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Mitja Ribičič

4th Prime Minister of SFR Yugoslavia
President of the Federal Executive Council
In office
18 May 1969 – 30 July 1971
President Josip Broz Tito
Preceded by Mika Špiljak
Succeeded by Džemal Bijedić

Born May 19, 1919 (1919-05-19) (age 90)
Trieste, Kingdom of Italy
Nationality Slovenian
Political party League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ)

Mitja Ribičič (born 19 May 1919) is a former Slovenian Communist official and Yugoslav politician. He was the only Slovenian prime minister of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1969–1971). Between 1945 and 1957, he was at the top of the repressive system in Slovenia, and has been accused of violations of human rights and crimes against humanity.[1]


Life and career

He was born in a Slovene-speaking family in Trieste, Italy. His father was the renowned Slovene author Josip Ribičič. His mother, Roza Ribičič, née Arringler, was a teacher in Slovene schools in Trieste, and an editor and public figure. She was the niece of the poet Anton Medved.

In the 1925, the family moved to Rakek, Slovenia, then part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia), where Ribičič attended elementary school. In 1929, they settled in Ljubljana. In 1938, Ribičič enrolled in the University of Ljubljana, where he studied law. In his student years, he became member of several left wing youth organizations, and associations of Slovene emigrants from the Julian March. In April 1941, when Yugoslavia was invaded by the Nazis, he volunteered for the Yugoslav Army. After the Yugoslav defeat in late April, he joined the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People. In October 1941, he became a member of the Communist Party of Slovenia.

In May 1942, he joined the Partisan resistance. He fought in various units in German-occupied Slovenia, first in Lower Styria, then in Upper Carniola, and in southern Carinthia. In November 1944, he was sent to the Soviet Union for training.

After his return, in early 1945, he served as a high-ranking official of the OZNA, the Yugoslav military intelligence, and then in the UDBA, the secret police. He was in charge of political repression of the anti-communist opposition in Slovenia. Between 1951 and 1952, he served as chief prosecutor for the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and then until 1957 as the Secretary of the Interior of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, being in charge of the repressive policies in Slovenia.

Between 1957 and 1963, he was a member of the Slovenian government, and then a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia. In 1966, he rose to the leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party, serving first as a member of the Executive Central Committee of the Party, and then as president of the Yugoslav government.

Between 1974 and 1982, he was president of the Socialist Union of the Working People of Slovenia, the official platform that included all professional and volountary associations in Slovenia. Between 1982 and 1983, he became president of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and was one of its members until 1986, when he retired.

He lives in Ljubljana. His son, Ciril Ribičič, is a prominent left wing politician (member of the Social Democrats) and lawyer, currently a member of the Slovenian Constitutional Court.

Accusations of human rights violations

Several victims of Communist political persecution have accused him of brutal treatment during the time when he was an official with the secret police, including Angela Vode[2] and Ljubo Sirc.[3] In 1970, when Ribičič visited Great Britain as the head of the Yugoslav Government, Sirc, a British citizen, launched a public protest, discosing the mistreatment suffered at the hands of Ribičič in 1946.[4]

In 2005, Ribičič was charged by the Slovenian state prosecutor for genocide involving the actions of the Yugoslav People's Army against prisoners of war in the aftermath of World War II.[5] The case, opened 60 years after the crime, was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Angela Vode, Skriti spomin (Ljubljana: Nova revija, 2006).
  3. ^ Ljubo Sirc, Between Hitler and Tito: Nazi Occupation and Communist Oppression (London: Andre Deutsch, 1989)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Post-war Killings - Enter the Bloody History

Jelka Mrak Dolinar: Brazde Mojega Zivljenja, Ljubljana 2009


Political offices
Preceded by
Mika Špiljak
President of the Federal Executive Council of SFR Yugoslavia
18 May 1969 – 30 July 1971
Succeeded by
Džemal Bijedić


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