University of Minnesota

Balokovic, Zlatko, Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC


Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Balokovic, Zlatko, 1895-1965.
Dates: 1924-1965
Abstract: Autobiography, correspondence, diaries, contracts, handbills, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, published articles, speeches, photographs and tour itineraries of or collected by the Balokovics.
Quantity: 1.25 linear ft.
Collection ID: IHRC274

PROVENANCE

The Zlatko Balokovic Papers were given to the Immigration History Research Center Collection by Mary Borden Bok in 1972. There are no restrictions on their use. The inventory to this collection was compiled by Todd. M. Michney in 1997, and prepared for the Internet by Student Assistants Paul Bowman and Andrew Svendsen, and Assistant Curator Daniel Necas in 2002-2005.

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Zlatko Balokovic was born on March 21, 1895, in Zagreb, Croatia (at the time part of Austria-Hungary). He began violin lessons at age ten, and made such astounding progress in the next three years that he was sent to Prague to continue his studies at the "Meisterschule" there under Professor Otkar Sevcik. In 1913 Zlatko was invited to play with the Moscow Philharmonic, and he also won the annual Austrian "Staatspreis" that year. Soon afterwards he made tours to Berlin, Vienna, Genoa, and trieste. He remained in Trieste during the First World War. After living in Great Britain from 1920 to 1923 and learning English, Zlatko accepted an offer of an American tour. On January 1, 1924, he sailed for New York. Remaining in the United States, on May 11, 1926, he married Joyce Borden, heiress to the Borden family fortune. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the couple toured the Eurpean continent repeatedly, performing before most of that continent's royalty. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Zlatko and Joyce settled with their adopted children at Hillside Farm in Camden, Maine. The couple became involved in many wartime political efforts. Zlatko served as chair of six particular orginizations: the Yugoslav Division of the U.S. Treasury War Bond Drives; the russian War Relief's Nationalities Division, the United Committee of South Slavic Americans; the American Slav Congress of Greater New York; the American Croatian Congress, and the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief (which had Eleanor Roosevelt as its honorary president). Zlatko was an untiring advocate for Tito's Yugoslav Partisans; in November 1944, with the help of adlai Stevenson (nephew by marriage) he went to Washington demanding the shipment of medical supplies to the Partisan forces. In one day's time he saw President Roosevelt, Vice President Wallace, Secretary of State Stettinius, Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy, and and Admiral Land. The medical supplies reached their destination. In 1946 the Balokovics returned to Yugoslavia as official representatives of the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief and were showered with that nation's gratitude. Zlatko gave 36 concerts and hundreds of speeches, while travelling the entire country in a private railroad car. The couple came to know personally many high-ranking figures in the Yugoslav government, including Marshall Tito, plus Georgi Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Enver Hoxa of Albania. Upon their return to the United States, the couple went on a coast-to-coast speaking tour in 1947 to advocate for the People's Republican of Yugoslavia and to relate their experiences there. As a result of their ties to the Yugoslav government and their membership in those wartime organizations which had come to be considered "subversive," the Balkovics were labelled as "fellow travellers" by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1949. After quite an ordeal (and legal action), the Balokovics cleared their names. In 1954, Zlatko and Joyce made a second "jubilee tour" of Yugoslavia. Tito presented Zlatko with the Grand Cross of the Yugoslav Flag "in recognition of his artisitic and humanitarian achievements and his contribution to closer relations and better understanding between the peoples of Ygoslavia and the United States of America." through the late 1950s and 1960s, Zlatko continued giving concerts around the world. On March 29, 1965, en route to his 70th birthday celebration in Zagreb, Zlatko passed away in Venice. He was taken to Zagreb where a state funeral and burial took place on April 3. (Adapted from a statement submitted by Mary Borden Bok.)


DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

Autobiography, correspondence, diaries, contracts, handbills, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, published articles, speeches, photographs and tour itineraries of or collected by the Balokovics. Also includes organizational papers and records of various Yugoslav and Croatian groups interested in the establishment and development of a federated Yugoslav republic during and after World War II. The papers relate chiefly to Balokovic's involvement with Yugoslavian and Croatian organizations and to his musical career.Correspondents include Ivan Subasic, General Velebitu, newspaper editors, U.S. congressmen, Louis Adamic, James Brunot, U.S. attorney general Tom Clark, Mirko G. Kuhel, Hilton H. Railey, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thomas J. Watson. Also included are materials on Stojan Pribicevic (1944-1946), the "Eric Pridonoff" case (1946-1951), Cardinal Stepican (1946-1947), and a manuscript of Francis Ralph Preveden's "History of the Croatian People" (l949).


ORGANIZATION OF MATERIALS

Series I - Personal Papers Series II - Political Organizations Series III - Miscellany Series IV - Photographs


ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Balokovic, Zlatko collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Balokovic, Zlatko collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Reseach Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regrading the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


CITE AS

The Balokovic, Zlatko Papers, Croatian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Croatian
Balokovic, Zlatko, 1895-1965.
Balokovic, Joyce Borden, 1897-1971.
American Committee for Yugoslav Relief.
National Council of Americans of Croatian Descent.
United Committee of South Slavic Americans.

Description of Series

This section briefly describes each series in the collection. A more detailed description of the contents of each series may be found in the following section.

SERIES 1. Personal Papers

This series consists of biographical materials on Zlatko Balokovic, documenting his career as a violinist; the official correspondence of both Zlatko and Joyce, which is primarily political in nature; and other materials such as Zlatko's speeches and writings and documentation on the couple's various trips to Yugoslavia.

SERIES 2. Political Origanizations

This series consists of organizational records for several of the political organizations in which the Balokovics were most active in the 1940s. Records for the American committee for Yugoslav Relief are the most extensive, the documentation on the other organizations represented being quite incomplete.

SERIES 3. Miscellany

This series contains materials relating mainly to the Yugoslav partisans' acitivities during World War II, the People's Republic of Yugoslavia, and the various nationalities of that country, as well as the legal documentation for a libel suit that was brought against the couple by a former U.S. diplomat to the Yugoslav republic.

SERIES 4. Photographs

This series contains photographs documenting Zlatko's musical career, Zlatko and Joyce's political activities, and various happenings in Yugoslavia.


Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES 1. Personal Papers

This series consists of biographical materials on Zlatko Balokovic, documenting his career as a violinist; the official correspondence of both Zlatko and Joyce, which is primarily political in nature; and other materials such as Zlatko's speeches and writings and documentation on the couple's various trips to Yugoslavia.
SUBSERIES 1. Personal papers
BOX 1.
FOLDER 1. 1953-1965
Biographical materials, including "Autobiographical Sketch"  (1954),  "In Memoriam" (1965), and clippings.
FOLDER 2. 1942-1960
Personal correspondence.  Relates to wartime Yugoslavia, FDR's reelection, protests against the use of atom bombs, reactionary postwar legislation, and loyalty investigations of the Balokovics.
FOLDER 3. 1944-1945
Louis adamic, correspondence and miscellaneous materials. Includes much on Yugoslavia.
FOLDER 4. 1949-1951
Letters of resignation and responses for both Zlatko and Joyce Borden Balokovic.  Organizations: American Committee for the protection of the Foreign Born, Progressive Party, Congress of American Women, International 
FOLDER 5. 1946-1953
Miscellaneous personal materials, including copies of correspondence not addressed to the Balokovics, pamphlet on Zlatko by Svetozar Ritig; Telegraphic Agence of Yugoslavia; Attorney General's list of subversive organization
FOLDER 6. 1942-1948
Joyce Borden Balokovic materials, including speech drafts, 1944; chronology of events in her life, 1942-1944;correspondence, 1947-1948; and a position paper regarding Tito and the Cominform, 1948.
FOLDER 7. 1946-1959
Balokovics' 1946 trip to Paris and Yugoslavia materials, including correspondence, press excerpts, notes, Joyce's diary entries, rough draft of a 1947 article on Yugoslavia written by Joyce, report (January 1947), and clippi
FOLDER 8. 1943-1949
Zlatko Balokovic's miscellaneous writings and speeches (typed and handwritten drafts), as well as related correspondence , event programs, and clippings, 1943-1949 and undated.
SUBSERIES 2. Musical career
BOX 1.
FOLDER 9. 1939-1940, 1955
Correspondence, 1939-1940, 1955, and undated.  Includes a 1939 contract.
FOLDER 10. 1924-1957
Handbills and publicity, 1924-1957.


