Croatia: Calling Communist Crimes To Account

Josip Boljkovac arrested on Communist Crimes charges Photo: Kristina Stedul Fabac/ Pixsell

Josip Boljkovac arrested on Communist Crimes charges
Photo: Kristina Stedul Fabac/ Pixsell

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!

That is the path Croatian attempts of indictments against Josip Boljkovac, 93, had taken over the past few years.  The last attempt to indict him had failed due to legal technicalities or procedural matters (see Related Posts at the end of this article).
This time it seems prospects of success at least as far as getting Boljkovac to a court hearing, might be looking more hopeful.

Boljkovac was indicted on Tuesday September 17th for ordering the killings of the 21 civilians from the Duga Resa region of Croatia, who were at the time accused by communists of collaborating with the country’s Nazi-affiliated Ustasha regime.

At the time of the murders in May and June 1945, after WWII had finished, he was a local official with the Partisans’ secret service (Communist Secret Police), the Department for the Protection of the People, OZNA. He later became a top police official in post-WWII Yugoslavia. As things of that nature went then – no court, no hearing, no due process – just a shot in “the head”. It was enough not to agree with communism and one was accused of being a Nazi, Ustashe or what have you.

This indictment against Boljkovac is the first of its kind since Croatia declared its independence in 1991.  Boljkovac served as the first post-independence interior minister of independent Croatia; he served in that office for just over one year 30 May 1990 to 2 July 1991, having jumped ship from League of Communists to Croatian Democratic Union. Soon after, it became evident that he nurtured a very close friendship with Stjepan Mesic (former president/ die-hard communist) who headed a decade long campaign against Franjo Tudjman, Croatia’s first president. It was the time when Tudjman began voicing the need for lustration – i.e. removing from office operatives of Communist Yugoslavia Secret services and other authoritative bodies of former Yugoslavia. This of course is a matter for a full article which I plan to write soon.

Boljkovac denies the charges, saying that the indictment was politically motivated. And of course, Stjepan Mesic says his friend is innocent, that he didn’t have the authority to order the killings! But, whether Boljkovac had the authority or not to order the killings seems to be an irrelevance in the face of witness statements that allege Boiljkovac is guilty in the said killings and massacre.
“They charged me to draw attention from daily politics and the ‘Lex Perkovic’ case,”  he told Croatian media, referring to a case which has seen Croatia threatened with sanctions by the European Union.

It’s hardly possible that anything could draw attention away from the “Lex Perkovic” case as European Commission is on fire to get Croatia to comply with European arrests warrants – threats of sanctions are real and so is the current government’s abominable move three days before Croatian entry into the EU to stop extradition to Germany of Josip Perkovic, charged with Communist crimes – liquidation of Croatian national in Germany during the communist years.

Certainly a great deal revolves around Communist crimes in Croatia at the moment and that is a good sign and high time serious measures are taken to rid the nation of that cancer that’s been plaguing the nation for so very long! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Zgb)

Related Posts:


  1. therealamericro says:

    Interesting timing.

    A nice horse and pony show for the EU that the EU will not buy.

    The court case will drag on for years and the Belgrade-loyal alleged genocidal maniac, whose brother in law is none other than Yugoslav Peoples Army General Petar Gracanin, will die in his own bed, a free man.

    • Yes therealamericro, Boljkovac’s age does mean he will most probably die before any criminal trial is over but still I think, if he does die before, he will not die a free man because he will know that he will leave behind the legacy he has fought so hard to avoid all these decades: the possibility of being convicted for mass murders. This of course is dependent on whether he actually has a conscience or not – but I’m told everyone grows one (if they hadn’t had it during life) just before death.

    • Miso Sorbel says:

      I think if he dies before a verdict is delivered, therealmericro, his remains should be kept somewhere where they could be easily exhumed if he is found guilty and then buried at a secret location of which not even his family could know. That is what communists did to Andrija Artukovic’s remains.

  2. Well, I note that BBC hasn’t put out anything about this arrest. In 2011 attempt at getting this old communist fart to face justice BBC wrote: The communist partisans, who under Josip Broz Tito resisted Ustasha rule and later took power, carried out widespread revenge attacks on former fascists.”
    The trouble is that Boljkovac is charged with killing civilians not fascists as BBC and other unkind to say the least media say. So I guess BBC keeps mum about it since this time they cannot talk of revenge against fascists suggesting some sort of an excuse or justification for communist crimes.

    • Thanks Wilkinson – anything BBC says or doesn’t say needs to be taken with a big lump of salt! Always some warped political plot behind it and yes it would seem they don’t like the fact that this case talks about murder of civilians and not disarmed soldiers they said were fascists.

