Milan Nedic
Milan Nedić (September 2, 1877 – February 4, 1946) was a Serbian
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 general and politician, he was the chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav Army, minister of war in the Royal Yugoslav Government and the prime minister of a Nazi-backed Serbian puppet government during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


After the war, Yugoslav communist authorities imprisoned him, during which he allegedly committed suicide in 1946. This claim has been recently brought into question, with testimony of Miodrag Mladenović, a former officer in Yugoslavian OZNA.

Early life

Nedić was born in Grocka
Grocka is a suburban neighborhood and one of 17 municipalities which constitute the City of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.- Location :...

 close to Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia
Kingdom of Serbia
The Kingdom of Serbia was created when Prince Milan Obrenović, ruler of the Principality of Serbia, was crowned King in 1882. The Principality of Serbia was ruled by the Karađorđevic dynasty from 1817 onwards . The Principality, suzerain to the Porte, had expelled all Ottoman troops by 1867, de...

. He finished the gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 in Kragujevac
Kragujevac is the fourth largest city in Serbia, the main city of the Šumadija region and the administrative centre of Šumadija District. It is situated on the banks of the Lepenica River...

 and entered the lower level of the Military Academy in 1895. In 1904 he completed the upper level of the Academy, then the General Staff Preparatory, and was commissioned in the Army.

He was promoted to the rank of major in 1910. He served during the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 and received a number of decorations and medals for bravery. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1913.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, in 1915 he was promoted to colonel and served in the general staff as the youngest colonel in the Serbian Army. During the retreat of the Serbian Army and Government through Albania in November 1915 through January 1916, under Austrian and German pressure, his troops provided cover. He was appointed the Ordnance Officer to King Peter I of Serbia in 1916 who retreated together with his people and his Army. In September 1918, he commanded the Infantry Brigade of the Timok Division when they made a breakthrough at Thessaloniki Front along with British, Greek and French allies.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

After the war, he continued as the commander of the Infantry Brigade, before he was made the staff commander of the 4th and 3rd Army Oblast as well as the commander of the Drava Division Oblast. He was made division general in 1923 and finally army general in 1930. Between 1934 and 1935, he commanded the General Staff of the Yugoslav Royal Army.

In 1939 he was made the Minister of Army and Navy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

, but because of his disapproval of a potential participation in the war alongside Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Nedić was dismissed on 6 November 1940 by regent Paul. This was most likely out of unease with Nazi Germany's ally, Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 which at the time harboured the Croatian extreme nationalist Ustashe leader Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelic
Ante Pavelić was a Croatian fascist leader, revolutionary, and politician. He ruled as Poglavnik or head, of the Independent State of Croatia , a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia...

 in exile in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, and because of the rhetoric of some Italian fascists in the past such as the late Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist...

, who were violently opposed to a Yugoslav state.


The Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 commander Heinrich Danckelmann decided to entrust Nedić with the administration of German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

-occupied Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 in order to pacify Serb resistance. Not long ago, Nedić had lost his only son and pregnant daughter in law in a munition explosion in Smederevo
Smederevo is a city and municipality in Serbia, on the right bank of the Danube, about 40 km downstream of the capital Belgrade. According to official results of the 2011 census, the city has a population of 107,528...

, in which several thousands died. He accepted the post of the prime minister in the government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 called the Government of National Salvation, on August 29, 1941.

On September 1, 1941, Nedić made a speech on Radio Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 where he declared the intent of his administration to "save the core of the Serbian people" occupied and surrounded by Fascist Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, the Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia
The Independent State of Croatia was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany, established on a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. The NDH was founded on 10 April 1941, after the invasion of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers. All of Bosnia and Herzegovina was annexed to NDH, together with some parts...

