Recovery of Memory

If you happen to be on the island of Vis and go to the biggest supermarket on the island near the town of Vis, this is what you will find on the parking lot near the football terrain. It might look like hieroglyphs from a distant past, but it’s not.

Around 60 years ago, there was a monument on the island of Vis made of huge blocks of stone with the inscription: “Tuđe nećemo, svoje ne damo.” (“We want nothing of others — ours we wont give!”)

It was built in 1964 to mark the anniversary of the historic speech that Josip Broz Tito delivered at this place in 1944, when Vis was the headquarters of the Yugoslav anti-fascist struggle.

“Today is the day when we will have to talk about our country’s borders. We have never talked about that during this long war. But I have to say a few words. Our people fought for freedom, for independence, and for a better and happier future. But they are also fighting for the liberation of our brothers, who have been oppressed for decades. With this fight, our brothers in Istria, on the Slovenian coast, and in Corinthia, will be liberated and live free in their homelands. That is the wish of all of us, and that is the wish of all of them. We want nothing of others — ours we wont give!”

Celebration in 1964 when the monument was revealed under Tito’s presence.

The inscription below, also a part of Tito’s speech, is a special mention for all the young women (plenty of them not even over 18) that died for the cause.

In the 1990s, during the war, the monument was cut into pieces, and today (or at least for the time being), more than 30 years later, it can be found near a supermarket on the island of Vis.