"To wish the greatness of his own fatherland, it is to wish evil for his neighbours." (VOLTAIRE, Philosophical Dictionary, article "Fatherland ")

"The policy of the races can lead only to wars of extermination, zoological wars... It is a convenient mask for the imperialism." (Ernest RENAN)

"One understands by nation a grouping of men brought together by the same error on their origin and a common aversion towards their neighbours. " (A. MOUSSET, 1933)








Whereas the fights raged in the former Yugoslavia (1995), in Krajina, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then today (1998) in Kosovo - causing evils without end to the unhappy inhabitants of a region becoming a hell on Earth -, it is useful to give some essential elements on the Yugoslav national question and the exacerbation of the nationalist feeling, in order to give an analysis from a non-national point of view.


The development of the capitalism in the XIXth century and its expansion out of Europe, until it had conquered the whole world, gave to the founding fathers of the Marxism the near certainty that the feelings of being members of national entities were going to finally disappear in the vast world community created by the capitalist dynamics of development.


For Marx and Engels, the tendency towards the unification of the international proletariat, which did not have any interest in the existence of its own "fatherland" or "nation" would lead necessarily the disappearance of the nationalist ideology in the working class. As much the bourgeoisie had interest to cultivate his national being, to culminate in the most aggressive nationalism, as much the proletariat found its authentic human being in the fraternity of the international struggle beyond the borders, against the whole international capital.

Nevertheless, the nationalist feeling developed with an incommensurable force in the Balkan countries in the middle of the XIXth century. From the beginning of the century until 1848, blew up insurrections in Central and Eastern Europe: Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia.

Except for Poland and Hungary, described as "nations" in the "noble" meaning of the term, it was out of the question of sustaining any new formation of nations. The Czech countries, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, etc, were "nations without history". It was impossible for these ones to carrying out their "bourgeois revolution". So these regional entities were condemned to be joined to the great nations, of greater culture, and integrated in a huge economic unit: the world market. Apart from this prospect, they were condemned to be the reactionary instruments of the great semi-feudal powers, acting as gendarmes of the feudal counter-revolution since the treaty of Vienna of 1815. In 1848, the Croats had been used against the insurrection of Hungary; the Czechs had given their support to the monarchist reaction in Austria.

The development of intense revolutionary tendencies in Russia, as from the years 1870, makes clearly obsolete, according to Marx and Engels, any support to small nations, even like dams against the reactionary Empires, namely Habsbourgs’ Austria and the tsarist empire. In a letter to Bernstein (February 22-25, 1882), Engels declares in connection with the Serbian, Montenegrin and Croatian nationalities: "I am enough authoritative to regard as anachronistic the existence in full centre of Europe similar small primitive tribes."

For Bakunin, on the contrary, these "nations without history", as well as Poland oppressed by tsarism, were to be integrated in a vast Slavic Confederation, according to the principle of "the revolutionary Panslavism".

On the one hand, was proclaimed a solidarity - assumed by the European proletariat - around "the historical nation", on the other a solidarity around the "race" or the "ethnic group " (Slavism).

With regard to the Balkan zone, it was not question in any case of formation of a Yugoslav federation. The Yugoslavist "ideology" was put tardily on the way through writings of the Croatian bishop Josef Strossmayer, the propagator of the union of all Slavs of the South. As for Serbia, the ideology best shared was that of the PanSerbism, or unification of all the Serbs dispersed in the Austrian and osmanli Empires. With regard to the Slovenians, their major aspiration was to take part more largely in the management of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


It is difficult to know what did feel the workers of these regions, scattered in the Central empires and Serbia. The backwardness of these countries, included there the most developed (Slovenia and Croatia), was so much that the proletariat was extremely weak and without real social weight. Social democracy did not escape nationalist temptations, neither in Croatia nor even in Serbia, where Marxism was more deeply-rooted. The assertion of an intemationalist nature of the proletariat was the exception, so much was strong the imperialist and militarist ideology. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire was born a Slavist ideology claiming autonomy for Austrian social democracy inside the Gesamtpartei (the whole Austrian Party).

Czech social democracy thus obtained - and the same for the trade-union movement - a complete autonomy. The social democracy of the Empire of Austria-Hungary ends up being transformed into a federation of national parties inside the Gesamtpartei. It is true that it had been already theorised by Karl Kautsky, "the Pope" of the international social democracy. In his Program of 1901, he supported there that socialism would be established as a federation of nations and peoples, on the Swiss model, without considering the possibility of a world community. Well more, in connection with the Balkan countries, like Serbia, he affirmed the need of the "national idea " as precondition of a "unification of the Balkan peoples into a federal State". So felt in the underground the unification of the workers beyond the national frameworks, and the submission of the "Class" principle to the "Nation" principle.

At the same time, Lenin proclaimed the principle of "the right of nations to self-determination and separation", except for the Pan-Russian social democracy. What was good for the peoples was no more good for the Bund, the Armenian, Georgian, Polish and Baltic social-democrats, concerning the question of the organisational autonomy..

This same design was found in the book of Otto Bauer: The Question of nationalities and the social democracy, published in 1907. He proposed to support the blooming of "the peoples without history " and to constitute new nations labelled as "extra-territorial", having auto-administration and cultural autonomy. Thus would blossom all the communities of culture.

Admittedly, these various conceptions gave each other the creditable goal to put an end to national oppression - particularly strong - in the Austro-Hungarian and (especially) Russian Empires. But was it a good solution, at this time when the national conflicts were used as battlefield between antagonistic imperialisms?

Rosa Luxembourg and Anton Pannekoek on the contrary had underlined the counter-revolutionary character of the nation at the era of the imperialism. The first one affirmed that "in the Class Society, there is no nation as homogeneous socio-political entity; on the other hand, in each nation, there are classes with antagonistic interests and rights. "

But, especially, for Pannekoek, the question was not to know whether new Nations States could emerge, but whether the category nation were transitory in the history of humanity. To that, the Dutch theorist answered: "...nation is only transitory structure in the history of the evolution of humanity, one of the many forms of organisation which follow one another or appear simultaneously: tribes, people, empires, Churches, villagian communities, States. Among them, the nation in its specificity is primarily a product of the bourgeois society, and with this last one it will disappear. " And, in a very optimistic way, Pannekoek announced that the proletariat of all the countries was feeling itself "as a single army, as a great Union " forced to be divided into several "battalions which must fight the enemy separately. "

Even the national language, hobbyhorse of all nationalisms, when the dominating imperialisms oppressed the small peoples, could be exceeded in a single international language. It is what Joseph Strasser supported, at the moment even where Zamenhof tightened all its efforts towards the creation of a single language: Esperanto.

In the spirit of the radical Marxists, it was by no means a question of removing by the force - what Stalin did later - linguistic and cultural diversity to establish a new tyranny of everyone dominant single language. The world unity would be done by a slow process of assimilation-integration beyond of the various cultures scattered throughout the world. All the same, the national factor was an explosive factor, carrying all the nationalist hate and all kind of interimperialist conflict.



In the middle of the XIXth century, the "Yugoslav problem" was an historical product of geographical dispersion and distribution of Slavic peoples and tribes within the borders of the empires, which had been constituted by the force of their military expansion since the Middle Age. The Slavic peoples of the South, of Serbo-Croat, Slovenian, Bulgarian languages, were divided between two empires: the Austro-Hungarian Empire (since 1867, double monarchy) whose expansion ran up against that of the Russian, protective empire of "all Slavs", and the Ottoman Empire (the "Sick man of Europe"). The creation of the Hellenic monarchy, the near independence of Romania then of Bulgaria reduced the Ottoman power in Balkans to increasingly small territorial mosaics. Bulgaria emancipated itself and was recognised by the Treaty of Berlin (1878) as independent State; it lived on the hope - quickly fallen through - to swallow Ottoman and Greek Macedonia. Greece, supported by England, dreamed to seize Vardar Macedonia and the Albanian territories. Lastly, Serbia, promoted to the status of principality of the Ottoman Empire, obtained with all the garanties its independence by the same treaty, whose projet manager had been Bismarck.

The unknown factor was precisely that of the Kingdom of Serbia ruled by the Obrenovics’ dinasty, founded at the time of an insurrection against the Turks at the beginning of the century. A long time the Serbs, since the Ottoman conquest in XVth century, had been used as mercenaries in the service of the sultans of the Sublime Door; some, such as in Bosnia-Herzegovina, had been islamised and acquired land privileges. Since the expansion of Austria in Balkans at the end of XVIIth century, the Serbs had been used as soldiers round the military Marches (Krajina or Militärgrenze) against the Turks. The insurrection of the Serbs in the European part of Turkey had let emerge a small principality, founded by an illiterate herdsman: Karadjorje ("the Black George") - it was said that he raised the pigs, activity which was prevalent in this very backward country, whose interest was double : it was inserted like a corner in the empire of the sultan and was characterised by the warlike and even quarrelsome value of its inhabitants.

The backwardness of Serbia was extreme. It was the same for the Ottoman provinces of Macedonia and Bosnia until 1878: 80 % approximately of the population was illiterate. Industry was non-existent, until Austria started to develop slightly an embryo of industry. Heritage of the Ottoman times, the life was extremely hard, and at the time of the military clashes the hate of "the Moslem Turk" resulted in mass massacres, worthy of those practised by the Sublime Door: these last ones thereafter were called."ethnic cleansing". In certain fields, the social life was later than that of the Ottoman Moslem provinces. The situation of the Serb woman was in all respects worse than that of a Moslem woman: the civil code recognised to everyone the right to send in prison his wife for 10 days in case of "disobedience".