, Hungary, Bulgaria and Bosnian Muslims. Of these occupiers, the Ustashe-led regime of Croatia and Nazi-led Germany committed the most numerous and most horrendous atrocities on Serbs, some numbers indicating an estimated 700,000 Serbs were killed by the Ustashe. By accepting the occupation of Germany in the area of Sumadija, Drina Valley, Pomoravlje and Banat. He also spoke against organizing resistance to the occupying forces due to German Laws in which 50 Serbs were murdered for 1 wounded German soldier, and 100 for a killed soldier. In addition, at minimum 300,000 Serbs were forcefully taken to German camps. His state's actions were good intentioned for Serbs, but the opposite was the case for minority or opposition groups. His state's propaganda funded by Germany promoted anti-Semitism, anti-communism, which particularly linked these up with anti-masonry as a means of swaying Serbs to see these groups as their enemies along with the Germans.

The Serbian government under Nedić accepted many refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s mostly of Serbian descent. However aside from accepting Serb and other refugees, Nedic's state was a disaster for the Serb people. The German occupiers held no respect for his authority or Serbs and during the war, over 300,000 people died in Serbia of war-related causes in German reprisals, that demanded as above mentioned 100 killed Serbs for one killed German soldier, like Kragujevac massacre
Kragujevac massacre
The Kragujevac massacre was the murder of men and boys in Kragujevac, Serbia, by Nazi German soldiers between 20–21 October 1941. All males from the town between the ages of sixteen and sixty were assembled, including high school students, and the victims were selected from amongst them...

. In August 1942, the German occupiers proclaimed Serbia Judenfrei
Judenfrei was a Nazi term to designate an area free of Jewish presence during The Holocaust.While Judenfrei referred merely to "freeing" an area of all of its Jewish citizens, the term Judenrein was also used...

. Nedić also collaborated with the Chetniks
Chetniks, or the Chetnik movement , were Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organizations from the first half of the 20th century. The Chetniks were formed as a Serbian resistance against the Ottoman Empire in 1904, and participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, and World War II...

 as a way of defending "Endangered Serbianisation".

On October 4, 1944, with the successes of the Yugoslav Partisans and their onslaught onto Belgrade, Nedić's government was disbanded and on October 6, Nedić fled from Belgrade to Kitzbühel
-Demographic evolution:-Personalities:*Karl Wilhelm von Dalla Torre , entomologist and botanist*Alfons Walde , expressionist painter and architect*Peter Aufschnaiter , mountaineer and geographer...

, Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 (then annexed to Germany) where he was protected. On January 1, 1946, the British forces handed him over to the Yugoslav Communist forces.

He was incarcerated in Belgrade on charge of treason. On February 5, the newspapers reported that Milan Nedić committed suicide by jumping out of a window while the guards weren't looking.

But, recently, Miodrag Mladenović, a former officer with of the Yugoslavian OZNA, claimed that on February 4, 1946, he received an order to pick up a dead body at Zmaj Jovina street, where the prison was located at the time. When he arrived there, the body was already wrapped in a blanket and rigor mortis had already set in. According to the orders given to him, he took the body to the cemetery where it was buried in an unusually deep grave. He never attempted to see the face of the person that he carried, but the day after, he read in news that Milan Nedić had committed suicide by jumping through the prison window at Zmaj Jovina street.


The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the most prominent academic institution in Serbia today...

 named Nedić as one of the 100 most significant Serbs. The minor Serbian Liberal Party
Serbian Liberal Party
The Serbian Liberal Party was a political party in Serbia. It was founded by a group of 10 members of the Democratic Party who left their former party only a few days prior to the 1990 parliamentary elections...

 is working for his rehabilitation, altogether sparking a lot of controversy in Serbia.

Nedić's portrait was included among those of Serbian prime ministers in the building of the Government of Serbia
Government of Serbia
Officially the Government of the Republic of Serbia is the executive branch of government in Serbia.-Current government:The current government was elected on 7 July 2008 by the majority vote in the National Assembly of Serbia and restructured on 14 March 2011...

. In 2008 minister of interior Deputy PM Ivica Dačić
Ivica Dacic
Ivica Dačić is a Serbian politician. He is the leader of Socialist Party of Serbia and is First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Internal Affairs....

removed the portrait after neo-Nazi marches were announced in the country.
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