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» (E) Picula Powell
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Politics | Unrated


Picula - Powell

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) posess forphotographers for a family photo with the foreign ministers of Albania Ilir Meta(L), Croatia Tonino Picula (2L), and Macedonia Ilenka Mitreva, in Tirana, May 2,2003. Powell signed with the three Balkan countries that were left out from thelatest NATO enlargement round, the Adriatic Charter, envisaging theircoordinated efforts to achieve NATO membership with U.S. backing. REUTERS/ArbenCeli

» (H) Filip Malaric
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | People | Unrated


Filip Malaric

Pobjednik Djecijeg Festivalau New Yorku 2003


Bok Gosp. Bach,

Ja sam rodjen 22.05.1992.godine,u Zaboku. Sa pune cetiri godine dosao sam
u Ameriku. Sada zivim u Queens-u. Idem u peti razred. Odlican sam ucenik. Gotovo
sve predmete volim u skoli, ali odvajam matematiku i povijest. Pjevam u skolskom
zboru. Volim igrati tenis. U slobodno vrijeme citam knjige i pisem price. Volim
crtati, ali kao i svaki moj vrsnjak, volim provoditi vrijeme istrazivajuci na
kompjuteru. Bio sam ucesnik na djecjem festivalu svake godine. Puno hvala svima
koji su omogucili da se ta manifestacija odrzi. Ja volim sve sto me okruzuje.
Evo, to bi bilo sve za sada. Puno pozdrava.

Bog i Hrvati,
Filip Malaric  

Croatian Children's and Youth Festival
Croatian Children Festival
Sunday March 23, 2003

Photos available at:

» (E) CNN Why do people love to wear fatigues?
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | Opinions | Unrated


Why do people love to wear fatigues? 

This must really hurt - to make so obvious how irrelevant the 
biggest news network may become if it looses its independence.

Saddam was never in army, but his entire tenure as president he 
wore military garb. GW Bush was dodging his military duty as 
much as he could, yet know he hails us from front pages of 
American dailies in an air force suit, modern day's Ceasar's choice 
of clothes. Why do people, who were awkward, good-for-nothing as 
soldiers, love to wear fatigues? I mean I am one of them and I don't 
know the answer...


» (E) A boy and A Veteran
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | In Memoriam | Unrated


A Croatian army veteran of the 1991 war in a wheelchair and aboy attend the funeral of Croatian Army Gen. Janko Bobetko at Zagreb's Mirogojcemetery Friday May 2, 2003. Wartime army chief Bobetko, hailed at home as ahero of Croatia's 1991 struggle for independence but charged with war crimes bya U.N. court, died Tuesday April 29. He was 84. (AP Photo/Hrvoje Knez)

» (E) Dubrovnik: A History by Robin Harris - Important new book
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/4/2003 | History | Unrated


Dubrovnik: A History

by Robin Harris

Dear All 

An important new book is coming out in a few weeks
time. It is entitled Dubrovnik: A History and is by
Robin Harris, a top adviser to Margaret Thatcher.

Prominent Croat linguist and historian Dr Branko
Franolic who helped Mr Harris on the book, praises it
most highly. 

It is important this book does well, and should be
purchased for yourselves, friends, family, libraries

Order now from your bookstores. I note it is
available for pre-order already at amazon UK, at a
reduced price. (at the moment!). They take overseas

Details: Saqi Books, London. ISBN: 0863563325 
550 pages

Amazon UK link at: 


Brian Gallagher

» (E) Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Year in Review - CROATIA
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 05/2/2003 | Data | Unrated

Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Year in Review

by Max Primorac

Area: 56,542 sq km (21,831 sq mi)
Population (2002 est.): 4,405,000
Capital: Zagreb
Chief of state: President Stipe Mesic
Head of government: Prime Minister Ivica Racan

In 2002 Croatia continued to see its political landscape fragment and the broad-based ruling coalition split further amid slow economic recovery. On July 5 the five-party coalition government of Prime Minister Ivica Racan re-signed, only to reconstitute itself absent the second largest party in the coalition, the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), following the latter’s refusal to support ratification of a Croatia-Slovenia agreement concerning joint custodianship of the Krsko nuclear power plant. The break between Racan’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the HSLS, led by Deputy Prime Minister Drazen Budisa, reflected long-brewing ideological differences over basic policy decisions made by the SDP-led government. Disaffected deputies from the HSLS, led by Defense Minister Jozo Rados, who had been soundly defeated by Budisa for party president on February 2, rebelled in support of the SDP and founded a new party, Libra. 

The flap over Krsko, however, was just one of many disputes between the two neighbours. In August and September a squabble over territorial boundaries in the Bay of Piran that pitted Slovenian against Croatian fishermen turned into a full-fledged diplomatic crisis. These and other serious border disputes with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia highlighted the country’s inability to extricate itself from unresolved post-secessionist problems stemming from the breakup of Yugoslavia more than a decade earlier. Though Croatia was admitted into NATO’s Membership Action Plan and initialed its formal application for full membership on May 14, it was apparent by year’s end that the government would fail to deliver on its major electoral promise of securing Croatia’s early admission into NATO and the European Union—essential steps in the country's integration into Western Europe. The end of the United Nations’ monitoring mission in the strategic Prevlaka Peninsula on December 15 restored Croatia’s sovereignty over its full territory, however. 

