Theodore Božidar Ivanuš (1916-2007)

Theodore Božidar Ivanuš (1916-2007)

Professor Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, a member of the ACS, and well-known Croatian American, Theodore B. Ivanuš, died on December 18, 2007 in South Bend, Indiana.
theoTheodore was born on March 15, 1916 in Velika Gorica, near Zagreb, into a well-known Croatian family.  In 1934, he graduated form the First Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb.  In 1941, he earned a doctorate in Law and also in Political Science.  He was one of the leading student activists at the end of the 1930s and the President of the Students’ Club of the School of Law.  Theodore also earned an M.A. degree at the State Academy of Music in Zagreb and was an accomplished piano player.
During and after World War II, Theodore lived in Austria and Germany, and he came to the United State in 1952.  He, along with a number of other Croatian post-war immigrants, settled in Cleveland.  While working in various factories as a physical worker, he enrolled at the Case Western University in Cleveland and in 1956 he earned an M.A. in political science and, in 1963, an M.L.S. in the library science.  At the same time, he was an active member of the local Croatian community.  He took an active part in establishing the Croatian Academic Club, Croatian radio program, and other cultural endeavors.
In 1963, Theodore joined the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  He was also with the Institute for International Studies and the Memorial Library.  He taught courses on Government and Politics of East Central Europe, the former Soviet Union and International Communism.  Theodore was instrumental in developing the International Resources Center and contributed greatly to the growth of International Studies at the ND University.  He was also involved in the local Croatian community and, among other activities, Theodore was a director and conductor of the Croatian Glee Club “Preradović” in Gary, Indiana.
Before his death, Theodore donated his rich library and archives to the Institute of Croatian History in Zagreb, Memorial Library at the University of ND, and the Croatian Ethnic Institute in Chicago.
Dr. Ivanuš married in 1970.  However his wife Anne, an American Croatian, preceded him in death.  He was a member of the Croatian Academy of America, the Croatian American Association, AAASS, the Association for Croatian Studies, and other cultural and professional clubs.  We thank Theodore for being a friend and active member of the ACS.

Ante Čuvalo

C. Michael McAdams (1947-2010)

C. Michael McAdams (1947-2010)

In Memory of a Sincere Croatian Friend

gallery_951Charles Michael McAdams, a historian, journalist, and true American friend of Croats passed away on October 29, 2010 in Sacramento, California.  He was not known in Croatia until the fall of Yugoslavia, but his name was very familiar among Croats around the world long before those great historical changes occurred.  He was not only known to us but became a fellow-member in our fight for freedom.
McAdams was born on May 8, 1947 in an American Marine base in California, where his father was an officer.  He also served in the Marines, but he was more interested in books than in a military career, and after completing his military duty, he studied and graduated with a diploma in Historical Studies at the University of the Pacific, a well-known private university in California.  After that, he received his Master’s degree at the Jesuit run John Carroll University in Cleveland, where he also received a Certificate in Soviet and Eastern European Studies.  He continued his education taking classes in Advanced Studies of Comparative Politics and Ideologies at the University of Colorado and at the University of San Francisco.  After completing his coursework for the Doctorate in Education, McAdams became a regional director of the Sacramento campus of the University of San Francisco in 1979 — where he would remain until his retirement in the year 2000.
There is an old proverb that says that true friendships are not chosen, but simply happen.  The same could be said of McAdams and his friendship with Croats.  Namely, he is of Scottish-Jewish background and a Protestant by religion.  He first heard about Croatia as a child because he was a stamp collector, and Croatian stamps came into his hands.  But, when as a student, he began reading history books and listening to professors, he realized that everything he read and heard about Croats was negative.  It was precisely the constant demonization of the Croats that made McAdams want to explore further and find out whether this was just a fog of deception as being presented by those who advocated the status quo or perhaps the laziness of researchers and professors who, instead of searching for the truth, kept repeating old clichés, or, if perhaps it really was all true.  McAdams did not believe that history was really that black and white, and he wanted to dive deeper into Croatia’s past.  Then a chance meeting happened that would define his future academic career.
Namely, sometime prior to completing his studies, McAdams found himself on California Street in San Francisco.  He walked past a European car dealership and noticed a small Croatian flag on one of the cars.  He walked in and asked if any Croats worked there, wanting to make contact with Croats in the city.  He asked that question precisely to a Croat, Mr. Zvonko Pribanic, a well-known Croatian in California.  With that chance meeting, a lasting friendship with Zvonko and the Croats “happened.”  In his search for truth, McAdams came into contact with people whose only wish was that the truth about Croats be told, and a real alliance was born.  As Michael read more and researched the “other side,” he found out that what was being said about Croats was a myth and not reality.  He then decided not only to find the truth but also to share it with others.
To better acquaint himself with Croatian history, McAdams continued his graduate studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where his mentor was Prof. George J. Prpić, and where he met and collaborated with other Croatian academicians in America.  Upon returning to California, Michael became active among the local Croats there, and among other activities, he became one of the founders of the Croatian Information Service in 1974.  The other founders were Petar Radielović, Zvonko Pribanić, and Damir Radoš.  From then until the end of his life, McAdams did not cease to explain to Americans and others who the Croats really are and what they want.  He wrote numerous books and booklets, a number of contributions in almanacs, and more than one hundred articles.  One of his most popular books, Croatia, Myth & Reality, was translated into Croatian (Hrvatska – mit i istina) and other languages, and saw three English editions (1992, 1994, and 1997).  He held many lectures, participated in seminars and appeared in TV and radio broadcasts.  For years, McAdams prepared and led a segment called “Moments in Croatian History” on the weekly Croatian radio program in California.  He was a member of the Association for Croatian Studies, Croatian Academy of America, Croatian-Latin American Institute, Croatian Scholarship Fund, and others.  He was a guest lecturer at many universities in America, Australia, and in Croatia after its independence.  For his services to the Croats, President Franjo Tudjman awarded him the Order of Danica Hrvatska with the image of Marko Marulić.
McAdams would often jump into “hot” subjects which certainly did not help him in his career, but as a true American marine, he did not give in to fear.  He was not only of the belief that Croats had the right to freedom and independence, but he also enthusiastically joined that struggle.  Many people were bothered by McAdams because they could not label him as an “Ustasha” child, a frustrated emigrant, or a mercenary.  He openly and loudly spoke his thoughts and opinions, and did not ask for anything, and that gave him the moral strength to face the guardians and propagators of historical myths.  McAdams could have (as many others did) followed the line of lesser effort, and he could have repeated what was written in many books, but he found the courage to research “the other side” of history.  He never regretted that he “wandered” into Croatian history or for being among Croats.  With his work he aided in lifting the fog over Croatian history in America and beyond, and by doing so he also aided in the fight for Croatian independence.
Many thanks to Michael for his sincere friendship to us who knew him and collaborated with him, and to Croatia and the Croats.  The search for historical truth carried him to the Croats, and may eternal Truth be the reward for his inexhaustible work and great love for the Croats in America and their homeland.
Dr. Ante Čuvalo

