Updated: Jan 4
As the dismantling of Yugoslavia began in the early 1990s and resulted in a series of bloody wars that lasted many years, an almost immediate process of WWII antifascist memorial removal and destruction began in many parts of that former country. Sources estimate that the number of Yugoslav-era monuments of this type destroyed reached into the many thousands, but total numbers are unknown. In Croatia alone, which suffered some of the worst bouts of monument destruction of the 1990s and 2000s, it is estimated that over 3,000 (or half of all its antifascist monuments) were either damaged or destroyed. While much attention in academic writing and the popular press is often paid to the most large-scale and artistically abstract Yugoslav-era works which were damaged or destroyed (such as those Petrova Gora, Kamenska, Makljen, etc, etc), the many hundreds of more artistically traditional and/or modest figurative sculptures which were destroyed and damaged across the Yugoslav landscape often get much less attention in contemporary writing and research (a matter true at times even for the Spomenik Database project). Therefore, I am dedicating this lengthy article to writing in detail about 50 of these notable statues and figurative works that were destroyed, lost, removed then disposed of or hidden away from public view in the years after Yugoslavia started being dismantled. Many of these now lost or vanished memorial works were created by some of the country's most significant sculptors and artists (including Sreten Stojanović, Stevan Bodnarov, Antun Augustinčić, among many other eminent luminaries of art), standing as seminal artistic achievements that were highly celebrated in their time. This article strives to highlight these works — many of which find their legacies marginalized in contemporary times — as such, I will examine their histories, their final fates, the former sites' present conditions and, in some cases, their futures. However, it is important to note that this list of 50 lost or vanished statues is NOT a full list of all such works... it is only the tip of the iceberg. This article should be considered only a limited overview of and guide to some of the most notable or conspicuous memorial statuary works of the Yugoslav-era that fall into this category. Many many more exist. If anyone reading this article has additional info on any of the sites mentioned here or has info on lost or vanished statues not included on this list, please contact me!
Bosnia & Herzegovina
1.) Bosanko Grahovo, BiH
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters or "Call to Arms" (Poziv na ustanak)
Location: Bosansko Grahovo, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Sreten Stojanović
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1952, statues destroyed in 1992
Former coordinates: 44°11'02.1"N, 16°22'09.9"E
Description: Situated atop Gradina Hill just to the north of the small village of Bosansko Grahovo, BiH was the Monument to Fallen Fighters (also referred to as the "Call to Arms" monument). Completed in 1952 by famous Belgrade sculptor Sreten Stojanović, the monument was created to commemorate the armed uprising of the local citizens of Bosansko Grahovo during WWII, an action which began on July 27th, 1941. Not only were local Partisan forces able to keep the area around this village largely free from occupation during WWII, but the region also had a huge outpouring of over 2,000 volunteers for the Partisan movement. The monument consisted of a plateau parade ground which had at its south end a tall stone pillar topped by a bronze statue of a Partisan fighter waving a flag calling people to battle. At the base of the pillar stood a second bronze figure standing guard holding a rifle. While this was a popular site during the Yugoslav-era, the statues were torn down in 1992. I was not able to find information about who or what groups were responsible for the destruction of this site, nor was I able to determine if the remains of the statues exist or not. The former location of the monument currently is in a derelict state and sits in ruins, yet, through the damage, the monument's pillar remains standing. Lastly, I did not find any contemporary efforts working towards the restoration of this monument site nor did I find any information indicating that any contemporary commemorative events are held here any longer.
2.) Glamoč, BiH
Name: The Mother & Child [aka: 'Flight']
Location: Glamoč, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Marijan Kocković [profile page]
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1961, statue removed presumably in the 1990s
Former coordinates: 44°02'40.9"N, 16°50'57.6"E
Description: Nestled within the karst flatlands right on the edge of the Staretina and Velika Golija mountains is the small town of Glamoč, BiH. In 1961, a monument dedicated to the People's Liberation Struggle and the town's fighters and civilian victims who perished during that was erected in the park at the center of town. Created by Dubrovnik sculptor Marijan Kocković, the monument consisted of two parts, the first being a bronze statue of a peasant woman holding her baby with another child behind her tugging on her dress, while the second element, located behind this statue, was a memorial wall engraved with names as well as a set of stone sculptural relief panels of fighters in action. While the statue was often referred to as "Mother & Child", its official name was "Zbjeg/Flight", as in people fleeing in peril, no doubt a reference to the many innocent civilians who, during WWII, were forced to run for their lives from their homes in order to evade oppressive Axis military forces. This monument stood at the center of Glamoč all through the Yugoslav-era, however, it vanished at some point after the Bosnian War of the 1990s. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information or sources related the to circumstances behind its removal, when it was removed or what its ultimate fate was. At present, while the statue is gone, its empty pedestal remains at the site as well as the memorial wall. Though, the memorial wall has had its sculptural relief covered up and replaced with an art piece celebrating a local traditional folk dance. I found no information about local efforts aimed at restoring the lost Kocković statue nor did I find any articles mentioning that commemorative events are held at this site any longer.
3.) Jajce, BiH
Name: Monument to Moša Pijade
Location: Jajce, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Stevan Bodnarov
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1960s [?], removed in 1990s, restored in 2008
Former coordinates: 44°20'17.2"N, 17°16'05.2"E
Description: Situated at the confluence of the Piva and Vrbas Rivers is the picturesque Bosanska Krajina region town of Jajce. It was here in this waterfall laden village that on November 29th, 1943, Jajce hosted Tito and all his closest military and political partners for the 2nd session of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), an event that was was regarded as the official starting point of the federation of Yugoslav republics. One of Tito's most trusted political and military advisors here with him at Jajce in 1943 was the communist revolutionary and philosopher Moša Pijade. After the war, Pijade became one of Yugoslavia's leading politicians and remained until his death in 1957 one of Tito's closest friends and collaborators. Also after WWII, the building in Jajce which had hosted the 2nd AVNOJ Session was turned into a museum. At some point (probably in the 1950s or 60s) a statue of Pijade was installed in front of the museum. Created by famous Serbian sculptor Stevan Bodnarov, the bronze statue showed Pijade standing in his typical trenchcoat with his arms held up at his mid-section as if he were having an active conversation, no doubt alluding to Pijade's penchant for debate and discussion. This monument stood in front of the museum through the Yugoslav-era, however, as the museum was closed at the onset of the Bosnian War in the early 1990s, the statue of Pijade was subsequently removed and its ultimate fate or whereabouts is unknown. Some sources assert that the statue was thrown into the nearby Pliva Waterfall, where it may sit to this day, but such assertions have yet to be confirmed. When the 2nd AVNOJ Session museum was re-opened in 2008, the missing statue was replaced, as recounted by reseacher Andrew Lawler, with a duplicate version of Bodnarov's Pijade sculpture that existed at the elementary school in Novi Travnik, BiH, which the school graciously donated to the museum. Up to the present day, the museum continues to operate and the replacement Pijade statue continues to stand in front of it, yet, the whereabouts of Bodnarov's original statue are still unknown.
4.) Konjic, BiH
Name: Monument to the Uprising or "Partizan i Partizanka"
Location: Konjic, FBiH, BiH
Author: [unknown] [approx.]
Relevant dates: creation date probably in 1950s, statue destroyed in the 1990s
Former coordinates: 43°39'14.1"N 17°57'37.9"E [approx.]
Description: Perched originally within a courtyard overlooking the Neretva River in the town of Konjic, BiH was a bronze statue duo known as the Monument to the Uprising ( but more familiarly known as "Partizan i Partizanka"). Created by an author that I have not yet been able to determine in a year that I have not yet established, this memorial work stood as a marking commemorating the local people's rising up against occupation and oppression during WWII. Both figures, representing male and female Partisan fighters, stood holding rifles in their hands, with the female figure's arms held high in victory while the man stood firmly beside her. Despite this monument operating as an significant local landmark, sources indicate that in the early years of the post-Yugoslav era, the monument was thrown into the Neretva River in 1993 by unknown persons. Researcher Andrew Lawler then relates how, over subsequent years, the sculpture was fished out of the river by scavengers and the mangled damaged bronze statues were both then cut up and sold for scrap metal. Presently, the monument's former location in Konjic along the banks of the Neretva has been transformed into a Roman stelae and stećci park. I was not able to find reports relating that there are any local initiatives aimed upon re-creating or restoring the statues.
5.) Kasindo, BiH
Name: Memorial Ossuary for Fallen Fighters
Location: Kasindo, RS, BiH
Author: sculptor Marijan Kocković [profile page]
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1955, statue stolen and destroyed in 2010
Former coordinates: 43°48'02.2"N, 18°23'01.3"E
Description: Within the small suburb village of Kasindo just south of Sarajevo sits the Memorial Ossuary for Fallen Fighters on a small knoll overlooking the community. Created in 1955 by Dubrovnik sculptor Marijan Kocković, this monument complex originally had at its center a bronze figurative memorial sculpture depicting a rifle-toting Partisan fighter charging into battle. Within the monument's crypt were interred 33 local fighters who perished during WWII, a number which includes two National Heroes. While this complex existed in good condition during the Yugoslav-era and even for many years after the end of the Bosnian War of the 1990s, in November of 2010, unknown vandals used heavy machinery to cut the bronze statue at its ankles and remove it from the site. The statue has never been recovered (as it was probably sold off as scrap metal) nor have those who committed this crime ever been identified or prosecuted. In 2012, an additional memorial element was added to this site dedicated to VRS fighters who fell during the Bosnian War. This new monument consists of two black polished stone slabs engraved with names. During the completion of this 2012 addition, the remaining severed bronze feet of Kocković's original 1955 statue were removed. I found no information or articles indicating that any local efforts or initatives were currently being organized to restore Kocković's statue.
6.) Ljubuški, BiH
Name: Memorial Ossuary to Fallen Fighters
Location: Ljubuški, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Marijan Kocković [profile page]
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1959, statue removed in 1990s
Former coordinates: 43°11'46.0"N, 17°32'42.5"E
Description: Within the central city park of the town of Ljubuški, BiH exists a memorial ossuary dedicated to the local fallen fighters of WWII which originally had as its central element a bronze figurative statue. Created in 1959 by Dubrovnik sculptor Marijan Kocković, this monument consisted of a ~8m tall fluted pillar next to which was a pair of statues depicting a Partisan fighter carrying another wounded fighter on his back. This "carrying the wounded" motif was a depiction seen often in Yugoslav memorial sculpture. The crypt beneath the monument contained the remains of 78 fallen fighters (of which three were designated National Heroes). While the monument complex still exists within Ljubuški's city park up to the present-day, the statue was removed at some point during the 1990s. It is not known who exactly removed the statue or what the reasons for its removal were, but information related by researcher Andrew Lawler records that the ruins of the statue were claimed to have been last spotted around 2017 lying in a municipal waste dump. I found no information available indicating that any local efforts were being made to restore or replace Kocković's statue.
