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Nemanja Dević, PhD
Institute for Contemporary History
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

 

SRETEN ŽUJOVIĆ (1899–1976): BIOGRAPHY OF A SERBIAN REVOLUTIONARY

Vol. XLII, 1/2024, pp. 143-166
https://doi.org/10.29362/ist20veka.2024.1.dev.143-166

 

ABSTRACT/RESUME:

Sreten Žujović (1899‒1976) was one of the leading collaborators of Josip Broz from the territory of Serbia in the period before and during the Second World War. The facts from his biography show that the Yugoslav communists prepared for the revolution and civil war well before 1941, and that the Comintern played a crucial role in their training and ideological formation. Through the life of Sreten Žujović, we can also see how factional struggles within the KPJ weakened the influence of the party in Serbia, and that the conflict between Broz and Gorkić was particularly fatal for their organization. It was shown, however, that Broz was ready to accept cadres who previously belonged to another current, so Žujović was included in the Politburo of the Central Committee of the KPJ, and in June 1941. he became the commander of the Main Staff of the NOP detachment in Serbia. One of the most important demonstrations of loyalty, on the other hand, was the constant reckoning with the ‘Greater Serbian bourgeoisie’, the political elite and the bourgeoisie class from among its own people. Furthermore, from 1942, Žujović held various leadership positions in the Partisan movement, showing how political institutions take precedence over military ones. He continued his political career even after the war in 1945, as Tito’s minister, deputy and close associate. But when there was a big turn in the relations between the USSR and Yugoslavia in 1948, this communist official showed that proletarian internationalism can be applied in relations with his compatriots, but not with the “first country of socialism” in which he was educated and formed. Not accepting the course of the conflict with the IB, Sreten Žujović was dismissed and sentenced to prison. With that, he became another symbol: the way in which KPJ treats dissenters from its ranks, but also how rehabilitation is possible after “revision of positions”.

 

KEYWORDS: Sreten Žujović, Josip Broz Tito, KPJ, KPJ Central Committee, World War II, communists, revolution

 

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