Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia

The Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia, known more commonly by its Yugoslav abbreviation AVNOJ (Serbo-Croatian: Antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije – AVNOJ / Антифашистичко веће народног ослобођења Југославије – АВНОЈ[a]), was the political umbrella organization for the national liberation councils of the Yugoslav resistance against the Axis occupation during World War II. It eventually became the Yugoslav provisional wartime deliberative body. It was established on November 26, 1942 to administer territories under the control of the Partisans.

Coat of Arms of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
Coat of arms of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. The date at the bottom marks the second session of the AVNOJ.

First session of the AVNOJ

Oslobođena teritorija u vreme prvog zasedanja AVNOJ-a
Liberated territory during the first session of the AVNOJ.
Bihac AVNOJ Museum
The building where AVNOJ met for the first time in Bihać.

After the Yugoslavian army capitulated on April 17, 1941, Yugoslavia was distributed between Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and the newly formed puppet states: Independent State of Croatia, Independent State of Montenegro, Albanian Kingdom and Nedić Serbia. Opposition to these occupation regimes caused the formation of resistance movements, resulting in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), then only active in the underground but fast gaining popularity, assuming the role of leading the forces in the Yugoslavian resistance. The KPJ as an organisation comprised people from, and drew support from, the whole of Yugoslavia; as such, it represented a single Yugoslav identity.

On November 26, 1942, the Partisan leaders of Yugoslavia convened the first AVNOJ meeting at Bihać, in a liberated pocket called the Bihać Republic in the northwest of Bosnia, in the hope of gaining political legitimacy. The Slovene delegation could not attend due to intense fighting, but it fully approved the federal build-up of the new Yugoslavia.[1] Comprising a committee of both the communist and non-communist Partisan representatives, under Josip Broz Tito, AVNOJ proclaimed support for:

In January 1943, Germany mounted a fourth large-scale anti-partisan offensive to strengthen its control of Yugoslavia by destroying the central command of the Partisan movement – the Central Committee of the KPJ – and the primary Partisan hospital. The Partisans, outnumbered and engaged in major battles with the Chetnik formations of Colonel Draža Mihajlović, Ustasha militias and the combined German and Italian regular forces, were steadily forced into retreat until an elaborate deception plan allowed the Partisans to escape their pursuers. Despite the tactical defeat and the loss of men and equipment, the Partisan central command remained intact and the hospital safe which, over time, enabled the continuation of further operations against the enemy. All the major strategic military offensives of the Axis and their collaborators were ultimately thwarted.

In May of the same year, German, Italian, Bulgarian and Croatian troops launched a fifth concerted offensive against the Partisans in south eastern Bosnia, near the Sutjeska river. Again, faced by superior enemy numbers and potential encirclement, the Partisans escaped defeat but not without cost. However, the fact that after their successful breakout the Partisans were still able to mount major counter offensives proved to be a turning point in the battle for control of Yugoslavia. When Italy surrendered in September, the Partisans were further aided by captured Italian armour, control of additional coastal territory, and the shipment of supplies from the Allies in Italy.

Second session of the AVNOJ

"We are convinced that our Allies will not misunderstand this historic step taken by our people, but rather that they will do everything to give our people their moral and material help and backing, and this through the representatives elected by the people themselves in their own country."[2]

Oslobođena teritorija za vreme drugog zasedanja AVNOJ-a
Liberated territory during the second session of the AVNOJ.
AVNOJ Jajce-2005
The building where AVNOJ met for the second time in Jajce. Picture taken in the summer of 2005.
AVNOJ Proclamation of what will later become SFRJ

In its second conference in the Bosnian town of Jajce, from November 29 to November 30, 1943, Tito declared the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia to be the superior executive authority in the country. The decisions and the resolutions of the second AVNOJ conference were:

Stalin, the Soviet leader, was enraged when he found out that he was not being informed of the November meeting, and reportedly barred Tito from declaring AVNOJ as a provisional government. The Western Allies, however, were not alarmed, because they knew that the Partisans were the only Yugoslav resistance group actively fighting the Germans.

In December 1943, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin decided to support the Partisans. The United Kingdom joined a month later, and stopped supplying the Chetniks. The first Soviet mission arrived at Partisan headquarters, shortly thereafter. The United States kept a military mission with Mihajlović to encourage continued Chetnik aid for downed American fliers.

