Register of the Dragiša Nikola Ristić papers

Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Brad Bauer
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 2007
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: Dragiša Nikola Ristić papers
Date (inclusive): 1941-1980
Collection Number: 92077
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: In Serbo-Croatian and English
Physical Description: 7 manuscript boxes, 1 painting (5.2 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Correspondence and writings, relating primarily to Yugoslav military operations and diplomacy during World War II, and to postwar Yugoslav émigré affairs. Includes postwar correspondence between D. T. Simović and Winston Churchill, and a book-length study by D. N. Ristić relating to Nadezhda Krupskaya and V. I. Lenin.
Creator: Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965
Creator: Simović, Dušan, 1882-1962
Creator: Ristić, Dragiša Nikola, 1909-
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in increments between 1972 and 2004.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dragiša N. Ristić Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Biographical Note

1909 January 9 Born, Veliko Bonjice, Serbia
1928 Graduated, Belgrade Military Academy, rank of second lieutenant, assigned to Yugoslavian air force
1932 Promoted to first lieutenant, Yugoslavian air force
1935 Instructor, non-commissioned officers school
1936 Promoted to second captain, squadron commander
1936-1938, 1940-1941 Aide-de-camp to General Dušan Simović, commander of Yugoslavian air force
1939 Promoted to first captain
1941 January 23 Accompanied General Dušan Simović to a meeting in Belgrade with Colonel William J. Donovan, Franklin D. Roosevelt's representative in Europe
1941 March 23 Yugoslav Prime Minister Cvetković signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany
1941 March 27 Took part in the coup led by General Dušan Simović to overthrow the government of Prince Paul and Cvetković. The 17-year-old Peter II was appointed king, and Simović became the new prime minister
1941 April 6 Germans bombarded Belgrade, began invasion of Yugoslavia
1941 April 14 Received assignment to escort King Peter II out of Yugoslavia to safety, and flew him to Athens. Two days later, Simović, Ristić, and the King flew to Alexandria
1941 April-June In Jerusalem, where Yugoslavian government-in-exile was based until it moved to London
1942 March Transferred to the Yugoslav military mission in Canada and the United States, and was based variously at Ottawa, Washington, Nashville, and Windsor, Ontario. While in Windsor, enrolled at Wayne State University in Detroit
1943-1945 Transferred to Yugoslavian forces based in Cairo, and while there, enrolled in the American University
1945 May 26 Honorable discharge from the Yugoslavian armed forces, rank of major
1946-1948 Returned to the United States, employed by U.S. Steel Products Company, Los Angeles, and enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles
1950 Graduated, bachelor's degree in political science, University of California, Los Angeles
1951 Employed as instructor of Serbo-Croatian language at the U.S. Army Language School, Presidio of Monterey, California
1953 Graduated, master's degree in political science, University of California, Los Angeles
1955 Studied at the Faculté de Droit, University of Paris, while researching book on the Yugoslavian revolution of 1941
1966 Published Yugoslavia's Revolution of 1941 (Pennsylvania State University Press)
1972-1973 Studied in doctoral program for political science, Western Colorado University
2004 Died, Monterey, California

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of Dragiša N. Ristić, acquired in increments between 1972 and 2004, document his military career in the Yugoslavian air force, with a special emphasis on his role as a protégé of General Dušan Simović. Simović was one of the leaders of the coup of March 27, 1941, which overthrew the pro-German government in Belgrade. Ristić was an aide-de-camp to General Simović, and as such, was both a participant in and eyewitness to the events surrounding the coup.
In the years following the war, Ristić sought to document the events of this period, with an eye to defending the reputation of his mentor. Having spent the war years in London, Simović returned to Yugoslavia in 1945, and lived in Belgrade until his death in 1962. During the 1950s, Simović maintained a steady correspondence with Ristić, who by then had settled in Monterey, California, and designated him to write his biography. To facilitate this, Simović transferred his wartime diary and manuscript memoir to Ristić, both of which can be found in a separate collection under Simović's name at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. During that period, Ristić began corresponding with and interviewing many of the surviving key figures from the Yugoslavian government before the coup, including Vladko Maćek, Slobodan Jovanović, Prince Paul, and others.
The Biographical File contains various personal documents, but also includes fairly extensive wartime diaries of Ristić from his period in North America and Egypt. These diaries were written initially in Serbian, but Ristić switched to using English in 1942, when he began studying English at Wayne State University in Detroit. Fragments of a never-completed memoir can also be found in this series.
The Correspondence contains the bulk of the surviving research material for his book on the 1941 coup. It consists of correspondence and interviews primarily from the 1950s, including his extensive correspondence with Simović. The Writings contains various fragmentary works and essays, but also a lengthy unpublished history of the Russian Revolution, a topic that greatly interested Ristić over the years. Also included in this series are theses from his academic career at the University of California, Los Angeles and Western Colorado University, works that also are connected to the history of the 1941 coup. The Subject File and Printed Material contain additional material that he used in his research. The collection also contains an oil Painting depicting General Dušan Simović, by Yugoslavian artist Veljko Stanojevic, which Ristić displayed in his home in Monterey.


