Thursday, April 27, 2017



There is no grave site. There is no marker for his remains. It is as if they wanted to remove him not just from the earth but from the history of his country and the consciousness of his people. But they failed. Nowhere is this more evident than in those hills of Serbia they call Ravna Gora. And it is in those Ravna Gora hills where the true soul and spirit of Serbia can still be found.

July 17th is an important day for those who knew who he was and what he did. His name may or may not be familiar to you, but he may have been as important a figure in history as those whose names are imprinted in the national consciousness. He was Yugoslavia's General Draza Mihailovich, a Serb, whose life was taken from him on July 17, 1946. He was only 53 years old. He didn't die during the war, killed in battle. Instead, his life would end in the time of peace. He was a true hero, and he may have been one of the last of his kind in a part of the world that so desperately needs people like him today. As a child growing up very far away from where he made his mark, I came to know who he was in a very personal way.

Draza Mihailovich was born at the end of April 1893 in the small town of Ivanjica in the western part of the Kingdom of Serbia. He became an orphan as a young child, losing both his mother and father by the time he was only seven years old and would be raised in Belgrade by close relatives. Through his uncles Draza developed an early love for the military and it would soon become his life. He excelled at the Military Academy and was groomed to become an officer. His fate would be sealed by virtue of the timing of his birth. His destiny was to become a participant in war after war, beginning with the First and Second Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, then WWI (1914-1918), and finally WWII (1941-1945) during which he attained the rank of "General" and his name and cause became known all over the world. To this day he remains among the most decorated military officers in history. General Mihailovich was the kind of officer any man would be proud to serve under.

He was a true believer in the ideals of freedom and democracy and wanted those ideals to be the hallmark of his beloved Serbia. He was not a political man, and this would prove to be both his great virtue and his undoing. He knew and understood his people and was loyal to both them and to the democratic Western Allies in whom he believed. When the Nazis attacked and occupied Yugoslavia in April of 1941 and her government and army surrendered, making Yugoslavia yet another in the long line of Hitler's successful conquests in Europe, Draza Mihailovich opted not to surrender, but to resist. With him he took less than 100 men into the hills of Ravna Gora, Serbia in early May of 1941 and began a successful guerrilla resistance that would be the first of its kind in all of Nazi-occupied Europe in WWII.

Mihailovich made his position clear to the Germans. When the Germans attempted an armistice, he was unequivocal: "As long as a single enemy soldier remains on our soil, we shall continue to fight...Our fighting spirit is based on the traditions of a love for liberty and our unflinching faith in the victory of our Allies."

The Germans did not capitulate or evacuate. Mihailovich was good to his word. Severe and cruel Nazi reprisals began against the innocent Serbian civilian population in order to stop the resistance. The Nazi order issued in September of 1941 was unequivocal: For every one German soldier killed, 100 Serbian civilians were to pay with their lives. For every one German wounded, 50 Serbian civilians would pay the ultimate price. Because he was a compassionate man who loved his people, Mihailovich was compelled to alter his means of fighting the enemy in order to spare the lives of the innocents. He and his fighters would prove very adept at the sabotage campaigns that were crippling to the Nazi war machine.

Mihailovich's resistance to the Nazi forces that had attacked and occupied his homeland would have far-reaching implications for the outcome of the entire war. The Allies, bigger and stronger than he and his guerrilla fighters would come to owe much of the success of the Allied campaign against Hitler to Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks.

The most tangible legacy of the resistance initiated in Serbia by General Mihailovich and his Chetniks in May of 1941 against Hitler's war machine was this: Hitler would be forced to keep several of his divisions in Yugoslavia just to fight the guerrilla resistance that had by now grown in number and foiled his plans for an easy conquest of Serbia. The ultimate consequence of this would prove fatal for the German Army.

Because Hitler was forced to keep several of his divisions in Serbia, his plan for the invasion of Moscow (Operation Barbarossa) was delayed for several weeks in the spring of 1941. The delay proved to be critical. By the time the German forces were within reach of Moscow, the brutal Russian winter had set in, and that was a force the Nazis could not overcome. Had the German forces not been delayed by the Mihailovich resistance in Yugoslavia, Moscow may well have fallen and the course of history would have been much different. Do the historians highlight or even talk about this very significant aspect of WWII? No, not yet, and that is what needs to change.

