A Serbian court on Thursday rehabilitated World War Two royalist commander and convicted Nazi collaborator Dragoljub ‘Draza’ Mihailovic, a move condemned by neighbouring Croatia as comparable to forgiving Hitler. Almost 70 years after his execution, ardent Serbian nationalist Mihailovic remains one of the most divisive figures of Balkan history.
An officer in the royal army when Nazi forces invaded, Mihailovic led a royalist resistance movement before exploring collaboration with the occupiers against their common enemy, the Communist partisans of Josip Broz Tito. After a complex period of shifting alliances still argued over today, Tito prevailed and in 1946 Mihailovic was captured, tried and sentenced to death for war crimes and collaboration. Mihailovic was secretly executed in Belgrade, the whereabouts of his grave still a mystery.