Victims Of Communism On Island Of Korcula Croatia

Victims of Communism on Korcula Croatia

If you’re not with us then you are against us, and, therefore, you must be liquidated – that was the motto Yugoslav communist Partisans lived by during and after WWII.

I did not even dare write about all the horrendous torment victims of Partisans on Korcula endured – Partisans in the village of Zrnovo were particularly cruel,” reports the Croatian Cultural Council (Hrvatsko Kulturno Vijece) portal as Franko Burmas having said.

The launching in Zagreb on Friday 29 January 2016 of Franko Burmas’ new book “Victims of communism on Korcula – searching for truth“, published by the Croatian Victimology Society and Biblioteca Documenta Croatica, brought back with live disquiet the horror stories I remember hearing throughout my childhood. The imagery of merciless brutality created by those stories in which hundreds upon hundreds of individuals from the relatively sparsely populated island who did not subscribe to Josip Broz Tito’s communist plans perished – murdered or thrown into pits alive – hit me with deep distress.

Franko Burmas (left) Zvonimir Separovic (right) Zagreb, Croatia 29 January 2016 Photo credit:

Franko Burmas (left)
Zvonimir Separovic (right)
Zagreb, Croatia 29 January 2016
Photo credit: reports that Zvonimir Separovic, president of Croatian Victimology Society, Rade Kastorpil, president of Croatian matica in Blato/Korcula and the author himself, Franko Burmas, spoke extensively about the book, which serves as a testament of evidence of the brutality of Communist crimes on the Island of Korcula. It was just as well that an entertainment segment was included with this launch – thus making the revelation of this ugly truth of WWII and Post-WWII Island of Korcula bearable. The doyenne of the Croatian National Opera, Dubravka Separovic Musovic, accompanied by Eva Kirchmayer-Bilic on the piano offered a most welcome moment at this launch of evidence of crimes no person should ever be faced with, let alone endure.

But sadly, the world still lags far behind in condemning communist crimes than where it is and has been for decades with view to the crimes of the Holocaust. It is books like this one written by Franko Burmas that hold a candle for a brighter future where all crimes regardless of which political persuasion they hide behind are equally condemned and equally smothered with outrage and unforgiving wrath.

Victims of communism on Korcula – searching for truth” by Franko Burmas is a witness to communist Partisan crimes committed during and after WWII on the Island of Korcula. Numerous pits in the ground and locations where executions of innocent people occurred – e.g. Vranina, Sibal’s feet, Paklenica, Butina, St Luke’s cemetery in Town of Korcula, St Cross cemetery in Blato on Korcula … all give witness to the “hatred and killing, trampling upon freedom, to the terrifying and unbelievable crimes, to the times when people did not know what awaits them tomorrow, where they are going, what to do,” says Franko Oreb in his Foreword to the book.

Section inside Butina Pit, post-WWII communist crimes mass grave on Island of Korcula - Butina Pit mass grave Photo taken October 2012

Section inside Butina Pit,
post-WWII communist crimes mass grave
on Island of Korcula –
Butina Pit mass grave
Photo taken October 2012

Franko Oreb says further in his Foreword that the truth of which this book speaks is horrific and painful and that it constitutes evidence of the terrible crimes committed by the communist regime in which people were swiftly punished, imprisoned, abused and murdered guided only by their suspicions, without bothering to provide for court trials or proof of guilt. It happened often that their death was not revealed and so even the official government office “Register of Deaths” did not include their names.

Oreb says that the book reveals a perfidious and a repressive face of government authorities connected to well-organised network of political and Party structures with the goal of keeping that regime alive and their status within it. The regime of those times successfully hid its crimes for a very long time causing a public veil of silence to cover them so that much dust and forgetting fell over the victims.

Old town Korcula, Croatia

Old town Korcula, Croatia

The book itself is also a kind of Korcula’s martyrdom record in which the names of the victims of WWII and Post-WWII period Korcula are written and recorded. It’s a record of 85 grim and ghastly  murders, some persons among them were from Dubrovnik brought to Korcula by Partisans as prisoners and liquidated there. Franko Burmas is a university trained and graduated lawyer with many years of experience and collection of data, including interviews with some people directly associated with the events, which have formed the foundations and factual body of his book. There were priests and intellectuals among the mass murder victims against whom the communist regime operators directed terrible lies and defamation saying they were enemies of the nation. And yet, all they did in life was dedicate their lives to the service of their people, to defending the faith, morality and the national sanctities. A list of more than several hundred of liquidated victims, thrown into pits, needs to be added to the ones named in the book as communist left no trace of names or the number of people they threw into pits such as Butina.

