One of the many otherworldly monuments that dot the Bosnian landscape, the rocky passage of the Tjentište War Memorial is a stunning tribute to a total failure.
The two fractal walls of the memorial were erected in the 1970’s to remember Operation Fall Schwarz, otherwise known as the Battle of the Sutjeska. The military action took place during World War II and saw Axis forces attempt to rout a group of Yugoslavian forces and capture their leader. The complicated battle saw most of the Yugoslav forces able to escape, including their leader, foiling the Nazis’ plan, which was actually the second attempt at the same strategy. While the the Axis’ plan was a failure, it was not without tragedy. Over 7,000 people were killed, mostly just citizens who could not escape with the majority of the Yugoslavian military forces.
To remember both the Nazi failure and the tragic loss of life, the abstract war memorial was constructed. Like many of the memorials constructed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 70’s the monument is an angular abstraction constructed from bleak grey cement. However despite the tragic roots and brutalist construction, the majestic strangeness of the Tjentište War Memorial cannot be denied.