Serbia, from 1878 till 1903, remained an advanced pawn of the Austro-Hungarian imperialism looking for extension to the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. By a secret agreement (1881), Serbia renounced to any claim on Bosnia-Herzegovina, to any diplomatic independence, was itself officially recognised in exchange of secret rights on Macedonia, and gained the status of Kingdom. Its exports as its imports depended almost entirely on Austria. The ties with Russia were cut until 1903. Russia, since the beginning of the century, had tried to direct - by forming the Serb officers - the country, but in vein. The dynasty of Belgrade counted on the independent principality of Montenegro, directed by a bishop (vladika), ethnically Serb, tribal and backward, to form an All-Serb unit. Between the both countries lain the Ottoman sandjak (district) of Novi Pazar, especially populated by Turkish and Albanian Moslems, and strategically vital for accessing to the Adriatic Sea.

The coup d’etat of 1903, perpetuated with the assistance of officers (like the famous colonel Apis (1876-1917), founder of the secret organisation the Black Hand, which played an unquestionable part in the attentat of Sarajevo in 1914), ended in the bloody elimination of the Obrenovic dynasty, too favourable to the Austrians. Ascending the throne, the Karadjordjevic break off the former diplomatical orientation. Serbia became an instrument of the policy of Russia and France in Balkans to contain the Central empires. In consideration of which, Serbia under cover of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 could obtain not only the Sandjak but also Macedonia of Vardar. With Montenegro bordering from now on, was born Greater Serbia absorbing many Albanians (Kosovo and Macedonia). This imperialism would not stop there and hoped well to benefit first from a final liquidation of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, if the world war would suddenly burst. But in 1908 the official Austrian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (already militarily occupied since the treaty of Berlin of 1878) by the Empire of Franz-Josef showed that the price to be paid would be expensive, without external, military and ideological supports.

Nevertheless, the Yugoslav ideology - unification of all the Slavs of the South - had become the official ideology of Serbia. Since 1844, the minister Garasanin (1812-1874) proposed a Memorandum (Nasertanje) outlining the unification of Slavs of the South. But this project badly dissimulated pan-Serb ideas: one of the objectives was to fasten Ottoman Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia. Nevertheless, in 1867, the same minister developed a plan of unification with the Slavs of the Habsbourgs’ Empire. In a letter to the bishop Strossmayer, it was underlined that "Serbian and Croatian nationalities formed only one single Yugoslav nationality... "

Serbia, directed by King Peter and his Radical minister Pasic (1845-1926), since 1903, regarded itself not only like the "Piedmont " (in reference to the kingdom of Victor-Emmanuel II and Cavour) of the Serbs, but like the instrument of the unification of all the Slavs of the South, in particular the Croats and Slovenians. But the resemblance to Piedmont stopped there: Cavour’s Piedmont was already an area in process of industrialisation and capitalisation before absorbing the latest zones of the South (the Mezzogiorno) and carrying out the national unity of all the peninsula. Serbia was yet only one country of pig breeders, whose only commercial value was its particularly famous cannon fodder. Croatia and Slovenia, integrated into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, enjoyed a level of cultural and economic development infinitely larger, without enjoying neither a political autonomy nor of a cultural autonomy.

In the Marches of the double monarchy (K und K, the Cacania of Robert Musil in The Man without Qualities), Croatia was opposed to Slovenia.

Slovenia, whose language differed from "Serbo-Croat", did not have any national traditions, and its development, if not the language, attached it to Catholic Austria. The imperial tradition - as the novel of Joseph Roth (The Radetski Marsch) shows it well - found easily soldiers and officers devoted to the person of the Emperor. The Yugoslav "ideology " had little catch, at least until 1908, so much had been strong the germanisation. The Slovenian Populist Party, created in 1905, was in favour of the "trialism" suggested by Franz-Ferdinand, i.e. of an empire directed jointly by the Germans of Austria, Magyars and Slavs of Croatia and Slovenia. An agreement in this direction had been made besides in 1912 between this party and the Croatian Party of the Right (Stranka prava). Nevertheless, a sudden appearance of nationalist feeling was born after 1908, caused by dissatisfaction of the Petty-Bourgeoisie vis-à-vis an extreme germanisation of the higher education. Incidents between Germans and Slovenians revived the firebrands of the national feelings. In 1909, the review Preperod (Rebirth) was created, propagating the Yugoslav feelings, and favourable to Serbia against Austria. But these feelings gained favour in small minorities, and in 1914 Slovenia remained faithful to the crown of Habsbourg.

Very different was the situation in Croatia, which dreamed to annex Istria and Dalmatia, disputed by Italy and formerly commercial jewels of the republic of Venice. Croatia after the Compromise of 1867 enjoyed an apparent autonomy: recognition of the Croatian language in the administration and the schools; recognition of its Parliament, the Sabor; recognition of the Croatian flag and the Croatian armorial bearings. However, Croatia was under the rule of Hungary, since 1868, so much so that a revolt burst in 1871 against the Magyar yoke (this one of the Ban). After a few years of peace where the imperial government had wisdom to name a Croatian Ban, which authorised the freedom of the press, obligatory schooling and the creation of the university of Zagreb (Agram), the situation was again degraded. From 1883 to 1903, the Hungarian Ban Khuen-Héderary practised a magyarisation with excess in the schools and the administration. According to the principle " divide ut imperes" (divide to reign), the Serbs of Croatia were opposed to the Croats.

Meanwhile, since second half of the century the two dominant tendencies of the Croatian political life were constituted: Illyrism, or Yugoslavism, and Croatian nationalism, which was the enemy-brother of the pan-Serbism. After 1848, the attempts of the Croat Ljudevit Gaj (1809-1872) and Serb Vuk Karadic (1787-1864) to create a Yugoslav single "language" failed; but the project of unification between the Slavs of the South was developed by the bishop (then archbishop) of Zagreb Josip Strossmayer (1815-1905). This last one recommended a union of the Slavic peoples of Balkans, Bulgaria included. But this idea will be quickly abandoned in the years 1880.

From now on dominated in Croatia, until the resurgence of the Croatian Yugoslavism during the First World War, the nationalist pan-Croatian ideas. The Party of the Right of Ante Starcevic (1823-1896) - the ideological ancestor of the extremist right-wing party of Ante Pavelic - recommended against the Serbs and within the framework of the Austrian Empire the union of Croatia with Dalmatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slavonia, and Istria, and Slovenia. This party nourished extreme anti-Serb feelings, by affirming that the Serbs were "a race of Slaves, most wretched of the animals", and even "a drudgery for the slaughter-house." On the other hand, the Peasant Party of Stjepan Radic (1871-1928) started to gain firm basis, while being combined with the Czech movement of Masaryk. This party remained hostile to the Magyars but faithful to the Empire. Within this framework, it expressed the imperialist appetites of the pan-Croatism. In 1908, Radic proclaimed "the Croatian rights on Bosnia-Herzegovina."

However, the idea of a Serbo-Croatian union was done in Croatia even with the formation of the Croat-Serb coalition of 1905. One of its chiefs was the journalist Frano Supilo (1870-1917) of Dubrovnik, who dreamed of a union with Serbia, Croatia remaining autonomous; the other, Svetozar Pribicevic (1875-1936), in relation to Belgrade, wished the union with Serbia. The Croat-Serb coalition obtained the majority in the Sabor in all the elections, from 1906 until the war, except in 1911. To subdue this alliance, the Austrian government named the Magyar Rauch, who organised in 1908 political lawsuits, which aimed especially Serbia. The government did not hesitate to protect an extreme Croatian tendency, organised around the movement Hrvatsvo (Croacity), which fomented anti-Serb pogroms, preceding the terrorist violence of the Ustasha movement.

But, the Croatian political life was not very active. The country remained agricultural, even if misery had pushed to emigrate 230.000 peasants, between 1900 and 1914, towards Americas. Only 50.000 people enjoyed the voting rights in 1906; 200.000 after the electoral reform of 1910. I.e., expressed as a percentage, infinitely less than in Serbia, however much more agricultural and late. The working class was developed, more than in Serbia certainly, but not sufficiently to be by itself a factor in the political balance. The general strikes of 1905-1906 in the railroads and docks would not be able to change an atmosphere deeply marked by agrarian and clerical nationalism.

Serbia, on the other hand, proclaimed itself more progressive with the anticlerical ideology of the Radical Party in power. That could not hide its own imperialist appetite based on an oppressive militarist infrastructure, involving instability in the south of Balkans. When Serbia obtained in 1913 a part of Ottoman Macedonia, whose skins were divided with Greece and Bulgaria, it became a thorny problem, which will create for itself the Macedonian problem. In annexed Macedonia of Vardar, the Bulgarian-speaking peasants continued their actions of guerrilla, which they had already started since the years 1870 against the Turks, with the assistance of the Bulgarian komitadjis and the Greek andartes (irregular troups).

