Oslobodenje, Sarajevo’s largest newspaper, declared at the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina that it would not miss a single day of publication. When its headquarters was bombarded and destroyed in April 1992, the newspaper continued to publish from a nearby bomb shelter. It is the longest running newspaper in Bosnia and the only one to operate continuously during the war.
Oslobodenje (“Liberation”) was founded on August 30, 1943 as an anti-Nazi newspaper. The title was published in territories liberated by the communist partisan movement of Josip Broz Tito. Enjoying the relative freedom of Yugoslav’s press in the 1950s, the title expressed an “independent” viewpoint (as much as could be expected of a newspaper in a communist state). Following Tito’s death in 1980, the newspaper moved even further from Communist party viewpoints, embracing pan-nationalism over any particular nationalist viewpoint. In 1992, under the cloud of ethnic strife, Oslobodenje aligned itself with the Bosnian government in opposing the Serb campaign. The damaged newspaper tower is preserved as a memorial to the civil war.
CRL subscribed to this title on microfilm and holds a complete run from 1962–1986. The Slavic and East European Microform Project took up the task of identifying and acquiring issues from the war years. Through cooperation with Norman Ross, SEEMP filmed the weekly edition (published in Sarajevo and Ljubljana, Slovenia) for 1994–1995.
SEEMP members also identified a distributor in Sarajevo that possessed filmed copies of the daily version of Oslobodenje from the war years and beyond. SEEMP successfully acquired 1992–1995 and various scattered holdings thereafter from 1996–2003. Acquisition of archival-quality film from the region continues to be somewhat problematic, and SEEMP is investigating ways of improving its holdings of this important title.