Budo Simonovic’s The Fiery Mary of Livno Available for Purchase in English

The English language version of Budo Simonovic’s The Fiery Mary of Livno has recently been released and is now available to purchase.

You can acquire copies of the book in one of the following ways:

Order form: (Download the Order form) and post to: Nikola Petrovic, Vojvodjanska 392E, 11271 Surcin-Belgrade or email: milosd83@gmail.com

Contact either Nikola Petrovic (tel.: +381 64 615 5073 or email: bonip.bg@gmail.com) or Milos Damnjanovic (tel.: +381 63 287 876 or email: milosd83@gmail.com)

The book can be purchased at the price of 1000 Serbian dinars (for orders from Bosnia-Herzegovina the price is 20 KM, for all other orders 10 euros or 12 US dollars).

If purchasing from abroad payments can be made to the Association’s foreign currency account held at Banca Intesa a.d. Srbija, account number 35160005400000298760, with transaction reference number 1941/2015 (as recipient of payment please state “Association OML”, Surcin-Beograd, Serbia; PIB: 107802013; purpose of payment: “book FML”). You can find all the necessary instructions for making payments from abroad here: https://omlivanjska.com/about/uplata-clanarine-i-donacija/

If purchasing from Serbia or Bosnia-Hercegovina, payments can be made:

– in Serbia at the price of 1000, RSD – to the account of the Association held at Banca Intesa account number 160-380800-45 with transaction reference number 1941/2015 (as recipient of payment please state “Udruzenje OML”; purpose of payment: “knjiga OML, engleski”)

in Bosnia at the price of 20 KM – to the account of the Association held at Unicredit Bank Banja Luka, account number: 55-172077032321-17 with transaction reference number 1941/2015 (as recipient of payment please state “Udruzenje OML” JIB 4950134600007; purpose of payment: “knjiga OML, engleski”).

Delivery of the book can be made in one of two ways:

  1. By post, to the address in Serbia which you provide us with. Shipping fees for postage within Serbia will be paid on delivery. For postage to addresses abroad, please contact us before ordering;
  2. Personal collection from a member of the Association (no additional charge).
  3. For shipping copies of the book abroad, prior agreement with the Association is necessary, with the buyer taking on the costs of shipping.

About the Book

The Fiery Mary of Livno examines the genocide committed by the Ustashe and the fascist Independent State of Croatia against its Serb population during the Second World War by looking at the region around the town of Livno in today’s Bosnia. The book is a work of oral history – by collecting the oral testimonies of still living survivors of the genocide in the early 1990s, the author, Budo Simonovic, brings to life tragic events which occurred half a century earlier. Through the words of survivors, he tells the tale of just a few terrible days and weeks around the feast-day of a saint known locally as ‘Fiery Mary’, during which hundreds of innocent lives were ended in a brutal and murderous campaign. When the reader turns the last page of the book, they are left with the feeling that they themselves have witnessed the events recounted in the book first hand.

In terms of the mere number of victims, the crimes committed by the Ustasha in the area of Livno do not stand out particularly in comparison to other areas of the fascist Independent State of Croatia. Where they do stand out, however, is in their brutality. In other areas, the Ustasha executed thousands of their Serb victims and buried them in mass graves or threw them into the rivers and seas. By contrast, in the area around Livno, the Ustasha exploited one of the natural beauties of the local Dinaric Alps – their deep, ‘bottomless’ pits – turning them into mass graves into which they threw their victims alive so that they could fall to their deaths. In one of the most dramatic accounts in the book, on 30th July 1941, 218 Serb inhabitants of the village of Rujani near Livno, primarily women and children, were thrown alive into the Ravni Dolac pit on the Dinara mountain, around 50 metres deep. While many of them met with their deaths soon after hitting the bottom of the pit, others sufferred major or minor injuries and were left to die slowly, trapped in a pit from which they could not escape. That this was so we know because, after 45 days spent in this particular pit, 13 women and one boy were rescued alive. In a rare testimony to good in a book filled with darkness, these survivors were rescued by a Croatian gendarme, who risked his own life to save theirs.

Aside from its intrinsic value as a historical account, this book has a wider importance and relevance. Above all, it is valuable because it takes us inside the microcosm of a genocide, in this case the wider genocide committed upon Serbs inside the Independent State of Croatia, the Nazi puppet state created following the occupation of Yuoslavia by the Axis powers in the Second World War. Many hisotircal studies have examined the course of the Second World War in Yugoslavia and a number of those have in one way or another touched upon the civil ‘war within the war’ which raged on the territory of Yugoslavia in parallel. Yet very few of those written or translated into English have dealt with the local dynamics of this civil war. This book does precisely that. By looking at the tragic events which unfolded in one self-contained geographic area through the testimonies of survivors, it helps the reader answer some dark and puzzling questions, such as how stability in multi-ethinc communities breaks down and how neighbours who coexist in peace can suddenly turn against those of a different identity.

The book also provides powerful evidence against efforts at historical denial. Many in contemporary Croatia seek to downplay or even deny the genocide committed against its Serb population by the Independent State of Croatia during the Second World War. The testimonies presented in this book should act as an oral and written obstacle to such attempts.

Finally, this book also has a relevance in helping us understand the wars of the 1990s that ensued during the break-up of Yugoslavia. Western politicians, journalists and observers rarely understood the significance of events during the Second World War in shaping the fears, expectations and actions of Serbs in Yugoslavia half a century later, particularly in Bosnia and Croatia, as the country’s disintegration began. This book, written on the eve of Yugoslavia’s violent collapse, should hopefully shed light on this neglected issue. In doing so, it also shows us how history can, in some unfortunate elements, repeat itself.

The first, Serbian language edition of the book was published in 1991. Following four later Serbian editions, the English language translation was published in 2015.

 

ORDER FORM

I would hereby like to order ……… copies of Budo Simonovic’s The Fiery Mary of Livno, English language edition.

I agree that delivery of the book will be made upon payment in one of the following ways (please select):

  1. By post to an address in Serbia, provided in this order form, by which I agree to pay the shipping fees which I will pay upon delivery of the book;
  2. Personal collection from a member of the association (no additional charge)
  3. For shipping copies of the book abroad, prior agreement with the Association is necessary, with the buyer taking on the costs of shipping.

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