  3. This repulsive man Boljkovac was also among those who help spread publicly Stjepan Mesic’s lies that Tudjman and Milosevic agreed to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was enough for Boljkovac to keep saying Ï believe they did” – during the pathetic presidential mandate of Stjepan Mesic – for that lie to catch on. All Boljkovac needed to do is speculate and theorise and the media dependent on the “good will” of government/Mesic would soon pick up on his garbage, giving it some credibility when it should have served for toilet paper.. I think that once these evidently awful characters either die or are behind bars will be the day when the sun will finally begin shining all over Croatia.

    • Yes Tom Nall these traitors have a great deal to answer for not just for human suffering as a consequence of political movements they were a part of in high positions but also for deliberately trying to steer Croatia away from peace and democracy it had envisioned for itself with Tudjman at its rudder

  4. Such a small country, yet such big problems.

  5. Espero justicia

  6. Amir Pilipovic says:

    How can you guys trash Tudman’s guy,Are you trying to say that Tudman made mistake by appointing him to a Minister position.

    • I am saying – don’t know about the others – that it was not a mistake to appoint him to the ministry in the circumstances where seceding from communism where many were involved in its administration there was a need to utilise the knowledge bank that came with them but then it was a mistake for Tudjman to think people could change like he did when it comes to installing democracy – Tudjman was a man who gave people a chance and this is evidenced by his policy of pan-Croatian reconciliation at the beginning… indeed it was quite obvious when towards the end of 1993 when Mesic’s low-life political attempts in blackening Tudjman came to full light and Tudjman stated for the media “…individuals have been telling me things and I did not believe them…now I see”… and don’t forget – the war was raging then against Croatia so all things could not be attended to as priority was to save lives and defend freedom

    • therealamericro says:


      We went through this already. Do I have to spell it out on your forehead with a black magic marker?

      Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. That is what Tudman did, and he booted the treasonous rats when the time was ripe and Croatia went on to achieve every single strategic objective it had in the war, and in the long run fulfilled the two main strategic objectives Tudman laid out in 1989 – NATO and EU entry.

      Boljkovac’s real sympathies have long been revealed, as the apparent geriatric genocidal maniac is a SDSS party member.

  7. Amir Pilipovic says:

    Yea right,Did you figure out who was a friend Tudman kept close,so far all of them happened to enemies.Mesic,Josipovic,Boljkovac,Banac,Granic,Racan Manolic.Markovic,Spegelj etc.I guess it’s hard to answer that question because none of his friends comes to mind.

    • To bud in, As I said before Amir – you don’t know everything and the reality was there were quite a few enemies, particularly those individuals who were and some still are die-hard communists who will do anything to prevent communist crimes being held to account. When it comes to friends of Tudjman there were many more though – just look what was achieved: independence! And that could not have been done without friends and without those who had same beliefs as Tudjman.

      • Amir Pilipovic says:

        If he had bunch a friends you should name couple,We all know he didn’t have any in the west,Kraljevic,Paraga,Paradzik ,Kriel,Jastreb,Stipetic,Perkovic and many others in addition to above mentioned people have been ,are enemies of Tudman,and to be brutally honest none of the friends come to my mind.

      • Amir – the west did not win Croatia’s war of independence, Croats did. The West helped swiftly by recognising Croatia’s independence – by being friendly with Tudjman’s aspirations and politics. You can now go and check how it all went between November 1991 and May 1992 … you like name dropping so you go and look who the friends from the West were and anything else that occurred to the contrary can be ascribed to the greed on Stjepan Mesic.

  8. Hi, Ina Vukic. Don’t you just hate the like button, when what you really want is for people to leave a comment, like I do?

    • Hehe Donald Miller, I’m a sinner when it comes to Like button too – I often press Like on other people’s posts which means I’ve read it and I liked it 🙂 People don’t always have time to write comments so really I do not mind. Of course it’s greatest when comments arrive but still Like button is good too – it’s a connection 🙂

  9. One question please? How old was Andrija Artukovic when they the same neo- communists who govern ljepa nasa executed him and scattered his ashes ! I don’t ask for more or less for these communist war criminals!

    • Right on Janko! Artukovic was 89 years old. But Communist crimes criminals should also not know age, hunt them and punish them to whatever years they’ve lived, beyond 100 even, no mercy…


  1. […] for war crimes against against Josip Boljkovac (93) was confirmed by the District court in Zagreb at the end of October this year. It alleges that […]

  2. […] in the efforts to finally hold former communists to account. Similarly the arrest of 93-year-old Josip Boljkovac on allegations of mass murder of innocent civilians – as a matter of communist policy and […]

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