Croatia: Day Of Reckoning For Communist Crimes Needs A Strong Wake-up Call

Partisan from communist army stands at mass grave of innocent Croat victims after World War II Photo:

Partisan from communist army stands
at mass grave of innocent Croat victims
after World War II

Do you remember the EU Commission resolution number 1481 on condemnation of communist crimes?” writes Mladen Pavkovic, president of Homeland War Veterans Association 91, on the Croatian Veteran’s portal and continues with his eye-opening and sharp summing up of the disturbing situation associated with the current Croatian political leadership in government, which evidently makes it its business to cover-up the widespread communist crimes perpetrated during the times of communist Yugoslavia:
The Resolution was passed by the Assembly of the European parliament on 25th January 2006 in Strasbourg and it condemns the criminal nature of the Communist party from the time of the October revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall, in which the democratic representatives had stamped communism as a totalitarian ideology and in which (Josip Broz) Tito’s Yugoslavia was mentioned as a country in which the communists had perpetrated multitudes of crimes against nations and individuals.  European Council had recommended that lustration be carried out in former communist countries, such as Yugoslavia, of the members and spies of the communist secret police and highly positioned communist party officials who had breached human rights during communist times. Seven years after the Resolution what has happened in relation to this in Croatia? Almost nothing, or very little.

That is, finally the alleged crimes perpetrated by members of the communist police (Zdravko) Mustac and (Josip) Perkovic have surfaced and more than ever there is talk and writing about the former UDBA operatives, but instead of prosecuting, processing and imprisoning them it’s incredulous with what might the Croatian government protects these people, who are exceptionally many in number and who had at the beginning of nineteen-nineties, coming out of the communist UDBA (secret police) simply turned their coats inside-out and began working as if nothing had happened in the Croatian and other secret services.

They’ve pulled along with them hundreds, or thousands of traitors and spies who had committed crimes during Broz’s dictatorship, and so, especially after some interviews with Perkovic one gets the impression that the former UDBA operatives were at the helm of creating the Croatian state, when in fact they utilised blackmail, theft and various other ‘tricks’ to hold in ‘check position’ most of the Croatian greats who were truly on the front lines against the aggression by the Serbs, Montenegrins and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA).  

Beside crossing over during the night from UDBA into the Croatian secret and other services like chameleons, beside the fact that their personnel are in almost all important leading functions, from banks, economy, judiciary, schools, health, to high-level politics, they have managed to employ as ‘secret agents’ and spies a good proportion of their own family members and, hence, we cannot really be surprised with the fact that there is not even a word let alone an implementation of lustration in Croatia, that the European Council Resolution regarding condemnation of communist crimes remains – a dead letter on paper.   

Often these days, new Broz’s (Tito’s) mass graves are discovered in Slovenia and Croatia, filled with innocent Croats.  Who is investigating these crimes? It’s clear to us now – nobody, because the same people who came over from the criminal UDBA to Tudjman’s side at the beginning of nineteen-nineties would need to investigate them, and those UDBA operatives are among the worst criminals and so it’s impossible to expect that they would process and incarcerate themselves.  That’s why we see that every time a new mass grave from Tito’s era is discovered, earth-moving machinery (bobcats…) move in and dig out the bones of innocent people, then all that is thrown onto a heap and is buried again, as if nothing had happened.

After all, who was it that murdered tens of thousands of Croats after World War II, who killed innocent Croats living abroad, just because they did not agree with Broz’s (Tito’s) politics? The question is now also being put about Goli Otok and Stara Gradiska, the most horrible of death camps.  If you come to Stara Gradiska you will see that nobody maintains it, it’s falling apart on its own. Soon there will be no trace of this camp where various ‘Perkovics’ and ‘Mustacs’ sent tens of thousands of innocent Croats.  Where are those who administered those death camps, in which very large number of innocent Croats were killed and massacred, today, where are those who convicted those innocent Croats to such horrible punishment? Some have died, some still enjoy their villas and weekend houses by the sea, and some continue to work in the secret and other police services, especially in courts and public attorneys’ offices as if the crimes from Broz’s (Tito’s) regime have nothing to do with them.  

