Zentel – Ludmilla 1888-1960

Ludmilla Zentel (Zentelova)

Birth: 18 May 1888, Prague

Death: 7 October 1960, Veli Losinj, Croatia

Spouse: Josip Predavec

[The following is a story given to Zlatko Predavec in June 1999 by Branko Sruk on a visit to his home at Gracec.]

Ludmilla Predavec, born Zentel in Prague in 1888. After WW1 she was left a widow with three children. Marrying Ing. Josip Predavec she arrived in Dugo Selo in 1920 and, with him, had a son, Zlatko. After the underhanded murder of Josip Predavec on 13.7.1933, Ludmilla stayed and lived in Dugo Selo.

By nature humane, personally cultured, and free-thinking, in time she became a sincere anti-fascist and as such she stayed to the day she died. Because of that, the door of her home was always open to progressive people, especially younger people, before, and particularly during, the War. She offered help, as much as she could, for the NOB [National Fight for Freedom]. She was called ‘Mamicka’ (Czech for ‘little mother’). And then, between the rest, on the request of her daughter Jelena Vitanovic, then married to Barbic (Ing Mijo Barbic was killed in the Partisans in February 1945) who worked for the Party organisation during the whole War in Zagreb and was a party member from 1944, protected in her home Saili Pepica together with the small child of Dragica and Rade Koncar. To avoid the suspicion of the neighbours, Pepica pretended to be a house servant, encumbered with child. In reality, Pepica Saili was assigned to look after the child. They stayed 3 to 4 months, sometimes in the home of Ludmilla’s daughter Bojana and Artur Blazek, until they were moved elsewhere.

[Koncar was a Croatian Serb politician and leader of the Yugoslav Partisans in the Independent State of Croatia and Dalmatia during the early stages of World War II in Yugoslavia.]

In April 1943 Ludmilla was arrested, together with her son Zlatko (who escaped from a train to Germany and came to Dugo Selo waiting for connection with the Partisans), son-in-law Artur Blazek, and a big group of residents of Dugo Selo, and taken to Zagreb. She was (probably on the intervention of Dr Pernar [Dr Ivan Pernar, Croatian politician]) released from prison and returned home. In time, when two German officersd were killed in Dugo Selo and Zlatko was in the Partisans, in the Posavska Udarna Grupa [Attack Group of Posavina – region around the Sava River], the harassment resumed (house under surbelance, searches) and she was moved to the Vranesic sanatarium in Zagreb, where she stayed for quite a time, and then until liberation she stayed with her daughter Jelena.

Ludmilla’s daughter Bojena, who libved in Dugo Selo, was also arrested in 1944; and here son Ing Milan Maravic, who lived in Belgrade, joined the 1st Proleterska Brigada and took part in battles on the Sremski Front and the liberation of Zagreb.

After the liberation, Ludmilla Predavec returned immediately to Dugo Selo. Her home was a sort of recuperation hospital for fighters of the 42nd Macedonian Brigade. She accepted the responsibility of President of the AFZ [Women’s Antifascist Front], with a special interest in the dramatic section of ‘Preporod’ society, where she was involved in acting and producing. Because of her health, in 1950 she moved from Dugo Selo and lived in Zagreb and then on Mali Losinj where she died in 1960 and where she is buried.

With family in Dugo Selo

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