As pivotal as this delay caused by the resistance was, in the eyes of those whose lives General Mihailovich and his Chetniks affected directly, a feat was later accomplished that was even more significant.

During the course of the Allied bombing campaigns of the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, Hitler's primary supply of oil in the summer of 1944, hundreds of Allied airmen were shot down over Yugoslavia by the Germans. Over 700 of these airmen, more than 500 of them Americans, would end up on Serbian territory, but behind enemy lines, because it was occupied by the Germans. These Allied airmen would be rescued and protected and nursed back to health by the Serbs loyal to Mihailovich who, at great risk to themselves, would shelter, feed, and protect these men who were foreigners on their soil. Ultimately, these airmen, to the very last one, would be returned safely to their homes and their families as a result of a series of evacuations from August through December of 1944 now known as "The Halyard Mission" that would become the greatest rescue of American lives from behind enemy lines in the history of warfare. It was a grand rescue under extreme duress for they were surrounded by the occupying Nazi forces. 500 American young men would return home to become fathers and husbands and grandfathers who would tell their children and grandchildren the story of how their lives had been saved so many thousands of miles away by a man named Draza Mihailovich. Today, there are many Americans among us, both young and old, who owe their lives to this man.

The most significant aspect of these rescues was that General Mihailovich evacuated these hundreds of Allied airmen after the Allies had betrayed and abandoned him. For me, that will always be the measure of this man who personified honor in the flesh.

General Mihailovich would turn out to be a very tragic hero. Due to political game-playing, a severe lack of foresight, and devastating betrayal, Mihailovich would be abandoned by the Allies. The communist enemy, the Yugoslav Partisans with Marshal Tito as their leader, against whom Mihailovich and his Chetniks had fought as hard as they had fought against the Nazis, would prevail. In one of the worst cases of judicial travesty and miscarriages of justice, Mihailovich, after being captured by the Yugoslav communists, was tried by a kangaroo court in Belgrade on fabricated charges of collaboration with the enemy, declared "guilty" on July 15th, sentenced to death with no appeal, and executed by the communists on July 17, 1946. Though they valiantly insisted on being present at the trial and being allowed to give their testimonies as witnesses, not a single Allied airman who had been saved by General Mihailovich was allowed in that courtroom. I can only imagine the pain in their hearts when they heard the news that their living, breathing hero had become a martyr.

Two years after General Mihailovich's death, U.S. President Harry Truman, under the advisement of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, posthumously awarded Mihailovich the Legion of Merit in the rank of Commander-in-Chief, the highest combat award America can bestow upon a foreign national:

''General Dragoljub Mihailovich distinguished himself in an outstanding manner as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Army Forces and later as Minister of War by organizing and leading important resistance forces against the enemy which occupied Yugoslavia, from December 1941 to December 1944. Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihailovich and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause, and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied victory."

March 29, 1948. Harry S. Truman

Unfortunately, this award would be instantly classified and remained so for 20 years. Why, you ask? Imagine how uncomfortable it would be to explain why your country was awarding a medal of such distinction to a man they had abandoned in war?
I learned about this man, Mihailovich, as a child growing up in my home in Chicagoland, far, far away from Serbia. I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not know of him. I became familiar with his kind, warm face and the truly glorious things he did under impossible conditions through my father, Rade Rebic. It would be through my own steps up the steep, snowy paths of the legendary Ravna Gora hills in Serbia in February of 1995, the same hills in which he had first begun his great resistance, that I would come to appreciate the honorable things that General Mihailovich did first hand. No, there is no grave site yet in Serbia, but there in those hills his spirit is everywhere, and his legacy has prevailed over death.

It is wonderful to know that in this modern age so many of us, both young and old, are committed to doing what we can to honor this legacy and keep it vibrant and alive. All Americans and freedom loving people need to come to know who this man was as well as the nature of his cause.

General Mihailovich did huge things much of the world doesn't even know about. He was a good man, a virtuous and honorable military officer, and a patriot who was willing to sacrifice himself for his people, his homeland, and the noble ideals he believed in. He was a decent human being - one of the few truly good guys in the badness that is war.

Happy Birthday General Mihailovich. Your life and your work were not in vain. Even if one day it is found, no gravesite can hold you, for your spirit and your legacy are eternal.

Aleksandra Rebic
April 27, 2017
Chicago, U.S.A.

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


April 24, 2017

Jasenovac victims honored at former death camp site

Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic on Sunday [April 23, 2017] attended a commemoration for the Jasenovac victims, held at the site of one of the death camp's largest killing grounds.

