Maček or Machek, Vladimir (both: vlädēˈmĭr mäˈchĕk) [key], 1879–1964, Croatian political leader. He headed the Croatian Peasant party from 1928. A vigorous opponent of the dictatorship of King Alexander of Yugoslavia, he fought for Croatian autonomy and was imprisoned several times. After Alexander's death, Maček was granted amnesty, and largely through his negotiations with Prince Paul, regent for King Peter II, Croatia obtained (1939) substantial autonomy within Yugoslavia. Maček entered (1939) the Yugoslav government as vice premier. After the occupation (1941) of Yugoslavia by the Axis forces, he was under close surveillance. Later, he opposed the Tito regime, which came into power in 1944. He left Yugoslavia in 1945, settling eventually in the United States.
See his In the Struggle for Freedom (1957).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.