Croatia’s lovely little island of Daksa is up for sale, yet despite its historic Franciscan monastery, idyllic lighthouse, and verdant woodland, the island cannot shake the memory of the dozens of people who were executed there in a post World War II furor.
In the aftermath of WWII, rooting out remaining Nazis and Nazi-sympathizers became almost an act of nationalist pride in some European countries. Unfortunately for the victims of the Daksa Massacre of 1944, this anti-Nazi frenzy turned into more of an angry mob that took the lives of dozens of people without trial. On October 18th of that year, Yugoslav partisans entered the coastal Croatian city of Dubrovnik and arrested hundreds of citizens on suspicion of being Nazi sympathizers. Just days later, without trial or review, the partisan enforcers rowed as many as 53 (although some accounts say that number could be almost twice as much) of the accused to the small island of Daksa just off the shore and shot them down. The bodies were simply left to rot on the island, laying where they fell. Among the dead were Dubrovnik’s priest and mayor.
While the guilt or innocence of the deceased victims was never determined, nor were the executioners ever investigated or processed. The entire tragic incident seemed to simply happen.
In 2010 a number of the bodies were given proper burials, yet many in Dubrovnik still claim that the island is haunted by the unstill spirits of the massacre victims. The island is currently up for sale, and for a surprisingly cheap price, but no one has yet to put in a bid. While it is probably not ghosts keeping buyers away, the memory of the massacre itself is haunting enough to dissuade new owners.