Tišma, Aleksandar

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TIŠMA, ALEKSANDAR (1924–2003), author, novelist. Born in Novi Sad, he had a Jewish mother and a Serbian father. In his novels he depicts, in a realistic style, the multiethnic and multireligious milieu of the mixed population of the Pannonian plain of the Vojvodina Province, including the relative harshness of Jewish existence. In particular he treated the problems of acculturation, identity conflicts, discrimination, and the racial and antisemitic persecutions during the Holocaust. These social phenomena are presented with accuracy and psychological insight. His testimony reveals horrid episodes of murder which occurred during the infamous razzia perpetrated by the Hungarian occupation forces in Novi Sad in January 1942.

Tišma won much praise and many prizes for his work and is counted among the most translated and better-known contemporary Yugoslav writers.

Among his works the following merit mention: Krivice ("Guilt," 1961); Knjiga o Blamu ("A Book on Blam," 1972); Upotreba čoveka ("The Use of a Man," 1976), and Kapo (1987).


D. Katan Ben-Zion, Presence and Disappearance: Jews and Judaism in Former Yugoslavia in the Mirror of Literature (2002).

[Zvi Loker (2nd ed.)]