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Milorad's father, Milorad T. Drachkovitch, and his wife Jovanka Milanovich. A successful entrepreneur and banker in Belgrade before entering politics, he served as Minister of Interior in the Kingdom of Croats, Serbs and Slovenes (Yugoslavia). While vacationing with his family in Delnice, a resort on the Adriatic, he was assassinated by the Communists on July 21, 1921. Jovanka was pregnant with Milorad at the time. Her children witnessed the murder.



Although student activism was officially banned in Yugoslavia in the 1930's, when Milorad was in high school, student literary societies were an important center of political education and debate. In 1937 Milorad was elected president of the Nada ("hope") Club, a literary society at Belgrade's First High School for Boys. He was a forceful advocate for liberal democracy in the face of a strong Communist faction.



Photograph taken in 1935 by Backo Matic, who was executed by the communists in 1945. Milorad is in the middle and in the front kneeling is Nemanja Stojanovic. The two men on either side of Milorad have not been identified: please let us know if you know them.



Milorad was active in the youth section of the Serbian Cultural Club, founded in 1937 by Slobodan Jovanovich and other leading intellectuals to further the creation of a Serbian state. Milorad served on the editorial board of the periodical Nova Srbadija. In the few years between high school and the German invasion of Yugoslavia, Milorad met many of the leading figures in Serbian culture and the nationalist movement.



When Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Milorad journeyed to Ravna Gora to join the Chetnik forces under Colonel Mihailovich, where he became deputy commander of the largest youth military formation. He spent the next three years fighting a guerrilla war against the Nazis, and two of his closest friends were killed. This picture shows Milorad in Chetnik uniform with with his life-long friend Dimitrije "Mita" Djordjevich.



Milorad had hoped for a democratic and capitalist Serbian state with ties to Western Europe, but the consolidation of Yugoslavia under Communist rule in the autumn of 1944 brought his dream to an abrupt end. At the urging of friends who feared for his life and that of his family, Milorad, his mother, his widowed sister, and her child fled Yugoslavia on the last train from Belgrade to Vienna. "I resolved to study politics," Milorad said, "since I couldn't participate in political life." He became, once again, a student at the University of Geneva.



Fluent in French and a great lover of European arts and letters, Milorad enjoyed student life in Switzerland, receiving his bachelor (1949) and doctoral (1953) degrees in political science from the University of Geneva. In addition, he attended the College of Europe at Bruges, where he met other scholars who were to become life-long friends. Milorad published two books in quick succession that were well-received by critics: Les socialismes français et allemand et le problème de la guerre, 1870-1914, published in 1953, and De Karl Marx a Leon Blum: La crise de la social-democratie, published the following year.



As Milorad began his academic career, the Allied alliance between the Soviet Union and the United States collapsed, and the antithetical ideologies of Communism and capitalism crystallized into the Cold War. Milorad's first hand knowledge of Communism and Eastern European politics were soon much in demand, and in 1955 he went to New York on a two-year fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund. In 1958 he emigrated to the United States, teaching political science at Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, before becoming a senior scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1961. A world authority on the Third International, he wrote and edited numerous works on Communism.



In 1974 Milorad became Archivist of the Hoover Institution, a position that he held for the next ten years. Responsible for one of the world's most extensive collections on war, revolution, and peace, Milorad was free to indulge his life long passion - acquiring books that best reflected the politics and culture of the time. Here Milorad is meeting with the Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn.


Milorad died in Palo Alto, California, on June 16, 1996. For more information, see: Political and ideological confrontations in twentieth-century Europe: Essays in honor of Milorad M. Drachkovitch, edited by Robert Conquest and Dusan Djordjevich. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1996.

For inquires, please send e-mail to the head librarian of the Drachkovitch Library.



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