Photo: Tanjug

The camp in Donja Gradina - now a town in the Serb Republic (RS), in Bosnia-Herzegovina, near the border with Croatia - was formed in 1942 as part of the Jasenovac complex of concentration camps, operated by the Ustasha regime of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH).

By the end of the Second World War and the disintegration of this Nazi-allied entity, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascists were slaughtered there.

The commemoration in Donja Gradina on Sunday, organized by the governments of Serbia and the RS, was also attended by top officials of the Serb entity including President Milorad Dodik, representatives of the Serbian government, Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej, Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Chairman Mladen Ivanic, representatives of the Serbian Army, Jewish and Roma communities in Bosnia, descendants of the victims of Jasenovac, many citizens, and representatives of the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Serbian government said that Vucic addressed the ceremony marking Day of Remembrance of the genocide in Jasenovac, and said on this occasion that "without the knowledge of the past it will be hard to build a better future for our children."

"It is our obligation to be here for the descendants of Jasenovac victims," he said, and added: "We have to be here so that the events of seven decades ago never get repeated, but also to send a message that we will never forget what happened to us and that we strongly oppose attempts of repeating that."

"Here, in one of the worst places in then occupied Europe, I am grateful to President of the RS Milorad Dodik that Serbia and the RS are together marking the events of the past," the Serbian president-elect said.

Photo: Tanjug
Vucic also criticized the attempts to restore the Ustasha ideology and the revision of history and attempts to rehabilitate Alojzije Stepinac and thus remove responsibility for the crimes committed against the people and clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian government said.
According to Beta, he said that there were still people in Croatia "who wish there were no Serbs there" or their cultural, religious and other symbols, adding that Serbia wanted and had to work with "a normal Croatia," where people will not be judged by whether they are different.
Vucic repeated that Serbia would "never let anyone to have another Bljesak or Oluja" - referring to Croatian military operations against ethnic Serb areas of the country in the mid-1990s - and adding that "staunch opposition must meet anyone who wants to redraw borders in the Balkans, who wants a 'Greater Albania' and some other states, not asking the rest of us, especially not the Serbs whose territory they want to seize."
Milorad Dodik also spoke to say that the Serb entity "has no intentions of destabilizing the region, that it was committed to lasting peace, but that it wanted Jasenovac to be marked as a site of genocide against the Serb people, not as a site of victims of war."
Dodik said that the RS was created "so that Serbs there could be free, and refused to shake hands with US Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Maureen Cormack, whom he has declared a persona non grata in the RS, "blaming her for his being blacklisted in the US," according to Beta.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"CHETNIK DAY" PROCLAIMED IN CHICAGO, IL April 1943 by Mayor Edward J. Kelly

WHEREAS, The United Nations, comprising the entire democratic world, are now locked in a death struggle with those who would impose the yoke of slavery upon all who oppose their will of force; and
WHEREAS, every member nation, through sanctioning the Four Freedoms is fighting for the preservation of these ideals which deserve every support of all freedom-loving peoples fortunate enough to have avoided the agonies of war within their fight for freedom; and
WHEREAS, in all countries where men may today enjoy the benefits of freedom, the valor of General Draza Mihailovich and his legions of Chetniks is symbolic of this great universal fight for freedom; and
WHEREAS, because there are assembled this evening citizens of the United States, official representatives of the United Nations, and of the Jugoslav organization of Cook County, it is fitting and proper that the valiant deeds of the Chetniks be graphically documented and preserved for posterity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Edward J. Kelly, Mayor of the City of Chicago, do hereby designate, in recognition of this historic organization, April 1, 1943, as CHETNIK DAY in Chicago; and I do urge all citizens to salute the glorious deeds of these brave patriots and allies.
Dated at Chicago this thirtieth day of March, A.D., 1943.


