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Sofija Marinković Sofija Marinković
famous Serbs in Croatia

Sofija Marinković – war hero

Sofija (Sonja) Marinković was bornin Straževc near Pakrac in 1916. She finished high school in Sombor and Novi Sad and graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zemun in 1939. As a student she joined the progressive youth movement and became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ).

In Novi Sad in 1939 she worked on reviving the SKOJ organisation (Alliance of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia) and was the first secretary of its renewed Local Committee. She attended the International Peace Conference held in Paris as the Vojvodina youth delegate. She also took an active part in preparations for the KPJ Fifth regional conference for Vojvodina and was a member of the SKOJ’sregional committee for Vojvodina. At the Sixth regional conference for Vojvodina in September 1940, she was elected member of the KPJ regional committee for Vojvodina. Because of her revolutionary activities she was frequently persecuted and repeatedly imprisoned and tortured, but she never denounced her associates.

At the outset of the war Sonja Marinković was in Novi Sad where she actively participated in preparing the armed uprising of people in Vojvodina, along with Svetozar Marković-Tozo and Žarko Zrenjanin-Učo. It was partly thanks to her own efforts that sabotage groups, precursors to Partisan units, appeared in northern Banat. In July 1941 she was arrested, subjected to horrible torture and executed the same month in Baljaš near Petrovgrad. She marched to the execution site with her head held high and refused to turn her back to the firing squad.

She was declared a war hero in 1943 as one of the first National Liberation Struggle (NOB) fighters to receive this honour. Several primary schools in Vojvodina still carry her name.

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