Their resistance was so effective and determined that the Germans were forced to divert considerable men and resources in order to meet it.
Between 19 Yugoslavia enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth that funded its commitment to social and economic justice.
For over forty years, Yugoslavia has tried to develop its own model of socialism based on workers’ self-management, ample decentralisation, social ownership and increasing reliance on the market mechanism.
The continuous experiments with economic reforms produced an economic system with specific characteristics based on a combination of socialist, self-managed and market features, facilitated by the country’s international relations.
Despite retaining a communist one-party political regime throughout its existence (1945 – 1991), Yugoslavia was the first socialist country to attempt far-reaching economic reforms.
Because of its early start and frequency of systemic changes, it was considered the most reformed socialist economy.
From that moment on Yugoslavia’s fate was sealed, though it would take a protracted and bloody civil war before it was finally consigned to history, ending a multiethnic state founded on the principle of international brotherhood and solidarity that had emerged from the ashes of a central European continent devastated by the 1936-45 war against fascism.
The Western depiction of the break-up of Yugoslavia would have us believe that it was down to the inherent barbarity and cruelty of the Serbs, the largest ethnic group in the former SFRY, in attempting to suppress the legitimate right of the other constituent Yugoslav peoples – Slovenes, Croats, Kosovan Albanians, etc. In this narrative the Serbs – a people who numbered among the most of any single ethnic group killed by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Second World War – were summarily and disgracefully demonized to an extent unparalleled in the postwar period.
It was tasked with providing the peace conference with legal advice and on 21 November, in the first of its legal opinions on the crisis, it determined that Yugoslavia was “in the process of dissolution.” Just four simple words, yet taken together they constituted a blatant violation of the Yugoslav constitution.
They are words which still today call to mind Rome adjudicating on the destruction of Carthage.