Bogoljub Kočović

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Bogoljub Kočović (1920 – February 2013) was a Serbian jurist and statistician.[1]


Born in Sarajevo; his father was a Serb, and his mother French. He obtained a MA in economics at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a PhD elsewhere. He was a research assistant in the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) from 1947–52 and worked in the USA for ten years. In the 1960s, he returned to France, where he lives.

Kočović's best known work is likely WWII Victims in Yugoslavia, published in London in 1985 in Sebo-Croatian. He compared the censuses from 1921, 1931 and 1948, and, assuming a possible population growth at 1.1% and emigration in that period, obtained the demographic and what he believed were the actual losses of Yugoslavia during World War II. He clearly stated that his estimates depended on these assumptions, and that if other population growth were assumed, different results would have been obtained. In fact, the population growth for Yugoslavia for period 1921-1931 was 1.55%, and for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.1%, numbers widely different that what he used, and his assumptions, later presumably used (or plagiarised) by Žerjavić, were called into serious question. He calculated 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 was 1,706,000. Although Kočovic's estimate was rough, it indicated that the official figure was possibly too high.[citation needed]

Kočović's book was ignored in his homeland until the breakup of Yugoslavia, when it was reprinted in Sarajevo in 1990. In the 1980s, independently from Kočović, Vladimir Žerjavić in Zagreb, Croatia, used a similar method and obtained similar results. Both had lower figures for their own respective ethnic grouping, which was seen as a proof of their objectivity. His calculations of World War II victims in Yugoslavia are even lower than those of Žerjavić, however the latter gave a more detailed account of numbers and nationalities of the dead. Kočović confirmed that he considered Žerjavić's work in the field scientifically valid. Kočović wrote a book, published in 1997, refuting Serbian statistician Đorđević's efforts to, in Kočović's words, "reinstate [the] great numbers" victims figures which had been dominant during Communist Yugoslavia period.[2] Kočović also criticised Žerjavić as extreme nationalist, who gave wild estimates of victims of wars in Bosnia in the 90s, that were later refuted by ICTY. Žerjavić nationalism and bias proved offputing even for Kočović.

Kočović was a co-founders of the Oslobođenje union[clarification needed] in Geneva and Paris, a contributor and an editor of Naša reč. He, along with Dr Dragan Pavloviċ, founded the Paris quarterly Dialogue.[3] 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 World War II in Yugoslavia; Biddles of Guilford for Veritas Foundation Press, London, 1985.)
  • Nauka, nacionalizam i propaganda (Science, Nationalism and Propaganda; Paris, 1998)


  1. ^ "Bogoljub Kočović". Danas. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  2. ^ Glišić, Venceslav. "Žrtve licitiranja - Sahrana jednog mita, Bogoljub Kočović". NIN (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Dialogue". Retrieved 18 October 2016.


  • Tomasevich, Jozo. War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and Collaboration. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3615-4
    In Cap.17 Alleged and True Population Losses there is a detailed account of the controversies related to Yugoslav war losses.

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