brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Omer R. ŠPAGO
OMER ŠPAGO, son of RAMO, born in 1925 in Podveležje*. Fighter, artilleryman. He died in Istria during the final battles for liberation in 1945.
*According to family members, Omer’s plaque should read: Omer R. Špago (1925 Podveležje – 1945 Istria).
A brief memory (by S. Špago):
He had just turned twenty. An artilleryman. The only child of his parents. My father Halil (1926-1997) told me about Omer immediately after the unveiling of the Partisan Memorial in 1965 when I, reading his name in the top row on the right, just after entering the gallery, asked who this relative was. At that time, my father told me how they had met twice in one day, the day after Mostar was liberated on February 15, 1945, in the southern camp. My father’s brigade entered Mostar from the western side, while Omer’s brigade came from the southeast. As they prepared for the liberation military parade through the streets of Mostar, a soldier came to the gate and asked for the soldier Špago for a visit at the gate. My father ran to the gate, thinking that someone was looking for him.
There, he saw a man and a young boy, almost a child. They were Omer and his father Ramo. The parent couldn’t resist coming to see his only son. There, the father greeted them and got to know each other because they hadn’t met before. A little later, the soldier at the gate asked for the soldier Špago again for a visit. Once again, they met at the gate, but this time, the visit was for my father. On foot, from Ljubuški, my father’s mother Hava arrived. As soon as she heard that Mostar had been liberated, no one could stop her. Her son, who was then eighteen years old, was the fourth of her eight sons and one of twelve children in total. She came only to see him and left him half a loaf of barley bread and a little fresh butter and cheese in a wooden box with a lid. She didn’t have anything else.
After a few days, the brigades set off on their respective tasks. My father’s brigade headed north, towards Sarajevo, where he participated in the battles for liberation on April 6, 1945. Omer, with his brigade, headed west with his artillerymen for the final liberation of the country. In May 1945, when they were awaiting the moment of final liberation from the fascists, a bullet caught up with him in distant Istria.
Twenty years later, he found himself in this city of the dead, which, regardless of its current state, still serves as a reminder.
May his glory and mercy be eternal.
Smail Špago, March 15, 2014.
Photo: family archives from 2018. i 2013.; S. Demirović.
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