7.) Livno, BiH
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters [aka: "Carrying the Wounded" (Nošenje ranjenika)]
Location: Livno, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Antun Augustinčić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1952, statue destroyed in 1992
Former coordinates: 43°49'26.2"N, 17°00'13.9"E
Description: The ancient town of Livno, BiH is a modestly sized community sitting upon the Livanjsko field, which is the largest karstic field in the world. Originally, within the central town park of Livno was located a figurative memorial bronze sculpture that operated as a tangible monument to local fallen Partisan fighters from WWII. Commonly known under the name "Carrying the Wounded", this statue set was created in 1952 by the famous Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić and depicted two men attempting to carry an injured figure at the center. Imbued with great pathos and drama, the statue was among Augustinčić's most famous works, with its primary focus being on communicating how humane and compassionate Partisan soldiers were towards each other during WWII. After this sculpture's 1952 debut success here at Livno, Augustinčić would be invited to erect similar sculptures at nearly a dozen other locations across Yugoslavia. However, despite the fame and iconic status that this memorial sculpture garnered during the Yugoslav-era, the statue was dismantled and removed in the aftermath of conflicts that took place in Livno during the spring of 1992. I was unable to find any sources that could relate the final fate of this sculpture in any definitive way (as many rumors and stories of the monument's fate continue to circulate around Livno)... however, people knowledgable about the statue seem to relate that it was broken into pieces at some point after its removal and some of these pieces may still continue to exist in hidden locations. At present time, the former site of the monument has been fully expunged and is simply a patch of unmarked grass in the town park. While this original sculpture is gone, Augustinčić's "Carrying the Wounded" sculpture can still be seen in numerous locations, such as at his gallery in Klanjec, in Zagreb and in Belgrade (among other places).
8.) Stolac, BiH
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters
Location: Stolac, FBiH, BiH
Relevant dates: creation date probably in 1950s, statue destroyed in 1992
Former coordinates: 43°05'00.7"N, 17°57'32.7"E
Description: The town of Stolac, BiH is a wonderfully scenic town on the Bregava River within the Herzegovina region. Near the town center of Stolac, next to the elementary school, a memorial complex and ossuary were built in the 1950s that were dedicated to the 88 local fallen fighters who perished during WWII. The remains of many of these 88 fighters were interred within a crypt beneath the monument. In its original state, the monument contained a tall pillar at its center which atop stood a pair of bronze figurative sculptures. These figures were depicted in the 'carrying the wounded' motif, with one Partisan fighter holding up an injured fighter over his shoulder. However, the pillar and pair of statues were torn down and destroyed in February of 1992 during the aftermath of fighting between Croat and Serb military forces. Yet, despite this damage, the ruins of the monument continued through the years to operate as a memorial site for those who wished to recognize these fallen Partisan fighters. In recent years, a book sculpture with a red star has been installed in the space of the former pillar as a means of marking the space... however, even this modest memorial has been attacked. In 2015, sources report that the municipal government of Stolac voted to remove the final remains of the original monument while relocating the crypt. However, as of 2020, this relocation has still not yet occurred.
9.) Ključ, BiH
Name: Monument to People's Liberation Struggle
Location: Ključ, FBiH, BiH
Relevant dates: creation date some point before 1968, statue removed in 1995
Former coordinates: [unknown]
Description: Positioned at the confluence of the Ižnica and Sana Rivers, the town of Ključ, BiH sits in a scenic landscape surrounded by dramatic mountains. Originally, there existed within the community's central town park a monument dedicated to local fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. This monument consisted of a tall stone pedestal which atop sat a bronze statue of a male rifle-toting Partisan fighter gesturing behind himself as if signaling forward his fellow fighters into battle. Unfortunately, I was not able to determine the author of this monument nor even the year in which it was built. However, info from researcher Andrew Lawler indicates that it must have been created at some point well before 1968, but very little information is available about this site in any regard. Lawler also relates that it was in 1995 that this bronze memorial statue was pulled down from its pedestal, yet what the statue's final fate amounted to is unknown. The history of this\ memorial site concludes with the remnant structures being demolished around 2008 and a mosque being built in its place, according to Lawler's research. However, the exact former location where the monument existed is not fully clear. The City Mosque of Ključ seems to fit the time frame for construction, yet I have not yet found any confirmation that this is indeed the monument's former site.
10.) Zavala, BiH
Name: Monument to Fallen for the Freedom of the People
Location: Zavala, FBiH, BiH
Author: sculptor Nandor Glid & Mile Jovanović
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1959, expanded in 1964, statue removed in the 1990s
Former coordinates: 42°50'51.3"N, 17°58'46.2"E
Description: The small village of Zavala, BiH is a historic community which is nestled within the rolling mountains of the Herzegovina region and most notably recognized for the Serbian Orthodox Zavala Monastery at the heart of the settlement, which was founded in 1271. Positioned next to the monastery is a memorial site known as the "Monument to Fallen for the Freedom of the People". This work was originally created in 1959 (subsequently expanded in 1964) and is composed of two primary elements: 1.) a marble block sculptural memorial wall showing nude geometric figures in dynamic motion and 2.) a bronze statue of a male figure standing upright in a fashion of thoughtful intensity. On the edge of the wall is an inscription in Cyrillic letters which reads in English as "Let this example of fallen heroes show future generations how to fight and die for the freedom of their people". The authors of this project were Subotica sculptor Nandor Glid, along with architect Mile Jovanović. As violence began to spread across this region during the early 1990s after the dismantling of Yugoslavia, the village of Zavala found itself near the front-lines of battle. As a consequence, the monument was subsequently damaged and destroyed during this time. Presently, the memorial wall still stands at the site (though severely deteriorated), but the bronze statue is missing. I was not able to find any information indicating the fate of this statue nor did I find any indications that efforts are being pursued to restore or rehabilitate this destroyed memorial.
11.) Brođanci, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascist Terror
Location: Brođanci, Croatia
Author: sculptor Nikola Kečanin
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1955, statue removed in the 1990s
Former coordinates: 45°32'37.7"N, 18°26'59.7"E
Description: A monument honoring 61 fallen local fighters and victims of fascist terror of the Valpovo region who perished during WWII was constructed within the central town park of the community of Brođanci, Croatia in 1952. Created by notable Slavonian sculptor Nikola Kečanin, the primary element of this monument complex was a figurative sculpture perched atop a 5m tall pedestal. This statue depicted the figure of a rifle-toting Partisan fighter pointing sharply into the distance. The Juraj Hrženjak book on post-Yugoslav condition of Croatian NOB monuments indicates that the statue was torn down from its pedestal by order of local authorities at some point during the 1990s. Over the following years, the remaining pedestal was repurposed into a new monument honoring the local fighters of the regional conflicts of the 1990s, which can be seen in the above photo on the right. The ultimate fate of the original Kečanin statue is not known.
12.) Budaševo, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters
Location: Budaševo, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš (?)
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1954, statue destroyed in 1991
Former coordinates: 45°28'32.5"N, 16°26'10.7"E
Description: The small settlement of Budaševo in the Moslavina region of Croatia is a sleepy village which sits along an old oxbow of the Sava River. In front of the village's local community center originally existed a monument which was built in 1954 and dedicated to 28 local fallen fighters and 11 victims of fascism who all perished during WWII. The central element of this monument is a bronze memorial statue depicting a male grenade thrower (bombaši) in action. The bombaši were a skilled and crucial tactical force during the war who gained high respect within the Partisan Army and, as such, were often represented in figurative memorial works after the end of the war. Sources credit this particular monument to famous sculptor Vanja Radauš, however, this sculpture is not included in this comprehensive list of his works from the Croatian Biographical Lexicon. The statue was ultimately pulled down from its stone pedestal in 1991 during the events immediately following Croatia's separation from Yugoslavia. The exact events precipitating the statue's removal are unclear and its ultimate fate is unknown. As of the early 2010s, the ruined stone pedestal upon which the statue originally sat still sits unmarked in front of the Budaševo community center, as illustrated in the above photo.
13.) Čađavica, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Čađavica, Croatia
Relevant dates: creation date unknown, statue destroyed in 1990s
Former coordinates: 45°44'33.9"N, 17°51'21.0"E
Description: In the northeastern region of Croatia, right on the Drava River and Hungarian border, is the small town of Čađavica. In the aftermath of WWII, a monument was erected in front of the town municipal building, presumably in the 1950s or early 60s, which was dedicated to the town's local Partisan fighters and civilian victims who perished during that conflict. Unfortunately, I have not been able to identify who exactly was the author of this monument, yet, it can be said that its form was composed of a bronze statue of a Partisan soldier sat atop a stylized concrete pedestal. The soldier stands tall with his rifle held in his right hand as he steps forward with his left foot and looks off pensively into the distance. In addition, on the pedestal were installed several polished and engraved stone plaques listing the names of those fallen fighters and civilians. While this memorial statue stood at this site all throughout the Yugoslav-era, at some point during the 1990s the statue was toppled from its pedestal. I was unable to find any sources relating the circumstances surrounding the statue's removal nor was I able to determine what was its ultimate fate. However, while the statue was removed, all of the memorial plaques on the pedestal were left in place. I found no information suggesting that any local efforts are working to restore the statue nor did I find any sources indicating that commemorative events are held here any longer.
14.) Divoselo, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Divoselo, Croatia
Author: sculptor Pavle Perić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1949, statue destroyed in 1993
Former coordinates: [unknown]
Description: In the rural Lika village of Divoselo there originally existed a monument dedicated to the region's many local fighters and civilians who perished during WWII. During WWII, the area of Divoselo was particularly well-known for being a seat of uprising and resistance against occupying Ustaše forces and, as a consequence, the Ustaše retaliated swift reprisal killings and burned much of Divoselo to the ground. As a result, nearly 2/3rds of the region's pre-war population was lost (which amounted to over 1,000 people). A monument dedicated to Divoselo's heroes and victims was created in 1949 just a few years after the end of the war. This monument was crafted by Sinj native sculptor Pavle Perić, with the primary element of the work being a bronze figurative sculpture depicting a mother-like character holding in her arms a dead Partisan fighter. The mother shows great sorrow on her face as she looks down at the contorted body she holds, which still valiantly clutches onto its rifle. This monument stood here in Divoselo for more than forty years until the autumn of 1993, at which point it was destroyed as the Croatian Army moved through the village during Operation Medak Pocket, which was part of their efforts to take control of the breakaway region of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (of which Divoselo was part). By the end of these 1990s conflicts, the population of Divoselo, which was primarily ethnic-Serb, was largely displaced. The village today is virtually uninhabited. The ultimate fate of Perić's statue is unknown. Furthermore, I have not been able to determine the exact location within the village where the monument was located. Some sources indicate that the monument was actually situated in the nearby settlement of Kruškovac, further complicating matters of pinning down the monument's location.
15.) Dubrovnik, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Fighters [aka: "Fighter on Guard" (Borac na straži)]
Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Author: sculptor Frano Kršinić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1954, statue removed in 1992
Former coordinates: 42°38'30.7"N, 18°06'44.9"E
Description: The town of Dubrovnik is an ancient city and historical fortress that ssits on the Adriatic Sea. At the center of a scenic stone-paved plaza today named "Square of Arms/Trg oružja" (but known as 'Fighter's Square/Trg Boraca' during the Yugoslav-era) and overlooking town's famous harbor was originally the location of a memorial sculpture dedicated to the city's fallen fighters who perished during WWII. Created in 1954 by famous Croatian sculptor Frano Kršinić to mark the 10th anniversary of Dubrovnik's WWII liberation, this memorial sculpture (titled "Fighter on Guard") consisted of a bronze statue of a male Partisan soldier standing at attention as he looks out across the harbor, wearing his military cloak and holding his rifle at his front. The local cultural importance of this monument is illustrated in the fact that the city designated it to be a protected cultural site during the Yugoslav-era.
