In memoriam
In memoriam
Jovanka Budisavljević Broz
(1924 – 2013)
Jovanka Budisavljevic BrozJovanka! The name that always has deserved to be written in capital letters and pronounce with respect.

A woman from Lika! A magnificent member of the part of Serbian nation who had found its place – after many brutal hardships and injustices – at the wide mountain range in the Balkans between Velebit to the West and South, Plješevica to the East and the geographically undefined border towards Gorski Kotar to the North. The Serbian people settled in the East – in Donji Lapac, Gračac and Korenica, at the territory that has rightfully been called the Military Borderline (Vojna Krajina) – a land of courageous, tough, persistent, proud and honorable people. In this land – in Lika our Jovanka was born and grown up. If she had not been grow there, she would not have been prepared to survive, still standing on her feet, everything that life had arranged for her – both heaven and hell. But she did not deserve the hell. While she was in heaven – as a young combatant among partisans who became a wife of one of the most significant statesmen of the twentieth century – she had to fight for each moment of her happiness. She was successful because she guided herself with truthful and unselfish love towards her homeland, family, the state for which she fought and, most of all, towards the man she loved. Shining with love, with wide remarkable smile, she has approached to people earning respect from everyone. The envy and malevolence of powerful individuals she has overcome with an iron will of her moral principles, embedded during her childhood and maidenhood and strengthened by hard work aimed at constant advancement and education.

Still, in a moment of history, malice and envy seemed to win – even finally. The hell opened up and ice-cold wind mercilessly engulfed the long-awaited victim.

What kind of person could survive all the vicious attacks that were prepared for her? The answer is – Jovanka, a woman from Lika, a Serbian woman, a Yugoslavian woman, who emerged from the jaws of hell as a victor. She shared her last smiles, in hospital, with her loved ones and a few selected friends, but from ashamed and miserable-looking successors to long-gone rulers she demanded and finally received a tribute. She will be buried with her beloved husband, Tito, in the mausoleum built for the lifelong president of Yugoslavia. Jovanka has won! The child of Lika has won her rightful place in the House of Flower, and we are sure that the first lady of Yugoslavia will be the subject of numerous discussions in the years and decades that will follow.

To our cousin,
With love and respect
From the Vunjak family
Translated by Bojan R. Golubović