C. Michael McAdams (1947.-2010.)

C. Michael McAdams (1947.-2010.)

U spomen iskrenom hrvatskom prijatelju

gallery_95U Sacramentu, Kalifornija, umro je 29. listopada 2010. Charles Michael McAdams, povjesničar, publicist i iskreni američki prijatelj Hrvata.  U Hrvatskj se za njega nije čulo sve do propasti Jugoslavije, ali njegovo je ime poodavno prije tih velikih povijesnih promjena bilo dobro poznato među Hrvatima u svijetu.  Bio nam je ne samo poznat, nego je bio jedan od naših suboraca.
McAdams je rođen 8. svibnja 1947. u bazi američkih marinaca u Kaliforniji, gdje mu je otac bio časnik.  I on je služio u marincima, ali više ga je zanimala knjiga nego vojnički život te je poslije odsluženja vojne obveze studirao i diplomirao povijesne znanosti na University of the Pacific, poznatom privatnom sveučilistu u Kaliforniji.  Zatim je magistrirao na isusovačkom sveučilistu John Carroll University u Clevelandu, gdje je dobio i certifikat iz sovjetskih i istočno-europskih studija.  Nastavio je studirati komparativne političke i ideološke znanosti na University of Colorado, te na University of San Francisco.  Nakog završenih kolegija za doktorat, postaje (1979.) direktorom kampusa Sveučilista San Francisco u Sacramentu i tu ostaje do umirovljenja 2000. godine.
Jedna izreka kaže da se prava prijateljstva ne biraju, ona se jednostavno dogode.  Ovo bi se moglo reći i za McAdamsa i njegovo prijateljstvo s Hrvatima.  Naime, on je škotsko-židovskog podrijetla, a po vjeri protestant.  Za Hrvatsku je (na)čuo kao dječak; budući da je bio sakupljač poštanskih markica do ruku su mu došle i hrvatske markice.  Ali kad je kao student počeo čitati povijesne knjige i slušati profesore uvidio je da je sve što čita i čuje o Hrvatima negativno.  Upravo to konstantno demoniziranje Hrvata bio mu je povod da počne istraživati je li riječ o prodavanju magle onih koji zagovaraju status quo ili lijenost istraživača i profesora tražiti istinu pa prepričavaju otrcane šablonske priče, ili je to zaista tako.  Nije vjerovao da povijest može biti tako crno-bijela, pa je htio zaviriti malo dublje u hrvatsku prošlost .  A onda se dogodila i slučajnost koja je zacrtala njegov dalji akademski put.
Naime, negdje pri koncu studija našao se na California Street u San Franciscu.  Prolazio je pokraj jedne autokuće europskih automobila i na jednom vozilu zapazio malu hrvatsku zastavu.  Ušao je u salon i pitao radi li tu netko od Hrvata, htijući doći u dodir s Hrvatima u tom gradu.  Pitanje je postavio upravo Hrvatu, Zvonku Pribaniću, poznatom hrvatskom djelatniku u Kaliforniji.  I u tom slučajnom susretu „dogodilo“ se njegovo prijateljstvo sa Zvonkom i Hrvatima, koje je osalo trajno.  On je zapravo u potrazi za istinom naišao na ljude kojima je jedina želja i bila da se istina o Hrvatima što dalje čuje, i tu se rodilo istinsko savezništvo.  Što je Michael više čitao i istraživao i „drugu stranu“, uviđao je da je ono što se o Hrvatima govori i piše ponajvećma mit, a ne stvarnost.  I on se opredjeljuje ne samo tražiti istinu, nego dijeliti je i s drugima.
Da bi što bolje upoznao hrvatsku povijest, postdiplomske studije McAdams nastavlja na John Carroll University u Clevelandu, gdje mu je mentor bio prof. Jure Prpić, te upoznaje i surađuje i s drugim hrvatskim akademicima u Americi.  Po povratku u Kaliforniju Michael postaje djelatan među tamošnjim Hrvatima i, među ostalim, postaje jedan od utemeljitelja (1974.) Croatian Information Service-a.  (Ostali su bili: Petar Radielović, Zvonko Pribanić i Damir Radoš).  Od tad pa do konca života McAdams nije prestao Amerikancima i drugima u svijetu tumačiti tko su, što su i što žele Hrvati.  Napisao je više knjiga i knjižica, nekoliko priloga u zbornicima i više od stotinu članaka.  Jedna od najpopularnijih njegovi knjiga, Croatia Myth & Reality, prevedena je na hrvatski (Hrvatska – mit i istina) i druge jezike, te doživjela tri engleska izdanja (1992., 1994., 1997.).  Održao je mnoga prdavanja, sudjelovao na seminarima, pojavljivao se na TV i radio postajama.  Na tjednom Hrvatskom radio rasporedu u Kaliforniji godinama je pripremao i vodio rubriku „Trenuci u hrvatskoj povijesti.“  Bio je član Association for Croatian Studies, Croatian Academy of America, Hrvatsko-Latinoamerički Institut, Hrvatski fond za stipendije, itd.  Gostovao je kao predavač na raznim svučilištima u Americi, Australiji i, nakon osamostaljenja, u Hrvatskoj.  Za njegove zasluge u radu za Hrvate predsjednik Tuđman mu je dodijelio odličje Danice hrvatske s likom Marka Marulića.
Puno puta je McAdams uskakao u „vruće“ teme, što mu zasigurno nije pomoglo u njegovoj karijeri, ali kao pravi američki marinac nije se dao prestrašiti.  Ne samo da je bio uvjeren da Hravti imaju pravo na slobodu i samostalnost, nego se toj borbi i zdušno pridružio.  Mnogima je bio smetnja jer mu se nije moglo predbaciti da je „ustaško“ dijete, frustrirani emigrant ili plaćenik.  Svoja mišljenja i stavove je govorio jasno i glasno, ništa za sebe nije tražio i to mu je davalo moralnu snagu suočiti se sa čuvateljima i širiteljima povijesnih mitova.  McAdams je mogao, kao i toliki drugi, slijediti liniju manjeg otpora i ponavljati ono što su knjige pisale, ali on je imao kuražu istraživati i „drugu stranu“ povijesti.  Nije nikad požalio što je „zalutao“ u hrvatsku povijest i među Hrvate, te svojim radom doprinio odmaglivanju hrvatske povijesti u Americi i šire, a time i borbi za samostalnost Hrvatske.
Velika hvala Michaelu na iskrenom prijateljstvu ne samo s nama koji smo ga poznavali i s njim surađivali, nego i kao velikom prijatelju Hrvatske i Hrvata.  Traženje povijesne istine dovelo ga je do Hrvata, neka mu vječna Istina bude nagrada za njegov neumorni rad i veliku ljubav za Hrvate u Americi i njihovoj domovini.
Dr. Ante Čuvalo


Blago u Gospodinu preminuo je Valentin Z. Ivanković 29. studenog 2007. u San Pedru, California. Po svim ljutskim procjenama Valentin je bio u izvanrednu zdravlju i

uvijek mladolika izgleda, ali čovjek nikad ne zna kad će ga Gospodin pozvati k sebi.  Tako je i naš Valentin naglo umro u svojoj kući, kraj svoje vjerne gospodje Ernestine, za koju se on nesebično brinuo u njezinim zdravstvenim brigama zadnjih godina.

Valentinov životni put, kao i život cijele njegove generacije u Hrvata, bio je ispleten više trnjem nego ružama, ali on je uz sve (ne)prilike proživio vrlo uspješan i sretan ljutski život.

Valentin je rodjen u Sarajevu od roditelja Andrije i Jake Ivanković, koji su podrijetlom iz sela Trebižat u Hercegovini. Poslije osnovne škole, pohadjao je Drugu drzavnu gimnaziju u Sarajevu i maturirao. Kasnije se doškolovao u Italiji, a u Americi je završio višu komercionalnu školu.

Na koncu Drugog svjetskog rata Valentin se našao sa stotinama tisuća drugih Hrvata na povlačenju prema Austriji.  Ali za razliku od većine, on je imao sreću i izvukao se živ, te stigao u Italiju. Kao mlad i sposoban čojvek dao se na rad oko pomaganja izbjeglicama.  U Hrvatskom zavodu sv. Jeronima susreo je, medju ostalim hrvatskim svećenicima, Monsignora Antu Golika, koji mu je povjerio tajništvo ureda za izbjeglice iz tkzv. Istočne Europe.

Godine 1947. Valentin stiže u Ameriku i dolazi u Los Angeles. Nije gubio vrijeme, nego se dao na posao i doškolovanje.  Medju ostalim, radio je 40 godina za veliku trgovačku kuću S.H. Kress.  Njegova sposobnost, marljivost i profesionalizam dovele su ga do mjesta predsjednika Kress-a na zapadnoj strani Amerike, kao i direktora tvrtke Genesco, vlasnika kuće Kress.

Pet godina nakon dolaska u Novi svijet, Valentine se vjenčao sa Ernestine, te imali su jednu kćerku (Tina Marie) i živjeli 55 godina u sretnom braku.  Kćerka je završila pravo i danas je suvlasnik odvjetničkog ureda u Californiji.  Obitelj je radi Valentinova posla morala nekoliko puta mijenjati mjesto boravka, ali Valentinu je Californija uvijek ostala u srcu, te čim je otišao u mirovinu smjestio se (1981.) u San Pedru.

Premda u mirovini, Valentin nije nikada imao mira. Bio je neumoran u višestranim društvenim djelatnosima.  Samo da napomenemo neke. Bio je jedan od osnivača Hrvatsko-američkog kulturng kluba u San Pedru i njegov predsjednik 10 godina. Pomagao je oko Hrvatskog radio rasporeda u Los Anglesu. Bio je i medju osnivačima Hrvatskog kluba „Bosna“. To ga je valjda podsjećalo na mlade dane u Sarajevu kad je bio vratar za sarajevskog prvoligaša.  Vršio je razne dužnosti u odboru Hrvatske narodne udruge u Los Angeles-u.  Bio je predsjednik Hrvatskog katoličkog obiteljskog udruženja u župi Marije Zvijezde Mora u San Pedru, gdje je pomagao i u liturgijskim slavljima na razne načine. Zadnjih nekoliko godina Valentin je bio predsjednikom Vijeća etničkih zajednica za Nadbiskupiju Los Angeles.  To vijeće okuplja ljude ne samo iz etničkh, nego i različitih vjerskih zajednica u zajedničkim ekumenskim razgovorima i pothvatima. Bila je to delikatna dužnost, ali Valentin ju je uspješno, časno i s ljubavlju obavljao.