In May 1944, German airborne forces attacked Tito's headquarters in Drvar, nearly capturing him. Tito fled to Italy, and established a new headquarters on the Adriatic island of Vis. After throwing its full support to the Partisans, Britain worked to reconcile Tito and Petar. At Britain's urging, Petar agreed to remain outside Yugoslavia, and in September, summoned all Yugoslavs to back the Partisans.

Resolutions from November 1944

The formulation of the resolutions at Jajce were revised and affirmed on 21 November 1944 in Belgrade, the city had been taken on 20 October by the Red Army and the Partisans under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. One of the resolutions dealt with: "the decree about the transition of hostile goods to be turned into state property; about the public administration of the property of absent persons and seizure of the property alienated by force from the occupying powers“. After this all possessions of the German Reich and its citizens, on the territory of Yugoslavia “ as well as all possessions of persons of German nationality, except those Germans who fought as members of the national liberation army and the partisan units of Yugoslavia or who are citizens of neutral states, who did not behave hostilely during the Occupation “, should become the property of the new Yugoslav state. Besides this all possessions of the war criminals and their accomplices without consideration for their nationality and the fortune of each person, who was condemned, is seized by judgment of the civilian or military courts to become the possession of the state “.

New laws starting in 1945

On 6 February 1945, the decree of 21 November 1944 was transferred to the legislation of the Republic of Yugoslavia and incorporated into the Confiscation Law of 9 June 1945 and also into the law for agrarian reform of 23 August 1945. The law dealing with the voting lists of 10 August 1945 specified that "members of the military formations of the Occupiers and their native accomplices, and those who continuously and actively fought against the Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and/or against the Royal Yugoslav Army or against the armies of the confederates of Yugoslavia" are all denied the active right to vote. Moreover, the existence of these resolutions are confirmed in the establishment status of the autonomous area Vojvodina, which was created by decree of the presidency of the Serbian representative government (Službeni glas NIC Srbije of 9 September 1945) where a guarantee was made in article 4 "to all nationalities the full equal rights as a citizen of Serbia with exception of the German nationality, that due to the decision of the AVNOJ of 21 November 1944 the civic rights (državljanska prava) were taken away." The AVNOJ resolutions became law on 1 December 1945 explains Leon Geršković and E. Zellweger.[3][4] As a result, the flight and expulsion of the Danube Swabians (1944–48) began as part of the flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–50) and more than 170,000 Yugoslavian Danube Swabians were declared to be Germans and deported into many labor and concentration camps in Yugoslavia.

See also


  1. ^ In the languages of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the names were:
    • Serbo-Croatian: Антифашистичко веће народног ослобођења Југославије – АВНОЈ / Antifašističko veće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije – AVNOJ, Ijekavian spelling: Antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije – AVNOJ
    • Macedonian: Антифашистичко собрание за народно ослободување на Југославија - AСНOJ / Antifashistichko sobranie za narodno osloboduvanje na Jugoslavija – ASNOJ
    • Slovene: Antifašistični svet narodne osvoboditve Jugoslavije – ASNOJ


  1. ^ Lukić, Reneo. Lynch, Allen (1996). "III. Nationalism and Federalism in Royalist and Communist Yugoslavia, 1929–54". Europe from the Balkans to the Urals. Oxford University Press. pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-0-19-829200-5.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Basil Davidson: PARTISAN PICTURE
  3. ^ Leon Geršković : Historija narodne vlasti (history of people power), Belgrade 1957, S. 133 FF.
  4. ^ E. Zellweger: Structure of state and legislation of the federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia 1945-1948 . In: Eastern Europe manual: Yugoslavia , S. 122 FF., see. the quotation of B. Kidrić, S. 129, and. ebda, S. 133, as well as the Belgrader Politika of 24 November 1944.

External links

Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia

The Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (Macedonian: Антифашистичко собрание за народно ослободување на Македонија (АСНОМ), Antifašističko sobranie za narodno osloboduvanje na Makedonija; Serbo-Croatian: Antifašističko sobranje narodnog oslobođenja Makedonije; abbr. ASNOM) was the supreme legislative and executive people's representative body of the Macedonian state from 1944 until the end of World War II. The body was set up by the Macedonian Partisans during the final stages of the National Liberation War of Macedonia in the summer of 1944, in the Bulgarian occupation zone of Yugoslavia.

Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Serbia

The Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Serbia (Serbian: Антифашистичка скупштина народног ослобођења Србије (АСНОС), Antifašistička skupština narodnog oslobođenja Srbije (ASNOS)) was formed as the governing organ of the anti-fascist movement in the Axis occupation Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia during World War II. It was part of the Yugoslav Resistance movement and developed to be the communist bearer of the Socialist Republic of Serbia. The president of ASNOS was Siniša Stanković.

Boro Vukmirović

Borko "Boro" Vukmirović (Cyrillic: Борко Боро Вукмировић; 1 August 1912 – 10 April 1943) was one of the organizers of the anti-fascist uprising in Kosovo.He was posthumously awarded the Order of the People's Hero.

Congress of Përmet

The Congress of Përmet, was a meeting of the Albanian communist leaders in May 24, 1944, in Përmet, Albania, which elected a Provisional Government. The congress was modeled after the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia.

Democratic Federal Yugoslavia

Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (or Democratic Federative Yugoslavia; DF Yugoslavia or DFY) was a provisional state established during World War II on 29 November 1943 through the Second Session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (ANOJ). The National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ) was its original executive body. Throughout its existence it was governed by Marshal Josip Broz Tito as prime minister.

It was recognized by the Allies at the Tehran Conference, along with the AVNOJ as its deliberative body. The Yugoslav government-in-exile of King Peter II in London, partly due to pressure from the United Kingdom, recognized the AVNOJ government with the Treaty of Vis, signed on 16 June 1944 between the prime minister of the government-in-exile, Ivan Šubašić, and Tito. With the Treaty of Vis, the government-in-exile and the NKOJ agreed to merge into a provisional government as soon as possible. The form of the new government was agreed upon in a second Šubašić–Tito agreement signed on 1 November 1944 in the recently liberated Yugoslav capitol of Belgrade. DF Yugoslavia became one of the founding members of the United Nations upon the signing of the United Nations Charter in October 1945.

The state was formed to unite the Yugoslav resistance movement to the occupation of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. The agreement left the issue of whether the state would be a monarchy or a republic undecided until after the war and the position of head of state was vacant. After the merge of the governments, Josip Broz Tito became Prime Minister and Ivan Šubašić became foreign minister.

Emblem of Yugoslavia

The emblem of Yugoslavia featured six torches, surrounded by wheat with a red star at its top, and burning together in one flame; this represented the brotherhood and unity of the six federal republics forming Yugoslavia: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. The date imprinted was 29 November 1943, the day the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) met in Jajce on its second meeting and formed the basis for post-war organisation of the country, establishing a federal republic. This day was celebrated as Republic Day after the establishment of the republic. The emblem of Yugoslavia, along with those of its constituent republics, are an example of socialist heraldry.

Enver Redžić

Enver Redžić (4 May 1915 – 4 November 2009) was a Bosnian historian, cultural observer, professor, and founder of the publishing company Svjetlost. During World War II, he was a member of anti-fascist groups ZAVNOBiH and AVNOJ.

Ivan Ribar

Ivan Ribar (Croatian pronunciation: [ǐvan rîbaːr]; 21 January 1881 – 2 February 1968) was a Yugoslav politician and soldier of Croatian descent. He was born in Vukmanić (part of Karlovac). He had a PhD in law.

In politics, he was:

President of the Royal Parliamentary Assembly, 1920–22

President of Executive Committee, Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia, 26 October 1942 – 4 December 1943

Chairman of the Presidium of the Provisional People's Assembly, 4 December 1943 – 5 March 1945

Chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly, 29 December 1945 – 14 January 1953Ribar lost his entire family during World War II: his two sons, Jurica and Ivo, and his wife, Tonica. His sons fought for the Partisans against the Italian Fascists. Ivo Lola Ribar, his younger son, was in charge of the Young Communist League of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) during the war, and was proclaimed posthumously a People's Hero of Yugoslavia.

Kata Pejnović

Kata Pejnović, née Bogić (21 March 1899 – 1966), was a Croatian feminist and politician.

