brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Salko S. BIŠĆEVIĆ
SALKO BIŠĆEVIĆ, son of SALIH, born on May 10, 1928, in Mostar. He learned the trade of a locksmith. He was a member of SKOJ. He joined the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments in August 1944 in the 1st (Mostar) Battalion of the 13th Herzegovinian Brigade. A fighter, he was killed in the village of Trnovica* near Slano in 1944 in a battle against the Ustaše. He was described as “probably the youngest and smallest fighter in the battalion” and a “volunteer bomber.”
In the chronology of the 1st Battalion, it is written: “The Dalmatians welcomed us wonderfully, and one local host allowed our fighter (Salko Bišćević, note) to be buried in his family tomb.” Salko was buried with full military honors. The proposal was made by partisan councilor Stipe Bradaš, and his generous gesture was seen as a true example of brotherhood and unity. About an hour and a half before his death, Salko Bišćević handed over his article “Liberation of Zavala and Ravno” to the cultural and educational committee of his company. In the appendix published in the pocket newspaper of the 1st Company of the 1st Battalion of the 13th Brigade, “Udarnik,” issue 5, he “reports that Zavala and Ravno represented two significant communication points with Slano by the occupiers’ command, but their defense could not withstand the attacks of the assault battalions.”
According to the archives of Radmilo Braca Andrić, the remains of Salko Bišćević were transferred and buried in the Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar.
M. Seferović dedicated an entire chapter in the book “The 13th Herzegovinian Brigade” (“The Funeral of Salko Bišćević ‘on the border’ of Herzegovina and Dalmatia,” p. 147) to Salko’s death and burial, calling it “a poignant human drama in which the fighters of the 1st Battalion of the 13th Brigade and the villagers of that Croatian mountainous region mourned together.” Here are a few excerpts:
“The column climbed the hill covered with low vegetation, above the village of Drijen, when gunfire erupted and immediately pinned down the 1st Company on the rocky terrain. The ambush was dispersed by a counterattack, leaving seven dead Ustaše on their positions. Along the way, an Ustaša was captured, and from his dropped backpack, a ball of thread rolled out as he fled. The Ustaša ran away, and the thread unraveled, marking the path for the fighters to the sinkhole where he had taken cover. The fighters shouted their calls and gathered in the middle of the village, convinced that everyone was together and that the victory was complete. Around them were peasants, women, children, and elderly people, whose sons and brothers were mostly in Dalmatian partisan units. ‘I see, the only one missing is little Biščević.’ Then it seemed as if we all fell silent: we saw Džanko Nuhić, the strongest man in the Brigade, carrying the lifeless body in his arms, crying. It was little Salko Biščević, who appeared even smaller to us when we laid him on the stone porch, like an undersized boy,’ recalls the political commissar of the company, Muhamed Kreso. The fallen fighter remained in his memory when the company commander, Rašid Hodžić, asked for volunteers for suicide bombers before the final attack on the fortified Chetnik stronghold in Kravica, and little Biščević, the assistant to the machine gunner, stepped forward first and asked, ‘Who should I hand the box of ammunition to?’”
“The deceased fighter was brought on a stretcher and placed on a small plateau next to the village Catholic cemetery, and Fadil Numić and I went to Trnovica to carry out the burial with the presence of the People’s Liberation Committee, which had been established in that village for some time, and in the presence of the villagers, with an honorary escort, we spoke our final farewell,” testifies Suljo Ćerimagić, the deputy commissioner and party leader of the 1st Battalion. (…) The president of the People’s Liberation Committee, Stipe Bradaš, set off with many villagers towards the cemetery. Others followed him, and around the stretcher covered with a black sheet, the sobbing of women, children, and fighters could be heard. Even the tears flowed from the eyes of the battalion cook, perhaps because he had never taken little Biščević seriously when he reproached him for not fairly distributing food, for always giving him, the smallest in the battalion, the smallest piece of meat. “We intended to bury our fallen comrade next to the cemetery and ask the locals to fence the grave so that after liberation, the bones could be transferred to Mostar. When we announced this to the councilor, he said that we could bury him in the cemetery. (…) In the end, councilor Stipe Bradaš came forward with a new, even bolder proposal: to bury the body of the fallen partisan in his family tomb! A moment of silence followed. People looked at each other as if asking with their eyes: What now! If their neighbor accepts him under his eternal roof, then… And not only was there no objection, but approval was heard again, but this time also recognition of the neighbor and representative of the people’s authority for their generosity and courage. Shovels were quickly brought, and people approached a beautiful tombstone and opened the tomb. Then the body of the fallen partisan was carried into the cemetery and laid next to the family tomb of the noble man Stipe Bradaš. As I bid farewell to our fallen comrade on behalf of the battalion, the sobbing grew louder, and after the ceremonial volley and the lowering of the body into the tomb, it turned into loud crying. The family tomb of the partisan councilor Stipe Bradaš in the Catholic cemetery, where the partisan and SKOJ member Salko Biščević was buried in a peculiar way, marked a new and hitherto unknown brotherhood, unity, mutual respect, and the mutual aspirations of Dalmatian and Herzegovinian fighters for freedom and a better life.”
Seferović, Mensur (1988): Trinaesta Hercegovačka NOU Brigada, Beograd ; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945 Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović, other photos: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fbljesak.info%2Fvijesti%2Fflash%2Fuabnor-mostar-sead-%25C4%2591uli%25C4%2587%2F413064%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0dC59cpU1YVfATlNxgQERtyF1wkty7KaCo-Wr07w5iNHmafjRRE3DH8os&h=AT0FN-oAt0ji2GjAqQ3yPfil-TGvibd5Pe42eUEAozKcuDtUWE-mNwZ7zVQgUP3cSNpctH0t-sfCEJfM12P6IUUB14YgcWaeTj3lD5KEbnkYUT7WniXWbrIExx58kHS9qQ&__tn__=H-R&c=AT251tu5IzQdBbRXySnn0ocyel09hSdKxYNIU0klCGzyUM-gXm1iAoZYWRTKjHRyxLISYSpHseyEpkQy95q1DZUs2YwTytydkxdPS7d4r4CZFdWgjVxh74YSr3Dzr6D8rWEKfHi2d5XXiwEYWabpdTj-5SVFewhz_X4JWJ00mI0fI4Mj5u4uYnG967kRb8Reb1GrVN3pr5Af
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