Zagreb also has Marshall Tito Square, and streets and squares carrying his name exist all over Croatia. The former UDBA operatives have never been stronger.  Just look at what happens on occasions of marking Tito’s birthday or his death, in Kumrovec (Tito’s birth place).  Every year more and more supporters of this criminal gather there; they wave Yugoslav flags, dance Serb and other reels, spit on Croatia, and continually say that there would be no Croatia without them! After the interview with Perkovic, that has regretfully been shown to be true to a point.  

That is, when Serb aggression started, who had the time to check who was coming from UDBA and who from the criminal Yugoslav People’s Army to avoid asking later – what did you do during the era of Broz’s (Tito’s) dictatorship?  Perkovic even boasted that it was due to his intervention that dr. Franjo Tudjman received his passport back during the times of communism and he considers that as his great success instead of revealing who the people were that took the passports away from Tudjman and thousands of Croats because they did not agree with the politics of the Communist Union and sent them to prison and hard labour camps? One of those was he (Perkovic), as some call him ‘Croatian secret agent No. 1’.  Exceptional attention is paid to him today as if he was ‘chief among chiefs’, but beside him there were hundreds of his colleagues who committed lesser or greater bestialities than he, but no one has publicly revealed who they were. However, that which is most horrible in all of this is the fact that these ‘Perkovics’ are not at all ashamed of their shameful role during the time of Broz’s (Tito’s) government, and so in published memoirs of 99% of these and similar people you will notice one ‘chapter’ is missing – what they did during the time of communist Yugoslavia?

In the European Council Resolution regarding condemnation of communist crimes it’s emphasised, among other things, that the victims of crimes of totalitarian regimes who are still alive or their families, deserve condolences, understanding and recognition for their suffering.

Have you ever heard or read that the innocent Croats victims, from Bleiburg, Stara Gradiska, Lepoglava to Goli Otok, received recognition, compensation or something like that? Today, Croatia is paying compensation to individual Serb survivors who had participated in the Serb aggression but due to lack of evidence it has not been proven that as ‘civilians’ they held rifles, while nobody asks about tens of thousands of innocent Croats who perished or suffered from a Serb bullet or knife, in which lack of asking various ‘Mustacs’ and ‘Perkovics’ play an important part and the whole of the country’s leadership, instead of condemning them, rallies behind them as being some Heroes of the Homeland war and not common criminals, and so, one Germany must show us who those persons are and explain why they must go behind bars, and not to ‘coffee with the president’!
Written by Mladen Pavkovic
Translated in English by Ina Vukic.

Related posts:


  1. therealamericro says:

    It would be great if Zeljka Markic and the her organization, using the infrastructure they created for the referendum on marriage, push for a referendum on a Lustration law, asking that “are you for Croatia adopting the same exact Lustration laws and procedures the Federal Republic of Germany made upon reinunification after the fall of the wall?”

    It is high time the 1945 property “liberators,” Communist Party and the repressive, anti-Croatian, anti-democratic state terror apparatus members are publicly outed and held accountable for their crimes and 45 years of graft, mismanagement, repression, and state terrorism.

    Croatia will never move one milimeter forward until all reminants of the Communist regime are outed and held accountable, and removed from their position of total, disproportionate power in all facets of Croatian political, economic, cultural and media life.

    • A referendum would certainly get things moving and shaking, therealamericro. I agree totally that Croatia cannot move forward without radical lustration such as the one Germany had after the fall of the Berlin wall and reunification. Croatia is in desperate need of determined people, leaders, who would see that through.