In second place, frightening problem appeared: the Albanian question in Kosovo annexed by Serbia. Some Serbian leaders recommend already "ethnic cleansing". When revolts burst in autumn 1913, the Serbian army answered it by true massacres. On order of the King Peter, the prisoners were slaughtered with blows of bludgeon, per preoccupation of "economy"... Trotsky, who was war correspondent for a Ukrainian newspaper and denounced in his articles the Serb methods of "cleansing", was prohibited of staying in Serbia. But, in a way quite as clear, the Serb socialist leader Tucovic denounced the crimes of Serbia, whose army transformed the villages - so-called "primitive" - into stakes: "The Serb ruling class inaugurated its annals, those of the murder and the horror colonial; it can take place in the rows of the English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian ruling classes. "

From now on, Macedonia like Kosovo (called Serbia of the South) would be constantly under control of the Serb army. The royal Government thought to find the final solution by the installation of Serb settlers. This policy will be pursued during the reign of the King Alexander, in the Twenties.

The third problem, which caused direct conflict between Serbia and Austria since 1908, was that of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from which the half of the population was Serb, and which was proclaimed by the Serb Irredentists "irredeemable Land". The old Turkish province, directed by great landowners and Slavic islamised spahis, was extremely backward and almost hardly coming out of "agrarian" feudalism. Serfdom still remained and enslaved the Serb peasants (kmets) who must pay a tithe (trecina) to their Moslem lords. Serfdom will remain until 1919. In spite of a beginning of industrialisation, due to the Austrian presence, especially for strategic reasons and to exploit the raw materials, the population lived in an extreme poverty: approximately 90 % of the inhabitants were illiterate, and as in Macedonia, the use of the swing-plough prevailed in the campaigns. Bosnia was the object of contention between Serbia, which wanted to annex it, and the Croatian leaders who also hoped to go in the same way, but within the Austrian Empire. Little before the war, this area was the field of expansion of the terrorism (movement Malada Serbija) handled by Belgrade and the Black Hand of the colonel Apis. Sarajevo, the capital of the new province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, did know that its name was fated to obtain a disastrous world reputation...

When the war bursted, one can say that nationalism developed fully - except for Slovenia more or less germanised and integrated into the Empire - in all the Balkans, and in each branch of the Slavs of the South: Serbs, Croatians, Macedonians, Montenegrins. After the war of 1912, which let rise an Albanian nation, detached of the Ottoman Empire and supported by Austria, the Albanian question became permanent data of the Yugoslavia until our days.


The defeat of the Habsburgs’ Empire and the fear of the imperialist appetites of Italy - obtaining in 1915, by a secret treaty Dalmatia and Istria - will force the Croatian, Slovenian and Serb bourgeoisies, to be joined under the auspices of the winners of the Entente. In second place, Serbia which, in Balkans, and in spite of its disastrous defeat, was brought - by its military force - to be used as pawn of the winners, in particular France. Lastly, from the beginning of the war, the plan of the Entente to dismember Austria-Hungary had been lying on paper. "Slavic", Croatian and Slovenian nations, and their alien populations (Germans, Hungarians) would be under thumb of Serbia, which would carry out its dream of a Greater Serbia. The government of Pasic, by the Nis declaration in December 1914, had announced its goal of war: the creation of the Serb Piedmont, integrating Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina into a Yugoslav kingdom ruled by the Karadjordjevic dynasty.

For significant fractions of the Dalmatian and Croatian bourgeoisie, it became clear during the war, that the Empire would be dismembered. A certain number of exiled Croatian politicians had formed since 1914 "a Croatian Committee". This last one installed in Paris and London proclaimed itself "Yugoslav Committee" representing all the Slavic nations of the Empire. The Italian claims on Dalmatia and Istria speeded up the matter. Soon, at the instigation of the Entente’s powers, an alliance wass tied between the Yugoslav Committee and the Serb Prime Minister Pasic (in exile in Corfu). A Joint Declaration was signed on July 20, 1917 in the Greek Island of Corfu, which proclaimed the birth of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, whose monarch of the Karadjordjevic dynasty would be the "guarantee" of his democratic and parliamentarian constitution.

During this period, the Croatian and Slovenian population was completely alien to these diplomatic agreements established in the slides. The Croatian and Slovenian soldiers fought against the Serb, Russian and Italian soldiers without really stumbling. A Croat-Slovenian, called Josip Broz, fought as warrant officer under the Austrian uniform, before being made prisoner by the Russians in 1915. Whole the population followed the clerical and peasant parties, which sustained the war against Serbia. With the downstream of the Vatican, the archbishop of Zagreb, his Grace Bauer, declared in August 1914 that the war against Serbia was "a holy war". In 1916, when the old emperor Franz-Josef died, the deputy Radic, chief of the Peasant Party, obtained from the Croatian Sabor (elected assembly) the erection of one monument to honour his "Imperial Highness". In 1917 still, just before the collapse of the Empire, the abbot Anton Korosec (1883-1939), leader of the Slovenian clerical party, proclaimed his fidelity in the House of Habsbourg.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs were victims of multiple persecutions and several thousands of them died in Austrian concentration camps, as Moslems as Croats supported the Imperial monarchy. Many was useful in the militia called Schutzkorps (Troops of protection). It is true that in 1917 the Serb minister Protic (1857-1923) recommended to solve the "Moslem problem" by conversions and massacres...

In fact, the formation of the new Kingdom in November-December 1918 was done under the crook of the French army of Franchet d’Esperey. The Serb army undertook to occupy Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia, while the Italian army occupied Dalmatia and Istria. Everywhere grew "spontaneous" Yugoslav committees, from Novi Sad to Sarajevo, composed of Serb monarchists, who made act of allegiance to the dynasty, while calling upon the army, under pretext of preserving peace, whereas multiplied military and social revolts, encouraged by the Russian and German revolutions. With the call of an puppet assembly, the king of Montenegro (proclaimed such since 1910) was deposited, and Montenegro was purely and simply annexed to Serbia. The plans of the victorious imperialisms were carried out.

The ruling classes of Croatia and Slovenia had to give in the innovation of the Yugoslav fact; they were filled with enthusiasm sometimes for the new unity of the Slavs of the South vis-à-vis Italy and the Germans of Austria. Only the Peasant party of Radic, which claimed a neutral Croatian "republic" and the extremists of the Frankist Party refused the new State of the Serbs, Slovenians and Croats. Among partisans of the "Yugoslavism", for whose this last one was opposite of Serbism, the disenchantment was deep.

On the one hand, was born Greater Serbia, with Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, to which Bosnia-Herzegovina was added, very poor and underdeveloped, whose force was the military value of its inhabitants, without any real industrial base, and on the other hand, Croatian and (especially) Slovenian areas much more developed, whose taxes were used to maintain the domination of Belgrade. Except in Slovenia where the Agreement of 1918 was far from being negative, in Croatia, in Hungarian and German Vojvodin rose the dissatisfaction of the local bourgeoisie, hostile to the Serb monarchy of Belgrade. Everywhere the local government of the federation was under control of the Serb army and the gendarmerie. The appointed Serb officials of Belgrade were omnipresent. And when the situation became too explosive, as in Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, monarchy did not hesitate to use the Chetniks to spread terror, as well in the cities against the workers as in the campaigns against the peasants.

The monarchical government thus cumulated social repression against the workers and the Communists, who were put out the law since 1921, and the national oppression exerted especially against the Croatian peasants and the Moslems of Kosovo and Macedonia. The Serb Chetniks in 1918 devoted to murder Bosnian Moslems. In 1920, an insurrection of Croatian peasants was crushed by the royal army. In Kosovo, where the Albanians were forbidden from municipal functions, the government of Belgrade put thousands of families to forced emigration towards Turkey. Serb settlers were installed in Kosovo and in Macedonia on "the new soils". All that, far from radicalising a working population too very few to have a social impact, made the bed of all kinds of nationalist extremism.

Croatia, at the time of the inter-war period, distinguished by constant opposition to the Serb monarchist regime. The Peasant party of Stjepan Radic, electorally largely majority party, represented the Republican bourgeois and petty-bourgeois classes. Concurrently to him, remained the old nationalist party of Starcevic (also called Frankist, of the name of one of his ideologists), which dreamed of a return in power of the Habsburgs. All the policy of Radic was in fact to waver constantly between a compromise with monarchy - he became Minister for the education of the Kingdom in 1925 - and a search for external alliances, such that one, temporary, with the Soviet Union (his party adhered to the Krestintern, the Muscovite Peasants’ International). The attempt, which cost him the life in 1928 (in middle of the Parliament), marked the end of a relative stability. The Peasant party directed by Macek (1879-1964) tied secret bonds with fascist Italy; the Ustasha party which was born in 1929, under the direction of the lawyer Ante Pavelic, acted in secret connection with the party of Macek. The Ustashe terrorists were armed and trained by Horthy’s Hungary, then by Mussolini’s Italy. The success of the attempt of October 1934, in Marseilles, where perished King Alexander, was due to the logistics that provided the fascist agents. Croatia, like besides Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo, was a goal of the fascist expansionism in Balkans. Stalinist Russia, some time in the Thirties, by the intermediary of the Yugoslav Communist Party, flirted with the Ustashe.

In 1929, Alexander of Yugoslavia believed well, to camouflage the internal confrontations and the Serb domination, to re-elect the State Yugoslavia, by dividing the kingdom into non-national Banovinas (areas). The new Constitution royally granted in 1931 proclaimed that existed hereafter only one single language: the Serb-Croat-Slovenian one (sic). The suppression of the nationality parties, so the Slovenian and Croatian catholic parties, the Moslem party - except the parties favourable to the king in Serbia and the Chetnik militia - let reinforce the political crisis and dislocate the political coalition, which by the participation of Bosnian Moslem and Slovenian Catholic leaders had ruled the Kingdom besides the Serb monarchist Radical Party. There was no more relief valve to control the centrifugal tendencies within the local bourgeoisies.

