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The Suffering of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina during
the world war 1914-1918

Vladimir Ćorović began writing the Black Book in 1917, soon after his release from the Zenica prison as an effort to systematically document the abuses and suffering of Serbs in his native Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Great War.  The author was personally impacted by the events in the book both due to his own part observing and being a victim in the persecutions, as well as having his brother imprisoned and dying soon after release. While their stories are present, they are only side mentions in a greater tragedy which befell their people. Even with going into the level of detail that Ćorović was able to achieve, the author acknowledges that there is much more which would be written about the topic.

Vladimir Ćorović, Serbian historian


Svetozar Ćorović in a 1975 Yugoslavia stamp


Svetozar Ćorović was a prominent Serb writer from the city of Mostar in Herzegovina, born in 1875, before the Congress of Berlin and the Austro-Hungarian occupation of the region. Well-respected for his literary work, he was elected to the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1910.

This, however, did not protect him from being taken as a hostage, with his life guaranteeing the safety of the Austro-Hungarian railways in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the general obeisance of the Serbs in that land.

Ćorović spent 3 years as a hostage in conditions best described in his own words, catching tuberculosis, being released from prison and then being drafted by the military in 1917, before being discharged for poor health and returning to die in his native Mostar in 1919, the same year this work was published.


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His brother is the famed Serbian historian Vladimir Ćorović, whose Black Book briefly mentions some of Svetozar's tribulations as a hostage and which you can also find in our catalogue.


The Members of Young Bosnia did not leave much written material behind them before or after embarking on the fateful assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, making it harder for us to understand their motivations and reasoning.

Princip: About Himself is a set of stenographic notes taken by Dr Martin Pappenheim, who was Princip's assigned psychiatrist during his imprisonment in Theresienstadt (today Terezín in Czechia) prison-fortress. The notes include two short writings that Dr Pappenheim was able to get Princip to write about himself after much persuasion.

In this edition, the translation of the two letters are included, as well as the German language original of the notes.

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Gavrilo Princip being taken to the courthouse in Sarajevo, surounded by Austro-Hungarian soldiers with bayonets on their rifles, July 1914
Živko Topalović


For our Prisoners is a stenographic recording of Dr Živko Topalović's lecture on the circumstances which faced Serbian prisoners of war in Austria-Hungary 1914-1918.

Dr Topalović himself was captured in 1914. and was in a POW camp until an exchange in 1917. During this period, he became active as an informal representative of the Red Cross in trying to improve the situation of Serbs in Austro-Hungarian concentration camps.

The lecture was given before the Serbian Red Cross society members on Corfu, where the Serbian government in exile and civil society continued to function after the Central Powers overwhelming invasion in 1915.

As an eyewitness account of the state of affairs in the massive Austro-Hungarian concentration camp system (30 major and 300 camps in total), Dr Topalović's testimony is one of the amazing first-hand accounts of survivors about the conditions they faced in a country which did not respect their rights guaranteed by the Hague conventions and which was suffering acute economic downturn and famine towards the end of the war.

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