5. Sućuraj in the 20th century (3 wars, 6 states)
|Sućuraj, the end of 60’s|
|Construction of a new ferry
|Sucuraj, middle 70’s|
Sucuraj, the end of 20th century
|Emblem MOMP Zvir - Hvar, 1993|
The disease filocsery almost destroyed the strongest economic branch in Sucuraj – viniculture (the beginning of the 20th century) so emigration to overseas countries was vast. As if there was not enough trouble in 1914 the 1st world war started. Men from Sucuraj were mobilized and sent to various fronts, seven of them lost their lives.
The 1st world war finished in 1918 with the defeat of the Austria-Hungary empire, so Sucuraj comes under a new master – Italy. The people didn't accepted that willingly. By the Rapal agreement from 1920 it is decided that the Italians must leave most of Dalmatia, so Sucuraj comes under the Kingdom SHS (after Kingdom Yugoslavia) on the 21/04/1921. When Italians left Sucuraj there was a big celebrate (picture right). The new administration introduced new taxes, which increased the bad economic situation in Sucuraj. The vineyards were restoring (slowly), fishing was the main occupation. In 1938 a sardines factory was built, it is the first industrial object in Sucuraj.
However, peace didn't last long – the 2nd world war started. The Yugoslav Kingdom capitulated on the 17/04/1941. After the capitulation Sucuraj was officially included in the NDH ("Independent State of Croatia") but Sucuraj against the will of its population was occupied by an Italian garrison. Fishing was possible only with permission of the Italian administration, NDH documents were not legal. The men of Sucuraj didn't accept recruitment to the armed forces of NDH, so they hide in the woods, and after they went to the Partisan forces. On the 24/11/1942 the Italian forces briefly leave Sucuraj and it becomes a free partisan territory. In that time a fishing-boat called "Sloboda" (freedom) left Sucuraj harbour and became the 2nd Partisan war-ship on the Adriatic. On the 18/01/1943 the Italian soldiers return to Sucuraj in much bigger strength. Italy capitulated on the 08/09/1943 and the Italian garrison of 300 soldiers surrendered to the partisans of Sucuraj on the 12/09/1943.
The town is free for the 2nd time and becomes a free territory again. On the 21/09/1943 from Makarska comes NDH soldiers and after them the German forces. Sucuraj is in the middle of the war swirl. Around Sucuraj many sea, air and land battles were led. Sucuraj was almost totally destructed by air bombing (German and Allied). The population is evacuated to Slavonia and El Shat (in Egypt). The Germans left the town on the 21/09/1944. Partisans moved in to destroyed Sucuraj. At the beginning of 1945 the refugees from El Shat came back, and in summer the ones from Slavonia.
After the war the Yugoslav Federation was established with Croatia as a part of its. The total bilance of this war was catastrophic for Sucuraj: 40 people were killed, 18 died as refugees. Buildings were destroyed the 17th century bishop palace, the new district building and school, the Venice fortress was badly damaged. Sucuraj is one more in its history rebuilt from nothing. The life was varying hard after the war so the rebuilding is slow. You can sea trails of destroying on picture left from 1950. Fishing and agriculture are restored and in 1953 the sardine's factory starts to work again.
A bigger development starts in the 60-iec, in 1961 a road to Hvar is made, electricity came from the coast (from 1958 electricity was from the factory's power-plant). In 1963 started the ferryboat line Sucuraj – Drvenik (1st ferryboat has called "Tratica"), in 1969 a layer of asphalt was put on the road to Hvar. Very big changes start in Sucuraj at the end of the 60-ies and the beginning of the 70-ies – tourism starts: in 1970 the hotel called Perna was built, new houses are built, old ones are renovated and the town gets a new face. In 1974 the new ferryboat pier was built, in 1978 a car-camp was built in Mlaska bay. Drinking water from the mainland came in 1986, the living standard were much bigger.
When everything was going good, for the 3rd time in the 20th century it was stopped by another war. These time the Big-Serbia invasion of on Republic Croatia. At the referendum in May 1991 the people of Sucuraj voted (98%) for the independent state of Croatia, which after many centuries became an independent country. In August 1991 an army unit of ZNG was established in Sucuraj. Sucuraj in surrounded by Yugoslav navy ships, which in a few occasions put up a blockade of the town and forbid all traffic by sea. However the blockade didn't stop the organization of a fast-boat line to the coast – the only connection the island Hvar had with the rest of the world. On the 3/12/1991 the Yugoslav ships leave the Sucuraj aquatorid waters.
Learned from history the people started organizing the defence of the town, but thankfully in this war there were no big military battles near Sucuraj. Sucuraj organised the admission of a refugees from other parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina. The army unit of ZNG was reorganized and most of the young men of Sucuraj became a part of a mixed unit of marines called Zvir – Hvar and in 1993 and '94 participate in military actions around Zadar (near Novigrad and on the mountain Velebit). From 1992 to 1994 the old Augustine monastery was completely renovated. So, the war finished, tourism starts again and it becomes the main economic branch in Sucuraj.
History of Sućuraj:
1. Antique Sućuraj (Illyrians and Romans)
2. Sućuraj in the Middle Ages (arrival of Croatians)
3. Sućuraj during Venetians (fighting the Ottomans)
4. Sućuraj in the 19th century (Austria, France and the Austria-Hungary kingdom)
5. Sućuraj in the 20th century (3 wars, 6 states)