Remembering Luka Ritz

Total Croatia News


Luka Ritz, the symbol of fight against street violence, would have been 27 today

Zagreb is  a city with one million hearts, which, on one hand, sounds a lot, but when you think about it, and compare it with other European capitals, it is actually not that much. Zagreb is generally a very safe city, with a 71.89 safety index (according to Numbeo).

But this wasn’t always the case. Street violence around 2008 was much higher, and not just in Zagreb, but in Croatia in general. This was about the time I started University and I clearly remember how everyone avoided Ribnjak at night, a bunch of my friends were assaulted on the night tram and nobody really walked around alone at night. Now that I remember it, it doesn’t sound like Zagreb at all.

Luka Ritz was just about my age at the time, finishing Graphics School in Zagreb, playing in a rock band and looking forward to studying Journalism. On June 1, 2008, he and his friend were assaulted by five minors, who asked them money, causing Luka severe injuries, which led to his death on June 12. Luka’s parents decided to donate his organs, which means that nine lives in Croatia and in Europe were saved.

The tragic event shocked the nation and caused massive demonstrations against street violence, peaceful protests, concerts and manifestations. The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports decided to honour Luka with an award for promoting tolerance and violence-free schools, bearing his name. The award is given to outstanding students who promote tolerance and fight against violence, and who receive a sculpture, a 1,000-kuna prize and whose school receives a special recognition

Luka’s parents founded a counselling centre whose aim is prevention of violence among children and young people and raising awareness among children, young people and their parents about the importance of responsible behaviour towards themselves and others.

Luka was a talented writer and artists, so some of his poems and drawings have been added to a” book called “…sa srećom u džepu i osmijehom na licu” that you can buy at the counselling centre and help change more young lives this way. See an extract from the book here

Zagrebačko savjetovalište protiv nasilja djece i mladih “Luka Ritz”
Fabkovićeva 1/3, 10 000 Zagreb
Phone: 01/ 888 5440
E-mail: [email protected]

“Everyone deserves to breathe, everyone deserves to live.” (Luka Ritz)


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