SERIES 2. Political Origanizations

This series consists of organizational records for several of the political organizations in which the Balokovics were most active in the 1940s. Records for the American committee for Yugoslav Relief are the most extensive, the documentation on the other organizations represented being quite incomplete.
SUBSERIES 1. American Committee for Yugoslav Relief
BOX 1.
FOLDER 11. 1946-1949
Minutes: Board of Directors, 1946-1949; Administrative Committee, 1946-1948; Working Committee, 1947-1949; miscellaneous committees and conferences, 1946-1949.
FOLDER 12. 1944-1945
Correspondence and memoranda, bulletins, and miscellaneous materials, 1944-1945.
FOLDER 13. 1946-1947
Correspondence and memoranda, bulletins, and miscellaneous materials, 1946-1947
BOX 2.
FOLDER 1. 1948-1950
Correspondence and memoranda, bulletins, and miscellaneous materials, 1948-1950
FOLDER 2. 1946-1947, 1949, undated
Reports and resolutions, 1946-1947, 1949,  and undated; miscellaneous organizational materials, including: bylaws; lists of officers, committee members, boards of directors, and sponsors, undated
FOLDER 3. 1945-1948
Financial materials: accounts, including accounts payable, trial balances, bank reconciliations, income, and disbursements, 1945-1948; miscellaneous financial materials, including financial statements and records of shipments to Yugoslavia,
FOLDER 4. 1945-1949
Financial materials: auditors' reports and correspondence, 1945-1949
FOLDER 5. 1946-1948
Clippings
SUBSERIES 2. American Slav Congress
BOX 2.
FOLDER 6. 1942-1950
Records, including correspondence, Balokovic's speeches and addresses, conference materials, leaflets, and clippings
SUBSERIES 3. National Council of Americans of Croatian Descent
BOX 2.
FOLDER 7. 1943-1948
Records, including correspondence and declaration of purpose
SUBSERIES 4. United Council of South Slavic Americans
BOX 2.
FOLDER 8. 1943-1949
Records, including correspondence, news releases, speeches, reports, and clippings


SERIES 3. Miscellany

This series contains materials relating mainly to the Yugoslav partisans' acitivities during World War II, the People's Republic of Yugoslavia, and the various nationalities of that country, as well as the legal documentation for a libel suit that was brought against the couple by a former U.S. diplomat to the Yugoslav republic.
SUBSERIES 1. Yugoslavia
BOX 3.
FOLDER 1. 1944
Stoyan Pribichevich (American war correspondent), correspondence, reports/cables
FOLDER 2. n.d.
Archbishop Stepinac (Croatian fascist), typescript regarding (in Croatian)
FOLDER 3. 1949
Francis R. Preveden, History of the Croatian People, mimeographed typescript
FOLDER 4. 1943-1957, undated
Miscellaneous materials, including speeches, reports, press releases, and articles
SUBSERIES 2. Other
BOX 3.
FOLDER 5. 1946-1951
Eric Pridonoff libel suit against the Balokovics, correpondence and legal materials
FOLDER 6. 1943-1956, undated
Miscellaneous materials


