Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bozo Jelenek

Bozo Jelenek was born in Kutina (near Zagreb) 1920. He was an NCO in Royal Yugoslav Army; after German ocupation, he lived in Osijek. He was a member or supporter of Communist Party and joined with the SS 'Handzar' Division to disturbed its forming.

His part in a mutiny of 'Handschar' battalion in Villefranche-de-Rouergue creating many debates. Some sources said that he was a same person with Eduard Matutinovic, the others said not. According George Lepre, the authorative historian of the division, the confusion about the two came from the fact that after the war, Jelenek returned to Villefranche-de-Rouergue for a visit and (falsely) claimed to be one of the ring leaders in the mutiny.

Lepre himself didn't have any doubt that Jelenek certainly deserted from the division in Villefranche-de- Rouergue , as several French civilians remembered him after the war. But there is no mention of him in the German reports on the incident. None of the captured mutineers mentioned him during their interrogations, and he is not listed in the German Fahndungsnachweis for France. Matutinovic, on the other hand, is listed. Lepre also said Semso Alihodzic, who is still alive and was forced to assist the mutineers for a time, has no knowledge of him. Thus, the historian personally think that Jelenek might have been present on 17 September before his desertion, but after the war he has greatly overstated his role.

Copyright © 2006 by Nino Oktorino

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