The Manchester Guardian of September 20, 1929 summarised the situation in the kingdom, great friend of the French and British democracies, thus: "All the country is subjected to the state of war. One can consider Yugoslavia as a cemetery... the reign of the army rabble is absolute. The prisons abound... the country is the paradise of the police officers, spies, informers and slanderers. This dictatorship is that of the sabre and the revolver... "

The assassination of King Alexander will not change anything in the confrontation between the Serb and Croatian bourgeoisies. Vis-à-vis the imperialist appetites of Italy and Germany, the Regent Paul, anglophile, was obliged to grant in August 1939 autonomy to Croatia (Sporazum, or Agreement between the Serb Cvetkovic and Macek), which extended from now on from Slavonia to Dalmatia and Herzegovina. Vladko Macek, who some time maintained secret relations with Mussolini and the Count Ciano, became vice-president of the Royal Council of Yugoslavia.

But, it was already too late. Yugoslavia engaged on the side of England, after some hesitation of the government of Belgrade in favour of Nazi Germany, by a military coup d’etat. In April 1941, Yugoslavia was easily occupied by Germany and Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria. It was at once dismembered: Slovenia was divided between Italy and Germany. Hungary and Romania seized Vojvodina, Bulgaria Macedonia, and Italian Albania Kosovo. Montenegro became with Dalmatia integral part of the kingdom of Italy. The fascist and pro-Nazi government of Pavelic settled at once in Zagreb, created a Croatian " independent " State (NDH), which started a pitiless civil war against the Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia. On the other hand, the Serb Chetniks were hardly obstructed to perpetrate massacres against the Croatian or Albanian peasants. Yugoslavia became a huge slaughterhouse of men: perhaps a million inhabitants perished of the inter-ethnical fights during the war. The Stalinist partisans of Tito will benefit from the situation while setting up interior army fighting for the Western and Soviet Allied, and while claiming themselves the only force, truly "Yugoslav", able to stop the ethnical massacres.


Socialism in Balkans knew particularly glorious hours before the First World War, at the time of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, when it called to fraternisation the Greek, Bulgarian, Serb, Montenegrin, Rumanian and Turkish armies which were slaughtering one another. Internationalism was unambiguous by denouncing as well the hand of the great imperialisms, which armed and directed the officers of each army that the expansionist claims of all these small States ready to tear off some pieces of territory at the price of the massacre of their own cannon fodder.

In October 1912, Socialists of Turkey and Balkans addressed a Proclamation against the war:

"... We Socialists of the Balkan countries as well of the Middle East that the war reaches more directly, we will not let ourselves involve in the chauvinistic wave. We more vigorously raise still our voice against the war and we invite the Working and Peasant masses with all the sincere democrats to join us to oppose to the policy of bloody violence, which trails behind them the most disastrous consequences, our design of international solidarity. The proletarians of Balkans do not have anything to gain with any adventure, whose triumph will also ly on heaps of corpses and ruins, to still yield stronger and more arrogant militarism, bureaucracy, political reaction and financial speculation with their usual procession of heavy taxes and increase of the life coasts, exploitation and major misery. "

The Balkan Socialists concluded in a striking way that there was no national solution to await these criminal wars: "Bourgeoisie and nationalism are impotent to constitute a true and durable national unity. What will have been created by the war could be destroyed by another war... "

Socialism in the Balkan countries developed quickly in reaction against the wars, which unceasingly bled the populations since 1912. The Balkan wars costed the life nearly 500.000 soldiers of any edge. The visible outcome of the First World War was the destruction of the third of the Serb population, of the quarter of that one of Montenegro, finally of the fifth of that of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Before 1914, the idea of a Balkan federation - although more in the federalist Kautskyist tradition that in the Marxist tradition - had developed in all the Balkan socialist parties: Greek, Serb, Bulgarian, and Rumanian. The Bulgarian-Rumanian Christian Racovski had been the archictect of this Federation. In 1915, these parties addressed a proclamation "to the working classes and to the peoples of Balkans". Racovski at the time of a conference in Bucharest affirmed that the national State was "without future "in whole Central and Eastern Europe. Such a State, which would inevitably annex other nationalities, could be only "tyrannical State", "torn by the internal fights and threatened by external wars". The analysis was premonitory.

The history of socialism in this explosive area of Balkans, and among principal protagonists, thus was already well established in 1914: social democrat party of Croatia (1894), Slovenia (1896), Serbia (1903), Dalmatia (1903) and Bosnia (1909). The electoral law, and especially the weak development of the proletariat, reduced the parliamentary and political influence of the social democracy to nothing, although this one exerted an indisputable influence on the poor farmers community.

The division on crucial questions, like the national question, was notable. With the conference of Ljubljana (Laibach) of the Yugoslav Socialists (November 1909), the delegates had advocated the unification of the Southern Slavs inside reformed Austria-Hungary. On the other hand, the Serb Socialists decided for a republican Balkan Federation as barrier against the Russian and Austrian expansion. They decided for an inclusion of Macedonia and Turkey into this federation.

Facing directly to the Balkan wars, the Serb Socialists showed a clear anti-war attitude, although - irony of the history-, two leaders (Tucovic, the secretary of the party, and Topalovic, an intellectual) were decorated with the gold military Cross for their martial qualities... But, especially, the Serb Socialists were distinguished in 1914 by their refusal - in spite of the attack of Austria-Hungary - to vote the war credits. But, there it was no question of refusing the orders or to fraternise with the working and peasant soldiers of the Austrian-Hungarian army.

On the opposite side, precisely, the Slovenian and Croatian social democrats had not to test their internationalism, because of the closing of the Parliament in Vienna from 1914 to 1916. There was in any case only very little refusal to fight on behalf of the Slovenian and Croatian soldiers who fought the Serb army. A warrant officer illustrated himself under the Habsbourgs uniform, before being made prisoner by the Russians: Josip Broz, known under the pseudonyms of Walter, Titus, then Tito.

When was proclaimed in Corfu the anticipated starting of Yugoslavia, the social democrats on the two sides of the front decided for. It is especially remarkable that, with the favour of the Russian revolution and among the 100.000 Southern Slavic prisoners in Russia, a strong minority joined the Bolsheviks. Its organ was far away from any nationalist concern; its title was Svetska Revolucija : "World revolution", and was published in Serbo-Croat, Slovenian and Bulgarian languages.

After the creation of the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on December first, 1918, the fusion of all the social-democrat components in a unified party of Bolshevik model was done not without trouble. On the one side, the social democrat party of Croatia, under the reformist direction of Korac (1877-1941), rejected the possibility of future revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe where the working class was more educated. Under these conditions, the "Marxists" must concentrate all their activity on the introduction of the democracy and possible reforms. In December 1918, Korac became Minister of the first Yugoslav government.

But, with the formation of Yugoslavia and especially the impact of the Russian revolution, the trend towards unification was stronger than the reformist and separatist tendencies. In January 1919, the unification conference excluded the Croatian social-democrats and formed a Workers Socialist Party of Yugoslavia, of the same tendency than the Serb Socialists: the congress granted little importance to the national question, simply expressing the idea of one single national State with self-governed regional units.

When finally the Yugoslav Communist Party by the congress of Vukovar in June 1920 was formed, the "leftist" centralists dominated the party. The Croatian centrists asked that the party would be federalised on the basis of the old regional units. But they did not succeed in, and some were expelled of the party. Until 1921, the new party seemed to await the arrival of a pure workers’ revolution, without compromise with any kind of "bourgeois nationalism". But, in 1921, the party, after having denounced the Croatian Peasant party as clerical and ultra-nationalist, contacted its chief Radic.

Meanwhile, Comintern changed and was totally aligned on the foreign policy of the Russian State. Until 1920, it had been question of "world revolution" and not of "European" or "American" revolution, and even less of "Balkan revolution". The idea of a Federation of socialist States was regarded as a social democrat idea. After the Second congress of the Comintern, the old idea (since 1910) of a Balkan federation started again; with Yugoslavia in its centre. In fact, the Balkan communist federation was only puppet in the hands of the Bulgarian Communists.

After the setting out the law of the Yugoslavian CP in 1921, the Comintern insisted (rightly besides) on the Greater-Serb character of the new State, at the service of France and England, and nest of counter-revolution, since an important mass of soldiers of the Russian white army had taken refuge there, to put itself at once at the service of king Alexander.

In 1922, the Comintern decided to create a special subcommittee for Yugoslavia. It estimated that the problems in the party were "of a personal nature". But, the Yugoslavian CP Conference in Vienna in May 1923 showed how seriously the national question was poisoning the party. The right to "self-determination" was proclaimed; as well as the need for co-operating with the Croatian Peasant party of Radic. The discussion on "the national question", which touched the question of the Croatian, Slovenian, Macedonian autonomy, was launched in the legal party which had taken the name of Independent Workers Party of Yugoslavia. Radnik-Delavec in Belgrade and the weekly paper Borba of Zagreb initiated the debate. The Croatian Communist Ciliga played a decisive part in the imposition of the positions of the Comintern.

The first to enter the debate on the "tribal" character of the fight between the Serb, Slovenian and Croatian bourgeoisies, was the Serb Communist Pavle Pavlovic (1886-1971), who stressed that the national question was a "mirage": "The Serb bourgeoisie had forced the unification; the Slovenian and Croatian bourgeoisies had artificially underlined national differences." (This analysis is tragically current...) Nevertheless, the party should support, in a Leninist way, the right to the secession; this right should however be carried out by the revolution and not by creating artificially "ethnic blocks".