However, despite this protection, vandals severely damaved the statue in 1992 using explosives. After this attack, the mangled remains of the sculpture was not restored, but instead placed into storage at the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, where it is reported to remain to this day. Furthermore, the statue's pedestal was also razed from the square not long after the statue's removal. Those responsible for the attack on the monument were never discovered. Sources relate that local veterans groups have for years now pleaded with Dubrovnik's government to restore the statue to its original location, but to no avail. Meanwhile, in 2008, there were talks to build a statue to Pope John Paul II in the Square of Arms at the spot where the original 'Fighter on Guard' monument stood, however, the Pope statue project was relocated to elsewhere in the city. Currently, the former site of the Kršinić's Partisan monument is still empty and unmarked, with no sign or indication that any statue ever existed at the location. I have found very few clear photos of the monument in its original state, therefore, I include in the above photos an image of one of Kršinić's scale models of his 'Fighter on Guard' sculpture to illustrate the details of the work.
16.) Dvor, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Uprising
Location: Dvor, Croatia
Author: sculptor Mirko Ostoja
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1952, statue & pedestal removed in 1997
Former coordinates: 45°04'16.1"N, 16°22'34.4"E
Description: Originally gracing the park in front of the municipal building of the Banija region town of Dvor, Croatia was a bronze figurative memorial sculpture titled "Monument to the Uprising". This mountainous forested region of Banija was a significant stronghold of Partisan insurgency against Ustaše oppression and occupation during WWII and this resistance subsequently lead to the deaths of over 1,300 local Partisan volunteers and over 500 civilian victims, all of whom this monument at Dvor was dedicated to. Created in 1952 and created by Croatian sculptor Mirko Ostoja, the statue is characterized by the towering form of a male Partisan fighter holding his rifle up defiantly into the sky as if calling his fellow fighters to take up arms and revolt. This monument stood for several years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia up until 1997, when, according to Juraj Hrženjak's book on Croatian monuments, the local town government made the decision to have the statue taken down. I was unable to find info pertaining to why this decision was made. Presently, the former site of the monument is a grassy park, with no indication or sign that the monument ever existed. I was unable to find any information about the ultimate fate or present location of Ostoja's sculpture.
17.) Gospić, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Gospić, Croatia
Author: sculptor Pavle Perić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1958, statues removed in 1990s?
Former coordinates: 44°32'47.0"N, 15°22'31.6"E
Description: The stately district court building of the town of Gospić, Croatia originally had installed in front of it during the Yugoslav-era a substantial memorial work which was dedicated to nearly 900 local fallen fighters and over 3,000 local victims of fascism who perished during WWII. This area of the Lika region was particularly notable for the resistance it put up against fascist occupation, which has much to do with the large death toll. The monument being erected in front of the courthouse was also a symbolic gesture, as it was in that building that many innocent locals were imprisoned during WWII and subsequently sent to their deaths. Created by Zagreb sculptor Pavle Perić and unveiled on Fighter's Day, July 4th, 1958,, this monument consisted of ten bronze figurative sculptures in various dramatic and evocative poses perched upon a series of limestone pedestals, with the entire arrangement reaching a height of 5m tall On the right hand side of the monument were four figures which appear to be working-class peasants rising up against oppression (indicated by the pitchfork and sickle), while on the left were a group of prisoners with chained hands (referring to the many innocent people jailed by Ustaše occupiers). At the top center of the monument were a bare-chested rifle-toting Partisan soldier waving forward his troops and a woman reaching upwards in victory over fascism. In addition to the monument, an ossuary containing the remains of numerous Partisan fighters was included beneath the structure. However, sources indicate that at some point during the 1990s, Perić's monument was attacked during broad daylight with explosives, with its sculpture's being subsequently destroyed. Yet, the ultimate fate of these statues is not known. The remaining pedestal was summarily removed and a new cross monument to the fallen Croatian fighters of the 1990s war was built in the place of the original NOB monument (which can be seen in the above photo). Sources state that the ossuary with the remains of those WWII victims still exists underneath this new 1990s monument.
In addition to the above-mentioned courthouse NOB monument, there is another Yugoslav-era memorial to wartime victims in Gospić that needs mentioning that was destroyed in recent decades. This second site is one which operated as a memorial to the victims of the Ustaše-run Gospić Concentration Camp that existed during WWII on the south edge of town by the Jasikovac forest. However, Gospić was only one of a whole network of Ustaše concentration camps across the region, which also included camps at Jadovno, Slana and Ovčara... and it was from the courthouse prison in Gospić from which many were sent into this network of death camps. This monument was constructed at the site of the former Gospić camp in 1955 by sculptor Vanja Radauš and architect Drago Ibler in order to commemorate the thousands of innocent people who perished there at Gospić as well as across the entire network of regional death camps. The monument which Radauš & Ibler built was primarily composed of three 8m tall limestone gates symbolizing the gallows upon which so many innocent prisoners were executed on at this site during WWII. At the center of the scene was a bronze statue of a woman mourning, an element symbolizing the sorrowful Lika mother with her hands over her face crying for her lost sons and daughters of the land. Behind the statue was a reflecting pool, symbolizing a lake of tears of the crying mother, but the pool was also an interactive element through which people could actively engage in personal reflection about these horrific events. Sources indicate that in the aftermath of the violence that swept across the region during the 1993 Operation Medak Pocket, this monument was subsequently found destroyed. The mangled remains of the monument currently lay in overgrown ruins, unmarked and unrecognized.
18.) Gradac, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Uprising
Location: Gradac, Croatia
Author: sculptor Antun Augustinčić & his student Luka Musulin
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1972, statue toppled in 1992
Former coordinates: 43°06'22.0"N, 17°20'27.3"E
Description: Roughly 7km southeast from the popular beach town of Zaostrog along the Adriatic coast you will find the small town of Gradac, Croatia. Atop a small hill near this seaside town's center is a small complex where a memorial sculpture was built in 1972 called "Monument to the Uprising". When it was originally constructed, the work consisted of a tall stone block pillar which had a bronze figurative sculpture of an 'Unknown Soldier" standing at its top, with his arms out-stretched towards the sea. Three sets of sculptural stone reliefs adorned the sides of the base of the pillar. The bronze sculpture was created by famous Croatian artist Antun Augustinčić, while the stone reliefs were created by a student of his, Luka Musulin, who was from the nearby town of Podaca. The monument was built to honor the 1941 uprising of the local people against Axis occupation, as well as the Partisan Navy's capture of the Italian ship "Merkur" off the town's coast in January of 1942. During the Yugoslav-era, this monument stood as one of the symbols of the town of Gradac, as evidenced by postcards from the era. However, reports indicate that on January 12th, 1992, just three days shy of international recognition of Croatia's independence, a group of vandals used a truck and ropes to pull the bronze sculpture off of its pedestal and onto the ground. Since 1992, the mangled remains of the Augustinčić sculpture have been sitting in a heap at the base of the old pedestal. In a 2017 article, the newly elected young mayor of Gradac, Matko Burić, expressed hopes that the monument could be repaired and rehabilitated, even examining the option of crowdfunding the project. Reports estimate repair costs would be around 500,000 kuna (67,500 euro).
19.) Grubišno Polje, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism [aka: 'Call to Uprising']
Location: Grubišno Polje, Croatia
Author: sculptor Frano Kršinić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1950,
Former coordinates: 45°42'08.7"N, 17°10'20.3"E
Description: Set in the courtyard in front of the town administration building of Grubišno Polje, Croatia during the Yugoslav-era was a monument which was dedicated to the region's 400 local fallen fighters and 900 local civilian victims of fascism who perished during WWII. Grubišno Polje was a significant wellspring of rebellion and resistance against Axis forces during WWII, with many large Partisan strongholds established in the region, particularly in the forests of the nearby village of Mala Dapčevica. This sculptural work, which was commonly known as the "Call to Uprising", was created in 1950 by famous Croatian sculptor Frano Kršinić and was, interestingly, his very first artistic work endeavor into the realm of NOB memorial sculpture. Kršinić's statue depicts a male Partisan fighter holding his rifle high into the air in his right hand, while holding a waving Partisan flag that flutters behind him. Standing as the most substantial WWII memorial in the Bilogora region, the monument was an important cultural landmark, illustrated in the fact that it was prominently featured on the majority of the town's postcards during the Yugoslav-era. However, the statue was removed at some point in the 1990s. I was unable to find any information about the exact time-period it was removed, why it was removed or what the ultimate fate of Kršinić's statue was. Unfortunately, very little information is available about this site at Grubišno Polje. There is not even any sign or indication at the site that a monument ever existed here.
20-23.) The early works of Vojin Bakić, Croatia
Names: [various names - see below]
Locations: The Croatian towns of Bjelovar, Bačkovica, Gudovac & Čazma
Author: sculptor Vojin Bakić [profile page]
Relevant dates: [various dates - see below]
Description: Bjelovar-born sculptor Vojin Bakić is among the most well-known authors of Yugoslav-era monuments dedicated to the events of WWII, with his creations at Petrova Gora, Kamenska and Dotršćina being familiar examples. However, Bakić is chiefly known for these more large-scale and/or abstract works that he created later in his career, with the modest figurative memorial statues of his younger years often being overlooked. However, one can understand why these early works are often forgotten about by some in modern times when one considers that they were nearly all destroyed during the 1990s.
The first monument dedicated to the events of WWII that Bakić created was in his hometown of Bjelovar at Borik Memorial Park in 1946, just one year after the end of WWII. Commemorating 25 local fallen fighters and 269 local civilian victims of fascism (including Bakić's four brothers), the monument consisted of a bronze figurative sculpture depicting a man standing with his arms raised in a dramatic pose of victory and was familiarly known as 'Bjelovarac' or 'The Man From Bjelovar' in English. After completion, this sculpture went on to become an iconic symbol across Yugoslavia, being reproduced at various locations across the country, most notably in front of the Museum of July 4th in Belgrade (where it still stands to present day). The statue was temporarily moved to the town center of Bjelovar in 1951, but was subsequently moved back to Borik Park in 1978. In 1991, a group of vandals attacked the statue with explosives, knocking it from its pedestal. These vandals then removed this 400kg metal statue from the park, at which point they, according to according to Juraj Hrženjak's book, melted it down and sold it as scrap. However, in 2001, a local initiative began which sought to restore Bakić's iconic destroyed monument. This effort was ultimately successful, and the work was recast in bronze and unveiled in its original location in 2010. It continues to exist at this spot up to the present day.
The second NOB memorial work that Bakić created in Croatia was at the schoolhouse of the small settlement of Čazma. Unveiled in 1950 and titled "Call to Arms", the work consisted of a roughly 6m tall bronze figurative sculpture of a Partisan charging forward and pointing ahead defiantly into the distance with one hand, while holding a rifle in the other hand. This monument stood in the central square of the town (today called "Trg Čazmanskog Kaptola") for many years as a proud symbol for the town, however, the work was destroyed by vandals in 1991 during the conflicts that ensued in the aftermath of the dismantling of Yugoslavia. No traces of the monument remain and its ultimate fate of Bakić's sculpture is not known. Today, the square where the monument once sat has been totally redeveloped and the statue's pedestal, which surived for many years after Bakić's sculpture was removal, has been cleared and was replaced with a modest fountain. I was unable to find any popular initiatives whose goal is to restore or rebuild the monument.
