October 22, 2020
Mr. Samardžić, can you tell us something about your biography? How did you become interested in history, and especially in the WWII?
I graduated from the Faculty of Economics in the city of Kragujevac, and before that from the high school of journalism. As a freshman, I also graduated from the journalism school of "Večernje novosti" ("Evening news"), then the highest-circulation newspaper in Yugoslavia. I was one of their correspondents. Afterwards, I became an associate, and then the editor of the newspaper "Pogledi" ("Views"), a student newspaper of the University of Kragujevac. Journalism schools, as well as the experience from "Novosti", were crucial, both for my future career and for "Pogledi". Namely, in one student newspaper, I introduced professional standards. That was in 1987, when I became editor-in-chief.
At that time, I already had a year of experience with the secret police, which was called SDB, analogous to the KGB. Let me remind you, Yugoslavia was still a socialist, that is, a communist, country. The secret police had spies in all the companies, and they especially wanted to control the students. They called me for a so-called informative conversation the first time in early October 1986. The previous issue of "Pogledi" was banned by the decision of the public prosecutor in Belgrade, and burned. Half of the editorial office was replaced. I found myself in the remaining half, because I was editing the "University" section, within which the disputed articles for the prosecutor were not published. Those criticisms of the regime were, by the way, less than one percent of the criticisms that Trump receives today in some newspapers in America. But, even that little was not allowed.
That first "informative conversation", which, of course, I will always remember, had the goal of intimidating me. On the wall of the office hung a "Heckler", under which sat a huge inspector, who just kept silent and looked across at me. Across from me sat a smiling inspector, who, among other things, told me that the other one was serving them, for example, to take out the refrigerator on the 10th floor, when the elevator was not working...
Of course, my chair was much lower than theirs.
The one who laughed, talked a lot, obviously with the desire that I see he knew everything. Indeed, he knew in detail what we, the members of the editorial office, were talking about, not only in the office, but also on the street. In general, he knew very well the situation in the student press, as well as in the student movement, throughout the country. Later, I found out that they were tapping our phones and that several members of the editorial board and journalists worked for them. I think their motive was primarily fear.
Of course, they scared me, too. It was clear that they could do whatever they wanted to anyone. Under socialism, there is no control of the secret police, no association of civil rights activists, there are no civil rights either. On the contrary, there were laws according to which you could be convicted if you say something against them, even a joke, and especially if you criticize socialism in general and the "character and work of Josip Broz Tito" in particular. He passed away in 1980, after which they passed a law that, word for word, was called: "Law for the protection of the name and work of Josip Broz Tito".
But they didn't scare me for good. I served in the army in special units, the "Heckler" seemed like a toy to me in relation to the "Kalashnikov" that I carried, and especially to my former sniper. I practiced karate and some other Japanese martial arts. After all, I was 24, when everything looks different.
In short, they scared me, but not blocked me. Because of them, I published more slowly, but I still published. Thus, in November 1989, I published the first affirmative article about General Draža Mihailović. He was decorated in America, but in Yugoslavia, he was 100% satanized. If I had published it only a few months earlier, I would have ended up in prison no doubt. Then, however, exactly that month, dictator Ceausescu was killed in Romania, and with him many members of the secret police. This significantly influenced the events in Yugoslavia. Besides, Slobodan Milošević came to power in Serbia a little earlier. He was later satanized all over the world. However, he had a positive role at the time, as he was the first politician to oppose the cult of Josip Broz Tito. So, the cult of the dictator and the mass murderer, under whose picture they swore before each session. Until Milošević refused, in 1988. Also, Milošević reduced the pressure on students, and allowed a certain freedom of speech. He became a negative character only in 1990, when he delayed the announcement of the first free elections as much as possible and when it became clear that he did not want a real democratic system.
In general, shortly after that November 1989 issue, "Pogledi" became the most widely circulated political magazine in Yugoslavia, reaching a circulation of 200,000 copies. And formally, we were the first opposition newspaper since 1945.
Who were Marx and Engels, and what is the value of their writings and deeds?
As an economics student, I had to memorize their major work, "Capital", almost by heart. And other books, too, including the "Manifesto of the Communist Party". Which is, by the way, a great example of, as they say today, hate speech.
