PARTIZANKE
Žene u Narodno oslobodilačkoj borbi
Izdavač:
CENZURA
Branimira Ćosića 5, Novi Sad
Produkcija:
Alternativna kulturna organizacija – AKO
Vojvode Bojovića 13, Novi Sad
Urednici:
Daško Milinović
Zoran Petakov
Prelom i priprema za štampu:
Nataša Milićev
Dizajn korica:
Daško Milinović
Štampa:
Zola Print, Novi Sad
Tiraž
500 primeraka
Novi Sad, 2010
Projekat podržala:
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Southeast Europe
Svako kopiranje i dalje korišćenje tekstova iz knjige je dobrodošlo
(izuzev upotrebe u okviru rasističkog, seksističkog, fašističkog konteksta).
PARTIZANKE
Žene u Narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi
Sadržaj
Uvod.........................................................................................................................9
Gordana Stojaković, SKICA ZA PORTRET: ANTIFAŠISTIČKI FRONT
ŽENA VOJVODINE 1942–1953..........................................................................13
Ida............................................................................................................................40
Eta............................................................................................................................48
Danica.....................................................................................................................52
Jelena.......................................................................................................................56
Olga.........................................................................................................................60
Skraćenice...............................................................................................................68
Slike.........................................................................................................................72
Gordana Stojakovic, Outline for a Portrait: Women’s
Anti-fascist Front of Vojvodina 1942-1953.....................................79
Ida..........................................................................................................................104
Eta..........................................................................................................................114
Danica...................................................................................................................118
Jelena.....................................................................................................................122
Olga.......................................................................................................................126
Abbreviations......................................................................................................134
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8
UVOD
„Ko kontroliše prošlost, kontroliše budućnost, a ko kontroliše sadašnjost
kontroliše prošlost“ – Džordž Orvel, 1984
U Srbiji se državnim projektom istorijskog revizionizma već dve decenije pokušavaju izbrisati sva dostignuća Narodnooslobodilačke borbe. Želja
nacionalističkih vlastodržaca je da se Narodnooslobodilačka borba marginalizuje i
prepusti zaboravu. Antifašistička, herojska borba partizana, njihove žrtve i uspesi u
borbi protiv nacističkog i fašističkog okupatora tokom četiri godine rata, potiskuju
se iz zvanične istorije. Umesto istine nudi nam se četnički falsifikat, izmišljeni nacionalni „antifašistički pokret“ koji se u Drugom svetskom ratu borio na strani fašista.
Rehabilitacija pravedno osuđenih kolaboracionista i kvislinga sve je češća pojava, a
nije retkost da danas u Srbiji umesto narodnih heroja ulice nose imena kolaboracionista koji su ih ubili pomažući fašističkom okupatoru.
Vođeni željom da se ovom pogubnom procesu suprotstavimo i pomognemo da se
antifašistička tradicija u Srbiji ne izgubi odlučili smo da napravimo ovo istraživanje na
temu Narodnooslobodilačke borbe. Sa druge strane, bili smo takođe svesni da istorija
žena i ženskog pokreta nije do sada bila predmet istraživanja u našoj istoriografiji.
Opterećena velikim datumima, borbama i ratovima, istoriografija je izgubila interes
za običnog čoveka i podjednako važne napore za kulturni napredak društva, čiji su
nosioci bile i žene. Rad na pisanju ove knjige bio je uslovljen dvema činjenicama.
Zapostavljanjem antifašističke tradicije i marginalizovanjem Narodnooslobodilačke
borbe u Drugom svetskom ratu, kao i upadljivim nedostatkom autentične ženske istoriografije odnosno uloge žena u Narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi, koja nije u dovoljnoj
meri istražena, a još manje prezentovana javnosti.
Sa stanovišta istoriografije u Evropi je već sasvim prihvaćeno istraživanje ženskog
pokreta iz ugla feminističke teorije i metodologije koja podrazumeva „slušanje
autentičnih glasova žena“. Zato su u ovoj knjizi sabrana iskustva žena učesnica
Narodnooslobodilačke borbe. Iskustva koja svakodnevni život donosi, koja su za
žene drugačija od onog što je u zvaničnoj istoriji zapisano. Zvanična istorija veoma
šturo iznosi podatke o ženama u Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu. Doprinos žena
oslobađanju Jugoslavije od nacizma i fašizma ne nalazi se u udžbenicima. Važno je znati
da se tokom Narodnooslobodilačke borbe naroda Jugoslavije od jula 1941. do maja 1945.
godine u redovima Narodnooslobodilačke vojske i partizanskih odreda Jugoslavije
borilo preko 100.000 žena, od kojih je oko 25.000 poginulo. Pored njih, veliki broj žena
učestvovao je u radu u pozadini. Pod rukovodstvom Komunističke partije Jugoslavije
tokom Narodnooslobodilačke borbe osnivane su organizacije žena koje su bile različite
jer su uslovi bili drugačiji u pojedinim krajevima Jugoslavije, ali su ciljevi svima bili isti
– oslobođenje žena od okupatora, ali i od njene zavisnosti i neravnopravnog položaja u
društvu. Od oko 1.700.000 Jugoslovena, koliko je stradalo tokom Drugog svetskog rata,
oko 620.000 bile su žene, a samo u logorima ih je ubijeno više od 282.000.
9
Od 91 žene, koliko je proglašeno za narodne heroje, 73 su poginule tokom
NOB-a, dok je samo njih 17 odlikovano za života.
Žene su se masovno uključivale u Narodnooslobodilački pokret – kao delegati,
politički komesari, komandiri, referenti saniteta, bolničarke, borci, puškomitraljesci,
bombaši, partijski i skojevski rukovodioci i odbornice Narodnooslobodilačkih odbora. Početkom rata osnivani su mesni, opštinski i gradski odbori žena, a posle velikih
uspeha postignutih u borbi tokom 1941. i 1942. godine, došlo je do stvaranja posebne
ženske organizacije – Antifašističkog fronta žena Jugoslavije osnovanog 6. decembra
1942. godine u Bosanskom Petrovcu.
Na Prvoj zemaljskoj konferenciji Antifašističkog fronta žena Jugoslavije, održanoj
od 5. do 8. decembra 1942. godine u Bosanskom Petrovcu u prisustvu 166 delegatkinja
iz raznih krajeva Jugoslavije (izuzev Slovenije i Makedonije), jedinica NOV i POJ i
vojnopozadinskih organa vlasti – izabran je Centralni odbor AFŽ Jugoslavije od 20
članica koji je objedinjavao rad pokrajinskih rukovodstava AFŽ. Za predsednicu AFŽ
izabrana je Kata Pejnović.
Zbog ovakvog, rekli bi smo nepravednog, marginalizovanja uloge žena u
Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu, zbog zapostavljanja žena u zvaničnoj istoriografiji
i u vreme SFRJ, a pogotovo posle raspada zajedničke države, smatrali smo da
neposredne učesnice Narodnooslobodilačke borbe treba da dobiju više prostora.
Njihova sećanja čine veći deo ove knjige. Svaka od njih je aktivno učestvovala u
antifašističkoj borbi. Nijedna od njih nije slučajna pojava i usamljeni heroj. Iznikle
su u strašnim godinama rata. Stajale su u prvim redovima borbe za oslobođenje
zemlje od fašističkog okupatora, borbe za izgradnju novog društva. Svaka od njih je
pored opštih zadataka radila na okupljanju žena u redove Narodnooslobodilačkog
pokreta, na edukaciji žena u toku Narodnooslobodilačke borbe. Neposredno, kao
organizatorke ženskih organizacija, ili dajući primer ostalima kao bolničarke, ilegalke na okupiranoj teritoriji, ili boreći se rame uz rame sa muškarcima na prvoj liniji
fronta, one su postale izraz snage, težnji i opredeljenja velikog broja žena u tadašnjoj
Jugoslaviji. U tom vremenu obeleženom nadljudskim naporima, kad je moralna vrednost čoveka merena doprinosom u borbi one su zauvek srušile predrasude o manjoj
vrednosti žena u odnosu na muškarce. U njihovim sećanjima preovladava mišljenje
da je bilo dovoljno ukazati ženama poverenje, tretirajući ih (po prvi put u istoriji)
kao jednake sa muškarcima, i one su svojom snagom, hrabrošću i ljubavlju prema
slobodi dokazale da su to poverenje apsolutno zaslužile dajući nemerljivi doprinos
izgradnji naprednijeg i slobodnijeg društva. Nije slučajno da je ogroman broj žena
dao poverenje KPJ. Opredeljivanje za NOB i KPJ proizlazilo je iz činjenice da borba
protiv fašizma pod vođstvom KPJ nije bila samo borba za oslobođenje zemlje od
fašističkog okupatora, već da se u isto vreme vodila borba i za oslobođenje žena od
okova patrijarhata.
Kada su nosile oružje, stajale na barikadama i kad su uzdignuta čela hrabro odlazile u borbu, svaka žena se borila za sebe, ali i za bolji položaj svih žena u društvu.
Svaki dan borbe, svaka žrtva koje su dale bila je odraz dubokog ubeđenja u praved10
nost borbe koju vode, kao i činjenice da sa opštom slobodom dolazi i novi društveni
poredak u kojem će ženama biti garantovana puna društvena i lična ravnopravnost.
Ova knjiga je namenjena pre svega mladim ženama koje danas nastavljaju
borbu za svoju emancipaciju i oslobođenje. Na planu borbe za ravnopravnost žena
nema konačno osvojenih pozicija. Da bi se stečeno uspešno održalo potrebno je
sačuvati iskustvo koje su žene ugradile u sve napore da poboljšaju sopstveni položaj
u društvu. Zato ove žene nisu samo učesnice Narodnooslobodilačke borbe već i deo
istorije i kolektivne svesti. One su dale veliki doprinos u borbi žena ne samo protiv
fašizma već za jednakost, slobodu i emancipaciju društva u kojem živimo.
Daško Milinović
Zoran Petakov
11
12
Gordana Stojaković
SKICA ZA PORTRET: ANTIFAŠISTIČKI FRONT
ŽENA VOJVODINE 1942–1953.
U ovom radu sam dala osnovne podatke o osnivanju, radu, rezultatima rada i
gašenju Antifašističkog fronta žena (AFŽ) Vojvodine (1942–1953), organizacije koja je
bila sastavni deo AFŽ-a Srbije i AFŽ-a Jugoslavije – krovne organizacije za sve druge
republičke organizacije AFŽ-a. Cilj mi je bio da pobrojim osnovne zadatke AFŽ-a kroz
čiju realizaciju je omogućeno ženama da premoste vekovna potiskivanja u okvire
privatnog, kućnog kruga. U ovom radu sam dala činjenice o važnosti AFŽ-a kao
ženske organizacije koja je imala ključnu ulogu u dalekosežnom projektu emancipacije
žena u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji u periodu 1945–1953.
Antifašistički front žena Jugoslavije je bila masovna, frontovska organizacija
nastala 1942, tokom II svetskog rata sa ciljem da okupi i organizuje žene za borbu protiv okupatorskih vojski i njihovih saveznika. Zadaci su se tokom vremena menjali u
zavisnosti od društveno-političkih i istorijskih uslova u kojima je organizacija delovala
i potreba koje je život nametao. Tokom NOB-a,1 prioritet je bio borba za oslobođenje,
da bi se u godinama posle rata ciljevi organizacije prilagodili novim okolnostima
života i rada. Posle oslobođenja Jugoslavije masovni priliv žena u AFŽ doprineo je
da se formiraju, pored „zemaljske“ (AFŽ Jugoslavije), mesne i rejonske zatim sreske,
opštinske, pokrajinska i republičke organizacije. U Vojvodini je rad AFŽ-a bio usmeren
i na uključivanje žena svih etničkih zajednica. AFŽ je bio kolektivni član Narodnog
fronta,2 ali je to, po masovnosti, elanu, rezultatima rada, u periodu obnove i izgradnje
zemlje bila izvorna ženska organizacija sa elementima političke organizacije.
Period rada AFŽ-a podelila sam u tri ciklusa: 1942–1945, 1946–1949. i 1950–1953.
Prvi ciklus bio je period stvaranja organizacije kada je moguće pronaći primere da su
u toku NOB-a žene preuzimale inicijativu i izlazile iz okvira direktiva. Drugi ciklus je
bio period širenja, jačanja organizacije i velikog angažovanja žena na obnovi i izgradnji, ali i na planu edukacije, političkog angažmana i ulaska u privredu. Treći ciklus
je period stagnacije i gašenja organizacije gde se na nivou retorike pominju aktivne
ženske uloge (ekonomski samostalna žena, politički i društveno aktivna), ali se na
nivou realnosti promovišu ženske uloge iz ekonomije nege i brige.
1 Narodnooslobodilačka borba 1941–1945.
2 Narodni front je formiran 1945. od organizacija Jedinstvenog narodnooslobodilačkog fronta koje su formirane posle II zasedanja AVNOJ-a. Ciljevi su bili: nezavisnost Demokratske Federativne Jugoslavije, federativno uređenje nove države, republičko
državno uređenje, bratstvo i jedinstvo među narodima, ravnopravnost naroda, zatim čitav korpus iz oblasti radnog prava i
socijalne zaštite radnika i za učešće žena u svim oblastima političkog i društvenog života. Videti: Petranović, B. (1981) Istorija
Jugoslavije 1818–1978, Nolit, Beograd, str. 391.
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AFŽ je bio neophodna stepenica procesa emancipacije u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji.
Ženama je bilo potrebno da istraže sopstvene mogućnosti u oblastima u kojima im
delovanje do tada nije bilo dopušteno: samostalno organizovanje akcija (i političkih),
učestvovanje u vlasti (od narodnooslobodilačkih odbora i seljačkih radnih zadruga do
Narodne skupštine FNRJ3), organizovanje svakodnevnog života (setve, žetve, edukacija, priredbe, pomoć svima koji su ugroženi...). To je bio težak zadatak, jer su i dalje bile
odgovorne za sve porodične obaveze. Da bi ravnopravno sa muškarcima učestvovale
u političkom, privrednom i kulturnom životu zemlje morale su da se organizuju i
pripreme za sve pobrojane zadatke. Edukaciju, ili kako se to tada nazivalo „kulturno
uzdizanje žena“, vodile su i osmišljavale žene za žene, potpuno svesne da je potrebno
da široki sloj žena bude obrazovan kako bi mogle da koriste sva prava koja su u novoj,
socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji imale. Na vlast su u Jugoslaviji 1945. došli komunisti koji
su, od osnivanja Socijalističke radničke partije (komunista),4 usvojili načelo ravnopravnosti žena. Ali, ženska prava (koja su posle II svetskog rata zakonski regulisana)
nesamostalnim, neobrazovanim i neobaveštenim ženama ne bi bila od koristi.
Iskustvo žena u okviru AFŽ-a oslanja se i nastavlja na iskustvo organizovanja
žena u radničko-komunističkim organizacijama5 počev od dvadesetih godina XX veka.
Podjednako važno je bilo i iskustvo ženskih građanskih6 i feminističkih organizacija
u Vojvodini, koje su pored humanitarne funkcije imale i programe edukacije za žene,
ali i političke zahteve. Mnoge od tema pokrenutih u tim, građanskim i feminističkim
organizacijama preuzete su i razvijene u sistemu AFŽ-a, u obliku koji je diktirao
politički trenutak.
Socijalistička ideologija emancipaciju žena nije posmatrala van sistema radništva
(radničke klase) i zato se mera ženske emancipacije, pre svega, određivala u odnosu
na prava iz oblasti rada. Ekonomska samostalnost jednog broja žena je velika tekovina socijalističke Jugoslavije. Ona nije lako izborena – bio je to, u novijoj istoriji, proces
najmasovnijeg okupljanja žena na izvršenju projekta obnove i izgradnje zemlje tokom
kojeg je ideološki, zakonski i finansijski podržan projekat obrazovanja žena i njiho-
3 FNRJ – Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija, proglašena 1945.
4 U okviru Socijalističke radničke partije Jugoslavije (komunista) osnovan je Sekretarijat žena socijalista (komunista) sa zadatkom da propagira jednakost za muškarce i žene bez obzira na zanimanje, naciju ili veru, sa posebnim naglaskom na pravo
glasa za muškarce i žene. Neda Božinović svedoči da je Sekretarijat žena socijalista (komunista) „napravio program organizovanja žena preko socijalističke partije, ali zbog visokog stupnja samostalnosti i vrlo nezavisnog programa rada, koji su te žene
izborile, napravljen je dogovor da Sekretarijat deluje u okviru sindikata. To se dešavalo... 1920-21. Činjenica da su ih podredili
sindikatu, odnosno partiji, znači da su ih ukinuli. Onda su se najaktivnije žene u tom pokretu i priključile opoziciji... Većinu
među članovima KPJ činili su radnici koji nisu marili mnogo za ženske probleme, a nisu mnogo ni znali. Takva situacija je bila
sve do 1933. kada je Blagoje Parović prvi pokrenuo pitanje ravnopravnosti žena. Njemu su se pridružile žene koje su se tada
okupile u KPJ...“ (Stojaković (ured.), 2002:49).
5 Videti: Kecić, Danilo. (1984), Vojvođanke u radničkom i revolucionarno-demokratskom pokretu u: Žene Vojvodine u ratu i
revoluciji 1941–1945, Radovi sa savetovanja održanog 27. i 28. marta 1984. u Novom Sadu, Novi Sad; Kecman, Jovanka. (1978)
Žene Jugoslavije u radničkom pokretu i ženskim organizacijama 1918–1941, Institut za savremenu istoriju, Beograd; Kecman,
Jovanka. (1975) Žene u sindikalnim organizacijama i štrajkovima u Jugoslaviji (1935–1941) u: Istorija XX veka – Zbornik radova
XII, Narodna knjiga, Beograd, str. 257–321; Stojaković, Gordana. (2007), AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953 (CD), izdanje autorke, Novi
Sad. ISBN 978-86-909833-0-8; Sklevicky, Lidija. (1996) Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga, Zagreb.
6 Stojaković, Gordana. (1999), Znamenite žene Novog Sada I, Futura publikacije, Novi Sad; Božinović, Neda. (1996) Žensko pitanje u Srbiji u XIX i XX veku, Devedesetčetvrta & Žene u crnom, Beograd; Sklevicky, Lidija. (1996) Dvjesta godina tišine: Pokušaj
tipologije ženskih pokreta u modernom periodu u: Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga, Zagreb, str. 73–107.
14
vog uključenja u sve segmente života i rada. Ideološki plan, koji je diktirala KPJ7 je u
periodu 1945–1953. bio prenošen putem štampanih medija. Ulogu prenošenja poruka
ženama imala je štampa Antifašističkog fronta žena (AFŽ štampa). U posmatranom
periodu pored štampe deo sistema prenošenja poruka i kreiranja identiteta, kulturnih
vrednosti i društvenih odnosa (Isanović, 2007) činili su i „čitalački časovi“ i „analfabetski tečajevi“. Ovi dodaci štampanih medija činili su uobičajen i obavezan sistem koji
se primenjivao zbog velikog broja nepismenih, naročito među ženama. On se temeljio
na potrebi da se prevaziđe viševekovno nasleđe nejednakosti žena i da se poruke prenesu do što većeg broja žena.
To je bilo vreme AFŽ štampe. Tokom rata u Sremu je štampan list Vojvođanka u
borbi (Srem, 1944), organ AFŽ Vojvodine. List je izlazio u veoma teškim uslovima a
umnožavan je na starim šapirografima u malim tiražima. U Vojvodini su se posle II
svetskog rata štampala tri lista: Glas žena, Dolgozó Nő (Vajdasági Dolgozó Nő) i Femeia
nouă. Žena danas (AFŽ Jugoslavije, Beograd) štampana je u tiražu od 30.000 primeraka,
Zora (AFŽ Srbije, Beograd) je štampana u 50.000 primeraka, a u Vojvodini su štampana
navedena tri AFŽ lista što je prelazilo tiraž od 100.000 primeraka AFŽ štampe, koja
se nije nudila kao mogućnost, već kao redovna aktivnost AFŽ organizacija poznata
kao „čitalačke grupe“. Paradoksalno je da u vreme kada je nešto manje od 20% žena u
Vojvodini bilo nepismeno (1946. bilo je 69.0008 nepismenih žena) postojao takav obim
angažovanih listova. S druge strane politički prioritet je bio okupiti žene i aktivirati
ih na planu izgradnje i obnove zemlje i uključenju u politički život pa je sasvim razumljivo što je AFŽ štampa korišćena kao najznačajniji kanal prenošenja poruka i kreiranja uloga namenjenih ženama. AFŽ štampa je imala za cilj oblikovanje svesti žena u
socijalističkom duhu, ali i prenošenje poruka koji su bile od koristi ženama: edukacija,
ekonomsko osamostaljivanje žena, korišćenje zakonskih prava koji su podržavali i
štitili majku i dete.
Masovni ulazak žena u javnu sferu u periodu 1945–1953. nije mogao da se ostvari
samo osnivanjem ženske organizacije, makar ona bila podržana ideološki, kadrovski
i finansijski. Bilo je potrebno da se steknu određeni društveno-istorijski uslovi, koji su
se napokon stekli tokom i neposredno posle II svetskog rata. Ogromne ljudske žrtve,
masovni zločini nad civilnim stanovništvom, logori smrti, veliki broj ranjenika, invalida, dece bez roditelja, uništena sela i gradovi, glad, zima... posledice su užasa koje će
trajati i posle okončanja ratnih dejstava. Da bi se prevazišlo tako strašno nasleđe rata
bilo je nužno da se i ženska polovina stanovništva uključi u sve oblike aktivnosti u
društvu: političke, privredne, humanitarne, kulturne. Žene su, sticajem okolnosti koje
je doneo II svetski rat, i mimo ideološkog plana, zauzele mesta svojih poginulih očeva,
muževa, sinova i tako otvorile prostor ka osvajanju ličnih sloboda do tada rezervisanih samo za muškarce. U tom poduhvatu AFŽ je imao izuzetnu i važnu ulogu.
7 Komunistička partija Jugoslavije.
8 U Vojvodini je 1948. bilo 400.000 žena (Zaga Krdžalić, Slobodna Vojvodina, 7. mart 1948:1).
15
Cilj, metod i teorijski okvir
Cilj ovog rada je da podseti da na planu borbe za ravnopravnost žena nema
konačno osvojenih pozicija. Da bi se stečeno uspešno sačuvalo potrebno je sačuvati
iskustvo koje su žene ugradile u sve napore da poboljšaju sopstveni položaj u društvu.
Jedno od takvih je i iskustvo članica AFŽ-a. Namera mi je da iz rodne perspektive
dekonstruišem rad AFŽ-a Vojvodine i dam osnovne podatke o transformaciji položaja
žena u Vojvodini u periodu 1942–1953. u okviru feminističkih teorija. Istorijski kontekst
AFŽ-a sam posmatrala po uzoru na pristupe koje je primenila Lidija Sklevicky u
okviru istorijske discipline. (Sklevicky, 1996:70)
Cilj je bio da rekonstruišem ne samo ključne događaje u radu organizacije, planove
emancipacije žena kroz pregled podržavanih ženskih uloga (radnica, zadrugarka,
udarnica, brigadirka, politički aktivna i ekonomski nezavisna žena), već i da imenujem
liderke i neke članice organizacije, a na osnovu istraživanja koje sam uradila o AFŽ
Vojvodine (Stojaković, 2007). U pomenutom radu sam pokušala da slušam argumente
žena, pa sam pored radova drugih autorki/autora9 (koji se nisu isključivo bavili AFŽom, već NOB-om, NOR-om i Narodnim frontom), arhivske građe10 koristila AFŽ štampu
kao, do sada neiskorišćeno svedočanstvo o AFŽ-u i glavnim pravcima uključenja žena
u javnu sferu. Analizirala sam tekstove liderki AFŽ-a, komunistkinja: Mitre Mitrović,
Srbislave Kovačević, Ruže Tadić, Zore Krdžalić, Vide Tomšič i drugih, ali i aktivistkinja
AFŽ-a koje su izveštavale o svakodnevnom životu žena u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji.
Koristila sam metode analize diskursa u analizi teksta (Vasić, 1995; Savić, 1993) koje
omogućuju da se rodne razlike prikažu u odnosu na kontekst (političko-ekonomski
i kulturološki). Takođe sam koristila metode koje se koriste u prezentaciji žena u
medijima (Moranjak 2007) i metode koje objašnjavaju ideologizaciju rodnih uloga
(Kingsley Kent, 1987).
Sled ideja, događaja i strategija društvenih promena koje su hronološki pobrojane
u ovom radu, a koje su za cilj imale redefinisanje ženskih uloga u društvu prate i reči
kojima se označavala nova (povoljnija) uloga žena. Emancipacija je izraz koji se koristio
u zemljama socijalističkog društveno-ekonomskog i političkog sistema i uglavnom je
značio zakonski dostignutu jednakost muškaraca i žena. Danas je u feminističkoj teoriji i praksi u upotrebi termin: oslobađanje žena a označava oslobađanje žena muške
dominacije u svim aspektima života i rada.
Feministička ideologija je skup ideja o odnosima društvene dominacije (Mršević,
9 Među najznačajnije spadaju: Vojvodina u borbi (1963), Savez udruženja boraca Narodnooslobodilačkog rata SR Srbije,
Predsedništvo AP Vojvodine, Novi Sad; Žene Srbije u NOB (1975), Nolit, Beograd; Kecić, Danilo (ur.) (1984) Žene Vojvodine u ratu
i revoluciji 1941–1945. – Radovi sa savetovanja održanog 27. i 28. marta 1984. u Novom Sadu, Novi Sad; Popov Jelena. (1986),
Narodni front u Vojvodini 1944–1953, Filozofski fakultet u Novom Sadu, Institut za istoriju – Monografije knjiga 27, Novi Sad. O
AFŽ-u Hrvatske je pisala Lidija Sklevicky. Videti: Sklevicky, Lidija. (1996) Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga, Zagreb.
10 Zapisnici, rezolucije, izveštaji sa sastanaka, konferencija i kongresa PO AFŽ Vojvodine, GO AFŽ Srbije i CO AFŽ Jugoslavije,
Zapisnici PO AFŽ-a Vojvodine čuvaju se Arhivu Vojvodine F.338 Knjiga zapisnika br.1. (rukopis). Izveštaji o radu organizacija
AFŽ-a u Vojvodini su u Muzeju Vojvodine. Videti: Stojaković, 2007, CD. Izveštaji, rezolucije sa sastanaka i kongresa GO AFŽ
Srbije i CO AFŽ Jugoslavije objavljivani su u listovima: Žena danas (AFŽ Jugoslavije) Zora (AFŽ Srbije) i Glas žena (PO AFŽ
Vojvodine).
16
1999:55). Feminističke teorije sa različitih aspekata dekonstruišu patrijarhalne modele
potčinjavanja žena. Socijalističke i marksističke feministkinje smatraju da postoji jasna
i nezaobilazna veza između klasnih odnosa i odnosa između polova. Za teoretičarke
radikalnog feminizma patrijarhat postoji bez obzira na društveno ekonomski sistem i
zbog toga se oslanjaju na istraživanja u vezi sa formiranjem rodnih identiteta (Mršević,
1999:103). Svim feminističkim teorijama cilj je oslobađanje žena i to u svim oblastima
života i rada. Zato feministička teorija i praksa preispituju sve strukture vlasti i moći,
idelogiju, kulturu, ekonomiju...
Izlazak žene iz privatne u javni sferu, van porodičnog kruga koji je tradicionalno
pripadao ženskoj sferi i njena ekonomska samostalnost koji su se desili u vreme socijalističke transformacije jugoslovenskog društva, nisu bili konačna rešenja za potpuni
preobražaj položaja žena u društvu. Problem je ostajao u domenu privatnog i porodičnog „gde patrijarhalni poredak i dalje živi u glavama i srcima ljudi“ (Papić, 1989:37).
Porodica je u socijalizmu kao i u građanskom kapitalističkom društvu bila mesto gde
su se reprodukovali odnosi hijerahije jer „polovi tu zadržavaju svoju ’postvarenu’ prirodnost“ (Papić, 1989:39). U praksi socijalizam je rešavao problem nejednakosti polova
kroz rešenje klasnog pitanja po formuli: socijalistički preobražaj društva + ekonomska
nezavisnost žena = emancipacija žena (Stojaković, 2007). Socijalistički preobražaj društva nije obuhvatio sve patrijarhalne odnose i to je rezultiralo vrlo bitnom, ali ipak samo
delimičnom transformacijom položaja žena u društvu.
Najteži deo procesa emancipacije bio je proces transformacije mišljenja muškaraca
i žena. Ida Sabo11 u svom govoru12 povodom 8. marta (Novi Sad, 1960) kaže da se u
toku socijalističkog preobražaja društva „vrši(o) proces pretvaranja starih shvatanja u
nova, proces usvajanja novih pogleda u pogledu položaja žena u porodici i društvu“.
U tom procesu, diktiranom od strane KPJ, glavni tok aktivnosti (1942–1953) sprovodile
su, a delom i osmišljavale, organizacije AFŽ-a u Vojvodini.
AFŽ Vojvodine (1942–1945)
U istoriografiji je poznat podatak da je Antifašistički front žena Jugoslavije
osnovan u decembru 1942. u Bosanskom Petrovcu, mada je i pre tog datuma bilo
organizovanih žena koje su bile uključene u antifašistički otpor sa istim zadacima i
načinom rada. Ideološki rad organizacije bio je oslonjen na temeljna opredeljenja KPJ
11 Ida Sabo ima Partizansku spomenicu 1941. Posle oslobođenja obavljala je odgovorne političke dužnosti u partijskim,
sindikalnim i državnim organima, prvo u Sloveniji a zatim u Vojvodini, Srbiji i Jugoslaviji. Birana je za poslanicu republičke
i savezne Skupštine, poslanicu Skupštine Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine, gde je u periodu 1963–1967. obavljala dužnost
potpredsednice. Birana je za potpredsednicu Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a Vojvodine (1946). Obavljala je i druge odgovorne
dužnosti u Savezu udruženja boraca Narodnooslobodilačkog rata, Socijalističkom savezu radnog naroda Jugoslavije. Bila je
članica Predsedništva SFRJ, Predsedništva Srbije, Saveta Federacije. Za svoj rad je višestruko odlikovana: Ordenom za hrabrost,
Ordenom junaka socijalističkog rada, Ordenom zasluga za narod sa zlatnom zvezdom, Ordenom bratstva i jedinstva sa zlatnim vencem i drugim domaćim i stranim odlikovanjima. Svedočanstvo Ide Sabo o NOR-u i AFŽ-u Vojvodine videti (Stojaković,
G. (2007), AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953 (CD), izdanje autorke, Novi Sad.
12 Govor je objavljen u: Stojaković, G. (2007), AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953 (CD), izdanje autorke, Novi Sad.
17
da žene moraju biti ravnopravne sa muškarcima u svim segmentima života i rada.
Već je tokom NOB-a13 bilo jasno da je borba protiv fašizma podrazumevala i borbu
za pravednije društvo u kome će žene imati aktivnu ulogu u društvu. Josip Broz Tito
je to jasno poručio ženama i muškarcima antifašistima: „ ...Žene Jugoslavije, koje su
u ovoj borbi sa takvim samoprijegorom dale takve žrtve, one što tako uporno stoje u
prvim redovima Narodnooslobodilačke borbe, imaju pravo da ovdje, danas, jedanput
zauvijek, utvrde jednu činjenicu: da ova borba mora donijeti ploda i za žene naroda
Jugoslavije, da nikada više niko neće moći istrgnuti te skupo plaćene plodove iz
njihovih ruku!“ (Tito, 1945:13).
U Vojvodini je žarište antifašističkog oružanog otpora bilo u Sremu. Kako o tim
danima piše Srbislava Kovačević – Marija14 u selima Srema je KPJ organizovala rad sa
ženama i formiranje prvih grupa žena sa ciljem da se pomognu partizanski odredi i
ilegalci. (Kovačević, 1884:93–127; Kovačević, 1943 Izveštaj)
Okružni komitet KPJ za Srem je u junu 1942. svim partijskim organizacijama poslao
dokument pod nazivom „Uputstvo za organizovanje žena u Narodnooslobodilačkoj
borbi – Stvarajmo po svim mestima Antifašističke saveze žena“ (Kovačević,1984:95).
Uputstvo je direktna posledica direktive J. B. Tita koja govori o važnosti učešća žena
u NOB-u i stvaranja posebne organizacije antifašistkinja. U taj savez trebalo je da uđu
„sve one žene i devojke koje su protiv fašističkog okupatora i njegovih slugu – ustaša
i petokolonaša“, zatim „žene svih društvenih slojeva: radnice, seljanke, intelektualke i
građanke“, ali u savez je bilo važno da uđu „Srpkinje, Slovakinje, poštene i antifašistički raspoložene Hrvatice, Nemice i druge.“ (Kovačević, 1984:96)
Stvaranje inicijativnih odbora antifašistkinja bila je odgovornost sreskih komiteta
KPJ a unutar njih su komunistkinje, članice odbora bile najodgovornije za postavljeni
zadatak. To nije bio prosti proces organizovanja jedne organizacije već vrlo težak
i dugotrajan put „lomljenja predrasuda o manjoj vrednosti žene“ i kod žena i kod
muškaraca. Srbislava Kovačević svedoči da su žene bile spremnije da prihvate promene
u vezi sa sopstvenim položajem u društvu nego njihovi muževi pa čak i kada su bili
članovi KPJ. (Kovačević, 1984:97)
Do 1943. u Sremu je formirana mreža organizacija AFŽ-a, jer je tada već
formirano „9 sreskih odbora sa 16.843 članice“ (Sabo, 1984:28). Okružna konferencija
Antifašističkog fronta žena za Srem održana je 31. maja 1943. u Miškovcima. Prva
predsednica Okružnog odbora AFŽ-a za Srem je bila Mileva Savić - Olga koja je ubrzo
13 Narodnooslobodilačka borba
14 Srbislava Kovačević – Marija se u napredni studentski pokret uključila kao studentkinja u Beogradu 1935. Bila je članica
Omladinske sekcije Ženskog pokreta. Članica KPJ postala je 1940. U Narodnooslobodilački pokret uključila se odmah po
izbijanju ustanka, 1941. Sledeće godine je prešla u rodni Srem gde se angažovala u organizovanju Antifašističkog fronta
žena. Od 1943. je sekretarka Okružnog odbora AFŽ-a za Srem, i sekretarka Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a za Vojvodinu. Iste
godine je bila glavna urednica lista Vojvođanka u borbi. U oktobru 1943. je izabrana u Centralni odbor AFŽ-a Jugoslavije kao
predstavnica PO AFŽ-a Vojvodine. Članica Okružnog komiteta KPJ za istočni Srem postala je 1944. Ima Partizansku spomenicu.
Posle oslobođenja izabrana je za sekretarku Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a Vojvodine, ali i za organizacionu sekretarku Okružnog
komiteta KPJ za Novosadski okrug i članicu Pokrajinskog komiteta KPJ za Vojvodinu.
18
posle izbora na tu dužnost poginula. Zamenila ju je Mira Milošević.15
Krajem 1943. formiran je Inicijativni odbor AFŽ-a za Vojvodinu. Za predsednicu
je izabrana Mira Milošević, a Srbislava Kovačević - Marija za sekretarku.
U Moroviću je 25. septembra 1944. održana Okružna konferencija AFŽ-a zapadnog
Srema na kojoj je bilo prisutno 250 delegatkinja: „212 Srpkinja, 18 Hrvatica, 15 Rusinki,
2 Slovakinje i 3 Slovenke“. Konstatovano je da u okviru AFŽ-a u okrugu aktivno
oko „8.000 žena ...u Narodnooslobodilačkim odborima je bilo 36, u poljoprivrednim
komisijama 12, u kulturno-prosvetnim odborima 25, u narodnooslobodilačkoj vojsci
250 drugarica, a stalnih kurira ima 50.” (Kovačević, 1984:117).
Mesni i okružni odbori u Bačkoj i Banatu intenzivnije su se osnivali od jeseni 1944.
na oslobođenim teritorijama. Okružna konferencija AFŽ-a za severni Banat održana
je 21. oktobra 1944. u Petrovgradu.16 Za predsednicu je izabrana Emilija Kolarov.17 U
decembru 1944. održana je Okružna konferencija za južni Banat. Za predsednicu je
izabrana Zuza Huravik,18 a za sekretarku Kornelija Ankucić.19
Rad mesnih odbora Antifašističkog fronta žena odvijao se kroz sledeće aktivnosti:
redovni nedeljni sastanci, sakupljanje hrane, obuće, odeće i drugog materijala za
partizane i ilegalce, nega ranjenika, u selima: obrada polja, straže. Važan je bio i
„politički rad“ koji je podrazumevao „čitanje propagandnog materijala, diskutovanje
o događajima na frontu i sl.“ (Kovačević, 1984:102). Mesni i sreski odbori AFŽ-a
bili su povezani sa drugim organizacijama u narodnooslobodilačkom sistemu:
Savezom komunističke omladine (SKOJ), narodnooslobodilačkim odborima (NOO).
U mesnim odborima AFŽ-a bar jedna članica je bila „skojevka“, a u mesnim
narodnooslobodilačkim odborima je bila uvek bar jedna žena. U fruškogorskim
selima su žene organizovale i održavale život i rad jer su muškarci bili u partizanima,
logorima ili su poginuli. „U takvim selima žene su držale sve narodnooslobodilačke
organizacije” (Kovačević, 1984:102).
Organizaciona struktura AFŽ-a formirana je po teritorijalnom principu:
15 Mira Milošević je do početka II svetskog rata živela kao domaćica u selu Šuljam, u Sremu. Po izbijanju ustanka 1941,
odmah se uključila u Narodnooslobodilački pokret prikupljajući hranu, obuću i odeću za partizane. Ubrzo je otišla u Podunavski odred. Posebno se angažovala u organizaciji AFŽ-a u Sremu. Za predsednicu AFŽ-a za iriški srez izabrana je 1943, a iste
godine je izabrana za predsednicu Okružnog odbora AFŽ-a za Srem. Bila je jedna od izabranih delegata iz Vojvodine za Drugo
zasedanje AVNOJ-a 1943, ali zbog Šeste neprijateljske ofanzive deo vojvođanskih delegata, pa i ona, nije mogao da se probije
do Jajca. Izabrana je za predsednicu Inicijativnog odbora AFŽ za Vojvodinu, da bi posle oslobođenja postala prva predsednica
Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ Vojvodine. Nosilac je Partizanske spomenice 1941. Posle oslobođenja birana je za saveznu narodnu
poslanicu.
16 Zrenjanin
17 Emilija Kolarov je bila jedna od organizatorki Ženskog pokreta u Petrovgradu tokom 1939. Po zanimanju je bila
„zabavilja“ (vaspitačica u zabavištu), a bila je i članica Kola srpskih sestara. Odmah po izbijanju ustanka uključila se u
Narodnooslobodilački pokret. U oslobođenom Petrovgradu (Zrenjaninu) 1944. izabrana je za predsednicu Okružnog odbora
AFŽ-a za srez Petrovgrad. Posebno se istakla u akcijama snabdevanja vojnih bolnica, osnivanja dečjih prihvatilišta...
18 Zuzana Huravik je rođena u Kovačici 1904. U napredni pokret se uključila 1939. U veoma teškim uslovima ona je aktivno
organizovala ilegalni rad i otpor okupatorima u Kovačici i južnom Banatu. U KPJ je primljena 1944. Posle oslobođenja je bila
članica mesnog Narodnooslobodilačkog odbora, a izabrana je za predsednicu Okružnog odbora AFŽ-a za južni Banat. Aktivno
je, kao udarnica u radnim i omladinskim brigadama, učestvovala u obnovi i izgradnji zemlje. Za dugogodišnji društveni i
politički rad Zuzana Huravik je 1971. odlikovana Ordenom zasluga za narod sa srebrnom zvezdom.
19 Kornelija Ankucić se u napredni omladinski pokret uključila u Vršcu gde je 1939. primljena u SKOJ. Sledeće godine primljena je u KPJ. Uhapšena je 1941. i zatvorena u logoru na Banjici a zatim i u logoru u Smederevskoj Palanci, gde je dočekala
oslobođenje. Posle oslobođenja obavljala je odgovorne dužnosti kao članica Sreskog komiteta KPJ za južni Banat. Birana je u
rukovodstvo Okružni odbor AFŽ-a. (sekretarka). Nosilac je Partizanske spomenice 1941.
19
grupe po mestima/selima, mesni odbori (gradovi, sela), u gradovima su formirani i
pododbori (po delovima grada), sreski odbori (srezovi), okružni odbori (više srezova),
pokrajinski odbor za Vojvodinu.
Najaktivnije žene su birane u sreske odbore, a iz sreskih odbora najbolje su
delegirane u okružne odbore. Tamo gde nisu bili formirani mesni odbori AFŽ-a
obično je taj zadatak preuzimala komunistkinja-članica mesnih komiteta KPJ. I tamo
gde su odbori formirani „drugarica koja je od strane KPJ određena da rukovodi AFŽom trebala je u mesnom odboru da zauzme položaj predsednice ili sekretara. Partijska
linija se ne sprovodi naređivanjem, već davanjem pravilnih usmenih predloga, saveta.“
(Golubović i Kuzmanov, 1984:348)
Tokom 1943, gde je to situacija dozvoljavala, održavani su politički kursevi za
aktivistkinje AFŽ-a sa ciljem da se osposobe buduće liderke u organizaciji. Pogibijom20
velikog broja komunistkinja, koje su imale iskustvo u organizacionim poslovima
postalo je jasno da se moraju uložiti dodatni napori da bi se aktivistkinje AFŽ-a
politički edukovale. Teme kurseva za žene su bile: razvitak društva, žena kroz istoriju,
seljačko pitanje, nacionalno pitanje, o fašizmu, današnji rat protiv fašizma i uloga SSSR
u njemu, narodnooslobodilačka borba naroda Jugoslavije, organizaciona struktura
AFŽ-a.21 Edukacija članica AFŽ-a je bilo vrlo važno pitanje o kome je pisala Vanda
Novosel.22 Uz program „nižeg kursa“ za aktivistkinje i rukovotkinje nižih odbora
AFŽ-a, Vanda Novosel razmatra koje drugarice treba birati za kurs: „Drugarice koje
šaljemo na kurs moraju biti one žene koje su najčvršće povezane sa ženskim masama.
One treba da se regrutuju iz jezgra naše organizacije koja sačinjavaju naše najaktivnije
članice. Borbenost, odanost osnovni su uslovi, a znanje može biti minimalno.“ (Vanda
Novosel, Naši kursevi u: Žena danas, br. 33, novembar 1943:18).
Srbislava Kovačević Marija je, ispred Inicijativnog odbora AFŽ-a za Vojvodinu, 25.
11.1943. Pokrajinskom komitetu KPJ za Vojvodinu podnela izveštaj o radu organizacija
AFŽ-a na teritoriji Vojvodine23. Ona konstatuje da se „razvijenost organizacija AFŽ-a“
mora povezati sa „razvojem Narodnooslobodilačke borbe“. Srbislava Kovačević
svedoči da su prvoformirane organizacije „išle neispitanim putevima“ jer nije postojalo
prethodno iskustvo niti veze sa drugim krajevima Jugoslavije da bi se iskustva mogla
razmenjivati. Jedino je KPJ pružala pomoć u vezi sa organizovanjem žena, a Srbislava
Kovačević u Izveštaju piše da je bilo i „drugova-partijaca koji su bili prvi aktivisti“
AFŽ-a. Među ozbiljne probleme u radu AFŽ-a Srbislava Kovačević je navela sledeće:
nedovoljna pismenost žena, nedovoljan broj aktivistkinja za kulturno-prosvetni i
politički rad sa ženama, nedovoljan broj žena drugih nacionalnosti osim srpske,
nedostatak propagandnog materijala – naročito posebnog lista za žene, organizovaniji
20 Ne postoji poseban rad koji uzima u obzir činjenicu da je veliki broj devojaka i žena studentkinja i diplomiranih studentkinja stradalo u prvim godinama rata i posledicama koje je to imalo na tokove emancipacije žena. Rad Nede Božinović
predstavlja pionirski početak: Božinović, N. (1988) Studentkinje i diplomirane studentkinje Beogradskog univerziteta u
narodnooslobodilačkom ratu i revoluciji u: Studentkinje Beogradskog univerziteta revolucionarnom pokretu, Centar za marksizam Univerziteta u Beogradu, Beograd, str.173–176.
