Every which way you look at this record it’s remarkable. Even if it weren’t for the uninspired cover design it would still be something else.
It’s called “The Famous Speech of Gen. Vjekoslav Luburic.” The speech was given on April 10th 1968 in Chicago. The occasion was a celebration of founding of Independent State of Croatia in 1941. You can listen to a sample here.
Independent State of Croatia was formed in the early years of WWII as German and Italian forces advanced over what was then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Gen. Luburic better known by nom de guerre Maks Luburic was a commander of Croatian forces. His role in the region was significant. Judging his impact depends on who you talk to. Even to this day some praise Maks Luburic as a hero while others point at atrocities committed by his troops.
In the years after WWII Maks Luburic organized Croatian emigrants in the west against the Yugoslav communist regime. The regime got tired and dispatched a hitman to assassinate Maks Luburic in Spain. Ironically, the agent of Yugoslav security forces was his godson. He bludgeoned Luburic to death on April 20, 1969, barely a year after the Chicago speech was recorded.
The front cover shows a map of Independent State of Croatia. Current Bosnia-Herzegovina is completely absorbed as well as are parts of Montenegro and Serbia. The back shows Gen. Vjekoslav Luburic in uniform with a sword hanging ominously over his head.
These Wikipedia entries regarding Independent State of Croatia approach the subject from several different angles. While the Croatian language link does not deny that Independent State of Croatia was aligned with German and Italian forces it doesn’t use as strong language to condemn the regime as the Serbian link does. However, the Croatian Wikipedia entry on Jasenovac concentration camp acknowledges Maks Luburic’s hand in mass killings ordered by him.
Sadly, this very rare record sat sealed since 1969. It surfaced in a thrift shop in Orange County, California. The original owner wasn’t too keen on listening to it or maybe wanted to preserve it in mint condition. Who knows. Maybe listening to it and discussing it would have done a little something to prevent the history from repeating itself in the ’90s.