Vlado Dapčević: A great fighter and leader of the communist movement of Yugoslavia

This article is attended to the 100th birthday of comrade Vlado Dapcevic as well as to the 25th anniversary of Partija Rada of which he was the founder.

1917, in the year of the Great Socialist Octoberrevolution, Dapcevic was born into a pastoral family in today’s Montenegro. Dragged on by the first wave of proletarian revolution comrade Vlado joined the “Savez komunisticke omladine Jugoslavije” (Communist Youth League of Yugoslavia) shortly after he organized a student’s strike at Cetinje high school. Due to this he was expelled by the school and imprisoned the first time, for communist propaganda, the same year. The following year he was admitted into the Communist party of Yugoslavia (KPY) In 1935 Vlado Dapcevic participated in clashes with the police at a demonstration organized by the party and was imprisoned for one month and also forbidden to enter any school in the Yugoslav kingdom. Guided by proletarian internationalism and inspired by the greatest Marxist for his time period, comrade Vlado was not intimidated by the reaction and went on full of zest for action and organized cells of the party. He volunteered in 1939 to go to Spain but was arrested among a group of other volunteers. Finally comrade Vlado was able to catch up his Matura and enrolled to technical university in Belgrade. There he struggled in defense of university autonomy and organized cells of the party amongst students and workers.

In spring 1941 as Hitler’s Balkan campaign started, Vlado Dapcevic was sent back to Montenegro in order to organize rise ups and rebellions of the Montenegrin people against Nazi fascism. There he personally lead the first antifascist rise up. “Mobilize all who proved themselves as fearless and disciplined fighters or who will prove themselves under these present conditions“was a directive by the Central Committee of KPY. He was expelled by the party because he opposed party discipline by giving no information about fighters who were left behind. Which was a correct decision by the party, because in war there are already many missing in action and this should not be worsened by the agenda of some single persons in charge. Comrade Vlado formed the first the first proletarian brigade together with other fighters of the “Lovcen Brigade”. In 1942 he was reenlisted in the party due to his qualities of leadership and initiative and was appointed political commissar for the Unit of volunteers in Drina. In the mid of 1942 he was appointed commander of the first proletarian battalion. Because of heavy fraction struggles inside the KPY he was again expelled from the party. Nonetheless he he fought on and participated in several actions and was eventually was reenlisted to the party. It was a necessity for comrade Vlado during 2nd world war, to work again for the sole party of the proletariat, although they had some differences, which is pointing out his extreme high of amount of party consciousness.

After victory in the antifascist war of resistance comrade Vlado was appointed to be the person in charge of agitation and propaganda in the Yugoslav army. Even at this time he recognized that some forces inside the party some leading forces procured and secured privileges for themselves. He strongly criticized revisionism and rejected its policy. A small number of party members saw it the same way but decided to flee the country because the army was strongly influenced. The flight was not successful and a former general was even murdered at the Romanian border. After the second flight attempt all were arrested and charged with 20 years in prison. The revisionist of the KPY tried to argue comrade Vlado out of his attitude against them, but they did not achieve this. He was freed after six years, but was threatened by the next longtime imprisonment so he fled together with other comrades to Albania. They were sent to the Soviet Union. Comrade Vlado wanted to participate in the Cuban revolution together with other as a volunteer but the Soviet Union under the leadership of the revisionist Khrushchev hindered them to do so. After the XXII Party Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSU) comrade Vlado supported the statement of the Communist Party of China which was supported by the Communist Party of Albania, in which they criticized the opportunists and revisionist of the KPSU. In 1965 Dapcevic wanted to support the Vietnamese people in its war against US-Imperialism, which was also prevented by the KPSU. After his dissertation about the history of the Yugoslav workers movement in Odessa he eventually left the Soviet Union and went to western Europe. He tried to develop political work amongst th Yugoslav Migrants in several countries, which was of small success because he was imprisoned by the Reaction very often and sent from one country to another. In 1973 when Dapcevic lived in Belgium agents of the KPY planned an assassination on comrade Vlado. Comrade Vlado was able to avoid this but two of his comrade where killed. He was arrested and charged with 20 years of prison for hostile activities. In 1988 he was released and deported immediately. When he was no longer prohibited to reenter the country he came back to Yugoslavia in 1990 and struggled to rebuild a new Red KPY, which he was not able to do due to some nationalist tendencies. Two years later he founded the “Partija Rada” (Party of Labor) which even after the disintegration of Yugoslavia struggled to develop revolutionary positions amongst the movement.

Comrade Vlado Dapcevic died in 2001 in Brussels. He dedicated his whole live to the revolution, fought against fascism, against revisionism and did not abandon this persistent struggle until his death. His heritage, Partija Rada, still exists today and fights against the reactionary policy of the representatives of the imperialists, bureaucratic capitalism and chauvinism at the Balkans.

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