  2. The concept of lustration has a strong political and social meaning, above all as a symbolical departure from the past totalitarian practices and those who were instrumental in their enforcement. The ultimate purpose of lustration is to demonstrate discontinuity, the change of paradigm in the practices of government. Croatia had the misfortune to have been engulfed in war of aggression against it and its last territory war reintegrated to it from Serb occupation in 1998. So in effect Croatia lost 8 or 9 very important years in which lustration could have been implemented as a natural progression from totalitarian regime to democracy. In those 8 – 9 years the former communists consolidated their positions in the new Croatia and Croatia will go through fires of hell to undo that. But it must do it, it must remove from important positions all those who held high positions during communist era – and their children, grandchildren etc etc because the latter are more likely than not, going to protect their ancestors to the detriment of true progress in democracy, which includes fight against corruption

  3. The establishment in Croatia (as in some other former communist countries) is riddled with the mindset of control that is like a second skin to its personnel who enjoyed the personal benefits of such control while they held important positions under communist Yugoslavia. The political structures in Croatia are filled with those who defend and justify communism that was and hence, render the whole political system incapable of taking timely actions and cut off completely all ties with the “old system boys/girls”. New blood is needed and that new blood must be free of any romantic notions about communism or Yugoslavia.

    • Rozic, its also a huge problem that the establishment is filled with the offspring of former communist operatives who had amassed wealth through theft and corruption – they would want to protect their “inheritance”

  4. Lustration process would help Croatia lustrate itself from the gangrene that does not let normal development of democracy. That gangrene is the remnants of UDBA, those that fight tooth-and-nail against condemnation of communist crimes. Crime is a crime; there can be no different standards for any crimes committed in history or today.

    • It is truly a gangrene – Spectator, as democracy in Croatia will surely fold, before its developed fully, under such utter unfairness that’s coming from political leadership

  5. almostthere says:

    It seems there is so much garbage piled up in Croatia, from communist hard-liners, communist crimes to widespread corruption, much of which has its roots in communist Yugoslavia, that it alone is a mammoth task to clear and now, instead of seeing some notable clearing of this garbage the garbage pile gets bigger and bigger.

    • Yes almostthere – some seriously heavy machinery, in the form of strong people, is needed to clear all that up in Croatia to at least a tolerable level if not completely.

      • We need a “Ukraine” to happen in Croatia. Everyone on the streets! Lord knows there are enough people who are fed up, sitting in cafes, unemployed, broke, etc. etc…..People wake up and get out there!!! Drzavni Udar. God Bless those Ukrainians. I just wish Croatians did the same. And it’s not easy for the poor Ukrainians. I know it’s in Croatians.. they survived a war of aggression. They need to bring back that same fervour!

      • Yes we need a “Ukraine” type of uprising in Croatia, get rid of the rot

  6. Robert Altman says:

    In the case of Perkovic the Croatian communists, including some government and court officials tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes in saying that statute of limitations applied to crimes Perkovic is accused of having committed. I say, where in the world does murder have a statute of limitations! The Jews are still to this day prosecuting murders of the Holocaust! Well, I hope the EU was watching all this in Croatia and serves the Croatian government with a boot in the back-side for blatantly going against the spirit and the meaning of its resolution regarding condemnation and punishment of communist crimes.

    • Yes Robert Altman – there is no expiry date for prosecution for murder, except if you are a communist or were one in power when it comes to issues this article deals with. EU was watching and I hope it will pursue the matters of member states’ governments going against its recommendations etc. At least, one likes to think that such is one advantage of EU’s existence

  7. Just read this post – and I applaud Mladen on his article. How typical that the push for accountablility for Communist crimes is yet again coming from a veteran’s group/perspective. With the lead being taken by the Headquarters for the Defense of Vukovar and their proposals for registries of lustration, there is a glimmer of hope that real change could be attained. More power to all of the good men and women of our country – both veterans and their supporters who fight the good fight on behalf of us all! Bog i Hrvati!

    • Yes Velebit, I thought Mladen’s article was excellent and, hence, I had to translate it especially because it puts things into perspective as they are and he did it succinctly!

  8. Why would anyone have their photo taken amongst dead bodies?

  9. It is good that you are bringing these atrocities and lapses to the fore – lest we forget!

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: