Ida Sabo je rođena na teritoriji Austro-Ugarske davne 1915. godine, a danas živi u Novom Sadu. Poreklom je iz radničke porodice. Sticajem životnih okolnosti i teškog materijalnog položaja porodice, Ida sa trinaest godina počinje da radi.

Od malih nogu kod Ide se rađa ljubav prema knjizi, što će uticati i na formiranje njenih životnih stavova. 1939. godine Ida je primljena u Komunističku partiju Jugoslavije i za vreme rata učestvuje na razne načine u partizanskoj borbi. Tokom rata nalazila se u Sloveniji i u Ljubljani je radila sa omladinom kao organizatorka koja je koordinisala svakodnevnim gerilskim akcijama – u vidu ispisivanja antifašističkih parola po zidovima, rasturanja letaka koji su pozivali na ustanak protiv okupatora itd. Zbog aktivnosti uperenih protiv okupatora morala je da živi u ilegali.  

Sa drugim članovima i članicama revolucionarnog pokreta Ida je radila na prosvećivanju naroda, ali pre svega žena, kojima je nedostajalo osnovno obrazovanje. Ida ističe da je pokret za ravnopravnost žena bio veoma jak. Naglašava da su žene, pre svega učešćem u ratu, na frontovima (njih oko 620 000), izborile svoj bolji društveni položaj, te da se nisu borile samo za svoju ravnopravnost, nego i za bolji položaj izrabljivanih seljaka i radnika.

Nakon rata učestvovala je u radu na opismenjavanju žena kroz analfabetske kurseve i čitalačke grupe. Antifašistički front žena je formirao ekipe koje su radile na osnovnom i zdravstvenom obrazovanju žena, tako što su po selima išli od kuće do kuće i držali kurseve ženama – kuvarske, krojačke, o pravilnom načinu života, higijeni itd. Nakon rata Ida se vraća u Vojvodinu. Posle oslobođenja počinje dug i težak period borbe za obrazovanje žena i njihovu emancipaciju. Prema Idinim rečima, ne zna se da li je bilo teže „boriti se za vreme rata s puškom u ruci, ili posle rata za ravnopravnost, za shvatanje da žena treba da prodre u sve pore društva, da žene treba da idu u školu, i da joj se otvore svi prostori“.

Posle rata Ida Sabo je bila članica Predsedništva Jugoslavije, te poslanica u Skupštini Narodne Republike Srbije, pored Mitre Mitrović, Spasenije Babović i još sedam žena. Iako su žene počele da zauzimaju visoke i važne položaje, i dalje su morale da se dokazuju u svom radu, daleko više od muškaraca i Ida ističe da nije bilo lako menjati zaostalu svest, te da je za tako nešto trebalo mnogo vremena i truda.

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Vi ste heroina jednog rata, kako se tada postajao heroj? Ko su istinski heroji?

„Kad su Matko Luković, crvenoarmejac, vratio u Suboticu mađarski fašisti su ga ubili dok su ga ispitivali. On se vratio kući iz zarobljeništva, ali su ga brzo uhapsili. Tada mi je o tome mati u strahu pričala, jer je mislila da ću i ja tako proći. Nije bilo na njemu ni jednog dela bele kože, sav je bio crn od batina. Ubili su ga, a nije ni progovorio. E takvi smo bili. Sa takvim ponašanjem znate da je neko dobar čovek.

Jedna žena koja je prala donji veš, odnela je jednu veliku korpu i ispeglala veš, otišla kod jedne mlade jevrejke koja je imala sina od tri meseca. Fašisti su ubijali i decu. Jevrejka je pitala ženu da li bi joj htela pomoći, da dete uspavaju i da ga stave u korpu, jer se vojnik koji se nalazio ispred kuće već pregledao korpu i video da nema ništa. Žena je bez pitanja rekla da će nositi. Uspavali su ga i prekrili ga vešom. Ona ga je odnela kod svog brata, koji je živeo u sigurnijem delu grada. Čovek je bio lekar i niko nije sumnjao u njega, a sestra mu je donela dete i rekla da mu donosi poklon, pokazujući mu dečaka. I on ga je prihvatio. To su bili heroji koji možda nemaju ordenje, ali su znali šta znači dobrota.”

Poznati ste i kao borac za prava žena, često ste ih branili. Koliko se položaj žena promenio kroz 101 godinu?