Arranged in six series, Biographical File, Correspondence and Interview Notes, Writings, Subject File, Printed Material, and Painting.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
World War, 1939-1945 -- Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia -- History -- Axis occupation, 1941-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Diplomatic history
Yugoslavs -- United States
Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, 1870-1924
Krupskaya, Nadezhda Konstantinovna, 1869-1939


Biographical File 1941-1965, undated

Scope and Contents note

Diaries in Serbian and English, 1942-1945; draft fragments of a projected memoir, and various personal documents from his military, civilian, and academic careers, arranged alphabetically by physical form
box 1, folder 1

Academic records 1950-1955

box 1, folder 2

Address book circa 1950s

box 1, folder 3

Application for fellowship 1956

box 1, folder 4

Awards and memberships 1954-1961



box 1, folder 5

1942 May 12 - July 3

box 1, folder 6

1942 July 3 - October 11

box 1, folder 7

1942 October 12 - 1943 February 28

box 1, folder 8

1943 February 19 - September 21

box 1, folder 9

1943 September 22 - 1944 May 28

box 1, folder 10

1944 June 2 - December 31

box 2, folder 1

English lesson book 1944-1945.

Scope and Contents note

Includes diary entries, draft letters, and memoir fragments, graded by instructor

Memoir drafts

box 2, folder 2

"From Autobiography: A Record of (Foreign) Language Experiences," 1965

box 2, folder 3

"A Supplementary: The Author's Recollections," undated

box 2, folder 4

"My Memoria," undated

box 2, folder 5

Untitled draft undated

box 2, folder 6

Untitled fragments undated

box 2, folder 7

Military documents 1944-1945

box 2, folder 8

Passports and visas 1941-1946

box 2, folder 9

Personnel records 1945-1961

box 2, folder 10

Photographs of family undated


Correspondence and Interview Notes 1927-1996 (bulk 1951-1961). 1927-1996 (bulk 1951-1961).

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and summaries of interviews with exiled Yugoslavian political leaders and others, primarily related to research for his book on the 1941 coup, Yugoslavia's Revolution of 1941, arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. Also contains a few files of family and personal correspondence from the 1970s through the 1990s.
box 2, folder 11

Unidentified 1942-1987

box 2, folder 12

Churchill, Winston 1955

box 2, folder 13

Cvetković, Dragiša 1955

box 2, folder 14

Dinić, Miloj 1955

box 2, folder 15

Djurović, Tosa 1956

box 2, folder 16

Dragosavlević, S. 1956

box 2, folder 17

Dzaković, M. 1956

box 2, folder 18

Gavrilović, Milan 1956-1957

box 2, folder 19

Graham, Malbone 1959

box 2, folder 20

Jevtić, Bogoljub 1955


Jovanović, Slobodan

box 2, folder 21

Correspondence 1956-1957

box 2, folder 22

Interview notes 1955-1956

box 2, folder 23

Krek, Miho 1956


Maćek, Vladko

box 2, folder 24

Correspondence 1955-1958

box 2, folder 25

Interview notes 1956

box 2, folder 26

Maksimović, Boža 1956

box 2, folder 27

Miletić, B. S. 1959

box 2, folder 28

Milovonović, Milena 1996

box 2, folder 29

Mogilevsky, Ivan 1975

box 2, folder 30

Nikitović, Dr. 1960

box 2, folder 31

Pantelić, Vojislav, Maj. 1956

box 2, folder 32

Papić, Stevan 1956

box 2, folder 33

Paul, Prince of Yugoslavia 1955-1956

box 2, folder 34

Pavelić, Ante Smith 1956-1967

box 2, folder 35

Pavlović, Paja, Gen. 1956

box 3, folder 1

Peter II, King of Yugoslavia 1943-1959

box 3, folder 2

Petrović, Branislav 1959

box 3, folder 3

Purić, G. 1956

box 3, folder 4

Radusinović, Mihailo 1968

box 3, folder 5

Rakoćević, Milo 1955

box 3, folder 6

Ristić, Katarina 1965-1966

box 3, folder 7

Ristić, Leposava (mother) 1927

box 3, folder 8

Savić, Dragutin 1955-1959

box 3, folder 9

Simović, Dušan 1951-1962

box 3, folder 10

Stanojević, Veljko 1965-1967

box 3, folder 11

Sterdjević, G. 1956

box 3, folder 12

Subotić, I. 1956-1957


Sumenković, Ilija

box 3, folder 13

Correspondence 1956-1957

box 3, folder 14

Interview notes 1956


Veselinović, Božidar and Srbaslava (brother-in-law and sister)

