• Ivica Balen
  • Marica Jandrić-Balen


There is a profound and permanent connection between Franciscans and Slavonski Brod (formerly known as Brod na Savi). It has lasted for centuries, as Franciscans were present in the town even during the Turkish occupation. They were the first town pastors after its independence from the Turks in 1691 and are present today with churches, monasteries, and the Franciscan High School, which opened in 1995. Their chronicles describing the events from 1706 to 1932 are an important source of historical information, especially for local historians. This article describes the life of Franciscans in Brod na Savi during the First World War. Initially, they were loyal Austro-Hungarian citizens who passionately believed in the ultimate victory on all fronts. However, war circumstances quickly lead to a disappointment and doubt. Slavic solidarity increased as the war progressed, and in the end Franciscans were delighted with the establishment of the new country of South Slavs, which they perceived as a means to free the nation from the Austrian and Hungarian authorities. Throughout the war, the Convent served as a reserve military hospital with 145 beds for the soldiers and 21 beds for officers.

Key words:Franciscans; Slavonski Brod; World War I; Military hospital