Josip Broz Tito
Date: September 8, 1941
Source: Tito: Selected Military Works, pp. 52-54
Published: Vojnoizdavčki Zavod, Belgrade, 1966
Transciption/HTML Markup: Mike B. for MIA, 2006
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
THE savage murder of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes continues. It is not only hangmen of the forces of occupation who are participating in this extermination of the South Slavs, but domestic quislings as well. The establishment of the miserable puppet government, headed by that repulsive traitor to the Serbian people, that German spy and mercenary, the miserable General Nedić,2 was accompanied, on September 3, 1941, by the heinous murder of fifty Serbs in Belgrade. Hitler's fascist bandits and their murderous lackeys from Nedić's criminal gang have used the supposed killing of a German soldier in Belgrade as a pretext for the massacre of these fifty sons of Serbian people. This is, of course, nothing but sheer fabrication, typical of the bloodthirsty fascists, typical of those who set fire to the Reichstag themselves so as to have an excuse for slaughtering and interning in concentration camps hundreds of thousands of German citizens. Ever since the German fascist criminals enslaved our country, they have been killing, without surcease, the finest sons of our people, our children, women and elders, razing our villages and towns — but the people have arisen to defend themselves and have already caused the enemy much grief. The fascist bandits, feeling themselves too weak to exterminate our peoples alone, have drawn up a diabolic plan. They have hired domestic hangmen and murderers to do their bloody work for them. In Croatia, they have hired a beast who unfortunately has the appearance of a man to annihilate not only the Serbs but the Croats as well. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs, women, children and elderly people have met their death under the knife at the hands of Pavelić's Ustashi bands. Thousands of Serbian men and women have been killed by the despicable Ljotidites and Aćimović's agents, who hunt down Serbs and turn them over to the German executioners. The traitorous Serbian Ljotićites burn down Serbian villages, and together with the Germans, murder our peaceful population. Taking note of the eagerness of these degenerates, the German fascist bandits have found yet other bandits and traitors, headed by Nedić, who, under cover of the Serbian Government, destroy and massacre our people, so that Serb kills Serb, so that the Slays exterminate themselves. Thus do these traitors pave the way for the German and other invaders to finally become masters of our beautiful, fertile plains, our wealth of forests, our majestic mountains, our fruitful vineyards, our coastal areas, our proud Dalmatia, our towns and villages.
Nedić, the traitor, a blackguard who deserves the same fate as his twin Pavelić in Croatia, threatens to massacre and wipe out the pride of our land, our glorious Partisans, who are spilling their blood to uphold the honour of their nation, honour that has been sullied by traitors like Nedić, Ljotić and the rest of the fifth-columnist gang. With the help of the German bandits, he is organizing detachments of sorts, who are plundering the people and slaughtering the best men and women en masse; he is organizing these detachments for the purpose of waging war on the Serbian people, of carrying on the work the German invaders have begun, of transforming the enslaved Serbian nation into an obedient lackey of the fascist malefactors bent on conquest.
The contemptible traitor, Nedić, and a handful of mercenaries, offer their services to the occupiers and oppressors of our people now when that invader is being dealt hard blows by the heroic Red Army, when the ground is burning under his feet in all occupied countries, when the entire civilized world has united in the struggle against the fascist would-be conquerors, when all Slays are uniting to struggle for the salvation of Slavdom, when the ultimate collapse of the maddened fascist bands is on the horizon.
The despicable Nedić is wrong if he thinks his plans will succeed. The Serbian people will give him an answer worthy of them, the kind of answer they have given to all traitors throughout their history. The Serbian Partisans, like Partisans in all the other parts of Yugoslavia, will continue with even greater vigour to prosecute their fight against those who have invaded our country, against the various Pavelićes, Nećides, Ljotićes,3 Aćimovićes, and all the traitors to the people. The Serbian and the other nationalities are helping, and will help even more, the heroic fight of the Partisans, until final victory over the invaders and their lackeys — the Nećićes and their ilk.
This sham, puppet government, headed by the even more spurious General Nedić, threatens massacres. His partner in betrayal, Pavelić, did the same, but he achieved the opposite effect — the people arose en masse against this traitor. The people have never supported blackguards and traitors and will not do so now. Nećić threatens to slaughter the people and our reply to him is that the Partisans, together with the rest of the people, will extirpate his band just as mercilessly as they will deal with his criminal masters: the German, Italian and other invaders. Blood for blood, death for death — that is our slogan in this general people's liberation struggle.
1. Published September 8, 1941, in the fifth issue of the "Bulletin" printed by an underground press in Belgrade. The article was initialled T. T.
2. Milan Nedić, General in the pre-war Yugoslav Army. Up to the Second World War, Nedić was Chief of Staff and Minister of the Army and Navy. During the Fascist invasion, he was in command of the southern Army Group which capitulated in two days. After the occupation, he offered his services to the forces of invasion and became the Prime Minister of the quisling Government of Serbia. He remained at this post during the entire period of Nazi occupation and collaborated with the Nazis in their criminal misdeeds against the people, progressive individuals, supporters and freedom fighters in the People's Liberation Movement.
3. Dimitrije Ljotić, founder and leader of the Fascist organization called "Zbor" (Assembly) and a conspicuous collaborator with the Nazis before and during the Second World War. His followers, equipped by the Germans, fought the People's Liberation Movement the entire period of the war.