World War I
The intensive development of Belgrade which started after its final liberation from the Turks continued in the first years of the XX century. However, the further development of the city was hindered by a fact that Belgrade was a border city and an obstacle to Austrian expansionistic policy against Balkan. In planning of Austrian and German expansion to Balkan, an excuse was sought to attack Serbian by military force. It was found in the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown-prince Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo.
World War I started with the ultimatum, and later the attack on Serbia. During World War I, Serbia lost 28% of its whole population, while Belgrade was the most destroyed town in Serbia. Immediately after the liberation, Belgrade became the capital of the newly-created Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which gave it even stronger impulse for faster development. Numerous buildings were constructed in the old city center, which gave Belgrade the shape of a European city.
In the year 1936 Belgrade was proclaimed for a tourist resort. It had 23 hotels, 33 restaurants, 433 guest houses, 427 taverns, 197 bistros, 412 national dining room and 318 inns. In those years a short movie on Belgrade was also shot, a tourist promotion poster of Belgrade made and Belgrade Guide (Vođ kroz Beograd) printed.
World War II
The city was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe on April 6, 1941, killing thousands of people. Yugoslavia was invaded by German, Italian, Hungarian and Bulgarian forces and the western suburbs were incorporated into a Nazi puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia. During the summer and fall of 1941, in reprisal to guerrilla attacks, the Germans carried out several massacres of citzens from Belgrade; in particular, members of Belgrade's Jewish community were subject to mass shootings at the order of General Franz Böhme, the German Military Governor of Serbia. Böhme rigorously enforced the rule that for every German killed, 100 Serbs or Jews would be shot. Following the Nazi example, the Independent State of Croatia established extermination camps and perpetrated an atrocious genocide killing over 750.000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. This holocaust set the historical and political backdrop for the civil war that broke out fifty years later in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and that accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991-1992.
The city was bombed by the Allies as well, on April 16, 1944, killing about 1,600 people. Both bombings happened to fall on Orthodox Christian Easter. Most of the city remained under German occupation until October 20, 1944, when it was liberated by Communist Yugoslav Partisans and the Red Army. On November 29, 1945, Marshal Josip Broz Tito proclaimed the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. In the post-war period Belgrade grew rapidly as the capital of the renewed Yugoslavia, developing as a major industrial centre.
The Capital of Serbia
Many unsolved national, ethnical, political, economic and other problems in the country led to disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991, which marked the end of the longest period of peace in Balkan in the XX century. Since 1992 Belgrade has been the capital of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, consisting of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro. As of February 2003, Belgrade has been the capital of the newly formed State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Since May 2006 Belgrade has been the capital of the Republic of Serbia.
The Romans conquered Belgrade in the beginning of the I century A.D. and it has been under their rule for full four centuries. Singidunum was most prosperous in 86 A.D., when the IV Legion of Flavius arrived.
The Serbian rule over Belgrade began in 1284, when the Serbian king Dragutin, son-in-law and vassal of the Hungarian king Ladislav IV was given rule over Belgrade.