Communist Yugoslavia was a major destination for tourists from Western Europe and the US.
Here is an extract from a film promotion of Macedonia by the Yugoslav National Tourism Office in 1975. With some very rare footage of Skopje and Ohrid.
Transferred from 16 mm film.
Converted from 16 mm film.
In the mid-1920s the prominent German photographer Kurt Hielscher was invited by the government in Belgrade to travel to Yugoslavia and create a book with images of the state, founded only a few years earlier. Kurt Hielscher had already published similar and very successful books about Italy, Spain and Germany, so he took up the invitation with enthusiasm.
In Belgrade he got an interpreter, letters of introduction to all local authorities and cars were at his disposal. Hielscher gratefully acknowledges all help in this endeavour. He also thanks the Zeiss-Ikon and Agfa factories for their outstanding cameras, lenses and photo plates.
The journey - from the Alps to Novo Mesto towards Bulgaria - produced 1200 photographs, from which he chose 191. In Hielscher's words, those were the few "which would try to show the attractive, diverse character of the landscape, the architecture, and way of life of the Yugoslavs... I didn't want to create a collection of postcards".
The result is a stunning and often moving collection, published in a book in 1926 in Berlin by Ernst Wassmuth AG.
On Agfa Chromo Isorapid plates.
Communist Yugoslavia was a major tourist destination for tourists from Western Europe and the US. Here is an extract from amateur footage shot by a British family from the North of England visiting the Adriatic coast in 1960.
Did you or your family spend your holiday in Yugoslavia? We'd love to hear from you. Share your memories.
Converted from 16 mm film.
Atidje's story takes you back to 1973, when her family was caught up in dramatic events that no one could have dreamt would occur in the quiet, mountainous village of Kornitsa, on Bulgaria's Greek border.
The entire Muslim community stood up against the Communist government, demanded their rights, and cut the village off from the rest of the country, camping out for months in the main square. Atidje's husband was the leader of the rebellion. When the crackdown came, she paid her price.
Four decades later she still remembers vividly what happened that night, the deportation with her children, and her missing husband, who was sent to prison. Both of them now live in Turkey.
Ilija Djadjev from the town of Gevgelija in the then Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a geography teacher. However, his passion is music and he is one of the very few performers of the 'Hawaiian' guitar in this part of the world.
Ilija has had more than one thousand concerts, some of them in most unusual places. We see him here playing to a bee-keeper, as well as to soldiers at a remote post on Yugoslavia's border with Greece.
Ilija's dream is to visit Hawaii one day. Meanwhile, he enjoys playing by the Macedonian Lake of Doiran.
Rescued and converted from a 16 mm Orwo film
Nikola Mihov was a prominent Bulgarian army commander at the turn of the XX century. A career officer who managed to stay clear of politics in the turbulent 1930s, he ran the country's Military Academy till 1941. In 1942 he became a defence minister in Bulgaria's Nazi-allied government. In the summer of 1943 General Mihov was appointed as one of the three regents to the boy King Simeon after the death of his father King Boris.
Just over a year later, after the Communist takeover of Bulgaria, Nikola Mihov's fate took a dramatic turn – he was arrested, taken to the Soviet Union for questioning, then returned, put on show trial in Sofia and executed together with 96 other statesmen and prominent Bulgarians. They were all shot and buried in a mass grave on 1-2 February 1945.
Lyudmila Doytchinova was Nikola Mihov's niece. She remembered vividly the day her uncle vanished.
Filmed in Sofia, 2008
A rare Kodachrome film for Pan Am Airways, 1964.
Yugoslavia was the only Communist-controlled country in today's Eastern Europe Pan Am flew to during the Cold War – showing how important the country was at that time.
A cultural icon of the XX Century, Pan American World Airways, or Pan Am, was the largest international air carrier in the US from 1927 until its collapse its 1991.
Pan-Am is remembered by many for its routes to divided Berlin - Tempelhof and Tegel.
Did you fly on Pan Am to Yugoslavia or West Berlin? Did you visit Yugoslavia's Adriatic coast, or perhaps Ohrid?
Share your memories.
Converted from 16 mm film.
All rights to use purchased.
This Kodachrome film is just a beautiful and non-political piece of history. More on the seemingly still open question whether Yugoslavia was a Communist society despite its relatively open borders, was it dogmatic...did it ever try do deal with events of the recent past, like Bleiburg or the fate of its ethnic Germans, Istria... is available on:
Prespa Lake - an area of stunning nature and relentless politics.
After several campaigns of ethnic purges and other of the 20th Century's upheavals: the Balkan wars, the 1920s, the Greek Civil war of 1947-49, the Slav speakers – Bulgarians and Macedonians - largely disappeared from Northern Greece. Their houses are sill there in ghost villages, the stories of survivors in remote pockets still untold, their identity still intact. We spoke to some of them on camera.
74 years ago on 10-11 March 1943 Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was mainly down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev.
Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life.
His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembered.