Milan Nedić: Wikis

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Milan Nedić


In office
1941–1944
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Office dissolved

Born 2 September 1877(1877-09-02)
Grocka, Principality of Serbia
Died 14 February 1946 (aged 68)
Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Serbian
Religion Serbian Orthodox
Military service
Allegiance Serbia
Yugoslavia
Years of service 1904 - 1941
Rank General

Milan Nedić (Serbian Cyrillic Милан Недић) (September 2, 1877 – February 4, 1946) was a Serbian general and politician, he was the chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav Army, minister of war in the Royal Yugoslav Government and the prime minister of a led a Nazi-backed puppet government in Serbia during World War II.

After the war, Yugoslav communist authorities imprisoned him, during which he allegedly committed suicide in 1946.[1] This claim has been recently brought into question, with testimony of Miodrag Mladenovic, a former officer in Yugoslavian OZNA. [2]

Contents

Early life

Nedić was born in Grocka close to Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia. He finished the gymnasium in Kragujevac and entered the lower level of the Military Academy in 1895. In 1904 he completed the upper level of the Academy, then the General Staff Preparatory, and was commissioned in the Army.

He was promoted to the rank of major in 1910. He served during the Balkan Wars and received a number of decorations and medals for bravery. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1913.

During World War I, in 1915 he was promoted to colonel and served in the general staff as the youngest colonel in the Serbian Army. During the retreat of the Serbian Army and Government through Albania in November 1915 through January 1916, under Austrian and German pressure, his troops provided cover. He was appointed the Ordnance Officer to King Peter I of Serbia in 1916 who retreated together with his people and his Army. In September 1918, he commanded the Infantry Brigade of the Timok Division when they made a breakthrough at Thessaloniki Front along with British, Greek and French allies.

Career

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Kingdom of Yugoslavia

After the war, he continued as the commander of the Infantry Brigade, before he was made the staff commander of the 4th and 3rd Army Oblast as well as the commander of the Drava Division Oblast. He was made division general in 1923 and finally army general in 1930. Between 1934 and 1935, he commanded the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army.

In 1939 he was made the Minister of Army and Navy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but because of his disapproval of a potential participation in the war alongside Adolf Hitler's Germany, Nedić was dismissed on 6 November 1940 by regent Paul. This was most likely out of unease with Nazi Germany's ally, Fascist Italy which at the time harboured the Croatian extreme nationalist Ustashe leader Ante Pavelić in exile in Rome, and because of the rhetoric of some Italian fascists in the past such as the late Gabriele D'Annunzio, who were violently opposed to a Yugoslav state.

Serbia

The Wehrmacht commander Heinrich Danckelmann decided to entrust Nedić with the administration of German-occupied Serbia in order to pacify Serb resistance. Not long ago, Nedić had lost his only son and pregnant daughter in law in a munition explosion in Smederevo, in which several thousands died. He accepted the post of the prime minister in the government called the Government of National Salvation, on August 29, 1941.

On September 1, 1941, Nedić made a speech on Radio Belgrade where he declared the intent of his administration to "save the core of the Serbian people" occupied by Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, the Independent State of Croatia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, as well as ethnic nationalists from Bosnia. Of these occupiers, the Ustashe-led regime of Croatia and Nazi-led Germany committed the most numerous and most horrendous atrocities on Serbs, some numbers indicating an estimated 700,000 Serbs were killed by the Ustashe. By accepting the occupation of Germany in the area of Sumadija, Drina Valley, Pomoravlje and Banat. He also spoke against organizing resistance to the occupying forces due to German Laws in which 50 Serbs were murdered for 1 wounded German soldier, and 100 for a killed soldier. In addition, at minimum 300,000 Serbs were forcefully taken to German camps. His state's actions were good intentioned for Serbs, but the opposite was the case for minority or opposition groups. His state's propaganda funded by Germany promoted anti-Semitism, anti-communism, which particularly linked these up with anti-masonry[3] as a means of swaying Serbs to see these groups as their enemies along with the Germans.

The Serbian government under Nedić accepted many refugees mostly of Serbian descent. However aside from accepting Serb and other refugees, Nedic's state was a disaster for the Serb people. The German occupiers held no respect for his authority or Serbs and during the war, over 300,000 people died in Serbia of war-related causes in German reprisals, that demanded as above mentioned 100 killed Serbs for one killed German soldier, like Kragujevac massacre. In August 1942, the German occupiers proclaimed Serbia Judenfrei. Nedić also collaborated with the Chetniks as a way of defending "Endangered Serbianisation".

On October 4, 1944, with the successes of the Yugoslav Partisans and their onslaught onto Belgrade, Nedić's government was disbanded and on October 6, Nedić fled from Belgrade to Kitzbühel, Austria (then annexed to Germany) where he was protected. On January 1, 1946, the British forces handed him over to the Yugoslav Communist forces.

He was incarcerated in Belgrade on charge of treason. On February 5, the newspapers reported that Milan Nedić committed suicide by jumping out of a window while the guards weren't looking.

But, recently, Miodrag Mladenović, a former officer with of the Yugoslavian OZNA, claimed that on February 4, 1946, he received an order to pick up a dead body at Zmaj Jovina street, where the prison was located at the time. When he arrived there, the body was already wrapped in a blanket and rigor mortis had already set in. According to the orders given to him, he took the body to the cemetery where it was buried in a unusually deep grave. He never attempted to see the face of the person that he carried, but the day after, he read in news that Milan Nedić had committed suicide by jumping through the prison window at Zmaj Jovina street.[2]

Legacy

The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts named Nedić as one of the 100 most significant Serbs.[4] The minor Serbian Liberal Party is working for his rehabilitation, altogether sparking a lot of controversy in Serbia.

Nedić's portrait was included among those of Serbian prime ministers in the building of the Government of Serbia.[5] In 2008 minister of interior Deputy PM Ivica Dačić removed the portrait after neo-nazi marches were announced in the country.[5]

Military offices
Preceded by
Milan Milovanović
Chief of the General Staff of Royal Yugoslav Army
1934 – 1935
Succeeded by
Ljubomir Marić
Political offices
Preceded by
New title
President of the Ministerial Council of the Serbian Government of National Salvation
1941 – 1944
Succeeded by
Position abolished

References


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