ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: “BOLJE RAT NEGO PAKT” (Better war than pact)
BELGRADE CITIZENS REJECT YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT’S PACT WITH HITLER
MARCH 27, 1941
On this day in 1941, massive demonstrations in Belgrade against the government’s neutrality pact with Hitler’s Germany overthrew the government and forced the Yugoslav king and his entourage into exile from which he never returned.
Nine days later, on Apr 6, 1941, Orthodox Easter Sunday, an outraged Hitler ordered an aerial annihilation of Belgrade without a declaration of war. Up to 20,000 people were killed in that bombing. I am posting this story in their memory.
On a personal note, my late mother and my elder sister were in Belgrade on that day. I remember hearing stories as a child about the horrors they lived through. My father was in the army, serving as a captain of an anti-aircraft artillery unit. They were eventually overwhelmed by the Germans.
They came back, though. And by Oct 1944, Belgrade was free again. But not before 1.7 million Yugoslav citizens perished during WW II.