Commissioner Government

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Commissioner Government
Комесарска влада
Komesarska vlada
Puppet government overview
Formed 30 April 1941
Dissolved 29 August 1941
Jurisdiction Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia
Headquarters Belgrade
Minister responsible Milan Aćimović

The Commissioner Government (Serbo-Croatian: 'Komesarska vlada, Комесарска влада) was the first Serbian puppet government established in the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia during World War II (within Axis-partitioned Yugoslavia). It operated from 30 April 1941 to 29 August 1941. The leader of the puppet government was Milan Aćimović.

Overview[edit]

Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Germany, had briefly considered erasing all existence of a Serbian state, but soon abandoned the idea, and a search began for a suitable Serb to lead a collaborationist regime.[1] After considering former Yugoslav Prime Minister Dragiša Cvetković, former Yugoslav Foreign Minister Aleksander Cincar-Marković, former Yugoslav Minister of Internal Affairs Milan Aćimović, the president of the "quasi-fascist" Zbor movement Dimitrije Ljotić and the Belgrade police chief Dragomir Jovanović, the Military Commander in Serbia decided on Aćimović, who formed his Commissioner Administration on 30 April 1941, consisting of ten commissioners. (The German authorities passed over Ljotić as they believed he had a "dubious reputation among Serbs".[1]) Aćimović, virulently anti-communist, had had contact with the German police before the war.[2] He was sworn into office[by whom?] in late May 1941.[3] The other nine commissioners were Steven Ivanić, Momčilo Janković, Risto Jojić, Stanislav Josifović, Lazo M. Kostić, Dušan Letica, Dušan Pantić, Jevrem Protić and Milisav Vasiljević; each commissioner ran one of the former Yugoslav ministries (the Ministry of Army and Navy was abolished).[2] Several of the commissioners had held ministerial posts in the pre-war Yugoslav government, and Ivanić and Vasiljević both had close links to Zbor.[4] One of the first tasks of the administration involved carrying out Turner's orders for the registration of "all Jews and Gypsies" in the occupied territory and implementation of severe restrictions on their activities. While the German military government supervised the implementation of these orders, Aćimović and his interior ministry had the responsibility of carrying them out.[5]

During May 1941 the German military governor of Serbia, Helmuth Förster, issued numerous orders, which included a requirement for the registration of all printing equipment, restrictions on the press, operation of theatres and other places of entertainment, and the resumption of production. Förster also disestablished the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and established the Serbian National Bank to replace it.[6] With Förster's transfer, on 2 June 1941 another Luftwaffe officer succeeded him as Military Commander in Serbia: General der Flakartillerie Ludwig von Schröder.[7]

In mid-May, Aćimović's administration issued a declaration to the effect that the Serbian people wanted "sincere and loyal cooperation with their great neighbor, the German people". Most of the local administrators in the counties and districts remained in place,[8] and the German military administration placed its own administrators at each level to supervise the local authorities.[9]

List of commissioners[edit]

From 30 April 1941[edit]

From 30 April 1941, the commissioners were:[10]

According to Philip Cohen, Aćimović, Vasiljević and Ivanić were Nazi agents prior to the invasion of Yugoslavia.[10]

From 11 July 1941[edit]

After government reconstruction on 11 July 1941, the commissioners were:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ramet & Lazić (2011), pp. 19–20
  2. ^ a b Tomasevich (2001), p. 177
  3. ^ Dobrich (2000), p. 21
  4. ^ Tomasevich (2001), p. 178
  5. ^ Byford (2011), pp. 116–117
  6. ^ Lemkin (2008), pp. 591–601
  7. ^ Tomasevich (2001), pp. 65–66
  8. ^ Ramet & Lazić (2011), p. 20
  9. ^ Tomasevich (2001), p. 75
  10. ^ a b Cohen (1996), p. 153

References[edit]

See also[edit]