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Preliminary communication


Vlatko Smiljanić   ORCID icon

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (2 MB) pages 29-52 downloads: 1.667* cite
APA 6th Edition
Smiljanić, V. (2017). ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE. Polemos, XX (39-40), 29-52. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Smiljanić, Vlatko. "ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE." Polemos, vol. XX, no. 39-40, 2017, pp. 29-52. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Smiljanić, Vlatko. "ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE." Polemos XX, no. 39-40 (2017): 29-52.
Smiljanić, V. (2017). 'ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE', Polemos, XX(39-40), pp. 29-52. Available at: (Accessed 16 April 2021)
Smiljanić V. ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE. Polemos [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2021 April 16];XX(39-40):29-52. Available from:
V. Smiljanić, "ZLOČIN I KAZNA JOVANA STANISAVLJEVIĆA ČARUGE", Polemos, vol.XX, no. 39-40, pp. 29-52, 2017. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 16 April 2021]

This paper shows the biography of an outlaw in Slavonia in the early 20th century, known by his nickname Čaruga, based on court records and newspaper (real full-named Jovan Stanisavljević). When World War I broke out he ceasted his studies and enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian Army. However, he posed as an officer and deserted the front lines. Shortly afterwards, he killed a man who was courting his girlfriend, and after a local nobleman threatened to arrest him, he killed him also. He was eventually apprehended, tried, and convicted, and started serving his sentence in the Sremska Mitrovica penitentiary. He managed to escape from prison and had a warrant out for his arrest, so he decided to return back home where he was unwelcomed. Čaruga left for the woods, where he befriended a gang Kolo gorskih tića („Band of Mountain Birds“), composed mostly of deserters, who detested the rich Slavonian peasants, robbed them mercilessly and were not afraid of killing people. He used fake names Nikola Drezgić and Mile Barić. The war was long over, but Čaruga and the gang were still pillaging the countryside and were hunted by the Yugoslav gendarmerie. Eventually in 1922 he decided to leave for Zagreb, where he posed as a rich gentleman from Vinkovci where he continued his life of thievery. He would later return to Slavonia to continue stealing with his group members. On 14. October 1923, however, they attempted to rob the Eltz family estate in Ivankovo near Vinkovci. They killed a man on site, while another snuck out and called the gendarmerie. After the skirmish they managed to escape, but without their loot. More importantly, the police got on their trail and soon captured them. By February 1925, Čaruga’s trial at the court in Osijek was finished, and he was subsequently hanged in front of a crowd of 3 000 people .

Jovan Stanisavljević Čaruga; World War I; Kingdom of Serbs; Croats and Slovenes; Slavonia

Hrčak ID: 195406



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