Croatian War Veterans: Conditions for prosecution of Communist Crimes exist

Association “Testament”

The Association “Testament” Zagreb (Association of Croatian war veterans from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Diaspora) has July 10 sent a letter to Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic.

I consider the letter most revealing of the repugnance many feel in the political climate of Croatia where the leftist president and the government take every opportunity to justify communist crimes and equate WWII communist partisans with the defenders of 1990’s Homeland War, the most deserving people in the creation of independent Croatia.

The War Veterans association also believes that the conditions for the processing of communist crimes have been created in Croatia. I, for one, am so pleased to read that and trust significant progress will ensue.

Translation into English of the letter:

In regard to your statement at the celebration of Antifascist battles and the formation of the First Partisan detachment, in Brezovica forest, 22nd June 2012, in which you said that ‘Partisans from 1941 were the same as the Croatian defenders of 1991’, we feel the need to react and turn to you and to the whole of the Croatian public.

It’s true that 1941 Partisans rose against Fascism and Nazism, and we condemn those systems as well. But the Bolshevik Communists took advantage of the Partisan movement and, under the mask of antifascism and battle for Yugoslavia, created a new totalitarian system – criminal, undemocratic communist system, that lasted until the first democratic elections of 1990. We do not want to hear that the foundation for creating today’s state of Croatia was the ‘Partisan’ battle that created one undemocratic state of Yugoslavia. Croatian war veterans wish to promote the truth about the Homeland war and about the creation of Croatian state, and in this we do not consider as the truth those statements claiming that Croatia arose on foundations of Partisan battles and how there would be no Croatia if there were no Partisan movement.

The facts are that the Communists, through the Partisan movement, led by Marshall Josip Broz Tito – who has been counted among the 10 worst world criminals -purposefully committed enormous crimes against Croatian people. Those same Communists had between 1941 and 1990 murdered and persecuted Croatian children, women, sons, fathers and innocent priests like the Blessed Aloysius Stepinac. They persecuted and imprisoned patriots and all others who weren’t like-minded, and especially those who proudly nurtured a national identity and protected national interests, particularly those who aspired to creating a sovereign Croatian state.

Croatian defenders rose to defend their homeland against the aggressor who wore the red star on their cap, which you called ‘lovely’, the same as the Partisans wore in 1941. Those same aggressors devastated the hero city of Vukovar, Skabrnja, Dubrovnik and a large part of the Republic of Croatia. Croatian defenders fought against the red star, and you equate and identify us with them.

Mr President, do not also equate antifascist partisans (whose battles we respect) with the communist partisans because they fought for different goals and had different ideologies and visions for a future state.

Croatian war veterans created Croatia, courageously fighting with the Croatian coat of arms on their foreheads, under the Croatian flag, with rosary-beads around their necks, led by Dr. Franjo Tudjman who was a Partisan general and a true antifascist. When in the former state (Yugoslavia) he spoke about the idea and the aspiration of the people for independence, he was marginalised, persecuted and imprisoned by the system created by Tito’s communist. After the liberating Operation Storm and after other military actions the Croatian war veterans did not murder aggressor army captured soldiers, members of paramilitary formations or cevilians of Serbian nationality. On the contrary, the Serbian aggressors murdered and banished thousands of civilians and defenders, and took them to camps across Serbia. Tito’s partisans had along the Way of the Cross and Bleiburg murdered thousands of unarmed captured soldiers and civilians.

Mr President, do not continue in the tracks of the former president of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, who justifies the crimes against Croatian people at Bleiburg with the thesis that Ustashe also committed crimes and so there was a need to take revenge upon tens of thousands of innocent Croatian civilians.

We also consider as incorrect and unfounded the statements that Croatian army committed aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the contrary HV (Croatian Army) and HVO (Croatian Defence Council) had in 1995 liberated Bosnia and Herzegovina and brought peace to that area. Handing over the transcripts with “state secret” stamp on them to foreign intelligence services, the former president Mesic betrayed the whole of the Croatian nation and Croatian national interests. He spent a large part of his presidential mandate on muddying president dr. Franjo Tudjman and in underrating his contribution in the creation of the Republic of Croatia. Croatians have condemned that and today, Stjepan Mesic is on the social and political margins.

