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Autor ovog teksta bio je sekretar Sarajevskog mesnog komiteta Komunističke partije Jugoslavije 1941. i 1943. godine. Među svojim prijateljima imao je mnogo Jevreja i zbog toga je dao svoj doprinos naporima da se održe sećanja na članove jevrejske zajednice Sarajeva koji su, iako skoro potpuno uništeni tokom rata, za sobom ostavili trajan trag u tkivu gradskog i društvenog života. Takođe želi sačuvati i sećanja na doprinos sarajevskih Jevreja kako u pobedi nad okupatorima i njihovim saučesnicima, tako i borbi za društveni napredak. Nakon što su pre više od pet vekova proterani iz Španije, sefardski Jevreji su u velikom broju utočište pronašli u Osmanskom carstvu. Dosta njih se naselilo na Balkanu, a neki u gradu Sarajevu. Iako su ostali vezani za svoj španski jezik, za njihove stare običaje i kulturu, svojim veselim manirima, iskrenošću i ljudskim pristupom, uspeli su da ih lokalno stanovništvo ubrzo prihvati. Radeći marljivo koliko god su znali i umeli, zaslužili su pošten život, ...ali više od toga značajno su doprineli razvoju grada.
The author of this writing was Secretary of the Sarajevo Local Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1941 and again in 1943. He had many Jews among his friends and it is therefore that he volunteered to contribute to the efforts aiming at keeping alive the memories of the members of the Sarajevo Jewish Community who, although made to perish during the war, have left behind what will remain a permanent imprint of theirs in the fabric of the city's social life. He also wishes to bring back to memory the contribution of the Sarajevo Jews to both the victory over the invaders and their accomplices and the struggle for social progress. Having been expelled from Spain nearly five centuries ago a great number of the Sephardi Jews found shelter in the Ottoman Empire. Quite a few of them settled in the Balkans and some in the city of Sarajevo. Although they remained attached to their Spanish language, to their old customs and culture, by their jovial manners, frankness and the huma...n approach they did succeed very soon to be accepted by the local population and made many friends in no time. Hardworking as they were they earned an honest living, but more than that they considerably contributed to the development of the city. Although, as far as their legal status was concerned, they enjoyed the same rights as all the other ethnic groups between the two world wars, when Hitler came to power in Germany the Yugoslav Government, too, started to introduce discriminatory legal measures against the Jews. The powerful process of social differentiation which under the impact of capitalist development gained wide ground in the world between the two wars did not bypass the small Sarajevo Jewish community either. Smail as it was, the community had in its ranks a considerable number of progressive-minded activists and members of the Communist Party as well. When the Nazis came to rule the city, members of the Communist Party, together with all the other progressive-minded activists, including the Jewish group, created in the city the nucleus of a widespread underground network. On July 4,1941 when the Communist Party of Yugoslavia issued its historic appeal calling upon the people to start the uprising the Jewish party members, Communist Youth members, and all the other Jews imbued with patriotism, readily responded to this appeal, bore their share in the organization of uprising, joined the fighting partisan units and took upon themselves many responsibilities in the Liberation Army and in the new people's administration in the liberated areas. In 1941 five hundred Sarajevo Jews joined the Peoples’ Liberation Army. Before the start of the uprising, a number of Jews succeeded to reach the areas occupied by the Italians, the many obstacles of such illegal movement notwithstanding. After the capitulation of Italy these Jews, too, joined the units of the Peoples' Liberation Army. The Nazi policy of genocide took the life of 80,000 Yugoslav Jews. Of these 9,000 were from Sarajevo. From the very day the Nazis set foot in Sarajevo, the Jewish population of the city was deprived of all civil rights. They were denied any chance to earn a living by work, they could not own property, they were not allowed to get proper housing, to move around in the city, to buy food and other necessities of life on the market, to make use of the health service, etc. Moreover, they were forced to do the most difficult physical work without any pay. Laws and bylaws were enacted which exposed to severe punishments, including capital punishment, all those who would dare to offer any help to the Jewish population. And yet, the Sarajevo citizens of all nationalities, including the Serbs who themselves were victims of the Nazi genocide policy, and particularly the Sarajevo Party organization, did not hesitate to offer such help as was possible alleviating thereby the hard destiny of the Sarajevo Jews. Also during those difficult days, the solidarity of Sarajevo Jews markedly demonstrated itself, as did the solidarity of all the other Jewish communities on the territory of what then pretended to be the Independent State of Croatia. This deserves special emphasis as the Jewish communities in Sarajevo, Zenica, Travnik, Mostar, Slavonski Brod, Zagreb, Split, and the other smaller communities were practically without financial means and had, therefore, to invest great efforts to be able to help those in great need. Moreover, German and Ustashi commissars supervised the activity of Jewish communities which made it nearly impossible to be of help to anybody. Most of the Sarajevo Jews who have left the city in good time and joined the Liberation Army, and those, too, who did so after having reached the territory occupied by the Italians did survive WWII. Fortunate were those, too, who found themselves in countries outside the reach of Germans, as were those, mostly physicians, who were engaged in a project initiated to eradicate endemic syphilis and other contagious diseases from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When a chance offered itself these Jews, too, joined the Liberation Army. Some of the Sarajevo Jews spent the war years in Germany as prisoners of war. After the war, they returned to their liberated country. Today about 1,300 Jews live in Sarajevo. They are active in all walks of the city's social life and their contribution to the development of Sarajevo and of the Yugoslav community as a whole is being rewarded by high appreciation.
Keywords:Jevreji - Sarajevo / Sarajevo Jews
Source:Zbornik 4 : Studije, arhivska i memoarska građa o Jevrejima Jugoslavije, Jevrejski istorijski muzej - Beograd = Jewish studies 4 : Studies, archival and memorial materials about the Jews in Jugoslavia, Jewish historical museum - Belgrade, 1979, 4, 223-243
- Beograd : Savez jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije [Federation of Jewish Communitues in Jugoslavia]
ISSN: 0353-0612[ Google Scholar ]