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The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War$
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Marko Attila Hoare

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199327850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199327850.001.0001

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The People’s Liberation Movement underground

The People’s Liberation Movement underground

c. April 1941–April 1943

(p.63) 2 The People’s Liberation Movement underground
The Bosnian Muslims in the Second World War

Marko Attila Hoare

Oxford University Press

The Partisan guerrilla army in Bosnia arose from the predominantly Serb peasants who took up arms, under Communist leadership, against the genocidal Ustasha state. But, ultimately, power in a country is held by those who hold the towns. NDH control - and, through it, the control of the Axis occupiers - was concentrated in the towns, while the Communists themselves were an urban movement, both in origin and in outlook. So the political struggle for control of the towns, while initially less dramatic than the activities of the Partisan guerrilla forces, was as important for the ultimate outcome of the war. The NOP in the towns waged a campaign of agitation and propaganda among the urban population and of infiltration and sabotage in the NDH bureaucracy, armed forces and organs of transport and the economy. Since non-Serbs were in the majority in the Bosnian towns, the NOP’s multinational, Bosnian-patriotic banner was central to their efforts to win over the Bosnian urban population. This banner, coupled with the Communists’ own personal connections with Bosnians working for the NDH, enabled them to infiltrate the NDH apparatus at multiple levels, laying the basis for their eventual subversion and overthrow of the quisling state.

Keywords:   Partisan, Bosnia, Ustsaha, Bureaucracy, Communists, Towns, guerrilla

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