Valentin je bio ponosan na svoju katoličku vjeru i hrvatsku nacionalnost, ali uvijek otvoren za sve druge koji su odani miru, dijalogu i čovjekoljublju. Kad je zadnji rat zahvato Hrvatsku i Bosnu i Hercegovinu, bio je neumoran u radu za obranu domovine, ali i u traženju mira. U misiji mira je išao (sa svojim prijateljima Stipom i Louise Bubalo, te Perom Radielović) u razrušeno i ubojitim oružjem okruženo Sarajevo da bi pomogao zaustavljanju besmislenog krvarenja, posebice izmedju Bošnjaka i Hrvata.

Pogreb pok. Valentina bio je istinsko svjedočenje o njegovu životu i radu. Mnoštvo prijatelja i poznanika okupili su se na blagdan sv. Nikole, 6. prosinca, u prostranoj crkvi Marije Zvijezde Mora u San Pedru na posljedni oproštaj sa čovjekom kojeg su cijenili i voljeli.  Misno slavlje je predvodio Msgn. Oscar Solis, pomocni biskup Nadbiskupije Los Angeles, a s njim je koncelebriralo 14 svećenika.  Tu su se takodjer našli predstavnici dvadesetak etničkih i vjerskih zajednica iz Los Angelesa i okolice. Njegova kćerka je zadivila sve svojim govorom, evocirajući život i rad svog tate na kojeg je bila toliko ponosna.

Bilo je to slavlje zahvale Bogu za jedan plodonosan ljudski život; slavlje što je Bog poslao Valentina na ovaj svijet u kojem je djelio sebe sa drugima i uvijk ostao vedar, bistar, nasmijan i pun ljubavi za Boga, Crkvu, svoj hrvatski narod i svakog čovjeka.

U ime mnogobrojnih Valentinovih prijatelja i Saveza Hrvata Bosne i Hercegovine u Americi neka mu je vječni pokoj i hvala za sve što je na ovom svijetu dobra učinio.

Ante Čuvalo – Chicago

Objavljeno: Katolicki tjednik – Sarajevo, i Croatian Chornicle – New York.

Jack Kemp (1935.-2009.)

image Jack Kemp, poznati američki političar, nekadašnji potpredsjednički kandidat i bivši profesionalni igrač football-a, preminuo je 2. svibnja ove godine.  Tom prigodom američki mediji su detaljno izvjestili o njegovu životu i radu; o njegovim prepoznatljivim gospodarskim, političkim i ideološkim pogledima.  Poznat je bio kao „konzervativac mekog srca.“  Vjerovao je u slobodno tržište, u samopoduzetnišvto, u obiteljske vrednote, individualizam, patriotizam…., ali isto tako je vjerovao da svakome treba pomoći i omogućiti da se sam uzdiže, da napreduje, da uživa u plodovima svog rada.  Radi svojih zdravo-razumskih pogleda i konkretnih pozitivnih političkih pothvata, premda pripadnik republikanske stranake, bio je biran za kongresmana u tradicionalno demokratskom okružju u okolici Buffala, država New York, od 1971 do 1989.

Svrha ovog kratkog nekorloga nije pisati o Kempovom političkim nazorima, premda bi se moglo od njega dosta toga naučiti, nego samo potsjetiti ovom prigodom da je Jack Kemp bio prijatelj Hrvata i gdje je god mogao podržao je naš rad za slobodu i samostalnost.  On je duboko vjerovao u slobodu svakog čovjeka i svakog naroda, te jednostavno je bio dosljedan tom uvjerenju i, dakle, vjerovao da Hrvatska treba biti slobodna i samostalna.  Činjenica da je u njegovu kongresnom uredu radila jedna mlada i okretna američka Hrvatica je svakako koristila da imamo njegovu naklonost, ali pravi razlozi za njegovu podršku su bili dublji od običnih ljudskih poznanstava.  Sijećam se kako su nam vrata u njegovu uredu bila otvorena i kako je podržavao, medju ostalim, naše pothvate oko promicanja medju američkim političarima u Washingtonu lika i imena sad blaženog kardinala Stepinca, kao simbola patnje hrvatskog naroda pod komunističkim i beogradskim režimom i, u isto vrijeme, Stepinaca kao zvijezdu vodilju u radu za slobodu i bolju budućnost.  Kemp nije nikad zatajio.  Ne zaboravimo da je on već iz mladjih dana bio blizak Ronald-u Reagan-u, koji je takodjer bio prijatelj slobode svih naroda pod komunističkim jarmom, a u prvom redu slobode hrvatskog naroda.  Obojica, kao i mnogi drugi iz američkih političkih krugova, zaslužuju naše veliko hvala.

Jack Kemp je bio dobar čovjek, muž, otac, politčar, športaš, domoljub, pisac nekoliko knjiga, autentičan i dosljedan svojim nazorima da pojedinci i narodi trebaju biti slobodni; slobodni u pravom smislu te riječi.  On je želio i hrvatsku slobodu, te dao svoj doprinos našem radu za ostvarenje te slobode, neka mu je na svemu hvala i pokoj vječni.

Ante Čuvalo – Chicago

DR. GEORGE (JURE) PRPIĆ (1920 – 2009)

image I apologize to my former professor and dear friend, the late Dr. Jure Prpić, and his family for not being able to write a timely obituary in his honor for the Fall 2009 issue of the ACS Bulletin. At the time, my family and I were too preoccupied with our move to Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, this short text about him should remind our ACS members and his friends of the life and work of this wonderful man, husband, father, friend, and scholar.

Jure Prpić was born on November 16, 1920, of Croatian parents in Djala, Banat, where his father moved from Lika and his mother from Hrvatsko Zagorje. His elementary schooling took place in Nasice and Pozega. After graduating from the Real Gymnasium in Pozega in 1939, he and his family (parents and six more siblings) moved to Zagreb where Jure began his university studies. He received his diploma in Jurisprudence in 1944. However, his life dramatically changed soon after graduation.

As a war-time young university graduate, Jure was caught up in the great tragedy that beset the Croatians at the time. In May of 1945, with thousands of others, he found himself as a post-war refugee in Austria. While in Austria (1945-1948), he studied history at the University of Graz and, with some of his friends, tried to promote at least a minimum of cultural activities among his fellow Croatian refugees. From this time we find a collection of poems, expressing the anguish of those unstable times.

After coming to the U.S.A. in 1950, Jure lived for a few months in Cincinnati and then moved to Cleveland, where he labored as a factory worker in the Cleveland Twist Drill Co. for five years. In 1951, he married Hilda Hermann (Slovenian-born) in Montreal, Canada, whom he had met earlier in Graz, Austria. While working full-time at his factory job, he enrolled as a part-time student at John Carroll University and, in 1956, he received an M.A. in history. Shortly after that, in 1959, Jure earned his Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University. His dissertation turned later into a well-known book The Croatian Immigrants in America, which was published in 1971. From 1958 until his retirement in 1989, George Prpić taught history at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where he became a well-respected personality among his colleagues and students. I was one among numerous other graduate students who were not only his students but also his friends. Jure shared with us more than his knowledge of history. He taught us with love, and he really cared for each one of us. Who can forget his deep voice, his always calm personality, and his favorite saying at times of exams and also of political turmoil: ―This too shall pass.‖

Dr. Prpić authored numerous books, booklets and articles. He wrote many articles in various Croatian immigrant publications (Journal of Croatian Studies, Hrvatska Revija, Zajednicar, Hrvatski Glas, Danica, Hrvatski kalendar, Nasa Nada, Studia Croatica, etc.). Besides his contributions in historical literature, especially in the history of Croatian immigration, he was also a poet. Some of his well-known works are: The Croatian Immigrants in America (1971); South Slavic Immigration in America (1978); Croatia and Croatians: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography in English (1982); with his wife Hilda Croatian Books and Booklets Written in Exile (1973 and in Croatia in 1990); and A Century of World Communism (1973, 1975); Posljednji svibanj (1973 and in Croatia 1990).

Dr. Prpic deserves a special place in the history of the Association for Croatian Studies. Besides being one of its founders (1977), for quite a long time he was its main pillar and promoter. He selflessly served as ACS secretary/treasurer and editor of the Bulletin from 1977-1991. He was tireless in expanding ACS membership and soliciting support for its activities. The ACS and its members will remain thankful to him, as well as to his wife Hilda, for all that they did for Croatian studies in America.

After 88 years of a not so easy but fruitful life, Dr. Prpić  passed away on April 23, 2009. The Mass of Christian burial was at St. Paul Croatian Catholic Church in Cleveland. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Jure Prpić as a friend and colleague can bear witness that he was truly a gentle soul, a genuinely good person.

May his wife Hilda and their children, Frank and Maya, find comfort in the fact that they shared their lives with a wonderful man. I remember him fondly.

God bless, dear friend and mentor.

Ante Čuvalo

Published in
Bulletin – Association fro Croatian Studies
Issue No. 54 – Spring 2010


image Rev. Stanislaus Golik died peacefully on September 7, 2009, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born in Mrkopalj, Croatia, on November 13, 1915. After finishing his formal education in Senj and Zagreb, he was ordained to the priesthood in the summer of 1939, on the eve of World War II. At first he served as an educator and then as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Senj. During the war, he was known for his charitable work and for helping anyone in need. At the end of the war, he left for Italy and, while there, he continued to help the needy. He served as papal representative for Croatian refugees until 1947, and became a well known priest among Croatian refugees at the time.