The Croatian war veterans (defenders) are deeply offended by your comparison with the Partisans. Today, Croatian defenders are not interested in the Ustadshe or the Partisans. We condemn crimes committed by any side. It’s a historical fact that on 27 July 1941, at Srb (where you yourself visited, laying wreaths and giving tribute to the antifascist uprising), the armed Chetnik formation of 1000 Chetniks, under Đujić’s  leadership, joined by 60 Serbian communists, was founded. They committed enormous crimes when they murdered Croatian civilians. On 25th July 1990 an assembly was held at which the ‘Declaration of the sovereignty and autonomy of the Serbian people’ was made. Those people had on 17th August 1990 raised the ‘log’ revolution. (Blocking off Croatian Krajina as Serb territory within Croatia)

While on visit to Israel you vilified your own countrymen – to which you are the president – by stating that in Croatia an ‘Ustashe snake’ still exists, so that with your politics of flattery, like your predecessor Mesic, you could leave an impression of a just person.  You, yourself, know that after the war (WWII) and during the creation of Yugoslavia revenge against Croatian families who were not on the side of the communists continued, and in the way where even their grandchildren were persecuted. So, where is that ‘Ustashe snake’ coming from? We hold that a communist-UDBA (UDBA = Yugoslav Secret Police) snake exists in Croatia which has committed many murders of Croatians in Croatia and across the world for which they have never been held accountable. Today, all conditions to begin these processes have been created regardless of how much the protectors of these criminals are trying to ensure that it doesn’t come to that.

Finally, we must say that we have no prejudices nor need to distort the facts or customisation of history because our Homeland War was defensive and liberating. If there were individual crimes from our side we condemn them and wish that those who committed them to answer for them, and not for the honourable and innocent commanders, such as Generals Gotovina and Markac, to be interned in the Hague prison.

Mr Josipovic, you need to invest more efforts and energy to help their defence, and the defence of other war veterans such as Veljko Maric who has been convicted in the country that was the aggressor against Croatia. We expect from the president of our country to advocate for the defence of national values and the values of the Homeland War, in which Croatians, Bosniacs, Serbs and members of other nationalities participated. With this we want for Croatia to be a democratic country, arising from togetherness and reconciliation, which would cooperate with all surrounding countries in the future, but upon healthy foundations, and not upon lies, falsehoods and skewing of historical facts.

With respect,

Association ‘Testament’ City of Zagreb and Zagreb County Branch

President, Josip Vidovic

Comments

  1. Bravo! Fantastic letter. Everything said is so true. Why do Croatians politicians think like this? Greed, own personal gain? It bewilders me that there is not one of them strong enough to stnad up and say what this letter says whilst not buckling to leftist, Serb or Western pressure. No longer should Croatian politicians be forced to keep these just and right opinions to themselves in order to appease the Serb side.

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  2. Stephen Vadjunec says:

    You mention Dr. Tudjman was arrested on two occasions by the Socialist regieme of Yugoslavia under Tito, yet you convieniently leave out the facts that Josip Broz as any good Croat would intervened on Dr. Tudjmans behalf & granted Dr.Tudjman early release on two occasions from other wise lengthy jail sentences.!!!!

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    • You obviously missed the content of the article – it’s a translation into English of a letter written not by me – but, yes, I agree with it because it states the truth.

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  3. Stephen Vadjunec says:

    Those Croats & others who fled or escaped Josip Broz’s Socialist republic of Croatia ran with theyre tails between theyre legs because they were anarchists who were disloyal to the new republic of Croatia. They embarressed the Croatian historical state by crying on the shoulders of those countries they fled to !!!! There were tough times in europe after WW2 yet tose Croats fled because they couldnt take Josip Broz’s Tough Love anymore !!!!

