One of the hardest years in the history of mankind. It was the year when the Second World War was spreading to an incredible scale. The disciplined German Nazi army, with Hitler as their fanatic leader, opened up campaigns on several fronts in Europe and Africa. The unsuspecting Allied Forces fought back this machinery for reckless destruction of human lives and cultural values of the period.
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact, thus passively joining those who started the Second World War. In just a few days a coup was launched and mass protests organised. The alliance with the Fascist forces was rejected and in early April 1941, Hitler invaded Yugoslavia. The members of the government fled the country. The government in exile, in London, was recognised as an ally to the anti-fascist forces.
Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Albania joined the occupation of Serbia. In a few months, on several places in the now dismembered Yugoslavia, people organised resistance against the occupying forces. The Second World War gave rise to two resistance movements among the Serbs. One part of the Yugoslav army remained in the country and led by the General Draža Mihailović was organised in Chetnik units. In the same year also the Partisan Liberation Movement was assembled, led by their commander, Josip Broz Tito. German invaders responded to numerous sabotage campaigns and the Partisan guerrilla attacks with brutal retaliation. For each killed or wounded German soldier the retaliation over a great number of the innocent Serbs was brutal. The most horrifying examples were the mass executions in Kraljevo and Kragujevac in October 1941.