Christian Axboe Nielsen, “Yugoslavia and Political Assassinations: The History and Legacy of Tito’s Campaign Against the Emigrés”

Yugoslavia and Political Assassinations is the first book in English to analyse how and why the Yugoslav State Security Service carried out multiple targeted assassinations, over the country’s forty-six years of existence, under the pretext of protecting the Yugoslav communist party-state. Offering a detailed history of the programme, from the inception of the State Security Service to the recent trials of individuals involved, it draws on Christian Axboe Nielsen’s unique wealth of experience and research as an academic and as an expert witness in numerous criminal trials.

The result is a ground-breaking contribution to the history of targeted assassinations, communist history, state security services and related criminal trials.

Table of contents

Chapter 1. The Establishment of the Yugoslav State Security Service
Chapter 2. Defining the Enemy: The Struggle against the “Enemy Émigrés”
Chapter 3. Agents, Infiltration and Surveillance: The Methods of the Yugoslav State Security
Service in Émigré (Diaspora) Communities
Chapter 4. Taking the Fight to Them: The 1972 Bugojno Uprising and the Shift to an Offensive
Chapter 5. Murder in Munich: The Assassination of Stjepan Ðurekovic
Conclusion: The Revenge of the Émigrés in the Collapse of Yugoslavia


“After years of prodigious research among the yellowing papers of several Yugoslav secret police archives, the historian Christian Nielsen has emerged to reveal the little-known story of the protracted, low-level war between violently anti-communist Croatian émigrés and clandestine Yugoslav police organizations in the decades after the Second World War. In a masterful, richly-documented account leavened by several appearances as an expert witness in international criminal trials, Nielsen creates an indelible portrait of an insecure communist Yugoslav state constantly struggling to subdue mortal enemies who for decades had assassinated its diplomats and citizens on the streets and alleyways of cities around the globe.” –  Robert Donia, University of Michigan, USA

Yugoslavia and Political Assassinations by Christian Axboe Nielsen provides deep and new insights into the history of the targeted assassination program of the Yugoslav State Security Service. This is a topic hitherto hardly dealt with in academic historiography although emotionally and controversially discussed for decades already. Based on thorough archival work with variant sources produced by the Yugoslav Security institutions and the critical evaluation of earlier dubious émigré and existing journalistic writings, the author is setting new standards in dealing with this topic. He makes obvious how the leadership of socialist Yugoslavia systematically used targeted assassination as a means of protecting the party-state against political émigrés (first and foremost, but not only, of Croatian Ustasha and right-wing background who saw themselves in and pursued a war against “Yugoslavia”) in Western Europe and beyond. This is a highly professional, brilliant reconstruction of a complex history that should certainly be considered when reflecting upon the history of socialist rule in what was once Yugoslavia.” –  Hannes Grandits, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Christian Axboe Nielsen is Associate Professor of History and Human Security at Aarhus University, Denmark. He has worked as an analyst at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and has appeared as an expert witness in international and domestic criminal and civil cases.

Published: 12-11-2020

Edition: 1st

Extent: 264

ISBN: 9781788316866

Imprint: I.B. Tauris

Jugoslavija i politička ubistva

Ovih je dana izdavačka kuća Bloomsbury objavila knjigu pod naslovom „Yugoslavia and Political Assassinations .The History and Legacy of Tito’s Campaign Against the Emigrés“, čiji je autor danski povjesničar Christian Axboe Nielsen. Riječ je o knjizi koja analizira kako i zašto je Jugoslovenska Služba državne sigurnosti izvršila niz ciljanih ubistva emigranata, tokom četrdeset šest godina postojanja zemlje, pod izgovorom zaštite jugoslovenske komunističke države. Knjiga nudi detaljnu historiju programa, od osnivanja Službe državne sigurnosti do nedavnih suđenja pojedincima, oslanja se na brojne izvore koje je Nielsen prikupljao kao naučnik i kao vještak u brojnim krivičnim suđenjima.

Posebno poglavlje je posvećeno slučaju Bugojanske skupine 1972. godine.