The Communist Party of Yugoslavia during World War II: from Underground Organization to Party in Power

Lecture | May 2 | 5:15-6:45 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall

 Martin Previsic, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES)

At the beginning of World War II, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) was a small and rather insignificant political party in the life of prewar Yugoslavia. During 1941-43, its initial political and war strategies received very little Soviet or Allied backing, but still, support for the partisan movement grew to the point where the Allies were forced to accept the new communist reality, which led to the creation of communist Yugoslavia in 1945.

This talk will present the wartime strategies implemented by the CPY during the war and the main reasons why they received such widespread support from virtually all Yugoslav nations. Another important topic to be explored in the talk will be an analysis of the methods implemented by the CPY for communization of the movement and for establishing a new communist Yugoslav state—a goal well disguised during the war.