Petar Živković

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Petar Živković
Петар Живковић
8th Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
In office
7 January 1929 – 4 April 1932
MonarchAlexander I
Preceded byAnton Korošec
Succeeded byVojislav Marinković
Minister of the Interior
In office
7 January 1929 – 5 January 1932
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byAnton Korošec
Succeeded byMilan Srškić
Minister of the Army and Navy of Yugoslavia
In office
22 October 1934 – 7 March 1936
Prime MinisterNikola Uzunović (1934)
Bogoljub Jevtić (1934–35)
Milan Stojadinović (1935–36)
Preceded byMilan Milovanović
Succeeded byLjubomir Marić
Minister without Portfolio
In office
MonarchPeter II
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byNone
Personal details
Born1 January 1879
Negotin, Serbia
Died3 February 1947(1947-02-03) (aged 68)
Paris, France
NationalitySerbian / Yugoslav
Political partyYugoslav Radical Peasants' Democracy
Yugoslav National Party
Military service
AllegianceSerbia / Yugoslavia
Branch/serviceRoyal Serbian Army / Royal Yugoslav Army
Years of service1903–1943
RankGeneral of the Army
Battles/warsWorld War I

Petar Živković (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар Живковић; 1 January 1879 – 3 February 1947) was a Serbian military officer and political figure in Yugoslavia. He was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 7 January 1929 until 4 April 1932.


Petar Živković was born in Negotin, Principality of Serbia (present-day Bor District, Serbia) in 1879. He finished secondary school in Zajecar and the Military Academy in Belgrade.[1] A soldier at the Serbian court, he helped overthrow the Obrenović dynasty with the assassination of King Alexander I of Serbia (11 June), which was orchestrated by Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević, the founder and leading member of the secret nationalist organization Black Hand. Živković later founded the secret organization White Hand in 1912, which served to counter the power of the Black Hand.[2]

In 1921, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia appointed Živković commander of the Royal Guard, but he was briefly demoted due to accusations by a young guardsman that he tried to seduce him.[3] In 1929 he was appointed Prime Minister as part of the 6 January Dictatorship.[4] General Živković was Bogoljub Jevtić's brother-in-law, the closest adviser to the head of State.

Živković held the office as a member of the Yugoslav Radical Peasants' Democracy (JRSD), which became the only legal party in Yugoslavia, following electoral reforms. As a Prime Minister he did not enjoy high regard by either the military or among other politicians not only due to his widely rumoured homosexuality.[5] He resigned as prime minister in 1932, and shortly thereafter founded the Yugoslav National Party (JNS), becoming its president in 1936.

Following Alexander I assassination in 1934, His cousin Pavle Karađorđević took office as regent for the 11-year-old Petar II. Upon Pavle's 1941 signing of the Tripartite Pact, Živković left Yugoslavia ahead of the Nazi invasion. He became part of the Yugoslav government in exile.

In 1946 he was tried in absentia in the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia at the Trial of Mihailović et al. and sentenced to death by the communist authorities.[6] He was forced into exile, leaving for Italy and eventually settling in France, dying in Paris in February 1947, aged 68.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

Živković is portrayed by Nebojša Dugalić in the Serbian television series Balkan Shadows.


  1. ^ Voje Stojanović-Voke (1941). Biographies of notable people from the territory of Eastern Serbia and Pomoravlje (in Serbian). Štamparija "Minerva".
  2. ^ Glenny, Misha (2000). The Balkans, 1804-1999: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers. Granta Books. p. 429. ISBN 978-1-86207-073-8.
  3. ^ In this reference in Serbian on Vesti Online
  4. ^ Goldstein, Ivo (1999). Croatia: A History. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-77352-017-2.
  5. ^ Dejan Djokić (2023). A Concise History of Serbia. Cambridge University Press. p. 383. ISBN 978-1-107-02838-8.
  6. ^ Pavkovic, Aleksandar; Redan, Peter (2018). The Serbs and their Leaders in the Twentieth Century. Routledge. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-42977-259-7.
  7. ^ Adriano, Pino; Cingolani, Giorgio (2018). Nationalism and Terror: Ante Pavelić and Ustasha Terrorism from Fascism to the Cold War. Central European University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-9-63386-206-3.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
New office Minister without Portfolio
Military offices
Preceded by Deputy Commander in Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Position abolished