Sarajevo in Yugoslavia

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After World War I Sarajevo became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Though it held some political importance, as the center of first the Bosnian region and then the Drinska Banovina, it was not treated with the same attention or considered as significant as it was in the past. Outside of today's national bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, virtually no significant contributions to the city were made during this period.

During World War II the Kingdom of Yugoslavia put up a very inadequate defense. Following a German bombing campaign, Sarajevo was conquered by the Ustase Croatian fascist Independent State of Croatia. Many of the city's Serbs, Bosniaks, and Jews were taken at this time and killed in the Holocaust bringing a sad end to the prominence of Sarajevo's Jewish community. In 1941, the atrocities committed by the Ustase were strongly condemned by groups of Sarajevo's citizens.

The Sarajevo resistance was led by a NLA Partisan named "Walter" Perić. Legend has it that when a new German officer came to Sarajevo and was assigned to find Walter, he asked his subordinate to show him Walter. The man took the officer to the top of a hill overlooking the city and said "See this city?", "Das Ist Valter". Walter was killed in the fighting on the day of Sarajevo's liberation, April 6, 1945. He has since become something of a city icon.

Following the liberation, Sarajevo was the capital of the republic of Bosnia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The communists invested heavily in Sarajevo, building many new residential blocks in Novi Grad Municipality and Novo Sarajevo Municipality, while simultaneously developing the city's industry and transforming Sarajevo once again into one of the Balkans' chief cities. From a post-war population of 115,000, by the end of Yugoslavia Sarajevo had 429,672 people.

The crowning moment of Sarajevo’s time in Socialist Yugoslavia was the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo beat out Sapporo, Japan; and Falun/Göteborg, Sweden for the privilege. They are widely regarded as among the most successful winter Olympic Games in history. They were followed by an immense boom in tourism, making the 1980s one of the city's best decades in a long time.