Practically all of us who have studied Marxism have seen that this ideology has no value. Controversial, or simply stupid things, were ridiculed by the professors themselves. By then, it was already possible.
Marxism is, in essence, a perversion of the principle of abstraction. This principle is applied in every science. It serves to separate the essential from the irrelevant, in order to determine the main currents. Marxism, therefore, takes one or more irrelevant details, and declares them to be not only important, but also crucial. That way, it can "prove" practically everything. Of course, with the help of the secret police, that is, coercion, because, as I said, it was punishable by law to challenge that quasi-religion.
Marxism, for example, proved that life is better in Albania than in Switzerland, not to mention America. America was highlighted in class as an example of a bad country, both externally (imperialism) and internally (oppression and exploitation of "working people and citizens"). Whenever there was talk of America, it was said that there were many murders, many drug addicts, prostitutes, and the like. In fact, I can't even remember what was, beside that, said in the Marxism classes. We have learned, and they have claimed that it has been scientifically proven, that the entire Eastern bloc was better for life than the entire Western world. By 1965, Yugoslavia's borders were closed, as they are today in North Korea. There were no passports (with some exceptions). When the borders were opened, millions fled to Western countries. But, again, when these people came to visit their relatives, they had to say that it was better in Yugoslavia. In the socialist system, everything is a lie, everyone lies to everyone.
One of the main characteristics of Marxism is that it deals with the distribution of social wealth, and not with the questions of how citizens can acquire wealth. Unfortunately, that is still, to a certain extent, a characteristic of leftists around the world.
Fortunately, in the 1980s, they introduced marketing to the faculties of economics, and I opted for that direction. We studied according to the American Philip Kotler. He visited Belgrade 7-8 years ago. He looked much younger to me than I imagined.
I read Karl Popper's book "Open Society" as soon as it was published in Serbian. The difference in relation to Marx and Engels is incredible. That book will last, while for the books of these two, definitely no one is fighting in libraries. With the exceptions of North Korea, Cuba, and China.
Who was Josip Broz Tito? What did the 4th Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in Dresden (1928) bring?
He was a Croat born in the village of Kumrovec, a locksmith's assistant by profession. As an Austro-Hungarian soldier, he took part in the attack on Serbia in 1914. He was a member of the so-called Devil's division, known for war crimes. After the war, he often changed jobs, because he was not very hardworking.
Throughout history, it has been difficult to find a Marxist successful in any profession. Going to Stalin's Soviet Union was crucial for Tito. There were the so-called purges, that is mass murders of their own citizens, declared "enemies of the people". The most common accusations were that someone was a foreign agent, usually from Great Britain or America. At one point, Tito realized that in order to advance, it was "only" necessary to say that someone was a foreign agent. That one would be killed, or sent to a camp in Siberia, and he would advance.
The Dresden Congress was the culmination of a change in communist politics in the Balkans. In the beginning, they have, as everywhere else, claimed that the capitalists oppressed the workers. But, in the elections in the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, the future Yugoslavia, in 1921, it turned out that members of national minorities who hated the country voted for the communists the most. For example, Albanians, who mourned the Turkish occupation, during which they were privileged over the Orthodox, or Hungarians, who mourned the Austro-Hungarian occupation. Thus, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, by order from Moscow, puts the national question in the foreground instead of the class one. At that congress, they proclaimed the right to secession for Albanians and Hungarians, and the disintegration of Yugoslavia in general.
Who was General Dragoljub Draža Mihailović? What was the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland, also known as the Chetniks, during the WWII? What were their goals and achievements?
