Bogoljub Kocovic
Bogoljub Kočović is a Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

n jurist and statistician
A statistician is someone who works with theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private and public sectors. The core of that work is to measure, interpret, and describe the world and human activity patterns within it...

, Yugoslav by ethnic affiliation.

Kočović was born in Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

; his father was a Serb and mother French by origin. He obtained a MA in economy at the Roosevelt University in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, and a Ph. D. in law in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. Kočović was a research assistant in the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) from 1947 to 1952 and worked in the USA for ten years. In the 1960s, he returned to France, where he lives today.

His best known work is perhaps the book WWII Victims in Yugoslavia, published in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1985 in Sebo-Croatian. Kočović compared the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

es from 1921, 1931 and 1948, and, assuming the possible population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 at 1.1% and emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 in that period, obtained the demographic
Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

 and actual losses of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He clearly stated that his estimates depended on these assumptions, and that if other population growth were assumed, different results would have been obtained.

He calculated that the actual losses were around 1,014,000 and the demographic losses around 1,925,000. He allowed for a margin of error of 250,000. However, the official number upheld by the Yugoslav communist regime
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 was 1,706,000. Though Kočovic's estimate was rough, it indicated that the official figure was possibly too high.

Kočović's book was ignored in his homeland until the breakup of Yugoslavia, when it was reprinted in Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 in 1990. In the 1980s, independently from Kočović, Vladimir Žerjavić
Vladimir Žerjavic
Vladimir Žerjavić was a Croatian economist and a United Nations expert. He published a series of historical articles and books during the 1980s and 1990s in which he argued that the scope of the Holocaust in World War II-era territory of Yugoslavia was intentionally exaggerated...

 in Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

, Croatia, used a similar method and obtained similar results. Both had lower figures for their own ethnicity (Kočović was assumed to be inclined to the Serbs) which was seen as a proof of their objectivity. Although his calculations of WWII victims in Yugoslavia are even lower than those of Žerjavić, he has never been called a Holocaust denier like Žerjavić. However, Žerjavić gave a much more detailed account of numbers and nationalities of dead, and did not express caution in interpretation of the results the way Kočović did. However, Kočović has expressly confirmed that he considered his work in the field scientifically valid and, ultimately, accurate. He went so far as to write a new book, published in 1997, with the aim of refuting the Serbian statistician Đorđević's efforts to "reinstate" the "great numbers" victims figures dominant during Communist Yugoslavia period

Kočović was one of the founders of the Oslobođenje union in Geneva and Paris, a contributor and one of the editors of Naša reč, and founder, with Dr. Dragan Pavlovic, of Parisian quarterly Dialogue. He is a member of the Association of Serbian Writers and Artists, as well as the Action Committee for the Democratic Alternative.


  • Žrtve drugog svetskog rata u Jugoslaviji (Casualties of WWII in Yugoslavia; Biddles of Guilford for Veritas Foundation Press, London, 1985.)
  • Nauka, nacionalizam i propaganda (Science, Nationalism and Propaganda; Paris, 1998)

External links

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