Had Milorad Pupovac, president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party in Croatia, demonstrated better care and respect for the multitudes of innocent Croatian and non-Serb victims from early 1990’s in his speech at the 71st anniversary of anti-fascist (communist) WWII uprising against fascism in Srb last Friday, then this celebration of antifascist uprising would represent a heartfelt tribute to victims of fascism. But no, Pupovac went on to say that 27th July was the day when some people should hang their heads in shame, but that does not include those at the ceremony.
Vecernji List portal further reports that Pupovac said: “with sadness we must talk about the victims of Croatian villages in this area who fell as a result of beastly Chetnik occupation that acted in Srb. Those that had no ideas for togetherness, idea of common freedom like antifascists and partisans had”.
The reality is that there were present at Srb (last Friday) descendants, or relatives, or neighbours of the 1990’s Serbs who imposed horror in Croatia.
Pupovac could benefit from lessons in historical facts as well as in human compassion if he truly wants effective reconciliation between Croatia’s Serbs and Croatia’s non-Serbs.
The historical fact associated with Srb is that both sides murdered and slaughtered. While fascists slaughtered 300 Serbs around the place of Srb, the Serbs (Chetniks) – close to those celebrated on 27th July went on to slaughter and destroy the whole Croatian village in the nearby Boricevac in the night between the 1st and 2nd of August 1941 (those Croatians from that village not murdered were banished from the village).
The so-called uprising in Srb on 27 July 19941 is considered by many to have been a criminal Chetnik action. Documents confirm that mainly Serb Chetniks took part in this uprising and that, beforehand, they made an agreement with Italian fascists, hence, this celebrated Srb uprising should be called a fascist-chetnik operation rather than antifascist.
The salt rubbed so brutally at last Friday’s Srb celebration into the Croatian victims’ wounds has little to do with the fact that the celebrated so-called antifascist uprising against the fascist or Nazi WWII occupation of Croatia in Srb on 27th July 1941 or that the Serb-led antifascist conglomerate slaughtered many Croatians in the same week of 1941 in Boricevac, but has a great deal to do with the fact that it was the place of Srb that marked the beginnings of the planning of the horrible Serb aggression in Croatia in early 1990’s.
That is, some 100,000 Serbs assembled in Srb on 25 July 1990 and made a declaration establishing the Serbian Assembly in Croatia, with the seat in Srb, as political representation of Serbian nation in Croatia. This went on to embrace extreme Serbian nationalism in Croatia, barricading roads in Croatia from 17 August 1990, leading to the proclamation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina within Croatia’s territory, instigating the abhorrent and brutal war of Serb aggression in Croatia.
The fact that Croatia’s former president Stjepan Mesic took part in these celebrations in Srb on Friday 27th July 2012 only evidences how cruel towards the plight of victims of Croatian Homeland War (early 1990’s) he is. Were he as antifascist as he claims, were he for freedom as he claims, he would, as honorary president of Croatian antifascist association, make an effort in contributing to the healing of the still fresh Croatian Homeland War victims’ wounds so that ethnic reconciliation in Croatia can make more positive headway.
But no, Mesic, I believe, has rarely – if at all – protected the legitimate interests of Croatian people as a nation. He often finds himself in such controversial situations that might throw a negative light upon Croatians where there is no negative light. And that cannot be by accident.
Several dozens of protesters against the antifascist celebrations at Srb, last Friday, sent a clear message of pain that still exists, unhealed in Croatia. But, Mesic twisted and poisoned that fact by accusing the protesters of trying to equate the WWII fascists with WWII antifascists.
“What can one say at the claims that the territory of Yugoslavia is strewn with mass graves of victims of communism while bypassing the graves of victims of fascism … we need to fight against that,” Mesic said.
The reality, which Mesic conveniently misrepresents, is that the graves of victims of fascism are not bypassed, indeed they’ve been well marked and many monuments raised to the victims. The reality is, also, that perpetrators of WWII fascist crimes have been brought to courts over the past decades. The reality is, also, that no monuments have been raised to the victims of WWII communist crimes in Croatia and the perpetrators of those crimes have not been brought to courts.
So, Mesic has certainly shown no compassion for any victims and used the Srb opportunity to throw a yet another spanner in the work of those who pursue justice for victims of all crimes – particularly victims of communist crimes. It’s heartwarming, though, to know that there are many in Croatia who see this and don’t shy away from making their points and claims known through the media.
Croatia’s antifascists attempt to use Srb of 1941 to demonstrate that there were some Serbs in history who fought for Croatian freedom (against fascism) could be construed as a measure of a reconciliation process between Croats and Serbs, but such an interpretation fails miserably in the knowledge that it was the very place of Srb where the roots of Serb carnage in Croatia of early 1990’s were planted.
The antifascists could be no crueler nor crasser than this. Absolutely abominable. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)