With hopes for early integration dashed, public confidence in the government's ability to resolve the many pressing economic problems—especially an unemployment rate of 22% and the need to face further painful cuts in social welfare spending—also lessened. Revenues expected from the privatization of major energy state enterprises did not materialize, and the foreign investment needed to boost job creation remained weak. The important tourist trade proved resilient, however, increasing 4% and helping the government to register a modest 4% growth in gross domestic product. 

The truncated SDP-led coalition still enjoyed a comfortable parliamentary majority after the split with the HSLS. Growing public dissatisfaction with its performance at home and abroad, however, coupled with the reemergence of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the party that previously had governed the country, as a viable centre-right alternative to the centre-left coalition, raised speculation about early elections. Moderate nationalist Ivo Sanader, a former deputy foreign minister, was elected president of the HDZ on April 22, and the expulsion of the HDZ’s hard-line wing a few months later gave new shape and vitality to the Croatian political scene. The prospect of an HDZ-led centre-right coalition with participation by the HSLS and other like-minded smaller parties invigorated the country's political scene. 

Croatian politicians were of a single mind on one issue, however. On September 27 Parliament unanimously backed the government's legal challenge to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which had indicted retired general Janko Bobetko, a wartime commander and Croatian hero, as a war criminal. This rare broad-based political consensus reflected frustration with recent indictments by the tribunal in The Hague that seemed implicitly to revise and even criminalize Croatia’s homeland war for independence. 

Croatia’s skiing sensation Janica Kostelic became a national icon in February after winning a record four medals at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. (See BIOGRAPHIES.) On March 11 Franjo Cardinal Kuharic, one of Croatia’s most influential post-World War II religious leaders, died. (See OBITUARIES.) Kuharic was a symbol of the nation's resistance to communism and an advocate of ethnic and political tolerance. 

» (E) DruzbAdria and The Goose?s Golden Egg
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 04/29/2003 | Politics | Unrated


StoryAbout The Goose

Do you remember the story about the goose which delighted her owner by laying one golden egg each morning? But that because of his greed and impatience, the owner decided not to wait for the solitary egg, concluding that if he killed the goose and took that magical source of gold from her belly, he would have as many golden eggs as he wanted? 
Then you already know the end to that enlightening tale.

The agreement which the Croatian government initialed at the beginning of this year regarding formation of the multinational oil cartel DruzbAdria, and expansion of the terminal in Omisalj (on Krk Island) for loading oil, is vividly reminiscent of this story. Leaving greed aside, there is not one sensible reason for such a decision, while reasons against it are plentiful. 

Let us begin with the economic benefits, of marked importance in this era of Croatia’s post-war economic development. As I read in the Croatian press, servicing Russian exporters would garner revenues of around $30.000.000 in the first year, $50.000.000 in the second, and $80.000.000 in the third.

According to some sources, Croatia made 4.5 billion dollars last year from tourism. According to other sources, that number was 7.5 billion. Economic projections for the future are even better. And one day, when roads are modernized and some bright soul plans how to develop tourism by relying on local suppliers of healthy, good-tasting and organically-produced food and local drink, as well as adequate cultural, entertainment and sports offerings – Croatia’s tourism will be golden. 

Given the relatively humble revenue that the dirty industry of oil would generate, why, then, would the sensible champions of the Croatian nation play with fire?

A claim such as: “because Croatia has international responsibilities that it must respect, above all the responsibility that it provide everyone free access to its capacities without discrimination,” made by Vesna Trnokop-Tanta (Janaf Administration’s president), is misplaced. According to which international statute does any country have this responsibility?

“Novi List” from Rijeka reports that Croatian experts in the Scientific Council for Oil and in the Organization of Oil Engineers and Geologists at their recent meeting concluded that: “in the 80s, and again at the beginning of the 90s, all ecological issues relating to this project were resolved.” It also states that some scientists advised that the “furor about ballast water which tankers would dump in the Adriatic Sea, is unnecessary.” Namely, they are convinced that the danger of pollution from oil is minimal if “great care” is taken in security measures and strict ecological protection is carried out. The claim is that even though the Janaf terminal on Krk Island has functioned for several years already, serving to load oil intended for Croatian refineries for domestic use and to export oil derivatives to neighboring countries, it has not caused any “great problems”. (The fact that Omisalj and its environs is a dead tourist zone appears to be the problem of the local population.) Aside from this, Janaf will undertake “all necessary measures” so that every accidental leak of oil is immediately attended to. Someone even stated with pride, “We already have $12.000.000 in the clean-up fund!” Is that a bad joke, or are Croatian geologists and engineers really so inexperienced? How many of them carefully studied the “Exxon Valdez” accident and the billions upon billions of dollars of damage that it caused (and continues to cause today!) to Alaska’s tourism and fishing industries? Great economic damage was caused in Europe by accidents of the “Erika” and the “Prestige” tankers in the Atlantic. Do those Croatian experts really believe that America, France, Spain, and other countries are so reckless in their unquenchable thirst for oil, that they have not paid attention to navigational security and their own national ecologies? Or, perhaps they think that they know more than foreign geologists and engineers? (If the clean-ups of microscopic leaks of mazut and oil in Solin’s Jadra River, by Dobro-Lesce, Brodski Stupnik, Gracin, and elsewhere, and the pollution of the Kastel Bay and Croatian rivers are anything to go by, the opposite could be readily concluded. Just one accident by a slightly larger tanker in the closed Adriatic Sea would pose an ecological catastrophe with unforeseeable consequences, endangering the flora, fauna, fishing industry and tourism of Istria, Croatian Primorje and Dalmatia for a long (if not for all) time.

