brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Radojka R. GNJATIĆ-IVANIŠEVIĆ
RADOJKA RACA GNJATIĆ-IVANIŠEVIĆ, daughter of RISTO, born on April 22, 1919, in Nevesinje, into a family of pre-war revolutionaries and activists. Her father was a tailor. She completed primary school and two grades of evening trade school. Before the war, she was taken by the communist Nikola Abramović to learn the trade at the textile factory store “Šik” in Mostar, and she became a sales assistant by profession. She attended classes in Esperanto at the Workers’ Home, participated in demonstrations and union strikes. She appears to have been the wife of the fighter Vasko Gnjatić. Party members would gather at their house, and from there, volunteer units would depart to join the partisans. She became a member of the League of Communist Youth (SKOJ) in 1940 and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) in 1942. She served as a fighter in the battalion from November 1941. She was recorded in 1942 at the partisan tailoring workshop. She survived the Fifth Offensive, the Battle of Sutjeska, and together with 80 other fighters, she returned to Mostar for recovery. She was arrested during a raid for betraying a fellow comrade and was executed in Ovojci near Mostar. She bravely stood her ground in front of the enemy and refused to reveal any fellow fighters: “Raca was asked to do the same as Husković (a captured partisan who denounced other fighters, ed.). She walked past the machine and her separated comrades with her head held high, full of defiance and tearful eyes. She did not linger in front of anyone, nor did she fix her gaze on anyone, so as not to betray her acquaintances to her followers.” She was executed in Ovojci near Mostar on July 10, 1943, along with 40 captured residents of Mostar. She was the sister of bakery worker Vojo Ivanišević, the secretary of the food supply union, with whom she fought together at Sutjeska, and Milan Mićo Ivanišević (killed near Travnik). She was described as “a noble and courageous partisan, proudly carried the flag of her battalion high, serving as a brilliant emblem, the conscience, and the oath of proletarian Mostar and its battalion.“
True war heroine, she inspired numerous post-war stories and novels, and one film. She was depicted on the cover of the book “Battalion in an Occupied City” by Mensur Seferović (1958).
EXCERPT FROM LITERATURE:
About Raca’s return from Sutjeska to Mostar, capture, and death:
“When the fighters from Mostar were returning from Sutjeska to Mostar, Raca stayed outside the city, in a group that wanted to go towards Dubrave but couldn’t establish contact. So she reached out to her cousin, Slavko Ivanišević, in the village of Lakiševina. He brought her food and peasant clothing, so she changed clothes and came down to Lakiševina. She left Mostar with a group, pretending to go apricot picking in an orchard outside the city. That’s how Raca, along with Smilja and that group, entered the city.
Raca’s arrest is actually a tragic case. Here’s what happened. She was staying in the Luka neighborhood, at Bakarić’s house, which was raided. If the Germans had entered that house, they probably wouldn’t have recognized Raca or arrested her if they found her in bed. She had already gone to bed, wearing her nightgown, when the Gestapo arrived near Bakarić’s house. But Raca thought it would be safer to hide in the basement, so she quickly went downstairs and hid there, still in her nightgown. But the Gestapo arrived there as well. As soon as they saw her in the basement, wearing a nightgown, they found her suspicious and arrested her as the only woman among those captured. Thus, in her nightgown, they brought her to the southern camp with the others. Husković also pointed at her because he knew her from the battalion. The Gestapo separated the young woman and after Husković’s initial identification of people, they brought her in front of a row of lined-up men and asked her to identify communist fighters. There were other fighters and illegal workers there whom Husković didn’t know but Raca did. However, the brave woman walked proudly and decisively in front of the line, looked each one in the eye, without flinching or giving anyone away. The Gestapo forced her to pass in front of the line twice, hoping for success, but Raca remained defiantly silent. Enraged enemies… they started beating her. Finally, they roughly grabbed her, threw her into a truck, and took her to prison.”
Seferović, Mensur (1958): “Bataljon u okupiranom gradu”, Sarajevo; Seferović, Mensur (2009): Zvijezde stajaćice, Zapisi o djevokama i majkama iz dva rata 1941-45 i 1991-95.; https://yu-nostalgija.com/junastvo-race-ivanisevic-gnjatic/?fbclid=IwAR1QW1tjmGhMAZN2X7fe-I3jRZNp6PzDvwgSz3f6UOybE28fvUQ_KIb7GWY ; 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; grupa autora (1961): Hercegovina u NOB 1. dio, Beograd, Vojno delo; grupa autora (1986): Hercegovina u NOB 2. dio, Beograd; 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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