war. The exhibition materials which were prepared to be evacuated, as well other Russian House property, was lost in the chaos of withdrawal, according to the organizers of the evacuation. T.Podstanitskaia, Slikari ruske emigracije u Crnoj Gori. Vjekovne veze Crne Gore i Rusije, Pobjeda, December 20, 2008. This was a lot of money, even if we take into account the inflated worth of the reichsmark to dinar (One RM equaled twenty dinars). The most expensive painting which was sold by S.F.Kolesnikov Seitel cost 136,000 dinars or 6, 6800 RM, or an annual salary of a ROK Colonel. It is apparent that no individual emigrant could pay such an exorbitant price.

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December 1920, 1943. As it turned out, this was the last migr exhibition in the Russian House.221 The preparations for the summer exhibition, as well as other cultural events in the Russian House, were aborted in August, 1944, due to evacuation of the German occupational authorities and Russian migr institutions. The commencement of the rapid evacuation was signaled by the lightening penetration of the Red Army into Rumania and the capitulation of the Romanian Army, which was trounced in the Yassy-Kishinev Operation (August 2029, 1944). According to the organizer of the exhibition, the art as well as other property of the Russian House, was lost. The remaining traces of this exhibition can be found in the City Hospital in Belgrade.222 Libraries also helped preserve the cohesiveness of the Russian community. Libraries were perhaps the most important cultural institutions due to their numbers and accessibility to the wider Russian masses in Serbia. Even though the majority of Russian colonies in Yugoslavia had their own libraries, the Russian public library in the Russian House was unique. The Russian extreme emigrants who negated the Russian inheritance of the Soviet culture, considered this library to be the biggest national Russian book collection.223 More objectively, the library of the Russian House was the largest contemporary Russian library abroad. The librarys collection was expanded and maintained by subscriber fees. The librarys collection grew during the war, because several social organizations (Zemgor, Union of Russian Authors and others) were liquidated and the departure from Serbia of several prominent Russian migr families. Therefore, by 1942, the librarys collection exceeded 100,000 books. The Russian Public Library in the Russian House had fifteen employees, and its monthly income in 1942 was 26,000 dinars, and on average, six hundred people visited the library every day. It cost sixteen dinars to borrow a book before the war, but in 1942, the cost was twentyfive dinars. Regardless, the number of the librarys permanent members was 2, 500, while in Belgrade and its surrounding there were around 6,000 Russians.224 By the summer of 1944, the Russian Public Library had more than 130,000 books in its collection.225 In the autumn of 1944, after the entry of the Red Army and Partisan units into Serbia, the Russian emigrants disappeared as a social group, a coherent cultural factor and as bearers of independent socio-political views. The number of Rus221 222 223 224 225

Russkoe delo, 1943: 27, 4; 28, 4; 29, 4; 30, 4. Podstanitskaia, Stepan Kolesnikov. Noviy put, 36, 1942, 3. Noviy put, 1942: 36, 3; 41, 4; 42, 3; 1943: 53, 4; Russkoe delo, 6, 1943, 6. Gibel russkikh zarubezhnykh knigokhranilishch v Iugoslavii, Seiatel, 56, 5758, (Buenos-Aires), 1953; Kaaki, Ruske izbeglice, 49.

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sians in Serbia after the departure of Germans is a very controversial question. Determining the relative (in relation to the prewar period) and absolute number of Russians remaining in Serbia after 1944 could indicate the political orientation of Russian emigrants. Therefore, calculating the number of emigrants who stayed in Serbia is connected with the question of the degree of Russian communitys collaboration. Viktor Kosik asserted that one third of Russian emigrants left Serbia with the German troops.226 His source for this claim was Andrei Tarasiev, a Subdeacon and a Professor at the University of Belgrade. This meant that two thirds of the Russians must have stayed in Serbia, which was either 14,000 (20,000 was the approximate number of Russians in Serbia in 1941) or 18,000 (two thirds from 27, 150, the approximate number of Russians in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1937). Most likely, Tarasievs view was based on the 1948 census,227 according to which there were 13, 329 Russians left in Serbia.228 The Church statistics offer another glimpse into the number of Russians who remained in Serbia after the departure of the Germans. By the end of 1944 on the liberated territories in Serbia (where the majority of Russians lived), the Church had two parishes, two monasteries, twenty priests, fifteen monks, thirty-two nuns and around 3,000 followers.229 In addition, according to Very Reverend Vladimir Moshin, there were around eighty priests in Serbia in 1941.230 Considering that there were only twenty priests left in Serbia in the autumn of 1944, it would be logical to presume that there was an analogous decrease in the number of followers of the Church. Finally, Serbian researcher Toma Milenkovi believed that the majority of Russian refugees had left Serbia in the middle of September 1944.231 In his study, Milenkovi did not cite specific sources for his estimates. G.Babovi, chronicler of abac area, also wrote that by September 21, 1944, all Russian families had left abac, and those who stayed behind were executed on October 27, as was the case with the gymnasium teacher V.Kuzenko and the wife of an escaped Russian migr M.Ionnikov.232
226 227

228

229 230 231 232

Kosik, Russkaia tserkov, 165. Konani rezultati popisa stanovnitva od 15. 3. 1948. god. nj. IX, Stanovnitvo po narodnosti (Belgrade: Savezni zavod za statistiku i evidenciju, 1955). The results of the 1948 census were not published for six years, that is, until the following census. The conflict with the USSR must have led to political interference with the census results, since Moscow accused Titos regime of repressive policies and violence against the Russian refugees, Noty sovetskogo pravitelstva iugoslavskomu pravitelstvu. 11, 18, 29 avgusta, 28 sentiabria (Moscow: s. n., 1949) Glasnik SPC, br. 1012, 1944, 91. Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov, 217. T.Milenkovi, Kalmici u Srbiji, 19201944 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1998). Babovi, Letopis, 213, 221.

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The data provided by Russian emigrants (for instance, former ROK soldiers) are less precise. Even though everyone could leave, since Germans were willing to evacuate everybody, not all Russians wanted to go into exile again. Many hoped that the changes which the Red Army and the Partisans would bring would be fleeting.233 The majority of those who stayed in Serbia soon regretted their decision when they found themselves in the hands of the NKVD and SMERSH in 1944 and 1945, or in the hands of UDB after 1948. The fate of General Boris Litvinov, a historian of Turkestan and a talented icon painter, is illustrative of this. When ROK officers suggested to him that he should evacuate, Litvinov answered: the arrival of the Reds will be temporary, that they will not harm anybody the old days have been forgotten and after them the English and King Peter will arrive The SMERSH officers of the Third Ukrainian Front arrested the seventy-two year old man, and he died in Siberia, while his daughter who was a student of the Russian-Serbian Gymnasium was interrogated in Belgrade.234 Roman Dreiling, Colonel of General Staff also died in a Soviet camp, although he hoped that the fact that he was not involved in politics during the occupation would save him. Viacheslav Tkachev, the first Russian Aviation General in the Imperial Army was more fortunate, having survived for ten years in the NKVD camps. Also, the famous Russian architect Valerii Stashevski died in 1945 in the USSR. In reality, the relationship between those who found the strength to depart for new exile and those who decided to remain in Serbia was not as important as it may seem in hindsight. What is significant, however, is that the majority of active members of the Russian emigration and all Russian cultural and educational institutions were destroyed in the autumn of 1944. Those who remained gradually died off or melted into the new environment, afraid to even tell their children the specifics of their biographies and concealing from their milieu their Russian background, traumatized by their experiences in 1944 and 1948.235 Not all Russian emigrants greeted the German occupation with enthusiasm. Immediately after their arrival, the Germans went after their ideological opponents amongst the Russian community. In this task they relied on their network of collaborators amongst the ranks of the Russian refugees. Collaborators had various motives for assisting Gestapo: ideological, opportunistic (financial rewards),
233 234

235

N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 278. Ibid., 280; V.N.Chuvakov, Nezabytye mogily: Rossiiskoe zarubezhe: nekrologi 19171999 t. 6 (Moscow: Pashkov dom, 2004). 177 A very typical story of survival and assimilation by Russian emigrants in the Serbian milieu is provided in the following memoir: AfanasjevV., Moj otac ruski emigrant Porodina hronika (Belgrade: Grafnik, 2007).

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and there were regular police officers who worked in Serbian police before 1941 and by default they continued working for the German occupiers.236 Russian refugees who viewed with sympathy Britain and its allies must not be forgotten. LL. Nemanov237 and M.Lunin 238 worked for the French intelligence, while A. von Eden cooperated with the American intelligence.239 The British intelligence was particularly active and they also utilized Russian emigrants in their subversive work. A.Albov, General Romanovski and others worked with the British security services.240 Boris Hodolei voluntarily confessed to Gestapo on June 16, 1941, that he started working in the English Embassy in 1925 as a driver. Afterward, he worked in its Propaganda Department. He proffered to Gestapo the information that from the end of the 1930s, the British Embassy turned into a center for propaganda and subversive work in a wide zone which included Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and even Turkey. Hodolei delivered packages of propaganda materials in hermetically sealed boxes which weighed as much as fifty to eighty kilograms. His British bosses maintained that the packages contained ordinary cans, but nonetheless, they ordered him to be very careful in transporting these mystical boxes. During the evacuation of the British embassy after Yugoslavia was attacked by Germany, Hodolei tried to leave the Embassy, but he was forced at gunpoint to drive to Uice, where the British left him without money and documents. During this escape, one of the cars which belonged to the British Embassy had an accident, which was followed by a powerful explosion after a box with supposed cans detonated in the car.241 One of the main targets of the British subversive activity was erdap, where British agents hoped to impede navigation along Danube River with a powerful explosion.242 Part of the explosives which the British could not carry away was transferred to their American colleagues, who were unable to utilize explosives. Afterward, Gestapo and Special Serbian Police found the explosives.243 It is noteworthy that Russians participated in the British attempt to sabotage the navigation on Danube. Leonid Chukhnovski and Alexander Lanin, who were German agents, prevented this action by the Intelligence Service. As a result of their assistance, a German Battle Group succeeded in capturing the
236

237 238 239 240 241 242 243

AJ, IAB, BdS, br. A-074, B-1318, B-336, B-508, B-635, C-86, C-123, D-111, G-166, H-83, J-45, J-163. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. -439. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. M-2019. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. -29. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. -47, B-418, D-113,G-129. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. H-36. 36. About English plans with regards to erdap see Aleksi, Privreda, 116. Senzacionalno otkrie o radu britanskih agenata u naoj zemlji. Ekspoziv, puke i municija, Novo Vreme September 11, 1941, 1.

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Serbian canal undamaged, despite the best efforts of the British special services and resistance by several Serbian guards.244 Apart from these individual cases, there were more massive repressions against certain groups of Russian refugees. First among them were Russians of Jewish origins (together with other Serbian Jews). Already on April 16, 1941, announcements appeared in Belgrade which ordered all people of Jewish background to gather around the city police station under the threat of death. The majority of these people experienced suffering and death in Banjica Camp. Afterward, Gestapo sought out hidden Jews in the ranks of Russian emigration.245 The fate of those who were suspected of being Jews varied. In some situations, the wealthier ones were able to save themselves. For instance, G.I.Fleksers business included trade in gold and jewelry and he was also an owner of a jewelry store. To start up his business, he received a loan from the local Jewish community in the 1920s. Even though his situation seemed fatal, a certificate that he suffered from several difficult and incurable diseases was added to his dossier, followed by a document issued by the Bureau testifying to his absolute Aryan ancestry. Finally, he obtained the confirmation that he was a citizen of a neutral country (Sweden).246 Unfortunately, such financial capabilities were exceptional among Russian emigrants of Jewish origins. More typical of the tragic rule was the case of SamuilI.Rovinski who worked as a doctor in Lazarevac. He was married to a Serbian nurse and was completely integrated into the local society. Rovinski had a good reputation as an educated expert (he graduated from the Czarist University in Kharkov) and as a good man who treated poor patients for free. After his arrest, more than a hundred Serbs, his acquaintances, friends, neighbors and patients signed a petition addressed to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia, imploring him to act upon the Prime Minister Milan Nedi to intervene with Gestapo to release Dr. Rovinski. Rovinski was let go, but Germans soon changed their mind and decided to arrest him again. When Rovinski tried to escape, the people who signed the petition were taken as hostages. The unfortunate doctor bid farewell to his children and wife, and hanged himself in front of his house.247 The Nazi justice system also went after masons in Serbia,248 among them several Russians. Gestapo also arrested every refugee who came even close to
244

245 246 247

248

Dragoljub Petrovi, Istona Srbija u ratu i revoluciji (Belgrade: Narodna knjiga, Institut za istoriju radnikog pokreta Srbije, 1985) 26; M.Obradovi, Dve krajnosti,143; R.Jakovljevi, Rusi u Srbiji (Belgrade: Beoknjiga, 2004), 3337; H.Spaeter, Die Brandenburger Eine deutsche Kommandotruppe (Mnchen, 1982), 117119. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. B-153, B-431, F-178, J-179. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. F-178. O.Markovi, Doktor Sima Rovinski, in Mali ovek i velika istorija, ed., G.Miloradovi (Valjevo: Istraivaka stanica Petnica, 2002), 714; AJ, IAB, Baniki logor, 6286 (IV) AJ, IAB, BdS, br. C-128, C-135, D-44, J-179, ST-131.

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revising his views on the Soviet state and expressed sympathy for the USSR as a communist Russia.249 Even those who entered the Soviet embassy only once (for instance, those who sought the addresses of their relatives in the USSR, who were interested in scientific literature or who wanted to find out about the everyday life in the Soviet state) were usually detained and checked by Gestapo.250 After careful and detailed examination, which included physical pressure on the detainees, these unfortunate people were released after signing written statements that they were forbidden from speaking about their arrest to anybody except their spouse, who also had to sign a similar document.251 After the Germans arrived, any open conversation, even with closest friends, could become a reason for arrest and lead to a sentence in a camp.252 In private conversations, some emigrants upheld ideas which were completely opposed to views of the leaders of extreme right wing emigration. These so called freethinking individuals believed that there was no more communism in Russia, that Slavic patriots lived there who were fighting for a Slavic idea and unity of all the Slavs.253 Gestapos attention could be drawn even by conversations at ordinary meetings between friends who gathered to play a game of cards and drink a little bit of wine.254 Tired of everyday exaggerated rumors, and wishing to obtain objective information, Russian emigrants, like the general Serbian population, tried to compare the optimistic German propaganda with radio shows broadcast from Moscow and London. As a result, the German Command issued an order on May 27, 1941, which banned listening to all non-German radio-stations at the pain of prison or execution. Afterward, the responsibility for implementing this law was passed onto Special Police and Gestapo.255 Nonetheless, some Russian refugees organized collective listening of the forbidden radio stations and they continued to spread foreign news content to their neighbors and colleagues in work places.256 Regardless of the pressure, only a few Russian emigrants had the wish to take up arms against the Germans (or to oppose them without weapons). These few individuals could express their views by being active in the illegal underground or joining the Partisan Detachments, but they were unable to alter the group behavior of the Russian refugees.257
249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257

AJ, IAB, BdS, br. A-56, A-116, C-70, C-75, C-76, D-90, D-184, D-195, G-318, I-5, I-51, J-13, J-810. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. A-15, A-23, B-217, D-212, D-250, O-21. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. B-361, 26. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. I-50. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. B-579. 2. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. C-191. AJ, IAB, UGB SP IV, br. 38/05, 266. AJ, IAB, BdS, br. A-50, B-112, H-222, I-54, J-235. Giljoten, Dve moje domovine, 118, 121, 129.

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The influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on emigration and Pro-German Russian military units during the Second World War in Yugoslavia
The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was one of the most important factors in the life of Russian emigration. 258 The formation of ROCA on the territory of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was announced in Sremski Karlovci. Its administration transferred to Sremski Karlovci in 1921 at the invitation of the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Dimitrije, who offered the Russian Church exceptional advantages and benefits on the territory of the Yugoslav Kingdom. 259 The Second All-Exiled Assembly of ROCA was held in August, 1938, in Sremski Karlovci. The meeting was led by Metropolitan Anastasii Gribanovskii (18731965). During the Assembly, participants visited the Monument to Russian Soldiers at the New Graveyard in Belgrade, where a litany was recited and a ceremonial service was held for the peace of the souls of Czar Nicholas II and his family, as well as everybody who died fighting for their faith, Czar and the fatherland. At the end of the Assembly, the participants signed two declarations: To Russian people in the suffering Fatherland and Russian Flock in Exile. 260 Thereby, ROCA made clear once again its determination to continue fighting communism and its willingness to continue the CivilWar. Considering that Europe was heading towards a global war in August, 1938, it should be noted that pro-German view held by ROCA did not represent a threat to the integrity of the Yugoslav
ROCA origins can be traced to May 1919, during the Civil War when the pro-White Temporary Higher Church Administration in the South of Russia was established. The Russian Church splintered because the All-Exile Russian Church Assembly held on November 8, 1921, in Sremski Karlovci, called for the establishment of the rule of legitimate Orthodox Czar from the Romanov dynasty with the assistance of the foreign military intervention. The Bishops in Russia were under direct threat from communists and they were forced to explicitly repudiate and condemn the Assembly in Karlovci and they tried to abolish the Temporary Administration. Much of the Russian Church beyond the Bolsheviks reach joined ROCA: the numerous parishes and dioceses in Western Europe and America, two dioceses in the Far East, as well as the important Spiritual Mission in Palestine. ROCA and the Synod of Moscow Patriarchate broke off relations in 19271928, while the last contact was in 1936. P.M.Andreev, Kratkii obzor istorii Russkoi Tserkvi ot revolutsii do nashikh dnei (Jordanville (NY): Holy Trinity Monastery, 1951); G.Grabbe, Pravda o Russkoi Tserkvi na Rodine i za Rubezhom (Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1961); G. Grabbe, K istorii russkikh tserkovnykh razdelenii zagranitsei, (Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1992); D.Pospelovskii, Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov v XX veke (Moscow: Respublika, 1995). Jovanovi, Ruska emigracija, 316348; Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov,. Deianiia 2go Vsezarubezhnogo Sobora Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi zagranitsei (Belgrad: Merkur, 1939).

258

259 260

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state and that the genocidal nature of the Nazi regime was not yet obvious to the world. 261 After the breakout of the April War, ROCA called on its followers to invest all of their strength into defense of their new homeland, while Metropolitan Anastasii and Shtrandman signed a similar statement.262 During the bombardment of Belgrade on April 6, 1941, ROCA clerics I.Sokal, V.Nekludov, V.Tarasjev and S.Noarov and Syncellus Averkii fulfilled their pastoral duties. They offered support to those whose spirit fell, they performed the last rites to the wounded and the dying and they buried the deceased. They endlessly prayed and gave services in churches and in places of their residence during the bombing. Bishop Metropolitan Anastasii initially relocated to the Russian House, where he prayed with the people who sought shelter there. Subsequently, he went to Zemun where he stayed until Maundy Thursday, after which he returned to Belgrade where he worshipped with his flock. All night services ended before 19 oclock because of the war, while the Easter morning service began at 6 oclock.263 In April, 1944, similar situation happened, when Russian nuns, evacuated from the Hopovo Monastery, led the liturgy in place of their residence in Belgrade to defend it from the brutal Allied air attacks.264 After capitulation, occupation and partition of Yugoslavia, ROCA found itself in a conundrum, as some of its parishes were outside of Serbias new borders,265 with which it was very difficult to communicate due to the German censorship. Metropolitan Anastasii, the head of ROCA and the Russian Orthodox municipalities in Yugoslavia, was isolated.266 Apart from the external isolation, there was also internal isolation as the ties with the authorities broke down. Germans immediately replaced Vasilii Shtrandman, the Russian communitys leader, who even spent some time in jail due to his Pan-Slavism and close ties with Britain.267 Evgraf Evgrafovich Kovalevskii, the head of the Russian Colony in Belgrade, was killed in the bombing. Skorodumov, the new head of the Russian emigration, was too radical, and his relationship with ROCA was troubled by his attempts to interfere in the Churchs internal affairs. ROCA had to enter into direct relations with the Commander of the German Forces in Serbia and with the local SD and Gestapo, via its Secretary of the Synod Iuri Pavlovich Grabe. However, soon General Skorodumov was replaced by General
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262 263 264 265 266 267

Blagodarstvennyi Adres Mitropolita Anastasiia Adolfu Gitleru. 12 iiunia 1938 g., Tserkovnaia Zhizn, 56, 1938. Russkii golos, April 6, 1941. + Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 46, 1941, 1. A.Dubrova Sila Molitvy, Nashi vesti 369 (1978). Tserkovnaia zhizn, 1942: 7, 110; 9, 140, 142; 1943: 1, 11. Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod. AJ, IAB, f. BDS, d. St-131.

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Kreiter with whom there were no misunderstandings or clashes: he understood the position of the Church very well.268 The fact that Grabe established close relations with Ljoti also helped ROCA. Ljoti was exceptionally warm towards Grabe, agreeing even to write an introduction for his book devoted to the Jewish question. Until the death of the Zbor, they corresponded regularly with each other.269 Bishop Grigorii spoke of the good relations between Nedi and his circle with ROCA after the war. According to him: Ljoti was a great man. He was a true believer and very connected with the Church. I met him during the war and we became very close friends. He knew how to talk to Germans while not abandoning his views On the other hand, M.Nedi was an accomplished General who was in familial relations with Ljoti, and he was a very thorough man. He sought to preserve order and defend the population from Germans270 The situation began to change at the end of June 1941, when Germany attacked the USSR, which ROCA and its flock viewed as the beginning of the long-awaited liberation. This attitude typified a large part of the White Russian emigration, including its spiritual leaders ROCA hierarchs. The Archbishop of Berlin and Germany Serafim (Lade) and Archimandrite Ioann (Shahovskoi) announced their support for Germany in the summer of 1941.271 This can be partially explained by Churchs awful position in the USSR. In early June, 1941, there were only 3, 732 active Orthodox Churches, 3, 350 of which were to be found in the newly adjoined territories the Baltic Republics, Western Ukraine, Western Belarus and Bessarabia. In remainder of the country, there were only 350400 open churches. The number of functioning churches and active priests (around 500 people) was utterly minor, and it comprised only 5% of the working churches and active priests at the end of the 1920s. In occupied parts of Russia, the number of churches expanded rapidly: in the Northwest 470, in Kursk Region 332, in Rostov Region 243, in Krasnodar Krai 229, in Stavrlopol Krai 127, in Orlov Region 108, in Voronezh Region 116, in Crimea 70, in Smolensk Region 60, in Tula 8, and in Ordzhonikidze Krai, Moscow Region, Kaluga Region, Stalingrad Region, Briansk Region and Belgorod Region 500 churches were opened. In total, 2, 150 churches were opened. At least 600 Orthodox churches were opened in Belarus, and 5, 400 in
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270 271

Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod. D.LjotiD., Predgovor za knjigu Georgija Pavlovia [Grabe] Pod estokrakom zvezdom. Judaizam i slobodno-zidarstvo u prolosti i sadanjosti, and Pismo grofu Grabeu (29. 1. 1945), in Sabrana dela Volume VIIIIX, ed. Z.Pavlovi, (Belgrade: Iskra, 2003). Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod M.V.Shkarovskii, Natsistskaia Germaniia i Pravoslavnaia tserkov (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Krutitskogo Patriarshego Podvoria, Obshchestvo liubitelei tserkovnoi istorii, 2002), 247; S. p., Arkhiepiskop Ioann (Shakhovskoi) i ego korrespondenty (Materialy k biografii Arkhiepiskopa Ioanna), Tserkovnoistoricheskii vestnik vol. 1 81 (1998).

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Ukraine, which the Soviet state did not shut down after Germans withdrawal for propaganda and political reasons. A letter written to Metropolitan Aleksei on January 25, 1944, by S.D.Peskach, an ordinary Church singer in the small town of Gdovsk was illustrative of the Churchs changing fortunes: I can announce that the Russian person has completely changed since the arrival of Germans. Ruined churches have been renovated the priests clothes were brought from where they were preserved Happiness and peace appeared. When everything was ready, they invited the priest and the Church was blessed. At the time, there were so many happy events that I cannot even describe it. 272 The wish to begin fighting the violent communist dictatorship led to the growth of numerous volunteer and armed units which fought against the USSR. The most radical ROCA members were a group of believers who gathered around Eksakustodian Ivanovich Maharablidze which was even in opposition to the vehemently anti-Bolshevik ROCA Chancellery of the Synod. Maharablidze came from a family of military priests, and he graduated from the St. Petersburg Seminary and the Faculty of Law at the St. Petersburg University. During the First World War, Maharablidze headed the Protopresbytor Chancellery. During the Civil War, he was the chief of Protopresbytor Chancellery Armed Forces in the South of Russia. After the formation of the Temporary Higher Church Administration, he became Secretary and the head of the Chancellery of the Karlovci Synod.273 Maharablidze authored the essay addressed to the Karlovac Assembly on September 1, 1922, which dealt with Patriarch Tikhons controversial act, which was the first step in the breaking up of ROCA from the Russian Orthodox Church. In his essay, Maharablidze doubted the authenticity of the Patriarchs signature, he established that the text was a Bolshevik dictate and concluded that Karlovci Synod should not accept the authority of a Patriarch which he deemed to have been opposed to the Orthodox cannons.274 Due to personal and financial misunderstandings, Maharablidze was fired from the position as head of the Chancellery,275 which resulted in the shutting down of Tserkovnye Vedomosti (19221930), a publication which he edited. ROCA launched a new newspaper Tserkovnaia zhizn (19331944) after a delay, which was edited by Grabe, the new Synod Secretary. At the same time, the Russian far right emigration in Yugoslavia obtained another Church news272

273

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TsGA SP, f. 9324, o. 1, d. 7, 3. For an interesting take on the Third Reichs policies towards Christianity, see D.Zhukov, Okkultizm v Tretem reikhe (Moscow: Iauza, 2006). N.A.Struve, Bratstvo Sviatoi Sofii: Materialy i dokumenty. 19231939 (Moscow Parizh: 2000), 297; G. Shavelskii G., Vospominaniia poslednego protopresvitera russkoi armii i flota (Moscow: Krutitskoe patriarshee podvore, 1996). See the text of Mekharablidzeas essay in the fund of the ROCA Synod: GARF, f. 6343, o. 1, d. 4; A.V.Popov, Arkhiv Arkhiereiskogo Sinoda Russkoi Pravoslavnoi tserkvi za granitsei v GARF, in Zarubezhnaia Rossiia 19171939. Sbornik statei, ed. V.Iu.Cherniaev, 403411. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 2, 1942, 1819; Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 79, 1941, 712.

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paper Tserkovnoe Obozrenie (19321944), which expressed harsh judgments on certain employees of the Chancellery of the Synod, but did not officially criticize any members of the Synod. Maharablidze edited Tserkovnoe Obozrenie, while the newspaper also published articles by the renowned Orthodox publicist and Protopresbytor Vladimir Igantievich Vostokov, the last Protopresbytor of the Czarist Army and the Navy Georgii Ivanovich Shavelskii and other less known authors.276 Tserkovnoe Obozrenie welcomed the Nazi Germanys attack on the Bolshevik USSR with unconcealed joy: the decisive battle is going on. The light against the darkness. Her mighty hand announced the battle until death. All believers, all Christians, and especially us the Orthodox sons of Russia, must turn this battle into an all-Christian Crusade, and led by sincere prayers, we must partake in it in every way possible. 277 The newspaper which was edited by Maharablidze lavishly praised the new world order and its creator. 278 The official ROCA newspaper Tserkovnaia zhizn which ceased with publication between the April War and the end of 1941, followed a more moderate line. The several month-long interlude in its publication enabled it to assess the newly developing situation more soberly. The first issue of this newspaper under the German occupation was accompanied by the German translation of the title Das kirchliche leben (as opposed to Maharablidzes newspaper which did not translate the title of his newspaper to German). The first issue was not filled with immoderate boasting because of the German attack on the USSR, but it was not completely apolitical due to the lengthy article by Metropolitan Anastasii. The Bishop accented the anti-Christian and anti-humanitarian nature of communism, while not neglecting the difficult battle with the forces of evil. 279 In the next issue of the official ROCA, an unsigned article clarified the editorial view on the unfolding events: on the entire planet Earth the Russian Church Abroad follows the course of war intensely and carefully, and it supports the fighters against the Godless with prayers and it is always ready to assist in this struggle with all its strength which is waged in one shape or another around the world in all its parts and states. 280 In his Christmas and
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277 278 279 280

Maharablidze and his supporters were not in an open conflict with the Synod Chancellery and they only expressed their personal views on certain events. His loyalty was never brought into question, and the disagreements did not exceed the boundaries of internal Church discussions. This can be inferred from the decision made by the Synod on June 8/21, 1941, at the recommendation of Metropolitan Anastasii, that one of the most frequent contributors to that newspaper, Vladimir Vostokov, be decorated with a large golden cross. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 1941: 46, 12; 79, 35; 10, 1012; 1942: 46, 67. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 13, 1942, 48; 6, 1943, 5; 23, 1944, 7. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 312, 1941, 37. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 1, 1942, 11.

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Easter greetings in 1941 and 1942, the Metropolitan Anastasii expressed support for the crusading soldier, who is on the battlefield to achieve the great deed of love and self-sacrifice for values which are greater and more costly than life because they have an insurmountable and eternal importance. 281 Nonetheless, the rhetoric changed with the Easter Message in 1943. Although the Patriarch repeated the enumeration of the Bolshevik misdeeds, his fascination with the fighters against Bolshevism was replaced with more reflective feelings about victims and suffering moans and the last breath concern about what will come death which cuts downthousands of young lives of every nation and the daily increase in animosity and malevolence which is growing into Satanic cruelty 282 Anstasiis discourse changed because ROCA realized that the Germans do not want to offer support in [Churchs A.T.] work in Russia that they wanted more than anything to deepen divisions that they deliberately hindered contacts with Metropolitan Serafim in Germany. They did not want him to be tied to us at all, and they did not allow him to contact the government about Church issues, especially in the occupied territories in the East.283 The Nazis even tried to prevent contact between the Soviet prisoners of war and ROCA. Therefore, ROCA attempts to establish regular Church life in Russia had to be made indirectly. For example, a large number of Orthodox publications were transferred to a Brotherhood in Slovakia which possessed its own printing press. The German suspicions originated in the highest levels of the Third Reichs government,284 and it led to attempts to keep the emigrant Church active only in the exile. Attempts to break out of emigration did not hinder ROCA to actively pursue its pastoral duties towards its believers among the refugees. Apart from the regular activities in the Russian House, ROCA ran courses for anti-atheist propagandists who were thought by numerous renowned teachers. Later on, ROCA ran courses on icon-painting by Hieromonk Antonii Bartoshevich.285 Bishop Anastasii paid a lot of attention to educating and training the youth, and he visited the Cadet Corps in Bela Crkva several times,286 where religion was thought by the gifted Hieromonk Antonii Bartoshevich who was respected and beloved by his students. He also visited the Russian Gymnasium in Belgrade the same subject was thought by famous Georgii Vasilevich Florovskii. 287
281 282 283 284 285 286 287

Tserkovnaia zhizn, 1942: 4, 5051; 12, 180. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 4, 1943, 49. Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod. M.Pickers, Hitlers Tischgesprche im Fhrerhauptquartier 19411942 (Bonn: Athenum, 1951), 46. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 1, 1942, 12; 8, 1943, 122. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 12, 1942, 187; 10, 1943, 144. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 7, 1943, 108.

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The Bishop also visited the traditional Christmas Tree for children of the poorest Russian emigrants.288 In addition, ROCA participated in helping out the lonely, the old and the dispirited members of the Russian community, whose numbers grew during the war. ROCA also ran nursing homes in Kikinda,289 Belgrade,290 and a Russian Hospital in Panevo. Vladika regularly visited them and offered the necessary support to its patrons.291 Metropolitan Anastasii offered his blessing and attention to another migr project a joint agricultural estate in Banjica, where the hard-pressed emigrants tried to grow produce necessary for survival.292 Regardless of the German embargo, ROCA sought to participate in the rebirth of Orthodox life in the occupied USSR. In middle of the summer in 1942, ROCA Synod collected books and other church objects for the Church in Russia.293 The Synod succeeded in sending into Russia via third parties a large number of church books and crosses. The German attitude towards ROCA improved only in 1943 when Stalin allowed the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchy (RPC MP) to be elected, requiring the Nazis to elevate ROCA status. In order to condemn the election of the Moscow Patriarch, ROCA meeting was held in Vienna which criticized the unjust election of the new Patriarch.294 ROCA realized how difficult the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church was its leader was imprisoned and a large number of Bishops were killed or were forcibly separated from their clock. In his postwar lecture, Bishop Grigorii (Grabe) recalled that Metropolitan Anastasii congratulated Saint Day to Patriarch Gavrilo and Bishop Nikolai, regardless of the isolation which was forced upon the arrested and the opposition from the German authorities. ROCA also adopted a correct stance on the question of the so called Croatian Orthodox Church. However, Bishop Hemogen (Maksimov) (18611945) participated in its organization. According to the data from 1942, out of sixty two clerics in service of the Croatian Orthodox Church, twenty of them were Russian.295 The Metropolitan Anastasii made negative comments about the Croatian Orthodox Church, as soon as he heard of its establishment. ROCA condemned Bishop Hemogen, and it reported this condemnation to the Serbian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Josif. The
288 289 290 291 292 293

294 295

Tserkovnaia zhizn, 1, 1942, 12. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 6, 1943, 81. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 2, 1943, 28. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 5, 1943, 75. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 6, 1942, 8789. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 1942: 78, 4; 1112, 6; 1944: 23, 9; Tserkovnaia zhizn, 11, 1942, 161164, 170;, Shkarovskii, Russkaia tserkovnaia, 201203. Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod. uri, Ustae i Pravoslvlje; Goriachev, Khorvatskaia pravoslavnaia tserkov; M.V.Shkarovskii, Sozdanie i deiatelnost Khorvatskoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny, Vestnik tserkovnoi istorii No. 3 (2007).

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German occupational authorities, however, banned ROCA from advertising their censure of the Croatian Orthodox Church. As a result, ROCA priests denounced the establishment of the Croatian Orthodox Church to their parishioners. The Serbian hierarchs appreciated ROCA support. After the war ended in 1945, Patriarch Gavrilo said during a visit in London that Metropolitan Anastasii held himself wisely and with great tact and that he was always loyal to the Serbs.296 The head of the Chancellery of the Synod Grabes view of the internal situation in Serbia could be discerned from his remarkably positive attitude towards Milan Nedi and Dimitrije Ljoti (whom he called his personal friend), as well as positive impressions of the anti-communist formations which were under their command (the Serbian Volunteer Corps and the Serbian State Guard). Although Grabe expressed this view several decades after the war, this general picture is confirmed by contacts between ROCA and the German-created Russian Liberation Army. Metropolitan Anastasii and Grabe personally visited General Vlasov, the head of the Russian Liberation Army.297 After the Russians evacuated Belgrade in the autumn of 1944, Metropolitan Anastasii travelled in General Vlasovs car.298 A part of the Russian clergy, especially those who served in the Serbian Orthodox Churchs parishes in the countrys interior, were vehemently anti-communist. Consequently, numerous Russian priests,299 as well as their Serbian counterparts, were killed by the Partisans.300 It was impossible for ROCA to overlook these relatively large losses in official Church newspapers.301 It should be noted that the number of Orthodox priests killed by communists in Serbia during the Second World War was relatively high in comparison to the
296

297

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299 300 301

M.V.Shkarovskii, Natsistskaia Germaniia i Pravoslavnaia tserkov (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Krutitskogo Patriarshego Podvoria, Obshchestvo liubitelei tserkovnoi istorii, 2002), 206; I.M.Andreev, Kratkii obzor istorii Russkoi tserkvi ot revoliutsii do nashikh dnei (Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1951), 134.; Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. and Canada Calendar (Pittsburgh: s. n., 1991), 105. V pravoslavnom kafedralnom sobore v voskresene, 19 noAJ, IABria 1944 g. Slovo mitropolita Anastasiia (radio-zapis), Volia Naroda 34 (1944), 5. This is according to Shatov, Shatov, Bibliografiia. Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod; A.Kiselev, Oblik generala Vlasova (Zapiski voennogo sviashchennika) (New York: Put zhizni, 1977), 106. Kiselev recalled in his memoirs the warm relationship between General Vlasov and ROCA leadership. He also mentioned Vlasovs attendance at the Church-organized formal presentation of Vlasovs movement on November 18, 1944, and the ceremonial prayer for the victory of the Russian weapons in the large Russian Orthodox Church in Berlin which was led by Metropolitan Anastasii, who had just escaped from Belgrade several months earlier. Kiselev, Oblik generala, 67, 86, 92. Konstantin Kromadii, the head of the General Vlasovs Personal Chancellery, left a detailed account of the first meeting between Anastasii and Vlasov in the autumn of 1944. Kiselev, Oblik generala, 137; K.Kromiadii, Za zemliu, za voliu Na putiakh russkoi osvoboditelnoi borby (19411947 gg.) (San-Francisco: Globus, 1980).. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 1943: 1, 8; 8, 6; 9, 3. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 79, 1941, 7; 1942: 78, 4; 1112, 6. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 10, 1942, 155; 5, 1943, 75.

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losses inflicted by the other warring parties. Based on postwar research of the Serbian Orthodox Church, we know that six Russian priests working for SOC were killed by the occupiers and their collaborators: four were killed by Ustae in NDH and two by Germans for unknown reasons in Vojvodina. Another priest, about whom little is known except that he was Russian monk in the MonasterySt. Naum, died at the hands of unknown people near Ohrid. Allegedly, two priests were liquidated by the JVuO in Central Serbia.302 The anti-communism of the Russians priests who served in the Serbian parishes in rural Serbia led them to become targets for the Partisans.303 This was particularly the case in Branievo parish in Eastern Serbia,304 where Partisans killed numerous priests a large number of whom were Russian. In Branievo parish, between 19411944, at least three Serbian and seven Russian priests were killed. Priest Viacheslav Iakovlevskii was killed in July, 1942. During the Civil War in Russia he was a priest in the anti-Bolshevik Volunteer Army. Upon his arrival to Serbia in December, 1920, he served in Brza Palanka Parish in Timoka Diocese, after which he was transferred to Branievo Diocese. The priest Viacheslav Zein was killed in July, 1942. He was nephew of the famous F. A. Zein, Governor of the Duchy of Finland. Viacheslav Zein was a clerk before the revolution, becoming a priest only in exile. For a time he served in Mozel, France, after which he came to Serbia, where he died during the war.305 Priest Panteloimon Kokaiev was killed in August, 1942. His father came from a respected Ossetian family, and he graduated from Stavropol Seminary with excellent grades. After his arrival to Serbia he served in Jovaka Parish in Ni Diocese. In August 1942, Sergei Belavin, priest of Branievo Diocese, was murdered.306 Priest Grigorii Volkov from Klenj Parish in Branievo Diocese was killed in March 1943, only several months after Venjamin, the Branievo Bishop honored him for his excellent service. Finally, priest Vasilii Tolmachev was killed in March 1943.307 Venjamin expressed bitterness and sorrow to Metropolitan Anastasii that Godless bandits are killing Serbian and Russian priests in the Branievo Diocese. Consequently, Venjamin issued an order that all victims be introduced into diptychs of all Dioceses, killed by the insanity of
302

303 304

305 306 307

M.D.Smiljani and D.trbac eds., Spomenica pravoslavnih svetenika, 39, 40, 48, 59, 86, 88, 96, 130. Tserkovnoe obozrenie 8, 1943, 6. However, the murder of Russian emigrants was not rare in other areas of the country. For instance, in April of 1943, Milovoje Simi, who served in Vojvoda Budimir Ilis Company around Cer, slit the throat of a Russian priest Novoselskii, as well as his family, in the village of Milievii. V.Tretiakov, ed., Vernye dolgu 19411945, 48. Evlogii (Georgievskii), Put moei zhizni (Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1994). Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 1, 1943, 8. Tserkovnaia zhizn, 10, 1942, 155.

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the Godless at the same time, steps were taken with the responsible authorities to protect the lives of Russian and Serbian priests.308 ROCA support for the Russian Corps likely contributed to the murders of Russian priests.309 Metropolitan Anastasii blessed his flock who enlisted in this unit, as well as the Russian Corps itself. He regularly participated in the Corps military parades, he served liturgy on special occasions. He received a statement of appreciation from the Commander of the Corps for everyday attention towards spiritual needs of the Corps. In 1943, Metropolitan Anastasii blessed the Regimental field Church with the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God from Kursk.310 During the Easter Week in 1943, the Russian Corps soldiers en mass visited the Church of Holy Trinity where a large group of Russian migrs warmly greeted them. The young soldiers of the Russian Corps attended a special service by Metropolitan Anastasii, who addressed the soldiers with an inspirational speech.311 Apart from the continuous attention from the Metropolitan, the Regimental ROCA priests were also involved in the soldiers lives. These priests participated in the daily life of the Russian Corps, and as a result, they were exposed to all of the risks of the war. For example, during the Battle for aak in 1944, Father Nikon and his assistant Hierodeacon Vasian tirelessly administered the sacraments to the wounded and they buried the killed, despite the intensive fire of the Soviet artillery and the Katiusha rocket launchers. During the fighting, Father Nikon was wounded while his Hierodeacon was killed.312 Priests of the Corps were held in exceptionally high esteem, which can be indirectly ascertained from the fact that four of the former priests from the Corps were appointed to be Bishops in various ROCA Dioceses.313 Considering that the Corps priests fell under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Anastasii, who was in charge of administration of the Russian Diocese in Serbia,314 they regularly mentioned the name of the worldly ruler King Peter II Karaorevi and the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Gavrilo.315 In the autumn of 1944, three weeks before the entry of the
308 309

310 311 312

313 314

315

Tserkovnaia zhizn, 10, 1942, 155; 5, 1943, 75. Tserkovnoe obozrenie, 1112, 1942, 67; 1943: 1, 7; 8, 45; Tserkovnaia zhizn, 10, 1942, 142; 1943: 1, 1; 5, 7374; 8, 113; 8, 122. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 268269. Vertepov, ed., Russkii korpus, 3940, 115. It must be noted that not all ROCA clerics desired to be military chaplains. Vladimir Rodzianko, for instance, wanted to avoid service in the military. 1, Russkaia TserkovPrilozhenie II iz vospominanii Vladyiki Vasiliia (Rodzianko). N.Prot-ov, Polkovye sviashchenniki Russkogo korpusa, Nashi vesti 438 (1995). This was not the case with other Russian collaborationist units, where chaplains recognized the authority of the Patriarch in Istanbul and even Moscow, in addition to ROCA, D.Konstantinov, Zapiski voennogo sviashchennika (n. p., 1980), 26. Shkarovskii, Natsistskaia Germaniia, 205.

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Red Army and Partisans in Belgrade, ROCA leaders left Serbia with numerous Russian anti-communist migrs.316 Grabe recalled these difficult days: at the end we received a [train A.T.] carriage. We started packing the Chancellery into cases.all [Russians A.T.] were leaving Belgrade. Already, pupils and teachers had left, as well as my children and wife. Three weeks after our departure from Belgrade, the Bolsheviks captured it. Once we approached the train, we realized that instead of the carriage which was promised to us [to the ROCA Synod A.T.], they gave us only a part of a third class carriage. The current Bishop Averkii was travelling with us. He had so much private things, that he could not carry the Miraculous Icon, so I had to take it. Our entire luggage was thrown into the only available transport carriage on the train. Naturally, things were thrown there without any receipts. That is how we left for Germany.317 It must not be forgotten that a number of priests and their flock decided to stay, offering resistance to the idea of departure of the Miraculous Icon and the Metropolitan.318 This was a smaller part of the emigration the so called leftwingers and Soviet patriots [who believed that they A.T.] should not fight against the Bolsheviks because the interests of the Soviet power coincided with interests of Russia. This group was led by two priests: ProtopresbyterI.Sokal and ProtopresbyterV.Nekliudov.319 It should be noted that this sympathy towards the communists was not caused by the Red Armys success. Individual ROCA followers wanted to establish ties with Moscow Patriarchate even before the war. Nekliudov taped over the picture of Nicholas II with paper in the Russian Iver Chapel on the New Graveyard in 1938.320 During the war, Sokal and Nekliudov gathered the people around the Church of Holy Trinity and tried to persuade them not to go into the Russian Corps, advising them not to be afraid of communists because there are no more Bolsheviks, only the Russians have remained. Both of these priests during the offensive of the Soviet troops talked a large part of their flock into staying in Belgrade.321 All of the decision-making powers of the Russian Church in Yugoslavia, during the withdrawal, was left in the hands of the Dioceses Council which was comprised of the following clerics: Ioann Sokal (vice president), Vitalii Tarasev,
316 317 318 319

320

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N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus 278280. Grabbe, Arkhiereiskii Sinod. Ibid. Their views were sincere and not dictated by the looming Red Armys arrival. They held pro-Soviet views as early as 1938, well before the war. Individual ROCA believers and clerics also started contemplating reconciliation with the Church in Russia before the war. V.A.Maevskii, Russkie v Iugoslavii: Vzaimootnosheniia Rossii i Serbii. vol. 2, 275; Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov chapter 4. MaevskiiV.A., Russkie v Iugoslavii: Vzaimootnosheniia Rossii i Serbii. vol. 2, 275; Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov, chapt. 4. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 50.

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Vladimir Moshin, Vikentii Fradinskii (secretary).322 The power transferred into the hands of the most senior Russian cleric Protopresbyter Sokal. At that moment, the Russian Church had two municipalities, two monasteries, twenty priest-teachers, fifteen monks, thirty-two nuns and around 3,000 believers.323 Four priests decided to stay in the largest Russian Church in Belgrade, the Church of the Holy Trinity: I. Sokal, V. Nekliudov, V. Tarasev and V. Moshin.324 Upon request of ROCA Parish Council and the Bishop Council, the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church decided to place the elders of the Russian Church under its protection in November 1944.325 In this way a new chapter began in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church in the new Titos Yugoslavia.

322 323 324

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Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov. Glasnik SPC No. 1012, 1944, 91. Kosik, Russkaia Tserkov Prilozhenie I Iz vospominanii akademika, protiereia Vladimira Moshina. R.Radi, ivot u vremenima: Gavrilo Doi (18811950) (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju, 2006).

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Soviet collaborators in Yugoslavia and their contribution to the german-led military campaigns against the partisans and the Red army

The phenomenon of collaboration or Civil War during the occupation of the USSR?
For several decades historians of the Second World War have been fascinated by the German unexpected and speedy success in 1941, and just as the unexpected (considering the previous German victories and the German economic, industrial and human resources of almost entire continental Europe) reversal of Axis fortunes on the Eastern Front. Historians usually explain Wehrmachts early success by the removal of a large number of Soviet high and middle-ranking officers during the repressions of the 1930s which led to the general degradation of the army. Historians also contend that the party elite did not believe the accurate intelligence reports and the correct advice from foreign diplomats about the date of the attack. In addition, scholars argued that Wehrmacht was superior to the Red Army in the early phases of the war in quality as well as quantity of weaponry (this explanation was used by historians of the former Eastern Bloc).1 Historians also proffered following reasons for the Soviet victory: Russias difficult environmental conditions (especially the cold winters), the countless human resources which the Soviets wasted recklessly, the Blocking Detachments which fired into the backs of Soviet soldiers who wanted to withdraw, the great economic and military-technical assistance given by the Western Allies and the leading role of the Communist Party (this was the favorite explanation of historians from the Eastern bloc). However, from the 1990s, historiography began changing due to the fall of communism and the subsequent opening of a number of state, party and military archives, as well as more objective history writing on both sides of the former Cold War divide. Historians without access to archives and researchers who could
1

Historians have cited other reasons such as the incomplete rearmament program and the newly established borders in the western part of the country which had not been fortified yet.

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not freely express their views in totalitarian socialism made a series of claims which were refuted by the newly available sources.2 For instance, D. A. Volkogonov claimed that Kremlin repressed 40,000 officers.3 However, statistics published by the Russian State Military Archive tell a different story. In this time period, 37,000 thousand individuals were fired, out of which only 22,000 were fired for political reasons (the rest for disciplinary violations such as drunkenness and immoral behavior). In addition, by 1940, 13,000 political convicts were restored to army, 8,000 were jailed and 5,000 were executed.4 It is important to point out that contemporary researchers have indisputably demonstrated the fact that the educational level of the high ranking officers had considerably improved after the purges. Before the beginning of the repression, 29% of officers had high military education, while by 1938, 38% of high ranking officers had higher military education and in 1941 that figure had reached 52%. Amongst the newly appointed higher-ranking officers, there were 45% more graduates than amongst the dismissed officers which they replaced.5 It should be noted that amongst the repressed officers, considerable number of them were the so called political commanders who advanced professionally during the Civil War when they fulfilled special orders issued by the Bolshevik Party. Basically, many of them did not reach their rank due to their proven military capabilities on the field against an organized enemy army. According to a study which quantified and qualified disciplinary violations, the Red Army was typified by the lack of discipline, orderliness and organization.6 Likewise, the Soviet historians favorite theories have proven false, such as that Hitler had at his disposal countless number of well-armed troops in 1941, which was not the case with the supposedly peace-loving USSR which relied on international agreements for security.7 It should be pointed out that in the militarytechnical sense, the Soviet troops were not far behind their German opponents. By the beginning of the war, the Soviets had developed BM-13 (the famous Katiusha rocket launchers) and T-34. The latter was the best tank of the Second World War which received the greatest praise from the German tank virtuoso H.Guderian: in November 1941, well-regarded constructors, industrialists and officers of the
2

3 4

6 7

For the re-evaluation of their positions see I.Pykhalov, Velikaia obolgannaia voina (Moscow: Olma Media Grupp, 2005). D.A.Volkogonov, Triumf i tragediia. Politicheskii portret I.V.Stalina III (Moscow: APN, 1989). N. S. Cherushev, 1937 god: Elita Krasnoi Armii na Golgofe (Moscow: Veche, 2003), 39; CherushevN.S., Statistika antiarmeiskogo terrora, Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv 3 (1998): 4149. G.I.Gerasimov, Deistvitelnoe vliianie repressii 19371938 gg. na ofitserskii korpus RKKA, Rossiiskii istoricheskii zhurnal 1 (1999): 4849. A.Smirnov, Bolshie manevry, Rodina 4 (2000): 93. L. E. Reshin and V. P. Naumov, eds., 1941 god: v 2 knigakh (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyi fond. Demokratii Moscow), 1998; A.V.Isaev, Antisuvorov. Desiat mifov Vtoroi mirovoi (Moscow: Eksmo, Iauza, 2004).

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Institute for Armaments came to my tank army to familiarize themselves with the Russian tank T-34, which surpassed our military machines; immediately they wanted to understand and undertake steps which would enable us to obtain technical superiority over the Russians The frontline officers recommended that the Germans should commence immediately with production of tanks identical to T-34. The constructors were not ashamed of copying the so called Eastern inferiors, however, they were concerned that it would be impossible to begin the production of the most important T-34 parts with the necessary speed, especially the aluminum parts of the diesel engines.8 Even the quality of the Red Armys infantry weapons were on par with their German counterpart, and sometimes they were even better, as was the case with aviation machine-gun SHKAS and the semi-automatic rifle SVT-40.9 Finally, the thesis that the Soviet party elite completely overlooked the German attack and fell into state of temporary shock and collapse because it ignored the intelligence and diplomatic reports about the pending German attack is spurious. Recent document publications testify to the fact that this claim is far from correct. Even though the Soviet intelligence services found out about the plan for Operation Barbarossa on December 29, 1940, eleven days after Hitler announced it,10 accurate and convincing data about the date of the attack were never received on time.11 The claims about the shock and the collapse of the higher party circles after June 22, 1941, have also proven to be false. According to this theory, the leaderships confusion, caused by Stalins certainty that Hitler would not violate the pact, prevented him from issuing orders in the first days of the war. The emergence of Stalins visitors log which was kept by his security team shed new light on this issue. This document reveals that the Kremlin dictator came to his work place in the first hours after the attack by the Third Reich and that he met with numerous visitors Politburo members, high-ranking officers and ministers.12 This information was publicized already in the uncensored G. K. Zhu8

9 10

11

12

G. Guderian, Vospominaniia soldata (Smolensk: Rusich, 1999), 380. This view was an exception. SeeB.Miuller-Gillebrandt, Sukhoputnaia armiia Germanii 19391945 (Moscow: Yauza, 2002), 284. D.N.Bolotin, Istoriia sovetskogo strelkovogo oruzhiia (Saint Petersburg: Poligon, 1995), 77, 235. S.V.Stepashin et al., eds, Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti SSSR v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine t. 1, (Moscow: Akademiia FSK RF, 1995), 409. The official statement made by ColonelV.Karpov, an employee of the Russias Intelligence Agencys Bureau for Communication with Media to a Ministry of Defense newspaper: KarpovV. et al., 22 iiunia 1941 goda. Moglo li vse byt po-inomu? Krasnaia zvezda, Issue 108 (23409), June 16, 2001, 4; V.K Vinogradov et al., comp., Sekrety Gitlera na stole u Stalina: razvedka i kontrrazvedka o podgotovke germanskoi agressii protiv SSSR, mart iiun 1941 g. Sbornik dokumentov (Moscow: Mosgorarkhiv, 1995), 1113. Izvestiia TsK KPSS, June, 1990, 216220. It must be mentioned that the document was strictly confidential (it was not intended for publication), so it could not have been a forgery. Complete publication: A.V.Korotkov, A.D.Chernev and A.A.Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina. Tetradi (zhurnaly) zapisei lits, priniatykh I.V.Stalinym (19241953 gg.) (Moscow: Novyi khronograf, 2008). Korotkov,

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kovs memoirs, even though the Marshal was critical of Stalin after he dismissed him from leading positions after the end of the war. They say that in the first week of the war J.V.Stalin was supposedly so depressed, that he could not even talk on the radio, offering his speech to Molotov instead. This claim does not correspond to real events.13 Hitlers changing fortunes in late autumn of 1941 also need to be reevaluated. The climate and difficult environment hindered the Russians and their technology as much as they represented an obstacle to German advance.14 The human resources who were under direct or indirect Hitlers control were greater than what was available to the Soviet leadership. The number of ethnic Russians in the Red Army (the Russians from Russia, Eastern Ukraine, Belarus, and Northern Kazakhstan) was comparable to the German ethnic element of the invading Axis powers (Germany, Austria, Southern Tyrol, Sunderland, Silesia, Pomerania, Danzig, Alsace and Lorraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Yugoslavia). Even the activity of the brutal security apparatus, according to the published archival information, was not as massive as historians from the Western camp liked to claim to have had a decisive impact on the breakdown of the German war machine in Russia.15 Finally, a complex statistical study was published of the Soviet human losses in the wars in the twentieth Century.16 It turned out that the Soviet and the German losses were similar, and that the higher number of Soviet deaths was influenced by the Nazi inhuman treatment of Soviet prisoners. The mortality of Soviet prisoners taken by Germans was 57%, while the morality rate of German prisoners was 12.4%.17 The Soviet army, Navy and Security forces deaths during the war were 8, 668, 400 people.18 The truth also emerged about the Anglo-American wartime assistance which was ignored by the Soviet research-

13

14

15

16

17

18

Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina. G.K.Zhukov, Vospominaniniia i razmyshleniia, Izd. 13e, ispravlennoe i dopolnennoe po rukopisiam avtora III (Moscow: Olma-press, 2002), Kniga I, 265266. See the new memoir series Voina i my and Soldatskie dnevniki compiled by A.Drabkin in Moscow, Soviet WWII-veteran Memoirs, in Soviet WWII-veteran Memoirs, accessed September 17, 2012, http://english.iremember.ru/. N.P.Patrushev et al., comp, Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti, t. 2, kn. 2 (Moscow: Akademiia FSK RF, 2000); V.K.Vinogradov et al., comp, Lubianka v dni bitvy za Moskvu: Materialy organov gosbezopasnosti SSSR iz Tsentralnogo arkhiva FSB Rossii (Moscow: Zvonnitsa, 2002); V.K.Vinogradov et al., comp, Stalingradskaia epopeia: Materialy NKVD SSSR i voennoi tsenzury iz Tsentralnogo arkhiva FSB RF (Moscow: Zvonnitsa-MG, 2000); A.T.Zhadobin et al., comps., Ognennaia duga: Kurskaia bitva glazami Lubianki, (Moscow: TsA FSB RF, 2003). G.V.Krivosheev, ed., Grif sekretnosti sniat: Poteri Vooruzhennykh sil SSSR v voinakh, boevykh deistviiakh i voennykh konfliktakh: Statisticheskoe issledovanie (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1993). M.M.Zagorulko, M.M.Zagorulko, S.G.Sidorov and T.V.Tsarevskaia eds., Voennoplennye v SSSR. 19391956. Dokumenty i materialy (Moscow: Logos, 2000). G.V.Krivosheev, ed., Grif sekretnosti sniat, 131.

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ers and extolled by the Anglo-American historians.19 According to the data from the archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the quantity of received weapons did not exceed 56%. The aid had a greater impact when it came to food, cars and oil derivatives, however, it never exceeded more than 37% of the overall quantity of these goods produced in the USSR from June, 1941 to May, 1945.20 However, it is indisputable that the above indicated issues played a role in determining the outcome of the war between the two giants, Germany and the USSR. There was at least one more neglected factor the sudden change of the Soviet (especially the Russian) peoples attitude toward the German troops. The beginning of the war, when a large number of Red Army soldiers were taken prisoners and Soviet soldiers lacked enthusiasm to fight for the Soviet power, coincided with the relatively neutral stance of the population toward the German occupational forces. This was typically the case in the Baltic Republics, Western Ukraine and even in Eastern Ukraine and RSFSR.21 The population of Smolensk territory [Russia A.T.] secretly wished for arrival of Germans. The attitude of the local population towards the Red Army was unfriendly and they barely hid it.22 Apart from separatism, which was a feature of every multi-national state, there was a well-hidden but deeply rooted anti-communist sentiment amongst a certain part of the population. The Red Terror, forceful collectivization, dictatorship of the bureaucratic apparatus and poor living conditions created and strengthened those dissatisfied with the regime. During the Soviet-Finnish war, before the Hitlers invasion of the Soviet Union, active enemies of the regime appeared in the ranks of the Red Army. They joined the war on side of the Finns and the Finnish Soviet units were disbanded only after the war.23 The weakening of the anti-regime sentiments which followed the first phase of the military operations influenced the changing fortunes on the frontlines. This was a consequence more of the policies pursued by Nazi Germany than the So19

20

21

22

23

Soviet historiography had only one monograph on Land Lease, which was marked for internal purposes. Postavki soiuznikov po Lendlizu i drugim putiam vo vremia Vtoroi Mirovoi Voiny (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1956). P.S.Petrov, Fakticheskaia storona pomoshchi po lend-lizu, Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal 6 (1990); M.N.Suprun, Lend-liz i severnye kovoi, 19411945 (Moscow: Andreevskii flag, 1997). See for example numerous documents about the Russian populations pro-German sentiments as late as 1943 in Lokot area after the Kursk Battle in the collection of documents A.T.Zhadobin et al., comps., Ognennaia duga. For more information see A.Dallin, The Kaminsky Brigade: A Case-Study of Soviet Disaffection, in Revolution and Politics in Russia. Russian and East European Series vol. 41 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1972); R.Michaelis, Die Brigade Kaminski: Partisanenbekmpfung in Ruland Weiruland Warschau (Berlin: Michaelis-Verlag, 1999); S.Verevkin, Vtoraia mirovaia voina: vyrvannye stranitsy (Moscow: Iauza, 2006). I.A.Dugas and Ia.A.Cheron, Vycherknutye iz pamiati. Sovetskie voennoplennye mezhdu Gitlerom i Stalinym (Parizh: YMCA-press, 1994), 76. K.M.Aleksandrov, Russkie soldaty Vermakhta. Geroi ili predateli (Moscow: Iauza, Eksmo, 2005).

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viet governments attempts to win over the people. The attack on the USSR was inspired by the Nazi plan Ost, which called for transfer of the Soviet boundaries to the A-A line (Archangelsk-Astrakhan), and not by the Nazi leaders anti-communism (as a certain number of Soviets hoped) or by the wish to prevent future Soviet aggression (as Germans had claimed). According to Dr. Vetcel, Hitler and his closest allies planned to liquidate Jews inhabiting all the territories, to expel the racially undesirable local population to Western Siberia (8085% of all the Poles, 65% of Ukrainians and 75% of Belarusians), and to Germanize the local population in the Baltic countries in the occupied territories.24 With regards to Russians, the Germans planned to undermine the biological strength of the nation, to struggle with its national culture and to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with its Latin counterpart.25 The local populations attitude, in addition to changing fortunes on the frontlines, also influenced the emergence of a feature peculiar of the Eastern Front the intensive military collaboration.26 A part of the population of the Soviet Union, mainly separatists and anti-communists, joined the Nazis. This was the case not only for inhabitants of the Baltic Republics, Central Asia, the Caucuses and Western Ukraine, but also for Russians, Belarusians, eastern Ukrainians and Cossacks all of whom wanted to take revenge on Bolshevik leaders and the NKVD for repressions, hunger, violent requisitions of property and bureaucratic torture. According to German data, at the end of 1943, there were 500,000 Soviet citizens in the ranks of Wehrmacht.27 This statistics includes only soldiers and it does not take into account the civilians who worked in the administrative-police apparatus and in institutions of the local self-government. According to recent research based on archival documents, the total number of Soviet citizens and emigrants who served in Wehrmacht, SS, police or paramilitary units, at one time or another, was around 1, 200,000 people (among
24

25

26

27

Der Generalplan Ost, Vierteljahreshefte fr Zeitgeschichte, 3 (1958): 291; PlanOst. Pismo M.Bormana Rozenbergu otnositelno politiki na okkupirovannykh territoriiakh ot 23.07.1942 g. , Voennoistoricheskii zhurnal No. 1 (1965): 8283; Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal vol. XXVI (Nuremberg: International Military Tribunal, 1947), Document 1017, 547554; M.Pickers, Hitlers Tischgesprche, 72. PlanOst. Pismo M.Bormana Rozenbergu otnositelno politiki na okkupirovannykh territoriiakh ot 23.07.1942 g. , Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal; Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal vol. XXVI (Nuremberg: International Military Tribunal, 1947), Document 1017; Picker, Hitlers Tischgehsprache, 72. It must be admitted that collaboration was present in all the countries during the Second WorldWar. The collaborators in the administrative, police and military institutions in the Western Europe were far more numerous than the resistance movements in the same countries, M.I.Semiriaga, Kollaboratsionizm. Priroda, mitologiia i proiavleniia v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (Moscow: Nauka, 2000). For the topic of collaboration in Yugoslavia see N.Popovi, Koreni kolaboracionizma (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki i novinski centar, 1991); .Jovanovi, ed., Kolaboracija u Srbiji 19411945: zbornik grae (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2001); O.Milosavljevi, Potisnuta istina: kolaboracija u Srbiji 1941 1944 (Belgrade: Helsinki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji, 2006). Miuller-Gillebrand, Sukhoputnaia armiia, 342.

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them were 700,000 Slavs, up to 300,000 from the Baltic nations and around 200,000 from the various nations from the Caucuses, Tartars and a number of Turkic and other smaller nations), but maximum number of Soviet collaborators at any one time was 800,000900,000 people.28 The changing attitude of the local population led to a general decline of discipline, moral, desertion in Soviet collaborationist units.29 Therefore, on October 10, 1943, Hitler issued an order to transfer Eastern Battalions to France, Italy and the Balkans.30 As a result, a number of Russian, Turkestan and Cossack quisling units (usually battalions or half-battalions) were deployed from the Norman Island to Warsaw suburbs, and from the Danish coast to the Alps.31 We will examine the composition of large individual units, as well as the typical formations of this so called hidden army. The largest (and the most famous) were SS divisions which were comprised from the nations which were annexed by USSR during 19391940. The inhabitants of Western Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia did not succumb to the Soviet propaganda and they did not view the Red Army as their own. Consequently, numerous police units and powerful military formations were formed in these republics with relative ease after the German arrival. The 14th SS division Galicia was formed on April 28, 1943. According to testimony of former soldiers, the number of volunteers exceeded the anticipated number of recruits (13,00014,000), and several additional police regiments were formed which were eventually absorbed by the division. Latvians responded even more enthusiastically, and in November, 1941, they began forming units to assist the Germans against the USSR. The 15th Latvian SS Division was formed in February, 1943, and in January 1944, the 19th Latvian SS Division was created.32 The 20th Estonian SS Division appeared in the spring of 1944, which was formed out of smaller military and police units, as well as volunteers.33 Lithuania and Belarus did not have independent SS division but they proffered numerous police battalions which participated in repression of the Soviet Partisans. Already in November, 1941, Hitler ordered the formation of four national legions: Turkestan, Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian-Mohammedan. On April 15, 1942, he personally ordered that the legions should be grouped together with the official allied units (such as Croats, Romanians, Hungarians, and others). In October, 1941, Abwehr began forming battalions for special operations by recruit28 29 30 31

32 33

Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga. M., Cooper, Nazi war against soviet partisans (New York: Stein and Day, 1979), 120. Littlejohn, Foreign Legions, 330. J.Thorwald, Illusion: Soviet soldiers in the Hitlers armies (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975), 233; Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga, 314. Michaelis, Die Grenadier. A.A.Voitsekhovskii and G.S.Tkachenko, Ukrainskii fashizm (Kiev: Soliuks, 2004).

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ing volunteers from the prisoner of war camps, in order to hasten the Wehrmachts advance into the Caucuses and Central Asia. On November 15, 1941, the first Turkestan Wehrmacht unit was created. The soldiers proudly called it the Turkestan Regiment, but it was officially known as the 811th Infantry Battalion. The formation of Turkestan units was speeded up in January and February 1942, when the headquarters and training facilities of the Turkestan Legion was opened in Poland. This occurred after Hitlers conversation with two Turkish generals who pleaded with Hitler to help their brethren in the German prisoner of war camps.34 During 1942 and 1943, fourteen Turkestani battalions were sent to the Eastern Front from Poland. Germans occupied the position of company commanders and higher. The battalions arsenal included infantry weapons and anti-tank guns, heavy mortars and other weapons captured from the Soviet armament depots. In May 1942, the headquarters of the 162nd Division were dissolved and another centre for the formation for Turkic and Caucasian units was opened. Dr. O. von Niedermeyer (colonel and after September 1942, major-general), an Abwehr officer and the leading German specialist on Russia and the Islamic World, headed the training centre. Until May, 1943, twenty five Eastern Legion battalions were formed, the majority of which joined the 6th Army of General-ColonelF.Paulus. In May 1943, the Centre for Forming Eastern Legions in Ukraine was transformed into the 162nd Turkestan Infantry Division under the command of GeneralMajor von Niedermayer. There were 50% Germans in the Division, amongst them numerous Volksdeutsche from the USSR. The large German cadre guaranteed loyalty and it helped German soldiers to learn the traditional Turkestani expertise of concealing and survival in the wild.35 The special Caucasian unit Bergmann was well known for its brutality. The Knigsberg University professor and Abwehr officer Theodor Obrlender organized the unit. The Battalion was formed between November, 1941 March, 1942, in the city of Neuhammer and it was comprised of five companies (1st, 4th and 5th Georgian Companies, 2nd Northern-Caucasian Company and the 3rd Azerbaijani Company) with 900 people from the Caucuses and three hundred Germans. In addition to volunteers from the prisoner of war camps, 130 Georgian emigrants from the special unit Tamara II were included in the battalion. The Battalion was armed with light infantry weaponry, it completed military-mountain training in Bavaria, and it reached the Eastern Front at the end of the summer in 1942.36 Due to the need for conspiracy, members of the Battalion had to pretend that they were Bosnian Muslims. Upon their arrival to the frontline, part of the legionaries were parachuted into the Northern Caucuses behind the frontlines to
34 35 36

S.Chuev, Prokliatye soldaty (Moscow: Eksmo; Iauza, 2004), 465 Miuller-Gillebrand, Sukhoputnaia armiia, 419; Hoffmann, Die Kaukasien, 182183. Romanko, Musulmanskie legiony, 287.

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collect intelligence and engage in diversionary attacks. The rest of Bergmann was deployed against the Soviet Partisans in Northern Caucuses, and in October they were transferred to the frontlines. These lightly armed units fought bravely and proved their loyalty to the Third Reich. During the battles, four additional companies (Georgian, North Caucasian, Azerbaijani, and mixed reserve) were formed out of local population, Soviet deserters and prisoners of war. Also, one Georgian and three North Caucasian cavalry squadrons were created. As a result, at the end of 1942, Bergmann was transformed into a Regiment.37 During German withdrawal from the Caucuses, Bergmann protected the exposed German positions, it carried out special diversionary tasks, and it destroyed the industrial objects on the abandoned territories. In February, 1942, Bergmann was transferred to Crimea where it was used in anti-Partisan operations. There was a plan to transform the Regiment into a division, but this plan was postponed.38 In the autumn and winter of 19431944, together with the other German units, Bergmann was used in the defense of Crimea from the advancing Soviet forces. Larger part of the Regiment (1st and 3rd Battalions) was transferred to the Balkans, and the 2nd Battalion was moved to Poland where it participated in the repression of the Warsaw Uprising. Unlike other nations of the Soviet Union, Hitler was suspicious of the Russians, fearing that Germans could lose the control of large Russian units. Nonetheless, the German generals on the Eastern Front, despite their ideas about racial superiority, had an important reason to form and deploy Russian units in the struggle against the partisans. The NKVD strictly controlled the Soviet partisans, which defined the movement in several ways: it had a strict organization, it was decisive in action and indifferent to retaliatory German massive repressions. As a result, the civilian population (especially in villages and small towns, where the Soviet system did not have many sympathizers due to its policies towards the peasantry), did not favorably view Soviet partisans. Therefore, they were susceptible to German propaganda. Local units were formed already in 1941 (with Wehrmachts approval) by rabid anti-communists. They willingly arrested and exterminated communists who tried to conceal their identity and former employees of the Soviet administration, as well as the straggling commanders and commissars of the Red Army. In November, 1941, according to the Himmlers order, all of these units were disbanded, and their soldiers were used to create Schutzmannschaft der Ordnungspolizei, the auxiliary police forces.39 The peak of German policy of using Russian collaborators against the partisans was associated with the names
37 38 39

E.Abramian, Kavkaztsy v Abvere (Moscow: Iauza, 2006), 141149. Drobiazko and Karashchuk, Vostochnye legiony, 1314. N.Thomas, Partisan Warfare 19411945 (London: Osprey, 1983), 1516.