After his arrival to the USA in 1947, Rev. Golik served for four and a half years as assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Croatian Catholic Church in South Omaha, and then, being multilingual, he served at various ethnic parish communities in the city. He served as pastor of St. Charles Church in North Bend, Nebraska for eighteen years, before retiring in 1986. However, even after his retirement, he remained involved in various pastoral activities.

The Mass of Christian burial for Rev. Golik was celebrated at the Croatian Catholic Church in Omaha. The great number of clergy and people who came to honor Rev. Golik at this farewell celebration indicated that he was not only liked but truly loved.

Bulletin of the Association for Croatian Studies – No. 54 Spring 2010 12

Rev. Golik was a loyal member and true supporter of the ACS from its outset until his death. Besides paying his dues faithfully, he was one of those members who could not attend AAASS conventions or ACS meetings, but he heartedly supported ACS activities and was excited about its successes, always eager to read the summaries of various panels. We are proud that Rev. Golik was a member of the ACS and we thank him for his long support. To his relatives we send our belated sympathies, and may he rest in peace!

Ante Čuvalo

Published in
Bulletin – Association fro Croatian Studies
Issue No. 54 – Spring 2010

VLATKO ČUVALO (1935.-2007.)

U nedjelju 15. travnja 2007. u mostarskoj bolnici umro je u 72. godini života, nakon težeg bolovanja od raka na plućima, Vlatko Čuvalo iz Gornjeg Proboja kod Ljubuškog.  Iza njega ostaju supruga Stana, petero djece, četrnaestero unučadi, sestra, dva brata, puno rodbine i velik broj prijatelja.  Pokopan je u novom probojskom groblju dva dana kasnije.  Bio je to ne samo prvi, nego i veličanstven pogreb u novom groblju, koje je smješteno na brijegu koji se kao divna molitva uzdiže prema nebesima.

Pokojnog je Vlatka ispratilo nekoliko svećenika i časnih sestara, velik broj rodbine i prijatelja koji su došli iz bliza i daleka.  Među svećenicima bili su mjesni zupnik fra Velimir Mandić te fra Žarko Ilić, fra Vlado Lončar, fra Ferdo Majić, fra Marko Jurič i fra Jozo Grbeš.  Bio je to rastanak sa suzom u očima, ali i s osjećajem zahvalnosti što je Vlatko bio dio našeg života i svojom istinskom čovječnošću i dobrotom dotakao mnoštvo ljudi s dubokom vjerom da život nikad ne prestaje.  Župnik fra Velimir Mandić je to tako lijepo i dirljivo izrekao u svojoj riječi o pokojniku.

Oni koji Vlatka nisu poznavali mogli bi reći: čovjek živio, radio i mučio se, podigao obitelj, obolio, umro i – hvala Bogu.  Takav je život!

Ali Vlatkova životna priča nije baš tako bezbojna i jednostavna.  Ovdje iznosim neka svoja sjećanja iz njegove životne drame, ne toliko radi Vlatka, nego radi mlađih generacija, da ne zaborave životne priče svojih stariji, svojih roditelja, djedova i baka.  Zaborav njihova života, višeput mukotrpna i bremenita, znači ne samo nijekanje njihova opstanka i ljubavi, nego i nijekanje samih sebe.

Vlatko pripada onoj generaciji koja je u vrlo mladim godinama morala ne samo gledati, nego i proživljavati tragediju rata i poraća, tragediju hrvatskog naroda, tragediju svojih obitelji.  Vlatko je kao devetgodišnji dječak morao svjedočiti kako su ga drugovi „oslobodili“ oca koji je poslije Križnog puta „nestao“ negdje u Mostaru, nadomak svoje kuće i obitelji, samo zato što je bio Hrvat.  On i druga djeca morali su s odraslima doći na stratište i s jezom gledati strijeljanje nekoliko mladih ljudi samo da bi im se «utjerao strah u kosti“, čak i djeci.  Vlatko je također sa strahom morao svjedočiti kako dolaze „osloboditelji“ i gone sve, apsolutno sve, ne samo iz kuće, nego sve živo i iz štale, te se obećaše vratiti isti dan i kuću zapaliti.  Sjećam se, kad bi se kasnijih godina o tome uz ognjište ili kod listanja duhana pričalo, onda su stariji znali Vlatka malo i zadirkivati kako je plakao za jednom crnom ovcom, „galom“, kad su je s ostalim ovcama „osloboditelji“ potjerali ispred kuće za „narodnu vojsku.“ On je molio da mu barem njegovu „galu“ ostave!

Kao najstarije od petero djece u obitelji, Vlatko je morao „sazoriti“ puno prije vremena; morao je preuzeti odgovornosti koje su bile za odrasle ljude.  Ali i njegovo brzo sazrijevanje bilo je u okolnostima koje je teško danas mlađima i zamisliti.  Bila su to poslijeratna olovna vremena; doba straha, progona i psihološkog zastrašivanja svih, starijih i mlađih.  Ali on je zrio i sazrio ne u strahu od režima, od onih koji su bili zajašili na grbaču naroda i mislili da njihovoj sili ne će biti kraja.  Vlatko i svi oni koji su se trebali plašiti, živjeli su od ponosa da su ostali vjerni sami sebi, svojim uvjerenjima, svom poštenu životu i hrvatskoj baščini.  Taj njihov ponos i prkos izazivao je žučnu reakciju kod progonitelja, tako da su oni, moćnici, koji su „svišali i obišali“, živjeli u strahu.  Bila su to vremena progona i neizvjesnosti, ali Vlatko i mi mlađi uz njega rasli smo u slobodi i ljubavi Božjoj i obiteljskoj, što nitko ne može oduzeti!

Kao najstarijem sinu, Vlatku je jednostavno bilo „suđeno“ ostati i čuvati djedovsko ognjište.  Dok smo mi mlađi imali izbor i rasuli se po svijetu, on je ostao, čuvao i očuvao stari panj koji tamo već stoljećima živi i, hvala Bogu, iz njega danas nove mladice rastu.  Premda je to Vlatku bilo samo normalan svakodnevni život, to su trajne vrijednosti, to su znamenita djela, to su živi spomenici, to je život i budućnost ne samo jedne obitelji, nego i hrvatskog naroda i Crkve.

Svi koji su Vlatka poznavali dobro znaju da je bio čovjek šale, ukusne šale, dobre naravi, društven i vjeran u svemu.  Mlađima možda nije poznato, ali on je imao i glazbenog dara.  U mlađim danima je „po sluhu“ svirao, što bi se reklo, svega pomalo: diple, sviralu, gusle, a najviše usnu harmoniku.  Harmonika se uvijek našla u džepu kad je poslije mise i na „derneku“ trebalo povesti kolo.  Znao je ponekad zamjeriti mlađim generacijama da su društveno šepavi, da se ne znaju veseliti, zapjevati i šaliti.  Život im se sveo na kafiće, brze automobile, drogu; zaziru od obiteljske odgovornosti, zaljubljeni su u same sebe, ne žele dijeliti život s drugima, ne žele se „mučiti“ s vlastitom djecom.  Traže veselje u nečemu i negdje izvan sebe, a ne u sebi, u zdravu društvu i u toplini svoje obitelji.  Bio je i to jedan od razloga kad su on i jedan broj susjeda u zrelijim godinama organizirali folklornu skupinu u Proboju i jednog Božića iznenadili i obradovali cijelu župu.

Vlatku je šala bila uvije „pri ruci“, pa čak i naši ozbiljni razgovri znali su se odvijati onako u „šegi.“  Možda je vrijedno i zanimljivo reći i to, danas kad bacim pogled unazad u život s Vlatkom, onaj blizu i ovaj daleko, vidim da se nas četiri brata i sestra nismo nikad jedno na drugo ni ozbiljno naljutili, a kamo li se posvadili, što i nije svakodnevna pojava u našim vremenima.

Vlatko je bio najstariji, a ja najmlađi.  Znao sam ga ponekad, u šali, možda čak od milja, nazvati „stari.“ On je dosta mlad postao i glava kuće, ali nije volio zapovijedati i drugima govoriti što trabaju činiti.  Po njemu, svakome normalnu je jasno što treba raditi i kako živjeti, samo treba to provesti u djelo.  On je iskonske ljudske i kršćanske vrjednote živio i očekivao je da tako žive i njegova djeca, ljudi oko njega, ljudi u politici, u Crkvi, svatko.  Pošteno živjeti i raditi je za njega jednostavno bilo normalno.

