About This Item About
Transcription
Related Items

Title

Milos Stojic

Description

Milos Stojic was born in Yugoslavia in 1915. He was working as a border policeman during World War II when he was made a prisoner of war by the Nazis. He was imprisoned from 1941 through 1945. After the war, he came to the United States as a displaced person. He moved to Detroit, MI and married Mary Mrdjenovich. They had three children: Helen, Steve, and Christine.

Duration

0:02:43

Ethnicity

World Region

Language

Collection

Rights

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Milos Stojic Transcription

“Twice Freed”

Ever since I can remember, my father has told me the story of his father, my Deda, which in Serbian means grandfather. Milos Stojic was born in the former Yugoslavia in 1915 and this is the story of his tumultuous immigration to America. Milos was a border policeman in the northern part of Yugoslavia which is now a part of Slovenia. As the Nazi force came down from Austria, they made their way quickly through Yugoslavia. This is the part of the story when I began to understand the man which I call my Deda because it was then that my Deda became a prisoner of war. As such, he was taken to a work camp in southern Germany where he was forced to do physical labor. He was kept their from 1941 until early 1945 when he was freed by Patton’s 3rd Army which was not only pushing back the Nazis and a big part of the Allied win, but also my Deda’s freedom. To my amazement every time I’m told, despite being freed from the Nazis, my Deda was not free from detention. It was then that he became a displaced person, or refugee. Being in the southern part of Germany, he was in the French controlled zone. It was there that he was detained again but this time in a French displaced person camp until he was to be sent back to Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was facing extreme political turmoil after the war due to the communist partisan party taking control. It is because of this that my Deda’s detainment was all the more shocking to me and is still. If he had been forced to return to Yugoslavia he would surely been a part of the mass killings of non-communist supporters like himself. However, being a displaced person, the French were going to send him back regardless. From how my dad describes my Deda, this next part comes as no surprise to me. He was able to escape the displaced persons barrack where he was being kept through a window and proceeded to take a discarded Nazi motorcycle and head for the United States-controlled zone. From there he was made aware that the United States was accepting former prisoners of war and refugees along with a few other countries. With the reassurance that he would not be forced back to Yugoslavia, he then contacted an aunt he remembered who lived in Detroit, Michigan and wrote to her for sponsorship to come to the United States. Milos made his journey in 1948 through Ellis Island and made his way to Detroit, where he then married my grandma and the rest is history. Milos was not able to return back to Yugoslavia and to the family farm until more than a decade later due to the country being under Communist control. Although my Deda died in 1998 when I was just four years old, his story lives on through my dad and my whole family as a reminder of what the United States offered him and others like him.