A very rare item from our collection. Converted from a silent 16 mm film, with titles.
British production with some of the earliest moving pictures from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, newly renamed by King Alexander I in 1929.
Apart from the Adriatic coast, Bosnia and Montenegro, this film includes some unique images from Serbia - a Serbian Slava, Kalemegdan, the brand new Royal Palace.
A title for Belgrade reads: 'Rebuilt after complete destruction in the Great War, seems to reflect the history of Yugoslavia, one of invasion-defeat-victory and regeneration.'
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.
A rare Kodachrome film, 1978.
Communist Yugoslavia was a major tourist destination for tourists from Western Europe and the US. Here is an extract from amateur footage shot by British tourists who were visiting the Adriatic coast in the summer of 1978.
Converted from 8 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:
Dozens of young soldiers were clinging to the armour, clutching assault rifles, singing victory songs, and waving the green star and crescent flag of the seventh Muslim brigade. They had captured the tank from the Croats and were celebrating...
View More: Coming to Travnik
The seasoned British journalist Malcolm Brabant spent years covering the Bosnian war for the BBC, often at his own peril, including from the besieged Sarajevo. Here are some of his photos and observations from that time.
I met Fika Hadzovic in a Sarajevo hospital just before Christmas 1992. She had her legs blown off at the knee during a Serb mortar attack. Her stumps were encased in the type of string vests used by supermarkets to wrap a side of beef. “Take a sexy picture,” she said. Her beauty and courage shines through in this photograph. Her lack of self pity was profoundly inspiring. Fika left Sarajevo for France in the winter of 1992 and was granted refugee status.
The refugees were half a mile away. One was wearing a white blouse that fluttered like a flag of surrender against the distant greenery of the mountain. Framed by majestic surroundings, they were insignificantly small and could have been dismissed as just a passing glance. Yet there was something insistent and compelling about one of the women. They were walking slowly down a railway track. There was no chance of being mown down. The trains hadn’t run for months. Weeds spouted from either side of rusty rails. The women rounded the bend and came into focus. The one in white was a grandmother. The other was her daughter whose two children skipped alongside. The mother’s head was encased in a colourful scarf, her legs in pink trousers. Two giant, bloated hessian sacks and a bedroll were strapped to her back. She carried a red bucket for washing clothes. She was tall and thin as a nail. But she was bent at ninety degrees, like a nail that had been mishit.
The woman welcomed the chance to rest a while and talk. She did not stand up straight but remained bowed at an angle of ninety degrees. She looked fixed in the position, not so much by the weight of her load, but by the journey. The refugee looked as old as her mother, yet she was not much more than thirty. They had been walking for a year. Walking away from the hammer of war. Every time they escaped a front line and thought they could rest, another offensive threatened the family and they resumed the long march.
Her name is gone and I lost the tape a long time ago. But I have kept her picture. Whenever I try to summon up the faces of Bosnia, hers always appears, burnished red from the elements and peering up at me from a painful angle.
She was pictured near Kiseljak in Central Bosnia in 1993 after having been on the move for a year.
Borislav Herak, aged 22, had one of the most evil faces I ever encountered at close quarters. He also has to have been one of the most stupid war criminals in history. He and his hapless sidekick Sreten Damjanovic, took a wrong turning while in Bosnian Serb territory and drove into Sarajevo where they were captured at a Bosniak checkpoint. When I interviewed him with my translator Dina Hamzic at a jail in Sarajevo, he admitted raping and murdering at least a dozen Bosnian women. His confession validated claims at the time that rape was part of a Serb policy of ethnic cleansing. At the time Herak insisted he was telling the truth and was not acting under duress.
I was struck by his coldness and absence of remorse. At his trial he was sentenced to death by firing squad. Herak recanted his testimony in January 1996, claiming that his testimony before the Bosnian court was beaten out of him. His sentence was later reduced to twenty years imprisonment.
Herak and his co-defendant in court with a Bosnian policeman on the left.
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:
An unusual document of its time. British independent film maker John Dooley travelled to Yugoslavia in 1959.
This educational film focuses on the Adriatic coast, the river Neretva, Mostar, Sarajevo, finishing in the federal capital Belgrade. It presents the opportunities and challenges for the country's economy, agriculture and political development given its unique position at the height of the Cold War.
Converted from 16 mm film.
Camera & Script John Dooley Plymouth Films Ltd, now defunct.
These pictures were taken right at the end of the Bosnian War. The UN peacekeepers from Ukraine were preparing to return home to their newly independent country. During the war they provided vital services to keep Sarajevo going - here we see the damage to the city through their eyes. A flying visit also to Vukovar on the Danube, where the war for Yugoslavia's succession started in 1991.
Photography © Oleksandr Klymenko
When the Bosnian War started in 1992 among the first international troops to arrive were the blue helmets from Ukraine. The soldiers provided vital help in and around Sarajevo - from bread and water to fuel. They brought with them their own worries from a newly independent country, perhaps they had an insight into this conflict like nobody else? The Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Klymenko documented their mission.
Do you remember the Ukrainian soldiers in Bosnia?
Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko