Between a hammer and a sickle


The new government immediately introduced political and social changes, but they also changed the character of ownership, which had thus far been classified as private property. First of all, in accordance with the provisions of international criminal law, many war criminals were put on trial, amongst whom the former president of the municipality of Belgrade, police agents and the warden of the concentration camp in Banjica.

The Confiscation and Nationalization Act (1945, 1946) made forced confiscation of an enemy’s property for the benefit of the state legal. By abolishing the private sector and large estates, the state transformed ownership rights. Monopoly over the means of production gave the Communist Party absolute power.

The Communist Party of Yugoslavia, via the National Front and general national organizations, carried out its programs of rebuilding the destroyed land and developing socialism. Belgrade was rebuilt and reconstructed, it changed its appearance, purpose and names of streets, buildings and parks. Reconstruction was carried out under an economic blockade, which was imposed by the Cominform countries. Belgrade citizens lived under difficult circumstances, but they managed to overcome their isolation with the assistance of the US, the United Kingdom and other Western countries.


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