Andrija Hebrang (father)

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Andrija Hebrang
Andrija Hebrang.JPG
Andrija Hebrang wearing a Partisan cap
4th Secretary of the
Communist Party of Croatia
In office
1942 – October 1944
President Vladimir Nazor(1943 on)
Preceded by Vlado Popović
Succeeded by Vladimir Bakarić
Personal details
Born (1899-10-22)22 October 1899
Bačevac, Croatia-Slavonia, Austria-Hungary
Died 1949 (aged 50)
Maruševec, Yugoslavia
Political party Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ)
Spouse(s) Olga Hebrang (née Strauss)
Children Andrija Hebrang
Branko Hebrang
Occupation Politician

Andrija Hebrang (22 October 1899 – c. 1949[1]) was a Croatian and Yugoslav communist politician. A member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia until his dismissal, he served as the 4th Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia.

Early life[edit]

Andrija Hebrang was born in Bačevac (part of Gradina) to Andrija Hebrang and Cela Strasser. During World War I, he was stationed in Osijek, Zagreb, and finally the battlefields in Gorizia, Italy where he stayed until the end of the war. Not long after, in 1919, he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia[2] and became heavily involved in socialist political causes.

Political involvement[edit]

In 1923, Hebrang moved to Zagreb.[2] He was arrested in 1924 for his involvement in protests for trade union rights.[3] By the late 1920s, Hebrang had risen to high ranks in the Communist Party, and was several times arrested and jailed for his various activities. It was during this time that he became acquainted with Josip Broz Tito. In early 1928, along with several other communists, Hebrang was arrested for communist activities, and was sentenced in Belgrade to 12 years imprisonment and hard labor in Lepoglava and Sremska Mitrovica prisons.[2] In March 1941, shortly after his release from prison, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia.[2]

In 1942 Hebrang was captured by the Ustaše and sent to Stara Gradiška concentration camp, where he was later exchanged along with his future wife, Olga, for several Ustasha officials.[4] He traveled to Bihać to attend the Anti-fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). He also helped form the State Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) and served as the vice-president.[4] On 20 September 1943, ZAVNOH unilaterally issued a declaration that Istria, Rijeka, and Italian-occupied Dalmatia were part of Croatia without the prior approval of the national AVNOJ. This angered Yugoslav leader Josip Broz.[4]

Andrija Hebrang holding a speech during the third session of ZAVNOH on 8 May 1944

At the 3rd session of ZAVNOH, held May 8–9 in Topusko several resolutions were adopted which further angered Broz. This included an openness to continue religious education in schools, as well as overtures to a free press.[4] In September 1944, the Executive Board of ZAVNOH established the Telegraphic Agency of Croatia (TAH). Broz immediately sent a telegram to Hebrang on September 17:

Immediately stop with the work of this so-called telegraph agency - TAH. What does this even mean? You're sliding with full force into separatism. Don't you realize that even federal states have a single telegraph agency. Let your example be the Soviet Union if no other.[5]

The following day Broz also sent a telegram to Edvard Kardelj:

Urgently travel to Croatia. They're creating some unbelievable idiocy. First, ZAVNOH adopted a resolution according to which religious education is a mandatory subject in schools. Second, they've founded some telegraph agency - TAH. This all demonstrates that separatist tendencies are fairly strong and this is true of our comrades. With this there is no kidding, for we will have to undertake the sharpest measures. For all this I blame Andrija. Make inquiries and if Andrija is not of this opinion, we will have to immediately remove him from the post of secretary of the CC [Central Committee].[5]

He was relieved of his duties in October 1944 due to his aspirations for Croatian autonomy in Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, in 1945 he was leading a Yugoslav delegation to the Soviet Union with Sreten Žujović, where they secretly affirmed their Stalinist views.[citation needed]

Later years & death[edit]

Around the beginning of the Tito-Stalin split in 1948, Hebrang was suspected of being Stalin's prime candidate for replacing Tito.[2] Because of that, Hebrang was being blacklisted within the Yugoslav Communist Party, and was subsequently thrown out. By March his phones were tapped, and in April he was placed under house arrest, relieved of all official duties. In May he was accused of collaborating with the Ustashe and the Gestapo in order to sabotage Yugoslavia and spy for the Soviets after Tito broke with Joseph Stalin.[citation needed]

Hebrang was arrested in Belgrade by UDBA agents and accused of numerous treasons, while his wife and small children were put under house arrest. He disappeared under suspicious circumstances. UDBA official Milorad Milatović, who was in charge of the Hebrang case, claimed in 1952 that Hebrang had committed suicide in Glavnjača prison on 11 June 1949, but his body was never recovered and no official death certificate was filed. In the late 1980s, several historians reported that Hebrang had been assassinated in his Belgrade prison cell for political reasons.[6]


Hebrang family tomb at the Mirogoj Cemetery

Not long after Hebrang's arrest, his wife Olga was sentenced to twelve years in prison, and his children were sent to live with his sister, Ilona, in Zagreb. Hebrang's family were forced to change their surname as the government blacklisted anyone with the surname Hebrang. In 1992, the government of the Republic of Croatia rehabilitated Hebrang and declared him a "victim of communism". His sons Andrija and Branko were active in the efforts to rehabilitate their father and return his remains.[7]


A street in central Zagreb, Ulica Andrije Hebranga, named after Hebrang, ironically runs into Marshal Tito Square, named after Hebrang's nemesis, Josip Broz Tito.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Banac, Ivo. With Stalin against Tito: Cominformist splits in Yugoslav Communism p. 122.
  2. ^ a b c d e "100th Anniversary of the Birth of Andrija Hebrang". Croatian Post. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Vjesnik:Medijsko podgrijavanje mrznje[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d Tanner (1997), p. 164
  5. ^ a b Novak, Božidar (2006). "O ulozi i važnosti Hine u hrvatskome medijskom prostoru". Medijska istraživanja (in Croatian) 12 (1): 117–121. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Lukic, Rénéo; Lynch, Allen (1996). Europe from the Balkans to the Urals: the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Oxford University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-19-829200-7. 
  7. ^ Rehabilitiran Andrija Hebrang,; 13 April 2009; accessed 25 April 2015.
  8. ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (18 February 2010). Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 (1st ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-521-88810-3. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  • Tanner, Marcus (1997). Croatia: A Nation Forged in War. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07668-1. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Vlado Popović
0Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Croatia0
1942 – October 1944
Succeeded by
Vladimir Bakarić