Moša Pijade

Moša Pijade
5th President
of the Federal Assembly of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
In office
29 January 1954  15 March 1957
Preceded by Milovan Djilas
Succeeded by Petar Stambolic
Personal details
Born (1890-01-04)4 January 1890
Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia
Died 15 March 1957(1957-03-15) (aged 67)
Paris, France
Nationality Yugoslav
Political party League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ)
Spouse(s) Lepa Pijade
Occupation Painter, Art critic, Publicist, Revolutionary, Resistance commander, Statesman
Awards Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order of the People's Hero
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order of the Hero of Socialist Labour
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order of the brotherhood and unity
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order of the partisan star
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order of the National liberation
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Order for courageousness
Military service
Allegiance Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Service/branch Yugoslav People's Army
Rank Major General of Yugoslav People's Army
Commands Yugoslav Partisans
Yugoslav People's Army
Battles/wars World War II

Moša Pijade (Serbian Cyrillic: Мoшa Пиjaдe; 4 January 1890  15 March 1957), nicknamed Čiča Janko (Чича Јанко, lit. "Uncle Janko") was a prominent Serbian and Yugoslav communist, a close collaborator of Josip Broz Tito, former President of Yugoslavia, and full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Life and career

Moša Pijade as a political prisoner.

Pijade was of Sephardic Jewish parentage. In his youth, Pijade was a painter, art critic and publicist. He was also known for translating Das Kapital by Karl Marx into Serbo-Croatian.

He is thought to have had a major influence on Marxist ideology as exposed during the old regime in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1925, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison because of his 'revolutionary activities' after World War I. He was discharged after 14 years in 1939 and imprisoned again in 1941 in the camp Bileća.

Pijade was one of the leaders of the Uprising in Montenegro.[1] His ruthless cruelty toward the people who refused to join his units was noted. He was subsequently recalled to the communist headquarters because of the issues connected to the uprising.[2] Under the influence of Pijade and Milovan Đilas an extreme prosecution of "leftist errors" was pursued by the Partisans in Montenegro.[3]

He was known as the creator of the so-called 'Foča regulations' (1942), which prescribed the foundation and activity of people's liberation committees in the liberated territories during the war against the Nazis. In November 1943, before the second AVNOJ meeting in Jajce, he initiated the foundation of Tanjug, which later became the state news agency of SFR Yugoslavia, nowadays of Serbia.

Pijade held high political posts during and after World War II and was a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. He was one of the leaders of Tito's partisans and was subsequently proclaimed People's Hero of Yugoslavia. He was one of six Vice Presidents of the Presidium of the Yugoslavian Parliament (deputy head of state) 1945–53.

In 1948 Pijade convinced Tito to allow those Jews who remained in Yugoslavia to emigrate to Israel. Tito agreed on a one-time exception basis. As a result, 3,000 Jews were allowed to emigrate from Yugoslavia to Israel on the SS Kefalos in December 1948. Among those was Tommy Lapid who became Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and is the father of Yair Lapid.[4]

After having led the law commission of the Parliament, Pijade was Vice-President (1953–54) and President of the Yugoslavian Parliament or Skupština (1954–55). In 1957, he died in Paris during the return from a visit to London, where he had talks as leader of a Yugoslav parliamentary delegation. Streets in many cities of the former Yugoslav countries were once named after him.

See also


  1. Djilas, Milovan (1980). Tito: the story from inside. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-15-190474-7. Mosa Pijade (1890-1957) Prominent Party theoretician of Serbian Jewish origin. With Djilas he led the Partisan uprising in Montenegro in 1941.
  2. Center, Free Europe Committee. Mid-European Studies (1957). Yugoslavia. Mid-European Studies Center of the Free Europe Committee. p. 431. ...he organized the uprising in the summer of 1941, noted for the ruthless cruelty used against those who refused to join. Thereafter, mainly because of the circumstances of the uprising, recalled to Headquarters...
  3. Goulding, Daniel J. (2002). Liberated Cinema: The Yugoslav Experience, 1945–2001. Indiana University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-253-34210-4. Under the influence of Milovan Djilas and the Marxist intellectual Mosa Pijade, however, the Partisan forces in Montenegro followed an extremist political line
  4. Yair Lapid Memories After My Death: The Story of Joseph 'Tommy' Lapid, p. 81


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