21 Kontrolna pitanja na završnoj konferenciji kursa AFŽ, Muzej Vojvodine br.18655.
22 Vanda Novosel je jedna od najznačajnijih liderki AFŽ Jugoslavije.
23 Izveštaj o radu organizacija AFŽ u Vojvodini, Muzej Vojvodine br. 668
20
pristup u prikupljanju hrane i drugog materijala za borce kroz kampanje i takmičenja
i „pogrešno postavljen odnos“ prema Narodnooslobodilačkim odborima jer je „žena
u NOO smatrana samo kao delegat svoje organizacije koja je trebala da polaže račun
o svojoj organizaciji“.
Masovno organizovanje žena i stvaranje mreže organizacija AFŽ-a, najviše u
seoskim sredinama, bio je proces koji se kretao „neispitanim putevima.“ Sa jedne
strane žene su vrlo često predstavljale odlučujuću snagu NOB-a kao partizanke,
bolničarke, kurirke, ilegalke, one koje su održavale vlast na oslobođenim teritorijama
(gde su muškarci bili u logorima, partizanima ili ubijeni) i snabdevale borce, a sa
druge strane njihov izlazak iz kućnog okruženja u mirnijim fazama rata nije nailazio
na opšte odobravanje saboraca i sredina u kojima su živele. Već su se tokom 1944.
pojavila pitanja „treba li još da postoji Antifašistički front žena?“ (Mitra Mitrović, O
Antifašističkom frontu žena u Žena danas, br. 33, septembar 1944:6-8). Ali to nije bilo
samo pitanje izlaska žena na javnu scenu već i pitanje mere njihovog delovanja, ili
još preciznije kontrole njihovog delovanja. Mitra Mitrović24 u navedenom članku25
piše: „Kome bude trebalo da i tačno zabeleži datum kad su to žene Jugoslavije stekle
jednaka politička i građanska prava, može slobodno staviti: 29. novembra 1943. godine,
na dan kada su donesene Odluke AVNOJ-a... tako je za žene Jugoslavije jednom zauvek
skinuto s dnevnog reda pitanje njihove ravnopravnosti.“ Žene u Jugoslaviji su izborile
pravo da „ravnopravno učestvuju u životu svog naroda... i pre nego što je napisan
ikakav zakon... to pravo je postalo svakodnevni život i praksa.“ Tada se pojavila i
dilema da li je u tim uslovima potrebno da i dalje postoji jedna posebna organizacija
žena kakav je AFŽ. Mitra Mitrović daje potvrdan odgovor i obrazlaže da AFŽ nije
organizacija koja se „isključivo bavi pitanjem žena, već (je to) pokret koji je okupio
žene u borbi čitavog naroda protiv okupatora“. Još uvek je pred narodom bio čitav niz
problema koje je trebalo rešavati a u vezi sa stvaranjem novog sistema, nove države, a
tu je bilo potrebno angažovanje žena. One su se, kako piše Mitra Mitrović, zahvaljujući
AFŽ-u, lakše i efikasnije uključile u javni i politički život jer se žene „još uvek lakše
okupljaju preko svog, da kažemo ’ženskog’ pokreta.“ One su se i na potpuno poseban
način vezivale za svoju organizaciju koja sada postaje „njihov krov nad glavom“.
U takvim uslovima, ali i zbog zasluga koje je AFŽ imao u NOB-u, i koje nisu bile
sporne, Mitra Mitović smatra da se opstanak AFŽ-a ne može dovoditi u pitanje. Bilo je
potrebno promeniti način rada AFŽ-a i postaviti nove zadatke.
Gde su bila sporna pitanja u vezi sa radom AFŽ-a? Žene su u ratnim uslovima uz
velike žrtve i kroz primere velikog junaštva održale život na okupiranim i slobodnim
teritorijama. One su stekle svest o sopstvenoj snazi i sposobnostima. Životni tokovi
su često nametali rešavanje problema koji nisu bili unapred zadati direktivama KPJ.
24 Mitra Mitrović je jedna od naših najpoznatijih revolucionarki i komunistkinja. Njen rad spada u najznačajniju feminističku
baštinu. Članica KPJ postala je 1933. Bila je jedna od osnivačica Omladinske sekcije Ženskog pokreta i urednica lista Žena danas (1936–1940). Jedna od glavnih organizatorki osnivanja AFŽ-a i jedna od najvažnijih liderki organizacije. Bila je i ministarka
– predsednica Saveta za prosvetu, nauku i kulturu u Vladi NR Srbije. O njenom životu i radu a nadasve o značaju njenog dela i
njenih teorijskih stavova do sada nije sveobuhvatno pisano.
25 Žena danas, Beograd, br. 33, septembar 1944:6–8.
21
Preuzimanje inicijative, što se izgleda često dešavalo naročito u nižim odborima AFŽ-a,
tumačeno je kao „zastarelo i feminističko“, nastalo „iz neveštine ili uskih shvatanja“
što je AFŽ „počelo svoditi na žensku i krutu organizaciju.“26
Jovan Veselinov Žarko, sekretar Pokrajinskog komiteta KPJ za Vojvodinu poslao
je 1944. pismo Pokrajinskom odboru AFŽ-a Vojvodine u kome najavljuje cirkularno
pismo svim partijskim organizacijama sa porukom da postoji „opasna tendencija
’osamostaljivanja’ AFŽ-a, odvajanja AFŽ-a u neku potpuno samostalnu organizaciju“
(Kovačević, 1984:120). U pismu upućenom vojvođanskim partijskim organizacijama
između ostalog stoji: „Niži odbori... često su se razvili u usku terensku žensku
organizaciju koja se (u mnogim mestima) smatra mnogo više obaveznom prema
višim odborima AFŽ-a, nego prema lokalnim telima i lokalnim potrebama i zadacima
opšte narodnooslobodilačke borbe...“ (Kovačević, 1984:120). Da bi se izbegle tendencije
osamostaljivanja žena članice rukovodstava okružnih, sreskih organizacija AFŽ-a su
odmah potom bile uključene u rad mesnih i sreskih partijskih organizacija, a ostale
članice AFŽ-a su bile uključene u rad narodnooslobodilačkih odbora i angažovane u
Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu.
KPJ je kontrolu ostvarila tako što se AFŽ utopio u Narodni front (NF) uz
obrazloženje da će žene „tamo da nađu još širi, zajednički i prostorno, krov nad
glavom“ (Mitra Mitrović, O Antifašističkom frontu žena 1944:6–8). Mitra Mitrović je
smatrala da je „prirodno“ da se za potrebe vojske (hrana, smeštaj, bolnice) setve,
žetve, škole... pitaju odbori Narodnog fronta, a da su žene članice AFŽ-a sada dužne
da preuzmu odgovornost za rad tih novih organa vlasti. Ne može se u šali govoriti
da „kad žene to ne organizuju, ne ide dobro.“ (Ibid, str.7), već su žene odgovorne da
pomognu novu vlast ali „pod novim krovom“. Konferencije AFŽ-a treba održavati
i dalje i na njima raspravljati i problemima i potrebama grada i sela ali u sklopu
programa Narodnog fronta.
Pokrajinska konferencija AFŽ-a Vojvodine održana je u Novom Sadu 1, 2. i 3.
januara 1945. Za predsednicu pokrajinskog odbora je izabrana Mira Milošević, a
za sekretarku Srbislava Kovačević Marija. Odbor je brojao oko tridesetak članica iz
svih delova Vojvodine. Pokrajinska konferencija nije donela novine u pogledu forme
i sadržaja rada organizacije. AFŽ je u oslobođenoj Vojvodini (i u drugim delovima
Jugoslavije) trebalo da pronađe mesto u okviru zadatom i za druge frontovske
organizacije. Na prvom posleratnoj konferenciji antifašistkinja Srbije održanom 29.
januara 1945. AFŽ Jugoslavije je odlikovan Ordenom narodnog oslobođenja.
U oslobođenoj zemlji od 16–18. juna 1945. u Beogradu održan je I kongres AFŽ-a
Jugoslavije koji je sve žene Jugoslavije pozvao da udruženim snagama krenu u
obnovu i izgradnju zemlje i da se aktivno uključe u sve oblike političkog, privrednog
i društvenog života nove države. Vida Tomšić27 je u referatu pod nazivom „Socijalno
26 Ibid, str. 7
27 Vida Tomšič (1913–1998) je bila slovenačka komunistkinja, jedna od organizatora ustanka u Sloveniji, partizanka i
narodna herojka. Posle oslobođenja je obavljala odgovorne političke zadatke između ostalih: predsednica Narodne skupštine
Republike Slovenije, predsednica Veća građana Savezne skupštine Jugoslavije. Od 1948. bila je na čelu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije.
Njeni stavovi o ženskom pitanju u socijalističkom društvu pripadaju našoj najvažnijoj feminističkoj baštini.
22
staranje kao jedan od najvažnijih zadataka antifašističkog fronta žena u obnovi
zemlje“ dala pregled najvažnijih zadataka AFŽ-a. Ona je iznela podatak da je prema
nepotpunim podacima u Jugoslaviji 1945. bilo „534.000 dece koja su ostala bez
roditelja, bez opskrbe ili nastradala na bilo koji način u toku rata... A ukupni broj
socijalno ugrožene dece i mladeži u Jugoslaviji je 1.200.000.“ (Tomšič, Naši zadaci 1945:4)
U tom poslu veliku odgovornost nose osnovne organizacije AFŽ-a u svakom selu,
okružne i sreske organizacije jer su one neposredna veza „sa masama, ali i garancija
za to da niko od onih kojima je potrebna pomoć ne ostane nezbrinut ili prepušten
sebi...“ (Ibid,14–15)
Žene su 1945. prvi put mogle da biraju i da budu birane u organe vlasti. Zato su
predstavljale važnu ciljnu grupu, a AFŽ je u predizbornoj kampanji imao izuzetnu
ulogu. To pokazuje i lista kandidata Narodnog fronta Jugoslavije za narodne
poslanike za Saveznu, Ustavotvornu skupštinu i Skupštinu naroda, na kojoj su po prvi
put bile žene.28 Ceneći važnost izbora i učešća žena na izborima Centralni odbor AFŽ
Jugoslavije je štampao posebnu brošuru Pravo glasa žena dokaz i oruđe demokratije29 koju
je napisala Mitra Mitrović, jedna od liderki jugoslovenskog AFŽ-a. O pravu glasa za
žene Mitra Mitrović je napisala:
„...Isto je tako i Zakon o pravu glasa žena došao mnogo kasnije nego što smo mi
to svoje pravo na našim oslobođenim teritorijama, još od 1941. godine, koristile... Ova
ravnopravnost žena jeste i zasluženo izvojevano pravo žena koje su pokazale tako
visoku nacionalnu svest, takva junaštva, takvu ljubav za domovinu, takvu otpornost i
u okupiranim gradovima i selima, i u vojsci, i u ratu i u posleratnoj obnovi zemlje. Ta
ravnopravnost upisana je sada i u zakone koje je donela, na III zasedanju, Privremena
narodna skupština. Ta ravnopravnost zagarantovana je i programom Narodnog
fronta... Ono što karakteriše današnju opoziciju, reakciju, jeste to što ona više ne
učestvuje ni u pobedama ni u nevoljama naroda, već želi samo da ga demorališe. Ona
likuje što žene satima stoje na pijaci u tim prokletim redovima – znači raduju se što
još ima špekulanata... Šta je dužnost žena na ovim izborima? Prvi naš zadatak jeste da
sve iziđemo na birališta. Ne bi se smelo dogoditi da na ovim izborima bude žena koje
nisu izašle da glasaju.“
O novom položaju žena u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji 1945–1953.
Ustav Federativne Narodne Republike Jugoslavije donet je 31. januara 1946.
Definisao je novu državu kao „saveznu, narodnu republiku, zajednicu ravnopravnih
naroda gde je narod imao suverenitet.“ (Petranović, 1981:394). Ustav (čl. 24) je
garantovao ravnopravnost žena: Žene su ravnopravne sa muškarcima u svim područjima
državnog, privrednog i društveno-političkog života. Za jednaki rad žene imaju jednaku plaću,
28 O ženama u organima vlasti pogledati rezultate istraživanja Stojaković Gordana. (2007), AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953 (CD),
izdanje autorke, Novi Sad.
29 Mitrović, Mitra. (1945), Pravo glasa žena dokaz i oruđe demokratije, Centralni odbor AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, Beograd.
23
kao i muškarci i uživaju posebnu zaštitu u radnom odnosu. Država naročito štiti interese matere
i dijeteta, osnivanjem rodilišta, dečijih domova i obdaništa i pravo matere na plaćeni dopust prije
i poslije porođaja.
Žene su izborile politička prava što znači da sve žene koje su punoletne (imaju
18 godina) imaju potpuno biračko pravo (da biraju i da budu birane) u sve organe
narodne vlasti i da su im sve javne funkcije dostupne pod istim uslovima kao što su
dostupne i muškarcima.
U saglasnosti sa Ustavom bili su i zakoni iz oblasti ličnog i porodičnog prava.
Na osnovu Zakona o braku ona je mogla „da zadrži svoje devojačko prezime, da muž
doda svome prezimenu – ženino, žena je raspolagala delom imovine koju je unela
u brak i ravnopravno upravljala imovinom koju je sa mužem stekla u braku... Žena
je mogla biti staratelj i vršiti sva druga prava u oblasti starateljstva... Ženska deca
su u pogledu nasleđivanja potpuno izjednačena sa muškom... a žena je ravnopravni
naslednik sa decom i braćom i sestrama umrlog supruga...“ (Božinović, 1953:10–12).
Zakon o socijalnom osiguranju radnika i službenika i njihovih porodica (1950) odredio
je posebne uslove za starosnu penziju ženama u radnom odnosu, ali i pravo na
porodičnu penziju za žene posle smrti supruga.
Radno zakonodavstvo je potvrdilo ravnopravnost žena i muškaraca, s tim da je
trudnicama i ženama koje doje svoju decu omogućena posebna zakonska zaštita u
radnom odnosu. Zagarantovano je tromesečno porodiljsko odsustvo (šest nedelje pre i
isto toliko posle porođaja), ali je zakonska obaveza bila da se korišćenje odsustva mora
započeti 21. dan pre porođaja. Porodilji koja doji svoje dete bilo je omogućeno da posle
porođajnog odsustva koristi i godišnji odmor. Za sve vreme porodiljskog odsustva
žena je isplaćivana puna plata sa svim dodacima (ako ih je imala pre porođaja) pod
uslovom da je pre porođajnog odsustva imala odgovarajući30 radni staž. Trudnicama
i porodiljama novo radno zakonodavstvo omogućavalo je i druge pogodnosti koje
su podrazumevale pun iznos plate, prelazak na lakše radno mesto (pod određenim
uslovima), zabranu noćnog i prekovremenog rada, četvorosatno radno vreme, pravo
na petnaestodnevno odsustvo za negu bolesnog člana porodice (obično su to bila
deca). Zakon je štitio trudnice i žene koje doje svoju decu i u slučaju kada su one
počinile neko krivično delo.
Posebnim zakonima i uredbama štitio se položaj majke i deteta. Tokom 1948. i
1949. donete su Uredba o materijalnoj pomoći za decu radnika i nameštenika, Uredba
o zaštiti trudnih žena i majki dojilja u radnom odnosu, Uredba o osnivanju dečjih jasli
i vrtića.
Žene su u novoj državi aktivno učestvovale u političkom životu. Na prvim
posleratnim izborima glasalo je 88% žena Jugoslavije, a 22 žene izabrane su za poslanice Narodne skupštine (Stojaković, 2007). Na izborima za članove narodnih odbora,
mesnih sreskih i pokrajinskih u 1949. u Vojvodini izašlo je 95,6% žena (Stojaković,
30 Uslov je bio šest meseci neprekidnog radnog staža u jednoj godini ili 14 meseci ukupnog radnog staža u periodu od dve
godine. (Stojaković, 2007, CD)
24
2007). U isto vreme broj žena u narodnim odborima je bio nizak što je bila posledica
predrasuda u odnosu na žene, ali i nespremnosti žena da se aktivnije uključe u političke aktivnosti. Uvođenjem samoupravljanja (1950) i rentabilne proizvodnje došlo je do
smanjenja državnih subvencija za dečje ustanove i ustanove društvenog standarda i
do gašenja dela ovih institucija. Time je jedan broj zaposlenih žena izgubio mogućnost
da njihova deca budu jeftino i bezbedno zbrinuta. Uvođenje relativno visokog dečjeg31
dodatka 1951. uticalo da veliki broj žena napusti posao.
Socioekonomski položaj žena u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji je potpuno izmenjen u
odnosu na period Kraljevine Jugoslavije. Žene su se kvalifikovale za nova zanimanja i
po prvi put ušle u mnoge privredne grane. Zabeležen je napredak u pogledu položaja
seoskih žena zahvaljujući razvoju zadrugarstva.
Antifašistički front žena Vojvodine 1946–1949.
U periodu 1946–1949. članice AFŽ-a Vojvodine su se radno angažovale u fabrikama, na njivama, gradilištima, setvama i žetvama. Radile su i u okviru radnih akcija,
angažovale se na otkupu žita. Pomagale su ustanove dečje zaštite, siromašnu decu,
držale patronate nad ustanovama socijalne zaštite, vodile brigu o novoosnovanim
porodilištima u Vojvodini. Pored socijalnih važne su postale i ekonomske aktivnosti.
Uvode se masovne radne akcije a da bi se aktivnosti AFŽ-a koordinirale rad se odvija kroz sekcije:32 privrednu, kulturno-prosvetnu, organizacionu, socijalnu – sekciju
„Majka i dete“, propagandnu ili ideološko-političku.
Ustanovljena su i permanentna takmičenja u svim oblastima rada AFŽ-a.
Takmičenja su organizovana između mesnih, sreskih, okružnih odbora, ali i u okviru
mesta ili sela, po rejonima ili ulicama. Naročito su bila važna takmičenja povodom 1.
maja, 29. novembra ili 8. marta. Oblasti33 koje su spadale u nadležnost AFŽ-a bile su:
1. Kulturno-prosvetni rad:
– analfabetski tečajevi,
– čitalačke grupe,
– osnivanje knjižnica,
– organizacija priredbi,
– razvijanje dopisništva za ženske listove, „Slobodnu Vojvodinu“...
31 Svi koji su imali pravo na taj dodatak primali su u novcu ili bonovima ukupno 3.000 din mesečno po detetu pa su porodice
„sa većim brojem dece u znatnom dobitku... ali i porodica sa jednim ili dvoje dece dečijim dodatkom delom nadoknađuje
eventualni gubitak koji nastaje zato što jedan od roditelja nije u radnom odnosu... Sredstva za dečje dodatke obezbeđena su
iz budžeta države, društvenih doprinosa... te neće biti bojazni da će rukovodioci nekih preduzeća primati samo radnike bez
dece da bi se oslobodili plaćanja dečjeg dodatka...“ Slobodna Vojvodina 26. 11. 1951. str. 2.
32 Zapisnik sa sastanka Izvršnog odbora Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a održanog u Novom Sadu 6. juna 1946. Arhiv Vojvodine,
F.338 knjiga br. 1. (rukopis).
33 Popis zadataka i poslova za koji su bile zadužene članice AFŽ-a preuzet je iz Zapisnika sa sastanka plenuma PO AFŽ
održanog u Novom Sadu 14. marta 1946. Arhiv Vojvodine F.338 knjiga br. 1. (rukopis).
25
2. Zdravstvena delatnost:
– formiranje ekipa za suzbijanje bolesti,
– formiranje ekipa za predavanja o higijeni, zdravlju žena i dece.
3. Socijalna problematika:
– otvaranje obdaništa (stalnih i sezonskih),
– otvaranje porodilišta,
– otvaranje savetovališta za žene i decu kao i posebne čekaonice u domovima
zdravlja.
4. Zadaci u privredi:
– dobrovoljni rad na obnovi i izgradnji zemlje,
– setva, žetva i obrada bašti za dečje domove i internate,
– pomoć kolonistima,
– pomoć siromašnim porodicama koje su izgubile radnu snagu u NOB u obrađivanju zemlje,
– takmičenje u održavanju štala i staja,
– popis kukuruza,
– suzbijanje crne berze i borba protiv sabotera,
– plaćanje poreza.
5. Politički zadaci:
– svaku akciju treba posebno pripremati tako što će se objasniti svrha i korist od nje.
6. Organizacioni zadaci:
– obuhvatiti što više žena u rad organizacije,
– poboljšati rad među pripadnicima nacionalnih manjina,
– uspostaviti efikasnu komunikaciju među odborima,
– uspostaviti efikasnu saradnju sa odborima Narodnog fronta.
AFŽ Vojvodine je 1947. imao 337.50086 članica, od toga najviše Srpkinja a najmanje
Rumunki (Popov, 1986:203). Mesni odbori postojali su svim selima i gradovima. Najveći
broj članica AFŽ-a u Vojvodini bile su „službenice, seljanke i domaćice. Radnica je bilo
malo jer su se one okupljale u sindikatu“ (Popov, 1986:203). Najveći uspesi organizacije
bili su na obnovi zemlje kroz „973.736 radnih sati koji su državi uštedeli 12 miliona
dinara“ za 1947. (Popov, 1986:208). Najveći problemi su bili na planu političke i ideološke edukacije žena. Zbog toga je u 1947. održano 22.600 konferencija AFŽ-a. (Stojaković,
2007)
26
Ruža Tadić34 predsednica Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a Vojvodine je predstavila
podatke o radu pokrajinske organizacije na II kongresu AFŽ-a Srbije (1948). Navela je
rezultate kampanje za izbore u 1948. Izbore za sreske i mesne odbore Narodnog fronta održane u februaru 1948. obeležio je veliki odziv žena. Za listu Narodnog fronta
glasalo je 94,99% birača, a preko 90% žena, ili 97% za odbore Narodnog fronta, gde je
glasalo preko 94% žena. (Drugi kongres žena Srbije, 1948:76) Pozitivan stav koji su žene
Vojvodine pokazale prema izborima za organe Narodnog fronta na izborima nisu
pokazale i kao članice organizacije, jer od „500.492 žene koliko ih ima u Vojvodini,
132.505 su bile van članstva Narodnog fronta“ (Ibid, 77). Ruža Tadić je navela da je
razlog za to bio nedovoljan rad organizacija AFŽ-a, naročito u višenacionalnim sredinama. Situacija se kasnije nešto popravila jer je do II kongresa AFŽ-a Srbije u „Narodni
front upisano 18.396 žena, većinom iz nacionalnih manjina“ (Ibid, 77).
Ženama na selu je posvećena posebna pažnja zbog obaveza koje su one imale
u razvoju poljoprivrede i stvaranju radnih zadruga. Tako je tokom 1948. težište rada
bilo na uključivanju žena u zadruge. „U 26 srezova u Vojvodini u zemljoradničke
zadruge upisano 66.608 žena, dok je u seljačke radne zadruge upisano 18.362. žena“
(Slobodna Vojvodina, 5. januar 1950:1). U okviru radnih zadruga otvorena su sezonska
obdaništa kako bi se omogućilo da žene budu aktivnije u radu u „poljoprivredi, ali i
u kulturnom unapređenju“. Petogodišnjim planom predviđeno je bilo „dati privredi
400.000 novih stručnih radnika“ a zalaganjem AFŽ-a u 1948. „u privredu su se
uključile 2.704 žene“ (Drugi kongres žena Srbije, 1948:79). Za novu vlast seljačke radne
zadruge bile su „najpogodniji oblik ujedinjavanja individualnog interesa radnog
seljaka s opštim interesom socijalističke zajednice“ (Glas žena, br. 2, 1948:23). AFŽ
Vojvodine je kao jedan od prioriteta imao zadatak da radi na što većem uključivanju
žena u zadruge. Konkretni zadaci aktivistkinja AFŽ-a su bili vezani za organizovanje
kurseva i predavanja o poslovima i dužnostima žena u zadruzi, briga o deci kroz
organizaciju obdaništa i organizovanje kurseva i predavanja u vezi sa savremenom
proizvodnjom.
Drugi kongres Antifašističkog fronta žena Jugoslavije održan je 25, 26. i 27. januara
1948. u Beogradu. Učestvovalo je oko 800 delegatkinja – predstavnica republičkih,
pokrajinskog, sreskih, okružnih i mesnih odbora AFŽ-a iz svih krajeva Jugoslavije.
Predsedavala je Cana Babović,35 predsednica Centralnog odbora AFŽ-a Jugoslavije.
34 Ruža Tadić je po zanimanju bila učiteljica. Odmah po započinjanju ustanka priključila se Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu. Članica KPJ postala je 1943. Posle završetka Drugog svetskog rata izabrana je za predsednicu AFŽ-a Vojvodine. Obavljala
mnoge važne političke funkcije. Bila je narodna poslanica u skupštinama Vojvodine, Srbije i Jugoslavije, kao i članica Saveta
Vojvodine. Posle gašenja AFŽ-a bila je predsednica Inicijativnog odbora za formiranje Saveza ženskih društava, organizacije
koja je nasledila AFŽ i predsednica Crvenog krsta Socijalističke Federativne Republike Jugoslavije /SFRJ/.
35 Spasenija Cana Babović (1908–1977) se kao osamnaestogodišnja radnica uključila u radnički i sindikalni pokret. Ubrzo
je postala članica SKOJ-a. Zbog učešća u radničkim štrajkovima u periodu 1934–1937. je više puta hapšena. Godine 1937.
osuđena je po Zakonu za zaštitu države na dve godine zatvora. Jedna je od organizatorki ustanka 1941. Od početka ustanka
je u partizanskim jedinicama. Godine 1942. je postala zamenik političkog komesara II proleterske brigade. Od septembra
1942. je radila na organizovanju žena u Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu. Bila je članica Predsedništva AVNOJ-a. Jedna je od
najpoznatijih liderki AFŽ-a Jugoslavije: potpredsednica Glavnog odbora AFŽ-a Srbije (1945) predsednica Centralnog odbora
AFŽ-a Jugoslavije (1945–1948). Obavljala je i druge odgovorne političke dužnosti: ministarka – predsednica Saveta za narodno zdravlje i socijalnu politiku u Vladi Narodne Republike Srbije (1951). Bila je nosilac više odlikovanja i priznanja. Ordenom
narodnog heroja je odlikovana 1953.
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Značaj ovog kongresa je u tome što je usvojen Statut organizacije i što su doneti
planovi rada koji su sadržani u rezolucijama Drugog kongresa AFŽ-a Jugoslavije:36 Iz
Statuta organizacije vidi se da je AFŽ bio frontovska organizacija žena – sastavni deo
Narodnog fronta. Pokrajinska organizacija AFŽ-a je bila u rangu sreskih, okružnih i
mesnih organizacija čiji je najviši organ – konferencija AFŽ-a.
Opismenjavanje nepismenih žena u Vojvodini bio je redovni zadatak svih organizacija u sistemu AFŽ-a Vojvodine. Akcija je vođena i preko osnovnih organizacija
AFŽ-a, na osnovu registrovanog broja nepismenih za svako mesto, grad i srez, i imala
je takmičarski karakter. „U Vojvodini je 1949. bilo 8.994 nepismenih žena a do kraja
1949. opismenjeno je 4.500 žena“ (Popov, 1986:207). Te, 1949. u AFŽ štampi su se mogli
naći članci koji su nagoveštavali da je do kraja godine u Vojvodini bilo moguće „iskoreniti nepismenost“.
Prema podacima Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a u 19 srezova sa novim pravilima
seljačkih radnih zadruga na konferencijama je upoznato 29.399 zadugarki i 6.000 žena
van zadruga (Slobodna Vojvodina 14. januar 1950:2). Pokrajinski odbor AFŽ-a organizovao je dva kursa za političku edukaciju žena – jedan na mađarskom a drugi na rumunskom jeziku. Pri sreskim odborima održano je „45 ovakvih kurseva sa 1.763 žene i 242
seminara sa 600 žena“ (Slobodna Vojvodina 14. januar 1950:2).
U 1949. u Vojvodini je bilo otvoreno 48 dečjih ustanova, a u seljačkim radnim
zadrugama 74, što nije bilo dovoljno. Takođe je otvoren jedan broj dečjih restorana,
ali problem njihovog snabdevanja nije bio rešen. Zaključeno je da bi trebalo uključiti
zadruge koje bi davale svežu hranu, pre svega mleko. (Stojaković, 2007)
U 1949. preko 1.940 žena je u Vojvodini uključeno u industriju, kao povremena
radna snaga (Slobodna Vojvodina 14. januar 1950:2). One su ostvarile 108.840 radnih sati.
Na radnim akcijama lokalnog značaja učestvovalo je 76.395 žena, a u frontovskim brigadama još oko 300.000 žena koje su ostvarile 961.822 radna dana (Slobodna Vojvodina
14. januar 1950:2). PO AFŽ Vojvodine je formirao 4 radne brigade od 294 žene koje
su mesec i po dana gradile Novi Beograd. 1949. godine 1.022.140 žena u Vojvodini
ostvarilo je 4.483.885 radnih dana (Slobodna Vojvodina 14. januar 1950:2). List Žena danas
(br. 77–78, 1950:13) donosi podatak da je Zora Krdžalić, članica Pokrajinskog odbora
AFŽ-a Vojvodine, na III kongresu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije 1950. iznela podatak da su „žene
Vojvodine samo u toku 1949. dale u radnim akcijama 6.000.000 dobrovoljnih radnih
časova i uštedele državi preko 55.000.000 dinara.“
Antifašistički front žena Vojvodine 1950–1953.
U periodu 1950–1953. dolazi prvo do redefinisanja zadataka a zatim i do gašenja
AFŽ-a. Uloge koje su namenjene ženama se iz sistema aktivnih uloga (udarnica,
brigadirka, zadrugarka, radnica, politički aktivna i ekonomski nezavisna žena)
36 Rezolucije Drugog kongresa AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, Žena danas br. 52. Beograd 1948, str. 36.
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pomera ka ekonomiji nege i brige (majke, negovateljice i vaspitačice dece). Na
IV plenumu Centralnog odbora AFŽ-a Jugoslavije održanog 4. i 5 februara 1950.
među novim zadacima koji su u prvom planu je odgoj predškolske i školske dece.
Organizacije AFŽ-a je trebalo da organizovano i sistematski pomažu školi, porodici
i „narodnoj vlasti“ u realizaciji programa predškolskog i vanškolskog vaspitanja.
Centralni odbor AFŽ-a Jugoslavije je izdao posebnu brošuru: „Uputstvo o organizaciji
i zadacima komisije za odgojna pitanja pri odborima AFŽ-a“ (Beograd 1950). Uputstvo
je bilo namenjeno komisijama za „odgojna pitanja“, a odbori AFŽ-a, od gradskog do
Pokrajinskog, imali su zadatak da takve odbore i formiraju. Tokom 1950. u AFŽ štampi
se pojavljuju i tekstovi koji do tada nisu bili uobičajeni: saveti o modi (Žena danas, br.
67, 1950).
Treći kongres AFŽ-a Jugoslavije održan je u Zagrebu od 28. do 29. oktobra
1950. Uvodni referat je podnela Vida Tomšič, predsednica Centralnog odbora AFŽ-a
Jugoslavije. U okviru izveštaja o radu AFŽ-a ona je posebno podvukla uspehe koje
je organizacija imala u vezi sa ulaskom žena u privredni i društveni život zemlje i
donošenjem zakonske regulative koja će da štiti specifičan položaj žena. Promena
statusa AFŽ-a jasno je najavljena u referatu Vide Tomšič, ali nije bilo objašnjeno šta
će tačno dešavati (sa) i u sistemu AFŽ-a. Nejasna obrazloženja o potrebi redefinisanja
AFŽ-a dovela su do konfuzije koja je pokazala da su očigledno političku odluku o
gašenju AFŽ-a nespremno dočekali u organizacijama AFŽ-a, ali i Narodnog fronta.
Pokrajinski odbor AFŽ-a Vojvodine hitno je organizovao savetovanje predstavnica/
predstavnika Narodnog fronta i AFŽ-a. Zaključeno da su neki sreski odbori Narodnog
fronta „nepravilno shvatili“ da radi prisajedinjenja AFŽ-a Narodnom frontu nema više
potrebe za održavanjem posebnih sastanaka žena. U izveštaju sa Devete pokrajinske
partijske konferencije (Slobodna Vojvodina 2. mart 1951:3) zaključeno je da će PK KPJ za
Vojvodinu organizovati sastanke u okviru Narodnog fronta sa ciljem da se opovrgnu
shvatanja „o likvidaciji AFŽ-a“. Najveće zamerke radu organizacija AFŽ-a odnosile su
se na „nedovoljnu političku zrelost rukovodećeg kadra“ (Zadaci žena Vojvodine pred III
kongres AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, Slobodna Vojvodina 14. maj 1950:3). U isto vreme Pokrajinski
odbor AFŽ-a Vojvodine organizovao je političke kurseve za žene na mađarskom i
rumunskom jeziku jer je primećen nedostatak predstavnica nacionalnih zajednica
u organizacijama AFŽ-a. Nedostatak se naročito osetio u srezovima i gradovima
gde je u većini mađarski živalj. Pokrajinski odbor AFŽ-a Vojvodine je želeo da sve
zajednice budu zastupljene u radu organizacije na odgovarajući način. Konkretnom
obukom pod rukovodstvom članica Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a iz mađarske zajednice
„kursistkinje“ su obučavane da preuzmu rukovodeće37 uloge u sistemu AFŽ-a.
Promene u funkcionisanju AFŽ-a nagoveštavale su kraj organizacije. Ukinut je
profesionalni rad u AFŽ-u a uvedena je potpuna dobrovoljnost. Profesionalni rad u
organizaciji je bio nužnost i on je započet 1947. uvođenjem sekretarijata. Veliki obim
37 U avgustu 1950. u Vojvodini su održani izbori u sistemu AFŽ-a. Promene su bile u sreskim i mesnim odborima. Tako je u
Senti za predsednicu sreskog odbora AFŽ-a izabrana Vince Eržebet a u gradski odbor Buranj Irma, Gambketa Ilona i Gujaš
Ilona... (Stojaković, G. (2007) AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953. (CD))
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organizaciono-administrativnog rada nije bilo moguće uspešno savladati bez profesionalnih funkcija. Njihovim ukidanjem urušila se organizaciona struktura AFŽ-a. Sada
su organizacije Narodnog fronta, kao temeljne organizacija vlasti, trebale da budu
mesta za aktivizam žena uz obrazloženje da „ne treba da postoji osnovna organizacija
AFŽ-a jer bi se time uvodio formalizam i šablon“ (Glas žena br. 11, 1950:5). Zadatak
odbora AFŽ-a kao sekcije osnovne organizacije Narodnog fronta je da predlaže frontovskom odboru šta treba učiniti da bi se rad među ženama bolje odvijao. Time su se
osnovne organizacije AFŽ-a svele na savetodavna tela koja su mogla da predlažu i
ukazuju, „razrađuju probleme rada među ženama, predlažu Partiji i Frontu potrebne
mere za otklanjanje nekih pojava koje su posledica nedovoljnog političkog rada među
ženama“ (Žena danas br. 81, 1951:1). Utapanje u organizacije Narodnog fronta odmah
je dovela do toga „da u nekim mestima žene nisu bile izabrane38 u odbore Narodnog
fronta... da je mali broj žena bio među članovima Partije...“ (Žena danas br. 81, 1951:1).
Da bi se apsorbovala velika aktivistička energija žena koja je formirana u sistemu
AFŽ-a predloženo je formiranje drugih ženskih društava, pre svega humanitarnih kao
što su organizacije „Majka i dete“ koje su se bavile zaštitom dece.
Tokom 1951. zapažena je pojava opadanja broja zaposlenih žena u svim granama privrede. Samoupravni sistem u privredi značio je i smanjenje svih troškova van
proizvodnje tako su institucije društvenog standarda (jaslice, obdaništa, restorani
društvene ishrane) postali nerentabilni.39 Jedan od razloga povratka žena u kuće je
bila i Uredba o dodacima za decu iz 1951. Majke sa više dece napuštale su posao i
posvećivale se njihovom odgoju. Povratak žena u kuće je bio i posledica predrasuda
prema ženama. Radilo se i o „malograđanštini i preživelom odnosu prema ženama
preživelog kapitalističkog društva, odnos iz društva sa dvojnim moralom, sa prostitucijom, visokim pričama o ženi, o svetosti materinstva, o kraljici kuće i domaćinstva
i sa beskrajnom bedom radnih žena, visokom smrtnošću porodilja, male dece, sa besposlicom...“ (Tomšič, 1952:1) Vida Tomšič je zabrinuto zaključila kako se zaboravilo da
pitanje položaja žena nije samo pitanje zakonodavstva već i društvenog konsenzusa
da se zakoni sprovode na svim nivoima. Pri tome se, sem u referatima liderki AFŽ-a,
nije više pominjala teza da je ekonomska samostalnost žena preduslov za njenu ravnopravnost.
Kako još nije bila doneta jasna odluka o prestanku rada AFŽ-a i kako je trebalo
kanalisati aktivističku energiju žena, PO AFŽ-a Vojvodine je 29. februara 1952.
38 Na izborima za organe NF 1950. u Vojvodini primećeno je da su birači-muškarci bili protiv žena (kandidatkinja). Tako je u
Jaši Tomić od 28 žena izabrano 14, u Kovinu od 16 kandidovanih žena izabrane su 3, a u Bečeju od 58 kandidovanih izabrano
je 12. U somborskom srezu je 50 žena vratilo kandidature jer im muževi nisu dozvoljavali da ih prihvate. (Stojaković, G. (2007)
AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953. (CD))
39 U seljačkim radnim zadrugama u Vojvodini je 1950. godine bilo 120 dečjih obdaništa sa oko 3.700 dece. U 1951. otvorena
su 2–3 sezonska obdaništa. Otvaranju obdaništa protivili su se „rukovodioci, predsednici zadruga i brigadiri“ (Slobodna
Vojvodina 17. maj 1951:3) zbog „materijalnih troškova održavanja.“ Smatrali su da brigu o dečjim obdaništima treba da
preuzmu „zadružni savezi i poljoprivredni fondovi.“ (Slobodna Vojvodina 17. maj 1951:3) U Slobodnoj Vojvodini je 23. juna 1951.
objavljen članak „Zašto ne rade dečji vrtići u zadrugama“ gde se navode izgovori kojima su se rukovodioci zadruga služili da
opravdaju novonastalu situaciju: suša je i ne mogu da obezbede hranu za decu, majke neće da daju decu u vrtiće, zgrade u kojima
su bili vrtići su izdate i ne mogu da se vrate... Za otvaranje vrtića su posle Trećeg kongresa AFŽ-a bili zaduženi „Saveti za prosvetu
i kulturu a dešavalo se da u Savetima za prosvetu i kulturu niko i nije bio zadužen za sezonske vrtiće u zadrugama. Članice
AFŽ-a nisu mogle da spreče zatvaranje obdaništa.“ (Slobodna Vojvodina 23. jun 1951:3)
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organizovao savetovanje predstavnica sreskih odbora AFŽ-a Bačke i Srema. Govorilo se
o zadacima organizacije na selu, o zdravstvenom, kulturno-prosvetnom radu sa ženama
na selu. PO AFŽ-a Vojvodine je 1. marta 1952. održao savetovanje sa predstavnicama
gradskih odbora AFŽ-a. Zaključeno je da organizacije AFŽ-a u gradovima treba da se
bave radnicama, jer je postalo evidentno da su one preopterećene40 i nemaju vremena
za „kulturno i političko uzdizanje, a neke ne poklanjaju dovoljno pažnje odgoju dece“
(Slobodna Vojvodina 2. mart 1951:3). Zaključeno je da treba osnovati grupe u okviru GO
AFŽ-a koje treba da prate uslove pod kojima žene rade, vode domaćinstvo, vaspitavaju
decu.
O položaju žena u Vojvodini na VI plenumu CO AFŽ-a Jugoslavije je govorila i
Ruža Tadić, predsednica Pokrajinskog odbora AFŽ-a. Žene na selu su bile „mnogo
manje ravnopravne od žene radnice i uopšte žene u gradu“ (Ruža Tadić, Žena danas br.
103:3). Ona je iznela podatak da su u seljačkim radnim zadrugama u Vojvodini žene
činile pretežnu radnu snagu od 60% do 80%, ali su neznatno učestvovale u upravljanju.
Od 1050 seljačkih i zemljoradničkih zadruga u Vojvodini samo je u jednoj žena bila
predsednik. Ruža Tadić je u tekstu Osmi mart međunarodni praznik žena dala podatak
da u Vojvodini „u 201 selu nijedna žena nije izabrana u narodne odbore“. Broj žena u
sreskim narodnim odborima pao je sa 8,75% u 1950. na 3% u 1952 (Ruža Tadić, Slobodna
Vojvodina 8. mart 1953:2).
U Sarajevu je 26. i 27. decembra 1952. održan VI plenum Centralnog odbora AFŽ-a
Jugoslavije. Predstavnice AFŽ-a su na osnovu Rezolucije VI kongresa Saveza komunista
Jugoslavije raspravljale o položaju žene u socijalističkom društvu i zadacima koji iz
Rezolucije proističu. Zaključeno je:
– da rad u domaćinstvu predstavlja „neracionalno trošenje rada“ žena (Žena
danas br. 103,1953:1) naročito zaposlenih i društveno angažovanih žena. Cilj je raditi
na stvaranju uslova za rasterećenje žena podizanjem praktičnih i udobnih stanova,
izgradnjom komunalne infrastrukture, uslužnih delatnosti, restorana, zdravstvenih i
vaspitnih institucija, izgradnji industrije za proizvodnju robe široke potrošnje...
– da je prosvećivanje prioritet u radu sa ženama, naročito na planu vođenja
domaćinstva u seoskim sredinama. Potrebno je postići higijenske navike, uvesti zdravu
ishranu, racionalnu ekonomiju seoskog domaćinstva, pravilnu negu i vaspitanje dece,
boriti se protiv sujeverja, zaostalosti...
40 Dr Bosiljka Milošević, ugledna lekarka, profesorka Beogradskog univerziteta i članica Centralnog odbora AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, analizirala je radnu sposobnost žena u novim okolnostima. Konstatovala je da se zaposlene žene brže zamaraju od
muškaraca zbog dodatne opterećenosti radom u domaćinstvu i podizanjem dece. Dok muškarac može da se odmori posle
napornog rada u fabrici, ustanovi… žena započinje još jedan radni dan kod kuće, gde se troši njena psihička i fizička snaga
i gde nema neradnih dana. Takav rad se kretao „za ženu bez dece do 9 sati dnevno a za ženu sa decom do 2 godine i do
15 časova dnevno.“ Zato je dr Bosiljka Milošević zaključila „da za ženu u radnom odnosu domaći rad predstavlja faktor koji
štetno deluje na njeno zdravlje i oštećuje njenu radnu sposobnost… a zbog nedostatka stvaralačkog efekta domaći rad
deluje depresivno na životnu energiju žena.“ Dr Bosiljka Milošević je iznela i neke egzaktne podatke koje je ona posmatrala
kao posledicu potpuno izmenjene uloge žena u društvu u odnosu na živote žena ranijih generacija. Radilo se o podacima iz
porodilišta Klinike za ginekologiju i akušerstvo u Beogradu. U prethodnih 10 godina broj samotrovanja organizma žena zbog
trudnoće (gesteza) bio je dva puta veći kod zaposlenih žena nego kod domaćica. Takođe je registrovan veći broj prevremenih
porođaja, vanmateričnih trudnoća i nedonesene dece kod zaposlenih žena nego kod domaćica. Dr Bosiljka Milošević je
takođe zaključila da organizam žene evoluira savlađujući nove životne uslove i postepeno ovladava „svim vrstama radova i
zanimanja.“ Dr Bosiljka Milošević, O radnoj sposobnosti žene, Žena danas br. 103. Beograd 1953, str 15.
