Croatian patriot Miro Barešić was born in Šibenik on this day in 1950.
As a young man, Barešić left Yugoslavia as a political emigrant and went to Sweden where in 1971 he participated in the attempted abduction of Yugoslav Ambassador Vladimir Rolović who died in the process. He was sentenced to life imprisonment but after a group of Croats hijacked a Swedish airplane and demanded the release of those convicted for Rolović’s murder, Barešić was transferred to Spain. He was pardoned some years later and moved to South America where he started a new life.
Barešić’s identity was uncovered in 1980 and he was transferred to Sweden. The Swedish authorities threatened to extradite him to Yugoslavia where he would most certainly face execution and in protest, Barešić began a hunger strike in his struggle to gain freedom. Finally in 1987, Barešić was expelled from Sweden to Paraguay where he lived until he returned to Croatia following the outbreak of the Homeland War. He immediately made himself available to the new Croatian government.
Barešić dedicated his life to the struggle for a free Croatia and died along with Zdeslav Turić, Frane Bokanović i Mile Pandžić in an ambush while on a sabotage mission at Miranje not far from Benkovac. As key positions in the security-intelligence apparatus at that time were held by his former enemies, it is not surprising that his death continues to be a subject of debate to this day. Tvrtko Pašalić, one of the survivors of the mission recalled that black day of 31 July 1991:
Sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 PM, we were ambushed at Miranje Donji. Fire was coming from all sides, both from small arms and mortars. It was obvious that we were betrayed as they were waiting for us and we were completely surrounded. Our guide and I were the last to get out and I believe that I was saved by a higher power. I was only able to get out around 9:00 PM as they combed the area all afternoon and sprayed bullets at us from every direction.
Miro Barešić was laid to rest in the Alley of Fallen Defenders at Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb.
Turić, Gordana. U viteza krunica (knjiga II). Zagreb: Udruga roditelja poginulih branitelja Domovinskog rata grada Zagreba, 2008
Miro Barešić – Život za Hrvatsku. Klub hrvatskih povratnika iz iseljeništva. screenwrier and director Obrad Kosovac, 2013
Graduated with a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Zagreb. He has worked at the Croatian History Museum and as a researcher for the popular TV Calendar program for Croatian Radio and Television. He has authored several books and documentaries about Croatia’s Homeland War and is the creator/producer of the immensely popular “It Happened on this Day – Homeland War” Facebook page as well as the online portal Domovinskirat.hr. Borna also edits the Braniteljski.hr portal and is the host and editor of the daily segment “Patriotic Minutes” on Croatian Catholic Radio. He created CroHis to promote the values of the Homeland War and ensure that the sacrifices of those who defended Croatia’s independence would not be forgotten.