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Genocide and Resistance in Hitler’s BosniaThe Partisans and the Chetniks, 1941–1943$
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Marko Attila Hoare

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263808

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263808.001.0001

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From Serb Rebellion to Bosnian Revolution, c. December 1941–March 1942

From Serb Rebellion to Bosnian Revolution, c. December 1941–March 1942

(p.142) 3 From Serb Rebellion to Bosnian Revolution, c. December 1941–March 1942
Genocide and Resistance in Hitler’s Bosnia

Marko Attila Hoare

British Academy

The irretrievable breakdown of Partisan–Chetnik relations in Bosnia-Hercegovina and the beginning of open enmity between the two movements had profound consequences for the practices of both, as each moved away from the centre ground towards their respective political extremes. For the Chetniks, the break with the Partisans involved the progressive abandonment of all pretence at resistance to the occupying powers, the shift to outright alliance with the quisling regime in Serbia on a Great Serb nationalist basis, and the adoption of a more systematically genocidal policy towards the non-Serb population. For the Communists, the break involved the adoption of a more radical left-wing outlook that would have negative short-term consequences for the movement. But it also involved a shift from an essentially military strategy based on leading a predominantly Serb armed struggle against the Ustashas, to a political struggle aimed at building a genuinely multinational movement of Croats, Muslims, and Serbs against the ‘reactionary bourgeoisie’ of all nationalities. This shift would transform the Partisan movement from a Serb rebellion into a Bosnian Revolution: in other words, into a movement for radical political and social change on an all-Bosnian basis. Yet it would be many months before this policy would bear fruit for the Communists.

Keywords:   Partisan–Chetnik relations, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Communists, Serbs, Partisan movement, Serb rebellion, Bosnian Revolution

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