Vlatko nije bio apolitičan, ali nije ni puno pričao o politici.  Moglo bi se reći da se politika bavila njime, a ne on politikom.  Režim ga nije pustio na miru, ne samo radi njega i njegova ugleda kojeg je uživao, nego i radi obiteljske tradicije.  Trebalo je lomiti njega, da bi se ušutkivalo one koji nisu bili na dohvatu.  Našli su razlog i zatvorili su ga 25. siječnja 1980. i po žurnom postupku osudili.  Naravno, premetačina kuće i sve ostalo je slijedilo, a on je proveo 60 noćiju u zatvoru, od toga 45 dana u samici.  Našli su se svjedoci, stari poznanici, a isljednici su bili već dobro poznata imena u Hercegovini.  Jedan od njih se posebno isticao maltretiranjem i prijetnjama, te porukama braći mu u svijetu.  Po starom običaju, na koncu se nudi i suradnja, a oni će se pobrinuti za njega i njegovu djecu.  Ti čuvari „tekovina socijalističke revolucije“ danas „čuvaju“ demokraciju!

Koliko znam, jedna „sitnica“  iz udbaške prošlosti kod nas nije poznata, a tiče se i Vlatka.  Naime, osoba koja je radila u kemiskoj čistioni slučajno je naletila na papir u postavi kaputa jednog ljubuškog udbaša koji je donio odijelo na čišćenje, a na tom papiru se nalazio popis osoba koje su bile određene za hitnu likvidaciju u slučaju „kontrarevolucije“.  Na tom popisu se nalazilo i Vlatkovo ime.  Oni su bili spremni obezglaviti narod, „neprijatelja“!  Opet u veljači 1986. došla je hajka, premetačina, ispitivanja i maltretiranja.  Danas to zvuči kao priča iz davnina, ali nije to bilo tako davno, niti je to samo priča.  To je bio tok rijeke života, Vlatkova i našeg života, kojeg su mutile i zagađivale sićušne sluge terorističkog režima i terorističke države.

Za Vlatka bi se s pravom moglo reći da je bio „sol zemlje“ u kršćanskom, hrvatskom i općeljudskom smislu.  On pripada onoj generaciji hercegovačkih Hrvata „starog kova“, koji su bili tvrdi i postojani u svojim uvjerenjima, u poštenju i ljudskosti kao i kamen na kojem su se rodili i živjeli.  Živjelo se od teška rada, poštena života i vjere u Boga.  Bio je kao svijeća koja je svijetlila i razbijala tminu koju su nametnula vremena u kojima je živio.  Gorio je i dogorio.  Ali njegovo svjetlo se nije ugasilo, nego se vratilo vječnom Svijetlu iz kojeg je i poteklo.  Svjetlu koje ne može nikakva ovozemaljska sila zasjeniti ili ugasiti.  Premda je svjetlo Vlatkova života pošlo svom izvoru, toplina njegove ljubavi i čovječnosti koja je iz njega žarila ostaje s nama, njegovom obitelji, rodbinom i svima koje je njegov život dotaknuo i obogatio.

Neka bude Bogu hvala za dar Vlatkova života, a Vlatku hvala na njegovoj ljubavi koju je s nama nesebično dijelio.  Bog mu dao vječni pokoj!

Ante Čuvalo



Vlatko u mlađim danima

Josip Jelačić – Ban of Croatia


Ante Čuvalo – Chicago

(Published in: Review of Croatian History, IV. no. 1, 2008, pp. 13-27)

This year (2008) marks the 160th anniversary of the 1848 revolution in which Ban Jelačić played a significant role. The short survey of Jelačić’s life that follows is written mainly for young Croatians around the world so that they may have a better understanding of Jelačić, the times in which he lived, and Croatian history in general.


In 1848, a revolutionary wave swept across Europe, except in England and Russia. In England, the revolutionary pressures were deflated by reforms; in Russia, no action could be undertaken because of the cruelty of the tsarist regime.

A mix of severe economic crisis, romanticism, socialism, nationalism, liberalism, raw capitalism, growing power of the middle class, the misery of the workers and peasants (that still included the serfdom), the slipping power of the nobility and, in some countries, royal authoritarianism bordering with absolutism, created a volatile blend that brought about the Year of Revolution! The prelude to the 1848 events began among the Poles in Galicia in 1846, a civil war in Switzerland in 1847, and an uprising in Naples in January of 1848. However, in February 1848 the French ignited a fire that spread rapidly across the continent.

In the Austrian Empire liberals demanded a written constitution, which meant a quest for greater civil liberties by curbing the power of the Habsburg regime. When such attempts failed, popular revolts ensued, especially among the students and urban workers. At the beginning there was an alliance of students, middle-class liberals, workers, and even peasants. Under such pressure, the monarchy gave in to the demands and ultimately collapsed. But because of disunity among the revolutionaries, the traditional forces and the military establishment regained courage and strength, and in the end crushed the revolution.

The Hungarians were at the forefront of the revolution in the Habsburg Empire and in March 1848 promulgated a liberal constitution in their part of the monarchy. However, what Hungarians demanded for themselves they were not willing to give to non-Hungarians. Namely, they stood firmly for a unitary Hungary in which Croatians and other non-Hungarians would not have political and cultural rights. It should be remembered that Croatia was a separate kingdom united with Hungary under the crown of St. Stephen, and not a Hungarian province. But Hungarian imperialists, including Lajos Kossuth, the key man of the revolution, were liberals only for themselves. Because of their narrow-mindedness the Hungarians pushed the revolution over the edge and turned it into a disaster for themselves and others.


Revolutions bring out an array of forces and passions and produce both heroes and villains. Depending on the perceptions, interests, and judgments of the observer. One example of such a revolutionary is Josip Jelačić, Ban of Croatia. To the Croatians, and to other Slavs in the empire, he was a hero, as he was to the supporters of the Habsburg monarchy. To the Hungarians and other anti-Habsburg forces, Jelačić was a villain. He fought the Hungarians to get more independence for his native Croatia. He also championed national and individual rights of Slavs to be equal with those of Hungarians and Germans within the empire. Thus, his goals were progressive and noble. But by fighting the Hungarians and revolutionaries in Vienna he supported the Habsburgs, whom he saw as the lesser of two evils. Because the Hungarian revolutionaries were portrayed as liberals and had the sympathy of the West, Jelačić was depicted as a reactionary. But the same pro-Hungarian forces outside the empire did not want to see the sinister side of Lajos Kossuth and his bogus liberalism.

Josip Jelačić Before 1848

Ban Jelačić came from a family deeply rooted in the Habsburg military tradition. For two hundred years it had given officers to the empire, especially to the Military Frontier region in Croatia. He was the oldest son of Baron Franjo Jelačić Bužimski, a Field-Marshal,1 who distinguished himself in the war against Napoleon.2 His mother was Anna Portner von Höflein.

Josip was born on October 16, 1801 in the fortress of Petrovaradin, which was one of the well-known forts in the long struggle against the Turks. Military spirit and smell of gunpowder were a part of Josip’s life from the time of his birth; it was no wonder then that he kept the family tradition and became an officer.

As an eight-year-old boy Josip had the honor of being presented to Emperor Francis I, who recommended he be accepted at the Theresianum in Vienna. Shortly after his father’s death in 1810, Josip entered the famous Theresianum, where new military and administrative personnel of the empire were trained.

Jelačić was an excellent student with a variety of talents. Because of his eloquence his teachers advised him to become a lawyer, but he preferred being a soldier.3 Besides Croatian, he spoke German, Italian, French, and Magyar.4 In 1819, he graduated from the academy with honors, and as a Sub-Lieutenant he was sent to Galicia. Jelačić was loved by his peers, respected by his soldiers, and recognized as an excellent officer by his superiors. He loved army life and it seems that he fascinated everyone around him. His vigor, exuberance, good temper, wit, bravery, and even his talent for poetry brought him fame, good fellowship and popularity in the military circles.5

Jelačić’s joyous and carefree military spirit was interrupted, however, by a sudden and serious illness in 1824. For a year he recuperated at his mother’s house in Turopolje, near Zagreb. During that year he wrote a book of poems, which was published in 1825 and reissued in 1851. Suffering added to the depth of his character without affecting his vigor and love of life.

In 1825, Jelačić returned to his friends and comrades in arms, who were at this time in Vienna. He was again “the beginning, middle, and end of all proceedings” among his peers.6 After a short stay in Vienna, he was sent again to Galicia. In 1830, he became a Lieutenant Captain in the Ogulin regiment at the Croatian Military Frontier, where he was stationed. One year later he and his regiment were in Italy, where he served under the renowned General John Joseph W. Radetzky. About Jelačić the General once stated: “I expect the best of him; never yet have I had a more excellent officer.”7 After his return from Italy in 1835, Jelačić stayed permanently in Croatia. In 1837, he became a Major and was assigned as adjutant to the military Governor of Dalmatia, where he gained much valuable administrative experience and also had a chance to learn more about his native land and its people. Four years later he became a Colonel and returned to the Frontier troops.

