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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 1.22.18
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL & KATHY CAVANAUGH
All photos courtesy the authors

VISITING WHAT WAS ONCE YUGOSLAVIA: PART 7

Outskirts of Zagreb
Monday, October 23, 2017

Another grey day. I (Kathy) am not sure if it was the weather, but this was the only day that I would have preferred to stay in the hotel and read; However, we got in the coach and went to Kumrovec, the birthplace of Marshal Tito, which at that time was part of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I learned I didn't even know Marshall Tito's full name - - Josip Broz Tito. Today, he is loved by many, ignored by many, and unknown, apparently, to some of the younger people.

The village of Kumrovec is now a museum - - the whole small village - - and it is being restored as it was in 1892 at Tito's birth.

house

His family home has either the original furniture or furniture of that time period. He definitely came from humble origins; the house had two families, Tito's parents and grandparents.

statue

Next to the house is a large statue of Tito.

During World War I, Tito was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army and later captured by Russians. He was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. He participated in some events of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and subsequent Civil War. While in Russia he came to believe in that style of government.

He returned home and found himself in the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia and joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. During World War II, he led the Partisans, which harried the German Army all through the war. They were regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe.

After the war he became Prime Minister and President. He decided not to follow the Stalinist form of communism, but took an independent route. This allowed Yugoslavia to serve as a bridge between East and West, producing major economic advantages.

Yugoslavia was formed by six republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia) and two provinces (Kosovo and Vojvodina). (We will learn more about the breakup of Yugoslavia and "the war" later.)

frank

As you can see from the photograph of Frank, it was not a pleasant weather day.

We walked all over the village and saw the houses, furniture, and kitchen utensils that were necessary for daily life in1892.

farm

There was a small mill for grinding corn, the weaving room, horse-drawn wagons, plows, and other farm implements.

The museum village had one house set up to show what a wedding party would look like, with a small roasted pig, breads, vegetables, pastries.

party

This was clearly a special occasion, as the guide indicated the usual meal was coarsely ground corn mush, corn being the major crop.

corn

This is how corn was dried. Even today the same technique can be seen as you drive through this part of Croatia.

lunch

Lunch was at the Family Village Estate Desinic, where, as in most of the small family places, we were greeted with a shot of grappa or brandy and music. Before lunch we had a short tour of the vineyards - - very short because of the weather - - and the small cellar where their wine was made in stainless steel tanks.

vinyard

We were given samples to taste of both their red and their white, which was the primary product. The food, but especially the wine and bread, as usual, were excellent.  Dave, Mary and our group are waiting for the first course.

diners

During lunch we were entertained by a trio - - guitar, bass and accordion.

village

Here, the village gives an idea of the appearance of the countryside. Driving through, a hill top would sometimes be occupied by a castle or monastery.

We then traveled back to the modern comforts of our hotel in Zagreb. Rather than a wet walk in the rain, we chose another evening of dinner at the hotel instead of taking advantage of restaurants in the area.

NEXT: LEAVING ZAGREB...

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