Dimitrijevic Dragutin - APIS

(1884-1917)

 

 

He was born on August 18, 1876. He was a colonel of the Serbian Army and the main organizer of the conspiracy that led to the May Overthrow (June 11, 1903, according to the new calendar), in which King Aleksandar Obrenovic and his wife Draga Masin were assassinated and King Petar I Karadjordjevic was brought to the throne.

 

Since 1904 he was a member of the Main Committee of Chetnik Action. He was the guide and bodyguard of the successor to the throne Prince Djordje, but eventually realized that he wouldn't be a good ruler. On his initiative and insistence, King Petar I changed the law and decided not to be succeeded by Prince Djordje, but by his other son Aleksandar. Prince Aleksandar was at that time a cadet in the Page Corps of the Russian Emperor and by orders of King Petar I, Apis was in charge of taking care of the Prince's security, through contacts with the Russian Imperial Security Service.

In the beginning of 1911 he became interested in the activities of the Supreme Central Committee of the conspiracy organization "Unity or death" and then he became its member. During the World War I he was the head of the General Staff Intelligence Service, chief of staff of the Uzice Army, Timok Army and the assistent of the chief of staff of the Third Army at the Tessaloniki front.

Due to his disapproval of Prince Aleksandar's decisions, he allegedly said that he would destroy him the same way he helped him come to power and that he will bring to the throne the next successor from the Karadjordjevic dinasty. Because of this statement, a secret investigation was launched on the activities of Colonel Apis. Together with other members of the organization "Unity or death" he was brought before the court, he was sentenced to death and executed by shooting. He was arrested on December 28, 1916, and at the staged Thessaloniki process, along with another ten of his think-alikes, due to the alleged plans of assassination of Prince Regent Aleksandar he was sentenced to death and executed on June 26, 1917.

On the initiative of Aleksandar Rankovic in 1953, the process against Apis was reopened in Belgrade, so that the submitted evidence was reexamined and the remaining witnesses were interrogated. A decision was made to rehabilitate Apis and the whole group of Serbian officers who were sentenced with him - secret agents and patriots.

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