31
– da organizacije AFŽ-a treba da rade na prosvećivanju i rasterećenju žena tako što
će predlagati da se neophodne mere sprovedu. AFŽ treba da ističe opšte probleme svih
žena Jugoslavije radnica, žena na selu i u gradu, ali da pruži slobodu za organizovanje
žena u druge ženske organizacije a da „AFŽ eventualno predstavlja savez ženskih
društava“ (Tomšič, Žena danas br. 103, 1953:3).
Dvostruka opterećenost ili preopterećenost žena je u mnogim društvenim
slojevima bila shvaćena kao znak slabosti i argument za vraćanje žena u kuću.
Predstavnice AFŽ-a su sasvim jasno shvatile opasnost od toga. Neke liderke AFŽ-a,
kao što je bila Cana Babović smatrale su da se nije moglo čekati „da proces opšteg
razvitka stigne dotle da možemo reći: sad su stvoreni uslovi da žena može da koristi
svoju ravnopravnost“ (Babović, 1953:3) već je trebalo da žena „sama sebe dovede u
položaj ravnopravnosti“. Cana Babović je smatrala da komunistkinje „ne treba da se
angažuju isključivo na radu sa ženama... ali ne mogu da ne osete izvesnu odgovornost
za slab rad i slabo učešće žena u društvenom životu...“ (Ibid, 3)
Vida Tomšič je na poslednjem, IV kongresu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije u septembru 1953.
u uvodnom referatu „Mesto i uloga ženskih organizacija u današnjoj etapi razvitka
socijalističkih društvenih odnosa“ napravila rezime rada organizacije navodeći
uspehe u radu kao i probleme sa kojima su se žene susretale u pokušaju da ih reše,
sa većim ili manjim uspehom. Težište rada organizacije je bilo okrenuto ka ženama
na selu. To pokazuje i tema Kongresa „Položaj žena na selu“. Zaključeno je da bi
posebna organizacija žena odvojila žene „iz zajedničkog političkog života i dovelo
do pogrešnog shvatanja da se za ostvarivanja prava žene moraju same boriti protiv
ostalog društva..“ (Tomšič, Žena danas br. 112, 1953:10). Zato je Izvršni odbor AFŽ-a
Jugoslavije predložio Kongresu da donese odluku o ukidanju AFŽ-a. Dat je predlog
da se žene uključe u postojeće, ili osnuju nova društva koja bi se bavila različitim
problemima žena. Predloženo je da se tako osnovana društva horizontalno povežu
u Savez ženskih društava čiji bi zadatak bio da organizuje najširu raspravu „o svim
problemima a naročito ženskim“ (Tomšič, Žena danas br. 112, 1953:10).
Poslednji (IV) kongres AFŽ-a je bio i osnivački kongres Saveza ženskih društava.
Doneta je Rezolucija o osnivanju Saveza ženskih društava Jugoslavije.41 Socijalistički savez
radnog naroda Jugoslavije42 je bila organizacija koja je imala vrlo široku bazu. Komisija
za rad među ženama Socijalističkog saveza radnog naroda Jugoslavije trebalo je da
pomogne da se u politički i privredni život zemlje uključi što više žena. Pored toga
ohrabreno je organizovanje žena u posebna društva: za prosvećivanje žena, brigu o
vaspitanju dece, unapređenje domaćinstva.
41 Na IV kongresu Narodnog fronta 1953. organizacija je promenila funkciju u društvu i naziv u Socijalistički savez radnog
naroda (SSRN). Prema Statutu SSRN sindikat i omladinska organizacija su bile autonomne u radu ali ne i AFŽ. Za rad sa ženama
predviđeno je osnivanje posebnih komisija u osnovnim organizacijama SSRN.
42 Na IV kongresu Narodnog fronta 1953. organizacija je promenila funkciju u društvu i naziv u Socijalistički savez radnog
naroda (SSRN). Prema Statutu SSRN sindikat i omladinska organizacija su bile autonomne u radu ali ne i AFŽ. Za rad sa ženama
predviđeno je osnivanje posebnih komisija u osnovnim organizacijama SSRN.
32
Zaključna razmatranja
AFŽ Jugoslavije i Vojvodine je bila svojevrsna škola u kojoj su žene naučile da
budu aktivne u javnom i političkom životu zemlje. Rad se odvijao pod rukovodstvom
Komunističke partije Jugoslavije i bio je oslonjen na temeljna opredeljenja da su
žene ravnopravne sa muškarcima u svim segmentima života i rada. U praksi se rad
organizacije odvijao u ciklusima: od autonomije do direktive.
Ravnopravnost žena u FNR Jugoslaviji i formalno je potvrđena Ustavom iz 1946.
i čitavim setom zakona među kojima su bili i zakoni koji su štitili položaj majke i
deteta.
U periodu 1945–1949. započeo je masovni ulazak žena u politički i privredni život
zemlje. Žene su masovno glasale na izborima za savezne, republičke, pokrajinske i
lokalne organe vlasti. One su i birane u organe vlasti i uključivale se u privredni razvoj
zemlje. Ženama su ideološkim i partijskim odlukama bile namenjene aktivne uloge
u kreiranju društveno-ekonomske sfere: radnice, udarnice, zadrugarke, političarke
(„društveno političke radnice“), ekonomski samostalne žene koje su ovladale različitim profesijama i onim koje su, do tada, bile rezervisane samo za muškarce. Pri tome
se priznavao poseban društveni plan obrazovanja i edukacije žena kako bi savladale
nasleđenu neobrazovanost i uključile se u privredni i politički život. Ipak, i dalje je bila
važna uloga žene kao majke (ne samo sopstvene dece već i dece koja nisu imala roditelje) kao i čitav arsenal uloga iz ekonomije nege i brige (briga o porodiljama, dojiljama,
invalidima, učenicima u domovima, kolonistima).
Društveni i politički angažman žena počeo je da se smanjuje od 1950. Promene u
ekonomskom i političkom sistemu, gde su lokalni organi vlasti imali sve veći značaj,
tražila je od izabranih osoba veće znanje i sposobnost u radu. Žene su sada morale da
se kvalifikuju znanjem i sposobnostima, a ne potrebom da se izabere predstavnica
žena. S druge strane patrijarhalna svest koja je vremenom prevladala učinila je da
žene na svakom poslu moraju mnogo više da se dokazuju. U toku NOB-a i posleratne
obnove patrijarhalno shvatanje položaja žena je odmah bilo prepoznavano i osuđeno
kao nazadno i pogrešno. Žene u Vojvodini su slobodno odlazile u rejonske i mesne
organizacije AFŽ-a. Početkom pedesetih godina „otupela“ je oštrina razračunavanja
sa patrijarhalnim shvatanjima. Dešavalo se da su u Vojvodini 1951, 1952. žene masovno vraćale kandidature za izbore na lokalnom i regionalnom nivou, jer se muževi i
porodica nisu sa tim slagali. U prvim posleratnim godinama takva situacija nije bila
moguća. Od 1950. se uvodi samoupravljanje a privredna preduzeća moraju da pokažu
pozitivan rezultat. Do tada realizovana društvena briga o deci i majkama sada postaje
skup projekat. Ženama se nudi visok dečji dodatak tako da mnoge napuštaju posao.
Čak ni u retorici aktivnih ženskih uloga u AFŽ štampi od 1951. nema brigadirki, udarnica a sve je manje fabričkih radnica. Jedino se žene na selu posebno podržavaju, jer
projekat socijalističkog preobražaja sela nije bio završen.
33
Praksa je i tada, u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji, pokazala da su zaposlene žene u
periodu 1945–195343 morale podjednako dobro da rade u fabrikama, preduzećima,
institucijama... i kod kuće. Njihovo angažovanje je zahtevalo i potporu države u vidu
plaćenog porođajnog odsustva, plaćenog odsustva zbog bolesti deteta, prekidanje
posla zbog dojenja, dečji dodatak, što su sve bila ogromna materijalna sredstva za
ratom razorenu zemlju. Takav društveni napor je počev od 1950. proizvodio stavove da
je najbolje da se žene „vrate u kuću“ jer je to najracionalnije i u „interesu dece“ (Žena
danas br. 81, 1951:11).
Članice AFŽ-a Vojvodine postigle su odlične rezultate na planu zaštite radnica
i majki. Organizacije AFŽ-a sarađivale su sa nadležnim resorima kod „otklanjanja
uzroka oboljenja i smrtnosti dece“ (Tomšič, Žena danas br. 93, 1952:1), donošenja uredbi
o zaštiti majke i deteta, osnivanja domaćičkih učiteljskih škola, organizovanja tečajeva
negovateljice i vaspitačice u dečjim obdaništima... Aktivnosti su se odvijale kroz rad
na zdravstvenom prosvećivanju žena, kurseve za mlade majke, negu dece, osnivanje
aktiva žena koji su se bavili problematikom zaštite majke i deteta, organizovanjem
stalne pomoći radnoj ženi i majci, organizovanjem pravne pomoći za žene, pružanje
pomoći institucijama koje se brinu za majku i dete (vrtići, jaslice...), pružanje pomoći
održavanju školskih kuhinja, dečjih restorana... U FNRJ je materinstvo bilo delom
i društvena briga i na tom je planu socijalistička Jugoslavija mnogo postigla. Pored
različitih oblika materijalnih davanja cilj je bio da se društvo organizuje tako da
zaposlenoj majci omogući da i dalje radi. Zato je formirana mreža dečjih i zdravstvenih
ustanova. U prvim godinama stvaranja socijalističke Jugoslavije vaspitanje dece
je shvaćeno kao društvena obaveza, da bi pedesetih godina 20. veka ta politika
korigovana priznavanjem veće uloge porodice.
Najčešći oblici rada AFŽ Vojvodine su bili rad na kulturnoprosvetnom i političkom
obrazovanju žena kao što su bili: tečajevi opismenjivanja, domaćički tečajevi, čitalačke
grupe, kursevi i seminari na različite teme, predavanja, izložbe, ženska štampa.
Rad na uključivanju žena u privredu uglavnom se odvijao kroz mobilizaciju žena
za dobrovoljni rad. Tu je AFŽ dao odlične rezultate. Uključivanje žena u privredu je
bila obaveza i drugih masovnih organizacija, ali i organa vlasti. Saradnja svih ovih
činilaca pokazala se plodnom u Vojvodini gde su organizacije AFŽ-a Vojvodine
(Sombor, Subotica i Novi Sad) uticale da se tokom 1950. zaposli na neodređeno vreme
15.530 2 žena (Tomšič, Žena danas br. 93, 1952:1). Ravnopravni položaj žena u društvu
je bio opšti društveni projekat socijalističke Jugoslavije. U člancima koje su pisale
liderke AFŽ-a posebno je isticana ekonomska samostalnost žena koja „im jedina daje
mogućnost da se u životu stvarno osećaju nezavisnim i samostalnim“ (Ibid, str. 1).
Radno angažovanje žena je u periodu 1945–1950. bilo podržavano ideološki, zakonski
i finansijski jer je ideološki plan radno angažovanje žena smatrao uslovom za mnoga
opšta i specifična ženska prava. Pri tom se kućni rad tretirao kao nužnost koja će
u dužem vremenskom periodu, razvojem proizvodnih snaga i uvođenjem „javne
43 Pogledati rezultate istraživanja Stojaković Gordana. (2007), AFŽ Vojvodine 1942–1953 (CD), izdanje autorke, Novi Sad.
34
industrije“, smanjiti na prihvatljivu meru. Ali, u praksi sukob između društvenog i
porodičnog angažovanja se nije mogao rešiti lako i brzo. U prvim godinama posle
rata žene su teret „dvostruke opterećenosti“ lakše podnosile, jer su imale svest o tome
da su postigle ravnopravnost i jer su delovale u periodu opšteg društvenog poleta.
Kasnije se preopterećenost žena manifestovala kroz česta bolovanja i odsustvovanja sa
posla. U uslovima privrednog razvoja to je provociralo stavove o tome da su zaposlene
žene teret za privredu. Žene su češće otpuštane s posla, ali je zalaganjem AFŽ-a uz
podršku sindikata bilo zabranjeno otpuštanje trudnica i dojilja.
Žene Jugoslavije su u periodu 1945–1953. nepovratno iskoračile u društveni i
privredni život zemlje. Prema kriterijumima procene položaja žena u društvu u
koje spadaju pravne norme, mera učešća u političkom i privrednom životu zemlje,
ostvarile su vidan napredak u odnosu na položaj žena u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji.
Uvođenjem jednakih prava za žene u odnosu na muškarce i posebnom zaštitom
majke i deteta socijalistička Jugoslavija je osigurala visok stepen ravnopravnosti žena.
Ali, u korišćenju zakonskih prava bilo je velikih regionalnih razlika i razlika između
žena u seoskim i gradskim sredinama. U Vojvodini je nivo korišćenja prava u odnosu
na čitavu Jugoslaviju bio visok. I tada je bilo jasno da je pitanje ravnopravnosti žena
zbir mnogih pitanja koja se moraju rešavati u dugom vremenskom periodu, uporno i
strpljivo i to ne samo kroz ekonomski i tehnički razvoj zemlje već radom i zalaganjem
samih žena.
AFŽ Jugoslavije (i Vojvodine) je ukinut jer je po svedočenju Nede Božinović
„teško bilo prihvatiti ženu kao ravnopravnog čovjeka“. (Stojaković, 2002:48). Jedan
broj delegatkinja na poslednjem kongresu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije kao i jedan broj članica
AFŽ-a zaključke kongresa (pa i uvodni referat) razumeo je kao „degradiranje ženskih
organizacija i samih žena... a mnoge organizacije AFŽ-a reagovale su tako što su
prestale da rade...“ (Božinović 1996:170).
AFŽ Vojvodine je nastao kao organizacija žena koja radi za žene i za opšte dobro.
Samo u tim uslovima moglo se započeti oslobađanje žena i njen masovan ulazak
u društvenu, privrednu i političku stvarnost. Taj zamah, polet, energija i upornost
kojom su žene ženama u direktnim kontaktima prenosile znanja, iskustva, pružale
neposrednu podršku predstavlja, u našem istorijskom pamćenju, najefikasniji model
ženskog aktivizma koji je stigao u svako selo i grad Vojvodine.
35
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Arhivska građa:
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Muzej Vojvodine (Istorijski arhiv PK KPS)
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25. februar 1944. inv. br. 22911
Kontrolna pitanja na završnoj konferenciji kursa AFŽ, avgust 1943. inv. br. 18655.
Izveštaji o radu organizacija AFŽ-a u Vojvodini: CO AFŽ Subotica 1945–1946. inv.
br. 18648; CO AFŽ Alibunar, Pančevo (1945) inv. br. 12518; CO AFŽ Žitište (1944) inv.
br.2347; CO AFŽ Kikinda (1936–1948) inv. br.22095.
Rezolucije, referati, govori i diskusije
Rezolucije Drugog kongresa AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, Žena danas br. 52. Beograd 1948, 36.
Babović, Cana u diskusiji na VI plenumu CO AFŽ-a Jugoslavije. Koji su naši
zadaci, u: Žena danas br. 103. Beograd 1953, str. 3.
Cvetić, Bosa Položaj žena na selu, referat na IV kongresu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, u: Žena
danas br. 112. Beograd 1953, str. 21.
Tadić, Ruža Koji su naši zadaci,diskusija na VI Plenumu CO AFŽ-a Jugoslavije, u:
Žena danas br. 103. Beograd 1953, str. 3.
Tomšič, Vida Postoji li kod nas žensko pitanje u: Žena danas br. 99, Beograd 1952, str 1.
Tomšič, Vida Uloga žena u socijalističkoj izgradnji, govor održan povodom 8. marta
preko Radio Ljubljane u: Žena danas br. 93. Beograd 1952. str 1.
Tomšič, Vida u diskusiji na VI Plenumu CO AFŽ-a Jugoslavije. Koji su naši zadaci,
u: Žena danas br. 103. Beograd 1953, str. 3.
Tomšič, Vida Mesto i uloga ženskih organizacija u današnjoj etapi razvitka socijalističkih
društvenih odnosa, referat na IV kongresu AFŽ-a Jugoslavije u: Žena danas br. 112.
Beograd 1953, 10.
Novine i časopisi:
Slobodna Vojvodina, organ (Antifašističkog) Narodnog fronta za Vojvodinu, Novi
Sad (1946–1953)
Žena danas, glasilo AFŽ-a Jugoslavije Beograd (1945–1953)
Zora, glasilo AFŽ-a Srbije, Beograd (1947, 1949, 1951, 1953)
Glas žena, glasilo PO AFŽ Vojvodine, Novi Sad (1946–1953)
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39
IDA
Rođena sam 1913 godine u Pečuju to je danas Mađarska, a tad je Mađarska bila
deo Austro Ugarske monarhije. Rođena sam u radničkoj porodici otac mi je radio na
železnici, tako da je moje klasno poreklo radničko. Moja majka i otac nisu bili registrovani u građanskom braku jer je on bio jevrejin, a ona katolkinja i to porodično prokletstvo je važilo iako sam već imala i brata od 8 godina. Otac je ubrzo po mom rođenju
otišao u rat, tako da ja svoga oca nisam ni upoznala. Onda se moja majka pošto je ona
rođena u Subotici vratila kod svoje porodice. Moj brat i ja smo imali sreću da je naš
deda iako je bio radnik bio veoma napredan i jako mnogo je čitao. Ja sam imala 13
godina kad mi je dao da čitam Ilijadu, nije bilo bitno da li razumem ili ne, važna je
bila ljubav prema knjizi. Verovatno je i to što nam porodica nije bila suviše religiozna
uticalo na naše opredeljenje jer nas u crkvu nisu terali pustili su nam da slobodno
izaberemo svoj put.
U Vojvodini, je tada vladalo siromaštvo bilo je strahovito mnogo sirotinje i vladala je tuberkuloza. Inače kraljevina Jugoslavija je bila nerazvijena, samo jedan autoput smo imali, najveći deo stanovništva je bio nepismen. Oni delovi Kraljevine koji
su ranije bili pod Austrougarskom ,dakle Hrvatska, Slovenija i Vojvodina u odnosu
na ostale delove Jugoslavije su bile nešto razvijenije, a još za vreme Marije Terezije
je naređeno da svako selo mora imati školu. I jedino zato smo mi imali u svakom
selu po nekoliko pismenih. Ali i ovde nije bilo fabrika najveća fabrika imala je 50- 60
radnika a gazde su se htele brzo bogatiti jer je to bila mlada buržoazija tako da su i
primanja bila veoma niska. Moj život je bio što se tiče materijalne strane jako težak.
Još teži je postao kada mi je 1929. godine uhapšen brat. Ja sam morala zbog toga što
je on bio uhapšen prekinuti školovanje. Išla sam tada u drugi razred niže gimnazije i
morala sam je napustiti i od svoje 13 godine biti zrela da radim štogod se moglo raditi.
Izdržavala sam sebe, majku koja se razbolela posle hapšenja brata i bratu slala pare u
Sremsku Mitrovicu.
Tavankut je selo u okolini Subotice. Pre II svetskog rata tamo je bilo jako mnogo
biroša. Išla sam svake nedelje peške u Tavankut a uveče sam se vraćala, uvek peške.
Bila sam zadužena za rad sa omladinom, među kojima je bilo omladinki. Radili smo
u kružocima. Nosila sam im knjige za čitanje a oni su meni dali ogromnu lubenicu
da pokažu kolko me vole. Morala sam tu lubenicu da ostavim na prvom mestu gde
sam je mogla sakriti, jer nisam mogla da je nosim do Subotice. Omladina je bila dobro
organizovana, ne samo Tavankut nego u svim okolnim mestima: Morovica, Bačka
Topola, Čantavir i Ljutovo. Svi su bili dobro organizovani. Biroši i siromašni seljaci su
na dan velikog poljoprivrednog štrajka masovno sa motikom i lopatama na ramenu
dolazili peške na zbor. I uglavnom su žene išle napred. Recimo, iz Tavankuta su žene
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na zbor išle sa motikama i lopatama. Na ulazu u Suboticu, tamo gde je igralište, tu ih
je sašekao kordon žandara. Žene su sa lopatama i motikama razbile žandare i stigle
na mesto zbora gde je Matko Vuković držao veliki govor. Žene je predvodila Marga
Beretići.
Mi žene u sindikatu smo organizovale kuhinju za štrajkače, i to ne samo tada. Kad
god je bio štrajk u sindikatu organizovele smo kuhinju za štrajkače i njihove porodice
da ne bi gladovali. Hrana se nabavljala tako što su mlade devojke sa velikim korpama
išle na pijaci i tražile od prodavaca hranu. Najveći broj je dao. Jer, i to je bila sirotinja
koja je kupovala od seljaka, ili preprodavala, tako da su davali i uvek je bilo hrane.
Bilo je hrane uvek i za zatvorenike. Subotica je bila poznata po tome što su donosili
zatvorenike iz cele zemlje, čak i iz Zagreba i Beograda. Tada su žene u sindikatu iz
komisije za žene išle u posetu zatvorenicima i nosile hranu, uzimale veš, prale i nosile
natrag čist veš. U Subotici je bio jedan istražni sudija Ristić, Makedonac, veoma pošten,
čak su ga poslali i na razgovor u Beograd jer je davao komunistima u pritvoru napredne
knjige. A on njima kaže: Ja ne mogu njima dati Bibliju, jer oni to neće čitati već im dajem
knjige koje znam da će čitati. No, taj sudija je davao i dozvole da se posete komunisti koji
su donešeni recimo iz Beograda u Subotici. Ja sam imala zadatak da posetim Baruh
Rašelu koju tada nisam poznavala ali sam se prijavila kod sudije Ristića da mi da
dozvolu da je posetim. Rekla sam da mi je sestrična od ujaka ili ujne, kaže: Dobro. I
dao mi je. Dođem u posetu, stojim u krugu za zatvorenike a tamo su bile dve žene. Ne
znam koja je od njih Baruh Rašela. Sudija kaže: Dođi ovamo, evo ti sestrične. Eto i takve
doživljaje smo imali.
Sećam se porodice Đeri. Bila su tri mladića. Njihov otac je bio revolucionar i decu je
tako vaspitavao. Radio je u fabrici Ferum gde je 1933. istakao crvenu zastavu. Najstariji
sin, Đeri Franja likvidiran je u Dahau. Bio je član Partije, Uhapšen je 1941. i osuđen.
Bio je oženjen Jucom Đeri, svojom saradnicom. Ona je bila politirka. Nju su takođe
uhapsili, a bila je u drugom stanju. Toliko su je tukli da je pobacila. Posle rata i dalje je
bila aktivna.
Kćerka, Eržebet Đeri je bila udata za srednjeg brata Lukača. Ona je pre rata bila
član SKOJ-a. Organizovala je čitalačke grupe. Čitali su Antidiring i Babela. Njen muž je
sa dva brata, starijim i mlađim, bio uhapšen 1941. Stariji brat je imao porodicu, ženu
–Lukač Anu koja je takođe bila veoma aktivna u naprednom pokretu. Braća Lukač
su osuđeni 1941. Najstariji, Anin muž, je bio osuđen na smrt, a srednji na vremensku
kaznu a pošto je najstariji brat imao dete srednji brat je tražio da se kazne promene. Da
on ide na vešala, a stariji brat da dobije vremensku kaznu i to je učinjeno.
Morala sam savladati sve te prepreke da bi se mogla uključiti u pokret. Mene su
kasno primili u partiju jer sam 1936. otišla iz Vojvodine a morala sam proći probni staž
u Sloveniji. Tako da sam tek 1939. u januaru primljena u partiju.
Kada govorimo o položaju žena treba se vratiti u nazad. Poznato je da su žene u
vreme stare Jugoslavije bile neravnopravne, drugorazredne u odnosu na muškarce, da
su im postavljali staratelje kad bi muž ili otac umro. Nisu se mogle starati o sopstvenoj
deci. Inače, u ovoj bogatoj Vojvodini je bilo starhovito mnogo sirotinje i nezaposlenosti.
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Bilo je malo fabrika i te koje su bile imale su najviše pedest, šezdeset radnika. U nekima
su radile većinom žene, recimo u Hartmanki iz Subotice koja je izvozila živinu i perje.
Tamo su žene bile nemilosrdno izrabljivane i iskorišćavane, čak su i batine dobijale.
Pre II svetskog rata je bio ogroman broj seoske sirotinje i jako malo intelektualki jer
ženama, u suštini, školstvo nije bilo dostupno. Još su u Vojvodini, Hrvatskoj, Sloveniji
neke i dospele do srednje škole, ali imali smo krajeve u celoj Jugoslaviji posebno Bosna,
Makedonija, Kosovo, pa južna Srbija, gde žene nisu išle u školu. Znam da su na Kosovu
očevi tukli žensku decu da ne uče, da ne bi završavale razred, da bi padale. Postojalo je
jedno užasno shvatanje o ženama.
U Vojvodini, pored svog bogatstva, harala je tuberkuloza. Mi koji smo bili uključeni
u napredni, revolucionarni pokret, nismo imali zadatak samo da govorimo o potrebi
borbe sveukupnog naroda koji je bio potlačen, nego smo imali zadatak i zdravstvenog
prosvećivanja. Imali smo u svojim redovima i lekare koji su nama držali predavanja
o zdravstvenoj zaštiti, borbi protiv tuberkuloze, o borbi za normalan, zdravstveno
siguran porođaj, jer kod porođaja su žene masovno dobijale sepsu. Veliki broj žena je
rađao kod kuće, često i bez babice. To je privuklo veliki broj žena.
Ne samo u Vojvodini, već u celoj zemlji pokret žena za ravnopravnost bio je veoma
jak i to zahvaljujući Komunističkoj partiji Jugoslavije. Poznato mi je da su se prikupljali
potpisi za ravnopravnost žena, pre svega za pravo glasa žena.
Borba za ravnopravnost žena počela je daleko, daleko ranije, s obzirom da je žena
imala tako strašan, ponižavajući položaj. U mnogim kućama je bila nesreća kad bi
se rodila devojčica. Prevladavala su takva shvatanja. Zaostalost je bila velika kad je
u predratnoj Jugoslaviji preko 90% ljudi bilo nepismeno, kad smo imali svega jedan
autoput, onda se može zamisliti kakva je bila i zaostalost. Zato smo posle rata mnogo
radili na prosvećivanju žena. Formirali smo analfabetske tečajeve, čitalačke grupe, da
bi se žene opismenile.
Jugoslovenskim ženama niko nije poklonio ravnopravnost već su one svojim
učešćem u narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi, i to masovnim učešćem – sa oružjem u ruci,
izborile. One su bile uključene u sve oblike borbe za ravnopravnost, ali ne samo za
ravnopravnost žena već i radnika i seljaka koji su takođe bili izrabljivani. Oko 620
hiljada žena je aktivno učestvovalo u borbi, to znači i u gradovima, i moram da kažem
da je bilo daleko teže biti u gradovima nego u partizanskim jedinicama. Iskusila sam i
jedno i drugo i odahnula sam kada sam otišla u partizanske jedinice.
Bila sam u Sloveniji tokom II svetskog rata. U Ljubljani je tada bilo preko šest
stotine dece do dve, tri godine, čiji su roditelji morali da ih napuste, jer su Gestapo i
OVRA, italijanska obaveštajna služba, tragali za njima. Briga o deci je bila organizovana
akcija. I to su radile žene na čelu sa majkom književnika Ziherla. Ona je brinula o svoj
toj deci i nijedno dete nije bilo otkriveno. Ali moram reći da su morali biti premeštani
skoro svake nedelje u drugu porodicu. Zahvaljujući tome da je preko 90% Ljubljančana
bilo za narodnooslobodilačku borbu, to nije bio toliko težak zadatak.
Žene su bile herojke. Blizu Ljubljane, ima jedno brdašce, mislim da se zove sv.
Petar. Tu je bila jedna mala crkvica u kojem je bio jedan pop koji je organizovao
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mučilište dole u podrumu. Tu je 7000 ljudi pobijeno uz njegovu pomoć. I posle rata,
počelo mu je sudjenje, ali živih svedoka nije bilo. Javila se jedna žena. I kaže mu: Da
li me se sećaš? Ja sam bila pred porodjajem. Klečeći sam te molila da me pustiš da rodim pa
me posle streljaj. Ne, ti si naredio tom mladom belogardejcu da me strelja. On me je odveo i
reko – pucam u vazduh. Reći ću da sam te bacio u reku. Beži i skloni se da te uopšte niko ne
vidi jer ćemo i ti i ja stradati. I onda je ona pokazala jednu šumicu gde su bile mlade
jelke, a pod svakom jelkom je bio grob. Kad su otkopali grobove u svakom je bilo po
deset, petnaest ljudi zakopano. Bilo je i drugih primera herojstva žena. Sećam se Vide
Pregar radnice u jednoj ljubljanskoj fabrici suđa. Italijani su 1941. opkolili fabriku i
počeli pretres. U jedan pisaći sto podmetnuli su letak. Bilo je to radni sto jedne vrlo
mlade devojke, Vide Pregar. Italijani su skupili sve radnike i pred njima su osudili Vidu
Pregar na smrt. To se desilo ujutru. U podne su joj rekli da izda sve za koje zna da su u
Narodnooslobodilačkom pokretu. Ona je to odbila. Zatim su joj rekli da klekne i moli
ih za milost i da će je tada pomilovati i poslati u logor. Vida Pregar je odbila da klekne
i da ih moli. Posle podne su je izveli i stavili pred zid i pokušali da joj vežu oči. Nije
im dopustila. Ja se vas ne plašim da gledam u oči, a vi se plašite da mene gledate u oči. Jedan
vojnik je odbio da puca u Vidu Pregar. Stavili su ga pored nje i zajedno sreljali.
Sećam se i herojstva Zore Krdžalić-Zage. Njoj i njenom suprugu je javkljeno da
se hitno skolne jer ih je nemačka tajna policija otkrila i dolazi po njih. Zora Krdžalić
nije imala vremena da se spakuje već je samo javila rođaki da dođe po jednogodišnjeg
sina. U parizanima je kasnije saznala da je dete na sigurnom mestu. Mislim da je to
bilo veliko herojstvo. Bilo je mnogo primera herojstva žena tokom NOB-a. Kako ste vi
učestvovali u ratu?
Jako raznovrsno (smeh). Prvo sam učestvovala u Ljubljani kao jedan od organizatora omladine. Mi smo imali u Ljubljani svakodnevne akcije, dajući do znanja okupatoru da nije vlast. Svaki dan bi osvanule parole: „ živela KPJ“, „živeo Tito“ „Smrt
fašizmu sloboda narodu“ itd . Svako jutro su bile razasuti leci sa pozivom na ustanak
protiv okupatora. Imali smo organizovane već uoči rata ilegalne stanove, jer smo znali
da će neki morati ići u ilegalnost da nećemo moći ostati u svojim stanovima. Tako sam
ja stanovala kod jednog lekara zvao se Kuruh.
Jedno veče, policijski čas je bio u 8 sati svaki dan, ja sam stigla 15 do 8. on je rekao
ne znam šta da radimo Ida danas su se raspitivali kod mene šta si ko si. Ja sam rekao
da si dolazila kao bolesnica, da ja ne znam. Ali treba da znaš. Kažem: Ne ne ostajem ja
ni minuta. I sad to je bilo u Šiški a ja sam stanovala u cesti to preći za to kratko vreme
je bilo peške nemoguće. I sad ja idem i uvučem se u prvu zgradu na koju sam naišla
pod stepenice i čujem domara kako zaključava. I celu noć sam ja tamo provela i kad je
on otključavao ja pored njega izađem. Pa gde ste vi bili? I ja sad njemu ispričam da me
je uhvatio policijski čas pa mi je bilo neprijatno da me slučajno ne zaustave. što niste
pokucali na prva vrata kaže on svi bi vas primili. Ovo sam ispričala zato da vidite
kakva je bila Ljubljana u to ratno vreme.
U Ljubljani smo imali 500 dece od naših ilegalaca starosti od 2 do 4 godine. Bila
je jedna drugarica mi smo je svi zvali Majka Zigarlov, majka od njihovog književnika
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Zigarlova. Ona je vodila računa o tih 500 dece, ali su se ta deca morala premeštati
skoro svake nedelje u drugu porodicu da ih gestapo ne bi otkrio, jer je gestapo računao
ako uhvate decu onda će se roditelji sami predati. Zahvaljujući toj ženi Gestapo tokom
čitavog rata nije pronašao ni jedno dete toliko je bila dobro organizovana.
Jedan slučaj jedne naše divne omladinke. Bila je veoma lepa, zgodna i dobila je
zadatak da se upozna sa komandantom grada Ljubljane. Da ga izmami u Tivoli da bi ga
naši likvidirali. I ona se upoznala u baru sa njim on je pratio kući. Ona drugi dan kad
iziđe napolje a svi oko nje pljuju i viču za nju talijanska kurva. Možete misliti kako je
taj osećaj bio! I ona je to 3-4 dana radila i rekla drugovi ja dalje ne mogu. Sve me komšije
pljuju svi mi viču talijanska kurvo, neko ko me ne zna čak će me ubiti. Dajte meni pištolj
ja ću ga ubiti odvešću ga u Tivoli ali obezbedite da ja odmah mogu u partizane. I tako
je bilo ona ga je likvidirala u šumi Tivoli i odmah su je prebacili u partizane.
O narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi je dosta pisano. Reći ću samo da su žene
obezbeđivale sve što je potrebno partizanima: odeću, obuću, hranu, lekove, baze za
ilegalce. Posle oslobođenja čertdesetšeste sam se vratila u Vojvodinu, u Suboticu. Išla
sam da vidim šta se dešava sa mojom porodicom koja je ostala ovde. U Subotici su
bili moja majka, brat, snaha i njena ćerka. Moj prvi muž, Kovač Janoš, je poginuo u
poslednjim danima borbe za oslobođenje u Sloveniji. Bio je Vojvođanin, Mađar. Proveo
je četiri godine u zatvoru u Sremskoj Mitrovici kao komunista i četiri godine u ratu.
Poginuo je 2. aprila 1945. Došla sam da i njegovim roditeljima saopštim da nije više živ.
Sa nama je bio i Paško Romac, a išli smo kolima odavde iz Novog Sada. Kad smo došli
blizu Subotice, Miha Marinko mi je rekao: Jel` ti kuca srce?
Paško Romac je pitao: A zašto da joj kuca srce kod Subotice?
Ona je iz Subotice.
Šta, nije Slovenka?
Rekoh: Ne, nego Mađarica.
Nikad se nisam nacionalno izjašnjavala, jer meni je bio važan čovek, bez obzira
koje nacije i vere bio. I tako sam se ja, na zahtev iz Vojvodine vratila. Nisam radila na
liniji AFŽ-a, ali sam znala šta su radili.
Posle oslobođenja udala sam se za Filoksisa Kozmidisa, poverenika grčkih
partizana koji su bili smešteni u Bujkesu (mislim da to danas Gakovo). On je postao pravi
Novosađanjin, kao i njegovi sunarodnici u početcima nastanka grada. Sa njim imam dve
kćerke koje su zahvaljući svojim sposobnostima i socijalizmu postale doktori fizike.
Ne zna se šta je bilo teže. Boriti se za vreme rata s puškom u ruci, ili posle rata za
ravnopravnost, za shvatanje da žena treba da prodre u sve pore društva, da žene treba
da idu u školu, i to masovno, da joj se otvore svi prostori. Teško je bilo boriti se protiv
zaostale svesti i svatanja, to nije bilo jednostavno.
Žene su nosile feredže u Makedoniji, Bosni, na Kosovu. U Srbiji su mlade devojke
od dvanaest godina udavali. Roditelji bi zakazali svadbu, udali bi je kao devojčicu a
zatim su je u porodici koristili svi muškarci dok ne sazri.
Moralo je biti i zdravstvenog prosvećivanja, i osnovnog obrazovanja. Organizovali
su se kursevi za žene, da se opismene, organizovale su se ekipe – i to zahvaljujući AFŽ-u,
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ekipe lekara, prosvetnih radnika, raznih stručnjaka. Zatim se išlo od kuće do kuće i to u
Makedoniji, Bosni, pa i u Srbiji, jer žene nisu izlazile iz kuće. Učili su ih osnovnoj higijeni,
pravilnom načinu života, i da se skidaju feredže. To je bila jako velika borba a nju su
uglavnom nosile žene. Ne zaboravimo, ova zemlja je izišla iz rata, i sve zemlje koje su
izišle iz rata imale su glad, gladovalo se. U Jugoslaviji nije bilo gladnih, ni u najzabačenijim
krajevima. Nije bilo obilja, nije bilo dovoljno, ali nije bilo gladi zahvaljujući otkupu koji
se danas mnogo psuje, a ne zna se da je to bilo organizovano da ova zemlja i narod ne bi
gladovali. Nije bilo izobilja u Vojvodini i u krajevima koji proizvode, ali ni u Crnoj Gori,
Makedoniji nisu gladovali. I tu je AFŽ jako mnogo nosio na leđima. Najveća bitka se
vodila da ženska deca idu u školu. I to se budno, budno pratilo.
U predratnoj Jugoslaviji, žene koje su bile zaposlene, čak i intelektualke imale su
skoro pola plate od svojih kolega. Posle rata mi smo se zalagali da za isti rad svi isto
primaju, bez obzira na pol, bez obzira na nacionalnost, bez obzira na veru.
Nismo imali laka vremena. Imali smo 48-mu, kad su nam na granici bili ruski
vojnici. Onda je trebalo obezbeđivati vojsku, trebalo je ponovo brinuti o njima, da se
odbrani ova zemlja. Ja se ne slažem sa svim onim što se dešavalo na Golom otoku, za to
sam saznala tek sada, ali bez toga mi bi imali rusku okupaciju, kao što su imali Mađari,
kao što su imale istočne zemlje, kao Poljska i druge. Mi smo birali slobodu, jer smo se
za nju sami izborili, to nam nisu Rusi doneli. Bilo je grešaka, ali su one bile neminovne.
Nema, i nije bilo savršenog ljudskog društva, ali u socijalizmu se bar postiglo to da je
brisana vekovna nepravda prema ženama.
U Budimpešti je bio održan jedan okrugli sto. Šteta što nije održan i ovde. Tema je
bila - kad je počela neravnopravnost žena. I jedna žena je rekla da je počelo od Biblije.
Rečeno je da je bog ženu stvorio od rebra i da je prvi greh napravila Eva, rečeno je da
se beži iz Sodome i Gomore i da se niko ne okreće ali okrenula se žena i postala kip od
soli. Tu je počela neravnopravnost, a najveća neravnopravnost je počela sa privatnom
svojinom. Kad je gospodar hteo da ima sigurnog naslednika. I ja mislim da smo mi
danas otišli korak nazad, iako vidim da neke stranke nešto pokušavaju i pojavljuju se
neke žene, i pametne žene moram reć. Ali, nema ih na najistaknutijim mestima. Za to
smo se i mi morale boriti.
Posle rata smo imali jako mali broj intelektualki. Imali smo jedan dobar broj radnica
koje su bile obrazovane, jer je bilo naređenje iz Partije da se obrazujemo. Ja verujem da
sam pročitala mnogo više nego mnogi fakultetski obrazovanih ljudi, ali ne samo ja.
Čitali smo Dostojevskog i Tolstoja i Zolu... Bilo je obrazovanih žena, bilo je borbe da žene
više dođu do izražaja, ali je često bilo teško boriti se protiv zaostalih svatanja.
Bila sam jednom predsednik Komisije za pomilovanje Predsedništva Jugoslavije.
Najveći broj osuđenika, posebno Albanaca, bili su silovatelji žena. Bila je i jedna žena
osuđena na 20 godina robije jer je ubila muža, tasta i dva muževljeva brata. Imala je
četrnaest godina kad su je takoreći prodali u muževljevu kuću. I kad je dozrela bilo joj
je dosta jer je prvo počeo tast da živi sa njom, pa braća, pa muž. Ona je jednog dana
uzela pušku, pobila ih je i ranila svekrvu jer je i ona znala za to. Ja sam tada rekla da
bih je momentalno pustila, jer ako je prema nekome izvršen zločin, izvršen je prema
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njoj. Prvo su joj umanjili kaznu za pet godina, pa posle su opet umanjili. Nije odležala
mnogo, ali hoću da kažem kako je bilo teško boriti se protiv prave zaostalosti. Kad je
meni jedan drug rekao: Pa zašto ti tolko strogo gledaš na ta silovanja? Ajde rekao je ne mora
baš sve u braku da bude. Odgovorila sam: Imaš li ti ćerku, šta bi ti rekao da sad tvoju ćerku
neko siluje? Onda je zaćutao. Mislim da takih shvatanja o ženi i sada još ima mnogo, a
posebno što se danas društvo nalazi u jednom takvom periodu kad se najmanje vodi
briga o tome kakav je položaj žena i majki. Jer, kad žene imaju loš položaj mislim da
ispaštaju deca i celokupno društvo koje zaostaje i ne može napredovati ako polovina
stanovništva nije zaštićena.
Posle oslobođenja žene su bile veoma, veoma spremne, a želele su da uče. Bio je
i drugi položaj žena jer su bile potpuno ravnopravne u svemu, ali trebalo je mnogo
raditi da postanu toga svesne i da i u porodici izbore pravo na drugačiji život. Bilo
je i teško jer zaostalost nije bilo lako savladati. Zvali smo lekare da drže predavanje
ženama, organizovali smo krojačke kurseve, da žene nauče da same sebi nešto sašiju,
učile su da kuvaju... Nismo vodili neku visoku politiku, ali jasno, govorili smo da
žena sve to može ostvariti, mora da se boriti. Pre rata smo bili protiv feministkinja
jer smo smatrali da izolovani ženski pokret ne može ništa postići. Samo ujedinjene
sa svima potlačenima, sa svima koji su iskorišćavani, sa svima koji žive u bedi, samo
organizovano postavljajući i pitanje ravnopravnosti žena kao problem može se delovati
i postići rezultat. Feministkinje su smatrale da žene treba da se bore protiv muškaraca,
jer ih oni tlače. To nije bila i naša borba. Žene nikad, nikad ne bi postigle ravnopravnost
da su se na takav način borile. Zato su se uključivale u Antifašistički front žena i u
antifašističku borbu. Preuzele su na sebe brigu o štrajkačima. Štrajkovali svi ne samo
žene. One su išle da organizuju radnike i radnice u fabrikama. Ako hoćemo da budemo
iskreni danas su žene ponovo diskriminisane. One se prve otpuštaju sa posla, mnogo
teže se zapošljavaju bez obzira na školsku spremu. Svi govore o beloj kugi, ali kako
da žena rodi jer kad hoće da se zaposli prvo je pitaju da li je trudna i ako jeste ne
zapošljavaju je. Dešava se da otpuštaju trudnice sa posla i one nigde ne mogu da nađu
zaštitu. Praktično ukinuti su pozitivni zakonski propisi koji su štitili majku i dete i koji
su postojali u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji. Žene su imale jednaka prava kao i muškarci
i posebnu zaštitu za majku i dete. Bilo je puno dečjih jasli obdaništa, a organizovana
su i posebna dečja odmarališta (na moru i planinama). Sva su deca, bez obzira na
materijalni položaj roditelja, mogla da idu i išla su u ta odmarališta. Bila je organizovana
i društvena ishrana u skoro svim fabrikama, odakle su žene mogle da nose hranu kući.
Posebno se može govoriti o zdravstvenoj zaštiti žena. U socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji je bilo
organizovano da žene najmanje svakih šest meseci idu na preventivne preglede za
rano otkrivanje raka. Tu je bila i posebna zaštita trudnica. One su koristile sva prava iz
radnog odnosa i za vreme trudnoće i posle porođaja do navršene godine dana deteta,
pa i duže ukoliko su postojali medicinski razlozi za to.
Žene koje su bile zaposlene, koje su bile kvalifikovane, isto su tako bile sposobne
kao što su bili i muškarci. To da su žene i njihov rad manje vredani, to je još ostatak
iz prošlosti, kad je ženski rad upola plaćan od muškog. I tu se morala voditi borba
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i vodila se borba i u Partiji i u Skupštini. Ja sam recimo, postala član Predsedništva
Jugoslavije, to nije mali položaj. Ali vidite, tamo gde je sredina i pre rata bila razvijenija,
recimo u Sloveniji, tamo je daleko više žena bilo i na visokim položajima, pa su se i
one morale boriti, dokazivati. Dakle, žena se morala daleko više dokazivati u svom
radu, bez obzira, bila za razbojem, bila sudija, bila lekar, bila politički radnik, morala
se daleko više dokazivati.
Nije lako menjati zaostalu svest. Nije se to moglo preko noći. Bez obzira što je tolko
žena učestvovalo u NOB-i, i to puškom u ruci.
Promene u privredi su počele 50-te ali se ipak uspelo da se ostvari da se žene
ne otpuštaju, da se uvede godinu dana plaćenog porođajnog odsustva, da se održe
i otvaraju nove dečje ustanove, nove jaslice, nova obdaništa, nova zabavišta. Tada je
počela da funkcioniše i društvena ishrana po fabrikama, gde su žene mogle uzimati
hranu i nositi kući.
Nema za svagda dobijenih pozicija za žene. Postoje razlike i u odnosu na sistem.
Ipak je kod nas drugačiji položaj žene nego recimo u Africi, drugačiji položaj nego
što je u Iraku, pogotovo sad Iraku. Kad sam ja bila u Egiptu, kao član naše delegacije,
videla sam da su nesvrstani bili zaslužni što su u Egiptu su bile skinute feredže. Žene
su se normalno, lepo oblačile, u Iraku isto. Sve škole su bile otvorene za žene, no oni su
imali mnogo teže muke za borbu za ravnopravnost. Dekret Naserov nije bio dovoljan.
Dekreti i zakoni nisu dovoljni u borbi za ravnopravnost niti su stvoritli ravnopravnost.
Za to se mora boriti. Kad je Naser umro, vratili su se unazad dvesta godina. Žene su
opet, na žalost, u tim feredžama, i u toj crnoj odeći.
Bila je interesantna Indija. Tamo je Indira Gandi bila predednik. Bila je vanredno
pametan čovek i vanredno ugledan. Ali vidite šta religije rade. Pogledajte sad šta se
dešava u Iraku. Isti narod, suniti i šiiti a Amerikanci su uspeli da ih zavade međusobno.
Možete misliti šta sve žene trpe. Ipak, žena ne može i ne sme ostati pasivna jer ako
ostane pasivna vratićemo se pedeset, šezdeset, sto godina u nazad.
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ETA
Ja sam dr Eta Najfeld, rođena 1916. u Slavonskom Brodu, od oca trgovca, i provela
sam detinjstvo u Slavonskom Brodu. Nakon mature, upisala sam Medicinski fakultet
u Zagrebu, koji nisam uspela da završim jer sam bila Jevrejka, a oni u to vreme nisu
više dozvoljavali Jevrejima da završe studije. Ostala su mi svega dva ispita do početka rata. Međutim, organizovana je akcija suzbijanja endemskog sifilisa u Bosni, koja
je imala propagandni zadatak da se prikaže ustaška Hrvatska kao dobročinitelj koji
se brine za zdravlje „hrvatskog cvijeća“. Prijavila sam se zajedno sa mužem i mi smo
otišli u Bosnu. Za ovaj angažman smo dobili papir u kom se tvrdilo da nas štiti od
odvođenja u logore, što nije bilo ispoštovano, jer su neki od naših kolega lekara ipak
odvedeni u ustaške logore. Kasnije, gotovo svi od nas 80 lekara smo se priključili
Narodnooslobodilačkoj borbi. Za nas je NOB bila jedina mogućnost da se spasimo
logora, jer smo dobro znali ideološki karakter tog ustanka i znali smo da je je to prilika
da se borimo protiv zajedničkog neprijatelja – fašizma. Mi nismo isprva imali prilike
da se priključimo partizanskom pokretu, iz razloga što sam ja imala malo dete i majku
koju sam uspela da izvučem iz Đakovačkog logora, upravo na osnovu tog papira koji
smo dobili od ustaša. Ali smo muž i ja sarađivali sa partizanima u ulozi informatora o
kretnjama ustaške i nemačke vojske, tako da su ti podaci partizanima bili dragoceni, a
moj muž je čak uspevao da šalje i lekove koje smo imali na raspolaganju partizanskim
jedinicama.
Ta saradnja je počela 1943. godine. I ranije smo slali lekove, i podržavali borbu na
druge načine, ali taj datum uzimamo kao početak aktivnog pristupanja borbi. Kada
su nam prijatelji javili da nam je život u opasnosti i da moramo da se maknemo, otišli
smo dobrovoljno u NOP. Istog dana sam ja rodila svog sina u Podgrmeču. Moj muž
je postao upravnik bolnice 39. krajiške divizije, a ja sam sarađivala kao lekar na zaraznom odeljenju, iako su mi falila dva ispita do diplome. Boravak u partizanima je za
mene bio izuzetno inspirativan, iz razloga što sam održavala kurseve prve pomoći
i kurseve za opismenjavanje nepismenih bosanskih seljanki koje su se priključile
NOP-u. Položaj žena u partizanima je bio izuzetno ravnopravan sa svim muškarcima i nije postojala nikakva razlika. Bilo je mnoštvo žena u borbenim jedinicama, ali
žene su uglavnom radile kao telefonistkinje, agenti, farmaceuti, pomoćnici u sanitetu,
propagandistkinje, i nisu bile pošteđivane ni u kom pogledu. Možda su ih drugovi
malo pazili i držali podalje od borbenih jedinica, ali to je bilo isključivo zbog poštede
od velikog napora koji su prvi borbeni redovi iziskivali, a nikako zbog patrijarhalnog
odnosa među rodovima.
Žena jeste bilo manje u borbenim jedinicama, ali to ne znači da nas nije bilo.
Mi smo pokrivale druge sektore koji su bili od izuzetnog značaja za funkcionisanje
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NOP-a, možda čak i više od direktnog nošenja puške. Ja moram da kažem da sam bila
u specifičnom položaju u odnosu na ostale, možda i privilegovanom, sa jedne strane,
jer sam imala malo dete, sa druge strane, što sam bila Jevrejka. Rukovodioci su znali
da nijedan Jevrejin ne može da sarađuje sa okupatorom, što me je dovelo u situaciju
da nikad ne dođem na listu sumnjivih. Radilo se o sistemu koji je fizički hteo da nas
uništi, tako da nije bilo ni govora da ijedan Jevrej sarađuje sa Nemcima ili domaćim
izdajnicima. U samom partizanskom pokretu nikad nisam osetila bilo kakvu vrstu
predrasuda i nejednakosti sa ostalima, bio to seksizam ili antisemitizam. Osećala sam
se potpuno ravnopravna i radila srcem i dušom za taj pokret. Ja sam i ranije pripadala
jednoj studentskoj grupaciji, levo orijentisanih studenata ali nisam bila u KPJ niti u
SKOJ-u. Ne mogu da kažem da sam bila baš komunistkinja, ali sam definitivno verovala u dosta komunističkih principa, kao što je jedno društvo u kome niko nikog ne
ugrožava zbog nacionalnog, verskog ili klasnog porekla.
Ne sećam nekih specijalnih tegoba, osim onih tegoba koje smo svi imali, a to su
bili loša ishrana i nemogućnost održavanja lične higijene. Meni je taj higijenski aspekt
posebno teško pao, jer sam odmah po stupanju u partizane dobila vaške, na koje do
tad baš i nisam navikla. Ali je to bilo nešto što su svi imali, a kad svi imate iste poteškoće, onda to nekako lakše pada svima. Ne bih mogla govoriti o tome da sam imala neka
naročite poteškoće, osim hrane, ali i tu sam imala neku vrstu privilegije, jer sam imala
malo dete, tako da sam uvek dobijala neki dodatak. Ako ga je bilo, naravno. Nisam bila
izolovana. Šta god su imali drugi imala sam i ja, možda i više, zbog deteta.
Najlepša scena meni je bila kad sam se porodila u sobi u kojoj je spavalo desetak
ljudi. Oni su bili toliko tihi, nisu ni reč govorili a ja sam se porađala. Ujutro sam zatekla
moje dete sa vaškom na glavi. Premeštali smo se na volovskim kolima, jer smo bili u
blizini neprijateljskih linija. I on je dobio sunčanicu, jer je sunce jako bilo. Jovan Bilbija,
koji je pratio ta kola, pita mene kako će se zvati maleni. Ja kažem da ne znam, ali će
biti na „i“ jer se moja ćerka, koja je poginula pre mesec dana zvala na „i“ i imala je
rusko ime. I kažem mu ja, neka se on zove Igor. A on ode do prvog stabla, otkine jednu
granu, zatakne iza maloga i kaže: „Evo ti hlada, to ti daje tvoj kum, Jova Bilbija.“
Muško-ženski odnosi su bili jako interesantni, jer se vodilo računa da ipak ne
dođe do nekih seksualnih „izleta“. A razlozi za to su bili vrlo praktične prirode – bilo
je, na primer, nemoguće vršiti abortuse u toj situaciji, a i zbog opšteg morala se takvi
odnosi nisu tolerisali. Međutim, to nije bilo izričito zabranjeno, niti su ljudi koji su
se zavoleli u toj situaciji imali bilo kakve probleme represivne prirode zbog svoje
ljubavi, već se više išlo na propagandu i ukazivanje ljudima na činjenicu da baš i nije
momenat za takve odnose. Međutim, mora se priznati da je bilo nekih vidljivih simpatija i ljubavi koje su se tu dogodile, što je i normalno, jer, ljudi smo, na kraju krajeva.
Međutim, vodilo se računa o tome, da ne bi došlo do nekog stanja koje se ne bi moglo
kontrolisati.
Ne mogu ni da se setim svog slobodnog vremena, niti da li sam ga uopšte imala.
Ja sam radila u bolnici i imala malo dete. A između obaveza sam držala kurseve koje
ne znam da li bih mogla da ocenim kao rad ili moje lično zadovoljstvo. Morate da
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razumete nešto. Ja sam bila u Bosni. Bosanski seljak je digao ustanak, nakon hrvatske
okupacije Bosne, zbog očajnog položaja u kome se našao, jer su bosanski Srbi i ostali
nehrvati odvođeni u logore, ubijani i masakrirani bez objašnjenja i razloga. Taj nepismeni srpski seljak koji je kukom i motikom dizao ustanak bio je do te mere neupućen
i neobrazovan da je morao od početka da se obrazuje i uzdiže. I u tome je vrednost
Narodnooslobodilačke borbe. Njima su organizovani kursevi za opismenjavanje, kursevi za žene medicinske sestre, kursevi kuvanja... uvek je bilo posla. Tako da nikad
praktično nije bilo vremena za opuštanje, jer čak i kad nije bilo posla, uvek sam sretala
nekoga sa kim je bilo neophodno porazgovarati, uputiti ga, pomoći mu. Ako se ičega
dobro sećam, sećam se nepismene seljanke Dragice, koja je prala gnojave zavoje. Ona
je napravila sebi vatru i kantu, gde je kuvala vodu da bi iskuvavala zavoje. Ali prethodno ih je sve oprala u ledenom potoku. Kada sam je pitala: „Dragičice, šta to radiš?“,
odgovorila mi je: „Eto vidiš, perem“, i pokazala mi plave, otečene ruke. Rekla sam joj
da stane, da se odmori, na šta mi je ona odgovorila: „Imam još puno zavoja.“ Te plave
otečene ruke mi i dalje dolaze u sećanje, i sada, 65 godina po završetku rata. Ona jednostavno, ništa nije znala i nikako nije mogla da pomogne drugovima i drugaricama
osim pranjem tih prljavih, gnojavih zavoja, i to je radila do iscrpljenja. Takvih do suza
dirljivih situacija mogu da vam ispričam mali milion. Sećam se kuvarice Mare, koja
je kuvala lošu hranu, malo zbog toga jer sastojaka nije bilo, a malo više zbog toga što
prosto nije znala da kuva, ali uveče, kad raspali kozaračko kolo, nigde joj nijedne nije
bilo ravne. Čak je i ranjenike podizala na noge da igraju. Takvih sećanja ima beskonačno i moram da odam dužno poštovanje tim nepismenim srpskim seljankama koje
su mnogo, mnogo učinile za našu stvar. Ja sam držala kurseve o higijeni – pojma nisu
imale jadnice, ni kako, ni zašto treba sterilisati zavoje, i tako su željno iščekivale naše
priče, da je prosto dirljivo. Mi smo na tim kursevima jednostavno sedeli u krugu, kako
je ko stigao, bez hijerarhijske podele. One su neprestano pitale, željne saznanja, a ja
sam odgovarala. Upravo iz razloga što sam se prema njima postavljala kao jednaka,
koja sticajem okolnosti možda malo više ima znanja, one se nisu ustručavale da pitaju.
Ne mogu to da vam na pravi načim dočaram kako je to izgledalo. To nije bila nastava,
kao ona koju sam vodila posle rata, kad sam vodila postdiplomsku nastavu za lekare
specijaliste. To je nije bilo predavanje, već druženje, razgovor, radi opšteg dobra i znanja cele jedinice. Da sam se postavila kao predavač, to ni bi tako izgledalo niti bi bio
upola uspešno kao što je, mora se priznati, bilo.
Naši drugovi su na svaki način podržavali naše male ženske kurseve.
Podrazumevalo se da nam drugovi pomažu i daju savete, i nikakvog odboja nisu
imali, bože sačuvaj. U partizanima se podrazumevalo da je svaki skup namenjen
nekakvom uzdizanju, vaspitnom, obrazovnom, nebitno kakvom, važno je bilo da je
u pitanju jedan konstantan progres. Svaki momenat se koristio za podizanje nivoa
svesti o potrebi borbe i upućivanju pojedinca da je ta borba nužno potrebna i da smo
svi jednaki. Mislim da je to veličina te borbe. Naravno da je bilo izuzetaka, i grešaka,
ali u 99% slučajeva je ta partizanska borba bila veličanstvena, i u porobljenoj Evropi
ne postoji veći ustanak protiv nacizma nego što je to bio jugoslovenski ustanak. To
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se mora glasno kazati. To je zasluga našeg naroda, jer je bio na pravoj strani i što se
svim srcem i raspoloživim sredstvima borio protiv fašističkog okupatora. Ne postoji
ništa veličanstvenije, po mojoj proceni. Na primer, ustanak u Poljskoj, to je bila armija
„Krajova“, gde su vladale vrlo nezdrave prilike. On je bio katastrofalan, jer su mnoge
Jevreje, čak španske borce, ponižavali i streljali, što nije bio slučaj u našoj borbi.
Duboko sam zahvalna toj borbi, jer sam ostala živa. Da nije bilo NOB-a, sigurno ne
bih bila živa.
Zagreb nas je dočekao zatvorenih prozora, sa drvenim žaluzinama, zatvorenim
vratima, na ulici nikoga. A kad se setim dana kada su Nemci i ustaše ulazili u Zagreb,
i mi se zatekli na ćošku Draškovićeve i Jurišićeve ulice, kad je publika bacala i cveće
i bombone i pomorandže. Razlika je bila ogromna. I nakon određenog vremena kad
smo stigli u Zagreb, ja sam se demobilisala i rešila da ne mogu ostati u Zagrebu, da
moram da krenem za Beograd, da me ništa više ne podseća na ono što sam doživela. I
ceo svoj radni vek provela sam u Higijenskom zavodu, na istoj stolici do penzionisanja
1973. godine.
Vrlo sam se brzo navikla na uslove mira. Smatrala sam da treba da živim, jer
imam dete, jer imam muža, kojega sam beskrajno volela i koji mi je spasao život. Da
treba da radim. Nisam imala vremena ni za kakve posttraumatske stresove. Moralo
se raditi i živeti.
Objektivno moram da kažem, da poštujem Nemce zbog njihove marljivosti i rada.
Da su nakon svega toga što su izgubili rat, uspeli da postanu prava sila. Međutim, ako
ikako mogu ja izbegavam da putujem preko Nemačke, da imam bilo kakav kontakt sa
Nemcima. Zaboraviti nikada, oprostiti nikada.
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DANICA
Ja sam Pavlović Bulat Danica. Rođena sam u Kirinu, općina Brgin Most na
Kordunu. Ja sam išla u osnovnu školu u Kirinu, imali smo i popa Stanka Kangrgu
i učitelja Dmitra Mitića. Dobri ljudi a mi dječica dobra, slušali su oni nas a i mi njih.
Išlo je kako treba. Negde ja još imam spisak učenika. Pita učiteljica u prvom razredu:
ko se javlja, ko zna. Odmah Danica Bulat. Onda neko drugi nastavlja. Eto tako su se
dječica učila. Ja isto mislim da se sada i bolje uče, jer uče strani jezik, a mi smo samo
srpskohrvatski.
Prije rata sam radila ručne radove. Sve ručne radove što je trebalo ja sam radila, to
je bilo za pohvaliti. A kad sam dobila šivaću mašinu, onda sam nastavila sa šivaćom
mašinom. Još meni tata veli zapiši, a ja velim – ja to sve pamtim. Bila sam angažovana
sa omladinom, sa tom dječicom.
Moj tata je bio prvi angažovan u ratu i bio je Branko Žutić u istom selu. Oni su
prvi počeli, pa onda sva omladiina koja je bila u tom raspoloženju se priključila. Tako
sam se i ja priključila. Pošto sam se odmah priključila, zato i jesam nosilac spomenice.
Ja sam ratni vojni invalid. To je bilo četrdeset druge godine, i onda tako dalje četrdeset
treće, četvrte, ali prošla sam i period kada je bilo puno tifusa, puno bolesti. Ja sam sa
dugačkom kosom došla u Zagreb. Nisam se dala ošišati i nisam htjela obući hlače. Bilo
me je sramota, onda je to bilo sramota.
Većina djevojaka se priključila partizanima iz moje okoline. U stvari priključili su
se meni. I ja njih vodila, one su išle. Ja sam išla i na kurs u Gornji Budački. Bila sam na
partijskom kursu, bila sam u Topuskom na zasjedanju. A organizovala sam i omladinu. Išli smo lijepo, onako, nije bilo ni svađe ni tuče.
Druge devojke, drugarice su isto radile ručne radove. Priključile su se NOB i išle
su na partijske sastanke. Kao prvo je bilo da se ide na sastanak omladine koja poziva na sastanak. Dođe na sastanak i sasluša šta se to dešava. Zbog čega se sastajalo?
Sastajalo se da pomažemo narodnooslobodilačku borbu. Pored radova, mi smo i skupljale hranu za partizane i nosili na front i onda se uključili u 3. četu gdje je moj muž
bio komandir.
Moj zadatak u samim partizanima, u prvi momentima bila je hrana. A u drugim
momentima da opismenim onog koji nije bio pismen. Jer ja sam bila pismena bolje
od ostalih. Moj tata je bio priodbornik i on je to tako organizirao zajedno sa Brankom
Žutićem iz našeg sela. Kad ja sad o tome razmišljam, to je sve za pohvaliti. Nije bilo
svađe i mržnje.
Ja sam radila i sa jednima i drugima. Priključili su se i omladinci i omladinke.
Druge devojke su isto radile ručni rad i čuvale stoku i naučiti se čitati i pisati. To je bio
glavni zadatak. A u borbi, kada su krenule, bilo je onih koje su poginule na Sutjesci,
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koje su krenule odmah. A bilo je onih koje su kružile po okolnim mestima u bližim
sredinama Vrgin Most, Karlovac, Topusko... Ja sam neko vreme bila u Karlovcu u
odboru. Tako sam malo proširila svoje rukovođenje po Kordunu.
Mladima je život u partizanima bio jako ljep, i jako veselo. Nije bilo tužno, bilo je
onoga da je neko poginuo, neko od tifusa umro, i slično. Ali uglavnom je bilo u raspoloženju za pokret. Slobodno vreme sam provodila u ručnom radu. Sve što je trebalo
ja sam naučila. Da li je to za ono vrijeme bilo bolje od ostalih? Neko je teže malo učio,
jedna curica je na primer bolje pjevala od mene. Pjevala da se sve ori, a ja malo tiše, ja
ne možem onako.
Kad je nastao tifus pa onda uši... ja se nisam ošišala dok nisam došla u Zagreb.
Ali meni nikada nije bilo da uši idu na kosu. Prala sam i češljala, nisam dozvolila da
mi dođu uši na kosu.
U borbi je odnos između muškaraca i žena bio uglavnom dobar. Ako neko nosi
pušku, onda je to borac sa puškom, a ako ne nosi pušku, onda je politički radnik. Ja
nisam bila nosila pušku, ja sam bila politički radnik. Sve što je trebalo pročitati, napisati, to sam ja radila. Bila sam i u 3. četi i u 4. bataljonu, ali nisam nosila pušku. U 3.
četi sam bila dok je muž bio, onda je on otišao na Žumbreg. Ja sam tražila samo da ga
posetim i ništa drugo.
Muža sam upoznala kada je on bio u Žumbregu, a ja sam bila na terenu politička
radnica. I kada se on vratio u Žumbreg onda je nosio u Glavni štab, ono što su tamo
zarobili. Onda on sam jednom desetoricom ide na Žumbreg, tako smo se našli... Onda
smo se odmah oženili. Ja sam došla s njime do njegove kuće. I komšinica zove Tešinu
majku, da se Teša oženio. Jao, ona veli, u ratu. Pa sad se niko nije oženio, nego samo
moj Tešo. I nije se oženio kod svoje kuće, nego u selu otkud je moja majka. Tu smo se
oženili, i otišli njegovoj kući, on se odmah nakon otišao prijaviti na svoju dužnost, a
ja isto tako na svoju dužnost. Uglavnom smo bili razdvojeni tokom rata, ali puno puta
smo pisali jedno drugom, sastajali se. I kad je doša’ u Sisak, on je doša’ poslovno. A ja
sam prešla sa dva vojnika koja su isto išla poslovno. On izvršio posao i pleše u jednoj
kućici i ja odmah ulazim unutra, on skida kapu sa mene i pliješemo kao da smo to
radili ne znam koliko puta. Jedna ženica veli vidi se da su završili tečaj. Nismo, nego
to ide tako. Plijes ide dobro bez tečaja. S vrijeme na vrijeme smo se vidili, al’ se nikad
nismo zaboravili.
Najteže u ratu mi je bilo što sam bila gladna. Najviše sam bila gladna kad je bio
tifus. Nisam se smjela svratiti u ničiju kuću da bih jela, jer dobiću tifus. I svoj nožić i
kašiku i sad imam. Uvijek sam nosila tu kašiku kad mi treba ići da jedem negde. Onda
uzmem svoju kašiku a ne onu koju je neko već služio pa ću dobiti i ja tifus. Tako sam
prošla i nisam imala ni tifus ni uši. Prošla sam kroz rat malo laganije, nego neko ko
je imao tifus. Kao jedna naša drugarica, tu ona živi u Beogradu. Ona nikako ne može
ovako normalno sjesti, kako treba sjesti. Ali evo živa je i dan-danas a imala je tifus.
Kad je rat završen, ja sam već bila u Zavnohu na zasjedanju. I bila sam onda već
povezana sa rukovodstvom u Hrvatskoj. Tako me je i zateklo da sam bila na sastanku
u Zavnohu. Kao pismenija ženica, a to je bila zasluga moga tate, onda sam išla dalje do
53
Budačkog i tako sve po redu. Pjesma na sve strane! Kao kada se skoro neki oženio iz
mog sela, svi su išli da vide kako je to, da se ne umire samo nego da se neki i oženio.
Nakon završetka rata sam ostala u Hrvatskoj, malo u Zagrebu a onda sam došla ovde
u Beograd jer je moj muž došao u Glavni štab. Dobili smo stan u Dušanovoj 34, na
prvom spratu i tu smo stanovali dosta dugo.
Nije mi bilo teško da se naviknem na život u Beogradu poslije rata. Ja sam bila
u Čika Ljubinoj ulici, tu je bio Odbor, Narodnooslobodilački odbor a to se zvalo
rejon. Jedna Zrinka bila je rukovodilac toga odbora, i ja sam tu radila a moj muž u
Generalštabu. I išlo je to dosta dobro. Bilo je i smiješnih stvari i tužnih stvari, sve evo
do sada. Sad su godine pritisle ali idemo dalje.
Bolje je za ove velike sile da se svađaju, samo neka se ne tuku. Ne valja ni da se
svađaju, ali samo da se ne čuje puška, da se ne ubijaju. Ako im je stalo do toga, ali bolje
je nego da se puca, da jedna drugoga ubija. To niukom slučaju. Jedan puni džepove i
hvali se koliko ima novaca a drugi je gladan. Ali i ovaj će valjda nešto zaraditi pa će se
nahraniti. Bila sam na nekoj sahrani, bilo je jako teško. Došao je jedan čovek, doneo je
jedan cvijetić zamotan u novine. On ne može kupiti, ja sam kupila buket cvijeća i ovaj
što je mene vozio. A onaj što nema, došao je sa čime? To je to.
Nekome nije pravo, pa uvijek kritikuje. A neko pristaje na to. Ja ne mogu nikoga
kriviti, moje godine nisu za to, ali ostajem za ono za šta sam bila, za šta sam se borila.
Ostalo mi je jako mnogo toga u sećanju po ljudima. Bilo je jako dobrih ljudi koji su mi ostali
u sećanju kao takvi. A bilo je isto tako onih koji nisu pristali na ono što ja želim. Ja kad sam došla
u Gornji Budački, gde sam počela rat, u Odbor žena. A ide odozdo pjevački hor i dogovaraju
se: hoće ljepši šešir, hoće ovo, hoće ono. A prijedsednik stoji gore i čeka da se oni dole slože i da
pjevaju. Kad su se složili i gore počeli pjevati, a onda ovaj gore što čeka da ih pozdravi kaže: šta
ovi ovako polako, šta se dogovaraju?
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55
JELENA
Rođena sam 1921, zovem se Aralica djevojačko. A udato Kadenić. Rođena sam u
jednom selu u opštini Vrgin Most. Odnosno bila je naša opština Bović pre rata a uglavnom je šire Vrgin mostu pripadalo. Pre rata sam se bavila poljoprivredom. Odnosno
majka sa nas dvoje bavila se poljoprivredom, drugo nije bilo. Kod nas industrije nije
bilo ništa.
Nisam bila uključena u pokret pre rat, ali sam volela da čitam i družila sam se
sa naprednima mladim ljudima. Kod nas je bilo dosta, baš dosta siromašne dece koja
su išla na školovanje. Da na neki način nađu posao i da se obezbede. I sa njima sa se
družila. Tu je bilo i naprednih Nikola Mraović Ćurćija. Moj komšija prvi je bio napredan i sa njim sam se dosta družila i čitala sam stvari. Onda moja sestra, koja je išla u
gimnaziju, ja sam njene udzbenike sve čitala. Čuvajući krave, čitala sam udzbenike
njene. Onda porodica Bulat iz Vrgin mosta, koja je čitava bila u pokretu. Oni su često
dolazili tu kod nas i oni su sa nama omladinom...Nije to bio neki organizovani rad, ali
s vremena na vreme smo imali razne skupove i unosili su nešto što je nas interesovalo. Kao mlade da nađemo neki izlaz iz teže situacije, jer to je.... Vi znate da je Kordun
siromašan, tu nije bilo perspektive neke. Moj otac je otišao, meni je bilo tri godine u
Kanadu. S tim da nas školuje, međutim bio je zgodan pa eto...skrenuo (smeh).
Narodno oslobodilačkoj borbi sam se priključila, zato što je počeo teror. To je
srpski kraj, uglavnom Srbi su naseljeni tu. I mi pre rata smo išli, ja sam išla u školu sa
Hrvatima. Mislim nije nikakvog problema bilo. Međutim 41 je došla i došao je teror,
počeli su ljude da hapse, da odvode i onda je narod počeo da se buni. Da se organizuje
da vidi šta će. Došli su i komunisti koji su iskoristili tu situaciju i sa nama omladinom
počeli da rade. Da nas organizuju da nam pričaju o nekakvoj perspektivi boljoj nego
što smo imali. Tako smo se priključili pokretu.
Žene su apsolutno bile ravnopravne u partizanima. Recimo mi smo imali u početku odmah organizovane. Ja sam primljena u Partiju, partija je tada bila nije Savez
komunista decembra 41. Odmah su nas primali, čim smo se opredelili za pokret. Nije
bilo nikakvog razloga da se drugačije odnose prema ženama.
U početku rata sam bila na terenu, radeći sa omladinom. Skupove, organizovala
sam skupove. Na tim skupovima, pričala ono što su meni rekli da pričam, ovi moji koji
su bili organizovani. I sa ženama. I jedno vreme sam bila u Kirinu, Kirin je bio centar,
kod nas, ustanka. Nikola Vujvidović je bio komandant. I tu je već bilo žena dosta. Ove
Bulatkinje one su bile, one su išle u gimnaziju. One koje su išle u škole one su odmah
se priključile pokretu, jer su ipak imale više kontakta sa pokretom nego što smo mi
imali tamo. U svakom slučaju i kod nas je bio demokratski neki pokret pre rata, ali
ne komunistički ne onaj oštri koji je došao od 41 do izražaja. Uglavnom sam to radila.
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Kasnije kada su me primili u partiju onda su me premestili u Široku Rijeku. Tamo sam
išla u to područje jedno opštinsko i radila sa ženama, sa omladinom sastanke držala,
organizovala ih.
Pričala sam o ciljevima NOB-a. Zašto se mi borimo, da skinemo jaram sa vrata.
Da fašizam uništimo. Eto to su bile osnovne stvari. I narod je prihvatao apsolutno gde
god sam bila.
Ne znam šta mi je bilo najteže u ratu. Meni je sve bilo dobro zato što sam osjetila
da se nešto radi što je bolje, što je pravednije, drukčije i drukčiji odnos prema ženama
i prema omladini prema svemu. Bila sam zadovoljna bez obzira na teškoće. Nije tu
bilo, ne znam ja, neke hrane neke odeće i tako dalje. Ostala sam u toj Širokoj Rijeci
jedno vreme. A Huska Miljković, on je bio član Okružnog komiteta Karlovac, on je nas
nekoliko političkih radnika sa Korduna, kad Cazinska krajina oslobođena 42, pokupio
sve. I mene i ja sam tu bila i prebacili su nas na Cazinsku kraniju. E tu je bilo malo
teže, zato što ja nisam poznavala taj elemenat naroda. Bilo mi je smiješno recimo, tamo
u jednom selu kad sam otišla na sastanak. Tražio je jedan da dođem da govorim sa
ženama, međutim puna kuća žena je bila. Ja pitam ovog dobro kad su one došle pre,
pre mene. Kaže nisu još došle. Kako nisu došle? Pa kaže: moje su četiri, moga sina dve,
onog drugog četiri. A ja došla da govorim o ravnopravnosti žena. (smeh) Eto to su bile
teškoće. Kako da izađem iz toga. Ja sam se snalazila kako sam znala i umela, ne znam
više ni ja kako sam. Uglavnom bili su svi zadovoljni. Morali smo se snalaziti.
Tu su mahom bile muslimanke. Nisu one mnogo se angažovale. Niti su mogle,
njima vjera nije odobravala. Prema tome, mi smo imali nekoliko tih muslimanskih
mladića koji su učestvovali, bili su aktivni. A ženski manje je bilo, bilo je i nih ali
manje. To je bilo malo teže, vjerski. One su se krile pa smo mi protiv toga bili. Govorili
o tome, čak krijući se išle sa mnom da razgovaraju, zvale mene da pričam. Jer je njima
bilo u interesu da se otkriju. A nisu dali. Ali su prihvatile mene dosta. Ja se sjećam
jednom tamo kod Cazina, odnosno u jednom selu dva dana, stalno po terenu, nisam
ništa jela. Crkla od gladi. Jedna muslimanka djete veli dođi ti kod mene ja ću tebi nešto
napraviti. I ona meni iznese jednu ćasu šećera, ja sam taj šećer sav pojela. I od tada
kažem ja rešavam glad sa šećerom. Spasla me.
Kao primer odnosa drugova partizana prema žena ću konkretan primer izneti,
moga muža. Ja sam moga muža srela tada na Cazniskoj krajini, on je došao iz Banja
Luke. On je bio predratni komunista tada već. I bio je vedar, veseo družili smo se,
stvarno je bio jedan fini odnos. I odjedanput partija rekla, sazvali su sastanak i rekli ne
može ići tako druženje. Ili vi legalizujte vaš brak ili rasturajte se, jedno na jednu stranu,
drugo na drugu. Ja velim, pa šta je sad. Nismo se zabavljali uopšte, ni govorili o nekakvoj ljubavi o nečemu. Moj muž kaže, ja se slažem da legalizujemo brak. (smeh) Takav
je odnos bio i taj brak bio je sve dok, kad je on umro 2000. Nikada se nismo zavadili.
Pa bilo je dosta takvih veza u partizanima. Ali tako nisu svi, ja sam došla sa
jednog takvog područja. Nikog drugog nisam ni znala. I elemenat taj meni je bio
nepoznat. Međutim Rakmija je bio toliko fin da sam čovek da sam ja prevazišla sve
te probleme.
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Partija je dala ultimatum da nije se moglo zabavljati. Takav je bio stav, rečeno je ako
se simpatišete i ako ima uslova nekakvih legalizujte pred partijom i svako na svoju stranu. Ja sam posle onda otišla u Krajini, bila sam u 8. Brigadi i posle udata za Rakmiju, on
je bio isto u 8. Jer su svi politički radnici sa Cazinske otišli u 8. Brigadu kada se formirala. E onda je jedno vreme koje sam provela u 8. brigadi bila sam pomoćnik komesara
čete. A Rakmija je bio pomoćnik komesara brigade. Svi moji drugovi su napredovali
samo ja nisam. I onda su videli tamo, Blažo Đurčić je bio tamo politički radnik i razgovarao sa mnom. Kaže bilo bi bolje da ti ideš na teren jer ne može da budeš u Brigadni
biro jer svi pomoćnici su bili članovi brigadnog komiteta. I onda su me poslali na teren
za sekretara Sreskog komiteta Ključ zato što sam supruga i nisam mogla da napredujem onda sam otišla na Ključ. I tu sam, uglavnom, dočekala oslobođenje.
U tom momentu bila sam sretna zato što ću sad živeti sa mužem i što ću nekako
imati i kuću, imaću i nekakav...imaću mjesto gde ležem, gde spavam. Inače sam uvek
išla sa jednog kreveta na drugi, ne znam gde stignem da spavam, stignem da jedem.
To je mladost bila i ja sam bila vedra i vesela. Meni teškoće uopšte nisu predstavljale
ništa skoro. Tifus sam imala, onda sam bila ranjena. Kod Cetinjgrada se to desilo. Sve
sam ja to prevazilazila. Recimo meni je kosa bila opala od tifusa a bila sam tada još
u četi. I one Krajiškinje, one žene kaže vidi ovog malog kud ide. A bila sam sitnija...
kažem nisam ja mali, ja sam mala. (smeh) Pošto je kosa bila opala, nisu mogli da razlikuju šta sam.
Kada sam ranjena, bili smo kod Cetinjgrada. Ja sam otišla sa četom. Nisam bila
direktno u četi, bila sam u Komitetu. Ali kada je akcija bila, onda svi idemo. I pošto su
bila dva brda ja, onako mlada, interesovalo me kako to oni otuda pucaju. Ja se ispravim pa gledam ao ono oni pustili rafal i onda me rafal tu prošao a ovde samo ogrebotina bila. I ja sam mislila samo da sam tu, tu sam imala ranu i to je zaraslo nakon
nekoliko meseci. A ovo ništa nije bilo dok nisu došle stare godine. E tada je počela
ruka da otkazuje. I sad ja sam operisala prst i onda su mi rekli na VMA da se ne sme
dirati ovaj metak koji je tu, otišla bi ruka odmah sva. Rekoh onda ga neka. Eto tako
sam ranjena.
Posle rata odmah sam pozvana u Sarajevo. I u Sarajevu sam bila org-sekretar
reonskog komiteta Novo Sarajevo sa Vasom Rajićem. On je bio sekretar, ja org-sekretar.
Tu sam rodila Gorana. Od mjesec dana sam ga na kamionu donela u Beograd. Onda
je premještaj došao u Beograd. Pa u Beogradu sam bila u Gradskom komitetu kadrovskom, pa onda poslije toga opet smo išli za Sarajevo. U Sarajevu sam radila u CK-u, u
Aparatu. Za to vreme u Sarajevu završila sam dva razreda gimnazije, večernje onako
usput i partijsku školu. Ali dvoje dece već na putu i posle se nije moglo dalje a to mi je
najžalije. To mi je jedina želja bila, bila sam dobar đak. Volela sam da čitam da učim.
Međutim nije bilo moguće.
Nisam imala mogućnosti zbog dece i zbog rada. Ja sam uvek bila angažovana,
kažem to org-sekretar. Pa onda ponovo Beograd, onda u Beogradu sam bila sekretar
gradskog Saveza boraca jedno vreme. Pa onda za Niš. A u Nišu bila sam u Socijalnom
osiguranju i u Komitetu. Povratak u Beograd onda sam bila Upravnik Socijalnog
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osiguranja, jedne filijale pet. I posle otišla u Komunalni savez Beograda i tu sam
najduže ostala. Bila sam načelnik Zdravstvenog osiguranja Beograda i to mi je bilo
ovako i najteže. Najduže sam ostala tu. I sad od mog brata sin, pravnik kad je zavrsio
zaposlio se tamo, ja sam već bila otišla. Šta je tebi Jela Kadenić? Pa kaže od mog tate
sestra. Kaže ako ti budeš radio kao ona, da će biti dobro. Mi smo, kaže, od nje učili
kako treba raditi.
Najupečatljiva od uspomena iz rata mi je bilo kad pričam sa narodom, sa ljudima
pa prihvate. To mi je bilo, ovako, najdraže. Da prihvate pokret, da se uključuju. To je
dosta bilo u Bosanskoj krajini uglavnom, pa i na Kordunu. Kordun je bio sav u pokretu
odmah u početku, jer je tako moralo. Ljudi su počeli da se hapse, pravi, zdravi. Jedna
okrutnost fašizma koju morao je svako osuditi bez obzira da li je bio već nešto organizovan ili nije bio.
Mislim da je Narodno oslobodilačiki pokret bio jedan divan pokret koji je trebalo
završiti sa otklanjanjem manjih grešaka. I moralo se produžiti dalje a ne ovo što se
uradilo. Imam isti stav prema neprijateljima iz II Svetskog rat. Ne menjam ja tu ništa.
Da fašista nema, nema drugog stava.
Kada se završio rat imala sam čin poručnika, ali ja sam običan borac, radnik.
Nisam bila na viskim položajima ali sam uvek bila angažovana i radila. I mislim da
su me voleli ljudi kad dođem, kad pričam sa njima.
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OLGA
Ja sam Olga Dujmović, rođena sam u Bihaću 1925. godine. U Bihaću sam završila
četiri osnovne i pet gimnazije do okupacije, kad su došli ’41. godine. ’42. sam otišla u
partizane, tad je prekinuto svako školovanje, jer je bilo užasno vrijeme od ’41. do ’42.
koliko sam ja bila u Bihaću. To je bilo vrijeme pogroma svih Srba iz Bihaća i svih Jevreja
iz Bihaća. Tako da o nekom školovanju nije bilo ni govora, a ’42. sam otišla u partizane.
Bihać je oslobođen 4. novembra 1942. godine, do tada smo za okupatore imali najprije Nemce, ustaše, koji su bili valjda najmasovniji i najgrozniji, domobrane koji su bili
redovna vojska. U Bihaću je bio i prije rata 55. pešadijski puk i sve vrijeme je i ostao tu.
Borbe oko Bihaća, pucanje zapravo, ja ne znam koliko su borbe bile, ja nisam bila ni u
SKOJ-u ni u bilo kojoj organizaciji, ali je bilo svaku noć nekog pucanja. Ali ne samo u
Bihaću, nego i na periferiji. Bihać je ispod planine Pješevice, na tim obroncima planine
Pješevice. Da bi ’42. dva dana posle dvodnevne i dvonoćne borbe Bihać bio oslobođen.
Ja sam se strahovito plašila rata i svih vojski, iako ništa nisam bila kriva. Neki glasovi su bili da partizani ubijaju sve gde god su zauzeli. Prije toga su jedno selo Golubić,
možda jedno 4-5 kilometara udaljeno od Bihaća zauzeli, da su tamo sve poklali, da su
djevojke sve poveli sa sobom. I sam napad, prvi napad, prvu noć kad su napadali, onda
su prolazili tik do moje kuće, uz baštu, kroz baštu. I ja sam pod krevet pobjegla, jer
sam se plašila pa da me ne nađu. Međutim, pošto mi je majka bila kod komšinke, onda
ujutro kad je svanulo, pošla sam sa rođakom da vidim nju i to je bio moj prvi susret sa
partizanima. Dva partizana su izišla iz kuće, nose hljeb i šećer. I valjda su mene vidjeli
izbezumljenu od straha i kaže: hoćeš li hljeba, hoćeš li šećera? To je momenat koji je
prvi odlučio da ja vidim da ti ljudi nisu vampiri, nisu zvijeri, da su sasvim pristojni.
I kad su se povukli meni je bilo žao. Međutim drugu noć su napadali, ujutro su zauzeli Bihać. U Bihaću je bila partijska organizacija, bio je gradski odbor Komunističke
partije, postojala je skojevska organizacija. Oslobođenjem Bihaća je oslobođen dobar
deo manjih mjesta, gradovi Petrovac, Drvar, Prahovo, Krupac, Cazin. Održano je prvo
zasjedanje AVNOJ-a u Bihaću 26. novembra ’42. godine, održan je kongres USAOJ-a
u Bihaću, održana je konferencija žena, formirana je 8. brigada u Cazinu, na nekih
dvadesetak kilometara od Bihaća. Sve je to moglo jer je Bihać objeručke prihvatio
partizane, tu borbu, tu ideju i široko organizovanje omladine. Tako da sam ja odmah,
bukvalno odmah od tog šećera pa nadalje prišla radu. Tu je bila i bolnica smještena u
logoru u Bihaću, pa je bio rad sa omladinom, pa kulturno-prosvijetni rad, pa prikupljanje za ranjenike hrane i odjeće. Pa je bilo organizovano pletenje čarapa za partizane,
pa kulturno-umetničke priredbe tu u dvorani gde je bilo i prvo zasjedanje AVNOJ-a. I
kad je trebalo da se ide, iz Bihaća je otišao bataljon omladine, čak kompletne porodice,
hrvatske porodice su otišle u partizane. Moje prvo odlaženje je bilo jedno dvadeset
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kilometara od Bihaća sa nekolicinom. Neki su otišli u bihaćku četu koja je bila pri
odredu, neki su otišli u 8. brigadu. Ja konkretno nisam, ja sam ostala u Bihaću dok
god se nije povlačilo iz Bihaća. I otišli smo do Hrgara, pa smo se tu zadržali i počela
je četvrta ofanziva. I tu smo se zadržali, pa smo otišli dole da rušimo unsku prugu, to
je bila pruga Bihać–Knin koja je bila samo do pola napravljena. Pa smo onda, pošto su
nas potiskivali, svakodnevno su bile borbe vođene, išli smo dalje do Lipe, pa još dalje
do Oštrelja. Tu je bio štab brigade osme. I tu sam bila raspoređena u zaštitnu četu brigade, ja i mojih par drugarica koje smo zajedno bile iz Bihaća.
U samoj borbi, u samom povlačenju iz Bihaća nikakvih konkretnih zadataka, sem
tog zajedničkog silaženja na unsku prugu i rušenja, mi nismo imali, jer smo bili svaki
dan u pokretu. Svaki dan se bježalo, da ne kažem bježalo, povlačilo, jer su Njemci
napredovali. Sve do dolaska na Oštrelj, gdje sam raspoređena u prateću četu brigade.
