Lepa Svetozara Radić

Lepa Svetozara Radić

Birth
Gradiska, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Death 8 Feb 1943 (aged 17)
Bosanska Krupa, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Burial Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID 71531965 View Source
Suggest Edits

She Was Proclaimed The Youngest National Heroine Of Potkozar

Lepa Svetozara Radic was born on December 19, 1925 in the village of Gašnica near Bosanska Gradiška, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She graduated from elementary school in neighboring Bistrica, the first grade of the Women's Craft School, with her somewhat older sister Dara, in Bosanska Krupa - with the help of Uncle Voje, who served as a lugar for several years in Podgrmeče - while she finished the other grades in Bosanska Gradiški.

Already as a student, she emphasized diligent work and seriousness. Already then, reading advanced literature, Lepa began to form under the strong influence of uncle Vlade Radic, who, as a gymnasium student, was first involved in the advanced workers' movement in Bosanska Gradiska and then in Banja Luka.

Immediately after the April 1941 events, she learned from Vladeta about preparations for the uprising. In fact, he helped hide the collected weapons. In those days of July 1941, four members of the family went to the uprising: Dad, Uncle Voja and Vlade, and joined Jovanka, one of the first partisans on Kozara. In October 1941, the beautiful woman embroidered a flag with a five-pointed star for the fighters of the Second Krajina Detachment. At the time of the first offensive against the Kozara insurrections in November 1941, the Ustashi arrested Lepo and all the remaining members of the Radic family. However, with the help of illegal Partisan associates, after 20 days of harassment in the Ustasha prison in Gradiska, they were released.

After leaving the prison on December 23, 1941, along with her sister Dara, Lepa became a fighter of the 7th partisan company of the 2nd Krajina Detachment. Shortly thereafter, she was a nurse in the company, and then a listener of the youth course in the village of Lamovita, under Kozar, and a ghost activist on the Prijedor field.

Having shown an extraordinary sense of mass work with the youth, it was decided, at the end of May 1942, when it was received at the KPJ, to send Lepa as a political worker to the Podgrmeča area. In the new environment, she came out exceptionally, and soon became a member of the KPJ Municipal Committee in Srednji Dubovik, near Bosanska Krupa. Due to modesty and good behavior, the people quickly loved and appreciated it. She was tireless in her work, she frequently organized rural youth conferences, often went on her own to many older people, talking about brotherhood and unity, the guarantee of our victory, and the heroic struggle of the People's Liberation Army. She particularly showed her ability and resourcefulness in organizing youth on joint harvesting and gathering of grain in front of hostile positions in the villages around Krupa, Gornji Petrovci, Ostruznica and Badic, and extraordinary courage in partisan actions on Bosanski Novi, Krupa, Čajevica and the island, in which he participated as a fighter. There was almost no significant event in Podgrmeče where Lepa did not participate with her youth. In the autumn of 1942, all the villages of the war municipalities of Bosanska Krupa, Dubovi, Jasenice and Potkalinja were crossed, when it was about organizing the people's government before the First Session of AVNOJ in Bihać, youth actions on the collection of clothes and footwear for the NOV, combat competitions in honor of the First Congress of USAO, care for the wounded and construction of hospitals and magazines in the forests of Grmeč. On the occasion of the Fourth Krajina Division, which was carried out in Jasen under Grmeč, on January 7, 1943, another Tito was executed. Lepa led the youth of Dubovik and brought traditional Krajina gifts to the Supreme Commander and his army.

Podgrmeča. As a member of the staff for the evacuation of wounded and inhabitants from vulnerable areas, Lepa was, since January 20, 1943, one of the most prominent organizers of the riots, which, in February 1943, was found in a slew of Grmeč, in which the units from 714, 717 , 369 and 7th SS "Prince Eugen" Division. Among the first she organized the timely removal of the wounded from the Center for War Disabled Veterans in Srednji Dubovik, and the help to the columns of bananas from beggars, which were already exhausted and frowned in the masses, dragged ahead of the enemy in the protection of the partisan army and Grmeč. Without respite, she was surrounded by fussy and scattered groups of frivolous men, women and children, shelled them in the curtains, advised how to behave when bombing. In an effort to maintain morale, the people convinced our brigades to stop the fascists. The power of his belief was persistently transferred to the people around him, and it took a lot of moral and physical strength to withstand the winter in Grmeč and the constant pressure of an enemy who did not have the grace or the children in the crib. Everything was beautiful, with no panic, and many were wondering: where did the power in this fragile girl come from?

