brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Sofija S. BAKARIĆ
SOFIJA BAKARIĆ, daughter of SLAVKO, also known as Velika Buca, born on February 11, 1924, in Belgrade. She lived with her family and received education in Mostar, and worked as a typographer (according to one source, she was a philosophy student). A member of the SKOJ (League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia) and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), she was one of the first underground fighters of the National Liberation War. Arrested in Sarajevo in June 1941, she was temporarily held in the Sarajevo prison, then deported to the camp in Koprivnica (where, along with Rudolf Hrozniček and two other prisoners, she assisted Croatian communist women Anka Butorac and Maca Gržetić in their escape). She was transferred to various Ustaše camps (Gospić, Jastrebarsko, and Jasenovac), and by the end of 1941, she found herself in Stara Gradiška. When the Croatian Women’s Camp was established in February 1942, she was moved from the prison in the notorious Kula to the facility for accommodating Croatian and Bosniak women. There, she joined the work of the camp’s partisan organization. She was repeatedly placed in solitary confinement in the Kula, subjected to the cruelest mistreatment and abuse, and ultimately killed*. According to one source, “after (being held in solitary confinement in the ‘Kula’ for ‘singing songs about the camp’), she was constantly persecuted until one morning when Ustaše official Maja Buždon took her to solitary confinement in the ‘Kula,’ where she was liquidated that same night.” Due to the suffering she endured, she became a symbol of the plight of women and children in Ustaše camps. She was described as a “defiant and proud young person” who “remained strong during interrogations and up until her tragic death.”According to preserved documents, the partisans planned to seek an exchange for Sofija in return for Ustaše prisoners, but it did not happen. Additionally, Sofija’s mother, Marija, unsuccessfully submitted a request to the Ministry of Justice and Worship of the Independent State of Croatia in June 1943 to release Sofija from the camp. It is recorded that on one occasion, she encountered Meho Trbonja (1915-2002, a national hero) who was captured and held as a prisoner, and she helped him escape by standing between him and the policeman at the train exit. After the Fifth Offensive, Sofija Bakarić was hiding in the house of partisan Radojka Raca Ivanišević-Gnjatić, who was caught in a raid and executed.
*According to the testimony of a female prisoner:
“A year later, after the cruelest mistreatment, Mostar resident Sofija Bakarić, a defiant and proud young person, was also killed. She was separated from us and put in solitary confinement. They tortured her day after day for three months, and she kept singing. This enraged the Ustaše even more. She asked us to help her take her own life because she couldn’t bear the torture anymore. We couldn’t fulfill her request. She told us she would give us a sign when they took her to the gallows. And she did. She threw out the laundry through the window that she could quickly untie.”
“Dear my loved ones, I wanted to write to you again. I don’t know if you received the card I wrote to you. I am well and healthy, how are you, what are you doing? I am doing well. I have gotten a tan as if I were at the seaside, and I have gained some weight. What is everyone in the neighborhood doing? How is (illegible), (illegible)? How are Braco and Ljuba, are they swimming in the Neretva? Did Dad get his picture taken in (illegible)? I have missed you all and I can’t wait to come home. (Illegible) what it’s like to travel. We have visited the entire Croatian state. I have managed to get along well because you know that I know (illegible), you know how I started, but there are good people, so we somehow get by. I would write to ask you to send me something, but we are never in one place for more than a few days (illegible). Is Savo coming (?) What about (illegible). Send my greetings to everyone (illegible).”
On the other side: “Greetings to Petar and (illegible). Don’t worry about me. So far, I am doing well. (Illegible) the situation and (illegible). Many greetings to Dad and Radmila. (Illegible) loves and kisses, your Buca.”
Addressed to: Miss Ljubica Bakarić
Danica, December 4, 1941.
Why aren’t you writing to me? You at least have time. Hurry Mom up to come. How are you spending your time? Are you going to dances? I accidentally damaged my sweater, so I knitted a blouse, and I will send it to you for the dance. Don’t be mad at Mom. Be good. What is Braco doing? Savo is probably dead since he hasn’t contacted us. Don’t forget to bring me half of the things because we don’t come every day. Choose beautiful hair combs for me, as well as everything else. You know how much I love that. Take a picture and send it to me. Dragica was here on Sunday. I got a chance to talk to her, and she tells me that she is always alone. Dad is going with the Germans to a commission and Germany, so he is afraid that something might happen to him. Now, write to me right away. Greetings to everyone. I love you very much, Your Buca”
Ćemalović, Enver (1986): Mostarski bataljon, Mostar; Miletić, Antun: “Koncentracioni logor Jasenovac 1941-1945. Dokumenta“, knj. I-II, 1986, knj. III, 1987, knj. IV, 2007, str. 2500, Narodna knjiga, Gambit, Belgrade, Jagodina ; https://www.portalnovosti.com/mostarke-otpor-u-zicama ; 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; Seferović, Mensur (1957): „Tajna partijske ćelije“, Sarajevo; kustos muzeja JUSP Jasenovac ; grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945 Photos: S. Demirović, M. Šimunković; Đ. Mihovilović, kustos muzeja JUSP Jasenovac – najtoplije zahvaljujemo na podršci ovom projektu. https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10228395246695906&set=a.10228365744398367
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