Blato, Island of Korcula, Croatia August 16 2012 funeral for earthly remains of communist crimes victims 1943 (including brother of dr Zvonimir Separovic) Photo: Ika/HRSvijet

Blato, Island of Korcula, Croatia
August 16 2012
funeral for earthly remains
of communist crimes victims 1943
(including brother of dr Zvonimir Separovic)
Photo: Ika/HRSvijet

Alena Fazinic asserted: “searching for the truth brought the books author to conclude that liquidations were really an ingrained part of the communists managers’ system (who later to become authority holders – from those at the country’s top to those in the small communities such as Korcula) – if you are not with us you are against us, our enemy, and, therefore, you must be liquidated.”

That is how the communists of Yugoslavia kept people in fear and that means obedience and submission.

Franko Burmas’ book also points to the fact that after WWII the communist practice continued: through fear, persecution, imprisonment, torture, even by murder stop every attempt at freedom of thought and living. Burmas has documented his book well, with many photographs and documents and is to be congratulated for joining those heroes of today who have no fear in speaking out about the crimes of former Yugoslav communists. Now, all Croatia truly needs is a proper and just condemnation of these crimes and lustration from its important social points and public and justice administration all those who are or were associated with the operatives of communist Yugoslavia. Croatia needs names not just a reference to the system and the more names of those criminals brought out into the public the better for the murderous system did not exist on its own – individual people kept it going. And the most awful truth of this trail of horrid communist crimes is that “Korcula” from this book was replicated multitudes of thousands of time throughout Croatia of the former Yugoslavia, but also the other states there. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Zgb)


  1. I press like to show I have read; but in truth, as always, there is heartbreak and change needed in this world.; and it can’t come soon enough.

    • I know what you mean re “Like” busymindthinking – the content is gut-wrenching and painful but future may bring some justice for the victims – this book is part of that start. Thank you

  2. An interesting perspective on a place I visited in 2009 and found only peace and wonderful hospitality!

    • Beautiful and peaceful indeed,Andrew – it’s my birth and childhood place by the way- but beyond the cliffs, and scrubs and fields the locals know the pits and the mass graves and yet manage to live in relative harmony, it could be thy know the secret of the wise old saying “do not live in anger for it will consume you” – live in prayer and peace and justice will come …

  3. Black Hawk says:

    Victims of communism on Korcula: If you’re not with us you’re against us and therefore you must be liquidated.
    Nothing has changed since the, really. Instead of dumping you into a pit the yugo-communists and Saint Sava followers/Chetniks crucify you via the media.

    I hope the new government in Croatia will know how to bring order into justice for the past, present and future

  4. Martinovic says:

    I would love to know more details particularly names of perpetrators and those who knew and did nothing – it would be good if they owned up to their sins before passing onto the next life … just saying and not holding my breath

  5. As the notorious even if famous in some circles family of Slavko Goldstein – the old communist – might say or have been known to suggest: all that murder was for a greater good 🙂

    • A sad reflection indeed, Markings. If it were up to me everything Slavko Goldstein and his son Ivo have written on the matter – all the twists and lies – I would pile onto a big fire and burn burn burn

  6. Only yesterday I discussed this subject with my overseas friend, after he posted this article on his fb
    This was my reply:
    Pa da, ili s njima ili narodni neprijatelj. Bez sudjenja ubijali vojnike i civile, pripadnike svih naroda bivse drzave, intelektualce, uglednike i sve ‘nepodobne’ zbog vjerskih ili nacionalnih opredjeljenja. “Nakon što su jugoslavenske snage u listopadu 1944. godine ušle u Dubrovnik, odmah je proveden pokolj na otočiću Daksa, među čijim žrtvama nema baš niti jednog pripadnika vojnih postrojbi (jer su njemačke i snage NDH napustile grad bez borbi), ali ima barem 7 katoličkih svećenika iz Dubrovnika.”
    My grandmother remembered this night for the rest of her life, when, under the cloak of darkness, partisans took friends and neighbours away. It was very evident which way the New Yugoslavia was going.