What are the chances that such accidents will occur with the massive increase in the number and size of tankers and, the more decisive variable, with the loading of oil in Omisalj? Simply put, the likelihood is far grater than the aforementioned Croatian geologists and engineers foresee (at least in the press).

However, even if such accidents do not occur in the near future, the danger posed by waste water, poisonous gases, oil and other waste, ballast water, and smaller leaks which accompany almost every loading (and unloading) of oil would soon rob the unique beauty from a small, closed sea such as the Adriatic, which is finally beginning to attract tourists on a global sale and of which Croatia has every right to be proud. Despite Janaf Administration president Vesna Trnokop-Tanta’s claims, that “oil and tourism can go together” it is sufficient to take one look at the once beautiful Kastel Bay in order to understand how industrial development and natural beauty can not coexist. It is only a matter of time before tourists will become convinced that Adriatic beaches are not any cleaner than Spanish, Italian, Greek or Turkish ones. 

Have those responsible studied the experiences of other countries with “zebra” mussels? They live in ballast water or attach themselves to the exterior shell of ships and are able to devastate local shellfish in a relatively short time or with types of algae which use up oxygen necessary for the survival of fish and underwater flora.

And what about disposal of the enormous amount of sea water which (for buoyancy) tankers must pump in wherever they unload oil, and pump out wherever they load it? Some solutions have been mentioned, including the possibility of disposing those waters at a depth “greater than 500 meters” or purifying them on shore. Anyone can see the fallacy of the first solution. And when we talk about “purification on shore,) where are facilities to dispose of the huge amount of polluted, oily sea water?

On the basis of previous experience with loading oil in Omisalj, Janaf’s experts suggest (or wish to convince themselves and the public) that the loading of oil is similar, more or less, to the unloading. This is far from the truth. First of all, the tankers which transport oil to Omisalj in order to unload, pump sea water from the Adriatic into their empty reservoirs. The tankers which will come to Omisalj will be filled with sea water from distant oceans, and will have to release ballast into the Adriatic before loading. These are clearly two very different things. 

Recently, someone threw another argument into the mix: that Trieste was just waiting for Zagreb to reconsider, so that the Italians and the Slovenians could move in on the profitable deal. The claim is that then our beautiful coastline will be polluted, while all the revenue will go to Rome and Ljubljana. After recent talks about the plan for exporting Romanian oil through the terminal on Krk Island, Romanian Premier Nastase stated: ”We wish to operationalize the Constanza-Omisalj oil pipeline project.” He pointed out the importance of the Omisalj terminal, which can take tankers with carrying capacities of up to 500 tons, unlike Trieste, which can only take tankers with capacities of up to 80 tons.” And Vesna Trnokop-Tanta adds: “Competitive oil pipelines in other countries such as Macedonia threaten Croatia, so we must not decide against DruzbAdrija.” Let us contemplate the more salient points in these statements. The truth is that Italy’s sandy Adriatic beaches are no match for the beauty of Croatia’s coast. But tourism on Italy’s Adriatic coast generates enough revenue that Rome would think seriously before making a decision that would endanger its territorial waters. We hardly have to mention the livelihoods of thousands of people who live from tourist services and who, in Italy, have a say, or to speak about “bella Venezia”. Italy would never endanger Venice’s lagoon and the gargantuan revenue which millions of tourists generate there. Trieste is practically across from it. As far as Slovenia is concerned – their politicians are sufficiently intelligent, and their coastline is short. 

Let us now consider the Constanza-Omisalj pipeline project, which is, according to Premiere Racan (as reported in the Croatian press) “no competition to the DruzbAdria project, but complimentary to it.” One glance at a map shows that Constanza is a large port on the Black Sea. Why, then, does Bucharest wish to build a pipeline hundreds of kilometers long across its territory (practically from the country’s east to west), through Vojvodina (or Serbia) to Croatia’s eastern border, and then through all of Slavonia to Sisak and to the island of Krk? If the answer is that the “Black Sea is closed” and free movement through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles questionable, why would they not build the three-times shorter pipeline Constanza-Thessaloniki, the Greek port on the Aegean Sea??

The Croatian government’s rash decision to initial DruzbAdria’s international agreement and to accept the Constanza-Omisalj project may have such disastrous consequences that both decisions ought, at the very least, to be put to a general referendum by the Croatian people. Dr. Branko Bosnjakovic, an environmental protection advisor with many years of experience in EU institutions, recently stated, according to a report in Vjesnik: “without public consensus and analysis to examine the economic, ecological, and social implications, we should not embark on a project such as DruzbAdrija”! He is right. 