SERIES 4. Photographs

This series contains photographs documenting Zlatko's musical career, Zlatko and Joyce's political activities, and various happenings in Yugoslavia.
BOX 3.
FOLDER 7. 1926-1955
Regarding Zlatko's muscial career, 1926-1939 and undated; various, 1930-1954; regarding Yugoslav relief efforts, 1944-1946 and undated; regarding Archbishop Stepinac, ca. 1942-1945; regarding Yugoslav Partisans, 1942-1946 and undated; regarding the Balokovics' trips to Yugoslavia, 1946 and 1955, selected photographs from this folder have been digitized, please follow the links below.
IMAGE: Gathering after the concert 1939 8 x 10 in. Photography view
Zlatko Balokovic (back row, second from right) gathers with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor (Koussevitzky) and others after a concert on March 4, 1939.
IMAGE: Presentation of trophy 1947 8 x 10 in. Photography view
The Slavic American Youth Council Bowling League receive the Joyce and Zlatko Balokovic Trophy.
IMAGE: Zlatko and Joyce Balokovic n.d. 8.5 x 6.5 in. Photography view
Zlatko Balokovic and his wife, Joyce, pose for a photograph on their return from Europe during the 1930s. Balokovic was a world-renowned violinist and activist for Yugoslav nationalism.
IMAGE: Performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra 1939 8 x 10 in. Photography view
Zlatko Balokovic performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on March 4, 1939. Serge Kaussevitsky conducted and Balokovic was the featured violin soloist for the John Alden Carpenter Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
IMAGE: Yugoslav Relief Ship 1944 7 x 9 in. Photography view
The note accompanying this photo reads: "American Committee for the Yugoslav Relief Ship, of the War Relief Fund of Americans of South Slavic Descent. Little Leo Raditsa launches a symbolic relief ship for Yugoslavia as (left to right) Zlatko Balokovic, Associate Chairman, Lt. Col. Louis Anthony Neveloff of the U.S. Army Air Forces, and former executive of Neiman-Marcus, recently returned from a mission to Yugoslavia; Mrs. Balokovic and Council President Newbold Morris look on, at the reception inaugurating the headquarters of the American Committee for the Yugoslav Relief Ship. The Committee was recently organized by the War Relief Fund of Americans of South Slavic descent to appeal for used clothing and relief supplies to fill a relief ship for the liberated areas of Yugoslavia."
IMAGE: Concert audience n.d. 8 x 10 in. Photography view
L to R: Mrs. John Alden Carpenter (wife of composer); Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson (brother-in-law by marriage); Zlatko Balokovic; Joyce Balokovic. The are attending an outdoor concert.
IMAGE: Medals of honor n.d. 10 x 8 in. Photography view
Violinist Zlatko Balokovic poses for a portrait. He wears medals presented to him by a variety of organizations, including: the Grand Cross and Order of St. Sava, presented by Prince Paul, regent of Yugoslavia; the Order of Knight Commander of St. Gregory, presented by Pope Benedict XV, and the Order of Merit and Red Cross, 1st Class, presented by the Royal Bulgarian Government.
IMAGE: Croatian-American performers 1964 10 x 8 in. Photography view
Four Croatian-American performers pose for a photograph. They each wear traditional ethnic costumes. From L to R: Walter Kozich; Rose Babilo (?); Mrs. Louise Kelemenic; Bill Wass.
IMAGE: Zlatko Balokovic with his violin n.d. 8 x 10 in. Photography view
Studio portrait of violinist Zlatko Balokovic.
IMAGE: Helen Keller with Joyce Balokovic n.d. 8 x 10 in. Photography view
Helen Keller, center, with Joyce Balokovic and Joe Davidson (sculptor). They are attending a reception held by the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City.
IMAGE: Speaking at a Yugoslav Relief event 1945 10 x 8 in. Photography view
Zlatko Balokovic speaks at an event sponsored by the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, Hotel Biltmore, New York City.
IMAGE: Yugoslav delegation n.d. 7 x 9 in. Photography view
Left to Right: Lt. Col. Vladimir Dedier, Chief of the press Section; Lt. Gen. Sreten Zujovic, Minister of Finance; Zlatko Balokovic; and Stanoje Simic, Ambassador-Delegate. The note accompanying this photo states: "Yugoslav Delegation arrives for San Francisco Conference. This photo, taken at a reception at the home of Zlatko Balokovic, co-chairman of the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, shows the delegation now here, enroute to the San Francisco conference."
IMAGE: Yugoslave Relief dinner n.d. 7.5 x 9.5 in. Photography view
Zuika (?) Milanov sings at a Yugoslav Relief dinner in New York City, while Louis Adamic, Mayor La Guardia, and others look on.
IMAGE: Advertising for Zlatko Balokovic n.d. 6 x 3.5 in. Photography view
A man walks down a city street advertising a performance featuring Zlatko Balokovic. The sign reads: "Queen's Hall, June 13 at 8:15. Balokovic: The Great Yugoslav Violinist."



Back to all finding aids in IHRC VITRAGE.