After king Peter's speech via BBC on 12 September 1944, those Chetniks who didn't join Partisans became effectively outlaws. In time of the king's speech, Chetniks and Partisans were engaged in Battle of Jelova Gora, which ended with serious Chetnik defeat. Mihailović with his party fled to Bosnia, while smaller Chetnik groups remained in Serbia, hoping that Red Army would accept them as allies. When this did not materialize, those groups, joined by former Serbian State Guard, began retreat toward Bosnia through Sandžak, on flanks of retreating German Army Group E from Greece. On their route through Sandžak, Chetniks and Germans were harassed by Partisans and air raids from Allied Balkan Air Force.
The number of the Serb victims in Vojvodina is estimated at about 23,000–24,000 (According to the professor Dragoljub Živković, 47,000 ethnic Serbs were killed in Vojvodina between 1941 and 1948. About half of the Serb victims were killed by occupational forces and the other half of them were executed by post-war communist authorities).
In 1944, in Rajina Šuma near Novi Sad, partisans executed about 200–250 Serbs, who were accused that they sympathized with the Chetnik movement of Draža Mihajlović.They were buried into two mass graves, which were discovered in 1991 during communal works in that area. After the entry of partisan forces into Novi Sad on 23 October 1944, by the order of general Josip Rukavina (a Croat who was a commandant of military area of Bačka and Baranja),mass arrests of respectable Serbs had begun. They mostly were reputable and rich householders, industrialists and intellectuals, who were seen as a possible threat for the new communist authorities. Order was carried out by the 11th Vojvodinian people's liberation brigade and most of the arrested citizens were executed until the middle of November.
Citizens who were executed included dr Miloš Petrović (former mayor), dr Obrad Milutinović (doctor and vice-president of Novi Sad municipality), Dragoljub Ristić (an industrialist), Pavle Tatić (one of the founders of Socialist Party in Novi Sad), Vojislav Matić (editor and publisher of "Nova Pošta" magazine in Serbian language), Miloš Kostić (footballer of FK Vojvodina), Svetislav Vilovski and Đurica Vlaović (members of Serbian Soko society), Milan – Peca Popović (intellectual and member of Rotary club), Jovan Begović (provincial clerk), Aleksandar Silber (economist), Pera Savić (journalist), Fedor Radić (doctor), and Gaja Gračanin (director of "Putnik" agency). Especially tragic fate is that of pre-war mayor dr Miloš Petrović, who was creditable for elevation of monument dedicated to Svetozar Miletić that still stands in the centre of Novi Sad, and who also helped in saving lives of hundreds of Serbs who were imprisoned in concentration camp "Šarvar" during Hungarian occupation.
Last edited by Serbian; July 19th, 2020 at 02:40 AM.