Biography      Selected Texts      Legacy      Photographs

US Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service New York

HEARING No 0300-190170

13 Sept. 1949.

Examining Officer to Applicant:
Q. How old are You?
A. 54 yeas old.
Q. Of what country are you a subject or citizen and what is your race?
A. I am stateless and of the white race.
Q. Of what country were you last a subject or citizen?
A. Yugoslavia.
Q. In what manner were you deprived or did you lose your Yugoslavian citizenship?
A. It was taken from me by court decree, at which time I was also condemned to death in absentia.
Q. When did this occur?
A. I think it was July 17, 1946.
Q. Do you have any documentary evidence of your loss of citizenship as you claim?
A. There was a book that was published and translated into the English language. It was the whole trial and was given out by the present Yugoslavian government.
Q. Do you have this book in your possession?
A. I have it at home. It is in the Serbian language.
Q. Do you have the newspaper article in which you claim indicates that you lost your citizenship and that you were tried and sentenced to death during your absence by the Yugoslav government.
A. Yes. I have here a copy of the "New York Times" of July 16, 1946, which contains on page one a headline "Death in Decreed For Mikhailovitch" and the sub-heading "Ten Others Also to Be Shot for Treason and War Crimes". I draw attention to paragraph 2 of this article which states "The death sentences were imposed in absentia on the former Premier and War Minister General Petar Zivkovitch, who is now in Rome, and on Mladen Zuyovitch, former Chetnik commander and Mikhailovitch delegate abroad, who now is in Paris".
Q. Have you yourself seen or read any official decree to this effect?
A. In the newspaper of Belgrade.
Q. When did you go to war?
A. I was drafted the first days of April 1941 and after that I never returned.
Q. Did Yugoslavia enter the war at that time, April 1941?
A. Yes. April 6, 1941.
Q. Against whom did Yugoslavia go to war then?
A. Against Germany and Italy. We were attacked.
Q. Were you an officer in the Yugoslav army at the time?
A. Yes. I was a Lieutenant Colonel.
Q. Did the German and Italian forces succeed in defeating the armed forces of Yugoslavia?
A. Yes.
Q. Did they subsequently occupy the territory of Yugoslavia?
A. Yes.
Q. What did you do when this occurred?
A. I was in hiding in the forests in Yugoslavia.
Q. Was this a part of an organized attempt by the parts of the Yugoslav forces to evade capture by the Germans and the Italians?
A. Yes.
Q. How long did you remain in hiding in the forests of Yugoslavia after the defeat of the regular Yugoslavian armies?
A. For about two or three months, until I came to know of General Mikhailovitch's Resistance Movement and then I presented myself to the General and offered my services.
Q. Did this take place within the territorial limits of Yugoslavia or some other country?
A. It was in Serbia, in the mountains.
Q. Were your services accepts and did you subsequently join the forces of General Mikhailovitch?
A. Yes. I was put on the staff at once.
Q. In what capacity did you serve in these forces?
A. I was a member of the staff. My duties were to organize the Central national Committee for Resistance. I was to get secretly in touch wit political leaders around Belgrade and to organize that committee and then on March 27, 1942, I was caught by the Gestapo and taken captive. Since there was no absolute proof or evidence against me, I was released after two months on condition that I present myself two times weekly and that I escaped into the forests again. I was called before General Mikhailovitch who at that time was in Montenegro, Serbia. Then I became a member of the Special Executive Committee of the Central national Committee for Resistance of which there were only three members. Then at the beginning of May 1943 I took over the command of the Chetnik groups in the western parts of Yugoslavia. Then I was there until September 1943 when I crossed into Italy over the Adriatic Sea and then left from Italy by an allied plane for Cairo, Egypt.
Q. Can you describe briefly what the activities of the Mikhailovitch forces were while you were connected with them?
A. The activities could be divided into two categories. In the first period of his activity in 1941 and 1942 there were the uprisals and fight and battle of all enemies on all fronts. At the end of 1942 the battle became much more complicated because he had to do with Tito's army. Then the battle was carried on various fronts; one against the Communists and on another against the Germans and the Bulgarians. They were also battling against the Ustashi in the interior.
