I found the article below on the Spiegel website (I’ve translated the article title into the subject line of this post). The article is in German, and shows a series of 22 photos of various war memorials commissioned by the dictator Tito and built across the countries of the former Yugoslavia from the 60s well into the 80s. Most are memorials of battles with the Germans in World War II.
The first photo that shows up when you open the link below refers to a monument named the “Flying Eye,” (above). Other memorable names concocted by the article for other memorials are the “Stony Flower” and the “Steely Crystal.” I admit my translations of these names is a bit too literal and likely wouldn’t agree with how they would be rendered in Proper English (whatever that is), but I feel it more accurately captures the spirit of the name in the original German.
Nearly all of these monuments are made from cast-in-place concrete in what has since been termed the “Brutalist” style, where the concrete is simply exposed as the primary finish material. Back then, this was the only practical (and cheap) way to build buildings or monuments with irregular forms.
I think simply terming these Memorials “Brutalist” and moving on does them a great disservice. Every one of these monuments, even the ruined ones, is aesthetically, conceptually, and technically exceptional. I’ve never come across such exceptional architecture anywhere else behind the Iron Curtain, even in East Germany (the Gewandhaus in Leipzig comes close, but it’s a concert hall not a memorial). The monuments still standing show surprisingly few signs of wear or failure, something rarely seen from anything made of concrete older than 20 years – a further testament to their designers and builders.
If you have time, give ‘em a look. I’d be happy to do an amateur-ish translation of the article.