brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Ljubo B. BREŠAN, national hero
LJUBO BREŠAN, known as FEĐA, son of BLAŽ, born on May 27, 1913, in Dubrovnik. He lived in Mostar from 1921 onwards and worked as a locksmith. He worked as an avionic electrician and aircraft mechanic at the Mostar airport, and during the war, he worked as a telegraphist at the railway station. As a young worker, he joined the revolutionary workers’ movement, and in 1940, he became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). After the occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, he actively participated in the establishment of the People’s Liberation Movement in Mostar and its surroundings. He gathered sympathizers of the Communist Party, patriotically and anti-fascist organized citizens, and organized the collection of weapons and other war materials with them. He was a member of the Local Committee of the KPJ in Mostar and was elected its secretary in May 1942. In extremely difficult conditions of underground work, he successfully led a strong party organization that maintained connections with the Mostar Battalion and took care of the wounded despite strong control by the occupying army and police. Political Commissar Enver Ćemalović turned to him after the Battle of the Sutjeska, asking if the barefoot and bareheaded fighters of the battalion could find refuge in Mostar.
In his underground work, he used the name Feđa. The Ustasha police knew that the leader of the Mostar party organization was hiding behind this name and actively searched for him, but with little success. The Germans managed to find out that Ljubo Brešan was the person using the undercover name Feđa, and this information was revealed by the severely tortured underground operative Hasan Fazlinović Žuti. (Žuti was the secretary of the Regional Committee of the League of Communist Youth (SKOJ) and former secretary of the Local Committee of SKOJ in Mostar. He was captured during a raid in the summer of 1943, tortured, and beaten until he gave in and exposed all the members of the Local Committee of the KPJ, including their secret aliases).
During the night of July 26, 1943, the Ustasha police raided the house of Ljubo’s brother, Ante Brešan, and arrested Ljubo in the attic. He endured fifteen days of torture in the Ustasha police custody. Initially, they offered him freedom as a Croat if he revealed the names of other partisan collaborators, but then they tortured and beat him. They brought his parents to the police station in an attempt to persuade him to cooperate. Despite all the physical and psychological torment, Ljubo refused to disclose anything and always responded with “I don’t know anything.” Due to the failure of the investigation, the Ustasha handed Ljubo over to the Gestapo, where new tortures began. They imprisoned him in the infamous Vladičin House in a room with about 20cm of water on the floor, and they tightened an iron ring around his head, but he remained silent. Exhausted from hunger and beatings, they also attempted to break him morally by introducing a letter from a traitorous comrade into his cell, urging him to give in and confess. On the same paper, Ljubo replied, “Only cowards surrender, while Party members remain silent and protect their comrades. It is better to lose one’s life with honor than to lose it as a traitor.”
Shot near Mostar on August 26, 1943. together with three prominent activists from Mostar – Mustafa Ćemalović i Muhidin Bašagić, who, as couriers of the KPJ Regional Committee for Herzegovina, were sent to the Supreme Headquarters of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments were arrested on that assignment in the vicinity of Nevesinje. Hasan Fazlinović Žuti was also shot. Ljubo Brešan was declared a national hero on July 5, 1951. years. After the war, his remains were transferred and buried at the Partisan Memorial Cemetery. Until the last war, there was also a bust of Ljubo Brešan in Mostar next to the former “Soko” factory. On Ovojci, a monument to the executioners was erected on which the names of the executioners were engraved. Ljubo Brešan’s name can be found on the memorial plaque to fallen railway workers , erected in 1952. in Mostar and renovated by the ŽTP in 2016.
EXCERPT FROM LITERATURE:
Testimony of Fija Bašagić-Ljubović, sister of Hajrija and Muhidin Bašagić, who was imprisoned and interrogated in Vladičin House where she met Brešan:
“They transferred me to cell number five. Upon entering that cell, I noticed a man sitting in one corner. He looked very miserable – almost like a corpse, as he was extremely thin. When he stood up, I saw that he was barefoot. He moved very slowly, almost staggering, and it pained him to walk. I had a feeling he had typhus. He looked terrifying. His eyes were deeply sunken, and he could barely see. He appeared disfigured. I couldn’t recognize him for a long time, even though I knew him before. It was Ljubo Brešan. He was a different person. I spent three days in the cell with him, and on the fourth day in the evening, they took him somewhere with a few other comrades. That’s when they called out these names: Ljubo Brešan, Muhidin Bašagić, Hajrija Bašagić, Ćimba Ćemalović, and Haso Fazlinović Žuti. They took these people somewhere. I know this because I heard the sound of truck or car engines. While I was in the cell with Ljubo Brešan, after getting to know each other, he told me the following among other things: ‘Stay strong because that’s what is expected of us. Does the city know how we endure? If I ever accidentally get out of prison, tell everyone that ‘Žuti’ betrayed and whipped me, in the presence of the Germans. He, like the Germans, demanded that I confess!’ Then Ljubo told me that he had been in the Ustasha police, then in the Gestapo prison, and that he was constantly being moved from one prison to another, carried like a bag back and forth. He also told me that the most difficult moment for him was when his sister came, or rather when she fell at the feet of the police chief Roko, begging for him. Roko said that his release depended solely on me. When I asked him, ‘Why are you like this?’ – he replied that he was beaten by everyone in the police and Gestapo. As he sat there, I noticed, since he was barefoot, especially when he lifted his pants, that his feet had deep and bloody scars – marks of torture. However, he had a good spirit. He once said to me, ‘Oh, if we could sing like we used to in Zalik?’ He also encouraged me when I started crying softly. He said I couldn’t be discouraged, regardless of my brother and sister being in prison, because the enemies exploit discouragement. In our conversation, he repeatedly emphasized the importance of staying strong. He was interested in what was being said in Mostar about their conduct, whether it was known that Haso Fazlinović was a provocateur.” (M. Konjhodžić, Mostar Women, page 217)
Ćemalović, Enver (1986): Mostarski bataljon, Mostar; Ljubo Brešan Feđa – Narodni Heroj Iz Mostara ( BiH ) (yu-nostalgija.com); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croats_of_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina ; Konjhodžić, Mahmud (1981): “Mostarke”: fragmenti o revolucionarnoj djelatnosti i patriotskoj opredjeljenosti žena Mostara, o njihovoj borbi za slobodu i socijalizam, Opštinski odbor SUBNOR-a Mostar; Seferović, Mensur (1957): „Tajna partijske ćelije“, Sarajevo; https://www.facebook.com/bitka.nasutjesci/photos/10071943doznav%C5%A1i-da-se-u-mostaru-po-povratku-sa-sutjeske-nalazi-mostarski-batalj/2985906981487811/ ; http://mosheristorija.blogspot.com/2015/02/oni-su-pobijedili-smrt.html ; grupa autora (1961): Hercegovina u NOB 1. dio, Beograd, Vojno delo Seferović, Mensur (1957): „Tajna partijske ćelije“, Sarajevo; Seferović, Mensur (1981): „Istočno i zapadno od Neretve“, „Narodna armija“, Beograd; grupa autora (1961): Hercegovina u NOB 1. dio, Beograd, Vojno delo; Komnenović, Danilo; Kreso, Muharem (1979): 29. hercegovačka divizija, IZ, Beograd ; Drago Karlo Miletić, članak „Italijanska reokupacija Mostara (septembar 1941 – juni 1943), Hercegovina br 7, str 119; https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/bih/povratak-narodnih-heroja-na-ulice-449064 ; https://narodniborac.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/secanje-na-narodnog-heroja-ljubu-bresana/ ; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945 Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović, other photos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl3W0gy7x5I&ab_channel=KnjOrg 16:10; 2541568-1300.jpg (1300×866) (oslobodjenje.ba) Oslobođenje – Nepokoreni Mostar u borbi za slobodu (oslobodjenje.ba); Mostar: Ponovo oskrnavljeno partizansko spomen groblje | PCNEN; https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=373566901636725&set=a.110622951264456 ; https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.18169-9/16298673_1863418773943693_5410043942225392040_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=9267fe&_nc_ohc=AoW6hfdIP5gAX88m6UC&_nc_ht=scontent-yyz1-1.xx&oh=00_AfAzzRC8SBVonPGEqXb-_e7fjOBgOE8gISKq8cuiAJBh5Q&oe=6473A005; Narodni heroji Jugoslavije A-M, Institut za savremenu istoriju, Partizanska knjiga, Ljubljana, Narodna knjiga, Beograd, Pobjeda, Titograd, 1982.
Do you have more information about this fighter? Share your stories and photographs. Let’s keep the memory alive!