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    • Well then, I hope you tolerate well the tough love Croatia is dishing out because there’s no other way to get better. And as for those who fled they cried on no one’s shoulders they worked and worked but were free. Tito’s tough love was: conform or die – no love there, I’m sorry.

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      • Stephen Vadjunec says:

        Freedom, what is it to be free. Even in a democratic nation nobody is really free. the only difference is you live in a two party state not a one party state & all youre hard earned money goes into paying youre bills & motages with nothing left over to speak of just everyday is recycled as if you are a mouse running in one direction on a cogwheel. there is no real freedom. Where you live & i live is nowhere

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  4. This letter should be the basis on a new political movement in Croatia. There is NO SHAME in being a Croatian patriot or nationalist in a democratic and sovereign Croatia. Hopefully this letter has been published in all Croatian news sources – print and on-line publications; and even translated into other languages. As for Vadjunec’s comments, what is your point… the man who imprisons you, lets you free early…so what, all he is doing is flexing his power you over and playing with your mind…power politics. If Tito was really interested in justice and human rights he would have abolished communism and turned democratic. Vadjunec get real.

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    • Yes, the letter was published by some newspapers in Croatia and translated into other languages … should we hope for a reply? New movement – yes, movement of the whole truth.

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    • Stephen Vadjunec says:

      Sunman what you fail to realise is that the Late Great Dr. Tudjman respected Josip for the man he was & for the Great Political leader & WW2 freedom fighter Marshall Josip Broz was .!!!! Dr. Tudjman always showed Great respect & admiration when speaking of his fellow Croat Josip.!!!!! Yet all of you with obvious disdain & bias trash Josip with no substantuated proof but vicious cetnik , Ustasa & Milovan Djilas lies about our WW2 Hero Marshall Josip Broz who was the Greatest Croat WW2 Hero & Greatest Zagorac who walked the earth in the 20th. Century. the 20th. Centuries Greatest Croat.!!!! If Croatia can condemn Josip then Croatia condemns itself to the stain of history which was Pavelics Fascist Croatia.!!!!

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      • I don’t think Sunman or anyone who knows history and who isn’t biased fail to realise anything when it comes to Tito, not even the fact that crimes committed by his regime have not been punished yet. Dr. Tudjman did indeed think that Tito was one of the great statesmen in Europe at the time BUT Dr. Tudjman also saw Tito as responsible for terrible crimes against Croatian people during and after World War II. Regrettably Dr. Tudjman did not live long enough to persist on bringing justice to victims of communist crimes.

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      • Miso Sorbel says:

        No Stephen, NO! Croatia cannot allow the communists to hide their crimes behind Pavelic’s crimes. Modern Croatia was built by sons and daughters of ALL Croatians regardless of history. Although the former communists voted against declaration of independence in 1991 at Croatian parliament, walked out, wanted an another form of Yugoslav unity…. This is 21st Century and all crimes are crimes regardless of politics. No Croatia will not condemn itself to the stain of Pavelic’s crimes when it goes after the communist crimes. That’s what people like you want us to think and that’s wrong.

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  5. What we are saying is that all crimes must be revealed, investigated, tried and the guilty held accountable. There are no sides to this; it must be fair and equal with no political biases. As for the issue of Tito v. Tudjman we all recognize people are multi dimensional with good and bad traits – I am sure we all know people that we respect but also recognize their faults and short comings. No doubt Tito was skilled and perhaps gifted as a leader and at wielding power. But the overall verdict on him is that he was a criminal who murdered and imprisoned many people just for disagreeing with him. No one should live in a nation where the state systematically and covertly imprisons and murders it’s citizens for having a different point of view than that of the government; and all without a fair/just public trial with free press. Communism / Totalitarianism is absolute with no political or societal counter-weight, no balance of power, only absolute power and absolute subjugation. While democracies have their own problems, I can’t image living in a state of absolute domination and power of communism. Had Tito created a multi-party democracy, nurtured reconciliation and participatory citizenry he may well have gone down as the greatest Croat maybe even the greatest statesmen the world has seen. But he didn’t..

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