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Every monument has its own story

Categories: Monuments speak

Memorial Museum Jablanica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Memorial Museum Jablanica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Memorial Museum Jablanica is dedicated to the Battle at the Neretva river (January- April 1943), known as the battle for the wounded, designed in the modernist Yugoslav architecture by Branko Tadić, Zdravko Dunđerović and Mustafa Ramić. The Museum collection contains hundreds of authentic pieces of documentation and warfare. However, the main exhibit is outside of the memorial complex: the demolished bridge on the Neretva river, a symbol of the Battle for the Wounded historically known as one of the most humane battle in the WW2. The German occupier, together with the Ustashas and Chetniks, tried to destroy the Partisans’ forces who were engaged there with a field hospital and some 4,000 wounded. It is estimated that more than 150,000 soldiers attacked much smaller partisan detachments, along with the wounded. Despite heavy losses and the tactical victory of the Axis Powers who were deceived by the explosions which demolished the bridge, the partisans quickly ensured the safety of the metal construction and succeeded to cross the bridge thus protecting the headquarter, the field hospital and all the wounded. - which is why this battle will be remembered as the Battle of the Wounded. At the High School of War in France this example was studied from its strategic importance for the outcome of the WW2 in Yugoslavia, while some of the participants and witnesses testified that any army would have surrendered in a situation of encirclement and air strikes except Tito's partisans.

In addition to the demolished bridge still in place, the complex includes the remains of the narrow gauge railway designed and built by the Krauss factory in Linz, Austria, in 1913. The bunker on the left bank of the Neretva and the meeting point with eternal flame contribute to the authenticity of the memorial complex as a historic site. The bunker was used by Chetnik forces during the operation. The meeting point symbolically represents an area where the wounded and the sick gathered before crossing the Neretva river. Today this place is a meeting point for all those sharing the remembrance and conveying the historic narrative of the Battle for the Wounded. 

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