Andrija Hebrang


Vladimir Frajtic (17/7/1910-20/6/1989)

Vladimir stated the truth about working with Andrija at interviews conducted by Udba’s David Lausevic (Laušević) in Zagreb. He became interesting for the “investigation” as he possessed information about wartime events in Zagreb. He was called to Belgrade and arrested on 1 August 1948. He received an indictment from the Military Prosecution of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) on 26 July 1952 while in solitary confinement. Two days later, at a rigged political trial in Belgrade, he was sentenced to death for having collaborated with the Ustasha. He did not receive the verdict. His sentence was changed to 20 years of hard labour following the publication of Milatovic’s book The Case of Andrija Hebrang. He was released on parole 12 years later and amnestied in 1962. He received the verdict after 32 years through the Zagreb Municipal Court. Before falling into Milatovic’s hands, Frajtic (Frajtić) had spent a lot of time in prisons. As a Yugoslav soldier, on 1 December 1928 he refused to shoot at citizens who were protesting against the murder of Stjepan Radic in front of the Zagreb cathedral. He jumped in front of the platoon, with the other soldiers following his example. This led to his being sentenced to 12 years in prison, of which he served ten. The Ustasha arrested him in 1942 on suspicion of collaboration with the communists. He was released after a year owing to lack of evidence and by faking poor health. He was not a member of the Party. Milatovic and the comrades had a special role for Frajtic: he was to be the main witness to Andrija’s collaboration with the Ustasha. He was suitable as during the war he had worked with Andrija and the Party. It was at Glavnjaca that Milatovic and the comrades prepared him to be the principal witness against Andrija. After four years of solitary confinement, horrible torture and blackmailing, Vladimir agreed to testify according to their scenario. He had learned what they had asked of him. When they faced him with Andrija, Hebrang said, “So, you have arrested him as well, for the services he has rendered us,” which awakened Vladimir’s rebel spirit and he refused to “testify”. When Vladimir said that even his wife Margita was there, Andrija told Milatovic, “Now, don’t say that you don’t force people”. Frajtic, convicted although innocent, in 1980 requested a retrial, offering extensive documentation about Milatovic’s obscure espionage scenario. In 1990 his wife Margita filed another request for his rehabilitation. It was turned down again! Vladimir spent a total of 23 years in prison. The Zagreb-based media did not report about his death, even though hard labour that long was rare even in world terms. Sime Balen (Šime), a witness to the war events, wanted to run a paid advertisement paying the last farewell. His request, however, was turned down as it described Vladimir’s historic act in front of the Zagreb cathedral.