And when it seemed already that Krajisnici would defend the Trovrh, one of the dominant heights of Grmeč, in the fierce clashes, on the eve of February 8, 1943, the fugue led by Lepa Radic was suddenly surrounded by the village of Prastalo, not far from Lusci - Palanka, and then it remained Brave and brave. She knocked on the Germans all the ammunition from her rifle, defended her calling the people to fight with their bare hands, not to surrender, even when she was overcome by blows of butts. She tried, who knows how many times, to protect the captured people who were mistreated by the Seselj on the road to Bosanska Krupa: "Kill me, the people are not guilty" - Lepa shouted, slamming the legions of the 369th division.

After a three-day ill-treatment, she was brought in front of a raised hangar, in the bagremar between the tunnel and the railway station in Bosanska Krupa. Her hands were tied with a telephone cord, without shoes, only in woolen socks, exhausted and exhausted, but proud and defiant.

From the stand under the hangers, in fact with a crate of ammunition, Lepa tried to turn to the captured people from the bush, but the loop interrupted her last word.

On February 11, 1943, Colonel Šmithuber received from his subordinated executions report: "A bandit hanged in Bosanska Krupa showed an unprecedented incarnation."

She was then 17 years old.

The national hero was proclaimed on December 20, 1951.

****
Lepa Radić
Born 19 December 1925
Died 11 February 1943 (aged 17)
Place of birth Gašnica, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Place of death Bosanska Krupa, NDH

Service/branch Yugoslav Partisans
Years of service 1941–1943
Unit 7th company, 2nd Krajiški Detachment

World War II in Yugoslavia
Battles/wars
Kozara Offensive
Battle of Neretva
Awards Order of the People's Hero

Relations
Svetozar Radić (father)
Milan Radić (brother)
Dara Radić (sister)
Vladeta Radić (uncle)

****
Seventeen year old Lepa Radic was also publicly hanged from the branch of a tree, in Bosanska Krupa in Bosnia in Febuary 1943, for shooting at German soldiers. She was made to stand on a large chest, her hands were tied behind her and she was noosed with a thin cord. The chest was pulled away leaving her suspended

****
On February 8th, 1943, Nazis hung 17 year old Yugoslav Radić. When they asked her the names of her companions, she replied: "You will know them when they come to avenge me."

Contributor: DeadFred (46599874)

****
Lepa Radić stands still as a German official prepares the noose around her neck just before her execution in Bosanska Krupa, Bosnia, on February 8, 1943. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons & All That's Interesting
Meet Lepa Radić
Jun 26, 2021 11:31am Eastern Daylight Time by Philly526, Community
7
15
In March 1968, a World War II film showing the hanging of a Yugoslavian partisan girl was found in the bag of a German soldier who died in Ilica, Turkey.

No one knew who this heroic girl was. Despite a persistent search, her name remained unknown. After the war, the "Museum of the Revolution" in Mostar (now the 'History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina) maintained possession of the film.

One day, a soldier visited the museum. "That is my uncle's sister!" he exclaimed, almost in disbelief. That is how the name of partisan Lepa Radić came to light.

Lepa Svetozara Radić was born to a Bosnian Serb family on December 19, 1925, in the village of Gašnica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lepa was a hard-working, serious student. She read advanced literature, along with banned books she got from her uncle, Vladeta Radić. Vladeta, an electrician in the communist labor movement, significantly influenced Lepa's core political beliefs.

In the act that would eventually propel Lepa into the history books, Hitler launched his assault against Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, to secure Germany's Balkan flank for Operation Barbarossa, his ultimately cataclysmic invasion of the Soviet Union later that same year.

On April 10, 1941, the Axis powers established the Independent State of Croatia, which included Bosanska Gradiška and surrounding areas.

In July of 1941, Lepa's father, Sveto, uncles Vladeta and Voja, and aunt Jovanka joined the partisans. After becoming a member of the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia, Lepa eventually joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia that same year, at the age of 15.

Facing Nazi attacks on all fronts, Yugoslavia was quickly defeated and dismembered by the Axis powers.

While the Germans maintained tight control over the roads and towns, they did not control the remote, mountainous regions of war-torn Yugoslavia. In those towering mountains, Serbian resistance forces began to emerge from the rubble. This surge of resistance to the Axis was divided into two main groups: the Chetniks and the Partisans.

The Chetniks were led by former Yugoslav Army Colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic, who served under the Yugoslav royalist government in exile. The Chetniks were united in name only and comprised various sub-groups whose interests didn't always align. Some were fervently anti-German, while others, at times, cooperated with the invaders. But what virtually all Chetniks did manage to agree on was their nationalist desire to ensure the survival of the Serbian population and their loyalty to the old Yugoslav monarchy.

