Dragoljub Draža Mihailović; Mihailović memorial in Serbia by the Forward

Nazi collaborator monuments in Serbia

There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. The Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For a guide to each country’s memorials click here.

Novi Pazar and Tutin — In 1941, Aćif Hadžiahmetović, also known as Aćif Bljuta and by the honorific Aćif-efendija (1887–1945), was busy welcoming the Nazis during their conquest of Yugoslavia.

Hadžiahmetović was mayor of Novi Pazar during the war, when his troops slaughtered Serbs and all of Novi Pazar’s Jews were deported to be murdered at the Staro Sajmište concentration camp. His efforts earned him an Iron Cross from the Third Reich.

In 2012, Hadžiahmetović got a plaque in Novi Pazar in a ceremony attended by high-profile politicians. Within a month of the plaque’s unveiling, the Serbian Ministry of Justice ordered its removal, yet local authorities left it standing. That’s common in Eastern Europe — even when the rehabilitation of a Nazi collaborator is ordered to stop, local authorities often refuse to act. In 2019, Hadžiahmetović was also honored with a street in Tutin. (Many thanks to Rory Yeomans, Milijana Pavlović, Jelena Subotić, Marko Attila Hoare and Balkanist editor-in-chief Lily Lynch for their invaluable guidance on Serbia. Thanks also to Dragan Stašić of Beta News Agency for the plaque image.)

Ravna Gora and other towns — A monument celebrating Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović (1893–1946), the leader of the Chetniks, a royalist and Serbian nationalist militia which had collaborated with the Nazis and their Serbian puppets. The Chetniks carried out ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosniaks; according to Yad Vashem, they also killed Jews and turned them over to the Nazis. That said, Serbia’s Jews were annihilated so early in the war, there were few left for Chetniks to encounter.

Mihailović is an extraordinarily divisive figure. Toward the end of the war, he sided with the Allies, using his troops to rescue over 400 American airmen shot down in enemy territory. This earned him a posthumous Legion of Merit award from Harry Truman. Mihailović has other monuments in Niš, Ivanjica (built in 2003), Lapovo (built 2006), Konatice and Subjel, built in 2008. See Reuters and Radio Free Europe reports on his rehabilitation.

For Chetnik statues outside of Serbia, see the Bosnia and Herzegovina, U.S., Australia and Canada sections.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

Author

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon’s Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa. Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NBC, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

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Nazi collaborator monuments in Serbia

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