The sixth of April historically proved to be a fateful day for our Sarajevo.
This is the date when Sarajevo was liberated from fascistic occupation during the World War II, but it is also the day that symbolizes the start of the siege of this city.
During World War II, besides the suffering in Sarajevo prisons, in Vraca and other locations around Sarajevo (Velesici, Bentbasa, Kozija bridge, Hresa …), mass arrests and deportation of citizens of Sarajevo in Nazi concentration camps all across Europe took place. Thus, in the period from May to December 1942, over 1,300 people from Sarajevo, without trial, were taken to concentration camps.
“But the real battles started with the arrival of Vladimir Peric Valter at the head of the Sarajevo Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia when he took command of operations against the enemy in the city itself. Vladimir Peric, whose code name was Valter, participated in covert operations against the enemy during which he managed to infiltrate the ranks of the enemy numerous times and then returned among partisans on the free territory,” said Jerlagic.
Brave, intelligent and capable soldier, he gained the status of a legend. Valter’s main task was to renovate organization of the party in Sarajevo. In June 1944, Valter organized and trained the Partisan strike forces, which were active in Sarajevo and its surroundings.
Yugoslav Army started liberation of Sarajevo on the 28th of March, and after a fierce battle, on the 5th of April 1945, the 16th Muslim Brigade entered on Vratnik, and right behind her was the 20th Romanijska Brigade, while other units surrounded the city from all sides and liberated Sarajevo during the next day.
Film “Valter defends Sarajevo” with Velimir Bata Zivojinovic was recorded in 1972, inspired by Valter’s life. Over a billion people watched it.
On the day of liberation, 47 years later, Sarajevo started another battle. The first victims of the war – Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic were killed on the day before this, the 5th of April, when thousands of people gathered in front of the building of the RBiH with banners “We are for peace”.
Instead of peace came the siege that lasted for 1,425 days, which is one of the longest one in the history of modern warfare, during which were killed 10,514 people, including 1,601 children.
Never to be repeated again…