„Žene su dobile ravnopravnost, inače su bile izjadnačene sa maloumnima. Oduzimali bi im decu ako bi im umro otac, jer se smatralo da one ne mogu da se staraju o sopstvenoj deci. Onda su počele da se šire večernje škole, formirane su razne komisije, koje su išle od kuće do kuće. U našim krajevima je bilo strašno, o čemu se ni ne govori. U Srbiji su devojčicu od 12 godina roditelji prodali u drugu porodicu kao ženu. Dok joj pravi muž, sa kojim je venčana, nije sazreo, koristio ju je njegov otac, njegova braća. Kada je ona došla do svoje 20. godina, uzela je pušku i pobila sve muškarce. Osudili su je na smrt, jasno, potom su to smanjili na 40 godina.

Ja sam u predsedništvu Jugoslavije bila predsednica za pomilovanje. Došla je gomila zahteva za pomilovanje, ali ja nisam želela da to ostavljam savetniku, nego sam to donosila kući i sve sama čitala i tumačila. Čitajući zahteve, ja sam još više saznala šta je život. Teško je iskoreniti stara shvatanja i navike, to je stvarano i življeno vekovima, zato je na mladima još veći zadatak nego što je bio na nama.”

(intervju vodio Zoran Strika)

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Ida Sabo was born in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1915, and she lives in Novi Sad. She was born into a working class family and due to the general circumstances and the bad financial position, Ida started working at the age of 13.

Already as a girl she enjoyed reading and that certainly played an important role in the formation of her ideas. In 1939 Ida joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and she was a partisan during the WW2. She spent war years in Slovenia where she was organising and coordinating youth guerilla actions as anti-fascist graffiti and printing the flyers that were inviting to an uprising against fascists. She lived undercover.  

With the other members of the revolutionary movement Ida worked on the education of the people, but first of all women, who were lacking basic education. Movement for the equal rights of men and women was very strong then. Ida believes that women got more equality through their fight in the war (there were around 620 000 women who participated in WW2) and that when women were fighting in general, they also fought for the rights of peasants and workers.

After the war Ida worked on spreading of literacy among women through different courses and through reading groups. Antifascist Front of Women formed groups that worked on the general and health education of women. They would go from a house to a house in the cities and villages and women would teach other women how to knit, sew, cook, how to live well… After the war she went back to Vojvodina. Education and emancipation of the women was a hard work. She said once that she’s not certain what is harder – to fight in the war with a gun in the hand or to fight for the equality after the war – where you had to explain people that women need to be the part of society, that they need to go to school…

She was a member of the Government of Yugoslavia, as well as the member of the Serbian government in Yugoslav times together with Mitra Mitrović, Spasenija Babović and seven other women. Although women took part in Yugoslav presidencies, they had to prove themselves much more and with more agitation than men. Ida underlines that it was hard to change the paradigms of the previous times and that the battle was long and hard.

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You are the hero of a war, how did you become a hero? Who are the true heroes for you?

When the Hungarian fascist were questioning a communist Matko Luković – they killed him. He came back home from the imprisonment but they arrested him straight away. My mum informed me about it in fear as she was afraid I’ll have the same future. They beat him so badly that he was black from the beating. They killed him but he didn’t say a word. That’s how we were. That’s how you know somebody is a good man.

There was a woman who was taking care of the clothes. She took a big basket with ironed clothes and she went to visit a young Jewish woman who had a three months old son. Fascist killed children as well. The young Jewish woman asked the lady with a basket if she could help her and make her baby fall asleep so they could put him in a basket and take him away. There was a soldier in front of the house and he already checked the basket on her way in and saw there was nothing there. The woman with a basket said straight away she will take the baby. Baby fell asleep, and they put some laundry on top of him. She took him to her brother who lived in a safer part of town. Her brother was a doctor and nobody doubted him. The lady with a basket told her brother that he got a gift and showed him a baby. The doctor took him. Those people are real heroes although they didn’t have medals. They knew what meant to be good.

It is well known that you fight for women’s rights and that you often defended them. How did the status of the women change in 101 years?

Women have more equality nowadays, otherwise the society treated them as they had some severe mental illness. If the father of the children would die, women would lose their own children as society thought they can’t take care of children alone. Then the evening schools started, different commissions were formed that went door to door. It was hard in Balkan, and nobody talks about it. In Serbia, back in a day, there was a family that sold their daughter to another family that had a son. Her future husband’s father and brothers used the girl until her husband was no longer a boy. When she was twenty she took a gunshot and killed all the males in the family. She was sentenced to death then they change the verdict to the forty years of imprisonment.

In the government of Yugoslavia I was the minister for the amnesty. I would get a request for a pardon, and I didn’t want to leave that to the counselor, I would take it home and read it and interpret it. While I was reading those requests, I understood the life better. It is hard to change old understandings and habits, that was created through the centuries, and that’s why young people today have even harder task than we had.  

(an interview by Zoran Strika)