brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Mehmed A. ĆUMURIJA
MEHMED MEHO ĆUMURIJA MEŠAK, from Mostar, son of AHMEDAGA, born on April 23, 1900* in Mostar. Worked as a shoemaker. Official of FC “Velež” (possibly as an economist or armorer of the club, and potentially a member of the Board of Directors between 1930 and 1940). According to one source, “he used his shoemaking skills to repair shoes or make them for younger players.” Activist of the workers’ movement and the People’s Liberation War. Arrested by the Ustasha on February 12, 1945, in Mostar, taken to Sarajevo, and killed in Ustasha retaliation during the Ustasha withdrawal from Sarajevo in the final days of the war in 1945.
After an unsuccessful assassination attempt on the notorious Ustasha commander Maks Luburić in early March 1945, Luburić took over the judiciary in Sarajevo and formed his own Extraordinary Court. This so-called Extraordinary Court, by the judgments UKP. No. 1/45 and UKP No. 2/45, published in the last issue of the Ustasha “Novi list” on April 3, 1945, sentenced dozens of people to death. Early in the morning on March 28, 1945, seven days before the liberation of the city, the Ustasha publicly hanged 56 people at Marindvor, and additional bodies were found in Luburić’s villa that could not be identified due to the mutilation of the remains. Mehmed Ćumurija’s name was listed as number 12 on the notice/announcement of the death sentence by firing squad.
He was described as a “diligent and hardworking man who worked for “Velež” out of love for the club and football.”
One of the biggest mysteries of “Velež” is associated with Meško Ćumurija. In early 1941, due to possible reprisals against Velež, he received a directive, possibly from Dr. Safet Mujić, to hide all of Velež’s belongings. However, all those who knew the exact location where Velež’s trophies and documentation were hidden perished in the People’s Liberation War, so nothing has been found to this day.
“The night after the match with Montenegro, the club management designated Meško Ćumurija to be the one who would hide the documentation and trophies. He was not politically compromised, he was reserved and dedicated to his work, but also courageous, unwavering, and persistent. He was brought in for questioning several times, but he always pretended to have no idea what the police were talking about and what trophies they were referring to.”… “One night, Ćumurija packed everything in special paper and muslin, coated the trophies with gun grease for protection, and sealed everything in two barrels used for kerosene. Then he buried the barrels at a location that he didn’t reveal to anyone except – it is assumed – a very narrow circle of people who were in the highest leadership of the Communist Party.” “During his lifetime, he never revealed the secret of where he buried Velež’s documents and trophies from 1922 to 1940 to anyone who survived the war. It is presumed that Ćumurija shared the information with Safet Mujić, Jusuf Čevri, Rudolf Hrozoniček, Mustafa Pašić, or someone else from the top ranks of the club or the Communist Party of Mostar, but none of them survived the National Liberation War.” (Ibrulj, Saša (2022): Velež, the story of 100 years of Mostar-born, Dobra knjiga, Sarajevo)
EXCERPT FROM LITERATURE:
“Mešak Ćumurija took great care of us, every football player, especially the younger ones. He was truly a diligent and exceptionally beloved person. Ćumurija conscientiously and neatly maintained the equipment and props. The mere thought of the club management wanting to reward him materially greatly offended him.” (Sulejman Sule Gušanac, cited in the book by Saša Ibrulj (2022): “Velež, the story of 100 years of Mostar-born”, Dobra knjiga, Sarajevo)
https://slobodni.net/t117745-38/; Luburićev oglas; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945. Fotografija: S. Demirović, Centar za mir podsjetio na obnovu Partizanskog spomen groblja iz 2018. (vijesti.ba); http://rsdvelezmostar.blogspot.com/p/fk-velez.html; Ibrulj, Saša (2022): Velež, priča o 100 godina mostarskih rođenih , Dobra knjiga, Sarajevo
Photo: S. Demirović; Historija — Postimages (postimg.cc)
We thank E. Hadžajlić for the information provided.
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