The next memorial work that Bakić created in Croatia was in the small village of Bačkovica on a small hill to the north overlooking the community. Built in 1955 and titled "On Eternal Guard" (aka: "Monument to the Partisans of Bilogora"), the sculpture commemorates 45 local fallen fighters and depicts a Partisan fighter standing tall holding his rifle out in front of him. This work of Bakić's is notable in that it is among his first that is clearly working to deconstruct the figurative form into a more simplified and reduced artistic form, with it standing as a clear move away from his previous forays with the sculptural style of Socialist Realism. Sources indicate that the monument was knocked from its pedestal by vandals in 1991. According to Juraj Hrženjak's book, the mangled statue sat in the yard of Bačkovica's police station, at which point it was eventually sold off as scrap metal to be melted. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to determine the exact location where this monument existed or whether any remnants of the original memorial exist here (such as the pedestal or engravings).
Bakić also created a second monument in Croatia in the year 1955 at the small village of Gudovac. Titled "Before the Firing Squad", the bronze statue depicts a young man ready to be executed, standing upright and looking forward bravely with his hands bound at his front. Bakić's memorial commemorated and located at the spot where 190 local Serbian civilians from Gudovac and the surrounding villages were arrested and then executed at the very beginning of WWII by Ustaše forces on April 28th, 1941, an event referred to as the Gudovac Massacre, an atrocity which sources describe as being "the first act of mass murder committed by the Ustaše upon coming to power". An ossuary was created underneath the monument that contained the remains of many of those executed at this site. However, in 1991, sources recount that the monument was toppled off of its pedestal and the ossuary was desecrated by unknown vandals. Additional sources relate that the tattered and mangled statue lay on the ground next to the pedestal for nearly 20 years until 2010, at which point it was suddenly taken and never seen again. The ultimate fate of Bakić's statue is not known. Over the thirty years since its destruction, serious efforts have been at work attempting to have the monument rebuilt and re-established. Currently, the former site of the monument has information and interpretive placards regarding the statue and its destruction.
24.) Imotski, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Dead Imotska Krajina Warriors
Location: Imotski, Croatia
Author: sculptor Antun Augustinčić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1971, removed in 2000s
Former coordinates: 43°26'42.1"N, 17°13'04.9"E
Description: Within a small pocket park just south of the town center of the dramatic mountain settlement of Imotski, Croatia was originally a memorial statue known as the 'Monument to the Dead Imotska Krajina Warriors', which commemorated fallen Partisan fighters of the Imotska Krajina region who perished during WWII. Unveiled in 1971, this statue was created by famous Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić and was yet another sculptural version of his "Carrying the Wounded" memorial series (of which he made over half a dozen during the Yugoslav-era). Like the others, the statue depicts three figures, two on the outer edges holding up a wounded figure at the center. The statue stood atop a tall stone pedestal set within a wide stone staircase which led up to a small memorial plaza. According to Juraj Hrženjak's book, the statue was damaged during the conflicts this region endured during the 1990s, however, the book seems to indicate that it survived the war still standing (at least until 2000, when the book was written). Yet, GoogleEarth historical satellite images reveal that sometime between 2005 and 2011, the park was extensively renovated, during which time the pedestal (and presumably the statue with it) were removed from the site. I was unable to find any sources that could attest to the fate of Augustinčić's statue here at Imotski. Despite the statue's removal, photos indicate that a series of engraved plaques on the memorial plaza survived the renovation. There does not seem to be any signs within the park that the monument ever stood there, while I was not able to find any info about local efforts aimed at restoring or reinstituting the statue.
25.) Karlovac, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascist Terror
Location: Karlovac, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš & architect Drago Ibler
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1955
Former coordinates: 45°29'33.9"N, 15°33'09.3"E
Description: Perched upon the crest of a hill within the large urban park of Dr. Franjo Tuđman Promenade inside the city of Karlovac, Croatia (which was called "Freedom Park" during the Yugoslav-era) was originally situated a substantial series of memorial statues that were dedicated to over 900 local fallen Partisan fighters and over 1,800 civilian victims of the city who perished during WWII. In addition, the monument also celebrated the WWII liberation of Karlovac, which occurred on May 6th, 1945. Unveiled in 1955 by Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito himself and created by Croatian sculptor Vanja Radauš & architect Drago Ibler, the monument consisted of three elements, firstly, the primary structure of the site was a ~20m long curving white limestone wall and, secondly, mounted on the west side of the wall were a series of five statues of Partisan fighters engaged collecting weapons while reading the proclamation of uprising against fascism made by the Central Committee of the Yugoslavia's Communist Party. Thirdly, at the center of the east side of the wall was a statue of a woman holding an olive garland, symbolizing peace, freedom and liberation.
This monument stood throughout the Yugoslav-era, however, the statues around the memorial wall were blasted from their settings with explosives by vandals in 1991. Heavily damaged as a result of the attack, sources relate that the city administration of Karlovac proceeded to put the statues into long term storage in a factory warehouse in the nearby area of Selce. I was unable to establish whether these statues still remain at that site or what their current fate is. Meanwhile, after 1991, the memorial wall where the statues once stood was defaced with huge amounts of graffiti and bullet holes. While the city of Karlovac has periodically made efforts to remove this spray paint in recent years, it invariably returns as quickly as it is removed. Numerous groups over the decades following its 1991 removal have called for the statues to be restored, yet, a 2014 article indicates that the city of Karlovac has no intention of restoring the monument.
26.) Korenica, Croatia
Name: Monument to Marko Orešković
Location: Korenica, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1952, statue destroyed in the early 1990s
Former coordinates: 44°44'45.3"N, 15°42'19.3"E
Description: Placed in the plaza in front of the town municipal building for the community of Korenica, Croatia is a bronze memorial statue dedicated to Marko 'Krntija' Orešković, who was a famous Partisan commander during WWII. In addition to being an influential commander, Orešković was a notable revolutionary integral in spearheading the Partisan uprising against Axis occupation across the Lika region and was recognized as a national hero, becoming one of the most popular folk heroes of the Yugoslav-era. Many monuments to Orešković existed around Yugoslavia, but the one in Korenica, created in 1952 by Croatian sculptor Vanja Radauš, was the most famous by far, largely because of his uprising activities in the immediate surroundings. The sculpture was situated in front of a 3m tall half circle wall upon which was a long bronze relief depicting scenes from WWII. Next to Orešković's sculpture was originally an inscription of a poetic verse by Vladimir Popović, who was a significant KPJ leader and friend of Tito. When roughly translated into English, this inscription read as: "If it were not for Marko Orešković, there would still be many crying mothers. Comrade Marko is Croatian born, but he is the mother [savior] of the Serbian people." However, the current whereabouts of Radauš's Orešković statue is not known (or even whether it still exists), but, according to Juraj Hrženjak's book, he asserts that the monument was destroyed in the early 1990s by the RSK Army during their conflicts with Croatian forces. Yet, an additional version of this lost statue still exists at a memorial park in the Zagreb suburb of Podsused. The remaining bronze relief wall at the Korenica memorial site still exists relatively intact, but it appears often defaced with graffiti and shows significant signs of degradation. Finally, I was not able to find any reports indicating that there are any local efforts aimed at restoring the statue nor did I find any articles testifying that
27.) Bijeli Potoci - Kamensko Park, near Korenica Croatia
Name: The "Tifusari" Memorial Sculpture Series
Location: Bijeli Potoci - Kamensko Park, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1959, statues destroyed in early 1990s
Former coordinates: 44°40'26.5"N 15°50'54.8"E [approximate]
Description: In 1956, Croatian sculptor Vanja Radauš began the creation of a cycle of sculptures that related to the horrors of war. Having himself served as a Partisan fighter during the People's Liberation Struggle, Radauš was all too familiar with the pain, suffering and most notably disease that soldiers faced during conflict. The grisly victims of typhus, which was one of the most significant non-combat killers of Partisan soldiers during WWII, was something that Radauš was especially haunted by after the war. Completed in 1959, Radauš created a series titled 'Tifusari/Typhus' which depicted six figures in various forlorn, emaciated and skeletal conditions that the disease typhus inflicted upon its sufferers.
This series of sculptures were then installed at the memorial complex at Bijeli Potoci – Kamensko Park which commemorated that location's WWII-era Partisan hospital, a place which no doubt treated countless victims of typhus. As records are sparse in relation to this memorial complex, it is not yet clear how these sculptures were arranged within the Bijeli Potoci – Kamensko Memorial Area, however, from surviving photos of the sculptures in situ, they appear to have been installed at various park-setting locations along the pathways of the complex. The Tiifusari sculpture set remained at this location until some point in the early 1990s when they disappeared during conflicts of the Yugoslav Wars. To this date, it is unknown the fate of the sculptures, even whether they still exist or whether they were simply melted down as scrap metal. INTERPOL has an open investigation related to finding the sculptures. Replicas of the six works can be found at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts - Glyptotheque Museum. More details about the sculptures can be found at think link from the project "War Damage Against Museums & Museum Holdings in Croatia". I found no reports of local initiatives geared towards to rehabilitating this memorial site nor did I find any articles mentioning commemorative events being held here.
28.) Lički Osik, Croatia
Name: Monument to Marko Orešković
Location: Lički Osik, Croatia
Author: sculptor Tomislav Ostoja
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1965, statue removed in the 1990s
Former coordinates: 44°36'12.2"N, 15°25'29.8"E
Description: Originally standing within the main square park of the small town of Lički Osik was a statue that was dedicated to Marko 'Krntija' Orešković (the second on this list), who was a famous Partisan commander during WWII. In addition to being an influential commander, Orešković was a notable revolutionary integral in spearheading the Partisan uprising against Axis occupation across the Lika region and was recognized as a national hero, becoming one of the most popular folk heroes of the Yugoslav-era. Created in 1965 by Croatian sculptor Tomislav Ostoja, the statue depicts Orešković standing atop a small pedestal reaching forward with his left grasping at the air, while his right hand gestures to the side. The meaning or symbolism of this curious pose of the statue is not clear. Interestingly, this is one of the first memorial works by Ostoja, who would go on to make numerous WWII-themed monuments through the Yugoslav-era and even went onto make monuments dedicated to the 1990s wars in Croatia during the post-Yugoslav-era (most famously at Vukovar). It was during the 1990s that this early work of Ostoja's at Lički Osik was destroyed by unidentified vandals. The ultimate fate of Ostoja's statue is unknown, with it not known whether it still even exists or not. However, despite the statue being long removed, the tattered and ruined pedestal still stands within the park. I found no information indicating that any local efforts existed or were underway to restore or rehabilitate Ostoja's statue.