Barry Brkic is a journalist who lives in Washington, DC. 

» (E) The Gotovina Indictment: Prosecuting the US by Stealth?
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 04/29/2003 | Politics | Unrated


The Gotovina Indictment: 

Prosecuting the United Statesby Stealth? 

22 April 2003

The Gotovina Indictment: Prosecuting the United States
by Stealth?

By Brian Gallagher

All Americans who took part in assisting the Croatian
armed forces before and during ‘Operation Storm’ are
almost certainly - and unjustly -considered war
criminals by the Hague Prosecutor. This appalling
notion has been brought out by speculation that the
International Criminal Court may prosecute British
forces for alleged war crimes carried out by the
United States in Iraq.

Unlike the United States, Britain is a signatory to
the International Criminal Court (ICC). Articles
published in Scotland on Sunday and by the Institute
of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) revealed that
lawyers have told the British Ministry of Defence that
if American forces commit an alleged war crime,
British troops could be prosecuted simply for
providing intelligence or refuelling US aircraft in
connection with it. 

Both articles were written by Chris Stephen of IWPR,
which receives funds from the international comunity.
IWPR is known for its support of the Hague
International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the ICC; in other words the
articles may reflect current thinking in those
organisations. The ICC is very much a product of the

The implications for the Gotovina indictment are
clear. The United States provided considerable
intelligence, training and support for Operation
Storm, which liberated large areas of Croatia, saved
Bosnia-Herzegovina and put an end to Milosevic’s
Greater Serbia project. 

However, the Hague Prosecutor absurdly considers
Operation Storm to have been nothing more than an
ethnic cleansing operation; a war crime. This despite
evidence in the public domain that the Serb leadership
ordered their own people out; a fact amusingly
confirmed by Florence Hartmann, Hague Prosecutor
spokeswoman and possible Gotovina defence witness, in
her book on Milosevic.

The Gotovina indictment directly accuses the entire
Croatian Armed forces of ‘deporting’ thousands of
Serbs i.e. they are all war criminals. This is made
clear in the indictment; paragraph 4 defines Croatian
forces as “the HV, the Croatian airforce or Hrvatsko
Ratno Zrakoplovstvo also known as HRZ, the Special
Police and Military Police of the Republic of Croatia,
which were involved in Operation Storm in UNPA Sector
South “ Paragraph 30 accuses Croatian forces as
‘deporting’ the entire ‘Krajina’ Serb population -
i.e. not just in Sector South. 

This dispels the myth that only General Gotovina is
being accused of war crimes. The indictment is clearly
stating that every single member of the the Croatian
armed forces committed war crimes by participating in
an operation the prosecution considers to be an ethnic
cleansing exercise. The ICTY also confirm this on
their website by referring to the Gotovina indictment
as ‘Operation Storm’.

There can be little doubt then that the Hague
Prosecutor considers all US intelligence and training
personnel involved - including the US private firm
MPRI - as war criminals for their significant
contribution to Operation Storm. 

Given that Operation Storm itself is considered a war
crime by the Prosecutor, given the indictment accuses
Croatian armed forces of involvement in a crime and
given the current thinking on British troops possibly
being prosecuting for providing assistance to US
forces in Iraq it is impossible to see otherwise.

Of course, it would be daring of the Prosecutor to
indict US personnel. But a precedent has been set
for the new ICC; an operation with strong US
involvement has been declared a war crime by a UN war
crimes prosecutor. 

The indictment does not mention the US, but this does
not matter; US involvement in Operation Storm is well
documented and beyond dispute. Indeed, the whole
point of the indictment may well have been in order to
subtly attack the United States; not mentioning the US
in the indictment simply helps to avoid attention.

It does not have to be the ICTY that prosecutes
American - or indeed Croatian - personnel over this. 
There has been controversy in Belgium over ‘universal
jurisdiction’ i.e. Belgian courts trying various world
leaders for alleged crimes. 

Many in the European left have never forgiven Croatia
or America for defeating Milosevic. An enterprising
anti-American prosecutor or judge in Europe or
elsewhere could well use a dubious conviction of
Gotovina - should he ever get to trial - as a basis to
prosecute the United States for its great crime of
being instrumental in defeating Slobodan Milosevic’s
Greater Serbia project. 

(c) Brian Gallagher

» (H,E) UMRO JANKO BOBETKO, Croatian General Died
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 04/29/2003 | In Memoriam | Unrated


Croatian General JankoBobetko

Sijecanj 1919 -Travanj 2003



ZAGREB, 29. travnja (Hina) - Umirovljeni stozerni general Janko Bobetko umro je u utorak u 11,55 sati u svojoj kuci u Zagrebu, priopcio je voditelj Bobetkova lijecnickog konzilija dr. Mijo Bergovec. Neposredni uzrok smrti bilo je zatajenje cirkulacijskog i respiratornog sustava. Unatoc poduzetim mjerama reanimacije smrt je nastupila u 11,55 sati, kaze se u priopcenju. 

