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Andrija Hebrang (22 October 1899 - 1949?) was a former Croatian and Yugoslav politician.

Contents

Early Life

Andrija Hebrang was born in the village of Baćevac, near Virovitica to father Andrija Hebrang and mother Cela Strasser.[1] During World War I, he was stationed for a time in Osijek, Zagreb, and finally the battlefields in Gorizia, Italy where he stayed until the end of the war. Not long after in 1919, he joined the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and became heavily involved in socialist political causes. He was arrested in 1924 for his involvement in protests for trade union rights.[2]

Political involvement

By the late 1920s, Hebrang had risen to high ranks in the Communist Party, and was several times arrested and jailed for his various activities. It was during this time that he became acquainted with Josip Broz Tito. He was in 1929, along with several other communists, arrested in Belgrade for communist activities, and was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and hard labor in Lepoglava and Sremska Mitrovica. He was released from prison in February 1941, and when World War II began in Yugoslavia, he joined the Partisans and becomes the secretary to the Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia.

In 1942 Hebrang was captured by the Ustashe and sent to Stara Gradiska concentration camp, where he was later exchanged along with his future wife, Olga, for several Ustasha officials.[3] He then traveled to Bihac to attend the Anti-fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). He also helps form the State Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) and serves as the vice-president.[4] Only two years later he was relieved of his duties due to his aspirations for Croatian autonomy in Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, in 1945 he leads a Yugoslav delegation to the Soviet Union with Sreten Žujović, where they secretly affirmed their Stalinist views.

Downfall and death

By 1948, Hebrang was being blacklisted within the party, and was subsequently thrown out of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. By March his phones were tapped, and in April he was placed under house arrest, relieved of all official duties. In May he was accused of collaborating with the Ustashe and the Gestapo in order to sabotage Yugoslavia and spy for the Soviets after Tito broke with Stalin. He was arrested in Belgrade by UDBA agents and tried for numerous treasons, while his wife and small children were put under house arrest. Andrija Hebrang disappears under suspicious circumstances; UDBA official Milorad Milatovic who was in charge of the Hebrang case claimed in 1952 that he committed suicide in prison on 11 June 1949, but his body was never recovered and no official death certificate was filed. In the late 1980s, historians Milatovic and Ivankovic-Vonta revealed that the Hebrang was assassinated in his Belgrade prison cell for political reasons.[5]

Afterward

Hebrang family tomb at the Mirogoj Cemetery

Not long after Hebrang's arrest, his wife Olga was to twelve years in prison, and his children were sent to live with his siter Ilona in Zagreb. Furthermore, Hebrang's family were forced to change their surname as the government blacklisted anything to do with the name Hebrang. In 1992, the government of the Republic of Croatia rehabilitated Andrija Hebrang and declared him a "victim of communism". His sons Andrija and Branko have been instrumental in trying to rehabilitate their father and return his remains.[6]

See also

Sources

  1. ^ Vjesnik:Medijsko podgrijavanje mrznje
  2. ^ Vjesnik:Medijsko podgrijavanje mrznje
  3. ^ Tanner, Marcus. Croatia, a Nation Forged in War, pg 164
  4. ^ Tanner, Marcus. Croatia, a Nation Forged in War, pg 164
  5. ^ Lukic, Rénéo and Lynch, Allen. Europe from the Balkans to the Urals: the disintegration of Yugoslavia, pg 75
  6. ^ Rehabilitiran Andrija Hebrang
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