Ivanka Kadijević

An Innkeeper and Resistance Fighter


Ivanka Kadijević is strong willed, some would say to the point of being stubborn. She is a fighter and won’t stand by as Bulgarians occupy her home. But she realizes that foolish acts in the open will only get her and her family killed. She knows Serbian, Kosovar Albanian, and unbeknownst to the Bulgarian officers staying in her inn, Bulgarian.


Ivanka Kadijević née Pasic was born on 7 June 1883 in Mitrovica, then part of the Ottoman Empire. Her family was ethnically Serbian, but as a girl she mingled with the Albanian Kosovar children. Her family was large and quite poor, but her father, a local carpenter, always managed to make some small wooden toys for his children.

in 1898 Ivanka met the young Peter Kadijević, who had saved her brother Marko‘s life. Peter’s band of Chetnik’s used the Pasic home as a safe house for their guerrilla war against the ottomans. Ivanka was taken by the tales of daring that the young Chetniks told in her house, especially their new leader, Peter.

She followed them on a raid one night, having to sneak out of the house from both her Parents and the Chetnik’s notice. She witnessed the horror’s of combat for the first time, breaking her cover to snatch a pistol off a dead Turk and save Peter from certain death. From then on she was a member of the band, and used her great sneaking prowess to scout out ahead and report back unnoticed.

In the wake of the Ilinden Uprising of 1903, Peter, Marko and her fled to safety in the Kingdom of Serbia. They moved in with the Kadijević’s in Žagubica. In 1906, Peter asked Ivanka’s hand in marriage, which she accepted. They had three daughters, Aleksandra, Tatijana, and Ana, born in 1906, 1907, and 1909. Peter’s father, Slobodan died not long after the marriage and passed the family Inn, to his son Peter. Since Peter was busy in the army, Ivanka took over the Inn and set about renovating it and making it profitable again.

Ivanka and her in-laws spent much of their time raising the children and running the Inn. The Inn became a hub for officers in the two Balkan Wars. With the Great War in 1914, most troops were sent to the north, and business became slow again. That is until 1915 when the invading Bulgarian army occupied the town and used as an officer headquarters.

Resisting every urge to shoot them on sight, Ivanka used the occupation of her Inn as an opportunity to gather intelligence and organized her own Chetnik band of in-laws and townspeople. They would destroy rail and telegram lines, sabotage bridges and tried to get communication out to the Serbian Army. Since Žagubica is somewhat close to the Romanian border, Ivanka once tried to send a messenger out through Romania, but he was caught and killed. Since then, she has contented herself to working alone.

Ivanka Kadijević

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