There is a village Kovačići 34km NW from Zagreb, my father`s birthplace. And he went to the next village to learn the blacksmith trade at a family named Hižar (house-builder would be the meaning of that). The village Kovačići had no active kovač at the time  ;D
These days I`m trying to revive this trade so I hammer some hot metal in my old house from time to time just to make the sound of anvil familiar to my kids ;D ;D

Yes village blacksmiths were "dying out" since 19th century onwards becouse of Industrial Revolution etc. However even before WWII there were still many villages with blacksmiths but some might lose them way before WWII. Village blacksmiths were mostly making horseshoe etc. nothing hardcore complicated of course and majority of them were also famrers besides blacksmithing. They were not like professional blacksmiths.