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Bronislav Kaminskii and Konstantin Voskoboinikov. Both of them had completed technical Universities, served in the Red Army during the revolution, but were disappointed by communism after the Civil War. Both were victimized by the OGPU, as a result of which they were forced to live outside of large urban centers. They chose the town of Lokot in the densely forested areas of Western Russian near the border with Belarus for their temporary residence. The program of their Peoples Socialist Party called for liquidating the collective farms, the division of land by peasants and recognition of private property. These plans were attractive to a large part of the population which suffered from the Soviet partisan requisitions and did not want to see the return of Soviet power. Colonel-General Rudolf Schmidt, the commander of the 2nd Tank Army which belonged to the Army Group Centre, was the representative of the German military administration. He believed that the local population was an important factor in strengthening the occupational apparatus. The forested areas of Western Russia were exceptionally difficult to control without the support of the local population. Lokot Autonomy came about in the territory where the German forces were not stationed but Soviet Partisans could not establish themselves. Kaminskii and Voskoboinikov managed to organize an enclosed economic organism, and to assure a living standard for the local population higher than in other occupied areas of the country. 600,000 people lived Lokot area, and several large factories operated which supplied the population with food and clothes, there were ten middle and 335 elementary schools, nine hospitals, thirty-seven ambulances, several theatres, radio-stations and a developed social system. All of this assured Kaminskii and Voskoboinikov massive support of the population, but it also turned them into targets of numerous NKVD assassination plots. Voskoboinikov was killed, after which Kaminskii strengthened his security. In order to protect themselves against the Partisans, Germans allowed Kaminskii to form large volunteer units which used the weaponry abandoned by the retreating Red Army. In July 1943, when the Red Army broke up the collaboration, Kaminskii Brigade had more than 20,000 soldiers: five infantry regiments, an artillery battery, a tank battalion, pioneer battalion and a defensive (security) battalion. After Lokot was evacuated, the Brigade was transferred to the city of Leped, Belarussia, where it was effectively used against the Partisans. Afterward, it was used in the repression of the Warsaw Uprising. It may seem paradoxical, but Kaminskii, who was of Polish origins, was one of the founders of the Russian Liberation Peoples Army, and he fought against the Warsaw Uprising with such brutality that he was liquidated by his German overlords who were surprised by his bestiality.40
40

For more on this see: DallinA., The Kaminsky Brigade: A Case-Study of Soviet Disaffection, Revolution and Politics in Russia. Russian and East European Series, vol. 41, Bloomington (Indiana), 1972, MichaelisR., Die Brigade Kaminski: Partisanenbekmpfung in Ruland Weiruland Warschau

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The NSDAP leaders developed the idea to form large Russian formations only at the end of 1944. The last-ditched German attempt to overturn the course of the war in the face of looming defeat was connected with the so called Vlasov movement. Andrei Vlasov, Major-General of the Red Army and Commander of the 2nd Shock Army on Volkhov Front fell into the hands of Wehrmacht (he was handed over to the Germans by local villagers) on July 11, 1942, after his army was surrounded and destroyed. As a prisoner, he wrote an open letter entitled Why did I embark on the path of struggle against Bolshevism and he issued the so called Smolensk Declaration in which he announced the aims of his movement. Nonetheless, until 1944, Vlasovs name was used only in propaganda purposes by the Germans who used the name of the phantom Russian Liberation Army (RLA) as an alternative to the Soviet system, which the Germans supposedly offered to the Russian people. The situation began changing towards the end of the war when Germans had evacuated most of ethnic Russian territories. Himmler met Vlasov in September, 1944, agreeing to create the Armed Forces of the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (AFCLPR), which was headed by Vlasov. The AFCLPR manifesto was announced on November 14, 1944, in Prague. Vlasov became the Supreme Commander of the Russian Liberation Army. The first real Vlasovite formation was created only in February, 1945 the 1st RLA Division. In early May, 1945, officers of the 1st Division again decided to change sides in the war, and parts of the division helped the Pragues population to eject German units from the city. Upon the arrival of Marshal Konevs forces, the division headed west in an attempt to surrender to the Americans. Vlasov gave himself up to the Americans on May 11, 1945, but the next day he was arrested by SMERSH. After a closed trial in Moscow, he was hanged on August 1, 1946.41 Some Russian collaborators, nonetheless, were able to engage in the armed struggle against the Red Army as part of larger formations, because Germans believed that Cossacks were a separate nation. Germans developed the idea even before the Second World War that Cossacks were descendants of Goths and as such were not related to Russians. The Cossack separatism was given an opportunity to flourish during the bloody whirlwind of the Civil War, when Peter Krasnov, a
(Berlin: Berlin: Michaelis-Verlag, 1999); S.I.Drobziako and I.G.Ermolov, Antipartizanskaia respublika (Moscow: Eksmo, 2001); B.V.Sokolov, Okkupatsiia. Pravda i mify (Moscow: AST-press, 2002); S.Verevkin, Vtoraia mirovaia voina: vyrvannye stranitsy (Moscow: Iauza, 2006). More about this see: I. Khoffmann, Istoriia vlasovskoi armii (Paris: YMCA-PRESS, 1990); ShtrikShtrikfeldt, Protiv Stalina i Gitlera; N.M.Koniaev, Dva litsa generala Vlasova. Zhizn, sudba, legeny (Moscow: Veche, 2001); Drobiazko, Russkaia Osvoboditelnaia Armiia; K.M.Aleksandrov, Ofitserskii korpus armii general-leitenanta A. A. Vlasova, 19441945 (Saint Petersburg: Russko-Baltiiskii informatsionnyi tsentr BLITs, 2001); Aleksandrov, Protiv Stalina; Aleksandrov, Armiia general-leitenanta. And for the view from the other side see A.N.Kolesnik, General Vlasov predatel ili geroi? (Moscow: Tekhinvest, 1991); Iu. Kvitsinskii, General Vlasov: put predatelstva (Moscow: Sovremennik, 1999); O.S.Smyslov, Piataia kolonna Gitlera. O

41

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Czarist officer, scientist and author, led the Cossack state under German tutelage, which had its own money, foreign and domestic policies.42 Upon their arrival to Cossack lands around Don, Kuban and Terek rivers, Germans were pleasantly surprised with the number of volunteers willing to fight against the communists. Some of these Cossacks fought against the Bolsheviks in the CivilWar. ChekaOGPU-NKVD detachments carried out massive executions in these areas, while Cossack rights were annulled after the Revolution,43 and many people lost their civil rights, most of their property and were forcefully led into collective farms. In the autumn of 1941, Baron Von Kleist sent a report to General Staff urging it to form special Cossack units and use them to fight against the partisans. Already on October 6, GeneralE.Wagner ordered the formation of such units by November, 1941, behind the frontlines of the Army Groups North, Centre and South.44 The first Cossack unit was organized behind the Army Group Centre on October 28, 1941. This was a Cossack Squadron under the command of Don CossackI.N.Kononov, the former Red Army Major. The Cossack Cavalry Regiment Platov was formed on June 13, 1942. The Regiment was comprised of five cavalry squadrons, a heavily armed squadron and an artillery battery. The Regiment was used in anti-partisan operations. The Cossack Cavalry Regiment von Jungschulz was another large Cossack unit. It was also formed in the summer of 1942, and it was named after its commander. It participated in battles against the Soviet cavalry in rear of the German troops. According to orders issued on June 18, 1942, all Cossack volunteers among the prisoners of war were to gather in one centre Slavuta. By the end of the month,
42

43

44

See the biographical note on Ataman of the Don Republic Petr Krasnov in the foreword of P.Krasnov, Sochineniia v 2 kn (Moscow: NPK Intelvak, 2000). Four and a half million Cossacks lived in the Cossack areas of the country until the First WorldWar. They were freed from taxes, and in return, they formed elite cavalry units which served the state. In the First World War, the Cossacks formed 170 regiments. See the introduction to the photo album, F. de Launa, Kazaki Pannvitsa. 19421945 (Moscow: AST, 2006), 911. The Cossack support for the Germans during Second World War has been researched by Russian scholars after 1991. They mostly focus on the role of the Cossack units in the Second World War on the territory of the former USSR. K.M.Aleksandrov, Kazachestvo Rossii v 19411943 gg.: Neizvestnye stranitsy istorii, Novyi chasovoi 3 (1995); K. M.Aleksandrov, Tragediia russkogo kazachestva 19431945, Novyi chasovoi 4 (1996); K.M.Aleksandrov, Kazachestvo Rossii vo Vtoroi mirovoi voine: k istorii sozdaniia Kazachego Stana (19421943), Novyi chasovoi 5 (1997); S. Drobiazko, Kazachi chasti v sostave Vermakhta, in Materialy po istorii russkogo osvoboditelnogo dvizheniia 19411945,, ed. A.Okorokov (Moscow: Arhiv ROA, 1997); A.L.Khudoborodov, Rossiiskoe kazachestvo v emigratsii (19201945 gg.): sotsialnye, voenno-politicheskie i kulturnye problem (Moscow: MGU im. M.V.Lomonosova, 1997); Okorokov, Kazaki i russkoe osvoboditelnoe dvizhenie; S.Drobiazko and A.Karashchuk, Vostochnye legiony i kazachi chaste v Vermakhte (Moscow: AST, 2000); N.F.Bugai, Kazachestvo Rossii: ottorzhenie, priznanie, vozrozhdenie, (191790gody) (Moscow: Mozhaisk-Terra, 2000); Belovolov, Kazaki i Vermakht; Krikunov, Kazaki; For now, there is only one article in Serbian, B.Jevti, Ruski i kozaki dobrovoljci u sastavu Vermahta, Orden br. 5 (2005). The older historians classified Cossacks together with Turkestan and Caucasian volunteers in one deliberately general group which they referred to as Circassians. See the article D.Trifunovi, erkezi, Vojna enciklopedija 2 (1971): 248.

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there were 5,826 people in Slavuta. Due to the lack of Cossack officers (during the repressions, Cossacks were politically suspicious and the regime promoted them only in small numbers), Germans had to appoint officers who were not of Cossack background. The 1st Officer School Ataman Count Platov and a school for noncommissioned officers opened. Eventually, the following units were created: the 1st Ataman Regiment, the 2nd Leib Cossack Regiment, the 3rd Don Regiment, the 4th and 5th Kuban Regiments, and the 6th and 7th Combined Cossack Regiments. All of these units were placed into barracks by August 6, 1942. The Cossack Assembly was held in Novocherkassk in September, 1942, which called on the Cossacks to rise up against communism and it elected the Campaign Headquarters of the Ataman of Don Cossacks which was headed by S.V.Pavlov. In November, 1941, the following units were formed from Don Volunteers: the 1st Don Regiment, the 2nd Sinegor Regiment, the 1st Kuban Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Volga Regiment. By April, 1943, there were twenty Cossack Regiments in Wehrmacht, each consisting of 4001,000 fighters. In total, there were more than 25,000 Cossack soldiers and officers serving in the German army.45 The 1st Cossack Division was created in the middle of September, 1943, in Mlava, Poland, It was headed by the German Cavalry General von Pannwitz. This was the first larger military formation which fought on the side of Germans which comprised of Russian volunteers. The Germans held a number of officer and technical positions (for instance, on November 1, 1943, the Division had 222 German and 191 Cossack officers).46 The 5th Don Regiment was the exception as it did not have a single German officer. This Regiment was headed by Ivan Nikitich Kononov. His life story is relevant in order to understand the character of the so called Second Cossack Uprising. Kononov was born on April 2, 1900, near Taganrog, into the family of a Cossack officer. His father was hanged by the Bolsheviks in 1918, his older brother and several relatives died during the Civil War fighting against the Bolsheviks, while two of his brothers were arrested and executed during the repressions 19341937. Kononov was able to conceal his family background, and he entered the Red Army in 1922. As a Cossack he had an inherited predisposition for military service, his talents were immediately recognized and he was sent to the school for junior officers, and later on, he completed the Cavalry Department of the military school VTSIK and the Frunze Military Academy. He distinguished himself during the Soviet-Finnish war of 19391940, and he was decorated with the Red Star for bravery. In 1941, Kononov was a Major and a commander of a respected regiment on the Soviet Unions western borders. He switched to the German side on August22,
45

46

C. Jurado, Foreign Volunteers of the Wehrmacht 194145 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983) 2829; Littlejohn, Foreign Legions, 272277; Drobiazko and Karashchuk, Vostochnye legiony, 3439; Krikunov, Kazaki, 90414. VA, NAV, T-315, r. 2281, 184.

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1941, with most of his officers and soldiers including the Commissar of the RegimentD.Panchenk. His group surprised the Wehrmacht officers by expressing their wish to fight against the Bolsheviks. The German command allowed the formation of a unit under his command on October 6, 1941, and on October 27, the 102nd Cossack Volunteer unit was formed, which was reinforced with volunteers from the prisoner of war camps. In winter of 1942, a group of Russian migr officers from camp VIC (for captured officers of the Yugoslav Royal Army) joined Kononovs 102nd Battalion on the frontlines. The officers were led by A.N.Pupovochnikov who worked closely with Kononov. Kononovs men participated in operations against Partisans and paratroopers in Western Russia and Belarus. Kononov was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1942, since the idea of forming Cossack units seemed to Germans to have been successful. At the end of the same year, his Battalion grew into a Division. The 5th Don Cossack Regiment was formed in Mlava in 1943, out of the forces of Kononovs 600th Cossack battalion, which entered the 2nd Brigade. In 1944, Kononov was promoted to a Colonel. At the end of the same year, Special Cossack Infantry Brigade was formed under Kononovs command, which included the Kalmyk Cavalry Regiment. However, the Brigade was not transformed into the 3rd Cossack Division. At the end of the war, the Brigade consisted of the 7th and 8th Infantry Regiments, the 9th Cavalry Regiment and the Reconnaissance Battalion which had 7,000 fighters. At the end of the war, Kononov was promoted to Major-General. After the war he reached Austria, where he hid until the beginning of the Cold War when the British and Americans stopped handing over Soviet citizens to the USSR. Afterward, Kononov moved to Australia where he lived in isolation with his family.47 It is difficult to distinguish between justifiable struggle for freedom against the Soviet expansionism and communist totalitarianism, on the one hand, and the extreme chauvinism, anti-Semitism and criminal behavior towards other nations by the numerous collaborators. Their fate after the war was determined whether they lived within the Soviet borders of 1939 or 1941. Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians and Western Ukrainians, if they had luck to fall into the hands of the Western allies, received political asylum and were allowed to live in freedom and relative prosperity. These individuals have enriched the historiography with numerous memoirs. Russian collaborators and their counterparts from the Central Asia and the Caucuses were mainly handed over to Stalin by the Western Allies, and they came out of Siberian camps only after his death. With their health wasted, and without an opportunity for decent employment, they mostly lived off the
47

K. Aleksandrov, Tragediia donskogo kazaka Ivana Kononova, Posev 5 (2000): 4346;, 4346; A.Okorokov, Ne sotvori sebe kumira Stantsiia 2 (2001); J.Hoffmann, Deutsche und Kalmyken 1942 bis 1945. Einzelschriften zur militarischen Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges (Freiburg [im Breisgau]: Rombach, 1986).

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minimal state pension while concealing from their family and their surrounding why it took them so long to return from the war. The fate of collaborators also differed in the post-communist historiography. In the Baltic Republics and Ukraine, the majority of these veterans have witnessed complete rehabilitation and glorification. Political, social and religious leaders of these countries participate in commemorations connected with the SS veterans, while their traditions have been integrated into military and state holidays. They have been honored by a series of magnificent monuments which paralleled the destruction of monuments which celebrated the anti-fascist fighters. The attempts at revising the Second World War have been more limited in the Caucuses and the Central Asia. In Belarus and Russia, during Shushkevichs and Yeltsins presidencies respectively, there were attempts to revise history. The revisionists relied on the opened archives and they published a large number of monographs, memoirs, document collections and articles. Parts of the society at large even accepted some of the slogans under which the Russian and Belarusian anti-Soviets fought. In current circumstances, however, there is no possibility of recognizing the legality of the so called hidden army. Consequently, Russia and Belarus are the only countries in European part of the former USSR who are consistent in their celebration of the Soviet and the Red Army inheritance. Regardless of the policies pursued by the current government, the tradition of respecting those who fought against the Germans 19411945 remains a national myth for majority of contemporary Russians. This attitude is rooted in the fact that Russia experienced the Second World War as an existential threat, and it has much less to do with the memory of Stalin or the Soviet system. Russians were able to suppress this direct threat to the existence of the Russian nation only in the ranks of the Red Army. In contrast, a large number of ordinary people in the Baltic Republics and the Western Ukraine see the collaborators primarily as opponents of Russian expansionism and communism.

Soviet citizens in the German occupational forces in Serbia and Yugoslavia, 19431945
After Hitler issued the order to transfer the Eastern Battalions to France, Italy and the Balkans on October 10, 1943, large units made up of Slavs (Cossacks), Central Asians, and people from the Caucuses found themselves in Yugoslavia.48

48

D.Littlejohn, Foreign legions of the Third Reich I, 330.

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Bergman was the most famous of Eastern Battalions before its arrival to Yugoslavia. It was comprised of the 1st Georgian battalion and the 3rd North-Caucasian Battalion. Most of the soldiers hailed from mountainous regions and Germans honed the highlanders traditional skills with special training in mountain warfare. Their battle moral was increased by the units hatred of Orthodox Slavic nations and communism. In the Caucuses, the units soldiers acquired reputation as effective and brutal fighters against the Russian Partisans around Piatigorsk. The 1st and the 3rd Battalions were transferred to the Balkans in March, 1944. In August 1944, Bergmann took part in the battle against the Yugoslav Partisans around Kievo (Macedonia). The Georgian 1st Battalion fought in the operational zone of the Luftwaffe 11th Field Division. In the autumn of 1944, Bergmann was placed on the old Bulgarian border in anticipation of the arrival of Soviet troops. After a two-day battle, Bergmann was withdrawn behind the frontlines. At first, it was moved to Resava region in Serbia, and later to Bosnia, where it was stationed near Viegrad in operational zone of the Wehrmachts 181st Infantry Division. On February 2, 1945, the Bergmann staff units were eliminated. However, the units soldiers continued serving the Reich in national battalions, and they kept wearing their insignia and symbols. In the beginning of 1945, the Georgian Battalion carried out special operations in Srem, while the North Caucasian Battalion led the anti-Partisan activities in Eastern Slavonia. Bergmann participated in battles against NOVJ near Karlovac in April, 1945. Bergman soldiers were in Slovenia when Germany capitulated. The Georgian Battalion was taken prisoner by Yugoslav units, while the North Caucuses Battalion managed to surrender to the Anglo-American Allies, but both of them ended up in the end in the hands of the Soviet military-intelligence agency SMERSH.49 Other units from the Caucuses participated in German attempts to suppress the Yugoslav Partisans.50 At the end of the war, the fighting spirit of these inhabitants of the Caucuses and Central Asia had diminished considerably, resulting in desertion and even armed rebellions. There were at least two such events: an Azerbaijani unit from FAT-215 (near Trebinje) and Tajik unit from FAT-207 (near Raka) slit the throats of their German officers and escaped to the mountains.51 There were also regular Wehrmacht units in Yugoslavia which were made up of people from the Caucuses. The I/125th Armenian Infantry Battalion was based in Kosovo and Metohija on the Yugoslav-Albanian

49

50 51

JeloschekA., RichterF., SchtteE., SemlerJ., Freiwillige vom Kaukasus, Graz Stuttgart, 2003, str. 250251. FAT (Frontaufklaerungstrupp) one of Abwehrs intelligence group Nemaka obavetajna sluba. t. V, s. n. (Belgrade: UDB III odeljenje, 1958), 336337; Nemaka obavetajna sluba. t. VI, s. n. (Belgrade: UDB III odeljenje, 1960), 188.

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border.52 The 842nd and 843rd Northern Caucuses Reinforced Half-Battalions and the 814th Armenian Infantry Battalion participated in anti-Partisan operations in Croatia and Bosnia.53 In addition, there were Wehrmacht Turkestani units in the Balkans. The largest of these was the 162nd Turkestan Division formed out of Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajikistanis, Turkmen, Kalmyks and Azerbaijanis. However, they spoke a similar language and that is why they formed one division. After its formation and training, the division arrived in Yugoslavia in September, 1943, and it participated in anti-Partisan operations in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia.54 The majority of the unit was based in Istria,55 and after Italy capitulated, it was reinforced with the captured weaponry especially suited for mountain warfare.56 The Division received a new commander R. von Hagandorf in May, 1944. The Division was sent to the frontlines against the Anglo-Americans in Italy twice during 19441945. Even though the legionaries of the Turkestan Division were poorly disciplined,57 their German commanding officers from the division valued their high level of aggression and personal loyalty to their immediate officers which was exceptionally useful in local anti-Partisan operations.58 General Glanz von Horstenau, the Wehrmacht representative in NDH, described in his journal the meeting with General Oskar von Niedermayer on September 28, 1943, who was the Commander of the 162nd Division. At the time, the units of the 162nd Division were arriving to Croatia and Northern Italy via Reich. The arriving units were travelling through Karlovac-Ogulin area. Horstenau recorded what Niedermayer said of his soldiers: We cannot offer them some political ideals, that is understood. They feel loyalty only to their commander. They are mercenaries who want to eat well, drink, and they like women very much. When a man leads them, he must promise them these three things. Only then will they go into the battle. Niedermayer chose 10,000 most loyal men out of 40,000 which arrived to Neuhammer and the senior positions in the division were taken over by Germans. According to Horstenau, the approach to anti-Partisan operations in the 162nd Division was simple. The German command hands them over the villages which they conquer. When they enter the village, they kill the men, rape the women, and all of property belongs to them. Archbishop Stepinac was shocked by this approach. Horstenau recorded Stepinacs understanding of how
52 53 54 55 56 57

58

N.Thomas, The German army in World War II (London: Osprey, 2002), 63. Thorwald, Illusionp. 233. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 629. VA, NAV-T-312, r. 1638, str. 493; VA, NAV-T-312, r. 1639, str. 106107. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 595 Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 158; MiullerGillebrand, Sukhoputnaia armiia, 419. Hoffmann, Die Kaukasien, 182183.

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the soldiers from the 162nd Division behaved: he was desperate: members of the Turkish nations which are under Niedermayers command have sacked his native village Krai and had taken with them three hundred completely innocent, good people. He asked me if I could at least do something so that they are not killed. He also mentioned the possibility that amongst the kidnapped people are probably some of his relatives59 In addition, the 789th and I/76 Turkestan Battalion, the 804th, 806th, 820th, I/4, I/101, I/73 Azerbaijani Battalions which later on joined the 162nd Turkestan Divisions were transferred to the Balkans to be used against the Partisans.60 There was a plan to concentrate all of these units from the Caucuses and Central Asia on the territory of Yugoslavia and form a Caucasian Liberation Army and The National Army of Turkestan. This plan did not materialize because the small Asiatic units were spread out all over Europe.61 Later on, the Germans intended to create an SS Cavalry Division out of Azerbaijani, Armenian, Georgian and Northern-Caucuses soldiers, but the capitulation of Germany prevented the realization of this plan as well.62 After the Red Armys entry into Serbia, there were direct battles between the Soviet forces and collaborationist units from the Caucuses and Central Asia. In the biggest battle of the Second World War in Yugoslavia, the Battle for Batina Bridgehead, the Soviet soldiers and Yugoslav Partisans were opposed by German, Hungarian and Croatian units, which stood shoulder to shoulder with a Turkestan Battalion which on November 11, 1944, prevented the crossing of the Danube by the Red Armys 703rd Regiment of the 233rd Riffle Division of the Red Army.63 The SS 14th Division Galicia, created in June, 1943, also comprised of former Soviet citizens. It was one of the first Slavic SS Divisions, and it was transferred to Slovenia in February of 1945.64 The division marched 700km, and they continued with the Eastern Front tradition of providing for themselves through plunder. As a result, the division was forbidden from staying in private residences while they
59

60 61 62 63 64

Horstenau, Izmeu Hitlera i Pavelia (Belgrade: Nolit 2007), 310, 331; GabelicaI., Blaeni Alojzije Stepinac i hrvatska drava, Zagreb, 2007. Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga, 546. Thorwald, Illusion, 233; Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga, 314. Mamulia, Gruzinskii legion, 9496. Tsentralnyi arkhiv Ministerstva oborony RF (TsAMO), f. 233 sd., d. 37, p. 283; d. 34, p. 201. Numerous pro-independence Ukrainian SS soldiers who served in Yugoslavia described the activities of their Division. Their reminiscences can be found (without the enumerated pages) in a digital library online at http://lib.galiciadivision.com. These books include: Ju. Tis-Krohmaljuk, Shchodennyk natsionalnoho heroia Selepka Lavochky (Buenos-Aires: Iuliian Serediaka, 1954); I.Nahaievskyi, Spohady polovoho duhovnyka (Toronto: Ukrainska Knyzhka, 1955); V. D. Haike, Ukrainska Dyviziia Halychyna (Vony hotily voli), Zapysky NTSh: Tom 188 (Toronto Paris Munich: Bratstvo kol. Voiakiv 1oi UD UNA, 1970); R.Lazurko, Na shliahah Evropy (Chicago: Vydavnytstvo Bratstva kolyshnih Voiakiv 1 UD UNA, 1971); Ie. Pobihushchyi-Ren, Mozaika moih spomyniv (Munich- London: B.V., 1982); Ia Ovad, Bo viina viinoiu Spohady (Lviv: Spohady, 1999).

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were in Germany. The unit suffered heavy losses during their transfer to the frontlines, since a large part of Slovenia was within the reach of the Allied air forces. At the end of February 1945, the division reached its destination and was located in Styria and Carinthia where it actively participated in anti-Partisan operations. The Partisans were very active in the territories where the Ukrainian SS division was stationed, and it was not safe to travel by car between Maribor and Celj even during the day. The Divisions Chief of Staff, Major Wolf-Dietrich Heike, recalled that the Partisans were much more powerful in Slovenia than in Slovakia, where his unit was previously stationed. The police units were dispersed in various fortified positions and they frequently engaged in defensive battles against the attacking Partisans. There was no civilian control or general control of the entire area in early 1945. The increased Partisan activity was also recorded by a noncommissioned officer of the Division: There was an unwritten rule in Yugoslavia then one must not stand on the road because of enemy snipers. You had to move constantly so as not to be an easy target. The SS soldiers were unhappy by their smaller allowance because the area in which they were stationed was classified as behind the frontlines. Their conduct caused dissatisfaction by the local population and the civil administration, and the situation was improved only when the status of participant in battle operations was returned to the Division, alongside the corresponding allowance. Afterward, the relationship between Slovenians and Ukrainian soldiers improved because the Ukrainian SS soldiers started to engage in small trade with the local population. Thereafter, the number of complaints against the SS soldiers decreased and the majority of problems occurred during anti-Partisan operations. Soldiers of the Division recalled: the boys liked to confiscate a hog, shooting at it instead of the Partisans. A noncommissioned officer Lazurka remembered that in operations against the Partisans we learned to find small food supplies hidden in peasants houses, and to determine immediately by the peasants face and eyes whether he was clean or had something on his consciousness. In this way we obtained barrels full of fat and cracklings, sacks of flour, cans of honey, dried vegetables and even sweets. In this way we could supply our Company well. After the Divisions arrival to Yugoslavia, its first assignment was to cleanse the terrain north of Ljubljana around Menin Mountain. The Partisans had airstrips there which the Allies used to supply the Yugoslav Communists. Menin Mountain was surrounded by the following Partisan units: 13th Slovenian Brigade Mirko Brai and the 2nd Slovenian Shock Brigade Ljubo ercer.65 The division had to march for 100km, and after several hours of rest, it had to climb the snow-capped mountain peaks. The Divisions task was to surround and destroy the Partisan
65

J.Dobnik, Vodnik po transverzali kurirjev in vezistov NOV Slovenije (Ljubljana: Domicilni odbor kurirjev in vezistov NOV Slovenije pri Zdruenih PTT organizacijah Slovenije, 1980).

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units there. The operation could have been successful only in case of rapid and unexpected attack. However, the Division was forced to move through impassable terrain beyond roads, and the soldiers were forced to leave behind in the valleys all of their belongings including radio stations. In the mountainous terrain, the light and portable radio stations which the SS soldiers were able to carry did not assure regular radio contact during the movement. Therefore, it was important to be extremely punctual with regard to the scheduled movement. Nonetheless, after three days of exhausting marches (March 1416), it turned out that the Partisans managed to withdraw their main forces prior to the troops attack. The Ukrainian SS men managed to capture several Partisans and numerous boxes of ammunition. The losses suffered by the Division were also minimal: several wounded, and one fighter killed. After ten days, the Division again participated in operation to cleanse the mountainous area around Golta- Ljubno -Solava and the Mountain Peak Boskovec, where they were tasked with locating and destroying the Partisans base centered on an airstrip which Western Allies used to supply Yugoslav Communists. The Division was split. Part of the soldiers marched towards their departure points from where they were supposed to embark on their mission, while another part took off by train. Unexpectedly, the train was attacked by Allied airplanes and two locomotives were destroyed, and numerous Ukrainian SS soldiers were killed and wounded. The operation was even less successful than its counterpart on Mountain Menina. In general, the idea of utilizing the Division turned out to be unsuccessful. According to Major Eugene Pobihuschtschyj-Ren, the deputy head of the Divisions Reserve Regiment, the struggle against Yugoslav Partisans was very difficult. Partisans knew the area well, especially the mountain passes, they had a well-developed intelligence network, and they relied on support of the local population. Therefore, the lengthy marches aimed at surrounding and surprising the Partisans mostly failed. The authors of various memoirs noted that the previous experience of fighting against the Slovak partisans was insufficient for fighting against the experienced Yugoslav Partisans. According to Pobihuschtschyj-Ren, the local Partisans were comprised of Slovenes, Serbs and other Yugoslav nationalities, as well as American, British and Soviet officers who had wealthy experiences in diversionary and partisan warfare. Another problem was that Ukrainian soldiers did not like the mountain. The very appearance of these dark mountains caused uncomfortable feelings. Soldiers, inhabitants of the flatlands, were openly afraid of mountains. In addition, the Divisions troops had to understand the nuances of the local Civil War, where apart from the Red Partisans there were also Royal Partisans the Slovenian etniks loyal to Mihailovi. Even though the Supreme German Command did not approve of contacts between the Ukrainian SS troops and

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etniks, according to Pobihuschtschyj-Ren, these contacts were unavoidable and necessary for the soldiers. According to the priest of the 14th SS Division Galicia, Isador Nagaevski, the troops were not afraid of etniks and did not even use patrols in areas where they predominated. Sometimes etniks invited our younger officers and soldiers for gatherings and they treated them sincerely. V.D.Haikea recollected that there were fewer etniks than Partisans, but that they were better organized, armed and supplied. etniks operated mainly in the areas East of Maribor, where there were neither German troops nor Partisans. They were wary of Germans but they did not engage them in battles. The contacts between Ukrainians and Slovenian etniks had another dimension when the 31st SD Battalion, known as the Ukrainian Legion of Self-Defense, arrived to Slovenia in order to be integrated into the division. Soldiers of the Legion arrived at the end of February, 1945, by railroad from Maribor and they were stationed in the villages of Spiefild, Oberschwarzach and Unterschwarzachhof. During their movement the soldiers engaged in robbery: during the air raid alarm, German troops had left the wagons and ran for cover, but our boys used this opportunity to do reconnaissance work. After this, vodka, sausages, rice, sugar and other valuable food staples appeared.66 The Legion had 600 people and it was divided into four companies, it was supplied with Soviet riffles and the following supporting weapons, several light and heavy machine guns and anti-tank cannons. On March 5, 1945, the day that the Legion was supposed to join SS Galicia, there was a special celebration with an orchestra to greet the Commander. However, large part of the Legion (250 soldiers according to Pobihuschtschyj-Ren and up 400 soldiers according to Haikea), led by Sergeant Roman Kiveliunko and Sergeant Koval went into the forest on March 4, 1945, where they sought help from etniks. The Legionaries understood that the Germans were defeated. Their plan was to wait in the forest until the Germans withdrew, and then join the British as Allies instead of prisoners of war. In order to hide in the forest, they needed the help of locals who knew the terrain, which they sought from Slovenian etniks of General Mihailovi.67 However, according to participants of these events, it turned out that the Yugoslav etniks were German Allies and when Germans gave the order, they could have handed over the rebels before the arrival of the Allies.68 The rebels sought out shelter in forests east of Maribor in vain. etnik officers were suspicious of these arrivals and they informed the German Military Administration of their position. The division established contacts with etniks who provided Germans with up to date information about the movement of the rebel soldiers. After negotiations and promise
66 67 68

V.Stanislaviv-Makuh, Lis pryimaie povstantsiv (Kremenets: n. p., 2002), 174. Ibid., 176. Ibid., 181.6

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of amnesty, the Legionaries decided to return to Division on March 8. The only victim was Seargeant Koval, whom the Germans executed on trumped up charges in order to take revenge for organizing the rebellion. At the end of March, 1945, the division was in a difficult situation. At a meeting of military leaders of the Third Reich held in Berlin on March 2324, 1945, Hitler asked for the Division to be disarmed. According to Pobihuschtschyj-Ren, true to his style, Hitler announced that it was well known that the Austrian Rusyns (Western Ukrainians A.T.) are sheep, and not warriors. The disorder which began at the end of the war saved the Division from being disarmed. These critical days were described by Haikea. In April, 1945, the Division engaged the units of the Third Ukrainian Front, hindering Soviet advance on the old AustrianYugoslav border. After the failure of this operation, the SS Ukrainian soldiers left Slovenia. In March, 1945, the division had more than 20,000 people. Nonetheless, the 1st Cossack Division was the largest Soviet collaborationist unit in occupied Yugoslavia. This large formation was turned into to the XV Cavalry Corps in the second half of 1944.69 After its arrival to Serbia (October 15, 1943), the Division had around 18, 702 people and 10,091 horses,70 and after half a year (March 1, 1944), there were 18, 686 people and 14,004 horses.71 The Division had two brigades. The 1st Brigade was composed of the 4th Kuban, the 2nd Siberian and the 1st Don Regiments. The 2nd Brigade was comprised of the 6th Terek, the 3rd Kuban and the 5th Don Regiments. In addition, the division had two artillery batteries equipped with 75mm cannons, a reconnaissance and an engineer battalion and auxiliary units.72 Immediately after its formation, the division was transferred to Southeastern Yugoslavia where it participated in anti-Partisan operations. It was subjected to General-Colonel L. Rendulichs command, the commander of the 2nd German Tank Army. Helmuth von Pannwitz, the experienced German Cavalry officer headed the division. He was different than Niedermeyer and he was neither skeptical nor cynical towards his soldiers. From his conversation with Pannwitz, Horstenau concluded: Cossacks impress him. Racially, they are great type of people. Many look like they are from Scandinavia Pannwitz claims that there are more illiterates in France than amongst his Cossacks. Pannwitz believed that his Cossacks have a clear ideology which is called liberating Russian from the Bolshevik power. According to Horstenau, Pannwitz believed even in the autumn of 1944 that there
69

70 71 72

Before the war, a German cavalry division was supposed to number 5,000 soldiers. After the reorganization, the largest cavalry unit according to the mobilization plan in 19391940 was supposed to have 6, 684 people and 4, 552 horses. Miuller-Gillebrand, Sukhoputnaia armiia, 21, 84. VA, NAV, T-315, r. 2281, str. 132. VA, NAV, T-314, r. 1547, str. 724. VA, NAV, T-315, r. 2281, str. 75.

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will be a turnaround in the war. This will enable him to inhabit the Caucuses with his Cossack units. It is so beautiful there!73 The arrival of the 1st Cossack Division to Yugoslavia was accompanied with a propaganda campaign. Belgrade witnessed an unusual spectacle on a sunny autumn October day. Sound of hoofs echoed throughout the city endless columns of Cossack cavalry were moving through the city.74 Serbian weekly illustrated journal Kolo published a large photograph devoted to this event: tight lines of Cossacks in fur hats in central Belgrade.75 General von Pannwitz addressed the Cossacks and the local population in Croatian language, in order to suppress conflict and magnify the propaganda of using former Soviet soldiers against the Partisans. We are in a country of friendly people. You are familiar with your task: ruthless extermination of bandits who as Bolsheviks and standard-bearers of communism are your mortal enemies. Destroy them, wherever you encounter them! By fulfilling this task, you will not only fulfill a military task, but the peace will be returned to the hardworking and good people of this country. These people, who will help you everywhere, you must defend and consider them to be your friends. They will become what you will become: free and peaceful citizens of new Europe, and from you as their allies they expect the most honorable thoughts and martial-Cossack behavior. You must again provide proof of your correct understanding of your tasks: you are noble fighters and leaders of freedom. Show to the well-meaning inhabitants of this country that you understand the meaning of this war, and that you bring death and destruction only to thosewho oppose you this battle is not about who is Croatian, Serbian, German member of German minority, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. It only matters who is for or against our joint thing [cause A.T.], that is, the destruction of communism. All those who correctly behave towards you, they are our friends and we will protect them. Our judgment is reserved for all others. Long live the new order!76 His message was similar to the local population: Cossacks have come to your country. You have already heard, and so you know what the goals are of these volunteers in fight against the Bolshevism: destruction of bandit detachments by all means available. Nobody knows the misery which Bolshevism brings to people as well as those soldiers. Therefore, they will not stop at any method so that the countries of the Balkans can be free of this global plague. In fulfilling this order,
73 74

75 76

Horstenau, Izmeu, 356357. K.S.Cherkassov, General Kononov (Otvet pered istoriei za odnu popytku) t. 2 (Melburn-Miunkhen: n. p., 19631965), 10. Kolo Issue 93, October 9, 1943. Narodna Biblioteka Srbije (NBS), Rare books and proclamations, Kozaci! Nalazimo se u zemlji prijateljskog naroda. !

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the Cossacks, who were until recently peasant defenders of their ancestral homes, have a historical mission. The Cossack does not know the differences of the population of this area. Croats or Serbs, Catholics or Orthodox. He only knows the enemies of the legal order. Who recognizes this order and abides by the laws of this state, he can be sure that the Cossacks will be defenders of his home his life and his family. But who fights on the side of the bandits or helps them in any way, he can be sure of the stiffest punishment, including the confiscation of his property. Show to the Cossacks that you are with them in their struggle against the bandits and behave accordingly, as your government asks of you. In that case, you will enjoy the fruits of freedom, which will be assured for you in New Europe.77 A poster was published which showed numerous photographs of Cossacks and other Soviet collaborators. The purpose of this German propaganda was to show to the Serbian population the large number of willing collaborators which Wehrmacht encountered in the East. A poster written in Serbian Cyrillic announced: In struggle against the destructive forces of Bolshevism, initially humble volunteer detachments were formed out of the ranks of the local population in 1941. They placed themselves at the disposal of the Germans out of personal reasons in order to carry out various and frequently very important tasks, happy that they were beyond the reach of the Bolshevik whip and their commissars. From then on, the number of units from the local population has been on the increase due to large inflow of volunteers. As the number of units increased, their tasks became more varied. They fought against the bandits in the rear and fulfilled police tasks. Finally, with weapon in hand and shoulder to shoulder with German soldiers and their European allies, they went into frontal battles against their hated Moscow oppressors. These volunteers feel that they too have a right to fight against Bolshevism. Their hatred against those who destroyed them and their families is as fierce as is their wish to free their brothers under Moscows oppression. All of them: Russians, Ukrainians, Turkestani, Cossacks and Caucasians are fighting in hope that after the victory over the Bolsheviks, a new and happier development awaits their nations.78 With the aim of improving the damaged image of their Division, in late autumn of 1943, the Cossacks from the 2nd Brigade based in Slavonski Brod organized a spectacle for the local population displaying their skills in horse-riding.79 Germans liked the idea of using the Soviet prisoners to spread the anti-Soviet propaganda.80 Nonetheless, the propaganda campaign was not very successful. Apart from the natural skepticism towards military propaganda, the Cossack units
77 78 79 80

Ibid. NBS, Rare books and proclamations, Osloboeni crvenih okova bore se protiv boljevizma!. Krikunov, Kazaki, 493. AJ, f. 110, d. 598/648.

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pursued policy of providing for themselves in the Southeast. This tactic was recommended to Pannwitz by Jodl, the Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command, on September 24, 1943.81 The fruits of this approach can be seen in the drastic increase in the number of horses at the Divisions disposal after only several months in the Balkans. In the Croats, Slovenes and even Serbs collective consciousness, the Cossacks and the troops from the Central Asia and the Caucuses belonged to one undefined community of Cherkassians who were definitely viewed negatively. The fur hats of all of these Eastern units, approximately same time of their arrival to Yugoslavia, and the similar cruelty towards the local population and the Partisans contributed to this.82 The propaganda did not have much success with Cossacks. After their arrival to the first Serbian railway station, they were surprised at almost Russian signs.83 Soon enough, there were contacts with the local population, except that a part of the conversations was understandable, and a part was not understandable, and a part was guessed It became obvious that the Serbs were Orthodox with similar traditions, Croatians Catholics.84 The Germans propaganda stressed that the Cossacks came to the region to struggle against the communist disorder and chaos,85 and it insisted that the Cossacks should view the Serbian population suspiciously and look upon the local Germans, Hungarians and Croats with sympathy.86 Nonetheless, it became apparent to the Cossacks in NDH that Croatian authorities initiated a real religious war. Orthodox Churches were destroyed in all of Croatia Croats-Ustae slit the throats of entire Serbian villages. Cossacks were surprised by this cruelty, as well as by the Serbs who preserved their faith despite all the pressures.87
81 82 83

84

85

86

87

VA, Militrarchiv in Freiburg, r. 39, p. 498. Horstenau, Izmeu, str. 330; Trifunovi, erkezi, 248. It would be appropriate here to mention that the Bolshevik policies throughout the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s were aimed at erasing the Slavic national consciousness (as part of the Russian cultural-historical inheritance). Numerous prewar generations studied the so called science of society instead of Russian history. SeeA.I.Alatortseva, Sovetskaia istoricheskaia nauka na perelome 2030kh godov, Istoriia i stalinizm (Moscow: Politizdat, 1991); N. N. Maslov, Ob utverzhdenii ideologii stalinizma, Istoriia i stalinizm (Moscow: Politizdat, 1991). The Soviet so called scientists discovered that the Russian language was closer to Georgian than the Slavic languages of feudal Poland, bourgeois Czechoslovakia and the military-fascist Yugoslavia (the work of N.Ia.Marr and his students). Vospominaniia terskogo kazaka leitenanta Mikhaila Petrova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi II, ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 24. Vospominaniia kubanskogo kazaka uriadnika Iuriia Kravtsova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi III, ed., ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 119; NBS, Rare books and proclamations, Kozaci! Nalazimo se u zemlji prijateljskog naroda. ! Numerous documents in the archive of the 15th Cossack Division testify about the ethic character of the village in which the Cossacks operated. Vospominaniia terskogo kazaka leitenanta Mikhaila Petrova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi II, ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 26. Ibid., 24; Vospominaniia kubanskogo kazaka uriadnika Iuriia Kravtsova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia

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The fact that Orthodoxy facilitated communication between Serbs and Cossacks was noted by Germans.88 The Cossacks and Ustae had one master (the Third Reich), but their relations were strained and they could not be repaired even by orders issued by the German commanders nor appeals by the NDH leadership: Ustaewere fierce nationalist, they hated the Serbs very much; inhumane conduct towards the Serbian population was not exceptional. This could not have left Cossacks indifferent because the Serbs were of the same fate, and generally, what Cossack could allow destruction or desecration of an Orthodox Church?89 Several conflicts between Cossacks and Ustae caused by the latters brutal treatment of the Serbs have been recorded. For instance, the 1st Don Cossack Regiment was stationed near akova. The Cossacks discovered that Ustae herded 200 Serbian men, women, children and elderly people into brick ovens, and that they were collecting fuel to set them on fire. Cossacks reported this to a German Major, urging him to take action to prevent the atrocity from taking place. He agreed, and with a hundred Cossacks he went to the site of the planned massacre, where he asked the people to be released. Ustae categorically rejected this and told the Cossacks they should leave and not interfere in the affairs of their state. The Cossacks then forced the brick ovens doors open and released the Serbs. Ustae began firing at the Cossacks, who returned fire. There were wounded and killed on both sides.90 Something similar happened in April, 1944, in village Gora near Petrinje. A Squadron of the 5th Don Regiment was passing through a village, and they noticed that approximately twenty Ustae were preparing to blow up an Orthodox Church. The Commander of the Squadron, Lieutenant Pashcenko, decided to report the event to the Commander of the 5th Regiment, I.Konov, who ordered the Church to be saved. Cossacks surrounded the Church and Pashcenko, who approached an Ustaa officer, ordered the mines to be removed [from the Church] and that the icons which the Ustae had removed be returned to their place. Our Croatian state is independent we are bosses here, and you get lost from here pompously and challengingly responded the Ustaa officer. Pashcenko responded that the Cossacks will not take away from Croats their independence, but that the Cossacks cannot allow Ustae to burn down an Orthodox Church and to destroy the Orthodox people An argument broke out, followed by a fight, but the Church was demined and the icons were returned.91 Another feature of the
88 89

90 91

mirovaia, bez retushi III, ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 119. VA, NAV-T-314, r. 561, str. 340. Vospominaniia terskogo kazaka leitenanta Mikhaila Petrova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi II, ed., ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 26.; Vospominaniia kubanskogo kazaka uriadnika Iuriia Kravtsova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi III, ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 127; Cherkassov, General Kononov t. 2, 25. Cherkassov, General Kononov t. 2, 10. Ibid., 26.

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relationship between the Cossacks and the local population were the Regiments children. Individual units adopted Serbian boys who lost their parents at the hands of Ustae.92 There were even contacts between Cossacks and Serbian etniks in Bosnia. An informal leader of the Cossacks and the Commander of a Brigade ColonelI.N.Kononov at the end of the war met Mihailovis representative in Prnjavor area.93 The Cossacks enthusiasm when they encountered in Serbian villages in Srem Cyrillic signs frightened the Germans. In conversation with Hostenau, Pannwitz guessed that on that occasion the Cossacks had set up certain ties with the Serbian Orthodox Church. He believed that the nature of these ties were not without dangers for the Germans.94 NDH officials accused the Cossacks of committing robberies and helping the Serbian population, but it is difficult to ascertain which revolted them more.95 This led to worsening relations between the Cossacks and the Croatian military and administration, and it affected Germans in the ranks of the Cossack Division. There were arguments and hysterical attacks by NDH officials who accused the Cossacks of assisting the Serbs, cursing their Croatian mothers and violent behavior towards Croatian officials.96 Encouraged by the German generals responsible for anti-Partisan operations, the highest NDH leadership tried to resolve the problematic relationship with the Cossacks. Several older Cossack officers received NDH state awards, with the aim of coopting them. Meanwhile, Germans stressed to the Croatian administration the allied nature of their relationship with the Cossacks. In an attempt to improve the ties, the Cossack Division paraded on Ban Jelai Square in the center of Zagreb, with the highest NDH military leadership in the audience.97 The Cossacks principal task in the Balkans was to fight against the Partisans. Cossacks were skillful warriors with plenty of experience in fighting the Soviet Partisans. For these reasons, they were transferred to the Balkans. Before their ar92 93

94 95

96 97

Ibid., 30, 36, 73, 90, 148. Vospominaniia kubanskogo kazaka uriadnika Iuriia Kravtsova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi III, ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 127; Cherkassov, General Kononov t. 2, 24, 26. ROA leaders and various Serbian anti-communist leaders (Mihailovi, Nedi and Ljoti) had contacts and mutual interests, Cherkassov, General Kononov t. 2, 2427, 138; K.Aleksandrov., Vostochnye voiska Vermakhta i vooruzhennye sily KONR: k isktorii razvedyvatelnykh i kontrrazvedyvatelnykh sluzhb, Russkie soldaty Vermakhta. Geroi ili predateli (Moscow: Iauza, Eksmo, 2005), 191; Chukhnov, Smiatennye gody, 119120. Horstenau, Izmeu, str. 356357. B.Alferev and V. Kruk, Pokhodnyi ataman batka fon Panvits (Moscow: Kommercheskii vestnik, 1997), 6769. VA, K. 22, f. 17, d. 11. Nerazvrstane fotografije i filmski materijal iz arhiva Vojnog muzeja i Jugoslovenske kinoteke (Unorganized fotografs and film materials from the archive of the Military Museum and the Yugoslav Kinoteka).

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rival to Yugoslavia, the German command hoped that the Cossack Division would pacify Slavonia and Srem.98 The German plan was to use the tactic which proved useful on the Eastern Front combining the defensive actions with rapid offensives against the enemy with the aim of encircling and destroying the Partisans. When Cossack units capture some place, they immediate secure it with near and long-distanced patrols. The near patrols move through the forests and undetected approaches to the villages, listening and observing whether there are any military units for reconnaissance of Partisan positions and institutions of the Yugoslav National Liberation movement in the Partisans rear, they sent the so called Wolf Groups. In most of the cases, Wolf Groups were comprised of volunteers led by a Russian or a German noncommissioned officer. The fighters were armed with automatic weapons or riffles. The tactic of these detachments was simple: reconnaissance attacks or setting up traps. The main aim of the operations was to locate the Partisan base and its detachments, as well as taking of prisoners in order to obtain intelligence. Cossacks possessed traditional skill in the battle against irregular opponents in forested and hilly areas.99 On April 30, 1944, the German command concluded: From early October, 1943, the 1st Cossack Division was introduced into the battle against the Communist gangs, which is inflicting heavy losses on the enemy in terms of people and technology with its bold and courageous approach.100What did this bold and courageous approach consist of? Pannwitz admitted to Captain Grishaev, the investigator at the Ministry of State Security of the USSR, on January 12, 1947, that he worked according to the circular order issued by the SS Obergruppenfuhrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski which provided a detailed description of behavior during the battle against Partisans. The circular emphasized that the Partisan warfare was illegal, and therefore, leaders of the anti-Partisan units were free to decide what to do with the suspected Partisans and those assisting them, as well as their property. Under the pressure from his Soviet interrogators Pannwitz rememberedthe following facts. In winter 19431944 in area of Sunja-Zagreb, under his orders, fifteen hostages from the Yugoslav population were hanged. In the same area in 1944, on the orders of the Cossack Lieutenantthe Cossack division executed three citizens, supposedly for spying even though there was no evidence for this. At the end of 1943, in area of Fruka Gora, Cossacks of the 1st Cavalry Regiment hanged five or six peasants in a village. Cossacks of the 3rd, 5th and 6th Cavalries Regiments in the same area committed a mass rape of Yugoslav women. In December, 1943, the executions and rapes occurred in the area around
98 99 100

Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 577. Alferev and Kruk, Pokhodnyi ataman, 88. Na kazachem postu, 26/1944, 3.

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the city of Brod. In May, 1944, south of Zagreb in Croatia, Cossacks of the 1st Regiment burnt one village. The same Regiment in June 1944, committed a mass rape of women from the city of Metlik [Slovenia A.T.]. On the orders of the commander of the 4th Cavalry Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel of the German Army Wolf or the Commander of his Brigade Bosea, village of azma was partially burnt down, west of the city of Bjelovar. At the same time, in the summer of 1944, Cossacks of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment burned several houses in area of Poega and Darvar. I can remember that in December, 1944, Cossacks of the 5th Cavalry Regiment under the command of Colonel Kononov, during an operation against the Partisans in area of river Drava, near the city of Virovitica, committed mass killing of citizens and rape of women.101 The so called October Cossack Offensive of 1943 and the particularly violent behavior of Cherkassians in Srem, as the Yugoslavs called the Cossacks, are still remembered by the local population.102 According to Hostenau, the Cossack behavior differed little from the conduct of Central Asians from the 162nd Division, but unlike Dr. Niedermayers men, Cossacks placed greater value on horses, pigs and sewing machines.103 Nonetheless, it must be noted that Horstenaus attitude towards the Cossacks was very negative. He was willing to accept all Croats complaints about the Cossacks, even when the Croatian authorities complained about unusual events: Cossacks, in accordance with their traditions, attacked a Roman-Catholic village near akova at night and locked up to 120 women and raped them in the following morning, women were allowed to go home. Even when the mixed German-Croatian commission admitted that this was a fabricated case, he still believed its veracity.104 The Cossack Commander General Pannwitz, unlike the Commander of Turkestan Division Niedermeyer, did not tolerate robberies and rapes. As a result of outrages committed in Srem, Pannwitz addressed the Cossacks on October 25, 1943, two weeks after their arrival on the Yugoslav territory. The Commander of the Division said: amongst many Cossacks, even amongst some officers there were cases of diminishing and little discipline even in peaceful villages, where there were no military operations, Cossacks are behaving as robbers and marauders. They are forcing their way into homes, asking for vodka and in drunken state they commit other crimes, such as raping women stealing watches, bed sheets, and similar things, undermining the authority and refusing to listen to the command101

102

103 104

Considering the quantity and the precision of this data we can assume that this was a signed statement previously prepared by the MGB in cooperation with their Yugoslav colleagues. For the stenographic notes of this interrogation see Alferev and Kruk, Pokhodnyi ataman, 141142. M.Luki, Nemirno ognjite: zapisi iz prolosti Sremske Kamenice (Novi Sad: SUBNOR SR Srbije za Vojvodinu, 1967), 316, 363368. Horstenau, Izmeu, 331. Ibid., 344345.

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ers orders, and there were attempts to sell weapons and equipment. Those who were convicted of these crimes were executed. Among other negative developments, Pannwitz mentioned independent requisition of horses in peaceful places and in the fields disturbing and ill-treatment of the German population, as well as close friendship with the local Serbo-Croatian population based on getting drunk together.105 Later on, in conversation with Horstenau, Pannwitz tried to explains the excesses which his Cossacks had committed in Srem: for the first fourteen days of their stay in Croatia there was a crisis. It has been resolved now after which fifty Cossacks were ordered to be executed because of robberies and similar violations. In addition, Pannwitz agreed to have Croatian officers and police in Cossack units.106 Germans believed that the explosion of disciplinary violations amongst the Cossacks was caused by the fact that around 30% of the soldiers arrived to the unit straight from prisoner of war camps, where they lived in exceptionally difficult conditions.107 Civil War traditions also influenced the Cossacks. After a successful counter-offensive at the end of 1944, Colonel Kononov, the Commander of the 5th Cavalry Don Regiment carried out an inspection of his troops and Soviet prisoners of war. He found Cossacks and Soviet prisoners sitting in one large room in underwear, smoking, eating bread and playing cards while their weapons were in the corner.108 The 1st Cossack Division carried out its first anti-Partisan action in October, 1943, in Fruka Gora. The Operation Arnim (October 1417, 1943) was planned before the arrival of the Cossack Division to Yugoslavia.109 The Operations main aim was the destruction of Partisan detachments and their bases to the north and northwest of Belgrade. Almost the entire Division participated in the Operation, but it failed because the Partisans refused to engage the more numerous enemy. Nonetheless, the Operation was viewed positively by the German commanders because the Cossacks managed to find and destroy several Partisan bases.110 In the middle of October, parts of the division were transferred west of the line Vukovar-Vinkovci-Vrpolje to defend communication lines. The Divisions Staff
105 106 107 108 109

110

VA, Militrarchiv in Freiburg, r. 31, 521. Horstenau, Izmeu, 356. VA, Militrarchiv in Freiburg, r. 30, 588. Alferev and Kruk, Pokhodnyi ataman, 155. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 613. In reconstructing the military path of the Division (and later the Corps), we relied on archival sources as well as memoirs by Cherkassov, Pawnitzs interrogation, and works by Kern, Newland, Krilov and Krikunov. VA, NAV-T-313, r. 189, mf. 7448780; VA NAV-T-314, R. 1544, mf. 67; S.J.Newland, Cossacks in the German Army 19411945 (Portland: F.Cass, 1991), 15051.

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was based in Vinkovci and then in akovo. Small groups of Cossacks defended parts of the railway tracks and important roads from Partisan attacks.111 Upon the Divisions arrival, the German Command noted noticeable decrease in Partisan activities. At the end of November, the 2nd Cossack Brigade was temporarily placed under the command of the 15th German Mountain Corps around Sarajevo to suppress Partisan activities in the area and to defend Derventa-Doboj-Gracaanica communication.112 The 2nd Brigade carried out the anti-partisan Operation Wildsau (October 2629, 1943) in area of Brod-Doboj-Zvornik.113 At the same time, The Divisional Staff, the 1st Brigade and Divisions auxiliary services dislocated into two groups northwest of Sisak: around Sisak-Petrinja-Glina and Sisak-Sunja-Kostajnica. The Division was then partially placed under the command of the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland. The 2nd Cossack Brigade spent December and beginning of January in preparation for Operations Napfkuchen (January 36, 1944)114 and Brandfakel (January 1116, 1944)115 aimed at Partisans in central Bosnia, who were attacking Gora-Glina communication.116 In the midJanuary, the 2nd Brigade returned from Bosnia to its permanent location. After the completion of operation for securing Glina-Gora communication, the division was transferred to Zagreb-Karlovac area.117 Apart from the anti-Partisan operations, there were attempts to use the Cossacks for propaganda purposes. For example, at the end of 1943, the Cossacks of the 2nd Brigade near Brod performed a traditional Cossack performance for the local population. The 6th Terek Regiment organized a similar performance for the locals which displayed their horse-riding skills.118 In the autumn of 1944, the Divisional Command was stationed in Nova Gradica, while the 1st Cossack Brigade was stationed on the right bank of Sava southeast of the line Zagreb-Sisak-Sunja-Kostajnica. After several successful operations involving Wolf Groups, in May 1944, the 2nd Siberian Regiment carried out a small anti-Partisan operation Ingeborg (May 78, 1944), aimed at surrounding and destroying the enemy between Karlovac and Sisak.119 The sub111 112 113 114

115 116 117 118 119

Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 646. Ibid., 723. Ibid., 600, 613616; VA, NAV-T-313, r. 189, mf. 7448772 and 7448793. V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat naroda Jugoslavije 19411945 knj. II, (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 19571958), 4751; M.Andri et al., Hronologija oslobodilake borbe naroda Jugoslavije 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut, 1964), 649. VA, NAV-T-314, r. 561, mf. 166177; V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat, 649. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 727, 733. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 3, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1978), 61. Krikunov, Kazaki, 493. VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1545, mf. 762.

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sequent Operation Schach (May 1930, 1944)120 was undertaken at the same time as the famous Operation Rosselsprung (airborn attack on Drvar and the supporting operations).121 In this operation, the 1st Cossack Brigade fought in area southwest of Glina-Topusko.122 Operation Schach was not successful because the Partisans managed to withdraw and the 2nd Brigade tried to return to its initial position. During this withdrawal, the 2nd Siberian Regiment found itself in a difficult position southwest of Glina. They were blocked by Partisans, and only after heavy fighting did the 2nd Siberian Regiment manage to penetrate the Partisan blockade and join the main forces of the 1st Brigade. At the end of June, the 1st Cossack Division carried out operation Bienenhaus (June 2428, 1944) with the forces of the 1st and 4th Regiments of the 1st Brigade on the territory of azme and Ivani Grad.123 The operation Blitz was undertaken by the forces of the 3rd and 5th Regiments of the 2nd Brigade around akovo.124 In July, large part of the division was engaged in trying to curtail the Partisans attempted sabotage of the harvest.125 At the end of July, the 3rd and 5th Regiments of the 2nd Brigade participated in the anti-Partisan Operation Feuerwehr around Prnjavor.126 In mid-August, 1944, the same 2nd Brigade destroyed several Partisan detachments and bases near Daruvar-Pakrac. In the second half of August, the 1st Cossack Division carried out Operation Wildfang aimed at the Partisans on the Mountain Moslavina.127 At the end of September, the Cossack Division participated in the battle with large Partisan forces between Bosanska Gradika and Banja Luka. In early December, 1944, the 2nd Brigade was sent to engage the forces of Marshall Tolbukhins Third Ukrainian Front, which were sent to establishing a
120

121 122

123

124

125 126 127

Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 283286, 310311. Ibid., 279, 293. VA, NAV-T-314, r. 563, mf. 338; VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1545, mf. 788 794; VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1546, mf. 445446 and 461464; V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat, 13739; V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat, 761762; F.Schraml, Kriegsschauplatz Kroatien. Die deutsch-kroatischen Legions-Divisionen 369., 373, 392. Inf. Div. (kroat.) ihre Ausbildungs- und Ersatzformationen (Neckargemnd: K.Vowinckel, 1962), 187188. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 383, 403; Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 28, ed. S.Kovaevi (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1963), 705708; Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 29, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1963), 6472, 97100; VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1545, mf. 832838; VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1546, 264; V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat, 161; M.Andri et al., Hronologija oslobodilake borbe naroda Jugoslavije 19411945, 793. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 383, 871; Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 28, ed. S.Kovaevi (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1963), 494504, 574599, 709711; Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 29, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1963), 4953, 631651, 675679, 683686; VA, NAV-T-314, r. 1545, mf. 834 842; M.Andri et al., Hronologija oslobodilake borbe naroda Jugoslavije 19411945, 794. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 437. Ibid., 899. Ibid., 932.

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connection with Partisan detachments in Northern Croatia. As a result, the 3rd, 5th, and 6th Detachments, as well as the Reinforced Artillery Division, Engineer Battalion and supporting formations departed for Korpivnica via Kutina, Popovae and Klotar-Ivania, despite the Partisan attacks and their mining of roads and communications. The Cossacks reached Koprivnica on December 19, 1944. At the time, parts of the 233rd Soviet Infantry Division under the command of Colonel Sidorenko occupied positions on the right bank of River Drava, waiting for the Yugoslav Partisans. The 6th Regiment carried out a violent reconnaissance, as a result of which Pannwitz decided to immediately attack the Soviet troops and to prevent them from connecting with the Partisans. The Pitomae Battle became known as last battle of the Civil War in Russian historiography, because majority of fighters on both sides were Russians..128 Adetailed reconstruction of the tragedy on Drava River has been carried out.129 The Cossacks attacked in the direction of Pitomae which was defended by the following Soviet troops: the 703rd Riffle Regiment of the 223rd Division, the 23rd Flamethrower Battalion, two batteries of the 684th Artillery Regiment, one platoon of Air Defense machine gunners and parts of the NOVJ 32nd Division of the 10th Corps. The attack by Cossacks had three directions: the 3rd Kuban Regiment went to the north of Pitomaa, the 5th Don Regiment attacked Pitomaa frontally, while the 6th Terek Regiment went to the south of Pitomaa. At nine oclock in the morning, the Cossacks of the 5th Regiment managed to capture the village of Klodare, near Pitomaa, but the 703rd Regiment checked the Cossack advance to the northwest and south of Pitomaa, holding the position until its forces were almost completely depleted. The Commander of the Red Armys 223rd Division decided to redeploy in order to block the Cossacks drive to envelop Pitomaa from the south. He dislocated south of Pitomaa the reserve forces of the 703rd Regiment, a company of machine gunners, and to the southeast of Pitomaa he positioned two batteries of the 684th Artillery Regiment. Additional forces departed from the direction of Virovitica. Nonetheless, the 6th Terek Regiment continued the attack and at twelve oclock it captured the Soviet batterys positions, Stari Gradac, which was southeast of Pitomaa, blocking the road to Virovitica. Then, it started to attack Pitomaa from east. Simultaneously, the 3rd Kuban and the 5th Don Regiments continued the offensive. The Cossack Artillery Battery joined the attack and it managed to silence the Soviet artillery. At fifteen oclock the Cossacks managed to penetrate the defense of the 703rd Regiment to the southwest of Pitomaa. The Soviet units were surprised to hear Cossacks chant Ura! and by
128 129

N.D.Tolstoi, Zhertvy Ialty (Moscow: Russkii put, 1996), 248. K.M.leksandrov, Russkoe kazachestvo vo vtoroi mirovoi voine, Russkie soldaty Vermakhta. Geroi ili predateli (Moscow: Iauza, Eksmo, 2005), 105141.

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their skillful use of mortars, panzerschreck and panzerfaust at short distances,130 and their desperate struggle in hand to hand combat.131 At seventeen oclock, street battles began which continued until the night. Only at twenty-one oclock did the remaining parts of the 703rd Regiment try to break through the enemy ring in the southeastern direction. The Soviet units managed to recapture Stari Gradac, but did not dare go any further, assuming defensive positions instead. On the morning of December 27, Pitomaa was completely cleared of Soviet troops. The Cossacks managed to seize the armaments and supplies of the Riffle Regiment, the Flamethrower Battalion and the two batteries. The Soviets loses were 204 killed and 136 captured. The Cossacks lost around 200 fighters.132 In addition, sixty Cossack prisoners taken in the morning attack were executed on the Soviet officers orders before the last Cossack attack. The Cossacks did not execute the Soviet prisoners, accepting them with surprising warmth. The victory after a twelve-hour battle near Pitomaa was an important tactical success which was mentioned in the regular report by the German Supreme Command.133 After this success, the 2nd Cossack Brigade fortified itself around line Pitomaa Stari Gradac pisi Bukovica, where they were constantly shelled by Soviet artillery located on the left bank of Drava. NOVJ attacked them persistently from the south. NOVJ aim, with the support of Soviet artillery, was to break the defensive line defended by parts of the 5th Don Regiment. The first attempt by Cossacks to take Virovitica with the forces of the 2nd Brigade was unsuccessful due to strong artillery fire,134 while the 6th Terek Regiment (which suffered heavy losses) was directed at NOVJ units which controlled the hills and forests to the south of Pitomaa.135 At the same time (January 78, 1945), the 1st Brigade was transferred towards Sava,136 and it prevented NOVJ from breaking the front on the line Banova Jaruga Lipik Pakrac, while offering support to the 2nd Brigade which was attacking Virovitica. In the meantime, the German Command decided to change the status of the Division. From autumn, 1944, numerous large and small Cossack groups from all over the Third Reich were being placed under Pannwitzs command. Among them were the following: the 69th Police Battalion from Cracow, the Battalion of Factory Security from Warsaw, the Battalion of Factory Security from Hannover,
130

131 132

133 134 135 136

Vospominaniia kubanskogo kazaka uriadnika Iuriia Kravtsova, Voina i sudby. Vtoraia mirovaia, bez retushi III, ed., ed. N.S.Timofeev (Nevinnomyssk: N.S.Timofeev, 2003), 126. leksandrov, Russkoe kazachestvo vo vtoroi mirovoi voine, 123. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 771, 1124, 1126; Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 37, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1968), 5882, 439443. H.Detloff v. Kalben and C.Wagner, Die Geschichte XV. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps, (n. p., 1987) Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 771, 1133. Ibid., 1133, 1135. Ibid.,1131.

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parts of the 360th Cossack Regiment from France and a series of smaller Cossack formations volunteers from the prisoner of war camps and Soviet workers who worked in Germany. On November 4, 1944, the division became part of SS, however, this did not mean that the system of ranks and uniforms changed.137 As a result, on February 25, 1945, the 1st Cossack Cavalry Division became the SS 15th Cavalry Corps,138 while the 1st and 2nd Brigades changed their names to 1st and 2nd Cossack Divisions, without the accompanying changes in the internal organization of these units. On February 25, 1945, Pannwitz had 25,000 soldiers and officers under his command. Apart from the Cossack units, several larger independent units formed out of former Soviet soldiers and officers were subjected to the Corps Command: Kalmyk Regiment (around 5,000 fighters), the Caucuses Cavalry Battery, the Ukrainian Battalion and ROA Tank Group.139 In early spring of 1945, von Pannwitzs Corps participated in the last great offensive by the Third Reich near the Lake Balaton, but it soon returned to NDH.140 After exhaustive fighting around the Lake Balaton, the Germans managed to conquer territory on the left bank of Drava to the northwest of Osijek. Facing the Germans on this front was the Soviet new ally the 1st Bulgarian Army. The 4th Kuban Regiment surprised the Bulgarian artillery positions during the night of March 2425, taking numerous prisoners.141 Almost until the end of the war, the 15th Cossack Corps was in the first line of defense against the Bulgarian and NOVJ troops. The 1st Cossack Division began to withdraw only in early May from its positions around Sokolovac-Koprivnica-Drava in direction of Ludbreg-Varadin. Several days later, (May, 6), the 2nd Division received its orders for withdrawal. Despite the steep mountains and Partisan traps, the Cossack Corps succeeded in withdrawing to Austria where it surrendered to the British on May 1112. There was hope amongst the Cossacks that the Great Britain would not transfer them to Stalin. This turned out to be false, however. The Cossacks and their families, who joined them in exile, as well as the majority of other Soviet citizens who found themselves outside of the Soviet borders, were forcefully extradited to the Stalinist judicial system. 142 The extradition itself was exceptionally bru137

138 139 140 141 142

This can be seen from the photographs and the military booklets, as well as the fact that the Cossack units were sometimes mentioned next to the SS and police formations and sometimes had the SS adjective in their appellation. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 792, 793, 796, 800. Ibid., 832834, 927, 1110. E.Kern, General von Pannwitz und seine Kosaken (Gottingen: Plesseverlag, 1964). Zbornik NOR-a, t. XII knj. 4, ed. D.Dini (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1979), 829. Newland, Cossacks in the German Army 19411945. According to calculations made by present-day Russian historians, 138, 850 Don Cossack refugees withdrew with the Germans, 93, 957 Kuban Cossacks, 23, 520 Terek Cossacks and 11, 865 Stavraopol Cossacks respectively left their ancestral lands with the departing Germans, leksandrov, Russkoe kazachestvo vo vtoroi mirovoi voine, 171.