29.) Luščani, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters and Victims of Fascism
Location: Luščani, Croatia
Relevant dates: unveiling date unknown, destroyed in the 1995
Former coordinates: 45°21'06.4"N, 16°12'57.0"E
Description: In the small village of Luščani, roughly 20km southeast of Sisak, Croatia, once existed a monument dedicated to 113 local fallen Partisan fighters and 284 victims of fascism who perished during WWII. I was unable to determine who the author of this work was (or even what year it was created), but photographic records reveal that the monument consisted of a memorial statue depicting rifle-toting Partisan fighter looking off pensively into the distance. The tall pedestal which the statue sat atop was covered with black polished stone panels engraved with the names of the hundreds of victims to whom this monument was dedicated. According to Juraj Hrženjak's book, this monument was destroyed during "Operation Storm" in the summer of 1995, which was a conflict where the Croatian Army and the ARBiH came through this region battling against the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The ultimate fate of the statue is unknown. However, the pedestal, now stripped of all its engraved stone panels, still stands mangled and broken as a reminder of the monument which once existed here.
30.) Našice, Croatia
Name: Memorial Crypt for Fallen Fighters
Location: Našice, Croatia
Author: sculptor Nikola Kečanin
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1950,
Former coordinates: 45°29'26.4"N, 18°05'37.7"E
Description: Situated within the central community park of the town square of Našice, Croatia was a monument erected in 1950 which commemorated local fallen Partisan fighters who perished during WWII. In addition to the monument, a memorial crypt containing the remains of many of these fighters was located beneath the structure. Created by Croatian sculptor Nikola Kečanin, the monument consisted bronze statues depicting two rifle-toting male Partisan fighters dramatically staring off into the distances while waving a large flag between them. Not a huge amount is known about the history of this monument, but what is known is that it was removed from Našice's town square at some point during the 1990s. This action was most likely the result of decisions made by the local government, as multiple sources state that Kečanin's sculpture was moved to Našice's local history museum after its removal from the square. However, I was not able to find any recent photos of documentation in regards to the whereabouts of the statue within this institution (or whether it is on display or in storage). The original location of the monument within the square is today completely vacant, with no mention whatsoever that the monument ever existed there. I found no mentions from any sources about local efforts to restore the statue.
31.) Nova Gradiška, Croatia
Name: Monument to National Heroes and Fallen Fighters
Location: Nova Gradiška, Croatia
Author: sculptor Antun Augustinčić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1957, statue removed in 1991
Former coordinates: 45°15'34.2"N, 17°22'49.4"E [approximate]
Description: Erected in the center of the town park of Nova Gradiška, Croatia in 1957 was a memorial site and statue dedicated to local fallen fighters and national heroes who perished during WWII. Created by the famous Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić and also known as "Narod sebi/The People Themselves", this 3m tall bronze figurative sculpture consisted of a uniformed Partisan fighter looking behind and extending his left hand high into the air (as if calling forward his fellow fighters into battle), all while he proudly waved a flag with his other hand. Below the monument was built a crypt which contained the remains of numerous fallen fighters from the area around Nova Gradiška. Engraved on the monument was a stanza from the famous poem "Jama" (or "Pit" in English) by legendary poet Ivan Goran Kovačić, which would have roughly translated into English as "Your song brings back the light to my eyes, like a mighty nation or like the sun high in the sky". Augustinčić's monument here at Nova Gradiška was so significant that a likeness of the statue was featured on a national stamp issued in 1961, a photo of which can be seen at THIS link. Yet, despite the notoriety of this statue, it was removed in 1991 but sources are unclear whether it was removed by the order of city officials or by vandalism. After the removal of the statue, the pedestal and all visual traces of it were removed from the park. However, despite the removal of the statue, the underground crypt containing the remains of local WWII-era fallen fighters still exists, although, it is currently unmarked with no indication of its presence just below ground. As far as the statue, the most recent photos of it that I could find from 2012 show the mangled broken remnants of the statue being stored on pallets in a garage parking lot of the city administration building, some photos of which can be seen at THIS link. More recent sources indicate that it still resides at this same location. As far as my research was able to determine, no local initiatives exist with the goal of having the monument restored.
32.) Opuzen, Croatia
Name: Monument to Stjepan Filipović
Location: Opuzen, Croatia
Author: sculptor team Miro Vuco and Stjepan Gračan
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1978, statue destroyed in 1991
Former coordinates: 43°01'01.0"N, 17°33'11.3"E
Description: Just 10km north along the Adriatic of the Neum Corridor you will find the small town of Opuzen, Croatia, right near the delta of the Neretva River. This town was the birthplace of famous young Partisan leader Stjepan Filipović who was a commander of one of the units of the Valjevo Partisan Detachment. After being captured by the German Army in 1942, he was executed by hanging in Valjevo, Serbia on May 27th, 1942. Just before being hanged, he famously threw his arms into the air and defiantly screamed out the Partisan slogan "death to fascism, freedom to the people". This defiant moment was famously captured in a dramatic photo. During the Yugoslav-era, Filipović became one of the country's most revered folk heroes. In 1960, a famous statue of Filipović was built by sculptor Vojin Bakić at the site of his execution (which can be seen at THIS link), which captured Filipović in that famous moment of defiance.
The memory of Filipović was commemorated yet again in his hometown of Opuzen, Croatia 1978 when the young sculptor team Miro Vuco and Stjepan Gračan together created a bronze memorial sculpture honoring the killed Partisan with their own memorial statue. Similar to the Bakić monument, the memorial work by Vuco & Gračan in Opuzen also captured Filipović in that same famous rebellious stance with his arms raised, the noose around his neck and poised defiantly standing on the hangman's stool. The bronze sculpture was 5m tall and was situated on a 4m tall base of concrete steps. While the memorial site was well patronized and visited during the Yugoslav era, just a few months after the start of the Croatian War in 1991, the memorial sculpture was rigged with explosives on the night of July 17th and was found shattered into mangled pieces the next morning. Those who committed this act of vandalism were never apprehended by the authorities. The concrete base of the monument with its vacant bronze hangman's stool stood idle and derelict at the site for 19 years, with various groups debating and wrangling over the reconstruction of the monument. However, the remaining ruins of the monument were completely cleared in September of 2010 to make way for a business park project, which itself never came to fruition. Even though the former site is now completely cleared of any lingering traces of the sculpture or monument complex, many groups over the years have continued to advocate for the reconstruction and restoration of the memorial site. In 2020, an effort spearheaded by art historian Davorka Perić has made considerable headway in pushing for the monument's reconstruction, with sources indicating that it could be rebuilt as soon as the summer of 2021.
33.) Orahovica, Croatia
Name: Monument to Jovan "Ivo" Marinković
Location: Orahovica, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš (?)
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1952, statue removed during 1990s
Former coordinates: 45°31'48.5"N, 17°52'39.9"E
Description: Positioned within a grassy park in front of the town administration building for the Slavonian region community of Orahovica, Croatia was originally a monument dedicated to Partisan WWII fighter and Yugoslav national hero Jovan "Ivo" Marinković, who grew up in Orahovica in the nearby community of Donja Pištana. During the early years of the war in 1941, Marinković was among the first rebel fighters who took up arms and initiated organized resistance against fascist occupation in the Slavonian region. Through the war, he worked his way up to the position of brigade commander by 1944, earning a name for himself as a valiant and skilled military leader. However, he was killed on October 27th, 1944 when he was sent an exploding package by Ustaše intelligence. After being named a national hero in 1949, this statue dedicated to Marinković was erected in his hometown in 1952. Some sources attribute this sculpture to famous Croatian artist Vanja Radauš, however, it is not mentioned in this seemingly exhaustive listing of the work of Radauš from the Croatian Biographical Lexicon. Unfortunately, very little information exists about this monument, but, according to Juraj Hrženjak's book, the statue was removed and its pedestal was razed to the ground in the 1990s by the decision of the local government. The fate of the statue, or whether it still even exists, is not known. Today, the former site of the statue is vacant with no indications that it ever existed in this spot. I found no information about any local efforts or initiatives to restore or rehabilitate this monument.
34.) Otočac, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Otočac, Croatia
Author: sculptor Petar Kos
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1955, statue removed and damaged in 1991
Former coordinates: 44°52'07.6"N, 15°14'09.5"E
Description: Positioned within the central square park of the town of Otočac, Croatia was originally a memorial statue dedicated to local fallen Partisan fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. Completed in 1955 by sculptor Petar Kos, the monument re-utilized the pedestal from a Karađorđević statue that was torn down in 1941 (which itself was built on top of a WWI monument torn down in 1926), a series of events which illustrates the turbulent history of monument building this park endured during the 20th century. The site was composed of a stone block pillar which atop rested a bronze statue depicting a woman holding a star-shield to her side while she was dynamically rushing forward with her right arm extended out in front of her. Clearly, this statue's exuberant motion and upward stretching form operated as a symbol for freedom and victory over fascism during WWII. Meanwhile, on the side of the monument's pillar were two bronze relief sculptural panels This NOB monument built by Kos stood as the central element of Otočac's park up until 1991, at which point the town administration coordinated the removal of Kos' statue from the pedestal (as well as the relief panels on its side). Sources indicate that, as of 2008, the relief panels were in storage at the Komunolac waste management facility in Otočac, while the statue was put into storage at a local school. It is not known if these works are currently still in storage at these sites. The monument's pedestal and pillar continued standing at the center of the park through the 2000s, but it was ultimately removed around 2010 during an extensive renovation of the park. I found no info suggesting that any local initiatives exist with the goal of restoring or reestablishing the NOB monument.
35.) Pisak, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters and Civilian Victims
Location: Pisak, Croatia
Author: sculptor Radoslav Duhović & architect Marina Utrobičić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1977, statued destroyed in 1992, restored in 2015
Former coordinates: N43°24'03.5", E16°51'40.6"
Description: Roughly 23km northwest of Makarska along the Adriatic coast is situated the seaside town of Pisak. In 1977, a memorial complex was unveiled on the edge of a hillside overlooking the sea along the main road into town which was dedicated to local fallen fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. The stone-paved courtyard terrace and memorial walls were created by architect Marina Utrobičić, while the site's central statuary element was created by sculptor Radoslav Duhović. This statue consisted of a bronze figure roughly 3m tall which depicted a young local Pisak fisherman who had taken up arms and joined the Partisans — his expression looked stern as he held his rifle with both hands slung over the back of his neck. This statue stood within this monument site at Pisak all during the Yugoslav-era, however, in 1992, sources report that the statue was attacked by vandals with explosives and the sculpture was knocked from its pedestal and fractured into several large pieces as a result. Over the subsequent years, numerous local groups, such as the Omiš Antifascist Association, attempted to organize support for the monument's repair and restoration. After raising enough money for the project by the early 2010s, the statue was sent off to Zagreb for expert art repair, at which point it was fully reassembled. The repaired memorial statue was unveiled to a large gathering of local and regional citizens and politicians at a ceremony held on May 25th, 2015. Commemorative events at this revitalized monument continue up until the present day.
36.) Slatina, Croatia
Name: Monument to Nikola Miljanović
Location: Slatina, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1949, statue removed in 1990s
Former coordinates: 45°42'04.5"N 17°42'08.7"E
Description: Originally situated in front of the municipal building of the Slavonian town of Slatina, Croatia was a memorial statue dedicated to the Yugoslav national hero Nikola Miljanović. Born in Slatina's nearby village of Lisičine, Miljanović (who went by the nickname "Karaula") was a young local political leader in the town of Slatina well before the start of WWII. As such, even before the arrival of Ustaše forces into the region, Miljanović had already prepared a local resistance effort against any aggression taken against his town, establishing a base in the nearby forest. In the summer of 1941, Miljanović and his men even saved a group of dozens of local Slatina civilians when they were about to be executed by Ustaše soldiers. Miljanović later joined up with the Partisan uprising effort, where he eventually worked his way up to being the commander of the 18th Slavonian Strike Brigade. However, he was killed in battle on July 1st, 1944 at Levanjska Varoš when he was struck by enemy artillery.
