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Sarajevo, 1941-1945Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Hitler's Europe$
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Emily Greble

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449215

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449215.001.0001

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Portraits of a City on the Eve of War

Portraits of a City on the Eve of War

(p.29) 1 Portraits of a City on the Eve of War
Sarajevo, 1941-1945

Emily Greble

Cornell University Press

This chapter seeks to demonstrate by through looking at the lives of four local community leaders how the two central concepts of community and social organization were lived in Sarajevo on the eve of the Second World War. The four men chosen—Fehim Spaho, Sarajevo's grand mufti; Leon Finci, a well-known humanitarian and patron of the arts; Father Božidar Bralo, the pastor at St. Joseph's Catholic Church; and Borivoje Jevtić, a well-known intellectual, author, and playwright—are not intended to parallel one another or to serve as microcosms of the communities they represent in this story. Instead, by presenting the complex relationship of local, national, and international dynamics through their personal experiences, they provide a window into the world of interwar Sarajevo. These stories illuminate the city's political and cultural dynamics, linking Yugoslav political events to broader European developments. In so doing, each portrait highlights the conflicting allegiances to one's state, confessional community, national group, family, and city—conflicts that would carry through the war. Each man thus represents one of the four confessional pillars of Sarajevo's society; yet his story simultaneously reveals the difficulties of using one person to represent an entire community.

Keywords:   Sarajevo, community leaders, social leaders, Fehim Spaho, Leon Finci, Božidar Bralo, Borivoje Jevtić

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