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tal.143 Sholokhovs favorite illustrator, Sergei Korolkov, the famous Don Cossack painter and sculptor who had escaped his native land in 1943 under the threat of the return of Soviet power, drew this scene in his monumental picture The Extradition of Cossacks in Linz.144 Part of those extradited were executed, while the rest were sent to Siberia. The few lucky ones managed to get lost in the postwar chaos and they moved to America or they stayed in Germany.145 The Cossacks social-political life in Yugoslavia was also noteworthy.146 After they captured Virovitica in February, 1945,147 Colonel Kononov took an unexpected initiative. On his suggestion, All-Cossack Congress was held in Virovitica, on March 24, 1945, under the formal presidency of the Cossack Lieutenant-ColonelN.K.Kulakov, a disabled person from the Civil War who managed to conceal his identity and evade the Soviet authorities until the Germans arrived.148 Kononov offered the following political program to the Congress: transfer of Cossack units to Vlasovs army, abolishing GUKV (the Main Administration of the Cossack Army) and resignation by General Krasnov,149 withdrawal of German officers from the Cossack units who opposed Cossack aspirations, the establishment of contact with Mihailovi, concentrating all Cossack troops in the area of Klagenfurt and Salzburg in order to create a Shock Army and Kononov announced the Declaration of Cossacks Military Aims.150 The Congress approved his program and it elected von Pannwitz its Ataman (Supreme Military Commander) of all Cossack troops. On April 20, 1945, Vlasov approved the Congress decisions with regards to the election of
143

144

145

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147 148 149

150

V. G. Naumenko, Velikoe Predatelstvo (Saint Petersburg: Neva, 2003); H. Stadler, M. Kofler and K. C. Berger, Flucht in die Hoffnungslosigkeit. Die Kosaken in Osttirol (Innsbruck: Studienverlag, 2005). Also see the project Die Kosaken in Osttirol. Archologische und volkskundliche Aspekte zur Tragdie an der Drau which has been initiated at the Institut fr Ur- und Frhgeschichte sowie Mittelalter- und Neuzeitarchologie, Institut fr Europische Ethnologie/ Volkskunde at the University of Innsbruck at http://www.uibk.ac.at/kosaken/projekt/, accessed September 16, 2012. V.Bykadorov, Sergei Grigorevich Korolkov. (19051967 g.), Stanichnyi vestnik 12 (1993): 23; see the picture at http://www.armymuseum.ru/art3_r. html, accessed September 16, 2012. N. Tolstoy, The Minister and the Massacres (London: Century Hutchinson, 1986); N. N. Krasnovmladshii, Nezabyvaemoe (San Francisco: Russkaia zhizn, 1957). Apart from this operations, parts of the 15th Cossack Division/Corps participated in other operations: Panther (December 720, 1943) near Glina; Weihnachtsmann (December 2530, 1943) between Kupa and Sava, Cannae (March 1719, 1944) along the Hungarian border in Slavonia, Dunkirchen I (June 27 July 2, 1944), Dunkirchen II (July 817, 1944) near umberka, Arras (July 23, 1944) near Lipik, Werwolf (February 421, 1945) near Papuk, Waldteufel (March 68, 1945) near Donji Miholjac, Bergwind (March 817, 1945) near Moslavaka Gora. Zbornik NOR-a, t. V, knj. 37, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1968), 5861, 8288. Cherkassov, General Kononov, 165. GUKV Glavnoe upravlenie kazachikh voisk Hauptverwaltung der Kosakenheere the Main Administration of the Cossack Army was formed on April 30, 1944, on the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Eastern Volunteer Troops General Ernst-August Kstring. It was mainly a formal institution which dealt with propaganda. GUKV was an expression of Germans wishes to encourage the Cossack separatism. GUKV was headed by GeneralP.N.Krasnov. Chuev, Prokliatye soldaty, 189.

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von Pannwitz and the integration of Cossacks into KONR. Later on, on April 28, 1945, Himmler approved the All-Cossack Congress decisions.151 The Cossack Division was mainly formed out of anti-Soviet volunteers and prisoners of war, but nonetheless, it kept active contacts with Russian emigrants who sought refuge in Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Cossacks were regularly visited by Don, Kuban, Terek and Astrakhan Atamans Generals Tatarkin, Naumenko, Vdovenko, Lakhov, and General Shkuro.152 These visits looked like friendship between the Divisions officers (mainly Russians) and other heroes of the Civil War who wanted to share their experiences of fighting against communism. General Shkuro was most successful. Shkuro was renowned in the Czarist Army for advocating military-partisan (diversionary) actions during the First WorldWar. During the Civil War, he was a successful leader of diversionary-partisan unit of the Cossack movements Wolf Companies, which was active behind the Bolshevik lines. During the interwar period, Shkuro was involved in construction business in Southern Yugoslavia.153 In the middle of 1944, he was appointed inspector of the Cossack reserve troops of the Eastern Ministry. When majority of the Eastern troops were transferred to the SS, on September 5, 1944, Shkuro was appointed head of the Cossack Reserves by SS ObergruppenfhrerG.Berger. In his journal, V.G.Naumenko wrote on September 13, 1944, that he had met Shkuro in Berlin and found out that he was appointed head of Cossack reserves, and that he was accepted as General-Lieutenant with the right of wearing German generals uniform, and had a salary according to his rank He has a Headquarter, in which there are numerous officers. Shkuro is collecting people and sending them to a military camp near Graz. Cossacks are arriving in great numbers. Shkuros volunteers were sent to the Reserve Regiment of the Cossack Division which was headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Shtabin. After the Cossack Division was turned into an SS Corps, the Regiment received the appellation the 9 th Reserve Regiment. It comprised of around 11,000 Cossacks and Kalmyks, Ossetians and other people from the Northern Caucuses.154 In addition to the Cossack migr leaders visits, Cossacks came to Belgrade, where they visited the Russian House and met many Russian emigrants, whom they befriended or argued with.155 Finally, some emigrants who surely had higher education, and the necessary military qualifications, took up officers position in the
151

152 153 154 155

Pismo Fon Pannvitsa Generalu Vlasovu 30.04.45., Alferev and Kruk, Pokhodnyi ataman, 150151. See the same source for the stenogram of Pannwitzs interrogation, 119120. Cherkassov, General Kononov, 3258, 6972. A.G.Shkuro, Grazhdanskaia voina v Rossii: Zapiski belogo partizana (Moscow: AST, 2004). GARF, f. 5761, o. 1, d. 13, 183; Naumenko, Velikoe Predatelstvo, 324325. Cherkassov, General Kononov, 8081.

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Division.156 The main priest of the Division was Protopresbyter Valentin Rudenko who was appointed by Metropolitan Anastasii. Father Valentin was a Kuban Cossack, and during the Civil War, he was the main priest in General Wrangels Headquarters. The Commanders of the Propaganda Platoon and the Headquarters Supporting Company were also Russian emigrants who obtained the military education in Cadet Corps in Bela Crkva. The students of the Cadet Corps in Bela Crkva regularly visited their family members in the Division.157 There were also formal and informal ties between the soldiers of the migr Russian Corps and the Cossacks. The formal ties were facilitated by the Russian Hospital in Panevo, which treated soldiers of the Russian Corps and Cossacks.158 In addition, the Divisions newspaper carried news of the life of the 1st Cossack Regiment of the Russian Corps.159 These contacts with the Russian emigration in Yugoslavia raised the Cossacks morale as it showed that their service in the German army against Serbian Partisans, who fought for communist ideas and for independence of their country, had wider meaning.160 According to P.N.Krasnov, the Cossacks wanted to destroy communists everywhere not caring about their own lives.161 Many of them believed that the war was approaching in its character a Civil War but in much more complicated situation and in global dimensions.162 Nonetheless, the majority were haunted by the impossibility of their situation. At the time that most countries fought against German, Italian and Japanese extreme rightists, the leftwing Soviet experiment appeared to them to have been a greater evil. AngloAmericans and their allies did not listen to Stalins opponents in Russia while Hitler was in power in Germany. After their departure from Mylau, the Cossacks had become collaborators and, as much as the thought may have seemed evil to them, fierce enemies of Orthodoxy. Despite their aspirations and best intentions, they clearly fought for foreign interests. That is why it is impossible to accept the thesis advocated by Cossacks historians in Russia and especially abroad, that the Cossacks participated in the Civil War in Russia and Yugoslavia, 19431945.163
156 157 158

159 160 161 162 163

Ibid., 75. G.Mordwinkin, White guards: autobiographical story (Scottdale (Pa.): G.Mordwinkin, 2001), 149153. There are several photographs of wounded Cossacks recoupperating in the Russian Corps Hospital in Panevo. Vojni muzej, Zbirka fotografija, XV. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Korps. Na kazachem postu, Issue 18/1943, 23. Na kazachem postu, Issue 14/1943, 14. A.K.Leninov, Pod kazachim znamenem v 19431945 gg., Kubanets 1 (1992): 4445.. Na kazachem postu, Issue 7/1943, 3. The most obvious examples of such an approach to the issue of the Cossack role in war was the erection of a monument in 1944 to the Cossacks of the 15th Cossack Division and General Pannwitz in the courtyard of the Church of All Saints in Moscow, as well as the rehabilitation of Pannwitz in 1996. The latter was approved by the Military Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, however, it was cancelled upon the interference of the executive branch of government in 2001. In the town of Elanskaia, Sholokhov raion, Rostov Oblast, a large memorial complex Don Cossacks in the struggle against the Bolsheviks was built. In the forefront is a four meter tall sculpture of P.Krasnov.


, , . . . . . . , , , . ! ! .

The Encounter
As long as colonels drink vodka, While they are tasting whiskey, While infantrymen sing songs In Russian and in English We are seeking each other out with our eyes. We return a glance, with a glance. Second war in my generation Sit next to me We are not drinking. We are not singing. We are silent and silent. We put marks on our memory. The Reconnaissance has encountered the reconnaissance Swords collided with swords. Today has been signed and assured Today! The ninth of May! Second war in my generation The Third WorldWar. Boris Slutskii

III

Role of the USSR in preparation of the partisan and civil war

Organization and preparation of the Partisan war in the USSR until the beginning of the Second World War
The events of 19411945 in Serbia and Yugoslavia amounted to a full scale civil war. The Communists waged a partisan war, which ended with their victory. The partisan and guerilla tactics were employed by two resistance movements against each other and the occupier the Partisans and the etniks. The guerilla warfare is based on theory and methodology, as all other martial activities. The military theory views the partisan warfare and anti-partisan operations as part of the same process. From April 1941 to October 1944 all belligerents on the Yugoslav territory relied on knowledge of the partisan warfare which assisted them in their struggle. The German occupation machine, in their fight against the Yugoslav resistance movements, relied on specially trained units in anti-partisan and mountain warfare such as Brandenburg, the SS division Prince Eugene, Bergmann unit and later on a network of Hunting Commando Detachments (Jagdkommando) which were most active in parts of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.1 The Royalist resistance movement (JVuO) also relied on tactics developed before the war. We do not have in mind the etnik Flying Command which was formed relatively late into the war and was not important for the organization of
1

Nemaka obavetajna sluba. t. V, 645710; MichaelisR., Die Gebirgsdivisionen der Waffen-SS, Berlin, 1998; CasagrandeT., Die Volksdeutsche SS-Division Prinz Eugen, Frankfurt am Main, 2003; SpaeterH., Die Brandenburger Eine deutsche Kommandotruppe, Mnchen 1982; LefvreE., Brandenburg Division Commandos of the Reich, Paris, 2000; Bentzien H., Division Brandenburg Die Rangers von Admiral Canaris, Berlin, 2004; Gnzel R., WaltherW., Wegener U. K., Geheime Krieger Drei deutsche Kommandoverbnde im Bild. KSK, Brandenburger, GSG 9, Kiel, 2006.

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Ravna Gora movement.2 What we have in mind here is the continuous development of this type of warfare in Serbian and later on in the Yugoslav Royal Army from the middle of the Nineteenth Century. The Serbian militarys scholarly interest in this topic was born out of the Serbian Outlaw (Hajduk) traditions and the ideas relating to guerilla warfare developed by foreign authors.3 The tradition of the First Serbian Uprising and Nevesinje Riffle were continued by Serbian etniks (literary meaning members of detachments). Before the Balkan Wars, during the Balkans Wars and World War One, Serbian detachments were active behind the Bulgarian, Austro-Hungarian and German armies, providing a good example of the Serbian military ideas about guerilla warfare.4 Bosnia and Krajina also had the tradition of guerilla warfare, and they provided most support to Partisans.5 According to official Yugoslav historiography, these national traditions were the only source of support for Partisans, which grew to critical levels due to the wisdom of talented KPJ (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) leaders. Admittedly, the civil war and the fight against the occupiers did produce
2

N., ehi, etnici kao nosioci gerilskog oblika ratovanja u planovima najviih vojnih vlasti predratne Jugoslavije Godinjak drutava istoriara Bosne i Hercegovine XVIII, 1970; A. ivoti, Jurine (etnike) jedinice vojske Kraljevine Jugoslavije 19401941. godine Vojnoistorijski glasnik br. 12, 2003 Translations: M.Ban, trans., Pravila o etnikoj voini. Protolmaio iz polskoga sa nekim promenama, izmetcim i dodatcima Matia Ban (Belgrade: Knjigopeatnja kneevine Srbije, 1848); J.Dragaevi, Naela etovanja napisao Don Santijago Paskual i Rubijo biv. oficir u tabu en. Mine s nemakog preveo Dragaevi oficir i profesor (Belgrade: Dravna peatnica, 1864). Original works: Lj. Ivanovi, etovanje ili etniko ratovanje (Belgrade: Dravna peatnica, 1868); Uput za etniko ratovanje. Ministarstvo vojske i mornarice (Belgrade: Ministarstvo vojske i mornarice, 1929); A.Erhart, etniki rat: miljenje nemakog vojnog strunjaka o naim etnicima i o etnikoj borbi u buduem ratu, (sadri: Savremena peadija: engleski vojni strunjak o potrebi reorganizacije najvanijeg roda oruja od Lidela Harta) (Belgrade: Sedma sila, 1940). R.Kosmajac, etovanje u odnosu na predeo: Kolain i severni deo Albanije (Belgrade: Milo Veliki); V. Balk, Taktika knj. 6: Nauka o boju: none borbe, borbe oko uma i mesta, borbe oko tesnaca, borbe oko renih tokova, planinski rat, etniko ratovanje i etapna sluba, trans [to Serbian] .Mii) (Belgrade: Balkan, 1912); Hadi Vasiljevi, etnika akcija u staroj Srbiji i Maedoniji (Belgrade: Sv. Sava, 1928); S.Krakov, Plamen etnitva (Belgrade: Vreme, 1930); K.Peanac, etnika akcija: 19031912 (Belgrade: Dom, 1933); J.Derok, Topliki ustanak i oruani otpor u okupiranoj otadbini 19161918. godine (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1940); A. Mitrovi, Ustanike borbe u Srbiji: 19161918. (Belgrade: Srpska knjievna zadruga, 1987); A. Iu. Timofeev, Istoki kosovskoi dramy (Moscow: s. n., 1999); eki, Poeci srpskog etnitva: organizacija etnikog pokreta u Kneevini Srbiji u 19. veku (Belgrade: Slobodna knjiga, 2000); A.Iu.Timofeev, Serbskie chety v Staroi Serbii. 19031912, in Iugoslavianskaia istoriia v novoe i noveishee vremia: Materialy nauchnykh chtenii, posviashchennykh 80letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia professora V.G.Karaseva (19221991), ed. G.Matveev, (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Moskovskogo gorodskogo ob edineniia arkhivov, 2002); A.F.Timofeev, Staraia Serbiia mif ili realnost? Istoriografiia voprosa, Slavianovedenie 3 (2006); M. Pei, Stari etnici (Kragujevac: Pogledi, 2000); V.Ili, Srpska etnika akcija: 19031912. (Belgrade: Ecolibri, 2006); A. Iu.Timofeev, Krest, kinzhal i kniga. Staraia Serbiia v politike Belgrada (18791912) (Saint Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2007); B.Vueti, Seanja Antonija Todorovia na revolucionarnu akciju srpskog naroda u Turskoj 19041914. godine, Meovita graa Miscellanea 28 (2007), 265305. F.Tuman, Rat protiv rat: partizanski rat u prolosti i budunosti (Zagreb: Grafiki zavod Hrvatske, 1970).

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a series of talented military leaders. Nonetheless, the Soviets played an important role in the development of partisan detachments and in forging their military and political tactics and strategy. Many Partisan leaders were either trained in the USSR before the Second World War or in Spain by Soviet instructors. Wilhelm Hottl, the German expert on the Southeast and the head of the RSHA (the Reich Main Security Office) Vienna Office VI Department (foreign intelligence service) believed that the tactics employed by the Communist Partisans in Yugoslavia had a lot of similarities with tactics used in China in the 1920s.6 Nonetheless, Soviet and Yugoslav postwar scholars minimized the Soviet influence on the Yugoslav Partisan wartime tactics. In order to better understand the nature of this relationship, we must take into account the development of the idea of partisan warfare in Russia, as well as the specific role played by Comintern in this enterprise. In the first place, we must say several things about the terminology. We can determine relatively accurately the emergence of tactics which later received the name of guerrilla or partisan war. The idea of partisan warfare developed only after the emergence of an organized system behind the frontlines. As long as armies supply chains did not have storages and communication for transporting supplies to the frontlines, the partisan activity (strikes by small forces in the enemys rear) were not very important. The system of mobile supplies and requisitions began to be displaced by the system of stationary storages during the Thirty Years War (16181648). Partisans (from French partie a detachment) appeared at the time, as mercenaries wrought havoc in the enemys rear without any particular plan. Later on, this experience was expanded during the war between Denmark and Sweden (16751679), when the Danes gave official approval to their officers to form volunteer detachments in occupied regions of Denmark. The partisan detachments became even more important during the Northern War (17001721) and the Seven Year War (17561763). American military historians view the American Rangers from the War of Independence (17751783) as the first organized partisan fighters. The American experiences from the American Civil War (18611865) were only incorporated into the armies of the New World, and even there half-heartedly.7 In Europe, the conquered peoples struggle against the Napoleon is usually associated with the first partisan warfare. The Spaniards small war, which is what guerilla means in Spanish, was so important in development of guerilla warfare that it provided the name for this type of activities for most of Western European
6

W.Hagen, Unternehmen Bernhard, Ein historischer Tatsachenbericht ber die grsste Geldflschungsaktion aller Zeiten (Wels: Verlag Welsermhl, 1955), 120. N. N. Sukhotin, Reidy, nabegi, naezdy, poiski konnitsy v Amerikanskoi voine 18611865 gg. (Saint Petersburg: V.Berezovskii, 1887).

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languages. It should be noted that the first Serbian expert works on etnik Warfare (as Matija Ban dubbed the guerilla method of waging warfare) were directly or indirectly connected with the Spanish experience. Matija Ban translated the instructions on insurrectionary warfare from Polish, which were based on the Spanish experience,8 while the second book on the topic was Jovan Dragoevis translation of a Spanish author from German.9 The ideas of Spanish authors greatly influenced Ljubomir Ivanovi.10 It is not widely known that the Russian modern guerilla experience was rooted in the Imperial-era Russian military-theory. Modern Russian military historians believe that Peter I was the founder of the Russian tradition of the small war. Peter I deployed special units for diversion in the enemys rear, whose aim was to starve and disturb the enemy against more powerful opponents in 1706.11 The military partisan warfare appeared in Russia in similar circumstances as in Spain. Smaller military detachments or parties (which gave the name for partisan warfare in French and Russian languages) under the command of very competent officers Dennis Devidov and Seslavin Figner were sent behind the enemy frontline with the aim of acting in the enemys rear and organizing national resistance. Soon, the military partisan operations started acquiring national features. Even officers, who ordinarily had short haircuts, shaved their beards regularly and paraded in ceremonial uniforms, had to start changing. I put on a peasant overcoat, grew my beard, and instead of the St. Anna Medal I put around my neck St. Nicholas icon these were the first steps taken by Dennis Davidov, a Russian nobleman and a former officer of the Czars Guard, in organization of the partisan detachment in the occupied territories.12 Dennis Davidov summarized his experience as the first Russian partisan in a series of articles in a special study.13 He also broached a series of exceptionally important questions. He enumerated special circumstances required for a successful partisan war: the predisposition of certain nations (Asian nations) and ethnic groups (the Cossacks) for waging partisan warfare and the fact that the personal consciousness and indoctrination level was incomparably more important in partisan warfare than in ordinary war. Davidov also stressed the importance of partisan targeting communications, cou8 9 10 11

12 13

M. Ban, trans., Pravila o etnikoj voini. J.Dragaevi, Naela etovanja. Lj. Ivanovi, etovanje ili etnicko ratovanje. Voennoi ustav s Artikulom voennym, pri kotorom prilozheny tolkovaniia, takzhe s kratkim soderzhaniem protsessov, ekzertsitsieiu, tseremoniiami, i dolzhnostmi polkovykh chinov, (Saint Petersburg: Imperatorskaia Akademiia Nauk, 1748 goda); V.V.Kvachkov, Teoriia i praktika spetsialnykh deistvii (Moscow: s. n., 2004). D.Davydov, Partizanskii dnevnik 1812 goda (Saint Petersburg: A.F.Smirdin, 1840). D.Davydov, Opyt teorii partizanskogo deistviia (Saint Petersburg: S.Selivanovskii, 1822); D.Davidov, O partizanskoi voine, Sovremennik 3 (1836), 138151; Davydov, Partizanskii dnevnik.

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riers, storages and certain garrisons stationed in the rear. According to him, just as important was preserving the loyalty of the population in the occupied territory, combating the enemy propaganda, suppressing the local populations cooperation with the enemy by creating sense of insecurity, fear and panic among the enemy troops behind the frontlines. Davidovs concepts went beyond military partisan warfare and was more similar to the future concept of all-out peoples partisan movement typical of the Twentieth Century. Subsequent military theoreticians of the Czarist Russia built upon Davidovs ideas.14 They developed tactics of the partisan warfare and defined more precisely the partisans material, moral, political and strategic aims. At the same time, they identified the features of the partisan warfare which hindered its adoption by the Czarist Russia army: the need for the type of free-thinking and independent officers leading the partisan detachments and the difficulty in controlling the partisan detachments activities by their superiors. This is the reason why the attempts to use Chinese partisan detachments against the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese war ended in failure.15 Guerilla warfare began to be viewed as an exclusively military operation led by a small group of soldiers and officers who engaged in surprise attacks. With the poor military organization and the slow bureaucratic apparatus of the Czarist Army, Russias partisan warfare during the First World War was limited to several diversionary actions of doubtful tactical value.16 An officer of the General Staff concluded that the Supreme Command believed that this approach was meaningless and dangerous because it undermines discipline, the foundation of a regular army. The officers who believed in the partisan warfares future took note of this.17 The same reasons which prevented the development and adoption of the partisan tactics by the absolutist state, made them attractive to revolutionary circles. Aleksandr Vannovskii, one of the leaders of the Military-Technical Bureau of
14

15 16

17

I.V.Vuich, Malaia voina (Saint Petersburg: Imperatorskaia Voennaia akademiia, 1850); N.S.Golitsyn, O partizanskikh deistviiakh v bolshikh razmerakh, privedennykh v pravilnuiu sistemu i primenennykh k deistviiam armii voobshche i nashikh russkikh v osobennosti, Voennyi sbornik 8 (1859), 4174; N.D.Novitskii, Lektsii maloi voiny, chitannye v Elisavetgradskom ofitserskom kvaleriiskom uchilishche podpolkovnikom Generalnogo shtaba N.D.Novitskim (Odessa: L.Nitche, 1865); F. K. Gershelman, Partizanskaia voina: Issledovanie Fedora Gershelmana, Generalnogo shtaba polkovnika, nachalnika Orenburgskogo kazachego iunkerskogo uchilishcha (Saint Petersburg: Departament udelov, 1885); SukhotinN.N., Reidy; V.N.Klembovskii, Partizanskie deistviia. Opyt rukovodstva (Saint Petersburg: V.Berezovskii, 1894); KedrinS., Malaia voina prezhde i teper, Voina i mir 4 (1907). Kedrin, Malaia voina. A.Popov, Napadeniia na zheleznye dorogi, telegrafy i razlichnogo roda sklady s tseliu porchi ikh i razrusheniia (Saint Petersburg: Berezovskii, 1904); A.I.Ipatovich-Goranskii, V.V.Iakovlev, Konnosapernoe delo: Porcha i razrushenie sooruzhenii i orudii: Kurs kavaleriiskogo uchilishcha (Saint Petersburg: A.Markov, 1902). P.Karatygin, Partizanstvo: nachalnyi opyt takticheskogo issledovaniia (Kharkov: Izdatelstvo UVO, 1924).

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the Moscow Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party,18 developed a series of methodological recommendations for guerilla warfare for revolutionary purposes during the first Russian Revolution of 19051907.19 The leader of the Russian Marxist-Bolsheviks, Lenin, insisted on separating the concepts of partisan, anarchy and brigand, having great hopes for the so called small war as a special form of peoples struggle.20 In this way, the partisan warfare began to take on the connotation of the all-out peoples war which could be traced to Davidovs works in the Nineteenth Century. After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks immediately employed partisan tactics. Already in January, 1918, the Peoples Commissariat for Military Affairs formed the Central Staff for Partisan Detachments. The Rulebook of the Workers-Peasant Red Army (RKKA) had a separate chapter on partisan warfare in 1918.21 On June 29, 1918, Nestor Makhno left Moscow for Ukraine to organize the partisan units against the occupational German forces and their local collaborator Hetman Skoropadskii.22 The Bolshevik party cadres were directly engaged in organizing the resistance struggle against the White Guards and occupational German and Allied troops. During the crisis of the Civil War and general shortage of goods there was an over-printing the old books about partisan tactics.23 GeneralsB.E.Borisov and V.N.Klembovskii, as well as ColonelP.P.Karatigin who worked on theory and practice of partisan warfare before the revolution, joined the Bolsheviks after 1917, aiding them in waging the guerilla warfare.24 The older officers transferred their knowledge of partisan warfare to the newly created Bolshevik formations, but they could not adapt to the new system. Eventually, they
18

19

20

21 22

23

24

E.A.Korolchuk, Sh.M.Levinym, comps., Deiateli revoliutsionnogo dvizheniia v Rossii: Biobibliograficheskii slovar:Ot predshestvennikov dekabristov do padeniia tsarizma. T.V: Sotsial-demokraty. 18801904. Vol. 5 V Gm, ed. V.I.Nevskii (Moscow: Vsesoiuznoe obshchestvo politicheskikh katorzhan i ssylno-poselentsev, 1931), 634642. S. Vychegodskii (pseudonim), Taktika ulichnogo boia, (n. p., 1907); S. Vychegodskii (pseudonim), Taktika militsii (n. p., 1907); Vychegodskii Menshevik (pseudonim), O podgotovke k vooruzhennomu vosstaniiu, Proletarii 1 (1907). V. I. Lenin, Zadachi otriadov revoliutsionnoi armii, K voprosu o partizanskoi voine, O partizanskom vystuplenii PPS, Partizanskaia voina, Sovremennoe polozhenie Rossii i taktika rabochei partii, Marksizm i vosstanie, Takticheskaia platforma k obedinitelnomu sezdu RSDRP, Uroki moskovskogo vosstaniia, etc. in Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. 5th edition (Moscow: Izdatelstvo politicheskoi literatury, 1960). Kvachkov, Teoriia. Even though Makhno was an anarchist, there is no doubt that his discussion with the Bolshevik leaders in Kremlin played a role in his instigation of uprisings in Ukraine, V.Golovanov, Nestor Makhno (Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf, 2008).. Malaia voina (samostoiatelnyi vid voiny, vedomoi slaboiu storonoi protiv silnogo protivnika). Izvlechenie iz taktiki Balka. Izdaetsia kak prakticheskoe rukovodstvo dlia komandnogo sostava (Moscow: Voennoe delo, 1919); V.N.Klembovskii, Partizanskie deistviia. Issledovanie (Petrograd: s. n., 1919). A.Savinkin, I.Domnin, comps., Groznoe oruzhie malaia voina, partizanstvo i drugie vidy assimetrichnogo voevaniia v svete naslediia russkikh voennykh myslitelei (Moscow: Russkii put, Voennyi universitet, 2007), 747750.

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ended up either in emigration or prison. They wanted to focus on the military operations behind the enemy lines, while neglecting the all-out peoples uprising approach, viewing the latter as of little use instead of something progressive and new.25 Their line ran counter to the wishes of the Bolshevik leaders. The logic of the Civil War imposed the idea of partisan warfare as an all-out peoples war. Soon after the October Revolution, new and specialized publications about the partisan warfare written by Bolshevik authors began appearing. Most likely, the first independent publication about the partisan tactics was published by Moscow Defense Region in 1919, a difficult year for the Bolsheviks.26 M.F.Frunze, a prominent Bolshevik party and military leader, noted the importance of partisan warfare in his study published in 1921, at the end of the CivilWar. In an article entitled A Unitary Military Doctrine of the Red Army,27 Frunze noted that the state and the General Staff must pay close attention to guerilla war, and that it must be prepared for in a systematic and planned fashion. The partisan battles in Siberia, the uprisings in the Cossack lands, the Muslim movements rebellion in Central Asia, Makhnos movement in Ukraine offered a great wealth and diversity of materials for students of the partisan warfare. Frunze recognized that the Soviet Russias rich partisan experience must be used in order to defeat the technically superior enemy armies. This article was practically the last time that a highly placed Soviet official admitted publically to preparing for guerilla warfare during the peacetime. From then on, the veil of secrecy began to gradually descend on the topic of partisan warfare in the USSR. The most obvious reason was that military preparations were not discussed publically in order to keep them from the enemy. However, there was another, a deeper reason the USSR relentlessly waged and organized guerilla warfare near and far away from its borders. Naturally, public admission of continuously preparing for and waging partisan warfare would have destroyed the Soviet diplomats attempts to normalize relations with the world, necessary for stabilizing the communist regime in the Soviet Union. Simultaneously, the partisan detachments continued to be active after the Civil War outside of the Soviet Union with the same intensity. Stanislav Vaupshasov, a Lithuanian in the service of the Red Army left descriptions of how the Soviet partisan activities were transferred beyond the Soviet borders. After the Civil War, his partisan detachment was sent to Lithuania, Poland and Western Belarus, where it continued
25

26

27

V.Borisov, Partizanskaia, narodnaia voina, Voennoe delo 7 (1918); V.Borisov, Malaia voina, Voennoe delo 8 (1918) S.I.Gusev, Instruktsii po organizatsii melkikh partizanskikh otriadov utverzhdeny komanduiushchim Moskovskim sektorom t. Gusevym (Moscow: n. p., 1919); Polozhenie o melkikh partizanskikh otriadakh (Moscow: s. n., 1919). M.V.Frunze, Edinaia voennaia doktrina i Krasnaia armiia, Krasnaia Nov 1 (1921): 94106.

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to struggle against the foreign conquerors and domestic reactionaries at the time that the Soviet Russia was in the process of concluding a peace treaty with Poland and Lithuania.28 Later on, the Soviet state institutions participated in organizing and implementing partisan wars in Spain and parts of China. The practice of the partisan warfare, new perspective on the role of the masses in partisan movements and the experience of the Czarist Army brought about a new synthesis. In the first years of peace, Soviets published a series of military-theoretical monographs29 and program articles30 on the topic of the partisan warfare. Soviet theoreticians of the so called small war studied the tactics deployed by partisans in countries from around the world.31 The development of the Soviet theory and practice of the partisan warfare was mostly influenced by M.A.Drobovs voluminous study and Peter Karatygins monograph.32 Karatygin, a former colonel in the Czarist Army, a Bolshevik and a Red Commander, synthesized the traditional Russian and the new revolutionary experiences. Karatygin carefully examined the new ideas of the partisan warfare in modern circumstance, while paying particularly close attention to the numerous technological advances which could have influenced the guerilla warfare in the Twentieth Century. MikhailA.Drobovs research represented an important step toward development of the theory of the so called small war as a crucial tool in the hands of a revolutionary party. Drobov utilized in his study numerous works of the Civil War
28 29

30

31

32

S.A Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh perekrestkakh (Moscow: Politizdat, 1974). S.I.Gusev, Uroki grazhdanskoi voiny (Kharkov: Izdatelstvo RIO UKRPURA, 1921); Sistema i taktika borby s banditami-partizanami, (Moscow: s. n., 1921); A.N.Iatsuk, Pomoshch aviatsii deistviiam partizan (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1921); Muratov ed., Ulichnyi boi. Sbornik statei (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1924); V.M.Voronkov, Kak deistvuiut partizany (Moscow Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1927); I.Kosogov, Uchastie konnitsy v partizanskoi voine (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1928); M.Svechnikov, Reidy, konnitsy i oborona zheleznykh dorog (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1928). R. Eideman, Povstanchestvo i ego rol v sovremennoi voine, Armiia i revoliutsiia 34 (1922); N. N. Domozhirov, Epizody partizanskoi voiny, Voennyi vestnik 56 (1922); V. Lubin, Kratkii ocherk istorii partizanskoi povstancheskoi konnitsy, Voennaia nauka i revoliutsiia 6 (1922); Iu.Z.Dobrovolskii, Tekhnika v maloi voinem, Voina i revoliutsiia 5 (1925); A.Borisov, Voprosy upravleniia v maloi voine, Voina i revoliutsiia 3 (1927); N.Kotov, Taktika krestianskikh vosstanii, Grazhdanskaia voina T. 2 (Moscow, 1928). P. Tikhomirov, Uroki bolgarskogo vosstaniia. Sentiabria 1923 goda (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo, 1924); M. Dobranitskii, Zelenye partizany, Proletarskaia revoliutsiia 89 (1924); M. Braginskii, Vedenie voennykh operatsii v Marokko, Voennaia mysl i revoliutsiia 4 (1924); M.Pogorelov, Kurdskii vopros, Voina i revoliutsiia 3 (1925); M.Pogorelov, Vosstanie druzov, Voina i revoliutsiia 5 (1925); V.Gurko-Kniazhin, Vosstanie v Sirii, Novyi vostok 1011 (1925); O.Disbakh, O metodakh i organizatsii oborony Shveitsarii, Voina i revoliutsiia 9 (1926); P.Smolentsev, Kitaiskaia krasnaia gvardiia Voina i revoliutsiia 3 (1926); K.Bocharov, K rokovym dniam, ocherk sobytii 1923 goda v Bolgarii i taktika BKP (t. s.), Voina i revoliutsiia 1011 (1927); B Shumiatskii, Spornye voprosy noveishei istorii Persii (Khorosanskoe vosstanie), Revoliutsionnyi vostok 1, 1927.. Karatygin, Partizanstvo; M. A. Drobov, Malaia voina: partizanstvo i diversii (Moscow: Voenizdat NKO SSSR, 1931). The latter was written in 1929, but at present only an edition from 1941 is available.

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by White and Red authors, research from Czarist Russia and the authors from abroad. His reliance on the wide-ranging foreign as well as domestic studies of the partisan warfare enabled Drobov to create a veritable compendium of partisan operations, with detailed explanations of tactics and strategy. According to Drobov, the guerilla war was only a part of class (or national-liberation) warfare. In his view, the so called small war was a transitional form of class armed struggle on the path of an all-out uprising with the aim of capturing power and establishing the dictatorship of the rising class. As a result, the partisan tactics were acceptable during peacetime, as well as war. Drobov divided guerilla warfare into diversionary and partisan warfare. He paid particular attention to the core rebellious guerilla of the organized partisans. Drobgov offered the model for future national liberation wars in three steps: 1) Partisan detachments are organized by previously prepared domestic cadres; 2) an all-out peoples partisan war is waged by attracting the wider masses; 3) the growth of the peoples uprising into an organized partisan army while simultaneously creating institutions of peoples power. Apart from this, Drobov emphasized the close connection between the partisans activities and circumstances of the uprising. According to him, growth of the partisan movement must correspond to the intensifying class war, it must be accepted by the masses and it cannot be imported from outside. In addition, Drobov argued that period which it takes for a movement to grow from an uprising into a larger military unit occurs rapidly because (imperialist) wars fasten the pace of revolution. Drobov also specified steps which a partisan movement should undertake: propagandizing the idea that the partisan struggle was crucial for a successful armed uprising against social (and national) oppression amongst the masses; creating organizations for workers and peasants to carry out operations; attracting wider masses to the revolutionary path with the aim of quickening the process of class differentiation in society; weakening the enemys forces and gradually undermining the bases of the reactionary regime (or the occupational apparatus); creating and securing revolutionary organizations, institutions of peoples power and the political leaderships of the new society; forming and organizing a revolutionary army in order to establish new revolutionary authority. Dobrov noted the importance of diversionary actions as part of guerilla wars special operations, which required specially trained cadres. Drobov believed that the diversions could serve economic, political and military aims, however, they could not directly lead to an all-out peoples uprising. The importance of this studious research was that it offered a methodological definition of the partisan war (and not just declaratively, as in previous works by Bolshevik leaders). Drobov particularly highlighted the need for special training of the party fighters, viewing the partisan warfare as a method in the struggle for political power.

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The Peoples Commissariat for Defense took on the responsibility for training partisan cadres in the USSR. Diversionary troops, even those who were supposed to work on Soviet territory (in case of occupation) were trained in secret. Later on, political complications related to training of partisans almost completely turned this into an invisible issue.33A good example of this can be found in the previously mentioned Vaupshasovs memoirs. In his reminiscences, he states that he received an unexpected call to go to Spain, where he accidently ran into five of his colleagues from the partisan organization in Poland where he served 19201925. As Vapshasov said, this was a small world.34 All of his old comrades were advisers for organization of smaller independent units, which Vaupshasov referred to as Army for Special Purposes (Spetsnaz) in the Soviet jargon. The veil of secrecy of the Red Armys preparation of partisan warfare began to be lifted only after the collapse of the USSR, when a series of studies based on the recently opened archives began to appear. Nonetheless, the strange destiny of one man, Ilia Starinov (19002000), played the biggest role in illuminating the truth surrounding the training of partisan cadres. His long and intensive life offered to historians an incredible opportunity to obtain memoirs of one of the founders of the Russian Spetsnaz.35 Later on, numerous other memoirs testifying to Soviet preparations for partisan warfare surfaced. Their authors wrote honestly even though they did not have the opportunity to publish them during their lives.36 After the opening of The Archive of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and regional archives it became apparent that preparations for the partisan warfare in the USSR in the 1920s and the 1930s were intensive. The military political leadership of the Soviet Union actively prepared for the partisan warfare 19241936. The program of training the partisan cadres had several directions: creating a conspiratorial network of diversionary groups and individual di33 34 35

36

The nature of these complications we will explain later on in the text. Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh. After a month long training session in diversionary tactics in 1919, Starinov joined the Red Army, and after the Civil War, he began his lengthy career as an instructor in diversionary tactics. He worked in this field from 1922 to 1987. During this period he trained domestic and foreign students from the countries of Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas. Unfortunately, Starinovs memoirs of the period after the Second World War have not been published because of the confidential information which they contain. I.G.Starinov, Zapiski diversanta ( Moscow: Vympel, 1997); I.G.Starinov, Miny zamedlennogo deistviia: razmyshleniia partizana-diversanta (Moscow: Vympel, 1999); I.G.Starinov, Soldat stoletiia (Moscow: Geroi Otechestva, 2000). G.M.Linkov, Vospominaniia o proshlom s vyvodami na budushchee (Moscow: n. p., 1961) accessed September 16, 2012, http://vrazvedka.ru/starinov/vosp. html. The online version contains parts which the censors cut out in the Soviet-era publication, G.M.Linkov, Voina v tylu vraga. Vospominaniia o proshlom s vyvodami na budushchee (Moscow: n. p., 1961); V.Boiarskii, ed., Diversanty Zapadnogo fronta. Artur Sprogis i drugie. Stranitsy Pamiati (Moscow: Krasnaia zvezda, 2007).

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versionary soldiers in strategically important centers and on the railroad network; forming and training future partisan detachments and groups prepared for the battle in unknown terrain, even abroad; additionally educating the veterans of the Civil War era partisan detachments; training partisans for struggle against enemy partisan detachments; perfecting existing technologies and developing new technologies which were useful for partisan war-waging; creating hidden depots with supplies and technological equipment for future partisan formations throughout the USSR. Partisans were trained by the Fourth (Intelligence) Directorate of the Red Army General Staff in partnership with analogous OGPU institutions.37 By end of 1929, a lot has been accomplished in creating a network of partisan schools and courses, and the state had the sufficient number of trained cadres. Also, a network of small diversionary groups was being trained who were supposed to turn into larger partisan formations during the war. Selected individuals received the information about the secret locations of explosives, weapons and other military technology necessary for the future partisan detachments. Starinov at the time worked as an instructor of diversionary tactics in the Red Armys schools in Ukraine and Moscows suburbs. His memoirs, as well as the recollections by A.K.Sprogis who headed a special school for training partisan leaders, reveal the wide-ranging scope of preparations for the partisan warfare. According to Starinov, the Soviets trained six detachments comprising of 350 500 people in Belarus, while anonymous specialists in diversionary tactics were trained for service in the cities and around important railroad hubs. Hundreds of kilograms of explosives, 50,000 riffles and 150 machine guns were kept in concealed depots and underground hiding places. In Ukraine alone, 3,000 Partisan experts were trained and numerous concealed depots with supplies were prepared. According to Starinov, the largest partisan schools where in Kharkov, Kupiansk, Kiev and Odessa. The cadres for the partisan warfare were also trained in the Leningrad Military District. In order to conceal training of such a large number of future partisans, the organizers ran courses, formally, as excursions into nature by voluntary associations of fishermen and hunters. The commanding and the political cadres of the future formations attended courses on general military preparedness, technical and special skills and methodology of recruitment of nucleus of partisan units. Each course lasted around six months, and on average, there were about thirty-five to fifty students in a single cohort. Five to twelve people were trained at any one time in two schools for diversionary tactics around Kiev. A special program existed for partisans elite forces, the guerilla fighters trained in diversionary tactics. Their training focused on conspiracy, work with explosives and various other types of
37

V.Boiarskii, Partizanstvo vchera, segodnia, zavtra (istorikodokumentalnyi ocherk) (Moscow: Granitsa, 2003).

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armaments. The program for training partisans was based on textbooks, while expert-lecturers and practice in various environments widened the scope of the curriculum. Partisans who specialized in diversionary tactics were also educated in building improvised explosives. The preparations for the partisan operations peaked during the large military exercises. Partisan units participated in separate as well as general exercises. For instance, military exercises were carried out near Leningrad and Moscow in which partisans from several military districts participated. In coordination with the parachutists and the soldiers from the Division for Special Purposes, the partisans were tasked with blocking communications in all of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldavia and with initiating a wave of partisan uprisings in these republics in the case of a successful attack on the USSR.38 However, with the strengthening of Stalins power (or according to Starinov, from 19331934), the Red Armys preparations for partisan warfare began to stagnate. After the purges in 1937, the entire partisan system was destroyed. The absolutist Stalinist regime was afraid of individuals trained in diversionary tactics and prepared for independent military operations. In fact, the Stalinist states fear of hidden partisans motivated by larger strategic aims, instead of strict military orders, was similar to the attitude of the Czarist Russia towards the rebels and partisans from the time of Klembovskii and Golitsyn. The totalitarian Soviet state had less and less trust in its citizens, which was reflected in the restrictions on access to the state and the party institutions, the right to possess arms and the stricter control of movement within the country. At the same time, the country and society were in state of a flux and fundamental transformation, and Stalins fears were not entirely unreasonable. By creating partisan units and independent partisans trained specifically in diversionary tactics, their organizers in the higher military echelons were creating a mighty weapon in their hands which was almost impossible to control by the political leadership of the country. It is indicative that heads of the Belarusian and Kiev Military Districts, I.E.Iakir and I.P.Uborevich, as well as the deputy head of Leningrad Military District were repressed in purges. These three border areas played a very important role in training of partisans in diversionary tactics. In addition, Iakir carefully overlooked the development of these units. He personally selected instructors for partisan schools and he was also involved in selection of students. Significantly, the Trotskyite-Zinovievite opposition in 1927 tried to use printing presses for special purposes, which existed in case of the victory of the reaction. Similarly, Stalinists believed that the opposition could use the cadres of the partisan detachments.

38

Boiarskii, Partizanstvo vchera.

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In Stalins struggle against the organized opposition networks, the NKVD completely put a stop to further training of partisans, arrested a large number of instructors and already trained partisan cadres and destroyed the depots in hidden locations. A large number of textbooks were also destroyed. For example, Karatygins and Drobovs books published in thousands of copies were so rigorously destroyed that only a few of them survived. Typically for the Soviet social system, the enemies of the regime were punished, their achievements were denied and in some cases even their existence was denied.39 All of this added to the mystery surrounding the prewar organization of partisan detachments. The initial success of the German attack on the USSR forced the Soviet leadership to renew the partisan ranks. However, what could have been done during peacetime and what is worse, what was done and then destroyed could not have been as quickly accomplished during the war. This is the reason why partisan detachments were unsuccessful until 1942. At the cost of great human and material losses, the network of partisan detachments was organized, the system of training partisan cadres was renewed and the old cadres who survived the repression wave were restored to their duties.40 It was difficult to explain to the masses that joined the partisans, driven by patriotism and antipathy towards the foreign conquerors, why logistics for partisan warfare were destroyed only a few years earlier. In order to conceal these mistakes, Soviet historians and censors tried to completely hide any remaining traces of information about preparations for the partisan warfare during the interwar period. Role of the Soviet military and security structures in organizing the partisan warfare were also a taboo topic. The Soviet historiography acknowledged only the peoples patriotism and the communist party (in form of the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement) as having played a role in partisan warfare.

Role of the Comintern in organizing and preparing for partisan warfare


Apart from the military and security structures, the Comintern (IKKI) was also involved in preparations for the partisan warfare in the USSR. In Soviet and Yugoslav historiographies, the Comintern was treated as an advice-giving body,
39

40

See the illustrative example of this approach to collective memory, D.King, The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalins Russia (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1997). Boiarskii, Partizanstvo vchera; A.Iu.Popov, NKVD i partizanskoe dvizhenie (Moscow: OLMA-Press, 2003).

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akin to the Society of People for the communist parties.41 The opening of the Comintern archives in the early 1990s, however, allowed reevaluation of the Cominterns role. It was a powerful and a centralized organization which directed, financed and controlled the internal life of legal and especially illegal communist parties.42 In reality, the Comintern provided finances, logistical support, as well as a place to recuperate, restructure and educate the cadres of foreign communist parties. An important part of educating the foreign parties was to prepare foreign communists them for an uprising and partisan war. From the end of the Civil War in Russia in 1921 and until its dissolution in 1943, the IKKI was under firm control of the Bolshevik leaders. After 1929 (with departure of Nikolai Bukharin as president of IKKI), the Comintern worked on Stalins orders. The first Cominterns military school was opened in 1920.43 The Bolsheviks undertook the idea of preparing and organizing revolutions in other countries after the regime stabilized in Russia. On September 25, 1922, it was agreed to create a permanent commission which would collect and study experiences of communist parties in armed struggles with the bourgeoisie. The Commission studied tactical problems, and they wrote and published works and made methodological recommendations to communist parties military organizations, which were illegal and hidden from the masses and regular party members.44 Their advice took into account the particular circumstances of various communist parties but it always encouraged foreign communists to take steps towards civil war and revolution as the only way for the victory of the proletariat. The victory of the proletariat (or absolute power by the communist party, to be more precise) could not have been conceived without a decisive battle. A good example of Cominterns policy was the secret instruction that the IKKI sent to the military organization of the Bulgarian Communist Party in August, 1924. The report was based on the unsuccessful September Uprising in 1923. The instructions contained recommendations for development of a plan for an armed
41

42

43

44

See A. Sobolev, ed., Kommunisticheskii Internatsional. Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk (Moscow: Izdatelstvo politicheskoi literatury, 1969) or P.Moraa, Istorija Saveza komunista Jugoslavije (Belgrade: Rad, 1966). This view, in somewhat milder form, was maintained in the official Yugoslav historiography and ideology in later years. J.Pleterski, D.Keci, M.Vasi, P.Damjanovi, F.Trgo, P.Moraa, B.Petranovi, D.Bilandi and S.Stojanovi, Istorija Saveza komunista Jugoslavije (Belgrade: Izdavaki centar Komunist, 1985). The Cominterns control of the CK KPJ can best be seen through the documents of Titos personal file in the Central Archive of the former Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Due to the importance of the fund we will cite it in full, Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv sotsialno-politicheskoi istorii (RGASPI), f. 495 Komintern, o. 277 Lichnye dela (Iugoslaviia), d. 21 Broz Tito Iosip (Valter Fridrikh, Georgievich, Rudi, Pepo, Stari). G.M.Adibekov, E.N.Shakhnazarova and K.K.Shirinia, Organizatsionnaia struktura Kominterna. 19191943 (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1997), 31. I.Linder and S.Churkin, Krasnaia pautina: tainy razvedki Kominterna. 19191943 (Moscow: RIPOL klassik, 2005).

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uprising, tactical and strategic suggestions which were adapted to the local geographical, social and class conditions, methodology of legal and illegal preparation of partisan cadres before and during the uprising. The Comintern also advised the Bulgarian Party about supplies, choice of weapons and where they should be kept and which policies it should pursue to facilitate the disintegration of the army and the police, how to deal with domestic nationalists and members of the Russian White Guard. They also provided advice on sabotage and use of communications and telegraphic systems, technical organization of an intelligence service before and during the uprising. The Cominterns uncompromising spirit was illustrated in the following instructions as well: every communist must firmly remember that he is not only a communist in words, but a veritable member of the party in a civil war (emphasized in the original A.T.), and as such must take care to procure weapons. The advice to the Bulgarian party elite also reflected the character of the Cominterns recommendations. The military organizations intelligence must find out where the people who must be liquidated live (address of their residence) at the moment of the uprising and conditions under which the terrorist acts are possible.45 Courses for younger and middle commanders were also organized by IKKI. The aim of these courses was to train sufficient number of party members to successfully begin the initial phase of the uprising, 100200 senior leaders who had to be educated in groups not bigger than ten each. The courses lasted for six weeks, six days per week, eight hours per day (288 hours in total). IKKA preferred students who were former soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers with war experience. The program included three parts: military-political, militarytechnical and tactical components. A military-political part of the course included selected works of MarxistLeninist classics which focused on preconditions of successful uprising, how to transform a national and imperialist war into a civil war, how to prepare politically for an armed uprising and how to create revolutionary institutions in conditions of civil war. The military-political part of the course also focused on how to secure power: organizing a red army, police and extraordinary commissions, apparatus of civil administration (revolutionary and executive committees), an intelligence agency for external and internal needs in order to obtain information about the class enemy and to suppress enemy intelligence. The military-technical part of the course covered the following issues: how to maintain communications and how to destroy them; familiarization with technical aspects of transport for war needs (armored trains and armored cars) and how to fight against them; use of explosives; the use of various type of weapons typical
45

RGASPI, f. 495, o. 27, d. 14, 714.

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of mountainous terrain; knowledge of military topography. The instructors particularly emphasized the necessity of improvisation from improvised armored trains and cars to home-made mortars. The third (tactical) part of the course also concentrated on partisan warfare in a small hilly agrarian country. The practical tasks included: attacks on buildings held by the enemy, attack on military barracks, blocking access to barracks, disarming police stations, defense of captured parts of a town and organization of defensive positions. After the completion of the course, students were expected to know how to organize an uprising in various tactical circumstances: uprising in a weakly defended area without expected help from the outside, uprising in well defended area with the expected outside help, uprising in a well-defended area without the possibility of outside help.46 After the special training, the Comintern cadres actively participated in organizing uprisings in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia and China. Even though none of the uprisings ended well for communists, each uprising brought new knowledge and experience, which was reflected in the Cominterns constantly updated teaching material. The IKKI also had a military commission, which developed a wide-ranging plan of anti-war activity for foreign communist parties which included: recruiting from the ranks of the state army, encouraging its disintegration, preparation for an armed uprising and coordination of its activities with the defense of the USSR.47 Using the opportunity to educate new cadres, while reeducating the old foreign communist parties members, the Comintern prepared new teaching materials each time that it ran its courses. Among them was a script written in 1925 by Nikolai Kotov, the prototype for the protagonist from N.Mikhalkovs film Burnt by the Sun. The text was eighteen pages long and it was marked top secret. Kotov, who was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Czarist Military and the organizer of the Red Partisan Detachments in Ukraine during the Civil War, discussed issues surrounding the organization and the tactics of the partisan warfare. It is apparent that the author of this text tried to compensate the lack of theoretical training for the future partisans by focusing on the practical problems of partisan warfare on the ground.48 The failure of the communist revolutions in numerous European and Asian countries, as well as the internal logic of the development of the USSR, led to certain changes in the Soviet foreign policy. Disappointed by the failure of the world revolution to break out, Stalin announced at the 5th IKKI Extended Plenum the slogan of Building Socialism in one Country. Even though the policy of fermenting uprisings in the neighboring states was abandoned, the Comintern
46 47 48

Ibid., 1622. Linder and Churkin, Krasnaia pautina, 446. Tezisy kursa po voprosam organizatsii i taktiki partizanskoi i povstancheskoi borby, RGASPI, f. 495, o. 154, d. 247, 29.

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continued to educate cadres for the needs of the communist parties military organizations. The break with the Trotskyite idea of the Permanent Revolution did not lead to cessation of military training of various communist parties. At the end of the 6th Comintern Congress, held in Moscow July 17September 1, 1928, the new Comintern line was Struggle against the Dangers of War and Defense of the USSR. The new line required the foreign communists who were trained in partisan warfare to help the USSR in case of war. After the 6th Congress, the Cominterns control over the military direction was strengthened by the Organization Department of IKKI. In the new circumstances of temporary truce, the Comintern had an opportunity to educate the carefully selected cadres. The teaching material was based not only on the experiences of the Russian Civil War, but on the failed uprisings from Estonia to Bulgaria, and from China to Hungary. The courses ran in partisan schools,49 organized for preparation of guerillas by the Red Armys intelligence agency.50 In addition, a large academy operated near Moscow (in the town Balashikha),51 which trained diversionists and organizers of the so called small war. The academy was headed by Karol Swierczewski.52 The school was under the control of the Red Armys intelligence service, but formally it was part of the Comintern. By the end of the decade, it mainly trained partisan diversionists for the Cominterns needs. Three parallel isolated groups were educated at any time, each consisting of forty people. Instructors wore civilian clothes in order to conceal the fact that they belonged to the military or security structures.53
49

50

51

52

53

R.W.Leonard, Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 19181933 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999), 4748. Since the Red Armys Intelligence administration changed its name eight times between 1922 and 1945, we will use the generally accepted but unofficial name RU RKKA (The Intelligence Administration of the Red Army). The school in Balashikha continued to exist even after it was used for training of the Cominterns partisans. During the Second World War it trained the elite diversionary-partisan cadres for the Red Army. After the war, under the control of the state security, the school continued its existence as the Higher School of KGB USSR. In addition to the domestic cadres, the Higher School of KGB USSR also trained members of various nations from the Latin America, Africa and Southeastern Asia. The famous KUOS KGB USSR (the predecessor of all the FSB RF special units) also operated out of Balashikh. For instance, the veterans of the school in Balashikh participated in the well known assault on Amins Palace in Afghanistan under the command of ColonelG.I.Boiarinov who died in the attack. From 1981, the building in Balashikh was turned into a base for the training of special KGB units. At present, the base is used to train FSB units. E.Kristofer and O.Gordievskii, KGB: Istoriia vneshnepoliticheskikh operatsii ot Lenina do Gorbacheva (Moscow: Nota bene, 1992). Swierczewski participated in the October Revolution and the CivilWar. He graduated from the Military AcademyM.V.Frunze and he became an officer in the Red Army. Later on, as a general with the pseudonym Valter, he participated in the Spanish CivilWar. He was the Commander of the 14th International Brigade and the 35th International Division. He participated in the Second World War, and later on he organized the pro-Soviet Peoples Army in Poland. He was killed fighting against the forces of the Home Army in 1947. V.I.Piatnitskii, Razvedshkola 005 (Moscow Minsk: AST-Kharvest, 2005).

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In addition, the Cominterns partisan cadres were trained in other partisan schools in case that they needed specific skills or for conspiratorial reasons. Students who showed talent in military skills were offered an opportunity to receive further education in Frunze Academy or in the infantry-military institutions.54 In order to acquire more knowledge about illegal activities, students and graduates of party schools took a special course Practice of Uprising and Conspiracy. These courses ran in KUNMZ 19211936 (The Communist University of the National Minorities of the West), KUTK 19251930 (The Communist University of the Toilers of China), KUTV 19211938 (The Communist University of the Toilers of the East) and MLSH 19251938 (The International Lenin School).55 The additional course in party institutions had several features: theory, practical exercises and camp meetings (several days of exercises outside of the city). The length of the military training lasted from 180 hours per year in KUNMZ up to 300 hours in MLSH.56 Special exercises and preparations were held in secret Comintern objects through Moscow and Moscow region.57 What did the party cadres learn in these courses? The Cominterns party cadres above all needed special knowledge of conspiratorial activities, the so called party technique. A good example is The Rulebook of Party Conspiracy, prepared in 1928 by IKKI specialists. This manual dealt with the subversive-propaganda activities. The Rulebook included following sections: general recommendations; conspiracy during legal and semi-legal existence of the party; conspiratorial apartments; methods of preserving ties; party pseudonyms; notes, letter writing, documents and codes; maintaining and hiding archives; illegal printing presses; conspiratorial meetings; conspiracy in illegal activities; living illegally in towns; the ways to inform about arrests; how to struggle against counter-intelligence and police agents; how to behave in case of arrest; how to behave during questioning and in jail.58 This was just one out of many brochures. The MLSh library in 1931 had a series of works on the same topic: The Program of Studying Illegal Work, Program of Practical Work of Illegal Techniques, Program of Conspiracy for Foreign Students residing in the USSR. These studies were mainly written by
54

55

56 57 58

The specially selected Comintern cadres often received military training in the Riazan Infantry School, which later on became the Riazan Institute for the Airborne Troops (also known as the parachute academy). A detailed examination of this topic is beyond the scope of this study. However, the funds of these institutions are preserved in the former CPSU Archive. RGASPI, f. 529 Kommunisticheskii universitet natsionalnykh menshinstv Zapada imeni Iu. Markhlevskogo; f. 530 Kommunisticheskii universitet trudiashchikhsia kitaitsev; f. 531 Mezhdunarodnaia Leninskaia shkola; RGASPI, f. 532 Kommunisticheskii universitet trudiashchikhsia Vostoka. Linder and Churkin, Krasnaia pautina, 453. V.I.Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii i Komintern na vesakh istorii (Minsk: Kharvest, 2004), 271. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 25, d. 1335, 165.

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IKKI instructors and they were approved by the Soviet military and the security structures. The study plan varied based on concrete needs. In 19311932, in Swierczewskis school, according to a report, the political component of the curriculum took 25% of the course, the military-political 15%, general tactics 25%, military technique 30%, the party technique 5%. Sverchevskii pointed out that the most important topics were: theory and practice of an armed uprising, splitting up the bourgeois armed forces, handling the explosives, handling and maintaining light infantry weapons of various models.59 The teaching materials also dealt with the preparations for the partisan operations, its tactics from the uprising to formation of institutions of the new government and the state apparatus. After the failure of the revolution in several countries in Eastern and Central Europe, the Comintern students received a series of brochures and collections of articles, as well as the already discussed Drobovs and Karatygins studies. However, the communist parties partisan cadres required more voluminous publications which would contain more comprehensive information. The first such study was Der Weg zum Sieg. Eine theo retische Errterung ber Marxismus und Aufstand (The Path towards Victory: the Art of the Armed Uprising), written by Finnish Communist Ture Lehen (18931976) under the pseudonym of Alfred Langer.60 Lehen participated in the Civil War, he was a Red Army officer, instructor of the Cominterns so called Military Commission (19261939), he participated in the Spanish Civil War, and he was also the Interior Minister in the marionette Finnish communist government in 1940.61 The Comintern leadership was not pleased with the limited size of Lehens study (32 pages) and his focus on mass disorders in urban conditions instead of partisan operations in the field. As early as 1928, in a conversation with Erik Voleberg (an agent of the military intelligence), Iosef Piatnitskii, the chief of the IKKI Department for International Relations, expressed an interest in replacing The Path towards Victory with a new study which should be written by a group of expert authors.62
59 60

61

62

Drabkin eds., Komintern, 789. A. Langer, Der Weg zum Sieg. Eine theoretische Errterung ber Marxismus und Aufstand (Zrich: Selbstverlag, 1927). W.R.Kintner, The Front is Everywhere: Militant Communism in Action (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954), 47; S.T.Possony, A Century of Conflict: Communist Techniques of World Revolution (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1953), 178; B. Lazitch and M. Drachkovitch M., Biographical Dictionary of the Comintern (Stanford: Hoover institution press, 1986), 251; N.I.Baryshnikov, Rozhdenie i krakh teriiokskogo pravitelstva (19361940gg.) (Saint Petersburg Khelsinki, 2003); J.Saares ed., Tuure Lehn jmsnkoskelainen punakenraali. Jmsnkoskella 23. 24. 1995 pidetyn seminaarin satoa, (Jyvskyl: Jyvskyln kesyliopisto, 1996). Leonard, Secret Soldiers, 4546.

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Soon enough, the study which Piatnitskii requested appeared, and it was published in Russian, German and French.63 The book had twelve chapters. There were four study cases unsuccessful uprisings in Tallinn (1923), Hamburg (1923), Guangzhou (1927) and Shanghai (19261927); the activities which the communists should undertake in order to weaken and encourage the disintegration of the ruling classes armed forces; organization of proletariats armed forces; leadership in creating an army; special characteristics of military actions in the initial phases of the uprising; specific characteristics of the military actions during the uprising; military operations in rural environment. Nordbergs study was used in the course, as well as Rovetskiis book about the battles between the police and anti-regime units in urban environments, which also contained methodological recommendations about organizing public disorders.64 Apart from the general studies such as monographs by Klembovskii, Karatygin and Drobov,65 in order to teach its students specific skills relating to partisan warfare, the Comintern courses utilized special limited secret publications: Technique and Tactics of Diversionary Work printed in twelve samples, Ambushes on Roads printed in ten samples, The Bases of Conspiracy for City Partisans, Basing the Partisan Units in Forests and Prairies printed in two samples, and others. In addition, smaller samples (only thirty copies) of the following rules were printed: Hiding the Ammunition and Weapons in Hideouts, Guarding the Explosive and Mine Devices in Hideouts, Work with Mines and Explosions for Partisans and DiversionaryPartisans, The Bases of Radio-Communication in Partisan Units, Preparation for and Securing of Partisan Bases in Forrest-Swamp Areas, and others.66 These textbooks were only aides, while the courses were based on the personal contact with teachers who had personal experience in partisan warfare. The weapons used in IKKI educational institutions offer a glimpse into the technical and diversionary training which the foreign communists underwent. Guns and revolvers: Steyr (Austria), Mauser Parabellum, Walter (Germany), Browning (Belgium), Colt (USA), Korovin, Nagant (USSR). Rifles: Mannlicher (Austria), Mauser (Germany), Mosin (USSR), Mannlicher-Karkano (Italy), Lebel (France), Ariska (Japan). Automatic rifles: Bergmann (Germany), Thompson (USA), Fedorov (Russia). Machine guns: Gochkis (France), Lewis (England),
63

64 65 66

A.Neuberg, Der bewaffnete Aufstand (Zrich: s. n., 1928); A.Neuberg, Linsurrection armee (Paris: s. n., 1931); A.Iu.Neiberg., Vooruzhennoe vosstanie, Per. s nem. (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe sotsialnoekonomicheskoe izdatelstvo, 1931); at present, the English version is most readily available which has a controversial introduction to the book. A.Neuberg, Armed Insurrection (London, 1970); T., Craword, Armed Insurrection, International Socialism, No. 46, (1971): S.Quinn-Judge, Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years, 19191941 ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). Drabkin eds., Komintern, 790. Klembovskii, Partizanskie deistviia; Karatygin, Partizanstvo; Drobov, Malaia voina. I.G.Starinov, Podgotovka partizanskikh kadrov (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1989).

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Madsen (Denmark), Maxim (Germany), Browning (Belgium) and Colt (USA).67 Represented here were the majority of light weapons from the interwar period. Equally impressive were lectures in diversionary-tactics and explosives delivered by I.Starinov. The traces of these lectures can be found in Starinovs prewar article in an expert journal, as well as his book and an anonymous textbook written during the Second WorldWar.68 The lectures covered the most diverse ways of utilizing explosive devices: regular instructions for handling the mines, factory and military explosives of Soviet and foreign origins and from the most primitive method of setting things aflame to the sophisticated methods of utilizing chemical and electrical lighters of the industrial and homemade production. Each example was followed by the detailed recipe how to produce the explosive device. Starinov also offered a detailed explanation how to produce explosives from unexploded grenades, mines and airplane bombs. For their production he suggested the formation of specially trained partisans. Starinov also trained his students how to build homemade bombs and devices for causing fire. He paid particular attention to the type of work which diversionary partisans would engage in. He taught his students various ways to blow up trains, railroads, cars and trucks, industrial objects and buildings. Evidently, the Soviets deemed it very important to train partisans in diversionary tactics.69 The program for partisans was brief and highly intensive. Depending on the knowledge and the needs of a group of students, the length of the training varied. If the parties had an opportunity to organize additional classes in their own country, the training lasted for three months. In contrast, members of completely illegal parties took classes for five-six months,70 and in special cases even longer (from eight months to one year).71 All general and introductory information was eliminated from the curriculum, and the end result of this approach was the complete contrast to the so called widely educated specialist. For example, lectures dealing with topography only covered the terrain in which the students were likely to be active. Careful selection of students was another way in which the education was expedited. Soviets trained young and active individuals, with previous war experience or at least in exceptional physical condition, free of family obligations, careful but adventurous.72 The future cadres were expected to be loyal, morally upright, but they had to be
67 68

69 70 71 72

Linder and Churkin, Krasnaia pautina, 480. I.G.Starinov, Iz praktiki podryvnogo dela. I, Voina i tekhnika 6 (1929); I.G.Starinov, Iz praktiki podryvnogo dela. II, Voina i tekhnika 3 (1930); I.G.Starinov, Iz praktiki podryvnogo dela. III, Voina i tekhnika 45 (1930); I.G.Starinov, Razrushaite tyl vraga (Chernigov: Voenizdat, 1941). Drabkin eds., Komintern, 790. Ibid., 789. Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii, 272. Ibid., 198.

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able to freely return to their countries.73 Starinov recalled his conversation with Iakir, who pointed out the complicated nature of the partisan training process. You must teach experienced and deserving people. Very experienced! Therefore, you must teach in a way which will not disappoint them. They should not study the bases. They need to have as much as possible of the new material. As much as possible! And you should keep in mind the students of tactical partisan operations for now perform better than you. So do not insult their egos and learn from them everything which you may need.74 J.Kopini described the Cominterns reliance on brief, intensive, highly professional and rich in content courses in preparation of its cadres.75 For efficient and fast-paced lectures on subversive operations, the instructors were expected to utilize the experience of all students. This was reflected in the fact that a graduate of these courses could become a full-fledged teacher of the next generation of students. Swierczewski wrote that even though most of the military teachers worked for the 4th Department (the military intelligence), the aim of the courses were to study the elementary military subjects (general tactics, partisan and street warfare, handling weapons, and so on)in the future, these comrades will lead a series of teaching groups independently, under the leadership of only one qualified specialist.76 Active circulation of ideas, later on, confused West European authors who were not aware of the branched-out mechanism for preparation of the partisan warfare in the USSR 19211937. As a result, they compared Mao Tse-tungs brochure The Question of Strategy of the Partisan Warfare against Japanese Conquerors published in 1937 and the communist partisan war in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe. Due to similarity of the activities undertaken by the Chinese and the European communist partisans, they came to the conclusion which at first glance may appear absurd that the partisan movement in USSSR was based on Mao Tse-tungs concept.77 The lectures were taught in the major international languages of that time: German and French (except Russian and Polish in some circumstances). This approach greatly facilitated the exchange of ideas amongst communists around the world.78 The atmosphere of relatively liberal partizanshchina did not fit into the general direction of the Soviet state in the second half of the 1930s. The investment over
73 74

75 76

77

78

Drabkin eds., Komintern, 788. This conversation was described in great detail in Starinov, Zapiski diversanta, chapter Partizanskaia shkola. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 16, 84. Ia.S.Drabkin eds., Komintern i ideia mirovoi revoliutsii. Dokumenty (Moscow: RAN IVI, FAS RF, RTsKhIDNI, 1998), 790. C.A.Dixon and O.Heilbrunn, Communist Guerilla Warfare (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954), 46. Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii, 265.