He was named a national hero of Yugoslavia immediately after the end of WWII in June of 1945. Just a few years later in 1949, a statue dedicated to Miljanović was erected at the center of his hometown of Slatina, created by famous Croatian sculptor Vanja Radauš. The statue depicts Miljanović wearing his military trenchcoat standing with his rifle strap slung over his right shoulder as he pensively looks to the side. His left leg is raised and resting as if on a small rock. This monument to Miljanović stood as Slatina's central memorial site during the Yugoslavia era, however, during the conflicts of the 1990s, the statue was removed. I was unable to determine the ultimate fate of Radauš' statue, as very little info is available about it. The destruction of historical heritage related to Miljanović extended even to his nearby home village of Lisičine, where his tomb resided next to his birth house (which operated as a popular museum during the Yugoslav era). During the 1990s, the tomb was demolished and desecrated, while the museum house was destroyed. The ruins of the complex still stand at THIS location. I found no info suggesting that any local efforts exist to restore or re-establish the monument in Slatina or the museum/tomb complex at Lisičine.
37.) Sisak, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Uprising
Location: Novo Selo Palanječko, Croatia (just outside the town of Sisak)
Author: sculptor Frano Kršinić
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1953, relocated in 1990, final destruction in 2014
Former coordinates: 45°30'09.2"N, 16°27'29.2"E
Description: Originally located in the town of Sisak, Croatia at the center of what is today called "Ban Josip Jelačić Square" (called "Freedom Square" during the Yugoslav-era) was a statue called "Monument to the Uprising". Created by famed Croatian artist Frano Kršinić in 1953, this memorial was composed of a series of four bronze figures, one at the front holding up a flag and gesturing high into the air, one in the middle holding a rifle while he charges forward, and one in the rear who seems to be calling back to his fellow fighters to push onwards. As its name would indicate, the monument was dedicated to the uprising of the people of Yugoslavia against fascist occupation and oppression, with Sisak being a particularly important part of this legacy, as it was just outside of this town at the Brezovica Forest that Yugoslavia's first armed and organized Partisan fighting detachment of WWII was established on June 22nd 1941. This memorial statuary existed at THIS location within Sisak's Freedom Park until it was removed from its pedestal at the beginning of 1990 during the onset of Yugoslavia's dismantling. While the circumstances surrounding its removal are not clear, the statue was relocated to the Brezovica Memorial Park and placed in front of the large concrete abastrct monument dedicated to the 1st Sisak Partisan Detachment (created in 1981 by Želimir Janeš). However, the remoteness of this location deep in the Brezovica Forest meant that the statue was soon thereafter targeted by vandals for attack and dismemberment. Over the subsequent 20 years, bits of the statue were slowly stolen piece by piece. Finally, during May of 2014, the final mangled remains of the sculpture were broken into small pieces and hauled from the site by theives. These remains of the sculpture were recovered several months later by police who found these thieves were attempting to sell the statue's remains for scrap metal. Restoration of the memorial has been discussed among various groups for several years now since its final destruction in 2014, however, as of 2020, no work towards the reconstruction of this sculpture has begun. Currently, no traces of the statue's existence remain at its original location at Freedom Square nor at its final location at Brezovica Memorial Park.
An additional now-vanished Yugoslav-era statue that was in Sisak which merits discussion here is a bronze work depicting the Russian revolutionary and political theorist Vladimir Lenin that was located at the center of the neighborhood of Caprag at what was then called "Lenin Square/Lenjinov trg" (now called "Square of Croatian Statehood"). Erected in 1975, the statue showed Lenin in a standing position with his left hand in his coat pocket while his right hand was held out facing upwards as if he was captured in deep discussion. As far as I've been able to determine, this was the only Lenin statue that existed in Yugoslavia, yet, despite this notable status, I've been unable to establish who was the author of this work. Sources indicate that the statue was removed in 1991, yet I found no info about its ultimate fate after removal. The statue was located precisely at THESE coordinates. Interestingly, while the statue was removed in 1991, the pedestal which the statue stood upon remained in the square for another 20 years, only being removed in 2012. In 2015, the former spot of the Lenin statue was used to erect a monument dedicated to the local Croatian Army fighters who perished in the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
38.) Slavonski Brod, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters [aka: "Revolution"]
Location: Slavonski Brod, Croatia
Author: sculptor Dušan Džamonja [profile page]
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1951, statue destroyed in 1995
Former coordinates: 45°09'29.6"N, 18°00'44.7"E
Description: At the heart of Slavonski Brod is a thickly forested park known as "Klasije" (but also sometimes referred to as "Victory Square"). A statue was built in 1951 at the north end of this park which commemorated local Partisan fighters who perished during WWII and was the work of Zagreb sculptor Dušan Džamonja. Interestingly, Džamonja, who would go on later during the Yugoslav-era to create some of the country's most famous and widely recognized abstract memorial sculptures, started his lifelong career of monument creation with figurative monuments making this very statue here at Slavonski Brod (along with another also 1951 at Pazin). Džamonja's work at Klasije Park, sometimes known as "Revolucija/Revolution", consisted of a bronze shirtless male figure perched atop a ~6m tall pillar. The figure holds a flag pole high up in the air with his left hand while allowing the flag to drape behind him over his right arm which is extended behind him, all the while he leans forward dramatically almost to the point of seeming to fall over. As the name might suggest, the statue was a symbol for the Partisan's revolutionary uprising and their victory over fascism during WWII. Džamonja's statue stood here in the park until 1995, at which point it was removed and all traces of its existence were expunged from the park. The final fate of the statue's remains is unknown... nor is it known the exact circumstances surrounding its removal. In 1997, a bronze memorial bust of controversial 19th century Croatian politician Ante Starčević was erected near the former location of the 'Revolution' statue in Klasije Park.
In addition to Džamonja's monument being destroyed here in Slavonski Brod, sources also relate that numerous other Yugoslav-era sculptural works across the town were destroyed, most notably a bronze statue of the famous local Partisan revolutionary Đuro Đakovic. This now missing work is cited to have been situated in front of a factory in the town that bore his name, but I've not yet been able to establish its former location or even who was the author of this work.
39.) Sloboština, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Victims of Fascist Terror
Location: Sloboština, Croatia
Author: sculptor Nikola Kečanin
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1951, statue destroyed in 1991
Former coordinates: 45°23'47.7"N, 17°31'41.7"E
Description: Situated in the heart of the Slavonian region of Croatia is the small rural village of Sloboština, only about 10km northwest from Požega. It was within this village on August 16th, 1942 that Ustaše forces executed over 1,300 innocent civilians. These massacred civilians were largely ethnic-Serb refugees from the area of Kozarska Dubica in present-day Bosnian & Herzegovina who were fleeing the violence of that region. Sources recount that after the refugees were shot, their dead bodies were thrown down local wells. As the Ustaše left the site after committing the massacre, they burnt the village to the ground. After the war, the surviving local villagers of Sloboština subsequently extracted the bodies from the wells and the village's burnt ruins and buried them in a mass grave along the village's main road. A monument was built at the site of this mass grave in 1951 by Croatian sculptor Nikola Kečanin. The primary element of Kečanin's monument was a bronze statue of a mother holding her child. In this depiction, the mother stares forward intently while pointing downwards at the ground with her right hand, almost as if to gesture towards the grave itself. No doubt the statue is a reference to the many women and children who perished here (a plaque at the site relates that it was upwards of 50 children who were victims of this massacre). In addition, a curving bronze relief panel wrapping around a circular block at the base of the statue depicts a grisly scene of the Ustaše soldiers marching the refugees to their death. Finally, an inscription was included on the pillar upon which the statue sat that was a verse from famous Serbian poet Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, which would have roughly translated into English as "These graves are not burial pits, but instead cradles of new strength". Located next to the monument were the ruins of the 18th century Orthodox Church of St Father Nikola, which was burned by the Ustaše during the summer of 1942.
This monument stood as a well respected cultural and memorial landmark for forty years in the village of Sloboština, however, during the conflicts which spread across this region during the dismantling of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the monument was destroyed. I was unable to find any sources which spoke in detail about the exact circumstances surrounding the destruction of this monument or the ultimate fate of its sculptural elements. Though, sources do relate that the memorial center and museum building behind the monument was also burned to the ground during the same time. For many years after the destruction of the memorial, the site lay in an overgrown state of ruin. However, during the 2010s, the overgrown grounds around the site were reclaimed and rehabilitated by local veteran groups. Yet, while numerous groups in the region advocate for the monument's reconstruction, it continues to remain in a ruined state. Despite the condition of the site, annual commemoration events still take place here.
40.) Srb, Croatia
Name: Monument to the Uprising
Location: Srb, Croatia
Author: sculptor Vanja Radauš
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1951, destroyed in 1995, rebuilt in 2011
Former coordinates: 44°21'55.7"N, 16°07'20.2"E
Description: Located within Croatia's Lika region is the small rural settlement of Srb. It was within this small community that on the 27th of July, 1941, a popular uprising was instigated by the local population (which was largely ethnic-Serb) against the oppressive actions of occupying Ustaše forces. In the weeks leading up to the revolt, upwards of 900 ethnic-Serb civilians were executed across the Lika region by Ustaše soldiers. Many hundreds of civilians in and around Srb (driven by both the Partisan and Chetnik resistance movements) took up arms against the Ustaše and drove them out of the area. However, through this popular revolt, some targeted not just the Ustaše, but also civilian Croat and Muslim communities as a form of retaliatory action. Many Partisan leaders, particularly the well-respected Marko Orešković (who has two monuments dedicated to him within this article list), fiercely condemned these retaliation killings. Despite these matters, this display of resistance by the local population of Srb towards the Ustaše went on to inspire revolutionary action in oppressed populations across the Lika region, as well as in the neighboring Bosanska Krajina region as well. After the end of the war during the Yugoslav-era, July 27th was celebrated as "Uprising Day" in Croatia and in BiH. On the 10th anniversary of the uprising in 1951, a monument was unveiled in the village of Srb in order to commemorate the uprising and to honor local fallen fighters and civilian victims. Positioned on a small hill overlooking the community just 150m west of the village center, the monument was composed of 15m tall stone pillar that was adorned with four bronze life-size statues by Croatian academic sculptor Vanja Radauš — these statues are characterized as follows: a matronly mourning peasant woman at the base holding a handkerchief, two charging male fighters mounted mid-way up (one with a rifle and one with a pitchfork), and, finally, a bare-chested male soldier at the top waving a large flag in the process of calling people to rise up. Around the base of the monument was a long bronze sculptural relief panel depicting scenes from the uprising at Srb in 1941. Meanwhile, large engraved inscriptions existed on the broad east and west faces of the pillar. On the east side the translation read, translated into English, as "Under the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the first insurgent rifle in Croatia was fired at this spot on July 27th, 1941", while the west side inscription read as "Fighters and victims of fascism who fell in the People's Liberation Struggle, raised by war comrades and the people of Lika".