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at


Saturday, April 22, 2017

VIDEO / DOCUMENTARY FILM: "I WAS JUST A CHILD" / [The Genocide in the Independent State of Croatia] / Serbian language with English Subtitles

Posted on You Tube by: "branko Lazic"
Published on Apr 19, 2016
During the World War II in bereaved Europe there were hundreds of camps for liquidation of undesirable nations.
But only in the quislingian Independent State of Croatia were founded camps for children of Serbs, Gypsies and Jews.
Camps: Sisak, Jastrebarsko, Gornja Rijeka...
Through these camps have passed 20 000 children
Only few survived
Good and brave people helped them
Documentary film “I was just a child” is a story about the man who rescued 30 children from certain death from the concentration camp Gornja Rijeka during World War II, risking his own life.
In 1942, 14 year old Miloš Stanišljević was on his way to find his brothers, who have been taken to a concentration camp. He has not found his brothers but he has succeeded to rescue other children, sentenced to death.
Some of those children are still alive. And they remember…
Most of us remember our childhood friends of our childhood games.
For those camp-children a game was an escape from death.
Screenplay and directed by
Branko Lazić
Executive Producer
Aleksandar Šević
Radovan Bojat
Vladimir Todić
Žarko Kalaba
Novo Bukša
Cover Designer
Ljubiša Bajić
Dunja Krčo
Audio Visual Editor
Siniša Žigić
Radio-Television of Republic of Srpska
Duration: 24 minutes


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


"DAYS OF JASENOVAC" - 16th Annual Commemorative Ceremonies April 22-23, 2017 / Sponsored by the Jasenovac Research Institute

You are cordially invited to the 16th Annual
 Days of Jasenovac Commemorative Ceremonies
on Saturday, April 22, 2017 and Sunday, April
23, 2017.
Sponsored by the Jasenovac Research Institute
Saturday, April 22, 2017 - A special ceremony
at the Jasenovac Monument at the Holocaust Memorial Park, Brooklyn, from 3 to 4 PM.
(Free bus transportation from St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral 16 West 26th Street, NY, NY, 10010. Please arrive from 1:30 to 2:00. Bus departs at 2 for Brooklyn and returns to Manhattan by 5:00 PM.)
Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 16th Annual
Conference and Benefit Dinner at the
Hotel Pennsylvania
401 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001
Stepinac, Revisionism and Denial:
The Threat of Neo-Fascism in Croatia

 4 to 7 PM
Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Dario Vidojkovic, Historian, University of Regensburg, Germany
Jovan Pejin, Historian, Former Director of the Historical Archives of Serbia and author of a book on Stepinac
Eva Deutsch Costabel, Holocaust Survivor
and other speakers
Tickets for Sunday's Conference and Dinner: $100
Doors open for the conference and dinner
at 3 PM, the buffet dinner is from 4 to 6,
and the conference runs from 4:30 to 7:00.
For more information please call 917-254-5164.
Come join us as we honor and remember our
martyrs and loved ones
and rededicate ourselves to the struggle for truth and justice for the victims of Ustashe and Nazi genocide.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at

Friday, April 21, 2017

У недјељу [23. априла 2017.] комеморација и у Јасеновцу / "Јадовно 1941." [СРНА] April 21, 2017

Foto: Wikigogo / Teo Gasparovic

Јадовно 1941.
April 21, 2017

У недјељу [23. априла 2017.] комеморација и у Јасеновцу

У Спомен-подручју Јасеновац у недјељу, 23. априла, биће одржана комеморација као знак сјећања на жртве усташког концентрационог логора, као и преживјеле заточенике.

Пригодни програм уз полагање вијенаца започеће у 11.00 часова у Спомен-подручју Јасеновац, испред споменика „Цвијет“, најављено је из Спомен-подручја Јасеновац.

Окупљање се очекује до 10.15 часова испред зграде Меморијалног музеја, а колона сјећања према споменику „Цвијет“ кренуће у 10.30 часова.

Комеморација у Јасеновцу одржава се под покровитељством Хрватског сабора.

Дан сјећања на жртве усташког злочина-геноцида у концентрационом логору Јасеновац и његовом највећем стратишту Доња Градина биће обиљежен у Спомен-подручју Доња Градина у недјељу, 23. априла.

Тај комеморативни скуп организују владе Републике Српске и Србије.

Систем концентрационих логора Јасеновац представља највеће стратиште у Другом свјетском рату на територији некадашње Југославије јер је у њему страдало 700.000 жртава усташког злочина.

Међу убијеним је 500.000 Срба, 40.000 Рома, 33.000 Јевреја, 127.000 антифашиста. У Јасеновцу је страдало и 20.000 дјеце.

Логор Доња Градина формиран је 1942. године у систему усташког логора Јасеновац, а био је активан све до завршетка Другог свјетског рата 1945. године и слома Независне Државе Хрватске.

