LAST UPDATED: 17/6/2021
Anti-Fascist Struggle Day (Dan antifašističke borbe) is a national holiday in Croatia celebrated on June 22. It is a non-working day in Croatia.
On this day, we mark the beginning of the uprising of Croatian anti-fascist Partisan against German and Italian occupying forces. The uprising started with the forming of the First Sisak Partisan Detachment on June 22, 1941, near Sisak, Croatia.
The Yugoslav Partisans was the Communist-led resistance to the Axis powers (chiefly Germany) in occupied Yugoslavia during World War II. It is considered to be Europe’s most effective anti-Axis resistance movement during World War II. It was led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia during World War II. Its commander was Marshal Josip Broz Tito.
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The facts are these…
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded from all sides by the Axis powers, primarily by German forces, but also including 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 and retreated from the city first to the village of Žabno, and then in the forest of Brezovica near Sisak. It was here where they founded the first Sisak Partisan squad, which mostly performed diversion, especially on the railroad.
The squad had 77 fighters, mostly Croats from the Croatian territory. By the end of WWII, only 38 of these squad fighters survived.
The foundation of the Sisak Detachment marked the beginning of an organized national-liberation struggle in Croatia, in which more than 500.000 Croatian citizens participated actively by rationing consumer goods, recycling materials, purchasing war bonds, and working in war industries.
Apart from the Sisak Partisan Detachment, on the same day, another partisan group was founded in the vicinity of Vrgorac. The group initially counted more than 30 fighters, who practiced weapons handling in the first days, printed anti-fascist flyers and brochures.
Since Croatia got its independence, June 22nd has been marked as Anti-Fascist Struggle Day.
The 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.
On the occasion of marking this historical event, numerous delegations, and anti-fascist organizations pay homage and lay flowers and wreaths in the city cemeteries of all major Croatian cities.
This day is extremely important in Croatian history. The Sisak Detachment and its members decided to fight against the evil. They were in fear for their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens. Although they fought for their basic rights, today we still have to fight for many other basic human rights and the rights of vulnerable minorities. We hope that this will change very soon.
[Read: National holidays of Croatia]
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.