Spasoje Jarakovic

1921 (Ruma, Serbia) - 1984 (Belgrade)

Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Spasoje Jarakovic was born in Ruma, Serbia on 21 March 1921. Even before finishing school, he had begun working illegally for the Yugoslav Communists in Čačak. On account of those activities, he was publicly penalized and expelled from school. He earned his A-levels in Aleksinac.

Jarakovic was arrested in the summer of 1941 and committed to Topovske Šupe Concentration Camp near Kragujevac. A coincidence saved his life. He exchanged jackets with a fellow prisoner ‒ his leather jacket for a sweater ‒ without suspecting that he was to be identified by his jacket and shot to death for allegedly spying for the Soviets. In October 1941, Jarakovic was transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He worked as a clerk in the infirmary and made friends with Rudi Supek. In the camp he executed more than four hundred drawings whose present whereabouts, however, are unknown.

In late 1945, Jarakovic returned to Čačak and worked in the Yugoslav counterintelligence. From 1946 to 1950 he studied at the academy of painting in Belgrade. Then he devoted himself to political propaganda and worked as a graphic artist. In the mid 1960s he shifted his focus back to painting. He produced numerous illustrations for children’s books.

Spasoje Jarakovic died in Belgrade on 2 June 1984.