This monument at Srb stood as a significant cultural landmark and memorial space during the Yugoslav-era, with President Tito even taking time to attend commemorative events here. However, with the dismantling of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, conflict swept over the Lika region when parts of the territory became part of break-away state of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The Croatian Army then set forward in August of 1995 with Operation Storm in an effort to regain this territory. It was during this operation that the Monument to the Uprising was destroyed. Various sources which I have seen give multiple accounts of what destroyed the monument (from tanks, to explosives, to mines, etc, etc), but I am yet to find a comprehensive source which gives a detailed account of the exact circumstances surrounding the monument's destruction. The bronze statues and reliefs were subsequently taken from the site and, from what I can establish, are presumed lost.
In the years following the monument's toppling, multiple groups began advocating for its reconstruction. As a result of these efforts, in 2008, the Croatian Conservation Institute began a project to rebuild the Monument to the Uprising in Srb. With skilled labor put forward by architect Zvonimir Krznarić and sculptor Alan Vlahov, the newly re-built monument was unveiled on July 27th, 2011, exactly 50 years since the original monument's unveiling and 60 years since the 1941 Srb Uprising. This unveiling ceremony was presided over by Croatian president Ivo Josipović. The new 2011 monument at Srb appears identical to Vanja Radauš' original in nearly every way. Even the two original engraved inscriptions were carved onto the side of the pillar. This newly constructed memorial complex at Srb continues to exist in good condition, as well as hosting regular annual commemorative events.
41.) Sukošan, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Sukošan, Croatia
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1987, statue destroyed in 1992
Former coordinates: 44°02'50.5"N, 15°18'49.7"E
Description: The bustling touristic town of Sukošan is located just south of Zadar on Croatia's beautiful seaside right along the popular Adriatic Highway. During the final years of the Yugoslav-era in 1987, a monument was built right at the center of the community in front of the town's tourist office that was dedicated to 44 local Partisan fighters and 17 civilian victims who perished during WWII. The primary element of the monument, whose authorship I was not able to establish, was a bronze statue depicting a farmer who was putting down his farm tools and picking up a rifle in order to defend his home. Next to the statue was a large panel bearing a raised-letter inscription set upon a stone pillar. This inscription upon this panel read, when translated into English, as: "To the fallen fighters and victims of fascist terror who gave their lives for the freedom of the homeland in 1941-1945, erected by the locals of Sukošan in 1987 as a sign of eternal gratitude." However, just a few years later in 1992 (less than five years after the monument was erected), it was destroyed by vandals. Sources relate that the monument's destruction was accompanied by spraypainted Ustaše symbols, as well as graffiti reading 'HOS' and 'Vukovar'. Furthermore, a series of engraved stone tablets bearing the name of fallen fighters and victims were also smashed to bits, with only the empty concrete holders now left in their place. While groups over the following decades have made appeals for the monument's reconstruction, no momentum on the part of local officials has yet manifested in regards to such efforts. Today, the ruins of the site's mangled memorial pillar still remain in front of Sukošan's tourist office, standing among the last vestiges of the monument's short existence.
42.) Trgovišće, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters and Victimsof Fascism
Location: Trgovišće, Croatia
Relevant dates: unveiling date unknown, destroyed in 1990s
Former coordinates: 46°06'25.8"N, 16°13'05.3"E
Description: Located at the center of the small Croatian village of Trgovišće was originally a monument dedicated to local Partisan fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. This monument, whose authorship I have not yet been able to establish, was composed of a stone pillar which atop sat a bronze statue depicting a Partisan fighter charging into battle with his right fist raised into the air while holding his rifle to his side with his left hand. Unfortunately, very little additional information is available about this site. The bronze statue was toppled from its setting atop the pillar at some point during the 1990s. In the subsequent years, the now-empty memorial pillar was stripped of its Yugoslav-era plaques and markings, with it then being repurposed as a monument to the local villagers who perished in the 1990s conflicts. The bronze plaque at the middle of the pillar which originally bore the symbol of the Yugoslav star now bears the symbol of the Croatian coat of arms. Annual commemorative events are now held at this monument for the recognition of the independence of Croatia.
43.) Trogir, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters and Victims of Fascism [aka: "Partizan"]
Location: Trogir, Croatia
Author: sculptor Ivan Mirković
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1951,
Former coordinates: 43°30'55.5"N, 16°14'51.6"E
Description: The town of Trogir, Croatia is a scenic harbor community nestled on the shores of the Adriatic, with its ancient and historic old town existing on a small island just off of the mainland. One of the old town's biggest attractions is the 14th century Kamerlengo Castle, perched on the southwest corner of the island. In 1951, a memorial statue was erected in front of the castle dedicated to local fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. Created by notable Pag Island native sculptor Ivan Mirković and officially titled "Partizan", the bronze memorial statue depicted a male Partisan grenade thrower (bombaši) in action. The bombaši were a skilled and crucial tactical force during the war who gained high respect within the Partisan Army and, as such, their likeness was a popular sculptural motif seen in numerous memorial statues across Yugoslavia. The statue existed here in front of Kamerlengo for more than 40 years until the beginning of the 1990s, when vandals began targeting the work with violent attacks. According to Juraj Hrženjak's book, several failed attempts were made to destroy the statue through the early 1990s, with the work enduring until April 10th, 1995, when vandals achieved destroying the statue by using explosives to blow off its head and a chunk of its abdomen. Sources relate that city administrators subsequently removed the damaged statue and kept it in storage only to later sell it for scrap metal. The remaining elements of the memorial complex were later dismantled and removed from the site, with the area now completely cleared, existing today as only a grassy patch at the foot of the castle. No signs or marks at the former site would indicate that a WWII monument ever existed there. I found no articles or mentions that any nature of commemorative events are held at this site any longer. Currently, fixed upon the castle wall in front of where the monument once existed is a small unassuming white plaque installed in the 1990s that bears a Croatian coat of arms and a simple inscription which reads, when translated into English, as: "To all those killed in the Trogir region for the freedom of Croatia".
44.) Udbina, Croatia
Name: Memorial Crypt of Fallen Fighters and Civilian Victims of Udbina & Podlapačja
Location: Udbina, Croatia
Author: sculptor Pavle Perić
Relevant dates: unveiling date is unknown, statue destroyed in 1995
Former coordinates: 44°31'56.1"N, 15°45'57.8"E
Description: About 20km south of the Lika region town of Korenica is the small village of Udbina. During WWII, this town was a fierce battleground between Partisan forces and the Ustaše/Italian militaries. Through this conflict, much of the town was destroyed by the end of the war. In the years after the war's end, a monument was erected on a small knoll in the center of the village just north of the local municipal building, a spot which had formerly been a Franciscan monastery that was destroyed during WWII. The monument, most likely built at some point during the 1950s or early 60s, was dedicated to over 1,500 local fighters and civilian victims who perished during the war. Created by sculptor Pavle Perić, the monument was composed of a series of three bronze statues — these statues depicted two peasant women who were walking beside a tired-looking Partisan soldier riding upon a weary-looking horse. The symbolic intent of this work may have been a reference to local civilians lending assistance and aid to wounded and needy Partisan soldiers during the war, a motif that was repeatedly referenced in Yugoslav memorial art (with many examples even being seen on this list). This monument operated as a central memorial object in the Udbina community during the Yugoslav-era, however, as the Croatian Army came through this region in August of 1995 in their efforts to subdue the breakaway region of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, the monument was subsequently found destroyed in the aftermath. I was unable to find any information about the exact circumstances which led to the monument's destruction nor was I able to find any sources which related what the ultimate fate was of this series of memorial statues. Currently, the pedestal upon which the statues originally sat still resides at the site in a ruined and mangled state. I found no information indicating that commemorative events are held at this site any longer, while I also did not find any references to local efforts aimed at restoring this monument.
45.) Voćin, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Voćin, Croatia
Author: sculptor Nikola Kečanin
Relevant dates: unveiled in the 1950s, statue destroyed in 1991
Former coordinates: 45°37'09.4"N, 17°32'37.1"E
Description: The town of Voćin, Croatia sits within the Slavonian region just on the northwest edge of Papuk Mountain. During WWII, the lands around Papuk Mountain were intense regions of Partisan resistance and uprising against Ustaše presence and oppression. This civilian uprising across Papuk intensified further after the Ustaše, on January 14th, 1942, massacred 350 ethnic Serb civilians from the villages immediately around Voćin in retaliation for the deaths of five Ustaše during nearby skirmishes with Partisans. In the years after the end of the war, a monument was built in Voćin which was dedicated to local Partisan fighters and civilian victims who perished during the war, with it also commemorating the Slavonian Partisans who liberated Voćin from Ustaše control. Created by Croatian sculptor Nikola Kečanin and located at a park on the west side of the town, the monument was composed of a bronze statue of a young barechested Partisan soldier holding a rifle to his side and raising his right hand into the air as if to call upon the people of the region to revolution. However, it is notable to mention that this site was not overtly a commemorative marker dedicated to the 1942 massacre.
This monument stood at this location for many decades up until 1991, when the statue was removed from the site. I was unable to find any sources which related the exact circumstances surrounding the removal of Kečanin's statue nor was I able to find information about its ultimate fate. Yet, despite the statue's removal, the bulk of the rest of the monument's structure was left intact. In addition, Voćin again became the site of mass killings during this period of the 1990s when a group of 47 mostly ethnic-Croat civilians were found dead in the town on December 13th, 1991, with many sources implicating ethnic-Serbian paramilitary groups as the responsible party. In 2001, a monument was erected in Voćin dedicated to the 1991 massacre, while a few years later, in 2007, a monument was erected that was explicitly dedicated to the 1942 massacre. Meanwhile, in 2018, the now-vacant pedestal and memorial space of Nikola Kečanin's 1950s monument was cleaned and rehabilitated, with commemorative events now being held here again, however, the original lost statue is yet to be restored.
46.) Vrginmost/Gvozd, Croatia
Name: Monument to Fallen Fighters & Victims of Fascism
Location: Vrginmost/Gvozd, Croatia
Author: sculptor Zvonko Car
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1956, statue destroyed in 1995
Former coordinates: 45°21'21.5"N, 15°51'54.8"E
Description: The small historical community of Vrginmost sits within the Kordun region of Croatia, just northeast of the Petrova Gora range. During WWII, the local population here at this village, who were largely ethnic-Serbs, were fiercely persecuted by the Ustaše military presence in this region. Untold hundreds of innocent civilians lost their lives during this violence, a reality which drove many of the local youth from Vrginmost to join the Partisan resistance movement and fight back against this oppression. After the end of the war, a monument was built in the village's central square park in 1956 that was dedicated to local fighters and civilians who perished during the war. In addition to the monument, a memorial crypt was built underneath the site which contained the remains of some of these fallen fighters. Created by Croatian sculptor Zvonko Car, the monument consisted of a bronze statue perched atop a stone pedestal which depicted a male Partisan fighter charging fowward with his rifle and reaching his right hand up into the air in defiance and in a call for uprising. On the sides of the pedestal were bronze sculptural reliefs depicting Partisan fighters and scenes of conflict.
