Osijek

Red car

27 November 2020.

Written by Matija Čaić

Defiance

In the middle of year 1991, the Croatian War for Independence was already unavoidable, and Croatia began to create its own army for defense. The enemy army demonstrated force everywhere. In Osijek, on June 27, enemy tanks left the barracks and went on patrol around the city. Croatian soldier Branko Breškić decided to stop them. He overtook a column of tanks and parked his red Zastava 750, better known as Fićo, in front of the first T-55.

The tank was driven by Josip Ilic, a Croat who happened to be in the enemy army serving compulsory military service. Ilic wanted to stop the tank when he saw the car in front of him, but the commander pointed a gun at his back and ordered him to drive on. The tank smashed the vehicle without any major problems and continued, but the scene further intensified the defiance of the Croatian people and strengthened their desire for freedom.

20 years later, a group of unnamed authors set up an art installation at the same site to commemorate the event. The installation shows an identical car trampling an enemy tank, thus showing that the outnumbered and outgunned can defeat a larger opponent if they fight for the right goal.

First Croatian Nobel prize laureate

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