Q. Who were the Ustashi?
A. The Ustashi were Croates, pro-German, in Yugoslavia.
Q. Did the General Mikhailovitch forces ever render military aid to the German or Italian forces?
A. No. He arose against the Germans and the Italians. After the Russians entered the battle and Tito appeared on the scene, then it was a new problem for Mikhailovitch and it was a parallel resistance against the Germans and the Italians. There were some exceptions. Some pact or cease fighting agreements or truces with the Germans and the Italians were made when they were in difficulties and they reported the same to Mikhailovitch and told him they would be ready to break these agreements whenever he gave orders.
Q. Did Mikhailovitch ever give such orders to break the truces that were made?
A. Yes. He gave me orders as Commander in Charge to go and break up such truces in whatever territories they were taking place.
Q. When did the Tito forces become strong enough to make them felt in the situation in Yugoslavia?
A. Almost at the end of the war when the Russians approached the boundaries.
Q. Will you fix the date when Mikhailovitch was first required to take action to resist the Tito forces?
A. That must have been around November 1941.
Q. And the struggle between Mikhailovitch an Tito continued until about May 1943, when you fled to Italy?
A. Yes. Up to the end of the war.
Q. When was it established that the Tito forces gained a dominant position as a resistance movement in Yugoslavia?
A. The end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944.
Q. Did any forces, at any time under your command at any time performs any acts which resulted in aiding the German or Italian forces in Yugoslavia?
A. No. Never.
Q. Why did you go to Italy?
A. That was when Italy joined the allies, when Italy had been defeated.
Q. But why did you decide to leave Yugoslavia and go to Italy?
A. Well, Italy signed an armistice with the allies on September 9, 1943 and on September 9th I went to Susak to the Italian Command and organized a defense against the Germans, and that very night the Italians had to withdraw from attacks by the Germans. I was only advised of the same at the last moment that everything had fallen through. I was expecting an allied fleet that night and had gone out to meet them and so I was forced to leave on a small boat with a small number of my officers and I arrived in Brindisi where I reported to the British General that came there.
Q. In other words, you left Yugoslavia in order to avoid capture or injury by the advancing Germans who were then fighting Italian forces which you had organized. Is that correct?
A. Yes. That is right. I immediately got in touch with Mikhailovitch by radio-telegraph in order to find out what territory in Yugoslavia I was to return to and he ordered me to be his representative in exile.
Q. How long did you remain in Italy?
A. About a week.
Q. Why did you then go to Cairo, Egypt?
A. To present myself to our government in exile, the Yugoslavian government in Egypt and receive orders.
Q. Didn't you testify that you were under orders from Mikhailovitch, no one else?
A. Yes, but Mikhailovitch was a member of the government.
Q. Who was then the head of the Yugoslavian government in exile?
A. Prime Minister Puritch.
Q. What were your activities in Cairo, Egypt?
A. In the Yougoslav exile government I represented all interests of the war for Mikhailovitch.
Q. Did you sit in at cabinet meetings representing the war ministry of which, I understand, Mikhailovitch was the head?
A. Not at all conferences. Only when my services were required for certain questions which might have arisen and when Mikhailovitch required me to be present.
Q. Were you considered a military adviser to the government?
A. They were not definite. They were political and military matters.
Q. How long did you remain in Egypt?
A. From October 1943 to October 1944, but that government fell in May 1944 and another government at the head of which was Subasich and who gave orders that we were all to enter Tito's army. I didn't obey these orders. I still had connection by radio-telegraph with Mikhailovitch in which I was assisted by many allied officers and who assisted me in getting to France.