This monument stood at the center of Vrginmost for many decades up until the early 1990s when this area was included in the breakaway region of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. In the process of the Croatian Army coming in to take back into its control this region during their 1995 Operation Storm, sources report that the monument was found demolished in the aftermath. In the year just the town was taken back under control of Croatian authorities, the town's name was changed to 'Gvozd'. The name originated from the nearby Gvozd Mountain, which was where the Croatian King Petar Svačić was killed in 1097 (which was then after renamed to 'Petrova Gora' or 'Peter's Mountain'). As far as the ultimate fate of the statue, sources relate that local there are unconfirmed reports that Zvonko Car's sculpture was melted down subsequently after its removal and cast into a church bell. However, the same source explains that the monument's bronze reliefs were discovered stashed away in an abandoned store in the town in the early 2000s. While local groups in the region have put forward efforts to have the statue recast and restored, such efforts have thus far been unsuccessful. Today, the monument's empty and damaged pedestal still sits in the center of the town. Presumably, the crypt still exists underneath the monument, but I was not able to find any current information on the state or future of it. As far as the town's name, news reports relate that it was officially changed back to 'Vrginmost' in 2012. Yet, controversy and confusion over the name continues to this day, especially as while the town is officially named 'Vrginmost', the municipality continues to keep and utilize the name 'Gvozd'.
47.) Županja, Croatia
Name: Memorial Crypt of Fallen Fighters
Location: Županja, Croatia
Author: sculptor Nikola Kečanin and architect Josip Osvald
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1957, statue destroyed in 1992
Former coordinates: 45°04'34.8"N 18°41'42.9"E [approx.]
Description: The small settlement of Županja is a town in Croatia's eastern Slavonian region positioned right on the Sava River. In 1957, a monument was built in the center of town at a park situated between the community's courthouse and the main bus station that was dedicated to local fighters who had perished during WWII, with a crypt located beneath the monument which housed the remains of twenty fighters who took part in the WWII liberation of Županja. Unfortunately, I was not able to determine the exact location of the monument within this park. Created by Croatian sculptor Nikola Kečanin and local Županja architect Josip Osvald, the monument was composed of a marble obelisk topped with a red star in front of which was a bronze statue perched upon a slanting concrete platform. The statue depicted a Partisan fighter toting his rifle by his side and looking off pensively into the distance. In a 1957 newspaper article written about this monument's unveiling, a passage read as, when translated into English: "We hand over this monument with the remark that it will be a monument which will remind our peoples for centuries of the hard and glorious struggle through which they won their freedom." However, according to Juraj Hrženjak's book, the monument was targeted with explosives by vandals on November 28th, 1992, an action which resulted in the destruction of the monument. I was unable to determine the ultimate fate of the remains of the destroyed statue, yet, what is evident is that all traces of the monument's ruins were subsequently expunged from the park. Today, there is no evidence anywhere in the park of the monument's former existence.
48.) Đakovića/Gjakova, Kosovo*
Name: Monument to Brotherhood & Unity
Location: Đakovića/Gjakova, Kosovo*
Author: sculptor Lojze Dolinar
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1951, statue removed presumably in the late 90s
Former coordinates: 42°23'03.1"N, 20°25'47.3"E [approx.]
Description: The town of Gjakova or Đakovića is a large community in the southwest region of Kosovo* roughly 10km from the Albanian border. During WWII, the people of this town were subjected to intense oppression and persecution by Axis forces, a reality which resulted in the deaths of many innocent civilians. Partisan efforts to organize an uprising against these Axis forces were difficult at first, but through the course of the war, they were able to amass a significant following. These Partisan volunteers were comprised of local people from a variety of backgrounds, including both ethnic-Albanians, ethnic-Serbs and numerous others. Yet, these Partisan uprising activities led to even more hard reprisal actions by the Axis forces, most notably the killing of the Grezda family and the public hanging of 10 captured Partisan soldiers in August of 1944. After the end of the war, the remains of a partially constructed Orthodox church named "Cathedral of the Holy Trinity" in the town's center was demolished in 1949 by local authorities and in its place a memorial park was created and dedicated to local Partisan leader and folk hero Emin Duraku. Two years later in 1951, a commemorative work named "Monument to Brotherhood and Unity" was unveiled at the center of this park. Created by famous Slovenian sculptor Lojze Dolinar, the work consisted of a series of three statues installed atop a tall polished stone pedestal. Dolinar's three statues depict rifle-toting Partisan fighters charging forward, with the center-most figure, brazenly barechested, thrusts his right arm into the air clutching onto what appears to be his Partisan cap.
This monument stood at the center of the town until the regional conflict of the Kosovo War affected this region during the late 1990s, at which point it was destroyed. Unfortunately, I was not able to find any sources which related the specific circumstances surrounding its removal nor was I able to determine the ultimate fate of these statues. What does not seem to be clear is what actions resulted in the monument's dismantling or destruction. One cause may have been the 1998 reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity at its original site (as Dolinar's monument sat on or near this site of the original cathedral), while the second cause may have been the monument being caught up in the cathedral's violent destruction the following year on July 24th, 1999 by a huge amount of explosives. However, the monument's dismantling may have been the result of some other event or circumstances entirely, but little info is available to tell with any confidence. Either way, no traces of the monument or its pedestal presently exist within the park, as the park was totally wiped clean in 2004 of the ruins from the cathedral's destruction. Of Dolinar's four major memorial works during the Yugoslav era (which, in addition to this one, include sites at Kraljevo, Kranj and Prijepolje), this was the only one destroyed. Finally, I found no sources indicating that any local efforts are currently aimed at restoring or rehabilitating this monument site.
49.) Peć/Peja, Kosovo*
Name: The Monument to the Revolution
Location: Peć/Peja, Kosovo*
Author: sculptor Ante Gržetić & architect V. Blagojević or M. Momčilović
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1974, statues destroyed ~2012
Former coordinates: 42°39'18.1"N, 20°17'18.5"E
Description: The city of Peć or Peja sits within the dramatic landscape on the western plains of Kosovo* at the foot of where the Rugova and Cursed Mountains come together on the Peja Bistrica River. During WWII, the city suffered great losses in terms of both civilian victims and volunteers for the Partisan movement who fought against Axis occupation by fascist forces. The city of Peja had long been an organizing location for the fledgling Yugoslav Communist Party, which had, even before the war had started, hosted a large KPJ conference in 1937 and was the regional hub of their operations. As a result, when the war did start in 1941, many were prepared to rise up against Axis powers. After the war, plans were made to create a grand monument to commemorate the war's many local victims, however, it was not until the 1970s that work on this project finally began. Finally unveiled in 1974 at the city's southern edge within Karagač Park, the complex was titled "Monument to the Revolution" and was dedicated to those +2,000 local Partisan fighters and civilian victims who perished during WWII. The grounds of this sprawling complex, which consisted of a series of large terraced reflective pools, stone paved courtyards and an intricate geometric memorial wall, were all built by an architect credited as V. Blagojević by some sources and as M. Momčilović by other sources, while the central sculptural element of the memorial park was most definitively crafted by Montenegrin-born sculptor Ante Gržetić. This main sculpture consisted of four roughly 6m tall figures standing on a pedestal with their arms raised into the sky with exuberant expressions on their face as if they are celebrating the final revolutionary victory they were fighting so hard for. In contrast to most of the other statues on this list, Gržetić's figures were built out of aluminum instead of bronze, while at the same time being of a more sleek modernist style rather than the more traditional [socialist] realist style.
This statue by Gržetić stood here in Karagač Park all through the Yugoslav-era and well past the 1990s and the conflicts of the Kosovo War. In fact, up until the early 2010s, this monument was still nearly fully intact, only marred by marginal amounts of graffiti and a few small pieces of metal torn from the figure's lower rear sections. However, by 2012 it was discovered that unknown vandals had detached the entire sculpture set from its pedestal, removed it from the site and had left virtually nothing of it behind. All of it that remained was its concrete pedestal, a ruin which continues to reside at the site up until the present day. In addition to the statues being lost, the adjacent memorial wall which had engraved upon it the names of hundreds of fallen fighters and victims was completely ruined and devastated, with numerous inscribed panels shattered and the entire fixtured covered in spray paint graffiti. From the most recent images I have seen of the site at Karagač Park, the monument complex remains in this disintegrated state. I found no sources or news reports indicating that any local efforts are aiming to restore or rehabilitate this site nor did I find any articles telling of commemorative events being held here.
In terms of figurative memorial statues created in the SR of Montenegro during the Yugoslav-era, I was not able to find any examples of such works from that era which were actively destroyed in situ, removed then later disposed of or permanently discarded from public view in the years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia. If anyone is aware of any such statues from this era in Montenegro that did experience such fates, please contact me with details.
50.) Crveni Bregovi, North Macedonia
Name: Monument to Nikola Petrov
Location: Crveni Bregovi, North Macedonia, near Negotino
Author: sculptor Tome Andreevski
Relevant dates: unveiled in 1981,
Former coordinates: 41°32'23.8"N, 22°02'46.2"E
Description: In an area about 6km northwest of Negotino, North Macedonia along the central motorway within the Goce Forest is an area called Crveni Bregovi. It was here along the old road that a monument was built in 1981 which was dedicated to local Negotino-born Partisan fighter Nikola Petrov. It was here at this monument's location that he was killed by Bulgarian police on June 24th, 1943 during WWII. Petrov was a young fighter who joined the Partisan movement in Macedonia early on and quickly made a name for himself. This bronze memorial statue at the place where he was killed was created by notable Macedonian sculptor Tome Andreevski, however, I was not able to find any photos of the monument as it existed the complex at Crveni Bregovi during the Yugoslav-era, but one of Andreevski's models of the work kept at the Negotino Museum can be seen on the left in the above photo set. The statue depicted Petrov as the young 23 year-old brave fighter that he was at his death, depicted with wind-swept hair and open bare chest ready to take a bullet for his fellow fighters and his people — he holds his rifle at his side while clenching his other fist and steps up with his right foot to illustrate his readiness to take on the enemy. At some point in the post-Yugoslav era, this monument was removed from its setting within the complex at Crveni Bregovi, with sources indicating that it was stored at a local factory. Yet, information on this work is extremely limited, with it not clear if the remains of this monument still exist or not... or even further, there is no information available about why it was removed in the first place, when it was removed and under what circumstances the monument site was permitted to fall into disrepair. I was not able to find any info suggesting that commemorative events are held at this ruined site any longer nor was I able to find any info indicating that any local efforts are aimed at restoring or rehabilitating the monument.
In terms of figurative memorial statues created in the SR of Serbia during the Yugoslav-era, I was not able to find any examples of such works from that era which were actively destroyed in situ, removed then later disposed of or permanently discarded from public view in the years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia. While I am aware of major statues in Serbia that were re-located or moved from highly visible to less visible settings in the 1990s and after, none that I could find were targeted for outright destruction. If anyone is aware of any such statues from this era in Serbia that did experience such fates, please contact me with details.
In terms of figurative memorial statues created in the SR of Slovenia during the Yugoslav-era, I was not able to find any examples of such works from that era which were actively destroyed in situ, removed then later disposed of or permanently discarded from public view in the years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia. While I am aware of major statues in Slovenia that were re-located or moved from highly visible to less visible settings in the 1990s and after, none that I could find were targeted for outright destruction. If anyone is aware of any such statues from this era in Slovenia that did experience such fates, please contact me with details.
*NOTE: All mentions of the designation "Kosovo" on this page are made without prejudice to the position on status, and is in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice's Opinion of the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.