Today, despite the existence of historical documents, it is little known that slaughter of Serbs in Srebrenica was prevented in the World War II.
Cases of courage and solidarity in the World War II were not rare, and there were many brave people such as the mufti of Tuzla, Sefket Kurt. Thousands of innocent lives were saved thanks to devotion of those little known and forgotten heroes of resistance to fascism and their stories, if written at all, are stored in dusty archives of BiH.
While working on research of cases of courage and rescues in the World War II, historian Milisic found documents from which it is clear that mass murder of 3,500 Serbs from Srebrenica and surrounding villages was planned in Srebrenica County back in 1942.
“We should not forget the fact that Srebrenica was occupied by Black legion, led by Juro Francetic, at the beginning of April of 1942. Terror of Ustashas reached its peak in the summer of 1942 and First Lieutenant Kurelac gave the order to slaughter Serbs from that region. A total of 3,500 Serbs, men, women and children, where gathered from the region of Srebrenica and imprisoned in barracks, and pits for their killings were ready, but nothing happened thanks to their Muslim neighbours.”
Milisic also explained that this was not the first attempt of Ustashas to slaughter Serbs in the county of Srebrenica. In the summer of 1941, on the Orthodox holiday of Vidovdan, respectable Serbs from Srebrenica were arrested, but they were released on the intervention of local Bosnian population who did not allow slaughter of their neighbours to happen.
As it was latter established, all efforts of Muslims from Srebrenica were “in vain”, because Ustashas fulfilled their criminal plans in the county of Srebrenica. Slaughter that they did in the month of June 1943 was terrifying and cruel, stated Milisic.
Even though the case of rescuing Serb population of Srebrenica in the World War II is rarely mentioned, the document which “remembers” events and main actors was made in August of 1945, and it was found by Dordje Lazarevic, a historian from Tuzla, in one record of the Commission for Territorial Crimes of BiH.
Since then, it seems like it’s existence was silenced on purpose, said Milisic, who scientifically processed the document and all of the events and presented them in the study “Examples of tolerance, help, attempts of protection of persecuted (About one little known document).