Toliko je bilo mnogo djevojaka u pratećoj brigadi jer su to bili i terenski radnici, priključeni pratećoj četi i djevojke iz sela koja su bila okupirana. Tako da smo mi bile uz
brigadu, pomagale ranjenicima – prateća brigada je imala svoju bolnicu. Pa u bolnici
da se nađemo, pa da se operu zavoji, pa da se pomogne. Nemamo kursa sanitetskoga,
ne znamo bogzna šta.
Sa Oštrelja smo išli do Drvara, a iz Drvara prema Grahovu smo krenuli i tu smo
kod Drvara u jednom selu bili i ja se više ne sjećam kako se zove to selo. I brigada je
kompletna trebala da pređe preko ceste Drvar–Grahovo, na drugu obalu, i tu su nas
presjekli tenkovi, našu kolonu su presjekli tenkovi. Štab brigade sa dva bataljona je
prešao, bili smo u selu Očijevo, a druga dva bataljona otišla na planinu Šator, gde su
golgotu jednu preživeli. Konkretno u tim danima se nije mnogo imalo šta da radi.
Ranjenika je bilo puno, a koliko smo mogle, mi djevojke iz Bihaća u pratećoj četi smo se
našle tu da pomognemo, da nešto skuvamo. Ona koja je znala da skuva – ja konkretno
nisam ni to znala. I onda su nas odredili da idemo na kurs sanitetski na Korčanicu.
Korčanica je na obroncima Grmeča, tu je bila bolnica divizije i tu smo mi otišle da
nešto savladamo kursa da bismo se mogle aktivno uključiti u borbu. Taj kurs je trajao
nedelju, možda neki dan više, međutim, tad je bila četvrta ofanziva koja je bila grozna,
bez hrane, bez smještaja, odjeća nikakva. To su bili najteži dani u partizanima koje
sam ja doživela. Bilo je i posle teških dana ali to su valjda ti početni i najteži.
Na tom kursu bili smo, kažem, jedno desetak dana, možda i manje, i onda je
divizijska bolnica morala da se evakuiše odatle zbog napredovanja neprijatelja. A prije
nego što smo krenuli u evakuaciju, ja sam dobila visoku temperaturu i dobila sam
tifus, pjegavi tifus. Tako da sam ja evakuisana, više ne kao slušalac kursa sanitetskoga,
nego kao tifusar. Nas su u nekim kolima spustili negde, sa visokom temperaturom. To
je toliko visoka temperatura da čovjek izgubi svijest, ne zna uopšte koliko je budan,
koliko nije budan. Nas su spustili s kolima u neko selo, to sam kasnije saznala da se
zove Tuk Bobija, blizu Lušci Palanke u kojoj su bili Njemci, po pričama tih koji su sa
nama kontaktirali, bolničarima, ljekarima. A u te prirodne zemunice su nas spuštali, u
kantama, to nisu ove kofe, nego to su vjerovatno burad koja su prerezana, pa smo mi
mogli da sjednemo u to. Konopcima je spuštano dolje. Dolje su bili bolničari koji su nas
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razmještali kojekuda. A pošto je hladno ljudi su se smrzavali u tim prostorijama. U tim
zemunicama nije bilo uslova za loženje vatre, nije bilo ništa. Ja sam vrlo malo bila pri
svijesti ali svaki put kad bih došla do svijesti, čula sam razgovor – pobjegli su ljekari,
pobjegli su bolničari, mi smo ostali prepušteni sami sebi. U toj zemunici je puno njih
i ranjenika i tifusara umiralo. Preko noći se to vadilo i kopalo i zakopavalo. Koliko
smo bili ne znam. S čim smo se hranili ne znam. Liječili nas nisu ničim, jer tifusari i
inače nisu imali nikakvog lijeka. Čak po nekim preporukama, ni voda im nije davana.
I voda im je uskraćivana.
Najteži mi je bio taj period rata. I ne samo taj period u zemunicama, nego i taj
do zemunica. Jer taj period od Bihaća do dolaska na Korčanicu bio je užasan, užasan.
Stalno se borbe vode, stalno pristižu ranjenici, stalno se bježi, ne spava se. Snijeg, zima
i to baš zima. Nespavanje pa plus ovo što sam bila u zemunicama. To veliki dio nisam
znala gde sam, nisam znala ko sam. I to mi nije tako teško palo. Međutim, došlo je
vreme i da nas izvlače iz zemunica. Ja sam već bila pregurala to najgore. Kosa je bila
opala i meni i svim tifusarima kao što je to bilo pravilo. Onda su nas negde kuriri odveli u štab brigade. U Podgrmečju je i Tuk Bobija i Lušci Palanka. A štab divizije je bio tu
negde, i tu su nas odveli, dva-tri dana smo bili tu da se malo oporavimo. Svi tifusari,
baš svi, koji su i prije i poslije mene oboljevali, nisu bili uračunjivi. Da li od te velike
temprerature, da li od te velike iscrpljenosti, uglavnom su bili takvi. I malo kad smo
došli sebi, svako je u svoju brigadu vraćen. Moja brigada, osma, iz koje sam ja i došla
na Korčanicu, bila je u Lici. Sad je trebalo preći Unu pa otići na ličku stranu. I tamo su
nas odveli u ambulantu brigade kao rekonvalescente. Tu smo izvesno vrijeme bili, pa
krenuli preko Plitvičkih jezera, tu smo bili za 1. maj, pa u Baniju u Žirovac kao rekonvalescenti. S tim da smo na Petrovoj gori jedno vrijeme se zadržali. Sve vrijeme usput
brigada je imala borbe. Sve to je bilo van moga domašaja, jer ja sam bila tu. Onda smo u
Žirovcu konačno se malo oporavili i raspoređena sam u 3. bataljon, 2. četu kao bolničarka. Tu sam ja došla do izražaja, sad imam neko iskustvo u previjanju u liječenju. Mi smo
pored tifusa imali i češu. To je bila bolest koju je nehigijena izazivala, obično je to bilo
po rukama, po prstima. Tu smo imali ranjenike, četna bolničarka je prva tu prilikom
akcija. Nismo imali većih akcija, ali smo imali napade na uporišta, ili nas napadaju,
pa se branimo. U svakom slučaju smo imali povrijeđenih. Sanitet je funkcionisao tako
što smo imali četne bolničarke, imali smo u bataljonu referenta saniteta i zamjenika
i nosioce ranjenika. I imali smo dalje ambulante brigadne, divizijske bolnice. Tu se
previje i ide se dalje, šalje se u ambulantu, zavisi već od toga šta mu je. U 8. brigadi ja
sam bila do negde juna-jula 1943. godine. I onda su me premjestili u hiruršku ekipu 4.
divizije. Ta hirurška ekipa sastojala se od hirurga, hirurg je bio Zdenko Kraus, Jevrej,
anesteziolog Lilika Kraus. Ja sam bila instrumentarka. Bio je jedan pomoćnik ljekara i
bio je još jedan ljekar, bilo je obezbeđenje. Vod jedan koji je bio u stalnom sastavu, oni
koji su vodili konje, nosili instrumente. Tu sam ostala do odlaska u brigadu. I jednu
stvar hoću da kažem iz hirurške ekipe. Hirurška ekipa je imala svakodnevno, jer sve
ono što nije išlo u bolnicu, ono je dolazilo u hiruršku ekipu. Ona nije samo operisala,
imali smo jako puno amputiranja, operacija glave, što obično nije uspjevalo, jer uslovi
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nisu bili takvi. Operacije grudnog koša, jer ako je neko ranjen u stomak tome nije ni
pokušana operacija, njemu nije bilo spasa, jer nije bilo uslova. Ali ja sam tu slušala o
nevjerovatnoj borbi, o nevjerovatnoj hrabrosti kozaračkih boraca. To su ispod Kozare,
mi smo bili preko Sane, pa smo bili Podgrmečlije, a oni su bili Kozaračani.
I jednoga dana nama je došao jedan drug sa Kozare. Oni su napadali na pruge,
blokirali su, dizali su u vazduh, pa voz koji je naišao, dignu lokomotivu, ili pratnju
ako već ima. Onda opljačkaju taj voz, pa smo se tako i snabdjevali i mi i oni. I došao je
jedan borac kojem je trebalo amputirati nogu. I ovaj doktor Kraus kaže da mi nemamo
ništa za anesteziju. Obično se davao etar. Na nos se stavi maska i onda se kaplje kap po
kap, dok ga ne uspava i onda se to radi. Međutim, kaže, ako mu ne amputiramo nogu,
on će umrijeti, dobiće tetanus i umrijeće. I nemamo niotkud mogućnosti da nabavimo,
sami nemamo. I on kaže, ja ću njemu to reći pa da vidimo šta kaže. To je momenat koji
me je moralno podigao. Uz sve te muke koje mi imamo, njemu treba da se seče noga
bez anestezije ikakve, nema ni lokalne. Ne totalne, nema ni injekcije da mu se da, da
mu se to ublaži malo. On kaže: „Sjecite doktore, ja sam dijete ispod Kozarice, gdje ne
rađa majka izdajice, a ni kukavice.“ Kaže doktor, dajte mu rakije da popije koliko god
može. I on se u toku operacije, jer tu pored rezanja tkiva, vezanja, privezivanja vena,
treba sjeći i kost koja se testeriše sa testerom, onesvjestio. Sreća pa je mogla ta operacija
do kraja da se izvede. Bilo je puno ljudi koji prosto nisu vjerovali da će živi ostati, ali
zahvaljujući brzim operacijama, to se ipak uspijelo.
Žene su imale vrlo komplikovan život. U borbama su bile uz borce, žene su bile
te, djevojke su to bile, ne žene. Borac kad bude ranjen, on je u prvim redovima, i to
ga izvuku nosioci ranjenika. Te žene ga previju, i pošalju dalje bilo u bataljom, bilo u
hiruršku ekipu zavisi šta je bliže, ili u bolnicu, zavisi od rasporeda: gdje je ko, gdje se
borba vodila. Borbe su bile uvijek organizovane, ako nisu nametnute, uvijek organizovane i povezane među sobom. Bataljona, brigada, čak i divizija drugih, i one su to
radile dok traje borba. Kad prestane borba, dok se ovi odmaraju, koji su ratovali, ne
računajući njih da su one ratovale, one peru zavoje, previjaju bolesnike, puno je oštećenih nogu, puno je ovih sa svrabom, sa češom (kako se to u to vrijeme zvalo). Kuvaju,
peru veš, pare... mi smo imali strahovito puno vaški, i onda te vaške su i bile glavni
uzročnik prenosa tifusa. I onda su žene i to radile, istina uz pomoć bolničara, nosioca
ranjenika, oni su se smatrali bolničkim osobljem. Tako da su one bile angažovane i u
borbi i van borbe.
Odnosi među muškarcima i ženama su bili drugarski drugarski. O vezama je
strogo bilo vođeno računa. Veze između drugarica i drugova, emotivne veze, nije bilo,
sem tih drugarskih. Ljubavne veze – to nije bilo. Ja sam kao referent saniteta bataljona
u jednoj sobi bila. Dobijemo sobu, pa ako ima nešto da se dole stavi neka slama ili
nešto. To ako nema legne se na pod, jedan, drugi, peti, šesti, ja na kraju. Nikad, niko
me ni za ruku uhvatio nije. Jer to bi bilo strahovito, to bi bilo strašno. Moral je bio na
takvoj visini da današnja omladina to ne bi mogla da zamisli. A drugarstvo toliko veliko, toliko razvijeno da bi drug za druga, drugarica za druga, drug za drugaricu život
dao. To je nešto nevjerovatno i to je nešto najljepše bilo u u svim tim danima i kad se
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nema šta da se jede i kad se nema šta da obuče, i kad se ne može da spava. Zapjeva se
i zaigra se, nadoknadi se na taj način.
Bilo je i slobodnog vremena i zatišja. Na kraju krajeva, niko nije toliko izdržljiv
da može iz borbe u borbu, iz dana u dan da se kreće, da ne spava, a da se ne odmori.
Tako da se povremeno povlačilo, jedna četa, jedan bataljon na odmor dva-tri dana,
malo da se snađu. E tad je bilo i priredbi, tad je bilo i kolo. Tako da nije bilo baš samo
borba, borba.
E onda sam otišla, u hirurškoj ekipi je ipak bilo lakše nego u jedinicama. U jedinicama je daleko teže. Hirurška ekipa je bila i van mjesta borbe, i imalo se više prostora
za slobodno vrijeme. Gdje se i učilo.
Dok sam bila još u četi, bila je još jedna Bibić Soka. Ona je bila vodna bolničarka.
I u jednom momentu vidim nju sa komesarom brigade, čete, neki Rudi Baumbiger
bio je. I njih nekoliko, pet-šest ih ima. I ja pošto sam jedina, Soka je tamo, nas dvije
smo bile stalno skupa, ja ti priđem tamo. I oni prestanu da govore. Kažem ja, je l’ ja
to nešto smetam? Kaže komesar čete, ne, upravo smo razgovarali o tebi. Primićemo te
u SKOJ. I tako sam ja primljena u SKOJ. A u hirurškoj ekipi sam primljena u partiju,
Komunističku partiju. Tako da su to dva događaja koja mnogo znače, koji su i cilj bio.
Naši drugovi su, nevjerovatno ali kad je trebalo bacati bombe na bunkere onda su se
tražili skojevci i članovi partije. Oni su bili ti koji su prvi išli. Tako da, neko kaže, upisao sam se u Komunističku partiju. E kod nas nije bilo upisivanja, kod nas je bio život
u pitanju da bi bio primljen u partiju.
Onda sam iz hirurške ekipe u aprilu ’42. godine, prebačena na Kozaru, u 11.
kozaračku brigadu. Tamo sam bila referent saniteta bataljona prvoga. Bataljon je imao
četiri čete, svaka četa je imala svoj sanitet. Moja dužnost je bila konkretno da radim sa
bolničarkama u sanitetu, u četama, da obilazim te čete. Ja sam imala konja, sednem
na konja i ništa mi nije bilo, iz čete u četu otići, nekad ide kurir sa mnom, nekad ne ide
kurir sa mnom. Koliko god sam bila kukavica dok sam bila u Bihaću, plašila se i duhova, i mrtvih i živih, toliko sam prestala da se plašim. Više nije bilo straha nikakvoga,
jer je to vjerovatno život učinio svoje. Tako da meni ništa nije bilo, i noć i ne noć.
Pa sam iz prvog bataljona premeštena u četvrti. Mi smo često napadali, kad god
nam se pruži prilika napadamo. Na Ključ smo napadali, nismo uspeli da ga osvojimo
ali smo se povratili. Ja sam na Ključ išla bosa, potpuno bosa. Od kuće sam pošla u
gojzericama, dubokim cipelama, pa kad je došlo ljeto, onda mi je bilo vruće u njima
pa sam mijenjala za opanke, oputnjaše. Pa kad je blato, onda se ti oputnjaši iskrive pa
koža dođe gore a oputa dođe dolje, pa sam njih bacila, i napad na Ključ sam ja išla bosa
po pruzi, željezničkoj, gdje je tucani kamen. Kad sam se vratila – noge neupotrebljive.
Nismo ga osvojili, dio Ključa smo zauzeli, ali smo se vratili. Međutim i to se nekako
lako preguralo i to je možda zato što je čovek mlad i što to lakše zarasta i što sam dobila
neku adekvatnu obuću.
E onda sam u 4. bataljonu, kad smo bili, imali smo položaje na Gučo gori. Guča
gora to je bio neki manastir, i odatle smo išli u zasjede. Zasjeda je takva da se očekuje
dolazak neprijateljske kolone, bilo vozila, bilo pješadije, i da se mi pritajimo i čeka64
mo pogodan momenat pa ih napadnemo. Nama je jedino snabdevanje bilo i hrane i
municije i odjeće od neprijatelja. Niko drugi nam nije mogao nešto omogućiti, nego
sami sebi. I jednu noć, ciča zima i u zasjedi čučimo cjelu noć, ne naiđe niko, povlačimo se i ja ne mogu krenuti. To se smrzlo, kad se počelo zagrijavati to su tako užasni
bolovi. Ja prosto nisam mogla da vjerujem, ne samo meni nego i drugima. Ali se i to
eto preguralo.
Posle sam otišla za referenta saniteta brigade, iste 11. I tu bih htela da ispričam
napad na Travnik. Mi smo iz Kozare došli, Zenica, Travnik, tu smo bili nekih šest
meseci. Borbe su se vodile: Hankupanje, Musovača gdje god je moglo ili su nam
namjetnuli ili smo mi izazivali. Znalo se, naše borbe su bile uglavnom noću, koje mi
organizujemo, a njihove su bile i po danu. I napad na Travnik koji je trajao dva dana.
Drugi dan, pošto sam ja bila referent saniteta brigade, onda smo mi bili malo izolovani, na nekoj čuki. Tu je bila i ambulanta brigade, tu je bio i ljekar brigadni, apotekar.
Tu je bilo i nekoliko bolničarki. I kad se ujutro razdanilo, pošto je dio Travnika bio
oslobođen, siđemo mi da vidimo kako napreduju te borbe, da vidimo je l’ sve u redu.
Ja se više ne sjećam ko je sa mnom bio: bio je zamjenik, valjda je bio neko i od štaba
brigade, neko od tih nosioca ranjenika. I u jednom momentu vidim na cesti, nije ulica
nego cesta, makadam, dva vojnika, dva borca naša bauljaju. I ja potrčim da im pružim
prvu pomoć, i neko me zadrži. Kaže ne, oni su streljani. Ja nisam mogla da shvatim,
kako streljani, pa naši drugovi. Par partizana ima oko njih. Kako streljani!? Kaže
jedan komandant bataljona je naredio kuriru da ih strelja, kurir nije to htijeo i on ih je
streljao. A zašto ih je streljao? Partizani su bili visoko moralni. Kako su bili moralni u
odnosu muško-ženskom, tako su bili moralni u odnosu svojina privatna. Bez obzira
što ništa nismo imali, apsolutno ništa nismo imali. Mi smo ležali u voćnjaku gladni,
mrtvi gladni šljivu jednu da ne uberemo, jabuku jednu da ne uberemo, dok domaćin
ne dođe i ne kaže: „Evo vam“. Ova dva mladića – to je bila neka prčvarnica, ušli su i
uzeli ogledalca, češljiće. I ovaj što je bio mještanin, bio je komandant jedne druge jedinice, on valjda da bi dokazao koliko smo mi principijelni on ih je ubio. Ja sam počela
tako da plačem, tako da ridam. Oni su imali samo devetnaest godina, koliko sam i
ja imala. A leže tu, ja im ne mogu pomoći. Nisu mrtvi, bauljaju. I naiđe komandant,
iz kojeg su bataljona oni, Đuro Milinović, kojeg ja znam iz brigade, sa šmajserom u
ruci, zakrvavljenih očiju i pita: Ko je taj bandit koji je to učinio? Normalno njemu su
prišli da ga smire, pored jednog zla da ne bude još veće zlo. To mi je tako teško palo,
to mi je pored onih mojih fizičkih teškoća, ova psihička, psihičko opterećenje me je
dugo proganjalo. To je nešto što ni posle ne znam koliko vremena nisam mogla da
shvatim, da prihvatim, da neko za tako jednu sitnu stvar uradi. Bez obzira na visinu
morala ili nemorala.
Završetak rata smo vodili u Hrvatskoj. Mi smo išli prema Splitu kada je kapitulirala Italija, mi smo se i tamo našli, pa smo došli i do Vrlike, ne do Splita, ali smo se fino
obukli, najeli. Cijelo vrjeme rata mi smo non-stop hodali gore-dolje. Da je nevjerovatno
gde mi sve nismo bili. E sad kad smo krenuli iz Splita, vratili se iz Dalmacije, pa smo
bili u Podgrmečju. Podgrmeč i Kozara nam je bila baza. A Kozarčani jedno vrijeme
65
nisu htjeli nigde da maknu sa Kozare. Oni su bili vezani za Kozaru, međutim eto kada
je bio pokret za Travnik to im je bio prvi izlazak sa Kozare. 1945. je to već, idemo mi
za Zagreb, napada se Zagreb. Međutim naša četvrta divizija nije išla prema Zagrebu,
nego je išla direktno na Karlovac. Tu smo imali jako velike gubitke. Borbe su dosta
trajale, dva-tri dana su trajale za Karlovac. Oslobodili smo Karlovac i onda krenemo
za Zagreb. Dođemo do Svete nedelje i onda je Zagreb oslobođen, to je valjda 9. maj ’45.
godine. Ne znam možda je bio 10. Ali 9. vjerovatno jer se taj uzeo za dan oslobođenja.
Onda smo odatle krenuli ka Celju. Zašto, kako, to ja ne bih mogla da vam kažem. To
su neke vojničke strategije. I došli smo do ispred Celja, to se zvao Rajhenburg. Kako
se on danas zove ja ne znam, ja nikada više nisam pitala. Taj Rajhenburg je bio u to
vrijeme a sad je dobio neko drugo ime. Tu je bio štab brigade, ja sam bila sa štabom,
tu se fino odmaralo, više se ne vode borbe, došli smo malo sebi. Bilo je i piva, za one
koji su pili piva. Tu je bila neka pivara. Međutim odjednom, pokret Split – Šibenik –
Zadar. Iskrcavaju se Englezi i da se ne bi oni iskrcali, idemo dole. To je nevjerovatno
koliko mi sa jednog kraja zemlje na drugi kraj idemo, zemlje koja nije bila mala kao
sada. I dođemo mi dole, pješke se to uglavnom ide, možda nešto malo se upotrebio
voz na onoj unskoj pruzi do Knina valjda. I tu se rasporedimo. Moja brigada je bila u
Šibeniku konkretno. Tu sam i prvi put vidjela more. Ja koja sam dijete sa Une, a Una je
brza i duboka i hladna. Kad sam vidjela more, ja nisam smjela da zagazim u njega. Pri
pomisli koliko je široko, koliko je duboko, ali sam lijepe momente doživela u Šibeniku.
Bili smo smješteni u hotelu jednome, i tu smo ostali mjesec i po dana. Odatle smo onda
krenuli u Srbiju, opet pješke. To nam je sad stalno mjesto boravka, u logor. Mi smo tako
ušli u Valjevo, pretpostavljam da su i sve ostale brigade. Mi smo imali jedno dva sata
pripreme, da se pripremimo, da se postrojimo, da sredimo brigadu. Na čelu je bio štab
brigade na konjima, ja sam bila među njima na mom bjelom konju a sve vrijeme rata
sam imala konja i imala sam svoje ćebe za spavanje. I onda smo ušli svečano u Valjevo,
gdje su nas dočekali sa ovacijama, sa pljeskom, sa oduševljenjem. Tu smo raspoređeni u kuće, ja sam bila oficir – dobila sam čin oficira ’43, vodnika, pa onda oficira ’44.
godine, tad su i počeli da se daju činovi. I dobili smo smještaj u namještenim sobama.
Ja sam uglavnom svakodnevno išla na posao u ambulantu, brigadnu ambulantu. Tu
su bili uglavnom lakši ranjenici, rekonvalescenti, bolesnici lakši. U Valjevu sam se i
udala. Tu su mi svadbu napravili i moj muž pošto je otišao u Niš, onda sam i ja za njim
u Niš. Kratko vrijeme smo bili i u Valjevu i u Nišu. Onda je on otišao na dužnost u
Zaječar i ja s njim, 6. maja na Đurđevdan smo došli u Zaječar. I pošto sam ja sina dobila u junu mjesecu, onda sam izišla iz armije. Tako da sam se demobilisala. Meni nije
odgovarao život kakav mi je nametnut u Zaječaru. Imala sam 21 godinu kad sam sina
rodila. Nametnut mi je rad sa omladinom, rad u gradu, non-stop sam bila na terenu. I
ja zatražim da se reaktiviram i vratim se ponovo u armiju. Onda sam počela da radim
u Zaječaru, pa odatle u Kragujevac, pa Mostar, pa iz Mostara u Titograd, pa u Tuzlu.
Pa iz Tuzle u Beograd. Sve to vrijeme ja više nisam bila u sanitetu, bila sam u administraciji: divizije, korpusa, armije, kako je gdje šta bilo. I u Beogradu sam bila u prvoj
armiji, u političkom odeljenju, tu sam radila. Pa pošto sam ja, kao borac ’42. godine, kao
66
žena, imala sam beneficirani radni staž, svi borci su imali beneficirani staž, a ja sam
sa 22 godine radnog staža mogla da idem u penziju. Imala sam troje djece i meni je i
te kako penzija bila potrebna. I ja odem u personalno, zatražim penziju i penzionišem
se u Beogradu, u činu majora.
O odnosu naše države o NOB-u mislim sve najgore. Za državu NOB ne postoji,
niti postojimo mi, niti postoji vrhovni komandant, niti postoji ono što smo mi stvorili.
To je užas, užas to je poražavajuće, ne za mene, nego za ovu zemlju. A o narodu? Nije
ni narod bolji. Da je narod bolji, onda ne bi se moglo tako ponašati.
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SKRAĆENICE
AFŽ – Antifašistički front žena
AVNOJ – Antifašističko veće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije
APV – Autonomna Pokrajina Vojvodina
CK – Centralni komitet
CO – Centralni odbor
FNRJ – Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija
GO – Gradski odbor/Glavni odbor
GIO NS APV – Glavni izvršni odbor Narodne skupštine Autonomne Pokrajine
Vojvodine
IO – Izvršni odbor
JNA – Jugoslovenska narodna armija
KPJ – Komunistička partija Jugoslavije
MK – Mesni komitet
MO – Mesni odbor
MDSŽ/MDFŽ/ –Međunarodni demokratski savez žena / Međunarodna demokratska
federacija žena
NOO – Narodnooslobodilački odbor
NOB – Narodnooslobodilačka borba
NOP – Narodnooslobodilački pokret
NOV – Narodnooslobodilačka vojska
OK – Okružni komitet
OMPOK – Omladinski kulturno-privredni pokret
OO – Okružni odbor
ONOO – Okružni narodnooslobodilački odbor
PK KPJ za Vojvodinu – Pokrajinski komitet Komunističke partije Jugoslavije za
Vojvodinu
PO – Pokrajinski odbor
SK – Sreski komitet
SKJ – Savez komunista Jugoslavije
SKS – Savez komunista Srbije
SO – Sreski odbor
SBOTIC – Savez bankovnih, osiguravajućih, trgovačkih i industrijskih činovnika
SSRNJ – Socijalistički savez radnog naroda Jugoslavije
SSSR – Savez Sovjetskih Socijalističkih Republika
URSSJ – Ujedinjeni radnički sindikalni savez Jugoslavije
USAOJ – Ujedinjeni savez antifašističke omladine Jugoslavije
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KOMUNISTIČKA PARTIJA JUGOSLAVIJE /KPJ/
Socijalistička radnička partija Jugoslavije (komunista) osnovana je 1919. Sekretarijat
žena socijalista (komunista) stvoren je u toku kongresa Socijalističke radničke partije
Jugoslavije (komunista) – SRPJ(k) za zadatkom da propagira jednakost za muškarce
i žene bez obzira na zanimanje, naciju ili veru, sa posebnim naglaskom na pravo
glasa za muškarce i žene sa navršenih osamnaest godina. Sekretarijat žena socijalista (komunista) nije bila samostalna tvorevina već deo Socijalističke radničke partije
Jugoslavije (komunista). Tokom 1919. formira se mreža komunističkog ženskog pokreta u Vojvodini: Novi Sad, Sombor, Pančevo, Petrovgrad (Zrenjanin), Subotica, Vršac.
Socijalistička radnička partija Jugoslavije (komunista) – SRPJ(k) na Drugom kongresu
u Vukovaru 1920. promenila je ime u Komunistička partija Jugoslavije – KPJ.
U Novom Sadu je 1920. održana Konferencija žena pripadnica ženskog komunističkog pokreta na kojoj je učestvovalo osamdeset žena. U Vojvodini je bilo sekcija žena
komunista u Novom Sadu, Temerinu, Subotici, Petrovgradu (Zrenjanin), Melencima,
Čurugu, Kisaču i dr.
VI Pokrajinska konferencija KPJ za Vojvodinu održana je 1940. Tada je posebno
naglašena potreba da se što veći broj žena uključi u rad KPJ. Na Konferenciji su aktivno učestvovale Sonja Marinković, Gordana Ivačković i Judita Alargić. U PK KPJ za
Vojvodinu izabrane su i: Sonja Marinković i Gordana Ivačković, koja je izabrana i za
delegatkinju (kao jedina žena) Pete zemaljske konferencije KPJ.
Na Petoj zemaljskoj konferenciji KPJ (1940) „žensko pitanje“ postavljeno je kao
posebno pitanje, ali uz već prihvaćenu tezu da se radi o sastavnom delu borbe radničke
klase. Ipak, izdvojeni su i posebni zahtevi koji se tiču žena, a koji su u domenu političkih prava (pravo glasa za žene), radnog prava (za isti rad ista plata za muškarce i žene,
ukidanje noćnog rada za žene, plaćeno porođajno odsustvo), borba protiv prostitucije
i dvojnog morala, zaštita dece, pravnog izjednačavanja bračne i vanbračne dece.
Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980)
Vodeća politička figura socijalističke Jugoslavije. Njegova biografija predstavlja i
najznačajni deo istorije KPJ/SKJ (na čijem je čelu bio od 1937), Narodnooslobodilačke
borbe i izgradnje socijalističke Jugoslavije. Bio je na čelu KPJ/SKJ, predsednik Vlade
FNRJ i Ministar narodne odbrane, Maršal Jugoslavije, vrhovni komandant oružanih
snaga, najpoznatija ličnost pokreta nesvrstanih zemalja.
Tokom Narodnooslobodilačke borbe na oslobođenim terotorijama formirani su
narodnooslobodilački odbori – začeci buduće socijalističke vlasti. Osnivali su se na
osnovu dokumenata koje je 1942. izdao Vrhovni štab Narodnooslobodilačke vojske
–„Zadaci i ustrojstvo narodnooslobodilačkih odbora u oslobođenim krajevima“ kao
i na osnovu „Naredbe o izborima narodnooslobodilačkih odbora“ koju je doneo
Vrhovni komandant Narodnooslobodilačke vojske – Josip Broz Tito. Tu se izričito
naglašava da se u narodnooslobodilačke odbore biraju muškarci i žene ravnopravno.
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Tokom II svetskog rata u narodnooslobodilačkim odborima žene su najčešće bile (ili
rukovodile) u zdravstvenim, prosvetnim, ili komisijama za socijalna pitanja, a bilo ih
je i u poljoprivrednim komisijama.
Od velike važnosti bio je rad kulturno-prosvetnih odbora koji su organizovali
predavanja, pozorišne predstave amatera, muzičke priredbe, tečajeve opismenjavanja
(naročito žena). Vrlo popularan vid rada bile su zidne novine, a organizovane su i
proslave povodom 8. marta. Žene su radile i u „partizanskim radionicama“, a obično
su rukovodile – krojačkim.
Pokrajinski komitet KPJ za Vojvodinu je 1942. doneo odluku da se osnuje
Narodnooslobodilački odbor za Vojvodinu i pokrene list Slobodna Vojvodina.
SREZ
Teritorijalna i administrativna jedinica društvenopolitičkog sistema, oblik lokalne samouprave. U Vojvodini je bilo 25 srezova, a van njih su bili gradovi: Novi Sad,
Subotica i Zrenjanin (Statut AP Vojvodine 1953). Srezovi su ukinuti 1960.
SKOJ I USAOJ
SKOJ – Savez komunističke omladine Jugoslavije osnovan je 1919. Radilo se o
organizaciji mladih komunista direktno pod nadzorom i rukovodstvom KPJ. Peta
pokrajinska konfrencija SKOJ-a održana je 1940. Među učesnicima su bile i: Sonja
Marinković, Stanka Munćan, Jelisaveta Petrov-Beba, Lidija Aldan, Olga Radišić, Rosa
Vilić-Nada. Jelisaveta Petrov-Beba izabrana je za članicu Pokrajinskog komiteta SKOJ-a
kao jedina žena.
USAOJ – Ujedinjeni savez antifašističke omladine Jugoslavije, formiran tokom
NOB-a, bio je organizacija koja je okupljala omladinu koja je bila protiv fašizma.
Organizacija je 1946. promenila naziv u Narodna omladina Jugoslavije. SKOJ je od
1948. bio najelitniji deo USAOJ-a. U novembru 1944. omladinski pokret je predstavljao
vrlo važnu antifašističku snagu, jer je u Vojvodini bilo10 7.800 članova SKOJ-a i 70.000
članova USAOJ-a, među kojima je bio veliki broj ženske omladine. Okružne konferencije Ujedinjenog saveza antifašističke omladine Vojvodine /USAOV-a/ za istočni i
zapadni Srem održane su 1944.
27–30. decembra 1944. održan je Prvi kongres Antifašističke omladine Vojvodine
u Novom Sadu.
Narodni front Jugoslavije bio je organizacija čije se članstvo borilo za „puno
ostvarenje prava na rad, pravo na odmor, socijalno i penziono osiguranje, pravo na
lečenje...“ Organizacija je 1945. godine zbrinjavala žrtve rata i zalagala se za potpuno i
ravnopravno učešće žena u svim segmentima života i rada. Narodni front je bio krovna organizacija za druge frontovske organizacije: Savez sindikata, SKOJ, AFŽ... Na IV
kongresu Narodnog fronta 1953. organizacija je promenila funkciju u društvu i naziv
u Socijalistički savez radnog naroda (SSRN). Prema Statutu SSRN sindikat i omladin70
ska organizacija su bile autonomne u radu ali ne i AFŽ. Za rad sa ženama predviđeno
je osnivanje posebnih komisija u osnovnim organizacijama SSRN.
Narodna skupština FNRJ donela je Zakon o petogodišnjem planu razvoja narodne
privrede Jugoslavije (1947–1951). Petogodišnji plan je bio izrađen po uzoru na sovjetske
petogodišnje planove razvoja. Zadatak Plana je bio da kroz industrijalizaciju zemlje i
centralizovanu akumulaciju socijalistička Jugoslavija postane privredno samostalna
zemlja. Tešište je stavljeno na razvoj teške industrije, a planiran je ubrzan razvoj Bosne
i Hercegovine, Crne Gore i Makedonije.
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Gordana Stojakovic
Outline for a Portrait: Women’s
Anti-fascist Front of Vojvodina 1942-1953
In this paper I gave basic information about the founding, operation, performance
and closing of the Women’s Anti-Fascist Front (AFŽ) of Vojvodina (1942-1953), an
organization that has been part of AFŽ of Serbia, and AFŽ of Yugoslavia - an umbrella
organization for all other bodies of AFŽ’s. My aim was to list the main tasks of AFŽ,
realization of which gave women a chance to overcome centuries of repression in the
private, domestic circle. In this paper I gave facts about the importance AFŽ - as a
women’s organization has played a key role in long-range project of emancipation of
women in socialist Yugoslavia in the period 1945-1953.
Women’s Antifascist Front of Yugoslavia was a mass, frontal organization established in 1942, during the World War II, which aimed to gather and organize women
to fight against the invading armies and their allies. The tasks have changed over
time, depending on the socio-political and historical conditions in which the organization operated, and needs that life has imposed. During the NOB1, the priority was
the struggle for liberation, that in the aftermath of the war aims of the organization
adapt to new circumstances. Massive influx of women to AFŽ, after the liberation of
Yugoslavia, led to formation of county, municipal, provincial and republican organizations, in addition to the “state” organization (AFŽ of Yugoslavia). The work of AFŽ
in Vojvodina focused on the inclusion of women of all ethnic communities. AFŽ was
a collective member of the People’s Front2, but its numbers, enthusiasm and work
results in the period of reconstruction and rebuilding of the country, constituted it as
the original women’s organization with elements of political organization.
I have split the period of AFŽ into three cycles: 1942-1945, 1946-1949 and 1950-1953.
The first cycle was the time of the creation of the organization, when we find examples
of women taking initiative and worked outside of the ordered directives, during the
NOB. The second cycle was a period of expansion and strengthening of the organization and women’s great engagement in reconstruction and development, but also in the
fields of education, political engagement and activity in the economy. The third cycle
is a period of stagnation and the closing of the organization, where active female roles
1 People’s Liberation Struggle (Narodnooslobodilačka borba) 1941-1945
2 People’s Front was formed in 1945 out of organizations from Unitary People’s Liberation Front, which were formed after
the II Session of AVNOJ. Its objectives were: independence of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, federal regulation of the new
state, republican state, brotherhood and unison between the nations, equality for all the nations, and a whole set of regulations concerning workers and women political and social rights. See: Petranović, B. (1981) Istorija Jugoslavije 1818-1978, Nolit,
Belgrade, 391.
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(economically independent women, politically and socially active) were mentioned in
rhetoric, but the real roles of women were in economics of healthcare and nursing.
AFŽ was a necessary step in the emancipation process of socialist Yugoslavia. The
women had to explore their own possibilities in the areas that they were not allowed
to participate before: independent organization of actions (also political), participation
in the government (ranging from national liberation committees and farmers’ cooperatives to the National Assembly of the FNRJ3), organizing the everyday life (sowing,
harvesting, education, cultural events, helping those in need…). It was a difficult task,
because they were still responsible for their households. To equally participate with
men in political, economic, and cultural life they have had to organize and prepare
for all the above mentioned tasks. Education, or as it is then called “Cultural elevation
of women”, carried out and design by women and for women, who were fully aware
that a wide stratum of women should be educated, so they can exercise all of their
new rights, that they were given in the new, socialist Yugoslavia. Communists came to
power in Yugoslavia in 1945, and they have, since their formation as Socialist Workers
Party (of Communists)4, adopted the principle of equality between men and women.
But women’s rights (which after World War II have been legally regulated) would not
be beneficial to dependent, uneducated and uninformed women.
The experience of women within AFŽ relies and builds upon the experience of
organizing the women workers’ involved in worker’s/communist organizations5 since
1920’s. Equally important was the experience of women’s civil6 and feminist organizations in Vojvodina, which, apart from humanitarian function and education programs
for women, had political demands as well. Many of the subjects that have been brought
up by those civil and feminist organizations where imported and developed in the AFŽ
system, in the form that was dictated by the political moment.
Socialist ideology didn’t view the emancipation of women outside of the labor
system (working class), and because of that, emancipation of women was determined,
primarily, according to the labor laws. Economic independence of women is a major
3 FNRJ - Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, constituted in 1945.
4 Secretary of Women Socialists (Communists) was formed as a part of Socialist Workers Party (of Communists), with a task
to propagate the equality between man and women, regardless of their profession, nation or creed, emphasizing the right to
vote, for both men and women. Neda Božinović remembers that the Secretary of Women Socialists (Communists) “ created a
program to organize women through Socialist Party, but due to developed autonomy and very independent work program
that women had created, there was an agreement that the Secretary should work inside the trade union. That was in…
1920/21…The fact that Secretary was subordinated to the union, and effectively subordinated to the party, actually meant it
was closed. The most active women in the movement joined the opposition, after that agreement… Most of the members of
the KPJ were workers, who didn’t care much about women issues, but also didn’t knew much about them neither. The situation remained until 1933, when Blagoje Parović opened the agenda on women’s equality. He was joined by the women, who
were members of the KPJ at the time…” (Stojaković, G. (ed.) 2002: 49).
5 See: Kecić, Danilo. (1984), Vojvođanke u radničkom i revolucionarno-demokratskom pokretu in: Žene u ratu i revoluciji 19411945, (Proceedings from the meeting held on March 27th and 28th, 1984 in novi Sad), Novi Sad; Kecman, Jovanka. (1978) Žene
Jugoslavije u radničkom pokretu i ženskim organizacijama 1918-1941, Institut za savremenu istoriju, Belgrade; Kecman, Jovanka.
(1975) Žene u sindikalnim organizacijama i trajkovima u Jugoslaviji 1935-1941 in: Istorija XX veka – Zbornik radova XII, Narodan
Knjiga, Belgrade, 257-321; Stojaković, gordana (2007), CD-AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953, self-published, Novi Sad. ISBN 978-86909833-0-8; Sklevicky, Lidia. (1996) Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga, Zagreb.
6 Stojaković, Gordana. (1999), Znamenite žene Novog Sada I, Futura publikacije, Novi Sad; Božinović, Neda. (1996) Žensko
pitanje u Srbiji u XIX i XX veku, Devedesetčetvrta & Žene u crnom, Beograd; Sklevicky, Lidia. (1996) Dvjesta godina tišine: Pokušaj
tipologije ženskih pokreta u modernom periodu in: Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga, Zagreb, 73-107.
80
achievement of socialist Yugoslavia. It was not achieved easily – it was the widest
process of rallying of women, in recent history, for the purpose of reconstruction and
development of the country, during which the project of education of women and their
involvement in all aspects of life and labour was supported ideologically, legally and
financially. Ideological plan, dictated by the KPJ7 in the period 1945 – 1953, was spread
by the printed media. The Women’s Anti-fascist Front Press (AFŽ štampa) was the
medium that carried the messages to all the women. During the reporting period in
addition to the press part of the transmission of messages and creation of identity, cultural values and social relations (Isanović, Adla, 2007) are accounted for and “Reading
Classes” and “literacy courses”. These amendments to the printed media were the
usual and required a system that was applied because of the number of illiterates, particularly among women. It is based on the need to overcome the legacy of centuries of
inequality of women and to convey the message to as many women as possible.
That was the time of AFŽ press. Magazine “Vojvođanka u borbi” (Vojvodinian
Woman in Struggle) was printed during the war, in the region of Srem. The magazine
was printed in very difficult conditions, and it was printed with mimeograph in small
circulations. Three magazines were printed in Vojvodina after the war, “Glas žena”,
“Dolgozó Nő” and “Femeia noua”. “Žena danas” (AFŽ of Yugoslavia, Belgrade) was
printed in 30.000 copies, “Zora” (AFŽ of Serbia, Belgrade) had about 50.000, and solely
in Vojvodina the number of copies of three listed magazines was over 100.000, which
wasn’t just an option, but a duty of AFŽ women, under a organization called “Reading
groups”. It is quite a paradox, because, at the time being, 20% of women in Vojvodina
were illiterate (in the year of 1946 there were 69.0008 illiterate women). On the other
hand, political engagement was obvious, because women had a priority in rebuilding
the country., and AFZ press was used to mobilize women and it was considered as
the most inferential medium for transmitting messages to women. AFZ had the role
of educating women in a socialist manner, but also education, economic independence
and legal knowledge were important in the same amount.
Mass incursion of women in the public sphere in the period between 1945 and
1953 could not be done with just forming a women’s organization, even if it was supported ideologically, by personnel and financially. There was a need for socio-historical
conditions to appear, which came during, and soon after the WW2. Enormous human
sacrifices, mass atrocities, death camps, masses of wounded, disabled, parentless children, destroyed villages, cities, hunger, winter... all came as a result of the terror, which
lived on after the guns went silent. To overcome that situation, it was necessary that the
other, female half of the population get involved in all sorts of public activities: political, economical, humanitarian, cultural. Women, because of the consequences of the
WW2, even without an ideological planning, stood in the place of their dead fathers,
husbands, and sons, and made chance for gaining their personal liberties, up until then,
reserved for men only. In that period, AFŽ played a crucial role.
7 Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Komunistička Partija Jugoslavije)
8 400.000 women lived in Vojvodina in 1948 (Zaga Krdžalić, Slobodna Vojvodina, March 7th, 1948:1)
81
Goal, method and theory
The main goal of this paper is to make sure everyone understands that there is
no “conquered final positions” in the struggle against oppression of women. To keep
the rights someone gained, the experience of everyone involved must be kept alive.
One of those experiences is the experience of women of AFŽ. My goal is to give basic
references about transformation of position of women in Vojvodina in the period
1942-53 from a gender perspective and feminist theory. Historical context of AFZ was
observed in the manner of Lidija Sklevicky in her historical discipline research.
