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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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Bosnia-Hercegovina Defeats Great Serbia, c. June 1942–October 1943

Bosnia-Hercegovina Defeats Great Serbia, c. June 1942–October 1943

(p.290) 6 Bosnia-Hercegovina Defeats Great Serbia, c. June 1942–October 1943
Genocide and Resistance in Hitler’s Bosnia

Marko Attila Hoare

British Academy

Bosnia-Hercegovina was by mid-1942 effectively a patchwork of small fiefdoms. The Ustasha-held towns were islands in a hostile sea. Rebel Bosnia-Hercegovina was a world partitioned, militarily and geographically, between two antithetical movements: the Chetniks and the Partisans. Rural localities were held by Partisans, Chetniks or Muslim militias whose spheres of influence ebbed and flowed. In eastern Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Chetniks were triumphant, their Great Serb ‘state’ appearing to be born, based on their nationally and religiously exclusive, patriarchal and traditionalist rural values. In western Bosnia-Hercegovina, however, the cosmopolitan, internationalist, and modernist Communists, children of the towns, ruled a parallel ‘state’, the mass of whose peasant foot-soldiers were no different from those of its Chetnik counterpart, but whose governing ethos made it the polar opposite of the latter. As each movement consolidated its rule in its ‘own’ part of Bosnia-Hercegovina, the stage was set for a showdown between them that, at one level, represented the clash between modernist and traditionalist political values, and at another between the Bosnian and the Great Serb ideals.

Keywords:   Ustasha, fiefdoms, Chetniks, Partusans, Serbs

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