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the years into the world revolution appeared to be an irrational waste of resources which were necessary for the industrialization and the militarization of society on the eve of the looming global conflict. A good example of Stalins disappointment in Comintern and the international brotherhood of the working class were his reports at the 16th, 17th and 18th Party Congresses in 1930, 1934 and 1939, respectively. In 1930, Stalin believed that the working classes of the capitalist countries would not allow their countries to attack the USSR.79 Likewise, this belief remained unchanged in 1934 when Stalin promised to those gathered at the Congress that the war will not take place only on the frontlines, but also in the rear of the enemy numerous friends of the working class of the USSR in Europe and Asia will try to strike into the rear of their oppressors, who began a criminal war against the fatherland of the working class of all countries already on the second day of this war, some governments will not be in power who currently reign with Gods will.80 At the Congress in the spring of 1939, this optimism disappeared, and a rebellion in the countries ruled by bourgeois interventionists was not mentioned. Interestingly, Stalin enumerated seven bases of support for the Soviet foreign policy in a speech in 1939. The workers of the world came in second last, after the strength of the state, unity of the society, the strength of the Red Army and the skillfulness of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even this mentioning seemed to have been formal, as Stalin did not mention the possibility of a military rebellion. Instead, workers offered moral support to workers of all the countries interested in preserving peace.81 After the 7th Comintern Congress (1935), the Cadres Department (OK) took over the control of the Cominterns military affairs.82 As well as the Department for International Relations (OMS), the Cominterns intelligence agency, the OK was connected with various Soviet special services. OMS also had conspiratorial schools for signalers, which were different from diversionary schools which were run by the Organizational Department and the Cadres Department.83 However, OMS and OK were controlled by the NKVD. In this way, the important changes occurred in Comintern, as well as in the way the USSR controlled for79

80

81

82

83

I.Stalin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 113, (Moscow OGIZ Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo politicheskoi literatury, 19461951); vol. 1416, (Moscow: Pisatel, 1997); vol. 1718 (Tver, Severnaia korona-Soiuz, 20042006) I.Stalin, Otchetnyi doklad XVII sezdu partii, in ibid. tt. 13. Published for the first time in Pravda on January 28, 1934. I.Stalin, Otchetnyi doklad XVIII sezdu partii o rabote TsK VKP (b) in ibid., tt. 14. Published for the first time in Pravda on March 11, 1939. G.M.Adibekov, E.N.Shakhnazarova and K.K.Shirinia, Organizatsionnaia struktura Kominterna. 19191943 ( Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1997), 194195. Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii, 198.

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eign communist parties. The Spanish Civil War was the first practical test for Cominterns partisans, and it also offered an opportunity to test the willingness of the working masses for revolution. Even the cadres which were not seriously prepared for military action were sent to Spain. The bloody misfortune of the Spanish people was used to test new military technology, as well as the usefulness of partisan tactics.

Education and preparation of the Yugoslav partisan cadres before the Second World War
Cadres from all the communist parties underwent training for the partisan warfare, and so was the case with KPJ. This type of training was more secretive than general-theoretical courses, and therefore, it was less mentioned in published memoirs. The USSR and foreign communists agreed on this point. The former wanted to conceal the preparations for subversion as well as the hypocrisy of their policies; the Foreign Ministry preached peaceful coexistence while the Comintern trained the military-partisan cadres of every important party in the Comintern. The latter wanted to avoid the label of being foreign mercenaries, which was a powerful propaganda line by the communists opponents. After the Second World War, the topic of partisan training became even more sensitive. In countries in which the rebellion succeeded and in which the communists participated in the resistance movement to various degree (China, USSR, Yugoslavia, Poland, Slovakia, France, Italy), communists tended to view the rebellion as an expression of the spontaneous support of the masses for the communist ideology, while neglecting other factors. In countries in which Comintern judged that the rebellion would lead to senseless destruction of the party and where the trained cadres were used for military-intelligence purposes (Germany, Austria, Hungary), the work of the graduates of special schools had anti-state connotations, which communists tried to hide behind the mask of spontaneity and peoples dissatisfaction. After 1948, the Yugoslav leaders began to insist on the absolutely independent origins of their Partisan movement and they did not have any reason to bring into the picture facts which countered this assertion. Nonetheless, evidence of the Cominterns involvement in preparing KPJ for the Partisan warfare can be found in autobiographies written for the IKKI internal

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purposes and the Comintern documents accessible to researchers 84 We will try to put the pieces together of this exceptionally fragmented mosaic. Mustafa Golubis autobiography, written on January, 31, 1933, for the Comintern, is one of the earliest sources which mention the participation of Yugoslavs in the Comintern schools. According to Golubi, in January, 1930, the party sent him to Moscow to a special school, where he studied for four months, after which he was hired by the Comintern to work in its apparatus.85 In his characteristics written by an OK IKKI agent on February, 10, 1941, it is stated that Golubi completed a four-month course in MLSh.86 He had rich experience even before his specialization in the USSR.87 After he completed the IKKI school, he was used for tasks requiring expertise. For instance, in 1934, he was sent to Germany with the aim of reorganizing the Central Military Organization of German Communists and their intelligence agency (Nachrichten dienst).88 In memoirs written later on, Vlajko Bogovi described the life of a KUNMZ student. It was not difficult for us to study day and night. We competed in studying and our Yugoslav group was frequently among the first at the University. For this, it was necessary not only to work, but also to help those who were falling behind. We learned military science, war techniques and achieved great results in firing from rifles, automatic rifles and machine guns. We went on lengthy night marches with military equipment and masks covering our faces, sometimes in temperature of minus twenty degrees. We spent nights clearing the snow from railroad tracks, went to kolkhozes to convince the disinterested peasants to sow the earth on time, and we helped them to do this. We did a lot of other things; but nothing was too difficult for us.89 Josip Kopini studied at KUNMZ, and after it was shut down, he was sent to MLSh until 1936. He recorded this in the biographical section of his report to the Comintern about his participation in the Spanish Civil War, written on November 28, 1938. Kopinis report is interesting because it reveals what he was taught in
84

85 86 87

88 89

The Comintern archive is kept at RGASPI. However, a significant part of documents relating to the Cominterns intelligence agency are missing (or they are inaccessible to researchers), as well as communication between the Comintern and the Soviet military and police intelligence services. According to the leading Russian biographer of Tito, N.V.Bondarev, some important documents are held at a depo in the city of Yokshar-Ola. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 1804, 37. Ibid., 45. Nonetheless, M. Golubi began to cooperate with the Russian military intelligence during the First WorldWar. He was part of the Serbian Royal Mission in 1915 which pleaded with the Russian military authorities to allow them to recruit volunteers from the Russian prisoner of war camps in Central Asia. There were not many volunteers 321 soldiers in total from two prisoner of war camps. O.P.Nadtochii, Iugoslavskie voennoplennye v Turkestane (19141917), in Voprosy sotsialno-ekonomicheskoi istorii dorevoliutsionnogo Turkestana: Sbornik nauchykh trudov Tashkentskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta im. V.I.Lenina, ed. G.A.Khidoiatov (Tashkent: TashGU, 1985), 6480. Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii, 264. AJ, f. MG, d. 2047/2, 2526.

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MLSh, and how he utilized this knowledge in practice. Upon his arrival in Spain, Kopini was assigned a task based on his military expertise. He was allowed to choose between joining the navy (he was educated in the Yugoslav Royal Navy) or to become an infantry commander. However, from his report, it becomes obvious that the education which Kopini obtained in Comintern did not fit with the role of a classical infantry commander. He was sent to organize a partisan detachment with the help of colleagues from the Comintern, under the leadership of Comrade Kurta, a specialist for partisans, explosives and military affairs. His narrow specialization in organizing partisan detachments and engaging in diversionary activities in the enemys rear becomes obvious from further reading of the report. Kopini did not even consider the possibility that he could join the permanent frontline where the police and soldier detachments could be found. Since partisan operations were impossible in Estremadura, he was consequently forced to ask to be relocated elsewhere. He was sent to Mengibar, where was also unable to organize partisan detachments. Thus, he became a military instructor (teaching military tactics, the handling of weapons and other military skills). Kopini and another colleague from the Comintern also worked as military-security investigators. They questioned refugees and peasants from the fascist-held territories about the enemy positions, strength, and so on. At the same time, Kopini participated in organization of nighttime attacks behind the enemys frontline, with the aim of destroying railroad stations and bridges. These operations were not completely successful because Spaniards refused to approve his plans. Afterwards, people from Kurtovs group (Kopini among them) were transferred to special units of foreigners, each consisting of twenty-five people. The units engaged in diversionary actions against the railroads to stop the fascist offensive on Madrid. Within this group Kopini was also responsible for training the soldiers and he participated in nighttime attacks on the most sensitive locations. Later on, he organized peasants into armed and diversionary groups, and with help of the former, he organized the defense of specific places. With the help of the latter, he tried to organize diversionary attacks in the enemys rear. Simultaneously, he was busy arresting and neutralizing Trotskyite and fascist agents among officers subordinated to him. In lectures with the younger generation of diversionary-partisans he mostly dealt with the subject of mining railroads to derail the trains. Only after all of these activities, Kopini was transferred to navy.90 Numerous Yugoslav communists were trained in the Cominterns schools in the USSR (which meant that they were also trained in the skills relating to partisan warfare). We will only mention the more prominent organizers of the partisan warfare. Rodoljub okalovi left the Kingdom of Yugoslavia for the USSR in
90

RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 16, 6779.

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1933, where he graduated from MLSh. After, okalovi worked in the Comintern apparatus, and in 1936 he was sent abroad for conspiratorial work and as many other future partisan leaders he participated in the Spanish CivilWar. Ivan Gonjak also graduated from MLSh. After this, he received additional military training, and then he was transferred to Spain. Milan Blagojevi was educated in the USSR 19351936, and he eventually became the first Commander of the First umadija Partisan Detachment. Edvard Kardelj was educated at MLSh in 1935 1936 (and later on he worked in MLSh and KUNMY as an instructor), and he became the organizer of Partisan detachments in Slovenia. Ivan Lavevi-Lui was educated at KUNMY, and in April, 1941, he was appointed head of the Military Commission of the Communist Party of Croatia. Ale Bebler also studied in the USSR. He was the Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian Partisan Detachments in the initial phases of the uprising, and an author of a series of instructions for partisan warfare. Svetislav Stefanovi ea studied at KUNMY 19301933. In 1941 worked as an instructor for the Communist Party of Serbia and organized the Partisan Detachments in umadija.91 As was already mentioned, after completion of their studies, good students participated in the process of training the next generation of students. Boidar Maslari also had something to say about the technological school of the Comintern. 92 Already as a student and a teacher at KUNMZ, Maslari attended a six-month technical international Comintern school with a larger group of communists from Germany. His main motive for transferring was financial he was attracted by a stipend of thirty rubles. At the time, thirty rubles was a relatively small amount of money to change professional profile and future destiny. As a result, it can be guessed that he did not wish to openly talk about the details of the technical school. Later on, Maslari was a teacher in the technical school, but he emphasized order and unity (that is, the lack of fractional fighting) which were present amongst his students. Maslari does not mention any specialized subjects which were, as we have seen from the above mentioned sources, obviously present in Comintern schools, MLSh and KUMNY. After the Civil War began, the Comintern sent Maslari to Spain. In his description of his activities in Spain, Maslari also tried to minimize his military-political contributions. However, according to Kopini (who wrote the report for Comintern) and Vlahovi, the partisans definitely did not fit into the category of ordinary fighters. Later on, Maslari said more accurately that
91

92

Vojna enciklopedija, tt. 110, 2. izd., (Belgrade: Redakcija Vojne enciklopedije 19701978); Leksikon narodnooslobodilakog rata i revolucije u Jugoslaviji: 19411945 (Belgrade: Narodna knjiga, 1980); Narodni heroji Jugoslavije (Belgrade: Narodna knjiga, 19821983). Even though he published his memoirs, (B.Maslari, Moscow Madrid Moscow (Zagreb: Prosvjeta, 1952) the archive of the so called technical school has more interesting information, see AJ, f. MG, d. 1489/4.

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the time which he spent with partisans in Spain was connected with the work of special diversionary group which tried to prevent Francos offensive on Madrid by wreaking havoc behind the fascists frontlines. Maslari was transferred to a commanding position in an international unit after he was wounded.93 Blagoje Parovi was educated at KUNMZ, and he also taught there. He was killed as a political commissar of The International Brigade. Karlo Mrazovi (19021987), responsible for control of the Yugoslav students at KUNMZ, discussed the selection of cadres who were undergoing training in Moscow. According to him, there was a secret department, which was controlled by the GPU, which had a strictly guarded index of students, their biographies, information from the questionnaires, and photographs. Except KUNMZ and the graduate school, Mrazovi also completed The Military Academy and had the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the USSR.94 Evidently, Mrazovis reminiscences which were written in 1960 were cautious and coordinated with the official Yugoslav line.95 Peria Kosti offered the most precise information about his education in the USSR. He completed a special NKVD school, which was certainly different from the Cominterns educational system, since it specialized in educating security agents. Nonetheless, he was used to prepare future flag-bearers of communism in the Balkans. Kosti was educated in a special NKVD school on the Albanian Square in Moscow (he probably had in mind the Arbat Square in central Moscow) for twenty four months (19341936). According to his memories, Kosti had twenty one subjects, out of which he remembered military training, shooting, physical education and Jiu Jitsu, radio-telegraphs, mathematics, topography, motors, aerodynamics, ciphering and diversion.96 Special attention was paid to diversions, types of explosives, how to handle explosive devices, different type of mines During those years, there were five to six Yugoslavs with Kosti.97
93 94 95

96

97

AJ, f. MG, d. 1489/4, 15. AJ, f. MG, d. 2020, 13. Mrazovis admission that he supposedly received the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel after the completion of the academy but before his departure for Spain is significant. Mainly, a foreigner could have obtained this rank in the USSR in the 1930s only in the NKVD or RU RKKA. Even more interesting is the fact that the rank of lieutenant-colonel or its equivalent the senior battalion commissar did not appear in the Soviet military system until September 1, 1939, according to the Law on the General military Obligation. Evidently, these ranks were being assigned when the Spanish Civil War was already over. Mrazovi was already in Yugoslavia illegally, where he was arrested at the end of 1939 and held in jail in Lepoglav. In the system of security structures, the rank lieutenant-colonel appeared even later, by a special order which the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR signed on February 9, 1943. Kosti probably confused Jiu Jitsu with Sambo, the Russian martial art (abbreviations for Self-Defense without Weapons), V.P.Volkov, Kurs samozashchity bez oruzhiia Sambo. Uchebnoe posobie dlia shkol NKVD (Moscow: Izdanie shkolno-kursovogo otdeleniia otdela kadrov NKVD SSSR, 1940). M.Kovaevi, Ispovest Perie Kostia, majora NKVD iz upe Nikike (Belgrade: P.Kosti, 2004), 93.

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It must not be forgotten that Josip Broz Tito himself was educated in a technical school and that he himself taught there.98 Titos personal dossier held in the Central Party Archive of the Communist Party of the USSR testifies to this fact.99 His official biographer, V.Dedijer, cites that Tito claimed that he read books independently in Moscow. I paid most attention to studying economy and philosophy. I also read extensively the military literature, reading above all Frunze and then especially German classics Clausewitz and others. In this way during my stay in Moscow I greatly expanded my knowledge about military problems. Dedijer admitted that Tito delivered lectures at the International Lenin School and at the Communist University of National Minorities of the West, but only to Yugoslav groups at the rate of twenty rubles per hour.100 Records of Titos education and lectures in the USSR in his Comintern dossier are fragmented.101 Nonetheless, there are several traces of information about the future Yugoslav leaders education in the USSR. There is an indication that Tito could have completed a course on conspiracy in Moscow. He wrote a poem on the backside of a paper which discussed how to create ink for a hectograph, which he left amongst his personal belonging in the USSR.102 German language was used in the Cominterns military-technical schools, and the recipe for hectograph ink most likely originated from the course on the party technique, which dealt with the question of illegal printing presses. A document from the OK testifies that Josip Broz was an instructor. KPJ representatives to the Comintern, Vladimir opi under the pseudonym Senjko (18911939) and Ivan Kariavanov who headed the cadre questions of the
98

99

100 101

102

P.Simi, Tito agent Kominterne (Belgrade: ABC Product, 1990); N.V.Bondarev, Zagadka Tito. Moskovskie gody Iosipa Broza (19351937 gg.) (Moscow: FIV-RISI, 2012); E.V.Matonin, Iosip Broz Tito (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 2012). RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 21. Part of the documents which deal with the prewar period do not have page numbers and they are not chronologically arranged. V.Dedijer, Josip Broz Tito, prilozi za biografiju (Belgrade: Kultura, 1953), 237. By comparing Titos dossier with the similar dossiers from opis 277 (the Comintern agents in Yugoslavia), we can conclude that Tito had at least one more dossier. This guess is based on the fact that Titos dossier in RGASPI does not contain any original documents about him from the war and postwar periods. Also, there is a relatively large quantity of archival copies from the postwar period, which also indicates that there is another dossier to his name. Likely, the FSB Archive or the Presidential Archive, which are reluctant to grant access to scholars, has this dossier which one day will throw light on Titos personality. Hectograph machine for reproduction of various types of texts (printed, drawn, written) on a gelatin bar. It was invented in 1869 by a Russian chemist M.I.Alisov. Due to its simplicity the hectograph became a popular tool in Czarist Russia for the opposition, and after 1917, for those who opposed the communist dictatorship. As a result, from 1922 until the collapse of the USSR, unlicensed use of hectograph was banned. In the atmosphere of fear and seclusion which reigned amongst the Comintern employees in Moscow in the 1930s, a private exchange of opinions on this topic seems unlikely. Even though in the early 20th Century the hectograph was widely used in numerous European countries, the recipe for hectograph ink could not have been a topic of private communication in the USSR and it is almost impossible that any of the foreign communists would have carried the recipe around.

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Balkan Secretariat, wrote a recommendation on Titos behalf on May 21, 1935, which claimed that Comrade Friedrich Walter deserves trust to perform educational tasks. Apart from these archival documents, a series of memoirs mention these events. Jasper Ridley, one of Titos biographers, cites that Tito attended lectures on military tactics in a Red Army school. His source was an interview with M.Buber-Neumann, who was active in the IKKI in Moscow, 19351936.103 Starinov, an instructor in pre-war special schools and from June, 1944, the Chief of Staff of the Soviet Military Mission in Yugoslavia, agreed with this claim. He had several contacts with Tito and until the end of his life (interviews in 19971999) he had an exceptionally positive opinion and respect for the Partisan leader. Starinov claimed that Tito had a solid partisan training.104 Kopini also recalled that Tito taught some courses in Moscow.105 In the already mentioned book, Vladimir Piatnitskii wrote: some lectures in military-political school were held with the assistance of translators. Two to three months passed, and he was already unnecessary lectures were delivered by Togliatti, Gekert, Knorin, Manuilskii and Tito106 The present-day leading Titos biographers, P.Simi and N.Bondarev, believe that it is very likely that Tito received special training and that he participated military-political lectures in Comintern schools. Considering that Titos Comintern dossier does not have any direct information about his education in these institutions, we should be careful in making any firm conclusions. At the same time, if the indirect information from memoirs written by Piatnitskii, Buber-Neumann and Starinov) are correct, then the lack of information about Titos education in the Comintern schools in his Comintern dossier can mean only one thing Tito completed his studies in educational institutions belonging to other institutions (NKVD or RU RKKA) who did not inform the Comintern about their cadre decisions.107 As was already said, the Spanish Civil War was exceptionally important in maturing of the Cominterns partisan cadres. The older students who attended Cominterns schools had an opportunity to prove their knowledge in practice, while the younger generation of fighters had an excellent opportunity to test their knowledge in battle conditions, instead of school desks. It must be pointed out that some Comintern cadres did not appreciate their baptism by fire, even though
103 104 105 106 107

D. Ridli, Tito Biografija (Novi Sad: Mir, Prometej, 1998). Starinov, Miny. V.Ceni, Enigma Kopini (Belgrade: Rad, 1983), 4446. Piatnitskii, Osip Piatnitskii, 276. In this context, R.Zorgeas case is illustrative. He worked for RU RKKA for many years, while IKKI viewed him as an ordinary, almost useless German communist until his arrest. N. S. Lebedeva and M.M.Narinskii, eds., Komintern i vtoraia mirovaia voina. Sbornik dokumentov Chast II (Moscow: RAN IVI, FAS RF, RTsKhIDNI, 1994), 17.

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the Civil War in Spain was the last step in the prewar preparation of the partisan cadres. The Yugoslav cadres were present in school desks of partisan academies until the very end of their existence, that is, until the Spanish Civil War began. The KPJ students were present in the last year that the partisan academies operated in the USSR in 19361937.108 As NKVD hunted down the participants of the military-terrorist conspiracies, the Soviet instructors could prepare the new partisan cadres only in Spain. According to Mrazovi, responsible for the Yugoslav cadres, the number of Yugoslavs in the international brigades in Spain was exceptionally high. He claimed that the Yugoslavs were the second (after the French) most numerous nationality amongst the volunteers. There were 1, 2001, 300 Yugoslavs in the volunteer brigades, most of whom where Slovenians and Croats, even though all Yugoslav nations had their own representatives. Even though only half of the Yugoslavs survived the Spanish war, according to Mrazovi, six hundred qualified and ready fighters was an exceptionally high number.109 V.Vlahovis data concurs with this number.110 Ivan Gonjak, the future commander of Croatias General Staff, provided the most detailed description in his memoirs of the preparation which the Comintern cadres underwent before their departure for Spain.111 Gonjak was in the Soviet Union attending a course in a party school at the beginning of the Spanish CivilWar. He wrote: in the party school in Moscow we studied many military subjects such as: tactics, topography, infantry weaponry; we fired from rifles and guns. In addition to all of this, we went camping for three weeks where we studied partisan and street battles.112 During 1936, out of twenty-five Yugoslavs in Gonjaks group, only three people went to Spain: the head of the group B.Maslari and two students. In the autumn of 1936, it was time for the rest of the group to depart. At the end of 1936, the Cominterns Department of Cadres (the Cominterns internal security service which worked closely with other Soviet intelligence agencies NKVD and RU RKKA), invited Gonjak to visit them. Gonjak wrote: I was greeted by a comrade, I dont know who he was, or his nationality. He posed several general questions to me he asked me whether I would be ready to prove my beliefs in practice. After I gave him a positive reply, he asked me whether I would be ready to go to China. This question surprised me, but I gave him a posi108 109 110 111

112

RGASPI, f. 495, o. 20, d. 848, 23. AJ, f. MG, d. 18/121, 5. AJ, f. 512, d. II/287, 13. I. Gonjak, Iz Sovjetskog Saveza u Republikansku paniju, panija. 19361939, Zbornik seanja, 302303. Ibid. 303.

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tive answer.113 Majority of his comrades from school were also called into the Department for Cadres. They were asked the same questions, except that some of them were asked about going to Spain. Gonjak pointed out that nobody from the party leadership knew about the conversation. In early January, 1937, Gonjak and his school comrades were signed out of the Lenin School in Moscow and were sent to Ryazan. The future Red Commanders were placed in barracks, they were given Soviet army uniforms and they were told that they were about to attend a military course before being sent to Spain.114 Gonjak said: the conspiracy was huge. We could not leave the barracks individually. We did not even get to keep the conspiratorial names which we used in Moscow, instead, each one of us instead of a name received a number. I was number thirty-six.115 At the end of the course, with a falsified Czechoslovak passport, Gonjak was sent to Spain with his friends. The story of their departure from the USSR must be complemented with how they arrived to Spain, which was described by Boidar Maslari.116 Immediately after their arrival to Madrid, Maslari went to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain. The cannon fire was firing over the city, while in some parts rifle shots could be heard, but there were many communist flags. Jose Dias and Pasionaria at first began to question how their struggle was viewed in Moscow, what were the political news, who is on the way to Spain from Moscow, and finally, what are Maslaris war skills and his military education?117 After a lunch and a conversation, they sent Maslari to the 5th Regiments Headquarters. There, he encountered a conference. The topic of discussion was the defense of Madrid. General Kleber, an Austrian advisor to the 5th Regiment, was delivering a speech in front of a military map. Lister, the Commander of the 5th Regiment, Karlos, the political commissar of the unit, and other commanders of the unit were present at the conference. They spoke English, but it was translated to Spanish. Kleber was explaining the situation and offered his advice on what needed to be done. The following quote captured the level of the Cominterns and Moscows involvement in these events: They spoke English slowly. Vidyalaya translated to Spanish, while we were winking at each other. I was irritated by this. I was turning in my chair and thinking that by working like this, so slowly, every battle must be lost. I almost shouted: why dont you speak Russian, when
113 114

115 116 117

Ibid., 302. The base in Riazan where Gonjak and his comrades were trained was part of the Riazans Infantry Academy, an elite school for infantry officers. Later on, Riazans Higher Academy for Officers of the Airborn Troops was formed on its bases. This Academy is somewhat analogous to the famous American Fort Bragg. Gonjak, Iz Sovjetskog Saveza303. Maslari, U zemlji borbe in panija. 19361939, Zbornik seanja, 1112. Ibid., 11.

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more than fifty percent of participants of this conference know that language because most of them were in the Soviet Union? Kaiser explained to me after the conference that a directive from Moscow urged them not to speak Russian, so as to conceal Moscows meddling in Spanish internal affairs.118 The importance of the military school for the Cominterns Yugoslav graduates is difficult to overestimate. Mrazovi, in charge of Yugoslavs who were educated in the USSR, wrote: A large number of these people completed political schools in the USSR, and also through military schools they obtained higher military education. The majority had higher officer ranks the fact was that the schooling of these people cost Comintern millions the Spanish volunteers became sworn enemies of fascism through the battles and everything which they survived they gained military experience, which they transferred to their countries. The Yugoslav Spanish volunteers during the National Liberation War and the Revolution were the political and military cadre of their party and the people.119 Even young generation of the Yugoslav Partisan agreed with this view. According to Vlahovi, the Civil War in Spain was an inexhaustible source of the open beauty of the battle.120 There is no doubt that the organization of the partisan war in Spain had its drawbacks and mistakes (the best proof of this is the fact that the war was lost). After the Cominform Resolution, the Yugoslav Spaniards criticized in their memoirs the Comintern and the USSR for the way in which they organized the partisan war in Spain, as well as for irrational use of military specialists ready for organization of the partisan war.121 Kopinis detailed report about the war was different, and perhaps more realistic.122 He cited a series of factors which hindered the complete realization of plans for the partisan warfare behind Francos units: poor organization as a result of the multi-party system in which each party pushed its own military line and lack of trust by the Spanish commanders.123 The most important, however, was the resistance of local fighters towards the newcomers. According to Kopini, the local commanders did not have the slightest wish to counter the wishes of their fighters, because as they told us, if we attack the enemy, he will attack us, and its more peaceful without that. They viewed us from this point of view a group of foreigners who are supposedly leading an action and in this way disturb the peace. I.G.Starinov mostly agreed with Kopini, recollecting
118 119 120 121 122 123

Ibid,, 12. AJ, f. MG, d. 18/121, 56. , f. 512, d. II/270, 3. AJ, f. MG, d. 18/121, 5; , f. 512LFVV, d. II/251, 14. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 16, 69. The officer corps was typically skeptical towards the usefulness of the diversionary tactics before the Second WorldWar.

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Role of the USSR in preparation of the partisan and civil war

that he was prevented from engaging in diversionary actions because of the fear of causing civilian casualties and bad publicity.124 The revolutionary cadres from various communist parties obtained practical experience which none of the training in the Soviet Union could offer. The whistling of enemy bullets, wounds and sudden death of close friends were a painful but important experience for the future leaders of the Yugoslav Partisan formations.125 There was another important, but less visible, side to this war the Soviet instructors were active in Spain in providing special training to partisans. Vlahovi discussed Braco Vice in this context. Vice was a student before the Civil War, and he was a machine gunner in Spain, and after Bracowas in a partisan brigade. This was actually a detachment for diversionary actions, which crossed the enemy line twice a month, with special tasks, and after fulfilling its task it would return back to the base.126 In order to organize a new government, the republicans needed a security service. Vlahovi worked for a time (unsuccessfully) as an investigator in the counter-intelligence agency of the International Brigades (Servicio de Investigacion Militar). Unlike the specialists in diversionary acts, who had to learn to work with explosives and to obtain other similar skills, members of the security institutions had to learn investigative work, they had to become masters of conspiracy and they had to be unquestioningly obedient towards the higher authorities. Apart from investigative functions (uncovering conspiracies and unmasking the enemy agents), the new security cadres had to learn other specific skills. According to Vlahovi, the higher authorities decided how to deal with the arrested enemy agents. As for them, he said: who the higher authorities were and where they were located, I didnt know and it didnt interest me.127 This blind obedience was unrivaled, even for the NKVD investigators who had to know from where they took orders. The Yugoslav participants of the Spanish Civil War did not discuss in their memoirs the role of the Soviet military-technical instructors who taught the tactics of the partisan and diversionary warfare to selected members of the International Brigades. We already mentioned Vaupshasov who together with his friends from Belorussia became an advisor for organizing special units.128 One of these instructors for diversionary actions I.Starinov- wrote about this work in greater detail. Starinovs immediate chief was Ian Berzin (18891938) who was in charge of RU RKKA from 1924 to 1935.129 He was basically the founder of the Soviet
124 125 126 127 128 129

Starinov, Zapiski diversanta. , f. 512LFVV, d. II/251, 1. Ibid.,, 1. , f. 512LFVV, d. 2/48, 1. Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh, chapter Partizanskii korpus. Starinov, Zapiski diversanta.

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military-security service, and from 1936 he was the main military advisor to the Republican Spanish Army.130 Berzin personally chose Starinovs task to train cadres in the techniques of diversion and tactics of partisan warfare.131 A leading RKKA specialist in these areas, Starinov tended to share his knowledge with his students in field conditions without the support of special laboratory.132 Starinov was not only an instructor. He often personally led the international diversionary-partisan units in action. He and his group successfully targeted Grenadas hydroelectric plant, numerous bridges, important, strategic railroads and trains loaded with soldiers, munitions and supplies. With the support of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain, the preparations went by quickly. The first school was set up in Valencias suburbs. The first group of twelve young students was headed by Captain Domingo Ungrija.133 Later on, Starinovs unit was transferred to Albacete, where Spaniards were reinforced with the fighters from International Brigades. Starinov recollected that at first two Yugoslavs appeared Ivan Hari and Ivan Karbovanc.134 Ivan Hari was stocky, while Ivan Karbovanc was thin and tall. Their friends called them jokingly Pat and Patachon. Later on, in Domingos Detachment they received nicknames Huan the Small and Huan the Great. Both of them were sailors, and they knew English, French, Spanish and Russian, while Ivan Grande also knew Italian. Starinov described Hari as a quiet, reliable and good student, as well as a dependable friend and a bold fighter.135 In one mission, a group of fighters under Haris command succeeded in destroying a group of enemy troops sixty kilometers behind the frontlines. Starinov also mentioned Ljuba Ili, another famous Yugoslav in the Diversionary Battalion, who reached the position of the units Chief of Staff. He left the Diversionary Battalion only after he was wounded. Starinov talked
130 131 132

133

134

135

O.A.Gorchakov, Ian Berzin komandarm GRU (Saint Petersburg: Neva, 2004). Starinov, Zapiski diversanta. Starinov prepared the TNT from the mines made for seas, and he turned the cheap wrist watches into ticking lighters. For production of improvised ticking lighters he used potatoes, apples, and in Spain, oranges. The ticking lighter was ignited by a rotting fruit when it would completely dry up. For these improvised ticking lighters, Starinov suggested that any natural ingredients could be used: sugar, drought, bad weather, even mice. In this way, the ticking could be set from few minutes up to one year. Again, as in the courses in the USSR, Starinov explained how to produce homemade bombs and mines from melted explosives or pieces of water pipes filled with nails and barb wire. Against the cars on the roads, he used improvised bombs and ordinary mechanical traps made from several pieces of metal wire which would blow up the car tires, Starinov, Zapiski diversanta, chapter My internatsionalisty. O.Gorchakov, Ian Berzin, on zhe general Grishin. Sudba komandarma nevidimogo fronta, Novaia i Noveishaia istoriia 2 (1989): 131159. It was not clear to them why Starinov used another name. Ivan Hari said that he reached Starinov with Filip Vodopija, who according to the Society of Spanish Fighters, died on September 20, 1939, at Levant Front, I.Hari, Diverzant (Zagreb: n. p., 2007), 33; I.Hari, Dnevnik diverzantskih akcija u Hrvatskoj (Zagreb: Spektar, 1977), 78. Starinov had a high opinion of Hari and recorded exceptionally positive remarks about him, RGVA, lichnyi fond I.G.Starinova.

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about Ili with unconcealed sorrow, as he described the heroic way in which he held himself after he was wounded in an explosion. Starinovs unit, in addition to the Yugoslavs, also had fighters from Germany, Austria, France, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, USA and Bulgaria. The Soviet instructors used the reproductive principal in Spain, so that several Yugoslavs not only mastered the skills in partisan-diversionary tactics, but became instructors as well. Hari was one of these Yugoslavs, and he wrote about this in his memoirs. I learned the practical school of diversionary warfare in Spain, in the CivilWar. While in guerilla units, I received training in a special course in diversion-skills offered by the Soviet instructors. I successfully completed the course in diversionary-skill in a fortress in Figueres and after a twomonth training I was sent to train Spaniards and members of the International Brigades in diversionary tactics. I held several such courses, and then together with other diversionary-partisans I crossed the frontline with the task of destroying communications, electric power plants, transmission lines, factories and other objects in Francos rear in the Civil War, I went all over Spain destroying fascist communications.136 P.Kosti also wrote in his memoirs about his work as an instructor. Immediately after completing the NKVD school in Moscow, Kosti was given an opportunity to use his knowledge in Spain. Then, I was transferred to a military school in Pozerubio which was attended by proven fighters. They have shown heroism, special dedication and responsibility in battles. They deserved to be promoted, but they needed to go through expert military training. In the school, there were members of International Brigades from Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and other countries. From ours [the Yugoslavs A.F.], iko Pavlovi taught political lessons, Boidar Maslari, whom I knew from Beli Manastir, and me were responsible to train the students in diversionary actions. In school I ran again into piro Vidovi, and I met Ilija Hari Gramovnik with whom I became closeIn school in Pozerubio and outside I quickly encountered many Yugoslavs. Apart from Andrija Mili, piro Vujovi and iko Pavlovi, I met Veljko Vlahovi and others from that group of students, fourteen of them. This was already in 1937. I also ran into Kosta Nadj, noncommissioned officer in the Yugoslav Royal Army, who was a commander on the Madrid Front and had his own unit. There were many Montenegrins. I remember Vesa Brajevi, a student Kovaevi, who was not from Grahovo and was not related to Sava Kovaevi, but he was from Durmitor. But there were Kovaevis from Danilovgrad, all students. Luka Vujai from Grahovo was in SpainI met Danilo Leki, I heard of Peko Dapevi but we did not meet him in Spain. Amongst the Montenegrins there was Pero Dragii. There were many
136

Hari, Dnevnik, 78.

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people from Lika in the International Brigades. I will mention Marko Orekovi and Beria Vuka. I met the majority of our countrymen in the military school in Albacete. That was the case with some Dalmatians, one of which was Ivo, he lost his eye in Spain. Otmar Kreai was in the school.137 The considerably expanded unit trained by Starinov was transferred from Albacete to Jaen, after which it undertook diversionary attacks near Cordoba and Grenada. Later on, this unit was filled with international cadres until it became a Diversionary Battalion. This unit became famous and it was visited and written about by I.Erenburg, M.Koltsov and E.Hemmingway. The creation of the Battalion for special purposes posed a question who are we? Previously, they called us miners, and explosive command and partisans. Explosive commands and miners set up explosives and mines usually on their own territory, for example, during a withdrawal, and partisans must work behind the enemy line. We did not fit any of these types. That is why they began to call us diversionists. Diversionists must know how to set up explosives and mines undetected, and to withdraw undetected, and if required, to stay on the enemy territory undetected as long as was necessary. This was how the First Diversionary Battalion was born. This was not the only such unit, however. Starinov mentions a series of Vaupshasovs colleagues (M.K.Kochegarov, N.A.Prokopuk and A.K.Sprogis) as instructors in other special partisan-diversionary units.138 The unit in which Starinov worked as an instructor grew from a Diversionary Battalion into the famous XIV Partisan Corps, which had three thousand fighters. Until Starinovs departure from Spain at the end of 1937, the Corp managed to carry out around two hundred actions, as a result of which the enemy lost two thousand soldiers and noncommissioned officers. During this period, the unit lost only fourteen fighters. Starinov was not the only Soviet instructor who participated in the organization of partisan detachments in Spain. At the time when Starinov was an advisor for diversion in Domingo Ungrijas unit, H.U.Mamsurov was the senior advisor for intelligence matters from August, 1936 until October, 1937.139 G.Syroezhkin, L.P.Vasilevskii, N.G.Kovalenko, S.A.Vaupshasov and others worked in the XIV Partisan Corps as advisors.140 Apart from the school in Valencia where I.G.Starinov worked, another school for preparation of partisan cadres existed
137 138

139

140

Kovaevi, Ispovest, 106107. E.A.Parshina, Dinamit dlia senority: Dokum. povest o A.K.Sprogise: Otr. iz isp. Dnevnika (Moscow: Sov. pisatel, 1989); Boiarskii, ed.,.Diversanty Zapadnogo fronta; L.K.Parshin, E.A.Parshina, Razvedka bez mifov (Moscow: Politizdat, 1985). A.Prasol, Po kom zvonil kolokol, Krasnaia zvezda, September 15, 1993; Boiarskii, ed.,.Diversanty Zapadnogo fronta. Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh perekrestkakh, 207208..

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Role of the USSR in preparation of the partisan and civil war

in Barcelona.141The Soviet instructor Zh. A. Ozol was the head of this school, while A.F.Zvagin ran courses in explosives and diversionary tactics.142 After Starinovs departure, the advisors in the Corps were N.K.Patrahaltsev and later on V.A.Troian; all three found themselves in the Balkans as advisors for diversionary activities in Yugoslavia and Greece, 19441945.143 The last Soviet military advisors for special skills of partisan warfare H.U.Mamsurov, N.Patrahaltsev, N.I.Shchelokov and others left Spain at the end of the war in a submarine. Their experience was valued and used in the USSR, unlike numerous other Soviet leaders in Spain whose lives ended in NKVD jails. Mamsurov became the head of RU RKKA Diversionary Department A, Patrahaltsev became his deputy, and Shchelokov became senior advisor.144 Starinov was appointed the head of the Central Scientific-Experimental Firing Range.145 Vaupshasov stayed in Spain until the very fall of the Republic, maintaining relations with Domingo Hungra, the commander of the XIV corps.146 Starinov highly valued his experience as an instructor in Spain. In his memoires he wrote with pride that the Civil War in Spain was the place of birth of the modern diversionary- warfare. Moreover, according to Starinov, the experiences in diversionary warfare by fighters of the XIV Corps greatly assisted them in organizing the communist partisan detachments in France, Italy and Yugoslavia during the Second WorldWar. Some of the veterans continued with this work after the Second World War, so that four of them landed with Fidel Castro on Playa Giron.

141

142 143

144 145 146

The precise geographical location of this school has not been determined. Ivan Hari and Peria Kosti provide the geographical location for two schools. The former obtained his first education in diversionary tactics in the Fortress of Figueras. Afterward, he was assigned to Starinovs unit. Kosti mentioned another school Pozerubino, which he later referred to as the school in Albacete. Vaupshasov mentions two other places, schools in Barcelona and Valencia. O.Gorchakov said that the Partisan schools existed in Valencia, Haen, Vilanueva-de-Cordava and another more mysterious school twenty kilometers northwest of Barcelona. Gorchakov, Ian Berzin. Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh perekrestkakh, 168169. V. Troian, Chetyrnadtsatyi spetsialnyi, in My internatsionalisty. Vospominaniia sovetskikh dobrovoltsev uchastnikov natsionalno-revoliutsionnoi voiny v Ispanii, comp. S. M. Aleksandrovskaia (Moscow: Politizdat, 1986). I.Shchelokov and S.Kozlov, Moia istoriia: Diversantom on stal v Ispanii, Bratishka 1 (2006). Starinov, Soldat stoletiia, 5. Vaupshasov, Na trevozhnykh..

IV

The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers

The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers

The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers
Fighters from the International Brigades who remained in Spain until the end of the Civil War did not turn out to be more fortunate than the Soviet instructors during the repressions of 19371938. The Yugoslav Spaniards were banned from returning to Yugoslavia, and they ended in camps for interned persons in France.1 Their return to Yugoslavia was very unusual. Vlada Popovi2 and Ivan Gonjak3 left most detailed accounts of their return home. In the spring and in the summer of 1941, the Yugoslav fighters legally (they declared themselves to be remorseful Croats) and illegally (they escaped from the camp in France for interned participants of the Spanish Civil War) went to Third Reich. There, they found employment in numerous factories which were left without workers as a result of the mobilization. With hard work they earned their temporary leaves which allowed them to travel legally to occupied Yugoslavia. The Cominterns involvement was apparent through the Communist Party of France, which informed the Yugoslav Spaniards that they needed to volunteer for labor in Germany. The French Communists also helped hide and transfer the Yugoslavs who could not be legally freed. Second part of the operation included locating the Yugoslav Spaniards spread out throughout Germany, organizing a network to assist them in linking up with the communists in Ustaa Croatia or in parts of Slovenia integrated into
1 2 3

Autori delova knjige, in panija. 19361939, Zbornik seanja knj. 4, 7281. V.Popovi, Organizovanje povratka u zemlju naih drugova panaca iz Nemake, in ibid., 281285. GonjakI., Od Vernea do osloboene teritorije, in ibid., 285316.

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The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers

the Third Reich. The Gestapo had completely destroyed the network of the Communist Party of Germany.4 According to the official version proffered by notable Yugoslav communist Cvetko Veeslav known as Flores, they managed to escape from Germany in June, 1941. Flores established contact with Popovi, who passed on to Flores Titos order that he should return to Germany, find the Yugoslav Spaniards and inform them about the need to return to their country. Flores was also ordered to assist them in their return to Yugoslavia. KPJ prepared a center to help the Spaniards to get to Yugoslavia, and in Zagreb KPJ had several places for accommodating the communists.5 In his memoires, V.Popovi wrote that Flores managed to set up in short period points in Dessau, Espenhain, Bitterfeld, Leipzig and Grazhe came into contact with our comrades who worked in and around Leipzig and Berlin and he succeeded in getting around sixty of our comrades in smaller groups to the border.6 Some Yugoslav Spaniards managed to reach Yugoslavia on their own. All of this occurred, as Popovi pointed out, without anybodys aid.7 In this way, Flores and other comrades realized the inadequacies of the police apparatus of the fascist Germany.8 Ivan Gonjak reached Yugoslavia through similar channels, and also found this story unusual, noting in his memoirs that it is hard to say how this adventure succeeded.9 Transferring to Yugoslavia and concealing from Gestapo the mass of Yugoslavs would have been truly amazing were only Flores and several of his colleagues from KPJ involved.10 The archives of the Soviet organizations which were apparently involved actively in this wonder are still closed. Nonetheless, it is obvious that somebody had to aid the Yugoslav communists to reach their homeland where the partisan warfare was soon to break out.11 An indirect proof of this can be found in personal
4

6 7 8 9

10

11

R.Mller, Menschenfalle Moskau. Exil und stalinistische Verfolgung (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2001); Jrn Schtrumpf and Ernst Thlmann, An Stalin. Briefe aus dem Zuchthaus 1939 bis 1941 (Berlin, 1996); EricD.Weitz, Creating German communism, 18901990. From popular protests to socialist state (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997);, D.E.Barclay, E.D.Weitz, eds., Between reform and revolution. German socialism and communism from 1840 to 1990 (New York: Berghahn Books, 1998); A.Merson, Kommunistischer Widerstand in Nazideutschland (Bonn: Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag, 1999); H.Weber, A.Herbst, Deutsche Kommunisten: biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945 (Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, 2004). Popovi V., Organizovanje povratka u zemlju naih drugova panaca iz Nemake, in panija. 19361939, Zbornik seanja knj. 4, 281282. Ibid., 282. Ibid., 282. Ibid., 283. GonjakI., Od Vernea do osloboene teritorije, in panija. 19361939, Zbornik seanja jugoslovenskih dobrovoljaca u panskom ratu, knj. 4, 294. For example, in 1939 in Germany there were around 20,000, and in early 1943 186,533 workers! Ristovi, Nemaki novi poredak, 249251. The USSR viewed Yugoslavia and the Balkans as fertile soil for spreading the flames of partisan war in the enemys rear. The Soviet experts studied the history of partisan warfare in the Balkans. The

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Comintern dossiers, especially in dossiers of numerous Yugoslav communists.12 Each dossier had several questionnaires which were added when Comintern member was assigned an important task. The questionnaire included recommendations, characteristics, biography and assessments of how he or she completed the task. During this period, questionnaires were added to the dossiers of many Yugoslav veterans of the Spanish Civil War, which stated that the questionnaires were opened on the request of an external organization. In the Soviet Union in 1940 1941 there were not too many organizations which could have requested from Comintern to give them personal details of foreign communist partisan members trained for the future partisan war. It is highly likely that this request was directly connected with transferring the Spaniards to Yugoslavia on the eve of the Partisan uprising, which KPJ could not have achieved alone as Yugoslav Communists disingenuously claimed. Around 250 Yugoslav Spaniards participated in the Partisan war in Yugoslavia, and they were one of the most important factors in creation of the Partisan movement. Every fourth Yugoslav who served in the Spanish Civil War was declared to be a national hero. The Spanish fighters were present in almost every regional staff, in numerous command positions of the armies, corps and divisions.13 It should be mentioned that not every Spaniard had special training, but amongst majority of them, that was the case. The experience which these fighters obtained in Spain offered them great confidence, which sometimes crossed into arrogance. From the outside, the Spaniards appeared to form a closed club, which invariably caused envy among those without that experience: with time, a cast was formed out of former fighters of the International Brigades, with which the regular mortal could not compete. After usurpation of the commanding positions, the Spaniards did not allow comrades who proved themselves during the National Liberation War to come close to them. However, among them there were several leaders who did not have talent to truly be leaders. Nonetheless, they not only fought for leading positions, in which they were aided by the high command, but they also tended to push out anybody who did not belong to this elite We are Spaniards! and they begin to brag Numerous Comrados (thats how they called each other) were former first year, at most second year, students, usually at the Faculty of Law, with all the shortcomings typical of students who did not graduate. Their transcripts said that they barely passed the RomanLaw. Knowing many of them well, I am convinced that
traces of these ideas have remained in the studies published before the Second World War broke out. M.Rybakov, Praktika maloi voiny v okkupirovannoi Serbii (Moscow: Voennaia akademiia RKKA im M.V.Frunze, 1936). RGASPI, f. 495 Ispolkom Kominterna, o. 277 Lichnye dela (Iugoslaviia). Vojna enciklopedija, t. 110; Leksikon knj. 12; Narodni heroji Jugoslavije 2 knj.

12 13

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The soviet role in the serbian civil war and in the liberation of Yugoslavia from the occupiers

they departed for Spain not only because of ideas and politics, but also to see the world, running away from the upcoming exams. One had to hear with how much hatred they talked about communists who completed universities, and in this way in their view they betrayed the great revolutionary movement! They humbly introduced themselves as professional revolutionaries. Camrados- had complicated nicknames with foreign origins. They talked in a mixed jargon of West European languages amongst themselves, they sang incomprehensible songs, in general they tried to play the role of people with dual nationality half Yugoslavs, half Spaniards. It was difficult and unpleasant to have them as subordinates. Their envy and intrigue always surfaced. From top of the Partisan Olympus, Spaniards came to their aid, to defend their praetorian rights [but there were A.T.] fighters from international brigades who did not speculate with their participation in the anti-fascist war in Spain, and they were least concerned about their careers and rewards14 These fighters from Spain were even influential in naming National Liberation movement. According to Djilas, other names were used in the beginning. The term guerilla, guerilla detachment and so on were introduced in Montenegro during the preparations for the uprising the term partisanwas well known from books about the Napoleonic invasions of Russia in 1812 and about the Russian Civil War 19181922. This term was known because Radio Moscow already spread the news of partisan actions in the German rear and called upon the oppressed nations to create partisan detachments. But in our language the word partisan does not have meaning which it has in Russian and it barely exists with meaning a supporter, a party member. I was against accepting Russianism and I liked more the international appellation guerilla, even though it was also not domesticated our appellations were either unacceptable or they were already taken by other organizations opposed to us for example etnik, Ustaa. Definitely, I was influenced in this by the volunteers from the Spanish Civil War concretely: Peko Dapevi. It is interesting that independently of us in Montenegro our comrades in Croatia, Western Bosnia acted similarly, probably also under the influence of volunteers from the Spanish Civil War The Spaniards also introduced the special Partisan greeting with a fist.15 It is very difficult to precisely determine the role which the partisan training in the USSR and Spain had on the Yugoslav communists success. Definitely, there were more important factors such as local conditions and the Yugoslav communists talent for military affairs. The occupiers policies and the genocide committed by their Croatian allies certainly led to the growth of the Partisan movement
14 15

P.S.Popivoda, Partizani (Moscow: n. p., 2003), 141. M.ilas, Revolucionarni rat (Belgrade: Knjievne novine, 1990), 8485, 104.

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and its eventual superiority over its opponents. It is well known that the mass of rank and file Partisans until 1943 were Bosnias and Croatias Serbs, exposed to the terrible violence of the Ustaa regime.16 Indicative of this was one of Titos first reports which reached Moscow on June 28, 1941. Even though Tito did not abandon the traditional Comintern line about greater Serbian bourgeoisie, he also did not overlook the Croats role in Yugoslavias destruction: the fifth column had its representatives in the most sensitive places. In departments which supplied the army there were White Guards and Croats, who worked in such a way so as to lead to break down of the supply system during the battles the moral spirit of the soldiers, especially the Serbs, was very high.17 Probably for the first time, the Comintern began saying positive things about the Serbs, instead of the Croats.18 The masterful KPJ policies which managed to attract the support of Yugoslav nations engaged in a fraternal war around the idea of restoring a united federal Yugoslavia and communist ideology, testified to talents and skills of Josip Broz Tito and his collaborators. Nonetheless, the role which the Soviet instructors played, who trained KPJ cadres for partisan, military and diversionary warfare before the outbreak of the war in the Balkans, was not unimportant. Even though some KPJ members who visited the USSR 19291936 did not undergo military training, the number of people who were taught military skills was considerable. Also, the very fact that the USSR was the world leader in various subversive and diversionary technologies such as parachute divisions, mass training of snipers, development of methodology of the partisan warfare and creation of partisan schools was also of significance.19 As a result, the USSR became the center for development of ideas about partisan warfare by foreigners who had an opportunity to participate in work of its internal, security and Comintern structures.
16

17 18

19

J.Tomasevich, The Chetniks: war and revolution in Yugoslavia, 19411945 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), 106. It is indicative that in his speech at the Second AVNOJ Session, the Croatian communist Vladimir Bakari said: At the first assembly we were more representatives of the Serbian resistance in Croatia than the representatives of NOP Croatia, S.Neovi, AVNOJ i revolucija: tematska zbirka dokumenata: 19411945 (Belgrade: Narodna knjiga, 1983), 281. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 11, d. 371, 44. The fact that the Serbs were the primary German enemies in Yugoslavia was ignored in Moscow. Already on June 22, 1941, however, in his speech over the radio, Molotov mentioned only the Serbs as victims of Nazism in Yugoslavia. V.M.Molotov, Vystuplenie po radio zamestitelia Predsedatelia Soveta Narodnykh Komissarov Soiuza SSR i Narodnogo Komissara Inostrannykh Del tov. V.M.Molotova, Pravda, June 23, 1941. The German intelligence service at the time was preoccupied with survival, the American intelligence was not formed, while the English and French intelligence services took too much comfort in their victory in the First World War and did not develop subversive technologies. For more details on the prewar knowledge of subversive and guerilla technologies, see biography of the greatest guerilla expert in the English army during the Second World War, P.Wilkinson and J.B.Astley, Gubbins and SOE (London: Leo. Cooper, 1993).

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The study of this phenomenon is complicated by the Tito-Stalin split of 1948. The sharp break with the USSR made the reminiscences of the training which the Yugoslav communists received from the Soviet special services at first physically dangerous, and then completely unpopular. The authors who received Soviet training before 1941 were either completely silent on this issue, or if that was impossible, they minimized it. Unfortunately, this trend continues until the present day.20 This is an example of traditional Yugoslav interpretation: based on the analysis of the character of the Second World War, conditions in Yugoslavia after the occupation, the experiences of liberation wars and revolutions and the Marxist science about the armed people in concrete conditions in which the nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia found themselves, Tito created a whole and original concept of the partisan war. It was the most effective type of an armed uprising [which grew into an A.T.] all out peoples liberation war of the nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia and complete takeover of the strategic initiative during the entire National Liberation War, in all of its stages, Tito found original solutions within the realm of military science. He enriched partisan tactics with new elements, which expressed themselves in military organization and coordination of partisan warfare (diversionary actions, ambushes, and going behind enemy lines) with strategic-operational tasks of NOVJ units.21 These views were shared by party historians.22 None of these authors expressed any doubt that there was more to this than Titos reading of Frunze and Clausewitz.23
20

21

22 23

This approach to modifying and deleting the unwanted historical reality was very popular in the Soviet historiographical tradition. Soviets even deleted the unwanted people from the famous photographs (D.King, The Commissar Vanishes). Unfortunately, the similar approach could have been noted at the exhibition In the honor of the Spanish fighters, which was staged by Muzej Istorije Jugoslavije (The Museum of History of Yugoslavia) September 14 October 8, 2006. Even though the exhibition was devoted to the memory of the Yugoslav volunteers in Spain, it is shocking that the USSR was not mentioned on any photographs or in the explanatory texts. Moreover, several photographs mentioned the English and the French assistance to the Spanish Republic, as well as German and Italian aid to Francos forces. The only indirect mentioning of the USSR was photograph of Trotskys supporters in Spain. Regardless whether the Soviet Unions role was positive or negative, the organizers of the exhibition the Serbian Society of Spanish Fighters 19361939, the National Archive of Catalonia, the Archive of War and Expellees and P.Iglesias Foundation simply erased the USSR. The pickiness in terms of desirable and undesirable anti-fascism can also be detected in the European Resistance Archive which offers its picture of resistance movements in Europe. European Resistance Archive, accessed September 16, 2012, at http://www.resistance-archive.org/en/resistance. Lj. Bonjak, Diverzantska dejstva u Narodno-oslobodilakom ratu 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut, 1983), 26. P.Moraa, Tito Strateg partizanskog rata, Prilozi za istoriju socijalizma br. 9 (1974): 343. For instance, Instruction how to defend liberated territory and Instruction how to conquer populated places written in October, 1941, could not have appeared outside of the context of special partisan instructions and directives, which in the prewar USSR could not have been at the disposal of a foreign communist who was interested in self-education. J.B.Tito, Vojna djela, .I: 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1961), 3036.

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As an example, we can cite Ivan Hari, whom Starinov mentioned as his favorite student in a special diversionary unit during the Spanish CivilWar. On the orders of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia, Ivan Hari began running special courses in diversionary tactics on Mountain Vievica on August, 15, 1941. These were the first courses in diversionary tactics during the war. Later on, Hari showed himself to be an excellent organizer and instructor of diversionary groups and he became the head of the Diversionary Section of Croatias Main Staff and commander of the Croatias Group of Diversionary Detachments, where he participated in destruction of twenty-seven bridges and 150trains.24 Hari described Soviet instructors in his autobiography and he did not negate their influence on the initial phases of his Partisan career.25 This openness was permitted to a young military pensioner, but this was not the case for most of his comrades who were pursuing political careers in Yugoslavia, where revealing the close prewar relations with the USSR would have damaged their chances of promotion. After Stalins puppet, G.Dimitrov, became Cominterns new leader in 1935 and especially after repressions in 19371938, Comintern began losing its independence with regards to other Soviet institutions, especially the NKVD and the military intelligence. At the same time, Moscow imposed firm discipline on the communist parties which belonged to the Comintern. Titos reports to Moskvin, who oversaw the Comintern on behalf of the NKVD, are illustrative of this. In October, 1936, KI sent me to work in the country while the new leadership was not appointed yet. Initially, they tasked me with travelling to Vienna, and after to the country [Yugoslavia A.T.] where I had to lead the country and to be the most responsible person in the new leadership,26 he wrote in a report on September 15, 1938. In December, 1938, IKKI approved Titos leadership of KPJ, the Cominterns OK verified and approved his appointments within KPJ, it determined financial support for the Young Communist League of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) and it invited certain KPJ leaders to Moscow for rehabilitation.27 The German occupation of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1941 diminished the Soviet official presence in Yugoslavia, but it did not change much in the relationship between the IKKI and the KPJ. A good example of the Cominterns control functions could be found in its relationship with the Communist Party of France. The Cominterns directives in winter and autumn of 1939 encouraged struggle against the war: resistance to Anglo-French Imperialist plans and their attempts to draw
24 25 26 27

Hari, Diverzant. Hari, Dnevnik, 78. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 21, 249. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 21, 228.

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Scandinavia into the war and to instigate a world war,28 no support with human or material resources in an imperialist war. The basic aim- end the war!29 At the same time, the German communists were tasked with strengthening the friendship between the USSR and the German people and to resist the bourgeois, Catholic and Social-Democratic circles in their attempts to orient Germany towards France and England. In March, 1940, IKKI believed that communist parties must systematically attack the myth of the anti-fascist character of the British and French war effort, which in its view relied on bourgeois and social-democratic parties in Scandinavian countries to deceive the people, to hide the imperialist character of the war and their support for the Anglo-French war camp. The idea of the struggle against the British Imperialism in Europe and in the Far East corresponded to the equally vehement propaganda against the Japanese imperialism.30 Nonetheless, the condemnation of the British did not lead to support for the German occupiers. After the occupation of Western Europe, Comintern propagated the fight against the robbery of the country by the occupier and for the restoration of the political independence of the country. There must be no collaboration with the Dutch elements who work with the occupier31 In conditions of the occupation by an official ally of the Soviet Union, the West European communist parties found themselves in an exceptionally difficult situation. With regards to this, the Cominterns recommendations were clear. When operating legally, avoid anything which could be judged to show solidarity with the occupier.32 The importance of this instruction was obvious, when we take into account that the Dutch and Belgian communists were able to officially print their newspapers. The Dutch Communists even published an article in a June edition of their journal which called on the Dutch population to be correct towards the German troops.33 The French communists addressed the German occupational forces with a plea to permit them to legally print their newspaper LHumanit, but the German authorities rejected them. When the French police learned about this contact between the communists and the Germans, the members of the French delegation were arrested but on the intervention of the German occupational forces they were freed.34 Nonetheless, the domination of Europe by Nazi Germany presented a threat to the security of the USSR, which is why as of July, 1940, the Comintern called on the communist parties in occupied countries: using strictly illegal methods, avoid28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Lebedeva and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast 1, 18. Ibid.,, 19. Ibid.,, 21. Ibid.,, 27. Ibid.,, 3334. Ibid.,, 27. Ibid.,, 3334.

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ing open propaganda and without drawing in the party, orient the wider masses to passive resistance in all spheres. Avoid all premature measures which would be in the interest of the occupier, you must support the open expression of the masses dissatisfaction35 In this way, from the second half of the summer and especially in the autumn of 1940, the Comintern told the West European communist parties to support passive resistance towards the German occupiers, while simultaneously distancing themselves from the puppet regimes and the governments in exile. Interestingly, the Cominterns new line was launched just after the German began preparing for Operation Barbarossa on June 21, 1940. The conversation between Molotov and Dimitrov at the end of 1940 was symptomatic of this: we are taking on a line which will disorient the German occupational troop in various countries, and we want to strengthen this work without raising alarm. Will we not hinder Soviet policies in this way? To this Dimitrovs question, Molotov answered: Surely, this must be done. We would not be communists if we would not take on such a line. Just do this without noise.36 The KPJ decision at the Fifth Conference in Zagreb to form the KPJ Military Commission occurred within this wider context. The Comintern suggested to the communist parties of the still neutral Bulgaria and Yugoslavia to strengthen the alliance of the anti-war parties. This can be seen in instructions sent to the Bulgarian Party to stay clear of anti-bourgeois, anti-Royal and anti-German slogans in their propaganda campaign for an alliance between the USSR and Bulgaria.37 Dimitrov gave Tito similar advice: take on a firm position against capitulation to Germany, support the movement for peoples resistance to the policies of military intervention, demand friendship with Soviet Union.38 Dimitrov repeated these suggestions, after consulting Molotov after the coup dtat on March, 27, 1941: avoid armed clashes between the masses and the authorities do not respond to the enemy provocations. Do not expose the vanguard of the people to the violence and do not throw them into the fire too soon. Carry out repeated explanations and completely prepare yourself and the masses this is the basic aim of the party.39 The Yugoslav communists literary implemented the IKKI suggestions. The Central Committee of the KPJ issued a pronouncement on March 15, 1941, Against the Capitulation for Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union.40 The Cominterns advice to carry out secret work on preparing the party and the masses was also pursued. In a radiogram on
35 36

37 38 39 40

Ibid.,, 3540. SSSR Germaniia 19391941. Dokumenty i materialy o sovetsko-germanskikh otnosheniiakh t. 2 (Vilnius: Mokslas, 1989), 108, 118120, 125126. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast 1, 41. Ibid.,, 43. Ibid.,, 519. Petranovi ed., Odnosi,, 1618, 2324.

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May 13, 1941, Tito told the IKKI: we are organizing fighting detachments, we are educating our military cadres, we are preparing for an armed uprising in case of an attack against the USSR.41 It was mentioned previously that contemporary scholars have criticized the established historiographical myth that the USSR was not ready for war that Stalin hindered and even forbid his subordinates from preparing for war, and that the attack on Germany was so shocking to Stalin that he did not fulfill his duties for several days. This idea became exceptionally popular because it corresponded to interests of various people who ordered research in the Soviet Union. While Khrushchev was in power, the idea of the Soviet complete unpreparedness for the war was used to undermine the myth of Stalins infallibility. Similarly, Soviet ideologues and generals could not concede that in 1941, the German army strengthened in previous battles, infused with ideology of national superiority and applying the superior Blitzkrieg tactics was organizationally more powerful and its generals better than their Soviet counterparts. In addition, Soviet historians were wary of discussing Moscows preparations for the war before 1941, because they did not want to offer additional proof to revisionists of the West European historiography who sought to prove Goebbelss claims that the German attack on the USSR was aimed at preventing Soviet aggressive intentions.42 In addition, the myth of the Soviet unpreparedness was popular in the Yugoslav and West European historiography because it fit into the image of evil and stupid Stalin and smart Churchill (and Tito). They foresaw the war and advised Stalin, but driven by his maniacal paranoia, he rejected the advice, was the argument of these historians. However, recent research based on military and state archives of the former USSR have rejected this ideological argument. Despite all the errors which resulted in German success and heavy Soviet losses in the early phases of the war, it has become obvious that the USSR was doing everything to prepare itself against the inevitable German attack. In January and February, 1941, F.I.Golikov, the head of the RU RKKA, ordered exercises of the high-ranking officers of the military districts and armies. At the end of the exercises, Colonel Vinogradov, the head of the security service of the border districts, activated Plan of General Staff for Organization of Intelligence Actions of Districts and Armies, which included forming partisan bases and reserves in
41 42

Ibid,, 1618, 58. F.U.Kherster, Spor istorikov v FRG, Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 3 (1988); N.S.Cherkasov, FRG: Spor istorikov prodolzhaetsia?, Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 1 (1990); A.I.Borozniak, 22 iiunia 1941 goda: vzgliad s toi storony, Otechestvennaia istoriia 1 (1994); G.Iubersher, 22 iiunia 1941 g. v sovremennoi istoriografii FRG. K voprosu o preventivnoi voine, Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 6 (1999). After 1991, this debate entered the Russian historiography: on the one hand, the countless Viktor Rezuns publications (so called Suvorov), accessed September 16, 2012 http://www.suvorov.com/books/and their critics (A.V.Isaev, Antisuvorov (Moscow: Eksmo: Jauza, 2004).

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areas which could be occupied by the enemy.43 In anticipation of the German attack, NKVD began active preparations: from January 27, 1941, the military security structures began using Instructions for the NKVD during Mobilization.44 The USSR began developing a general plan for resisting the enemy in 1940, and it was ready in May, 1941. According to this plan, the preparations for resisting Germany and its satellites, whose attack was deemed inevitable, were developing rapidly.45 In early June, 1941, partial mobilization was implemented and 800,000 soldiers filled divisions on the western borders; in middle of May, four armies (16th, 19th, 21st and 22nd) and an infantry corps started moving from territories deep inside the country towards Dnieper and Western Dvina Rivers. In June, more than half the reserve divisions in all the western border districts were activated. On June 14, leaves were cancelled for soldiers and officers in western districts. Finally, order for complete battle preparedness was sent to Soviet units in the night of June 2122, several hours before the German attack.46 Within this context, it is important to note that IK KI (that is, the Soviet leadership), relying on Lenins scheme of just and imperialist wars, characterized the April War of 1941 as a just war (unlike the previous English-German and Franco-German wars, which were deemed imperialist).47 At first glance this dogmatic change in definition of the war may seem unimportant, but in reality it represented an important change a break with loyalty towards Germany and preparation of the Comintern member parties for the struggle against collaborationist regimes and German troops. The sudden change in IKKI policies was evident in its instructions to the Communist Party of France, sent on April 26, 1941: the main task is in the struggle for national liberation. The struggle for peace begins with struggle for national independence. Peace without national liberation means slavery of the French people the main conditions for the success of this struggle are following: 1. National unity with the exception of traitors and
43

44

45

46

47

V.Spiridenkov, Lesnye soldaty. Partizanskaia voina na severozapade SSSR (Moscow: Veche, 2007), 15. A.G.Bezverkhnii, ed., SMERSH: Istoricheskie ocherki i arkhivnye dokumenty (Moscow: Glavarkhiv, 2003), 70. E.I.Ziuzin, Soobrazheniia ob osnovakh strategicheskogo razvertyvaniia Vooruzhennykh sil Sovetskogo Soiuza na Zapade i na Vostoke na 19401941gg., Voennoistoricheskii zhurnal 12 (1991), 1 (1992); The documents have been fully published in the collection L. Reshin, comp., 1941 god. Vol. 1, ed. V.P.Naumov (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyi fond Demokratiia, 1998) 181193; 236253. The plan can be found in the Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. TsAMO, f. 16, o. 2951, d. 237. P.N.Bobylev, Tochku v diskussii stavit rano. K voprosu o planirovanii v generalnom shtabe RKKA vozmozhnoi voiny s Germaniei v 19401941 godakh, Otechestvennaia istoriia 1 (2000); Iu.A.Nikiforov, Sovetskoe voenno-strategicheskoe planirovanie nakanune Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny v sovremennoi istoriografi, Mir Istorii 23, 4 (2001); A.V.Isaev, Ot Dubno do Rostova (Moscow: AST, Tranzitkniga, 2004). Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast 1, 525526.

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capitulators. The formation of a wide national front in order to struggle for independence the party is ready to support every French government, every organization and all people in the country who are ready to wage a true struggle against the occupiers from this standpoint, the party must not take on hostile attitude towards De Gaulles allies, [but you may offer A.T.] adequate criticism of his reactionary colonialist views.48 On June 22, 1941, IKKI sent a report to the communist parties of Germany, France, Netherlands, Bulgaria, China, Sweden, Yugoslavia, England and the USA, and later on to other parties, which stated that the fatherland war in the USSR had begun and that it required military involvement of communists in occupied countries and unification with all the forces which want to fight against the Nazism and fascism regardless of their ideology.49 The IKKI carefully followed the reaction of various communist parties, and it immediately reacted to the slightest deviation from the new line. Molotov and Dimitrov had an important conversation after the German attack on the USSR: each hour is valuable. Communists must take most decisive steps everywhere to help the Soviet people. The most important task is to disorganize the enemys rear and to encourage the disintegration of its armies. On the same day, the IKKI sent Tito a message: the Fatherland War of the Soviet people against Hitlers bandit attack is a gigantic struggle to death, on which depends not only the destiny of the USSR but also the freedom of your people. The hour has come when communists must raise the people into an active struggle against the occupiers. Not waiting a minute, organize partisan detachments and begin a partisan war in the enemys rear. Set ablaze military factories, storages, oil fields, airports, destroy railroads, telephone and telegraph networks, dont forget about troop transports and munitions. Organize the peasants to hide wheat in the earth, and cattle in the forests. The enemy must be terrorized in all ways possible, to feel as if he were in a besieged fortress. Confirm the acceptance of this message and inform us about the facts of its implementation.50 In parts of Yugoslavia inhabited by Serbs, IKKI instructions fell on a fertile soil. M.Djilas described those days in Montenegro: the authorities existed, but they did not function. All of people grew apart from the authorities and turned into conspirators. Political and neighborly arguments were forgotten. Defeats and despondence were also forgotten in the people, there was only restlessness and wish for victory and there was mother Russia. Even without the communist propaganda amongst the people with energy and feeling insulted, ancient ties with Russia were revived together with mythical representation of its might and
48 49 50

Ibid., 525526. Ibid., 6. Ibid., 9, 106; Ceni, Enigma, 213214.

