Maček or Machek, Vladimir(both: vlädē`mĭr mä`chĕk), 1879–1964, Croatian political leader. He headed the Croatian Peasant party from 1928. A vigorous opponent of the dictatorship of King Alexander of Yugoslavia, he fought for Croatian autonomy and was imprisoned several times. After Alexander's death, Maček was granted amnesty, and largely through his negotiations with Prince Paul, regent for King Peter II, Croatia obtained (1939) substantial autonomy within Yugoslavia. Maček entered (1939) the Yugoslav government as vice premier. After the occupation (1941) of Yugoslavia by the Axis forces, he was under close surveillance. Later, he opposed the Tito regime, which came into power in 1944. He left Yugoslavia in 1945, settling eventually in the United States.
See his In the Struggle for Freedom (1957).
Born July 20, 1879, in Jastrebarsko; died May 15, 1964, in Washington. Statesman of monarchist Yugoslavia.
Maček graduated from the department of law of the University of Zagreb. He joined the Croatian Peasant Party in 1905 and fought on the Sorbian and Russian fronts during World War I (1914-18) as an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Army. From 1920 to 1928 he was vice-chairman of the Croatian Peasant Party, and after 1928 he was also chairman of the Peasant Democratic Coalition, a political bloc of bourgeois circles of Croatia. From 1925 to 1928 he was vice-chairman of the Skupstina. He was an opponent of the dictatorship of Alexander I Karageorgevich (1929-34), for which he was sentenced in 1933 to three years’ imprisonment. In the 1935 and 1938 elections to the Skuptstina, Maček headed the United Opposition, a coalition of bourgeois parties opposed to the “excesses” of the militarymonarchist dictatorship. On Aug. 26, 1939, he became deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia as a result of an agreement (sporazum) of the Peasant Democratic Coalition with the government of D. Cvetkovic, granting autonomy to Croatia. In March and April 1941 he was one of the two deputy prime ministers in the government of D. Simovic. During the fascist occupation of Yugoslavia, Maček called for collaboration with the occupation forces and the Ustasi. In 1945 he fled to France and then to the USA.
V. V. ZELENIN