President Franjo Tudjman’s Messages

Croatian President Franjo Tudjman Photo:

They televised from the International court in the Hague: „The Appeal Chamber, REVERSES, with Judge Agius and Pocar dissenting, convictions against Ante Gotovina for persecution, deportation, murder, and inhumane acts as crimes against humanity, and of plunder of public and private property, wanton destruction, murder, and cruel treatment as violations of the laws or customs of war … ORDERS the immediate release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac…

I could not speak, tears rolled and I began praying to God, to Wounded Christ. Then I stopped crying and began thinking. I decided to take responsibility for the future. The first thought that came to my mind was what would President Franjo Tudjman say to Croatia.

Here are Tudjman’s messages:

First, thank God we defended Croatia and assume responsibility for the future. It’s true that we have defended Croatia, that it’s recognised and that it’ll enter into Europe. It’s true that no Croatian has been convicted by the court in the Hague, but trials are not finished. Never react only with euphoria. We cannot know the future, but we can receive and create it.

Second, Croatia must be vibrant. You must achieve a successful economy, employment, population maintenance, stop emigration and motivate residents to jointly develop the country. You must seriously take care of security. Science owes the world, the public and the schools the showing of the truth of the creation and defense of Croatia, the war and the post-war years. You know that this war was based on principles of a “Just war”, humanitarian principles of the UN, Red Cross and the Israeli, Righteous among nations. I included Post-Holocaust, Wounded Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Hannah Arendt and applied them in practical ways.

Third, every Croatian citizen is the carrier of Croatian sovereignty. Croatian are accustomed to fence their independence into small groups and time and to put external orders upon all. You must learn to think from yourself, via your family, community, Croatia, Croatians to the world and God. Develop your own sense through faith, include it into the world and apply it through knowledge.

Fourth, return to annual report on the State of the Nation. We introduced it as acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty, equality of all citizens. All must be informed about the state and only in this way can each accept his or her responsibility for the overall good.

Fifth, must be sensible, think and work – there’s no time for tears (not even tears of joy). In November 1991, during the shelling of Mokosica you sought justifiably that as President I must feel and share the suffering of the people. You were not right that I must cry as well, though. To your request that I show the people my emotions I said that I must not because the situation was too hard for us to give into the emotions. I repeat that now. The situation is very serious. Use all the faith, intelligence, work and humanity. Be vibrant.

Sixth, as many people for Croatia as possible, and don’t subject Croatia to anyone. „Everything for Croatia“ is written on my gravestone. But, it’s the people that are most important. The society that, from year to year, widens the participation of people and their contribution to the political, economic and general development is the one that is most successful. When governed by exclusion and rejection of people societies fall and crumble. Every government, every year, must report on how it includes people in the creation of Croatian future.

Seventh, revive the development of democracy in Croatia. You have practically interpreted the whole of democracy as transition from one autocratic party to several. As a young independent state and democracy Croatia needs to be open to the advancement of the democratic system, administration and communication. Utilise the experiences of older democracies. Introduce regular conferences on the development of Croatian state, and internet newsletter.

Eighth, reconsider the connection between Croatia and all Croatians. Today’s Croatia has been created by strict adherence to borders set by Allied forces after World War II. In January (11th) 1992 Badinter Commission ( Opinion 3) decided that the border between Croatia and Serbia (and all other Republics) may be altered only by agreement and that the border is accepted and protected by international law.

We could form a World Council of Croatians, 50 members, which would sit once or twice per year and connect everyone worldwide. For that, build the Croatian Home (House) on the Square that carries my name (in Zagreb). There you can keep my archives and the archive of the the defense of Croatia. Remember what has been created and continue creating.

Ninth, all perpetrators of all crimes in Croatia and against anyone and at any time must be held responsible. This refers to those from the war, from today and from the future. You advocated that all should be helped. Continue like that. Help those who are even to this day still objective or subjective victims.

Tenth, seek vision for the full development of Croatia. People must be connected, through a longer time for the future. It must be the guide for the individual and the community in efforts to create Croatia. Vision fulfills human right to meaning.

