Photo: Silje Horrisland.Photo: Silje Horrisland

Croatian-Norwegian Friendship Associations

There are currently two Croatian-Norwegian Friendship Associations that are active in Croatia

The Croatian-Norwegian Association was established in Zagreb on May 16, 1991. Full support to its establishment was given by the Norwegian General Consulate in Zagreb. The idea and the initiative came from Croatian enthusiasts in Oslo, especially Mr. Ivan Poljac, and their Norwegian friends, who established the Norwegian-Croatian Association in Oslo, on April 24, 1991.

From the outset, the Croatian-Norwegian Association, Zagreb, was active in spreading unbiased information about Croatia, as well as supporting the country’s wish and right to be independent. Later the Association has focused more on humanitarian and cultural activities. For instance, the Association has organised the purchase of special sport wheel-chairs for the basket-ball club "Stela" and a visit to the wounded who has been attending a rehabilitation programme in Krapina Spa. The association has organised exhibitions of Norwegian books and posters. Lectures about Norwegian novelists have been given. Books have been translated to the Croatian language, most of them by Jostein Gaarder. The association also participated actively in organising the Zagreb concert of Mrs Guri Ege, the famous Norwegian soprano, who is the wife of the Croatian conductor Mr. Krešimir Šipuš.

Lately, the main goal of the Association has been to help improve economic relations between Croatia and Norway, to continue with cultural and humanitarian activities, as well as to increase the number of members.The association has a tradition of celebrating the Norwegian Constitution Day. On May 19 the association arranged a celebration of the the Norwegian Constitution Day in cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Embassy with a lecture held by H.E. Ambassador Terje Hauge. 

President: Mr. Tomislav Zoričić
Vice Presidents: Mr. Ratimir Orešković, Mrs. Branka Kašaj, Mr. Petar Baničević
Treasurer: Mrs. Ana-Marija Paić
General Secretary: Mrs. Teodora K. Bakota


Palmotićeva 17a, 10000 Zagreb
Tel. 091/ 955 21 93

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In the late autumn of 1981, by the initiative of Željko Takač (died 1982) and by efforts of Stjepan Heimer and Andrija Karafilipović, the first friendship society in Zagreb was founded. It was the branch of the then Yugoslav-Norwegian Society, whose roots were the common antifascist struggle during the World War II. At that time, Norwegian citizens and the members of the Resistance movement helped with food, cloths and in escapes to many of the 5000 war prisoners from our region (954 from Croatia) being held in German war camps. Very soon after the German capitulation in August 1945, the Norwegian-Yugoslav Society was established in Trondheim with the aim to make the people of two geographically distant countries closer, in the same antifascist spirit.
Zagreb’s Society was established on the same principles, partly as a result of participation in Partisan marches in Ørland in the district of Trøndelag and in Samobor hills near the capital of Croatia. Until the first democratic elections in Croatia in 1990 this Society was the only one in Zagreb and acted far broader than its name has marked. In its activities the Zagreb Society embraced the citizens of the other former republics, and with the help of the consulate in Zagreb and of the Embassy in the capital of the former state, even the citizens of some third countries connected with Norway.

Zagreb’s branch of YNS has organised a lot of exhibitions and concerts in other Croatian and Yugoslav cities, as well as in Norway. In these years a lot of our citizens, the members of the Society, as well as the foreign citizens and the members of diplomatic and consular representatives, participated in Partisan marches in Norway and Croatia. Namely, the central manifestation of the Society in Zagreb was the Partisan march in Samobor hills, where among the participants from Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia, the group of our Norwegian friends was permanently present. In many occasions, the former war prisoners in Norway from Poland, Germany, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine took part in this manifestation as well.

Immediately after the first free election in Croatia in 1990, the members of the Norwegian society in Zagreb stimulated and organised the establishing of the other friendship society in Croatia.

After the attack of the Yugoslav Army on the Republic of Croatia, the society changed the name to Croatian-Norwegian Society “Željko Takač”. The name was in the honour of the late Norwegian consul in Croatia who initiated the representatives of Faculty of Kinesiology, Croatian sports association and Croatian veterans to attend the first Partisan march in Norway in 1978. Later he did his best together with some of us to retain and promote the contacts and to establish the Society.

During the war in Croatia (1991-1995) our Norwegian friends enabled us to speak in their state radio station and to have interviews in their newspapers. During the same period they also organised and sent different forms of help to Croatia. In the independent republic of Croatia the Society has continued with its activities. One of the most important part of these activities has been the continuation of scholarships for Norwegian pupils and students of Croatian language. In new circumstances the mutual visits was continued although in less number than before. The greatest Norwegian holiday, 17th May, is traditionally celebrated every year. The Society is also one of the principle organizers of the Friendship day in July. A lot of lectures and exhibitions in relation to Norway and our mutual relationships are realised. One of the most important things is now to commit younger persons to entering the Society and to continue leading it.

President: Prof. Alojz Luški
Vice President: Mrs. Branka Primorac
Secretary: Goran Kekić


c/o ZET
Ozaljska 105, 10 000 Zagreb
Tel: 091/ 2002 439


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