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. TASO
MEHMED TASO, known as MEHA and HAMA, son of ALIJA, born on October 10, 1919, in Mostar, a barber by profession, a football player for FC “Velež,” member of the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia (SKOJ) since 1942. In the early months of the war, he served as a saboteur and courier on the Mostar-Bataljon line. In August 1941, he was part of a group of Mostar youth who attempted the first action to extract weapons and materials from the Northern Military Camp for the needs of the partisan units, but they were thwarted in the process. He joined the partisans in February 1942 and became a fighter in the 1st Squad of the Battalion. Assigned by the party, he was sent from the unit to Konjic with Safet Alagić to assassinate Ferhat Kurtović, a merchant from Konjic who was the main instigator of the formation of the Ustasha militia in Bjelimići. He is a survivor of the Chetnik coup in Bijela in 1942 and the 17-hour battle in the besieged school. He fought bravely (“From the ground floor of the school, Meha Taso returned several thrown bombs back at the Chetniks’ heads by noon” “- We don’t accept any gifts today – Taso threw the bombs back out the window“). He was part of the group that managed to break out of the encirclement, but during the retreat, they were surrounded by Ustaše forces and captured and taken to prison in Konjic. The battalion leadership, at the request of a number of fighters, organized a rescue operation from the Konjic prison. With the support of the party and SKOJ organization in Konjic, the operation was successfully carried out on July 3-4, 1942, by Meha Trbonja, Mustafa Ćemalović Ćimba, Hasan Zahirović Laca, Abdulah Lugić, and Safet Anagić. Taso was killed in Bugojno in August 1942 during an Ustasha attack, struck by a bullet in the head.
He was described as “a good friend, a brave fighter and a jovial man: “How many times did he say that a bullet would not hit him and that he would be wounded in the heel when he fought for the liberation of Mostar”. A street in Mostar is named after Mehmed Taso.
Regarding Taso’s arrival in the battalion:
“Days and nights were passing slowly. The snow had blocked all the roads, so couriers from Mostar were coming less frequently. The positions were also pressed with silence, snow, and boredom. Gunshots were rare, and everything had sunk into the deaf winter village monotony. And then, suddenly, Meha Taso arrived, dressed in a brand-new Italian suit, armed with a machine gun and bombs. He spent that February night in my kitchen, satisfied that he had safely escaped from occupied Mostar.”
About the assassination of Kurtović:
From life in the detachment:
“They loved actions, and the constant immobility at the positions, especially during winter and spring days when the frost was biting or rain was falling, which penetrated to the bones, was the most difficult for them. In those situations, the well-known jokes from Mostar came to the forefront, creating a cheerful atmosphere in the squad. During those spring days, the first cherries had ripened in gardens near Konjic. The people from Mostar would descend into the gardens at night to pick them. When Commander Rade Španac found out about it, he prohibited them from doing so, as someone could get hurt. However, since discipline was not their virtue, Enes Orman, Hivza Brkić, Meho Taso, Remza Ćišić continued with their actions. As they went individually, unaware of each other’s presence, comical situations would arise. It happened that one of them was already up on the tree, sitting among the branches and picking cherries. Later, another person came under the same cherry tree and suddenly shouted in the darkness, ‘Who’s up there?’ and the one above replied, ‘Who’s down there?’ As this occurred right near the Italian positions, such surprises were significant for them.”
Few former fighters remembering Taso’s death:
“In the morning, on August 18 (1942), around 9 o’clock, the Ustasha surprised and attacked our 1st Squad on the slope of Humac, and during that incident, Mehmed Taso, a worker from Mostar, was killed by a bullet to the head. Taso was an example of bravery in the Battalion. He stood out with his camaraderie and dedication to the collective; he truly represented the Mostar proletariat, always ready for any combat task. He was buried with a volley of shots from his squad, and on that occasion, tears filled the eyes of all the fighters.”
“We saw that the focus of the attack was on two of our companies that remained near the chapel and in which there were 7-8 comrades. We tried to approach them. However, it was too late, our machine gun near the chapel no longer worked. We concluded from that that part of the position was occupied by the Ustasha militia. Since there was a clearing, along Vrbas, we ran from cover to cover, and those were stacks of wheat laying about. In one such jump, moving from one stack to another, Mehmed Mesa Taso was shot in the back of the head and remained dead on the spot. We managed to move to the thicket along the Vrbas, so in the second attack we managed to sort ourselves out and gather the Ustashas and expel them.”
http://rsdvelezmostar.blogspot.com/p/fk-velez.html ; Ćemalović, Enver (1986): Mostarski bataljon, Mostar; Seferović, Mensur (1984): Rascvjeti bratstva, “Narodna armija”, Beograd; Seferović, Mensur (1957): „Tajna partijske ćelije“, Sarajevo; Seferović, Mensur (1955): Drugovi iz bataljona, “Narodna prosvjeta”, Sarajevo; Seferović, Mensur (1970): Pred očima grada, »Informativni centar Mostar«, nagrada »14. februar« Skupštine opštine Mostar, 1970.; grupa autora (1986): Hercegovina u NOB 4. dio, Beograd ; Seferović, Mensur (1981): „Istočno i zapadno od Neretve“, „Narodna armija“, Beograd¸ grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.; Alikalfić, Fazlija, Seferović, Nusret (1989): “Zbornik sjećanja o Mostarskom bataljonu”, Skupština opštine, Odbor za istoriju revolucionarnog radničkog pokreta i NOB-a Mostara
Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović.
Do you have more information about this fighter? Share your stories and photographs. Let’s keep the memory alive!