Q. When you say that the government, then in Cairo, fell, in what manner did it fall?
A. Because pressure was made on the king by the allies to place the whole situation in the hands of Tito.
Q. You mean the king appointed a new premier and dismissed the old government?
A. Yes. He appointed Subasich because he was recommended by the allies.
Q. Was Subasich Tito's man?
A. I don't think so, but he thought that Tito was a democrat and would be able to make a compromise with democracies.
Q. After the appointment of Subasich did the government then become a Communistic one?
A. No. It was not a Communist government yet, but there were Communist followers.
Q. Did Subasich appoint Communist members of the cabinet?
A. They were chosen with an understanding between Subasich and Tito and some members were Communists.
Q. Did the Subasich government order you to return to Yugoslavia and join the Tito forces?
A. Yes. All the members of the army were ordered to and I was a member of the army. I was not ordered singly.
Q. Did Subasich order Mikhailovitch to order his forces to the Tito command?
A. Yes. That order was given over the radio to Mikhailovitch because Subasich did not have radio connections with Mikhailovitch,
Q. Were you requested to transmit such message to Mikhailovitch as his personal representative?
A. No. I was ignored.
Q. And these were the orders that were given by a government which had the backing and support of the allied forces?
A. Yes.
Q. And you chose to disobey these orders. Is that correct?
A. Yes, because I was ordered by Mikhailovitch to go to France and there to join the advancing allied and American forces and as they liberate Yugoslavian prisoners of war I was to organize them into fighting unite which would then march with the American and allied forces, fighting continuously against the Germans until we reached our own frontiers of Yugoslavia.
Q. In other words Mikhailovitch refused to recognize this Subasich government which was then in Cairo, Egypt?
A. Certainly not because he would have had to be under the orders of Tito. I would also like to correct the impression that the Subasich government was in Cairo. It was never in Cairo. When the Puritch government was overthrown, the new Subasich government was formed in London, England, where King Peter resided.
Q. How long after the government was overthrown did you continue to reside in Egypt?
A. About four and one half months.
Q. Why did it take you so long to go from Egypt to France?
A. Because I was hoping that the situation would be improved.
Q. In what way?
A. I was hoping that Tito would not beat Mikhailovitch and he wouldn't have if the Russians had not appeared on the scene.
Q. Why did you refuse to follow the Tito government?
A. Because I am an anti-Communist.
Q. Wasn't there some question at the time as to whether Tito was truly a Communist in the Russian sense of the word?
A. For Mikhailovitch and for me he was a Communist as early as 1941. We saw him right on the fields.
Q. Didn't the fact that the allied forces had chosen to recognize him and the government which he sponsored have any effect upon you insofar as it was some indication that he was not truly a Communist?
A. I was certain that the allies were mistaken.
Q. Isn't it a fact that the reason you didn't go back as you were ordered to do because under the Mikhailovitch government you were a man of influence and power while under the Tito government you would simply be an army officer?
A. No, because I was a republican even before. During the monarchy I was an anticommunist. I always acted by reason of my own conviction.
Q. Did you ever intend to reside permanently in Egypt, either before or during the time you were there?
A. No.
Q. When did you finally get to France?
A. November 25, 1944.
Q. Were the allied forces in control of Paris at that time?
A. Yes. I came on an allied military airplane.
Q. How far had the allied forces advanced into Germany at that time?
A. At that time they had relatively advanced very little. They were around Strasbourg.
Q. Were you aided by any allied army officers in getting to Paris from Cairo, Egypt?
A. Yes. The Franch Ambassador in Cairo assisted me and also, a Franch General assisted me in getting as far as Algiers and then from Algiers I get to Paris on General Testard's personal plane.
Q. Did you travel alone or did you have a staff with you?
A. I came alone. In Paris I gathered a small staff.
Q. Did you actually embark upon your original objective of joining the allied armies and attempting to organize free prisoners of war, Yugoslavian prisoners of war?
A. No. I was not successful.
Q. Why weren't you successful in accomplishing this mission?
A. Because the allies officially recognized Subasich's government and Tito, and totally ignored us. They were only my friends but unofficially.
Q. What were your activities then in Paris?
A. I presented memorandums to the various embassies and I pled for our cause with the various presses or newspapers and with the intellectuals. I had a large circle of acquaintances in Paris.
Q. Did you live in Paris from the time you got there in November of 1944 until you left to come to the United States in September 1946?
A. Yes. Continuously.
Q. After the war, by that I mean after the termination of hostilities, were you ever requested to return in Yugoslavia?
A. Tito requested my extradition from the French government.
Q. When did that happen?
A. In June of 1946.
Q. Had you been requested previously to return to Yugoslavia?
A. No. At that time the agents of the secret police in France which were protected by the French Communist party, were threatening me.
Q. Did these agents want you to return to Yugoslavia?
A. According to reports by the French police they wanted to either kidnap me or kill me.
Q. Did you gain the impressions that it was the desire of the Yugoslav government that you return to that government?
A. I had the impression that they wanted to grab me, return me to Yugoslavia and try me in the courts.
Q. How did you know that their intention was to try you for some crime, if they return you to Yugoslavia or if they should be able to get you back into that country?