The aim was to reconstruct not only the key events in the organization, plans for
the emancipation of women through the supported women’s roles (women as worker,
cooperative farmer, udarnik, brigadier, politically active and economically independent
women), but also to name leaders and some members of the organization, based on the
research I did on AFŽ of Vojvodina (Stojaković, 2007). In the aforementioned article I
tried to listen to the arguments of women, so I used not only the works of other authors9
(who didn’t exclusively wrote about AFŽ, but wrote about NOB, NOR and People’s
Front) but also archived10 AFŽ Press, and also unused testimonies about AFŽ and the
main directions of emancipating women in to the public sphere. I analyzed the texts of
AFŽ women leaders, the Communist: Mitra Mitrović, Srbislava Kovačević, Ruža Tadić,
Zora Krdžalić, Vida Tomšić and others, but also some activists from AFŽ, who were
reporting about the daily lives of women in socialist Yugoslavia. I have used the methods of discourse analysis to analyze text (Vasić, 1995; Savić, 1993) which allow showing
gender differences in relation to the context (political-economic and cultural). I also
used the methods used in the presentation of women in the media (Moranjak, 2007) and
the methods to explain the ideologization of the gender roles (Kingsley Kent, 1987).
Sequence of ideas, events and strategies of social change that are chronologically
listed in the paper, which are aimed at redefining women’s roles in society and follow the words which signified a new (better) role of women. Emancipation is a term
used in the countries with socialist socio-economic and political system and it usually
described the legal equality of men and women. The feminist theory and practice
today uses the term: women’s liberation and it defines the liberation of women from
the men dominance in every aspect of life and work.
Feminist ideology is a set of ideas about the relations of social domination
(Mršević, 1999:55). Feminist theory deconstructs various aspects of patriarchal models
9 The most important are: Vojvodina u borbi (1963), The League of Societies of People’s Liberation Struggle Combatants of
SR of Serbia, Presidency of AP Vojvodina, Novi Sad; Žene Srbije u NOB (1975) Nolit, Belgrade; Kecić, Danilo (ed.) (1984) Žene
Vojvodine u ratu I revoluciji 1941-1945-radovi sa savetovanja održanog 27 I 28. Marta 1984. u Novom Sadu, Novi Sad; Popov
Jelena (1986), Narodni front u Vojvodini 1944-1953 , Filozofski fakultet u Novom Sadu, Institut za istoriju -Monografije knjiga 27,
Novi Sad; Lidia Skelevicky wrote about AFŽ of Croatia. See: Skelevicky, Lidia (1996) Konji, žene, ratovi, Ženska infoteka, Druga,
Zagreb.
10 Memorandums, resolutions, reports from meetings, conferences and congresses of PO AFŽ of Vojvodina, GO AFŽ of Serbia
and CO AFŽ of Yugoslavia. Memorandums of PO AFŽ of Vojvodina are kept in the Archive of Vojvodina F.338, Book of Memorandums No.1 (manuscripts). Reports of work of AFŽ in Vojvodina are in the Museum of Vojvodina. See: Stojaković, 2007, CD.
Reports, resolutions from the meetings and congresses of the GO AFŽ of Serbia and CO AFŽ of Yugoslavia, are published in
the papers: Žena danas (AFŽ of Yugoslavia), Zora (AFŽ of Serbia) and Glas žena (PO AFŽ of Vojvodina).
82
of women’s subordination. Socialist and Marxist feminists argue that there is a clear
and unavoidable link between class relations and relations between the genders. For
the theorists of radical feminism, patriarchy exists regardless of socio-economic system, and therefore they rely on research related to the formation of gender identity
(Mršević, 1999:103). All feminist theories share a common goal: to liberate women in
all spheres of life and work. Because of that, feminist theory and practice are reviewing all structures of authority and power, ideology, culture, economy...
Transition of women from private to public sphere, outside the family circle,
which has traditionally belonged to women’s sphere, and its economic independence
that took place during the socialist transformation of Yugoslav society, were not the
final solution for the complete transformation of women in society. The problem
remained in the domain of the private and family “where the patriarchal order lives
on in the minds and hearts of men” (Papić, 1989:37). The family in socialism, as well as
in civil capitalist society, was a place of reproduction of hierarchical relations because
“genders keep their ‘embodied’ naturalness” (Papić, 1989: 39). In practice, socialism
has solved the problem of gender inequality through a solution of class issues by the
formula: the socialist transformation of society + woman = independent economic
emancipation of women (Stojaković, 2007). Socialist transformation of society did not
include all of the patriarchal relations and this has resulted in very substantial, but still
only a partial transformation of women’s place in society.
The hardest part of the process of emancipation was a process of transformation
of ideas men and women had. Ida Szabo11 says in her speech12, marking the 8th of
March (Novi Sad, 1960), that during the socialist transformation of society, “there is
(was) the process of transforming the old ideas into new ideas, the process of adopting
new views regarding the status of women in family and society.” In this process, dictated by the KPJ, the main course of action (1942 - 1953) are implemented, and partly
invented, by the organizations of AFŽ-in Vojvodina.
AFŽ of Vojvodina 1942-1945
Historiography recognizes the fact that Antifascist Front of Women was founded
in December of 1942, in Bosanski Petrovac, although there were organized women in
the anti-fascist struggle prior to that date, with same tasks and same way of operat11 Ida Szabo has a Commemorative Medal of the Partisans 1941. After the Liberation she conducted important political
responsibilities in Party, Union and State organizations, first in Slovenia, and then in Vojvodina, Serbia and Yugoslavia. She was
a member of Republic and Federal Assembly, member of the AP Vojvodina Assembly, where she was vice-president in the
period 1963-1967. She was elected president of the Regional Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina (1946). She had other responsibilities in the League of Societies of People’s Liberation Struggle Combatants, Socialist League of Working People of Yugoslavia.
She was a member of the Presidency of SFRJ, Presidency of Serbia, Federal Counsel. She was decorated on several occasions:
Order of Bravery, Order of the Hero of the Socialist Labor, Order of Merits for the People with Golden Star, Order of Brotherhood and Unity with Golden Wreath and other domestic and foreign decorations. For the testimony of Ida Szabo about NOR
and AFŽ of Vojvodina see: Stojaković, G. (2007), CD-AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953, authors edition, Novi Sad.
12 The Speech was released in: Stojaković, G. (2007), CD-AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953, author’s edition, Novi Sad.
83
ing. Ideological work of the organization was complementary with basic principle
of KPJ that women have to be equal with men in every aspect of society. During the
NOB13 it was understood that fighting fascism also implied fighting for woman’s
rights in future socialist society. Josip Broz Tito clearly stated it for antifascist, both
men and women:
“…Women of Yugoslavia, who sacrificed themselves without hesitation in this
struggle, who persistently stood on the frontlines of People’s Liberation Struggle,
here and today have the right, once for all times, confirm one fact: this struggle has to
benefit women of all of Yugoslavia’s nations, and that no one will ever be able to take
away those hard earned rights away from them!...” (Tito, 1945:13)
The heart of antifascist struggle in Vojvodina was in Srem. Srbislava Kovačević
Marija14 writes about those days, saying that KPJ organized work with women and
formed first women groups in villages in Srem, in order to help the partisan units and
illegals (Kovačević, 1984:93-127; Kovačević, 1943 Izveštaj).
District Committee of KPJ for Srem sent a document to all of the Party organizations, titled “Instructions for Organization of Women in People’s Liberation Struggle
– Create Women’s Anti-Fascist Organizations everywhere” in Jun 1942 (Kovačević,
1984:95). The instruction was a direct consequence of J. B. Tito’s directive, which states
the importance of women’s participation in NOB and the creation of stand-alone
women’s anti-fascist organization. That league should consist of “all those women
and girls that are against the fascist occupier and their servants – ustašas and fifth
column.”, and also “women from all social layers: working women, peasant women,
intellectual women and city women”, but it was also important that members are
“Serbian women, Slovak women, honest and anti-fascist Croatian women, German
women and others.” (Kovačević, 1984:96)
The creation of the Initiative Boards of the anti-fascist women was a responsibility
of the County Committees of KPJ, and the women members were the most responsible
for that task. It wasn’t a simple process of organizing one single organization, but a
difficult and long trial of “fighting the prejudice that the women are less worthy”, both
with men and women. Srbislava Kovačević testifies that the women were more eager
to accept the changes concerning their own status then their husbands were, even if
they were members of the KPJ (Kovačević, 1984:97).
A network of AFŽ organizations was formed in Srem by 1943, because by that
time there was “9 County boards with 16.843 members” (Sabo, 1984:28). District
13 People’s Liberation Struggle
14 Srbislava Kovačević Marija joined the advanced student movement, as a student in Belgrade in 1935. She was a member
of Youth Section of Women’s Movement. She became a member of the KPJ in 1940. She Joined the People’s Liberation Struggle as soon as the uprising began. Following year she moved to her home region of Srem, where she took part in organizing
of Women’s Anti-fascist Front. She was a secretary of the District board of AFŽ in Srem, and a secretary of Regional board of
AFŽ in Vojvodina, since 1943. The same year she became head editor for the magazine “Vojvodinian Women in Struggle”.
She was elected for the Central board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia In October 1943, as a representative of PO AFŽ of Vojvodina. She
became a member of the District Committee of KPJ in East Srem in 1944. She has a Commemorative Medal of the Partisans.
After the Liberation, she was elected for the secretary of the Regional Committee of AFŽ of Vojvodina, but also for the organizational secretary of the District Committee of KPJ for Novi Sad county and a member of the Regional Committee of KPJ for
Vojvodina
84
conference of the Women’s Anti-fascist Front in Srem was held on May 31, 1943 in
Miškovci. The first president of the District Board AFŽ of Srem was Mileva SavićOlga, who was killed soon after her appointment. Mira Milošević15 replaced her.
The Initiative Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina was formed in the late 1943. Mira
Milošević was elected for the president, and Srbislava Kovačević Marija was elected
secretary.
District conference of AFŽ in West Srem was held in Morović on September 25th
1944, and there were 250 women delegates: “212 Serbian women, 18 Croatian women,
15 Rusynian women, 2 Slovakian women and 3 Slovenian women”. It was concluded
that active members of AFŽ in the district consist of “8.000 women…36 in People’s
Liberation Boards, 12 in agricultural commissions, 25 in cultural-educational boards,
250 comradettes in People’s Liberation Army, and there is 50 permanent couriers”
(Kovačevć: 1984:117).
Local and District Boards in Bačka and Banat were more intensively formed from
the autumn of 1944, on the liberated territories. District conference AFŽ for North
Banat was held in Petrovgrad16 on October 21st, 1944. Emilija Kolarov17 was elected for
the president. District Conference for the South Banat was held in December. Zuza
Huravik18 was elected for the president, and Kornelija Ankucić19 was the secretary.
Local Boards conducted their work through following activities: regular weekly
meetings, gathering food, footwear, clothes and other materials for the partisans and
illegals, nursing the wounded, and in the villages: cultivation of the fields, lookouts.
“Political work” was also important, and that implied “reading of the propaganda
material, discussing the current front situation etc.”(Kovačević, 1984:102). Local
and county boards of AFŽ were connected with other organizations in the People’s
Liberation system: League of Communist Youth (SKOJ), People’s Liberation Boards
15 Mira Milošević was a housewife in village Šuljam in Srem, until the beginning of the war. When the Uprising began, she
immediately joined the People’s Liberation Struggle by gathering food, footwear and clothes for the partisans. She soon
joined the Podunavska unit. She was especially involved in organizing the AFŽ in Srem. She was elected for the president of
the Irig county AFŽ in 1943, and in the same year she was elected for the president of the District Board of AFŽ for Srem. She
was one of the elected candidates from Vojvodina for the Second Session of AVNOJ in 1943, but the Sixth Enemy Offensive
prevented a number of delegates from Vojvodina, including her, from going to Jajce. She was elected for the president of the
Initiative Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina, and after the Liberation she became the first president of the Regional Board of AFŽ of
Vojvodina. She bears the Commemorative Medal of the Partisans 1941. After the Liberation she was elected for the member
of the Federal Assembly.
16 Zrenjanin
17 Emilija Kolarov was one of the organizers of the Women’s Movement in Petrovgrad during 1939. She was a “kinderer”
– a teacher in the kindergarten, and she was also a member of the “Kolo srpskih sestara”. She joined the People’s Liberation
Movement as soon as the Uprising began. She was elected president of the District Board of AFŽ for the Petrovgrad County,
in liberated Petrovgrad (Zrenjanin) in 1944. She especially stood out during the actions of supplying the army hospitals and
founding the shelters for children…
18 Zuzana Huravik was born in Kovačica in 1904. She joined the advanced movement in 1939. She actively organized illegal
actions and resistance to the occupying forces in Kovačica and South Banat under very difficult conditions. She became a
member of the KPJ in 1944. After the Liberation she was a member of the Local People’s Liberation Board, and was elected
president of the District Board of AFŽ in South Banat. As udarnik in worker’s and youth brigades she actively participated in
the rebuilding and development of the country. Zuzana Hurvak was decorated with the Order of Merits for the People with
Silver Star in 1971, for her many years of social and political work.
19 KornelijaAnkucić joined the advanced movement in Vršac, where she was admitted to SKOJ in 1939. Next year she was
admitted in to the KPJ. She was arrested in 1941 and imprisoned in the Banjica camp, and later moved to camp in Smederevska Palanka, where she was until the Liberation. After the Liberation she had responsible duties as a member of the County
Committee KPJ for South Banat. She was elected for the leadership of District Board AFŽ (secretary). She has the Commemorative Medal of the Partisans 1941.
85
(NOO). At least one member of the local AFŽ boards was member of SKOJ, and there
was always at least one woman in the local People’s Liberation Boards. Women organized and kept life and works going in villages in Fruška Gora, because the men joined
the partisans, were in camps, or were killed. “Women in those villages held all of the
People’s Liberation organizations.” (Kovačević, 1984:102).
Organizational structure of AFŽ was formed on the principals of territory: groups
in the villages, local boards in villages and cities, sub-boards were formed in some
parts of the cities, county boards in counties, district boards for several counties and
Regional Board for Vojvodina.
The most active women were elected for the county boards, and the best from
the county boards were delegated into the district boards. A women member of local
committee of KPJ would have the task to form a local board, where there wasn’t one.
In the places where boards were formed “a comradette who was appointed by the KPJ
to manage AFŽ, should have a presidential or secretary position in the local board.
The Party line is not conducted by orders, but rather by making right suggestions,
advices.” (Golubović and Kuzmanov, 1984:348)
Political courses for AFŽ activists were held during 1943, wherever the situation
would allow it, in order to educate the future leaders of the organization. Killings20 of
many women communists, who had the experience in organizing, made it clear that
additional efforts are to be made in order to politically educate AFŽ activists. The
courses where covering issues: developing the society, women through history, peasant question, national question, fascism, ongoing war against fascism and the role of
the USSR in it, People’s Liberation struggle of the Yugoslavian people, organizational
structure of the AFŽ21. Vanda Novosel22 discuses which comradettes should be chosen
to take the course: …”Comradettes that are attending the courses should be the ones
who have the closest relations with the women masses. They should be recruited from
the core of our organization, which is made out of our most active members. Militancy
and loyalty are the main preconditions, and the knowledge can be minimal…”
(Vanada Novosel, Naši kursevi in: Žena danas, No.22, November 1943:18).
Srbislava Kovačević Marija handed in the report about the work of AFŽ organizations in Vojvodina23to the Regional Committee of KPJ Vojvodina, on November 25th
1943, in the name of the Initiative Board of AFŽ for Vojvodina. She notes that “the
development of the AFŽ organizations” must be connected with “the development
of the People’s Liberation Struggle”. Srbislava Kovačević testifies that the first organizations “were walking an unknown road”, for there was no earlier experience, nor
connections with other regions of Yugoslavia, so that experiences could be exchanged.
20 There is no single paper that is considering the fact that many girls and women students and graduated students were
killed in the first few years of the war, and the consequences that it had on the emancipation of women. The work of Neda
Boažnović is a pioneering work: Božinović, N. (1988) Studentkinje i diplomirane studentkinje Beogradskog univerziteta u
narodnooslobodilačkom ratu i revoluciji in: Studentkinje Beogradskog univerziteta u revolucionarnom pokretu, Centar za Marksizam Univerziteta u Beogradu, Belgrade, 173-176.
21 Control questions at the final conference of the AFŽ course, Museum of Vojvodina No. 18655.
22 Vanda Novosel is one of the most significant leaders of AFŽ of Yugoslavia.
23 Report about the wok of AFŽ organizations in Vojvodina, Museum of Vojvodina No. 668.
86
Only KPJ offered some assistance in organizing of the women, and Srbislava Kovačević
writes in her report that there were “comrades from the Party who were real activist”
of the AFŽ. Srbislava Kovačević notes some of the serious problems in the work of the
AFŽ: inadequate number of literate women, inadequate number of activists for the
cultural-educational and political work with women, inadequate number of women of
other nationalities besides Serbian, lack of propaganda material – most notably a special
magazine for women, better organized collection of food and other materials for the
combatants, with campaigns and competitions and “wrong relationship” towards the
People’s Liberation Boards, because “the woman in the NOO was considered just as a
delegate of her own organization, who’s task was just to report of her organization”.
Mass organizing of the women and creating a network of AFŽ organizations,
mostly in the villages, was a process that moved along “the unknown roads”. On
one hand, women often represented a decisive force of the NOB, as partisans, nurses,
couriers, illegals, they were in command on the liberated territories (on those territories where men were either in the camps, joined the partisans, or were killed) and
they supplied the combatants, and on the other hand when they would leave the
house, in those more peaceful days of the war, their absence was not approved by
their comrades and their communities. As soon as 1944 there was a question “should
the Women’s Anti-fascist Front still exist?” (Mitra Mitrović, O Antifašistikom frontu
žena in Žena danas, issue 33, September 1944:6-8). It wasn’t just a question of women’s
entrance into the public sphere, but also a question of the measure of their influence,
or more specifically, the question of control over their actions. Mitra Mitrović24 writes
in the aforementioned article25: “Who would like to record the exact date when women
of Yugoslavia got equal political and citizen rights, they can write down: November
29th 1943, the day when AVNOJ declared its Resolutions…and so the agenda of
equal rights, for the women of Yugoslavia, was resolved once and for all. Women in
Yugoslavia gained the right “to equally participate in the life of their people…even
before any laws have been written down…that right became everyday practice”… A
dilemma emerged at that time, should an organization of women like AFŽ still continue to exist under those conditions. Mitra Mitrović says “yes” and argues that AFŽ
isn’t an organization that deals with “exclusively women issues, but (it is) a movement
that rallied all of the women from the people in struggle against the occupying forces.”
There were still a lot of problems in front of the people, concerning the creation of the
new system, new state, which had to be solved, and the women’s involvement was
necessary in those fields. Mitra Mitrović writes that the women, thanks to the AFŽ,
were more easily and more efficiently involved in public and political life, because the
24 Mitra Mitrović is one of our most famous revolutionaries and communists. Her work is one of the most important within
the feminist agenda. She became a member of the KPJ in 1933. She was one of the founders of the Youth Section of the
Women’s Movement and editor of the magazine Žena danas (1936-1940). She was one of the most important organizers of
the founding of the AFŽ, and one of the most influential leaders of the organization. She was also a minister – president of the
Council for Education, Science and Culture in the Government of the People’s Republic of Serbia. Her life and work, and also
the importance of her work and her theoretical positions have not been examined in literature as a whole, as of today.
25 Žena danas, Belgrade, issue 33, September 1944:6-8
87
women “still gather around their, so to say, ‘women’s’ movement…” Women also had
a specific bond with their organization, which now became “a roof over their heads”.
In those conditions, but also because of the merits of AFŽ during the NOB, and which
were not questioned, it was Mitra Mitrović’s opinion that the exiatance of the AFŽ can
not be questioned. There was a need to change the way AFŽ functioned and to set new
tasks for the organization.
What was questioned in the work of the AFŽ? In the war times women had, with
great sacrifice and through the examples of great bravery, preserved life on the occupied
and liberated territories. They became aware of their own strength and abilities. The way
of life often imposed solutions to problems that were not specified by the KPJ directives.
Taking over the initiative, which seems to happen often, especially in the lower boards
of AFŽ, was interpreted as “old and feminist”, derived “from lack of skill or narrowmindedness” and AFŽ “was becoming increasingly women’s and rigid organization”26
Jovan Veselinov-Žarko, a secretary of the Regional Committee KPJ for Vojvodina
sent a letter to the Regional Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina in 1944, in which he announces
a circular letter to all of the Party organizations, which will carry a message that there
is a “dangerous tendency of ‘independency’ of AFŽ, separation of AFŽ to some completely autonomous organization” (Kovačević, 1984:120). In the letter that was sent
to Vojvodinian Party organizations, it was also written: “…Lower boards…are often
developed to a narrow women’s field organization, which is considered (in many
towns) more obliged to the higher boards of AFŽ, than it is to local bodies and local
needs and tasks of the People’s Liberation Struggle…” (Kovačević, 1984:120). In order
to avoid those independency tendencies, women members of the leadership of district
and county organizations of AFŽ were immediately included in the work local and
county Party organizations, and the rest of the AFŽ members were included in the
work of People’s Liberation Boards and involved in People’s Liberation Movement.
KPJ gained the control by emerging AFŽ in the People’s Front (NF), explaining
that the women will “find there even wider, common and spatial roof over their heads”
(Mitra Mitorivć, O Antifašističkom frontu žena 1944:6-8). Mitra Mirović had the opinion
that it is natural for the boards of the People’s Front to be responsible for the needs
of the army (food, accommodation, hospitals) sowing, harvest, schools…and that the
women members of AFŽ are now obliged to take over the responsibility for the work
of those new governing bodies. One can not make a joke saying “if the women don’t
organize it, it’s not going well.” (Ibid, 7), but rather, women have a responsibility to
help this new government, but “under the new roof”. AFŽ conferences should still be
regularly organized, and discuss about problems and needs of cities and villages, but
in the scope of the People’s Front program.
Regional Conference of AFŽ of Vojvodina was held in Novi Sad on 1st, 2nd and
rd
3 of January 1945. Mira Milošević was elected president of the Regional Board, and
Srbislava Kovačević-Marija was elected secretary. The Board consisted of some thirty
26 Ibid, 7
88
members from all parts of Vojvodina. Regional Conference gave nothing new in the
aspects of form and content in organization’s work. AFŽ was supposed to find its
place in the framework that was given to all of the Front’s organizations, in liberated
Vojvodina (and the rest of the Yugoslavia). AFŽ of Yugoslavia was decorated with the
Order of People’s Liberation, on the first post-war conference of women antifascist
from Serbia, on January 29th 1945.
The First Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, in the liberated country, was held in
Belgrade on Jun 16th to 18th 1945, and it called out to all the women in Yugoslavia to join
their forces in rebuilding and development of the country, and to actively engage in all
forms of political, economic and social life of the new state. Vida Tomšič27 presented
an overview of the most important tasks of AFŽ in a report named “Social Welfare
as One of the Most Important Tasks of the Women’s Anti-fascist Front in Rebuilding
of the Country”. She presented a data that, according to incomplete data, in 1945
Yugoslavia had some “534.000 children, who were parentless, without provision, or
have been scared by the war in some other way… And the total of socially endangered
youth and children in Yugoslavia amounts to 1.200.000.” (Tomšič, Naši zadaci, 1945:4)
Huge responsibility for this task falls on the backs of the base organizations of AFŽ
in each village, district and county organizations, because they are a direct link “with
the masses, but also a guarantee that none of those in need will remain neglected or
uncared for...” (Ibid, 14-15)
For the first time in 1945 women could vote, and be elected for the governing
bodies. Therefore they presented an important target group, and AFŽ had a very
important role in the electoral campaign. One of the indicators is the list of candidates of the People’s Front of Yugoslavia for the Federal, Constituent and People’s
Assembly, where women appeared for the first time28. Understanding the importance
of the elections and the participation of the women in the elections, Central Board AFŽ
of Yugoslavia printed a special brochure, entitled: Women’s Right to Vote, Evidence and
Weapon of Democracy29, written by Mitra Mitrović, one of the leaders of AFŽ. She wrote
about women’s right to vote:
…In the same manner the Law Concerning Women’s Right to Vote arrived much later,
after we already exercised that right on our liberated territories since 1941… This equality of
women is, at the same time, well earned right for women who showed such strong national
consciousness, such bravery, such love for the homeland, such resilience in occupied cities and
villages, in the army, in war, and in the post-war rebuilding of the country. That equality is
now written in the laws that Temporary People’s Assembly passed, on the 3rd Session. Equality
is guarantied by the People’s Front program…A characteristic of today’s opposition, reaction
27 Vida Tomšič was a Slovenian communist, one of the organizers of the Uprising in Slovenia, a partisan and People’s Hero.
After the Liberation she performed responsible political tasks, some of which were: president of the People’s Assembly of Republic of Slovenia, president of the Citizens Council of Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia. She was the head of AFŽ of Yugoslavia
since 1948. Her positions on women’s question in socialist society belong to our most important feminist heritage.
28 For information about women in the government bodies see the results of the research conducted by Stojaković Gordana
(2007), CD-AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953, author’s edition, Novi Sad.
29 Mitrović, Mitra (1945), Pravo glasa žena, oruđe I dokaz demokratije, Central Board AFŽ of Yugoslavia, Belgrade.
89
is that it no longer participates in the victories nor in troubles of the people, but its only wish
is to demoralize the people. Opposition is exalted when woman waits for hours in the queue on
the market – they are happy that speculators still exist… What is the duty of the women on
these elections? Our first task is that all of us go to the polling places. There shouldn’t be any
women that didn’t vote on these elections.
About the New Position of the Women in Socialist Yugoslavia 1945-1953
The Constitution of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was adopted
on January 31st 1946. It defined the new state as “a union, a people’s republic, a congregation of the equal nations, where people hold sovereignty.” (Petranović, 1981:394).
The Constitution’s (Article 24) guarantied the equality of women: Women are equal to
men in all aspects of state, economic and socially-political life. For equal work women receive
equal pay as men, and are specially protected in the working relation. The State particularly
protects the interests of mother and her child, by founding maternity hospitals, children’s homes
and kindergartens and by mother’s right to paid maternity leave before and after the birth.
Women earned their political rights, which means that all eligible women (18 and
older) have full electoral rights (to choose and to be chosen to any body of the People’s
Government) and that all of the public functions are available to them, the same way
they are available to men.
Laws concerning the fields of personal and family law were also in accordance
with the Constitution. According to the Law Concerning Marriage, she could “keep
her maiden name, that a husband can add her name to his, women was entitled to
the part of the property that she brought with herself in to the marriage and she was
equally managing the property that she acquired with her husband, in marriage…
Woman could be a guardian and exercise all other parental rights…Daughters are
equal to sons in all aspects of inheritance…and wife is equal successor with the children, brothers and sisters of the deceased husband…” (Božinović, 1953: 10-12). The
Law Concerning Social Security of Workers and Officials and Their Families (1950)
determined special conditions for old age pension for working women, but also the
right to a family pension for women, after the death of husband.
Work legislation confirmed the equality of women and men, with the addition
that pregnant and nursing women had a special legal protection in the work relation.
A three month maternity leave was guarantied (six weeks before, and six weeks after
the birth), but there was a legal obligation to start the leave at least 21 day before the
birth. A nursing woman could take a regular leave, after her maternity leave. Woman
received her full salary, with all the bonuses (if she had any before she gave birth),
during the maternity leave, given that she had adequate work years before the maternity leave30. New work legislation offered other benefactions to pregnant and nursing
30 Six months of continual work in one year, or a total of 14 months of work in period of two years (Stojaković, 2007, CD)
90
women, which included full salary, transfer to a better work place (under certain circumstances), prohibition of nocturnal work, or overtime, four hour work time, a right
to a fifteen day leave for nursing a sick member of family (usually children). The law
also protected pregnant and nursing women in case they committed a criminal act.
Special laws and regulations were protecting the status of mother and child.
Regulation Concerning Material Aid for the Children of Workers and Appointees,
Regulation Concerning Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers in a Work Relation,
Regulation Concerning the Foundation of Nurseries and Kindergartens were passed
during 1948 and 1949.
Women participated actively in the political life of the new state. 88% of the
Yugoslav women voted on the first post-war elections, and 22 women were chosen
for the People’s Assembly (Stojaković, 2007). 95,6% of the women in Vojvodina
voted on the elections for the members of local, county and regional People’s Boards
in 1949 (Stojaković, 2007). At the same time there were few women in People’s
Boards, which came as a consequence of prejudice towards women, but also as a
consequence of women’s lack of will to participate more actively in political activities. With the introduction of self-management (1950) and profitable production,
the state subventions for children’s institutions and institutions for social standard
were cut, which led to the closing of some of these institutions. A certain number
of employed women lost the possibility to secure their children cheaply and safely.
Introduction of relatively high child bonus31 in 1951 had the effect that many of the
employed women left their jobs.
Socio-economic status of women in socialist Yugoslavia was completely
changed compared to the status in Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Women began qualifying for new professions and for the first time they have entered many industrial
branches. The status of women in villages was improved thanks to the development
of agricultural cooperatives.
Women’s Anti-fascist Front of Vojvodina 1946-1949
During the 1946-1949 period members of AFŽ of Vojvodina were working in
factories, fields, construction sites, sowing and harvesting. They also participated in
work actions, and were involved in the mandatory purchase of the grain. They were
helping with the institutions for children, poor children; they were patronages of the
social institutions, running newly formed maternity hospitals in Vojvodina. Economic
activities became important, along with the social activities. Mass work actions are
introduced, and in order to coordinate the actions of AFŽ, work is divided between
31 Everyone who was entitled to receive this bonus, received 3000 dinars, in cash or coupons, per child, and so the families
“with more children are in a serious advantage”… but the families with one or two children could partially compensate eventual lose with this children’s bonus, if one of the parents was without a job “…Funds for the children bonuses are coming from
the state’s budget, social contributions…so there is no fear that the managers of some companies will employ only workers
with no children, in order to avoid paying this bonus…” Slobodna Vojvodina issue 26, November 1951. pg. 2.
91
sections32: economic, cultural-educational, organizational, social – section “Mother
and Child”, propaganda and ideological-political.
Constant competitions in all the fields of action of AFŽ were established. Competitions
were organized between local, county, district boards, but also in the villages or towns,
between the regions or streets. Especially important were the competitions on the 1st of
May, November 29th, or 8th of March. Areas33 in AFŽ’s jurisdiction were:
1. Cultural-educational work:
- courses for illiterate
- reading groups
- founding of libraries
- organizing cultural events
- developing correspondence for the women’s magazines, “Slobodna Vovjvodina”…
2. Healthcare:
- creating the crews for disease control
- creating the crews for lectures about hygiene, women’s and children’s health
3. Social issues:
- forming kindergartens (seasonal and permanent)
- forming maternity hospitals
- forming counseling offices for women and children, and special waiting rooms in
health centers
4. Economic tasks:
- volunteering for the reconstruction and development of the country
- sowing, harvesting and arranging the gardens for children’s homes and boarding
schools
- helping the colonists
- helping the poor families, which had lost their workforce during NOB, to cultivate
fields
- competition in maintenance of stables
- indexing the corn
- fighting the black market and struggle against saboteurs
- tax payment
5. Political tasks:
- explaining the purpose and benefits of each action, during its preparation
32 Record from the meeting of Executive Board of the Regional Board AFŽ, held in Novi Sad on Jun 6th 1946. Archive of Vojvodina, F.338 book 1. manuscript.
33 A list of tasks and assignments of AFŽ members was taken from the Record of the Plenary Meeting of PO AFŽ, held in Novi
Sad on March 14th 1946. Archive of Vojvodina F.338, book No. 1 (manuscript).
92
6. Organizational tasks:
- gather as many women as possible in to the organization
- improve the cooperation between the members of minorities
- create an efficient communication between the boards
- create an efficient cooperation with boards of the People’s Front.
AFŽ of Vojvodina had 337.586 members in 1947, most of them Serbian women,
and least of al Romanian women (Popov, 1986:203). There were local boards in every
village and every city. Most of the members of AFŽ of Vojvodina were “clerks, peasants and housewives. There were a few working women, for they were gathering in
the unions” (Popov, 1986:203). The organization’s biggest success was in the rebuilding of the country, with “973.736 work-hours, which saved some 12 million dinars for
the state” in 1947 (Popov, 1986:208). The biggest problems were in the fields of political and ideological education of the women. Because of that, 22.600 AFŽ conferences
were held, during the 1947 (Stojaković, 2007).
Ruža Tadić34, president of the Regional Board AFŽ of Vojvodina, presented
data about the work of the regional organization, during the 2nd Congress of AFŽ of
Serbia (1948). She recorded the results of the campaign for 1948 elections. Elections
for county and local boards of People’s Front, held in February 1948, were marked by
huge response from the women voters. 94,99% of the voters voted for People’s Front
list, and more than 90% of the women voters, and 97% voted for the boards of People’s
Front, where 94% of the women voters voted” (2nd Congress of Women from Serbia,
1948:76). Positive attitude of the women voters, during the elections for People’s Front
bodies, was not shown in their membership, because of “500.492 women in Vojvodina,
132.505 were not members of the People’s Front” (Ibid, 77). Ruža Tadić pointed that
the main reason for this was insufficient work of the AFŽ organizations, especially in
multinational environments. Situation improved a bit later, because “18.396 women
signed in the People’s Front, mostly minorities” until the beginning of the 2nd Congress
of AFŽ of Serbia (Ibid, 77).
Women in villages deserved special attention, because of the role they played
in the development of agriculture and forming of cooperatives. Major task in 1948
was the inclusion of women in cooperatives. “In 26 counties in Vojvodina, 66.608
women joined agricultural cooperatives, while 18.362 women joined peasant’s working cooperatives” (Slobodna Vojvodina, January 5th, 1950:1). Seasonal kindergartens
were established within the cooperatives, so the women could be more active working “in agriculture, but also in culture.” It was determined by the Five Year Plan to
“include 400.000 new skilled workers in economy”, and with the help of AFŽ, there
were “2.704 women included in the economy” in 1948 (2nd Congress of Women from
34 Ruža Tadić was a teacher. She joined the People’s Liberation Movement when the Uprising started. She became a member of the KPJ in 1943. After the war she was elected president of AFŽ of Vojvodina. She conducted many important political
functions. She was a member of the People’s Assembly in Vojvodina, Serbia and Yugoslavia, a member of the Council of Vojvodina. After the closing of AFŽ she was president of the Initiative Board for Forming of Federal Women’s Societies, the offspring
of AFŽ, and a representative of the Red Cross of SFRJ.
93
Serbia, 1948.79). Agricultural cooperatives were “the most suitable form of combining the individual interest of working peasant with the common interest of socialistic
community” for the new government (Glas žena, issue 2, 1948:23). One of the priorities for AFŽ of Vojvodina was the inclusion of women in cooperatives. The tasks of
AFŽ activists were considered to be organizing of courses and lectures about jobs and
duties of women in cooperatives, taking care of children, by organizing kindergartens
and by organizing courses and lectures considering the modern way of production.
The 2nd Congress of Women’s Anti-fascist Front of Yugoslavia was held on
January 25th, 26th and 27th, 1948 in Belgrade. There was about 800 women delegates –
representatives of republic, regional, county and local boards of AFŽ, from all parts of
Yugoslavia. Cana Babović35 was chairwomen, a president of the Central Board of AFŽ
of Yugoslavia. This Congress was important, because the Statute of the Organization
was adopted and work plans, which are a part of resolutions of the 2nd Congress of
AFŽ of Yugoslavia, were determined36: Statute of the Organization shows that AFŽ
was a frontal organization of women – essential part of the People’s Front. Regional
organization of AFŽ was on the level of county, district and local organizations, whose
highest body was – the Conference of AFŽ.
Teaching women to read and write was a permanent task for all the AFŽ organizations in Vojvodina. The action was conducted and with base organizations of AFŽ,
based on the registered number of illiterate women for every town, city and county,
and its character was competitive.”There was 8.994 illiterate women in 1949 and by
the end of the year 4.500 were educated” (Popov, 1986:207). The same year AFŽ Press
printed articles proclaiming it possible to “eradicate illiteracy” by the end of the year.
According to the data from Regional Board of AFŽ, 29.399 women in 19 counties were introduced to new rules of peasant’s working cooperatives, on the conferences, and 6.000 women outside of the cooperatives” (Slobodna Vojvodina, January
14th 1950:2). Regional Board of AFŽ organized two courses for the political education
of women – one in Hungarian, and the other in Romanian language. County boards
held “45 of these courses with 1.763 women, and 242 seminaries, with 600 women”
(Slobodna Vojvodina, January 14th 1950:2).
48 children’s institutions were formed in Vojvodina in 1949, and 74 in peasant’s
working cooperatives, which was not enough. A number of children restaurants were
formed too, but they lacked supplies. It was concluded that cooperatives should get
involved to provide fresh food, milk above all (Stojaković, 2007).
35 Spasenija Cana Babović (1908-1977) joined the worker’s and union movement when she was eighteen. She soon
became a member of SKOJ. She was arrested on several occasions, for her involvement in worker’s strikes between 1934
and 1937. In 1937 she was sentenced to two years in prison, by the Law Concerning the Protection of the State. She is one of
the organizers of the Uprising in 1941. She was with the partisans since the beginning of the Uprising. In 1942 she became
a deputy of the political officer of 2nd Proletarian Brigade. Since 1942 she has been organizing women in People’s Liberation Movement. She was a member of the presidency of AVNOJ. She is one of the most famous leaders of AFŽ of Yugoslavia:
vice-president of Head Board of AFŽ of Serbia (1945), president of the Central Board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia (1945-1948). She
conducted other responsible political duties: minister – president of the Counsel for People’s Health and Social Politics with
the Government of the People’s Republic of Serbia (1951). She has several orders and decorations. She was decorated with
the Order of People’s Hero in 1953.
36 Resolutions of the Second Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, Žena danas, issue 52, Belgrade 1948, 36.
94
More than 1.940 women in Vojvodina have been employed in industry, as temporary work force, in 1949 (Slobodna Vojvodina, January 14th 1950:2). They produced 108840 of work hours. In the local working actions there were 76.395 women, and 300.000
more in Frontal brigades, who produced, all together, 961.822 work days (Slobodna
Vojvodina, January 14th 1950:2). POAFŽ of Vojvodina formed 4 work brigades from
294 women, who spent month and a half in building New Belgrade. In 1949, 1.022.140
women in Vojvodina produced 4.483.885 work days (Slobodna Vojvodina, January
14th 1950:2). Magazine Žena danas (issue 77-78, 1950:13) informs that Zora Krdžalić, a
member of the Regional Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina, presented data, during the 3rd
Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia in 1950, that “women in Vojvodina, during the 1949,
produced 6.000.000 volunteer work hours and doing so, they have saved 55.000.000
dinars to the state”.
Women’s Anti-fascist Front of Vojvodina 1950-1953
In the period between 1950 and 1953, tasks of AFŽ were redefined, and eventually
AFŽ was closed. Roles that were intended for women (udarnik, brigadier, cooperative worker, worker, politically and economically independent women) were shifted
towards attendance and nursing (mothers, nurses and kindergarten teachers). During
the 4th Plenary Meeting of the Central Board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, on February 4th and
5th, 1950, one of the prime tasks was raising pre-school and school children. AFŽ organizations were supposed to systematically and in organized manner help the school,
family and “people’s government” in the realization of the pre-school and facultative
educational programs. Central Board of AFŽ issued a special brochure: “Instructions
on Organization and Assignments of the Commission for Questions Concerning
Upbringing within AFŽ Boards” (Belgrade 1959).The instruction was intended for
commissions concerning “upbringing questions”, and AFŽ boards, from local up to
the Regional, had the task to form such boards. During 1950 AFŽ Press publishes
articles, unusual up until then: fashion guidance (Žena danas, issue 67, 1950).
3rd Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia was held in Zagreb on October 28th and 29th,
1950. Vida Tomšič, president of Central Board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, read the opening report. In her report about the work of AFŽ, she especially noted the successes the
organization had in incorporating women in economic and social life in the country,
and introduction of legislation which will protect special status of women. A change
in the statute was clearly announced in her report, but it didn’t exactly explain what
the change will bring to the AFŽ system. Unclear explanations about the need to
redefine AFŽ led to confusion, which showed that organizations of AFŽ and People’s
Front were unprepared for the political decision of AFŽ’ dissolution. Regional Board
of AFŽ of Vojvodina immediately called for a meeting of representatives from
People’s Front and AFŽ. It was concluded that some county boards of People’s Front
“misunderstood” that the merging of AFŽ with People’s Front implies no separate
95
meetings just for women. It was concluded, in the report from the 9th Regional Party
Conference (Slobodna Vojvodina, March 2nd, 1951:3), that the PK KPJ for Vojvodina will
organize meetings inside People’s Front, in order to refute the wrong idea “of liquidation of AFŽ”. Most objections to the work of AFŽ were aimed at “insufficient political maturity of the leadership” (Assignments for the women of Vojvodine before the
3rd Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, Slobodna Vojvodina May 14th, 1950:3). At the same
time Regional Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina had organized political courses for women
in Hungarian and Romanian, because there was a lack of representatives from those
national communities in AFŽ organizations. This absence was particularly noticeable
in those counties and cities in which Hungarians were a majority. Regional Board
of AFŽ of Vojvodina wanted to adequately include all the communities in its work.
Practical training, under the leadership of members of Regional Board of AFŽ from
Hungarian community, was used to prepare the “trainees” to take over some leading37
roles in the AFŽ system.
Changes in the way AFŽ works indicated the closing of the organization.
Professional work had been abolished, and volunteering was introduced. Professional
work was a necessity in the organization, and it began in 1947, with the opening of
secretariats. There was a lot of organizational-administrative work, that could not be
handled without professional functions. Organizational structure of AFŽ collapsed
without them. Organizations of People’s Front, as the foundations of government,
were supposed to be focal points for women activism, with an explanation that “there
shouldn’t be a base organization of AFŽ, for that would introduce formalism and
routine” (Glas žena, issue 11, 1950:5). The main task of AFŽ boards, as a section of
base organization of People’s Front, is to make propositions to Front’s board on how
to improve cooperation between women. This degraded AFŽ’s base organizations
down to counseling bodies, which could make suggestions and point out “work put
the problems of cooperation between women, suggest some measures for removing
some of the consequences of inadequate political work amongst women to the Party
and Front” (Žena danas, issue 81, 1951:1). Merging with People’s Front organizations
immediately led to fewer elected38 women for the boards of People’s Front “…for there
were not enough women in the Party…” (Žena danas, issue 18, 1951:1). Some other
women societies were suggested39, in order to absorb the huge amount of women’s
activist energy formed in the AFŽ system, especially humanitarian organizations, like
“Mothr and Child”, which were involved in child protection and caring.
37 In August 1950, in Vojvodina, elections were held within the AFŽ system. County and local boards suffered changes.
Vince Eržebet was elected president of County Board of AFŽ in Senta, and Buranj Irma, Gambketa Ilona and Gujaš Ilona were
elected for the Local Board…Stojaković, G. (2007) AŽF Vojvodine 1942-1953. CD
38 During the elections for the bodies of People’s Front in 1950 in Vojvodina, it was recorded that men voters were against
the women candidates. Out of 28 women candidates, only 14 were elected in Jaša Tomić, 3 out of 16 in Kovin, 12 out of 58
in Bečej. 50 women gave up their candidacy in Sombor county, because their husbands didn’t allow them to candidate.
(Stojaković, G. (2007) AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953. CD).
39 For more information about new “suggested” women’s organizations, see the results of research in (Stojaković, G. (2007)
AFŽ Vojvodine 1942-1953. CD).