Доња Градина је била једно од највећих стратишта јасеновачког логора гдје су убијани махом Срби, Јевреји и Роми.


If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


ПОЛОЖЕНИ ВИЈЕНЦИ НА СПОМЕН-ПЛОЧИ ДРАЖИ МИХАИЛОВИЋУ [на мјесту гдје је 20. априла 1941. године одбио да призна капитулацију тадашње војске] / "СРНА" April 20, 2017


Полагање вијенаца на спомен-плочу Дражи Михаиловићу
у Петрову 20. April 2017. / Фото: СРНА
ПЕТРОВО, 20. АПРИЛА /СРНА/ - Представници удружења "Ствараоци Републике Српске" и Равногорског покрета положили су данас у Петрову вијенац на спомен-плочу ђенералу Дражи Михаиловићу, подигнуту на мјесту гдје је 20. априла 1941. године одбио да призна капитулацију тадашње војске.
Представник "Ствараоци Републике Српске" Миладин Недић рекао је новинарима да је на данашњи дан Михаиловић донио одлуку да дигне устанак у поробљеној Европи и брани човјечанство од фашизма.
Недић подсјећа да је Михаиловић, након што је сазнао за одлуку тадашње Владе Краљевине Југославије да потпише капитулацију, одржао говор својој јединици наводећи да не признаје капитулацију и да почиње са герилском борбом против окупатора.
Историчар из Београда Радован Калабић каже да је Лужањак, висораван на Озрену, прво мјесто у Европи на коме је пружен отпор нацистичкој Њемачкој.
Он је навео да је Михаиловић на том мјесту изговорио чувену реченицу да српски језик не познаје ријеч капитулација.
"Тако је и почео први устанак српског народа против Хитлера", рекао је Калабић.
Он сматра да су у званичној историји прећутана многа поглавља.
"Ми, нажалост, тек из немачких извора сазнајемо да је први оружани сукоб био у добојском селу Шеварлије, када су Немци објавили смртовницу свог тенкисте који је погинуо у борби са брзим одредом на чијем челу је био Дража Михаиловић", рекао је Калабић.
Он је подсјетио да је Осми бомбардерски пук Краљевине Југославије први и једини у то вријеме у Европи бомбардовао територију нацистичке Њемачке, као чин одмазде за бомбардовање Београда, узлетевши са аеродрома Ровине код Бањалуке.
Спомен-плоча ђенералу Дражи Михаиловићу, односно Равногорском покрету, у знак сјећања на 20. април 1941. године постављена је на Лужањку, висоравни на Озрену, 23. априла 2005. године, а улица у Петрову која води до спомен-плоче носи име ђенерала Драже.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dražini prvi pucali na Nemce / "Novosti" April 2, 2017

Ivan Miladinović
02. april 2017.


Dražini prvi pucali na Nemce

Zašto Srbija ne obeležava dan početka antifašističke borbe? Četnici 28. maja 1941. napali nemačku kolonu kod sela Ljuljaci. U Beloj Crkvi 7. jula počeo građanski i bratoubilački rat među Srbima.

