Croatia

  
UPDATE April 2018: I've just returned from a two week research trip to Croatia, so this section will be substantially updated very soon, also the chapters already listed here. And several additional ones will be added as well, in particular for Vukovar where I found a whole plethora of new/recent commemoration efforts in addition to Ovcara. Entirely new places will feature here soon too, such as Tito's former private island of Brioni, some exotic abandoned places in inland Croatia as well as several sites in the country's capital Zagreb and its surroundings. Bear with me. It'll take time to go through all the photo material alone, not to mention all the writing up. But it's top of my priority list ...
 
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
A Balkan country that was one of the new states to emerge from the break-up of former Yugoslavia. Croatia was one of the first two countries (together with Slovenia) to break away and in the process it got entangled in parts of the wars that shattered the region during the 1990s – although it didn't fare as badly as especially Bosnia-Herzegovina.
 
One particularly dark event from the early phases of the war in Croatia, namely the Vukovar massacre is commemorated in the relatively new Ovcara Memorial Center.
 
For the dark tourist, however, it's less the legacy of that most recent dark period that makes Croatia a worthwhile travel destination (for war-related sights see Bosnia), but even more so it's rather sites pertaining to previous dark chapters, namely the communist era under Yugoslav unifier Tito, and before that WWII, in which Croatia became a puppet state allied with the "Axis", i.e. Nazi Germany and Italy, until Tito's partisan army seized power and founded independent Yugoslavia.
 
During its Nazi era, Croatia took part in the Holocaust, in which as many as 80% of the Jews within its region's borders were killed/deported, but also committed a genocide against the Serbian section of the population. Of that dark period the name of the concentration camp Jesenovac stands out most, but Italy also ran a smaller-scale concentration camp on a now Croatian island of Rab.
 
The subsequent communist-era persecutions are mostly associated with the name of the prison island Goli Otok, next to Rab.
    
  
  
  
  
  
 

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