Croatian court peels off the lies and hateful stigma of “Za Dom Spremni”/”For Home – Ready” salutation

Nikola Subic Zrinski at the Battle of Sziget, Hungary, 1566 (Oil painting Oton Ivekovic)

A court in Knin has dismissed as unfounded a case in which a policeman claimed that businessman Jakov Marković was in breach of Article 37 Clause 2 of Public Gatherings Act 1999 for having exhibited and sold souvenirs with “Za Dom Spremni” written on them.

The Clause of the Act refers to breaches if a person who in a public gathering wears garments, parts of garments, clothes, badges or other signs with which he/she calls for or incites war or the use of violence, or national, racial or religious hatred or any other kind of intolerance.

The court found that the salutation “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home – Ready) has been known throughout the whole of the Croatian history, from the times of Nikola Subic Zrinski (1556 – 1566), and as such it does not signify any so called “Ustashe attribute” with which it is most likely burdened.

One expects an outcry in association with this court ruling not only in Croatia but in some “Western” media as well. Such outcry and opposition is likely to come only from those who do not objectively look at the whole history and its facts but have wanted and want to paint the whole of Croatian history as fascist. The Ustashas of WWII Croatia had adopted the salutation and it has thus been wickedly portrayed solely as a Nazi salutation.  But not all Croatia was Ustashi run. The same stigma to Croatian history has throughout past two decades been put by some western media through the Croatian Currency “Kuna” and to the Croatian flag with red-white check-board, which also have roots in deep proud history, long before WWII.

Thank God someone in authority in Croatia (the court in Knin) has spoken in defence of the salutation and its true original and historical meaning: ready to defend our homeland against any oppressor, invader, enemy … “For Home – Ready to Die”.

This salutation was used in historical times including times of Nikola Subic Zrinski in battles against the Turks/Ottoman (1556 – 1566.) and hundreds of years later in times of Ban Josip Jelacic (1850’s) during times of Austrian Empire when Croatia wanted autonomy and harsh battles fought. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb), B.A.,M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. esther gitman says:

    whay is your response to the following article?

    Nazi memorial in Croatia a disgrace to Europe
    01/04/2012 23:28

    A service for Hitler is unthinkable. So why is the world quiet in response to a service for Ante Pavelić?
    Talkbacks (40)
    Imagine for a minute that memorial masses were held in two major cities in Germany on the anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler. Needless to say, such a ceremony would arouse fury, indignation, and widespread protests not only in Germany, but throughout the entire world. Last week, the local equivalent of such an event took place in Croatia, but instead of anger and demonstrations, not a single word of protest was heard from anywhere in the country.

    I am referring to the December 28 memorial masses conducted in Zagreb and Split (and perhaps elsewhere as well) to mark the 51st anniversary of the death of Ante Pavelić, the head of state of the infamous Independent State of Croatia, created by the Nazis and their Italian allies in 1941. Following its establishment, rule was turned over to the local fascist movement, the Ustasha, headed by its Poglavnik (leader) Ante Pavelić.

    During the entire course of its brief existence (1941- 1945), the Ustasha sought to rid the country (which consisted of the area of today’s Croatia plus most of Bosnia-Herzegovina) of all its minorities, as well as their local political opponents. In order to do so, they established a network of concentration camps all over the country, the largest and most notorious of which was Jasenovac, located on the banks of the Sava River, southeast of Zagreb. There, many tens of thousands of innocent civilians were murdered in a variety of brutal ways, which earned the camp the nickname of the “Auschwitz of the Balkans.”

    To this day, there continue to be disputes regarding the total number of civilians murdered by the Ustasha, but the number is certainly no fewer than several hundred thousand, primarily Serbs, along with Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croats. And while all those who participated in these atrocities bear criminal responsibility, the individual with the greatest culpability was undoubtedly Ante
    Pavelić, who headed the most lethal regime in Axis-dominated Europe.