But in August of this year 1923, Ante Ciliga placed himself on a resolutely national ground. He reproached the Serb communists for underestimating the revolutionary action of the national liberation movements; Yugoslavia was "an necessary evil". The federalism was "the single solution"; the CP should even require that the army would be reorganised according to ethnic borders’. Another Croat, August Cesarec, asked the CP. to support a confederation and even Croatian secession if the party of Radic came to the power.

The result was that in 1924 the Yugoslavian CP not only decided for the autonomy of areas, like Croatia, but also preached the political co-operation with Radic. The Comintern, which sought allies in the national Peasant parties and had founded the Krestintern, invited Radic to join Krestintern, and consequently asked to the CP to collaborate with him. In the name of the fight against the Great-Serb chauvinism, the Comintern openly required collaboration with nationalist bourgeois parties, to support the penetration of the Russian State in Balkans.

This frontist tactics of the Comintern was endorsed by his VIth congress in 1928. It affirmed a separatist solution; the Yugoslav State was to be destroyed. IVth Congress of the CP of Yugoslavia held in Dresden little after calling to a secession of Croatia, of Macedonia, of Slovenia, claimed separate States. Kosovo was to be linked up with "independent and unified" Albania. The nationalist and separatist trends went so far the CP created in 1932 a Croatian national revolutionary Movement to extend the communist "influence" among the Croatian peasants. Having entered its "third period", putschist, the CP supported any insurrectional "act" and went until collaborating with the Ustashe, especially in prison, as Djilas (1911-1995) in his Memories brings it back. But a new turning point, in 1935 with the policy of the Popular Fronts, changed this tactics.

The turning point of the Popular Fronts in 1935-1938 directed against Italy and Germany left the USSR to combine with the Western democracies, France and Great Britain. On its southern flank, Russia sought a strong Yugoslavia, and thus centralised around Serbia, whereas Italy openly encouraged the Croatian secession. Day after day in the CP disappeared the claim for separate Croatian, Macedonian, Slovenian States... A the plenary meeting of the Central committee of the Yugoslavian CP held in Split in June 1935, it was proclaimed - under the impulse of Stalin and Dimitrov - that any attempt at separation of any nationhood was dangerous for Yugoslavia, within the framework of the antifascist front. That did not prevent the party from seeking the co-operation with the party of Macek, and even from making entrism there "to transform it into a true "national-revolutionary" movement". To prove that the Yugoslavian CP was interested in the Croatian question, it was created a Communist Party of Croatia in August 1937 "to fight for the national Liberation of the Croatian people". In the same way, a Slovenian Communist Party was made up

That lasted few months. Tito since 1939 reorganised the party in Croatia and Dalmatia, under cover of anti-revisionism. In 1940, a resolution of the Croatian CP noted that the bursting of the imperialist war had done impossible the co-operation with the Peasant party. The Popular Front had lived in Croatia.

It is true that before the war the influence of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia had considerably extended, especially among the students and intellectuals. In spite of the 800 Yugoslav Communists shot by Stalin in the USSR, the Party counted 12.000 members; young people flowed to the communist Youth, which counted 30.000 members. The Titoist Communism became an essential factor of the political life.

When Yugoslavia of the Regent Paul was very nearly to swing over to the German side in March 1941, the Yugoslavian CP launched a watchword against the capitulation with the assistance of the USSR: it supported the military coup of the General Simovic in favour of the Allies. When Germany attacked Yugoslavia on all borders, the party took part in defence of the "fatherland" and proclaimed the need for working class of a "free and fraternal unity". It meaned the abandonment of the former secessionist watchwords. Moreover, a few weeks later, the attack of Germany against Russia pushed it to proclaim the "Slavic common Front" against the Nazi enemy, which could only forecast the formation of a block of people’s democracies put into orbit around the USSR.


The attack of Germany in April 1941 had left to a true disaster. Yugoslavia was completely dismembered. The creation of the Croatian Independent State (NDH) including Bosnia-Herzegovina, but not Dalmatia given by Pavelic to Mussolini - resulted in the massacre of a few hundreds of thousands of Serb victims. The Jews and the Gypsies were practically exterminated. Where the Chetnik militia remained (Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia-Slavonia) they were too massacres perpetuated against Croatian or Moslem peasants. The Albanians of Kosovo avenged on the Serbs, who did not mind massacring Albanians. The Macedonians were the victims of slaughters of the Bulgarian army of occupation, which acted as well against the Greeks in Aegean Macedonia. The Hungarians occupying Vojvodina entered the dance while massacring in their turn Serbs. The Germans of Banat were used - under the threat or of their full will - as auxiliaries of the German army in the fight against the partisans (Prinz Eugen division).

When the partisans’ war began, run by the troops of Tito, but also those of the royalist Serb Mihailovic, began a war without pity, where all tried to outdo each other in slaughter. When the German army underwent losses due to the guerrilla , 100 men or women or children were shot for a killed German soldier, even 50 for each Wehrmacht’s casualty.

The force of Tito was his centralist will, above the "ethnic groups", to reconstitute the pieces of a dislocated unity. The first troops of partisans were initially, in an obvious way, the Serbs of Bosnia and Croatia, who underwent the massacres by the Ustashe of Pavelic, massacres to which even Catholic priests contributed fanatically, in the name of the "fight against orthodoxy". The occupation of Montenegro by Italy let emerge at once troops of partisans (30.000) as of July 1941.

At the beginning of the insurrection proclaimed by the Yugoslavian CP against Germany, only 10 % of the units of partisans were Croatian and "Moslem". Their number went up to 25 % at the end of the war, which means that an overwhelming majority of the partisans was Serb and Montenegrin, and to a small extent Slovenian. Moreover, in certain areas of Bosnia, the Tito’s partisans did not hesitate to practise anti-Croat and anti-Moslem pogroms, like the Chetniks. But that lasted a short time: Tito had adopted a Yugoslavist strategy, including at the expense of the Serb ones.

In Croatian Dalmatia, occupied by Italy, the partisans had many recruits. As from 1943, when the defeat of Germany became obvious - Italy broke down the same year - entire detachments of Croatian Ustashe and Serbian Chetniks passed with weapons and luggage in the ranks of the Titoist partisans.

In Slovenia, on the other hand, cut up by Italy and Germany, the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna Fronta) was formed with Communists and Catholics, gaining success especially in the campaigns. In 1942, a third of the population of Ljubljana was regularly in prison or interned. After the fall of Fascism in 1943, and thanks to huge stocks of weapons left by the soldiers of the Duce, the Slovenian partisans, associated with the Italian antifascist partisans, largely dominated Southern Slovenia. The Slovenian and Croatian "national-Communists" felt themselves enough "Yugoslavian" to demand - including against the Italian Togliatti’s communist guerrillas -, the "irredent" lands (Trieste and Venezia Giuliana; Istria and Dalmatia) , which belonged to Italy since 1918.

In Macedonia, the bulgarisation pushed a significant number of peasants in the ranks of the partisans. It is symptomatic to note, source of conflicts between the so-called "socialist" States of the post-war period, that the Bulgarian Communist Party of Dimitrov supported the position of his Bourgeoisie, according to which Macedonia was Bulgarian. The secretary of the provincial committee, Satorov, required that the Serb Communists should leave Macedonia.

In Serbia even, the partisans were divided between Titoists and Monarchists, who killed each other, and even denounced each other mutually to the Nazi occupant.

In Kosovo, annexed to Greater Albania, dominated by Italy, it was the hour of revenge against the Serb yoke. More than 70.000 of them had to leave the area, the other ones were thrown in concentration camps or constrained to forced work. The instruction was given in the schools exclusively in Albanian. Concerning the Titoist partisans, Serbs and Montenegrins, the attitude of the population was frankly hostile. To neutralise this active hostility, the conference of the People’s Liberation Committee of Kosovo and Metohidja (Titoist) promised, at the beginning of January 1944, the right to self-determination, including "the right to the secession ", for the population of Kosovo. This promise was hardly held at the end of the war...

Vis-à-vis all these difficulties, the help of Churchill and the Americans in favour of the Tito’s partisans was decisive as from 1943. Churchill threw in the oubliettes his royalist friends to the profit of Tito. This last one, after being considered with mistrust by Stalin, who saw in the Yugoslav CP "a den of Trotskyists", became his best disciple in 1944-1945. Stalin even painted in glowing colors the possible acquisition of Albania as Yugoslav State. Stalin, nevertheless, never put all his eggs in the same basket: he made proposals of alliance to Pavelic, that this last should accept the legalisation of the Communist Party, if the British would unload in Dalmatia. In this case, as Djilas wrote it, the partisans of Tito were ready to conclude a pact with the Germans and Pavelic.

The huge success of Tito and the partisans was due to the fact that they did not appear in the Serb Communist uniform, but such as Yugoslavian Communists seeking at all costs to put an end to the civil war; in the Tito’s troops each Yugoslav component was present. Tito at least gained "unitarian" prestige in Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dalmatia and Slovenia. Even in Pavelic’s Croatia, the Tito’s organisation developed in all the social strata, in the administration, and even within the Ustasha government, as from 1943.