He was a Serbian officer, decorated with the highest domestic and foreign decorations in the First and Second Balkan Wars and in the First World War. Between the two world wars, he graduated from the highest military schools in Yugoslavia and France. As a professor at the Military Academy in Belgrade, he promoted the "Chetnik war", that is, the guerrilla war. Earlier, the Chetniks, as special units, had only tactical significance. Mihailović gave them strategic importance, claiming that, when necessary, the entire army should become guerrilla. In particular, he believed that Yugoslavia could not defend itself from Hitler's tanks and planes in the frontal war, and that it should therefore immediately prepare food and ammunition depots in the mountains for the future guerrilla war. His idea was not accepted. But, after the collapse of all fronts, and the surrender of most of the army, in April 1941, he turned his theory into practice. On the mountain Ravna Gora, 80 km south of Belgrade, he formed the Command of the Chetnik detachments of the Yugoslav Army. It was the largest guerrilla in occupied Europe. It bound first four and then several German divisions, as well as several Bulgarian and Italian divisions. Only its sabotage group "Gordon" carried out 1,499 diversions and sabotages on the railways, during the Battle for Africa in 1942 and early 1943. That is, so many diversions and sabotages of this group were counted by the Germans, when they finally destroyed it, at the end of the summer of 1943. I think that is, for one sabotage group, a world record in the entire history.
Another name for the battle is the Battle for Supply. One of the closest routes for supplying German troops in Africa went through Serbia.
In September and October 1943, the Chetniks carried out the largest anti-Axis operation behind the lines of the great fronts. They were attacking the Germans towards the Adriatic Sea, expecting an Allied landing. However, it did not happen, and in the meantime, just at that time, the Western allies transferred support from the Yugoslav Royal Army, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in general, to the so-called partisans, who were terrorist formations of the illegal CPY. This was the result of the Western Allies' trade with Stalin.
During 1944, the Chetniks rescued over 500 American pilots, who were shot down by the Germans. This is the well-known Halyard Mission today, as the Americans called it. The American ambassador in Belgrade has been regularly coming to the place where the Chetniks built one of the three improvised airports for the evacuation of pilots, in the village of Pranjani near Čačak, for almost 15 years. He comes in gratitude for the rescuing of the Americans.
What were Tito's partisans during the WWII? What were their goals and achievements?
Terrorists. Their goal was to use the war to carry out a communist revolution. They expected that already in the fall of 1941 the Soviet Union would send paratroopers to Yugoslavia, who would defeat the Germans and put them in power. They expected, of course, that the Red Army would defeat the Germans on the Eastern Front in record time. It is interesting that the general public in Serbia still does not know that America sent to the Red Army, across the North Sea, more than 10,000 tanks, planes, trucks, then huge quantities of food, ammunition, etc. without which Hitler's troops would have hardly been beaten in 1943.
However, since the communists, which was already characteristic of that movement, looked at things unrealistically, in 1941 they proclaimed the so-called second phase of the revolution. The first phase is the conquest of power - they thought, therefore, that it was only a matter of days, with the help of Soviet paratroopers - and the second phase means the killing of real and potential enemies of their party. By the end of 1941, they killed at least 1,000 people in Serbia alone, by the rule those who were more rich, more respectable, and more successful. They were often clergy, too.
When they were expelled from here, at the beginning of 1942, they declared the second phase of the revolution in Montenegro and part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, again waiting for the Soviet paratroopers. They killed at least another 1,500 people then. In Herzegovina, they declared that every peasant who had more than two cows or 20 sheep was an exploiter of other peasants and must be killed.
That second phase of the revolution was most successful after the Red Army invaded Serbia in October 1944. After the Red Army tanks put them in power, they killed over 100,000 people in Serbia. One state commission, set up to list communist victims, reached 60,000 listed names, and then its work was obstructed.
As for the combat contribution of the partisans, it was in fact negative. That is, they only bothered the regular Yugoslav army (Chetniks). In two ways: first, by attacking it, and second, by its very existence, because the regular army is obliged to defend the lives of its citizens from terrorists, and also to defend the constitutional order. In a word, the communists diminished the fighting power of the army.
Why was General Mihailović abandoned by the Allies, and how communist Tito came to power in Yugoslavia in 1945? Was there an attempt from the American military mission to General Mihailović to bring him to power instead of Tito?
Because the goal of the Western Allies was to win the war with as few casualties as possible. They were terrified of the massacre from the First World War, they never wanted it to happen again, for their armies to suffer so much. That is why they transferred the main war effort to the Soviet Union. And successfully: while America had 270,000 and Britain 300,000 by the end of the war, the Soviet Union had nine million soldiers killed.