Janko Bobetko bio je antifasisticki borac u II. svjetskom ratu, zagovaratelj hrvatskih nacionalnih interesa u socijalistickoj Jugoslaviji, vojskovodja u samostalnoj Hrvatskoj 90-tih godina, a pred sam kraj zivota i haski optuzenik. 

Rodjen je 10. sijecnja 1919. u selu Crncu pokraj Siska. Partizanskom pokretu prikljucio se 1941. kao 21-godisnji student, a 30-tak godina kasnije prisilno je umirovljen kao general Jugoslavenske narodne armije (JNA) zbog sudjelovanja u Hrvatskom proljecu. Nakon osamostaljenja zemlje (1990.), prikljucio se Hrvatskoj vojsci s kojom je oslobadjao hrvatska podrucja od okupacije srpskih terorista i JNA. 

Partizanskom ustanku na Banovini prikljucio se 1941. kad su mu ustase ubile oca i tri brata. Tada odlazi u sumu Brezovicu nadomak Sisku i postaje pripadnikom Prvoga sisackog partizanskog odreda - prve antifasisticke postrojbe u Europi. 

General Bobetko bio je jedini general HV-a koji se za II. svjetskog rata borio u partizanima, u cijim je redovima obnasao brojne vojne i politicke duznosti. Ratni put vodio ga je preko BiH i Crne Gore do Slovenije, gdje je kod Dravograda tesko ranjen. 

Poslije rata je zavrsio Vojnu akademiju JNA u kojoj je onda obavljao visoke duznosti - od nacelnika politicke uprave ratne mornarice i sefa opskrbe do nacelnika stozera. 

Nacelnikom stozera i zamjenikom zapovjednika 5. vojne oblasti JNA (Hrvatska i Slovenija) u cinu general potpukovnika imenovan je 1966. Zbog zauzimanja za hrvatske nacionalne interese, prisilno je umirovljen 1972. s jos 19 hrvatskih generala. Od tada do nesto prije uspostave samostalne Hrvatske nije mogao javno istupati i djelovati. 

U samostalnoj Hrvatskoj Bobetko se prikljucuje pokojnom predsjedniku Republike Franji Tudjmanu koji mu 10. travnja 1992. dodjeljuje cin generala zbora HV-a i imenuje zapovjednikom Juznog bojista. Zapovijedao je snagama koje su izvodile vojne operacije u podrucju Dubrovnika, Ploca i u dolini Neretve te oslobodile Dubrovnik i njegovo zaledje. 

Krajem iste godine, 20. studenoga, imenovan je nacelnikom stozera HV-a, zamijenivsi na toj duznosti generala Antuna Tusa. Na toj je duznosti ostao do umirovljenja 15. srpnja 1995. Od te godine pa do kraja 1999. bio je zastupnik HDZ-a u Saboru. 

Umirovljeni general Bobetko objavio je 1996. knjigu "Sve moje bitke" u kojoj je opisao dogadjaje iz nedavne hrvatske povijesti. U njoj je predocio dokumente i vojne zemljovide o vojno-policijskim akcijama "Cagalj" u bosanskohercegovackom zaledju juzne Hrvatske, "Tigar" (oslobadjanje Dubrovnika), "Maslenica", "Medacki dzep", "Bljesak" i "Oluja". 

"Imam cist obraz koji mi dopusta da iza sebe ostavim pisani trag u svemu sto sam radio i dovrsio kroza svoj vise od pet desetljeca dug vojni i politicki zivot", napisao je u toj knjizi. Haski sud optuzio ga je u rujnu lani po zapovjednoj i individualnoj odgovornosti za ratni zlocin pocinjen 1993. u akciji "Medacki dzep". General Bobetko tada je izjavio da u Haag ziv nece otici i odbio primiti optuznicu. (Hina) bcav/ssh ssh


ZAGREB, April 29 (Hina) - A retired Croatian General, Janko Bobetko, died at11.55 on Tuesday at his Zagreb home, Mijo Bergovec, head of a team of doctorsfollowing Bobetko's condition, said in a statement. #L#

The cause of death was the failure of circulatory and respiratory systems.Despite attempts at resuscitation, the general died at 11.55, the statementsaid.


» (E) Gold Rush Pioneers from ancient Croatian Kingdom
By Nenad N. Bach | Published 04/29/2003 | History | Unrated


 Gold Rush Pioneers From Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Boka Kotor

ByAdam S. Eterovich

The majority of the pioneers came from Dalmatia, Istria, Hercegovina and the Bay of Kotor, all part of the ancient Croatian Kingdom. The geographic area of Dalmatia best describes the area where most of the pioneers originated; some were from Hercegovina. More detailed descriptions are lost in antiquity and lack of adequate and inaccurate American records. Most were Catholic. Borders later changed to suit the needs of politicians and foreign rulers. The Dalmatian, Croatian coast has over 1000 islands. This was the center of the spice trade controlled by Venice and Dubrovnik. This area produced wine, olive oil, garlic, fish, sea captains, mariners, and coffee kafanas. They were citizens and businessmen of the Republic of Ragusa-Dubrovnik or the Republic of Venice, and did not go thru feudalism or learn to bow to Princes or Kings; they were freemen, independent and enterprising. This book and study covers the California Gold Rush and the Nevada Silver Boom. It lists all gold and silver miners found in an extensive index. Goldmines and Silvermines were also discovered by the pioneers. The business community is well represented with their saloons, coffee saloons, restaurants and food-liquor houses in the mining areas. They were involved in gun fights, local wars, Indian uprisings, killings and hangings and fit quite well into the Western scene.

