Srbac municipality lies on the northern border of Bosnia and Herzegovina, surrounded by Derventa to the east, Gradiška to the west, Laktaši to the south-west and Prnjavor to the south east. On its northern side, it is bordered by the River Sava and the Republic of Croatia. It lies in the Republika Srpska entity, and its borders remain the same as those before the 1992-95 war, and its territory covers a total of 452.5 km2.
Between 1966 and 1973, the most comprehensive nationwide survey of immovable monuments to the NOB to date was carried out under the auspices of the Republic Institute for the Protection of Monuments. However, it was not until 1981 that a summary of this survey list was published (Tihić, 1981). In total, 2,049 immovable properties were recorded on the territory of SR Bosnia & Herzegovina, with a total of 11 being recorded upon the territory of Srbac municipality in a survey conducted in December 1967, categorized as follows:
- Memorial plaques – 4
- Memorial busts – 0
- Fountains, wells and cisterns – 0
- Artistic monuments – 6
- Identified individual graves, mass graves and ossuaries – 0
- Cemeteries of Partisan fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror – 1
Although the construction of memorials and monuments continued long after this period (with a wave of monuments being created in the wake of the death of Josip Broz Tito, and continuing throughout the 1980s), no further Republic-level survey of monuments was undertaken before the secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia in 1992.
Prior to this survey, however, a number of internal documents created by SUBNOR hint to the progression of construction of monuments and memorials on the territory of Srbac municipality: In 1959, a report for (the then-)Srez Banja Luka states that 2 monuments existed on the territory of Srbac municipality by 1959, while 5 memorial plaques were created by 1955, with 0 being created in the period 1955-59 (SO SBNOR Banja Luka, 1959). In 1961, a Republic-wide report claimed that 1 Partisans’ cemetery existed on the territory of the municipality, which was ‘temporarily arranged’, with a wooden fence and wooden grave markers (GO SBNOR BiH, 1961). In 1967, a similar report claimed that an ossuary was being prepared for 25 fallen fighters ‘of Polish nationality’ (GO SUBNOR BiH, 1967).
Several articles published on the portal Glas Srpske in 2019 and 2020 suggested that a total of 24 monuments and memorials commemorating the People’s Liberation War were erected on the territory of Srbac municipality (see, for example, Jovičić 2019; Jovičić 2020), and that Srbac’s SUBNOR organization maintained records of these, while one article on Radio Srbac placed the number at 25 (Radio Srbac, 2020d).
Contact was made with Bogdan Davidović of Srbac’s SUBNOR organization in November 2021. The organization shared their records of all sites known on the territory of the municipality, with Davidović also accompanying Dalibor Miljević to map and photograph the sites. However, it is known that the list compiled by SUBNOR is not a comprehensive list of all monuments and memorials that existed on the territory of the municipality, as an insufficient number pre-date the December 1967 survey. In total, the documentation compiled by SUBNOR details 25 monuments and memorials, including the fountain in Vlaknica, which appears to have had no specific memorial purpose (see below, p.38).
A second document compiled by SUBNOR Srbac in August 2020 details a total of 27 monuments and memorials. This list omits the 1984 monument to fallen fighters in Kaoci and the fountain at the site of the narodni zbor in Vlaknica. It does, however, include a collective grave of Victims of Fascist Terror in the village of Nova Ves (1960) not included on any other lists. This grave contains the remains of 10 civilians of Czech nationality killed in an assault on the village by a group of Četniks on 22 August 1944. The grave is religious in nature, and appears to have been created by members of the local community in the local cemetery. The decision was therefore made to exclude it from this report. It should be noted, however, that the grave is well-maintained, with commemorative events being held on or around the anniversary of the attack each year.
A reference to one memorial plaque not mentioned in the present-day records of Srbac’s SUBNOR organization can be found in the report Analiza o obilježavanju istaknutih ličnosti i događaja iz Radničkog Pokreta i Revolucije u Bosni i Herzegovini, published by the Commission for History of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Bosnia & Herzegovina in April 1963. This mentions that a plaque to commemorate NH Danko Mitrov existed on the elementary school in (Donji) Srđevići at this time (p.13). On a visit to the site in June 2022, it was seen that this plaque no longer exists, and, furthermore, no definitive trace of its existence survives. This plaque may well have either been created in 1950, or, alternatively, replaced a monument created in 1950, as an article in the 27. Juli magazine of SBNOR Bosnia & Herzegovina, stated that a monument to Danko Mitrov was to be unveiled in Srđevići at this time (Jungić, 1950).
