Open main menu

Dušan Bilandžić (20 July 1924 – 4 March 2015)[1] was a Croatian historian and politician.[2]

Dušan Bilandžić
Born(1924-07-20)20 July 1924
Died4 March 2015(2015-03-04) (aged 90)
Alma materUniversity of Zagreb
University of Belgrade
AwardsOrder of Danica Hrvatska with face of Ruđer Bošković
Annual State Award for Science
Scientific career
FieldsModern history
WebsiteOfficial website

Early lifeEdit

Lower classes of Franciscan gymnasium he attended in Sinj, and continued his high school education in Osijek. Before World War II, he joined to the Young Communist League of Yugoslavia (SKOJ). During the war, he joined Yugoslav Partisans in 1942 as political commesar in Slavonian partisan units. In the same year, he joined Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In 1955 he graduated from the University of Belgrade's Law School and from 1945 until 1960 he taught military history at Military Academy in Belgrade. After he left the army, he started to work as a journalist, but soon he was employed in a trade union and in 1965 he was named member of the Trade Union Presidency of Yugoslavia as a representative of Croatia. As he worked with in unions under self-management, Bilandžić continued his education. In 1965 he gained PhD from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Economics. In 1967, after Franjo Tuđman has been arrested because of undesirable political activity, Bilandžić succeeded him as director of the Institute for History of the Workers' Movement. In following years he done various political duties and in 1974 he was one of the participants in the drafting of the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. He was a dean on the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. He became member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (JAZU) in 1980. He became regular member of HAZU (earlier JAZU) in 1991.

Professional workEdit

Bilandžić was an enemy of centralization of Yugoslavia after Josip Broz Tito died in 1980. Since he denied validity of Yugoslav nationality during the 1981 census, he was highly criticized by Belgrade as separatist and Ustaše. Bilandžić stated that category of "Yugoslav" led to disappearance more than 30,000 Croats in Vojvodina. He feared that "Yugoslav" category would continue to grow which would call into question the entire basis of Yugoslav cultural and political policies, which were predicated on a person having a single national identification. Specifically, a loss of Croats would mean fewer people to support Croat politicians and diminution of their power base within the multinational state.[3]

With democratic elections in Croatia in 1991, Bilandžić joined the list of Social Democratic Party of Croatia, but the election results were devastating. Since he was a good friend of Tuđman, Tuđman named him Croatian representative in Belgrade in 1991. His friendship with Tuđman was very complex, since Tuđman often criticized him, even calling him "a monster" on the TV after Operation Storm in 1995.

His main focus in History of former Yugoslavia and position of Croats in it. Besides writing books, he participated in writing articles for various magazines and newspapers. His greatest works are History of SFRY (1978) and Croatian Modern History (1999). Since History of SFRY was highly under political censorship, in Croatian Modern History Bilandžić used his previous book as a source, but gave different comments on the same events.


In 2004, in a popular Croatian talk show, Nedjeljom u 2, Bilandžić stated that Croatia had more sovereignty in the SFR Yugoslavia than it would have in the European Union.[4]

Public services and awardsEdit

Bilandžić was member of the Steering Committee of the Croatian Mainstreem of Emigrants,[5] member of the Commission of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Croatia for Pardon[6] and member of the Presidency of the SR Croatia.[7]

He was decorated with Order of Danica Hrvatska with face of Ruđer Bošković for his contribution to science,[8] and Annual Award for Science, which he gained for his work Croatian Modern History (Zagreb, 1999).[9] He was also a member of the State Commission for the Historical and War Victims.[10][11]

Notable worksEdit

  • Historija Socijalističke Federativne Republike Jugoslavije (History of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) 1 (1978), 2 (1979), 3 (1985).
  • Teorija i praksa delegatskog sistema" (Theory and Practice of Delegate System) (1979)
  • Jugoslavija poslije Tita (Yugoslavia After Tito) (1985)
  • Hrvatska između rata i samostalnosti (Croatia Between War and Independence) (1991)
  • Hrvatska moderna povijest (Croatian Modern History; 1999)
  • Rat u Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini (War in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 1999)
  • Propast Jugoslavije i stvaranje moderne Hrvatske (Failure of Yugoslavia and Creation of Modern Croatia; 2001)
  • Povijest izbliza (History from Close up; 2006)


  1. ^ Maletić 1993, p. 57.
  2. ^ Jović 2009, p. 92.
  3. ^ Wachtel 1998, p. 240.
  4. ^ "Akademik i povjesničar Dušan Bilandžić u emisiji Nedjeljom u 2 (2004.g)". HRT, Published on Aug 4, 2014 (in Serbian). Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Manolić, Josip (16 January 1991). "Rješenje o imenovanju predsjednika i članova Upravnog odbora Hrvatske matice iseljenika" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  6. ^ Tuđman, Franjo (20 June 1990). "Odluka o imenovanju predsjednika i članova Komisije Predsjedništva SR Hrvatske za pomilovanja" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  7. ^ Domljan, Žarko (1 June 1990). "Odluka o izboru članova Predsjedništva Socijalističke Republike Hrvatske" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  8. ^ Mesić, Stjepan (30 May 2007). "Odluka kojom se odlikuju Redom Danice hrvatske s likom Ruđera Boškovića" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  9. ^ Tomčić, Zlatko (30 May 2001). "Odluka o dodjeli državnih nagrada za znanost" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  10. ^ Tuđman, Franjo (23 April 1998). "Odluka o osnivanju Državnog povjerenstva za povijesne i ratne žrtve" (in Croatian). Narodne novine. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Umro akademik Dušan Bilandžić". Več (in Croatian). Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  • Jović, Dejan (2009). Yugoslavia: A State That Withered Away. Purude University Press. ISBN 9781557534958.
  • Maletić, Franjo (1993). Tko je tko u Hrvatskoj. Golden marketing. ISBN 953-6168-00-6.
  • Wachtel, Andrew (1998). Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804731812.