The region of Srijem has been the home of many great men that are the pride of the entire country since ancient times. There are famous athletes, scientists, actors and poets born in Srijem, including Josip Lucić, Josip Jelačić, Fabijan Šovagović, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, Josip Kozarac, Ivica Olić and Goran Vlaović.
Mirko Cro Cop Filipović
Cro Cop is one of Croatia’s famous export products, known everywhere from Japan to the USA, and all the way to South Africa. He was born in 1974 in Vinkovci, and he finished elementary school in Privlaka. He has been awarded countless titles and is considered one of the finest MMA fighters in the history of the sport.
Antun Gustav Matoš
The renowned Croatian poet was born in Tovarnik, on June 13, 1873. He moved to Zagreb with his parents when he was two, and he would sometimes describe himself as belonging to the Bunjevci community by origin, the region of Srijem by birth, and the city of Zagreb by upbringing. Matoš is a central figure of the Croatian modernism, a crucial historical epoch in our literary tradition.
Lavoslav Leopold Ružička
Ružička was born in Vukovar, and he will go down in history as the first Croatian to have received a Nobel prize. He received eight honorary doctorates (four for science, two for medicine and one each in natural sciences and law). He won the Nobel Prize for his work in chemistry in 1939, but regardless of his successful career in Switzerland, he always remained loyal to Croatia.
Ivana Simić Bodrožić
The Croatian author was born in Vukovar in 1982. She was forced to leave the town during the occupation, and her father was executed on Ovčara. She was awarded the Goran za mlade pjesnike (a prize for young poets named after the Croatian poet Ivan Goran Kovačić) in 2005, and the same year she also won the Kvirin Prize for the best collection of poetry. Five years later, she was awarded the Kiklop Prize for the best fictional work of the year, Hotel Zagorje, which speaks about growing up as a refugee.
General Josip Lucić was born in Posavski Podgajci near Županja, in 1957. He is the former Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia. In November 1990, he voluntarily joined the units of the Croatian Ministry of Interior, where he became the Deputy Commander of a special battalion “Rakitje”. He has received fifteen military decorations, including the Legion of Merit, awarded to him by the United States Army.
Count Josip Jelačić Bužimski, is a Croatian national hero, born in Petrovaradin in 1801, in the noble family of Jelačić. He was a general and the ban of Croatia (the chief government official) between 1848 and 1859. He abolished serfdom and called the first elections for the Croatian Parliament. As the head of the army, he won a series of battles against the rebels in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Hungarian Revolution in 1848.
The actor Fabijana Šovagović is hard to tie down exclusively to Srijem since he managed to conquer every dialect that exists in this country with his acting talent (passed down the generations in the acting family Šovagović)! We remember him as Kikaš in Raos’s Prosjaci i sinovi (Beggars and Sons, a famous Croatian TV show from the 1970s), where he was convincing as a beggar from Imotski. But in Putovanje u Vučjak (Journey to Vučjak) and Mala pljačka vlaka (Small Train Robbery) he had no trouble transforming into different types of characters. He is one of the greats when it comes to the Croatian stage.
One of the recent additions to Srijem, well renowned among the younger generation, Ivica Olić is one of the top Croatian football representatives. Ola, as they call him, is today a member of the German club Wolfsburg. He started his football career in Posavec, coming from his hometown Davor. His professional career kicked off in Marsonija, where he played between 1996 and 2001, with a break between 1998 and 1999, which he spent at the Berlin Hertha. He has been in the representation since 2002, and he played his one hundredth match this year!