96
During the 1951 there was a trend of decline of employed women, in all the
branches of economy. Self-management in economy implied reduction of all costs
outside of the productions, and so the institutions of social standard (nurseries, kindergartens, public kitchens) became unprofitable40. One of the reasons why women
returned to their households was the Regulation Concerning Children Bonuses from
1951. Mothers with several children were leaving their jobs and dedicated themselves
to their upbringing. Women’s return to households was also a consequence of prejudice towards women. There was also the aspect of “petite bourgeoisie and leftover
capitalist relations to women, relations from the society with double standards, prostitution, tall tales of woman, sanctity of maternity, queen of household and endless
misery of working women, high mortality rates of pregnant women, little children,
lack of jobs…” (Tomšić, 1952:1). Vida Tomšić concluded, with concern, that people
forgot that the question of women’s status is not just a legal issue, but also a question
of social consensus of implementing those laws on all levels. At the same time, with
the exception of AFŽ’s leaders reports, there was no mention of the thesis that the
economic independency of women is a prerequisite for her equality.
Since there was no clear decision to close AFŽ, and the activist energy of women
had to be directed, PO of AFŽ of Vojvodina organized a session for representatives
of county boards of AFŽ for Bačka and Srem, on February 29th, 1952. They were discussing the organization tasks in villages, healthcare and cultural-educational work
with women in villages. PO of AFŽ of Vojvodina held a session with representatives
of local boards of AFŽ, on March 1st, 1952. It was concluded that the local organizations of AFŽ should turn to women workers, for it became evident they are under
pressure41 and they have no time for “cultural and political advancements, and
some of them don’t pay enough attention to their children” (Alobodna Vojvodina,
March 2nd, 1951:3). It was concluded that it was necessary to form groups inside local
40 There were 120 kindergartens with more than 3.700 children in peasant cooperatives in Vojvodina in 1950. In 1951, only
2-3 seasonal kindergartens were formed. “Heads, presidents of cooperatives and brigadiers” (Slobodna Vojvodina, May 17th,
1951:3) were objecting the forming of kindergartens. They thought that “cooperative unions and agricultural founds” (Slobodna Vojvodina, May 17th, 1951:3) should take over the management of kindergartens. An article was published in Slobodna
Vojvodina on Jun 23rd, 1951 named “Why kindergartens in cooperatives are not working”, where heads of cooperatives gave
their excuses for the new situation: it is draught, and there is not enough food for children, mothers are not signing up their
children, buildings in which kindergartens were, are now rented, and they cannot be taken back… After the 3rd Congress of AFŽ,
for the formation of kindergartens were responsible “Councils for Education and Culture, and there were cases that there was
no one legally obliged for the formation of kindergartens in cooperatives. Members of AFŽ could not prevent the closing of
kindergartens” (Slobodna Vojvodina, Jun 23rd, 1951:3).
41 Dr Bosiljka Milošević, a respectable physician, professor from the Belgrade University and a member of Central Board
of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, analyzed the work capabilities of women in new circumstances. She concluded that employed women
tire more easily than men, because they are additionally working at home and raise children. While men can rest after a hard
working day in a factory, or an institution…women starts another work day at home, where her strength is being depleted
and there are no free days. That sort of work ranged from “9 hours, for women with n children, up to 15 hours for women with
children under age of 2”. Therefore dr. Bosiljka Milošević concluded that “work at home presents health risk factor for an employed woman, and damages her work ability…and due to lack of creative work, housekeeping causes depression in the lives
of women.” Dr. Bosiljka Milošević presented some precise data, which she viewed as consequences of completely changed
role of women compared to women of earlier generations. The data in question were from the Gynecology and Obstetrics
Clinic in Belgrade. In the past 10 years the number of employed women with self-poisoning of women’s organisms due to
pregnancy (gestosis) was double the number of housewives with gestosis. Also the number of premature births, eccysis
was larger with employed women than housewives- Dr. Bosiljka Milošević also concluded that woman’s organism evolves,
overcoming new circumstances, and gradually conquers “all types of works and professions”. Dr. Bosiljka Milošević, Concerning
Work Capabilities of Woman, Žena danas, issue 103, Belgrade 1953, 15.
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boards of AFŽ, to monitor women’s work conditions, housekeeping and upbringing
of children.
Ruža Tadić, president of the Regional Board of AFŽ of Vojvodina, also spoke
about the position of women in Vojvodina, during the 6th Plenary Session of CO of
AFŽ of Yugoslavia. Women in villages were “much less equal then working women
and city women in general” (Ruža Tadić, Žena danas, issue 103:3). She reported a
data that women formed the majority of 60-80% of work force in peasant’s working
cooperatives in Vojvodina, but were insignificant when it came to managing. Out of
105 peasant’s and agricultural cooperatives in Vojvodina, only one had a women for
president. Ruža Tadić presented the data, in her text “8th of March, the International Day
of Women”, that in Vojvodina “in 201 villages had no women members in the People’s
Boards”. Number of women in county people’s boards decreased from 8,75%, in 1950,
to 3% in 1952 (Ruža Tadić, Slobodna Vojvodina, March 8th, 1953:2).
6th Plenary Session of Central Board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia was held in Sarajevo, on
December 26th and 27th, 1952. Representatives of AFŽ debated, based on the Resolution
from the 6th Congress of League of Communists of Yugoslavia, about the position of
women in socialist society and about tasks which derive from the Resolution. It was
concluded that:
Housekeeping represents “irrational use of work force” of
-
women (Žena danas, issue 103, 1953:1), especially of employed and socially
engaged women. The aim is to work to create conditions to relive women,
by building economical and comfortable flats, building communal infrastructure, services, restaurants, health and educational institutions, building the industry for production of consumer goods…
-
-
Education is a priority for work with women, especially when
it comes to housekeeping in villages. Develop hygiene, introduce nutrition,
rational economy of the village household, adequate care and education for
children, fight the superstition, backwardness…
AFŽ organizations should educate and relieve women by pro-
posing that these necessary measures be practiced. AFŽ should present
general problems of all the women from Yugoslavia: workers, women in
villages and cities, but also to provide the liberty for organizing the women
in other women’s movements, and that “AFŽ could just represent a league
of women’s societies” (Tomšič, Žena danas, issue 103, 1953:3).
The fact that women had twice as much work as men, was interpreted in many
social stratus as a sign of weakness and as an argument for women’s return home.
Representatives of AFŽ understood, quite clearly, the dangers of woman’s return back
home. Some of the leaders of AFŽ, like Cana Babović, argued that one couldn’t wait
for the “process of general development reaches the point where we could say: now
we have created the conditions for women to exercise their equality” (Babović, 1953:3),
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but the woman should “take herself to the equal position”. Cana Babović argued that
women communists “shouldn’t just work with other women…but can not escape the
responsibility for inadequate work and for the lack of women’s involvement in social
life…” (Ibid, 3).
During the 4th and final Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, in September 1953,
Vida Tomšič made a summary of organization’s work, in her report “Place ad Role
of Women’s Organizations in Today’s Stage of Development of Socialistic Social
Relations”, listing the successes and problems that women encountered, and which
they tried to overcome, more or less successfully. Focus of organization was on the
women from villages. The topic of the Congress proves it: “Position of Women in
Villages”. It was concluded that a special organization of women would separate
women “from overall political life and led to a wrong conclusion, that women have to
fight against the rest of the society, in order to achieve their rights…” (Tomšič, Žena
danas, Issue 112, 1953:10). Because of that, the Executive Board of AFŽ of Yugoslavia
recommended that Congress should make a decision to disband AFŽ. There was
a proposition that women should involve in some existing, or form new societies,
which would address various women’s issues. It was proposed that those societies
should horizontally connect into a League of Women’s Societies, and its task would
be to organize a wide discussion “on all problems, especially the problems of women”
(Tomšič, Žena danas, Issue 112, 1953:10).
The final (4th) Congress of AFŽ was at the same time the founding congress of
League of Women’s Societies. A Resolution on Forming of League of Women’s Societies42
was created. Socialist League of Working People of Yugoslavia43 was an organization
with a broad base. Commission for Work With Women of the Socialist League of
Working People of Yugoslavia, had the task to include as many women as possible
in political and economical life of country. Besides that, women’s organizing into
separate societies was encouraged: for education of women, care and education of
children, development of households.
Concluding Remarks
AFŽ of Yugoslavia and Vojvodina had been a specific school, in which women
learned how to be active in public and political life of their country. Its work developed under the leadership of Communist Party of Yugoslavia and relied on basic idea
that women are equal with men in every aspect of life. Practical work developed in
cycles: from autonomy to directive.
42 See: Žena danas, issue 112, 1953:2. Resolution states: “the main attention should be the ability of women to become economically independent by working within the society, for that is the base of her true equality”.
43 On 4th Congress of People’s Front in 1953, organization changed its function and name to Socialist League of Working
People (SSRN). According to the statute of SSRN the union and youth organization were working independently, but AFŽ
wasn’t. Special commissions were to be formed to work with women inside the base organizations of SSRN.
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Equality of women in FNRJ was formally confirmed by Constitution from 1946,
and with a complete set of laws, including the laws that protected the rights of mother
and her child.
Between 1945 and 1949 numerous women started entering political and economic
life of the country. Women voted on elections for federal, republic, regional and local
authorities. They were also elected for the governing bodies and were involved in
country’s economic development. Ideological and Party decisions intended the roles
of active participants in the creation of socio-economic sphere for women: workers,
udarniks, members of cooperatives, politicians (“socio-political workers”), economically independent women, who mastered different professions which were, up till
then reserved for men. A special social plan was adopted for teaching and education
of women, so they could overcome the inherited lack of education and join the economic and political life. Woman’s role as a mother was still very important (not just
as a mother of her own child, but as a mother of children without parents), as was
her role in healthcare and nursing (nursing pregnant women, women with babies,
disabled, pupils in children’s homes, colonists).
Social and political activity of women started to decrease in 1950. Changes in economic and political system, where local authorities were more and more significant,
demanded more knowledge and capabilities from elected persons. Women now had to
be better qualified, because just simple need to have a woman elected was not enough.
On the other hand, patriarchal attitude prevailed in time, so women had to work
harder to prove themselves. Patriarchal attitude towards women during the NOB and
post-war rebuilding was immediately recognized and judged as backward and wrong.
Women from Vojvodina were free to join regional and local organizations of AFŽ. By
the beginning of the 50’s, dealing with patriarchal attitude was “blunted”. In 1951 and
1952 there were a lot of examples where women gave up their candidacy for local and
regional elections, because their husbands and families were against it. During the first
few years after the war, that was not possible. Self-management was introduced in
1950, and companies had to make positive economic status. Social care for children and
mothers which was realized by this time now became an expensive project. Women
were offered high child bonuses, so many of them left their jobs. Not even the rhetoric
of active women’s roles in AFŽ press mention women brigadiers and udarniks, and
there are less and less women workers. But women in villages are specially supported,
because the socialistic transformation of village was not yet complete.
Even then, in socialist Yugoslavia, practice showed that employed women in
period 1945 to 195344 had to work equally well in factories, companies, institutions…
and at home. Their engagement required the state support in the form of paid maternity leave, paid leave if a child is sick, interruption of the work for breastfeeding, child
bonuses, and those were all huge expenses for a country devastated by war. That social
44 See the results of the research conducted by Stojaković Gordana (2007), CD AFŽ of Vojvodina 1942-1953, author’s edition,
Novi Sad.
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strain produced the attitude, since 1950, that it was better for women “to return home”,
because it was rational and in the “interest of children” (Žena danas, issue 81, 1951:11).
Members of AFŽ of Vojvodina achieved excellent results in the fields of women
workers and mother’s protection. AFŽ organizations cooperated with authorized
bodies to “remove the causes of sickness and mortality of children” (Tomšič, Žena
danas, issue 93, 1952:1), introduce regulations concerning protection of mother and
child, forming the teachers school for housewives, organizing classes for nurses and
kindergarten teachers…Activities were developed through healthcare education of
women, courses for young mothers, child care, forming the woman’s assets which
dealt with problems of protection of mother and child, by organizing constant assistance to women workers and mothers, organizing legal help for women, helping the
institutions which take care of mother and child (kindergartens, nurseries…), helping
with maintenance of school kitchens, children restaurants… Maternity was partially
a social care in FNRJ, and socialist Yugoslavia achieved high results in that field.
Together with different forms of material donations, the goal was to organize the society to help the mother to continue with her work. A network of children’s and health
institutions as formed for that reason. During the first years of creation of socialist
Yugoslavia, education of children was considered a social issue, but in the 50’s that
policy was corrected to acknowledge the importance of family.
In most cases work of AFŽ of Vojvodina was concentrated on cultural-educational and political education of women: literacy courses, housekeeping courses, reading
groups, courses and seminaries with different topics, lectures, exhibitions, women’s
press. Mobilizing women for volunteering was usual method for inclusion of women
into economy. AFŽ had great results in that field. Inclusion of women in economy was
the obligation of other mass organizations, but government’s duty too. Cooperation
of all these factors proved to be fruitful in Vojvodina, where the organizations of AFŽ
of Vojvodina (Sombor, Subotica and Novi Sad) influenced that 15.532 women were
employed permanently during 1950 (Tomšič, Žena danas, issue 93, 1952:1). Equal status of women was a general social project of socialist Yugoslavia. Articles written by
the leaders of AFŽ especially highlighted economically independent women, which
is “their only option to make them feel truly independent and autonomous” (Ibid,
1). During the period from 1945 to 1950, working women were supported ideologically, legally and financially, because the ideology plan considered working woman a
prerequisite for other general and specific women’s rights. Work at home was, at the
same time, was considered a necessity, which will be reduced to reasonable measure
in time, by development of production forces and implementing “public industry”.
But in reality, the conflict between social and family engagement could not be quickly
resolved with ease. Women carried the burden of “two workplaces” more easily
during the first post-war years, because they were aware that they achieved equality and they were working in the period of general social enthusiasm. Overworking
manifested itself later, through often sick leaves and absence from workplace. That
provoked the attitude that employed women are burden for economy, in time of eco101
nomic development. Women were fired from their workplaces more often, but it was
forbidden to fire pregnant women and mothers of babies, because of the support of
AFŽ and unions.
During the period between 1945 and 1953 women irrevocably stepped into social
and economical life of the country. The criteria for assessment of women’s position
in a society, which include legal regulations, degree of involvement in political and
economical life in a country, showed a significant progress compared to women in the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia. By implementing equal rights for women, compared to men,
and by special protection for mother and child, socialist Yugoslavia secured a high
degree of women’s equality. But there were big differences in the practice of implementation of those laws between regions and big differences between women in cities
and women in villages. Compared to the rest of Yugoslavia, implementation of those
laws was high in Vojvodina. It was clear even then, that the issue of women’s equality
is a sum of many issues, which must be solved in a long time period, persistently and
patiently, and not just by economic and technical development of the country, but by
work and commitment of women themselves.
AFŽ of Yugoslavia (and Vojvodina) was closed because, as Neda Božanović says,
“it was hard to accept a woman as an equal man” (Stojaković, 2002:48). A number of
delegates on the Final Congress of AFŽ of Yugoslavia, and a number of members of
AFŽ, interpreted the conclusions of the Congress (and the introduction) as “degrading
of women’s organizations and women themselves…and many organizations of AFŽ
reacted by …” (Božinović, 1996:70).
AFŽ of Vojvodina was created as an organization of women working for the good
of women and for common good. Only under those circumstances was possible to
begin the liberation of women, and their mass entry into social, economic and political
reality. The momentum, enthusiasm and persistency with which women taught other
women in direct contact their knowledge, experiences, offered direct support, represents, in our historical memory, the most efficient model of women activism, which
reached every town and every village in Vojvodina.
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103
Ida
I was born in 1913 in Pečuj. It is a place in Hungary, but back then it was AustroHungarian Monarchy. I was born in a working class family. My father was a railway
worker, so my family background is working class. My mother and father could not
get registered as a civil matrimony, because he was a Jew, and she was a catholic, and
that family curse followed us even when my older brother was 8 years old. Soon after
I was born, my father went to war, so I never had a chance to meet him. Then my
mother returned to her family in Subotica, where she was born. My brother and I were
lucky that our grandfather, although a worker, was very progressive and have read
many books. I was 13 when he gave me a copy of “Iliad” to read. It didn’t matter do
I understand it or not, because the love of books was most important. Our orientation
was probably influenced by a lack of religion in our family, because they didn’t force
us to go to church. They allowed us to freely choose our path.
Vojvodina was quite poor back then. There were so many poor people and there
was an epidemic of tuberculoses. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was much undeveloped
back then. There was just one high-way, and most of the population was illiterate. The
parts of the country that were under the Austro-Hungarian rule were a bit more developed: Croatia, Slovenia, Vojvodina. The only reason we had a few literate people in
each village was because Maria Theresa ordered that each village must have a school.
But there were no factories here neither. The largest one had 50-60 workers, and
bosses wanted to make quick profit, because they belonged to the young bourgeoisie,
so wages were very low. My life was very difficult. It became even harder when my
brother was arrested in 1929. I had to quit my education. I was in second grade in high
school, and with the age of 13 I had to be prepared to work whatever I was offered. I
had to support myself, my mother, who fell sick after my brother was arrested, and I
had to send money to my brother in prison, in Sremska Mitrovica.
Tavankut is a village near Subotica. Before the WWII there were a lot of biroshs45
there. I went to Tavankut each Sunday and returned back home in the evening, always
on foot. I was working with the youths, which included some girls. We were divided
in the work groups. I gave them some books to read and they gave me a huge watermelon, to show me how much they like me. I had to hide that water-melon somewhere
by the road, because I couldn’t carry it all the way back to Subotica. The youth was well
organized, not just in Tavankut, but in all the nearby places: Moravica, Bačka Topola,
Čantavir and Ljutovo. They were all well organized. Biroshs and poor peasants, with
45 Biroshs were peasants who were working at the private large scale farms for a wage – wage peasants. They had their own
homes, but had no land to cultivate.
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their hoes and shovels on their shoulders, came by foot to assembly, on the day of
the great agricultural strike. Women were mostly in front. Women from Tavankut
were going to the assembly with their hoes and shovels. In front of Subotica, where
the playground stands today, they were stopped by a cordon of gendarmes. Women
broke through gendarmes with their shovels and hoes, and reached the assembly,
where Mato Vuković held an important speech. Women were led by Marga Beretić.
We, women from the union, organized a kitchen to cook meals for the strikers.
We organized it for the strikers and for their families each time there was a strike by
the union, so they wouldn’t starve. Young girls with big baskets went around the
markets and asked for some food from the dealers, to supply us with food. Most of the
dealers gave them food. They were also poor who bought that food from the peasants,
to sell it on the market, so we always had something to cook.
We always had food for the prisoners too. Subotica was famous for deported
prisoners from all over the country, as far as Zagreb and Belgrade. Women from the
union’s women committee visited the prisoners, sent them food, washed their clothes.
There was an investigating magistrate in Subotica, named Ristić, a Macedonian. He
was very honest. On one occasion he was even invited to Belgrade, under an investigation, because he was giving progressive books to the communist. He answered: I cannot give them bible, because I know they will not read it. I give them books which they
will read. That judge even gave permits for visits to communists who were brought
in from Belgrade. I had a task to make a visit to Baruh Rašela, who I didn’t know up
until then, so I turned to judge Ristić to give me a permit to visit her. I told him she
was my cousin, and he just said: Very well. He gave me the permit. When I came to the
prison, they took me to the yard, and there were two women standing there. I didn’t
know which one of them was Baruh Rašela. Judge told me: Come over here. Here is
your cousin. We also had those kind of experiences.
I remember Đeri family. There were three young men. Their father was a revolutionary, and he brought up his children the same way. He was working in the Ferum
factory, where he put up the red flag. His oldest son, Đeri Franja, was killed in Dachau.
He was a member of the Party, and was arrested in 1941 and convicted. He was married to Juca Đeri, his associate. She was a furniture polisher. She was pregnant when
she was arrested, and they have beaten her so badly, that she miscarried. She was also
active after the war. Their daughter, Eržebet Đeri, was married to Lukač’s middle son.
She was a member of the SKOJ before the war. She organized reading groups. They
were reading “Antiduring” and Babel. Her husband and his brothers were arrested
in 1941. The older brother had a family. His wife – Lukač Ana was also active in the
progressive movement. Lukač brothers were convicted in 1941. The oldest one, Ana’s
husband, was sentenced to death, and the middle one got a prison sentence. Since
the oldest brother had a child, the middle brother asked that their sentences be interchanged, so that he would go to the gallows, and the oldest brother would serve his
sentence in prison. And so they did.
I had to overcome all these obstacles in order to join the movement. I was accept105
ed late in the party, because I had to leave Vojvodina, and I had to pass the trial time
in Slovenia. I was accepted in the party in 1939.
When we are talking about the position of women, we have to look back. It is a
known fact that women in old Yugoslavia weren’t equal to men. They were second
class citizens, and they had to have a guardian, when their husband or father died.
They couldn’t take care of their own children. By the way, in this rich Vojvodina there
were a lot of poor and unemployed people. There were a few factories, and most of
them had only fifty to sixty workers. Some of them employed exclusively women
workers, like “Hartmanka” from Subotica, which exported poultry and feathers. The
women were mercilessly exploited and used, and they were also beaten.
Before the WWII there was a lot of poor villagers and very few women intellectuals, because women, in general, weren’t allowed in high schools. In Vojvodina, Croatia
and Slovenia, some women managed to enter high schools, but there were parts in
Yugoslavia like Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and even Southern Serbia where women
didn’t go to school. I know that in Kosovo fathers would beat up their daughters if they
studied, because they wanted them to fail. There was this horrifying notion of women.
There was an epidemic of tuberculosis in Vojvodina, despite all the wealth. We
who were involved in the progressive, revolutionary movement weren’t only tasked
with spreading the word about the necessity of nationwide people’s struggle against
the exploitation, but we also had a task to enlighten the people about health care.
Among us were physicians who lectured us about health care, fighting tuberculosis,
struggling for a normal, safe childbirth, since sepsis was common among women in
those times. Many women gave birth at home, often without a midwife. This attracted
many, many women.
Women’s rights movement was strong in Vojvodina and other parts of country,
thanks to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. I know they were signing a petition for
women’s rights, women’s right to vote in particularly.
Struggle for women’s equality began much, much earlier, considering the horrible,
degrading status of the woman. In many families it was considered a misfortune if a
baby girl was born. Those type of ideas prevailed. People were backward, because 90%
of them were illiterate in pre war Yugoslavia, we had only one high-way, so you can
imagine it. That’s why we work so hard on education of women after the war. We started courses for illiterate, reading groups in order to teach women to read and write.
Equality wasn’t given to Yugoslav women. They had to fight for it, by massively
participating in People’s Liberation Struggle, with guns in their hands. They were
involved in all forms of struggles for equality, but not just women equality, but workers and peasants, who were also exploited. There were around 620 thousand women
actively involved in combat, and that implies cities too, and I have to say that being in
the city is far more difficult than being in the partisan units. I experienced it both and
I was relieved when I went to the partisan units.
I was in Slovenia during the WWII. There were more than six hundred children,
ages two to three, in Ljubljana, who were left by their parents who had to leave,
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because Gestapo and OVRA, the Italian secret service, were looking for them. Taking
care of the children was an organized action. It was a task for women, led by mother
of writer Ziherl. She took care of all those children, and none of them was ever discovered. But they had to be moved to some other family each week. Since 90% of
Ljubljana population was for the liberation struggle, that wasn’t so difficult.
Women were heroines. Near Ljubljana, there is a hill. I think it’s called St. Peter.
There was a small church on the hill, in which one priest organized torture chambers
in the basement. 7000 people were killed there, with his help. After the war, he was
brought to trial, but there were no living witnesses. One woman answered the call.
She told him: Do you remember me? I was pregnant. I kneeled before you and beg of you
just to allow me to have my baby, and then you can shoot me. But you ordered that young
white trooper to shoot me. He took me and said – I‘ll shoot in the air. I will tell him that I’ve
thrown you in to the river. Run and hide, that no one can see you, or else we are both dead.
Then she showed a forest with young firs and under each fir there was a grave. When
they unearthed the graves, there were ten to fifteen people in each grave. There were
also other examples of heroism amongst women. I remember Vida Predrag, a worker
in cookware factory in Ljubljana. Italians surrounded the factory in 1941, and began
the search. They planted a leaflet in one of the desks. The desk belonged to a young
woman, named Vida Predrag. Italians gathered all of the workers and in front of them,
they sentenced her to death. That happened in the morning. At noon they asked of her
to betray everyone she knew from People’s Liberation Movement. She refused. Then
they ordered her to kneel and beg them for mercy, in which case they will not shoot
her, but send her to camp. Vida Predrag refused to kneel and to beg. In the afternoon
they took her to the wall and tried to blindfold her. She didn’t allow them. I am not
afraid to look in to your eyes, but you are afraid to look in to mine. One of the soldiers refused
to shoot at Vida Predrag. He was placed beside her, and they were both shot.
I also remember the heroism of Zora Krdžalić –Zaga. She and her husband were
informed to hide immediately, because German secret police found out about them
and is coming to get them. Zora Krdžalić didn’t have the time to pack herself. She just
called one of her cousins to come and take away her one year old son. Later, when she
was in a partisan unit, she found out that her child is safe. I think that was also heroism. There was a lot of examples of heroines during the NOB.
In various ways (laughter). First I organized youth in Ljubljana. We had regular
actions in Ljubljana, making the occupying forces know they are not in charge. New
slogans would dawn each day: “Long live KPJ”, “Long live Tito”, “Death to fascism,
liberty to the people” etc. Each morning leaflets would appear, calling for an uprising
against the occupation. Even before the war we had organized illegal apartments, for
we knew that some of us will have to go underground, and that we couldn’t stay in
our apartments. So I lived in apartment of doctor Kuruh.
There was a curfew each evening at 8 pm, and one day I came home at quarter
to 8 pm. He told me that he doesn’t know what to do, because they were asking him
about me. He told them that I was a patient, and that he doesn’t know much. But he
107
wanted to inform me. I told him: I’m not staying a minute longer. That was in Šiška,
and I lived down the road. To walk that far was impossible for such a short time. I
went out, and hid myself under the stairways inside the first building I could enter,
and I heard when the janitor locked the door. I spent the whole night there, and in
the morning, when janitor unlocked the door, I came out. He asked me where was I. I
told him that I was out during curfew and that I would be embarrassed if they should
caught me. Why didn’t you knock on any door, he asked me, everybody would let you
in. I told you this so you could understand the situation in Ljubljana in war times.
There were 500 children, age 2 to 4, whose parents were illegals in Ljubljana.
There was one comrade, we called her Mother Zigarlov, mother of writer Zigarlov. She
was taking care of those 500 children, but those children had to change foster families
almost every week, so Gestapo wouldn’t find them. Gestapo thought if they catch the
children, the parents would give them self up. Thanks to that women Gestapo wasn’t
able to find a single child during the entire war. She was so well organized.
There is one case of one of our beautiful girl. She was very pretty and handsome and she was given the assignment to socialise with the commanding officer of
Ljubljana, to lure him to Tivoli, so that our people could kill him. She met with him in
a bar and he walked her home. When she went out tomorrow, everyone was spiting
and shouting, calling her Italian bitch. Can you imagine the feeling? She continued
like that for 3-4 days and then said: Comrades, I can not continue with this. All of my
neighbours are cursing me, calling me Italian whore; someone who doesn’t know me
might even kill me. Give me the gun. I will take him to Tivoli and kill him, but arrange
me an immediate transfer to the partisans. And so she killed him in the forest of Tivoli
and she was immediately transferred to the partisans.
A lot of it was written about People’s Liberation Struggle. I will just say that the
women supplied partisans with everything they needed: clothes, shoes, food, medicine, bases for the illegals. After the liberation, I came back to Vojvodina, to Subotica in
1946. I went to see what happened to my family that remained to live here. My mother, brother, sister in law and her daughter were in Subotica. My first husband, Kovač
Janoš, got killed in the last days of liberation of Slovenia. He was from Vojvodina, a
Hungarian. He served four years in prison in Sremska Mitrovica, for being a communist and four years in war. He was killed on the April 2-nd 1945. I also came to inform
his parents that he was no longer alive. Paško Romac was with us, and we were riding
on a cart from Novi Sad. When we approached Subotica, Miha Marinko asked me: Is
your heart pounding?
Paško Romac asked: Why should her heart pound near Subotica?
She is from Subotica.
What, she isn’t Slovenian?
I answered: No, I’m Hungarian.
I never nationally declared myself, because for me the humanity was important,
not nation or creed. And so I came back, answering the call from Vojvodina. I didn’t
work in AFŽ, but I was familiar with their work.
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After the Liberation I married Filoksis Kozmidis, trustee of the Greek partisans,
who were stationed in Bujkes (I think it’s called Gakovo today). He became a true citizen of Novi Sad, as have his countrymen, back when city was founded. We have two
daughters, who have PhD in physics, thanks to their abilities and their socialism.
I can’t say what was more difficult: fighting with the gun in my hand, during the
war, or fighting for equality after the war. Fighting for acceptation of women in each
level of society, the right for education, for all women, so women can have more options.
It was hard to struggle against backward consciousness and ideas. It was not simple.
Women used to wear headscarves in Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Young girls
age twelve were getting married in Serbia. Parents would arrange a wedding, got her
married as a girl, and then all the men would use her, until she was an adult.
We had to teach people health care, hygiene and basic education. There were
literacy course for the women; crews were organized – thanks to the AFŽ – medicine
crews, teachers, various experts. They were doing house visits in Macedonia, Bosnia,
and even Serbia, because women didn’t come out of the houses. They thought them
basic hygiene, correct life style and why to take of veils. That was really a hard struggle, and it was mostly carried out by women. Let us not forget that this country was
in war, and all the countries that were in war were plagued by hunger. There were no
hungry in Yugoslavia, not even in the most remote parts. There wasn’t an abundance
of food, there wasn’t enough, but there wasn’t any hunger, thanks to the program of
buying off the food, which is cursed a lot these days. But that was organized so that
the people of this country wouldn’t starve. There wasn’t abundance in Vojvodina and
in food producing regions, but they didn’t starve in Montenegro, Macedonia. AFŽ carried most of that burden too. The biggest struggle was for the young girls, who should
to go to school. It was very closed monitored.
Employed women in pre-war Yugoslavia, even the intellectuals, had almost half
the amount of the wages as their male counterparts. After the war we advocated
that everyone should have the same wage for same work, regardless of their gender,
nationality or creed.
The times were tough. There was the ’48, when Russian soldiers were on our
borders. We had to supply the army then, take care of them, so they can defend this
country. I do not agree with everything that was going on the Goli Otok, I found about
that just recently, but without that we would suffer Russian occupation, like Hungary,
like the East, like Poland and others. We choose freedom, because we fought for it
ourselves. It wasn’t the Russians who liberated us. There were mistakes, but they were
inevitable. There is, and there never was a perfect human society, but socialism at least
erased centuries old injustice towards women.
There was a round table in Hungary. Pity there wasn’t one here. The agenda was
the beginning of the women inequality. One woman said that it had all started with
the Bible. It was told that the god created woman from the rib of a man, and that the
first sin was a woman’s sin. It was told to run from Sodom and Gomorrah and that no
one should turn back, but the woman turned back and was turned into a statue made
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of salt. That was the beginning of inequality, and the biggest injustice started with the
private property, when the master wanted to have a male successor. I think that today
we went a step back, although I can see that some parties are trying to do something,
and there are some women appearing, even smart ones. But there are no women in
high positions. We also had to fight for that right.
There were just a few women intellectuals after the war. We had a number of
educated women workers, because there was an order from the Party to educate ourselves. I think we read more books than some people with a University degree. We
were reading Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and Zola... There were educated women; there
was a struggle for acknowledgement of women, but it was difficult to fight against
backward beliefs.
In one period I was a president of the Parole Committee for the Yugoslav
Presidency. The most of the convicts, especially Albanians, were rapists. There was
one woman, sentenced to 20 years of hard labour, because she killed her husband,
father in law and two brothers in law. She was fourteen, when she was literally sold
to her husband. When she was mature, she had enough, because at first her father in
law started living with her, then brothers in law, and then her husband. One day she
took a riffle, killed them all, and wounded her mother in law, who also knew about
that. I told her I would let her go immediately, because she was the victim in this
case. First they reduced her sentence for five years, and later reduced it even more.
She didn’t do much time in prison, but the point was how difficult it was to struggle
against such primitivism. When one of my comrades asked me: Why are you so harsh on
those rapists? At least those in marriage, he said. I answered him: Do you have a daughter
and what would you say if someone raped her? He was silent. I think that those kinds of
attitude towards women are wide spread even today. Especially since our society is in
such a difficult period, and there is no concern for the status of women and mothers
in society. When women are in bad position, I think that the children suffer and the
entire society degrades, and it cannot move forward since the half of its population is
not protected.
What was the platform of the AFŽ, and what can the platform be today?
Women were quite prepared after the Liberation, and they were keen to learn.
The position of the women was different, since they were equal in everything, but it
required a lot of work to make them feel equal and to conquer a right to a different
life style within their families. It was also difficult, because it was not easy to defeat
backward ideas. We called physicians to lecture women, organized sewing courses,
so that women can sew something for themselves, they were learning how to cook...
We weren’t imposing some political ideas, but we told them that a woman can do
anything, but she has to fight for it. Before the war we were against the feminist movement, because we thought that an isolated women’s movement cannot achieve much.
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Only united with all of the oppressed, with all of the exploited, with all those who are
living in misery, only as an organisation presenting the issue of women’s equality we
can operate and achieve results. The feminists argued that they should fight against the
males, because they oppress them. That wasn’t our fight. Women would never achieve
equality if they had fought like that. That’s why they joined the Antifascist Women’s
Front and the anti-fascist struggle. They were taking care of the strikers. Everybody
was on strike, not just women. They too were going from factory to factory, organizing
workers. If we are to be honest, we must say that women today are being discriminated again. They are the first to lose their jobs. It is harder for them to find work,
regardless of their qualifications. Everyone is talking about the “white plague”, but
how can a woman be pregnant, when the first thing they ask her at the job interview
is whether she is pregnant. If she is, she cannot get a job. Pregnant women are losing their jobs, and they can’t find any protection. Legal regulations that protected the
mother and her child in socialist Yugoslavia are practically abolished. Women had the
same right as men, and there were special rights for women and their children. There
were many nurseries and kindergartens, and there were also children’s camps (at the
seaside and in the mountains). All the children, regardless of their parents’ economic
status, could visit those holiday camps. Relief meals were distributed in almost all of
the factories, and women could take that food back home. We can talk in particular
of the health care for women. In socialist Yugoslavia women were organized to visit
medical institutions twice a year, for preventive cancer examinations. Special care was
reserved for the pregnant women. They could use all of their rights based on their
employment status, during their pregnancy, and after the pregnancy, until the child’s
first year, and even longer, if there were medical reasons for that.
Employed women, who were qualified, were as competent as the men were.
Idea that the woman’s labour is worth less is recidivism from the past, when women
were paid half the wages less than men. We also had to fight on that field too, and we
fought it in the Party and in the Parliament. For example, I became a member of the
Presidency of Yugoslavia, and that is not a minor position. But even in more developed regions, in Slovenia for example, there were far more women in high places,
and they had to prove themselves too. A woman had to work more to prove herself
everywhere: at the loom, in the court, as a physician, as a politician. She always had
to prove herself more than men.
It is not an easy job to change a primitive consciousness. You couldn’t do it over
night. Despite all those women who were participating in the NOB, with riffles in
their hands.
Economic changes started in the 50’s, but it was possible to achieve rights for
women: women were not losing their jobs, they had one year of paid maternity leave,
new institutions for children were opened, new nurseries, new kindergartens, new
preschools. At that time the relief meals were being distributed in the factories, and
women could take that food back to their families.
The women’s position is not permanently secured There are differences between
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systems. Position of women is different in our country than position of women in
Africa or Iraq, especially in Iraq today. When I was in Egypt, as a member of our
delegation, I saw that the Nonalignment Pact was responsible for the abolishment
of the veils. Women were dressing normally, elegantly in Iraq also. All the schools
were opened for the women, but they had more difficulties in struggling for equality.
Nasser’s Decree was not enough. Decree’s and laws were not enough in the struggle
for equality, nor have they created equality. You have to fight for it. When Nasser
died, they stepped back for two centuries. Women wear black clothes and veils again,
unfortunately.
India was interesting. Indira Gandhi was president there. She was rarely smart
and rarely respected. But look what religions are doing today. Look at the Iraq. Sunni
and Shiite are the same people and Americans managed to divide them. You can just
imagine what the women are going through. But woman must not be passive, for if
she is passive, we will fall back fifty, sixty, a hundred years back.
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Eta
My name is Dr. Eta Najfeld. I was born in Slavonski Brod in 1916. My father was
a trader. I spent my childhood in Slavonski Brod. I enrolled at the Medicine faculty in
Zagreb, after high school, but I never graduated because I was Jewish, and in those
times, they didn’t allow for Jewish students to graduate. I had only two exams left to
pass, when the war started. However, there was an organized action of suppression
of the endemic syphilis in Bosnia, which was a propaganda task in order to portray
Ustaša’s Croatia as a benefactor that looks out for the health of the “Croatian flowers”. My husband and me enlisted and went to Bosnia. For this task we received a
document claiming that we are protected from imprisonment in concentration camps,
which wasn’t true, for some of our colleagues were actually forced to Ustaša’s camps.
Eventually, almost all of us, about 80 doctors, joined People’s Liberation Struggle. For
us the NOB was the only way to save ourselves from camps, for we knew very well
the ideological character of that uprising, and we knew that it was the oportunity to
fight against our common enemy – fascism. At first we didn’t have any chances to
join the Partisan movement, for I had a little baby and a mother, who I succeed to get
out from the camp in Đakovica, thanks to that document we recived from Ustaša’s
authorities. But my husband and I helped partisans by informing them abot the movements of Ustaša and German armies, and those informations were valuable to the
partisans. My husband even managed to send medications, that we could get, to the
partisan forces.
The cooperation started in 1943. We sent medications and supported the struggle
in various ways, but we take this date as a beginig of our active combat involvement.
When our friends alerted us that our lives are in danger, and that we must hide, we
voluntarily joined the NOP. The same day i gave birth to my son in Podgrmeč region.
My husband became head of 39. Krajiška division’s hospital, and I cooperated as a
doctor at the department for infectious disease, although I was two exams short of my
graduation. Life with partisans was a real inspiration for me because I teached first
aid courses and literacy courses for iliterate Bosnian peasant women, who joined the
NOP. Women were equal to men in partisan movement, and there was no difference.
There was a multitude of women in combat units, but women mostly acted as phone
operators, agents, pharmacists, nurses, propaganda agents and were not spared in any
way. Comrades probably took care of them, and hold them further from first battle
lines, but it was only to spare them great physical strain, which was common for the
front lines, but not because some patriarchal relations between genders.
There were fewer women than men in combat units, but that doesn’t mean there
were none. We covered some other sectors, vital for the functioning of NOP, maybe
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even more than carrying the riffle is. I have to say that my position was in some way
specific, compared to others, maybe even privileged position, on one hand because I
had a little child, and on the other hand, I was a Jewish woman. Head officers knew
that no Jew could collaborate with the enemy, so I never got on the list of suspicion.
It was a system that was intent on destroying us physically, so there was no chance
that any of the Jews collaborate with Germans or domestic traitors. I never experienced any kind of prejudice in partisan movement, be it sexism or anti-Semitism. I felt
absolutely equal, and put my heart and soul into this movement. Even before this, I
was a member of a left-wing student organization, but I wasn’t a member of KPJ nor
a member of SKOJ. I can’t say that I was a communist, but I definitively believed in
many communist ideas, like an idea of a society in which no body threatens no one
because of his or hers national, religious or class background.
I don’t remember having any difficulties, besides those that we all had to endure:
lack of nutrition and lack of personal hygiene. The lack of hygiene was quite tough
on me, because I got lice when I joined the partisans, which was something I wasn’t
used to. However, everyone had head lice, and when you all have to endure the same
difficulties, it is somewhat easier for all of you. I can’t say that I had some unique difficulties, besides food rations, but even when it comes to food I had some privileges,
since I had a little baby, so I would always get some extra rations, if there was any, of
course. I wasn’t isolated. Whatever the others get, I got it too, and maybe even more,
because of my child.
For me the most striking scene was when I gave birth in the same room where
ten other people were sleeping. They were so quiet, didn’t spoke a word, and I was in
labour. In the morning I found that my baby has head lice. We were transporting on
an ox cart, because we were close to the enemy lines, and my son suffered sunstroke,
from the hot sun. Jovan Bilbija, who followed after our cart, asked me for the name of
my son. I said that I don’t know, but it will begin with an “I”, because my daughter,
that got killed about month ago, had a Russian name beginning with an “I”. So I told
him that the boy’s name will be Igor. And he approached the nearest tree and had broken off a branch from it, placed it over the baby’s head and said:”Here is some shade
for you, from your godfather Jova Bilbija”.
Relations between men and women were very interesting, since there was great
care to prevent any sexual “incidents”. Reasons for such care were of a practical
nature – for it was impossible to perform an abortion in that kind of situation, and
such relations were not tolerated, because they could affect the moral. However, it
wasn’t explicitly forbidden, nor did the people who’ve fallen in love in that situation
suffered any repressive measures because of their relationship. The focus was more on
propaganda and pointing out the fact that it isn’t quite the right time for such relationships. But I have to admit that there were some obvious flirting and romances going
on, which is quite normal. We are all just people, after all. However, there was a great
deal of care, in order to prevent any situations that could get out of hand.
I cannot even remember how I spent my free time, if there was any. I was working
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at the hospital, and I had a little child. When I didn’t have any duties, I was teaching
some courses, for which I am not sure if it was work or pleasure. You have to understand something. I was in Bosnia. Bosnian peasant rose up, after Croatia occupied
Bosnia, because of the desperate situation that he was in, when Bosnian Serbs and
other non-Croats were driven of to camps, killed and massacred without any explanation or reason. That illiterate Serbian peasant, who started the uprising bear handed,
was so uninformed and uneducated, that he had to be educated and enlightened from
the start. And that is the virtue of People’s Liberation Struggle. They attended literacy
courses, first aid courses for women, cooking courses...there was a lot of work. I almost
never had any time for relaxation, for if there was nothing to do, there was always
someone that needed some conversation, directions or help. I remember very well
one illiterate peasant women, named Dragica, who was washing bandages from pus.
She started a fire, and prepared a bucket with some water, to boil the bandages. But
before that, she washed them all in an ice cold stream. When I asked her: “Dragičica,
what are you doing?”, she answered me: “I’m washing”, and showed me her swollen, blue hands. I told her to stop and take a break, and she just replied: “I have many
more bandages”. Those swollen, blue hands still come to my memories, even now, 65
years after the war ended. She simply didn’t know anything and didn’t knew how to
help comrades, except by washing those dirty, stained bandages, and she was working until she was exhausted. I could tell you a million of such tear-jerking stories. I
remember a cook, named Mara, who prepared really bad meals, partial because the
ingredients were scarce, but mostly because she didn’t know how to cook. But in the
evening, when she danced kozaračko kolo, none could match her. Even the wounded
would get up and dance. Memories like those are countless and I have to admire those
illiterate Serbian women that have done so much for our cause. I taught them about
hygiene – those poor girls didn’t have any clue how, nor why we should sterilise bandages, and the desire with which they anticipated our conversations was touching.
During those courses we would just sit around in a circle, without any order, with
no hierarchy. They always asked questions, thirsty for knowledge, and I answered
their questions. I presented myself as their equal, who just happens to be a bit more
informed, and because of that they didn’t hesitate to ask. I can not exactly describe it to
you. It wasn’t a class, like those that I taught after the war, when I lectured physician
specialists postgraduates. It wasn’t a lecture, it was socialisation, conversation, for the
common good and knowledge of our unit. If I presented myself as a lecturer, I have to
admit that it wouldn’t look like that, and it wouldn’t be as effective as it was.
Our male comrades supported our female courses in every way. It was normal
that our comrades would help us and give us some advices, without any hesitation.
It was considered that every meeting within partisans had a purpose to raise the level
of education, no matter in which field; the important thing was to make progress.