That is all.

How do you know that these can be Tudjman’s messages?

You don’t know, but you know that I have been his adviser for many years and that I have been giving advice to all of you for a long time. You know that Tudjman considered that every person in Croatia should carry responsibility, truth and be part of creating Croatia. These messages are mere motivation and invitation to you all to accept responsibility. All who have something to add or comment are welcome to do so. In any case it’s time for organising a conference about the future of Croatia. We have passed half of the 40 Biblical years of creating a state. Let’s assess where we are. Let’s be free and responsible.

Dr. Slobodan Lang

(First published in Hrvatsko Slovo, Thursday 22nd November 2012 edition/ Translated into English by Ina Vukic).

About dr. Slobodan Lang. Born to Jewish family 8 October 1945 in Zagreb, Croatia. Physician, author, writer, politician and former personal adviser to the first Croatian President dr. Franjo Tudjman. His paternal grandfather Ignjat was the president of the Jewish community in Vinkovci (Croatia) and his grandmother Terezija was a housewife. In 1941 Catholic priest Hijacint Bošković, distinguished Dubrovnik and Croatian Dominican, was engaged in an extraordinary attempt to rescue the Langs from Nazi persecution. Bošković traveled from Dubrovnik to Vinkovci with a special permit that allowed him to relocate the Langs to Dubrovnik. Langs grandfather refused to leave, saying that he “was the president of Jews in peace and he will stay one in the war”. Both of his grandparents were killed in the concentration camp during the Holocaust. He graduated at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine and is a specialist in social medicine. (


  1. Please explain why CROATIANS have two Republics following the Homeland war.

    • Which two Republics?

    • Slobodan Lang says:

      Croatia, as well as states in Europe, have boundaries defined after victory of Allies in 1945. Tuđman recognized that many nations (Hungary, Poland, Germany …) have changed borders, and accepted it. Serbia fought Allied victory in recognizing borders and ethnic cleansing of Albanians, Bosniacs and Croatians in every territory they occupied.

  2. Michael Silovic says:

    Thank you for the translation Ina! One of the most important issues left out of the topic is repatriation of all Croats. National security should always be the number one priority and until we figure out how to repopulate our homeland we will always struggle to maintain our heritage and identity. Sadly entering the EU is more harmful in the long term to our country then any benefits that we will gain if we have an exodus of our young people. One must learn that throughout our history we as Croats have always had to defend ourselves in many different forms and reasons. I suspect with the attitudes of the Serbs by the recent comments attributed to them about reconciliation being a problem that they may again attempt to create a greater Serbia in some ways as our population dwindles.This must never be allowed to happen but who will defend Croatia if we have no one left to defend her? I agree with Dr lang that we need to organize and plan for Croatia’s future. We need to start by demanding that our goverment invest in our people and infrastructure to move Croatia towards independence not rely on the EU or others to support us. We need to make certain that our goverment does not sell us out to the highest bidder just to get quick cash in hand and be blinded by the future.We have much work to do!
    za dom spremni!

  3. Well said Slobodan Lang. I believe the messages might as well have come from Tudjman himself because they reflect his policies and pursuits when he was alive and leading Croatia into independence and democracy. Messages are calming, positive with acknowledgment that much still needs to be done and that all are responsible for a great future. I also agree with Michael Silovic regarding regarding repatriation of all Croats but I see that this could bee seen as covered by the Eighth point – reconsider connections between all Croatians.

  4. Miso Sorbel says:

    A new message from Tudjman: In September 2000, some of Croatia’s most respected army generals signed an open letter warning that the prosecutions of wartime heroes for alleged war crimes should stop. Within hours Stjepan Mesic stripped them of their positions! That only speaks of how Mesic is utterly undemocratic for in democratic society people are considered and respected as innocent until proven guilty of crime. Mesic, with this added to the public perception of guilt of Croatian Generals and Tudjman regarding Homeland War. It will take years to recover from this travesty of justice committed by Mesic and make sure plenty is written about it in all languages, make sure the world knows and is constantly reminded of the twisted ways Mesic operated against Croatian people.