    • So many similar events, equally terrible, equally despicable crimes – your reply Marina translated: Well yes, with them or against the. Without trial they killed soldiers and civilians, members of all ethnic groups of the former state, intellectuals, distinguished persons and all that were “unsuitable” due to religious or national orientation. “after the Yugoslav forces entered Dubrovnik in October 1944, slaughter was implemented immediately on the small island of Daksa, among which victims there was not a single member of army filings (as German and Independent Croatia forces NDH left the city without a fight) but there is at least 7 Catholic priests from Dubrovnik”.
      And my comment to your reply: there were Croatian Home Guard/Domobrani in the execution cells in Dubrovnik at that time who were captured by Partisans in forests etc and taken to Dubrovnik for executions that went on for months almost daily – I know that for certain!

  7. And to think that even today there are still ‘croatians’ who would rather be under the red star and still have the picture of Tito on their walls. The shame!

  8. If you ever have a moment (I know you’re a very busy lady), I recommend Island of the World novel by Michael D. O’Brien. It’s sad, but nice read.

  9. I never knew much about Tito… It was a mysterious area and mentioned only in passing…

  10. Oh! Your birthplace!

    Names matter- names of victims, names of perpetrators, monuments and memories. They make abstract statistics into personal stories, so make them more real. How wonderful when you can name the people.

  11. I wish people in the US were more educated with respect to communism and its atrocities – it seems right now that communism is almost heralded as the cure for our greedy capitalism – at least that’s what our esteemed educators would have our youth believe

    • So true Helena – and many of those that push such lines have not really experienced nor gone into the underbelly of oppression and how communism is actually more lucrative than capitalism when it comes to individual wealth gathering – there were and are more thieves, corrupt, greedy…buggers under communism than under capitalism – at least in capitalism we know that pursuit is profit while under communism the pursuit is common good and distribution of profit, which of course creates more tycoons than fair shares. Capitalism has provided more good will and funded more community projects and reduced more hunger and poverty than communism ever has or even will…

  12. Profesor Zvonimir Šeparović says:

    Hvala draga Ina,

    Well done. Dolaziš li u Domovinu ove godine?



    • Translation comment by Zvonimir Separovic:Thank you dear Ina. Well done. Are you coming to the Homeland this year. Nice regards.
      REPLY: Glad you like the post, Zvonimir Separovic, you have done and are doing a ig job towards condemnation of communist crimes and I am so privileged to know you. God provide I will visit this year if not then double-time next year 🙂

  13. Perhaps Mr. Efraim Zuroff should read about what his beloved and angelic ‘antifascist’ Partizans and Chetnik masters did…before he criticizes a balanced and fair look at ant-fascist dictatorship that our new Minister of culture is advocating, Have a read|:

    • Mr Zuroff, Sunman, should become obsolete in not too distant future just like his “pals” Goldsteins of Croatia and almost all political Serbs – all, of course, former communists. Cheers and “we” will prevail 🙂

  14. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


  16. What noble, fearless people’s champions – these Partisans were! How fortunate our Croatian nation is that it’s people were rescued and liberated by such an honorable and distinguished military! It is self-evident that it took a special type of person to wear that red star embellished uniform, wield a weapon and battle against your own people and country. If this doesn’t wrench your guts and make you even more determined that LUSTRATION is desperately needed than I point to the over 1200 mass graves that dot the Croatian/Slovenian/Bosnian landscapes where you will find more evidence of the merciful Partisans.

  17. Ina,thanks for showing us crimes of communists in Croatia,but can you enlighten us about concetration camps for jews,serbs,gypsies in all Croatia in WW2 established by NDH?
    Is it posible that Croatia had the only concetration camp … for children in the history of mankind?

    • Ivica, your link to wikipedia article has been deleted for obvious reasons. No there was NO camp for children in WWII NDH. Furthermore, I do note that wikipedia or other articles regarding the camps have not been following latest research findings that give an entirely different picture of the camps based on facts and, hence, no change to the garbage and lies propagated by anti-Croat propaganda. Truth shall prevail in the end!

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