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Bogdan Radica papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1588

Scope and Contents

The Bogdan Radica papers primarily and most extensively document the period of Radica's interrupted wartime diplomatic service. The papers consist largely of Radica's files from his work in the press sections of the Yugoslav Legation in Washington, D.C. and the Yugoslav Information Center in New York. These files are composed of official correspondence and records, various confidential reports, and documentation, including a considerable collection of clippings from the American media, covering a range of important and controversial political issues concerning wartime Yugoslavia. The papers also provide a record of Radica's postwar career. For this period, however, the papers are neither comprehensive nor authoritative. The papers include personal material, correspondence from the wartime period through the 1970s, and topical files relating to Radica's academic interests in Yugoslav, Balkan, and East European affairs, his organizational associations, and his diverse activities in Croat émigré circles after the war.

The Radica papers are arranged in three series: I. Official Communiques and Reports, 1940-1945; II. Topical Files, 1940-1986; and III. Informational Files, 1939-1945.
The material used or compiled in the course of Radica's tenure at government posts in Washington, New York, London, and Belgrade, dating from 1940-1945, is divided roughly among the above series. All material from the postwar period is grouped topically and located in Series II. In 1991, the entire collection was microfilmed. The fragile clippings files in Series III were not retained after filming was completed.

SERIES I, OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUES AND REPORTS, documents Radica's work in monitoring, gathering, and analyzing the American and Yugoslav emigrant communities' press coverage of Yugoslav and Balkan affairs. This series includes the bulk of the telegraphic correspondence between Radica and the exile government; confidential reports on the mainstream and émigré press sent to his superiors in London; various reports received through official Yugoslav channels; and press releases produced specifically for the consumption of the Yugoslav emigrant press.

The series also reflects Radica's propagandistic work in the United States in support of official Yugoslav policies and the collaboration of the Yugoslav emigrant media. For these efforts he utilized various reports from other Yugoslav intelligence centers, especially in Switzerland. He maintained contacts with various emigrant groups and provided their newspapers with timely and relevant information about their homeland, and especially its wartime struggles. The files reflect Radica's work with the communities of Croat, Slovene, and Serb immigrants in the United States and Canada (and to a lesser extent in South America as well), each of which had their own religious, cultural, and social organizations and native-language publications.

Series I is divided into two subseries, Incoming and Outgoing. The outgoing reports, both regular mail and telegraph, are concerned with press and media summaries and include press releases to émigré publications. Incoming reports include inquiries, instructions, official pronouncements, intelligence reports, and any other information necessary for the efficient functioning of the Yugoslav propaganda apparatus in the United States.

SERIES II, TOPICAL FILES, is composed of a variety of materials dating from 1940 to the 1970s, including administrative files, correspondence, personal documents, and writings. The series is organized by subject.

The series includes a number of files of an official nature dating from the wartime period, such as consular correspondence, press bureau records, and subject files divided according to the theme, issue, or event addressed. The series documents Radica's associations with various cultural and professional organizations in the Croat émigré community, as well as American society at large, and other personal activities.

Correspondence with individuals, groups, or agencies is also found in Series II. Frequent correspondents include friends and fellow Yugoslav diplomats such as Ante-Smith Pavelić, Većeslav Vilder and Mato Vucetić; wartime editors of émigré newspapers, Petar Stanković ofHrvatski Glasand Mladen TrbuhoviŰ ofAmerikanski Srbobran; and professional acquaintances like the American journalist Blair Bolles. Radica also corresponded with a large number of Yugoslavs after the war: American and Croat émigré academics; prominent cultural figures, such as the sculptor Ivan MestroviŰ; and ordinary immigrants, refugees, or relatives, many of whom sought his help or intercession in some way. This personal correspondence, and other incidental or infrequent correspondence, is arranged chronologically in folders labelled "Correspondence: chrono file."

Other topical files illustrate Radica's personal and professional interests in all aspects of postwar Yugoslav and East European affairs, including the political activities of the various exile communities. Series II also includes Radica's unpublished writings and manuscripts, along with various notes, lectures, and radio broadcasts.

