Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 21, 1944

YUGOSLAV REPORTS, MAY 1944

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Yugoslav leaders discuss internal affairs and Soviet relations in reports.
    "Yugoslav Reports, May 1944," May 21, 1944, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Relations Between Yugoslavia and Russia (USSR) 1941 – 1945, Documents and Materials (Belgrade: Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Serbia), Military Historic Institute, and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation), 1996. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/219831
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/219831

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

311.

Report of Member of the Supreme Command of the National Liberation Army and Partizan Units of Yugoslavia (NOV i POJ) M. Djilas and Chief of the Yugoslav military mission in the USSR V. Terzić to the President of the National Committee of the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ) and Supreme Commander of the NOV i POJ, Marshal J. B. Tito

21. May 1944.

Comrade Stalin received us 19/V at 21,15 Moscow time.*  The discussion lasted 75 minutes.  We gave him presents.  At the discussion Comrade Molotov and Commissar of State Security Zhukov were present.(695)

Comrade Stalin was interested in our military-political situation, especially about Macedonia and Albania; and additionally about the problem of supplies and needs of our army, and about our soldiers generally.

He was interested in our opponents, their strength, and political personalities from the enemy camp, such as Maček, Mihailović, Gavrilović, Rupnik(696), Purić, and Šubašić, Bičanić and others.

He approved a loan of 10.000 dollars.  But they don’t have that much currency, so instead he offered us gold, as a base for bills[1] in that amount.  He will certainly give an amount up to 2.000.000 in dollars and pounds and will deposit it where you order.  Djilas will bring 200.000 dollars with him.(697)

Comrade Stalin approved that our unit go to the front and that it transform into a brigade.  Djilas will bring a Caucasian saber for your birthday, as a gift from the Soviet government and Red Army.(698)

Comrade Stalin follows in great detail everything with us and he’s very familiar with everything.  For example, he complimented the youth congress.(699)

Djilas will report in detail about every detail and important question from the discussion, as well as about the earlier discussion with Comrade Molotov,** about which we haven’t informed you, because that was recommended to us, because the reception was unofficial.

Djilas will be a few days late, because he’s waiting for the approval of the English for passage.(700)

3. 21. May I was invited to a concert of Soviet-American music.  The whole diplomatic corps was present.  I was with

*  See doc.[2] 310 from 19 May 1944.

**  See doc. 301 from 24 April 1944.  

Simić.  After the concert the English ambassador approached Simić and directed the question to him – “Are you satisfied now with the new government?”(701)  Simić answered him: “We have a government in the country, and what kind of government is that that doesn’t have connections with the country!”  The English ambassador answered angrily: “Ah, you’re such a difficult person” and removed himself quickly.

4.  It says in your dispatch that we should create an inscription “For bravery” first degree – in Cyrillic, second degree – in Latin characters, third degree – Croatian Latin and Latin characters.  There’s only room for an inscription for the “Partizan Star”, so we think the inscription should be put in the “Partizan Star” on the reverse.  There’s also an inscription on the medals “For bravery” according to your order, and also according to the design “Death to fascism – Freedom to the nation” should be placed on the “For bravery” decoration, which we did.  We suggest that the inscription on the “For bravery” decoration be in Latin characters, and that our guys are given Cyrillic.

If you’re in agreement with that, confirm immediately, because the work has been suspended.

5.  The seals[3] are still not finished.  We request an answer as to whether they can be manufactured from colorless enamel.

We’re not considering giving any kind of statement on Šubašić’s government, because that’s not our duty and we don’t have a directive from you.  Everything that we’ve given up to today’s date were social themes in the anonymous-propagandist spirit of Kromkist and Terzić in the journal “War and the working class”.

6.  Today in relation to our supplies an order will be sent to the base of Avtogruz, which is sent in accordance with your order.  Šajkača[4] were sent without our knowledge.  Švob[5] will travel out to the base over two days.  Photographs of the documents of the Chetniks are in the production phase.  We will try to speed up the work and – maybe, Djilas will bring them himself.

7.  Is it allowed to manufacture seals for the front without enamel, like with the Red Army soldiers on the front?  Without enamel they’re not pretty, but production with enamel takes up a lot of time.

Here the decision was made to buy boats for the Soviet base in Bari, which Korabender Šahpur will supply us and carry material from the Persian Gulf.

In connection with that, demand from the English that they allow passage of our boats through the Suez and that they secure inflammables and all else.

8.  We don’t know how much we can drag out the question of our aid, and it looks to be immediately necessary.  Because of that they recommend

that we sell some boats to the Soviet Union, because under their flag it will pass through without interruption.  The Soviets don’t have their own boats in these waters, and also they aren’t allowed to transfer existing ones.  They will buy boats from others as well, but that will drag this out and so they are seeking answers from us.

(continuation follows)(702)

AR. JBT KMJ-1-3-6/678

312.

Report of Member of the Supreme Command of the National Liberation Army and Partizan Units of Yugoslavia (NOV i POJ) M. Djilas and chief of the Yugoslav military mission in the USSR V. Terzić to the President of the National Committee of the Liberation of Yugoslavia (NKOJ) and Supreme Commander of the NOV i POJ, Marshal J. B. Tito

22. May 1944.

The seals are still not finished.  We request an answer as to whether they can be manufactured from colorless enamel.  We’re not considering giving any kind of statement on Šubašić’s government, because that’s not our duty and we don’t have a directive from you.  Everything that we’ve given up to today’s date were social themes in the anonymous-propagandist spirit of Kromkist and Terzić in the journal “War and the working class”(703).[6]  In your dispatch it says that an inscription should be made on the medals “For bravery”, first degree – Cyrillic, second degree – Latin characters, third degree – Latin characters.  “For bravery” medals don’t have degrees.  Only “Partizan Stars” have degrees.  Because of that we think that the inscription should be put on the “Partizan Star” on the reverse.  More inscriptions exist on the “For bravery” medals and according to your written order and also according to the design on the “For bravery” decoration “Death to fascism – Freedom to the nation” should be put on, which we also did.  We suggest that that inscription on the “For bravery” decoration be in Latin characters and on the medal – Cyrillic.

If you’re in agreement with all this, then confirm immediately, because the work is suspended.  We will do everything so that Maček’s questions be legally put on the radio.  Have the emissions from our station become better, in your opinion?  The editors of the journal “War

and the working class” are looking for an article from me about you as a military leader.  I agreed.  I urgently request your agreement.(704)  The doyen of the diplomatic corps the ambassador of Afghanistan invited Terz to the reception on the occasion of the national holiday of the 27th of May.

Ar. JBT KMJ, 1-3-6/648

[1] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  as in “one-dollar bills”, NOT “telephone bills”, “новчанице”/“novčanice” in text

[2] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  “document”, shortened as “док.”/”dok.” In text

[3] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  refers to the official state seal of Serbia, known as the “Kokarda”

[4] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  Šajkača is a type of Serbian military hat

[5] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  Švob is a relatively common Croatian surname

[6] TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:  This section is an exact repeat of an earlier section; what follows is a repeat of an earlier discussion but not always word-for-word the same.