  5. Long Live Croatian People! Bless Franjo Tudjman’s memory and soul! So lucky to have had the benefit of his humane and freedom-loving wisdom and stuff those who try and portray him differently!

  6. Dr. Lang, thank you for this article it is very inspiring. It is long over due that history be set straight. Whata worthwhile project it would be to write a definitive book on Tudjman and the War; to right the wrongs taht were done to croatia and Tudjman; to firmly point out the slander, misconception, biased politics and out right fraud of the Serbs and its conspiring allies and supporters. Croatians and the world need such an authoritative book.

    • So true Sunman. It seems everywhere one looks many people have hurried to blacken Tudjman’s name on account of April 2011 ICTY Trial Chamber judgment in case of Gotovina and Markac which has now been quashed. Not only is a book needed but individuals need to alert authors of web postings, books etc of the fact that their content is no longer valid and needs to be changed to reflect the truth … this each of us can do, should do, as we come across references in particular to Operation Storm.

  7. Michael Silovic says:

    I agree Ina we all need to get the word out as much as we can. I have an e-mail out now to Anderson Cooper of CNN to see if he would be interested in doing a follow up story on Croatia and the homeland war since he did cover the war in vukovar. Sadly though many time news organizations do not want to get involved in correcting history as they are only interested in history as it unfolds. I have not even seen any Croatian press writing much of the truth but such small tidbits.

    • True what you say Michael, nevertheless it’d be great if many just persisted – even if most don’t change what they’ve written in the past they’d at least know that people are aware of their biased attitudes and that might plant a sparkle of guilt feeling in them. We can’t expect the anti-Croat truth propaganda to disappear overnight but with efforts and persistence miracles may happen 🙂

  8. Gustavo Reis says:

    I was searching for Franjo Budjman because I read the history about the Yugoslavian civil wars in 1995, at Wikipedia, in the which it contained the list of war criminals, as Milošević, Mladić, Hadžić and this.

    Before, I’m not Yugoslavian. I’m from another continent.

    Ah, did Tudjman thank God for the war? I’m admired and surprised as how the Yugoslavian or any countries presidents using the name of God, killing the innocent people to justify the ethnicism and the racism and thanking God for the wars and the genocides.

    It’s a blasphemy against God.

    God doesn’t allow anyone to use His name in vain because Bible defined Deuteronomy 5:11: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

    God NEVER approved any war or any genocide because in the New Testament, Jesus taught the Ten Commandments — “Thou shalt do no murder”.

    And the Bible also defined Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and MURDERERS, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    I’m very sorry that I have to hurt you and I know you won’t like when I’ll tell.

    Tudjman is not and can’t be at the God’s sky for the war crimes. Any war and genocide criminals can’t inherit the kingdom of God.

    Dobar dan i voditi brigu o sebi.

    • Gustavo Reis – you have not hurt anyone except perhaps your own intellect. Tudjman has not engaged in any genocide nor ethnic cleansing – check the international or any country’s court judgments and you won’t find anything of that. Yes some tried to implicate that but that was only hatred speaking, no evidence. So, please, next time you speak of the Bible please consider the truth – Wikipedia is not a bible but words written by all sorts of people who often have the aim of deceiving the world with their lias. Thank you on your comment.

    • It seems Gustavo Reis you copied the comment by Hercegovac, so please refer to my replies to him.

      • Gustavo Reis says:

        I visited your blog by the first time yesterday, I was forwarded from Google only to this article because of Tudjman and I didn’t read the whole blog, so I didn’t copy from him. It was my own message.

        If you want to know where I am from. I’m from Brazil. Ja sam Brazilac.

      • Hello Gustavo – that’s OK it’s just that your comment has exact words that Hercegovac has, so quite a mysterious coincidence! In any case my replies to Hercegovac go for yours as well since comments are similar in content, same words almost all the way and same message. Thank you

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