SERIES III, INFORMATIONAL FILES, contains intelligence reports from various Allied sources, and a large collection of newspaper and magazine clippings covering Yugoslav political affairs from 1939-1945.

In the course of his work, Radica received intelligence information from American, British, and Soviet-sponsored agencies, as well as from official Yugoslav sources. The reports, which were culled from monitored media in occupied Europe and Yugoslavia, concern the course of the war and resistance in Yugoslavia, and the general political situation in the country.

The clippings files are composed primarily of articles from the mainstream American media —The New York Times,New York Herald Tribune,Christian Science Monitor— but include some emigrant press news and commentaries as well, especially from the newspaperHrvatski Svijetof New York. The clippings are arranged chronologically, though a handful of folders contain material grouped topically

Dates

  • 1939-1986

Creator

Language of Materials

The papers are in Serbo-Croatian and English.

Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is available on microfilm. Patrons must use HM 222 instead of the originals.

Existence and Location of Copies

Entire collection is also available on microfilm (26,057 frames on 22 reels, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost. Order no. HM222.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bogdan Radica to the Slavic and East European Collection, Yale University Library, ca. 1988, and subsequently transferred to the Manuscripts and Archives Department, 1990.

Arrangement

Arranged in three series: I. Official Communiques and Reports, 1940-1945. II. Topical Files, 1940-1986. III. Informational Files, 1939-1945.

Extent

5.75 Linear Feet (15 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1588

Overview

The papers consist of official reports, correspondence, subject files, extensive clippings, writings, and printed matter which document Bogdan Radica's work as a press officer in the Yugoslav Legation in Washington, D.C. and the Yugoslav Information Center in New York during World War II. The papers highlight Radica's efforts to inform his government of American press (including the emigre press) coverage of affairs in Yugoslavia and the Balkans, his propagandistic work in support of governmental policies, and his contacts with the Croat, Slovene, and Serb communities in the United States. The papers also illustrate Radica's personal and professional interests in postwar Yugoslavia, including the political activities of the various exile communities.

Biographical / Historical

Bogdan Radica* was born in Split, an Adriatic port town in the Habsburg province of Dalmatia (Croatia) on August 26, 1904. He was educated at universities in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Florence, and Rome.

During the interwar period Radica was a member of Yugoslavia's itinerant intellectual elite. He was a journalist and essayist who found his themes mainly in European literature and culture. Radica wrote for many Yugoslav publications, and also contributed articles to newspapers and magazines in Italy, France, and Switzerland. He was a correspondent for Obzor, a leading Zagreb daily newspaper, and wrote for the journals Nova Evropa, also published in the Croatian capital, and Srpski knji evni glasnik of Belgrade.

Radica served in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's foreign service for over a decade before the Axis invasion of that country in 1941. In 1929 he was appointed correspondent for the official Yugoslav press agency Avala in Athens. The following year he entered the diplomatic corps and became the first press attaché at the Yugoslav Legation in the Greek capital, where he remained until 1935. While serving in Athens, Radica wrote about contemporary Greece for Yugoslav and Greek publications. He also participated in the founding of a journal devoted to Balkan affairs, titled Les Balkans.

In the succeeding five years, Bogdan Radica served as press officer attached to the Yugoslav delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva. During this time he also resumed his studies of nineteenth-century politics under the noted Italian historian Guglielmo Ferrero, an anti-fascist Italian émigré and a professor at the University of Geneva. In 1939, a book of interviews with his mentor, titled Conversazioni con Guglielmo Ferrero, was published in Lugano. That series of encounters was included in Radica's book, Agonija Evrope, in which he recounted his meetings with prominent European intellectuals of the interwar period - among whom were Benedetto Croce, André Gide, Maksim Gorky, Paul Valéry, Thomas Mann, and Carlo Sforza. The book was published in Belgrade in 1940.