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greatness. KPJ members felt these feelings even more intensely: the Soviet Union at war and us communists will fight until the last we communists were together with the USSR and under its influence51 The party reacted with KPJ Central Committee Announcement regarding the attack by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union, which the official Yugoslav historiography dated on June 22, 1941.52 The text of this announcement was very similar to Cominterns text:
KPJ The fateful moment has arrived, the blood of the Soviet people is being spilt not only for defense of the country of socialism but also for the final social and national liberation of the entire working humanity Comintern The moment has come the fatherland war of the Soviet people against the Hitlers bandit attack is a gigantic struggle to death, the result of which will determine the fate of not only the USSR but freedom of your people

At the same time, the differences were apparent: KPJ accented the communist and proletarian aims of the struggle, while the Comintern skillfully concealed the ideological component of the German-Soviet clash, emphasizing the Fatherland War of the Soviet people and the struggle for the freedom of the Yugoslav people. Also, KPJ pronouncement shortened the Cominterns list of suggestions how to fight against the Germans. KPJ mentioned only sabotage, while avoiding diversionary actions. In terms of preparing for the guerilla war, KPJ said that our valuable cadres must be preserved, which we need in this struggle today more than ever. These comparisons were explained by Nikola Popovi, who ironically noted that it was impossible to determine whether the Comintern influenced KPJ or vice-versa.53 In KPJ historiography, there were cases of deliberate corrections of dates of certain events because of everyday political needs.54 IKKI reaction soon followed. In its response, the Comintern called on the Yugoslav communists, in its next message, to offer active resistance to the enemy, while it emphasized the
51 52 53

54

ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 52, 68. Tito, Djela t. 7, 4347; Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 1618, 6165. N.Popovi Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi u Drugom svetskom ratu (19411945) (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1988), 42. Even historians loyal to the Yugoslav line wrote about such cases. For instance, L.Bonjak cited an example editing the journal of the Staff of the Diversionary Detachments of the NOVJ on May 9, 1945, as a result of which the first instance of diversionary attack (the destruction of a train on Zagreb-Sisak railroad) was wrongly dated to have occurred on May 31, 1941. Bonjak, Diverzantska dejstva, 10. According Hari, the communist fighters managed to destroy the first train only on July 19, 1941, which was travelling between Zagreb and Split, Hari, Dnevnik, 27.

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all-peoples nature of the struggle waged by VKP (b) and it suggested to KPJ to embrace similar national front direction. Rapid German penetration towards Moscow considerably influenced the level of the Cominterns control over its cadres abroad, KPJ included. Here it should be noted that the Soviet control of the Yugoslav party was exercised through several channels. The Soviet Union had numerous intelligence services: RKKA had the RU of the General Staff, the NKVD (and later on the MGB) had its 5th Department (later on the 1st Department), the Comintern had OMS IKKI (later on Service of Connection SS IKKI [Sluzhba sviazi]). The Navy and the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs also had their own intelligence institutions. In Yugoslavia, like in other European countries of any significance, the NKVD, RU RKKA and SS IKKI agents were active. The SS IKKI network was headed by J.Kopini,55 and the RU RKKA network was led by Mustafa Golubi.56 However, there is still no definitive information who headed the NKVD network in the prewar Yugoslavia.57 In the first half of 1941, and especially after the German entry into Yugoslavia, the Soviet control over its intelligence centers began to weaken. In Golubis dossier in the Comintern archive, there is a letter from F.Golikov, the head of the military intelligence service, addressed to G.Dimitrov, sent in March, 1941. Golikov asked Dimitrov to influence Tito to desist from attacking Golubi and hindering his work.58 There is no response or comment to this atypical letter in Golubis dossier. Usually, the IKKI representatives, and especially members of the communist parties belonging to the Comintern, tended to avoid conflict with RU RKKA. Such conflicts could have very unpleasant consequences, unless one had the NKVD support. In this concrete case, Tito did not suffer any consequences. Soon after Golubis arrival to Belgrade, after an anonymous source informed the Germans about his
55

56

57

58

Kopini certainly was not an ordinary Comintern radio-telegrapher, as Milenko Doder claimed. The role of a Liaison Service agent did not boil down to simply maintaining relations. Instead, it included control and executive power, which is corroborated by numerous Comintern documents, as well as the above indicated research of the internal structure and activities of the Comintern. Therefore, Kopinis role was more realistically depicted by Vjenceslav Ceni, regardless of the sensationalism of his book. Kopinis statement was true that it was ridiculous to accuse him of wanting to take over the leading position in the Croatian party, since as the head of the Cominterns Liaison Service Station responsible for contact with several communist parties, he already held a powerful position, M.Doder, Kopini bez enigme (Zagreb: Centar za informacije i publicitet, 1986), 204. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 1804. Mustafa Golubis personal Comintern dossier holds the exchange between the head of the RU RKKA, F.Golikov, and the Cominterns General SecretaryG.Dimitrov, which contains information which corroborates that Golubi worked for the military intelligence. About Golubi, also see: S.Trhulj, Mustafa Golubi ovjek konspiracije (Ljubljana: Partizanska knjiga, 1986); B.Nekovi, Mustafa Golubi (Belgrade: B.Nekovi, 1985); .Labovi, Tajne misije Mustafe Golubia (Belgrade: Beletra, 1990); U.Vuoevi, Prilozi za biografiju Mustafe Golubia: (nepoznati dokumenti iz arhiva Kominterne), Istorija 20. Veka 12 (1993): 217230. We are speaking in plural because it is very possible that NKVD networks amongst the Russian emigrants, the illegal KPJ and in the ranks of the Yugoslav civil society were not connected. RGASPI, f. 495, o. 277, d. 1804.

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presence, Golubi was arrested by Gestapo. He was brutally tortured without results, and eventually he was executed. It must be noted that there is no evidence for the rumor that Golubi was connected with the explosion in Smederevo, after which he was supposedly caught.59 The Gestapo officer who interrogated Golubi did not even pose questions about this incident. More significantly, the explosion occurred on June 5, almost two weeks before the Operation Barbarossa was launched. In conditions of maximal alertness, ordered by Stalin, such a diversionary attack was unimaginable. None of RU RKKA workers would risk providing the Germans such a good excuse to attack. In addition, prior to June 22, 1941, the British intelligence service was active in diversionary attacks on Danube, in their attempt to set Europe ablaze.60 This is not the only legend surrounding Golubi. There were other rumors, such as that he was a Soviet general and that he was influential in the Soviet intelligence services. Likewise, the inscription on his grave that he was a hero of the USSR is not true. Golubis name is not recorded in any existing lists of national heroes.61 According to Gestapo documents, it seems that an anonymous report sealed the fate of the RU RKKA illegal network in Yugoslavia, which was headed by Mustafa Golubi, known in RU RKKA under his pseudonym Omega.62 As a result of another anonymous tip, Ivan Srebrenjak, another RU RKKA agent in Yugoslavia, was also arrested.63 Kopinis fate was better, but the result was similar to the previous cases. After a series of intrigues (Kopinis conflict with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia, Kerestinac case), he ceased being an SS IKKI agent. He became the so called one of Cominterns technical personnel he operated one of IKKI radio stations. In early 1943, according to a report by I.Morozov, the head of the SS IKKI, the Comintern had three active radio-stations in Yugoslavia: in Croatia, Slovenian and in the Partisan region of Yugoslavia.64 With these, the Comintern maintained contact with the Yugoslav, Italian, Austrian and Albanian parties. After the Comintern was abolished, the SS IKKI continued its work under the name Institute Number 100, as part of the Department for International Information (OMI) Central Committee VKP (b) the Cominterns reincarnation.
59 60

61

62

63 64

M.Jankovi, Izdao me Tito! Ali, neka ga, Press, December 14, 2008, 4. AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. B-193, H-36, H-46; H.Dalton, The Fateful Years: Memoirs, 19311945 (London: Muller, 1957), 366; Mackenzie, W.Mackenzie, The Secret History of SOE: Special Operations Executive 19401945 (London: St Ermins Press, 2000), 2328, 103133. A. Zakharov, Nash chelovek v Belgrade (zhizn i smert Mustafy Golubicha), Sekretnoe dose. istoriko-publitsisticheskii zhurnal 2 (1998); I.N.Shkadov, ed., Geroi Sovetskogo Soiuza: Kratkii biograficheskii slovar, (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1988). A. Dienko, Razvedka i kontrrazvedka v litsakh. Entsiklopedicheskii slovar rossiiskikh spetssluzhb (Moscow: Russkii mir, 2002) Ceni, Enigma, 320329. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 10, 6162.

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Nonetheless, from the summer of 1941, reports about the activities of the Yugoslav Partisans reached the Soviets regularly from Tito, the talented Partisan leader and a skillful master of intrigues. Officially, the next real Soviet representatives in Yugoslavia appeared only in February, 1944, as part of General Korneevs mission. There is no firm evidence that one of the Soviet intelligence agents (not secret agents, some of whom must have been in Titos surrounding) stayed in Yugoslavia before February 23, 1944. We can only guess that such a figure must have existed in Titos immediate circle. There are some indications that Fedor Makhin fulfilled this role. Dedijer, as well as V. Tesemnikov, the author of a biographical article about Makhin, suggest this.65 Still, it is not clear why the suspicion does not fall on Vladimir Smirnov, a Russian emigrant and head of the Technical Department of the Supreme Command during the entire war? Any further speculation of who could have been sent from Moscow to be officially, but not publically, the representative of Soviet intelligence institutions in Titos inner circle, have no source base and they are based on guesses of unreliable memoirs. Soviet historian B.Starkov, without citing any sources, claims that Ivan Krajai was the RU RKKA agent in Titos circle.66 Likewise, similarly unreliable are Gestapos conclusions in Serbia, which unsuccessfully tried to arrest F.E.Makhin,67 his assistant V.A.Laudanskii,68 the mysterious V.Lebedev,69 as well as a series of other Soviet intelligence officers.

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Even though the first official Soviet representatives began to serve in Yugoslavia in the second half of the 1940, the Yugoslav police received reports well before the Second World War began of Soviet special agents arriving illegally into the

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V.Dedijer, Dnevnik (Belgrade: Jugoslovenska knjiga, 1951), 142; V.Tesemnikov, Iugoslavskaia odisseia Fedora Makhina, Rodina 8 (2007); V.Tesemnikov, Promenljiva sudbina generala F.E.Mahina, Tokovi Istorije br. 12 (2008).. B.Starkov, Panslavianskaia ideia v Sovetskoi Rossii. Novye dokumty, novye podkhody, in Evropa i Srbi: meunarodni nauni skup, 1315 decembra 1995, ed. S.Terzi (Belgrade: Istorijski institut, 1996), 485.. AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP IV, d. 127/6. AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP IV, d. 11/16 SP. IV-11/59. AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP IV, d. 127/6.

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country. In the middle of 1938, Eduard Bene, the president of Czechoslovakia,70 issued a plea to the NKVD chief in Prague, Zubov, to pass onto Stalin a message with regards to Yugoslavia. Bene asked the USSR to finance a military putsch against Stojadinovis government in Yugoslavia, to install in Belgrade an Anglophile military junta which would decrease the German pressure on Czechoslovakia. Bene suggested to the Soviets that $ 200,000 in cash should be paid to Serbian officers before the coup dtat. Zubov obtained the requested money from Moscow, and he was ordered to initiate the operation, after which he travelled to Belgrade. In Yugoslavia, Zubov concluded that the officers which Bene recommended were a handful of unreliable adventurists, and he refused to pay them the advance. Upon his return to Prague, he sent a report to Moscow. Stalin, who personally overlooked the operation, was angry because Zubov did not carry out his orders and did not pay the money to Serbian officers. Stalin wrote on Zubovs report: arrest him immediately.71 The Soviet special services used individual Russian emigrants as their permanent agents, whom they recruited by exploiting their material difficulties or their families which remained in the USSR. They also used prisoners of war from the Soviet Union, who managed to pass through the filtration network.72 Immediately after the Civil War, GPU managed to penetrate ROVS ranks in Yugoslavia. From 1921, the Balkan GPU sector, headed by Boris Bazarov from 1927, had its agents in Belgrade.73 Leonid Lenitskii group began operating in Serbia in the early 1930s. Lenitskii came to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes with a group of Russian emigrants in early 1920s. Using his status as an emigrant, he studied medicine at the University of Belgrade. After he received his degree in 1931, OGPU recruited Lenitskii. The circumstances surrounding this event are quite unclear. Lenitskii cooperated with the intelligence department of the 13th Soviet Army during the Civil War, while his mother, wife of a deceased Czarist cavalry officer lived in Kiev. In the 1930s, Lenitskiis mother was fired because of her origins and was left without the means to survive. OGPU representatives promised Lenitskii that they would help his mother, but they were not in a hurry to do so. Regardless of his motivation, Lenitskii formed an intelligence group which was tasked with fol70

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We should separate the representatives of the party (the Comintern and its special services) and the state institutions (NKID, OGPU, NKVD). The former had their agents in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from the moment of its creation, while the latter began to pay attention to Yugoslavia only in the 1930s, as a result of the internal and external situation in the USSR. P.A.Sudoplatov, Razvedka i Kreml (Moscow: Geia, 1996), 7273, 106; B.Dimitrijevi and K.Nikoli, eneral Mihajlovi. Biografija, 88, 93. M.JovanoviM. Boljevika agentura na Balkanu 19201923, Istorija 20. veka 2 (1995): 3750; G.Miloradovi, Karantin za ideje. Logori za izolaciju sumnjivih elemenata u Kraljevini Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca (19191922) (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004). Bazarov Boris Iakovlevich, accessed September 16, 2012, http://svr.gov.ru/history/baz. htm.

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lowing the work of the Russian emigration in Yugoslavia. Due to his calling as a doctor, he managed to infiltrate several layers of the Russian migr society in Yugoslavia. He was the Resident Agent, the head of the NKVD illegal network in Yugoslavia, 19331935. His deputy, Captain Shklarov, was arrested when he tried to break into the vault of the leader of right-wing migr organization NTS, which at the time was close to the Nazis. Shklarov confessed to the police that Leonid Lenitskii was his boss. Lenitskii was arrested on December 5, 1935, in the Russian House during the performance of Natalka Poltavka in a spectacular fashion. He was seized at the moment that he was talking with General Barbovich, the chief of the local ROVS Department. Lenitskiis wife, who at the time was in the theatre, hurried home and she burnt compromising documents and mail which he was preparing to send to the NKVD center. Members of his group were arrested, and after a trial and brief jail terms (19351937), they were evicted from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The punishment was relatively lenient (Lenitskii got two years and eight months of jail) because there was no proof for their subversive activities against Yugoslavia, only against the migr organizations. The group was not rooted out completely, and in 1941, brother of Lenitskiis lover, N.Daragan, tried to form a new group but he was arrested by Gestapo. In June, 1944, Lenitskii was parachuted into Yugoslavia, where he joined the Staff of a Partisan formation in Croatia, until April, 1945, when he returned to Moscow.74 Roland Abia worked with Linitskiis group. Abia was in Yugoslavia from July, 1932, until February, 1935, and he worked against migr organizations. Abias pseudonym was Vladimir Pravdin, and he established intelligence contact with Makhin. After he left Yugoslavia, Abia was engaged in several important tasks he participated in assassination plots against Trotsky in 1935 and 1937, he secured the shipment of arms for Republican Spain, and he personally found and liquidated Raymond (former NKVD agent, I.Poretskii, who quit NKVD and publically criticized Stalin A.T.) after which he returned to the Soviet Union. Russian emigrants who were recruited from the Alliance for Return to the Fatherland actively participated in Abias last assignment. As a result of the successful cooperation of the pro-Soviet emigrants and the NKVD executioners (the Frenchman Roland Abia and the Bulgarian Boris Atanasov), the Swiss police found Poretskiis body in September, 1937, with five bullets in his head and seven in the body. In the meantime, Abias son, citizen of Monaco, born in Britain in 1904 and having left
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During his second tenure in Yugoslavia, Lintskii was wounded but he continued working and at the end of his second stay he received the Yugoslav award the Partisan Star of the 3rd Order for bravery and self-sacrifice in battle. AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. D-275; V.V.Orekhov, Belgradskii protsess, ChasovoiNo. 165166 (1936); N.A.Ermakov, Nepovtorimyi put L.L.Linitskogo, in Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki. T. 3 19331941 gody, ed. E.A.Primakov et al. (Moscow:: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1997). S.Iu.Rybas, General Kutepov (Moscow: Olma-press, 2000).

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Russia during the Civil War, arrived to USSR and received Soviet citizenship. From September 1941, and until 1946, under the pseudonym Sergey, he pursued a career in NKVD under the cover of a TASS journalist. He went from an NKVD operative to Soviet Resident Agent in New York, where he maintained intelligence contacts with the members of the Yugoslav emigration in the USA.75 The Soviet special services also recruited among the Yugoslav Spaniards, part of whom were trained in the USSR.76 D. Milojevi, a Serbian Spaniard was arrested by Gestapo. Prior to his execution, Milojevi described the method of recruitment and how the work of a small group of the NKVD agents led by .Popovi and R.Uvali was directed.77 What Milojevi told German investigators revealed that the Soviet intelligence was not aimed at the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, instead, its goal was to prepare the resistance to an eventual Italian or German occupation of the country. Soviets became most active in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the twelve months preceding the Third Reichs attack on the USSR (from the summer of 1940 to the summer of 1941). Diplomatic relations were established on June 24, 1940, and Moscow ended the mission after Yugoslavias capitulation, even though the Soviet diplomats did not immediately cease their activities.78 Viktor Plotnikov was the Soviet representative in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Viktor Lebedev was his advisor, Alexander Samohin was the military attach, and Peter Kovalenko was the assistant to the attach.79 The destiny of these people, who represented Soviet interests in Yugoslavia during the fateful months 19401941, is very interesting. Alexander Georgievich Samokhin was born in Verhniaia-Buzinovka in the Don Cossacks territories, on August 20, 1902. During the Civil War he supported the Reds, and on May 4, 1919, he joined the Red Army, after which he participated in battles on the Siberian Front. A responsible youth, he pursued a successful military career: in 1920 he joined VKP (b), and he was the commander of a battalion 19231931. In 1921, he completed courses for officers (at the time, the Bolsheviks
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Translation of original notes from KGB archival files by Alexander Vassiliev, White Notebook #8, File 35112, Vol. 8, 233 from Cold War International History Project. Digital Archive. Collection: Vassiliev Notebooks, accessed September 12, 2012, http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index. cfm; , CK KPJ KI, 1942/204. For example, I.Hari who later on headed the Diversionary Section of Croatias Main Staff and was the Commander of Croatias Diversionary Group of Detachments, Starinov, Zapiski diversanta. AJ, IAB, f. UGB SP IV, d. 127, 3341. Limited information is available about the activity of technical staff of the Soviet Embassy in occupied Serbia until their complete evacuation in May, 1941. The Belgrade Gestapo and Nedis special police were constantly concerned about the activities of the Soviet diplomats in Serbia, AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. B-76, D-250, D-818; f. sp, d. IV-127/6. Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, Diplomaticheskie predstavitelstva RSFSR SSSR Polnomochnye predstavitelstva, missii, posolstva Missiia Polnomochnoe predstavitelstvo SSSR v Iugoslavii, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/6_MID/00557.asp.

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avoided the term officers, using the word commander instead), in 1923 he completed the Military Higher SchoolL.B.Kamenev, and in 1934, he graduated from the Infantry Faculty at the Military AcademyM.V.Frunze. After the Academy, Samokhin worked in staff of an Infantry division he headed the operational department and later the Chief of Staff of various infantry Division. Samokhin was educated and was always willing to learn more, and he was appointed the head of the Infantry Officer School Ordzhonikidze, and in 1939, the Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Military-Educational Red Army Institutions. In August, 1940, Samohin became General-Major and he was sent to Belgrade to be the military attach. His return to the USSR in the spring of 1941 is also noteworthy. Immediately after his return from Yugoslavia, Samokhin received another responsible and difficult task he was appointed commander of the 29th Lithuanian Rifle Corps.80 In September, 1941, General-Major Samokhin was appointed deputy to the Commander of the 16th Army on the Western Front in the rear. Considering the intensity of the German offensive at the time, his function was not classical for commanders in the rear. Apart from the complicated measures which he had to undertake in the extreme conditions of rapid withdrawal with heavy fighting, Samokhin had to engage in battle against German diversions and their Soviet collaborators. In December, he was promoted to Head of the 2nd (informational) Department of the RKKA General Staff.81 In view of the extremely difficult position in which the Soviet Union found itself, it is understandable why Samokhin wanted to go to the front. He was appointed commander of the 48th Army on the Brianskii Front.82 General Samokhin immediately went towards his new jobs location. On the way to his new Staff in the city Elets, his pilot was disoriented, he flew over the German front line and he was shot down. Samokhin fell into captivity, and the Germans found important and strictly confidential documents: operational map and confidential order from the Supreme Commander of the USSR, Stalin.83 Despite his circumstances (it would have been very dangerous for him to return to
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That Corps represented the former army of the independent Lithuania after it was annexed by the USSR. The Soviet military planners believed that this unit would be useful if it were called up to defend the territory of the socialist Lithuania from Hitler. Nonetheless, a significant part of the Corps surrendered without any resistance. The Germans later on formed police units out of a large number of the former Corps soldiers. The Nazis used them against the Partisans in Russia and Belorussia, as well as for the liquidation of Jews. Tragediia Litvy: 19411944 gody. Sbornik arkhivnykh dokumentov o prestupleniiakh litovskikh kollaboratsionistov v gody Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (Moscow: Evropa, 2006). V.Lure and V.Kochik, GRU: dela i liudi (Saint Petersburg: Neva, 2002), 295296. Samokhin Aleksandr Georgievich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830.asp. F.Sverdlov, Sovetskie generaly v plenu (Moscow: fond Kholokost, 1999).

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the USSR considering that he was in German captivity), General-Major Samokhin refused German offers to help their propaganda. In May, 1945, Samokhin and several other Soviet higher officers captured early in the war, were freed by Americans, and they evacuated them to Paris. Samokhin and other prisoners were in Paris until May 26, 1945, when they returned to Moscow by an airplane. After the circumstances of his arrest were clarified, and the loss of strategically important document was established, Samokhin was sentenced on October 21, 1945, to a twenty-five year stint in a labor camp.84 After Stalins death, on August 15, 1953, the conviction against Samokhin was overturned and he was released from the camp. After his return to Moscow, he decided to continue studying and in 19531954 he was a student at the Higher Academic Course of the Military Academy of the General Staff.85 Nonetheless, his military career was over regardless of his convictions annulment. In 1954, the General-Major received the Order of Lenin, he was pensioned and appointed Professor of General Direction at the Department for Training of Reserve Officers at Lomonosov Moscow State University.86 Due to high stress which he experienced in his life, he died relatively young on June 27, 1955.87 Viktor Plotnikovs destiny was also difficult.88 Viktor Andreevich Plotnikov was born on August, 26, 1898, in Astrakhan. His father died young, and his mother moved with Viktor to Moscow. She was a seamstress and in Moscow she had more chances of finding employment. Viktor Plotnikov graduated in 1917, and he enrolled in Moscows Commercial Institute.89 Russia in 1917 was not suitable for studying financial finesse and the majority of students joined the revolution. Upon recommendation of the head of VTsIK Cossack Department, L. A. Korobov, Plotnikov joined the Agitation Detachment the Defense of the Rights of Working Cossacks, Peasants and Workers, and in February, 1918, he joined VKP (b).90As a member of the Agitation Detachment and representative of VTsIK Cossack Department, Plotnikov worked in military units in Cossack areas 19181921. As a representative of the Siberia Revolutionary Committee, on the orders of the
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S.S.Gagarin, Miasnoi Bor (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1991), 538. Lure and Kochik, GRU, 295296. Samokhin Aleksandr Georgievich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830.asp. Lure and Kochik, GRU, 295296. The author of this study is greateful to Viktor Plotnikovs son, Valerii Orlov, for his written statements and documents connected with his father. Plotnikov Viktor Andreevich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830. asp. Avtobiografiia PlotnikovaV.A. 14/IX 1937 g. dlia NKID, from V.Orlovs family archive.

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Soviet government, he organized and participated in the polar expedition on the Iamal Peninsula in 1921.91 After the expedition, Plotnikov continued his education at the Faculty of Economy at the Timariazev Agricultural Academy. Later on, he worked on organizing credit cooperatives in Moscow, around the Caspian Lake, Aral Lake and Turkmenistan. Afterwards, he was transferred to Moscow Department of the Worker-Peasant Inspection.92 Later on, he was moved to the Peoples Commissariat for Foreign Trade, where led the representation in Persia and Xinjiang.93 At the end of 1936, Plotnikov returned to Moscow, but in 1937, he was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as a legal secretary he was sent to Budapest.94 Hungary under Horthy was exceptionally difficult for Soviet diplomats, since it resembled Nazi Germany in internal and external policies, and in some cases it was even more extreme. For example, Hungary was the first European country which adopted anti-Semitic laws (the so called Nmers class), the culmination of which was the murder of 600,000800,000 Hungarian Jews. A loyal German ally, Hungary participated in partition of Czechoslovakia, and it annexed Slovak and Rusyn regions of the country.95 In March, 1939, Plotnikov was transferred to Finland, which was equally important to the Soviet foreign policy, where he was an advisor. He quit Helsinki
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Lichnyi listok po uchetu kadrov na PlotnikovaV.A., from V.Orlovs family archive. Avtobiografiia PlotnikovaV.A. 14/IX 1937 g. dlia NKID, from V.Orlovs family archive. Xinjiang, a Muslim region in present day Peoples Republic of Chinas northwest. From the early 1934, the Red Army units equipped with tanks, aviation and artillery entered the region upon the invitation of the local governor Shen Shicai to help him in the struggle against his Muslim separatist opponents who relied on the Japanese for support. The situation was so complicated that the Soviet units had to masque themselves as Russian emigrants (they wore the uniform of the Russian Czarist army and they removed all Soviet insignia from their uniforms and equipment). Later on, Shen Shicai was accepted into VKP (b), and there was even a plan for the Soviet Union to annex Xinjiang as Istochnoturkestanskii SSR (The Eastern Turkmen SSR). However, this adventure was aborted because of the German attack on the USSR. See: Iu.L.Kedrov, Borba za nezavisimyi Kitai, in Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki. T. 3 19331941 gody, ed. E.A. Primakov et al. (Moscow:: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1997), 217; V.A.Barmin, Sovetskii Soiuz i Sintszian 19181941 g. (Barnaul: BGPU, 1998); V.A.Barmin, Sintszian v sovetsko-kitaiskikh otnosheniiakh 19411949 g. (Barnaul: BGPU, 1999); V.V.Chubarov, Voennye konflikty v Kitae i pozitsiia SSSR (19271933), in Sovetskaia vneshniaia politika 19171945. Poiski novykh podkhodov (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1992); N.G.Kozlov, V nebe Kitaia. 19371940, in Vospominaniia sovetskikh letchikov-dobrovoltsev (Moscow: Nauka, 1986). L.Benson, The Ili Rebellion. The Moslem Challenge to Chinese Authority in Xinjiang 19441949 (London: M.E.Sharpe, 1990). Plotnikov Viktor Andreevich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830. asp. L.Kontler, Istoriia Vengrii. Tysiacheletie v tsentre Evropy (Moscow: Ves Mir, 2002); T.Sakmyster, Mikls Horthy and the Jews of Hungary, in Labyrinth of Nationalism, Complexities of Diplomacy (essays in honor of Charles and Barbara Jelavich), ed. R. Frucht (Columbus: Slavica Publishers, 1992), 121142.

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before the Soviet-Finnish War, which began on November 30, 1939. He left for the neighboring Norway, which at the time was a neutral state.96 Norway at the time was on the verge of war with the USSR, it actively recruited volunteers and send weapons to neighboring Finland, which was attacked by the USSR. Nonetheless, a direct conflict did not erupt with the Soviet Union. In March, 1940, the SovietFinnish War ended, and in April of the same year, Germany occupied Norway. As a result, on June 15, 1940, the Soviet Union broke relations with Norway.97 According to Visitors Log in Stalins cabinet, Plotnikov saw Molotov and Stalin on June 19, 1940.98 On June 25, 1940, TASS announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and Yugoslavia.99 The telegram which Molotov sent to Plotnikov on October 17, 1940, gives material for reconstruction of Stalins instructions to Plotnikov prior to his departure for Belgrade.100 In his telegram, Molotov reminded Plotnikov that he should do the following: avoid openly supporting either the proponents of the Italian-German or Anglo-American orientation; support political and economic independence of Yugoslavia, with all diplomatic and economic means available (including the sales of armaments), while at the same time, negating rumors that Moscow is pursing PanSlavic policies or that it is seeking to Sovietize Yugoslavia; stay clear of German political and economic activities. These ambivalent recommendations resulted from the Soviet course of trying to postpone the inevitable war with Germany.101 Within this context, it was important to avoid provoking German aggressive behavior, while trying to curtail Hitlers growing strength. Further developments in Yugoslavia, however, shattered the Soviet hope of preserving Yugoslavias neutrality. On March 25, 1941, the Yugoslav government signed a pact with Germany, which guaranteed Yugoslavias firm neutrality, and was relatively mild in its demands.102 In the meantime, the British government initiated a putsch in Belgrade,103 even though it knew that the British aid would not
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Plotnikov Viktor Andreevich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830. asp. W.R.Trotter, A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 193940 (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1991); A.B.Shirokorad, Tri voiny Velikoi Finliandii (Moscow: Veche, 2007). Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 303; Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 1, 15. B.E.Shtein, and S.A.Lozovskii, eds., Vneshniaia politika SSSR. Sbornik dokumentov. Tom IV (1935 iiun 1941 g.) (Moscow: Vyssh. part. shkola pri TsK VKP (b). Kabinet sots.ekon. nauk., 1946), 514. Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 2, 310311. L.Ia.Gibianskii, Iugoslaviia v period Vtoroi mirovoi voiny in Iugoslaviia v XX veke: Ocherki politicheskoi istorii, ed. K.V.Nikiforov (Moscow: Indrik, 2011). Belov, Ia byl, 328; N.D.Smirnova, Balkanskaia politika fashistskoi Italii. Ocherk diplomaticheskoi istorii (19361941) (Moscow: Nauka, 1969), 241. D.A.T.Stafford, Soe and British Involvement in the Belgrade Coup dEtat of March 1941, Slavic Review 3 (1977): 399419; Smirnov, Balkanskaia, 241.

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be forthcoming and in the best case scenario, it would have been only symbolic.104 It must be reminded that on the eve of the putsch special observers arrived to Belgrade Mikhail Abramovich Milshtein, deputy head of the military intelligence service, and Mikhail Andreevich Alahverdov, former NKVD resident agent in Afghanistan and Turkey.105 However, they were not likely to have been involved in the putsch in any way.106 More likely, their arrival could have been connected with subversive preparations for the upcoming war, as was the case with Bill Donovan, the future chief of the American OSS or the second person in SOE responsible for guerilla operations Colin Gabins.107 The Yugoslav communists, who at the time loyally fulfilled all orders which came from Moscow), confirm that Moscow was not involved in the putsch.108 S.Vukmanovi-Tempo and Djilas recalled that the Serbian Republican Committee of the KPJ issued a brochure on March 27, 1941, which criticized Britain and stated that the best guarantee against the German attack was a Mutual Assistance Pact with the USSR. On March 29, 1941, Tito condemned the Anglophile provocateurs that burned a German flag and demolished the German tourist bureau. All of this fit into traditional Soviet negative attitude towards the British foreign policy and its supporters.109 KPJ could not have issued such a concrete comment on such an important issue without approval from Moscow.110 The IKKI instruction to KPJ to launch a campaign propagating mutual assistance pact with the USSR arrived before the coup dtat.111 Since Yugoslavia and Germany signed the pact, the USSR wanted a similar alliance with Yugoslavia in order to counterbalance Berlins position in the Balkans. In light of the domination of the Central and Southeastern Europe by Germany and its allies, this pact could have only been a peaceful attempt to secure
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Churchill, Vtoraia mirovaia kn. 2, 76. Sudoplatov, Razvedka, 137. P.A.Sudoplatov, the deputy head of the NKVD 1st Department, wrote about their possible involvement in the coup. However, a detailed analysis of the Anglophile composition of the plotters who overthrew the government as well as the putschs very nature (bloodless palace conspiracy) proves that the two great experts in diversionary tactics, without the knowledge of local languages and customs, could not have been involved in the SOE coup. SudoplatovP.A.Spetsoperatsii, Lubianka i Kreml 19301950 gody (Moscow: Sovremennik, 1997); W.Mackenzie, The Secret History of S.O.E.: Special Operations Executive 19401945 (London, 2000), 104112. P.Wilkinson and J.B.Astley, Gubbins and SOE (London: Leo Cooper 1993); A.C.Brown, Wild Bill Donovan: The Last Hero, (New York: Times Book, 1982). M. ilas, Memories of a Revolutionary (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), 369373; S.Vukmanovi, Revolucija koja tee. Memoari knj. I, 156. Stalin specified his attitude towards the exponents of the British policy in 1927: English bourgeoisie does not like to fight with its hands. It always liked to wage war with other peoples hands. And sometimes it truly succeeded in finding fools who would pull out their chestnuts out of the fire for her. I.Stalin, Zametki na sovremennye temy, in Polnoe sobranie. Lebedev and Narinskii, KominternT. 1, 518520. U.Vujoevi., Prepiska (radiogrami) CK KPJ IKKI, Vojno-istorijski glasnik 1/3, (1992).

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Yugoslavias neutrality (the USSR could not have offered military assistance to Yugoslavia, except by attacking Germany directly which was out of the question considering Stalins general foreign policy). After the countries of the Anti-Comintern Pact attacked Yugoslavia, the Soviet-Yugoslav Agreement could not have secured Yugoslavias neutrality, but it could have turned into a casus belli between USSR and Germany. In fact, the situation resembled the circumstances which drew Czarist Russian into the First World War, when the adventurism of Serbias politicians dragged the Russian Imperial Army into the war before the completion of its modernization drive. It turned out that Stalin was more realistic (or cynical) than the deceased Nicholas II. Stalin did not want the USSR to begin the seemingly inevitable war with Germany a day earlier than it was necessary. This was especially the case in the unfavorable circumstances of being the violator of the agreement with Germany, which would have given credence to the accusations of Kremlin pursuing aggressively Pan-Slavic and communist policies.112 Stalin did not sign the Mutual Assistance Agreement with Yugoslavia, and on the day of the German attack on Yugoslavia, he forbade Molotov from organizing a ceremony which celebrated the diminished version of the pact, the so called Agreement of Friendship between USSR and Yugoslavia.113Yugoslavia was destroyed by the lethal mistake made by its generals and politicians who were motivated at least in part by British bribes,114 and nobody was able to help it: not the English in Greece who organized the putsch in order to force Hitler to send some of his armies to Yugoslavia and not the distant USSR which did not want to and was unable to offer effective military assistance to Yugoslavia. Major-General Samokhins role in informing the Yugoslav Armys decision to overthrow the government is unclear. In any case, it can be concluded that Kremlin was satisfied with his work in Yugoslavia because he was promoted to other positions after his return to the USSR. For Victor Plotnikov, the consequences of the events in Yugoslavia in the spring of 1941 were less favorable. NKID seems to have viewed poorly Plotnikovs assessment of the social-political situation in Yugoslavia, as well as his influence in Belgrade. Yugoslavia did not manage to preserve its neutrality vis--vis Berlin. Left-oriented but non-communist parties, with which Plotnikov led negotiations, played a role in this failure.115 The Peoples Commissariat of Foreign Affairs informed the Central Com112

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Molotov issued these specific instructions to Plotnikov on October 17, 1940, Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 2, 310311. See the memoirs of Nikolai Novikov, the chief of the NKID head of the Balkan countries, N.V.Novikov, Vospominaniia diplomata: (Zapiski o 19381947 godakh) (Moscow: Politizdat, 1989), 80. The British intelligence agency regularly recorded the exact amount which it paid to pro-London Yugoslav politicians, Mackenzie, The Secret History, 104112. About the role of the non-communist left in the coup dtat on March 27 see: B.Petranovi and N.uti, 27. mart 1941.: tematska zbirka dokumenata (Belgrade: NICOM, 1990); D.A.T.Stafford, Soe and

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mittee of the VKP (b) that it had no more use for Plotnikov.116 As a result, Plotnikov was transferred to the Commissariat of Forestry on August 26, 1941.117 This was the end of a brilliant career. Plotnikov, who was only forty-three years old and managed to prove himself in several important diplomatic positions, was sent to a humble position with little perspective for growth. His sons memoirs corroborate that he was transferred to forestry from diplomacy. Plotnikov died from tuberculosis in 1958, broken and forgotten.118 The assistants of the Soviet diplomatic and military representatives also deserve attention. Peter Mikhailovich Kovalenko was the assistant to A.G.Samokhin. Kovalenko was born on September 1, 1913, and he was a representative of the first generation of the Soviet youth which was filled with enthusiasm. He was born in city of Engels, near Saratov, where many Germans lived. Even though he was Russian, he spoke German very well. After the Middle Technical School, Peter Kovalenko joined the Red Army and he completed the Tank School for Officers, after which he participated in the Soviet-FinnishWar. He displayed bravery in the war and was awarded with the Red Star (1939).119 In autumn of 1940, the young officer arrived to Belgrade as an Assistant to the Soviet Military Attach. After the bombing of Belgrade on April 6, 1941, part of the Soviet Embassy had to leave the Yugoslav capital. Peter Kovalenko drove some of the staff in a car through the narrow mountain passes under the threat of German air bombardment. He was recognized by his colleagues for his skillful and careful driving. During the war, Peter Kovalenko managed to obtain another Red Star in 1943.120 At the end of 1943, Major Kovalenko was included in the Soviet Military Mission to NKOJ (The National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia). He was appointed assistant to the head of the Military Mission. In the spring of 1944, several Soviet liaison officers were sent to various Partisan headquarters. Major Kovalenko was sent to Peko Dapevis Headquarters in Montenegro.121 According to the official report, Kovalenko passed through the enemy territory for several
British Involvement in the Belgrade Coup dEtat of March 1941, Slavic Review 3 (1977): 399419; Barker, British Policy, 78108:; Mackenzie, The Secret History, 104112. The Soviets also admitted the connection between these politicians and the British government, Sudoplatov, Razvedka, 137. This occurred at the time that NKID had a shortage of experienced diplomats, Novikov, Vospominaniia, 88. Nomenclature lichnoe delo PlotnikovaV.A, from V.Orlovs family archive. According to his son Valerii Orlov (2004) and the photograph of the grave of the first Soviet ambassador to Yugoslavia. Also see the memorial on the website Polpred Plotnikov, accessed September 16, 2012, http://polpred-plotnikov.40s-50s.info. I.N.Shkadov eds., Geroi Sovetskogo Soiuza. N.M.Rumiantsev, Liudi legendarnogo podviga (Saratov: Privolzhskoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo, 1968). V.V.Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, in Pola veka od osloboenja Srbije, eds. .Jovanovi et al., (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 1995), 27.

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hundred kilometers until he reached his destination. During the offensives, he was not in Staff Headquarters behind the frontlines. He participated in organization and implementation of intelligence-diversionary operations in the enemys rear. He especially proved himself during the Partisans crossing of Ibar and Kopaonik. Together with Dapevis Montenegrin Partisans, Major Kovalenko participated in the Belgrade Operation. For bravery during the special tasks on the territory of Yugoslavia, Major Kovalenko received the prestigious Star of the Hero of the USSR for bravery during the special tasks on the territory of Yugoslavia, as well as the Yugoslav Partisan Star of the First Order.122 After the war, Kovalenko completed The Military Tank Academy, but his health had suffered during the war, and in 1958, and he was retired with the rank of the Lieutenant-Colonel. He died at the age of forty-seven in 1960, in Moscow. Viktor Zakharovich Lebedev was another member of the Soviet Representation. His life is most difficult to reconstruct, but it caused most discussion.123 Germans paid particular attention to him, since they confused him with the Russian migr Vladimir Aleksandrovich Lebedev, a doctor and active participant in the pro-Soviet migr organization Union of Soviet Patriots. Viktor Lebedev was officially a diplomat. He completed Pedagogical Teachers Faculty in Ryazan (1922), and later on, the Historical-Philological Faculty at the University of Moscow (1925). According to the official version, 19291940, he taught Marxism at the Academy of Food Industry Stalin. Suddenly, he was accepted into NKID in 1940, (which is quite unusual and raises doubts about his true career), and he was appointed Advisor to the Representative of the USSR in Yugoslavia, the second most important person in the embassy.124 This is confirmed by the fact that in March, 1941, Lebedev became the Chief of the Mission after Plotnikovs departure for Moscow.125 For several days while the Embassy still officially operated, he tried to established relations with General Duan Simovi. Rumors spread in occupied Yugoslavia that Lebedev became the gray eminence of the Partisan movement in Yugoslavia.126 Similar rumors forced the USSR to formally announce that Lebedev was in Moscow, working in NKID apparatus 19411943.127 This announcement did not mean much, as it could have been made even if Lebedev was not in the USSR.
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I.N.Shkadov eds., Geroi Sovetskogo Soiuza. M. Jovanovi, O jednoj zabuni u naoj istoriografiji ili ko je V. Lebedev? Spomenica Radovana Samardia, (Belgrade: Filozofski fakultet, 1994). A. A. Gromyko, ed., Diplomaticheskii slovar. Vol. II (Moscow: Nauka, 1984); Lebedev Viktor Zakharovich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830.asp. Petranovi ed., Odnosi,, 44. AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. D-250, D-818; f. , d. IV-127/6. A. A. Gromyko, ed., Diplomaticheskii slovar. Vol. II (Moscow: Nauka, 1984); Lebedev Viktor

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Viktor Lebedev assumed a public position only on November 12, 1943, as the Soviet ambassador to the government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in exile. On November 30, he also became the ambassador of the USSR to the Allied governments in exile (Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands and Norway).128 Later on, on January 5, 1945, Viktor Lebedev became the Soviet ambassador in Poland, at the time of Moscows integration of Poland into the emerging Soviet bloc. After a lengthy stint in Poland (19511958), Lebedev became the Soviet ambassador in Finland. Afterward, he headed the Higher Diplomatic School of MID USSR until 1965. Lebedev was pensioned in 1965 and he died in 1968.129 Even though Lebedev activities prior to his transfer to NKID as well as during 19411943 may not be reconstructed, it is not clear whom he worked for. Two out of four leading men in the Soviet Embassy in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia worked for the military intelligence. Under the pseudonym Sofokle, Samokhin wrote reports to General Golikov, the chief of the RKKA GRU General Staff.130 Later on, he was appointed the head of the 2nd (Informational) Department of the RKKA GRU General Staff. Sofokle mentioned Blok in one of his reports, whom the authors of 1941 god identified as Lebedev without any explanation. Without the access to documents, it is very difficult to ascertain the veracity of the authors claim. Nonetheless, Lebedevs and Kovalenkos careers before and after 1940, make it more likely that Kovalenko was Blok.131 Kovalenkos activities in Yugoslavia, 19431944, make this more probable. Kovalenko actively participated in planning and implementing the intelligence-subversive operations behind the German frontlines in 1944, when he was stationed with Dapevis units. It is illustrative that the participant of the General Korneevs mission, V.Zelenin, discussed Kovalenkos mission in Montenegro as similar to Patrahaltsevs mission, who was also a RU RKKA agent.132 We did not find direct information about Plotnikov and Lebedev, but one of them could have been an NKVD agent since the Soviet diplomatic missions always had resident agents from military as well as political special services.133 The
Zakharovich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830.asp. Ibid. K.A.Zalesskii, Imperiia Stalina. Biograficheskii entsiklopedicheskii slovar (Moscow: Veche, 2000); A.A.Gromyko, ed., Diplomaticheskii slovar. Vol. II (Moscow: Nauka, 1984) GRU GSh USSR Coordinated telegrams are inaccessible to researchers. The only available information is from published documents. Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 1, 572, 736, kn. 2, 24; G.Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman: Stalin i napadenie Germanii na Sovetskii Soiuz (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2001), 169. (English edition G.Gorodetsky, Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999). Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 2, 25, 636, 650. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 27. Moscow regularly appointed NKVD agents to Soviet diplomatic positions. For instance, D.P.Pohidaev

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role of V.M.Sakharov remains unclear. He also worked in the Soviet embassy in Yugoslavia 19401941, and he returned to Serbia in 1944, as Major and the Senior Assistant to the Chief of the Soviet Mission.134 Evgenii Bukhnitskii, a student of the Russian-Serbian Gymnasium in Belgrade, also left some information about the Soviet representatives in Yugoslavia. In early 1941, a well-dressed man approached Bukhnitskii on one of Belgrades central streets, asking him in proper Russian language to help him in buying something in a store because he did not speak Serbian well enough. Later on, it turned out that this was an employee of the Soviet Embassy who began a conversation with him and invited him to his car for a drive. At the time, a car was a symbol of high social status, a technological wonder, which attracted the poor Russian refugee. The youth entered the car. Later on, Bukhnitskii worked as a courier, moving around sealed envelopes to Russian migrs and Serbian officers, which were so confidential that the Soviets did not trust the mail service. The youth noticed that there were regular target practices with revolvers with silencers in the building of the Soviet Embassy (which at the time was an advanced weapon of special services),135 as well as a strange martial art practice similar to judo (most likely, a complex martial art known as Military Sambo developed for NKVD needs).136 Bukhnitskii also noted a large and precise index of Russian migr organizations and individual informers used by the Soviet Mission.137 Many Soviet officials in the prewar Yugoslavia were loyal executioners of the orders of the party and the state leadership. The hard work meant an opportunity for further career advancement (Lebedev, Kovalenko), while minor mistakes, especially those caused by acting independently, were punished severely (Plotnikov, Samokhin). The members of the Soviet Embassy were drastically more disciplined and obedient than their Yugoslav counterparts in Moscow. Milan Gavrilovi was a good example of the Yugoslav representatives in the USSR. Milan Gavrilovi began his career as a secretary to Nikola Pai and a member of the Black Hand and later on White Hand. In 1921, when he was forty years old, with the help of the all-powerful Pai, he received a state pension as an adviwas an NKVD agent in Paris in 1940, during the war he coordinated NKID and NKVD activities, while later on he was an ambassador in numerous European and African countries. Similarly, S.V.Semenov worked on NKVD assignments with diplomatic immunity in Lithuania 19391940, in Germany 1940 1941 and in Sweden 19421945. Later on, he developed a successful diplomatic career and 19551978 he was the Deputy Minister in MID USSR, P.A.Sudoplatov, Raznye dni tainoi voiny i diplomatii. 1941 god (Moscow: OLMA-PRESS, 2001). Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20; PopoviK., Beleke uz ratovanje, Belgrade, 1988, 199. See: A.N.Ardashev and S.L.Fedoseev, Oruzhie spetsialnoe, neobychnoe, ekzoticheskoe. Illiustrirovannyi spravochnik (Moscow: AST, 2003), 2030. See Volkov, Kurs samozashchity. AJ, IAB, f. BdS, d. B-76.

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sor of the Embassy, and from then on, he was materially secure, and he devoted himself entirely to politics. Gavrilovi was a cofounder of the Agricultural Party, and 19241930, he was director of Politika. The Agricultural Party consistently pursued anti-German policies, and it relied on peasants and small businessmen. With skillful political maneuvering and manipulating the anti-German attitudes, present amongst many Serbs, the Agricultural Party managed to seize certain positions in the Yugoslav politics and to receive funding from the British government. Even though most of the money went through Gavrilovis party colleague Milo Tupanjanin, part of the British money went through Gavrilovi. According Hugh Dalton, SOE officer, in order to create the right mood in the country for the putsch, the British Crown spent more than 100,000 British pounds.138 From September, 1940, according to the information from SOE archive, the Agricultural Party received 4,000 British pounds per month. Gavrilovis financial interests coincided with his conviction that Yugoslavia ought to orient itself towards Britain and become her ally in the war against Germany. This view, of course, corresponded with the British intelligence officers support for the useful politicians (from their perspective).139 Gavrilovi, an independent politician, did not care about the views of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government which sent him to Moscow. Gavrilovi had an interesting conversation with the German ambassador in Yugoslavia, von Heren, in June 1940, before his departure for Moscow as an ambassador. At the time, Yugoslavia was officially a neutral country. These circumstances did not prevent Gavrilovi from taking on an absolutely independent line with regards to Germany, which was accompanied by an insolent tone. When Von Heren expressed his doubt that Gavrilovi was heading to Moscow to ruin Soviet-German relations, without much thinking, Gavrilovi responded that his words were a compliment to him, adding: I love my country and I would give my life and life of my children for her: I will defend my countrys interests until the end!140 To this pathetic statement, we must insert a quote from Branko Lazarevi, a notable member of the Serbian elite, a reputable author and diplomat: A coup dtat was carried out. Radio speaks. King Peter II speaks. Later on it was proven that King did not know anything until the night, and that a young Sub-lieutenant was speaking. Milan Gavrilovis son ran to our house: Death to the Pact! (Lat138

139 140

D.A.T.Stafford, Soe and British Involvement in the Belgrade Coup dEtat of March 1941, Slavic Review 3 (1977): 399419; M.Jankovi and V.Lali, Knez Pavle. Istina o 27. Martu (Belgrade: Una Press, 2007), 62. Mackenzie, The Secret History, 104105. Documents on Milan Gavrilovi are held at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Milan Gavrilovi papers, 19381979. We are citing this quote from the monograph Jankovi and Lali, Knez Pavle, 3335. The same dialoge was mentioned in J.Hoptner, Yugoslavia in Crisis 19341941 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962), 249.

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er on he escaped, as well as his entire family, and today they are in emigration) our airplanes started flying above Belgrade. The Army started to walk on the streets. Happiness to the point of delirium. In two days, I think on the thirtieth, there was a long telephone conversation in the house of Dr. Milan Gavrilovi with Ambassador Gavrilovi, from Ankara it seems (he flew there from Moscow on business), and immediately after that conversation, the entire family, together with Tupanjanins family, supposedly went for Bosnia, but they went to Istanbul via Bulgaria.141 In the autumn of 1940, Gavrilovi developed a stormy diplomatic activity, independent of his chief the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia, Aleksandar Cincar-Markovi. Gavrilovi was diplomatically inexperienced, which he tried to compensate with his political experiences in the Balkans. He was always ready for the most varied combinations. During his first official visit to NKID, Gavrilovi said anything which would have attracted the sympathy of his Soviet partners. According to a Soviet official, Gavrilovi went so far that he insisted on creating a Balkan Union which would be led by Slavophile ideas, and in which the Russian language would displace various Slavic dialects.142 It is very symptomatic that Gavrilovi refused to repeat his words or to say anything at the All-Slavic Rally in Moscow, on August 1011, 1941.143 In June 1940, Soviet diplomats sent information to the NKVD, which decided to recruit the active and independent diplomat. Immediately after they succeeded in this, the chief of the NKVD counter-intelligence department, P.V.Fedotov, and deputy to the NKVD intelligence chief, P.A.Sudoplatov, were greatly disappointed: Gavrilovi was firmly connected to their British counterparts and he regularly visited Sir Staford Cripps, the British ambassador in Moscow. His close ties with the British ran parallel with Gavrilovis continued interest in the party politics in Yugoslavia. He kept on sending to his party colleagues in Belgrade confidential reports from Moscow through the British embassy.144 The enigma surrounding the Yugoslav diplomats true masters began to grow. Gavrilovi started suggesting to Soviet officials that they should pay attention to a group of anti-German General Staff officers in Belgrade, who were in opposition to the pro-German government. In September, 1940, negotiations along these lines began in Paris, but they were broken off when the Yugoslav Foreign Policy began to openly orient the country
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B.Lazarevi, Dnevnik jednoga nikoga. (26) General Simovi i avijatiari junaci dana, Danas, September 10, 2008. Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 167. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 259. About Gavrilovis loyalty to the English see Sudoplatov, Razvedka, 137; R. Gai Beogradska politika i vojna elita u svetlu nemakih i britanskih izvora pred Drugi svetski rat, Istorija 20. Veka 1 (2006); Jankovi and Lali, Knez Pavle, 72.

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towards Germany and its satellites.145 However, negotiations did not succeed. The ambassador of the British Crown to the USSR, Cripps offered his understanding of the Yugoslav-Soviet relations to the British Foreign MinisterA.Eden in the second half of 1940.146 He wrote that the Soviet government broke off negotiation with Yugoslavia because Prince Paul was too anti-Soviet, a sentiment reinforced by Hitlers promise that Germany would undertake measures against the USSR.147 The Yugoslav Ambassador, in the fateful and extremely dangerous moment of maneuvers above the abyss of war and the sea of blood, continued his nonchalant political games. Even though Stalin and Molotov let him know that the USSR was neither capable nor willing to enter the war, Gavrilovi reported to Belgrade this information in a watered-down form. He sent to Cincar-Markovi reports that the USSR was ready to enter the war and that in any case it is against neutral Yugoslavia.148 Gavrilovi went so far that he said that Vishinskii told me point blank that [the USSR A.T.] will enter the war against Germany in case of Britain opening a front in the Balkans. Soviet troops will head directly for Bulgaria149 Andrei Vishinskii, who was a Russian Pole and former Menshevik, managed to survive Stalins purges and reach the very top of the state. It is completely unimaginable that Vishinksii could say something which ran counter to Stalins attempts to postpone the conflict with Germany, especially to a foreign diplomat whose loyalty was questionable.150 Gavrilovis free interpretation of the Soviet officials statement resulted in the Soviets trying to find out how correctly Gavrilovi was passing on the information to his superiors in Belgrade through Plotnikov in Yugoslavia.151 The height of Gavrolivis independence was his dialog with the Yugoslav Prime Minister Duan Simovi on the eve of the German attack on Yugoslavia.
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Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 168. L. F. Sotskov, comp., Pribaltika i geopolitika, 19351945 g.: rassekrechennye dokumenty Sluzhby vneshnei razvedki Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Moscow: RIPOL klassik, 2009), document 37. Nonetheless, we disagree with the view that the Yugoslav inquiries about the possibility of signing a military agreement with the USSR, was a mere ruse, N.Milovanovi, Vojni pu i 27. mart 1941 (Belgrade: Sloboda, 1981), 346. It is more likely that Yugoslavias problem was the lack of a coherent foreign policy vision which stemmed from the fact that various power centers within the country pursued their own policies and visions. The wish by part of the Yugoslav elite (especially the military) to sign an agreement with the USSR at the end of 1940 and early 1941, has been established in recent monograph by an expert on the Yugoslav Royal Army, M.Bjelajac, Diplomatija i vojska: Srbija i Jugoslavija 19011999 (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2010), 181203. Hoptner, Jugoslavija, 288290. Jankovi and Lali, Knez Pavle, 16, 31. It is impossible that Vishinskyy would have promised a foreign diplomat that the USSR would undertake military action in the Balkans at the time that Stalin was trying to avoid a conflict with Hitler. About Vishinskiis carefulness in negotiating with Gavrilovi see Sudoplatov, Raznye dni, chapter Sobytiia na Balkanakh. D.Jovanovi, MedaljoniKnj. III (Belgrade: Slubeni glasnik, 2008), 379.

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The Yugoslav government insisted on signing a military alliance with the USSR. The Soviet government refused to add a clause about the military assistance, suggesting instead an agreement of neutrality, which was meant to send a signal to Hitler that Moscow would deem a German attack on Yugoslavia to be a hostile step, but that it would not lead automatically to war. Simultaneously, the Yugoslav government reported to German ambassador that the negotiations in Moscow were a result of short-term excitement after the rebellion, but that the entire cabinet is opposed to them and that it wants to reach an understanding not with Moscow but with Berlin.152 At midnight, the Soviet ambassador in Berlin, Dekanozov, reported that the German attack on Yugoslavia was imminent. Stalin ordered that the agreement should still be signed. Around midnight, Gavrilovi was at a reception organized by the American ambassador, and the situation was explained to him. However, Gavrilovi said that there was no need for hurry and that the Yugoslav government would send its response only in the morning. Nonetheless, Vishinksii convinced Gavrilovi to immediately call the Yugoslav Prime Minister Simovi and to obtain from him new instructions.153 Sign what the Russians are offering to you, Simovi told him. I cant, General. I know what my duty is and what my job is, he responded. You must sign. I cant, General. Have trust in me. Sign it, Gavrilovi, the Yugoslav Prime Minister continued to insist. I know what I am doing. I cannot sign that document. Alright. If you want an order, then I am ordering you to sign it! Simovi said. I know what I am doing. Have trust in me. After this, Gavrilovi put the telephone down.154 The authors who wrote about this incident refer to this dialog as strange and undiplomatic155 and surreal.156 Vishinskii was obviously listening to the international conversation between Gavrilovi and Simovi, and he immediately called the former. Are you coming? asked (Vishinksii A.T.). No, said Gavrilovi. What? No, I said that I am not coming. But you have an order to sign; you must sign it! I understand, but I will not sign it. I cant my hand refuses to do it You must sign it. You must sign it now. You have an order from your Prime Minister. I dont have to sign it. My Prime Minister can fire me and replace me with somebody else, but while I am here, I will not sign it as it is157 Stalin gave in and reformulated the agreement which was never ratified and did not come into force.
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Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 178. Gordetskii cited this quote from the German Representative in Belgrade on April 5, 1941. Gorodetskii completely reconstructed the events of the night between April 56 according to secret Soviet, English and American diplomatic archives, Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 178. Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 178. Hoptner, Jugoslavija, 385386. Gorodetskii, Rokovoi samoobman, 178. Hoptner, Jugoslavija, 388.

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It must be noted that the Soviet leadership knew that Hitler would imminently attack Yugoslavia through their agent in Gestapo Willi Lehmann.158 The Soviet leader was also aware of the poor chances which Yugoslavia had in case of war with Germans. V.Mileti, a member of the Yugoslav embassy in Moscow, had a conversation with Stalin. Stalin asked Colonel Savi how long would Yugoslav army last in case of an attack. He answered: around three months. At this Stalin addressed our military representative, who appeared to be better informed, and he lowered this figure to a month. Stalin shook his head in disbelief and said: two to three weeks.159 In signing this agreement, Moscows intentions were not to protect Yugoslavia, which could not have been saved after the putsch on March, 27, but because of a complicated diplomatic game which was being played out between the USSR and Germany in the spring of 1941. After Germany attacked an apparent Soviet ally, there were no longer any illusions that Germany would respect Soviet interests. Gavrilovis insubordination and his approach to diplomatic relations were indicative of the differences between Soviet elites and their Yugoslav counterparts. The free spirit of a Balkan politician remained intact even after the war (Gavrilovi wrote his memoirs with pride after the war). It shows that his actions were not a result of stress under the threat of an unavoidable war, but a characteristic approach to diplomatic questions. Obviously, Milan Gavrilovis model of behavior independence and subordination was drastically different from its Soviet counterpart during Stalins reign. Invariably, this left a strong impression on mutual perceptions between the Soviets and the Yugoslavs. Gavrilovis behavior created a stereotype about the entire state organism of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The course of negotiations after March 27, 1941, was not important because they could not have prevented Germany from attacking and partitioning Yugoslavia. In the worst or best scenario, depending on ones perspective, the USSR could have been dragged into the war three months earlier, which would have led to a million or more dead Red Army soldiers. At the same time, the German-Italian pressure on Britain would have diminished sooner. However, even if somehow Yugoslavia obtained the coveted Soviet armored vehicles, it would not have decisively influenced the course of the war. Yugoslavia was riddled with inter-ethnic divisions,160 the political elite suffered from serious shortcomings, and no amount
158 159

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T.Gladkov, Ego velichestvo agent (Moscow: Pechatnye traditsii, 2010). A. ivoti, Jedno svedoanstvo o potpisivanju Sovjetsko-jugoslovenskog pakta 5/6. aprila 1941, Arhiv 11 (2010): 122133; V.Mileti, U Moskvi pre 20 godina, Glas Kanadskih Srba (Toronto), April 4, 1961. Apart from the Croatian question, there was a series of ethnic conflicts which were not resolved until the fall of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Z. Janjetovi, Deca careva, pastorad kraljeva. Nacionalne manjine u Jugoslaviji. 19181941 (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2005); V. Jovanovi,

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of Soviet weapons could have saved it from destruction from the far more powerful Germany. The Yugoslav army capitulated when its storages were full of weapons, and part of the existing technology was not even used. According to recent research on the April War, armored units did not achieve important battle results. The First Tank Battalion did not even succeed to gather [and organize into a coherent unit A.T.]. A Regiment in Zagreb surrendered without fighting, tanks from the auxiliary regiments were destroyed during the bombing of Belgrade, and the remaining tanks from a regiment in Sarajevo were made inoperable by its crews. The Second Battalion, made up of experienced and trained people, participated in heavy battles near Doboj but it was exposed to attacks by the Ustaa fifth columnthe general conclusion about the Yugoslav tank units in the April War cannot be separated from how the entire army carried itself, which apart from individual cases of bravery and self-initiative, was filled with defeatism, fifth column and was unused to battles with modern war technologies, so it succeeded in offering only sporadic and short resistance.161 On the fifth day of the war, when German troops entered Zagreb, they were greeted with joys and flowers by a larger part of the population.

Contacts between the government in exile and JVuO with the USSR until the autumn of 1944
The topic of JVuO has been much written about in recent Serbian historiography. Numerous monographs, memoirs and photograph albums have somewhat filled the gaps in earlier research on the anti-communist movement led by Draa Mihailovi. Studies written by M.Pavlovi, K.Nikoli and B.Dimitrijevi correctly view the events in Serbia 19411945 as a civil war between three belligerents.162 The three-sided civil war raged between the pro-German, far-rightwing supporters of M.Nedi and D.Ljoti, the pro-Soviet far-leftists Partisans led by Tito and Mihailovis etniks who were moderately liberal and oriented towards Britain and the USA. Each side in the Serbian civil war relied on an outside power,
Jugoslovenska drava i Juna Srbija 19181929. Makedonija, Sandak, Kosovo i Metohija u Kraljevini SHS (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2002). D.Denda, Jugoslovenski tenkisti u Aprilskom ratu, Vojno-istorijski glasnik br. 2 (2009): 7896. Dimitrijevi and Nikoli, eneral Mihajlovi; M. Pavlovi and B. Mladenovi, Kosta Milovanovi Peanac Biografija (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2006), 171.

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which offered them support according to its needs and capabilities. This approach can be used to view the civil war in Yugoslavia in general, and not just in Serbia. In this way all of the citizens of pre-war Yugoslavia who took up weapons can be, roughly and somewhat cynically, divided according to which foreign domination they preferred: German (or Italian), British (or American) or Soviet. Regardless of a researchers willingness to concede and consider the foreign factor in the civil war in Yugoslavia, he or she cannot deny that the steadiness and intensity of foreign assistance significantly influenced the clash between the Partisans, etniks and supporters of Nedi and Ljoti. However, the true tri-dimensional image of the civil war, which divided the population of Yugoslavia into three warring camps, can be understood only if we also consider the ties which bound the belligerents with each other and each others patrons. For instance, the Partisans cultivated contacts with Germans to exchange prisoners of war, they attempted to arrange an unofficial ceasefire with the occupational forces in case of an Anglo-Saxon landing on the Adriatic coast and they cooperated with the British and American missions closely. There were also direct and indirect contacts between Nedi and the Western Allies via the government in exile. etnik sought cooperation with the USSR, while contacts between the JVuO commanders with Germans and Italians are well known. In the context of this study, we cannot avoid the complex question surrounding the relationship between the USSR and the government in exile in general, and the contacts between the Soviets and JVuO in particular. These relations have been examined in historiography before. Nikola Popovi referred to the issues surrounding the relations between the USSR and the government and exile and JVuO as delicate questions during the hot years.163 After 1948, Belgrade claimed that Soviet policies were meant to undermine the Yugoslav Revolution. The idea that Moscow sought to sabotage Partisan efforts defined the Yugoslav historiography until the fall of the one party system in Yugoslavia. Pera Moraa most clearly expressed this view.164 The Anglo-Saxon authors similarly wrote according to the daily political needs (of causing strife between the USSR and SFRJ.165 In contrast, Soviet authors sought to prove that the USSR was on the side of the Partisans from the outset of the conflict. A shortcoming of the Soviet historiography was its poor source-base, in light of restrictive archival policies in the Soviet Union. In addi163 164

165

Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 1011. P.Moraa, Oslobodilaki rat i revolucija naroda Jugoslavije 19411945: kratak pregled (Belgrade: Mladost, 1961); P.Moraa, Istorija Saveza komunista Jugoslavije: (kratak pregled) (Belgrade: Rad, 1966); P.Moraa, Odnosi izmeu Komunistike partije Jugoslavije i Kominterne od 1941. do 1943. Godine, Jugoslovenski istorijski asopis 12 (1969). Auty, Tito; F.Maclean, The Heretic: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957); J.C.Campbell, Titos Separate Road: America and Yugoslavia in World Politics (New York: Published for the Council on Foreign Relations by Harper & Row, 1967).

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tion, the Soviet scholarship wanted to conceal Moscows diplomatic wartime maneuvering, the aim of which was to gain the trust of Britain and the USA, whose military assistance and promises of the second front were exceptionally important in the difficult years of 19411943. Popovis Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi u Drugom svetskom ratu greatly enriched the historiography at the end of Yugoslavias existence. Popovi examined closely the history of relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the USSR, including Mihailovis movement. His study was based on sources from Arhiv Jugoslavije, Arhiv Josipa Broza Tita, correspondence between Tito and the Comintern held at the time in the State Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Archive of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, numerous volumes of published documents and a series of domestic and foreign memoirs. Popovi offered a detailed analysis of the USSRs policies towards the Yugoslav government in exile, concluding that from June 22, 1941, the USSRs policy of supporting peoples fronts meant that Moscow encouraged cooperation between Partisans and etniks. Soviet policies were concentrated on weakening the German pressure on the Eastern Front. The USSR advocated the peoples fronts with particular ferocity during 19411942, when the communist regime found itself on the edge of abyss. According to Popovi, the policy changed only in August 1942, when the USSR began a campaign against Mihailovis movement which did not cross into open recognition of NOP as an alternative to the Royal government in London. The USSR gave open and complete support to Tito as the new ruler of Yugoslavia only in September, 1944, when the Soviet troops were in Central and Southeastern Europe. The Soviet diplomatic maneuvering never meant that they repudiated NOP, however. During the last years of Soviet Unions existence, Iu. Girenko argued similarly that the relationship between the USSR and the Yugoslav Partisans was very close during the entire Second World War, regardless of the USSRs diplomatic maneuvering.166 The reevaluation of the Second World War in Yugoslavia came about only as a result of the disappearance of the USSR and SFRJ and the loss of communist monopoly on history writing in the Eastern bloc. With the outbreak of the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the Second World War could not have been viewed solely as the struggle for brotherhood and unity, social justice and freedom from foreign occupiers and their collaborators. Instead, it was viewed as a civil war between various Yugoslav nations, as well as a civil war between Serbs. The wave of migr literature, which flooded the Serbian academia and public with real and imagined facts (as is often the case in war memoirs), also added to this new historiographical direction. In these circumstances, the majority of older topics which
166

Iu.S.Girenko, Stalin Tito (Moscow: Politizdat, 1991).

