Statues of Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović in Bileća and Dobrunska Rijeka, Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Forward

Nazi collaborator monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina

There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. The Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For a guide to each country’s memorials click here.

Note: the sheer number of monuments and streets honoring Chetnik commander Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović in Republika Srpska makes this section only a partial listing.

Sarajevo — Bosnia’s capital has a school and a street named after Mustafa Busuladžić (1914–1945), a supporter of Croatia’s fascist Ustasha and virulent antisemite who cheered on the extermination of Bosnia’s Jews. In 1942, Busuladžić conducted a fawning interview of Amin al-Husseini, notorious Hitler ally who recruited Muslim soldiers for the SS.

Busuladžić’s antisemitism was so toxic that the 2016 decision to honor him with a school drew rare public condemnations from the U.S. embassy and the Israeli government. In 2018, Sarajevo authorities voted to change the name, yet the decision was on paper only; the school remains named after Busuladžić. That’s common in Eastern Europe — often, even after promising to remove names of fascists and antisemites, local authorities don’t follow up. Reports by Radio Free Europe and Balkan Insight.

For a fantastic overview on Bosnian streets named after both Croatian and Serbian Nazi collaborators, see Selma Boračić-Mršo’s coverage in Radio Slobodna Evropa, Radio Free Europe’s Balkan branch; Google translation here. (Many thanks to Rory Yeomans for generously sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of Balkan events and collaborators.)

Sarajevo and Goražde — Sarajevo has a street named after Husein Đozo (1912–1982), SS-Hauptsturmführer in the 13th Mountain Division of the Waffen-SS “Handschar” (1st Croatian) where he served as imam and political educator of the troops. He also has a school in Goražde.

Above left, Đozo (middle) with a German officer (left) and prominent Hitler ally Amin al-Husseini (right). Above right, Handschar soldiers study a brochure on “Islam and Jews.”

Sarajevo — the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina also has a street honoring Muhamed Pandža, who died in 1962, a Bosnian religious leader who was a prominent advocate of both Nazi Germany and its ally, Croatia’s fascist Ustasha. Pandža worked hard to recruit Muslim soldiers for the Waffen-SS Handschar division.

Above is a photo of Handshar volunteers, 1943. Note the Totenkopf (skull-and-crossbones) badges on the fezzes: this SS symbol is widely used by today’s neo-Nazis. The right collar patches, which are blurry in the photo, contain swastikas.

Mostar — the largest city in Herzegovina is teeming with streets named after Croatian fascists. These include Mile Budak (1889–1945), Ante Vokić (1909–1945) and Mladen Lorković (1909–1945), ministers in Croatia’s Nazi-allied Ustasha government. These individuals were not only Third Reich allies but propagandists and inciters of genocide in their own right — in a 1941 rally Lorković proclaimed that the Ustasha’s goal was to “cleanse itself of all those elements that are the misfortune of the nation, that drain healthy forces in our nation. These are our Serbs and Jews.” By the end of the war, the Ustasha had exterminated hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma.

Mostar also has a street named after Jure Francetić (1912–1942), commander of Ustasha’s infamous Black Legion which carried out massacres of Serbs and Jews across Bosnia. Report from Deutsche Welle (Google translation here). Above left is a photo of Francetić (center) and Lorković (right) after the conclusion of a counter-insurgency operation in 1942. (Thanks to Faruk Vele of Radio Sarajevo for the street image.)

Čapljina — Yet another town with a street for Mile Budak, leading Ustasha ideologue and minister of education whose fanaticism inspired the persecution and murder of Jews, Serbs and Roma.

Above is a 1941 Ustasha recruitment poster portraying Croatia alongside Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy in “the struggle of a united Europe.”

Banja Luka — On Mount Čemernica, near the city of Banja Luka, is a memorial to Lazar Tešanović, who died in 1947, while Banja Luka itself has streets named after Uroš Drenović (1911–1944) and Rade Radić (1890–1946). All three were commanders of the Chetniks, the Serbian nationalist militia which collaborated with the Nazis. Banja Luka also has a street for Dragomir “Dragiša” Vasić (1885–1945), another Chetnik commander. Coverage in Radio Slobodna Evropa (Radio Free Europe’s Balkan branch; Google translation here).

In 1942, Tešanović, Drenović and Radić entered into an alliance with Croatia’s genocidal Ustasha regime, which was also allied with the Nazis. The Serbian nationalist Chetniks and the Croatian nationalist Ustasha hated and slaughtered each other. Their unlikely alliance took place because of a common enemy — Yugoslavia’s Communist partisans, who were gaining ground against both Chetniks and Ustasha. Above left, Drenović (far left) with Ustasha fighters in 1942; above right is Vasić street. (Thanks to Milica Pralica of Oštra Nula for the street image.)

Bileća and other towns — Republika Srpska, one of the two entities composing Bosnia and Herzegovina, is full of monuments and streets honoring Chetnik leader Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović (1893–1946). Examples include monuments in Bileća (above left), Dobrunska Rijeka (above right, Google translation here), Bijeljina (Google translation here) and Brčko. (Thanks to Sarajevo Times for the Bileća monument image.)

For more monuments glorifying Balkan Nazi collaborators, see the Croatia, Serbia, U.S., Canada and Australia sections.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

Author

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin

Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon’s Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa. Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NBC, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.

Nazi collaborator monuments around the world

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