box 3, folder 15


box 3, folder 16


box 3, folder 17

Visacki, Ljubos 1956

box 3, folder 18

Vukćević, Petar 1958

box 3, folder 19

Vuković, Ivona 1974-1977

box 3, folder 20

Yugoslavian air force, Cairo 1941-1942

box 3, folder 21

Živanović, Zagorka (sister) 1966-1986


Writings, 1942-1973, undated. 1942-1973, undated

Scope and Contents note

Various essays and book drafts on topics related to modern Yugoslavian history (primarily interwar years and events leading up to the coup of March 27, 1941), and the Russian Revolution, arranged alphabetically by title
box 3, folder 22

Miscellaneous fragments undated

box 3, folder 23

Notes for a history of the Yugoslavian revolution undated

box 3, folder 24

Conclusion to book on Russian Revolution undated

Scope and Contents note

box 3, folder 25

Marxism undated

Scope and Contents note

box 3, folder 26

Preface to book about Yugoslavia undated

Scope and Contents note

box 3, folder 27

Work on Yugoslavian foreign relations undated

Scope and Contents note

box 4, folder 1

"Account of the Belgrade Revolution," undated

box 4, folder 2

"The Adriatic Question," undated

box 4, folder 3

"Djeneral Dušan Simović i Njegov Istoriski Cin," 1942

box 4, folder 4

"Epilogue: Pen, Pencil, and Sweat," undated.

Scope and Contents note

Autobiographical work intended as epilogue to planned book
box 4, folder 5

"The February Revolution, the Tsar and the Formation of the Provisional Government," doctoral project, Western Colorado University 1973

box 4, folder 6

"Foreign Relations of Yugoslavia, 1914-1934," master's thesis, University of California, Los Angeles 1953

box 4, folder 7

"Imperial Russia and Serbia," undated.

Scope and Contents note

Draft. In Serbian
box 5, folder 1

"A Lecture Syllabus for Yugoslavia's Revolution of 1941, EDCS-700 Independent Study Curriculum," Western Colorado University 1971


"Nadezhda Krupskaya and Lenin," undated

box 5, folder 2

Pages 1-163

box 5, folder 3

Pages 165-329

box 5, folder 4

Pages 330-500

box 6, folder 1

Pages 501-726

box 6, folder 2

Pages 727-938

box 6, folder 3

Pages 939-1061, plus Chapter XXIV

box 6, folder 4

Pages 1062-1271

box 7, folder 1

Pages 1272-1464

box 7, folder 2

Additional notes and fragments of draft

box 7, folder 3

"Oktobarska Revolucija," 1962-1964.

Scope and Contents note

Manuscript drafts
box 7, folder 4

"Opening Stage of the Triune State," undated

box 7, folder 5

"Poseta Pukovnika Williama Donovana," undated

box 7, folder 6

"Russia's Great Revolution," undated

box 7, folder 7

"Trieste in International Politics," undated

box 7, folder 8

"Turkey: The Period of Mustapha Kemal Pasha," undated


Subject File 1941-1956, undated.

Scope and Contents note

Notes and other material, primarily related to Yugoslavian leadership in exile during World War II, arranged alphabetically by subject
box 7, folder 9

Coup of March 27, 1941 1941-1956 and undated

box 7, folder 10

Grol, Milan 1945 and undated

box 7, folder 11

Knežević, Živan 1944-1955

box 7, folder 12

Nedić, Milan 1941 undated

box 7, folder 13

Simović, Miloš 1941-1942

box 7, folder 14

Unattributed report from Yugoslav mission in Washington, to Slobodan Jovanović, London Sep-42


Printed Material 1942-1957, undated.

Scope and Contents note

Arranged alphabetically by title
box 7, folder 15

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia (printed in Great Britain, unattributed) circa 1942.

Scope and Contents note

Includes tipped-in letter to Ristić from Dušan Simović, 1957
box 7, folder 16

Samoubistvo Jugoslavije, by Danilo Gregorić. Belgrade: Izdavaćko i Prometno A.D. Jugoistok 1942

Scope and Contents note

Copy owned and annotated by Du*san Simović
box 7, folder 17

Yugoslavia at War (Yugoslav Documents, No. 2, Collection of official statements). London: Yugoslav Information Department 1942

art Racks

Painting undated.

Scope and Contents note

Portrait in oil of General Dušan Simović, by Veljko Stanojevic, undated