Partizani i četnici sprovode zarobljene Nemce u Užicu 1941. godine
ZAKORAČILI smo u april. U mesec koji asocira na rat, okupaciju, kraj prve Jugoslavije, bombardovanje Beograda 1941, pa potom nekoliko puta 1944. godine... Buđenje tih podsećanja neumitno otvara i pitanja šta se zapravo dešavalo u Srbiji tog ratnog proleća i nastupajućeg ustaničkog leta.
Više od pola veka proslavljali smo 7. jul kao Dan ustanka, kao dan početka oružane borbe naroda u Srbiji protiv okupatora, kada su u Beloj Crkvi ubijena dvojica pripadnika žandarmerije kvislinške vlade Milana Nedića, Bogdan Lončar i Milenko Braković. Slavili smo ovaj dan i posle raspada SFR Jugoslavije sve do 2001. godine, kada je ukinut odlukom Vlade Srbije.
Ali istorija je uvek višedimenzionalna. I njen cilj je da omogući da se jedno vreme razume i objasni, a ne da presuđuje. Ona, istorija, u stvari je vrtlog čitavog niza činjenica koje se međusobno prožimaju a vrlo često suprotstavljaju. Zbog toga svaka istorijska pojava o kojoj se govori protkana je mnogim podacima koji su, neretko, i međusobno kontradiktorni. To podrazumeva da se ništa ne može posmatrati u relaciji crno i belo. Po svemu, tako je i sa događanjima u okupiranoj Srbiji te 1941. godine.
KADA su vetrovi vremena "oduvali" sa vlasti komuniste i drugu Jugoslaviju, pojavila su se prva mišljenja da događaj od 7. jula ne zaslužuje da bude označen kao ključni datum ustanka srpskog naroda, da on u stvari nije bio početak oružane borbe protiv nemačkog okupatora, već samo "početak bratoubilačkog, građanskog rata među Srbima", nagoveštaj da će se "glavna borba voditi... između Srba i Srba!" Tim pre što smo na istorijskoj sceni imali dva antiokupatorska pokreta - partizanski I četnički.
Mnogo je dokumenata, izlišno je da ih ovom prilikom citiramo, koji dokazuju da u Beloj Crkvi, 7. jula 1941. nisu prvi put planule puške u Srbiji, posle neslavne kapitulacije Jugoslovenske kraljevske vojske.
Ova konstatacija otvara još jedno pitanje: zašto Srbija nema, od odluke Vlade 2001, svoj dan početka antifašističke borbe. Pogotovo ako je od te godine do danas, proklamovan jasan cilj ulaska u evropsku zajednicu, koja se, inače, temelji na antifašizmu.
Ovo je prilika da pobrojimo sve ozbiljnije sukobe koji su na teritoriji Srbije vođeni protiv nemačkih vojnih formacija, ne favorizujući nijedan od njih kao dan ustanka.
NEPOSREDNO po potpisivanju bezuslovne kapitulacije Kraljevine Jugoslavije, prvi hici na okupatora ispaljeni su 21. aprila 1941. u selu Donji Dobrić u Pocerini. Odeljenje jurišnog odreda Jugoslovenske vojske napalo je nemačku formaciju i ubilo jednog potporučnika, a drugog potporučnika i narednika ranilo.
Dragoljub Draža Mihailović
Grupa vojnika koja nije htela da se preda oko 1. maja zametnula je kavgu sa jačim nemačkim odeljenjem kod Požege. Borba je bila kratka i žestoka. Brojno jači i bolje naoružani Nemci su zarobili desetoricu vojnika i odmah ih streljali na licu mesta...

I na planini Javor, najpre polovinom maja, a potom 16. juna 1941. vođene su bitke između nemačkih poternih odeljenja i srpskih vojnika, koji se nisu vraćali kućama posle kapitulacije kako bi izbegli zarobljeništvo.

Uz ostale slučajeve otpora, neophodno je spomenuti da su se civili, seljaci, iz sela Brčnar na Kopaoniku, 5. jula 1941. godine, sa oružjem u ruci, suprotstavili albanskim žandarmima i pripadnicima jedne nemačke jedinice koja je bila stacionirana u Kosovskoj Mitrovici.

Značajno je spomenuti i da su, dva dana pre odluke Centralnog komiteta Komunističke partije Jugoslavije o podizanju opštenarodnog ustanka, a pet dana pre događaja u Beloj Crkvi, 2. jula 1941. prvi nemački vojnici pali u zarobljeništvo srpskih ustanika. U Podgorini, u šumi Jautini zarobljeno je četrnaest Nemaca. "Svučeni do u gaće i košulje - poslati su u Valjevo" - zabeležio je Vasa Kazimirović. Ovu akciju je izvela oružana grupa partizana iz Podgorine koji su pripadali Valjevskom partizanskom odredu.

SVEDOCI smo da je kod nas poslednjih dvadesetak godina, a u svetu i mnogo ranije, objavljen popriličan broj tekstova i publikacija u kojima se dokazuje da je Dragoljub Draža Mihailović prvi koji je u Srbiji, na celom jugoslovenskom prostoru, i čak u Evropi, pobo "antifašistički barjak gerile". Tvrdi se da je prvi počeo da stvara vojnu organizaciju i prvi počeo sa oružanim napadima na okupatorsku vojnu silu.

U tim dokazima dominiraju tri datuma - 15. april, 11. i 28. maj 1941. godine. Mihailović je 15. aprila doneo odluku da ne položi oružje i "proglasi jugoslovenske planine za svoja uporišta". Na dan 11. maja počeo je da "sprovodi u delo tu odluku", a 28. maja 1941. otpočeo je i oružanu borbu protiv vojne sile nemačkog okupatora u Srbiji...