    THE MEMORIAL masses to honor Pavelić, who died in Spain in 1959 from wounds suffered in an assassination attempt two years earlier, mark a renewal of a tradition which began in the 1990s following the reestablishment of Croatian independence. In the wake of the conviction in Zagreb of Jasenovac commandant Dinko Sakic and in response to protests by the Wiesenthal Center, the mass was stopped and the priest responsible, Vjekoslav Lasic, left Croatia.

    Unfortunately, however, Lasic returned to Zagreb a few years ago and renewed his neo-fascist activity with impunity. At the funeral of Sakic, who insisted on being buried in his Ustasha uniform although in prison for his World War II crimes, it was Lasic who administered final rites. According to the Dominican priest, although Dinko Sakic did not observe all the Ten Commandments (Thou shalt not murder?), he was a model for all Croatians, and every Croat should be proud of his name.

    The question now is, how does such an event to honor the memory of one of the biggest mass murderers of World War II pass with nary a word of protest or condemnation? The obvious address for such indignation would be in Croatia itself, where many people fought with Tito’s partisans against the Ustasha, and a significant sector of the population have a strong anti-fascist tradition. But the same question applies outside the country as well.

    Croatia is well on its way to membership in the European Union (slated for 2013), a membership which is ostensibly contingent on the acceptance of EU values and norms. Is a memorial mass for one of Europe’s worst war criminals compatible with EU membership?

    The sad truth is that in this respect, the European Union has failed miserably in dealing with the resurgence of neo-fascism and the promotion of Holocaust distortion in its post-Communist members. Once admitted to the EU (and NATO), countries like Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary and Romania have begun to take active steps to rewrite their World War II histories, minimizing or attempting to hide the highly-significant role played by their nationals in Holocaust crimes, with barely a word of protest or condemnation from Brussels.

    Instead of actively combating the Prague Declaration of June 3, 2008, which promotes the canard of historical equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes and undermines the justified status of the Holocaust as a unique case of genocide, the EU has failed to adequately respond to this dangerous challenge to the accepted Western narrative of World War II and its tragic consequences.

    I wish I could conclude with the good news that Israel and the Jewish world have responded appropriately, but unfortunately that is not the case. These developments have been purposely ignored by the Israeli government, which under Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman refuses to respond to the assault on our past in those countries which have evinced no particular interest in championing the Palestinian cause.

    Last week’s masses in honor of Ante Pavelić are a mockery of Christian values and an insult to all the victims of the Ustasha, their relatives, friends, and people of morality and conscience the world over. The time has come for effective protests from within Croatia, as well as from the European Union, the United States and Canada, Israel and the Jewish world. That is the minimum that we owe the victims of that notorious mass murderer.

    The writer is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office. His most recent book is, Operation Last Chance; One Man’s Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice, (Palgrave/Macmillan).

    • Esther, thank you on your comment. I see Mr Efraim Zuroff’s statements as little more than spreading hate and fascist innuendo against the whole of Croatia in the world.

      Mr Efraim Zuroff’s writing about masses in two churches out of about 1200 Catholic churches and just as many chapels/shrines in Croatia where masses are held corroborates my point that some in the world try hard to paint the whole of Croatia a fascist oriented and will use any opportunity, no matter how insignificant, to try and vilify a whole nation of people. It seems very difficult for Mr Zuroff to talk about isolated incidents in modern Croatia for what they are without stigmatising the whole nation of people as fascists. Croatians as a nation cannot be blamed for what two or three or four churches have done or are doing.

      Furthermore Mr Zuroff goes to say that masses for Pavelic were held in two major cities – Zagreb and Split – in Croatia, intentionally, I believe, omitting to say that there are over one hundred of churches in these cities but only one in each held the mass says volumes about my point.

      Mr Zuroff’s claim that “not a single word of protest was heard from anywhere in the whole country” with regards to these two masses is simply not true and he either had not done his research of condemnations and protests or he doesn’t care much about the full truth of Croatia.