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were considered to have been closed in the Yugoslav and the Soviet historiography received new importance. Scholars posed new questions about the role of the foreign factor in the outbreak of the civil war in Yugoslavia and its intensification which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. This is the reason why relations between the USSR and the Royal government in exile, as well as relations between the USSR and JVuO, are again important. We examined the relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the USSR on the eve of the war in the previous chapter. Much has been written about the activity of the Yugoslav government in exile. There are collections of documents with voluminous articles and comments,167 and wide-ranging research.168 The most exhaustive research in the recent Serbian historiography was conducted by M. Terzi for his dissertation (which unfortunately has not been published yet) and it offers a complete overview of the activities of the government in exile: collection of information from Yugoslavia, radio contact with JVuO, missions to JVuO, the governments view of the situation in occupied Yugoslavia, its attempts to interfere with the events on the ground, and the disappearance of the migr government.169 The migr government which was formed after the putsch on March 27, argued Terzi, relied mostly on the support of the Great Britain during the Second WorldWar.170 The British government did not value the Yugoslav government in exile highly. Eden characterized its members as pathetic political speculators.171 Consequently, London forced the changes which resulted in a government much more to its liking.172 The Yugoslav government only spent the capital of its previous authority and in absence of practical reality, it only imagined politics far away from the implementation of policies. It followed events slowly which were developing rapidly, it was left without initiative, so it could only register events and react to them by commenting.173 This government was on the verge of becoming a puppet
167

168

169 170

171

172 173

Published documents: B.Krizman ed., Jugoslovenske vlade u izbjeglitvu: 19411943: dokumenti (Zagreb: Globus, 1981); B.Petranovi, Jugoslovenske vlade u izbeglitvu: 19431945: dokumenti (Belgrade: Arhiv Jugoslavije); Lj. Boban, Hrvatska u arhivima izbjeglike vlade: 19411943: izvjetaji informatora o prilikama u Hrvatskoj (Zagreb: Globus, 1985); K.Pijevac and D.Joni, Zapisnici sa sednica Ministarskog saveta Kraljevine Jugoslavije 19411945, (Belgrade: Slubeni list SCG, Arhiv Srbije i Crne Gore, 2004). V.ureti, Vlada na bespuu: internacionalizacija jugoslovenskih protivrjenosti: 19411944, (Belgrade, 1983; D.epi, Vlada Ivana ubaia (Zagreb: Globus, 1983); M.Stefanovski, Srpska politika emigracija o preureenju Jugoslavije: 19411943 (Belgrade: Narodna knjiga, 1988). Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima. V.Glii, Izbeglika Jugoslovenska kraljevska Vlada i srpsko nacionalno pitanje, in Drugi svetski rat 50 godina kasnije, ed. V.Strugar (Podgorica: CANU SANU, 1995), 208. M.Radojevi, Izbeglika Vlada kraljevine Jugoslavije i jugoslovenska dravna ideja in Drugi svetski rat 50 godina kasnije, 217. epi, Vlada. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 854.

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government.174 It would be interesting to assess the relationship between the government in exile and the USSR, as well as the relationship between the USSR and the allied governments in London, within the framework of ties between Britain and the USSR.175 It is indicative that the NKVD viewed the governments in exile in London as English agents, whose special services worked under the direct command of the British security structures.176 The relationship between the USSR and the Yugoslav government has been investigated in Yugoslav historiography.177 Terzi examined in great detail the activities of the exiled governments representative in the USSR, which also boiled down to already mentioned imagined politics which consisted of noting events and then commenting on them.178 The diplomatic ties between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the USSR were renewed in July, 1941. It is symptomatic of the Yugoslav governments insignificance in the eyes of the Soviet policy makers that when Molotov instructed the Soviet ambassador in London to let Eden know that Moscow was ready to recognize the governments in exile, he mentioned by name each leader of the government by name except the Yugoslav leader.179 Similarly, during the negotiations between Britain and the USSR in December, 1941, the Soviets offered the British to sign two agreements at the same time. The first agreement was about mutual assistance between the state during the war and after its completion (to expand the previous similar agreement from July 12, 1941). The second agreement dealt with defining the postwar order in Europe. Among others (after Czechoslovakia and Poland), the agreement predicted the postwar reconstruction of Yugoslavia in expanded borders at the expense of Italy (Trieste, Rijeka, Adriatic islands, and so on) and Bulgaria.180 The direct negotiations with Britain about the postwar borders and status of Yugoslavia without consulting the government in exile also reveal the Yugoslav governments weak standing amongst the Soviets. The Yugoslav governments first and basic demand was to place the Partisans in Yugoslavia under Mihailovis command. Later on, this demand turned into a meek plea, which the migr government unsuccessfully made with the British
174

175

176

177 178 179 180

C. L. McNeely, Constructing the nation-state: international organization and prescriptive action (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995), 61; J.R.Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 6265. In this context, the collection of documents compiled by contemporary Russian scholar Oleg Rzheshevskii is very useful, Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill. V.M.Chebrikov ed., Istoriia sovetskikh organov gosudarstvennoi bezopastnosti (Moscow: VSh KGB SSSR, 1977), 405. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 263. Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 74. I. M. Maiskii, Vospominaniia sovetskogo diplomata, 19251945 gg. (Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1980), 536537; Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 38, 51.

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and Soviet representatives. On November 15, the Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nini, sent to his ambassador in Moscow, Simovi, instructions to immediately contact the Soviets to inquire about the Partisans. However, the Yugoslavs and the British received with great delay the same answer the USSR does not have contacts with the Partisan movement in Yugoslavia.181 Until the middle of 1942, Soviets asked representatives of the government in exile to help them establish ties with JVuO. For example, on May 5, 1942, the government in exile was informed that the Soviets were inquiring about sending an airplane to one of the airfields at Draa Mihailovis disposal.182 In its response, the Yugoslav government asked that these types of negotiations should go through London, which meant that it did not want to create such a relationship independently and without the knowledge of the British government. It is questionable whether the Yugoslav government in exile could have facilitated contacts between Mihailovi and the USSR without the knowledge of the British, who tended to control tightly the missions and radio connections. It is noticeable that the hesitancy with regards to the JVuO was markedly different from Titos skillful policy of communication with the British and the Germans.183 In the spring of 1942, the idea of the Soviet-Yugoslav Agreement emerged. Officially, the Yugoslav side formulated this idea first, believing that in this way it could calm down the communist partisans.184 The USSR at the time was in a hurry to sign such an agreement, even more so than the Yugoslavs. However, the Soviet wish to conclude such an agreement as soon as possible ran into an insurmountable obstacle in June and July, 1942, during Molotovs visit to London. On June 9, 1942, Eden told Molotov that the British government was against such an agreement, supposedly because he wanted to avoid competition between Britain and USSR in signing similar agreements with small countries. When Molotov tried to convince Eden this was a mere continuation of a previous agreement, Eden again categorically restated the British governments opposition. The British were particularly concerned that the agreement was to be in force until five years after the end of the war.185 Several days after meeting Eden, Molotov had a discussion with Momilo Nini, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Yugoslav government in exile.186 The meeting took place on Ninis request, who explained that despite the fact
181 182 183 184 185

186

AJ, Poslanstvo u Kujbievu, f. 1, a. 230231. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 265266; Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 190. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 856. Krizman ed., Jugoslovenske vlade, 73.. Zapis besedy Molotova s Idenom 9 iunia 1942 goda, in Stalin i Cherchill, ed. Rzheshevskii, 316 317. Beseda Molotova s iugoslavskim ministrom inostrannykh del Ninchichem 10 iiunia 1942 goda, in Stalin i Cherchill, 339.

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that the relationship with the USSR was excellent, the Yugoslav Royal Government could not sign a friendship agreement with the USSR which would last for five years after the war. Naturally, Nini did not mention the opposition to this agreement from his British overlords. As a true diplomat, he explained that the work on the text of the agreement was not finished because the Yugoslav government had more pressing responsibilities at the moment: the Cairo Affair and the threat of the King Peter and Prime Minister Jovanovi of relocating to the USA if Britain would not help them in this regard. According to Nini, the Yugoslav government was additionally burdened by the infighting between Kneevi and Mirkovi, the love of the young King Peter for the Greek princess Aspasia, and her mothers wish for the young couple to marry immediately which was opposed by Peters mother who wanted to postpone the wedding until after the war.187 To all of this, Molotov once again (and as it turned out, for the last time) made his offer: the Soviet government is ready to offer support to the Yugoslav government and it wants to see Yugoslavia not only restored but expanded at the expense of Italy. The support of the Soviet Union includes that the Yugoslav government will have firm authority in the country and good relations with the USSR.188 Nini thanked Molotov again, and added that the Yugoslav government and D.Mihailovi as Minister of War of the government already have firm authority in the country. In his response, Molotov noted that the Soviet government has contradictory information about Draa Mihailovi, but that this is in any case Yugoslavias internal affair, and the Soviet government has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia. After hearing this, Nini bid farewell to Molotov, telling him to pass on his warm regards to Comrade Stalin.189 Regardless of the warm greetings, Comrade Stalin likely did not have understanding for the difficulties which were tormenting the Yugoslav government because a nineteen year old Peter II was in love with Princess Aspasia.190 The Soviet side decided to break off negotiations considering that the Yugoslavs were not sufficiently interested in continuing them. On July 4, 1942, Molotov wrote to Maiskii, the Soviet ambassador in London, to tell Eden that the USSR was in agreement with views expressed by Eden on June 9, and that he would not
187 188 189 190

Ibid., 338. Ibid., 339. Ibid., 339. Stalins eldest son Iakov participated in battles as a commander of a howitzer battery and he died fighting or in captivity. His middle son, Vasilii, a fighter pilot had several combat flights and he downed two enemy airplanes. Artem Sergei, Stalins adopted son, participated in the war as a commander of a howitzer company, he was taken prisoner and he escaped from captivity and reached the partisans, after which he returned to the Red Army. The children of Stalins colleagues (A.A.Andreev, M.V.Frunze, K.E.Voroshilov, A.S.Shcherbakov, A.I.Mikoian and N.M.Shvernik and others) also participated in the war. They were between eighteen and thirty years old, A.Sergeev and E.Glushik, Besedy o Staline (Moscow: Krymskii most-9D, 2006).

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conclude agreements with the smaller European countries (as Eden expressed himself).191 In the autumn of 1942, Soviets admitted to having contacts with the Yugoslav Partisans, which they have denied since November, 1941. However, this admission went hand in hand with the accusation that the General Mihailovi was cooperating with the occupiers.192 In addition, in November 1942, Soviets announced that they were convinced that the government in exile does not have direct relations with Draa.193 This statement, repeated several times, most likely was meant to challenge the government in exile to prove otherwise. The Prime Minister Jovanovi was consistent in his views the Partisans must first submit to Mihailovis command, and only then could the question of the Soviet liaison officers be considered.194 The demand for placing the Partisans under Mihailovis command was repeatedly made by the Yugoslav government until 1943.195 Likewise, Jovanovis personal initiative in October, 1942, to sign an agreement with Czechoslovak and Polish leaders to prevent Soviet expansionism westward after the war, did not improve ties with the Soviet Union.196 The Soviet view of these negotiations could not have been positive especially because Moscow already reacted coldly to a similar agreement between Greece and Yugoslavia, signed on January 15, 1942.197 Already in early 1942, the Soviet intelligence reported to Stalin, based on sources in the government in exile, that official Yugoslav circles are wary of the growing strength of the USSR because an important part of the Yugoslav population is under the influence of Russia. According to Soviet analysts, the Greeks and the Yugoslavs have agreed to go along with the Poles anti-Soviet machinations and they signed the pact. Signed in January, 1942, in London, the agreement between the Greek and the Yugoslav governments in exile foresaw inclusion into the agreement of Romania and Bulgaria, with the aim of forming future Balkans according to the scheme [of the British A.T.] government in order to prevent Soviet influence in southern Europe.198 In autumn of 1943, between the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers of the USSR, Britain and the USA (October 1930, 1943) and the Teheran Conference (November 28 December 1, 1943), Britain and the USSR agreed that support must be offered to Titos movement. In Moscow, on October 30, 1943, Eden
191

192 193 194 195 196 197 198

G. Kynin, ed., Sovetsko-angliiskie otnosheniia vo vremia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny 19411945.: Dokumenty i materialy. V 2 tomakh (Moscow: Politizdat, 1983), T. 1, 254. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 9295. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 267. Ibid, 267. Ibid, 267. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 96. Ibid., 8384. L.F.Sotskov, comp., Pribaltika i geopolitika, Document 41, 43, 54.

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mentioned Mihailovi in a positive light for the last time in a conversation with Molotov. He offered the Soviets to send their missions to Tito and Mihailovi. Molotov refused this offer. The time for negotiations had passed.199 The NKVD offered Stalin and Molotov insight into the background of the British support for Mihailovi. The NKVD received the report on the British view of Draa Mihailovi, which Eden sent to the British ambassador in Washington on January 21, 1943. The letter stated that Mihailovi did not actively fight against the Germans, and that Britain was supporting him because he and his organization could prevent anarchy and Partisan chaos in Yugoslavia.200 NKVD also obtained the report which Eden sent to Churchill on October 15, 1943. This report described in great detail the meeting between Eden and the Yugoslav King and his Prime Minister. From the report it could be discerned that the British did not believe that JVuO hindered the German occupational apparatus. According to Eden, the migr government is mainly preoccupied with preserving the strength which Mihailovi has for period after the Germans are expelled from Yugoslavia.201 Soviets diplomatically refused Edens suggestions to send a mission to Mihailovi, and it was agreed that Moscow would send an official mission only to Tito.202 In the meantime, the British attitude towards Mihailovi worsened. On November 18, 1943, Armstrong and Bailey, the chief of missions to Mihailovi, sent a telegram to Cairo, stating that there was no use in continuing cooperation with Mihailovi since nothing could get him to actively fight against the Germans.203 In Teheran, in order to facilitate Soviet contact with the Partisans, the British offered the Soviets air bases and the British no longer insisted on Moscow sending missions to Mihailovi.204 In further discussions, Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt did not mention Mihailovi or Tito. They were interested in Operation Overlord, Roosevelts suggestion about creating the United Nations after the war, the postwar fate of Germany and the joint action against Japan.205 At the end of the official part of the Teheran Conference, Churchill gave Stalin a map which threw light on the situation in Yugoslavia, so that Stalin could compare the British data with his information.206 On the same day, at Churchills birthday party in the
199

200

201 202 203 204

205 206

Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 1718; A.M, Sergienko, AGON aviatsionnaia gruppa osobogo naznacheniia (Moscow: Andreevskii flag, 1999), 18. N.P.Patrushev et al., comp, Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti, t. 4, kn. 2 (Moscow: Akademiia FSB RF, 2008), 472474. Ibid., 473. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 1718. Mackenzie, The Secret History, 431432. Zapis besedy tov. Molotova s Idenom i Gopkinsom vo vremia zavtraka v angliiskoi missii v Tegerane 30 noAJ, IABria 1943 goda, in Stalin i Churchill, ed. Rzheshevskii, 397. Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 403404 Zapis besedy tov. Molotova s Idenom i Gopkinsom vo vremia zavtraka v angliiskoi missii v Tegerane 30 noaibria 1943 goda, in Stalin i Churchill, ed. Rzheshevskii, 403.

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British embassy, Churchill was in good mood, making a toast to the proletarian masses. Stalin continued his courteous joke, making a toast for the Conservative Party.207 The ties between the USSR and the Yugoslav government in exile were definitely broken on December 14, 1943, when the Information Bureau of the NKID USSR formally announced the Second AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist Council of National Defense of Yugoslavia) Session, which selected Tito as head of NKOJ. The announcement provided the official Soviet comment on these events. The government of the USSR views these events, which already received positive reviews from England and the USA, as positive facts which will contribute to the further successful struggle of the people of Yugoslavia against the Hitlerite Germany. They also testify to the serious success of the new leaders of Yugoslavia in uniting all national forces in Yugoslavia. The USSR considers the activities of General Mihailovi from the same perspective, who according to available reports, has not fought against the German occupier, and has even harmed the Yugoslav peoples struggle against the German occupiersbelieving that it was necessary to gather detailed information about all events in Yugoslavia and partisan organizations, the Soviet government has decided to send to Yugoslavia a Soviet Military Mission, as the British government has already done.208 According to Zelenins memoirs, the official Soviet Military Mission to Yugoslavia was already prepared in late 1943.209 According to Nikolai Novikovs memoirs, the Soviet ambassador in Cairo, who dealt with relations with the exiled governments transferred to the Middle East (Yugoslavia and Greece), the announcement on December 14, did not officially mark the recognition of NKOJ as government, but it was close to it, which is known in the international law as de facto recognition. To Puris government, this must have sounded as a dangerous signal210 This uncertain situation did not satisfy the migr government, and despite the hostile Soviet announcement, it addressed Moscow with an offer of a military alliance. Pravda responded to the offer of alliance belatedly. There is information that in the middle of December of the last year, the chief of the Yugoslav government in Cairo, Mr. Puri, addressed the government of the Soviet Union with an offer to conclude a mutual assistance pact and postwar cooperation, based on the model of the Soviet-Czechoslovak Agreement. Mr. Puris offer had to have caused doubts in Soviet circles, if we take into account the situation which has emerged in Yugoslavia the Soviet government responded that it could not
207 208 209 210

Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 406. Saoptenje TASS od 14. decembra 1943, in Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 345. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 19. Novikov, Vospominaniia diplomata, 203.

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accept Mr. Puris offer because of the lack of clarity in Yugoslavia211 This insulting rejection was followed by an ironic comment: it would be interesting to mention that the question of the Soviet-Yugoslav pact was already opened in the spring of 1942. The idea of the Soviet-Yugoslav pact, then, was supported by the Soviet side. However, the Yugoslav government which at the time was in London was obviously not prepared to assess the pact as it does today.212 When TASS carried the announcement about the failed negotiations between the Yugoslav government in exile and the USSR in February, 1944, the official Soviet mission was on their way to Yugoslavia, which it reached on February 23, 1944.213 After the debacle of direct negotiations, Puris government made a last attempt to improve ties with the USSR. The Prime Minister of the Yugoslav government personally addressed a letter to the Soviet ambassador which was signed by a group of Soviet prisoners of war who escaped from German camps and found shelter amongst the fighters of the General Mihailovi. The authors of the letter called Mihailovi the leader of the Serbian people, and they sharply criticized Tito. According to the later Pravda announcement, the ambassador returned the letter to Puri, while pointing out its obviously faulty content.214 After the letter was returned with negative comments, relations between Puris government and the USSR were worse than cold. According to Novikov, Puri demonstrably refused the invitation to the celebration of the day of the Red Army (February, 23),215 which was noted by the Soviet as well as other foreign ambassadors present at the event.216 On March 6, 1944, Moscow publically announced that the Soviet delegation had reached Titos Headquarters.217 The Yugoslav ambassador in Moscow, as well as the Military Representative, announced their change in loyalty on March 10, 1944, and they placed themselves at Titos disposal.218 Soon, the USSR announced the arrival to Moscow of the official NKOJ Military Mission.219 In the meantime, the British government suggested to King Peter to immediately dismiss Puris government and to organize a smaller government which would be comprised of people who would not be too unpleasant to Marshal Tito.220
211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218

219 220

Pravda, February 5, 1944; Petranovi ed., Odnosi ugoslavie i Rusie (SSSR) 19411945, 363. Ibid., 363. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 1722. Neukliuzhie popytki reabilitatsii generala Mikhailovicha, Pravda, February 6, 1944. On that day the government held its regular meeting. K.Pijevac and D.Joni, Zapisnici, 423425. Novikov, Vospominaniia, 204. Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 377. Novikov, Vospominaniia, 205; Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 270271; Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 378381. Pravda April 13, 1944, , 13 , 1944; Petranovi ed., Odnosi, 387. G.Kynin ed., Sovetsko-angliiskie otnosheniia T. 2, 73.

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The British implemented the changes in the Yugoslav government in exile with consultation with the USSR,221 which advised that such a government should be formed with Titos support.222 The King, Britain and Tito (with the help of the Soviet government), managed to choose new and last prime minister of the government in exile who was very suitable for NKOJ. Ivan ubai became the new prime minister, one of the more notable Croatian pre-war HSS (The Croatian Peasant Party) politicians. During the April War in 1941, ubai refused to release communists from prison and he was an uncompromising anti-communist.223 The USSRs informal relations with the Kings future Prime Minister, who signed the Vis Agreement while renouncing D.Mihailovi and thereby legalizing the KPJ reign, have been discussed before. The relations date to early 1943, which is proven by an IKKI telegram sent to Tito, which asked the Yugoslav leader whether he believed it prudent for ubai to make a formal announcement about the Partisans and what the content of the announcement should be. Titos response to this telegram in January, 1943, can be found in his collected works.224 As Dimitrov stated on January 21, 1943, the Yugoslav comrades view ubai positively and they believe that his announcement to Croatian peasants is useful. As far as the content of ubais announcement is concerned, it would be preferable if it would: a) clearly and categorically support the Supreme Command of NOV and AVNOJ b) call upon unity of all the people of Yugoslavia in the struggle against the occupier; c) condemn the Yugoslav assistants to collaborators and all those who are against NOV and are breaking the united front of the people of Yugoslavia; d) criticize Maek and his supporters in Croatia225 It surfaced only in 1994 that ubai established firm contacts with the Soviet intelligence during 1942. Dimitrov summarized Titos views on ubai in a report sent to Paul Fitin, the head of the 1st Department of the NKVD USSR.226 It became clear from Dimitrovs letter that the previous question addressed to Tito from the IKKI originated in the 1st Department of the NKVD. The joint work of the USA and Britain on deciphering the reports from the Soviet embassy in Washington came to fruition in 1951. It turned out that the NKVD was able to recruit two important agents in the ranks of the Yugoslav emigration in the USA: the Yugoslav ambassador in the USA, Sava Kosanovi (codename Kolo) and the future last prime minister
221

222 223 224 225 226

This set the stage for the percentages agreement between Stalin and Churchill which divided the SovietBritsh influence in Europe in October, 1944, Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 412488. G.Kynin ed., Sovetsko-angliiskie otnosheniia T. 2, 80. epi, Vlada. Tito, Djela, tom 13, 187. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 311. Ibid., 311.

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of the Yugoslav government in exile Ivan ubai (codename Seres).227 These events are confirmed in general terms by the website of the present-day Russian intelligence agency, which claims that during the war NKVD had exceptionally useful agents in the various governments in exile, including the Yugoslav.228 Later on, ubai and Kosanovi participated in negotiations with KPJ leaders on Vis, as representatives of King Peter II Karaorevi. They discussed the future of Yugoslavia on this Croatian island with the members of the CK KPJ Djilas and Kardelj. During the negotiations, Djilas recalled, ubai pulled him aside and whispered to his ear that he reported everything to Soviets. Djilas interpreted this gesture as ubais flirtation with the winners, and with disgust he related this event to his comrades. When Tito learned about this, he nodded smilingly, while Rankovi laughed with satisfaction.229 The relationship between the USSR and JVuO, within the context of the Second World War in Yugoslavia, has special importance. We must differentiate the relations between the USSR and the Royal government in exile from the relations between the Soviets and JVuO. The Soviet government wanted to establish contacts with resistance movements in Western Europe from the beginning of war, because it sought to strengthen subversive activities of all types behind the enemys frontlines. On July 7, 1941, IKKI, with Molotovs preliminary agreement, sent a directive to communist parties in all of occupied Europe to form united peoples fronts, and to cooperate with all forces, regardless of their political direction and character, if they are against the fascist Germans.230 The new Soviet policy of cooperation with De Gaulles movement in France, Bene in Czechoslovakia, J.Nygaardsvold in Norway and the leaders of resistance in Benelux countries, did not encounter the support from sponsors and protectors of these movements the British government.231 The British ambassador in the USSR, Cripps, suggested to London to include French Communists in its negotiations with De Gaul. The British government rejected this suggestion.232
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V.V.Pozdniakov, Tainaia voina Iosifa Stalina: sovetskie razvedyvatelnye sluzhby v Soedinennykh Shtatakh nakanune i v nachale kholodnoi voiny 19431953 gg. in Stalin i kholodnaia voina, ed. A.O.Chubarian (Moscow: Institut vseobshchei istorii RAN, 1998); Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response 19391957, edit. R.L.Benson and M.Warner, (Washington, D.C.: National Security Agency: Central Intelligence Agency, 1996); Venona, KGB N.Y. to M. 952 (21. 6. 1943); KGB N.Y. to M. 578 (28. 4. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 612 (3. 5. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 617 (4. 5. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 639 (6. 5. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 695 (16. 5. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 960 (8. 7. 1944); KGB N.Y. to M. 1042 (25. 7. 1944). Deiatelnost vneshnei razvedki v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (19411945), accessed September 16, 2012, http://svr.gov.ru/history/stage05.htm. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 401. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 109114. Ibid., 10. Ibid.,11.

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The Soviet attempts to obtain information about the existing European resistance movements continued. In 1941, the largest such movement was in Serbia, under Mihailovis leadership. According to Vasilije Trbi, the first information about existence of Colonel Mihailovis movement reached Istanbul via Dragomir Raki, who arrived from Serbia at the end of July. Raki received this information from Alexander Mii with whom he had a conversation in Belgrade. According to Trbi, Miis message was When you go to Istanbul, you will seek out in every way possible and you will find Vasilije Trbi. He now lives in Istanbul. Tell him that a number of Serbian officers did not want to surrender, and instead they went into the forest and they recognized Colonel Draa Mihailovi as their leader. We will organize all of Serbia, and in a given moment, we will organize all of it into an uprising. But we want to be connected with the English. We do not want to have any negotiations with the government of Duan Simi. We want to work directly with the English and we ask Trbi to facilitate this contact.233 Trbi related all of the information to Colonel Bailey, who passed on the news to Jovan Djonovi, the Yugoslav government representative for the Middle and Near East. Soon, a conference was organized which was attended by S.W.Bailey (the future British liaison officer at the JVuO Supreme Command), captain N.J.Amery,234 J.Bennet (the future chief of the Yugoslav SOE department),235 J.Djonovi and V.Trbi. In addition, a Russian, whose name was simply Nikolaev attended the meeting.236 Jovan Djonovi pointed out his role in obtaining information about Mihailovis movement from the first hand. Djonovi left out the text of Miis message, and his insistence that the movement should be directly connected with the English, and not the Yugoslav government. He also claimed that Trbi did not bring Raki to him, but that Djonovi addressed the English simply because they did not have money, and he wanted to get 1,000,000 dinars from them and to send the money immediately to Mihailovi.237
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V.Trbi, Memoari. Kazivanja i doivljaji vojvode velekog (19121918, 19411946), knj. I i II (Belgrade: Kultura, 1996), Kn. II, 201.. Trbi did not mention J.Ameri by name, instead he described him as younger son of an English Minister of Colonies whose elder son on daily bases called for peace between England and Germany via a Berlin radio, Ibid., 198, 202. About the former SOE officers see the recent scholarship based on accessible SOE reports: H.Williams, Parachutes, Patriots and Partisans: The Special Operations Executive and Yugoslavia, 1941 1945, (London: Hurst, 2003). The English participants of the meeting also mentioned the Russian Officer Nikolaev. According to them, the possibility of the Soviet-British Mission was discussed August 431, while indirect negotiations with Nikolaev were held September 57. Williams, Parachutes, 4849. The English version mentions onovis plea for money, but does not specify whether onovi or Trbovi first initiated the contact with SOE. At the same time, according to Baileys report, onovi suggested that the first mission to Mihailovi should be formed with Soviet participation, Williams, Parachutes, 48..

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There is also a discrepancy in explanation of how the idea of coordinated missions emerged and why it failed. Djonovi believed that because two resistance movements were present in Yugoslavia, it was necessary to coordinate the Yugoslav, British and Soviet activities. With the aim of coordinating action, in Istanbul I spoke with the Colonel of the Soviet army Nikolaev and Colonel Bailey, the chief of the English service. Both consulted their governments, and after a brief period of time, Nikolaev told me that Moscow would agree to cooperate in jointly sending of officers in the last moment, the English and Simovi torpedoed this action soon after, a real civil war broke out between the communists and the nationalists, precipitated by the communist attack on Mihailovis forces.238 Trbi further described the course of the Serbian-British-Russian conferences. According to him, the initiative in leading the discussion was undertaken by Colonel Bailey, not Djonovi. Supposedly, Bailey told those gathered at the conference that he received orders from Churchill to immediately send financial assistance to Draa Mihailovi, as a sign that the English accept him, and to prepare a crew made up of three Serbs, while they would provide one English officer, who would control the radio-station the second crew, comprised of six officers, all of whom should be aviators, need to go to Russia. This crew for Russia should be led by Duan Radovi, a General Staff and aviation Colonel when everything was agreed, the plan was sent to London. After several days, the plan in its entirety was approved in London, as well as in Moscow. The Russians asked that one of their representatives goes to Draa Mihailovis headquarters. The following plan was definitely agreed upon: two Serbs, one Englishman and one Russian were to go to Draa Mihailovi immediately, while five aviation officers and Duan Radovi would go to Russia. After several days, another order arrived from London, that things must be verified again, because the government in London claimed that Dragoljub Mihailovi Colonel of the Yugoslav army and former Military Representative in Bulgaria does not exist in Serbia again several days passed. Another telegram reached us from Churchill, that two Serbs and one English radio-telegraph expert should travel to Mihailovi, but that there must not be one Russian in the group. As far as the other crew was concerned, which had to go to Russia, the English were not interested in it.239 After this, Bogoljub Ili, the Minister of War, personally forbid the implementation of the second part of the agreed plan to send the Yugoslav Royal Army officers to the USSR.240 As a result, the Russians were extremely angry because the entire plan was ruined. Even though the plan was finally agreed upon in London and Moscow.
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J.onovi, Moje veze sa Draom Mihajloviem (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 84 86. Trbi, Memoari, Knj. II, 202204. This Trbis claim was confirmed by English reports, Williams, Parachutes, 54.

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The Russian Nikolaev only tightened his teeth and cursed something in Russian and I think that the curse was addressed to the Serbian-English coalition.241 In addition, the English gave the Serbs one million dinars for Mihailovis movement, and they sent their first mission to Yugoslavia.242 Kosta Nikoli, the Serbian historian, called the failed mixed Anglo-Russian mission to Mihailovi a Russian project. His sources were Djonovis memoirs and Mark Wheelers lectures at the University of Belgrade, which the famous historian of the British special services delivered on February 16, 1990. Wheeler is a representative of the traditional Anglo-Saxon historiography which sought to find traces of the Tito-Stalin break at an earliest time possible, and that is why he viewed the Soviet wish to establish contacts with Mihailovi as Moscows attempt to punish and marginalize Tito.243 Nikoli quoted Robert Campbell report in the middle of August, 1941, in order to show that the argument over the joint mission was part of the British-Soviet power struggle to take on the positions prior to the division of spoils in the Balkans.244 However, Campbell and Nikoli did not understand the situation in which the Soviet Union found itself in the summer and early autumn of 1941. The German well-trained and disciplined armored machine destroyed several Soviet divisions per day; hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war were taken or were killed and large parts of the country were occupied. All of this was shocking to the communist leaders, and their previous confidence in the strength of the Red Army was lost. The German advance continued further on October 8, Stalin approved the mining of most important buildings in Moscow, and on October 12, Germans captured Kaluga (168km southwest of Moscow), on October 14, they took Kalinin (167km northwest of Moscow). The Soviet Unions capital city was partially surrounded. On October 15, the decision was made to move the Soviet government, the Supreme Soviet and foreign missions to Kuibyshev (a city 1,051 km southeast of Moscow). The Wehrmacht propaganda used the slogan Hitler liberator and claimed that the German troops did not come to fight against the Russians, but against the Bolshevik terror, which encountered the support amongst certain layers of the Soviet population. Nobody could have predicted that Hitler had the idea of completely destroying the Russian state, and that several million Soviet prisoners of war would die in the unbearable conditions (hunger and disease) and that Hitler would not want to use them to create anti-

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Trbi, MemoariKnj. 2, 202204. At the end, after all the manipulations, only 900,000 dinars reached Mihailovi out of 1,000,000 that he was given by the British, onovi, Moje veze, 85. Wheeler, Britain and the War for Yugoslavia. onovi, Moje veze, 20.

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Bolshevik armies.245 Nobody suspected that Wehrmacht would not plan for the winter, failing to prepare its armaments and soldiers for the Russian cold. Nobody could have known that Siberian divisions would succeed in defending Moscow and that Japan would not attack the USSR, which would have certainly sent the USSR on the edge of the defeat. In these circumstances, it is obvious that during July-December, 1941, the USSR could not have even thought about division of spoils in the far-off Balkans. The Balkans were not important to Stalin even in his prewar expansionist plans, which at maximum included Romania, Bulgaria and part of European part of Russia, but never Yugoslavia, for which Moscow only demanded neutrality.246 However, it could be seen from Trbis and Djonovis memoirs, British reports, as well as the confidential instructions which the Comintern sent to KPJ that the USSR was in a critical situation and that the German victory seemed very probable. In these circumstances, Stalin was prepared to use every opportunity to weaken the Germans, even slightly.247 At this time (summer and autumn of 1941), only resistance movements actively fought against the German troops in Europe. In majority of countries (France, the Protectorate, Norway and the Netherlands), these movements existed mainly on paper, and they were direct SOE creations, which diminished the value and importance of having direct relations with them.248 In the summer of 1941, another resistance movement emerged. It was not clear to Britain and the USSR who stood behind this movement and how powerful it was. The Soviet interest in Yugoslavia was increased by Stalins skepticism towards the Comintern the majority of communist parties were destroyed or were completely illegal, and majority of permanent members became passive. Comintern was perhaps capable of organizing diversionary actions, but staging massive uprising seemed impossible.249 The idea of workers class solidarity turned out to be a weaker than the idea of national unity propagated by the Nazi Germany
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A.Rosenberg, Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, wrote to General-Field marshal Keitel on February 28, 1942: The destiny of prisoners in Germany has become a tragedy of great dimension. Out of 3,6 million prisoners, at present time, only several hundred thousand is completely capable of working. Most of them died from hunger and cold. Thousands died from typhus. It is understood that supplying with food such a great mass of prisoners has encountered great problems GARF, f. 7445, o. 2, d. 139, 9798. Reshin and Naumov, eds., 1941 god kn. 1, 310311. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 109114. About the key SOE role in strengthening and survival of West European movement see D.Stafford, Britain and the European Resistance 19401945: A Survey of SOE, with Documents (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983); M.R.D.Foot, Resistance: An Analysis of European Resistance to Nazism (London: Methuen, 1976); B.Moore, Resistance in Western Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). N.S.Lebedeva and M.M.Narinskii, Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia voina (posle 22 iiunia 1941), in Istoriia Kommunisticheskogo Internatsionala 19191943. Dokumentalnye ocherki, ed. A.O.Chubarian (Moscow: Nauka, 2002), 192202.

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and its allies. The only exception was Yugoslavia, where Partisans managed to attract masses to their cause. However, the information from Yugoslavia arrived from only one centre (from KPJ), which made the information highly subjective. That is why there was a need for information which could help the Soviets formulate their policies towards Mihailovis movement. At the same time, the USSRs weakness in the summer of 1941 was apparent, and it made the Soviet Union less attractive as a partner. The problem was not that the USSR did not take any steps to assist Yugoslavia in 1941, neither did Britain which caused the putsch which led to Yugoslavias destruction. The problem was deeper, and it was related to perception of the USSR and Russia by a part of the Serbian elite the same elite which played a crucial role in putsch on March 27, in the formation of the Royal government in exile and in the formation of the etnik movement in Serbia. As was noted in the beginning of this chapter, the Serbian middle and educated classes were culturally, politically and informally oriented towards the countries of the former Entente, which was born out of the First World War alliance. These feelings resulted in underestimating Russia, one of the members of Entente, which due to the revolution was treated as a loser at Versailles. This view was shared by a large part of representatives of the Serbian political elite in the 1930s. According to Trbi, on the eve of the German attack on the USSR, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nini believed that if it comes to war between Russia and Germany, Russia will be overrun in a month at most, and only later will Russians gather strength somewhere behind the Urals The Prime Minister of the government in exile, General Simovi, had similar views. He responded to Nini: This is true! Russia cannot last longer than a month. 250 The employees of the Yugoslav Royal Embassy in the USSR in 1941, the ambassador Milan Gavrilovi, his spokesman Kosta Krajmuovi and the military attach arko Popovi, believed likewise.251 In this context, we can mention the view expressed in a postwar essay by Russian emigrants in Bile jail. A Russian emigrant in Bile jail wrote that the relations between members of Zbor and Russian exiles were warm, pointing out mutual sympathies between Russian emigrants and etnik commanders from the territory outside of Serbia proper,252 a contention which is supported by other sources.253 In contrast, the authors of the essay pointed out that the relations between emigrants and the JVuO leadership from Serbia was cold, not only due to political differences but also because of the prewar general antipathy towards the Russian emigrants.
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Trbi, MemoariKnj. II, 188. Ibid., 188189. Ruska emigracija u Jugoslaviji. Elaborat UDB, (Bilea: s. n., 1953), 723730. N.Plea, Ratne godine (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 107.

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Vasilije Trbi had an opportunity to hear about the first hand impressions from the USSR from Milan Gavrilovi and Kosta Krajumovi. According to Trbi, our entire delegation in Moscow was ill-disposed towards Russia and its regime. All reports about Russian things Gavrilovi received from Sir Strafford Cripps, the English ambassador in Russia. Gavrilovi saw Stalin only twice, at large reception before the New Years and on the occasion when Russia and Yugoslavia were signing a pact not to attack each other about Russias military preparedness, Krajmuovi told me that it was high: that there is large army, but that it was not capable of fighting. This was the view of all those who viewed the organization of the Russian army, whether in Russia or they viewed it through numerous publications, which discussed Russian army. These views led to the following events: Kosta told me one ugly thing, which occurred on the Russian-Turkish border. arko Popovi, a General Staff Colonel and military representative, was not well received in the circles where he had to represent the strength of his country because he openly expressed his disgust towards everything he saw and noted in the life of the contemporary Russia with such attitude, he closed all doors to him in Moscows high military circles. But when they came to the Russo-Turkish border, while the Russians who were seeing them [to the border A.T.] were still observing them, Colonel arko Popovi and Secretary Boi, in front of all the present Russians, demonstratively urinated on Russian land!254 It is not likely that Draa Mihailovi, whose natural tact was pointed out by his numerous interlocutors, would have approved the behavior of his inseparable friend.255 Nonetheless, in a plea which A. Mii delivered to D. Rakovi, one could detect the clear preference for Britain in foreign orientation. The cause for Mihailovis preference for the British was not rooted in hatred towards Russia or the USSR. Instead, it was a typical view, which later on was picturesquely expressed by ivko Topalovi. This characteristic attitude, Topalovi imputed to an anonymous Serbian peasant from Herzegovina: Forever we fought with Russians together, but they fought for their state and we for ours, they under their command, and we under ours. Even then the life of the people was not the same. There, great princes and sipahi lorded over the land and the peasants, but we evicted sipahi from our country and gave the land to the peasant. Even then we were very different from the Russians, but that did not prevent us from supporting each other in war and together to defeat the Turks, and after, each went his own way! Thats how it is with Stalin. Let him help us liberate ourselves from the Germans but he should not interfere in our state. We will not let him do this, just as our ancestors did not let the Russian Czar write the Constitution and laws for us. Then, they
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Trbi, MemoariKnj. II, 188189. B.Dimitrijevi and K.Nikoli, eneral Mihailovi. Biografija (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 94.

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respected and supported Russian Czars, while they honestly helped us out.256 According to Yugoslav tacticians, the USSRs resistance could not have lasted more than a month or two, and therefore, this meant that the etnik movement should orient itself exclusively towards the British. Naturally, this view was favored by English politicians, who sought to limit Soviet contacts with the European movements.257 The British had the opportunity to prevent such ties, since in the summer and autumn of 1941, their submarines and airplanes were geographically closer to Yugoslavia. Nikoli viewed the failure of the joint Russian-British mission as something unimportant. He based this conclusion on Wheelers statement that the joint mission to Mihailovi failed as a result of an agreement between NKVD and SOE, signed on September 30, 1941.258 Yet, the situation was significantly different. Due to German occupation, the NKVD Balkan Department was not able to continue its activities in the territories of most Balkan countries. Instead, the NKVD had to work mainly through its Central European (German) Department, which began working in the territory of the entire occupied Europe. In addition, the EnglishAmerican Department offered information about migr governments. As a result, the Middle Eastern Department, which dealt with Turkey and other countries in the Near East, became especially important. In the first year of the war, the Soviet resident agent in Turkey was very important for Yugoslavia, because in addition to collecting general information about the German-Turkish relations, it also worked on creating illegal networks in Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, so it found in Turkey suitable agents and it sent them into the countries of the occupied Balkans259 Who was the NKVD General Nikolaev who reacted so angrily to the failure of the negotiations? It is apparent that he was not a general of the NKVD (at the time, the NKVD did not have the official rank of the general), nor was his real name Nikolaev. The person who partook in negotiations for the joint mission was Vasilii Mikhailovich Zarubin, a man who began his career in Soviet security structures in 1921. He worked in the intelligence service from 1924, and in 1925, he began working for OGPU. He travelled abroad as the USSRs legal representative, but he also had a series of illegal missions: in 1927 in Denmark, in 1930 in France, in 1933 in Germany and in 1937 in the USA. In February, 1941, Zarubin became the deputy chief to the 1st Department of the NKGB USSR (later on in the same
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.Topalovi, Srbija pod Draom (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 184. In this context, it should be mentioned that Bailey justified the idea of the Soviet-British Mission in Yugoslavia by arguing that it would be a useful example of English-Russia cooperation, and at the same time it would curtail possible Russian ambitions in the region, Williams, Parachutes, 49. onovi, Moje veze, 24. Deiatelnost vneshnei razvedki v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (19411945), accessed September 16, 2012, http://svr.gov.ru/history/stage05.htm.

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year the name reverted to NKVD).260 His high position did not prevent him from working abroad in particularly sensitive cases. His last important assignment, before the Istanbul Conference, was in the spring of 1941. He managed the NKGB relationship with the Soviet agent Walter Stennes, a German politician and advisor to Chan Kai-shek who was tasked during the Second World War with preventing the emergence of close ties between the Axis powers and Chan Kai-shek. Zarubin continued his successful career after the Istanbul Conference during the war, he was the NKVD resident in the USA, and after the war he returned to the position of the deputy head of the intelligence service of the state security. Later on, he was pensioned but continued working on educating the new intelligence agents for the KGB USSR.261 The very fact that Zarubin personally participated in the Yugoslav-British-Soviet Conferences in Istanbul testifies to the fact that these negotiations were very important for the Soviet Union. Also, the manner in which Zarubin was forced out of negotiations does not seem to have been accidental. Wheeler maintained (as reported by Kosta Nikoli) that the joint mission supposedly did not materialize because of the agreement between the NKVD and the SOE. This was an obvious attempt to masque the elegant way in which the English threw Zarubin out of negotiations. However, Zarubin participated in negotiations with Colonel Givens on August 1429, and the agreement between the NKVD and the SOE was already signed, while the negotiations between Nikolaev and Bailey were held September 57. Apart from the internal conflict of the Yugoslav participants in the negotiations, the disinterest of the British leadership in sending a joint mission was probably the most important factor. According to Trbi, it was agreed that a purely Yugoslav mission should be sent. Only twelve hours before their departure, the SOE suddenly decided to include Captain Duane Hudson into the mission.262 This was not the only instance of deception in the mostly unsuccessful cooperation between the SOE and the NKVD, since only the urgent military threat facing both Britain and Soviet Union compelled the two intelligence agencies to cooperate.263 B.Starkov, a Russian professor, caused a storm in the Serbian public in 1996 with his short essay Panslavianskaia ideia v Sovetskoi Rossii. Novye dokumenty, noviye podhody (Pan-Slavic idea in Soviet Russia. New Documents, new approaches).264 Starkov tried to prove a very controversial thesis that the pre-war
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Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki. T. 3 19331941 gody, ed. E.A.Primakov et al. (Moscow:: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1997), 203216, 385399. E.P.Sharapov, Naum Eitingon karaiushchii mech Stalina (Sankt Peterburg: Neva, 2003); E.Stavinskii, Zarubiny: Semeinaia rezidentura (Moscow: Olma-press, 2003). Dimitrijevi and Nikoli, eneral Mihailovi, 200201. Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki. T. 3 19331941 gody, ed. E.A.Primakov et al. (Moscow:: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1997), 385399; Mackenzie, The Secret History, 393403. Starkov, Panslavianskaia ideia v Sovetskoi Rossii.

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USSR relied on Pan-Slavic ideology in its policies in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Unfortunately, his study had numerous faults. First, the title of the essay was speculative. To claim that the Pan-Slavism was at the root of the IKKI and the NKVD activities is non-scholarly. We cannot engage Starkovs essay in great detail, but the very fact that the Russians were a minority in these institutions reveals the weakness of his thesis. Second, the essay is filled with factual mistakes which reveal that Starkov did not study the events well enough. Starkov obviously confused arko Popovi and Draa Mihailovi (he referred to Mihailovi as the chief of the military intelligence agency), as well as Ivan Srebrenjak and Ivan Krajai (claiming that the latter was killed by Gestapo in 1943), which alone raises serious questions about the validity of his study. One should not even speak about the countless minor mistakes (such as his claim that Hudson was not major but captain, and so on). It was obvious that Starkov managed to obtain previously unknown documents, but unfortunately, none of them related to the topic of the civil war in Serbia in 1941. In fact, the contribution of his study could be summarized- in the sentence in the prewar USSR, there were unrealized plans for using the Pan-Slavic attitudes of the South Slavs.265 Starkov did not cite any evidence (sources) to show that the Soviet leadership went beyond this. His article would have probably been unnoticed had it not had such an attractive title and topic, which coincided with one of favorite myths of the Yugoslav historiography about the Pan-Slavic banner of the Soviet foreign policy, as the direct inheritor of the Imperial Russian policies.266 The situation was further complicated by the fact that Starkovs essay was published in Russian, which coincided with another myth (equally popular amongst the Russians and the Serbs) that the Serbian and Russian languages are so similar that professional translation is not necessary between the two. We should note once again that the essay did not mention the fact that NKVD had some
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It must be added that the prewar USSR was full of unrealized ideas how to build communism. These ranged between the use of supernatural means to spread the revolution and the scientific experiments to pair up monkeys and humans to prove the Darwins theory and to produce fighters without nationality for the rights of the proletariat. A.I.Pervushin, Okkultnye voiny NKVD i SS: Spetssluzhby i Armageddon KhKh v.: Sviatoi Graal Tretego reikha. NKVD protiv masonov. Gitler i Tibet. Magi Sovetskogo Soiuza (Moscow: Iauza: EKSMO, 2003); A.Bushkov, NKVD. Voina s nevedomym (Moscow: OLMA Media Grup, 2004); K.O.Rossiianov, Opasnye sviazi: I.I.Ivanov i opyty skreshchivaniia cheloveka s chelovekoobraznymi obezianami, Voprosy Istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki 1, (2006). To the degree that the ruling circles in the Czarist Russia in the 19th and early 20th Centuries had any transnational Slavic aspirations, they did not uphold Pan-Slavic but Slavophile ideas. The latter was premised on a mixture of ethnic and religious ideas, however, the idea of Orthodoxy was central to this ideology. The Pan-Slavic ideology which sought closer ties or a common state for all Slavs regardless of religion was closer to the ideas of a Croat Juraj Kriani in the 17th Century and the Czech so called awakeners in the 19th Century, and a part of the liberal Russians later on in the 19th Century. About the role of Orthodoxy as an idealistic, but a firm ideological component of the ruling Russian elites worldview see A.Timofejev, Ideologija slavjanofila u radovima A.S.Homjakova, Meunarodni nauni skup Deligrad 18061876. Od ustanka ka nezavisnosti, (Belgrade: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije, 2007).

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special ties with JVuO. Instead, it discussed the contacts between the Partisans and etniks which were well known in Yugoslav historiography.267 According to Starkov, the change in the Soviet attitude towards the Balkans was influenced by the information which arrived from Yugoslavia. According to Starkov, Moscow decided that it was better to cooperate with a man who was accused of Left Deviation, than with somebody who was accused of collaboration.268 Obviously, Starkov was citing Titos report to Dimitrov about Draa Mihailovis movement, which the Comintern sent to Stalin, Malenkov, Beria and Shcherbakov.269 However, as we already said, Starkov had an opportunity to look over new prewar documents. One of the documents shed light on V.T.Sukhorukovs plans, who was the Soviet military attach in Bulgaria, to strengthen the ties between Pan-Slavic and anti-German officers and generals of the Balkan countries (Bulgaria and Yugoslavia), with the help of the Russian emigration. Sukhorukov tried to gain the support of, among others, the Bulgarian General Vladimir Zaimov and the Serbian Colonel Draa Mihailovi.270 This thesis is supported by other research, such as the list of military attachs by the NKID USSR.271 Sukhorukov, Colonel of the Red Army, was the military attach in Sofia, 19341937, and he could have had informal relations with the General Vladimir Zaimov, who was recruited in 1939 by Suhorukovs successor, I. A. Venediktov. Zaimov worked for RU RKKA in Bulgaria until 1942, when he was caught and executed (he was awarded posthumously the Golden Star Hero of the USSR).272 V.T.Suhorukov was in Sofia at the same time as Mihailovi, who was the Yugoslav Military attach in Bulgaria, 19351936. K.Nikoli and B.Dimitrijevi mentioned the possibility of informal links between Mihailovi and Bulgarian officers and Bulgarian opposition, in their study Djeneral Mihailovi. Biography.273 Unfortunately, Starkov imprecisely cited the source of his information about the contacts between Sukhorukov and Mihailovi as Stalins Archive. He probably had in mind the special Stalin folders in GARF or parts of the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation, which at the moment are mostly inaccessible to researchers.
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Dedijer, Josip Broz, 326330. See Minis memoirs, M.Mini, Zapisi i seanja iz narodnooslobodilake borbe u aanskom kraju (Gornji Milanovac: Deje novine, 1988); M. Mini, Oslobodilaki ili graanski rat u Jugoslaviji: 19411945 (Novi Sad: Agencija MIR, Cvetnik, 1993). It is interesting that already in 1941 the Comintern discovered and condemned the same mistakes made by Tito (exchange of prisoners and temporary truce). Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 341342. Girenko, Stalin Tito, 152157. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 205206. Starkov, Panslavianskaia ideia v Sovetskoi Rossii, 481. Sukhorukov Vasilii Timofeevich posluzhnoi spisok, in Spravochnik po istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii i Sovetskogo Soiuza 18981991, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.knowbysight.info/SSS/03830.asp. Gorchakov, Ian Berzin. Dimitrijevi and Nikoli, eneral Mihajlovi, 6672.

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As some other Red Army officers, Sukhorukov was arrested in 1937, and he was definitively freed only in 1955, which prevented the further development of his plans. However, far more interesting is another fact which Starkov cited about Sukhorukov. In August, 1941, Suhorukov was transferred to Moscow to provide additional details about his knowledge and contacts which he obtained in Sofia. Vasilii Zarubin led most of the interviews with Sukhorukov.274 This is very important because it confirms that the conversation between Bailey-Djonovi-Zarubin were not unimportant and accidental. They were obviously very important to the Soviet leadership. This can also be inferred from the Soviet suggestion made during the Istanbul negotiations to send four Yugoslav officers from the USSR to various areas of Yugoslavia, with the task of establishing contact with the rebels and to connect them with the allies. Since Russian airplanes were not suited for long-hauled flights, Russians agreed to burn the airplanes after they landed in Yugoslavia.275 According to Topalovi, there were official attempts to send the Soviet mission to Mihailovi in 1942, but these plans did not come to fruition because of the British opposition.276 However, British attempts to hinder the development of contacts between Mihailovi and the USSR did not prevent the Soviets from trying again. They made another unsuccessful attempt to establish contacts with etniks in the August-September, 1942, via Fedor Makhin. V. Tesemnikov, who researched Makhin, wrote that he had close contacts with the Soviet intelligence institutions. He made his claims based on Dedijers article F.E.Mkhin u redovima etnike armije (F. E. Mahin in the Ranks of the etnik Army). Teseminkov claimed that Makhin visited etniks temporarily in 1941, but that he refused to return to JVuO Supreme Command on Moscows orders.277 Dedijer wrote: I think that Tito knew that Makhin worked for the Soviet intelligence service. In any case, on September 15, 1942, a strictly confidential message arrived for Tito from the Comintern. The message said that Makhin must be sent to headquarters of Draa MihailoviTito managed to hinder this attempt at establishing contacts with the excuse that Makhin was too old and sick, and that his transfer to the headquarters of D.Mihailovi would be a very complicated task.278 The examination of the CK KPJ and IKKI correspondence offers a similar picture, with some additional details. Makhins name appeared for the first time in the radio-communication between the CK KPJ and IK KI, on Titos initiative.
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Starkov, Panslavianskaia ideia v Sovetskoi Rossii, 485486. Plea, Ratne godine, 107. .Topalovi, Jugoslavija. rtvovani saveznik (London: Budunost, 1970), 28. V. A. Tesemnikov Iugoslavskaia odisseia Fedora Makhina: period prebyvaniia polkovnika Generalnogo shtaba F.E.Makhina v Iugoslavii i ego uchastie vo Vtoroi mirovoi voine, Rodina 8 (2007). V.Dedijer, Novi prilozi za biografiju Josipa Broza Tita, t. 3 (Belgrade: Rad, 1984), 154.

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In report on August 31, 1942, Tito wrote: from the very beginning of the Partisan war, a Russian emigrant Colonel Feodor Makhin has been with us. At first he was in Montenegro, and now he is in our headquarters and deals with publicity. In Montenegro, he was taken prisoner by etniks together with Professor Miloevi, but our units freed them. He maintains himself well, and now he intends to write a book about the battles in Yugoslavia, about Draa Mihailovi, and so on. We implore you to ask for NKVDs views about him and to report it to us.279 It is apparent that Tito wanted Moscow to ask for Makhin to send them another report about etniks. The situation developed unexpectedly for Tito, since Moscow decided to get something more than another critical report on Mihailovi and glorification of Tito. Moscow responded to Tito: order the responsible comrade to talk with the Russian emigrant Makhin and give him our neighbors password [Soviet intelligence institutions A.T.]: Greeting from Comrade Pravdin. I came to continue the work of Comrade Pravdin. In conversation with Makhin, find out: 1. Does he want to say something to Pravdin? 2. What position did he take when with Mihailovi and is there a possibility for him to obtain Mihailovis trust again, or from somebody from his immediate surrounding? 3. Could he go back to Mihailovi or stay on the occupied territory and work on the neighbors [the Soviet intelligence institutions A.T.] orders, maintaining contact from there. 4. What are his suggestions for the neighbor? Report to us the results280 The next radiogram related to Makhin was sent to Moscow on September 19. It contained Makhins letter to his NKVD contact Pravdin. Comrade Pravdin. Pursued by Germans and White Guards, on June 23 of last year, I hid in Montenegro where I participated in the Partisan movement from its very beginning and I was sufficiently compromised in the eyes of Draa Mihailovis etniks. I was their prisoner and Partisans freed me and did not let them hand me over to the Italians. After the Italian-etnik offensive in Montenegro, I withdrew with the Partisans to Bosnia, where I joined the Supreme Command. From Mihailovis circle I know his assistant Ilija Trifunovi-Biranin well, former president of the National Defense, I think that I already reported to you his characteristics. With the aid of the Italians, Trifunovi is now leading an offensive against the Partisans near Split. I will try to connect with him with the help of the Partisan Supreme Command, and if possible, I will arrange a meeting with him. I want to hear your recommendations. It is not possible for now for me to go to the occupied territory with Gestapo pursuing me. I will send detailed information these days about the position of our struggle here. I am very happy because of the possibility to estab279 280

, CK KPJ KI, 1942/191. , CK KPJ KI, 1942/204.

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lish contact and to cooperate. Warm regards Makhin.281 In this letter, which Tito sent to Moscow on Makhins behalf, one can detect the continuation of Titos position from his previous letter to Moscow on the subject of Makhin to use him as a witness of etnik collaboration and prevent the establishment of ties between Moscow and Mihailovi. In telegram on September 26, 1942, Tito once again criticized the etnik movement and he tried to prove the falseness of Radio London reports about events in Yugoslavia. In the end, he asked why Slobodna Jugoslavija (the IKKI Soviet propaganda radio station in the USSR) did not mention Draa Mihailovi.282 On the next day, on September 27, the Partisan radio-station sent to Moscow the promised report to Comrade Pravdin from Makhin.283 This report described the Partisan victories over etniks in Western Bosnia, it denied the possibility of agreement with Mihailovi and it provided the examples of collaboration of his commanders with Italian troops. The report also stated that the legalization of the Partisan movement by the government in exile was not possible (because it relied on Mihailovi). Makhin formulated another suggestion the Allied (the USA and the British) legalization of the Partisan movement was necessary for the Allies and it could be realized through military lines, not diplomatic.284 Thus, Makhin was not used as a potential link between JVuO and the USSR. Based on the existing sources, it is impossible to establish whether Makhin resisted such contacts or whether he was under Titos pressure who wanted to remain the leader of the only resistance movement in Moscows eyes in Yugoslavia. Another potential source of Soviet information about the etnik movement could have been Dragia Vasi, a notable etnik leader and until 1943 the head of the JVuO Propaganda Department. Before the war, Vasi had contacts with the USSRs intelligence network, according to Mirko Kosi, who was called to testify to a German Commission which investigated the responsibility of individuals for the putsch of March 27, 1941.285 Vladimir Dedijer agreed, believing that Vasi had for years maintained contacts with the Soviet Centre for Intelligence Service in Prague. This was the so called fourth line of the Soviet military-intelligence service for the three countries of the [Small A.T.] Entente: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania. He did this out of convictions, and not money. He specialized in work with White Guard emigration in Belgrade when Mustafa Golubi came to Yugoslavia in 1940, he took over the position of the chief of the Soviet
281 282 283 284 285

, CK KPJ KI, 1942/210. , CK KPJ KI, 1942/217. , CK KPJ KI, 1942/219. Ibid. Wscht, J., Jugoslawien und das Dritte Reich. Eine dokumentierte Geschichte der deutsch-jugoslawischen Beziehungen 19331945 (Stuttgart: Seewald, 1969), 307.

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intelligence service, and he was in close contact with Dragia Vasi. He hid his radio-station in Belgrade286 Admittedly, the well-known Serbian author and politician annoyed the communists with the book Crvene magle (The Red Fog) which came out in 1924. Similar criticism in the early 1920s, even participation in the Civil War against the Bolsheviks, did not hinder the secret but firm cooperation between F.Makhin with the communists and the USSR. A leading scholar of the JVuO, K.Nikoli, also expressed doubts about Vasis links with the Soviet intelligence services. 287 The Soviet agents were also able to obtain information from other sources. Above all, the work of the Cambridge Five must be mentioned,288 as well as some other Soviet agents in England. J.Cairncross was probably the most useful agent. In 1942, he worked in the British service as a decoder. The Radio-contacts played an especially important role in the Balkans, where the telephone and telegraph networks were less important as a result of guerilla activities, the inapproachability of the terrain and the weak prewar development of the networks. The English managed to crack various German Air-Force code, the permanent radio contact between Vienna and Athens, Strasburg and Thessaloniki, and several radio exchanges of local importance.289 They also could have obtained the general impression of events in the Balkans from the Berlin-Tokyo radio contact. It was also useful that Soviets found out through Cairncross that the English had managed to crack the relatively easy code between the IKKI and CK KPJ communication.290 From January, 1944, Cairncross, was transferred to another post in the MI-6 headquarters in London, where he was responsible for coordinating the British intelligence services in Yugoslavia.291 The second member of the Cambridge Five,
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V.DedijerV.M.Ekmei, I.Boi and S.irkovi, Istorija Jugoslavije (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1972), 473. onovi, Moje veze, 22. O.Tsarev and N.West, The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB Archives (New Haven: Yale Universtiy Press, 1999); S. J. Hamrick, Deceiving the Deceivers: Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and Guy Burgess (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004). F.H.Hinsley et al., British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations Volume 3, Part 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 501503. The Soviets were able to better protect their communication in the Balkans only in the summer of 1944 when the Soviet coders in General Korneevs Mission reached Yugoslavia. The Soviet leadership was so suspicious of the radios that in particularly important circumstances during the war it used an emissary, A.Korotkov, to exchange messages with Tito.V.S. Antonov, Nelegal po familii Erdberg, on zhe Aleksandr Korotkov, Nezavisimaia gazeta NVO, November 20, 2009; J.Cripps, Mihailovi or Tito? How the Codebreakers Helped Churchill Choose, in Action this day, ed. M.Smith and R.Erskine (London-New York: Bantman, 2001), 237263; F.H.Hinsley et al., British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations Volume 3, Part 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 850851. The post-1948 Soviet accusations of Velebits cooperation with the British could have also stemmed from these sources. P. Milichevich, Opasno-revizionizm: Pisma Stalina i Molotova iugoslav. rukovoditeliam v 1948 g. ob opasnosti revizionizma (Moscow: s. n, 2001); Deiatelnost vneshnei razvedki

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G.Burgess, was the personal assistant to the English Minister of Foreign Affairs, A. Eden. The third member, D. Maclean, during the war was the secretary in the British embassy in Washington and he had access to confidential diplomatic correspondence, including the information on the Balkans. Certain information about the situation in the Balkans reached Moscow through other members of the Cambridge Five the British counterintelligence agencys agents, K.Philby and A.Blunt.292 The Soviets also benefited from the fact that J.Klugmann, a British communist, worked for SOE in Cairo, which was responsible for Yugoslavia.293 This widespread network of information could have enabled the Soviets to get an insight into British suspicions about Mihailovis relationship with the Germans. The British mistrust became pronounced at the end of the summer of 1942, when the English received several reports about the coordination of activities by etniks and the occupational forces against the Partisans. In the second half of 1942, the English intelligence service decided to establish contact with Tito because they believed that the Partisans had become a thorn in the German and Italian eyes, and Mihailovi had not.294 In the beginning of the war, Soviets repeatedly sought to obtain information about the civil war in Yugoslavia independently of KPJ. As a result, Soviets infiltrated British missions which were sent to the JVuO Supreme Command. They recruited Veljko Dragievi, radio-telegrapher in a mission with M.LalatoviZ.Ostoji and D.Hudson participated. According to Titos report to IKIK on January 12, 1942, the radio operator of the English mission, Dragievi, joined our side and gave us a series of confidential telegrams from the English government from which can be observed that the Londons orders are not aimed at strengthening the national-liberation war. Walter. The telegram was received on January 15, and Dimitrov noted on it: we recommended to Walter to pass on to us the text of the confidential telegrams15. I. 42. Dimitrov.295 Unusually, however, Dimitrov did not insert a footnote to specify whether Dragievis materials were received. Documents of this type had to have been sent to Moscow, after an express plea for them had been made. It is very likely that the docuv gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (19411945), accessed September 16, 2012, http://svr.gov.ru/history/kernkross. htm. The information which reached Kim Philby in Yugoslavia was exceptionally important. For instance, when Tito asked the Soviet Mission in March, 1944, for assistance in Partisans coding, the NKGB USSR sent a group of instructors. Philby told Moscow that the Britsih Mission learned from their agents in Partisans ranks about the Soviet instructors prior to their arrival, Neglasnye voiny. Istoriia spetsialnykh sluzhb 19191945 T. 2 (Odessa: Druk, 2007) R. Bailey Communist in SOE: Explaining James Klugmanns Recruitment and Retention, Intelligence and National Security 20 (2005): 7297; D. Martin, The Web of Disinformation: Churchills Yugoslav Blunder (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990). W.Mackenzie, The Secret History of SOE, 112133. Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia Chast II, 182.

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ments were not sent via the Comintern, but through other channels (RU RKKA or NKVD).296 Veljko Dragievi, in addition to handing over to the Partisans the confidential English telegrams, also worked as a radio operator for the Partisans. He was highly trusted, and he was in charge of radio communications at the Supreme Command of the Supreme Staff, until he died during the German assault on Drvar. This is significant considering that he was initially a radio-operator in the mission engineered by the British intelligence service, which caused maximal distrust amongst the Partisans.297 N. Plea wrote about the behavior of another JVuO radio-operator in his memoirs.298 The radio-telegrapher of the Centre was a professional Lieutenant in the Navy, Simi a serious and a very strange man, who always did something, received messages and typed them. When that job was done in the morning, he would temper with the wires and put together parts for the radio. Then, he made his own radio-station. His family lived in Boka Kotorska and there were rumors in the Headquarters that his wife was a communist. It seems that was the case, and judging by Aim Sliejpevis statement at his trial in Belgrade, Simi joined the Partisans.299 Plea cited a more apparent example of the infiltration of British missions by the Soviet intelligence. During his stay in Cairo and his attendance of a specialized course in sabotage near Haifa, Plea met a British captain who introduced himself as Charles Robertson. Robertson explained during their first meeting that he was a Canadian. However, he spoke English with an accent, so he had to add that he was born in Montreal, and that he spoke French better than English. Not waiting for questions in French (which he also spoke with an accent), Robertson explained that his mother was actually Serbian, which he proved with perfect Serbian accent. Robertson was a very tall man, lengthy figure, bony, with burnt face and looked like our veritable mountaineer. In the conversation, it became clear that Robertson knew the Serbian language and traditions very well, so he easily established friendly relations with Serbian officers who attended the parachute course.300 Later on, to his great surprise, Plea saw Robertson as part of the British mission to Mihailovi, next to D.Hudson. Robertson was transferred to JVuO Headquarters with his radio station, to help the English head of the mission to establish
296 297 298

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Ibid.,183. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 9697. Neeljko Plea began the Second World War as an aviation lieutenant. He managed to escape from the country after speedy conclusion to the April War, and after a brief English parachute course, he was transferred to Montenegros Mihailovis Headquarters as part of the British-Yugoslav Mission. Plea, Ratne godine, 231. Ibid.,150155.

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radio contact with Cairo.301 Plea was even more surprised when he learned in a confidential conversation from Robertson that he was not Canadian, but a Serb from Ub, who had to leave the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1920 because of the governments persecution of communists. He spent his entire life in various European countries. He worked everywhere for the communist cause. He lived longest in Paris, where he was the leader of a terrorist group. As soon as the Civil War started in Spain, he joined the International Brigade and became a battalion commander. At the very end of the Civil War, he left the International Brigade and he joined the anarchists. After the Republican Front was broken, he escaped to France, where he was interned. During the war, he was released from the camp in France, and as a sailor on some ship, he arrived to Canada. There, he joined the Canadian army and he arrived to Middle East as a Captain Radivojevi (Robertsons real name) began propaganda campaign, advocating for the unification of Partisan and etnik movements. The magical transformation of Charles Robertson, a British intelligence agent of Canadian origins, into Drago Radivojevi, a communist activist of Yugoslav origins, did not please the British mission.302 Some said in the Headquarters that the English wanted to get rid of Radivojevi and that they advised Mihailovi to liquidate him. Radivojevis recommendations to unite JVuO and the Partisan movement were not approved, and Robertson-Radivojevi was killed.303 It is well known that the Soviet intelligence recruited former fighters from International Brigades in Spain, who managed to become officers of the Allied intelligence services. This is how Irving Goff was recruited. Goff was captain of the International Brigades and he underwent partisan training in Spain. In 1941, he joined the OSS, and as Captain of the American army he was sent to Italy. Likewise, Alfred Tanc was sent to France by OSS. The NKGB agent in Washington managed to recruit a series of officers who worked on Yugoslavia. Two such men are mentioned in documents from the NKGB resident agent in the USA major Linn Farish (pseudonym Atila) and Captain George Vuini (pseudonym Lid). This was not accidental. The NKGB agents had interesting connections in Cairo and they had the possibility to infiltrate their agents into the American intelligence service working on Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, and they were also present amongst the ranks of the OSS analysts who worked on the information from the Balkans.304
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S.Rachev, Angliia i sprotivitelnoto dvizhenie na Balkanite 19401945 (Sofiia: BAN, 1978), 86, 88. According to them, Radojevi was an unemployed drunk and a left-wing adventurist, Mackenzie, The Secret History, 112133. Plea, Ratne godine, 200203. Translation of original notes from KGB archival files by Alexander Vassiliev, White Notebook #1, File 35112, Vol. 1, p. 383, 414; File 35112, Vol. 7, p. 494; White Notebook #3, File File 28734 v. 1 Ruff Franz Neumann, p. 20 from Cold War International History Project. Digital Archive. Collec-

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There were also numerous SOE leftist collaborators from the ranks of the Yugoslav Diaspora in Canada. Their path to Yugoslavia began in early May, 1942, when a Colonel of the British intelligence service visited the editors of a leftist Canadian newspaper Novosti, asking them to recommend several Yugoslavs who would be willing to be sent to Yugoslavia on special operations. The English wanted to send them to Yugoslavia to prepare the way for the departure of the first British mission to Tito. The British intelligence agency directly asked for communists, even though the Communist Party was banned in Canada at the time. The candidates completed training in diversionary and parachute courses by August, 1942.305 After some time, they were transferred to Yugoslavia. This situation was particularly interesting because majority of these Red agents of the British Crown decided to stay in Yugoslavia after 1945. For a state which built its repressive apparatus along the lines of Stalins NKVD, these former SOE employees (translators and signalers) were not arrested or discriminated against. Instead, they had successful careers in the state apparatus, which was not very different from the manically suspicious Soviet model.306 In this context, we can find similar developments in the documents of the NKGB agents in the USA, which were published in the 1990s. V. M. Zarubin, after the end of his tenure as the head of the Soviet NKGB in the USA (January 4, 1942 August, 24, 1944), wrote a detailed report addressed to V.N.Merkulov, the head of the NKGB USSR. In this report, he listed the tasks which he was given before his departure to the USA. Out of the six tasks, only one (number four) related to gathering information about the USA. Four tasks directly related to gathering information on occupied European countries and sending the Soviet agents there. According to Zarubin, there was almost no direct way to send Soviet agents into Europe, the only way was to recruit American intelligence agents which were about to be sent to Europe. As a result, the NKGB officers in North America started to seek reliable people through the Communist Party, who already completed the training. Before their departure, they tried to recruit them. Furthermore, Zarubin cited the example of one such group which the OSS sent to Yugoslavia, which was worked over by the NKGB before their departure, but at the time that Zarubin left the USA, he had not yet succeeded in establishing contact.307
tion: Vassiliev Notebooks, accessed September 12, 2012, http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index. cfm; Venona, KGB N.Y. to M. 1397 (4. 10. 1944). B.Prpi, Preko Atlantika u partizane (Zagreb: Epoha, 1965), 1927, 132, 146150. R.McLaren, Canadians behind enemy lines, 19391945 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004), 151. Translation of original notes from KGB archival files by Alexander Vassiliev, White Notebook #1, File 35112, Vol. 1, pp. 381383 from Cold War International History Project. Digital Archive. Collection: Vassiliev Notebooks, accessed September 12, 2012, http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index. cfm.

