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A B C Č Ć D Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š T U V Z Ž
A B C Č Ć D Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š T U V Z Ž

Old communist leaders from Mostar

(photo: strike of Mostar miners in 1936)

The working people of Mostar had a strong revolutionary awareness thanks to the activities of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and its Mostar organization acted as a protector of their interests. It exerted a powerful influence on the population, gaining reputation and support among workers organized in trade unions and through personal examples. They were frequently arrested for their activism, with the largest arrests occurring in 1929, 1932, and 1940.
A significant number of old communists were arrested in 1940 and sent to forced labor camps, preventing them from directly participating in the People’s Liberation War. The arrests occurred when the authorities closed down the Workers’ Hall and banned the activities of FC “Velež,” considering it a centre for progressive ideas. In response, the working class of Mostar organized a general strike involving around 2000 workers from all companies and craft workshops. For their activity they were tried and convicted and sent to the Lepoglava camp, among them: Imšir Gigić, Nikola Abramović-Bjelica, Mustafa Bjelavac, Rade Bitanga, Mustafa Alajbegović, Smajo Brkić, Hasan Krešo, Slavko Balać, Luka Knežić, and Salko Fejić (first group), and later Mustafa Humo, Velija Hajdur, Vasilije Šošić, Mile Ćećez, Ljubo Ajvaz, Rade Majstorović, and Rudolf Hrozniček. Only four of them returned from the camps: Salko Fejić, Smajo Brkić, Mustafa Alajbegović, and Luka Knežić. The remaining communists were in the prison of Lepoglava when the war broke out and were soon executed after the Ustasha came to power. Nevertheless, their influence continued to be felt among members of the resistance movement in the city, particularly among the the League of Communist Youth (SKOJ) members who quickly organized and continued the struggle against fascism.

Source: Peršen, Mirko (1963): “Lepoglava,” Zagreb.

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