Sarajevo, 1941-1945: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Hitler's Europe
Cornell University Press, 2011 - 276 pages
On April 15, 1941, Sarajevo fell to Germany's 16th Motorized Infantry Division. The city, along with the rest of Bosnia, was incorporated into the Independent State of Croatia, one of the most brutal of Nazi satellite states run by the ultranationalist Croat Ustasha regime. The occupation posed an extraordinary set of challenges to Sarajevo's famously cosmopolitan culture and its civic consciousness; these challenges included humanitarian and political crises and tensions of national identity. As detailed for the first time in Emily Greble's book, the city's complex mosaic of confessions (Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish) and ethnicities (Croat, Serb, Jew, Bosnian Muslim, Roma, and various other national minorities) began to fracture under the Ustasha regime's violent assault on "Serbs, Jews, and Roma"—contested categories of identity in this multiconfessional space—tearing at the city's most basic traditions. Nor was there unanimity within the various ethnic and confessional groups: some Catholic Croats detested the Ustasha regime while others rode to power within it; Muslims quarreled about how best to position themselves for the postwar world, and some cast their lot with Hitler and joined the ill-fated Muslim Waffen SS.