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Mirjana Markovic, the ‘Lady Macbeth’ of War-Torn Serbia, Dies at 76

Category: Europe,World

Her mother, who was known as Mira, was said to have been captured by the Gestapo in 1943 and tortured until she confessed to being a partisan. She was later executed — some accounts say by the Germans, another on the orders of her own father after the war on the grounds that she had betrayed the partisan cause by giving up valuable information to the Germans.

For many years, evoking a hallmark of her mother’s, Ms. Markovic would wear a signature silk flower in her dyed jet-black hair.

As a girl, Mirjana was close to an aunt who, during World War II, had been the mistress of Josip Broz Tito, the Communist revolutionary and later the Yugoslav dictator.

Mirjana was 17 and president of a youth committee at school when she fell in love with Slobodan Milosevic, a fellow member of the committee. His childhood, too, had been scarred, by the suicides of his parents and an uncle. The couple, both in their early 20s, he a year younger than Ms. Markovic, married in 1965.

Ms. Markovic held a doctorate in sociology from Belgrade University and was the author of a number of books. She also wrote flowery diaries for Serbian newspapers that were dissected for hints of the Milosevic regime’s latest political favorites and its next victims.

In 2003, Ms. Markovic was accused of abuse of office, including arranging to secure a government apartment for a grandson’s nanny. She was tried in absentia and sentenced to a year in prison. An appeals court annulled the sentence last month and ordered a retrial.

Her survivors include her children, Marko, and her daughter, Marija, who fled to Montenegro. All three had been sought on charges ranging from corruption to illegal weapons possession. (Marija, who was general manager of a television station, was accused of shooting her boyfriend’s dog; Marko, who ran an amusement park, was indicted on charges of threatening to dismember an opposition leader with a rotary saw.)


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