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Podgorica, 1945

Milovan Djilas
Milovan Djilas

The Second World War ended officially in Yugoslavia on 15 May 1945. The new representative for Montenegro in the central government was Milovan Djilas, the communist leader and later, famous dissident.

Djilas…returned to a Montenegro where the foundations were being laid for a Republican government which would ensure Montenegro's autonomy on an equal basis with that of its larger neighbours - Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Macedonia. It was to be a fresh beginning, launched amid formal celebrations, but the recollections of its official representative depict Montenegro as still for the time being a land devastated by war:

It seemed to me [Djilas wrote] as if all of Yugoslavia was synthesized in Montenegro, in the boundless confidence of the victors and the silence and shame of the vanquished. There were scorched walls along torn-up, demolished roads; rivers without bridges; railroad trucks with splintered ripped-out ties. In the forests, outlaws - four to five hundred in Montenegro…Titograd [Podgorica] was so devastated by Allied bombings - they say there were over twenty - that it resembled an archaeological excavation through which only one path had been cleared. The people of Podgorica had scattered to the villages or to the caves around the Morača river. From these caves there still came smoke and the cry of children.

[p. 391]

Realm of the Black Mountain: A History of Montenegro. 2007. [C.Hurst & Co]

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