Partisan Circle Dances (part 2)

Iva Jelusic


Following the launch of both the airborne and ground assault on the city of Drvar (eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina) in May 1944, the VIII partisan corps retreated to Jadovnik mountain. At night, while the German units were resting to prepare for a new day of fighting, the partisans partly walked and partly rolled down a goat trail that led to the foot of the mountain. The next day, the German soldiers searched the territory where the VIII corps had previously stayed. They then searched possible routes of retreat, but not the path by which the partisans left. It is assumed that either they did not notice the sad excuse for a retreat passage or did not think that the partisans would actually dare to use it in the dead of the night.

German units left Jadovnik. The following morning, after an almost all-night hike, the partisans returned. The location that was teeming with enemy soldiers the day before was now completely safe. They were alive and, at least temporarily, out of harm’s way. So, as soon as they returned, Žorž Skrigin claims, they got into a circle and danced. He snapped a photo.



Žorž Skrigin, Rat i pozornica (War and Stage). Belgrade: Turistička štampa, 1968, 255–261, photographs on 256 and 257.