The Titoist army was distinguished by no recruiting on the basis of the Croatian, Slovenian or Serbian nationalism, but on that of Yugoslav nationalism, even if this nationalism was camouflaged behind a Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist phraseology with the creation of "proletarian brigades" wearing badge with the sickle and hammer. To prove his "internationalism", the Montenegrin communist Djilas, who became the most irrepressible adversary of Stalin after 1948, even asked that Montenegro would be attached to the USSR... In 1942, the Titoist Army of national Liberation counted 150.000 soldiers. It will count 300.000 in 1943 of them, after Stalingrad, and more than 400.000 in 1945.

But, in Slovenia and Croatia, in May 1945, the massacre of 50.000 supposed Ustashe having taken refuge in Austria in Bleiburg and given to the partisans by the British troops showed the limits of this unitarian policy. As the French Consul in Zagreb noted it, in a report to Georges Bidault, Minister for the Foreign Affairs, in May 1945, the population of Zagreb made an icy reception to the "Yugoslav" troops. In August 1945, the same consul, André Gaillard, noted that an "incredible proportion of the population of Zagreb and cities or villages of Croatia made a stay more or less prolonged in the prisons or the camps."

In fact, in the new Yugoslav State created in 1945, the weight of the Serb, and to a lesser extent of the Slovenians, Montenegrins and Macedonians was crushing. The Croatian Communists, in clerical Croatia dedicated to the opposition, had short allowance in the State, for the sharing out of the posts. The case of Andrija Hebrang, Croatian, communist pro-Cominform after 1948, and "dead in prison " is very significant.


However, proclaimed on November 23, 1945, the Federal people’s Republic of Yugoslavia inaugurated a typically Stalinist regime (voted by plebiscite, by a single list and by approximately 90 % of the voices), strongly centralised dictatorship, but where the Russian "liberators" left the territory. Beside the three republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia of the former monarchist Yugoslavia, conglomerated Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, which belonged to Serbia. The two provinces of Kosovo (Albanian) and Vojvodina (with a strong Hungarian minority) acquired an autonomy status. Croatia lost Bosnia-Herzegovina, which it had completely annexed since 1941.

From a purely nationalist point of view, the two " losers " of the new "socialist" Yugoslavia were Serbia and Croatia. The Titoist Regime - especially after the rupture of 1948 with Stalin - was built like Stalinist State and centralised by Serbia. Especially under the reign of the Serb chief of the secret police Aleksandar Rankovic, majority of the executives of the federal State, in the army and the administration, was Serb. The Yugoslavian CP especially recruited its officers among the Serbs of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, and the Montenegrins (such as Djilas), even if its " theorists " were Slovenian (Kidric, Kardelj).

The brutal forms of Serb domination thus did not disappear under Aleksandar Rankovic (1909-1982), chief of the highly feared political police OZNA (later UDBA). From 1945 to 1965, Albanian Kosovo was practically put in state of siege, especially when Enver Hodja, the Albanian dictator, had chosen the camp of Stalin against Tito. In Vojvodina, the army "purified" ethnically: more than 400.000 Germans were expelled from their grounds and finally from Yugoslavia, although there were German partisans (Thälmann brigade) in the Tito’s arrmy. By a hair’s breadth the Hungarians did undergo the same fate.

The Titoist regime, to build an "ethnically Yugoslav"country, let the "republics" practise such a ethnic cleansing. In 1945 in Slovenia and in Croatian Istria thousands of Italians were victims of this policy, that some too liberally allotted to Serbs only, by forgetting the Ustashe, then the Croatian and Slovenian partisans. Italian bodies were precipitated in dolines (foibe) (infoibati, to speak Italian). Tens of thousands had to leave their houses and grounds before 1954, date of the regulation of the conflict about Trieste.

The force of the Titoist regime after 1948, was, however, to appear "keeping clear of the fray of the Yugoslav peoples" and the less evil remedy to heal the interethnic massacres of the Second World War. The Stalin’s attempts to exploit national cleavages failed. Andrija Hebrang, the Croatian communist chief, who wished autonomy for Croatia inside the Stalinist block, remained insulated. Macedonia, to which Tito had given the status of republic, by fear of being swallowed by Bulgaria remained faithful to the Regime. For the Serb communist apparatus, it appeared also too dangerous - in spite of the old ties with Russian imperialism - to choose Stalin and Cominform against the schismatic Tito. The Stalinian promise to grant independence to Croatia, to give Vojvodina to Hungary, to let Kosovo annexed by Albania, weighed like Damocles sword above the Yugoslav Federal State.

Therefore the threats of an intervention of the Russian Red Army and people’s democracies, real until 1951, remained vain. Especially, from 1950 to 1954, the USA granted Tito a billion dollar, of which the half out of weapons. In addition, a military alliance with Greece and Turkey ("Balkan Pact"), in August 1954, members of NATO, constituted a dissuasive factor for Russia and its satellites. After 1955, Tito, who played the card of non-alignment, could even secure Russian loans, after the heating of the relations with the USSR, which lasted until the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

After having tested from 1948 to 1953 the forced collectivisation of the campaigns (co-operative or zadrougas), to ensure an agricultural independence and an economic takeoff by the proletarisation of the peasants, Yugoslav self-management attracted Western capital and made it possible the companies to openly make profit, which was to be transferred in Belgrade and to be distributed in the most underdeveloped areas of the Federation.

For strategic reasons, and by fear of an invasion by the Red Army and "countries brothers ", extraction and armament industries were developed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Expensive road and railway infrastructures were installed in backward areas: such as Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Until the Sixties, it existed a real consensus around the Yugoslav State of Tito. The repercussions of tourism, the safety valve of the emigration, the economic development gave an impression of prosperity and stability, whereas the questions of nationality slipped in the second plan. It was the apogee of the Titoist "yougoslavism". Tito in 1960 believed good to declare: "... one does not specify any more in Yugoslavia if somebody is Serb, Croatian or national of another nationality. Today in our country, there are no more tensions between the republics. "

When the economic crisis in the Seventies started, the managerial and intellectual "makers" estimated too high the cost of the federalism for developed regions, such as Slovenia and Croatia. Many reproached to Belgrade to neglect the development of the areas of Istria and Dalmatia, which drew substantial benefit of tourist industry, but without making additional profit. All the money went to Belgrade.

But contrary to the affirmations of the ultra-nationalists of any plumage, the benefit of the Tito’s period was not negligible, especially for the "rich" republics like Slovenia and Croatia. In these regions, a real industrialisation emerged. In 1939, industry employed some 300.000 workers; in 1977, two million people, the third of the Yugoslav active population. Whereas before, the working class was weak, it became a real sociological and political factor. From 1957 (Slovenia) to 1987 (Croatia) important strikes shook heavy industry. There were 2.000 strikes from 1958 to 1969. Strikes burst in the already developed areas of Slovenia and Croatia. These strikes were generally short and remained local without extension to the whole of the Yugoslav lands.

Typical phenomenon of the underdevelopment, the poorest republics remained poor. If there were only 1,2 % of illiterates in Slovenia, in 1961, the figure was 33 % in Bosnia-Herzegovina and even 50 % in Kosovo! Especially, the economic gap widened always more with the rich areas. In 1970, the income per head was, in the poor republics and districts, of half lower than that of the rich areas. These last ones benefited from the low price of energy and raw materials for their processing industries. In addition, the low productivity of the poor areas made them still more fragile on the world capitalist market. This phenomenon existed up to and including the rich republics: their archaic agriculture was struck down by the economic crisis. Between 1945 and 1975, the rural population fell from 76 to 25 % of the working population! The farming population must emigrate either towards big cities or abroad, in particular in Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, Northern and Southern America. Croatia will lose 10 % of its population. Macedonia and Kosovo were lands of intense exodus towards the F. R. of Germany. A million Yugoslavians emigrated to nourish their family remained in the country.

The world economic crisis in the Seventies weakened Yugoslavia: rising inflation, foreign debt. Strikes burst after 1967, but their social impact was not sufficient to counter nationalist and regionalist ideologies, which took their take-off. The social question, however explosive with unemployment, inflation cutting down the working wages, quickly will be overwhelmed by the "national question", contained since the end of the war. Conflicts within the Yugoslav ruling class blew up: each component put its own national and regional interests ahead. The richest areas, of course, put at the first plan the needs for the economic liberalism to reduce the expense of the assistance to the most underdeveloped regions. The poorest areas, included Serbia, underlined the necessary solidarity of the richest ones with the poorest ones.

Initially, re-appeared trouble in populations, which were since decades nationally oppressed by Serb chauvinism. The Albanians (Shqipetars or Kosovars) demonstrated in 1967-1968 to obtain the status of republic instead of that of autonomous province of Serbia, whereas they constituted 80 % of the population of Kosovo. These demonstrations were pittilessly repressed. Nevertheless, the Shqipetars obtained autonomy. An Albanian university was created. Kosovo became priority in the federal economic aid, which drawn Mutual aid funds from the "rich republics". This help was used to "calm the play" at least until 1981: Kosovo obtained until a million dollars per day.

But, most seriously was emerging to the turning point of the years 1960-70 the conflict between Serbia and the "rich republics". In 1969, the government of Slovenia felt on the vital question for the Slovenian economy to allocate capital for the construction of a motorway towards Austria and Germany. The federal authorities of Belgrade refused.