Slavonians (Croatians)

The Venetians called them Schiavoni or  Slavonians rather than Croati-Croatians so that they would not rebel and join their inland Croatian brothers. In many cases  Slavonian was used in the West and South....this became an Americanism and had no relationship to Slavonia in Croatia.

California Gold Rush

In 1848 gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. As the news broke, whole towns emptied as everyone rushed to stake their claims. And the world responded. Prospectors flocked to California to get their share of the wealth. Between 1850 and 1860, the State's population grew from 92,597 to 379,994. The fast pace of settlement rapidly changed many parts of the state from a Mexican ranching society to enclaves of foreigners and Americans. New towns sprang up overnight as hundreds of merchants arrived to serve the needs of the prospectors. Roads and railways were constructed for access all across the state. California was changed forever. The original rush brought hundreds of thousands of people-but the idea of "California" as a land of wealth for all has lasted until now and continues to fuel immigration and prosperity. California's uniqueness in America is nowhere more apparent than in the Gold Country.

Nevada Silver Discovery

Silver was discovered in 1859. Nevada became a Territory in 1861 and a State in 1864. In 1864 Virginia City had a population of 5000. Upon hearing of new strikes or discoveries the miners and businessmen would create towns out of the desert. Overnight towns would grow to 10,000. Not only were the officials from California, but also most of the miners, merchants, editors, hightoned gamblers, hightoned gunfighters, stage-drivers and stage-robbers, lawyers, mining magnates, prizefighters, artisans and courtesans, hotel keepers, cooks, waiters, and bottle-washers.

Alaska Klondike Gold Rush of 1896

On August 31, 1896, gold was discovered on Eldorado Creek, a tributary of Bonanza. Eldorado was no more than five miles long and produced over $30 million worth of gold which brought prospectors from all over Yukon and Alaska. But the world didn t know what was happening in the Yukon until July 14, 1897 when the steamship Excelsior landed in San Francisco. On board was more than half a million dollars worth of Klondike gold. The Klondike Gold Rush was on.

Nevada Gold Rush at Goldfield

In 1902, silver and gold were discovered near Goldfield, Nevada, about halfway between Reno and Las Vegas. Goldfield exploded with growth. During its first decade, Goldfield acquired more than 25,000 residents, dozens of saloons, a couple of banks, a railroad, magnificent courthouse and the classiest hotel between Kansas City and San Francisco. It created mining millionaires and power-brokers who would rule the state for years to come. The goldminers came in  49 The whores in  51 And when they got together They produced the native son

Mathew Ivankovich at Discovery of Gold in California

On that momentous day in 1848, when gold was discovered, John Sutter had in his employ at the mill a person whom he called the "Sailor Man." The "Sailor Man" later stated he was a "Slavonian"(Croatian) and that he was present at the mill that day when the first gold nuggets were observed in the tailrace. This, then, places a Croatian at the discovery of gold in California. Matt had an older brother by the name of John Ivancovich who was also a sailor. In the year 1842 John was on board a whaling vessel, and during a storm, he fell from the rigging, to the deck, breaking a leg. He was landed at San Francisco. John wrote to his brother Matt, and urged him to come to California. Matt soon met his brother John, and through him found employment repairing boats and ships for Captain Sutter. Toward the latter part of December Sutter wanted his  Sailor man , to go up to the sawmill to help him build the mill-dam. Matt arrived at the sawmill a few days before Christmas, and began work before the first of the year, getting things ready for building the dam, brush, rocks and foundation timbers. Matt intended to stay only until the dam was completed, but as things turned our he stayed there until the 13th of February, 1848, when he left for San Francisco to inform his brother of the gold discovery.

Virginia Saloon-First in Town

Martin Grosetta-Benkovich from Dubrovnik, Dalmatia was proprietor of the Virginia Saloon in Virginia City in 1860. This was one of the first of approximately fifty business in Virginia City at the time. The Virginia Saloon was included in a prominent panorama of Virginia City. Martin had been in Mobile, Alabama in 1849 and had voted in that city prior to coming to the Pacific Coast to seek his fortune. He was one of many who had been established in the South prior to coming West. In 1859 Martin had a coffee stand in San Francisco at the corner of Sacramento and East Streets. Martin was typical of the hardy Dalmatian pioneers who ventured into the gold and silver mining boom towns as saloonkeepers or merchants.

Tadich Grill..1849 King of Restaurants

Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant in San Francisco and California. It has a genealogy of being in Dalmatian-Croatian ownership since 1849. It was located on Long Wharf as the New World Coffee Saloon and Market, the original proprietors were: Nikola Budrovich from the Island of Hvar; Antonio Gasparich from Dalmatia; and Frank Kosta from Dubrovnik. John Tadich is a native of Starigrad on the Island of Hvar, Dalmatia, Croatia. His restaurant was one of the landmarks of Gold Rush San Francisco. A talk with Mr. Tadich is like turning back the leaves of historical San Francisco; he can tell you of the little tent operating on the northwest corner of Leidesdorff and Commercial Streets, prior to 1849, where coffee was served to sailors and goldminers.

