Scattered throughout the magnificent landscapes of the former Yugoslavia, massive concrete monuments stand in ghostly homage to a nation’s suffering and resistance.
More than a million citizens – 6.3% of the population – were killed in the Nazi invasion and occupation of WWII. Most died fighting back or in heinous reprisals, others perished in death camps. The horror was compounded by the collaboration of the Ustashi, a homegrown political militia that fully embraced their invaders.
Commissioned during the 1960s, the Spomeniks remain as weathered sentinels honoring the valor of its partisans and soldiers – and as mute witnesses to the atrocities inflicted upon its civilians and concentration camp victims.
Some straddle fields of desperate battle, while others mark the sites of graveyards. There are no shortages of either.
© Joe Baniecki, GoTraveler Reflections (2017)