Young Communist League of Yugoslavia

Young Communist League of Yugoslavia, commonly known by its abbreviation SKOJ (from Serbo-Croatian: "Savez komunističke omladine Jugoslavije") was the youth wing of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from 1919 to 1948. Although it was banned just two years after its establishment and at times ruthlessly prosecuted, it continued to work clandestinely and was an influential organization among revolutionary youth in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and consequently became a major organizer of Partisan resistance to Axis occupation and local Quisling forces. After World War II, SKOJ became a part of a wider organization of Yugoslav youth, the People's Youth of Yugoslavia, which later became League of Socialist Youth of Yugoslavia.

History

SKOJ was founded in Zagreb on October 10 1919 as a political organization of revolutionary youth the youth which followed the policy of the Socialist Workers' Party of Yugoslavia (communist)"Political parties, social-political organisations and trade unions" at the Croatian National Archive (Croatian)] .

Regional committees were originally established but they were abolished in 1920. In 1921, the organization was banned together with the party, which had in the meantime been renamed Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Two congresses were held clandestinely during 1920s, the Second Congress in June 1923, and the Third Congress in June 1926. SKOJ was affiliated to the Communist Youth International. Regional comittes were reestablished in 1939.

Between two world wars many of the organization's members were killed by the authorities, along with other communists. Among them were seven secretaries of SKOJ: Paja Marganović, Mijo Oreški, Janko Mišić, Pero Popović Aga, Josip Kolumbo, Josip Debeljak and Zlatko Šnajder. Other secretaries of SKOJ included Ivo Lola Ribar. Nevertheless the organization continued to grow. Regional committees were reestablished in 1939, and by the eve of the Second World War, the organization had 30,000 membersFact|date=February 2007.

After Axis powers occupied Yugoslavia in 1941, SKOJ organized a united youth front with the program of struggle against fascism and war, Anti-Fascist Youth Committees which at the Congress of Anti-Fascist Youth of Yugoslavia in Bihać in 1942 united into the Unified League of Anti-Fascist Youth of Yugoslavia ("Ujedinjeni savez antifašističke omladine Jugoslavije" - USAOJ). SKOJ became a part of the umbrella organization, but continued to act autonomously within it.

Later organizations

In may 1946, USAOJ was renamed People's Youth of Yugoslavia ("Narodna omladina Jugoslavije" - NOJ), and in 1948 SKOJ and NOJ were united into a single organization, which continued to use the name People's Youth of Yugoslavia, and the use of the name SKOJ was discontinued.

NOJ was later renamed League of Socialist Youth of Yugoslavia. This disintegrated together with Yugoslavia in early 1990s. The Slovenian branch was transformed into the Liberal Democratic Party of Slovenia, one of the major Slovenian parties.

After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia founded a youth wing with the same name in 1992.

References


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