Stjepan Filipović

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Stjepan Filipović
Stjepan Stevo Filipović.jpg
Born(1916-01-27)27 January 1916
Died22 May 1942(1942-05-22) (aged 26)

Stjepan Filipović (27 January 1916 – 22 May 1942) was a Yugoslav communist who led Kolubara Company of the Valjevo Partisan Detachment during the 1941 Partisan uprising. He was captured and executed in 1942 in Valjevo. The photo of him taken shortly before the execution has become a symbol of resistance against fascism in the Second World War. He was proclaimed People's Hero of Yugoslavia in 1949.


Young Stjepan Filipović (right)
Monument to Filipović in Valjevo

Stjepan Filipović was born on 27 January 1916 in Opuzen (modern-day Croatia) as fifth child in the family of Anton and Ivka Filipović. The Filipović family moved throughout the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, so he lived in Županja, Mostar and Kragujevac. In Kragujevac, he studied locksmithing and mastered the basics of electrical wiring, carpentry and bookbinding.[1] He joined the labour movement in 1937, but he was arrested in 1939 and sentenced to a year in prison. He 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 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.[2][3]

Filipović was declared a National Hero of Yugoslavia on 14 December 1949.[4] 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 demolished in 1991; reconstruction is planned by the Croatian Ministry of Culture.[5][6] During the war his two brothers Nikola and Šimun Filipović also died.


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