Vijoleta Antolić-Zagrecki

May 6, 1969 - Jul 29, 2014(45)

1969 days of hell

- They shot at my child, I will fight back. - said the brave Vukovar, Homeland War volunteer and warrior who defended her native Vukovar.

Vijoleta Antolić-Zagrecki was born in Vukovar. She lived with her parents in the southern part of Vukovar's Sajmište district, and worked in Borovo. A brave woman, then the mother of a three-year-old child, with the outbreak of war she will become a brave and skilled fighter - a volunteer, who will fight side by side with HOS soldiers.

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Vijoleta, when she saw that there were not enough fighters on the battlefield, sent her mother and little son Zoran to the shelter and bravely went to join the independent HOS unit that had just arrived in Vukovar.

- The army started leaving the barracks and we were not aware of it. The stepfather came to pick us up from the position. They also shot at the child I was carrying. The three-year-old son shouted through his tears: "Mom, mom!" as we made our way towards Olajnica. The shelter was full of men and women with children. I felt safer, and at the same time everything inside me was burning with anger. I thought: they shot at my child, I will fight back. By chance, guys from the HOS unit passed by me. - told Vijoleta years later, how she came to the decision to risk her own life.

In his book "58: HOS in the defense of Vukovar", Damir Markuš recalled what it looked like when the girl joined the fight when everyone else was running away.

"In all this madness, one girl, Vijoleta Zagrecki, joined us to fight. You know, usually the people needed for the positions "disappeared" from us. There were more and more wounded who ended up in the hospital, more and more people were killed, and that was a big problem, the lack of soldiers. One day, a girl Vijoleta approached the HOS unit and asked for a rifle to fight, as she says, against the Chetniks. We looked at her in amazement because, I repeat, we didn't really feel like it, we mostly "disappeared" and then your girlfriend comes?

We accepted her first, wanted her to bandage the wounds, but she doesn't even hear about such a thing, she wants a rifle. Because, she says, she didn't have the money to buy it, and she doesn't want to wait for the Chetniks to kill everyone, but wants to defend herself. Our commanders made concessions and the late Earl, Mladen Armstrong, gave her a rifle. And so Viki fought from the time she came, until the last day, in the end with the few survivors, the wounded. She is our Hosovka. She showed with her courage, even by the fact that she stayed until the end, that she deserved to be extremely respected among the veterans, and especially among us Hosov residents."

Vijoleta quickly showed that she is capable and determined. She participated in the fighting until the final occupation of Vukovar. In the last moments, she saved Josip Abel when she dragged him to the hospital with the help of civilians.

Then she changed into civilian clothes, took her child and went to Velepromet with the other exiles. - They separated me from my child, I thought I would go crazy. I begged for it to be returned to me. They grinned and said that they would take him to an orphanage in Belgrade. Fortunately, an acquaintance of mine took my son. Soon the four came to pick me up. - she recalled her suffering years later.

She was beaten, tortured at Velepromet, and then taken to a camp in Mitrovica. She went through the horrors of war, but she survived. She was exchanged in the first group. As soon as she recovered, she returned to the unit. With the 204th "A" brigade of Vukovar veterans, she went to the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was in Kupres, passed the Zadar battlefield, and was active on the Southern Front for several periods.

Brave Vijoleta spent 1,969 days in the war and was awarded the rank of sergeant. After the end of the war, she moved to Zagreb. In her free time, she engaged in sport fishing, trained in kickboxing and raised her son Zoran and daughter Andreja.

Vijoleta was on the front lines of hell, from which she emerged victorious. She lost her life in a car accident in 2014. Her great story is a symbol of the resistance and courage shown by the sons and daughters of the Motherland in its darkest moments.

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