At the Frontier territory, Jelačić had military and administrative responsibilities. In both areas he became not only very efficient but also popular. With his soldiers he was fair, and he cared for their well being. He even abolished corporal punishment. As an administrator, he would hear complaints of the local people and proved to be a fair arbitrator. He was well-known in the villages, attending various community gatherings and celebrations, including dancing the kolo (circle dance) at weddings.8 Such demeanor contributed to his fame among the soldiers and civilians.

A German officer in the Habsburg armed forces, who served under Jelačić in 1848, gives the following personal and vivid account of Jelačić:

The impression which this distinguished officer made upon me at the very first moment was most prepossessing; and it has since become stronger and stronger, the more I have had occasion to observe him in all the situations of life—in battle, and in cheerful society. He is an extraordinary man; and Austria may deem herself fortunate in possessing him and Radetzky precisely at the same moment.

Jellachich is of the middling height and size. His bearing is upright and truly military; his gait quick, as indeed are all his motions. His face, of a somewhat brownish tinge, has in it something free, winning, and yet determined. The high forehead, under the smooth black hair, is very striking. The eyes are large, hazel, and full of expression. In general, there is something extremely calm and gentle in their glance; but, when the Ban is excited, they flash, and have so stern—nay, so wild—a look as to curb even the most daring fellows. At the same time he is the mildest and kindest of officers. When but captain, he had almost entirely abolished blows in his company; and, while commanding the second Banat regiment as Colonel, there were not so many punishments in it in a year as there were formerly in a month.

Here is just one instance of the care which the Ban takes of his men. Last winter, when he was still Colonel, Lieutenant Field-marshal D——, Who commanded on the frontier, fixed a certain hour for inspecting the regiment. There was a piercing frost, and the soldiers shook with cold; but the Lieutenant Filed-marshal sat enjoying himself over his bottle at the tavern, leaving the regiment exposed to the cutting wind on the parade, to be frozen or petrified, for what he cared.

Jellachich waited nearly an hour beyond the appointment time; and the General not yet making his appearance, he ordered the regiment to disperse quietly. No sooner had it obeyed, than the General appeared upon the ground; but it was then too late, and the inspection could not take place.

This affair is said to have produced a great sensation, and, when reported to Vienna, to have been entered in the black book. But March has expunged this, like many other matters; and the Ban was in a few weeks promoted from Colonel to Lieutenant Field-marshal. The whole army, some antiquated nobs perhaps excepted, rejoiced at it. But this was nothing to the rejoicing with which, on the appointment of Jellachich to the office of Ban, he was received in Croatian and Slavonia, and which is said to have defied description.

Never was general more beloved by his troops. Wherever he shows himself in a military village, all—old and young, little boys and aged men, ay, and pretty girls, too—all rush out to see him, to shake hands with him, and to greet him with one Zivio! [Long live!] after another. In battle, after the most fatiguing march; in bivouac, exposed to pouring rain; wherever and whenever the border-soldier espies his Ban, he joyously shouts his Zivio! and for the moment, bullets, hunger, weariness, and bad weather, are nothing at all to him.

The scene that I witnessed when the Ottochans, who had been with me in Peschiera, and who arrived a few days after me in Croatia, were reviewed by the Ban, I shall never forget. Old border-soldiers—who had often braved death, and not flinched when the bombs at Peschiera fell in their ranks—wept for joy, when Jellachich praised them for their good behaviour. And yet he told them at once that the repose at their own homes which they had so richly earned and hoped to enjoy could not yet be granted to them; that, after a few days’ rest, they must start for Hungary, to engage in fresh conflicts.

… His voice is soft and pleasing, but perfectly distinct when giving the word of command. He is unmarried; has not much property; lives simply and frugally, applying almost all that he can spare to the support of his soldiers.9

The above biographical account, even if from a friendly officer, is impressive for any individual and it supports other first-hand accounts about Jelačić.

The Political Situation in Croatia in the 1840s

The political and cultural life in Croatia was very vibrant during the 1840s. Young intellectuals were full of enthusiasm for national revival. National newspapers began to appear, book publishing flourished, and even the first Croatian national opera premiered in Zagreb in 1846. Political life was dynamic and exciting, especially after use of the “Illyrian” name was forbidden in 1843. The language question became one of the major issues. The Magyars decreed their language to be the only official language in the kingdom; the Croatians, however, rejected this resolution of the Hungarian Diet (Parliament). The question of language was in the forefront of the policies of Magyarization by which Lajos Kossuth and other nationalists demanded an integrated Hungary stretching from the Carpathian Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Hungarian pseudo liberalism denied others what Hungarians were demanding for themselves. On the other hand, nationalism in Croatia, and other non-Magyar regions was not less intense then that of the Magyars. It was inevitable that these forces and passions would clash sooner or later.

The Military Frontier and the army did not play a significant role in the national movement. But it had not been isolated from the spirit of the time either. There were demands from the Frontier for better living conditions, for reduction of military obligations, and even for the abolition of the region as a separate political unit from the rest of Croatia.10

Jelačić himself was under the influence of the leaders of the “Illyrian” movement, like Ljudevit Gaj and others. However, this did not prevent him from being a loyal officer of the empire.

Jelačić and the Events of 1848

Scene from Jelačić’s ceremonial installation on the position of Croatian ban in Zagreb, June 4, 1848 (Contemporary engraving published in Zagreb’s weekly Svijet on May 19, 1928)

Scene from Jelačić’s ceremonial installation on the position of Croatian ban in Zagreb, June 4, 1848 (Contemporary engraving published in Zagreb’s weekly Svijet on May 19, 1928)

With Ferdinand’s approval of Magyar self-rule in March 1848, a new situation developed in the relationship between Hungary and Croatia. From that moment, Hungarians were responsible to their Diet (Parliament) and not to the emperor/king. (The official title of the Austrian emperor in Hungary and Croatia was king, not emperor.) The king would no longer be able to veto resolutions and laws passed by the Diet in Hungary even if such laws were directed against other nations and nationalities in the kingdom. Therefore, non-Magyars were thrown at the mercy of the ruling nation. The results of this development were soon felt. The Hungarian Diet passed legislation by which Croatian political and cultural distinctions were to be obliterated. In one of his speeches Kossuth declared that there had never been a Croatian name or a Croatian nation.11

A provisional national assembly was called in Zagreb on March 25, 1848 in order to respond to the dramatic changes in Hungary and their effects on Croatia. This was done on the initiative of some leading Croatian liberals. However, only a few days earlier one of the conservative nationalists, Franjo Kulmer, who had good relations with the Court, went to the capital to advocate the Croatian cause among influential circles in Vienna. Interestingly enough, Croatian nationalists of both liberal and conservative political persuasions, wanted Jelačić to lead the nation through this growing crisis. They believed that a man with his popularity and character, who had also the army behind him, could make a stand against the Magyars and their imperialistic appetite. He was a nationalist but a Habsburg loyalist who believed that the only way to stop the Hungarians was to be on the side of Vienna. On March 23, 1848, Kulmer succeeded in Vienna to get Jelačić nominated as the new Croatian Ban (Viceroy); two days later the provisional assembly in Zagreb unanimously acclaimed him for that position without knowing about the Vienna nomination.

However, no one asked Jelačić if he would accept the nomination. On the contrary, he was not eager to get involved in the political arena. On March 26, 1848 he wrote to his brother: “Indeed we live in extraordinary days. That I am Ban, Privy Councilor, and General you will know already…. I can forbid no one to nominate me; but if they ask me whether I wish to be Ban, then decidedly I say No!”12 He was at the same time promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Field-Marshal and Commanding General in Croatia, including the Military Frontier.

Jelačić, therefore, became Ban without the approval of the government in Hungary, so in the Magyar eyes it was an illegal appointment. This defiance made the new Ban completely independent from Pest. Hungarians began giving orders to the Frontier regiments and to local governments in Croatia, but Jelačić issued a proclamation forbidding anyone to take orders from anyone except himself. He officially broke all relations with Hungary, leaving it to the new Croatian Sabor (Parliament) to renegotiate Hungarian-Croatian relations.

The Hungarian government tried to stop the meeting of the Sabor. Due to Magyar pressure, the Habsburg emperor ordered Jelačić to call off the meeting. But Jelačić declared that “he could not obey the order of his sovereign who does not have his free will.”13 The Sabor was solemnly opened on June 5, 1848. It confirmed all the decisions made by Jelačić since he took office, among them abolition of serfdom and the law of equal taxation. This finally ended feudalism in Croatia. The Sabor then proposed a structural change of the Habsburg empire. It advocated federalism, in accordance with the wishes of other Slavs in the realm. This Sabor deliberated in full freedom and independence from Vienna and Pest. It proved itself to be a capable political body of free representatives.14

Jelačić’s political views, one could say, were shaped by the spirit of the time and by his military and family background. He desired to make a big step forward for his Croatian and other peoples in the empire by advancing federalism, but he was against any radical revolutionary undertakings in this process. His national feelings can be seen already in his first proclamation as Ban of Croatia, which states:

The good of the people and country; that is my wish and my sole aim. I desire that our country may be strong and free…. In all my thoughts and deeds I will be the true expression of the nation’s will and thoughts. Therefore I intend to walk and continue in the path, which shall lead our country to happiness and glory.

The revolution has shattered and overthrown the old foundations of social life and the national and governmental relations, especially those with our old ally, Hungary—therefore, remembering our ancient league with the crown of Hungary, it is necessary to renew the connection in spirit of freedom, self respect, and equality, and to form a basis worth of a free and heroic nation, though on our side all relations with the present Hungarian Ministry must be broken off….15

In his speech on the day of the opening of the new Sabor Jelačić reiterated his position:

Brothers, all the relationships between governments and the people, between state and state, between nation and nation have to be based on freedom, equality and fraternity. That demands the powerful spirit of the time in which mankind is progressing toward its perfection. On this basis we too will base our relationship with the Magyars…. In an unfortunate case, if the Magyars show themselves to be not like our brothers toward us our kinsmen in Hungary and assume the role of oppressor, let them know that we said it, the time has passed when one nation ruled over another. We are ready to prove this to them even with a sword in our hand, keeping in mind the words of our honorable Ban Ivan Erdedi: ‘Regnum Regno non praescribit leges.’ [Kingdom does not prescribe the laws to another kingdom.]16

Jelačić stressed national rights very strongly, but on the other hand he believed that the Habsburgs would respect the liberal “spirit of the time” and help to achieve the equality of various nations in the empire. He had perhaps too much faith in the Habsburgs’ good will and willingness to change. In May of 1848, Jelačić wrote to the Archduke Karl; “Is it possible that all will get their freedom and only we Croatians and Slavonians will be left to the despotism of the Magyar Ministry?… We ask you to respect us now or never!”17 He was looking for help from Vienna. It seems, however, that he already suspected help would not be forthcoming.

On June 12, 1848, Jelačić and his Council arrived in Innsbruck to present the emperor the Sabor’s recommendations; but two days earlier Hungarians had persuaded Ferdinand to dismiss the Ban. However, Jelačić did not know this when he met with the emperor. Magyar representatives were present at that audience. Furthermore, Archduke John was appointed to mediate between the Magyars and the Croatians.

Jelačić’s visit to Innsbruck was a turning point in his policies toward Vienna. Kulmer and his friends at the Court gave the impression that Vienna was fully behind the Croatian cause. One of Jelačić’s companions in Innsbruck, F. Žigović, wrote to Zagreb: “…from the highest to the lowest [person] here is disposed with the friendliest spirit toward us.”18 Jelačić agreed to call upon the Croatian soldiers in Italy to continue the fight for the empire there. He began to think as a Habsburg general again. But the contradictory situation of Croatia and her Ban became more and more evident.

To look for the reason of Jelačić’s support of the dynasty in Archduchess Sophie’s weeping on his shoulders, as some do,19 is naïve, or that the only freedom he knew was “that which he proclaimed with his sword”20 is perhaps a willful misjudgment of his character. He definitely had a high vision for Croatia and the freedom of its people, as can be seen from his speeches. He must have had honorable political goals — perhaps even assurances — in mind when he decided to support the dynasty. Even Camillo Cavour of Piedmont recognized that Jelačić’s demands were in accordance with the demands of other Slavs and not based on Habsburg reactions.21

Jelačić learned about his dismissal as Ban while returning from Innsbruck, but he ignored it and continued to function as though nothing had changed. The Court in Vienna did press the case. Hungary, however, took the emperor’s order seriously by trying to get some anti-Jelačić support in Slavonia. But this did not bring the desired results. In Slavonia Jelačić was received as a national hero. The imperial commissioner, who was to replace Jelačić’s authority as military commander, at Magyar urging, attacked the town of Srijemski Karlovci and a general fight broke out with the local Serbian population. The Sabor in Zagreb passed a resolution to send immediate help to the Serbs, but Jelačić did not rush to engage the fight.

There was another attempt to solve the Hungarian-Croatian crisis by peaceful means. Archduke John called a meeting of Jelačić and Hungarian Prime Minster Battyanyi in Vienna in July of 1848. It is said that Jelačić asked for the impossible because he did not want peace with the Hungarians.22 However, his demands were misinterpreted “in respect of their spirit and intention.”23 The meeting with Battyanyi did not bring any results because the Magyars demanded a total submission on the part of Croatians. It actually ended with a threat of war. Battyanyi declared to Jelačić: “Then we meet on the Drava [river].” “Say rather on the Danube,” responded Jelačić.24 On this occasion in Vienna, Jelačić told the “immense multitude” that came to greet him “I wish a great, a strong, a powerful, a free, an undivided Austria.”25 In response to the Magyar threat he sought to save the Monarchy and Croatia with it.

Soon after, the Habsburg war machine started to move, and Jelačić with it. On September 4, 1848, the emperor restored Jelačić to his rightful position as Ban. Three days later he was on his way from Zagreb toward the Drava, or rather toward the Danube. In his manifesto to the people before he moved into Hungary he declared: “We want a strong and free Austria…we want equality, and the same rights for all nations and nationalities living under the Hungarian crown. This was promised by the words of our sovereign to all nations in the Monarchy in March [1848].”26 Obviously he had taken Ferdinand’s promises seriously.

On September 11, Jelačić crossed the river Drava. His army, however, was not a unified fighting force. The volunteers were undisciplined and not of much help. He sent 12,000 volunteers home after the battle of Pákozd on September 29.27 The battle had been fought to a draw, and neither Jelačić nor the Hungarians were eager to renew the fight. Jelačić waited for 7,000 more Graničars (men from the Military Frontier), but they never arrived. Meanwhile revolution broke out in Vienna and Jelačić turned his forces toward the capital.

There are indications that Vienna had not wished Jelačić to enter Pest after he crossed the Drava. For example, the material support given him by the Court had not been significant. Also, the seven thousand Graničars under General Roth did not follow Jelačić’s plan. Meanwhile, Count Lamberg was in Pest seeing if things could be worked out between Hungarians and the Court. It seems that Jelačić was being used to put pressure on the Magyars, while Croatian interests were simply ignored.28 One interpretation of these events is that Hungarian conservative forces had planned this “little war” in order to stop their Hungarian liberal colleagues in their radical pursuits.29

Ban Jelačić leading his troops during the battle of Schwechat near Vienna, October 30, 1848 (Contemporary engraving published in Zagreb’s weekly Svijet on May 19, 1928)

Ban Jelačić leading his troops during the battle of Schwechat near Vienna, October 30, 1848 (Contemporary engraving published in Zagreb’s weekly Svijet on May 19, 1928)

Jelačić’s march to Vienna signified a major change of purpose in his struggle. He began fighting the Hungarian oppression and now he found himself fighting Austrian revolutionaries and also a war of the Habsburgs against the Magyars. He was appointed the Royal Commissioner of the Hungarian kingdom, but this did not mean much in reality. As soon as General Windisch-Gratz and his troops joined him near Vienna, his role became secondary. From then on, Windisch-Gratz commanded the army and events. Jelačić did win a few victories for the Habsburgs in Hungary, but these were the exploits of a Habsburg General, not of a Croatian Ban. In August 1849, Jelačić fought for Petrovaradin, his native town. It surrendered to him on September 6, 1849, ending his last military campaign and his military career as well.

Tragic Ending

Soon after the revolutionaries were pacified, Jelačić learned about the “rewards” for his loyal service. Oppression, centralization, and Germanization were equally applied to the loyalists and to the revolutionaries. This was a bitter disappointment to Jelačić. His popularity at home declined. The former pro-Magyar forces in Croatia came to power again. He was Ban in name only. From 1849 to 1851, he attended all the meetings of the government in Vienna. He resisted oppressive measures but seeing that he could do nothing about them, he stopped going to Vienna. At his last meeting he told the emperor: “Highness, there is not a single man satisfied in the country.”30 But things did not improve. Jelačić himself was under police surveillance. Even his wife’s chamber maid was in the police service.31

A contemporary English diplomat, Sir Robert Morier, who visited Croatia soon after the revolution and even took private crash-courses in Croatian, states the following about the Habsburg treatment of Jelačić, whom he describes as “a most remarkable man:”

If ever, since the foundation of the Order of Maria Theresa, an Austrian subject deserved the Grand Cross of the Order by the fulfillment on the largest scale of the conditions originally stipulated by the rules of the Order, it was the Ban. Those rules, as is well known, recognize by preference the claims of those who have successfully achieved some great exploit either without or in contradiction to orders received from their superiors. Now, this latter was achieved by the Ban upon a scale rarely seen in history. As an outlaw he places himself at the head of an entire nation, declares war on his own responsibility, marches successfully into the very heart of the enemy’s country, and then by a brilliant maneuver, after a doubtful battle, comes to the rescue of the capital of the Empire. Nevertheless, the Chapter of the Order (on the very same day, if I am not mistaken) awarded to Prince Windishgrätz, for his successful putting down of the émeute at Prague, the Grand Cross of the Order; and to the Ban, for the services by him rendered, the Commander’s Cross only. Again, Prince Windishgrätz was named Field-Marshal, the Ban General; but two years later it was retrospectively stipulated that he should not advance towards the grade of Field-Marshal, otherwise than if he had become General by seniority.32

