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Mara Jovicic Popovic

Foca, Yugoslavia

Mara was one of six children born to Serbian parents. The family lived in the small town of Foca in the region of Bosnia. Like her parents, Mara was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox faith. She grew up in Foca and in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, where she completed secondary school. In 1930 she married Rajko Popovic, a circuit court judge. The couple had no children.

1933-39: In 1934 Rajko completed a judicial tour of duty in Foca, and the couple moved to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Mara and Rajko were Serbian nationalists. At that time, the Serbs controlled Bosnia and the Yugoslav central government.

1940-44: The Germans invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941. In May Bosnia was placed under the rule of the fascist Croatian puppet-state. Mara's husband feared capture by the Croatian police, and he fled to Serbia. Mara remained in Sarajevo, where she lived in the same building as her niece, Mirjana, and older sister, Jovanka. In 1944 Croatian police arrested Mara, Mirjana and Jovanka because they were prominent Serb nationalists. After refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism, Mara was deported to Jasenovac, a Croatian-run concentration camp.

Mara perished in Jasenovac in late 1944. She was 43 years old.

 

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