305 306 307

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The veracity of all this cannot be verified until Russia opens its NKVD and GRU archives.308 At the same time, what we do know enables us to maintain that Moscow received information about JVuO on the territory of Serbia, independently of KPJ, by the end of 1942 at latest. The information about contacts between various JVuO commanders with Italians, Nedis apparatus and to a lesser degree with Germans, as well as the decline in intensity of etniks attacks on the Germans could have reached Moscow directly from their numerous informers in the British intelligence services.309 According to SOE documents, the British first doubts about Mihailovis willingness to fight against the Germans, Italians and their allies appeared at the end of the summer and early autumn of 1942, even though the British policy towards etniks changed only later on. Simultaneously, the British came to the idea of establishing contacts with the Partisans. In the autumn of 1942, SOE concluded that the Partisans caused more problems for the Germans than etniks.310 Finally, informal contacts were established between the USSR and JVuO, through German prisoners whom they brought to the Balkans to fight against the Partisans or to work in the mines.311 A large number of former prisoners, escaped and joined JVuO units in Eastern Serbia in December, 1943, which caused great disappointment amongst the ranks of the local Poarevac Partisan Detachment.312 According to M.Milunovi, a member of the etnik movement in Eastern Serbia, a Russian JVuO unit was formed in Homolj at the end of 1943. This unit numbered 300 soldiers and officers, and it was made up of prisoners from the Bor mine or deserters from the Russian Corps. According to M.Milunovi, Marshal Konevs son was among the prisoners,313 while the unit was headed by Major Mikhail Abramov (Avramov?).314 It should be noted that the deserters from the Russian Corps were also Soviets. They ended up in the Corps as reinforcements from the territories occupied by Romania. Velimir Pileti, a senior commanded in the etnik Krajina Corps, tried to incite desertion in ROK. In a propaganda flyer written in mixture of Serbian and Russian, he distinguished between the former Soviet prisoners from
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310 311

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The relevant authorities will open the archive rather suddenly if they like ones topic. For instance: L.F.Sotskov, Pribaltika i geopolitika; L.F.Sotskov, comp., Sekrety polskoi politiki 19351945 g.: rassekrechennye dokumenty Sluzhby vneshnei razvedki Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Moscow: RIPOL klassik, 2009). P.Knightley, The Master Spy: The Story of Kim Philby (New York: Knopf, 1989); K.Filbi, Ia shel svoim putem ed. T.A.Kudriavtseva (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1997). Mackenzie, The Secret History, 112133. I.Avakumovi, Mihailovi prema nemakim dokumentim (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 158. A.Vitorovi, Centralna Srbija (Belgrade: Nolit, 1967), 542; Zbornik NOR-a, t. I knj. 7, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1955), 2629. The Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev had only one son whose name was Gelii (19271991) and he was not in Yugoslavia during the war. M. Milunovi, Od nemila do nedraga (Belgrade: M. Milunovi, 1992), 3637; V. Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira (Kragujevac: Novi pogledi, 2002), 98.

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the hardcore White Guard Russians. He also strictly condemned the centuriesold enemies of Slavs the Germans and their allies the Russian emigrants. Pileti recommended to former Soviet prisoners serving in Wehrmacht to escape to all-Slavic free forests and to take with them as much armaments and bullets as possible.315 Regardless of the linguistic problems, JVuO propaganda had an impact. ROK fighters bitterly recalled the treachery of their former comrades and their escape to free all-Slavic forests. On September 30, 1943, during their nightly patrol, an entire former Red Army platoon deserted with all of their weapons.316 ivko Topalovi stated that according to Major Rootham (the British SOE representative to JVuO in Eastern Serbia) an entire detachment of Soviet Russians was formed out of deserters, who were led by Lieutenant Akimov.317 Rootham recorded that a group of deserters from the Russian Corps managed to establish contact with Captain Vuknevi, the local JVuO commander and that they were preparing to head into the forest. It is interesting that the former Red Army soldiers were visibly influenced by their friendship with White Emigrants. For instance, they would take off their hats before eating, cross themselves and recite the Lords Prayer.318 According to Rootham, this detachment had two Soviet officers, but he did not specify who the commander was. Lieutenant Akimov was not a commander of the detachment, but one of Russian prisoners who escaped in Macedonia.319 Rootham praised the military bearing of these Soviet soldiers and their strong desire to avenge the German misdeeds in the USSR, which the English paratrooper noted, was in contrast to the more moderate local JVuO commander. The Soviets were not met warm-heartedly. Their clothes were very old and they did not have any replacements. There were problems with weapons (which the etniks also lacked), and their Soviet origins led to Soviet soldiers being ostracized. The English had to defend the former Red Army soldiers from the attacks of the anti-communist individuals. It was obvious that this encounter was different from the encounters between the escaped Soviet prisoners and the Partisans.320 In some cases, however, etniks behavior towards Russians stemmed from more than their anti-communism. For example, Rootham noted that some etnik
315 316 317 318 319

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VA, k. 128, f. 13, d. 11, 179. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 167. Topalovi, Jugoslavija, 43. D. Rootham, Pucanj u prazno (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 233. This was an unusual situation since Macedonia was under Bulgarian occupation. Bulgaria was not in a state of war with the USSR and the Bulgarian embassy continued working in Moscow during the war. It could be either that Rootham made a mistake in determining the place from which Akimovs soldiers came or it was possible that Akimov did not come from a German prisoner of war camp at all. V. N. Kazak, Pobratimy. Sovetskie liudi v antifashistskoi borbe narodov balkanskikh stran (Moscow: Mysl, 1975), 1474; TsAMO, 52 sd PO, d. 102 Kratkii ocherk istorii Russkogo partizanskogo batalona, 712; T.S.Babueva, Sovetski graani vo NOV na Jugoslavija, Glasnik na Institutot za nacionalna istorija (Skopje) 1 (1981).

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officers felt that the Czarist Russia betrayed them in the Balkan Wars and in the First WorldWar.321 He also described a more sinister event: a large lunch was organized in a village school, at which one of Petrovis officers, Captain Jovan, got very drunk Jovan entered the school building, where there were about thirty locals, and a Russian Akimov was sitting in the corner talking with me over a glass of wine. Jovan came to the table, with a crazed look in his eyes, and taking the knife from the table, he said menacingly: I hate the communists, I hate the Red Army. If I were to be ordered to go against it tomorrow, I would be happy. Akimov was unarmed (Jovan had guns and a grenade) and he answered in a calm and steady tone: you have no right to speak this way. You are insulting me322 Incidents recorded by Rootham were not isolated incidents against the Red Army by etniks.323 After Plea was parachuted into Yugoslavia, at lunch with JVuO leaders over roast lamb and brandy, he made a toast: with faith in our final victory with the help of our great allies England, America and the Soviet Russia.324 When Nikola Kalabi, the Commander of the Kings Guard, heard this, he told Joa Pevec, that Plea was ripe for letter Z.325 Examples of such behavior by etniks invariably reached the USSR through various channels, which provided the Soviet leaders with enough material to take a negative view of JVuO. The behavior of the exiled government, which maintained its position of a vassal vis--vis London (unlike their Czech or French counterparts), must have left a certain impression on the Soviets. According to present-day Russian historians who were allowed to look at the otherwise inaccessible archival documents, the NKVD had throughout the war valuable agents in exiled governments including the Yugoslav [government A.T.].326 All of the information which Moscow received about the governments firm pro-British orientation coincided with the pre-war stereotypes of the Soviet leadership. The Comintern experts, who were influential in determining the Soviet geo-political policies before the war, pointed out the anti-Soviet attitude of the Serbs and the revolutionary mood of the Croats. These views became clear to the prewar Royal Mission, 19401941: the leading circles of Moscow society do not have a clear understanding of Yugoslavia, viewing it as a violent creation of the Serbian dynas321 322 323 324 325

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Rootham, Pucanj u prazno, 233. Ibid., 290. Ibid.,279280, 291. Plea, Ratne godine, 183184. Slobodan Jovanovi and ivan Kneevi claimed in June and August of 1942 that letter Z meant to slit throat (zaklati). Maybe they exaggerated. One thing is certain: being placed under the letter Z meant a judgment and according to etnik interpretation the word was in the category of traitor. Terzi, Jugoslavija u vienjima, 772. Deiatelnost vneshnei razvedki v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (19411945), accessed September 16, 2012, http://svr.gov.ru/history/stage05.htm.

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ty and the Serbian army.327 A song Night over Belgrade from the film Night over Belgrade, made in the USSR at the end of 1941, illustrates this stereotype well. The song about Belgrade illegal political activists (without citing their ideology, except patriotism and anti-German attitudes) does not mention Serbia and Serbs. Instead, it mentions Croatias sky328 The USSR, as all empires, had numerous experiences with smaller nations, and therefore, it invariably had to classify (or at least compare) etniks and Serbs into a wider typological context. For example, British representatives placed Mihailovis movement in the same group as royalist movements in Burma and especially Ethiopia,329 where SOE launched successful operations against the Axis with help of local Haile Selassies sympathizers.330 Likewise, the behavior of the representatives of the Yugoslav mission, as well as the extreme anti-communism of JVuO, inevitably reminded the Soviet leaders of the Poles and the Home Army. In the summer of 1941, the Polish delegation made similar incidents during their departure from the USSR.331 Also, the Home Army received weapons from Germans 19431945,332 even though it hated the Germans. The Home Army used these weapons against the pro-communist Peoples Army. The Polish government in exile was more than just loyal to London, which London repaid with the same reward which Mihailovis organization received. Interestingly, sometimes the same British operatives worked with JVuO and the Home Army.333 According to Soviets, their tactics were the same: when in the summer of 1944, the Home Army started to ask for an armistice and announced that it was ready to join the joint struggle against the Germans, partisans did not believe them and they held
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Trbi, MemoariKnj. II, 189. N. Sadkovich (director), N. Bogoslovskii (composer), B. Laskin and I. Skliut (the authors), Noch nad Belgradom, Boevoi kinosbornik 8, 1941 / 1942. This can be seen in onovi, Plea and Topalovis memoirs, and from almost every mentioning of the Serbs in Roothams book. We have in mind the project The Gideon Force, C. Mackenzie, Eastern Epic (London: Chatto & Windus, 1951); D.Rooney, Wingate and the Chindits (London: Arms and Armour, 1994). N.S.Lebedeva, Katyn. Mart 1940 sentiabr 2000. Rasstrel. Sudby zhivykh. Ekho Katyni. (Dokumenty) (Moscow: Ves mir, 2001); Iu.I.Mukhin, Antirossiiskaia podlost (Moscow: Krymskii Most Forum, 2003). The most obvious examples were the Home Armys activities in Eastern Poland (Lithuania, Western Belarus and Ukraine), as well as the actions of the Holy Cross Brigade. See K. P. Friedrich, Collaboration in a Land without a Quisling: Patterns of Cooperation with the Nazi German Occupation Regime in Poland during World War II, Slavic Review Vol. 64, No. 4 (2005); R. Zizas, Armijos krajovos veikla Lietuvoje 19421944, in Armija krajova Lietuvoje, (Vilnius: Vilnijos d-ja; Kaunas: Lietuvos politini kalini ir tremtini s-ga, 1995); Brygada Swietokrzyska, accessed September 16, 2011, http://www.electronicmuseum.ca/Poland-WW2/holy_cross_brigade/hcb. html. For instance, MajorT.D.Hudson arrived to Serbia in 1941 and for almost two and a half years he worked with etniks. On December 27, 1944, he went near the town of Czstochowa (Poland), with the Colonels rank and as head of the Freston Mission to the Home Army, Mackenzie, The Secret History, 436437, 508509, 526;

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that this was a military ruse the intention of the Poles to stop the hostilities and to work together with Belorussian partisans were confirmed in orders issued by the emigrant government in London. In a telegram sent on July 4, 1944, it was stated that with the approaching of the front, the commanders of the Home Army must offer military cooperation to the Soviets the blood-relatives and the great Slavic nationsstill, the moment for negotiations has passed.334 The natural tendency to analyze by making analogies led the NKVD leadership to contemplate that followers of Bandera (the Ukrainian nationalists who were rabidly anti-Russian) and members of the Home Army had organized contacts with the Serbian and Montenegrin etniks335 The idea of a special Russo-Serbian friendship, which is so popular amongst important segments of Russian and Serbian presentday societies, was barely present in the USSR (if at all). The idea of special Slavic ties were rejected in the USSR throughout the communist ideological experiments of the 1920s and the 1930s. The old historians and philologists who studied these issues were repressed by the authorities.336 The revolution also swept away the state apparatus familiarization with the various Slavic nations attitudes towards the Russians. Unlike their British colleagues, the Soviet diplomats needed to acquire the unofficial but very important experience in decision making. Nonetheless, the first clash of the Comintern stereotypes and events in the Western Balkans came about in the autumn of 1944, when Red Army units reached the Balkans.

Relations between the USSR and NOP


The question of relations between the USSR and Titos movement attracted a lot of scholarly attention during the existence of communist Yugoslavia. Almost every study which offered a complete overview of the Second World War in Yu334

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L.Smilovitskii, Katastrofa evreev v Belorussii, 19411944 gg. (Tel-Aviv: Biblioteka Matveia Chernogo, 2000), 147. N.P.Patrushev et al., comp, Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti, t. 4, kn. 1 (Moscow: Akademiia FSB RF, 2008), 9295. The Faculty of History at the Moscow State University received a Department for the History of South and Western Slavs in 1939. The Slavic Commission was created at the Academy of Sciences USSR in 1942. The Department for Slavic Philology was created at the Faculty of Philology MDU in 1943. The Institute for Slavic Studies AN USSR was created in 1947. E. P.Aksenova, Ocherki iz istorii otechestvennogo slavianovedeniia. 1930e gody (Moscow: Inslav RAN, 2000); M.Iu.Dostal, Slavianskaia komissiia AN SSSR (19421946), Slavianskii almanakh 1996, ed. K.V.Nikiforov (Moscow: Inslav RAN, 1997); M.Iu.Dostal, Kafedra slavianskoi filologii v MGU (19431948), Slavianovedenie 5 (2003); M.Iu.Dostal, Neizvestnye dokumenty po istorii sozdaniia Instituta slavianovedeniia AN SSSR, Slavianovedenie 6 (1996); K.V.Nikiforov, K 60letiiu Instituta slavianovedeniia RAN: V.K.Volkov o perspektivakh razvitiia slavistiki, Slavianovedenie 2 (2007).

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goslavia had something to say on this topic. However, the Yugoslav historiography produced only one exhaustive study of this topic Nikola Popovis monograph published in 1988.337 Popovi analyzed in detail various aspects of the Soviet assistance to NOP during the Second WorldWar. His book was a revolutionary rejection of the entrenched thesis in the Yugoslav historiography that Tito struggled against occupiers without anybodys assistance.338 In the past two decades since his book was published, Popovis thesis has been largely confirmed by the appearance of series of memoirs and archival documents. Nonetheless, some issues require further clarification. The most important of these questions relate to the USSRs Military Mission in Yugoslavia, which led to close contacts between the Soviet government on the one hand, and NKOJ and NOVJ on the other. For diplomatic reasons, it was not possible for Moscow to send its Mission before their British counterparts reached Yugoslavia. Had this happened, nothing could have convinced Churchill that Tito was independent of Moscow, which NKID ardently maintained. Moscow wanted to uphold the line of the autonomy of the Yugoslav Partisans during the war in order not to endanger the uncertain postwar future of the Yugoslav Communists and raise troublesome questions about the degree of Moscows territorial and political demands in postwar Europe. This issue also could have raised foreign policy problems for the USSR: from delaying the opening of the second front to ending the Lend-lease program, and it could have even led the Western Allies to engage in separate negotiations with the Germans.339 The possibility of the separate Anglo-German peace was seriously feared by Moscow. On January 17, 1944, Pravda, published the following statement from its Cairo correspondent, without any comment or explanation: according to information from reliable sources, there was a secret meeting between the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Ribbentrop with some leading British officials in order to establish the conditions to sign a separate peace treaty with Germany.340 In these circumstances, suspicious Stalin tended to be very careful. Memoir literature mentions the existence of some unofficial couriers who reached the occupied Yugoslavia from the USSR before 1944. In the summer of 1942, the Comintern prepared several KPJ members to transfer them to Yugoslavia.341 Soviet airplanes carried out several flights to Balkans (including Yugoslavia) before and after
337 338 339

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Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi. Dedijer, Josip Broz, 337377. I.M.Bondarenko, Krasnye pianisty (Moscow: Veche, 2008); V.Shellenberg, Memuary (Minsk: Rodiola plius, 1998). Soobshchenie spetskorra TASS iz Kaira, Pravda, January 17, 1944. O.A.Rzheshevskii ed., Vtoraia mirovaia voina: Aktualnye problemy (Moscow: Nauka, 1995), 7275; Lebedev and Narinskii, eds., Komintern i Vtoraia mirovaia chast II, 54,73,74.

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November 1943. The first group of international instructors of diversionary tactics from the NKVD Independent Special-Purpose Motorized Brigade (OMSBON) flew to the Balkans from Crimea in the summer of 1941.342 Soviet airplanes appeared over Yugoslavia again only after the Kursk Battle. The first Soviet flight was undertaken by the crew of Lieutenant-ColonelB.I.Zhilin, who dropped several parachutists, supposedly Bulgarian communists, from an airport near Kursk to Bugojno area.343 During an anti-partisan operation in Srem, in October, 1943, von Pannwitzs Cossack Division caught several Soviet parachutist-diversionists.344 The situation changed in the spring of 1943, when Britain began preparing its missions to Yugoslav Partisans. The Soviets then began inquiring about the possibility of joint Soviet-British missions to Tito.345 London rejected this offer and began to prepare for an independent mission. However, several preparatory steps had to be first taken. First, a mission comprising of Yugoslavs serving in the SOE was parachuted into NDH P.Pavlovi, P.Erdeljac and A.Simi. This mission reached Lika on April 2021, 1943, and it established contacts with the Partisans, which the radio-operator of the mission, A.Simi, reported to Cairo. Several days later, another SOE mission comprised of Yugoslavs (S.Serdar, Dj. Dikli, M. Drui) reached Bosnia. This mission also confirmed to Cairo that it had arrived and established contacts with the Partisans.346 On May 28, 1943, a veritable British gentleman from SOE Frederick William Deakin reached Titos Headquarters. Deakin was an Oxford graduate who joined the British intelligence service in the wars earlier phases.347 In September, 1943, he returned from Yugoslavia with the best impressions of Tito. Only after all of this, on September 18, 1943, the first British military mission reached Tito four British signalers, a mighty radio-station and BrigadierGeneral Sir Fitzroy Maclean, the Chief of the Mission.348 It is uncertain when the Soviets began preparing for their mission to Tito. The participants of the Mission, its commander Nikolai Korneev and translator Vladi342

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A.Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia. Vospominaniia glavnogo marshala aviatsii (Moscow: Tsentropoligraf, 2008, 2007), 268,496; I.Vinarov, Boitsy tikhogo fronta: Vospominaniia razvedchika (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1971), 361367; A. I. Zevelev ed., Nenavist, spressovannaia v tol (Moscow: Mysl, 1991), 287. Sergienko, AGON, 1718; TsAMO, 18 VA, or. 11495, d. 10, 5. Cherkassov, General Kononov t. 1, 1415.. Barker, British Policy,, p. 163. McLaren, Canadians behind enemy lines, 138139. DeakinF.W.D., The Embattled Mountain, Serbian version F.Dikin, Bojovna planina (Belgrade: Nolit, 1973); Mackenzie, The Secret History, 428431. Maclean came from an old Scottish family. Before the war he worked in the diplomatic British Representation in Moscow. In the USSR he travelled illegally throughout the country, including areas restricted to foreign diplomats. From 1939 he started working for the British SAS, and he participated in military operations in Northern Africa.

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mir Zelenin, who left their memories of the Mission, were not too descriptive in discussing the planning phase and they tended to conceal accurate dates. Nonetheless, Zelenin claimed that the decision to send the Soviet Mission to Tito was made before August-September, 1943.349 According to recollections of the Chief of the Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Red Army, S.M.Shtemenko, the General Staff was ordered to prepare for a military mission to Yugoslavia after the Teheran Conference (November 28 December 1, 1943).350 We can find more precise information about the question of when Soviet leaders began preparing for a military mission to Tito in Stalins Visitors Journal. According to the journal, on April 15, 1943, Molotov (head of the NKID), Beria (the NKVD chief), Malenkov (member of the State Defense Committee in charge of aviation) and Shcerbakov (chief of the military and civilian propaganda: head of the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army, the chief of the InformationalPropaganda Department of NKID and the head of the Department for International Information of the CK VKP (b) visited Stalin. They were regular visitors. Two issues were discussed that day. The first related to aviation, since in Stalins office at the same time were Novikov (Chief of the Air Staff of the Red Army), Nikitin (head of the Main Directorate for Forming and Completing the units of the Red Army) and Golovanov the chief of the Long Range Bombing Force (ADD). After their departure, a second group visited Stalin, which stayed in his office until the end of the working hours: Abakumov (chief of SMERSH), Golikov (the head of the NKO Cadre Service), Ilichev (head of the RU RKKA his name was recorded in the journal as Olichev), Kuznetsov (deputy head of the RU RKKA in the publication of the journal he was mistakenly identified as the head of the Military Navy), Vavilov (deputy to the RU RKKA Chief, in the publication of the journal he was mistakenly identified as a scientist of the same name), Vinogradov (head of the Quartermaster Service), Evstigneev (head of the NKO Department for Military Diplomacy), Kaminskii (NKGB USSR) and future chief of the military mission to Tito, General Korneev.351 Naturally, numerous questions were discussed that day. The reason for similarity in background of the visitors that day could have been the ongoing reconstruction of the Soviet military and political special services, which began at the time. However, the most important for us was the fact that this was the first and final time that General Korneev visited Stalin prior to his departure for Yugoslavia. General Korneev was never tasked with such important assignments which
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V.V.Zelenin, Operatsiia Khod konem, Sovetskoe slavianovedenie 3 (1974); Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 17. S.M.Shtemenko., Generalnyi shtab v gody voiny, kn. 2 (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1974), 291292. Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 404.

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would require him to personally see Stalin. Therefore, we can make an educated guess that the preparations for the Soviet mission began on April 15, 1943. Nicholai Korneevs biography offers an insight into the chronology and the manner in which the mission was prepared. Genera Korneev was a highly educated military intelligence officer. MacLean, the chief of the British mission believed that Korneev did not have proletarian origins. MacLean also said that before the revolution he was supposedly a professional officer in the Czarist Army.352 In reality, Nicholai Korneev was born in 1900, into a peasant family in the village of Kamenka in Tula Region. He joined the Red Army when he was eighteen, and in 1919 he was one of the first graduates of the Military-Engineering School, after which he worked in liaison service. He completed the Higher Military Liaison School in 1924, and from 1926 he worked in RU RKKA. In 1929, Korneev finished the Eastern Faculty of the Military Academy Frunze, and from then on, he advanced in the militaryintelligence profession. He reached the position of the Deputy Chief of the Intelligence Department of the Leningrad Military District. Afterward, he worked as a lecturer at the Red Army Genral Staff Academy. During the war, he was the Chief of Staff of several armies. He began the war in the 20th Army, which fought in the Smolensk Battle and Viazemskaia Operation, after which only the parts of the 20th Army broke through the German encirclement. With the 24th Army, he participated in the initial and the most difficult phase of the Stalingrad Battle, with the 11th Army he participated in unsuccessful attempts to encircle the Germans near Demiansk. In early April, 1943, as a result of heavy losses, the army was dissolved and Korneev and other high-ranking officers were sent into the Supreme Commands reserves. This date corresponds to the meeting with Stalin, at which decisions were made about the Soviet Mission to the Partisans. It is still difficult to know all the details surrounding preparations, but likely the preparations were finished by October, 1943, because on October 3, Korneev was promoted to Lieutenant-General which was usually done prior to the commencement of an important task.353 Apart from General Korneev, other qualified individuals were included in the Mission. General-Major Anatolii Gorshkov served in the NKVD Border Guards before the war. After the war broke out, he trained partisans in diversionary action behind the enemy frontlines. Just prior to the Missions departure for Yugoslavia, until September 1943, he was the Liaison Officer of the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement in the Headquarters of the 1st Byelorussian Front.354 Colonel
352 353

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F.Maklejn, Rat na Balkanu (Belgrade: Prosveta, 1980), chapter 11. A.I.Kolpakidi and D.P.Prokhorov, Imperiia GRU. Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi voennoi razvedki (Moscow: Olma-Press, 1999); Spravochnik Obshchevoiskovye armii and Spravochnik Komandnyi sostav RKKA i RKVMF v 19411945 godakh, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.soldat.ru/spravka/. A.Gorshkov, Narod beretsia za oruzhie, Oni zashchishchali Tulu. Vospominaniia i ocherki (Tula: Priokskoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo, 1965), 333; Biograficheskii slovar Gorshkov Anatolii Petrovich, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.bg-znanie.ru/article. php? nid=8563..

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Nicholai Patrakhaltsev was the third person in the Mission and his role was the Senior Assistant to the Chief of the Mission.355 Patrakhaltsev was an instructor in guerilla tactics in Spain during the CivilWar. Afterwards, he was the Deputy Chief of the RU RKKA Diversionary DepartmentA. during 19381940. On the eve of the mission, he headed that institution. After the war, he was in charge of the elite Spetsnatz units for several years.356 Other members of the Mission were also highly qualified. Secretary of the Mission, MajorG.S.Haritonenkov, like Patrakhaltsev, also participated in the Spanish CivilWar. MajorL.N.Dolgov was the initial chief of the radio liaison. However, in the spring of 1944, when the radio station became more active, several signalers arrived from Moscow, among them the new Chief of the Liaison Service Major-GeneralB.F.Dudakov. Dudakov also had prewar experience in Spain, where he was decorated with the Order of the Red Star. The Senior Assistant to the Chief of the Mission, V. M. Sakharov, and the Assistant to the Chief of the Mission, M. V. Kovalenko, worked in the Soviet embassy in Yugoslavia during 19401941.357 Sakharov graduated from the State University of Moscow and he started working in NKID in 1939. His biography is particularly interesting. After the evacuation of the Soviet embassy in May, 1940, Sakharov returned to the USSR, where he served for about a year in frontline units. He worked on intelligence issues with prisoners of war. However, his knowledge of Serbo-Croatian was needed elsewhere and he was transferred to London where he worked as the Second Secretary of the Soviet Diplomatic Representation to the migr governments until December, 1943, when he was adjoined to the Mission.358 The Mission, however, did not only have representatives from the military intelligence structures. NKGB also sent its agents to Yugoslavia, who formally worked as advisors. G.S.Grigorev headed the NKGB residency, but officially he was Assistant to the Chief of the Mission. In addition, V.A.Kvasov and several assistants (coder MajorN.S.Nikitin and signaler G.L.Likhov) worked for civilian security agency. The NKGB residency was tasked with creating a network to gather information on Germans, etniks, and British and American Missions. In March, 1944, Tito pleaded with the Soviets to strengthen his coding and intelligence services. As a result, several more NKGB officers arrived to his headquarters: the advisor for the intelligence issues B. P. Odintsov; the advisor for counter-intelligence A.V.Tishkov (who headed the NKGB residency in Yugoslavia from its liberation until the autumn, 1946); expert coders P.E.Goroshin and
355 356 357 358

Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20. V.Lure and V.Kochik, GRU: dela i liudi (Saint Petersburg: Neva, 2002). Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20. Sergienko, AGON, 22.

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Titos personal coder M.V.Zhukov.359 In addition, Lieutenant-Colonel Konstantin Kvashnin, expert from the 4th Diversionary Department of the NKGB USSR arrived to Yugoslavia. From the beginning of the war, he was tasked with training the OMSBON units. Kvashnin was also responsible for maintaining contact with the British Mission.360 Lieutenant-Colonel M. V. Tulenkov, the doctor of the Mission, also had a rich war experience. The Mission also had translators: N. I. Vetrov (English), E.A.Kulkov (English) and V.V.Zelenin (German). The latter became an expert on the history of Yugoslavia at the RAN Slavic Institute. LieutenantI.S.Bezuglov was Korneevs adjutant. The Mission also had its cook, SergeantE.F.Shapkin, and driver, I.R.Lomtev.361 In May, 1944, Colonel Stepan Sokolov became the Deputy to the Chief of the Mission on July 1, 1944. He was forty years old and he knew aviation well in the mountainous terrain,362 therefore, he was appointed the Commander of the Soviet airbase in Bari, Italy. According to his personal dossier, which he received upon personal request on November 26, 1952, Colonel Sokolov worked his entire life for RU RKKA. He began in the Caucuses in 1924 where he participated in the suppression of an anti-Soviet rebellion. He studied at the Kachinskii School for Military Pilots and the Zhukovskii Military Air Force Academy. He had prewar experience of working abroad. In Bari, the Soviet Mission received an airport, storages and communications. From June, 1944, Sokolov had under his command Aviation Group for Special Purposes which had two escadrilles: the military-cargo (twelve airplanes C-47) and fighter (twelve airplanes Iak-9 which were modified for long-range flights). The cargo airplanes transferred freight cargo according to the Missions needs armaments, munitions and medicine for NOVJ, they brought in officers and doctors and evacuated the wounded. Pilots had to fly over the sea and the mountains to get to Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania and Greece. The fighter escadrille operations included providing protection to cargo airplanes and special missions in coordination with the Headquarter of the Balkan Air Forces of the Allies in Italy. The garrison was subject to local British command in Bari, while the airport support service was subordinated to the US 15th Air Army. The Soviet radio service in Bari, which was controlled by RU RKKA, utilized a special radio-network Groza-1 (Storm-1).363
359 360

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Lander, Neglasnye voiny. t. 2, chapter Balkany vo Vtoroi mirovoi voine. E. Potievskii, Partizany, documentary film 38 min. (Moscow: SVR RF, 1997); M. Boltunov, Koroli diversii. Istoriia diversionnykh sluzhb Rossii (Moscow: Veche, 2001). Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20; Sergienko, AGON, 23. Shtemenko., Generalnyi shtab, 291292. Sobranie lichnykh dokumentov S.V.Sokolova, Chastnaia kollektsiia.

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According to General Korneev, the Soviet government decided to send its mission to Yugoslavia at the end of 1943, which was after Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to jointly support Tito at the Teheran Conference.364 The mission left Moscow at seven in the morning on January, 17, 1944.365 The flights between Moscow-Astrakhan-Baku-Baghdad-Cairo-Tripoli-Tunis-Bari were captained by A.S.Shornikov and MajorA.M.Lebedev.366 In Cairo, the Soviet Mission met SOE officers, including F. Deakin, who had just returned from Yugoslavia. In Cairo, the Mission met NOVJ officers M.Popovi and V.Dedijer. At the same time, King Peter II and Puri, the Prime Minister of the government in exile, were in Cairo. General Korneev categorically rejected the British offer to meet them.367 After its long journey, the Mission met the NOVJ representatives to the Allies V.Velebit and M.Milojevi. The Major Lebedevs airplane returned to Moscow, while Captain Alexander Shornikov airplane and its crew remained at the Missions disposal. Captain Shornikov and his co-pilot Boris Kalinkin were real aces with plenty of experience in flying behind enemy lines on various types of Soviet airplanes, as well as the American B-24 and the British Albemarle MkI.From Cairo, the Soviet Mission flew to an improvised airport near the village of Medeno Polje, 7km from Bosanski Petrovac. The Soviets were accompanied by three British Douglas airplanes, two heavy American cargo airplanes and twenty five British Spitfire fighters for protection. The Commander of the NOVJ 5th Corps, Slavko Rodi, met the Mission in Medeno Polje, and transferred the Soviets on sledges to Bosanski Petrovac. In Bosanski Petrovacs House of Culture, a ceremonial dinner was held, followed by a mass meeting with locals who wanted to see the Russians. The next day, the Mission departed for Drvar, where another dinner was organized in the honor of the Mission at a wood processing plant, which was decorated with Yugoslav, Soviet, American and British flags, and pictures of Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill.368 The Missions arrival was described in various ways in numerous memoirs, depending on the authors latter attitudes and views. General Velebit mockingly remembered that General Korneev was well fed and therefore unprepared for the athletic accomplishments [parachuting A.T.], and because he was injured during the war he lost the necessary firmness.369 According to Dedijer, Tito was aware of the pompous character of the meeting with the Soviet Mission but he pointed out its im364 365 366

367 368 369

N.V.Korneev, Voennaia missiia SSSR v Iugoslavii, in Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 201. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 17. A.S.Shornikov, Nashi polety v Iugoslaviiu, Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 214215; Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20, 21. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 21. Sergienko, AGON, 28. V.Velebit, Seanja (Zagreb: Globus, 1983), 165.

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portance for strengthening NOP ties with the Allied countries. Citing the speakers at the ceremonial reception (MacLean, Korneev and Tito), Dedijer concluded that the meeting amounted to the official recognition of Tito as the President of the National Committee, almost equal in status to Churchill and Stalin.370 Djilas recalled Korneevs cautious attitude towards Tito.371 Korneev, Zelenin and Shornikov paid most attention to their difficult thirty-nine day journey.372 Koa Popovi painted the picture of warm relations between NOVJ and the Soviet Mission in his memoirs. The Soviet military mission, headed by Lieutenant-General Korneev landed on 23.II. in Drvar, on 24th at night, a dinner was prepared which was attended by Marshal Tito, Lieutenant-General Korneev, Brigadier-General MacLean Colonel Terish, Major Churchill and about twenty high ranking and lower ranking officers from the Soviet Mission. Tito, Korneev and MacLean spoke. The ceremonial Red Army epaulets somewhat eased the necessity of addressing each other with Sir Major and Sir Officers. After the ceremony ended, only several Soviet officers remained in the hall with us: we sang together, and nobody addressed anyone with Sir. During the dinner, to the left of me sat Churchill with his short sharp beard somehow tense, confused, as always when he was not warmed up (under the influence of alcohol A.T.). He spoke English with me and Major Zakharov (probably MajorV.M.Sakharov, the Senior Assistant to the head of the mission A.T.),373 who sat to the right of me. He asked me questions about many things which I was not particularly happy to talk about in a purely parachutists manner, penetratingly and imposingly he switched between French and English because he concluded that I completely understood English. Zakharov is a blond, lively young man, pleasant, warm-hearted and direct. He told me that they all felt here as if they were at their own home and it could be seen that that is how they truly felt.374 Members of the mission soon relaxed and established very close ties with members of the NOVJ Supreme Headquarters. Djilas recalled that Tito told [him] that General Korneev when one night they stayed alone drunkenly kissed him and tenderly called him Oska, Oska [Russian Joshka, Joshka A.T.]375 The Missions activities were completely secret. It seemed to Korneevs British colleague MacLean that the Russians filled the airplanes with only vodka and caviar, that they did not know what they would do with the free time and that their presence contributed only to the social life of the Allied missions.376 The only pur370 371 372

373 374 375 376

Dedijer, Josip Broz, 389391. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 368. Korneev, Voennaia missiia SSSR, 201; Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 21, 22, Shornikov, Nashi polity, 214215. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 20. PopoviK., Beleke uz ratovanje (Belgrade: BIGZ 1988), 199. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 369. Maklejn, Rat, chapt. 11.

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pose of the Soviet mission which until now has come to light was to determine the most immediate NOVJ needs and cooperation in organizing the necessary military material. The members of the Soviet Mission described the Soviet military assistance as efficient, Velebit as considerable as the English military assistance, while Dedijer pointed out that the Soviet aid was very limited (without comparing it with the British and American assistance).377 Nikola Popovi described the true dimensions of the Soviet assistance to NOP, with analysis of its content.378 In order to determine the scope of the Soviet military and diplomatic assistance to the Yugoslav Partisans, we must take into account NOVJ Mission to the USSR which reached Moscow on April 12, 1944. The Yugoslav Mission was headed by Velimir Terzi, while Milovan Djilas also played an important role.379 Stalin received from the Yugoslavs an exhaustive list of things which NOVJ needed: medicine, equipment and weapons. On May 8, 1944, Stalin approved the considerable assistance in the Stavka (The Main Command of the Armed Forces) Order Number 5847 About measures to offer aid to NOVJ. Terzi and Djilas met Stalin and Molotov on May 19, almost more than a month after consulting various Soviet civil servants responsible for providing the assistance to NOVJ. Their meeting lasted for a relatively long period of time an hour and a half.380 The Soviet Mission and its auxiliary group in Bari (Italy) were also charged with intelligence tasks. The USSR sought information about Balkan countries under the German occupation and about the resistance movements independent of the Comintern. As a result, missions comprising of several officers of the military intelligence were sent from Bari throughout the Balkans. The first missions immediately left for Slovenia (Patrahalcev, Kulkov and Likho) and Montenegro (Kovalenko). After new officers arrived from the USSR, this method of studying the Balkans expanded. With the arrival of AGON (Air Group for Special Operations), the Soviet missions were sent to Greece (headed by Lieutenant ColonelG.M.Popov and mission of V.A.Troian) and Albania (MajorK.P.Ivanov and radio-operator V.Churin). The missions in Yugoslav regions were also expanded. Instructors and doctors requested by NOVJ were sent to Yugoslavia. Among others, on July 9, the first Soviet film makers arrived, V.Muromcev and Eshurin, who were tasked with making a documentary film about the Yugoslav Partisans.381 According to the history of the RU RKKA Radio Liaison Service, in May 1944, Korneevs Mission relied on a network of radio stations comprising of
377

378 379 380 381

Dedijer, Josip Broz, 392; Velebit, Seanja, 165; Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 23. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 187207. Popovi, Beleke, 193. Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 433. Sergienko, AGON, 355.

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fourteen points: two radio-networks (one in the airbase base in Bari, while the second followed Korneev in Bosnia, Vis and Romania) and twelve radio stations throughout Yugoslavia (in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Vojvodina), Greece and Albania. The only Balkan countries which remained outside of this Soviet radio network were Turkey and Bulgaria, which had diplomatic relations with Moscow. As a result, the Soviets collected the intelligence on these two countries (and dispatched it to Moscow) through more traditional and official channels.382 Korneevs radio network, based in Drvar, was codenamed Purga-1 (Snow Storm). It was extremely active. In total, Purga-1 emitted twelve to eighteen thousand five-number groups per day, which was exceptionally high.383 Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that General Korneevs Mission was de facto the Soviet intelligence center for entire Balkans, unlike the other Allied Missions to NOVJ whose aim was the exchange of information. Each new flight brought in new officers and experts: from meteorology expert A.I.Karakasha (for the airport), to experts for organization of the financial systems (on Titos behest, who wanted to prepare for organization of the new state bank) the former Deputy of the Peoples Commissariat for Finances ColonelM.F.Bodrov and the former First Deputy to the President of the State Bank of the USSR ColonelV.S.Gerashchenko. It is possible that the intense activity of the Soviet Mission encouraged the Germans to stage their aerial assault on Drvar. Korneev received information about the possible attack several weeks prior to the assault, and he urged Tito to undertake steps to secure NOVJ Headquarters and to prepare a plan for an unexpected German attack.384 Nonetheless, the attack occurred afterward, when NOP and members of the Mission relaxed their security measures. Tito, the Soviet and the British Missions barely managed to escape the German encirclement. The events which transpired in the next several days were described differently by Soviet and British representatives to NOVJ. Even the beginning of the operation was described differently. Soviets (Korneev and Zelenin) suspected that the British members of the Mission knew when the German assault would take place based on the intelligence and the fact that MacLean and Churchill had suddenly left Titos headquarters several days before the German attack.385 Their suspicion
382

383

384 385

L. P. Kostromin, Nasha razvedka v Bolgarii, in Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki. T. 4 19411945 gody, ed. E.A.Primakov et al. (Moscow:: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1999); O.I.Nazhestkin, Vengerskie motvy na turektskoi zemle, in ibid. A.N.Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi Sovetskoi voennoi missii v Iugoslavii v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny in V.A.Kirpichenko, ed., Pozyvnye voennoi razvedki. Korneev, Voennaia missiia SSSR, 202; ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 386. From the British surrounding, K.Kvashnin also got close with R.Churchill who established with the British Prime Ministers son warm ties, Sudoplatov, Raznye dni; V.Kovalchuk, Liudi i sudby, Rodnik 83, Ocrober 18, 2002. Dienko, Razvedka.

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increased when they found out after the war that the British managed to crack the majority of German radio-communications in the Western Balkans. In contrast, British historians claim that the British did not have accurate information about the aerial assault, although they received separate and unconnected reports about the possibility of the German attack.386 The Chief of the British Mission, MacLean, described the German assault on Drvar based on the report which his deputy Major Vivien wrote. According to MacLean, Vivien was in close contact with Tito after the Yugoslav leader just managed to escape the German encirclement. Tito called Vivien and asked him that he and his staff should be evacuated to Italy until the situation enabled their return to Yugoslavia. Vivien sent a dpche to Bari. On the same day, a Royal Air-Force Douglas evacuated Tito, his dog Tiger, five or six of his assistants, Vivien and the Soviet Mission. The pilot of the Douglas was a Soviet officer, who received this assignment by pure chance.387 This version of events was available in the Serbian translation of MacLeans memoirs. We will present the Soviet version of the same events based on several sources: Korneevs, Zelenins and Shornikovs memoirs (the pilot of the Douglas which evacuated Tito and foreign missions from Bosnia) and archival documents which became accessible after 1991 such as reports of the radio service and Aleksandr Shornikovs report sent to Marshal Alexander Golovanov who headed the ADD at the time.388 As soon as the German parachutes appeared above Drvar, the main radio-station of the Soviet mission was destroyed on the orders of the Deputy Commander of the MissionL.N.Dolgov, who was responsible for radio communication. The Mission was only left with a small radio-station N-15 Sever, which was ordinarily used tactically during minor diversionary actions on distances less than 400km.389 It was impossible to establish contact between Moscow and Sever radio-station, and without special measures in the mountainous terrain, it was impossible to establish contact with the Soviet base in Italy. According to the report written by the Service for RU RKKA Radio Liaison, alarm was raised in Moscow and Bari when Purga-1 went suddenly quiet on May 25. Stalin was immediately informed, and according to S.M.Shtemenko, he ordered the General Staff to clarify the situation and if necessary to offer the comrades required assistance. For seven days, until June 2,
386

387 388

389

R.Bennett, Knights Move at Drvar: Ultra and the Attempt on Titos Life, 25 May 1944, Journal of Contemporary History April (1987), 195208. Maklejn, Rat, chapter 12. Shornikov, Nashi polety v Iugoslaviiu, 217218; Korneev, Voennaia missiia SSSR, 203204; Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi; Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 2526; Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 510515; A.Shornikov, Zapiska na ime A.E.Golovanova ot ShornikovaA.S. o deistviiakh aviagruppy v Iugoslavii, The Archive of A.E.Golovanovs family. I. N.Artemev, V efire partizany (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1971); S. P.Vyskubov, V efire Severok (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1986).

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the intelligence services Centre for Radio Liaison tried to establish connection with Purga-1 or to receive information from Groza-1. The contact was established on June 2, when the Mission called Moscow from radio station codenamed Vega.390 It turned out that Major Dolgov managed to increase the strength of the radio-station and emit Korneevs announcement. Dolgov sent the same announcement to the head of the Soviet representative in Bari, S.V.Sokolov. In this message, the Soviets requested an airplane for evacuation on June 3, at 22.00 hours. Since Dolgovs technological innovation did not offer guarantees that the tactical radio-station would sent a very important message to such great distance, Korneev decided to send the same message through the British Missions radio-station.391 Apparently, there were radio exchanges between Major Vivien and his subordinates because according to Shornikovs report, Captain Preston from the British Command in the Air-Force base in Bari reported that the airplane must come to Bosnia during the night of June 45 (and not the night before). An earlier departure was forbidden. Sokolov was suspicious, which was ordinary for a person in his field, and he feared that the British wanted to sabotage the evacuation. Sokolov and Shornikov, unable to establish contact with Vega anymore, decide that the flight had to be undertaken at any cost according to the date which they barely intercepted from Vega signal.392 The American airplane Douglas, which was piloted by Shornikov (which the USSR received through Land Lease) was made to weigh as less as possible. Armchairs, tables and all equipment were removed from the airplane. Shornikov and his co-pilot Boris Kalinkin announced their flight to the British personnel at the air base as an ordinary reconnaissance flight. They successfully landed at Kupreko Polje. Pavel Iakimov, Shornikovs navigator who was with Korneev from very beginning of the mission, chose the location for the airplanes landing. According to Shornikovs memories, half an hour after the airplane landed, Tito and the Missions personnel appeared at the airport.393 After a brief discussion, it was decided that the following passengers should board the airplane: Korneev, his assistant Sakharov, Coder Major Nikitin, the temporary Chief of the British Mission Major Vivian Street, Marshal Tito, CK KPJ members E.Kardelj, A. Rankovi and I. Milutinovi, NOVJ Chief of the Staff A. Jovanovi, Titos personal secretary, his doctor, his personal security team and his favorite sheppard dog. The dog, known as Tiger, refused to enter the airplane for a long time.
390

391

392

393

Part of the Soviet Mission established contact with Moscow somewhat earlier, Sergienko, AGO, 94 96. Shtemenko, Generalnyi shtab, 200201, 388389; Korneev, Voennaia missiia, 203; Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi. Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 510515; A.Shornikov, Zapiska na ime A.E.Golovanova; Korneev, Voennaia missiia, 203. Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 510515; A.Shornikov, Zapiska na ime A.E.Golovanova.

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Shornikov repeated the flight that same night and he transferred to Bari General Gorshkov and several NOVJ officers and members of the Soviet Mission. On this occasion, Shornikov was followed by three American airplanes that also landed at Kupreko Polje and assisted in evacuation of the personnel to Italy. In the morning, on June 4, German units reached Kupreko Polje.394 The majority of intelligence officers of the mission remained in Yugoslavia, and they even received reinforcements throughout the summer of 1944.395 The evacuated personnel, including Korneev, were with Tito in Italy and on the island of Vis. The Soviet base in Italy was considerably expanded, and on July 15, 1944, the Soviet mission received its own sector on the Allied base near Bari. The Soviet group (AGON) under the command of Colonel Vasilii Shchelunov, consisted of twelve American transport airplanes Douglas and twelve Soviet fighters Iak-9DD.396 Shchelkunovs group aided the Partisan detachments in Yugoslavia, and it continued to spread the network of Soviet instructors in Yugoslavia, Greece and Albania.397 In July 1944, General Korneev departed for Moscow, and on August 17, he reported to Stalin his impressions.398 In early July, the decision was made to transfer the officers of the Main Staff of Serbia to Serbia. They gathered in the base in Bari. Finally, on the orders of K. Popovi, Ljuba Djuri was ordered to conduct reconnaissance flight with the Soviet crew above Radan Mountain in Southern Serbia. Since the state of the airfield was unknown, N.A.Girenko, the head of the Soviet crew which was tasked with transferring a group of Yugoslav and Soviet officers, suggested to Sokolov that they should first parachute a Yugoslav reconnaissance to investigate the airport. Not wishing to risk the lives of high ranking Yugoslav officers, Sokolov approved this plan. Girenko transported a group of Partisan officers (Ljuba Djuri, Milorad Konstantinovi, Zdravko Oljaa, Lazar Bajeti, Ante Runi and Dobrivoje Mihajlovi) to the Radan-Mountain. At ten oclock at night, on July 11, 1944, the Soviet Douglas piloted by N.A.Girenko took off from the Bari Airport with several important passengers: K.Popovi, the Chief of Staff of Serbia, General Gorshkov, the Deputy to the Chief of the Soviet Mission, and eleven Yugoslav and four Soviet officers (B.P.Odintsov, V.V.Zelenin, K.I.Kozlov, M.A.Ivanov). The problem was that the group of Soviet airplanes AGON had not yet arrived from USSR. Therefore, the Allies assistance was necessary. After exhaustive convincing, the British agreed to provide one of their Douglas airplanes to transfer the remainder of the Par394

395 396

397 398

Ibid.; Korneev, Voennaia missiia, 204; M.Delebdi and D.Otovi, Titovi ratni letovi (Belgrade: Knjievne novine, 1986), 3745; Sergienko, AGON, 86. Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi. Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 27; Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 515. P.M.Mikhailov, Posle zakata vzlet (Smolensk: Moskovskii Rabochii, 1988). Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 439.

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tisan leaders who were bound for Serbia. After the flight which passed safely and with rare enemy anti-aircraft fire, the airplanes landed near Leskovac. R.Dugonji remembered: when we exited, we waited to see the people. And the people were wonderful. I saw some women who were crying when they saw an airplane with a Red Star and from the crying they could not talk. Happiness could be seen on all the faces, as well as the belief that from now on things would get better399 The Soviet mission did not view sympathetically the increasingly close relations between Tito and his subordinates with the British military and political leaders.400 This relationship manifested itself through British officials frequent visits to Tito, his lengthy stay on the British Destroyer Blackmore after which he was transferred to the island of Vis, formally part of Yugoslavia but in reality the Western Allies base on the Dalmatian Coast.401 On September 10, the Soviet Military Mission flew on Shornikovs airplane from Vis to Craiova (Romania), where Tito was supposed to arrive shortly with his colleagues. Before the arrival of Marshal Tito with the operational group of the Supreme Staff, all conditions for their tasks in directing the troops, establishing contact with commands of Soviet Fronts and troops, with which the Yugoslav units and Partisan detachments had to cooperate, were prepared.402 The preparation for accommodating Tito began before this. In the second half of August, 1944, an extensive list of individuals who would accompany him in Craiova was prepared. The newly appointed head of the Soviet Mission, I. Starinov, was included in this list. On September 8, 1944, a week after the Soviet tanks entered Bucharest, Starinov and other members of the Mission arrived to Craiova and began preparing for the arrival of Tito and the Soviet military Mission.403 It is difficult to determine whether Tito was truly in a hurry to leave Vis, or whether Moscow was concerned about Titos close relationship with the British. There could have been other reasons for Soviets to want to see Tito transferred to Romania except to increase the control over the Yugoslav Communists. All Soviet memoirs and reports which describe the Missions activities on Vis mention the British attempts to slow down Soviet activities. It does not even matter whether this was true or not. One thing was obvious this subjective or objective feeling of the British sabotage could have increased Moscows desire to transfer Tito away from Vis.404 There was another reason in play here, the justifiable fear that
399

400 401 402 403 404

M.Markovi, Rat i revolucija u Srbiji (Seanja 19411945) (Belgrade: Belgradeski izdavako-grafiki zavod, 1987), 176178; Sergienko, AGON, 176178. Korneev, Voennaia missiia, 204. Maclean provided a great description of Vis as an Allied base, Maklejn, Rat, gl. 13. P.G.Rak, V glubokom tylu vraga, in Sovetskie vooruzhennye, 211. Starinov, Miny. Shornikov, Nashi polety v Iugoslaviiu, 217218; Korneev, Voennaia missiia, 203204; Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi; Zelenjin, Sovjetska vojna misija u Jugoslaviji 1944, 2526; Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 510515; A.Shornikov, Zapiska na ime A.E.Golovanova.

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the Germans could have tried to correct their failure in Drvar. Skorzeni, who organized the aerial assault on Drvar, stated the following in his memoirs: afterwards, of course, we tried to locate Titos headquarters, which moved to the Adriatic coast, and later on to the island of Vis. We even began planning a lightening operation to land on the island, but the events again passed us by.405 Titos rapid and unannounced departure from Vis played into Moscows hands. Djilas claimed that the Soviet Mission insisted that Tito should go to Moscow and leave Vis.406 Vivien Street went to see Tito with a message from General Wilson, and he determined that Tito left the island without a trace. Questions about his whereabouts were met with imprecise answers. That was the old story, so well known from the Moscow days: he was sick, busy, he went for a walk. The more responsible members of the Marshals entourage, apparently, also disappeared.407 Djilas also mentioned Titos secret departure from the island, accompanied by Korneev, Rankovi and Milutinovi.408 The Soviet pilot P. M. Mikhailov, who flew Tito from Vis, also provided an account of Titos departure. Late at night on September18, Mikhailov and his co-pilot Pavlov received the order to depart from Vis for the territory where the Russian troops were stationed. The departure was planned for three in the morning. The pilots were ordered to take off at night, without the airports approval. When Mikhailov entered the airplane, he was surprised to see an unfamiliar passenger. After he queried about the unknown passenger, he felt the touch of somebodys hand on his back and a Colonel from the Soviet Mission ordered him to mind his own business.409 On the same night, September 19, the airplane safely flew over the enemy territory and landed at the Soviet airport in Craiova. When Tito landed in Craiova, he met Starinov, Chief of Staff of the Soviet Mission: Tito had Marshals uniform on. He appeared to be relatively young and energetic, but he seemed to me to have been somehow dissatisfied firmly shaking my hand, Tito told me in Russian: Finally, I personally see you, Rudolfo! (he knew me under this pseudonym in Spain) I hope that our joint work will be useful. You can also get in touch with your friend Ivan Hari. Tito was situated in a villa which belonged to an Antonescus civil servant. Titos residence was guarded by troops from a special MGB USSR department which was in charge of protecting Stalin and the highest Soviet leadership. The head of Titos security was the deputy of Stalins personal security team. Nonetheless, according to Starinov, this
405

406 407 408 409

O.Skortseni, Sekretnye zadaniia RSKhA (Moscow: AST, 1999); SkorzenyO., Meine Kommandounternehmen: Krieg ohne Fronten (Wiesbaden-Munchen: Limes-Verlag. 1975). ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 396. Maklejn, Rat, chapter 16. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 397. P.Mikhailov, Polety k Iugoslavskim partizanam, in Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 221.

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honor did not make Tito happy. The security hindered Titos independence and ability to see his subordinates.410 At the end of September, Tito flew to Moscow for several days to see Stalin. There are few verifiable facts about Titos visit to Stalin. It is obvious that Dedijers account is filled with doubtful claims, such as that Stalin had two or three meetings with Tito in his office and twice at his own home.411 This would have meant that that Stalin met Tito more frequently than Churchill and Roosevelt at Teheran or his Minister of Foreign Affairs during the first two weeks of October.412 It is difficult to imagine that something could have forced Stalin to meet Tito so many times. It is more likely that Djilas was correct when he wrote that Tito met Stalin twice, once in his cabinet and once at his dacha.413 According to Djilas, Tito said that Stalin immediately agreed to send a tank corps to Yugoslav Partisans in order to liberate Belgrade and the Eastern part of Yugoslavia. This was not Titos first plea for assistance to Stalin. In Molotovs documents there is a report which indicated that Tito requested a Soviet parachute division on April 29, 1944. At the time, Stalin deemed this request to be untimely.414 Stalins promises of military aid must have heartened Tito, since NOP units at the time were prepared to fight only against the internal enemy and alone they could not have liberated Belgrade at the time.415 After a business conversation, the Yugoslav leader visited Stalins villa near Kuntsevo.416 Unaccustomed to drinking, Tito went away to vomit with Berias cynical objection: nothing, nothing, it happens417 Incredibly, the visitors journal mentions Titos later visits to Stalin (on April 6, 1945, April 12, 1945, May 27, 1946 and June 10, 1946), but no more visits were mentioned in 1944.418 It would be logical to suppose that Tito was received by Stalin at the end of September, 1944, since the Yugoslav question must have interested Stalin prior to Churchills visit to Moscow on October 918, 1944.419 Titos visit to Stalin was mentioned by a relatively reliable source. Marshal Golovanov ran into Tito at Stalins office on September 27, 1944, a day be410 411 412

413 414 415 416

417 418 419

Starinov, Miny. Dedijer, Josip Broz, 412415. Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 303; Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 38, 51. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 399. RGASPI, f. 82 FondV.M.Molotova , o. 2, d. 1370, 17. ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 400; Dedijer, Josip Broz, 398. A.N.Shefov, S.V.Deviatov, Iu.V.Iurev, Blizhniaia dacha Stalina. Opyt istoricheskogo putevoditelia (Moscow: Kremlin Multimedia, 2004). ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 399400. Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 715. Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Churchill, 412488.

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fore the agreement between Tito and Stalin was announced.420 This date makes sense chronologically considering that Tito-Stalin agreement, which announced that NKOJ requested the temporary entry of Soviet troops to Yugoslavia, was publicized on September 28. It is not clear, however, why the usually precise Stalins visitors journal does not mention Tito amongst Stalins guests that day. On that day, Stalin was visited by A.E.Golovanov, the Commander of the Strategic Aviation, and other high ranking officers from ADD (A.A.Novikov, M.M.Gromov, I.V.Markov), I.I.Zatevakhin, the Commander of the Parachute Troops of the Red Army and several other high ranking General Staff officers (S.M.Shtemenko, A.I.Antonov, I.D.Cherniakhovskii. According to the journal, unusually, a certain Timofeev was also present in Stalins cabinet (from 20.00 until 00.15),421 whom the publishers of the Journal identified as P.V.Timofeev (19021982) a notable engineer of infrared equipment. This seems quite questionable, however, if we remember the chronology of visitors to Stalin on that day. At the beginning of the working day, Stalin was visited by Molotov, and five minutes later Timofeev arrived. Obviously, the mysterious visitor was not the infrared technology engineer (because he had nothing in common with the Minister of Foreign Affairs). Stalin, Molotov and their secret visitor talked for two hours when they were visited by Malenkov (at 21.40). At 22 hours, Shtemenko, Antonov, Chernyakhovsky and Markov arrived to the cabinet, and an hour later, at 23.00, Golovanov, Gromov, Novikov and Zatevakhin joined them. Shcherbakov arrived at 22.30. Somewhat later (23.1522.30), officers of the Air-Force and the land forces left Stalins cabinet. The mysterious figure of the day, Timofeev, Stalin and the highest USSR leadership remained in the Soviet leaders cabinet. After some time (at 00.10), they were joined by Beria and Bulganin. At the end, all of them together left the cabinet, while Timofeev was present until the very end of the visit.422 Nonetheless, it is unclear why the Visitors Journal does not specify that Tito was present in Stalins office on that day. Any attempts to answer this question, based on the existing accessible archival sources, are bound to fail.423 In any case, Tito soon returned to Craiova, where he did not stay for too long, and he moved to Vrac, which was liberated by the forces of Marshal Malinovskiis Second Ukrainian Front, whom Stalin ordered not to sleep and to ad420 421

422 423

Golovanov, Dalniaia bombardirovochnaia, 524. Stalins working day with visitor began around eight or nine at night and ended late at night or in early morning hours. Korotkov, Chernev and Chernobaev, eds., Na prieme u Stalina, 595. Transcripts of the conversation between Stalin and Tito in the autumn of 1944, according to the deceased V.Volkov, the director of the RAN Institute for Slavic Studies, exists in the Presidential Archive but it is still inaccessible to researchers.

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vance, in Titos presence.424 Soon, the Yugoslav political elite relocated to Serbia: on October 16, 1944, the Soviet airplanes from Vis and Bari transferred members of NKOJ and officers of the Supreme Command, and on October 22, 1944, the Premier of the government in exile, ubai and the Chief of the Yugoslav Military Mission in BritainV.Velebit.425 In the meantime, General Zhdanovs 4th Mechanized Corps, which was promised to Tito in Moscow, liberated Belgrade with Partisan divisions. Afterward, the Supreme Commander of the NOVJ began to prepare for his departure for Belgrade, where he arrived on October 25, 1944.426 He was followed by members of the Soviet Military Mission. After the liberation of Belgrade, the main radio-station of the Soviet Mission in Yugoslavia was based in Panevo. This was a new, large radio-station which changed its code name from Purga-1 to Alfa. Alfa became the central radio-station of the widespread network of Soviet stations in the Balkans. Afterwards, Alfa turned into a radio-station of the Soviet embassy in Belgrade. The Military Mission relocated to Villa Rosh, in Katis Street, near Slavija in Belgrade. This luxurious house belonged to Swiss citizens before October, 1944, who left Yugoslavia together with the Germans. First the members of Serbias Regional Committee moved there, who found in the underground bunkers carpets, hunting rifles, expensive porcelain service and paintings. After a certain period of time, Mitar Baki, Titos general secretary, told them that Tito ordered the Regional Committee to move out of the house because the Soviet Embassy will be based there Without any questions we left Villa Rosh, and we took with us only a few small things.427 Finally, at the end of November, 1944, AGON was transferred to Zemun airfield from Italy, and its fighters were returned to the Air Force. At the same time, General Korneev was replaced with Major-GeneralA.F.Kisele, new head of the Soviet Military Mission.428

The Red Armys Military Operations in Serbia


The entry of the Soviet troops into Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1944, led to the ejection of German, Bulgarian and Hungarian occupational troops from the country and the entrenchment of the communist totalitarian regime in Belgrade.
424 425 426 427 428

ilas, Revolucionarni rat, 400; Dedijer, Josip Broz, 415. Nikiforov, Sistema radiosviazi. Markovi, Rat i revolucija, 319. Ibid.,314. Sergienko, AGON, 411413.

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The Soviet troops liberating mission began to be questioned in Yugoslav historiography for the first time during 19511953, at the height of the Yugoslav-Soviet conflict over the Informbureau Resolution. Djilas also used the quotation marks around the word liberation in his Razgovori sa Staljinom.429 Admittedly, the quotation marks in these works were used to deny the Red Armys central role in liberation of Yugoslavia from the Germans in the autumn of 1944. The RKKA role in the events in Serbia in the autumn of 1944 was thoroughly reevaluated only when the one-party dictatorships were defeated. The awareness that JVuO was also a resistance movement and the beginning of the discussion surrounding the Partisan repressions during 19441945, forced the historians to take another look at the role of the Red Army in Southeastern Europe, including Serbia. The reevaluation has not occurred in scholarship yet, although publicists have addressed this topic,430 as well as parts of the academic elite in their pronouncements. Professor of History at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade, Nikola Samardi, said on B92 Radio on December 21, 2007, that Serbia was divided over the question whether the occupation began in 1941 or with the entry of the southern wing of the Red Army in 1944. For some, this was much worse type of occupation, because the consequences were much worse431 This new historiographical trend is consistent with the modern tendency of the so called Young European Historiography, which for twenty years has studied the occupational role of the Red Army in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Latvia 19441945.432 Dr. Goran Nikoli, fellow at the Institute for European Studies even managed to calculate that Serbia would today have a minimum GDP of 29,000 Euros and not the current 7,000,433 had Red Army not occupied Serbia. Some West European scholars support the Young European view of history. The leading German expert on the history of Serbia believes that the German troops in October, 1944,
429 430

431 432

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M.ilas, Razgovori sa Staljinom (Belgrade: Knjizevne novine, 1990.). For example, in the first comprehensive biography of Tito in recent Serbian historiography, P Simi qualified the entrance of the Soviet troops in Serbia in the autumn of 1944 as an invasion, P.Simi, Tito. Tajna veka (Belgrade: Novosti, 2009), 175, 178. For the German author of a voluminous study of Serbian history, Zundhauzen, the German troops in October of 1944 withdrew from Serbia, after which Belgrade was taken the Red Army and National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia units, Zundhauzen, Istorija Srbije, 366367. S.Luki and S.Vukovi, Peanik FM, nj. 11 (Belgrade: Peanik, 2008), 110111. Within the framework of this historiographical approach, it is necessary to take into account the attitude of several East European countries towards the monuments dedicated to the Red Army. It is impossible to negate the fact that the wave of removal of these monuments, which occurred in Poland and Hungary in the 1990s, and is taking place in Estonia, Latvia and Western Ukraine right now, began in Yugoslavia in the distant 1948. See O. Pintar, iroka strana moja rodnaja, Spomenici sovjetskim vojnicima podizani u Srbiji 19441954, Tokovi istorije, 12 (2005), 134145. V.Miladinovi and V.Lali, Istraivanje: Kako bi izgledala Srbija da je pobedio Draa? Press, May 9, 2005.

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withdrew from Serbia, after which, Belgrade was captured by the units of the Red Army and the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia.434 Objectively, the Red Armys arrival to Yugoslavia cannot be viewed as a simple one-dimensional process. The complexity of the Red Armys liberation becomes evident even for the conservative specialists at the Institute for the Military History of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Even they admit that the Red Army had greater aims than to simply fight against German Nazism. Multifarious character of the Red Armys activity was determined by the complexity of the tasks which it had to resolve and the specificity of the military situation in Romania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria it must be taken into account that the Red Army, even in its very name, expressed not only its nationalstate characteristic, but also its social-class purpose the armed detachment of the world proletariat.435 The paradigm of liberators and occupiers cannot be viewed outside of the context of the mutual perception of Soviet soldiers and the inhabitants of Serbia (as Partisans, etniks and civilians) who encountered each other in the autumn of 1944. The behavior of Soviet soldiers in Serbia in the autumn of 1944, and the attitude of the local population towards them defined to a large degree the role of the Soviet Russia in the Civil War in Serbia as well as in creation of the mutual stereotypes, which until the present day influence relations between the Serbs and the Russians. The Yugoslav and Soviet historians for a long time were in sort of a competition, seeking to prove that their respective side played a more decisive role in liberating Yugoslavia. The difference in the Soviet and the Yugoslav approach was that the former talked about the offensive of the Soviet troops in Yugoslavia and liberating eastern parts of the country and Belgrade436 while the latter talked about penetration of the bulk of the NOVJ forces into Serbia and offensive of the NOVJ 1st Army Group and the 4th Mechanized Corps of the Red Army towards Belgrade.437 According to the most recent data, based on exhaustive archival research in the archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 300,000 Soviet troops participated directly in the Belgrade Operation (September 28 October 20, 1944). The Third Ukrainian Front numbered 200,000, parts of the Second Ukrainian Front in Northern Serbia numbered 93, 500, and the Danube Flotilla numbered 6, 500.438 Based on the Yugoslav archival sources, it has
434 435

436

437 438

Zundhauzen, Istorija Srbije, 336337. N.V.Vasileva, Rossiiskii voin na Balkanakh v dvukh mirovykh voinakh: istoricheskie tseli i realii povedeniia. (Diskussionnye aspekty), in Chelovek na Balkanakh v epokhu krizisov i etnopoliticheskikh stolknovenii XX veka, ed. R.P.Grishina (Saint Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2002), 144. S.S.Biriuzov et al., Nastuplenie Sovetskikh voisk v Iugoslavii i osvobozhdenie vostochnykh raionov strany i Belgrada, Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 5480. V.Terzi ed., Oslobodilaki rat naroda Jugoslavije 19411945 knj. II, 274331. G.V.Krivosheev, ed., Rossiia i SSSR v voinakh XX veka: Statisticheskoe issledovanie, (Moscow: Olma-

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been determined that NOVJ deployed nine divisions in its penetration of Serbia (twenty-six brigades, three brigades usually comprised one division in NOVJ) and there were five divisions in Serbia already whose ranks were not filled.439 An average NOVJ brigade, according to most optimistic calculations, numbered 950 fighters.440 Regardless of the ongoing mobilization in Serbia, which somewhat increased the numbers of Partisans, the relative size of NOVJ and the Red Army is obvious. With the disappearance of the USSR and SFRJ, this discourse was replaced by the discourse of occupiers versus liberators. From the old Soviet-Yugoslav approach, the issue of Stalins request addressed to Tito to allow the Soviet army to temporarily enter Yugoslavia has remained relevant. On September 28, 1944, TASS announced an agreement between the Soviet government and NKOJ. The statement stated: several days ago, the Soviet command, having in view the development of the military operations against German and Hungarian troops in Hungary has addressed the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia with a plea to permit the temporary entry of the Soviet troops on the Yugoslav territory, which borders with Hungary441 The Yugoslav historiography treated this document very seriously, as if the Red Army truly needed Titos approval. In fact, this was a clever and formal way of strengthening the authority of the Yugoslav Partisans as an independent actor in international relations. Even the most objective Yugoslav researchers treated Titos invitation seriously and they criticized parts of the TASS statement which they deemed to have been insufficiently diplomatic.442 NikolaB.Popovi offered a more realistic interpretation of this issue in his study. Popovi concluded that Tito wished to have the announcement made in order to increase the authority of NKOJ, not Stalin, and that Tito pleaded for RKKA units to enter Serbia. Also, the text of the resolution was announced to the USA ambassador in Moscow, two days before TASS publicized it. Molotov told Harriman: the Soviet Supreme Command has addressed the Supreme Staff and the National Committee of Yugoslavia with a request to permit part of Soviet troops, with the aim of developing operations against the German-Hungarian troops in Hungary, to temporary enter Yugoslavia near the border with Hungary, with the note that the Soviet troops would
press, 2001), 300. M.Coli, Pregled operacija na jugoslovenskom ratitu: 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut, 1988); M.Coli, Prodor strategijske grupacije NOVJ u Srbiju 1944., Pola veka od osloboenja Srbije, 151. I. Moshchanskii and A. Lvov, Na zemle Iugoslavii, Belgradskaia strategicheskaia nastupatelnaia operatsiia (28 sentiabria 20 oktiabria 1944) (Moscow: BTV-kniga, 2005), 1516. Brigade u NOR, Vojna enciklopedija 2, 28. Soobshcheniia TASS, Pravda, September 28, 1944. B.Petranovi, Srbia u Drugom svetskom ratu 19391945 (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 1992), 630.