The main reason for such treatment of the Ban and the Croats, according to Morier, was “the contempt which the Austrian German” has for the Austrian Slav “combined with the very real fear with which the numerical superiority of the latter inspires him.” Furthermore, the Englishman describes the Habsburg ungratefulness as follows: “…I must confess that, with every wish to make allowance for the difficulties of the situation, it yet seems to me that a more wholesale act of injustice, ingratitude, and bad faith, a display on a large scale of mean and paltry spirit, grosser fraud, more clumsily veiled, it would be difficult to meet with in all the pages of history.”33

Jelačić was politically active until 1853. His policy was to save what could be saved. By his efforts the Zagreb diocese became an archdiocese, independent from the Hungarian church hierarchy. He organized the National Theatre in Zagreb, in which only Croatian was used. He succeeded in getting Juraj Strossmayer nominated as bishop of Djakovo. And a number of other cultural advances are also attributed to him.

In 1850, Jelačić married Countess Sophie von Stockau. He was forty nine and she was sixteen years old. On the occasion of the marriage in 1854, he received the title of Count from Francis Joseph, the emperor. But already at that time his health was waning. A year later his only child died. His public life was ended and he was tormented by all that had happened since the euphoric days at the beginning of 1848. He told one of his closer friends: “The Austrian government is killing me. I do not have any organic sickness. I am healthy. I have full strength of the body, but I am dying. Austria, in which I have believed, is destroying me.”34

Jelačić died on May 20, 1859, a man whose ideals were destroyed by a regime which he helped to save. He was buried in his Novi Dvori, near Zagreb, by the side of his only child.


Ban Jelačić’s equestrian monument in Zagreb on original position at Ban Jelačić’s Square (on the postcard from late 1920s). The monument was erected in 1866. Removed by communist authorities in 1947, it was returned to the square after the collapse of communist regime in 1990.

Ban Jelačić’s equestrian monument in Zagreb on original position at Ban Jelačić’s Square (on the postcard from late 1920s). The monument was erected in 1866. Removed by communist authorities in 1947, it was returned to the square after the collapse of communist regime in 1990.

Jelačić was a product of both national and pro-Habsburg feelings and loyalties which he did not perceive to be contradictory. When he entered Zagreb on his inaugural day, the whole city came out to greet him. It was an historic occasion. Croatians and many other Slavs looked at him as the only hope for a better future in the Monarchy. He declared that his only goal was the good of the people and his native land.

On the other hand, when he came to Vienna to meet Battyanyi, he was greeted again as a hero, but now by the Vienna crowd. He declared to them “I wish a great, strong, powerful, free, and undivided Austria.” He tried to synthesize these two conflicting goals. He believed that the first could be achieved through the second one. But the Habsburgs had other aims and plans for him, Croatia, and the empire.

Jelačić has been attacked from many sides, as a Panslavist, as a pro Russian, as an Austrophile, and a reactionary, among other and often contradictory labels. Even after his death, he was a hero to some and a villain to others. To Croatians he became a symbol of the struggle against the Magyars and a martyr of the devious Austrian regime. A monument was erected in the main square in Zagreb to his honor and patriotic songs about him carried his name to the younger generations. After the Second Word War, however, he was condemned once more as an antirevolutionary and reactionary figure. His monument was removed from public eye and the songs were banned. But his name could not be obliterated from the memory of the Croatian people. As soon as the communist regime in Croatia collapsed his monument was returned to its rightful place and Zagreb’s main city square bears Jelačić’s name again. He continues to be a symbol of Croatian enthusiasm for freedom and independence.

Der kroatis che Banus Josip Jelačić


Der Autor verfasste diesen Überblick über Jelačić“ Leben anlässlich des 160-jährigen Jubiläums der 1848-er Revolution und seines Antritts in den Amt des kroatischen Banus in demselben Jahre. Dieser Überblick ist vor allem den jungen Kroaten zugedacht, die außerhalb Kroatiens leben und die grundsätzliche Informationen über das Leben und politische Tätigkeit des Banus Jelačić erfahren wollen. Der Aufsatz ist hauptsächlich aufgrund zugänglicher Literatur geschrieben und bezieht sich größtenteils auf die wichtigste Periode in der politischen Tätigkeit des Banus Jelačić – auf die Revolutionsjahre 1848-1849. Zu dieser Zeit war Jelačić nicht nur die hervorragendste Person der kroatischen Politik, sondern auch ein wichtiger Teilnehmer an den Geschehnissen in der Habsburgermonarchie im Ganzen.

1 Jellachich, Ban of Croatia,” Eclectic Magazine 16 (March 1849), p. 359.

2 E. F. Malcom Smith, Patriots of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Longmans and Green, 1928, p. 55.

3 Ibid., p. 56.

4 “Jellachich,” Eclectic Magazine, p. 359.

5 Ibid., p. 359.

6 Ibid., p. 360

7 Smith, Patriots, p. 58.

8 Ibid., p. 59.

9 W. baron. Scenes of the Civil War in Hungary in 1848 and 1849; with the Personal Adventures of an Austrian Officer. Philadelphia: E.H. Butler & Co., 1850, pp. 19-23.

10 Gunther E. Rothernberg, “Jelačić, the Croatian Military Border, and the Intervention against Hungary in 1848.” Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 1, 1965, p. 50.

11 Lovre Katić, Pregled povijesti Hrvata. Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1938, p. 218.

12 Smith, Patriots, p. 61.

13 Josip Horvat, Politička povijest Hrvatske. Zagreb; binoza, 1936, p. 182.

14 Vaso Bogdanov, Historija političkih stranaka u Hrvatskoj. Zagreb: NIP, 1958, p. 300.

15 Smith, Patriots, pp. 62-63.

16 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 184.

17 Enciklopedia Jugoslavije, Vol. IV, S. v. “Jelačić, Josip.”

18 Ibid.

19 Perscilla Robertson, Revolutions of 1848: A Social History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967, p. 281. Sophie was mother of Emperor Franz Joseph I.

20 Ibid., p. 282.

21 Josip Nagy, “Smjernice pokreta g. 1848.” Hrvatsko kolo 14, 1933, p. 27.

22 Robertson, Revolutions of 1848, p. 282.

23 C. Edmund Maurice. The Revolutionary Movements of 1848-9. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1887, p. 383.

24 Smith, Patriots, p. 65.

25 “Jellachich,” Eclectic Magazine, p. 365.

26 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 193.

27 Ibid., 195.

28 Ibid., 196.

29 Bogdanov, Historija, p. 309.

30 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 212.

31 Ibid., p. 207.

32 Rosslyn Wemyss. Memoirs and Letters of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Morier, G.C.B. From 1826 to 1876. London: Edward Arnold, 1911, pp. 150-151.

33 Ibid. p. 150.

34 Antonija Kassowitz Cvijic, “Grofica Sofija Jelačic,” Hrvatsko kolo 13, 1932, p. 105.ć

Joseph M. Condic (1924-2009)

In Memoriam

Joseph M. Condic died on February 21, 2009 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He was born on November 21, 1924. in Chicago to an immigrant Croatian family.  His father, Marko Čondić, came from Svib, near Imotsk, and his mother, Tona Utrobičić, from Slime, a village near the river Cetina.  They were married in Chicago in 1921 and had eight children.  The family was shaken by Marko’s death in 1935, but Tona, regardless of her misfortunes and the Great Depression, raised their children in a way that any parent would be proud of.

Joseph, or as many of us called him Jozo, pursued a higher education and earned a Ph.D. which was followed by career as a professor at the Department of Humanities, Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, Michigan, for 34 years.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Dolores, of 53 years, seven children (Dorena , Marin David, Melanie, Maureen, Eric, Adam, and Samuel), eighteen grandchildren, five siblings (John, Mark, Peter, Simon, and Rosanda), and over seventy descendents of Marko and Tona Condic. He was buried from St. Augustine Cathedral and laid to rest at Mountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo.

Joseph Condic was a member, among other organizations, of the Association for Croatian Studies and served as its president in the late 1980s.  It should also be mentioned that Jozo translated and prepared for publication a manuscript of his friend, the late Ivan Supek, entitled  Crown Witness against Hebrang. Chicago, Markanton Press, 1983.  The writings of this renowned Croatian physicist and humanist were banned by the communist regime at the time.

Jozo was a faithful husband, an excellent father, a great teacher, and a truly humble man. For that reason, this in memoriam to such a wonderful person and a friend, is also humble.

Ante Čuvalo