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Draza MihajlovicPrint Page Print this page

15-October-2015
15-October-2015

The monument commemorates Dragoljub "Draza" Mihailović (27 April 1893 – 17 July 1946) who was a Yugoslav Serbian general during World War Two.

A staunch royalist, Draza retreated to the mountains near Belgrade when the Germans overran Yugoslavia in April 1941 and there he organized bands of guerrillas known as the Chetnik Detachments of the Yugoslav Army. The organisation is commonly known as the Chetniks, although the name of the organisation was later changed to the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland.  Founded as a royalist/nationalist Serbian resistance movement, it was the first Yugoslav resistance movement to be formed, followed shortly by Josip Broz Tito's Partisans.

Both the Chetniks under Mihailovic and the communist-dominated Partisans, who were led by Josip Broz Tito, resisted the occupying German forces, but political differences led to distrust and eventual armed conflict between them. Reports of Chetnik resistance in the early stages of occupation buoyed the Allies and made of Mihailović a heroic figure. Fearful, however, of further brutal Axis reprisals against Serbs, Mihailovic came to favour a restrained policy of resistance until the Allies could provide more assistance. The Partisans supported a more aggressive policy against the Germans. Favouring the latter policy and confronted with reports of Chetnik collaboration (particularly in Italian-held areas) directed against Partisan forces, the Allies switched their support from Mihailovic to Tito in 1944.
 
Many Chetnik groups committed crimes against civilians and acts of ethnic cleansing.  Muslim villages were destroyed in retribution against acts committed by Muslim militias. While Mihailovic apparently did not order such acts himself, and disapproved of them, he also failed to take any action against them, being dependent on various armed groups whose policy he could neither denounce nor condone. He also hid the situation from the British and the Royal Yugoslav government-in-exile. Many terror acts were committed by Chetnik groups against their various enemies, real or perceived, reaching a peak between October 1942 and February 1943.
 
After the war Mihailovic went into hiding. He was captured by the Partisans on March 13, 1946, and charged by the Yugoslav government with treason and collaboration with the Germans. Mihailovic was sentenced to death and was executed in Belgrade in 1946. Although a United States commission of inquiry cleared Mihailovic and those under his immediate command of the charge of collaboration, the issue is still disputed by some historians. Following the breakup of communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, his former refuge in the Ravna Gora region came to be a focus of royalist sentiment.
 

Location

Address:32 National Circuit, Free Serbian Orthodox Church, Forrest, 2603
State:ACT
Area:Foreign
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.315675
Long: 149.127236
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Foreigners

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1992
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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