More significant was the Croatian question which re-emerged in 1970-1971, under the name of "Croatian Spring" or "Mass Movement " (Maspokret). The Croatian ruling class inside the party defended the nationalist theses. Mika Tripalo, one of the leaders of Croatian Communism declared in 1970: "The League of the Communists of each republic expresses and must express the class interests of the workers and in his own nation and in its own republic." The linguistic quarrel round Croatian language against Serbian language (it is about the same language) started again, run by the literary Society "Matica Hrvatska". But especially, leading personalities of the Croatian Communist Party (Tripalo), who were supported by the petty bourgeois and peasant masses, affirmed strongly that on the banking and economic level there existed an "exploitation of Croatia" by Serbia and the poorer areas.

This assertion of open nationalism by Slovenian and Croatian leaders was not their exclusive fact. After the explosion of national anti-Serb feelings in 1968, in Kosovo, in all the Serb State apparatus developed a vigorous nationalism, expressing complaints on "the miserable place " given to the Serb interests in the Yugoslav State. The past of Serbia, especially after the fall of Rankovic, presented as a martyr, was exalted more and more by a lot of publications.

For Tito, there was not any doubt that that announced the end of the Yugoslav federation. More especially, as Brejnevian Russia, after having supported the Serb Rankovic against Tito, was ready to encourage - to have military outlets in the Adriatic - independent Croatia. The Russian KGB even established contact with the Ustashe in exile, in the event of dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Tito made clean-up inside the Croatian direction. Thousands of people were thrown in geol. To make just measurement, some Serb nationalists had a table d’hôte dinner in prison.

In linkage to these events a new Yugoslav constitution was worked out in 1974 by Tito, which went in the direction of an integral confederation. This constitution intended to replace, after the death of the Chief, the personal direction of the Confederal State by a collegial presidency, formed of the presidents of each republic and area known as autonomous. Each of them, Serb, Croatian, Slovenian, etc, would become president of this college during one year, according to the principle of rotation. Thus the domination of a particular republic - in fact Serbia, by far the most demographically prolix republic - would be avoided. This organisation will function from 1980 to 1987, until Milosevic seized the power in Serbia.


All this juridical-constitutional building should not survive the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which was in process. With the death of Tito, in 1980, annual inflation reached 40 %; it will be 2.500 % in 1989. The debt grew alarmingly: 20 billion dollars. In 1982, for the first time the economists announced a zero growth. Official unemployment will climb to 15 %. In certain areas, the income regressed on its level of the Sixties. Never the gap of the income per capita was not so deep according to the republics and areas: for an average index of 100 for the confederation, one noted at top 212 for Slovenia, 123 for Croatia, 93 for Serbia, 66 for Macedonia and 31 only for Kosovo. The income per capita in Kosovo was seven times lower than that of Slovenia, and the third of the Yugoslav average income.

It is precisely in Kosovo, and not in pluri-ethnical Bosnia-Herzegovina, that again stormed events which let sink Titoist Yugoslavia and its self-management. In Kosovo, in 1981, official unemployment affected 25 % of the working population. The students of the University of Pristina demonstrated against the unemployment and for decent conditions of housing. Again Serb retaliation hit the Kosovar demonstrators, more especially as these ones required the status of republic. There still the explosive social soil moved towards nationalist goals. The strike of the Kosovar and Serbian coalminers, in 1987, who demonstrated with the poster of Tito, will change nothing.

Yugoslavia seemed condemned to dislocation after the death of Tito. The Serb ruling class changed completely policy and ceased to camouflage behind the "Yougoslavism". Great-Serb claims spread out without make-up. In 1986, was written and discussed in the Serb political circles the Memorandum of the Serb Academy. It is underlined there that since 1945 and because of the Tito’s policy, Serbia was reduced to nothing; that it must recover its "Serb" lands: Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and areas of Vojvodina and Kosovo. It were necessary to return to the centralisation of Belgrade. Finally, the question was whether all the Serbs should join together in the same State.

The arrival to the power of the Serb Communist Milosevic marked a real turning in 1987. Presenting himself as guard of the Serb identity, he made remove de facto in 1989 the autonomy status of Kosovo and Vojvodina. Huge meetings were organised from Belgrade to Kosovo to mark that this area was "Serb" (there are only 10 % the Serbs). A true Chetnik hysteria was developed in the Serb media. Albanian riots were crushed in 1989.

Vis-à-vis this Serb expansionist will, putting an end to the illusion of the Yugoslavism, the Slovenian bourgeoisie expressed more and more its wish of secession. The end of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe was combined with the reform of the Slovenian constitution, which sustained the right of Slovenia to do secession. The government of Ljubljana decided to block Serb trains of demonstrators at the border. In reprisals the Serb government made plunder and boycott the Slovenian products.

After the fall of Ceaucescu in Romania (December 1989), elections put an end to the "communist" power monopoly in Slovenia and Croatia. Teams favourable to independence came into power in April and May 1990. The (relatively) rich Northern republics decided to suspend at the summer their assistance contributions to the Southern republics. The financial crash of Yugoslavia preceded its political shipwreck. The Yugoslav market ceased existing.

Consequently, on the political level, the situation accelerated. In Slovenia, February 20, 1991, the Parliament decided to suspend the federal laws and to proclaim the republic on June 25. In May of the same year the sovereignty of Croatia, where the General Tudjman was elected president, was proclaimed. In March-April 1992 was proclaimed the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia. It was the last death notice of the former Yugoslavian federation.

The war appeared then as inevitable between the Serb-Yugoslavian army that defended the Great-Serb interests and the republics resulting from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As of spring 1990, the so-called "federal" army, whose officers were to 60 % Serbs, confiscated the totality of the Croatian weapons and 60 % of the Slovenian weapons. In August 1990, a Serb insurrection burst in the Knin krajina in Dalmatia. The same month the Serb nationalists of Croatia decided by referendum for autonomy within the new State. One circulated weapons everywhere - coming from Serbia and Hungary - in each camp. The C.I.A., sure of its analyses, announced as of November 1990 that Yugoslavia should dislocate itself and sink in the civil war.

In May 1991 burst the first inter-ethnic confrontations between Serb militia and Croatian police in Western Slavonia. In June-July, began the 19-day-old war between the Slovenian Territorial Army and the Serb-Yugoslavian army, at the end of which, on intervention of the EEC, Slovenia was recognised as independent state. It will obtain a few months besides later a status of observer in the Council of Europe.

War in July 1991 spread like trail of powder. The war between Croatia and Serbia (marked by the bloody sacking of Vukovar by the Chetniks) is declared: it lasted until January 1992. On both sides beside the official armies, the former Communist leaders engaged genuine criminals, true jailbirds, catholic and orthodox extremists, who did the dirty job of mercenaries for their "communist" Serbian or Croatian "democrat-liberal" bosses. Serbian Chetniks and Croatian Ustashe competed in the horror, to crush the population on the borders of the military front. "Ethnic cleansing" (etnicko cisenije) - old cruel methods inherited from the Balkan wars as of the XIXth century and practised on a large scale by the great imperialist powers in the XXth century - triumphed as of the bursting of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (March 1992). Not only in Bosnia, where the Serbs controlled 90 p. 100 of the territory: in Vojvodina 90.000 Hungarians and Croats were driven out to install 200.000 Serb refugees. In the Sandjak of Novi Pazar 70.000 people, known as "Moslem" people, must escape. Croatian nationalists did the same "cleansing", when the fate of the weapons was favourable, including against "the Moslems" of Herzegovina. All indicated that the Moslem Bosnian government on the condition of receiving massively weapons as much from islamist States that from the United States, would do similar cleansing. And it made similar acts, on a small scale, it is true.

In the space of a few months, the war have left tens of thousands of deaths. Two million people, men, women, children, old men, were thrown on the roads in a gigantic exodus: the tenth of the population of former Yugoslavia. In 1993, the conflict had made already almost 200.000 victims. There were 3 million refugees, including 700.000 in Croatia.

The forces of UNO (14.000 "Blue Helmets" in Yugoslavia), known as interposition force, since 1992, were used as instrument of the great powers which are satisfied to draw up a medical cord around the Yugoslavian borders, to avoid that would explode the Balkan powder barrel.

The balance sheet of these nationalist passions, stirred up by the local bourgeoisies of any plumage (Croatian, Serb, Slovenian, in particular) is : vacuity of the nation as economic and historical framework in the XXth century, where exist world economy. A population traumatised by the war, a saving in exchanges reduced to its simpler expression; tens of thousands of war invalids; populations famished as in Bosnia, or clochardised by the war. In Serbia, the annual rate of inflation reached 120.000 % in 1992, a record worthy of Germany in 1923. In Croatia, unemployment reached 20 % of the working population, with an inflation of "only" 1.500 %. The new State of Macedonia saw the quarter of its working population reduced to unemployment, and annual inflation grew up to 200 %. As for Kosovo, under blockade and occupation of the Serb army, more than 50 % of the population as without work in the middle of the Nineties. Only Slovenia enjoyed a "modest" rate of unemployment of 16 % and an annual inflation of 30 %.

A single sector went well, in spite of the hypocrisy of the international embargo defended by UNO and the great Western powers: that of the weapons and strategic products which with an easy mind were in transit in Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. The exploitation of the "national question" in the former Yugoslavia was also the occasion of a deployment of the small and big imperialist appetites.



The decomposition of Yugoslavia and re-appearance of the old nationalist demons expresses the generalised decomposition of the world economy.

Each small country tries to impose its own law to its neighbours, not by economic war, privilege of the great powers, but by the war tout court. Each country, to extend its sphere of influence is obliged to recompose its sphere of interests and to re-examine, even reverse, its alliances. The fall of the system of Yalta in 1989, based on the division of the world in two blocks, let emerge new regional imperialist powers, without the great powers, exceeded by the extent of the phenomenon which they do not control any more, unable to impose their iron law.

