The Glory Of Croatian Martyrs

 

The Glory of Croatian Martyrs Sculpture relief by Kuzma Kovacic Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina Croatia

The Glory of Croatian Martyrs
Sculpture relief by Kuzma Kovacic
Church of Croatian Martyrs
Udbina Croatia (Click picture to enlarge)

In 2003, in the city of Rijeka, Pope John Paul II blessed the rough stone base for the future altar sculpture for the Church of Croatian Martyrs at Udbina, a relief of the impressions of the Battle of Krbava (1493 when Kingdom of Croatia forces fought the advance of the Ottoman with tragic consequences. While the Croatian army was heavily defeated on September 9th 1493 in the Battle of Krbava, a hundred years later, in the Battle of Sisak on June 22nd 1593 it won a glorious victory over the Turks. From that point onwards the power of the Turks in Europe began to decline continuously), Bleiburg and Way of the Cross (post-WWII mass murders of Croats by Yugoslav communists) and the sufferings and victims of Vukovar during Croatia’s Homeland War of 1990’s (mass murders and tortures perpetrated by Serb aggressor). As part of the marking of Croatian Martyrs Day this altar relief called “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs”, sculptured by artist Kuzma Kovacic, a three part whole made up of 70 large stone tiles from the Island of Brac, was blessed on Saturday 29 August 2015 in the Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina. The relief’s author, Kuzma Kovacic, said that his work “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs” represents almost a thousand years of the connection between the Catholic faith and the Croatian history.

Saturday 29 August 2015 at The Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina Photo: www.lika-online.com

Saturday 29 August 2015 at
The Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina
Photo: http://www.lika-online.com

With that relief the grand dedication sitting above the Krbava Field – the church with its altar relief sculpture – is completed. Several thousands of believers from all regions of Croatia, as well as state and church dignitaries, gathered in Udbina at the holy mass on Saturday, headed by Mile Bogovic, the Bishop of Lika-Senj county. Bishop Bogovic emphasised that besides having a great artistic value the relief sculpture also has a large patriotic and religious value. He reminded the pilgrims of the history of the region where the church stands, where the bishopric…. was established 730 years ago and where at the Krbava Field the geographic centre of Croatia had been wounded in 1493. “Krbava and the whole of Lika were under the Turks for 160 years, and after this there were not only Catholics here but also the Orthodox,” Bishop Bogovic said.

Bishop Mile Bogovic

Bishop Mile Bogovic

He reminded that in 1942 the Croatian Catholics that remained there were forced to leave Udbina, where also their church was destroyed, their cemetery devastated, their houses destroyed and their land taken away from them. “Another law reigned that did not even spare the Orthodox Church in Udbina,” he emphasised (meaning the communist Partisan “law”).

Speaking about the WWII and post-WWII sufferings Bishop Bogovic accentuated Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac’s example. “Although we, like other nations, cannot say we have nothing to regret from our pasts, we can say with pride that there were great many greats of good and sacrifice for others in our history, and our church and worldly history have systematically been muddied,” concluded Bishopo Bogovic.

Bishop Bogovic gave an appraisal in saying that the Croatian past and its Greats “are still, to this day, covered with many fat layers of lies so that not even the most well-meaning persons cannot see the real picture”. “It is sad that the same people who fabricated those lies force themselves upon us as our teachers and receive funds and space for their schools and, so, it’s within these frames that the idea of the Church of Croatian Martyrs appeared and grew,” said Bishop Bogovic, emphasising the church project in Udbina “did not arise from the cult of a gun, a lie and aggression, as suggested by some even today, but that it arose out of the cult of the cross and veneration of those who had suffered the aggression from various guns and aggressors”.

Turning to the marking of anniversaries of sufferings, Bishop Bogovic emphasised how it’s human to value courage and resolve in the defence of people and homeland.

Children at mass in Udbina Croatian Martyrs Day 29 August 2015 Photo: www.lika-online.com

Children at mass in Udbina
Croatian Martyrs Day
29 August 2015
Photo: http://www.lika-online.com

It’s been ten years since the foundation stone was laid and the building of this Shrine (The Church of Croatian Martyrs) to the Croatian martyrs in Udbina had begun. The road to its completion was hard and riddled with obstacles laid by those who did not want the Croatian martyrs remembered in such a grand, deserving manner. The same road, though, had been a joyous one for to pursue with the project also meant the expression of special gratitude to those who had throughout history sacrificed their lives for the human and Christian progress over the Croatian nation.

Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina the altar and the Glory of Croatian Martyrs relief by Kuzma Kovacic

Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina
the altar and the Glory of Croatian Martyrs relief
by Kuzma Kovacic

Many of the most prominent sons of Croatia who accepted death so that others could live, now live on Kuzma Kovacic’s relief sculpture in Udbina. They come from Krbava Field, from Bleiburg and Ways of the Cross, from Vukovar and all places of killings in Croatia and all its pits and mass graves; those for whom regimes said were defeated and beaten, those whom the aggressors considered as rubbish and tossed them into pits of torture and oblivion – are greeted by Christ as the victorious and our generation has retrieves their human dignity while Christ waits for them as the victorious. That is the message within the relief sculpture “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs”. Lest we forget! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatians Remember Sir Robert Menzies And Bleiburg Massacre

Sir Robert Gordon (Bob) Menzies of Australia

Sir Robert Gordon (Bob) Menzies of Australia

According to British documents, located in the British Public Records Office at Kew Gardens in London, over 500,000 Croatian civilians and 200,000 soldiers were handed over to Tito’s Yugoslav Partisan Army in May of 1945. Based on eyewitness testimony and independent documentation, we can only estimate that the vast majority were slaughtered. The Bleiburg Tragedy is, perhaps, the best kept secret of man’s inhumanity to man. Certainly, it serves as an example of man’s ability to ignore the suffering of the powerless and those who lack nation-state status. Let us pray that Croats always cherish their independence and always fight those that attempt to subjugate them,” Michael Palaich.

