Vladko Maček

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Vladko Maček
Vladko Macek crop.jpg
2nd President of the Croatian Peasant Party
In office
13 August 1928 15 May 1964
Deputy Josip Predavec
Preceded by Stjepan Radić
Succeeded by Juraj Krnjević
Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
In office
26 August 1939 7 April 1941
Monarch Peter II of Yugoslavia
Prime Minister Dragiša Cvetković (until 1941)
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded by Juraj Krnjević
Leader of the Opposition
In office
13 August 1928 26 August 1939
Monarch Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Personal details
Born(1879-06-20)20 June 1879
Kupinec, Croatia-Slavonia, Austria-Hungary
Died15 May 1964(1964-05-15) (aged 84)
Washington D. C., U.S.
Nationality Croat
Political party Croatian Peasant Party
Other political
International Agrarian Bureau
Alma mater University of Zagreb
Awards Grand Order of King Dmitar Zvonimir (2004)
Military service
Allegiance Austria-Hungary
Branch/service Army
Years of service19141918
Rank Captain

Vladimir "Vladko" Maček (20 June 1879 15 May 1964) was a Croatian politician in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and as a leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) following the 1928 assassination of Stjepan Radić, was a leading Croatian political figure until the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941. As a leader of the HSS, Maček played a key role in establishment of the Banovina of Croatia, an autonomous banovina in Yugoslavia in 1939.

Croats Slavic ethnic group

Croats or Croatians are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Croatia. Croats mainly live in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but are also recognized minorities in such countries as Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom in southeast Europe between 1918 and 1943

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state in Southeast Europe and Central Europe that existed from 1929 until 1941, during the interwar period and beginning of World War II.

Croatian Peasant Party political party

The Croatian Peasant Party is a centrist political party in Croatia founded on December 22, 1904 by Antun and Stjepan Radić as Croatian Peoples' Peasant Party (HPSS). Brothers Radić considered that the realization of Croatian statehood was possible within Austria-Hungary, but that it had to be reformed into a Monarchy divided into three equal parts – Austria, Hungary, Croatia. After the creation of Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1918, Party requested for the Croatian part of the Kingdom to be based on self-determination. This brought them great public support which columned in 1920 parliamentary election when HPSS won all 58 seats assigned to Croatia.


Early life

Maček was born in Kupinec near Jastrebarsko, southwest of Zagreb. His father Ivan was a Slovene, originally from Lesično, [1] and his mother Ida was of mixed Croatian, on her father's side, and Polish descent on her mother's. [2] At the age of six, Maček started attending elementary school in Kupinec, [3] but continued his education in Zagreb, as his father, a public employee, was transferred there. [4] In Zagreb, Maček enrolled at a gymnasium, [5] which he finished when he was 18 and enrolled at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. [6] He earned a law degree at University of Zagreb. After clerking at various Croatian courts he opened a private law practice in 1908 in Sv. Ivan Zelina. He joined the Croatian Peasant Party at its founding.

Kupinec Village in Croatia

Kupinec is a village in Croatia near Zagreb. It was first mentioned in 1550. Its church, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in the 17th century.

Jastrebarsko Town in Zagreb, Croatia

Jastrebarsko, colloquially known as Jaska, is a town in Zagreb County, Croatia.

Zagreb Capital and largest city of Croatia

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m (400 ft) above sea level. The estimated population of the city in 2018 is 810,003. The population of the Zagreb urban agglomeration is about 1.2 million, approximately a quarter of the total population of Croatia.

World War I

At the outbreak of the World War I, Maček was a reserve officer. As such, he was mobilised into 25th People's Regiment of the Austro-Hungarian Army as a commander of the 3rd company on 27 July 1914. [7] Maček participated in the Serbian Campaign and was wounded in the Battle of Kolubara while crossing the river Kolubara in November. [8] After returning from hospital in Novi Sad to Zagreb before the Christmas, he was decorated for bravery and promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. [9] Due to his astigmatism, he was declared unfit to serve on the battlefield, and was appointed a commander of an engineer company, composed of Poles and Ukrainians. His company prepared defenses of Budapest, and later Austrian-Hungarian port in Pulj, where he served until autumn 1916. [10] From 15 October 1916 until 15 March 1917 he served in occupying forces in Albania. [11]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Austro-Hungarian Army ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918

The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army, the Imperial Austrian Landwehr, and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd.