The Serbism, which aims at unifying all the Serb lands, and the Croatism, which aims at doing the same thing but with the Croats of Bosnia, are in a logic of territorial expansion. This last one can rely only on the support of regional allies, having interdependent interests each other. Right now, Slovenia and Croatia rely on Germany and the EEC, while waiting to have a better support from the USA, which besides seemes to express a will of engagement at the side of Croatia (August 1995), and in Balkans in general. As for Russia, even if itself proclaims - with Greece - it is the best ally of "orthodox Serbia", its political-economical collapse and its involvement in the Caucasian conflicts, much more vital for its oil exports, hardly enable its return in force in Balkans. But for Russia, the Bay of Kotor (Cattaro), in "Yugoslav" Montenegro, is a major objective, so that its Navy could cast and mark military presence in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Seas. However, for the moment the Yugoslavian question does not lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the USA, even less between Europe and Germany and the former URSS.

The conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina has political and strategic repercussions in whole Balkans. It appears increasingly clear that - with or without the blessing of the great powers - Croatia and Serbia are bound by an imperialist plan to cutting up the Bosnian lands. This plan already was worked out by the Croat Tudjman and the Serb Milosevic on 16 June 1993, and accepted by Clinton and Owen the following day even; it appeared clearly with the fightings of August 1995 in Krajina and Bosnia, at the time of the Croatian offensive. " The ethnical purification" - with its trail of massacres, moved populations and refugees plunged in the most extreme material and moral misery - is practised on a large scale in each camp, in the name of the nation.

More discrete, but much heavier of consequences at the Balkan level, is the claim of an Albanian "national unity". For Albania, Kosovo and Western Macedonia are "irredent lands". October 19, 1991, by secret referendum, was proclaimed the independence of the republic of Kosovo, in spite of the occupation of the Serb army, which since 1989 obliged 300.000 Kosovars to leave this area. In Macedonia, populated to 60 % of Slavic Macedonians, a semi-official referendum among Albanians (30 % of the population), in January 1992, required the territorial autonomy of the North-West. The question of the formation of Greater Albania is already present. Including, on a portion of Serbia, in Sandjak, where the 230.000 Albanian or Turk Moslems, by a clandestine referendum in March 1992, had elected their own Parliament and formed their "government".

Turkey support this claiming and seeks to make its come-back in Balkans, being not able to do it in Central Asia, as it had believed after 1989. A diplomatic agreement of July 29, 1992 decided that the Albanian officers would be trained in Turkey.

Nevertheless, Turkey is brought to more prudence, Macedonia ; and the same for Bulgaria, vis-à-vis the Serb and Greek "hereditary enemy". Against Serbia, was concluded an economic alliance between Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania, to create an access road from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, cutting the access of Serbia to the Aegean sea, via Greek Macedonia. Turkey could be recipient.

The fate of Vardar Macedonia - laughably called Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or FYROM - which is not recognised by Greece and undergoes an economic blockade of this last country, late or early will be decided. With 20-30 % of Albanians, the territorial claimings of Greece and Bulgaria, it is not unthinkable that these last ones, with the blessing of the great powers, should put an end to the existence of Macedonia. It would open, as in 1912-1913, the way to Balkan, and even Danubian conflicts (with Hungary and Romania). The fate of the Hungarians of Serbia, of Transylvania in Romania could be very easily the object of a conflict between, on the one hand, Hungary and, on the other hand, Serbia and Romania, allied against their minorities.

A civil war in Kosovo, with delivered weapons coming from Albania, Turkey, etc, is not impossible, with regional military consequences. More especially as Greece aims at the annexation of Northern Epireus - in Southern Albania -, which is populated, according to it, of 400.000 Greeks, in fact primarily of Arumanians or Valaks of Greek language.

(The final bursting, awaited, from the war in Kosovo at the beginning of the year 1998 let recall that "peace" in Balkans remains an illusion. The Albanian question arose, even if the Western countries, the USA and NATO make their best to circumscribe the conflict, and if Albania, exhausted by its own decomposition, is looking passively at the events.)

The conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina anticipates conflicts on a vaster level, in Balkans. And each nationalism, small or great, brings its own torch in front of the Balkan gunpowder.

If the working people, victims of the crisis, whatever their borders and their nationality, do not appear on the social scene, early or late the Yugoslav national question will lead to a major conflagration in Central and Eastern Europe, and by-effect in Western Europe.

Is it utopian of speaking not only about the need, but also about the possibility for whole humanity of a unified (economically and socially) world, removed from its national prisons, and freed from the division of the world in concurrent economic? A world distribution of the richness, a harmonious development without wasting and destruction of nature appear to any judicious human spirit like a vital need.

If a vast transformation of the world, by its unification and the disappearance of the national borders, will occur, many problems of any kind will remain. Millennia of existence under the form of national communities, linguistic and cultural diversity, religious and ethnocentric beliefs will leave deep marks. In the respect of the ethnical, religious, psychological, cultural, and linguistic difference, can exist a human community, unified in its own diversity.


Philippe Bourrinet.







Nationality Numbers Percentage

Serbs 4.665.000 38,8

Croats 2.856.000 23,7

Slovenian 1.024.000 8,5

Bosnian Moslems 727.000 6

Macedonians 585.000 4,8

Other "Slavs" 174.000 1,4

Germans (Schwäbisch) 513.000 4,2

Magyars 472.000 3,9

Albanian 441.000 3,6

Romanians, Gypsies, 229.000 1,9


Turks 168.000 1,4

Jews 64.000 0,5

Italians 12.000 0,10

Others 80.000 0,7

TOTAL 12.017.000 100







(Source: Statisticki Zavod, spring 1982)



Nationality Numbers % population

Serbs 8.140.000 36,3

Croats 4.428.000 19,8

Moslems* 2.000.000 8,9

Slovenians 1.754.000 7,8

Albanians 1.730.000 7,7

Macedonians 1.340.000 6

Yugoslavs** 1.219.000 5,4

Montenegrins 579.000 2,6

Hungarians 427.000 1,9

TOTAL 21.600.000 100


* By "Moslems", nationality created by Tito in the years 1960, one understands Muslim Slavs (even if they atheist) of Serb-Croat language. The majority live in Bosnia. This statistical table overlooks the Moslems who are Albanian, Turks or Gypsies. The Aroumanians (Aroumains in French) or Valaks have here not entry.

** By "Yugoslavians" one understands all those, of various "ethnic" origin, who do not want to be considered like a nationality. Much of them were " Moslems ", as national entity, but not religious.







Republic/Province Population Nationality (in %)

Serbia (only) 5.491.000 Serbs: 89 %; Moslems: 3 %; Albanians: 3 %

Vojvodina 1.969.000 Serbs: 56 %; Hungarian: 22 %; Croats: 7 %; others: 14 %

Kosovo 1.545.000 Albanian-Kosovars: 85 %; Serbs: 9 %; others: 2 %

(Montenegrins: 2 %)

Croatia 4.391.000 Croats: 79 %; Serbs: 14 %;

others: 7 %

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3.941.000 Moslems: 40 %; Serbs: 37 %; Croats: 20 %

Slovenia 1.838.000 Slovenian: 92 %; Croats: 3%; others: 5 %

Macedonia 1.808.000 Macedonians: 69 %; Albanians: 18-20 %;

Turks: 6 %; others: 7 %

Montenegro 565.000 Montenegrins: 67 %;

Moslems: 13 %;

Serbs: 8 %; others: 6 %;

Albanians: 7 %




Nationality Numbers Percentage

Serbs 6.430.000 65,8

Albanians (2.000.000) (20)

(Official census) 1.690.000 17,2

Hungarians 345.000 3,5

Yugoslavians 318.000 3,2

Moslems 238.000 2,4

Montenegrins 140.000 1,4

Gypsies 137.000 1,4

Croats 109.000 1,1

TOTAL 9.791.500 100

Source: review Jugoslavenski progled No. 1, 1991.






Nationality Numbers Percentage

Croats 3.708.300 77,9

Serbs 580.760 12,2

Yugoslavians 104.800 2,2

Moslems 47.600 1


TOTAL 4.760.300 100



Source: census of March 1991.






% 1910 % 1948 % 1991 Number 1991

Moslems 32 36 43,7 1.905.000

Serbs 43 44 31,4 1.370.000

Croats 23 20 17,3 755.000

Yugoslavians 5,5 240.000

TOTAL 100 4.364.000

Source: census 1991.





Nationality Numbers %

Slovenian 1.718.300 87

Croats 53.700 2,7

Serbs 47.100 2,4

Moslems 26.700 1,4

Yugoslavians 12.300 0,6

TOTAL 1.920.600 100






Nationality Numbers Percentage

Macedonians 1.314.300 64,6

Albanians (official.) 429.560 21

(Estimated) (700.000) (30)

Turks 97.400 4,8

Gypsies 55.600 2,7

Moslems 51.200 2,5

Serbs 44.100 2,2

TOTAL 2.038.850 100







Nationality Numbers Percentage

Montenegrins 380.000 61,5

Bosnian Moslems 90.000 14,6

Serbs 57.200 9,3

Albanians 41.000 6,6

TOTAL 620.000 100


Sources: censuses. Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1994, Europa

Publications Limited, London, 1994.






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