Lipa is a small village on the Croatian side of the Slovenian-Croatian border in the municipality of Matulji. On Sunday 30th April 1944 it was the scene of a horrific retaliatory attack by the occupying Nazi German forces trying to quell the Partisan resistance in which 269 men, women, children and old people were killed, the village ransacked and their houses torched.
One eyewitness’s account:
“Here is where a terrible massacre took place when they burned people alive. About 260 people were slaughtered. On the following days, 1st, 2nd, 3rd May they collected the corpses from the village and transported them down to a little house into which they were stuffed and also burnt.”
After World War II the village was partially rebuilt whilst some buildings were left as ruins. In the 1960s a memorial building was established and in April 2015 it was reopened after a complete refurbishment and redesign by designers Gamulin & Sevšek as the Memorijalni centar Lipa pamti (the Lipa Remembers Memorial Centre).
Inside is a modern museum space which tells the story of Lipa and the surrounding area, the events of 1944 as well as a growing ethnographic collection.
pic courtesy of Novi list
I provided the English translations of some of the exhibition’s captions and documentation on behalf of the municipality of Matulji and the museum organisers PPMHP.
You can find more info on the memorial centre’s website here.
Photos by Damir Gamulin, PPMHP, Novi list, German State Archives.
Jedra Kvarnera (The Sails of Kvarner) is a permanent exhibition at The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka (PPMHP).
The exhibition presents an historical overview of the development of the shipping industry and shipbuilding in the region of the Northern Adriatic in the period from Late Antiquity, through the Mediaeval development of the shipping industry of the Eastern Adriatic and the Modern Age, to the beginning of the 20th century.
I provided the English translation of the accompanying catalogue which features a snapshot of the exhibits on show and a description of the sections of the exhibition such as the types of vessels, navigational and ship equipment, paintings of ships, anchors and the history of the shipping industry in the Northern Adriatic, Kvarner and Rijeka areas.
You can find more info at the museum’s website: PPMHP
For several years I have been translating the summaries of articles into English for the Vinodol region’s collection of historical, archaeological papers and reports collected every year in the ‘Vinodolski zbornik’.
The 15/2014 edition contains 280 pages of fascinating research with detailed photography and diagrams of this important region of littoral Croatia. Contributors include Amir Muzur, Branko Blažević, Mirjana Randić, Katica Barbarić and Tea Rosić. With every edition I learn more about the Crikvenica and Vinodol area, and it is always a pleasure to work with the journal’s editor Sanja Škrgatić.
‘The Stepfather and the Bastard’ by Aleksandra Hampamer (original Croatian language version ‘Očuh i kopile’) is the latest book by this author from Čakovec. I am very happy to have translated this novel into English.
This is a harrowing story about the life of a young girl, Aiya, and an old lady, Tara. While Aiya suffers beatings every day from her stepfather, Tara tells healing tales that help her and many others to overcome the fear and loneliness can be present in any family behind closed doors. After many years the two old friends meet when Tara is nearing the end of her life. Told through the autobiographical narrative of the author’s childhood, the tales speak of a battle against domestic violence, and shed light where darkness blocks the way of love and the courage for change, forgiveness, compassion and support.
This is the first novel that I have translated and I am glad to have had the chance to be involved in such a brave, heartfelt and touching story.
I am very honoured to have had my English translation used as the basis for the German language edition ‘Der Stiefvater und der Bastard’, which was translated by Annika Rathjens. It is also available on Amazon here.
I’m very proud to have been involved in the world’s first Bluetooth technology umbrella, developed in Rijeka.
The hi-tech, top-quality umbrella has an in-built chip which uses Bluetooth technology to connect to an app on your smart phone. In this way it will alert you if you walk away or forget your umbrella wherever you are. Plus it also gives you the weather forecast so you’ll know whether to take your Kisha umbrella with you when you go out.
It has been developed by a team in Rijeka and I helped them with the English language of their app, website and supplied the voice-over for their promo youtube video above. 🙂
Psst! If you were wondering why they chose the name “Kisha” – in Croatian the word (spelt “kiša” and pronounced “kisha”) actually means “rain”. 😉
All the info, how to order an umbrella and download the app is on their website here
Kisha umbrella survives the Adriatic’s infamous “bura” wind in Rijeka harbour:
Petar Grabovac-Ćućo is a legendary photo-journalist who worked in the industry from 1948 until his retirement in 1990. He worked for Rijeka’s ‘Novi List’ newspaper for 40 years and photographed every major event that happened in the city. He captured the visits of international statesmen such as Che Guevara, Nasser, Nehru, Khrushchev, Brezhnev as well as Yugoslavia’s President Tito.
Grabovac’s work has been published all over the world and he has been awarded numerous international prizes. His eye for detail and quality of his work is presented in this monography which features his studies of the city of Rijeka, which has changed over those four decades, and it has brought memories flooding back for its inhabitants.
I provided the English translations of the summary and the author’s biography.
This 320 page hardback book simply titled ‘Rijeka’ can be ordered direct from the publisher Adamić d.o.o. here.
The monography Primorsko-goranska županija iz zraka (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County from the air) is a lushly illustrated book featuring aerial photography of PGŽ County. Some of the countries finest photographers have captured many parts of the region with beautiful shots from all seasons of the year. Towns, islands, beaches, forests, mountains all lavishly presented in this 320 page hardback volume.
