Government of National Salvation

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This article is about the Serbian puppet government formed during World War II. For the territory where this government operated, see Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia. For the Albanian caretaker government, see Government of National Reconciliation.

The Government of National Salvation (Serbian: Vlada narodnog spasa, Влада народног спаса; German: Regierung der nationalen Rettung), also referred to as the Nedić regime, was the second Serbian puppet government established under the German Military Administration in Serbia[1] in the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia[Note 1] during World War II (within Axis-occupied Yugoslavia). It was appointed by the German Military Commander in Serbia and operated from 29 August 1941 to October 1944. The Prime Minister throughout was General Milan Nedić. The Government of National Salvation was evacuated from Belgrade to Kitzbühel, Austria in the first week of October 1944 before the German withdrawal from Serbia was complete. Nedić himself was captured by the Americans when they occupied Austria, and was subsequently handed over to the Yugoslav communist authorities to act as a witness against war criminals on the understanding he would be returned to American custody to face trial by the Allies. The Yugoslav authorities refused to return Nedić to American custody, and he died on 4 February 1946 of consequences of falling through the window of a Belgrade hospital, under circumstances remaining unknown to the day.

Background[edit]

Military[edit]

Serbian State Guard[edit]

Main article: Serbian State Guard

The Government of National Salvation founded a military arm, the Serbian State Guard (Srpska državna straža or SDS, Српска државна стража). It was formed from two former Yugoslav gendarmerie regiments, was created with the approval of the German military authorities, and for a long period was controlled by the Higher SS and Police Leader of the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia. The SDS was also known as the Nedićevci after General Milan Nedić, the prime minister of the Government of National Salvation, who eventually gained control of its operations. As part of its role, it assisted the Germans to impose one of the most brutal occupation regimes in occupied Europe and helped guard and execute prisoners at the Banjica concentration camp in Belgrade. Its leaders and much of the rank and file were sympathetic to the Chetnik movement of Draža Mihailović, and the force was purged by the Germans on several occasions for that reason. In October 1944, as the Red Army closed on Belgrade, the SDS was transferred to Mihailović's control by a member of the fleeing Nedić administration, but it quickly disintegrated during its withdrawal west, with only a small number of former SDS members being captured by the British near the Italian-Yugoslav border in May 1945.

Auxiliary formations[edit]

See also: Chetniks

Administrative divisions[edit]

Serbia's borders initially incorporated parts of the territory of five of the prewar banovinas.[3]

In October 1941, the Germans ordered the Nedić government to reorganise the territory, as the existing structure was not suitable and did not meet military requirements. By means of an order issued on 4 December 1941, the German military commander adjusted the military-administrative structure to conform to German requirements.[4] As a result, the district (Serbian: okrug) subdivision (which had existed in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes prior to the formation of the banovinas) was restored. The Nedić government issued a decree on 23 December 1941 by which Serbia was divided into 14 districts (Serbian: okruzi) and 101 municipalities (Serbian: srezovi).[3] The District of Veliki Bečkerek (also known as The Banat) was theoretically part of Serbia, but became an autonomous district, run by the members of local ethnic German population.[5] On 27 December 1941, the heads of the districts were appointed and met with Milan Nedić, Milan Aćimović, Tanasije Dinić, and Cvetan Đorđević.

County Districts
Belgrade County Belgrade, Grocka, Lazarevac, Mladenovac, Palanka, Smederevo, Sopot, Umka, Veliko Orašje
Ivanjica County Istok, Ivanjica, Podujevo, Mitrovica, Novi Pazar, Raška, Srbica, Vučitrn
Kragujevac County Aranđelovac, Gornji Milanovac Gruža, Kragujevac, Orašac, Rača, Rudnik
Kraljevo County Čačak, Guča, Kraljevo, Preljina
Kruševac County Aleksandrovac, Brus, Kruševac, Ražanj, Trstenik
Jagodina County Ćuprija, Despotovac, Jagodina, Paraćin, Rekovac, Svilajnac, Varvarin
Leskovac County Kuršumlija, Lebane, Leskovac, Prokuplje, Vladičin Han, Vlasotince
Niš County Aleksinac, Bela Palanka, Lužnica, Niš, Petrovac, Svrljig, Žitkovac
Požarevac County Golubac, Kučevo, Petrovac, Požarevac, Veliko Gradište, Žabari, Žagubica
Šabac County Bogatić, Krupanj, Ljubovija, Loznica, Obrenovac, Šabac, Vladimirci
Užice County Arilje, Bajina Bašta, Čajetina, Kosjerić, Požega, Užice
Valjevo County Kamenica, Mionica, Valjevo, Ub
Veliki Bečkerek County Alibunar, Bela Crkva, Jaša Tomić, Kikinda, Kovačica, Kovin, Nova Kanjiža, Novi Bečej, Pančevo, Sečanj, Veliki Bečkerek, Vršac
Zaječar County Boljevac, Bor, Brza Palanka, Donji Milanovac, Kladovo, Knjaževac, Kraljevo Selo, Negotin, Salaš, Sokobanja, Zaječar

List of ministers[edit]

From 29 August 1941: From 29 August 1941, the ministers were:

From 7 October 1941: After the government was re-organised on 7 October 1941, the ministers were:

From 10 November 1942: After the government was again re-organised on 10 November 1942, the ministers were:

After 6 November 1943: After a further government re-organisation on 6 November 1943, the following changes were implemented:

  • President of the council of ministers Milan Nedić also became the minister of internal affairs
  • Tanasije Dinić became minister of social policy and people's health

Education[edit]

Under minister Velibor Jonić, the government abandoned the eight-year elementary school system adopted in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and moved to a four-year program. A new curriculum was introduced:[6]

Subject I Grade II Grade III Grade IV Grade
Religious education 1 1 2 2
Serbian 11 11 7 7
Fatherland and history - - 4 6
Nature - - 5 5
Math and geometry 5 5 4 4
Singing 1 1 2 2
Physical education 2 2 2 2
Total hours 20 20 26 28

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official name of the occupied territory translated from German: Gebiet des Militärbefehlshaber Serbiens[2]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Hehn (1971), pp. 344-373
  3. ^ a b Brborić (2010), p. 170
  4. ^ Tomasevich (2001), p. 74
  5. ^ Tomasevich (2001), pp. 74-75
  6. ^ Koljanin (2010), p. 407

References[edit]

Books[edit]

Journals[edit]

  • Brborić, Ivan (2010). "Ministarski savet Milana Nedića decembar 1941 - novembar 1942". Istorija 20. veka 28 (3). pp. 169–180. 
  • Hehn, Paul N. (1971). "Serbia, Croatia and Germany 1941-1945: Civil War and Revolution in the Balkans". Canadian Slavonic Papers (University of Alberta) 13 (4): 344–373. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  • Koljanin, Dragica (2010). "U službi 'Novog poretka' - osnovno školstvo i udžbenici istorije u Srbiji (1941-1944)". Istraživanja 21. pp. 395–415.