Branka Bezić Filipović





Naklada Bošković



Branka Bezić Filipović



Vesna Kukavica



Jelena Mijatović



Tania Blažević - the preface

Almis Roje – the book



Claudia Miličević – the preface

Kate Špika – the book



Branka Bezić Filipović



Vicko Bezić

Branka Bezić Filipović






Split, 2016




                                                    In memory of my beloved father, Boris Bezić








     The manuscript of the book titled Croatian Traces in the World by author Branka Bezić Filipović includes descriptions of historical sources on our creative immigrant personalities, whose presence can be felt in the cultural landscapes across many a meridian and parallel abroad. We encounter them in the names of streets in foreign cities, city districts, the names of palaces, bridges, institutions, memorial parks, in philatelic and numismatic collections, graveyards, and the names of natural wonders: picturesque hills and magical rivers…

     The book is made up of four parts, unassumingly and transparently titled Europe, South America, North America, and Oceania, which match the geographical indicators of traditional Croatian migration routes with a multitude of photographs taken in roughly sixty authentic localities from all over the world.

     Considering the fact that Croatians and people of Croatian descent have been living for centuries in countries with various cultural characteristics, leaving behind noticeable creative traces along these geographic breadths, it is quite logical that the Croatian Heritage Foundation would be interested in the Croatian contributions to these multi-ethnical and multicultural mosaics from distant continents.

     This noticeable cultural trail of our people, which often reaches impressive aesthetic heights, was uncovered by the author on her travels to numerous countries all over the world, from Alaska to the Land of Fire, South Africa to Australia and New Zealand, and the breadth of our European neighborhood.

     The book is meant for anyone interested in the status of Croatian immigrants in our time, and it celebrates the common man who had the curiosity and courage to go tackle new horizons and different cultures.

     Before us is a valuable publishing project on Croatian traces in the world, whose pages have thousands upon thousands of previously unpublished or less known facts from our cultural, societal, and political history, which has continued to develop abroad since the middle of the second millennium, into today.

     It is a historical work which will be important for two reasons: on one hand, it will present previously-unknown traces related to Croatian immigrants to the public, and on the other, the author’s own comments are so rich that they provide a kind of cultural cross-section of immigrant history, which is the missing piece of our total national and cultural history.

     Alongside all of that, this study indirectly highlights the need for a more organized accounting of Croatian cultural traces all over the world. At the same time, Bezić’s study is an original work, and as such represents not only a useful guide for interested experts, but also a contribution to our understanding of everything that exists within Croatian immigration, which we are often not aware of to any adequate degree. Author Branka Bezić Filipović exposes the very essence of the topic at the heart of her book; the multitude of complex relationships in multi-ethnical communities on other continents. Thus we believe that the book, presented by Branka Bezić Filipović, will offer valuable contributions to various segments, for both experts and the broader reading public.

     The book is characterized by both transparency and methodological consistency, and its wealth of photographs and other attributions will, in a conceptual, contemplative, and every other sense, ensure that it gets its rightful place. The book contains over one hundred photos which speak to the authenticity of the Croatian traces it describes across some forty countries.

                                                                                                                     Prof. Vesna Kukavica



My job in the Croatian Heritage Foundation involves visits to Croatian communities throughout the world and cooperation with Croatian communities through various programs  that promote Croatian national and cultural identity.

     Communities or clubs were established by Croatians as places to meet, and speak the Croatian language which, in the absences of a Croatian priest, most often could not even be heard in church. In those places, they could for a while forget that they were far from their homeland. There they found solace in their nostalgia and could relax in the Croatian way.

     In the new found communities, Croatians achieved much recognition. In multicultural countries, they achieved honors which those foreign countries awarded them. In countries where it is difficult to shake off the stigma of being an immigrant many countries had to acknowledge that it was precisely Croatians, a diligent and talented nation that contributed to that country’s progress.

     That’s why streets, monuments, bridges and works of art named in the honor of Croatians and Croatia can be easily found in a public place. Such traces never cease to amaze me and fill me with pride when I think that this was achieved by someone who had to leave their home country.

     Some countries have dedicated postage stamps to Croatians. Some have allowed schools to be named after Croatians even though these schools are attended by a minority of children of Croatian background and even Croatian athletes are entered into Halls of fame in some countries. From this, it can be seen that Croatians care about their heritage and that do not wish to drown into a sea of other nations.

     Upon my visits to Croatian communities, I came across many similar examples and have limited these only to the ones I personally sighted and the photographs which do not indicate the source, are my own. It is obvious that much unmentioned is related to this topic. However, what has been included in this book obviously demonstrates the strength and persistence of our Croatian immigrant communities who bear witness to their love of their home country.