Serbian Campaign of World War I military campaign

The Serbian Campaign of World War I was fought from late July 1914, when Austria-Hungary invaded the Kingdom of Serbia at the outset of World War I, until the war's conclusion in November 1918. The front ranged from the Danube River to southern Macedonia and back north again, and it drew in forces from almost all the combatants of the war. After the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, the conflict ended with Allied and Serbian victory, and Serbian troops were able to re-enter Belgrade on 1 November 1918.

After World War I

After World War I, during which he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army, he became a close associate of Stjepan Radić. In 1925, after Radić's visit to Moscow and the Croatian Peasant Party joining the Peasants International, Maček was arrested by the Royal Yugoslav authorities. While in jail, he was elected to the National Assembly. In July 1925, after HSS had joined the government, Maček was released. [12]

Stjepan Radić Croatian politician

Stjepan Radić was a Croatian politician and the founder of the Croatian People's Peasant Party (HPSS). Radić is credited with galvanizing Croatian peasantry into a viable political force. Throughout his entire career, he was opposed to the union and, later, Serb hegemony in Yugoslavia and became an important political figure in that country. He was shot in parliament by the Serbian radical politician Puniša Račić. Radić died several weeks later from a serious stomach wound at the age of 57. This assassination further alienated the Croats and the Serbs.

Moscow Capital city of Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

The International Agrarian Bureau was founded in 1921 by the Agrarian parties of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and Poland, growing to 17 political parties in Eastern Europe by 1928. It was sometimes referred to as the "first Green International". The Bureau was a key competitor with the Red Peasant International sponsored by the Communist International or Comintern. In 1947, the Bureau assumed the name of the International Peasants' Union. Stanisław Mikołajczyk was the president of the organization at one point.

HSS leadership and Banovina of Croatia

Croatian Ban Ivan Subasic, Vladko Macek and Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac opening the Sava Bridge in Zagreb Savski most 1939.jpg
Croatian Ban Ivan Šubašić, Vladko Maček and Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac opening the Sava Bridge in Zagreb

Maček became the leader of the party on 13 August 1928 following Radić's assassination. [13] He quickly became a main opponent of King Alexander and was arrested in April 1933 and sentenced to three years in jail for treason. [14]

Alexander I of Yugoslavia Prince regent of Kingdom of Serbia and later King of Yugoslavia 1921–34

Alexander I, also known as Alexander the Unifier, served as a prince regent of the Kingdom of Serbia from 1914 and later became King of Yugoslavia from 1921 to 1934. He was assassinated in Marseille, France, by Bulgarian revolutionary Vlado Chernozemski during a state visit.

Maček was released following Alexander's assassination in 1934. His stated aim during that period was to transform Yugoslavia from a unitary state, dominated by ethnic Serbs, into a new form of state organization in which Croatian statehood would be restored. His ideas appealed to a majority of Croats, and the Croatian Peasant Party gradually gained popularity. He nurtured close relations with other opposition parties in Yugoslavia and, although his coalition lost elections in 1938, it remained a force for reckoning. His persistence and political skills finally paid off in August 1939 with Dragiša Cvetković in the Cvetković–Maček Agreement and the creation of the Banovina of Croatia (Banovina), a semi-autonomous entity which contained Croatia and large sections of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina. HSS became part of the coalition government while Maček himself became deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia. [ citation needed ]

Dragiša Cvetković Yugoslav politician

Dragiša Cvetković was a Yugoslav politician active in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Cvetković–Maček Agreement

The Cvetković–Maček Agreement was a political agreement on the internal divisions in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which was settled on August 26, 1939 by Yugoslav prime minister Dragiša Cvetković and Vladko Maček, a Croat politician. The agreement established the Banovina of Croatia, drawn to include as many ethnic Croats as possible, which effectively created a Croatian sub-state in Yugoslavia, a demand of Croat politicians since the 1918 founding of Yugoslavia.

