Erik Nitsche: Monument of Sutjeska
Artist: Erik Nitsche
The modern structures of Yugoslavia reflected the nationalist movement within the country. Before World War I, six separate republic-states occupied part of the Balkan Peninsula; they were Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia and Montenegro. These Balkan States belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy of the Hapsburgs. Pan-Slavism -- the movement for unification -- led by Serbia -- was a major cause of World War I, and led to the unified nation of Yugoslavia in 1929. Fierce ethnic pride among the six formerly independent states delayed the development of any form of distinctive "Yugoslavian" architecture, and for several decades, the best of Yugoslavia's major structures jointly reflected the prevailing architectural trends in Western Europe and the traditional ethnic structures of the individual states. However, with the advent of World War II and the rise to power of Josip Broz -- "Tito" -- Yugoslavia began to develop its own distinctive architectural forms. Following the Second World War, Tito began an ambitious rebuilding and socialist modernization program. One of the works included in this program was the Monument of Sutjeska which commemorates the bloody battle fought between the Yugoslav Liberation Army and the Nazi occupation forces in 1943. Designed by Yugoslav sculptor Miodrag Zivkovic, the sculpture is a popular site.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Yugoslavia Europa 1987 Modern Art - Architecture stamp issued April 30, 1987.
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