Milan Stojadinović (Serbian Cyrillic: Милан
Стојадиновић; 4 August 1888 – 26 October 1961) was a
Serbian and Yugoslav political figure and a noted economist. From 1935
until 1939 he served as Prime Minister of Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
1 Early life
3 Political career
5 See also
Milan Stojadinović was born on 4 August 1888 in the Serbian town of
Čačak. His father, Mihailo, was a municipal judge who relocated to
Belgrade in 1904. It was here that the young Stojadinović finished
his secondary education and became a sympathizer of the Serbian Social
Democratic Party (SSDP). He came to believe that the liberation of
Serbian territory from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires was
more important than bridging the gap between the upper and lower
classes and followed in his father's footsteps by joining the People's
Radical Party (NRS) of Nikola Pašić.
In the summer of 1906, Stojadinović was sent to Austria to learn
German as a reward for successfully completing secondary school. While
there, he fell under the influence of South Slavic youth movements and
became a supporter of Yugoslav unity. He later returned to Serbia and
began a degree at the University of
Belgrade Faculty of Law,
specializing in economics and finance. He spent three years studying
abroad, staying in
Potsdam during the 1910–11 school
Paris between 1911 and 1912, and
London between 1912 and
1913. Stojadinović's stay in Germany had a profound effect on his
economic views and led him to write a doctoral dissertation on the
country's budget. He was greatly influenced by the German historical
school of economics, which argued that economic policies should be
developed according to the specific economic and cultural conditions
prevalent in a society rather than being based on a universal
Stojadinović's competence as an economist became evident during the
Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 and during World War I, when he began
working in the Serbian Ministry of Finance. Following the Serbian
Army's retreat through Albania during the winter of 1915, he withdrew
with the Serbian government-in-exile to the Greek island of Corfu. He
stayed there between 1916 and 1918 and distinguished himself as a
financial expert by helping to stabilize the Serbian dinar.
Stojadinović met his future wife Augusta — a woman of mixed
Greek-German heritage — during his stay in Corfu. The two settled in
Belgrade following the war. Stojadinović was appointed assistant
manager of a local branch of the English Commercial Bank in 1919, but
resigned as director-general of the State Accounts Board of the newly
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes because of disagreements
with the government of Prime Minister
Ljubomir Davidović and his
Democratic Party. He lectured economics at the University of Belgrade
from 1920 to 1921, but quickly gave up on academia.
Stojadinović became the Minister of Finance in 1922, aged only 34. He
began writing for the
Politika and the English-language
weekly The Economist. Following the proclamation of a royal
dictatorship by King Alexander I, he sided with a faction of the NRS
which stood opposed to the monarch being given dictatorial powers.
Despite being a suspected anti-monarchist by Yugoslav authorities, he
was once again appointed to the position of Finance Minister in the
government of Bogoljub Jevtić, who became Prime Minister following
Alexander's assassination in
Marseille in October 1934. By this point,
Stojadinović was the vice-president of the
Belgrade Stock Exchange,
chairman of a river navigation company, the director of a
British-owned broadcasting station and a British-owned shipbuilding
In 1935 he founded a new party, the Serbian Radical Party, which with
some other parties formed coalition Jugoslovenska Radikalna Zajednica
(Yugoslav Radical Union, JRZ) and won the elections. On 24 June 1935
he was elected Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He
survived a failed assassination attempt by the Macedonian Damjan
Arnautović in 1935.
Stojadinović recognized the military threats from Nazi Germany,
Italy and surrounding countries as imminent. He viewed the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia's future only as sustainable if a neutral status
akin to that of
Switzerland could be established. His foreign policies
pushed consistently towards this goal. Examples are the non-aggression
Italy and Yugoslavia's extension of its treaty of
friendship with France. The attempted
Concordat with the Holy See
caused severe protests from the
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church in 1937 and
was thus never ratified.
In late 1938 he was re-elected, albeit with a smaller margin than
expected, failed in pacifying the Croats, raised a military-like
legion of his own followers ('Green Shirts'), and did not formulate
any clear political programme, providing the regent Paul with a
welcomed pretext upon which to replace Stojadinović, on 5 February
1939, with Dragiša Cvetković.
Following his replacement, the Prince Regent went further by detaining
Stojadinović without proper cause until he had managed, with the help
of his strong personal ties to
King George VI
King George VI of the UK (who had been
the Prince Regent's best man in 1923) to enlist the support of the
United Kingdom to have Stojadinović sent into exile to British
controlled Mauritius, where he was kept during World War II. By this
point Paul favored exile as he feared Stojadinović could be the focus
of a pro-Axis coup directed from Berlin.
In 1946 Stojadinović went to Rio de Janeiro, and then to Buenos
Aires, where he was reunited with his wife and two daughters.
Stojadinović spent the rest of his life as presidential advisor on
economic and financial affairs to governments in
Argentina and founded
the financial newspaper El Economista. In 1954, Stojadinović met with
Ante Pavelić, the former
Poglavnik of the Independent State of
Croatia (NDH) who also lived in Buenos Aires, and agreed to cooperate
with him on the creation of two independent and enlarged Croatian and
Serbian states. He died in 1961. Stojadinović's memoirs, titled
Neither War, Nor Pact (Ni rat, ni pakt), were posthumously published
Buenos Aires in 1963 and were re-printed in
Rijeka in 1970.
List of Finance Ministers of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
^ a b Djokić 2011, p. 157.
^ a b c d Djokić 2011, p. 158.
^ Djokić 2011, pp. 158–159.
^ Ćano nudi Skadar, novosti.rs, 5 April 2010; accessed 17 December
^ Djokić 2011, pp. 166.
^ Goñi 2003, pp. 125–127.
^ Singleton 1985, p. 292.
Djokić, Dejan (2011). "'Leader' or 'Devil'? Milan Stojadinović,
Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, and his Ideology". In Haynes, Rebecca;
Rady, Martyn. In the Shadow of Hitler: Personalities of the Right in
Central and Eastern Europe. London: I.B. Tauris.
Goñi, Uki (2003). The Real Odessa: How Perón Brought the Nazi War
Argentina (2 ed.). London: Granta Books.
Singleton, Frederick Bernard (1985). A Short History of the Yugoslav
Peoples. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Milan Stojadinović.
Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
Prime Ministers of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Nikola Pašić (acting)
Stojan Protić (1st term)
Ljubomir Davidović (1st term)
Stojan Protić (2nd term)
Nikola Pašić (1st term)
Ljubomir Davidović (2nd term)
Nikola Pašić (2nd term)
Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
Josip Broz Tito
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Josip Broz Tito
Aleksandar Mitrović (acting)
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