State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia

The State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (Serbo-Croatian: Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Hrvatske), often referred to by the acronym ZAVNOH, was the highest governing organ of the anti-fascist movement in Croatia during World War II. It was developed to be the bearer of Croatian statehood. At its last meeting, it changed its name to the National Parliament of Croatia (Narodni sabor Hrvatske).


Initiative committee

Preparations for the foundation of ZAVNOH started on December 5, 1942 when the Croatian representatives in AVNOJ requested the districtual boards to delegate members of the future Initiative Committee of the State Antifascist Council of National Liberation of Croatia. After the delegates were named the Initiative Committee was constituted in Ponor on March 1, 1943 near Korenica in Lika.

1st session

"For the freedom of Croatia", Partisan poster from World War II.

Held June 13 (in Otočac) and June 14, 1943 (on Plitvice Lakes) was the founding session of ZAVNOH. Vladimir Nazor was chosen president. ZAVNOH adopted "Proclamation to Peoples of Croatia" ("Proglas narodima Hrvatske" in Croatian) and "Resolution" (often called "Plitvice Resolution"). Resolution stated that ZAVNOH was highest political authority of anti-fascist movement in Croatia. Executive board ("Izvršni odbor" in Croatian, abbr. IO ZAVNOH) of 11 members was elected to perform duties of ZAVNOH between sessions.

As the representative of the Allied Command major William M. Jones (Lawrence of Yugoslavia) was present at the founding session. Also the representative of the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People, Jana Jernej was present.

2nd session

The second session was held October 12–15, 1943 in Plaški. In this session an executive board of 15 members was elected and the decision of Executive Board of ZAVNOH made on September 20, 1943 was confirmed. "Ordinance About Interior Organisation and Work of ZAVNOH" was adopted as well as the Secretariat of ZAVNOH was founded; which ruled Croatian affairs as a de facto government.

At the Second and Third sessions the equality of the Serbian and Croatian nations, as constituent nations of the federal unit of Croatia, was recognized in every aspect.[1]

3rd session

The third session occurred on May 8 and May 9, 1944 in Topusko, and was sometimes referred to as the Sabor u Topuskom ("Assembly in Topusko"). The third session of ZAVNOH formally formed the Federal State of Croatia. Newly adopted "Rules of conduct of ZAVNOH" disbanded IO (Executive Board) and formed 31 member Presidium of ZAVNOH. The following were established at this session:

4th session

ZAVNOH between sessions

Constitution of Croatia on ZAVNOH

The Preamble ("Historical Foundations") of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia states:

The millennial national identity of the Croatian nation and the continuity of its statehood, confirmed by the course of its entire historical experience in various political forms and by the perpetuation and development of the state-building idea grounded in the historical right of the Croatian nation to full sovereignty, has manifested itself:


in the establishment of the foundations of state sovereignty during the course of the Second World War, as expressed in the decision of the State Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (1943) in opposition to proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (1941), and then in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Croatia (1947) and in all subsequent constitutions of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963-1990), at the historic turning-point characterized by the rejection of the communist system and changes in the international order in Europe, in the first democratic elections (1990), the Croatian nation reaffirmed, by its freely expressed will, its millennial statehood

Historical Foundations, Constitution of the Republic of Croatia[2]


In May 1944, the ZAVNOH was led by a ten-member presidency:[3]


  1. Yugoslavia Through Documents: From Its Creation to Its Dissolution edited by Snežana Trifunovska, page 477, it says: "at the Second and Third sessions of the National Anti-Fascist Council of the Peoples Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH),...,the equality of the Serbian and the Croatian nations, as constituent nations of the federal unit of Croatia, were recognized in every respect."
  2. "Historical Foundations". The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text). Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  3. Ivanković-Vonta, Zvonko (1988). Hebrang. Bibliotheca Scientia Yugoslavica. p. 255. ISBN 86-81183-03-6.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.