The Partisans were opposed to the Chetniks, as their group was fiercely communist. Their leader was Josip Broz, "Tito," the head of the underground Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Under Tito, the Partisans' overarching goal was to establish an independent socialist Yugoslav state by overthrowing the Axis powers.

It was into this dense, tangled conflict that young Lepa threw herself when she joined the Partisans in December 1941.

Due to their dissident activities, the Radić family had been arrested in November 1941 by the Ustashe, the fascist Nazi-puppet government operating in Yugoslavia's Independent State of Croatia. The Ustashe held the family at the Stara Gradiška prison. On December 23, 1941, undercover Partisans helped Lepa and her older sister Dara escape. Eventually, the entire family was released.

Just after Lepa's sixteenth birthday, she and Dara officially joined the Partisan cause. Lepa courageously joined the 7th Partisan company of the 2nd Krajiski Detachment. She volunteered to serve on the front lines by transporting wounded soldiers on the battlefield and vulnerable civilians fleeing the Axis. But this brave work would lead to her downfall.

In July 1942, when the great battle for Kozara began, Lepa passed through the enemy line with one of the Partisan battalions and arrived at Podgrmec. Tragically, her father and two uncles were killed in that battle, and her only brother Milan, still a child, was captured and never returned.

Lepa remained, gathering young people and women during the day and fighting enemy strongholds at night.

In January 1943, during a period of especially fierce fighting, Lepa began evacuating civilians, the wounded, and the elderly while, at the same time, removing food and livestock from the area under attack. Then, on one fateful February night, Lepa walked through deep snow behind the Partisan brigades with more than one hundred evacuees seeking refuge.

Soon, German troops reached the frightened group's mountain shelter. Lepa fired all the ammunition she had, but it was not enough to protect her, let alone the helpless people in her care. She charged at the enemy and shouted: "Fight, people! Don't let yourself fall into the hands of the wicked! Let them kill me; my death will be avenged!"

During the fight against the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen under SS Brigadeführer August Schmidthuber, Lepa was captured and moved to Bosanska Krupa.

The SS sentenced her to death by hanging. For three days leading up to her execution, the Germans kept her in isolation and tortured her to extract information about the Communist Party and her Partisan comrades. She refused to divulge anything, both then and in the moments just before her execution.

On February 8, 1943, her captors brought Lepa to a hastily constructed gallows in full view of the public. The executioners forced her to stand on a large chest with her hands tied behind her.

With a thin, cord noose around her neck, she cried out: "Long live the Communist Party and Partisans! Fight, people, for your freedom! Do not surrender to the evildoers! They will kill me, but others will avenge me!"

In her last moments at the scaffold, the Germans again offered to spare her life in return for the names of Communist Party leaders and members. Still, she refused with the words: "I am not a traitor to my people. Those whom you are asking about will reveal themselves when they have succeeded in wiping out all you evildoers to the last man." When they asked her the names of her companions, she replied: "You will know them when they come to avenge me."

The chest beneath her was suddenly wrenched away, leaving Lepa suspended in the air. She was only 17 at the time of her public execution. The location of her grave is unknown, but remembrance stones honor her bravery and determination to resist and defeat tyranny in all its forms and at any cost. Yugoslavia awarded her the military gallantry medal, Order of the People's Hero, in 1951.

On February 11, 1943, Brigadeführer Schmidthuber received an "executions report," stating: "A bandit hanged in Bosanska Krupa showed an unprecedented incarnation." During the security warfare in Kosovo, Schmidthuber issued more orders to kill prisoners and burn villages. Convicted of war crimes in Yugoslavia, he was executed in Belgrade on February 19, 1947, at age 45.

Meet Lepa Radić, The Bada** Teenager Who Died Fighting the Nazis — Published April 26, 2018 - Updated December 9

Women Documented: Women and Public Life in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 20th Century – 2014 Publisher: Sarajevo Open Centre - Emina Bošnjak, Executive Director.

Original title: Zabilježene - žene i javni život Bosne i Hercegovine u 20. vijeku

Authors: Aida Spahić Amila Ždralović Arijana Aganović Bojana Đokanović Elmaja Bavčić Emina Žuna Fabio Giomi Ivana Dračo Zlatan Delić Zlatiborka Popov-Momčinović

Editor: Jasmina Čauševi
Contributor: Lesa Compston Booth (49405223)


See more Radić memorials in: