Book review "NEITHER RED NOR DEAD" STEVO JULIUS
Reviewed by Katarina Tepesh
A new book is creating more buzz among Croatians than any other recently. "NEITHER RED NOR DEAD - Coming of Age in Former Yugoslavia During and After World War II," written by Stevo Julius.
Stunningly powerful, this tragedy and triumph of a non-practicing Jewish family portrays a happy and privileged family life dedicated to medicine and intellectual pursuits. All that changed in late May of 1941, when first German motorcycle with machine guns arrived practically in front of their home. Forced to run and hide, first from Germans and soon from Ustashe, Julius family with two sons barely survives attacks and joins resistance.
The parents, father a doctor and mother a nurse, worked day and night to save wounded communist partisans. Their youngest son Stevo, the author, at age 14 is appointed a military courier, given an outdated Italian gun, and sent to roam alone through mountains, forests, and small rural villages of Croatia. Their older son, 18-year-old bravely defends the territory of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Severely wounded, caught by Germans, he talks his way out with fluent German.
"Neither Red Nor Dead" is an inside story, full of details and naming names among 481 pages, explaining why communism failed in Croatia and f-Y.
After the WWII, in 1953, the Julius family suffers a fatal blow, when dirty communist politics in Zagreb pins the father, a hard working and totally dedicated head of a hospital, against the wall with false accusations. Meddling into hospital administration in a typical communist style, Dr. Julius sees no way out and commits suicide.
The elder son dedicates his life to the communist ideals, but when he criticizes Milosevic, he is considered a persona non grata in the country he loved so much. He dies from cancer.
The author, Stevo Julius, born in 1929 received M.D. in 1953 and Sc.D. in 1964 from the University of Zagreb. Since 1964, the author has resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he is Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Hypertension at the University of Michigan. He is internationally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the field of hypertension.
In Croatia, "Neither Red Nor Dead" will be translated and published by Durieux.
"Neither Red Nor Dead" is published by Medvista. To purchase the book, see www.amazon.com $10.59 or www.barnesandnoble.com .