A. I imagined that because they wanted me to make confessions contrary to my conscience.
Q. Did anyone at all ever physically approach you and ask you to make any false confessions or any other type of confessions?
A. No.
Q. Were you at any time physically molested by any agent of the Yugoslavian government or Yugoslav secret police in France?
A. No, not physically, but when I was absent from my apartment, ten persons broke into my apartment and tore up the place.
Q. When did this occur?
A. At the end of June 1946.
Q. When you first went to France, did you intend that you would take up your home and live there permanently?
A. My only thoughts were to serve the cause wherever it was. I was not thinking of my own person at that time.
Q. Did you expect at that time that you would go back to Yugoslavia?
A. Yes. I hoped to.
Q. Is it still your intention to go back to Yugoslavia?
A. It is my desire, but not under Communism, not while Tito is there. I still have my mother there.
Q. When did you become convinced that you could not go back to Yugoslavia?
A. After the trials held in Yugoslavia, at which I was condemned to death in absentia.
Q. That was in July 1946 while you were in France. Is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. After the termination of hostilities in 1945, did you still believe that you could still return to Yugoslavia and was that still your desire.
A. Yes. I was still hoping that the allies would switch their political course, that that was only a temporary affair.
A. ... I also got married in France and expected to remain there, but I couldn't.
Q. What was your occupation while you were living in France?
A. Nothing, except, as I have already mentioned, I pled for our cause in France and I had means which had been advanced to me by the Puritch government on which I manage to live.
Q. Did you consider that France was at least a haven and refuge to which you could escape ...?
A. I didn't think it was a refuge, but I didn't have any place to chose and I didn't know what to do.
Q. Why did you leave France in 1946?
A. Because my extradition from France was being requested by Tito.
Q. Were you advised to leave France ...?
A. Yes. I was advised to by the French Foreign Office.
Q. What was the basis of this advice ...?
A. Because the French Foreign Office informed me that in their reply for my extradition it would be much easier for them to say I was no longer in France, because in the French government there were also Communists.
Q. Under Franch laws, as you understand it, would the French government have been justified in refusing your extradition?
A. Well, they would have denied my extradition or refused it. However, they informed me that in order to avoid internal difficulties, would I be able to tell them to what country I could go and they asked me whether I would like to go to the United States, and I said I would.
Q. Did they arrange for your visa to come to this country?
A. Yes. They requested the State Department for a visa and Mr. Fotitch, our former ambassador, obtained it and I was able to come here quickly.
Q. You know you were only being admitted as a visitor. Did you not?
A. Yes. I did.
Q. When you came in United States in September of 1946, did you intend to depart from this country to go to some other country?
A. I expected to remain here, excepting in case my country would be liberated from Tito.
Q. Did you have any reason to expect that your country would be liberated from Tito at any specified date?
A. No. That is the hope I live in.
Q. Are you presently in the United States in violation of the immigration laws?
A. Yes. I know it.
Q. Your passport was issued by the Royal Yugoslav government. Was it not?
A. Yes, but I was still able to come here on that passport. I had no other travel document.
Q. At the time you came here in September 1946, the United States was no longer recognizing the government which issued this passport. Is that correct?
A. Yes, but they recognized that passport.
Q. Are you presently able to return to France without fear of persecution there on account of your race, religion or political opinion?
A. I don't know. I understand that the present situation in France is better.
Q. Do you believe that if you were permitted to return to France that you would be persecuted in that country by the government there or any official group in that country because of your race, religion or political opinion?
A. No. I do not think I would be persecuted by any official group or by the French government, but I may be persecuted by unofficial elements and irresponsible elements. By that I mean Communists or by secret agents in that country.
Q. Are you able to return to your native country of Yugoslavia without fear of persecution?
A. No. Because I have been sentenced to death by a court there on account of my previous political activities and I am certain that should I set feet in that country, the sentence would be carried out at once.
Q. You are informed that this Service will request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to search its records and files and to report whether such records and files contain anything of a derogatory nature concerning you. Do you now stipulate and agree that when such report is received, it may be entered in evidence in your case as Exhibit 15?
A. Yes.

Biography      Selected Texts      Legacy      Photographs

This site will present facts and documents about Lt. Col. dr Mladen Zujovic (1895-1969), one of the organizers of Ravna Gora movement (1941), military and political delegate of general Mihailovic in Cairo (1943-1944) and Paris (1944-1946).