Born in Mostar, he graduated from the Mostar University's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. He was Technical Director of the Soko Factory and, during the war, the President of the Jewish community of Mostar.
During the conflict, between 1992 and 1995, he constantly risked his life to help some citizens who were detained in the Heliodrome (the terrible Croatian camp where Serbs and Muslims were killed, beaten, or raped) and in the Dretelj camp. In some cases, he succeeded in obtaining their release.
As President of the Jewish community of Mostar, he signed more than 200 documents to save many people of different ethnic origins from persecution, torture, and death. Thanks to his actions, they led to Croatia or Israel (at least five Bosnian families found refuge in the country), saving themselves from persecution, torture, and death. Mandlbaum also helped partners in mixed unions to marry and stay together and future spouses who had been separated on both sides of the Neretva River to reunite secretly.
When food shortage and lack of medicines occurred, Mandlbaum also brought humanitarian aid convoys to eastern Mostar. The Croatian army even tried to assassinate him, placing explosives under his car in western Mostar, where he lived. For his actions during the conflict, in 2011, he was awarded the Duško Kondor Prize for Civic Courage.
Mandlbaum kept living in Mostar, working in the Federal Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts. He passed away on November 9, 2015, aged 69. A video produced by the United Nations also features his story
His biography is taken from the archive of Duško Kondor Award for Civil Courage. We would like to thank Svetlana Broz for providing the material to the editorial staff.