brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Evald S. ERLIH
EVALD ERLIH, also known as BRANKO, son of SIMON, born on April 8, 1915, in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He was a mining engineer, a revolutionary, and a pre-war activist in the workers’ movement. After completing his education at the Technical High School in Sarajevo, he graduated in electrical engineering in Prague. There, he was part of a group of progressive Yugoslav students and became the secretary of the “Matija Gubec” society. He was arrested during his studies in Prague in 1936 as a member of an illegal Yugoslav communist organization. He became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) in 1940. After getting employed at the coal mine in Mostar, he organized workers’ resistance. Mobilized in 1941, he returned to Mostar after the collapse and continued his illegal political activities in the mine. Italian authorities arrested him in late 1942 and interned him in a camp in Dubrovnik. Even in the camp, he remained politically active to the extent allowed, and under his leadership, the Liberation Front was established at the end of 1942. In June 1943, he was transferred to the Kampor camp on the island of Rab, where he became a member of the camp committee of the KPJ. He organized political work among the interned Jewish youth with the task of preparing as many of them as possible to participate in the National Liberation War. After Italy’s surrender in September of the same year, he became the political commissar of the Rijeka Battalion, and later, after the battalion was transferred to the mainland and integrated into the Main Headquarters of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Croatia, he became the commissar of the VII Banija Division and the 8th Shock Division. He died in combat on either October 20th or 26th, 1944, in the village of Sadikovac near Drežnik in Kordun, in a close-quarters battle against the Ustasha forces.
Documented in literature in 1942 as support for the Mostar People’s Liberation War. On one occasion, Džemal Bijedić attempted to reach the Mostar Battalion through Bijelo Polje: “He arrived at Bijelo Polje on a motorcycle disguised as a fisherman, wearing long rubber boots. The motorcycle driver was Erlih Evald, an engineer at the mine and a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). However, there were already strong forces of the NDH Gendarmerie and Italian soldiers in Bijelo Polje. (…) Bijedić was forced to return to Mostar and reached the Mostar Battalion through another channel a few days later.”
In 1999, a Holocaust memorial was erected at the Jewish cemetery in Mostar, which includes Evald’s name inscribed on it.
https://zbl.lzmk.hr/?p=3264; Jevrejski almanah 1961-1962, Savez jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije (isječak); Drago Karlo Miletić, članak „Italijanska reokupacija Mostara (septembar 1941 – juni 1943), Hercegovina br 7, str 119; Ivica Stojčić: članak „Revolucionarni rad u rudniku uglja u Mostaru od 1936. do 1943. godine“, Hercegovina br 2, str 319; http://www.most.ba/108/083.aspx ; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945. Fotografije: Švob, Melita (2022): Židovi u ratu i poraću, Istraživački i dokumentacijski centar Cendo.
Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović
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