Slobodan G. Markovich
School of Political Sciences
University of Belgrade
Dr. Djura Djurović
A Lifelong Opponent of Yugoslav Communist Totalitarianism
Abstract: The paper deals with the life story of Dr. Djura Djurović (1900–1983), one of key targets of Yugoslav communist totalitarianism. He was a Belgrade lawyer who worked in the Administration of the City of Belgrade before WWII. In 1943 he joined the Yugoslav Home Army (YHA) of General Mihailović, and held high positions in the YHA press and propaganda departments. His duties included running the Radio-telegraphic agency Democratic Yugoslavia. He accompanied General Mihailović on his meetings with OSS Colonel McDowell, and with Captain Raković he established successful co-operation with Red Army units in October 1944. He was arrested by Tito’s partisans in 1945, given a show-trial and sentenced to twenty years in prison. In his writings he described horrible conditions, sufferings and various types of torture used against political prisoners in Yugoslav communist prisons. He himself spent more than two years in solitary confinement, and on several occasions nearly died in prison. He was released in 1962, and was able to establish a circle of former political convicts from the ranks of the YHA and other anticommunists in Belgrade and Serbia. He maintained this network, advocated pro-American policies and hoped that at some point the United States might intervene against communism in Yugoslavia. Gradually he came to the conclusion that Tito was an American ally, and was satisfied to maintain his network of likeminded anticommunists and prepare reports on the situation in Yugoslavia. As a pre-war freemason, he sent one such report to Luther Smith, Grand Commander of AAFM of Southern Jurisdiction of American masons, describing the ghastly conditions in Yugoslav communist prisons. He was rearrested in 1973 on account of his relations with a Serbian émigré in Paris, Andra Lončarić, and spent another four years in prison. Thus, the almost twenty-one years he spent in communist prisons qualify him for the top of the list of political prisoners in Yugoslav communism. In 1962–1973 he was spied on by a network of informers and operatives of the Yugoslav secret service. The paper is based on Djurović’s personal files preserved in the penitentiaries in Sremska Mitrovica and Zabela, and his personal file from the archive of the Yugoslav secret service (UDBA/SDB). This is the first paper based on personal files of “political enemies” compiled by the Yugoslav communist secret service, disclosing the latter’s activities and methods against anticommunist circles in Belgrade.
Keywords: Djura Djurović, Yugoslav communist prisons, Yugoslav totalitarianism, Yugoslav communist courts