Heroic struggle and resistance: Anti-fascist spirit in Banat 1941–1945

National liberation struggle, organized resistance and courage: A look at the anti-fascist movement in Banat during the Second World War. An investigation of the geographical, political and social conditions that shaped the struggle against the Nazi occupation, with an emphasis on the role of partisan units, local cooperation and the challenges of the lack of war materials. A depiction of the heroism and sacrifices of young fighters in the fight for freedom and justice.

Servo Mihalj

Servo Mihalj (1900-1941)

Servo Mihalj was one of the most prominent figures of the People's Liberation Struggle in the region of Banat. He was born in 1900 in Veliki Bečkerek into a working-class family. He worked as a laborer in a tailoring cooperative. At the age of twenty, he joined the trade union and shortly after, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY). He advocated for workers' rights, and he was arrested and beaten by the police several times.

Servo MihaljIn 1929, he was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison in Sremska Mitrovica by the Court for the Protection of the State. Many prominent party members were incarcerated there, allowing him to establish connections crucial for the development of the movement in Vojvodina. Upon his return to his hometown in 1939, he immediately contacted Žarko Zrenjanin and joined the top ranks of the party organization. During the events of April 1941, he participated in relocating the Central Committee of the CPY from Novi Sad to Petrovgrad. The committee met several times at his house, and besides political duties, he also performed military tasks. He participated in forming all partisan units in Banat, and from May onwards, he was hunted and had to go underground.

He was arrested in one of his bases in Petrovgrad, brutally tortured in his hometown, and then transferred to Banjica, where he was ultimately executed on September 19, 1941, the same day when several patriots were executed at the Žitni trg in Petrovgrad. Several schools in Vojvodina bear his name. He was proclaimed a People's Hero of Yugoslavia on July 5, 1951.

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