Radica was appointed to a position in the Yugoslav government's central press bureau in Belgrade in June 1940, but was named chief of the Press Department of the Yugoslav Legation in Washington, D.C. before he could assume his duties in Belgrade. According to Radica, his original assignment was opposed by the German and Italian foreign ministries, who objected to his liberal political views and frequent associations with anti-fascist circles. Radica assumed the work of the legation's press section in Washington, D.C. in the autumn of 1940.

As the Second World War progressed and various national and political feuds rent the ranks of the royal Yugoslav government-in-exile, Radica found himself increasingly at odds with official politics, especially as directed from Washington by the Yugoslav ambassador, Konstantin Fotich. Partially as a result of these ideological frictions, Radica was transferred to the newly-established Yugoslav Information Center in New York City in March 1942, where he remained until September 1943, when the center itself was closed.

Radica refused official reassignment to Buenos Aires in October 1943. He regarded this transfer as a bald attempt to remove him from the ongoing political debate in America over the question of Allied support for the competing anti-fascist factions in Yugoslavia. He decried the nationalistic biases of many Serbian members of the Yugoslav government and army in exile who supported Draza Mihailovich's Chetniks (of which Ambassador Fotich was a prominent example), and increasingly favored Tito's all-Yugoslav partisan movement. From the beginning of 1944, Radica was no longer on the exile government's payroll.

Radica continued his journalistic efforts in the United States as a specialist on Yugoslav and Balkan issues, as well as Italian affairs. He wrote for The Nation and The New Republic, and was accredited as The Nation's correspondent for Italy and the Balkans in October 1944. Still, throughout 1944 he maintained various contacts with representatives of the royal Yugoslav government whose views were similar to his own. After the change in government in June, which led eventually to the unification of Tito's provisional government and the exile government, Radica was reappointed to the diplomatic service. In the autumn of 1944 Radica arrived in London, and by a decree of February 1945 he was officially reinstated. In April he left for Yugoslavia to assume his new duties in the Ministry of Information in Belgrade.

Radica quickly became disillusioned with the new Communist order in Yugoslavia. At the end of May 1946, he resigned his post, condemned the Yugoslav regime and its "totalitarian Communism," and refused to return to Yugoslavia, having travelled to Rome on an official passport in October 1945. Radica emigrated to the United States in June 1946. He served as director of studies on Yugoslavia at the Mid-European Studies Institute in New York from 1949-1950. He accepted a teaching position at Fairleigh-Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey in 1948, becoming a regular member of the faculty in the Department of History in 1950, and Emeritus Professor of History in 1974. Radica became a United States citizen in 1957.

In the postwar period Radica became a leading intellectual among Croat émigrés. He continued his journalistic activities, both in the mainstream American press and in the émigré Croat media, but now with almost exclusively political themes which reflected his anti-Communist attitudes. His articles appeared in The Reader's Digest,, The Nation, The New Republic, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Commonweal. Radica often contributed to various émigré academic and popular publications in the United States and Canada, and even South America and Australia. He collaborated especially closely for a time with the Winnipeg newspaper Hrvatski Glas, and was long associated with the quarterly journal Hrvatska Revija, which originally appeared in Buenos Aires. In 1971, a collection of his interwar essays was published under the title Sredozemni povratak, and his diary from the years 1944-1946 appeared as Hrvatska 1945 in 1974. Radica also wrote a two-volume memoir, Zivjeti nedozivjeti, published in 1982 and 1984. All his books were issued by the publishing arm of Hrvatska Revijain Munich.

In 1990, in the wake of the first free, multi-party elections in Croatia in the postwar period, Radica returned to Yugoslavia for the first time since he had fled in 1945. He was welcomed with honors in his hometown of Split by various dignitaries of the new, non-Communist government.

Radica married Nina Ferrero, daughter of Guglielmo Ferrero, on April 24, 1935. The Radicas had two children, a son Leo, and a daughter Bosiljka.

*The anglicized version of his surname, which he used professionally in America, is Raditsa.
Title
Guide to the Bogdan Radica Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
compiled by Paul I. Jukic and Diane E. Kaplan
Date
June 1991
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
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