Departments and collections
Department of Modern History since the Establishment of the Republic of Croatia in 1991
The Department of Modern History since the Establishment of the Republic of Croatia is the newest department of the Karlovac City Museum. It was founded with the aim of collecting, studying and presenting items that document the turbulent 1990s, the first democratic elections in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its breakup, creation of a free and independent Republic of Croatia, with special emphasis on the Homeland War from 1991 to 1995. The structural features of the Department are determined by the most significant function of the material it handles – education of beneficiaries, particularly school-aged youth. Systematic collection of material commenced in 1992. The museum material collected by 2007 was distributed among the existing collections of the History Department of the Karlovac City Museum. In order to allow for more efficient processing, protection and presentation of this heterogeneous material, a special department was founded. Due to its thematic diversity and the sheer number of collected items, the material was divided into five collections: collection of weapons, collection of uniforms and military equipment, collection of documents, collection of films and videos, and collection of everyday items. A particularity of each of these units is their authenticity and uniqueness of specimens.
Ružica Stjepanović, senior curator
Phone: +385 47 659 094
Juraj Horvatin, curator
Phone: +385 47 659 093
The material in the Collection of Documents from the Homeland War follows the period from the 1990s to the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Croatia, defense against aggression in the Homeland War, and the post-war period, with an emphasis on the wider Karlovac region. The collection contains heterogeneous items: diverse printed and documentary materials, illustrative materials – posters, flyers and slogans, personal identification documents, photographs, maps. These items testify of the important political and military events and the everyday life in those times. A part of the material speaks of the activities of JNA and Serbian paramilitary units in the aggression against the Republic of Croatia, and of the actions of the authorities of the Republic of Srpska Krajina on the occupied territories.
Electoral program of the League of Communists of Croatia – Party of Democratic Changes
The collection is a donation by Goran Vranić, photographer and volunteer of the Homeland War. The photographs in the collection belong to the series titled Defenders’ Portraits and Pride of Croatian Warriors. The majority of photographs were taken in the fall-winter 1991/92 on the battle locations in the Generalski Stol municipality, and feature members of the 150th HV Brigade Zagreb Črnomerec, of which the photographer himself was a member. In addition to the photographs, the collection also comprises a war uniform and the photographic equipment used to take the photos.
The Collection of Uniforms and Military Equipment from the Homeland War, the most numerous among the department’s collections, features uniforms, parts of uniforms and equipment used in the Homeland War by the members of the Croatian Army, Ministry of the Interior, National Protection, and the enemy forces of JNA and Serbian paramilitary units. The most valuable items in the collection are the uniforms and items gifted by the volunteers, Croatian defenders who were the first to set out to defend Karlovac and Croatia in the Homeland War.
The collection testifies to how Croatia was created and defended, and paints a vivid picture of the weapons and strength of the aggressor forces. The emerging Croatian Army had small quantities of infantry weapons procured in the first half of 1991, and a few armored personnel carriers as part of the Ministry of the Interior. Some of the weapons were captured in the JNA’s army barracks and warehouses, while a part of the artillery weapons, armored vehicles and light infantry weapons was manufactured in Croatian factories and workshops. Infantry weapons represent the backbone of the collection, and we also possess interesting samples of artillery items, armored combat vehicles and airplanes.
The collection is very heterogeneous, containing items related to the civil life in Karlovac on the eve of the Homeland War, during the war and afterwards. Of special interest are items from the shelters of Karlovac, lives of displaced persons, as well as items testifying to the solidarity of people from all around the world and the aid they collected for Croatia.