May 15th 2014 marks 69 years since the days after WWII ended hundreds of thousands of innocent Croats (disarmed soldiers, civilians including women and children, fleeing communist Yugoslavia into promised freedom in the West found themselves slaughtered over the ensuing two months by Tito’s communists; the field at Bleiburg in Austria marks the central point where the slaughters began as the fleeing refugees were turned by the British forces into Yugoslavia, into the vicious and murderous hands of the communists, who dare to call themselves antifascists, under the pretence of forced repatriation.

May 15th 2014 marks 36 years since the death of Australia’s former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. On 19 May 1978 some 100,000 Australians turned out in the Melbourne CBD and in the suburbs to pay tribute to Menzies, after he died at age of 83. This very fact provides an indication of the respect with which many held him and among them were multitudes of Croatian immigrants in Australia who had fled communist Yugoslavia, thus surviving the vicious and merciless communist purges.

While in May of every year Croats commemorate the 1945 Bleiburg Massacres, not only to pay respects to the victims but also to keep the candle of hope alight for justice, for the prosecution of communist crimes, Australian Croats in their many numbers also remember in gratitude the life of Sir Robert Menzies – their Prime Minister who stood by their rights to keep the flame and the dream of independent Croatia alive.
Robert Gordon “Bob” Menzies is the longest-serving Prime Minister in Australian history. Menzies was Prime Minister twice, first from 1939 to 1941, and then from 1949 through to 1966, for a grand total of 18 years and five months in the top job. Menzies was at the centre of many significant events in this period of Australian history, which shaped the modern nation and the Australian Liberal Party.

Menzies was strongly opposed to communism because it enshrined what Ronald Reagan was later to term the evil empire. The prisoners in the various communist gulags, hard labour camps, purges under political opponents banner … well understood this—as did the descendants of the victims of Lenin, Stalin, Tito, Mao …

Amidst a plethora of false allegations of Croat violence in Australia – without doubt the work of communist Yugoslavia Secret Police UDBA – Menzies found it necessary to deliver an historic speech in the Parliament of Australia when in 1964 the authorities found no evidence whatsoever to support allegations of Croat Ustashe violence towards individuals of Yugoslav nationality from which systematic or organised attacks could be inferred. Menzies’ resolve in protecting the rights of Croatian immigrants in Australia to cherish the very dream of an independent Croatia was a resolve not of a hater of communism but that of a politician who lived for the people, their rights and welfare.

In fond memory of Menzies, I quote a part of his speech in the Australian Parliament on 27 August 1964:

“…In the years since World War II, Australia’s immigration programme has brought to this country people from all parts of Europe with a diversity of historical and cultural backgrounds. Many of these people were refugees from oppression. Many derived from happier circumstances. This flow of new citizens has played an important part in building the nation. It is something, which has given us great satisfaction and we wish to see it continue. However, it is basic to our immigration policy that all these new citizens should be integrated as fully, and as quickly, as possible into Australia’s national life…

I turn now to the matter of immigration from Yugoslavia. To understand the attitudes of these migrants it is necessary to remind ourselves that this part of Europe has an exceedingly complex and troubled history. Yugoslavia emerged from the political settlements of World War I. It brought together as a union a number of southern Slav peoples including Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, under the Serbian King Alexander. The Serbs obtained their independence from the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century and were numerically the largest group in the new State. The Croats had formerly enjoyed a degree of autonomy within the Austro-Hungarian empire and retained a national identity dating back as early as the ninth century. Deep differences of religious, cultural and historical kinds have existed between the groups despite kindred racial origins.

Within the new State, the Croats sought a federal concept of government with a large degree of local autonomy. In 1928, the leader of the Croats, Stjepan Radic of the Croatian Peasant Party and two of his colleagues were assassinated in the Parliament in Belgrade (Serbia). This precipitated a profound breach between Serbs and Croats. The Croats developed strong agitation in support of independence. Peasant Party leaders taking their cause to the League of Nations. Some Croat Parliamentary representatives were arrested, others, among them Dr. Ante Pavelic, went into exile…

It is difficult for people coming to Australia easily to forget their historical backgrounds. Since the war a number of organisations opposed to the present Government of Yugoslavia have developed throughout the world amongst refugees and migrants from that country. It is understandable that some Yugoslav migrants of Croatian origin should continue to hope for the establishment of an independent Croatia and within a democracy like Australia they have right to advocate their views so long as they do so by legitimate means. I wish to make it perfectly clear that the vast majority of the migrants from all parts of Yugoslavia who have settled in Australia have proved to be law abiding, hard working citizens and a real asset to this country…

…So I make the Government’s position quite clear: This Government will not interfere with freedom of opinion. Equally, it will not tolerate any activities, which constitute a breach of the law.”

On this day in May we remember the innocent victims of communist crimes and we remember Sir Robert Menzies. Croatia today, perhaps more than ever before, needs politicians of Menzies’ caliber – politicians who know how to bring justice to the victims of communist crimes and fight against the communist agenda that still seeks to degrade and destroy the independence Croats paid for in rivers of blood. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

BLEIBURG TRAGEDY – DOCUMENTARY BY MICHAEL PALAICH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related post:

http://inavukic.com/2012/04/20/bleiburg-massacres-the-shame-of-the-british-army-and-yugoslav-communists/

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: