The large Croatian community in New York is largely concentrated in Queens (Astoria) and the neighboring New Jersey, even though Manhattan is home to a Croatian church and the Parish of St. Cyril and Methodius, which was built more than a hundred years ago. These old churches were built where Croatians lived at the time, and were in entirely commonplace locations. Now they are in city centers, with the churches staying in their original locations, while the Croatians moved away in search of work and calmer suburbs to live in. However, Croatians there will often go to the effort of a long car ride in order to listen to mass in their mother tongue.

In multicultural New York, in one of its most prominent locations, in Manhattan in front of the UN building, lies the Vjesnica mira monument, by Antun Augustinčić (Klanjec, 1900 – Zagreb, 1979). It is known as the Horse Woman – Monument of Peace in New York. The sculpture was placed in front of the main building atop a 10m tall base made out of stone from Brač, and the entire thing was imported from Rijeka in 1954. It was a gift from the Yugoslavian government in the time of the cold war between the two political blocks, the east and west. Augustinčić made several other grand monuments which reside outside of Croatia, such as the Rudar (Miner) in front of the International Labor Office in Geneva, or the Monument for the Victims of Fascism in Adis Ababa, a gift to the people of Ethiopia in 1955.



Antun Augustinčić, Vjesnica mira, New York

Josip Peruzović, a wrestler born in 1947, lived in Split. He first moved to Canada and then the United States. He would go out in Russian dress, under the name Nikolai Volkoff. He was known as Bebo Mongol, Boris Breznikoff, and Super Destroyer. He was a part of the World Wrestling Entertainment program. When he wrestled Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden, in New York, nary a spare ticket was to be found. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.[1]


Josip Peruzović (Nikolai Volkoff), Public Domain-Oakster

Another boxer of Croatian origin, Fritzie Zivic, made a name for himself in New York. He took part in 230 professional matches. In 1940, he became the World Champion by defeating the previously unbeatable, several time World Champion, Henry Armstrong. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.[2] Fritzie Zivic was born in Pittsburg, in 1913, where he passed away in 1984. He was descended from the Croatian Zivichs, and was known as the Croatian Comet.


Fritz Zuvic

Fritzie Zivic[3]

[1] Bezić Filipović, Branka. 2009. Šport u životu iseljenika. Bošković Publishing. Split. Pg. 117.

[2] Novak, Vladimir. 2001. Hrvati u Americi: katalog zbirke fotografija Vladimira Novaka. Croatian Heritage Foundation. Zagreb.

[3] See 39. Photo from pg. 6.