Settling the Score with «enemies of the People » in Međimurje in 1945 Cover Image
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Obračun s «narodnim neprijateljem » u Međimurju 1945.
Settling the Score with «enemies of the People » in Međimurje in 1945

Author(s): Goran Hutinec
Subject(s): History, Military history, Political history, Recent History (1900 till today), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), History of Communism, Historical revisionism
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Summary/Abstract: Many important factors differentiate the fate of Međimurje from other Croatian regions during the course of the Second World War. At the end of the war, Međimurje was territorially attached to the People≫s Republic of Croatia, and the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (Demokratska Federativna Jugoslavija – DFJ). These were not merely administrative-territorial changes, but deeper social changes. The new Yugoslavian state was established on the foundations of the National Liberation Movement (Narodnooslobodilački pokret – NOP), under the firm control of the KPJ (Komunistička partija Jugoslavije – Communist Party of Yugoslavia). One of the key processes which enabled the KPJ to impose its vision of political and social organization was the settling of scores with ≪enemies of the people≫, that is, the punishment of all those who were prominent in cooperating with the Tripartite Pact, and activities directed against the National Liberation Movement. Pronouncing political and military opponents enemies of the people became common practice in the communist-led Partisan movement relatively early on. In this way a blow was dealt to those who held opposite views and rivals who were put outside of the law and often threatened by execution without trial. During April 1945 there was no organized trials of enemies of the people. It appears that there were many cases of liquidation without trial. The documents that have been preserved suggest that the OZN (Odjeljenje za zaštitu naroda – the State Security Policy) prepared a list of individuals to be liquidated even before the liberation of Međimurje. These lists have not been preserved, so that it will never be possible to precisely deteremine the exact number or identity of the victims who suffered this fate at the time. Some of the enemies of the people were amnestied and allowed to go free before the death sentences were carried out. The first wave of amnesties came in the summer, when many who were arrested at the beginning of the liberation were freed. It is very hard to reconstruct the total number of people who paid the price of government repression during its settling of the score with “enemeis of the people.” A massive settling of scores with enemies of the people in Međimurje was concluded in the middle of 1946, even though sporadic cases continued to occur until the middle of 1947.

  • Page Range: 399-414
  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Language: Croatian