Furthermore, correspondence with Obrad Nikičević revealed that a plaque had previously existed on the wall of the elementary school in Povelič, with this later being replaced by the present-day monument. It would appear that this plaque dated to 1961. Likewise, no trace of this plaque remains today.
It is interesting to note that
At present, Srbac municipality has no valid spatial plan that would potentially contain information on additional monuments and memorials on the territory of the municipality. However, in July 2014, a “List of monuments and memorials on the territory of Srbac municipality” was adopted (Službeni glasnik opštine Srbac 07/14) in accordance with the Republika Srpska’s 2012 Law on Monuments and Memorials to the Liberation Wars (Službeni glasnik Republike Srpske 28/12). An analysis of this list (OpNOB-related contents are identical to those of the document provided by SUBNOR. However, it has been noted (Lawler, 2020) that such lists are often far from authoritative.
The recently published monograph Srbac: Monografski Zapisi (Šarić, 2020) mentions a number of memorial plaques and busts in passing, mainly in the section of the book profiling individual villages. However, the contents of this monograph are not exhaustive, and little attention is paid to the histories of these monuments to the People’s Liberation War.
Local news portal Radio Srbac also regularly publishes articles relating to commemorative events and restoration/cleaning of monuments. These have proven invaluable in studying the more recent history of the monuments and memorials on the territory of the municipality.
In total, during the course of research, a total of 31 monuments and memorials to the People’s Liberation War were identified as existing or having existed on the territory of Srbac municipality, categorized as follows:
- Memorial plaques – 8
- Memorial busts – 3
- Fountains – 1
- Three-dimensional or sculptural monuments – 17
- Identified individual graves, mass graves and ossuaries – 1
- Cemeteries of Partisan fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror – 1
However, as implied above, it may well be the case that several more monuments and memorials – particularly memorial plaques – existed on the territory of the municipality, but have not been recorded in the sources consulted.
Monuments & Memorials
|Village/MZ||Address||Name||Type||Year||Author||Still Exists||Date Mapped||Description|
|Srbac||Town park||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1957||Replaced||November 2021||Replaced original monument at same location dating to 1950, and constructed by Drago Trivalić. Demolished between 2004 and 2006, with new monument created on Ul. Danka Mitrova beside monument to 1992-95 war.|
|Srbac||Ul. Danka Mitrova||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||2006||Yes||November 2021||Replaced monument originally situated in town park. Monument to 1992-95 war added beside, in similar style.|
|Srbac||Ul. Mome Vidovića bb.||Cemetery with 55 fallen Partisans & 22 fallen Polish fighters of the NOVJ||Cemetery||1964||Života Đorđević||Yes||November 2021|
|Srbac||Jovan Jovanović Zmaj elementary school||Bust of NH Slobodan Mitrov Danko||Bust||1969||Ahmed Bešić||Yes||November 2021|
|Srbac||Jovan Jovanović Zmaj elementary school||Bust of NH Zdravko Čelar||Bust||1969||Ahmed Bešić||Yes||November 2021|
|Srbac||Jovan Jovanović Zmaj elementary school||Bust of NH Sava Vujanović Žuća||Bust||1969||Yes||November 2021|
|Srbac||Town cemetery||Ossuary and memorial for 13 Victims of Fascist Terror||Ossuary||1976||Yes||June 2022|
|Kaoci||Community hall||Monument to fallen fighters||Monument||1984||Yes||November 2021|
|Kaoci||Community hall||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1961||Yes||November 2021|
|Vlaknica||Dolovi, beside Srbac-Derventa main road||Monument to the 1st Krajinan Proletarian Brigade||Monument||1954||Yes||November 2021||Restored 2019|
|Vlaknica||Beside Srbac-Derventa road||Memorial fountain||Fountain||Yes||June 2022|
|Vlaknica||Elementary school||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1971||Relocated||November 2021||Incorporated into monument to 1992-95 war.|
|Korovi||Beside main road||Monument to Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1986||Yes||November 2021||Monument to 1992-95 added beside in recent years|
|Gornja Lepenica||Pasja Pravda||Monument to the XII Slavonian Assault Brigade||Monument||1981||Yes||June 2022|
|Sitneši||Vuk Karadžić elementary school||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1979||Yes||June 2022|
|Donji Srđevići||Opposite old school||Monument to mark the place of death of Danko Mitrov||Monument||1986||Yes||June 2022||In relatively poor condition|
|Gornji Srđevići||Rakovac, Motajica||Monument to mark the place of death of Zdravko Čelar||Monument||1976||Yes||June 2022||Memorial plaque replaced after 2014|