In encouraging Stalin to continue the war, the Western Allies at one point gave him the option of gaining access to the warm seas - the Adriatic Sea, as part of the Mediterranean Sea. Then they started praising Tito and criticizing General Mihailović. During 1944, however, they wanted to leave Yugoslavia in their sphere of Western interest. In that scenario, the communists would go to the polls after the war and, of course, they would be defeated. So that the partisans would remain only one small episode in history. However, Stalin saw through that. In the summer of 1944, he did not honor the agreement with the Western Allies on a simultaneous attack on Berlin. He stopped the attacks on Berlin, and turned south to occupy the Balkan countries. Churchill was shocked and then his urgent departure to Moscow followed, in October 1944, when he managed to save Greece. So, only Greece.
This turn of Stalin towards the Balkans was used by the Germans to launch the so-called Ardennes offensive against the Western Allies. At that time, they inflicted them great losses, as far as I remember, of about 60,000 killed and wounded. The Ardennes were a stain on the plan to minimize their own losses.
Before Churchill went to Moscow, Colonel Dr. Robert McDowell, from the OSS, came to General Mihailović's headquarters. That was at the end of August 1944. His plan was for the Germans in the Balkans to surrender to the Chetniks, so that they would get enough weapons to defeat the communists. Because, in the meantime, the Western allies gave the communists weapons and equipment for about 150,000 people. McDowell negotiated with the Germans and some of their officers agreed to surrender. Only one battalion of American paratroopers was supposed to land to Mihailović. The goal was that the American flags prevent invading of the Red Army. To declare the defeat of the Germans in the Balkans and to say that there was no need for the Red Army to come there. However, already in September 1944, the Red Army began to enter Serbia, and in October, at a meeting in Moscow, Churchill failed to cope with that. Thus, on November 1st 1944, McDowell returned with the job undone.
Was a danger of a communist revolution in the United States after the WWII real? Are there any communist forces in America right now?
It was not. I think it's not even now, but now the communists have a better chance. As an exam question from Marxism, I had the question "Communist Party of America". I remember that its main theorists, and leaders, were Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy. I also know for sure that the CPA headquarters was across from the Serbian Church of St. Sava in New York, Manhattan. It is that huge church, which burned down a few years ago. I know this because the CIA came to the priest and asked him to install wiretapping devices, that is microphones aimed at the building where the communists met. And one of those priests told me that later. They, of course, like almost all Serbs in America, gladly helped everything that was against the communists.
The CPA was funded by the Soviet Union until 1990. They gave them three million dollars a year. Gorbachev abolished it. As foreign agents, and mercenaries, the communists had no chance, even if they received much more money. That's when their chances grow. When they shut down the KPA, they founded several socialist associations and NGOs, got in touch with some controversial wealthy people, like Soros, who finance them, and finally, they got in touch with the Democratic Party. As William Engdahl wrote on the New Eastern Outlook website, all these riots in America, allegedly because of the Coronavirus, are actually the result of communist action. He sees this as an attempt at a communist revolution, with which I agree. Throughout their history, communists have used the difficult situation in a country to carry out a revolution. They did it for the first time in 1871, the so-called Paris Commune, when the French suffered a heavy defeat by the Germans. Then 1905, the first Russian revolution, when Russia lost the war to Japan. Then in 1917, when the Germans sent Lenin, with lots of gold, as the fifth column. I have already mentioned the example of Yugoslavia in 1941.
What do you think about President Trump, and what are your hopes for him?
I hope he wins. God forbid he loses! What worries me is that a number of people in Western countries have a naive, romantic view of communist ideas, or rather slogans. However, it has been proven that everything the communists say is a lie. They simply want to subdue you. If they win in America, America will have the system that North Korea, Cuba and China have today. That means opening a camp for unsuitable citizens, night arrests, mass murders, of course a drop in the standard of living of citizens, a drastic drop.
I am sorry that Serbia does not have such a party as the Republican Party. I think that, professionally speaking, it is the strongest party in the world, in the history of the world. It outlived both Marx and Engels and those other socialists (Hitler's) and who knows what else. It made a great choice with Trump and I believe that he will win once again. In short, I do not believe that the Democratic Party can overpower the Republican. Especially now that the Democratic Party has gone too far to the left, reaching the threshold of the communist revolution. Besides, I would like to remind you that the communist revolution has never succeeded in history without help from another country. In the case of America, there is no that other country.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org