Croatian Home in Gold Rush Country

Nikola Barovich was born on December 31, 1830, at Janjina, Dalmatia, Croatia. He became a sailor and embarked upon the Croatian sailing vessel Fanica. The Fanica, commanded by Captain Ivan Kopatic, in 1849 entered the port of New York. In New York he and boarded a sailing vessel, and sailed via Cape Horn in the direction of California. On June 17, 1850, he entered the Golden Gate, and arrived at the port of San Francisco. He immediately left the ship and went to the gold mines to seek his fortune. He had a business at Sonora in Gold Rush country in 1852-53 and no doubt financed his saloons with his good fortunes in the mining camps. In 1856 he owned the famed Constitution Saloon in San Francisco and from 1857-1860 the Sebastopol Saloon on the corner of Davis and Jackson Streets. He was a member of the famed Knickerbocker Volunteer Fire Department of San Francisco and a member of the San Francisco Vigilante Committee. With the help of fellow countrymen he organized in 1857 the Slavjansko-Ilirsko Dobrotvorno Drustvo(Slavonian-Illyric Benevolent Society), the first Croatian fraternal organization in America. A Croatian Catholic cemetery was purchased in 1861 and in 1874 the Society built the first Croatian home at Sutter Creek, Amador County in the Gold Rush country. During the 1850 s he married Miss Dolores Castro, a member of one of the oldest Mexican-Spanish pioneer Land Grant families in California, and had seven children. He entered into the Nevada Territory in 1864 and was also a member of the Resse River Pioneers. He opened the San Francisco Coffee Stand at Austin, Nevada in 1864; the Alhambra Saloon in 1866; the Sazerac Saloon in 1867 and Barovich s Saloon and shooting gallery in 1873. After the silver boom in Nevada, he returned to California in 1882 and opened the Dalmatia Hotel in San Jose. Later he operated a winery.

 They had Dancing, Hunting, Drinking, and other Socially Acceptable Activities.
"Mention is made of gambling. I don't want to hold this against me; for in the days when the Empire of the West was in the making, conditions and the standards of morals were very different from those of the present day. Gambling was no more thought of against a man than going to the theatre, automobiling, dancing, or any of the other conventional modern forms of amusement. I have seen what rattlesnakes and gambling can do to men. My warning to our future generation included every form of gambling. Never attempt to get something for nothing. I beg you, dear friends, to let my advice sink in deep and think kindly of the Old Rounder who was not afraid to advise you." Antonio Mazzanovich, Troop F, 6th United States Calvary, Fort Grant, Arizona Territory, 1881.

A Genuine Slavonian
The Slavonian Assassin, San Francusco Chronicle, June 1871:   Austrian George Sharksovich (son of a shark) was not an Austrian by birth, as was supposed but a genuine Slavonian.  A very large element of the Slavonians are a rough, vagrant rabble given to drunkedness, gambling, robbery and murder.

Apache Chief Geronimo
 Three o'clock was the time that had been agreed upon as the time for surrender. The Lieutenant wired Colonel Carr for instructions. I happened to be standing alongside Geronimo's pony and when the old rascal was not looking, I tried to nip one of the silver trinkets which dangled from his buckskin saddlebag: but I failed, as he caught me in the act. Geronimo was a fine specimen of the Apache Indian, with high cheekbones, a very determined face, straight mouth, thin lips. On this occasion he was all 'dolled up' in his best, with a long war bonnet, the feathers of which trailed down on each side of his pony. Antonio Mazzanovich, Troop F, 6th U S Calvary, 1881.

Gunfighter  Three Finger Petrovich Leaves Town
 His partner, Petrovich, not to be left out of the gun play, drew his pocket I.X.L. pistol but unfortunately not having the practice of Tom Carrol, shot off two fingers of his own hand. When the fight ended Perasich was dying on the floor, more that a dozen shots were found in the woodwork, Petrovich, with two fingers missing, left town for more peaceful surroundings and Tom Carroll was never to be seen again. The Vigilantes formed a posse to find Tom Carroll.  French Restaurant and Saloon. Panamint News, November 26, 1874.

Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Irish-Slavonian War and Gunfights
Slavonians and Chinese in Carson City during the 1870 s cut and mauled each other so often that the court devised a rather perfunctory system of fines. But the clash between Italians and Slavonians employed on railroad gangs proved more serious. In one encounter, north of Reno, four Italians were killed in a single night and guards had to be posted to protect the Latins from their former European neighbors. Tonopah Bonanza Newpaper: Another lively event was the  Austrian-Mexican War out of Tonopah.  The Slavonians felt it wasn t enough to fight Chinese and Italians. Sacramento Daily Union, July 7, 1863: Marko Milinovich was shot and killed by an Irishman at his San Francisco Saloon and Hotel at Virginia City on July 4, 1863.