Jelički četnički odred na zaplenjenom tenku

Profesor Radoje L. Knežević, jedan od učesnika u puču 27. marta, a potom ministar dvora, u više navrata je pisao kako su 28. maja 1941. pripadnici Dražine, tad još malobrojne vojske, napali nemačku motorizovanu kolonu kod Ljuljaka, na putu Kragujevac - Gornji Milanovac.

Dragoslav Stranjaković, predratni profesor istorije na Beogradskom univerzitetu, poratni stradalnik kao ravnogorac i nastavnik na Bogosloviji, uspeo je da u Parizu objavi knjigu "Titov pokret i režim u Jugoslaviji 1941-46.", pod pseudonimom Branko Lazić. Četnički prepad na Nemce kod sela Ljuljak za njega je ključni dokaz da je Draža Mihailović prvi započeo oružane sukobe sa Nemcima, a ne pripadnici Titovog pokreta.

"Polazeći od činjenica, za napad na nemačku motorizovanu kolonu kod Ljuljaka na dan 28. maja 1941. može se reći sasvim pouzdano samo to - da je do njega uistinu došlo. Nedeljama i nedeljama posle toga, ostaci spaljenih kamiona mogli su se videti u jarku kraj puta... Ali takođe prema činjenicama, to nije bio, uopšte uzev, prvi napad na nemačku okupatorsku vojnu silu posle kapitulacije Jugoslovenske kraljevske vojske u aprilu 1941." - napisao je o ovom ratnom događaju Vasa Kazimirović.

Čačanski partizani sa zarobljenim tenkom
VALjA, međutim, na kraju spomenuti da je u maju 1941. postojala još jedna gerilska organizacija u Srbiji, na čijem se čelu nalazio Kosta Milovanović Pećanac, vrhovni starešina takozvanih starih četnika.

"Svoj rad na organizovanju četničkih odreda za borbu protiv okupatora", dokazuje se, "on je počeo odmah po ulasku Nemaca u Jugoslaviju". Što je on ubrzo pokleknuo, o čemu će tek biti govora u poglavlju o građanskom ratu među Srbima, što se stavio na raspolaganje nemačkom okupatoru i predsedniku od njega naimenovane vlade, Milanu Nediću, drugo je pitanje, koje ne može, međutim, potrti navedeno.

Pećanac se znatno pre Draže obreo "u šumi". O postojanju organizacije Koste Milovanovića Pećanca i akcijama četnika pod njegovom komandom, govore i izveštaji 60. nemačke pešadijske divizije iz prve polovine maja 1941. godine. U jednom od tih izveštaja kaže se da su se "mestimično okupili srpski politički fanatici pod imenom četnika".

Međutim, Kosta Pećanac će ubrzo pokleknuti i staviti se na raspolaganje nemačkoj vlasti i kvislinškoj vladi Milana Nedića.


Prvi pregovarački kontakt ustanika i nemačke okupacione vojske bio je 4. oktobra 1941. Kapetan Dragoslav Račić, komandant Cerskog četničkog odreda, poslao je pismo komandiru 10. čete 699. nemačkog pešadijskog puka u Šapcu. Račić je poručio da je spreman da pusti iz "zarobljeništva 40 nemačkih vojnika, ali pod uslovima: da Nemci prestanu sa ubijanjem, zlostavljanjem i odvođenjem mirnih, nenaoružanih Srba i oduzimanjem njihove imovine; da Nemci povuku svoje trupe u Šabac I obustave bombardovanje sela...

Ukoliko vaši vojnici ne prestanu s mučenjem i zlostavljanjem srpskog naroda, mi ćemo nastaviti borbu s najvećom žestinom do poslednjeg vojnika..."

Nemački kapetan Šulc je odgovorio svojim uslovima za prekid vatre: neodložno izručenje svih zarobljenih Nemaca; predaja celokupnog oružja i municije od strane četnika. Ukoliko bi ovo bilo prihvaćeno, oficirima i ljudstvu vojno-četničkih odreda bilo bi zagarantovano "puno oslobođenje od kazne".

Na ove uslove kapetan Račić nije pristao, i povukao se iz Mačve, u okolinu Valjeva.


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Monday, April 17, 2017


Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian, O.S.S. and Aleksandra Rebic
"Forgotten 500" Halyard Mission Reunion / Michigan June 2009.
Photo: Rebic collection.

