Tko Pije i Tko Plaća tu? (Who’s drinking and who’s paying here?)

In January this year I wrote a piece regarding allegations that Bleiburg Field, correctly known as Loibach Field or Libuško polje, would be flooded by the Austrian authorities, and while a group of expat Australian Croats took note of my article and launched an investigation back home and additionally visited the hallowed site to try and determine the extent and validity of claims that locals had made, some of which worked for authorities in the area, nothing could be substantiated as far as preliminary works being carried out.

Nevertheless the team did report that something was wrong, and that something seemed astray or was being covered up.

The teams attention then turned to actual current ownership of the site, which as we all know was initially purchased by Austrian Croatian Diasporans who then formed the “Počasni Bleiburski Vod” (Austrian : Bleiburger Ehrenzug  English : Honorary Bleiburg Guard) which became the body tasked with its stewardship and protection.

The sites importance has its roots in an initial memorial service which was held in secret on All Saints Day in 1952 when a group of Croatian political refugees secretly visited the site. The members of that initial pilgrimage included Ante Mikrut, Nikola Martinović and Franjo Vranjković, all of which had survived the British betrayal and Yugoslav genocide of May 1945. Along with Ilija Abramović, that group a year later founded the PBV (Počasni Bleiburski Vod) at which time Ante Mikrut, Mirko Karačić, Petar Hrstić, Nikica Martinović, Jakov Radoš and Josip Đakić took up senior positions in the groups executive. Thereafter memorial services were held each year eventually becoming prominent on or around the Saturday closest to the 12th of May with Croatian Priest Vilim Cecelja at the helm of the Holy services.

Bleiburg became a dagger in terms of defiance to the Yugoslav regime and its secret service, UDBA (Uprava državne bezbednosti), which went to extremes to curtail its existence and stewardship. Amongst many known and yet numerous undisclosed attempts to kill the Croatian spirit, in1966 UDBA placed a bomb in Bleiburg / Pliberk, which detonated earlier than planned, and again in 1975 undertook the assassination of Počasni Bleiburski Vod member Nikica Martinović in Klagenfurt.

As per Austrian regulatory requirements, a single person needed to be assigned as the “owner or title holder of the land” shown on the title of ownership, the most recent search by the Australian expat team in Croatia identified founding member and long-time chairman, Ilija Abramović as the person listed on the title as the registered owned.

Over the years, Ilija Abramović, a founding member, held the roles of Treasurer, President, and eventually honorary Chairman of the PBV but passed away on the 5th of August 2020.

The expat team in Croatia, through an official title search discovered not only that Ilija was still listed as the key person on the title but became alarmed when it was realised that his last will and testament was still apparently in probate, in other words its final execution had still not taken effect.

We surmised that within the will, Ilija would most definitely had bequeathed the land to a new caretaker, but what alarmed the team, and myself when they reported back, was that under Austrian Law, should the will not be executed within 3 years, or 36 months of the date of the deceased passing, the land would revert to the ownership of the Austrian Government.

In the past few weeks, with the assistance of a close Croatian friend in Austria who I will only refer to as M.M. at this stage, an Austrian National and business associate of his, who has a high standing as an industrialist in Austria, visited the “Bezirksgericht Bleiburg District Court Pliberk” to enquire as to the progress with the will of Ilija Abramović to which he was flatly told that neither could they advise him of its current status nor could he officially request access to it as the file had been “Locked” for lack of a better term by the authorities while it transitioned legal process.

He directly challenged them stating that rumour was that the site would be flooded by the authorities and noted that officials who he knew, and who well knew who he was and his capacity to influence, panicked in their response and gave assurances that they were well aware of the importance of the site to Croats and knew nothing of these allegations, as he stated to M.M. something wasn’t right with their responses.


Bujica 10th of March 2023 : Special Guest Bože Vukušić

With the revelations in the media of the past week regarding former Croatian Presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Stipe Mesić and Saša Perković, son of known UDBA operative and murderer of Croatian immigrants, Josip Perković, being exposed as Directors of a newly formed company trading as “Digital Assets Decentralized Exchange” in Great Britain, Bujanac’s special guest  Bože Vukušić provided insights and commentary regarding the trio among other bespoke issues that weaved their way into the conversation.

Bože Vukušić, took up the role of secretary and official spokesperson of the PBV alongside others such as Vladimir Šeks over the past two decades.

Eventually the discussion turned sharply toward Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, her presidency and Bleiburg at which time Bože Vukušić revealed not only the reasoning behind the former president’s attendance, be it official or unofficial a few years back, at Bleiburg, but also some of the challenges currently faced by the PBV. From around the 40-minute mark in the following video link, Bože not only seems to stutter somewhat as he forms and verbalises his words in response to Bujanac but seems uneasy and minimalist in his explanations regarding two issues the PBV are currently facing which are alarming.

BUJICA 10.3.2023. VUKUŠIĆ: Kolinda direktorica u firmi s Mesićem i Perkovićem?! Financirao ju Mamić!

Bože Vukušić revealed that steps were being taken to change the decision of the Austrians who had the Historic Croatian Coat of Arms from the main memorial at the site removed in recent years, went on to advise that a commemoration at Bleiburg in May 2023 wasn’t going to occur and then dropped a bombshell when pushed by Bujanac with revelation that the land once under the stewardship of the PBV was now in the hands of an undisclosed Austrian National and that Austrian Law or Government directive had relinquished control of it from the PBV.

He went on to state that in the next two months the PBV will be pursuing legal channels to reverse both these situations, but the outlook was slim because as he put it “We are small (in stature) as an organisation”

Yes, you all read correctly, and it’s there in the interview footage, the PBV apparently not in control of the site any longer.

Tko Pije i Tko Plaća tu? (Who’s drinking and who’s paying here?)

None, and I say none of this is making sense, and now the original article and the allegations behind it may well have some substance after all. We now know that Bleiburg Field (Loibach Field or Libuško polje) is under threat, and apparently its slipped by the entire PBV, but the question has to be how?

How is it that the last registered land title holder, Ilija Abramović passed away and arrangements had not been made to secure the probate of his will by his peers in the PBV?

How is it that 31 months after his passing the will is still under lock and key and not open for public enquiry, yet with 5 months still remaining for its ratification by law, the land can legally be acquired by the Government Authorities and an undisclosed Austrian citizen now mentioned as title holder?

If this is public knowledge, why didn’t the recent enquiry by our Austrian Industrialist receive the same response offered by Bože Vukušić to Bujanac in the interview?

Why didn’t the consulate heads of the Croatian Government in Australia, namely Ms. Betty Bernardica Pavelich, Croatian Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Joseph Gene Petrić, Consul General Melbourne, Mr. Ivica Glasnović, Consul General Sydney, and Mr. Zoran Šangut, Consul Perth respond to my letters of inquiry to them on the 5th of January 2023?

And what are the Austrian authorities plans for Bleiburg Field (Loibach Field or Libuško polje) should the supposed PBV legal proceedings fail, could it indeed become a tourist water attraction in the form of a lake afterall?

Again, I can only call your attention to these circumstances, but while the minutes and seconds are ticking away, we just keep asking, “Tko Pije i Tko Plaća tu?” …………………. what to do?

John Ovčarić