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Balkan Roots – A Travel Essay

October 24, 2017

A Search for Family Beginnings in Croatia

Photos by Leola Jewett-Verzuh

It is pouring a hard, unforgiving Balkan rain that threatens to scupper my plans to visit Lukovdol, a small village in Croatia where I hope to find the ancestral home of my grandfather Francisus Verzuh. We are in the mountainous region of Gorski Kotar, a county near the Slovenian border. Wikipedia dubs it Croatia’s Switzerland, adding that Croatians apparently call it “the green lungs.” We are in Verzuh country…at least I think so. My journey into my family’s past is about to begin, but would it also lead me to discover aspects of myself that have been hidden in the history of a place that has been pockmarked by political violence, religious intolerance, and social dislocation since before Francisus left Lukovdol in the 1890s?

See the full essay here:

Balkan Roots

Correction: I misspelled the name of Gavrilo Princip among other typos.

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