I provided the English translations for the summary and photographers’ biographies. A full English language edition has yet to be published.
Stunning aerial photography of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
The photography is by Petar Fabijan, Nenad Reberšak, Damir Škomrlj and Silvano Ježina and the accompanying text is by Edi Jurković.
Published by Adamić d.o.o, 2014
Buy it online here or look for it in bookshops.
I am very proud to have translated ‘Theatre on a plate’ by Dragan Grbić. It is a traditional Dalmatian cookbook with a modern twist. The original Croatian language version ‘Teatar u pijatu’ by the well-known chef from Trogir was very popular and so an English version was a logical step.
The book features traditional Dalmatian recipes from starters to meat and fish dishes, to desserts and marmalades. There are also historical notes about the origins of some of the ingredients, including those which are highly prized or simply overlooked in modern cuisine. Dragan gives insights to many ‘lost’ recipes and foodstuffs which are extremely tasty and nutritious and at the same time easy to find.
The recipes are accompanied by high-quality, mouthwatering photographs of the dishes, and the foreword of the book is by Veljko Barbieri, a giant in Croatian cooking and writing. If you want to experience a true taste of Dalmatian gastronomy, not just sardines and polenta, then this book is the ideal starting-point to indulge yourself in everything from soups to scallops, from macaroni to braised lamb. There’s even a brief guide to making your own flavoured rakija!
The book ‘Smijeh slobode – uvod u Feral Tribune’ (‘The Laughter of Freedom – an introduction to the Feral Tribune’) by Boris Pavelić describes and explains the 25 year old cult political-satirical newspaper the ‘Feral Tribune’, based in Split. It was published from 1983-2008 in various forms and billed itself as a “weekly magazine for Croatian anarchists, protesters and heretics.”
A typical front page of the Feral Tribune
The publication won international awards in the 1990s but slowly went out of circulation – this book studies the history and value that it had and still has in modern-day journalism.
The book is only available in Croatian and I translated the summary into English. It is hardback, has 688 pages and its ISBN: 978-953-219-492-0.
– that in Rijeka the trajectory of a gunshot was photographed for the first time in history.
– that the postmark ‘V’ Fiume from 1755, is the oldest surviving postmark in the Republic of Croatia.
– a life jacket from the Titanic is located in the local museum. It was collected by the RMS Carpathia (the ship that saved the Titanic’s survivors) on route from New York-Rijeka.
– that in Rijeka in 1786 the first midwifery school in Croatia was founded.
– that the ‘Husar’ disco club in Rijeka was the first in this part of Europe.
– that ‘Quorum Colours’ was the first and largest Croatian underground club.
– that the first Yugoslav rock band, ‘Uragani’ came from Rijeka.
– that the first punk group in Croatia ‘Paraf’ came from Rijeka.
– that Croatian Hip-Hop began in Rijeka.
– that in Rijeka the first speedway race was held in Italy and that the founder of Italian speedway was in fact from Rijeka.
– that the first psychiatric hospital in Yugoslavia was built in Rijeka.
– that the oldest lift in Croatia is in Rijeka.
– that the first vehicle marked “Made in Croatia” was built in Rijeka.
– that under Rijeka there is a cave which has been declared a natural geomorphologic monument.
– that Rijeka had its very own Schindler who helped hundreds of Jews.
– that in 1852 in Rijeka the first gas production plant began operation in South East Europe.
– that Rijeka’s rope factory is the oldest industrial plant in the city’s history.
– that the first sanatorium in Croatia was opened in the district of Pećine.
– that the first radio transmission in the ex-Yugoslavia was made in Rijeka, back in 1920. It was a speech by D’Annunzio.
– that the first Croatian steamship was built in Rijeka and with it a regular passenger route between Senj and Rijeka was established which is considered to be the start of passenger travel on the Croatian Adriatic.
– that French writer Henri BeyleStendhal spent some time in Rijeka.
– that member of the American Senate and Mayor of New York Fiorello Henry La Guardia stayed in Rijeka as the US consul and played in the Rijeka football club Atletico Fiumano.
– that Rijeka’s Pero Radaković scored the only goal in the quarter-final match against Germany, during the Football World Cup in Chile in 1962, ensuring Yugoslavia’s 4th place, which was to be its best ever result.
– that Nikola Tesla had a sister who lived in Rijeka and that D’Annunzio’s legionnaires destroyed all her personal letters and other effects which should have been preserved for history.
– that Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, the most decorated submarine captain of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, attended the Naval Academy in Rijeka. At the shipyard in Kantrida, where the submarines were launched, he met and fell in love with Agathe, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead (inventor of the torpedo in Rijeka), and they married on 10th January 1911 in Rijeka. In the 1960s one of the best musical films of all time ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed about the von Trapp family.
– that in 1937 Gino and Oscar Jankovits from Rijeka designed, constructed and tested the first car in Croatia. It was the Alfa Romeo Aerospider. It was the first vehicle in the world with fitted door handles and lights in the chassis, the first with the steering wheel in the centre, the first with the engine placed centrally at the rear, the first with a horizontally placed radiator and it could reach a speed of 230 km/h.
– that in Rijeka on 9th June 1969 the first library bus in Yugoslavia began working. It visited the city’s surroundings which had no access to library facilities providing all the inhabitants with library services.
– that in 1984 the first cash machine, ATM, in Yugoslavia was installed in Rijeka by Riječka Banka.