|Razboj Župski||Local cemetery||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters||Memorial Plaque||1984||Relocated||June 2022||Originally situated on wall of community hall. Relocated in 2016.|
|Nožičko||Village centre||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1979||Yes||November 2021||Replaced a monument dating to 1957 at the same location. Park around monument renovated in 2018. Well maintained and in good condition.|
|Stari Martinac||Beside main road||Monument to fallen fighters||Monument||1955||Relocated||November 2021||Renovated and relocated in 2020. Previously situated on village's community hall. Monument to 1992-95 war added beside.|
|Povelič||Elementary school||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1979||Yes||November 2021||Monument to 1992-95 war added beside.|
|Prijebljezi||Community Hall||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1978||Yes||November 2021||Monument to 1992-95 war added beside|
|Razboj Ljevčanski||Village centre||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1967||Yes||November 2021||Commemorates 19 fallen fighters and 24 Victims of Fascist Terror. Restored after 1995. Monument to 1992-95 war added beside.|
|Razboj Ljevčanski||Stegića Ada||Monument to Victims of Fascist Terror executed in March 1944||Monument||1987||Dragan Radaković||Yes||November 2021||New memorial plaque added in 2012|
|Dugo Polje||Community hall||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1981||Yes||November 2021||Commemorates 6 fallen fighters and 3 Victims of Fascist Terror|
|Donji Kladari||Community Hall||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1977||Yes||November 2021||Commemorates 9 fallen fighters and 5 Victims of Fascist Terror|
|Gornji Kladari||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1978||Yes||November 2021||In poor condition as of 2019|
|Lilić||Community Hall||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1980||Yes||November 2021|
|Kukulje||In front of Dositej Obradović elementary school||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Monument||1964||Replaced||June 2022||Originally a large white cuboidal monument. Replaced by black stela in 2002. Monument to 1992-95 war added beside.|
|Donji Srđevići||Elementary school (former)||Monument to commemorate NH Danko Mitrov||Monument||1949||Replaced||June 2022||Replaced by new monument in 1986.|
|Povelič||Elementary school||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror||Memorial Plaque||1961||No||Replaced by 1979 monument|
|Nožičko||House close to school||Plaque to commemorate place of death of 17 Partisan fighters||Memorial Plaque||1957||In storage||Placed in storage before 1989, possibly in community hall. [Note: not included in report]|
|Nova Ves||Local cemetery||Partisans' cemetery||Cemetery||Contains remains of 12 fallen fighters. Only 1 grave marked as of 1989.|
|Nova Ves||Local cemetery||Collective grave of Victims of Fascist Terror||Communal Grave||1960||Contains remains of 10 women and girls killed by Chetniks on 22 August 1944. [Note: not included in report]|
|1||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Srbac|
|2||Cemetery with 55 fallen Partisans & 22 fallen Polish fighters of the NOVJ, Srbac|
|3||Bust of NH Slobodan ‘Danko’ Mitrov, Srbac|
|4||Bust of NH Zdravko Čelar, Srbac|
|5||Bust of NH Sava Vujanović Žuća, Srbac|
|6||Ossuary and memorial for 13 Victims of Fascist Terror, Srbac|
|7||Monument to fallen fighters, Kaoci|
|8||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Kaoci|
|9||Monument to the 1st Proletarian Brigade, Vlaknica|
|10||Memorial fountain, Vlaknica|
|11||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Vlaknica|
|12||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Korovi|
|13||Monument to the XII Slavonian Assault Brigade, Gornja Lepenica|
|14||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Sitneši|
|15||Monument to mark the place of death of NH Danko Mitrov, Donji Srđevići|
|16||Monument to mark the place of death of NH Zdravko Čelar, Gornji Srđevići|
|17||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters, Razboj Župski|
|18||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Nožičko|
|19||Monument to fallen fighters, Stari Martinac|
|20||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Povelič|
|21||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Prijebljezi|
|22||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Razboj Ljevčanski|
|23||Monument to Victims of Fascist Terror executed in March 1944, Razboj Ljevčanski|
|24||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Dugo Polje|
|25||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Donji Kladari|
|26||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Gornji Kladari|
|27||Plaque to commemorate fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Lilić|
|28||Monument to fallen fighters and Victims of Fascist Terror, Kukulje|