Banovina of Croatia

The Banovina of Croatia or Banate of Croatia was an autonomous province (banovina) of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1939 and 1941. It was formed by combining the Sava Banovina and Littoral Banovina, but also with small parts of the Drina, Zeta, and Danube banovinas. Its capital was Zagreb and it included most of present-day Croatia along with portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It included area of 65,456 km2 and had population of 4,024,601. The Ban of the Banovina of Croatia during this period was Ivan Šubašić.

World War II

This triumph proved to be short-lived as Banovina collapsed along with Yugoslavia when it was invaded by the Axis invasion in April 1941. Seen by Nazi Germany as an ideal leader of a new Axis puppet state—the Independent State of Croatia—Maček was offered the opportunity to become prime minister, but refused the offer twice. He called on the supporters of HSS to respect and co-operate with the new regime of Ante Pavelić, while at the same time delegating Juraj Krnjević to represent the Croatian people in the Yugoslav government-in-exile. [ citation needed ]

Maček's strategy proved to be detrimental both for his party and himself. In October 1941 he was arrested and interned in Jasenovac concentration camp where he was put under the watch of Ljubo Miloš for some time. [15] Five months later, on 16 March 1942, he was placed under house arrest together with his family at his home in Kupinec. His family shared his internment first in Kupinec, then two months of 1943 (9 January to 9 March) in Luburić's Zagreb apartment (which they shared with Luburić's aged mother and his two sisters), and finally from 9 December 1943 until the collapse of Pavelić's Ustaša regime in May 1945 in his Prilaz 9 house in Zagreb. [15] In the meantime, HSS began to fracture along ideological lines—some of its members joined the Ustaše, while others joined Tito's Partisans. Although bitterly opposed to the former, Maček was equally distrustful of the latter and in 1945 emigrated, first to France, then to the U.S. [15]

Later life

Macek's memorial in the Peasant Party's arcade in Mirogoj Macek memorial.JPG
Maček's memorial in the Peasant Party's arcade in Mirogoj

On 12 June 1945 Maček was received by French foreign minister Georges Bidault who offered him the right of domicile in France. [16] He visited the United States for the first time in 1946 after receiving a visa by order of the Department of State. [17] He was received by mayor David L. Lawrence of Pittsburgh while delivering a speech in that city. [18]

Last years/death

Maček helped found the International Peasants' Union along with Georgi Mihov Dimitrov in 1947. He was offered the leadership of the numerous Croatian émigré groups, but refused. He died of a heart attack in Washington D.C. on 15 May 1964, aged 84. His remains were taken to Croatia in 1996 and buried in the Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb. He was posthumously awarded the Grand Order of King Dmitar Zvonimir in 2004. [19]

See also

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  1. Kranjc, Marijan F. "Stanislaw Maczek (Maček), generalpodpolkovnik – poljski general slovenskega porekla" (PDF). Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  2. Maček 2003, p. 13.
  3. Maček 2003, p. 18.
  4. Maček 2003, p. 19.
  5. Maček 2003, p. 20.
  6. Maček 2003, p. 31.
  7. Maček 2003, p. 56.
  8. Maček 2003, p. 59.
  9. Maček 2003, p. 60.
  10. Maček 2003, p. 60-61.
  11. Maček 2003, p. 61.
  12. "Maček, Vladko". Croatian Encyclopedia (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography . Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  13. Ramet 2006, p. 74.
  14. Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans: Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 201. ISBN   0-521-25249-0.
  15. 1 2 3 Maček, Vladko (1957). "XVI: Prison Again". In the Struggle for Freedom. University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 244–253. ISBN   978-0-271-06665-3.
  16. Boban, Branka (2007). "Vladko Maček u emigraciji – od izlaska iz zemlje do odlaska u SAD" [Vladko Maček in Emigration – From Leaving Croatia in 1945 until His Departure to the USA]. Radovi Zavoda za hrvatsku povijest (in Croatian). 39 (1): 243–258.
  17. "U.S. View Maček [As] No War Criminal", The Windsor Daily Star, 26 September 1946.
  18. "Croat Leader Visits Here", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , 13 September 1946.[ page needed ]
  19. "Odluka o odlikovanju posmrtno dr. Vladka Mačeka Veleredom kralja Dmitra Zvonimira s lentom i Danicom". nn.hr (in Croatian). Narodne novine. 27 December 2004. Retrieved 12 December 2014.