Jasenovac Reseach Institute
Jews of Yugoslavia

Jewish Museum of Belgrade

Yugoslav Jews in the Peoples’ Liberation War, 1941-1945
From the Exhibit Hall in the Jewish Museum of Belgrade

The Nazi occupying forces and their collaborators fell upon the Jews with all their violence since the first months of the occupation of Yugoslavia. They immediately started with the marking of Jews, the restriction of their freedom of movement, their imprisonment, the shooting of hostages and their deportation to camps of death.

Notwithstanding the most drastic measures taken against the Jews, more than 4000 out of over 80,000 living in Yugoslavia in 1941 joined the Peoples’ Liberation War and gave their contribution to the annihilation of the enemy, the liberation of the country and the founding of socialist Yugoslavia.

The occupying forces made particular efforts to kill right away all of the Jews who were prominent revolutionaries, the pre-war members of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the League of Communist Youth, and all outstanding personalities in cultural and public life.

Complete data on all the fighters are not available since whole families perished in the struggle or fell as victims of fascism, and not one relative survived to give data about many a fighter.

Eleven National Heroes came from the ranks of the Yugoslav Jews. The number of veterans was about 1,320. Communists were about 86. Political Officers were 17, while 199 were in the medical corps and 2 were in the veterinarian service. The exact number of Jewish women and youth who fought is not precisely known.

Out of 4,572 Yugoslav Jews who fought in the Peoples’ Liberation War, 1,318 fell in struggle.


By Jasa Romano
(From the English summary in the book Jevreji Jugoslavije 1941-1945. Zrtve Genocida I Ucesnici Narodnosloodilckog Rata, Belgrade: Federation of Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia, 1980; pp. 573-590.)

English Srpski

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