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Srđan Cvetković, PhD
Institute for Contemporary History
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia


Vol. XXXVII, 2/2019, pp. 239–256



The paper gives an overview and analysis of the activities of inner enemies in the SFRY in the early seventies as seen by the State Security Service. On the basis of a number of readily available documents, the operations of the security service were analysed against the vast opposition to the communist regime and the dissidents at the time of the strong-arm policy that came out as a reaction to the liberalist reversals during 1966-1972. On the basis of these documents it is possible to see the structure of the enemy numbers, as well as their forms and ways of acting as a carrier of resistance, as well as the repressive responses of the party and the state to these challenges. In the article, we analyse in detail the strength of the inner enemy according to type: anarcho-liberals, nationalists, Ranković followers, liberals, neo-liberals, etc. Their attempt was to create a broad opposition front against the government.

In the early 1970s, records show about 20,000 political prisoners (5,000 in Belgrade alone), including some 1,500 former leaders of the Quisling administrative and military apparatus; about 500 agents of foreign intelligence services – discovered and prosecuted in the post-war years; about 2,000 returnees arrested fleeing the country in connection with hostile operations; about 8,000 returnees. There were also around 10,000 persons, most of who were presumed to be former members of various illegal post-war enemy groups and organizations. More than 500 people were discovered as writers of anti-government pamphlets and other propaganda materials; more than 1,200 hostile members of the clergy, as well as about 20,000 people who maintained connections and supported Western ideology and politics. Also, out of the total number of around 30,000 individuals who appeared in various ways as supporters of the Cominform, close to 5,000 were high-profile figures in society (party and state officials, officers and other members of the JNA, the SUP and the state apparatus). Nearly 4,000 of those who were sentenced and tried for their pro-Cominform activities, about 70% of all suspects were in Belgrade. There were also about 3,000 emigrant returnees from the EE countries who had fled the country in the post-IB period.


KEYWORDS: Serbia, Communism, Inner enemy, Repression, Political prisoners, Secret Police



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