Stjepan Filipović

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Stjepan Filipović
Stjepan Stevo Filipović.jpg
Born (1916-01-27)27 January 1916
Opuzen, Kingdom of Dalmatia, Austro-Hungarian Empire
(now Croatia)
Died 22 May 1942(1942-05-22) (aged 26)
Valjevo, Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia
(now Serbia)
Nationality Croatian

Stjepan Filipović (27 January 1916 – 22 May 1942) was a member of the Yugoslav National Liberation Army ("Partisans") and People's Hero of Yugoslavia, who was executed during World War II in Valjevo, Serbia, and is famous for the photo taken of him moments before his execution.


Young Stjepan Filipović (right)
Monument to Filipović in Valjevo

Filipović was born on 27 January 1916 in Opuzen, in the Kingdom of Dalmatia, (in modern-day Croatia), in the final days of the Austria-Hungary. Before the outbreak of the Second World War he lived in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kragujevac, Serbia, then both part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He joined the labour movement in 1937, but he was arrested in 1939 and sentenced to a year in prison, he later joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1940.

Filipović was commander of the Partisans' Tamnavsko-Kolubarski unit in Valjevo (modern-day Serbia) by 1941, he was captured on 24 February 1942 by Axis forces and subsequently hanged in Valjevo on 27 May 1942, aged 26. As the rope was put around his neck, Filipović defiantly thrust his hands out and shouted "Smrt fašizmu, sloboda narodu!" which translates as "Death to fascism, freedom to the people!". He urged the Yugoslav people to resist and implored them to never cease resisting, at this moment, a photograph was taken which has since become famous, and from which a statue of Filipović was cast.[1][2]

Filipović was declared a National Hero of Yugoslavia on 14 December 1949,[3] the town of Valjevo has a statue dedicated to him, "Stevan Filipović". A monument was also erected in his home town of Opuzen in 1968, but was torn down in 1991; reconstruction is planned by the Croatian Ministry of Culture.[4][5] During the war his two brothers Nikola and Šimun Filipović also died.


  1. ^ A Concise History of Bosnia, Cathie Carmichael, Cambridge University Press, 2015 ISBN 1107016150, 9781107016156 page 86
  2. ^ Sinclair, Upton; Sagarin, Edward; Teichnerhe, Albert; Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest, p. 438; L. Stuart, 1963.
  3. ^ Burns, Richard; The Blue Butterfly: Selected Writings p. 144; Salt, 2006, ISBN 1-84471-258-3.
  4. ^ "Pao partizan - Antifašisti će tužiti opuzensku vlast" (in Croatian). 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  5. ^ "Srušeni heroj - Stjepan Filipović vraća se u centar Opuzena". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2012-05-09.