Marko Lukenda’s book was published in 2012 by the Croatian Catholic Mission in Vienna. The author researched the history of all Croatian associations—this is the first book to provide data on the activity of all associations established by Croatians in the Austrian capital over the past ninety years.

On May 7th the Croatian Heritage Foundation played host to a gala presentation of Marko Lukenda’s book Živjeti negdje drugdje (Living Somewhere Else). Joining the many gathered to discuss the book were Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović MSc, Josip Jurčević DSc from the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences and the author. Also on hand to speak about the book on behalf of publisher the Croatian Catholic Mission in Vienna was Monsignor Ilija Vrdoljak and an authentic witness of the period treated in the book, Monsignor Stjepan Pavić. 

The presentation was moderated by the head of the CHF publishing department Vesna Kukavica.

The history of all Croatian associations in Vienna was researched by philologist Marko Lukenda, a former Vienna student, the co-founder of a number of associations and a witness to their changing fortunes. He has published the compiled material in Living Somewhere Else, published in 2012 by the Croatian Catholic Mission in Vienna. The book is the first to provide data on the activity of all associations established by Croatians in the Austrian capital over the past ninety years.

It is worth noting that numerous Croatian intellectuals such as J. Jelačić, Lj. Gaj, I. Mažuranić, J. J. Strossmayer, J. Dobrila, F. Rački, V. Jagić, I. Meštrović, R. Katičić and many others spent a part of their lives in Vienna.

The majority of today’s Croatian community in Vienna, about 35 thousand strong, moved to the Austrian capital in the second half of the 20th century, for the most part as economic immigrants. Life in the new milieu inspired them to form associations with the aim of achieving their cultural and social interests, like the numerous members of the indigenous Croatian minority in Austria—the Gradišće (Burgenland) Croatians—whose culture has been woven into the fabric of Vienna for almost half a millennium.

Text by: Željka Lešić; Photos by: Snježana Radoš