439

440 441 442

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withdrew from Yugoslavia afterwards. He added that the Yugoslavs agreed to the Soviet Supreme Commands request, with the condition that the Yugoslav civilian administration will operate exclusively in the rear of the Soviet troops.443 A present-day researcher cannot but doubt the significance of Titos consent and Stalins request, for the Red Army to enter Yugoslavia. As Popovi asserted, this was an attempt to legalize NOP administration in parts of the country liberated from Germans, and not about legalization of the presence of Soviet troops in the Western Balkans. From the military-strategic point of view, the inevitability of the Soviet troops entry into Yugoslavia became obvious before the night of September 1819, when Tito flew from Vis towards Romania, from where the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans was transferred to Moscow, and especially before September 27, when upon the request of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Union, an agreement was reached about the participation of the Red Army troops in operations on part of the Yugoslav territory.444 At the end of August, 1944, the German occupational apparatus in Serbia began to prepare for evacuation.445 In early September, 1944, a reconnaissance group of marines from the Danube Flotilla, among them several Yugoslav volunteers, under the command of the experienced diversionist, Corvette Lieutenant Viktor Kalganov, was actively testing the terrain around Danube in eastern Serbia.446 After Romania and Bulgaria switched sides in the war, the Soviet 17th Air Army, under the command of the General-ColonelV.Sudets, began preparing actively in the middle September for offensives in eastern Serbia.447 According to memories of a JVuO fighter, on September 5, the Soviet reconnaissance unit crossed Danube and tested the strength of the German defenses in the town of Kladovo. The Soviet katiusha rocket launchers began shelling German positions in Serbian Tekija from Romania on September 12.448 Lieutenant-GeneralI.S.Anoshin, the former head of the Political Administration of the Third Ukrainian Front, recorded that on September 20, the Third Ukrainian Front received the order to implement a new operation, which received the name Belgrade Operation.449 On September 22, 1944, the units
443

444

445 446

447

448 449

Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 154157; G.A.Arbatov, ed., Sovetsko-amerikanskie otnosheniia vo vremia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny 19411945: Dokumenty i materialy. V 2 tomakh (Moscow: Politizdat, 1984), t. 2, 218. B. Ili and N. Bogoevski, eds., Hronologija revolucionarne delatnosti Josipa Broza Tita (Belgrade: Export-Press, 1980), 90. N.N.Protopopov and I.B.Ivanov eds., Russkii Korpus, 275. A.A.Chkheidze, Zapiski dunaiskogo razvedchika (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1984), 60; Iu. Strekhnin, Otriad Borody. Nevydumannye istorii (Cheboksary: Chuvashskoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo, 1969), 122. V.A. Sudets, Aviatsiia v boiakh za osvobozhdenie Iugoslavii, Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 122; TsAMO, 17 VA, Operotdel, Zhurnal boevykh deistvii za sentiabr 1944. Milunovi, Od nemila, 5255; Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 100110. I.S.Anoshin, Na pravyi boi (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1988), 102.

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of the 75th Riffle Corps of the 46th Army of the Second Ukrainian Front landed on the Yugoslav side of Danube (near Turn-Severin-Brza Palanka), and engaged in battles on the territory of eastern Serbia.450 The forces of the Third and Second Ukrainian Fronts, from the moment of Romanias abandonment of their German allies (August 24, 1944) needed to safely occupy Romania, and apply pressure on Bulgaria. Realistically, 300,000 Soviet fighters could not have appeared suddenly on Serbias borders and they could not have crossed the border only twenty-four hours after receiving an approval from the Yugoslav military and political leadership. The first strategic preparations for the Red Armys entry into the Danube states began before the Yassy-Kishinev Operation (August 2029, 1944). Within the framework of these strategic operations, in April of 1944, a decision was made to form a special Danube Military Flotilla. A.V.Sverdlov, the Chief of Staff of the Danube Military Flotilla, recalled that the Danube Military Flotilla was tasked to cooperate in offensive operations of the Soviet troops, which had come as far as Dniester and had to move towards Danube, and afterward, to participate in liberation of states through which Danube flowed. In July, 1944, a brigade of armed boats (twenty-two armored boats, ten semi-speedboats and ten ZIS boats) and 4th Independent Brigade of River Boats (monitor Zhelezniakov, fourteen armored boats, twelve boats equipped with katiusha rocket launchers, twenty-two minesweeper ships and fifteen semi-speedboats). The term river flotilla did not mean that only vessels were part of the formation. There were also five land batteries of great caliber, a special anti-aircraft squadron, a marine battalion and the supporting services.451 Insignia Danube Flotilla appeared on hats of the sailors and marines of this formation, leaving no doubt about the intentions of the Soviet leaders to reach the Danube River delta. Even though the arrival of this flotilla to Vienna was distant, the plans relating to lower and middle Danube were much closer. If the Red Army commanders had only Romania and Bulgaria in mind, which stretched-out along the Black Sea Coast, the unit with such a name would not have been formed in the spring of 1944 when Tito was still in Drvar. According to Popovi, armies of great powers could have moved through small countries without their consent. The insistence on the agreement to allow the troops of superpowers to transfer through a territory, he maintained, represented an anachronism which was not respected by the USA, Britain and the USSR in other situations.452 The arrogant and self-confident approach towards the sovereignty of
450

451 452

I.T.Shlemin, Voiska 46i armii v Borbe za osvobozhdenie Iugoslavii, Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily, 158; V.F.Tolubko and N.I.Baryshev, Ot Vidina do Belgrada. Istoriko-memoarnyi ocherk o boevykh deistviiakh sovetskikh tankistov v Belgradskoi Operatsii, ed. V.F.Chizha (Moscow: Nauka, 1968), 92; TsAMO, 75 sk, Operotdel, Zhurnal boevykh deistvii za sentiabr 1944. A.V.Sverdlov, Voploshchenie zamysla (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1987), 90. Popovi, Jugoslovensko-sovjetski odnosi, 156.

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the smaller countries was expressed by Stalin, as well as the Red Armys Political Administration. The Red Armys propagandists found a telling example of the consent for transfer from the Russo-Turkish War of 18771878 which they propagated to the Soviet soldiers. Romanians and a group of Russian officers sat in a carriage on a train. The discussion was about the daily events, about the war. Romanians began to glorify the success of their army and one of them, addressing the Russians, went too far: it is good that you are in alliance with us and that without obstacles you reached the banks of Danube and now you are hitting the enemy, but what would have you done had we not allowed you to enter [Romania A.T.]? The Romanian who made this statement laughed self-satisfied, and he looked proud, probably thinking that with this he forced the Russian officer into a corner. The answer was lightning. One of the officers also smiled and said: that would not have been a great misfortune. First we would have defeated you, and then the Turks. 453 The path of the Soviet troops from their landing near Negotin until the liberation of Belgrade has been well reconstructed in Soviet and Yugoslav historiographies.454 The numerous Red Army units, equipped with modern heavy armaments, broke the German resistance, enabling the penetration of Partisan units into Serbia. At the same time, the penetration of Partisan detachments into Serbia created a complicated situation for German communications and they helped encircle Belgrade, which was taken jointly by the soldiers of the two armies. The significance of the technologically superior Soviet army in the frontal battles against the Germans was considerable. We should recall that at the Srem Front where the Yugoslavs entered frontal battles against the Germans mostly alone, the Yugoslav casualties were high, while the progress was painstakingly slow.455 Although the military aspects of the Belgrade Operation have been well covered in historiography,456 an important battle was overlooked. In question is the Batina Battle which by its characteristics was different from the typical Red Army engagements during the Belgrade Operation, during which the average width of the front was 400620km, depth of penetration 200km, and the average speed of
453

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A.Krivitskii, Russkii ofitser za rubezhom (Moscow: Voennoe izdatelstvo NKO SSSR, 1946), 20. Krivitskii published these articles in 1945 during the war. He was a journalist in the main RKKA newspaper Krasnaia ZvezdaA.Iu.Krivitskii, Ne zabudu vovek (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1964), 1. Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily; I.Loktionov, Dunavska flotila u velikom otadbinskom ratu: 19411945 (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1966); I. I. Loktionov, Dunaiskaia flotiliia v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1962), 1962; Tolubko and Baryshev, Ot Vidina; S. S. Birjuzov and R. Hamovi, Beogradska operacija (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod,, 1964); R. arenac and D. Tmui, eds., Beogradska operacija: uesnici govore/Okrugli sto, 18. oktobar 1984 (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1985); A.I.Babin, F.Trgo, P.Vinji, U.Kosti, Beogradska operacija: [20 oktobar 1944] (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1989). Lj. Pajovi, D. Uzelac and M. Delebdi, Sremski front: 19441945 (Belgrade: BIGZ, 1979); D.Tmui and N.Ani, Sremski front: 23. X. 194413. IV. 1945 (Novi Sad: Dnevnik, 1987); M.Raji, Sremski front: srpski martirologion, Banatski vesnik br. 1/2 (1993), 1618. A.I.Babin, F.Trgo, P.Vinji, U.Kosti, Beogradska operacija.

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the offensive was around 8-9km per day.457 Batina Battle formally occurred between Belgrade and Budapest Operations, when the Soviets had to cross Danube again on their way out of Serbia. The participants of these events called them the most difficult battle for Soviet soldiers in Yugoslavia.458 Immediately after October 20, 1944, when Belgrade was freed from Germans, KPJ began to adjust to being a governing party, while Red Army units continued their movement westward towards the capital cities of the enemy Budapest, Vienna and Berlin. The Belgrade Strategic Offensive Operation was completed, but the war continued with the full intensity. Danube was in the way of the Red Army troops. It turned out that it was more difficult for the Red Army to exit Serbia, than it was to enter it. The Germans prepared well to keep the Red Army at this wide water barrier. In addition, there were several more minor but also important factors: on the other side of the Danube, there were no longer any resistance movements and the local population was hostile towards the Soviets.459 The soldiers who resisted the Red Army the Germans, Hungarians and Croats felt that they were defending their homes from the eastern hordes. The number of those awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Soviet highest award testifies to the bloody nature of the Batina Battle.460 In total, sixty-six fighters received title of the Hero of the USSR in Yugoslavia during the Second WorldWar. Twenty-three people received their recognition for general contribution to the operations, fifteen of them pilots, mainly from the transport and strategic aviation. According to this statistic, it can be seen that Germans meekly defended the skies above Yugoslavia, so the Soviets used the aviation mainly to maintain contact with the Partisans and to transfer people and goods to them. For individual deeds during the Belgrade offensive (from crossing of the Danube in eastern Serbia until the liberation of Belgrade), only four individuals were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union. Only one Red Army soldier was awarded this honor in the battle for Belgrade,461 in the village of Vina, and two were
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It can be compared with the Budapest Operation, where the average width of the front was 420km, while the average rate of the offensive was two and a half to four kilometers, G.V.Krivosheev, ed., Rossiia Rossiia i SSSR, 300, 302. B.Slutskii, Zapiski o voine, O drugikh i o sebe (Moscow: Vagrius, 2005), 79; N.M.Skomorokhov, Boem zhivet istrebitel (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1975), 219220. TsAMO, f. 233 sd, d. 35, 283; d. 34, 162165. I.N.Shkadov ed., Geroi Sovetskogo t. 2. Nikolai Kravtsov, Lieutenant in the Medical Service and Senior Military Technician of the 42nd Special Brigade, was born in 1921. As a member of the shock group he was critically wounded in an attack on the Post Office in Belgrade on October 15. With two other volunteers, he climbed the gutters to storm the building through the windows. They attacked with anti-tank bombs and destroyed the German defenses in the building ten soldiers and a heavy machine gun. He died from the wounds on October 18. M.K.Kuzmin, Mediki Geroi Sovetskogo Soiuza (Moscow: Meditsina, 1970); A.P.Kovalenko, A.A.Sgibnev, Bessmertnye podvigi (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1980); I.N.Shkadov ed., Geroi Sovetskogo

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awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union in the battles near the village of Ritopek which occurred just after the Danube was crossed. In contrast, the number of medals after the Belgrade Operation came to an end, during the Red Armys crossing of Danube on its way out of Serbia, was much higher. For heroism during the forcing of Danube near Vukovar, Apatin and Batina, seven, eleven and nineteen soldiers and sailors received the Hero of the Soviet Union respectively. In addition, two individuals received the Star of the Hero of the USSR for the battle during the breakout from the bridgehead after Danube was crossed near Apatin and Batina. During the Battle for Batina, all of Marshal Tolbukhins aviation was deployed at one place for the first and the last time in Yugoslavia.462 The Batina Battle, the largest military engagement in Yugoslavia during the Second World War, had wider military-strategic importance: it brought the Soviet troops into Pannonian Basin which enabled the attacks on Budapest and Vienna. Nonetheless, Soviet and Yugoslav historians did not dwell too much on Batina Battle. The Yugoslav historiography, from 1948 until the dissolution of SFRJ, sought to prove the thesis of self-liberation of the country, which undermined the role of the Red Army even when it came to liberation of Belgrade, and it viewed the Batina Battle as part of Srem Front.463 Soviet historians neglected the Batina Battle because for them it was part of the Budapest Strategic Offensive which offered incomparably more grandiose battles than the Batina Battle.464 The Batina Battle was preceded by the transfer of the troops of the Second Ukrainian Front from Vojvodina further north, to the territory of present day Hungary, between Tisa and Danube rivers. Their positions were taken by the units of the Third Ukrainian Front, which were supposed to advance in the northwestern direction. At the time, the Soviet soldiers committed a feat comparable to accomplishment of Hauptsturmfhrer Fritz Klingenberg and his six soldiers who captured deserted Belgrade on April 12, 1941.465 The reconnaissance group of marines from the Danube Flotilla, led by the experienced commander Viktor Kalganov entered Novi Sad on October 22, 1944. At the time, the last German units had already left the city. The following description of the event is based on reminiscences of Arkadii Sverdlov, Captain of a military ship, and the Chief of Staff of the Danube Flotilla. With surprising ease we took the Danube town of NoviSad. There we landed a small reconnaissance group eight marines and five Yugoslav volunteers under the command of the Lieuten462

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Soiuza t. 1. N.M.SkomorokhovmN.N.Burliai and V.M.Guchok, 17ia vozdushnaia armiia v boiakh ot Stalingrada do Veny (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1977), 178. The only exception is the exhaustive book, N.Boi, Batinska bitka (Novi Sad: Matica srpska, 1990). The best insight into these battles is offered by K.Ungvry, Battle for Budapest. 100 days in World War II (London: I.B.Tauris, 2003). C.D.Heaton, Taking Belgrade by Bluff, World War II 12 5 (1998): 3036.

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antV.A.Kalganov. Together with the reconnaissance force, G.K.Chepizhin, who worked in our Staff, also landed. When they became familiar with the situation, the reconnaissance team concluded that there were few Germans and that they were mainly near the port. Marines decided to attack. The sudden assault shocked the enemy. The surviving Germans hurried to their boats and they escaped. Leaving our Yugoslav comrades to look after the barges with the enemy military equipment which the enemy had left behind, the marines entered the city. Kalganov and Chepizhin addressed the gathered citizens and told them: the city is free, fascists will no longer come here.466 After this, the power in Novi Sad was assumed by the Novi Sad Partisan Detachment, and on the next day the regular NOVJ units (VII Vojvodina Shock Brigade) entered the city: in order to examine the situation in Novi Sad and the conditions for transferring the brigade over Danube, the assistant to the brigades commissar, Duan Seki aca, and the intelligence officer of the Vojvodina Main Staff, Radovan Novi Ciga, went with a group of fighters to NoviSad. Landing on the morning of October 24, they unexpectedly found themselves surrounded by merry and thrilled citizens of NoviSad. Placing them in a horse carriage decorated with flowers, the citizens of Novi Sad went after them hailing the freedom and our victory. On all sides the red flags waved and there were columns of citizens. In the center of the city we met with members of the Novi Sad Partisan Detachment Staff, which on the previous day entered the abandoned NoviSad.467 The further advance of the Red Army in Srem (as well as NOVJ units) was stopped for operational reasons, since Germans, who evacuated eastern part of Yugoslavia, were preparing to stop the Red Armys advance at NDH borders.468 The units of the Third Ukrainian Front had to bypass the German line of defense and to cross Danube again. Several places were chosen to cross Danube near Vukovar, Apatin and Batina. The main attack was planned near Batina, which is on the right (Croatian) bank of Danube. On the riverbank there was a widespread network of trenches, machine gun nests and artillery positions. Barbed wires, mine fields and other obstacles strengthened the defenses. Above the village of Batina, there was a second line of defense, while the third line ran along the Beli Manastir cliffs. Particularly well fortified positions were on elevations 169, 205 and 206 and the Batina railway station. Danube is 500m wide in Batina, and a further complication was that the left (Serbian) bank was low and swampy, which hindered the movement of troops. During autumn rains, the movement of troops beyond the main road which led to Sombor became very difficult to trespass. In
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Sverdlov, Voploshchenie zamysla, 119. N.Boi, Sedma vojvoanska NOU brigada (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1984), 228. N.ivkovi,, Srbi u ratnom dnevniku Vermahta (Belgrade: Slubeni list SCG, 2003), 144146.

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addition, the road was within the range of the dominant heights on the right bank of Danube and was used only at nighttime.469 If it was so difficult to approach Batina, why was it chosen for the main attack? There are several answers to this question. First, the difficulty of the terrain was also obvious to the Germans, which gave the element of surprise to the Red Army. The Germans did not believe that the Soviets would attack Batina, and they did not prepare reserve troops in the area. Second, Batina was on the border between the Army Group South (under the Wehrmachts Supreme Command) and Southeast (under the Supreme Command of Land Forces). This fact could have complicated the arrival of the reserves. Third, and probably the most important reason is that behind Beli Manastirs cliffs there was a wide plain without any natural barriers which could have hindered the advance of the Red Armys armored units. The following formations participated on the German side in Batina Battle: the Brandenburg Division, the 13th SS Handzar (Bosniak) Division, the 31st SS Division (Baka Volksdeutsche from Kama Division), the 1st Mountain Division, the 118th Infantry (Jger) Division, the Division Group Shtefan (formed from Regiment Fortress Belgrade), parts of the 44th Division Hoch und Deutschchmeister (Austrian Germans), the 71st Infantry Division, the 117th Infantry Division, the 164th Infantry Division, the remnants of the 92nd Motorized Brigade, and a series of smaller German, Hungarian and Croatian units transferred from Hungary, Croatia and Italy. In total, 60,000 Germans participated in the Battle (more than in the defense of Belgrade), with about two hundred artillery pieces. The Soviets deployed the 57th Army of the Third Ukrainian Front, supported from the air by the 17th Air Army. In total, the Soviets had five infantry divisions (the 19th, 74th, 113th, 233rd and 236th), three Guards infantry divisions (the 20th, 73rd and 10th Parachute), the 32nd Guards Mechanized Brigade, the 9th Artillery Shock Division and several artillery, mortar, guards rocket launchers and engineering units, which were supposed to increase the Soviet fire power while the Red Army crossed the Danube and established itself on the other bank of the river.470 NOVJ units also partook in the battle the 12th and 51st Vojvodina Brigades, formed mostly out of the veteran Partisans and mobilized Vojvodina Serbs, armed with Soviet weapons.471 On the Danubes left bank there were 90,000100,000 soldiers, who enjoyed considerable artillery superiority around 1, 200 artillery pieces.472 This concentration of the firepower in a relatively small area has remained ingrained in the memory of the local population.473 It is very difficult to determine the number of armored vehicles
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TsAMO, f. 57 , d. 406, 156. TsAMO, f. 57 , d. 349, . 394398. Boi, Batinska bitka. TsAMO, f. 57 , d. 406, 156. M.Ordovskii, Batina. Kak eto bylo, documentary film 35 min. (Moscow: Rostik grupp, 2001); Vojni

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at the disposal of either of the belligerents, since both Soviets and Germans deployed numerous auxiliary units from other formations. However, according to the participants recollections and photographs from Batina right after the battle was completed, it can be concluded that considerable amount of armored vehicles fought on both sides. The Soviet operations were led by the commander of the 57th Army, ColonelGeneral Mikhail Sharohin. Sharohin graduated from the General Staff Academy and regardless of his relatively young age (46) he was well known as an expert in forcing rivers, since he led his troops across Dnieper, Bug, Dniester and Danube. M.N.Sharohin received the Hero of the USSR for organization of forcing of rivers and establishing bridgeheads.474 The probing attempt to force Danube near Batina was undertaken in the murky night of November 8, 1944. This action, undertaken with wooden rowing boats, which could carry up to twelve people, was carried out by the 1st Company of the 703rd Regiment of the 223rd Infantry Division. Germans discovered the Soviet soldiers and they destroyed their vessels with artillery fire. After a pause, the 2nd Company of the 703rd Regiment managed to cross the river unnoticed. However, as soon as they landed, they were discovered and completely destroyed in a brief fire fight (510 minutes). The following night, on November 9, the 3rd Company of the 703rd Regiment, under the command of Captain Sergei Reshetov, set off to cross Danube.475 We gathered the remaining parts of our battalion around one hundred people. With ten boats we began forcing the river. In the middle of the river, the boats ran into a strong current, and Germans launched flares and they started firing at us. When there was literary 1015 meters until the coast, one of the engineer rowers was killed, and the second heavily wounded. I caught the paddle and started rowing towards the coast. Only two rowers managed to reach the other shore together we hit the shore, jumped out and took cover. On this shore there was a village, and in front of the village a bulwark, which defended it from floods. In this bulwark, Germans dug ditches and made machine gun nests. When we took cover we actually laid down on corpses: they were the corpses of our comrades, which managed to land the previous night. All of them died there was a feeling that if we would stay here for a minute then the same destiny would befell us. With mighty Russian curses, we got up together and fell into the ditch on the bulwark! We took over several meters of the ditch and we began throwing bombs left and right. The Germans did not realize how many of us landed and we managed to capture four more small houses behind the bulwark. When I finally managed to
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muzej, Zbirka fotografija, Inv. 14759. I.N.Shkadov, ed., Geroi Sovetskogo Soiuza t 2. TsAMO, f. 233 sd, d. 33, 168179.

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count ours, it turned out that only sixteen of us landed in the morning near the shore two more boats arrived with seventeen Yugoslav Partisans before the sunrise, we dug in. Yugoslavs were real [comrades A.T.] they would not abandon Russians! And for the entire day sixteen of ours and seventeen Yugoslavs they held the defense at this small bridgehead when our command realized that we would keep the bridgehead, they offered us strong support they brought in the artillery, katiushas. And they fired directly above our heads and at night forty more people landed with Captain Kniazhin. We immediately went on the attack and we pushed the Germans sixty or seventy meters. It became jollier. And when the night arrived, our troops made the pontoon bridge, and soon our entire Regiment reached us, and parts of the division and two Yugoslav brigades. That is how Captain Sergein Reshetov remembered the beginning of the Batina Battle, who was only twenty-one at the time.476 Batina at the time was defended by the 4th Hungarian Border Regiment, parts of the 31st SS Division and NDH police units. These soldiers fought well because of their discipline and they were also inspired by the Nazi propaganda and their origins (Hungarians, Croats and Vojvodina Germans) to defend their homelands from the eastern hordes mainly Russians from the 233rd Division and Serbs from the 12th and 51st Vojvodina Brigades.477 The intelligence reports from the 68th Corps, which was previously active in Serbia, never recorded a Serbian soldier as an enemy not even from Mihailovis, Ljotis and Nedis units. Nonetheless, after the arrival of the Red Army in areas inhabited by Croats, Ustae and Croatian Home Guard began appearing regularly in reports as enemies, alongside the German and Hungarian troops. Authors of the Soviet informational reports recorded that Croatian Home Guard- continue to wage war because, as prisoners of war stated, they defended their villages, houses and families because the majority of Croatian Home Guard soldiers were born in these areas.478 Out of curiosity it should be stated that alongside Germans, Hungarians and Croats, a Tartar Battalion also participated in the battle. Five Tartar soldiers fell into the hands of the Soviet soldiers.479 Germans immediately began to use armored vehicles and concentrated their reserves in order to destroy the Soviet and Yugoslav bridgehead. For the first time in Yugoslavia, Soviet soldiers experienced enemy aviation.480 After decisive action, Soviet and Yugoslav soldiers managed to capture Batina. Afterwards, the battles for heights which dominated the shoreline began.
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Vospominaniia Sergeia Nikiticha Reshetova, accessed September 16, 2012, http://www.pobeda-60.ru / main. php? trid=6643. R.Pencz, For the Homeland! The History of the 31st Waffen-SS Volunteer Grenadier Division. Danubian-Swabian Grenadiers on the Danube and in Silesia (Solihull: Helion & Company, 2002). TsAMO, f. 68 sk, d. 244, 261290. TsAMO, f. 233 sd, d. 37, 201. TsAMO, f. 233 sd, d. 37, 201; f. 17 VA, d. 250, 229, d. 309, 1117.

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The best defended and the most important tactically was the so called Pyramid or Bloody Height 169.481 At the same time (November 720, 1944) the 74th Infantry Division made a small bridgehead near Apatin. The forces of the 75th and the 64th Infantry Corps managed to push away the enemy forces and to connect Batina and Apatin bridgeheads.482 In this way, the road towards Kneev Vinograd and Beli Manastir was open. After capturing these two towns, the Red Army entered positions from which it could advance towards Lake Balaton. Nonetheless, Danube remained blocked because German and Croatian units stubbornly defended approaches to Vukovar, while the artillery in the city prevented the Danube Flotilla from advancing up the stream.483 Therefore, on December 8, 1944, the Soviet marines from the 315th Battalion, Artillerists from the 1st Guard Defensive District and fighters from the 5th Vojvodina Brigade tried, with support of the Danube Flotillas firepower, to take Vukovar by surprise, like they did Batina. However, the attack was not successful. The enemy concentrated armored vehicles and artillery in the surrounding areas and it operationally blocked the bridgehead and began attacking it. Vukovar remained part of NDH until April, 1945, when the Croatian and German positions on Srem Front collapsed. Regardless, the Soviet units which advanced along the southern Hungarian and Austrian borders were in close contact with NOVJ units further south, which were advancing through Slavonia and Slovenia. During these battles, the units of the 57th Army fought against Germans and Pannwitzs Cossacks. There were heavy frontal battles between the 233rd Division and the Cossacks near Pitomaa in Slavonia, and at the end of the war, the units of the 57th Army took Cossacks prisoners of war in Slovenia and Austria.484

Red Army and JVuO in the autumn of 1944: the unsuccessful cooperation
In the context of determining the character of the Red Armys entry into Serbia liberators or conquerors it is very important to take into account the relationship between the Soviet soldiers and Mihailovis resistance movement. For a long time, JVuO was treated in the Yugoslav historiography as the Serbian
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Boi, Batinska bitka. M.N.Sharokhin and V.S.Petrukhin, Put k Balatonu (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1966). Loktionov, Dunaiskaia flotiliia. TsAMO, f. 233 sd, d. 93, 267269; f. 57 , d. 477, 667.

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equivalent of Ustaa movement in Croatia.485 With B. Petranovis voluminous study, Srbija u drugom svetskom ratu, published in 1992, the Serbian academia began viewing JVuO as a resistance movement, albeit an unsuccessful and a tragic one. The Serbian parliament and government, a decade later, confirmed this status with legislation which recognized etniks as resisters to the occupiers.486 These changes made their way into Russian historiography slowly, which in this regard, was not prepared to reexamine the Soviet historiographical tradition.487 In any case, despite the law which recognized JVuO as a resistance movement, there is a group of researchers who doubt the anti-occupational character of etnik detachments.488 The topic of JVuO activities is beyond the scope of our research, but we cannot avoid the question of the Soviet-etniks relationship. The relationship between the Red Army and JVuO commanders represented a sensitive topic in Soviet and Yugoslav historiographies. The Soviet historiography generally avoided the topic, not wanting to reveal the Soviet involvement in the Yugoslav civil war. The only exception to this generally negative relationship towards Mihailovi was the Soviet collection of documents from the Third Reich, which included an essay written on November 7, 1943, by the Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command, GeneralA.Jodl. Jodl titled his essay Strategic position in the beginning of the fifth year of the war. Jodl described the situation in all areas where the Reich was fighting for its interests against the external and internal enemy. In the part of the essay titled Southeast, he wrote the following: in the occupied parts of the Balkans, a small war is being waged. It is waged against sometime very well armed bandits, supported by the Anglo-Saxons, numbering between 140,000150,000 people. All gangs are fighting against the Germans, even though they are not united with each other.a) in Croatia and Serbia there are communist partisans under the command of Tito, and they number around 90,000 people; b) etniks under the command of Draa Mihailovi, they number 30,000 people; c) in Greece national gangs under the command of Zervas numbering 10,000 people and around 15,000 communists.489
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Even the most learned scholars of General Mihailovis movement were not able to overcome this approach. J.Marjanovi, Draa Mihajlovi izmeu Britanaca i Nemaca (Zagreb: Globus, Belgrade: Narodna Knjiga, 1979). On December 21, 2004, Serbias Parliament changed the law, whereby etniks received the same rights as the Partisans. In addition, the Parliament introduced the Commemorative Ravna Gora Medal analogous to the Partisan Comemorative Medal. An example of this academic orthodoxy is the newest collection of essays devoted to history of Yugoslavia, Vasileva N.V. et al., Balkanskii uzel, ili Rossiia i iugoslavskii faktor v kontekste politiki velikikh derzhav na Balkanakh v XX veke, (Moscow: Zvonnitsa-MG, 2005). Very typical in this sense are the publications by the Union of Antifascists of Serbia, the legal and ideological descendent of the Society for Truth about the Anti-Fascist National Liberation War in Yugoslavia 19411945. V.I.Dashichev, ed.,Sovershenno sekretno! Tolko dlia komandovaniia! Strategiia Fashistkoi Germanii v voine protiv SSSR. Dokumenty i materialy (Moscow: Nauka, 1967), 544.

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In the footnotes or the comments there were no attempts to argue against Jodls view of Mihailovi as an anti-German fighter. Still, this was the only publication in the postwar Soviet Union which offered a positive comment on JVuO. In general, the Soviet view of JVuO was based on the Yugoslav communist historiographical view. At the same time, the Yugoslav historiography from Cominform period depicted the relationship between etnik and Soviet commanders in more complex terms. The direct participants in these events remembered the unfortunate contacts between Soviets and the King, concluding that the USSR even wanted to impose monarchy on Yugoslavia.490 In later works, the official Yugoslav historiography was more careful in assessing the relationship between Soviets and etniks, which could have damaged the false balance between etniks and Ustaa, and to indirectly shed light on the complete historiographical darkness in which the JVuO movement was cast. That is why Soviet and Yugoslav historiographies came to an agreement. The decisive moment in the Yugoslav historiography was Joa Tomaevis study which expressed skepticism towards the possibility of any larger agreements between the Soviets and JVuO, but he mentioned that Soviets tried to establish such a contact through Colonel Velimir Piletis Krajina Corps. In addition, Tomaevi mentioned cooperation between the Red Army and Dragutin Keserovi, the Commander of Rasinsko-Topola Corps, as well as the active assistance of the 4th Shock Corps led by Lieutenant-Colonel Raki during the battles for aak.491 A lot more information became known with the publication of the so called etnik (XIV) volume of Zbornik dokumenata NOP, which contained Keserovis detailed report about events in Kruevac and Rakis statement about his attempt to establish contact with the Soviet troops and his cooperation with the Soviets against Germans near aak.492 Contemporary Serbian historiography has proven the existence of contacts between JVuO commanders with certain commanders of Red Army units in eastern Serbia, as well as near Kruevac and aak.493 First such contact was in eastern Serbia, when on the orders of General Mihailovi (issued, according to Pileti, on August 30), Colonel Pileti tried to establish contact with the Soviet command in Craiova. The participants in these
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S. Maodu, Staljinsko-karaljevska druba. (Sa stranica Slubenih novina Jugoslovenske izbeglike vlade), Narodna armija, January 1, 1952; R. Jovanovi, Ubieni ljudski obziri. Zloinstva crvenoarmeaca u ugoslavii (Sarajevo: Omladinska Rije, 1953). J.Tomaevi, etnici u Drugom svjetskom ratu 19411945 (Zagreb, 1979), 346349. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F. Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 402, 403, 869882. Nikoli, Istorija ravnogorskog pokreta knj. 2; M.Samardi, Borbe etnika protiv Nemaca i ustaa 19411945, 2 t. (Kragujevac: Novi pogledi, 2006); G. Davidovi and M. Timotijevi, Zatamnjena prolost. Istorija ravnogoraca aanskog kraja, knj. 3 (aak: Meuoptinski istorijski arhiv; Kraljevo: Narodni muzej, 2004), 132166.

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events have left their recollections.494 General Mihailovi sent his representative Milivoje Naumovi to the area where Krajina Corps was active, with verbal instructions about leading the negotiations with the Soviets. Miodrag Ratkovi recalled that the negotiations were led in order to resolve three main questions to plead with the Soviet army to act as mediators with Partisans, for hostilities to cease between us, and to liberate the country with joint forces from the occupier; and after the liberation of the country, that our and Partisan forces should go to the barracks and to remain there until completely free elections are held by a temporary and neutral government, without our or partisan participation, under the full control of Western Allies and the Soviets; not to punish the wrongdoings and crimes committed on the territory of Yugoslavia during the occupation now, but to leave this for regular courts after free elections. This plan, which basically expected the Soviets to renounce their protgs by forcing them to disarm, thereby giving up their own influence in postwar Yugoslavia, was unrealistic, even to a professional soldier such M.Ratkovi. Naumovi, however, as a pre-war civil servant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed his diplomatic cunning: the main thing is for Soviets to accept, and the Western Allies will press for this to be implemented! Thus, etniks wanted to deceive the Soviets and to use the British and the Americans to force them to make concessions. Apart from the fact that there were not too many Western Allies in Serbia, the first problem was that the British had already withdrawn their missions from JVuO, while the USA had only an intelligence mission which was not allowed to support JVuO.495 Painful encounter with reality was unavoidable. Mihailovi wanted to include following people in negotiations with the Soviets: Lieutenant Colonel Pileti, Lieutenant Colonel Ljuba Jovanovi-Patak, Aleksandar Trifunac, a Belgrade lawyer who at the time was in Negotin, and Milivoje Naumovi, an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the time of Naumovis arrival, Trifunac already reached Romania. Pileti, as a member of the JVuO Supreme Command, decided that etnik mission should cross over Danube and meet the representatives of the Red Army, even though Mihailovis order was that they should wait for the Soviets in Serbia. Ratkovi recalled that the need for negotiation was urgent because the Partisans were increasing the pressure on etniks. They defeated the Combined Shock Corps and killed its commander Major Bora Stanisavljevi. Naumovi, who did not himself believe in success of the negotiations, according to Ratkovi, refused to cross the Danube but he gave
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Milunovi, Od nemila, 48; Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 107120. NARA, Declassified: NND 877092 by AB 12/30/2004. Orders to Lt.Col.RobertH.McDowell, AUS from Edward J. Green, Lt. Comdr., USNR. Headquarters company B, 2677th Regiment, Office of strategic services (Prov), APO 534, U.S.Army. 15 August 1944; Mackenzie, The Secret History, 428 448.

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detailed instructions how to conduct the negotiations. The mission was comprised of Velimir Pileti, Miodrag Ratkovi, Aleksandar Trifunac, Mihailo Krsti with thirty additional officers, 110 etniks and 80 German prisoners of war, whom Pileti was planning to hand over to the Soviets. The mission crossed the Danube near Tajanova Tabla in the night of September 1011.496 Romania at the time was already under the Soviet control. JvuO fighters were partially disarmed by Romanian authorities immediately after they crossed the frontier and they were transferred to Craiova. The order in which Pileti made his official visits were interesting: first Romanian commander P.Antonescu (who was not willing to personally see him), second American Military Mission from where Pileti sent a brief radiogram to Stalin, third the British Mission, and finally he established contact with Soviet officers. Piletis main goal was to have Soviets appoint him a commander of an independent brigade which would have been formed out of JVuO members in Serbia, and armed with the weapons which the Red Army seized in Romania. Another option, which Pileti stated several times, was for men under his command to be transferred to another theatre of war so that they could fight against the Germans under the British or the American command. In informal conversations with the Soviet officers, according to his memoirs, Pileti said that even if the communist regime was established in Yugoslavia according to the wishes of the Serbian people, Pileti would never be a communist. Awaiting the Soviet response, Pileti spent his time in the company of British officers. Finally, amongst the JVuO negotiators, there was a traitor a student Ljuba Miri, Piletis adjutant, who accused his comrades of being English spies. As a result, in late September and early October, the SMERSH497 accused Pileti of being a British spy and arrested him.498
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M.Ratkovi, Organizacija istone Srbije, in Knjiga o DraiSv. 2: 19441946 (Valjevo, Aleksandrija, 2005), 337341; Karapandi, Graanski rat, 351. Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 117, 126; Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F. Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 378. Even though Britain and USSR were allies against Germany together, this did not prevent the Soviet security organs from fighting against British agents. According to the NKVD USSR, as early as August, 1941, the British undertook a series of steps against the interests of the USSR. Between 1941 and 1945, various intelligence agencies in the USSR uncovered and prevented several British attempts to infiltrate and engage in intelligence work in the USSR and the territories controlled by Soviet troops. For more on the Soviet directive against the activity of the British intelligence see Direktiva NKVD SSSR 41/407 ob agenturno-operativnykh meropriiatiiakh po presecheniiu podryvnoi deiatelnosti angliiskoi razvedki na territorii SSSR ot 20 avgusta 1941, in Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti, t. 2, kn. 1, ed. N.P.Patrushev, (Moscow: Akademiia FSB RF, 1995), 492493; Soobshchenie 1go upravleniia NKVMF SSSR 54056SS v 3e upravlenie NKMVF SSSR o razvedyvatelnoi deiatelnosti chlenov angliiskoi voenno-morskoi missii i angliiskikh predstavitelei v SSSR ot 6 sentiabria 1941, in Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti, t. 2, kn. 2, ed. N.P.Patrushev, (Moscow: Akademiia FSB RF, 2000), 2730; O.B.Mazokhin, VChK OGPU. Karaiushchii mech diktatury proletariat (Moscow: Iauza, 2004); S. Chertoprud, NKVD-NKGB v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Moscow: Eksmo, 2006); Angliiskaia razvedka (Moscow: n. p., 1963), 3135.

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It was tragic, but in the summer of 1944, Soviets as well as the British were arresting etnik emissaries. ivko Topalovi experienced Piletis fate, but in Italy, which was liberated by the British. General Mihailovi sent Topalovi to establish contact with the British. After one hour of flying through the night, we landed in the sea of light, Bari airport. There, a long conference took place between General Armstrong and commander of Bari Airport about what happened and what they should do with us. I believe that General Armstrong tried to take us under his wing and that he felt grateful for everything which was done for him and his officers in Serbia. But the commander of the airport had to act according to the law. All foreigners who came to the British territory had to go through the so called Patriotic Schoolthat was a process controlled by the military-political police, which had to question their patriotism in relation to the security of the British troops and loyalty towards the British government. An officer drove us for ten kilometers to an old building The building was guarded by fifty British soldiers. They pitched the tents for themselves in the courtyard and the garden. This was not a jail but a detention center, but from the inside, the process felt as if it were a jail. Officer took us along the dark stone of wooden bunk beds. The junior officer who soon arrived with a small candle and four blankets showed with his hand that we could take either two bunk beds or two lower beds alongside each other. There were several empty beds, while in other beds people slept. My wife was turning around in amazement, saying, so we are in jail.499 It is obvious that the Soviet and the British military tactics towards the suspicious individuals were not too different.500 After Pileti was arrested, his detachment was interned. On October 8, an airplane transferred the arrested etniks to Moscow. Pileti spent five months in Lubianka prison (at the time, the most important prisoners were held there) and eight months in the main NKVD jail Lefortovo (where those of interest to the authorities awaited their fate). On October 19, 1945, he was taken to a special camp for officers in Krasnogorsk, where he stayed until November 8, 1945. This camp was used for prisoners accused of collaboration but who expressed an interest in cooperating with the Soviet security structures, such as the German anti-fascist Committee headed by Marshal Paulus.501 Apart from the Germans willing to work
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Topalovi, Jugoslavija, 7071. I knew about the English tactics: if somebody told the English that somebody else was suspicious, the English would immediately lock him up and send him to one of their numerous concentration camps, and he would be there until the end of the war, if he would stay alive. The English would give him a little tea, jam and bread. But only to a degree so that he would not starve to death. I had a reason to be afraid of this. Trbi, MemoariKnj. II, 180. V. Adam, Trudnye resheniia: memuary polkovnika 6I german. Armii (Moscow: Progress, 1972), chapter Lager voennoplennykh v Krasnogorske; M. I. Burtsev, Prozrenie (Moscow: Voenoizdat, 1981); V.A.Vsevolodov, Tsentralnaia antifashistskaiia shkola dlia voennoplennykh v Krasnogorske (19431950gg.), Krasnogore: ist.kraeved Vyp. 9 (2005); V.A.Vsevolodov, Srok khraneniia pos-

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with the Soviets, there were numerous collaborationist prisoners from the armies of the German satellites.502 After Krasnogorsk, Pileti managed to flee from the NKVD under suspicious circumstances during his extradition to the new Yugoslav authorities and to join etnik emigration in Western Europe. Several members from his mission, who escaped under similar circumstances, managed to find their way to Western Europe.503 Piletis arrival to Romania was the first real attempt by JVuO to establish formal contacts with the Red Army. The attempt failed because of the Soviet leaderships negative attitude towards Mihailovi, as well as the influence of the Partisan emissaries. Piletis failure to obtain favor from Soviets only added fuel to the fire. Another aspect of this episode must be mentioned. From Marko Milunovis memoires, who was close to Pileti, it can be concluded that the Soviets were putting out feelers to etniks even before Pileti crossed into Romania. On August 25, the JVuO Russian unit was delivered to Soviet officers on the Romanian side of Danube. To the surprise of JVuO fighters, the Soviet etniks were not immediately adjoined to the army, instead they were locked up in special barracks, after which Serbian officers hurriedly withdrew to avoid similar fate. This was a typical Soviet treatment of former German prisoners of war, which involved detailed questioning of individuals carried out by the counter-intelligence SMERSH officers. SMERSH sought to identify the German spies and deserters from the mass of soldiers, and in addition, they sought to gain information about the situation in the enemys ranks.504 In this way, SMERSH could receive direct information about the views, behavior and military activities of Krajina Corps. Even half of what Rootham recorded in his memoirs (and he certainly did not record everything) could have damaged the etnik image in eyes of the Soviet officers.505 Nonetheless, according to Milunovi, in the beginning, the relationship between JVuO and the Soviets was not too bad. The Soviet reconnaissance and etniks even cooperated. In early September, a smaller Soviet unit under Kuznetsovs command carried out a probing attack on Kladovo, on the Serbian side of Danube. After this attack, Pileti went to Romania, resulting in his internment.506 Interestingly, Milunovi seems not to have been able to link the fact that etniks delivered Soviet soldiers to SMERSH with Soviets detailed knowledge of the situation in Eastern
toianno: kratkaia Istoriia lageria voennoplennykh i internirovannykh UPVI NKVDMVD SSSR No. 27 (19421950gg) (Moscow Memorialnyi muzei nemetskikh antifashistov, 2003). .Lonarevi, Specijalna misija (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki i novinski centar, 1991), 84, 124; Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 130184. Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 130184. Bezverkhnii, ed., SMERSH; A.Sever, Smert shpionam! Voennaia kontrrarazvedka SMERSH v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Moscow: Iauza, 2009). Rootham, Pucanj u prazno, 233, 290. Milunovi, Od nemila, 4955.

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505 506

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Serbia only ten days later.507 In view of the actions undertaken by Kuznetsovs unit on the Serbian side of Danube, we can guess that this was a reconnaissance unit from the 75th Corps which crossed into Serbia on September 22, 1944. With the crossing of these troops into Serbia, the idea of JVuO cooperation with RKKA definitely failed. The only offer which etnik commanders received was to subject their units to Partisans command, which was absolutely unacceptable to them.508 JVuO Supreme Command wanted to quickly establish ties with the USSR and find common language with Moscow. General Mihailovi issued an order on November 8, 1944, to all commanders in territories where Soviet troops were advancing to continue to pursue military cooperation with the Russians as allies in the struggle against the occupier to show our resolve for battling the occupier.509 In this context, JVuO announcements and flyers with messages of Long live the King! and Long live the USSR! make sense. Boris Slutskii, who worked for the 57th Armys Political Department, preserved evidence of this.510 This propaganda material had limited influence on the sizable and unstoppable mass of the Soviet army. The pro-Soviet etnik phraseology was not understood by the Soviets as an expression of Slavic brotherhood. Instead, it was deemed to have been a desperate attempt to switch sides in the war in the last moment, which soldiers and officers of the Red Army began to get used to since their movement through Romania and Bulgaria. This phenomenon only caused the Soviets to despise the Germans and their satellites.511 The leadership of the Partisan movement knew quite well that in the neighboring Bulgaria and Romania, the communists had to enter the ranks of the regular army, and that the regular army was placed under the direct Soviet command. The Bulgarian example was particularly risky to the Partisans, which did not declare war against the Soviet Union and where the Soviet diplomatic mission was active throughout the entire war. The Bulgarian army, hostile towards the USSR and
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Pileti even had an opportunity to find out through unofficial channels that the Soviets questioned the Russian etniks. However, he did not seem to understand that the Soviet intelligence officers received information from the former prisoners which he contradicted some of his statements. When he was confronted with these contradictions, Pileti said: Everything which we did for the Soviet Union was out of sense of debt. At this, the Soviet officer thanked him for his honesty, Pileti, Sudbina srpskog oficira, 117118. Milunovi, Od nemila, 5355. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 402. Slutskii, Zapiski o voine, 64. We should recall what the German Communist Gerhard Kegel said when he crossed over to the Soviets but could not immediately convince them of his loyalty: when I looked sideways a bit and talked with prisoners who went with me to judge by the words of the prisoners from our group, there were no fascists in Hitlers army. At least every other claimed that he was a communist, or that he was always their sympathizer, or that he voted for them, and that he was at least a Social Democrat. Gerhard Kegel, V buriakh nashego veka: Zapiski razvedchika-antifashista (Moscow: Politizdat, 1987), chapter Gitlerovskaia armiia.

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actively engaged in war against NOVJ, switched sides overnight and turned into a Soviet ally. Therefore, the Partisans did not peacefully await the establishment of allied ties between JVuO and RKKA and they did as much as possible to compromise etniks. It could be noted that Partisan commanders tried to say as much filth as possible about etniks and especially their relationship towards Russia.512 Moreover, the Yugoslav Partisans, unlike the Bulgarian and Romanian communists, had the authority from the fact that they fought ceaselessly since 1941, while Romanian and Bulgarian armies were much more decisive in their reorientation than JvuO. The JVuO Supreme Command did not rely on Britain, instead, it relied on completely imaginary support from the USA.513 This attitude did not always enjoy the support of JVuO rank and file soldiers,514 instead, it stemmed from JVuO Supreme Commands political recommendations. The JVuO leadership also hoped for the Allies to land in the Balkans, based on the First World War experience. As a result, it was very easy for the Partisans to compromise the etniks in the Soviet eyes. The first documented episode of the etnik-Soviet cooperation related to the liberation of Kruevac. Kruevac was probably the largest city in Serbia which the JVuO fighters, under the command of Dragutin Keserovi, liberated from the Germans. There are several versions of Kruevacs liberation in the internal documents and official publications. For example, this is what the official SovietYugoslav monograph states about this subject: units of the 64th Rifle Corps of the Red Army and the 2nd Proletariat Division of the NOVJ, after capturing Kruevac, successfully advanced in western direction. 515 There was also a purely Partisan version of the liberation of Kruevac, which was supposedly undertaken by the 4th Proletariat (Montenegrin) Brigade.516 There is also a report from Kesarovi, in which he claims that JVuO fighters liberated Kruevac.517 There is also a report
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514 515 516

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Slutskii, Zapiski o voine, 64. Serbian researchers had already pointed out that the Supreme Commands hope for support from Lieutenant-Colonel McDowell was baseless, Dimitrijevi and Nikoli, eneral Mihajlovi, 447457. The American documents also confirm that the American Mission to Mihailovi was of purely informational character. OSS-. NARA, Declassified: NND 877092 by AB 12/30/2004, Report on Partisan Intelligence Effect of Mihailovich Intelligence Unit to Gen.Wm.J.Donovan from Col.E.C. Huntington, 31 August 1944; Orders to Lt.Col.RobertH.McDowell, AUS from EdwardJ.Green, Lt. Comdr., USNR. Headquarters company B, 2677th Regiment, Office of strategic services (Prov), APO 534, U.S.Army, 15 August 1944. M.Mladenovi, Lani idoli i varljivi ideali (Belgrade: Institut za savremenu istoriju, 2004), 350. S.S.Birjuzov and R.Hamovi, Beogradska operacija, 262. About the Partisan liberation of Kruevac see, J. Milojevi, B. Ili, D. Dimitrijevi M. Tasi, M. Veljkovi and V. Sekulovi eds., Kruevac: Osloboen grad (Kruevac: Odbor za proslavu dvadesetgodinjice osloboenja Kruevca, 1966); B.Jankovi, etvrta proleterska crnogorska brigada (Belgrade: Vojnoizdavaki zavod, 1975). Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 869882.

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written by the American OSS agent Lieutenant Elefort Kramer, who wanted to hurl the American flag above the liberated Kruevac.518 Finally, there is a series of documents, recently opened for researchers in the Archive of the Ministry of the Defense of the Russian Federation, which add to Keserovis report, and at the same time offer an opportunity to assess the veracity of the Partisan version of events. In short, this is what happened in Kruevac according to Soviet and etnik sources. On October 13, Keserovi issued an ultimatum to the German Commander of Kruevac, and on October 14, the Germans capitulated. At the time, American Lieutenant Kramer was in Keserovis Headquarters. During the negotiations, Keserovi posed as a representative of an American officer. The German Commander wanted to capitulate to the Americans, instead of the Soviet army, in order to prevent the entry of the Red Army and Partisans into the city. According to Kramers report, negotiations with the Germans began on September 22, but they ended in failure.519 The Germans became interested in Keserovis offer only when the Soviet troops were in Kruevacs vicinity. Bernhard von Shevaleri, Colonel of the German General Staff, flew to Kruevac on a small airplane on October 14. He was taken prisoner by JVuO fighters. Later on, as a Soviet prisoner, Shevaleri said that he was not afraid of etnik violence, because they worked everywhere in contact with the Germans.520 In Kruevac, Shevaleri met Kramer
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Kramers report is published in M.Pavlovi, Oevidac Graanskog rata u Srbiji, Istorija 20. Veka 1 (2007). In addition to saving American pilots and learning about the situation in Yugoslavia, Lieutenant-Colonel McDowell was tasked with, if possible, negotiating the surrender of German, Bulgarian, Hungarian or any other enemy or collaborationist groups. NARA, Declassified: NND 877092 by AB 12/30/2004. Orders to Lt.Col.RobertH.McDowell, AUS from EdwardJ.Green, Lt. Comdr., USNR. Headquarters company B, 2677th Regiment, Office of strategic services (Prov), APO 534, U.S.Army. 15 August 1944. Later on in the text Shevaleri explained in great detail his claim and explained that Mihailovis etniks never planned to fight against the Russians. Their aim was to use the Germans to get the bullets and weapons. The treachery and their crossing over to the side of the Red Army for the German command was a total surprise. The prisoners believed that etniks went over to the Red Army in order to take part in governing the state power in Serbia after the Germans departure. TsAMO, 68 sk, , d. 242, Dopros voennoplennogo nachalnika shtaba korpusa Miuller polkovnika Genshtaba Berngarda fon der Shevaleri, 268. Other Germans also noted the etnik unexpected reorientation, A.Polianskii, My i chetniki and A.Politanskii, Kovarstvo nashikh soiuznikov, in Russkii Korpus, eds. Protopopov and Ivanov. The fact that the Germans sent the Commander of Kruevac Major Kni and the Commander of the 7th SS Division Prince Eugene Oberfhrer Kum to negotiate with Keserovi indicates that they did not fear the etniks. It is unlikely that the two most senior officers in the garrison go together to negotiate with a dangerous enemy. In case that something happened, the troops in Kruevac would have become leaderless, O.Kumm, Vorwrts Prinz Eugen! Geschichte der 7. SS-Freiwilligen Gebirgs Division Prinz Eugen (Osnabruck: Munin, 1978). The complicated relationship between Germans and JVuO near Kruevac prior to the arrival of the Red Army can be inferred from Kramers reports. He described how on October 4, JVuO officers and twenty-five etniks went to the town of Vrnjaka Banja. The German patrols did not sanction this trip, so the etniks justified themselves saying that they were going to attack Partisan patrols, M.Pavlovi, Oevidac graanskog rata u Srbiji, Istorija 20. Veka 1 (2007): 176.

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who explained to him that the ultimate goal was to capture with etnik detachments a series of towns where the American flag would be raised and in this way the entry of the Red Army would be prevented.521 At the same time, on October 13, 1944, Kramer wrote a letter to GeneralL.M.Milaev, the Commander of the advancing 52nd Riffle Division, in which he asked to meet the Soviet general. This letter was sent when it was known that the Russian troops had crossed the river V.Morava (this was probably the 16th Independent Shock Battalion near Varvarin). The letter was carried by JVuO Sublieutenant Alexander Zlatkovi, who departed on October 13 in the evening and delivered the letter on October 1 in the morning. Milaev immediately posed the question whether the etniks would fight against his forces. Surprised, Zlatkovi answered negatively, arguing that RKKA and JVuO were allies. Hearing this, Milaev said: No, we are not allies. General Milaev added that the JVuO units would have to disarm Germans by October 14 at 16.00 hours, and then lay down their and Germans weapons in front of the Red Army.522 This was the typical Soviet approach when negotiating with the Germans and their allies.523 Obviously, Milaev upheld the instructions which he received from the 57th Armys Political and Intelligence Departments, prior to their entry into Serbia. The Informational Department defined Draa Mihailovis etniks as a reactionary army which has fought on the side of the occupiers since 1941, adding that there were around thirty thousand [etniks A.T.], majority of them in Serbia and Sandak.524 Even before Zlatkovis arrival, General Milaev ordered his units to advance towards Kruevac.525 In his Battle OrderNo. 45, which his Divisions regiments received on October 13, at 24.00, Milaev ordered his troops to follow the enemy in its withdrawal in northwestern and western directions. On October 13, at 13.00, Milaev forces entered Parain, and they took up positions around Stri, Donje Vidovo, Stala and ievac. On the following day (October 14), Milaev planned to continue the offensive and to take Kruevac. The division was at the far left wing of Soviet units. To its left, the division did not have Soviet or allied troops, while to its right were the forces of the 68th Riffle Corps. The Divisions main task
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522 523

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TsAMO, 68 sk, , d. 242, Dopros voennoplennogo nachalnika shtaba korpusa Miuller polkovnika Genshtaba Berngarda fon der Shevaleri, 265. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 869882. Disarm and catch your German superiors, surrender your weapons and afterward surrender yourselves. This was a typical demand during negotiations with the German allies. It was used by the 57th Army in negotiations with the Turkestan Battalion in Romania in August 1944 and with the Honvd Company in Hungary, Slutskii, Zapiski o voine, 24, 90. The same demand was made from other collaborationist units willing to abandon the Germans, S.I.Drobiazko, Pod znamenami vraga, 216. TsAMO, 68 sk, , d. 242, 270281, Spravka o sostave i dislokatsii Iugoslavskoi armii, nemetskikh voisk na Balkanakh na 19 sentiabria 1944 g. i reaktsionnykh voisk Pavelicha, Nedicha i Mikhailovicha i Rupnika na 5 sentiabria 1944. TsAMO, 431 sp, d. 3, 116, Boevoi prikaz No. 35. Shtadiva 52. 24.00 13. 10. 44.

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was to seize Kruevac by 14.00, and to cross on the other side of Morava. General Milaev divided his forces. The 429th Riffle Regiment was to guard the positions in Parain, Donje Vidovo, Gorin, Sikirica and Drenovac, until the arrival of units of the 233rd Riffle Division. The latter was reinforced with the 523rd Mortar Regiment and two squadrons of the 1028th Artillery Regiment. In this way, Milaev left an important part of his artillery to defend the positions which his forces already captured, which was justified in the view of the absence of friendly forces on Milaevs left flank. According to the plan, with the arrival of the units of the 233rd Division, the 429th Regiment was supposed to join the main forces of the Division, which at the time should have been in Kruevac. The Command Headquarters was supposed to be placed in Sikirica. The 431st Riffle Regiment, with the support of the Independent Guard Artillery Regiment and the squadron of the 1028th Artillery Regiment, was tasked with capturing ievac and Stala. After this, the Command Headquarters of the 431st Regiment, one battalion of the 431st Regiment were supposed to remain in ievac, while two infantry and mortar battalions were supposed to enter Kruevac by 14.00 from north and east and to remain in the northern part of the city. Finally, the 439th Riffle Regiment, reinforced by the 418th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment was supposed to bypass Mojsinjska Mountain from east and to enter Kruevac through Praskove and Galgova from east and southwest and to take the southern part of the city. The command of the 52nd Division was in Stria on October 13, but it was supposed to transfer to ievac after its capture on October 14. The 16th Independent Shock Battalion of the Third Ukrainian Front was tasked with entering Kruevac first. It was supposed to depart from Varvarin towards Kruevac at 9.00 on October 14, enter the city from northwest (from Jasika) and to capture the northwestern part of the city. The reconnaissance platoons were charged with preparing for the offensive, as they were supposed to be at the forefront of the Soviet units when they were supposed to depart during the night of October 1314. This report helps us clarify the situation in which Colonel Keserovi sent his delegate to General Milaev. It seems that the negotiations began too late, when the Division was in the process of fulfilling its battle order. At the time that Sublieutenant Zlatkovi began to reveal Keserovis plans to surrender Kruevac to Soviets, the Soviet forces were already advancing and were within Kruevacs vicinity.526 Milaevs order to Keserovi to hand over Kruevac to the Soviets before 16.00 hours has to be understood in this context. Keserovi claimed later that Milaevs instructions were meant to be impossible to fulfill, but he was wrong. In reality, various Soviet units (from armies to regiments), had to abide by firm schedules
526

ISU-122 was armed with A-19S cannons of 121.92mm caliber (direct aim 5km while howitzer 14.3km). A.V.Karpenko, Tiazhelye SAU, Tankomaster, 4 (2001).

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during offensives. Operative discipline dictated that units must move parallel to each other during offensives. Major-General Milaev was not in a position to stop or even delay the ongoing offensive of the Third Ukrainian Front because of negotiations with a JVuO sub-lieutenant, and in all probability, he did not want to do this. According to Kesarovis report, Major Vesi together with a Russian Lieutenant reached his Headquarters at 6.30. However, the situation on the ground in Kruevac was rapidly developing on its own. Considering that this Soviet Lieutenant relied on units which were advancing from the direction of Jasika, it can be presumed that he was from the 16th Reconnaissance Platoon of the Independent Shock Battalion. It is necessary to explain the role of the Third Ukrainian Fronts 16th Independent Shock Battalion. Its catchy appellation concealed that this was a special officers punishment unit. Stalins Order Number 227, issued on July 28, 1942, introduced penal units into the Red Army.527 Shock battalions performed similar roles, even though the term penal was deliberately left out of the name. Shock battalions were created on the bases of Stalins Order Number Org-2-1348, issued on August 1, 1943.528 In these units, only the commander of the battalion, his deputy in charge of cadre questions, the Chief of Staff and company commanders were regular officers. Everybody else was from the so called special officer contingent. These were the officers who found themselves on the occupied territories during the German offensives 19411942, and did not try to cross the frontlines and rejoin the Red Army. Instead, they hid and waited for the return of the Soviet troops. Formally, they were not convicted and after filtration which was carried out by the NKVD, the majority of them joined regular units as officers. Nonetheless, those officers whose behavior during the occupation was too pacifist (around 36% of all officers from this group),529 had to repay their debt to the state. During their service in shock battalions, they temporarily held their demoted rank, however, the time which they spent in the unit was calculated as if they were regular officers and their families received officers compensation. After two months spent on the frontlines, or when they were wounded or deco527

528

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There were special units for privates and corporals (and former officers) convicted of military and criminal violations, which they served in penal companies. The penal companies were used in particularly dangerous operations, and that is why a stint in such a unit lasted only up to three months, and yet it replaced a jail term of several years. If a soldier would be wounded or killed during his time in a penal company, he would be released from service and have his name cleared. In these units, the officers (from the platoon level and up) were volunteers who received higher rank and salary. There were other penal units (Penal Battalions and Penal Platoons). N.K.Kolbasov and I.A.Tolstoi, Shtrafniki. Liudi v kirasakh (Moscow: Patriot, 1990); Iu.V.Rubtsov, Shtrafniki Velikoi Otechestvennoi (Moscow: Veche, 2007). V.M.Zolotarev, ed., Velikaia OtechestvennaiaT. 15. Kurskaia bitva. Dokumenty i materialy 27 marta 23 avgusta 1943 g. (Moscow: Terra, 1997), 7071. V. N. Zemskov, Gulag (istoriko-sotsiologicheskii aspekt), Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia 67 (1991): 316.

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rated, the members of the RKKA Shock Corps were assigned to regular RKKA units according to their expertise and rank.530 Shock battalions were considered to be particularly useful for entering smaller enemy towns. After several successful battles, the commander of the division wrote the so called battle recommendation (type of a reference letter) which was used to discharge them from the shock battalions.531 Therefore, the Commander of the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 16th Shock Battalion who met Major Vesi, and afterward Colonel Keserovi, also belonged to the group of punished officers. According to Keserovi, the Soviet Lieutenant stated that he was empowered to regulate relations between our troops and Russian troops which were advancing towards Kruevac. He said that I would remain commander of Kruevac, that our troops would be treated as allies, and that Partisans would not be allowed to enter Kruevac and that if they would try attacking us that they would be disarmed. According to Major Vesi, other members of the 16th Shock Battalion displayed a friendly attitude towards the etniks. Keserovi believed that he was in center of the allied attention since he was in the company of American and Soviet officers. Keserovi received a report about the advance of the Soviet troops from the direction of Jasika and he decided to hasten the negotiations with Germans and to issue them an ultimatum. At 8.00 oclock on October 14, he received Oberfhrer Kum and Major Kni, to discuss the German surrender. Major Kni, the Kruevacs Commander, according to Kramer, was surprised and asked why etniks were not defending it [Kruevac A. T.], and Keserovi responded that he promised him to fight against the Partisans and communists but not Russians because they were allies.532 After these negotiations, with promise of surrendering, the German officers freely went back. However, only part of the Germans decided to fulfill their promise and to surrender. Units of the 7th SS Division Prince Eugene called in tanks and with their assistance they withdrew towards Kraljevo. According to Keserovi, few of the Germans managed to escape.533 Commander of the 7th SS Division, Kum, did not remember the difficult withdrawal from Kruevac in his detailed memoir.534 Another JVuO fighter recorded that Germans withdrew in an organized fashion from Stala (where the Soviet units arrived), and that tanks, armored vehicles and trucks with soldiers rushed through the city without stopping and they liberated their soldiers without etnik resistance because one could not attack tanks
Zolotarev, ed., Velikaia OtechestvennaiaT. 15, 7071. TsAMO, 52 sd, PO, d. 51, Boevye otzyvy, 12. Pavlovi, Oevidac, 179. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 869882. Kumm, Vorwrts.

530 531 532 533 534

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with bare hands.535 Nonetheless, etniks robbed German storages, taking a lot of military equipment. In addition, JVuO fighters managed to capture a part of Wehrmacht soldiers and troops from the Russian Defensive Corps which was stationed in Kruevac. After the 7th SS Division Prince Eugene withdrew, the centre of Kruevac was decorated with Yugoslav, American, British and Soviet flags, while the citizens formed a committee to welcome the Soviets. In the meantime, the 16th Shock Battalion reached the city. The commander of the battalion Lieutenant Colonel Pronin arrived at the head of his Battalion which was moving on foot, although it had several horses which pulled a battery of smaller anti-tank guns (45 mm), mortars and anti-armor guns. Lieutenant Colonel was thrilled. He expected a difficult battle, and instead, he received an enthusiastic welcome. His speech revealed what the Sub-lieutenant from his reconnaissance platoon said. According to Kesarovi, Lieutenant Colonel Pronin said that he was familiar with our battles from 1941, that our army should be considered regular army, and that the Partisans would be disarmed because they belonged to a group of Trotskyites. Keserovi, Kramer and Pronin addressed the citizens from the balcony of Hotel Paris.536 Obviously, Lieutenant Colonel Pronin was confused. The part of his speech about battles from 1941 testifies to the fact that officers from the 16th Shock Battalion believed that they were dealing with Titos fighters, and not with etniks. Pronin and his soldiers could not have known about etnik battles against the Germans in 1941, since the Soviet propaganda said very little about them, even during the summer of 1941. At the same time, Pronin definitely had an opportunity to read about NOVJ in the army newspapers, which clearly stated that they fought against the Germans since 1941.537 It must also be taken into account that Pronin and his battalion reached the frontlines only on October 10, 1944, and that they participated in battles in Serbia for the first time in the battle for Parain on October 13.538 As a result, Pronin simply could have been unaware of Soviet policies towards JVuO. If Keserovi and Vesi avoided the term etniks, introducing themselves instead as regular Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland, it would have been easy to confuse them with the National-Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, as the Partisans were formally called. Pronins statement that the regular army something good, but partisans something bad must have seemed promising to Keserovi. There was nothing contradictory in this for a Soviet officer, since the regular army perceived partizanshchina and even partisans (not their own, but enemys)
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Mladenovi, Lani idoli, 346. Pavlovi, Oevidac, 179. There are also photographs of this scene, Samardi, Borbe t. 2, 258. Iugoslaviia. Ekonomicheskii i politicheskii ocherk, Zvezda Sovetov (Armeiskaia gazeta 57 A), October 4, 1944. TsAMO, 52 sd, po, d. 51, Boevye otzyvy, 12.

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with suspicion.539 Information which Pronin received from General Milaev must have added to the confusion. According to Sub-lieutenant Zlatkovi, General Milaev pointed out on a map that the Yugoslav communist Partisans were everywhere around Kruevac.540 It is obvious that Keserovi did not comprehend (or did not want to comprehend) Pronins confusion, telling him that Partisans were Trotskyites. Finally, Soviet internal reports never mentioned Trotskyism amongst the Yugoslav Partisans, and only JVuO could have made this claim. Naturally, as soon as Keserovi mentioned it, Pronin automatically condemned this main communist heresy. In addition to general conversation with Pronin, Keserovi tried to find out whether any additional troops were advancing towards Kruevac. To a direct question, he received a negative answer. When additional Soviet units arrived later on, Keserovi was surprised.541 Partisans entered Kruevac with the second wave of the Soviet troops. When Milaev realized that there was an unsanctioned military cooperation, he became exceptionally cold and arrogant and he did not want to offer his hand to Keserovis assistant. The Soviet soldiers were openly commenting on the Monarchist emblems on etniks uniforms.542 Keserovi heard the comment: fuck your monarchist mother, they need to be disarmed and [their throats A. T.] cut.543 The meeting between Milaev and Keserovi took place between Jasike and Kruevac, and after they met, they returned to Kruevac and went to Hotel Paris. Milaev there met the American Lieutenant Kramer, but he obviously could not grasp Kramers argument that Kruevac surrendered to an allied army and that the Soviet unit needed to withdraw. General Milaev expressed doubt in Kramers identity, so he ordered him to be arrested.544 According to Kramers memoirs, on
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542 543

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The reasons for this were the variations in discipline and behavior amongst the Partisans, A Gogun and A.Kentii, eds., Sozdavat nevynosimye usloviia dlia vraga i vsekh ego posobnikov Krasnye partizany Ukrainy, 19411944: maloizuchennye stranitsy istorii (Kiev: TsGAOO Ukrainy-Ukrainskii izdatelskii soiuz, 2006). Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 869882. The fact that Keserovi was surprised that an officer of the Red Army was not in a hurry to reveal the battle plan (probably the most confidential information which a commander of a battalion could know) to a man whom he saw for the first time in his life does not testify to Pronins cunningness, as Keserovi believed, but the latters misunderstanding of the term military secret. Zbornik NOR-a, t. XIV knj. 4, ed. F.Trgo (Belgrade: Vojnoistorijski institut JNA, 1985), 869882. To be precise, it must be said that that cursing ones mother in the Russian language cannot be addressed to a concrete phenomenon, as in Serbian. In addition, the verb rezat (to slit throat) was rarely used during the Second World War in the Red Army in the sense of liquidating political opponents (he could have used the verb perebit or perestreliat to kill a person by shooting). We can suppose that Milaevs companion yelled Eb tvoiu mat! Monarkhisty! Eto vse nuzhno razoruzhit i viazat. (Fuck your mother! Monarchists! They all need to be disarmed and tied up.) This would have been less aggressive, but not less tragic for Keserovi, who expected to be embraced as an ally. The report on Shevaleris interrogation states: etniks have handed over a colonel, his pilot and an American officer to the command of the Red Army. The Soviets handed over Kramer to General Hall,

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the following day (October 15), General Hall from the American mission in Sofia was informed about this event, but the Soviets released Kramer only on October 17 after questioning him at length.545 Keserovi understood what had happened. He went to the bathroom, and through the backdoor, he left the hotel for his Headquarters which promptly withdrew from the city.546 A tragedy was on the verge of taking place. During the pointless negotiations between Milaev and Keserovis representatives, the Red Army soldiers and P