Each moment we raised the level of consciousness about the necessity of our struggle
and pointing out to the individual that this struggle is necessary and that we are all
equals. I think that is the greatness of our struggle. Of course there exceptions and
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mistakes, but in 99% of the cases this partisan struggle was magnificent, and there was
no greater upraising against Nazism, in the concurred Europe, than this Yugoslavian
upraising. It must be said loud and clear. It is the merit of our people, for we were
on the right side and we fought with all our hearts and means necessary against the
fascist occupation. In my judgement, there is nothing more glorious. For example, the
uprising in Poland, in army “Krajova”, the internal atmosphere was not good. It was
a disaster, for many Jews, even Spanish veterans, were humiliated and even executed,
which wasn’t the case in our movement. I am eternally grateful to our struggle, for I
survived. If there wasn’t for NOB, I would certainly perish.
In Zagreb we were greeted with closed windows and shutters, closed doors
and empty streets. And when I remember the day the Germans and Ustaše entered
Zagreb, and we were standing on the corner of Drašković’s and Jurišić’s street, the
people were throwing flowers and candy and oranges. The difference was huge. After
a certain time in Zagreb I demobilised myself and decided that I can not stay in Zagreb
any longer, and that I have to move to Belgrade, so nothing ever reminds me of what
I have gone through. I spent my entire carrier at the Health Centre, at the same desk,
until my pension in 1973.
I adapted to the peace fairly easily. I figured that I should live, for I had a child and
a husband, whom I loved endlessly, and who saved my life. I figured I should work. I
didn’t have any time for post-traumatic stresses. I had to keep on working and living.
I must say that I do respect Germans, for their work and their diligence. They had
lost the war, and succeeded in becoming a power again. However, I avoid travelling
across Germany, or having any contacts with Germans. Never forget, never forgive.
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DANICA
My name is Pavlović Bulat Danica. I was born in Kirin, Brgin Most District upon
Kordun. I attended elementary school in Kirin, where we had a priest Stanko Kangrga
and a teacher Dmitar Mitić. They were good people, and we were good children. They
would listen to us and we would listen to them. Everything went well. I still have a
list of pupils somewhere here. When we were in first grade, teacher would ask us:
who will answer, who knows. Danica Bulat will answer. Someone else will continue.
That’s how children used to learn. I think children today are learning better, because
they learn foreign languages, and we just learned Serbo-Croatian.
I used to hand-sew before the war. All of my works were commended. When I
got the sewing machine, I continued to work with it. My dad would always tell me
to write it down, but I would tell him I can remember it all. I was engaged with the
youth, with those children.
My dad was the first to get engaged in war, and Branoko Žutić, from the same
village. They’ve started it, and all of the youth who were willing, joined them. So I
joined also. Since I joined from the start, now I have the Commemorative Medal. I am
a disabled war veteran. It was during the ’42, and it continued through ’43 and ’44, but
I also went through a period of typhus, disease. I arrived at Zagreb with a long hair.
I didn’t want to cut my hair, and I didn’t want to wear trousers. I was embaraced, it
was a shame back then.
Most of the girls from my surrounding joined the partisans. Actually they’ve
joined with me. I led them, they followed me. I also went to a course in Gornji Budački.
It was a party course, and I was in Topuski on the meeting. I also organized the youth.
It all went well, without any arguing or fighting.
Other girls were also sewing. They joined NOB and attended Party meetings.
First thing was to attend the Party’s youth meetings. We would come to meetings and
listen to what was going on. Why were the meetings called for? We were meeting to
help the People’s Liberation Struggle. Besides sewing, we also gathered food for the
partisans and took it to the frontlines, and after that we joined the 3rd company, where
my husband was a commander.
My first assignment with the partisans was the food. My second assignment were
the literacy classes. I was more literate than most of them. My dad was in the Board
and he organized everything, together with Branko Žutić, from our village. Now
when I think about it, it was all worth praise. There was no arguing or hatred.
I worked with both of them. Young men and women joined us too. Other girls
were also sewing, attending to the cattle and they were learning how to read and
write. That was the main task. When the battles started, some of them were killed at
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Sutjeska, those who were first. There were others, which circulated in the region, in
towns Vrgin Most, Karlovac, Topusko... I spent some time in Karlovac in the Board.
That’s how I expanded my leadership through Kordun.
Young people had a nice life with the partisans, quite merry. It wasn’t sad,
although some were killed, some died from typhus and so on. But most of the time,
young people were willing to react. When I had some free time, I used to sew. I’ve
learned everything I needed to know. Was it more than others knew back then? Some
had problems to learn something. One girl sang better than me. She had a powerful
voice, and I was quieter. I couldn’t sing like that.
When the typhus came, and lice after it... I didn’t cut my hair until we reached
Zagreb. I never had lice in my hair. I washed it and combed it, and didn’t want to
have any lice.
During the battles, men-women relationship was good. If someone carries a riffle,
then it was a combatant with a rifle, and if someone didn’t have a rifle, then it was
a political worker. I didn’t carry a rifle, so I was a political worker. I wrote and read
everything. I was in the 3rd company and in 4th battalion, but carried no rifle. I was
in the 3rd company while my husband was there, and then he went to Žumbreg. I just
asked if I could visit him.
I met my husband while he was in Žumbreg, and I was a field political worker.
When he went back to Žumbreg, he took prisoners to the Head Quarters. He was alone
with ten prisoners when I met him... We married soon after that. I went to his house
with him. The neighbour was calling Teša’s mother, to tell her that Teša got married.
Oh my, she said, in the midst of the war. No one would get married now, except my
Tešo. And he didn’t get married in his home, but in a village where my mother was
born. We got married there, went straight to his home, and he reported to duty, and
so did I. We were separated for the most of the time, during the war, but we wrote to
each other a lot, and we were meeting. When he came to Sisak, he came by order. I
also came with two other soldiers, also by duty. When he finished his work, he went
dancing in a small house, and when I stepped in, he took of my cap and we danced
like we were used to dancing. One woman said that we studied a dancing course. We
didn’t, it was just like that. You can dance well without a course. We used to see each
other from time to time, but we never forgot about each other.
The most difficult thing for me, during the war, was hunger. I was most hungry
when typhus started. I couldn’t enter any house to eat, for I will catch typhus. I still
have my knife and spoon. I always carried that spoon with me, so I could eat. So i
could use my own spoon, and not someone’s other spoon, and get infected. I didn’t
have typhus, nor lice. Unlike one of our comradette, who lives in Belgrade. She still
can not sit properly. But she is alive even today, and she survived typhus.
After the war, I was already in Zavnoh, on a session. I was linked with the leadership in Croatia. And there I was, on a meeting in Zavnoh, when the war ended. I
was one of the most literate women, thanks to my dad, and then I went to Budački
and so on. Songs were everywhere! Like when someone would get married back in
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my village, and everyone would come out to see what was going on, that there was
a wedding and not just death. After the war, I stayed in Croatia for some time, in
Zagreb, and then I moved to Belgrade, because my husband was transferred to the
Head Quarters. We got a flat in Dušanova 34, on the first floor and we lived there for
a long time.
It was not difficult to get used to live in Belgrade after the war. I was in Čika
Ljubina Street, where the Board was, People’s Liberation Board for that region. Certain
Zrinka was the manager of that Board, and I worked there, and my husband in Head
Quarters. It went pretty well. There were funny moments; there were sad moments,
until today. Now I am old, but we must go on.
It’s better that super powers just argue, and not start fighting. It is not good if
they argue, but it is alright until there are gunshots and killing. If they want to argue,
just don’t let them start with killing and shooting. No way. One has pockets full and
brags about it, and the other one is hungry. But this other guy will earn some money,
so he can survive. I was on a funeral, and it was really sad. A man came and brought
a tinny flower, wrapped up in the newspaper. He can not afford it. I bought a bouquet
of flowers, and so did the man who drove there. And those who have nothing brought
what? That’s it.
Some people feel injustice, so they always criticize. Some people accept it. I can
not blame anyone, that’s not for my age, but I still stand for what I used to stand for,
for what I used to fight.
I have so many memories of people. So many people left trace in my memories as good
people. But some people didn’t agree with what I wanted. When I came to Gornji Budački,
where I started the war, in Women’s Board, a choir came arguing: they want nicer hats, they
want this, they want that. President was standing there and he was waiting for them to start.
When they finally started singing, the man who was waiting to greet them, asked: why are they
late, what were they arguing about?
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Jelena
I was born in 1921 and my maiden name is Aralica. My married name is Kadenić.
I was born in a village in Vrgin Most County. Actually it was Bović County, before the
war, but it was in Vrgin Most County. Before the war I was in the agriculture. Actually
our mother was in the agriculture, because there was nothing else to do. There was
no industry.
I wasn’t involved in the movement before the war, but I liked to read, and I
associated myself with young prosperous people. There were a lot of poor children
who were going to schools. So they could find some jobs. I was friends with them
also. There were some prosperous people. I associated a lot with my neighbor Nikola
Mraović Ćurćija, who was prosperous, and we read a lot. I also read all of my sister’s
high school textbooks. I read books while cow herding. Family Bulat from Vrgin Most
was involved in the movement. They used to come often and they worked with us,
the youth… It wasn’t some kind of organized work, but from time to time we had
different meetings and they would bring us something interesting. So we could find
some way out of our situation, because… You know that Kordun was poor region,
and there wasn’t a lot of perspective. My father went to Canada, when I was three.
He wanted to provide us with education, but since he was quite handsome, well he…
took a detour (laughter).
I joined the People’s Liberation Struggle because of the terror. It was a Serbian
region, mostly Serbs live there. Before the war we were in the same school with
Croats. There were no problems. But in 1941 the terror began, people were arrested
and taken away and so people started rebelling. Started organizing, to do something.
Communists came and took advantage of the situation and started working with the
youth. They started organizing us and telling us of some better perspective than we
had. So we joined the movement.
Partisan women were absolutely equal. We were organized from the start. I
joined the Party, which later became League of Communists, in December of 1941.
They accepted us as soon as we decided to join the movement. There was no reason
to treat women differently.
At the beginning of the war I was working on the field, with the youth. I organized meetings. During those meetings I talked about what others have told me.
I talked with women also. I spent some time in Kirin, which was the center of the
Uprising. Nikola Vujvidović was our commander. There were a lot of women. Women
from the Bulat family, who were in high school, were also there. Those who were in
the schools joined the movement immediately, since they had more contact with the
movement then us. There was a democratic movement before the war, but not as
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strong as the communist movement from 1941. I mostly worked like that. Later, when
I was accepted into Party, I was transferred to Široka Rijeka. I worked with women,
had meetings with the youth, organizing them.
I talked about the goals of NOB. That we are fighting to liberate ourselves, to
destroy fascism. Those were the basics. And people accepted it, where ever I went.
I can’t say what the most difficult thing in the war was. Everything was fine with
me, because I felt I was doing something better, more righteous, different, different for
the women and towards youth, towards everything. I was satisfied, despite the difficulties. There wasn’t a lot of food or clothing. I stayed in Široka Reka for some time.
Huska Miljković, a member of the District Committee in Karlovac, and he took a few of
us political workers from Kordun, when Cazinska Krajina was liberated in 1942. I was
also transferred to Cazinska Krajina. It was a bit harder over there, because I wasn’t
familiar with the mentality of the people. It was funny when I went to a meeting in one
of the villages. A man asked of me to come and speak with some women, but when
I got there, the house was full of women. I asked him how come those women came
before me. He told me: “They haven’t come yet”. What do you mean? He said: “four of
them are mine, two belong to my first son, and four of them to my second son”. And I
was there to talk about women’s equality (laughter). Those were the difficulties. How
should I manage all of that? I found a way. I don’t remember anymore. The important
thing was that everyone was satisfied. We had to deal with it.
Most of the women were Muslims. They weren’t engaged a lot. They couldn’t.
Their faith forbade them. That’s why we had several Muslim youngsters that were
active. There were some women, but just a few of them. It was difficult because of
the religion. They were hiding, and we were against it, and spoke against it. They
were coming to our meetings in secret, and called me to speak to them. They wanted
to reveal themselves. But they weren’t allowed. They accepted me. One time I was
near Cazin, in a village, and hadn’t eaten anything for two days, for I was always on
the move. I was starving. One Muslim girl called me to her home, and said she will
give me something to eat. She gave me a bowl of sugar, and I eat all of it. Since then I
always say that I won’t starve if I have sugar. The girl saved my life.
As an example of relationship between partisans and women, I will tell you about
my husband. I met him in Cazinska Krajina, when he came from Banja Luka. He was a
communist before the war. He was merry and cheerful and we were friends. We had a
really nice relationship. But all once Party held a meeting and told us that we can not go
on like that. Either we will legalize our marriage or break up and go our separate ways.
I was amazed. We weren’t in a relationship, there was no talk of love, or anything like
that. My husband said he would agree to legalize our marriage (laughter). That was
our relationship, and our marriage lasted until his death in 2000. We never argued.
There were a lot of relationships like that amongst partisans. But not all people
were like us. I was from another region. I knew no one else. The mentality was unfamiliar to me. But Rakmija was such a nice man, that I overcome all those problems.
Party made an ultimatum that there shall be no dating. That was the attitude. It
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was said that if there are some sympathies and if there are adequate circumstances,
people should legalize their relationship before the Party, and each one should go their
separate ways. I went to Krajina, in the 8th Brigade, and then I married Rakmija, who
was also in the 8th Brigade. All of the political workers from Cazina were transferred
to 8th Brigade when it was formed. I was the assistant of the company’s political officer. Rakmija was the assistant of the Brigade’s political officer. All of my comrades
were promoted, except me. Blažo Đurčić was a political worker in the Brigade, and
we had a conversation. He said it was best for me to do some field work, for I can not
be in the Brigade’s biro, because all of the assistants were members of the Brigade’s
Committee. So they’ve sent me on the field work to be a secretary for the County
Committee of Ključ, because I was a wife, and I couldn’t get promoted. So I went to
Ključ, where I stayed until the Liberation.
I was happy at that moment, because I would live with my husband, and I will
have some sort of home, and I would have some…a place to lei and to sleep. I usually went from one bed to another, didn’t know where I will sleep, where I will eat. I
was young back then, and cheerful and merry. Difficulties almost didn’t bother me. I
had typhus, I was wounded. It happened near Cetinjgrad. I overcame all of that. I’ve
lost my hair due to typhus, while I was still in the company. And those women, from
Krajina, called me a little boy when they saw me. I was small in stature…I told them:
“I’m not a boy, I’m a girl” (laughter). They couldn’t recognize me without my hair.
I was wounded near Cetinjegrad. I was there with my company. Well not actually
with the company, but I was in the Committee. But when the action starts, we all go.
There were two hills, and I was a young girl, and I was interested how they can shoot
from over there. I rose up to take a look, and a burst from a machine gun hit me, but I
thought it was only a scratch. I thought that was all, and it healed after a few months.
I didn’t feel anything, until I got old. Then my arm started to go numb. I had an operation recently, and they told me in the hospital that they couldn’t remove the bullet,
because I would lose the whole arm. I said it is alright. That’s how I was wounded.
After the war I was called to Sarajevo. I was appointed for the organizational
secretary for the Regional Committee of Novo Sarajevo, together with Vasa Rajić. He
was a secretary, and I was organizational secretary. My son Goran was born there.
When he was a month old, I brought him to Belgrade, in a back of a truck. I was transferred to Belgrade. I was a member of the Local Staff Committee, and then I returned
to Sarajevo, where I worked in the CK, in the Apparatus. I finished two years of night
high school and the Party’s school. But I had two children and I couldn’t continue my
education, and I regret it. That was my only wish, for I was a good student. I liked to
read and to learn. But it was impossible.
I couldn’t do it because of my children, and my work. I was always active as an
organizational secretary. Then I went back to Belgrade, where I was a secretary for the
Local Combatant’s League for a time. Then I went to Niš. I worked for Social Security
and in the Committee. Returned to Belgrade. I was a manager in one of the offices of
Social Security for five years. After that I worked in Municipal League of Belgrade,
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and there I spent the most of my time. I was a chief in the Health Insurance of
Belgrade, and that was most difficult job. I worked there for the longest period. When
my brother’s son graduated from the Law Faculty, he got a job there, but I was already
retired. Are you a relative of Jela Kandelić? He said: “My father’s sister”. If you work
like she used to work, it will be alright. They said I tought them how to work.
The most memorable scene from the war were my meetings with the people,
where I would talk, and they would accept it. It was dearest to me. That they accepted
our movement, to join us. Most of that was in Bosanska Krajina, and in Kordun. All of
Kordun was involved in the movement from the beginning, because it was necessary.
They started arresting straight, healthy people. A cruelty of fascism that everyone had
to condemn, no matter if they were in the movement or not.
I think that People’s Liberation Movement was a beautiful movement, which
should be fixed by removing some minor mistakes. And it had to go on, and not to
allow that we end up like this. I have the same attitude towards the enemies from the
Second World War. I won’t change a bit. While there are fascist I can not change it.
After the war I was lieutenant, but I am just a combatant, a worker. I held no high
positions, but I was always active, and I was always working. I think people liked me
while I was talking with them.
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Olga
My name is Olga Dujmović. I was born in Bihać in 1925. I studied four years in the
elementary school, and one year in junior high in Bihać, and then the occupation began
in ’41. I joined the partisans in 1942 and quit my education, because the period of 194142 was a terrible one in Bihać. It was the time of persecution for all the Serbs and all the
Jews in Bihać. There was no talk of education, so I joined the partisans in 1942.
Bihać was liberated on November the 4-th 1942. Up until then we were occupied
by Germans, ustašas, who were probably the most numerous and most horrible and
domobrans, who were the regular army. The 55-th infantry regiment was in Bihać
even before the war, and they stayed there when the war started. Battles around Bihać,
shooting actually, for I don’t know how much combat there was, I wasn’t a member
of SKOJ or any other organization, but there was shooting each night. But not just in
Bihać, but in the area too. Bihać is on the slopes of mountain Pješevica. After two days
and two nights of battle, Bihać was liberated in 1942.
The war and all the armies terrified me, although I was not to be blamed for anything. There were some stories of partisans killing everyone wherever they arrived.
A village of Golubić, some 4 or 5 kilometres from Bihać, was taken by partisans, and
there were stories that they slaughtered everybody and took away all the girls. The
very first night they attacked, they were passing by my house, through the garden. I
hid myself under the bed, so they couldn’t find me. However, since my mother was
staying over at the neighbour’s, in the morning I went over there with my cousin to
see her, and that was my first contact with the partisans. Two of them stepped out of
the house, carrying some bread and sugar. I guess they saw that I am terrified and
asked me: Do you want some bread? Some sugar? That moment convinced me that
those people were not vampires or beasts, and that they are quite decent people. I was
sad when they had to leave. But they also attacked on the second night, and in the
morning they liberated Bihać. There was a party organization in Bihać, city board of
the Communist Party and organization of SKOJ. By liberating Bihać, the also liberated
some other towns: Petrovac, Drvar, Prahovo, Krupac, Cazin. The First Session of the
AVNOJ was held in Bihać on November 26, 1942, USAOJ congress was held in Bihać,
there was a conference of women, the 8th brigade was formed in Cazin, some twenty
kilometres from Bihać. It was all possible because Bihać accepted the partisans, the
struggle, the idea of and the organization of the youth. So I immediately, after that
sugar, joined the movement. There was a hospital in the camp in Bihać, there was
organization of the youth, cultural and educational work, collecting food and clothes
for the wounded. Knitting socks for the partisans, cultural-artistic performances were
also organized in the hall where the First Session of the AVNOJ was held. When the
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time came to leave, a whole battalion of youth left Bihać, even some complete families,
Croatian families that joined the partisans. When I first left with the partisans, it was
some twenty kilometres from Bihać, with a few of them. Some joined the Bihać company that was a part of the detachment, and some joined the 8th brigade. I didn’t, for
I remained in Bihać until the retreat from Bihać. We went to Hrgar, where we stayed
until the beginning of the Fourth Offensive. We stayed there for a while, and then left
in order to demolish the Una railroad. That was the Bihać-Knin railroad, only partially
completed. Since we were under constant pressure of everyday battles, we went to
Lipa, and even further to Oštrelj. There was the headquarters of the 8th brigade. Few of
my girl friends and I were then transferred to the protective company of the brigade.
During the battle, while we were retreating from Bihać, we had no missions,
except that one time we went to destroy the railroad, for we were always on the
move. We were on the run, or maybe I should say on the retreat, because Germans
were advancing. Up to the arrival at Oštrelj, where I was transferred to the supporting
company of the brigade. There were many girls in that company, because those were
field workers, accompanied to the supporting company and the girls from the occupied villages. So we were assigned to the brigade, helping the wounded – supporting
company had its own hospital. We were helping in hospital, washing the bandages
and helping the others. We had no medical course, we didn’t knew much.
From Oštrelj we went for Drvar, and from Drvar we continued to Grahovo. There
we stopped in some village near Drvar, I don’t remember the name of that village.
The whole brigade had to go across the road Drvar-Grahovo, to the other bank of the
river, and on that spot the brigade was cut in half by tanks. The headquarters of the
brigade, together with two battalions got across, to the village Očijevo, and the other
two battalions went to mountain Šator, where they suffered horribly. There wasn’t
much to do in those days. There was a lot of wounded, and we, Bihać girls from the
supporting company, helped as much as we could, by cooking. Those of us who knew
how to cook – I didn’t knew. We were assigned to take a medical course in Korčanica.
Korčanica lies on the slopes of Grmeč mountain, and there was a hospital where we
went to finish a course, so we could actively join the combat. The course lasted for a
week, maybe a few days more, but that was the time of the Fourth Offensive, which
was horrible: no food, no accommodations, no clothes. Those were the most difficult
times during the war. There were difficult times after that, but I guess that these first
days were also the most difficult.
So we spent almost ten days on that course and then the division’s hospital had to
evacuate because the enemy was advancing. But before we left, I got a fewer, because
I had typhus – epidemic typhus. So I was evacuated not as a participant in the course,
but as a typhus diseased. We were taken down the mountain in some cart, with a high
fewer. That fewer is so high that you lose your consciousness, you don’t know if you
are awake or not. So they took us down to some village, I later found out it is called
Tuk Bobija, near Lušci Palanka, where Germans were stationed, as the doctors and
nurses informed us. And they were lowering us down in some buckets, probably bar127
rels cut in half so we can sit in them, into those natural dugouts. They were lowering us
by ropes. Nurses were waiting for us below, and placing us where they could. People
were freezing in those holes, because it was cold. There were no conditions to light a
fire down there. There was nothing. I was mostly unconscious, but each time I came to
my senses I could hear talks – doctors have run away, nurses have left us, we are left
alone. There was a lot of wounded and sick dying down there. During the night, they
were taken out and buried. How much time we spent there, I have no idea. What we
eat, I don’t know. We were given no medicine, because there was no cure for typhus.
Some prescribed that we shouldn’t even get water. We were deprived of water.
That was the most difficult period of war for me. Not just the period in the dugouts, but before that too. That period from Bihaća, until we arrived at the Korčanica
was horrible, just horrible. Constant combats, wounded were piling up, always on the
run, no sleep. Snow, winter, really cold winter. Depraved of sleep, and then the dugouts. For the most part I didn’t know where am I, I didn’t know who am I.
Nevertheless, that was not so difficult on me. However, it was time to pull us out
of those dugouts. I survived the worst. Me and others infected had lost all of our hair,
as it was normal. The couriers took us somewhere to our brigade’s headquarters. Tuk
Bobija and Lušuc Palanka are both in Podgrmečje. The headquarters was somewhere
in that region, so they have taken us there, to recover for two or three days. All the
typhus diseased, those that were sick before and after me, were not quite sane. Was
it of the high fewer, was it due to the exhaustion, but almost all were such. After a
while, when we were better, they have sent us back to our respective brigades. My
brigade, the 8th, that carried me to the Korčanica, was in Lika. Now we had to cross
over the river Una, and go to the Lika’s side. When we got there, they have taken us to
the brigade’s ambulance station as convalescents. We spent some time there, and went
to Plitvica Lakes, where we spent the May Day, and continued to Žirovac in Banija as
convalescents. Before that, we had to stop for a while on Petlova Gora. The brigade was
engaged in combat this whole time. This was all out of my reach, although I was there.
We finally had a break in Žirovac and I was transferred to the 2nd company of the 3rd
battalion as a nurse. Because I had some experience in treatment of wounded and sick,
I could be of some help. We had to deal with typhus and scabies. Scabies was a disease
spread by unhygienic conditions. It usually manifested on hands and fingers. We also
had wounded, where the company’s nurse would be first during the actions. We had
no large-scale actions, but we attacked enemy positions, or they were attacking us, and
then we had to defend ourselves. Either way, there were wounded. We operated with
company’s nurses, battalion’s sanitary officers and their deputies, and people who
carried the wounded. We also had brigade’s ambulance stations, division’s hospitals.
Wounded would be treated there and then sent somewhere else, and that depended
on the state of the wounded. I was in the 8th brigade until the Jun or July 1943. After
that I was transferred to the surgical crew of the 4th division. Our crew consisted of a
surgeon Zdenko Kraus, a Jew, anesthesiologist Lilika Kraus, and me as a scrub nurse.
There was also one physician and his aid and some security. One of the platoons, that
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led the horses, carried our instruments. I stayed there until I moved to the brigade. I
just need to say one thing about the surgical crew. They always had work, because all
of those that didn’t go to the hospital, went to the surgical crew. We didn’t just operate. We had many amputations, head surgeries, that didn’t always went well, because
we had really bad conditions. We also had chest operations, because those who were
wounded in the stomach weren’t even operated. We couldn’t help them, because we
didn’t have adequate conditions. But there I heard of a greate battle, of great bravery
of the fighters from Kozara. They were from under the Kozara mountain, and we,
across the river Sana, were from under the Grmeč mountain.
One day a comrade from Kozara came to us. They were attacking the railroads,
blocking them, blowing them up, and the train and its escort would jump out of the
tracks. Then they would rob that train, and that’s how we supplied ourselves. There
was one combatant whose leg we had to amputate. Doctor Kraus said that we have
nothing for anesthesia. We usually gave ether to patients. We would put a mask on
patients nose and drip one drop at the time, until patients falls asleep, and then we
operate. However, doctor said, if we don’t amputate, he will die, he will get tetanus
and he will die. And we have nowhere to get some by ourselves. Other comrade said,
I will tell him that, and we’ll see what he will say. That moment raised my moral.
With all the hardship we were through, we have to cut off his leg with absolutely no
anesthesia, not even local. Not total anesthesia, no injections to give him, to ease his
pain. He just said: “Cut it doctor, I’m born under mountain Kozara, where mothers
don’t give birth to traitors, nor to cowards.” Doctor said: “Give him rakia, to drink as
much as he can.” During the operation he fainted, because we had to cut the tissue,
tie it, tie the veins, cut through bone with a saw. Luckily, we could perform the whole
procedure. Many people didn’t believe that he will survive, but thanks to the quick
procedures, we succeeded.
Women had very complicated life. They were side by side with combatants, girls
they were, not women, but girls. When a combatant is wounded, he is on the frontline, and they would carry him from the battle. Then women would bind his wounds,
and send him to the battalion, surgical crew, or hospital, depending where the battle
was fought. Battles were always organized, if we weren’t attacked, and always coordinated. Battalions, brigades, even divisions, women were working during the battle.
When the battle is over, combatants would rest, and women continued working as if
they weren’t in the battle: washing bandages, take care of the wounded, there were
many wounded legs, many of those with itch, with scabies (as we called it). Women
are cooking, washing laundry, steaming it...we had so many lice, which were the
main reason for the typhus. Women were also doing that, with the help of nurses and
those that carried the wounded, who were considered as a medical staff. Women were
active in the battle and after the battle.
Relationships between men and women were friendly. We were strict when
considering intimate relationships. There were no emotional relationships between
comrades and comradettes, besides friendship. There were no love affairs. I was in
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one room, because I was an ambulance officer. We would get one room, and if there is
something to cover the floor with, some straw or something. If there isn’t, we would
lie on the floor, one, two, five, six and me at the end. No one ever even tried to hold
my hand or anything. That would be horrible, that would be bad. Moral was so high,
that today’s youth couldn’t imagine it. And comradery so strong, so developed that
comrade would die for his comrade, comradette for comrade, comrade for comradette.
That’s something amazing and that was the most wonderful thing in those days, when
we had nothing to eat, nothing to wear and when you can not sleep. You sing, you
dance, and that’s how you make up for it.
We also had some free time and periods of peace. In the end, no one is so durable
to go from battle to battle, to move each day, not to sleep, and not to take a rest. So
sometimes we retreated, one company, one battalion, to rest for a few days, to recover.
Than we had shows, we danced in kolo. Therefore, it wasn’t all just battle after battle.
And then I left, for serving in surgical crew was easier than in combat units. It was
far more difficult in units. Surgical crew was out of the combat, and there was more
free time. Time for learning.
While I was in company, there was one Bibić Soka. She was the squad’s nurse. I
spotted her once with the brigade’s political officer, one Rudi Baumbiger, and some
other people with them. I was always with Soka, and so I approached them. They
stopped talking. I asked them if I am interrupting them. The political officer said: “No,
we were just talking about you. You will be a member of SKOJ.” And so I became a
member of SKOJ. And while I was in surgical crew, I was admitted to the Party, the
Communist Party. Those two moments mean a lot to me, and they were my goal. It
sounds unbelievable, but when someone was needed to attack a bunker, they were
looking for volunteers amongst the members of SKOJ and Party. They were the first to
attack. People say that they joined the Communist Party. But we didn’t join, we were
risking lives if we are admitted to the Party.
From surgical crew I was transferred to Kozara , in 11th Kozara brigade, in April
’42. I was ambulance officer of the first battalion. Battalion had four companies, and
each had its own ambulance. My duty was to work with the nurses in ambulances,
in companies, to monitor the companies. I had a horse, and when I sit on the horse
it wasn’t a problem to go from one company to another, sometimes with a courier,
sometimes alone. I was a coward when I lived in Bihać, I was afraid of ghosts; afraid
of the living and of the dead, but now I wasn’t afraid anymore. There was no more
fear, because life has been like that. So I wasn’t afraid, be it night or day.
From the 1st battalion I was transferred to the 4th battalion. We always attacked,
whenever we had a chance. We attacked Ključ, but didn’t succeeded in capturing it,
although we recovered after that. I was bare foot when we attacked, no shoes. I left my
home in heavy boots, and when the summer came, it was too hot to walk in them, so I
traded them for leather opanke. When I walked through mud those opanke deformed,
so I throw them away and attacked Ključ bare footed, walking on the railroad, on the
macadam. When I returned my legs were useless. We captured one part of Ključ, but
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we had to retreat. However I survived that too, probably because I was young, and
my wounds healed quick and I also got some shoes.
While I was in 4th battalion we were stationed on Gučo mountain. It was some old
monastery, from where we used to organize ambushes. We would sit in ambush and
wait for an enemy convoy, infantry or vehicles and we wait for the right moment to
attack. The only supplies we could get were from the enemy: food, ammunition and
clothes. No one supplied us; we had to do it ourselves. One night was really cold, and
we were waiting in the ambush the whole night, but no one came. When we started
retreating, I couldn’t move. I had frostbites and when we wormed ourselves, we had
horrible pains. I simply couldn’t believe it. Others also had frostbites. Nevertheless,
we survived that too.
After that I was ambulance officer of the 11th brigade. I would like to tell you
about the attack on Travnik. We came from Kozara to Zenica and Travnik, where
we spent about six months. There were battles in Hankupanje, Musovača, wherever
we could attack, or were attacked. We mostly attacked at night, but they sometimes
attacked us at day light. We attacked Travnik for two days. Second day we were
stationed on some hill, and since I was ambulance officer, we were a bit isolated.
Brigades ambulance was there, brigade’s physician and pharmacist. A few nurses
were also with us. When the daylight came, a part of the Travnik was liberated, so
we came down to see the situation, how battle was progressing. I can’t remember
any more who was with me: my deputy was with me, someone from the brigade’s
headquarters, some people who were carrying the wounded. Suddenly I spotted
two of our combatants staggering down the road, it was a road, with macadam, not
a street. I run towards them, to help them, but someone stopped me. He said: “No!
They were shot.” I couldn’t understand how could they be shot, they are our comrades. A few partisans surrounded them. Why were they shot!? A commander of a
battalion has ordered a courier to shoot them, but he refused, so the commander shot
them. And why? Partisans were highly moral. They were moral in relations between
men and women, but they were also moral when it came to the private property.
Although we had nothing, absolutely nothing. We would lie in the orchard starving,
but we wouldn’t pick a plum or an apple, until the owner would come and told us:
“Here, take some.” These two youngsters went into some shad and took some mirrors and some combs. The one of the locals, who was also a commander of another
unit, to show to everyone that we stick to our principles, shot them. I started to cry
to sob. They were only nineteen, like me. And they are lying there, and I cannot help
them. They are not dead they are still staggering. Then their commander came, Đuro
Milinović, whom I known from brigade, with a schmeisser in his hands, with blood
red eyes, asked: “Who is the bandit that did this?” Others approached him to calm
him down, to prevent one more evil. That was so difficult for me, besides all of those
physical hardships; this mental burden haunted me for a long time. I couldn’t accept
or understand that someone could do something like that for such a tiny offense.
Regardless of the moral or lack of moral.
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We fought in Croatia at the end of the war. We were advancing towards Split
when Italy capitulated, and we reached Vrlika, not Split, but we could get some
clothing and food. During the entire war we were always going somewhere. You
can’t believe where we went. When we left Split, we came back to Podgrmečje from
Dalmatia. Podgrmečje and Kozara was our base. And combatants from Kozara didn’t
want to leave Kozara for some time. They were bonded to Kozara, but when we had to
move to Travnik, that was the first time they had left Kozara. That was in 1945, when
we advanced to Zagreb. However our 4th division didn’t advance towards Zagreb,
but went straight to Karlovac. We suffered heavy casualties there. Battle for Karlovac
lasted for two or three days. We liberated Karlovac and headed for Zagreb. We came
all the way to the Sveta Nedelja, but by that time Zagreb was already liberated, on
May 9th ’45. I don’t know. Maybe it was May 10th, but probably 9th, because that day is
celebrated as the day of liberation. From there we advanced to Celje. How and why,
I can’t tell you. That was the strategy. We came near Celje, to Reichenburg. How it
is called today, I don’t know, I never asked after that. Now it has some other name.
Brigade’s headquarters was stationed there, and I was with the headquarters, and we
rested there, there were no more battles, we recuperated a bit. We also had beer, for
those who drank beer. There was a brewery. Suddenly – move on: Split – Šibenik –
Zadar. English are disembarking and we went there so they don’t disembark. That
was amazing how we moved from one part of the country to the other, and that country was not small as this one today. And so we moved to the coast, mostly on foot, but
we travelled by train for a bit, on the Una railroad, to Knin. We were reassigned from
there. My brigade went to Šibenik. That’s the first time I saw the sea. I grew up by
river Una, which is rapid, deep and cold. When I saw the sea, I was afraid to go in to
the water, when I just imagined how wide and deep it is. I had some nice moments in
Šibenik. We were stationed in a hotel for a month and a half. From there we went to
Serbia, again on foot. There was our permanent camp. And so we entered Valjevo, as
I suppose the other brigades did. We had about two hours to get ready, and to stand
in line. The brigade’s headquarters was in front, riding on horses, and I was with them
on my white horse. During the war I had a horse and a blanket for sleeping. We ceremonially entered Valjevo, and we were welcomed with ovations, eith applause, with
delight. Then we were assigned to households. I was an officer – I earned the rank of
sergeant in ’43, and I was promoted in ’44, when they started giving ranks. We were
accommodated in rooms. I usually went each day to work at the ambulance station,
our brigade’s ambulance station. We mostly had lightly wounded, convalescents and
some patients. I also got married in Valjevo. We had our wedding in Valjevo, and
since my husband had to go to Niš, I went with him. For a short period we lived in
both Valjevo and Niš. Then he was assigned to duty in Zaječar and I followed him.
We came to Zaječar on May 6th, on St. George’s day. I left the army when I gave birth
to my son in Jun. And so I was demobilised. I was imposed a lifestyle in Zaječar that
didn’t suit me. I was 21 when I had my son. I had to work with youth, in the city, and
I was constantly on the move. Then I joined the army again. Then I started working
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in Zaječar, after that I moved to Kragujevac, Mostar, Titograd, Tuzla. From Tuzla I
moved to Belgrade. I was no longer in medical corps during that period, I worked in
administration: division, army corps, army, depending on the situation. I was working
in political department of the 1st army in Belgrade. As a women combatant since 1942
I was entitled to reduced service years, and so I could start my pension after 22 years
of service. I had three kids and I needed my pension. I asked to go to the retirement in
Belgrade, with a rank of major.
When it comes to the attitude of our state to NOB I can say only the worst. For our
state there is no NOB, we do not exist, supreme commander doesn’t exist, everything
we created doesn’t exist. That’s horrible, that’s degrading, not for me, but for this
country. And the people? They are not better. If the people was any better, the state
could not act this way.
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Abbreviations
AFŽ – Women Anti-fascist Front
AVNOJ – Anti-fascist Counsel of Peoples Liberation of Yugoslavia
APV – Autonomous Region Vojvodina
CK – Central Committee
CO – Central Board
FNRJ – Federative Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia
GO – City Board/Head Board
GIO NS APV – Head Executive Board of People’s Assembly of Autonomous Region
Vojvodina
IO – Executive Board
JNA – Yugoslav People’s Army
KPJ – Communist Party of Yugoslavia
MK – Local Committee
MO – Local Board
MDSŽ/MDFŽ – International Democratic Union of Women/International Democratic
Federation of Women
NOO – People’s Liberation Board
NOB – People’s Liberation Struggle
NOP – People’s Liberation Movement
NOV - People’s Liberation Army
OK – District Committee
OMPOK – Cultural-economical youth movement
OO – District Board
ONOO – District People’s Liberation Board
PK KPJ za Vojvodinu – Regional Committee of Communist Party of Yugoslavia for
Vojvodina
PO – Regional Board
SK – County Committee
SKJ – Communist League of Yugoslavia
SKS – Communist League of Serbia
SO – County Board
SBOTIC – Union of Banking, Insurance, Trading and Industrial Clerks
SSRNJ – Socialist League of Yugoslav Working People
SSSR – Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
URSSJ – United Worker’s Union League of Yugoslavia
USAOJ – United League of Anti-fascist Youth of Yugoslavia
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Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ)
Socialist Worker’s Party of Yugoslavia (of Communists) was founded in 1919.
Secretariat of Women Socialist (of Communists) was created at the Socialist Worker’s
Party of Yugoslavia (of Communists) – SRPJ(k) congress, with a task to propagate
equality between man and women, regardless of their avocation, nation or creed,
with a strong accent on a right to vote, for both men and women, after the age of
eighteen. Secretariat of Women Socialist (of Communists) wasn’t a standalone institution, but a part of Socialist Worker’s Party of Yugoslavia (of Communists). During
1919 a network of communist women’s movement is formed in Vojvodina: Novi Sad,
Sombor, Pančevo, Petrovgrad (Zrenjanin), Subotica, Vršac. Socialist Worker’s Party
of Yugoslavia (of Communists) – SRPJ(k) changed its name to Communist Party of
Yugoslavia – KPJ, on the Second Congress in Vukovar, in 1920.
Women’s Conference for women members of Communist Party was held in
Novi Sad in 1920, when eighty women participated. There were sections of communist women in Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Temerin, Subotica, Petrovgrad (Zrenjanin),
Melenci, Čuruk, Kisač etc.
4-th Regional Conference of KPJ in Vojvodina was held in 1940. It specifically
stressed a need for a larger involvement of women in KPJ. Active participants included
Sonja Marinković, Gordana Ivačković and Judita Alargić. Sonja Marinković and Gordana
Ivačković were chosen as members of PK KPJ for Vojvodina. Gordana Ivačković was
also chosen as an only women delegate for the Fifth Land’s Conference of KPJ.
At the Fifth Land’s Conference of KPJ (1940) “the women question” was an individual subject, but was recognized as an integral part of the working class struggle.
However, there were specific demands concerning women, from the field of political
rights (a right to vote), labour rights (same work and same wages as men, abolishment
of the night shifts for women, paid maternity leave), against prostitution and double
standards, children rights, legal indentation of martial and extramarital children.
Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980)
The main political figure of Socialist Yugoslavia. His biography is also the most
important entry in the history of KPJ/SKJ (he was its chief since 1937), Peoples
Liberation Struggle and building of Socialist Yugoslavia. He was the chief of KPJ/SKJ,
Prime Minister of FNRJ and Minister of People’s Defence, Marshal of Yugoslavia, Head
Chief of Armed Forces, the most significant figure of the Non-Aligned Movement.
During the People’s Liberation Struggle, People’s Liberation Boards were formed
in liberated regions – the seeds of the future socialist government. They were founded
based on the document that was issued by the General Staff of the People’s Liberation
Army in 1942 – “Missions and Organization of the People’s Liberation Boards in
Liberated Regions”, and also based upon “Orders for Election of People’s Liberation
Boards”, which was written by the Head Chief of the People’s Liberation Army –
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Josip Broz Tito. It was explicitly stressed that the election of men and women into
these boards should be equal. During the World War II women often participated as
members (or chiefs) of health, education or social commissions, and also agricultural
commissions.
Cultural-educational boards had a major significance, for they organized lectures, amateur theatre, instrumental performances, and literacy courses (especially
for women). Wall newspapers were very popular. 8-th of March was also celebrated.
Women used to work in “partisan workshops” too, and usually they were in charge
of the sartorial workshops.
Rеgional Committee of KPJ for Vojvodina made a resolution in 1942, to found a
People’s Liberation Board for Vojvodina and start magazine Free Vojvodina.
County
Territorial and administrative unit of socio-political system, a form of local selfmanagement. There were 25 counties in Vojvodina, and independent from them were
cities: Novi Sad, Subotica and Zrenjanin (Statute of AP Vojvodina 1953.). Counties
were abolished in 1960.
SKOJ and USAOJ
SKOJ – Young Communist League of Yugoslavia was founded in 1919. It was
an organization of the young communist under the direct supervision and command
of the KPJ. The Fifth Regional SKOJ Conference was held in 1940. The participants,
among others, were: Sonja Marinković, Stanka Munćan, Jelisaveta Petrov-Beba, Lidija
Aldan, Olga Radišić, Rosa Vilić-Nada. Jelisaveta Petrov-Beba was only women elected
as a member of Regional SKOJ Comittee.
USAOJ – United League of Anti-fascist Youth of Yugoslavia, formed during
the NOB, was an organisation that included the youth that were against fascism.
Organisation changed its name to People’s Youth of Yugoslavia in 1946. Since 1948,
SKOJ was the most elite part of the USAOJ. In 1944 the youth movement presented
very important anti-fascist force, for there was 107.800 members of SKOJ and 70.000
members of USAOJ, which included a large number of women members. Local conferences of the United League of Anti-fascist Youth of Vojvodina (USAOV) for Eastern
and Western Srem were held in 1944.
The First Congress of Anti-fascist Youth of Vojvodina was held in Novi Sad on
27-30 December 1944.
People’s Front of Yugoslavia was an organization whose members were fighting for “full realization of rights to work, right to rest, social and pension insurance,
healthcare right...” In 1945, the organisation was taking care of war victims and advocated full and equal participation of women in all aspects of life and labour. People’s
Front was an umbrella organisation for other front-like organisations: League of
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Trade Unions, SKOJ, AFŽ... The organization changed its social function and name to
Socialist League of the Working People (SSRN), during the 4-th Congress of People’s
Front in 1953. According to the Statute of the SSRN Trade Union and youth organizations are working autonomously, but AFŽ is not. Special commissions are to be
formed for work with women, based in the SSRN.
People’s Assembly of FNRJ passed a law considering Five year plan of development of Yugoslav people’s economy (1947-1951.) Five year plan was designed
accordingly with Soviet five year development plans. The purpose of this plan was to
develop industry and centralize the accumulation in order to create an independent
Yugoslav economy. The focus was on heavy industry, and intensive development of
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia were planned.
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