KS kultura sjećanja / remembrance culture

BMO / Online campaign - Monument to the December victims, Zagreb, Croatia

Nov. 15, 2023

The monument to the December victims is located very close to the tram station 'Dubrava'. It was made by the architect Dušan Džamonija in the 1960s.


On the 20th of December 18 people were condemned by the Ustaše to hang without trial as a retaliation for a Partisan attack on a large ammunition depot close to the village Sopnica. This retaliation was the first mass-hanging in Zagreb during World War II. The people who were hanged were actually not involved in the attack and were mainly intellectuals. They were captured because of their antifascist ideas that contradicted the Ustaše ideology. In the end, 16 of the 18 captured people were hanged as two of the hostages managed to escape. The reactions to the hanging were characterized by disbelief and disgust of the cruelty performed by the Ustaše.


Directly after WWII, the street was named ‘December Victims Avenue’, this changed and now it is named the Maksimirska Cesta that continues in Dubrava. The monument is located in the park near the tram station which still carries the name ‘December Victims park’. Not only the street name changed, also the monument changed place: before 1991 it used to stand in another part of the park where it was more prominent than it is now. Moreover, there is no plaque that explains what happened at the site. Occasionally, candles are put at the foot of the monument to commemorate the victims and small commemorations are held.


Text: Karlijn Hulshof