Anti-Fascist Struggle Day in Croatia – Dan antifašističke borbe

Anti-Fascist monument
Anti-Fascist monument

Dan antifašističke borbe (Anti-Fascist Struggle Day) is a Croatian national holiday celebrated on June 22 and a non-working day. On this day, we mark the beginning of the uprising of Croatian anti-fascist Partisans against German and Italian occupying forces. The uprising started with the formation of the First Sisak Partisan Detachment on June 22, 1941, near Sisak in Croatia.

The Yugoslav Partisans were the Communist-led resistance to the Axis powers (chiefly Germany) in occupied Yugoslavia during World War II. The movement was led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, whose commander was Marshal Josip Broz Tito. It is considered Europe’s most effective anti-Axis resistance movement during World War II.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

History of Anti-Fascist Struggle Day in Croatia

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded from all sides by the Axis powers, primarily by German forces, but also by Italian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian formations. During the invasion, Belgrade was bombed by the Luftwaffe. The invasion lasted little more than ten days, ending with the unconditional surrender of the Royal Yugoslav Army.

Due to the beginning of the Second World War, members of the Croatian Communist Party in Sisak were in danger. They retreated from the city to the village of Žabno and then to the forest of Brezovica near Sisak, where they founded the first Sisak Partisan squad primarily performing diversion, especially on the railroad. It had 77 fighters, mostly Croatians from the Croatian territory. By the end of WWII, only 38 of the squad fighters survived.

The foundation of the Sisak Detachment marked the beginning of an organized national liberation struggle in Croatia. More than 500.000 Croatian citizens actively participated by rationing consumer goods, recycling materials, purchasing war bonds, and working in war industries.

Apart from the Sisak Partisan Detachment, another partisan group was founded in the vicinity of Vrgorac on the same day. The group initially counted more than 30 fighters, who practiced weapons handling in the first days and printed anti-fascist flyers and brochures.

Since Croatia gained independence, June 22nd has been marked as Anti-Fascist Struggle Day.

Tradition and activities on Croatian Anti-Fascist Struggle Day

The celebration of Anti-Fascist Struggle Day in the Brezovica Forest near Sisak is organized by the Federation of Anti-Fascist Fighters of Croatia, Sisak, and Sisak-Moslavina County. In recognition, delegations of state institutions, parties, and associations lay wreaths in the memorial park of Brezovica near Sisak.

Upon marking this historical event, numerous delegations and anti-fascist organizations pay homage and lay flowers and wreaths in the city cemeteries of major Croatian cities.

This day is extremely important in Croatian history. The Sisak Detachment and its members decided to fight against evil. They feared for their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens.

Although they fought for their fundamental rights, today, we still have to fight for many other fundamental human rights and the rights of vulnerable minorities. We hope this will change very soon and everyone will become equal in the eyes of the law and society.

[Read: National holidays of Croatia]

View other Croatian national holiday posts

22. lipnja – Dan antifašističke borbe by Hrvatski sabor

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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