brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Ismet A. KRESO
ISMET KRESO PIHA, son of AVDIJA, born on March 13, 1917, in Mostar, an official and member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) since 1940. He joined the Battalion in September 1941. He served as the Commissar of the Konjic Battalion in the Mostar Detachment, and from May 1944, in the 17th Krajina Brigade. Captured with a group of partisans after an unequal battle that lasted several hours (nine fighters against 170 Ustasha) in a besieged house in Janjina near Konjic on April 10, 1942. Two fighters were killed, and seven Ustasha captives were beaten during interrogation (none of them confessed to anything). They were then stripped naked, bound, and taken towards Bjelimići. Despite being wounded and tied up, Hilmija and Ismet Kreso managed to break free and jump into the Neretva River. The water carried them for 3-4 km, and then they resurfaced on the bank. They were able to reach Glavatičevo and recount the battle in Janjina. For a while, they were spared from fighting and operations: “They looked too weak, sick, and pale. Their faces and bodies were covered in deep bayonet cuts. (…) Despite their poor physical appearance and not participating in combat at the time, they were cheerful and in good spirits, entertaining the other fighters with their jokes.” Ismet survived the Fifth Offensive, the Battle of Sutjeska, and was part of a group of exhausted fighters who returned to Mostar for recovery. He served as the Commissar of the Konjic Battalion in the Mostar Detachment. He was killed in September 1944 at Krstac near Jablanica as an intelligence officer.
EXCERPTS FROM LITERATURE:
Regarding one action:
“A larger group of about 40 fighters from the 1st Company in Bijela, under the leadership of Rade Španac and Salko Fejić, set out to attack a train. Upon arriving in the village of Dobrigošće, a patrol composed of Ismet Kreso, Risto Marić, and Muhamed Taslaman Beg was assigned a task. “They stopped a car in which two Italian officers, engineers, were traveling. The officers were disarmed and captured, while the driver, who was a civilian, was allowed to go home. The prisoners were sent to Borci. In the village of Čelebić, a tenth of Ismet Kreso’s group was left behind, and the group crossed the Neretva River on a ferry during the night of December 21/22 and arrived in Donje Selo, where they dispersed in houses to dry their clothes and rest. It was the first encounter with partisans for the villagers, and they were overjoyed, competing to host the fighters better and gifting them with socks, gloves, and sweaters (…)”
Regarding the dramatic escape from Glavatičevo:
“When the Ustasha started arguing about who would get the leather coats and shoes of the fighters and were preparing to shoot these two, already stabbed and covered in blood, Kreso winked at Hakal, signaling that it was time to attempt an escape. At one moment, both of them kicked the Ustasha in the stomach (each their own, as they were tied separately with ropes), and then simultaneously, they jumped, still tied, into the Neretva River and continued to swim underwater towards the other bank. Fortunately, it worked in their favor that the river was fast and murky, and they were excellent swimmers. The Ustasha were completely confused, firing shots from their guns, but the darkness prevented them from aiming accurately. Both of them managed to reach the other bank, albeit far downstream. The question arose of where to go while being naked, and dawn was already breaking. Spotting a house not far from the shore, they headed towards it. At that moment, the hostess came out of the door and saw completely naked people, scratched and swollen. She immediately screamed and fainted. Fortunately, at that moment, the host, our sympathizer, also came out and quickly understood the situation. There was no clothing in the house because of the war and their poverty, but they found two old scraps of blankets, which they wrapped around themselves, and together with the host, they headed towards Glavatičevo, to the Detachment Headquarters. When they arrived at the Detachment the next morning, their eyes were already swollen shut. Their entire bodies were punctured by Ustasha knives, and they could no longer speak. Our medical team from Borci, led by Dr. Papa, took over these comrades and began treating their severe wounds all over their bodies.”
Ćemalović, Enver (1986): Mostarski bataljon, Mostar; Seferović, Mensur (1955): Drugovi iz bataljona, “Narodna prosvjeta”, Sarajevo; grupa autora (1961): Hercegovina u NOB 1. dio, Beograd, Vojno delo; grupa autora (1986): Hercegovina u NOB 4. dio, Beograd; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.
Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović.
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