This year, 2017, the world will be marking the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War Two, the era of the "Greatest Generation". For me, one of the measures of a man who dies is how deeply the loss is felt in the hearts of those who knew him, and if they didn't know him personally, were affected by his work or by his existence on this earth in a positive way. WWII OSS radioman Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian was short in stature but a giant of a man in the hearts of all of us who were fortunate and privileged enough to know him. I was one of those people, and though it's been seven years since his death, I can still remember exactly what his voice sounded like, and he is as alive for me today as he was during all the years we kept in touch. In one of our last conversations over the telephone, it was obvious that he had been weakened by the leukemia that had struck him late in life. I made a simple request - "Arthur, please don't die." He liked that I called him "Arthur" though most of those who knew him personally or were familiar with his remarkable life story endearingly called him "Jibby". He chuckled warmly and said, "I'll try not to." I know he tried his best, but finally succumbed and died peacefully on March 21, 2010 in Ohio. Although it was inevitable, the news of his death was taken hard by many. We really thought we'd have him just a little while longer. Every year, as winter turns to spring, Arthur is in my thoughts.
Let me tell you just a little bit about him. You can find out much more by searching the internet. Please take the time to do so. It will be worth your time and attention.

Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian  was an essential participant in the great WWII Halyard Mission Rescue Operation of 1944 in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia, both in Serbia and in Bosnia. He was directly responsible for saving the lives of over 500 American airmen stranded on that territory who were considered MIA and virtually left for dead for a good length of time before they were rescued.

Perhaps even more significantly, for Arthur Jibilian, coming home to America after the mission was successfully completed and every American and Allied airman was evacuated safely didn't mean leaving the past behind. Instead, he made it one of his life goals to vindicate the Serbian commander who made the multiple rescues of the stranded Americans and other Allied airmen possible. Arthur never forgot the legendary Serbian General Draza Mihailovich, whom he was fortunate enough to have met personally while in Serbia and Bosnia. After the war, and to his dying day, Arthur devoted his energy and his heart and soul to seeking justice for the General and righting the wrongs of the historical record with regards to Mihailovich, his Chetnik forces, and the Serbian people loyal to them. It was a huge task and an uphill battle. That did not deter him. Most impressively, Arthur Jibilian wanted nothing for himself and everything for Mihailovich and the Serbs who had protected and saved the lives of the Americans in the former Yugoslavia during World War II. Arthur's efforts were not in vain. The historical record is now a more truthful one, a more just one, because of him.

Fortunately, Arthur had the opportunity to return to Serbia and the areas that were so pivotal in his life story twice before he died: the first time in 2004 for the 6oth anniversary of the Halyard Mission and then the following year, in 2005, when the Legion of Merit Medal that had been posthumously awarded to General Mihailovich by the U.S. in 1948 and kept classified for decades afterwards, was finally brought "home" to Serbia.

Before Arthur, we had lost so many good, significant people. Major Richard Felman, U.S.A.F....Captain Nick Lalich, O.S.S....Captain George "Guv" Musulin, O.S.S....and the list of Halyard heroes that had passed into eternal memory went on. There were only a few left, and now one less.

When Arthur died on March 21, 2010 I felt the loss in my gut. His daughter Debi Jibilian had called and left a voice mail message to call her back. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I had been out running errands. Springtime had finally arrived. She didn't leave any details. Though we had spoken on the phone a number of times about her father and the Halyard Mission and current ongoing recognition efforts, and had met in June of 2009, this time it was immediately clear why she was calling. Still, as I dialed her phone number to return the call, I hoped I wrong. But I wasn't. I remember banging my fist on the kitchen counter in frustration. Then the tears came. To this day I continue to feel the loss in my heart. I selfishly wish Arthur were still here with us, because he was truly such a dear, good man. A good friend. I regret that he did not live to see the Mihailovich Rehabilitation judicial process begin in Belgrade, Serbia in September of 2010. I regret more that he did not live to see it finally come to positive fruition in May of 2015. I know he would have been ecstatic. I also know that he would have maintained all along that General Mihailovich did not need to be "rehabilitated".

Arthur Jibilian's remains were interred in Arlington National Cemetery on May 5, 2011.

I hope Arthur Jibilian is watching and reading and listening. I hope he knows how much he is missed. For the Serbs, he was truly the "Good American." We have not forgotten.


Aleksandra Rebic
April 2017


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