Matulich, Indians, Whiskey and Piracy
A report was sent to the Governor by De Mezieres: "Likewise I am informed by courier that the persons named Jeronimo Matulich and Juan Hamilton continue to make journeys to the mouth of the Trinity, buying horses and mules off the Indians who live there. These traders go in by land as far as the Bidais Nation, and try to arouse the interior tribes." De Mezieres further reports: "That a man named Matulich had gone to the mouth of the Neches River and there he was selling liquor to the Indians and maligning the governor." On August 8, 1774 the Governor ordered the arrest of Jeronimo Matulich. Matulich was an inhabitant of Mobile and took the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to his Britannic Majesty King George III in 1764. Matulich appeared in many court cases in New Orleans in the 1760's and 1770's dealing with piracy, indebtedness and other sundry matters. In Herbert Eugene Bolton's book "Athanse De Mezieres and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768-1780.

Slavonians in San Francisco
Alaska Herald, August 15, 1869:  The Slavonian race is well represented in the large percentage of foreigners who inhabit this city. All its members are more or less civilized; that is to say they are not savages. The mercantile portion is principally engaged in the fruit trade; others devote their attention mainly to keeping bar-rooms, coffee-houses, restaurants etc. All are prosperous. The secret of their prosperity is in their clannish habits. The Slavonians in San Francisco are classed into three distinct societies. Some are Austrians (Croatians), others are Turks (Hercegovinans), the remainder Russians (not many). They retain all their pristine instincts of jealousy, lust, vindictiveness and other animal passions.

Books Available

Eterovich, Adam S. Gold Rush Pioneers From Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Boka Kotor. San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 2003, 2527 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA 94070. Soft Cover, 81/2x11. $25.00. Covers the Gold Rush of 1848 in California and the Silver Boom of 1859 in Nevada. Included are the saloons, coffee saloons, and restaurants. All pioneers are listed in an extensive Index.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatia and Croatians at the Lost Colony, 1585-1590. San Carlos: Ragusan Press. 2003. Soft Cover, 8 1/2 x 11, 156 pages. Illustrated. $25.00. The first English colony in America.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatian Contributions to San Francisco from 1849-1949 to Restaurants, Coffee Saloons, Oyster Saloons, Saloons, Liquor, Importers-Exporters, Fruits-Produce, Fishermen-Oystermen and Mariners. San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 2003. Soft Cover. 215 pages. Illustrated. $25.00. Make check to Adam S. Eterovich, 2527 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos, CA 94070. Phone 650-592-1190. E-Mail

Eterovich, Adam S. A Guide to Croatian Genealogy. San Carlos, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1995. 50 pages. Booklet. $14.00. Includes Maps, Translations, Archives.

Eterovich, Adam S. A Guide and Index to Croatian Coats of Arms. San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 2003. 70 pages. Soft Cover. Spiral Bound. $15.00. An index and guide to the Nobility of Croatia. Over 7000 names and variations. Eterovich, Adam S. Croatian Popes and Saints and the Croatian Checkered Arms. San Carlos: Ragusan Press, 1998. 60 pages. $15.00. A booklet containing all forms of family and state arms with the Croatian checkered arms. Thirteen Popes had similar Arms.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatians in California, 1849-1999. San Carlos, Ca: Ragusan Press, 2000. 650 pages. $30.00. Gold Rush pioneers, the wild west-saloons, restaurants, farms, orchards, vineyards, fishermen, music, celebrations, societies, churches and 1000's of individuals. 800 biographies. 115 Illustrations.

Eterovich, Adam S. and Simich, Jerry L. General Index to Croatian Pioneers in California, 1849-1999. San Carlos, Ca.: Ragusan Press. 1999. 370 pages. $30.00. An Index by Name, Date, Occupation or Activity, Location, Town of Origin and Reference Source. Abstracted from cemeteries, voting registers, census, society records church records and other source. 45,000 individuals plus mariages.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatian Pioneers in America, 1685-1900. San Carlos, Ca.: Ragusan Press, 1979. 205 pages. $20.00. Covers those that came to the Southern United States and to the West for the Gold Rush.

Eterovich, Adam S. Marco Polo Croatian Adventurer. San Carlos. Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1987. 12 page Booklet. $6.00. Marko Polo born on Island of Korcula, Dalmatia, Croatia.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatia in the New World: Columbus, The Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Saint Vlaho (Saint Blaise) Patron Saint of Dubrovnik. San Carlos, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1993. Booklet. $8.00. Four Croatians with Columbus.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatia in the New World: Sebastian Cabot's Voyage to the Rio De La Plata, 1526-1530. San Carlos, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1990. Booklet $6.00. Croatian officers and mariners with Cabot. Cabot could be Croatian.

Eterovich, Adam S. Croatia in the New World: The Verrazano Voyages to America and Canada, 1523-1524. San Carlos, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1990. Booklet $6.00. New England was first named New Dalmatia. Verrazano could be Croatian.

Send check to

Adam S. Eterovich
2527 San Carlos Ave.
San Carlos, Ca. 94070.

Phone 650-592-1190.

Thank you,
Adam S. Eterovich

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Croatian Constellation

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