Maj

| 97 For every good word that you said tome, for your every look, for your every laugh, thank you,” sang the baritone quality by the piano, and we stood as though enchanted by those words sung in a dialect that we barely understand. In the ZelenjakVentek villa, we – a group of Serbian journalists of all ages – stoodbeside thepiano, carriedawayonthe sad melody after having stu ed ourselves wellwithdelicious štrukli and fragrant strudel...We’d come todiscover Zagorje and to trace the paths of Tito’s childhood in Kumrovec,butthatmomentinthishundred-yearold tavern, nestled in the green hills, transportedus to somewherebeyond time. The owner of the villa sang, and in the song, in perfectaccompaniment, hewas joinedharmoniouslybyvisitingtravellers, twoelderly Slovenes. There was no longer any doubt thatwewere inthehomelandof JosipBroz, and it even seemed for amoment that the Socialist FederalYugoslaviawasn’t suchancient history. And even those of us who were born afterTito’sdeathweretouchedby that song rst sungbeforeYugoslavia, writtenbypoet Dragutin Domjanić back in the 1930s. It owes its immortalitytothefact that, despite soundinglikea lovesong, it isnot reallydedicatedtowives,nor togirlfriends–but rather tomothers. Nevertheless, it receivedanew The old core of the Croatian village of Kumrovec, which encompasses an area of almost 13,000 square metres, was turned into a museum and opened to visitors for the rst time in 1953 Staro jezgro hrvatskog sela Kumrovec, koje obuhvata gotovo 13.000 kvadratnih metara, pretvoreno je umuzej i za posetioce je otvoreno 1953. godine connotationandwas left foreverassociated with aman for whom it was performed on his last journeyonablue train fromLjubljana toBelgrade.When theco ncontaining Tito’s mortal remains was presented in Zagreb in front of hundreds of thousands of teary-eyedpeople, theysangspontaneously -“For everygoodword...Thank you”. Inconceivablefor today’s times,buteverythingrelated to the greatest son of the people and nationality was inconceivable. Presumably that’s why, decades after his death, there are still circulating truths and lies, legends and fairy tales, suggesting that he was not himself at all, but rather a bit Russian, a bit Austrian, a double of the real Josip Broz, who died on some distant front, and so on and so forth endlessly. In Zagorje there is no dilemma in this regard. Tito is theirs and theirs alone; he was born in the small villageof Kumrovec, where the River Sutla separatesCroatia fromSlovenia. A village that probably nobody would ever had heard of if not for its famous native, who was even a reason for Richard Nixon to visit. Others generally preferred Brioni, understandably. The house that Tito lived in stands at the very beginning of the Old Village Museum. It was there that he came into the world on 7th May 1892, born of father Franjo and mother Marija, as the seventh child in a large family of farmers. Although that date was written in all o cial books, the whole of the former Yugoslavia celebrated Tito’s birthday for decades on 25th May, the Day of Youth, whichwas celebrated by the country with assemblies, relay batons andall thebeautifullykitschsymbolsof that time.Thedatewaschosenfromoneof Josip Broz’s fakedocuments fromthe timewhen he had no legal status, and it was on that samedate that he survived theGermanassaultonDrvar,whichprovidedanother reason for a celebration. Hishouse inKumrovac is freshlypainted, with pillows strewn on beds and sweet smellinggeraniums inthewindow.Awooden bed with a straw mattress, an archaic stove, jars, a barrel, a sieve, even a trough, Mali Joža dosetio se da se niz bregove Zagorja spušta u koritu, jer njegovi roditelji nisu imali pare za sanke Little Joža came up with the idea of descending the Zagorje hill in a trough, because his parents didn’t have the money to buy him a sledge

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