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Yugoslavia


  • Originally published 07/01/2013

    Croatia joins EU with history

    Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union, capping a decade of judicial and economic overhaul to shed the remnants of communism and its wartime past.Tens of thousands celebrated the entry of the second former Yugoslav republic into the EU with fireworks, five-story projections of its history and technology, concerts, dance performances and street parties across Zagreb. European Commission President Jose Barroso and other EU officials gathered at the central square as Croatian and blue-and-yellow EU flags fluttered in the evening breeze above revelers’ heads.The Adriatic country, which emerged as an independent state in 1991 during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, is looking to EU membership to help solidify peace throughout the Balkan region as tensions still smolder in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Leaders are also counting on EU ties to lure foreign investors to the $63 billion economy and end four years of recession and stagnation....

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Crown Prince Alexander II: the man who would be king of Serbia

    Four wooden coffins lie in a row, each draped in a subtly different red and blue standard. Behind them, an ornate iconostasis rises 20 feet to the cupola of the royal chapel. In front of them, crucifixes in Cyrillic script record the names of the coffins’ inhabitants. “This is my father, my mother, my grandmother, and my uncle,” says the crown prince, gesturing at each in turn.Republics do not often throw state funerals for royals, still less for four at once. Nor do they have princes, princesses and palaces. But Crown Prince Alexander II, heir to the throne of what for a short time before World War II was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and is now a mosaic of republics in sometimes unhappy coexistence, is untroubled by such apparent contradictions. After a decade of lobbying, he succeeded last month in burying four members of the Karadjordevic dynasty in what was once their kingdom.On an overcast May morning in Oplenac, an hour’s drive west of Belgrade, thousands of Serbs queued for hours to get a glimpse of the prince as he arrived for the service. He stood to kiss a crucifix held aloft by Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, before watching men in national costume bear the coffins to the royal mausoleum, where one day he, too, will be buried....

  • Originally published 05/28/2013

    Serbia holds funeral for last Yugoslav king

    BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia held a funeral on Sunday for Yugoslavia’s last king, Peter II Karadjordjevic, who had fled the country at the start of World War II and died in the U.S. in 1970.The former king’s remains, and those of his wife, mother and brother, were interred in the family tomb at St. George church in Oplenac, central Serbia, in a ceremony aired live on the state television.The funeral was attended by top state officials, who described it as an act of reconciliation and unity....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Body of Yugoslav king long buried in America heads home

    The remains of Yugoslavia's last king — Peter II Karadjordjevic, who died in the U.S. in 1970 — were flown back to Serbia in a solemn ceremony on Tuesday, despite protests by some Serb royalists in America.The former king fled the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia at the start of World War II and never returned because Communists took over at the end of the war. He died in exile at the age of 47 and was buried at a Serbian Orthodox Church monastery in Libertyville, Illinois — the only European monarch laid to rest on U.S. soil.His son — Crown Prince Alexander, who lives in Belgrade — wanted the remains returned to Serbia. That reportedly upset some Serbian-American groups, who claimed the remains were being secretly exhumed and that before the king had died he asked to remain buried in the United States....

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