The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Montenegro during World War II

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, about 50 Jews lived in Montenegro, which was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at the time. After the capitulation of Yugoslavia in 1941, Montenegro will be occupied by Italy which will remain there until 1943, when Montenegro will fall under German rule. Although Montenegro did not have a large Jewish population, aggressive and strong anti-Semitic propaganda will develop in the collaborating press and on the radio. Anti-Semitism will be somewhat less intense during the Italian occupation, but still visible, while during the German occupation, the Nazi information paradigm will be completely reproduced in Montenegro. A large number of newspapers, radio shows and public speeches of Montenegrin collaborators will contain abundance of anti-Semitic announcements aimed at defaming the anti-fascist partisan movement led by the communists under the command of Josip Broz Tito, the post-war leader of Yugoslavia. Among the Montenegrin units there were around dozen Jews, which was one of the main arguments in the collaborationist propaganda to present the partisan movement as part of a "Jewish conspiracy". That will cause hundreds of anti-Semitic announcements and news. Montenegrin citizens were intimidated with "Judaism" and "Judeo-Communism" as the greatest threat to their lives.

In my presentation, I would present the ways, techniques and reasons for the emergence of anti-Semitism in Montenegro for the first time in its history. Special attention would be paid to the fate of Jews who lived or found refuge in Montenegro during the war, and to the fate of those who were arrested and taken to death camps after the arrival of Germans in Montenegro.