Josip Reihl Kir (1955 - 1991)

a policeman against the war in Croatia

Born in Sirač, Croatia, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Osijek and became a police officer in 1981. From July 31, 1990, to July 1, 1991, he was chief of the Osijek police station.

An active opponent of the war in Croatia, he kept his police command free from politics and ideology and defended all Yugoslav citizens regardless of their ethnicity. Kir successfully gained the trust of the citizens, convincing them not to suffer in silence.

With great courage, in press conferences, he fought the exploitation of the media, working to obtain corrections where journalists distorted the truth. In June 1991, in front of the municipal assembly of Osijek, fully aware of risking his life for this commitment, he declared: "As long as I am the head of the police station of Osijek - Baranja, there will be no war between Serbs and Croats here”.

Aware that this could lead to his death, which he informed the then Minister of the Interior about, he went to the Tenja negotiations on July 1, 1991. He never returned from the meeting, as he was killed that day in a political assassination organized by those who knew that, as long as Josip Reihl Kir was alive, there would be no war in Croatia.

For his courage, Josip Reihl Kir was awarded the Duško Kondor Prize for Civic Courage in 2011.

His biography is taken from the archive of Duško Kondor Award for Civil Courage. We would like to thank Svetlana Broz for providing the material to the editorial staff.

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Righteous Encyclopedia - Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Balkans

Individuals who opposed ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia during the war sparked by the division of territory following the dissolution of the Communist regime, after Tito's death.

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