      Indeed Mr Zuroff goes too far when he affirmatively, without an inkling of a doubt, cites the Dominican priest Lasic’s alleged but completely untrue claims that Dinko Sakic “was a model for all Croatians”, giving the impression to the reader that all that is true. It would have been fair of Mr Zuroff to give his source for such Lasic’s saying, for the majority have not come across it and if they had I’m certain there would be an enormous protest.

      While I agree with Mr Zuroff that such incidents as masses for Ante Pavelic should be sanctioned (if a government anywhere in the world can actually sanction Masses given that they cannot force them to reveal contents of Confessions) his intentional branding of the whole of Croatian nation in worldwide media on basis of often isolated incidents in my opinion takes away his credibility and introduces suspicions into his intentions.

      Mr Zuroff has called these two masses as “memorial masses” which I believe they were not in the strict sense of the meaning of “memorial”. As far as I can ascertain from various media sources these two masses were held “to save the soul of the dead person” or “a mass for the soul”. Such masses are quite usual in the Catholic church worldwide, where people pay a small fee for a mass to be dedicated to the soul of their dead.

      Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic has commented on Mr Zuroff’s statements by saying that the masses held in two churches were a privately paid for, were a private matter and that it should not be given great importance.

      I think that Mr Zuroff should have attended to the matter of his protest against the two masses held for Pavelic using proper channels instead of charging against the whole nation of people via public media, most of which are totally innocent of his allegations or innuendos.

  2. Mr Zuroff look and clean your house, nothing Mr Zuroff and people like him told about the book of Simo Dubajic, how he slaughterd 30 thousands Croatina on the Kocevski Rog or about slaughtered Croatian after Bleiburg.

  3. Totally agree.

  4. An fascinating discussion might be valued at comment. I do believe that you just write read much more about this topic, it may possibly not often be a taboo subject but normally persons are too couple of to dicuss on such topics. To a higher. Cheers

  5. Peter Lozo, BSc, PhD (Adelaide) says:


    I read the Court’s decision. Your interpretation that

    “The court found that the salutation “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home – Ready) has been known throughout the whole of the Croatian history, from the times of Nikola Subic Zrinski (1556 – 1566),”

    is incorrect.

    For my further explanation see my Twitter account:

    I am very surprised that someone of your educational background didn’t take greater care in ensuring the accuracy of interpretation of the Court’s decision.


    • Peter, I did not provide you with link to wikipedia article but you provided it yourself in your comment. My reply to you suggested to seek out the actual transcript Knin court’s decision on the matter of salute Za Dom Spremni not being an Ustashi salute. I provided the link to that court decision in one of my articles from 2012.

      • Peter L. says:

        I know that I provided the link to the Wikipedia page. The statement on Wikipedia is correct .

        I did eventually read the Knin Court document. The Court document does not state what you claim it states!

        You wrote that

        “The court found that the salutation “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home – Ready) has been known throughout the whole of the Croatian history, from the times of Nikola Subic Zrinski (1556 – 1566), and as such it does not signify any so called “Ustashe attribute” with which it is most likely burdened.”

        You have an incorrect understanding! The Court did NOT conclude “that the salutation “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home – Ready) has been known throughout the whole of the Croatian history …”

        The Court merely cited the defendant’s own claim that “the salutation “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home – Ready) has been known throughout the whole of the Croatian history …” BUT the Court did not offer an opinion on whether it agreed or disagreed with the defendant’s own claim.

        P,ease re-read the Court document.

      • Peter L.I can only suggest you acknowledge the meaning of court “Judgment” or “Presuda” in Croatian language and that is customary to write a separate document with the court’s reasons for such judgement. A court judgment is not a mere understanding of one she’s opinions it is a Judgment. I do not need to re read the document it is a Judgment and I am not here to call it an opinion or agreement, you may wish to do so for whatever reason but it still remains a court Judgment


  1. […] že tento pozdrav je v chorvátskej historiografii známy už od polovice 16. storočia, keď Nikola Šubić Zrinski bránil mesto Szeged od tureckých útokov, avšak nepochybné je tiež to, že ustašovský […]

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