6 shields of the different republics surrounding the Yugoslavia shield

The end of Yugoslavia part 1

Before I begin telling you about the next part of my trip we need to have a bit of a history lesson I think. 

Prior to this trip, all I knew about Yugoslavia was the fact that there was once a country called Yugoslavia and now there isn’t.
I think this is mainly due to the fact that I was born and raised in New Zealand where (and please don’t think me selfish or stupid for saying this) as a child I was far enough away and removed from it that I didn’t need to know, and then when I was old enough, the focus had been put on new countries and places.
It’s a conflict that happened in my life time, in fact I would have been 3 when it started in April 1992 and 6 when it ended in 1995. During our trip we’ve talked to people who lived through it, not only older but some who are about mine or Ads age that can remember.

So this is my understanding of Yugoslavia from WW2 till
The former Yugoslavia was formed from 6 countries, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia.

6 shields of the different republics surrounding the Yugoslavia shield

The 6 rubrics which join together to form one new country

In Montenegro we learnt all about Josip Broz Tito, how he fought in WW2 as leader of the Partisans (a guerrilla army), was the Bradley Cooper of his time and how he ended taking control of a Communist Yugoslavia.

See doesn't he remind you of Bradley Cooper?

See doesn’t he remind you of Bradley Cooper?

What I’ve gathered talking to people was that during the time he ruled, till his death in 1980, Yugoslavia was a thriving country. However, if you didn’t agree with him or communism, then there was a problem and this meant death or jail. Tito was a prolific traveller and compared to Stalin in Russia, was respected and liked by leaders in the Western world as well as Africa and Asia. This was why, even when Russia did make threats of a takeover, Tito stood his ground knowing there was a good chance the USA would help him.

Fast forward to 1980 and his death (he is now buried in ‘The House of Flowers’ in Belgrade where you can see various presents given to him by other countries.) There was a need for a new leader and every republic wanted to put forward one. This led to increasing tensions, not just for religious reasons but due to each leader wanting to gain the most benefits for his republic rather then Yugoslavia as a whole.
In 1991, Croatia and Slovenia declared independence. Macedonia followed in January 1992.
Bosnia and Herzegovina declared their independence in 1991 but when finally recognised in 1992, Croatia and Serbia had already decided they weren’t ready to let it go.

Please note that this is my understanding of what I’ve gathered from the various tours I’ve done while visiting former Yugoslavia countries. It may seem rather one sided but that’s how it was told to me. If you’ve spotted an error, let me know or why not tell me what you know about this time.


10 thoughts on “The end of Yugoslavia part 1

  1. Kerri says:

    To be honest I don’t know too much about the whole thing. I vaguely remember Yugoslavia but I dont know much more about it. This is quite an interesting post and its nice to learn about place that once were.

  2. aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes says:

    Haven’t heard the word Yugoslavia is years! It’s a really good post Jenna!

    Age does play a huge factor on history especially when it was happening when you were only 3-6 years old. The conflict affected our family in NZ as we had many members of our family that were brought from Croatia to NZ during the war including one of my cousins who stayed with us so she could learn english before she started school as we were the same age.

    One of the big problems was that Slovenia closed it’s borders and declared independence very early on and they received a lot of help from Austria in the process. Then it was a huge scramble for everyone else to get land. Unfortunately it was only until they started bombing Dubrovnik that the rest of the world started to get involved to sort out the mess that was the Balkans however by this time a lot of innocent people were killed due to their ethnicity.

    It’s such an interesting area in the world and still slightly troubled in areas. One book that I really enjoyed reading that my sister bought me was Goodbye Sarajevo which has a kiwi twist to it -http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Sarajevo-Atka-Reid-ebook/dp/B00555PUL4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1414056620&sr=8-5&keywords=sarajevo


    • jennafrey says:

      I’ll definitely have a look at the book. I think the lack of interest the rest of the world shouted is one of the reasons why I found it so interesting . And depending on what country you were in the like or dislike for bill Clinton also amused me

  3. Mandy says:

    It’s a good summary Jenna. A lot of understanding what came next requires an understanding of what happened during WWII and hundreds of years ago but it’s a very good start indeed.

    • jennafrey says:

      I’m not going to pretend to know that much but like i said it is my basic understanding, just so that my next few posts make a wee bit more sense then they otherwise would

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