Mara Naceva

Mara Naceva (Kumanovo, September 28, 1920 – Kumanovo, July 1, 2013) was a Macedonian communist, participant in the World War II in Yugoslavia and a national hero.

Mitra Mitrović

Mitra Mitrović (Serbian: Митра Митровић; 6 September 1912 – 4 April 2001) was a Serbian politician, feminist and writer.

Nurija Pozderac

Nurija Pozderac (15 January 1892 – 12 June 1943) was a Bosnian teacher, politician, member of the Yugoslav Muslim Organization, and local liberation leader during World War II, participating in the National Yugoslav Liberation Struggle. He served as Vice President of the Executive Board of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia. His nephews Hakija and Hamdija were influential communist politicians during the era of Yugoslavia.

Parliament of Yugoslavia

The Parliament of Yugoslavia was the deliberative body of Yugoslavia. Before World War II in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia it was known as the National Assembly (Narodna skupština), while in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the name was changed to Federal Assembly (Serbo-Croatian: Savezna skupština/Савезна скупштина). It was the official deliberative body of the Yugoslav state, which existed from 1918 to 1992 and resided in the building which now convenes the National Assembly of Serbia.

Peretz Rosenberg

Peretz Rosenberg (Hebrew: פרץ רוזנברג‎; September 11, 1919 - October 25, 2008) was one of the early parachutists of pre-state Israel. As the radio operator of special forces leader William Deakin, he was parachuted into Yugoslavia in 1943 on a mission to reach the headquarters of Tito. After World War II, he became head of the clandestine radio service of the Haganah.

Rosenberg was the inventor of many agricultural water-saving devices.

Ramiz Sadiku

Ramiz Sadiku (19 January 1915 – 10 April 1943) was an Albanian law student and one of the organizers of the anti-fascist uprising in Kosovo.He was posthumously awarded both the Order of the People's Hero and the Hero of Albania.

Ratomir Dugonjić

Ratomir Dugonjić (1916–1987) was a lawyer, a participant in the national liberation struggle of the people of Yugoslavia, a socio-political worker in Yugoslavia and the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 1974–1978, he served as President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), also known as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km² (98,766 sq mi), the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

The nation was a socialist state and a federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia with Belgrade as its capital. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Kosovo and Vojvodina.

The SFRY's origin is traced to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after the deposition of King Peter II, thus ending the monarchy. Until 1948, the new communist government originally sided with the Eastern Bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito at the beginning of the Cold War, but after the Tito–Stalin split of 1948, Yugoslavia pursued a policy of neutrality. It became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, and transitioned from a planned economy to market socialism.

The SFRY maintained neutrality during the Cold War as part of its foreign policy. It was a founding member of CERN, the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, IFAD, WTO, Eutelsat, and BTWC.

Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation. The economic crisis led to a rise in ethnic nationalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s; dissidence resulted among the multiple ethnicities within the constituent republics.

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation also failed. In 1991 some European states recognized their independence. The federation collapsed along federal borders, followed by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, and the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992. Two of its republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", but this union was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to the SFRY. The term "former Yugoslavia" (bivša Jugoslavija/бивша Југославија) is now commonly used retrospectively.

State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia

The State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (Serbo-Croatian: Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Hrvatske (ZAVNOH)) was the highest governing organ of the anti-fascist movement in Croatia during World War II. It was developed to be the bearer of Croatian statehood. At its last meeting, it changed its name to the People's Parliament of Croatia (Narodni sabor Hrvatske).

State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Montenegro and Boka

The State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Montenegro and Boka (ZAVNOCGB) (Serbo-Croatian: Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Crne Gore i Boke) was formed as the highest governing institution of the anti-fascist resistance movement in Montenegro, in the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The National Anti-Fascist Council of the Peoples Liberation of Montenegro and Boka was formed in Kolašin on 15 and 16 November 1943. On its second session on June 14, 1944 it changed its name to Montenegrin Anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation (CASNO) (Crnogorska Antifašistička Skupština Narodnog Oslobođenja).During World War II it developed to be the leadership of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro. Its president was Nikola Miljanić.

In 1945 at the end of the war, it transformed to the National Parliament of Montenegro.

Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia
State organizations

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