Croatia: Days Of Pride And Celebration – 24 and 25 February 1990

Franjo Tudjman   Photo:

Franjo Tudjman Photo:

Zagreb, 24th and 25th February 1990 – the historic event occurred that would take Croatia on the path of secession from communist Yugoslavia and into an independent state that would join the democratic world.

The event was the First General Assembly of the people’s movement “Croatian Democratic Union” (HDZ) – it was held in Zagreb’s entertainment hall “Lisinski”.

Thundering applause followed almost every word spoken by dr Franjo Tudjman.
The resolution on the Croatian hymn was delivered at this event.

Our beautiful homeland,
O so fearless and gracious.
Our fathers’ ancient glory,
May you be blessed forever.
Dear, you are our only glory,
Dear, you are our only one,
Dear, we love your plains,
Dear, we love your mountains.
Sava, Drava keep on flowing,
Danube, do not lose your vigour,
Deep blue sea, tell the world,
That a Croat loves his homeland.
Whilst his fields are kissed by sunshine,
Whilst his oaks are whipped by wild winds,
Whilst his dear ones go to heaven,
Whilst his live heart beats.

Dr Franjo Tudjman was re-elected as HDZ President.

1,760 delegates from Croatia and the diaspora participated, 297 observers, 320 guests and 54 journalists. Among the guests were the US, The French, the Italian and the Soviet consuls as well as a representative from the Canadian Embassy.

This was the first inaugural assembly of a non-socialist and non-communist party in the former Yugoslavia and the first assembly of a Croatian democratic party in more than 50 years of the one-party communist totalitarianism.

25 February 1990 HDZ First General Assembly

I remember these days as if they happened yesterday! I remember the utter joy at seeing democracy in Croatia on the horizon… reaching for it. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. What a lovely hymn. And a remarkable event for Croatia and its citizens.

  2. What a beautiful song.

  3. How our hearts swelled with pride and love for Croatia. The joy of a new future bright with hope and vigour. You could ‘touch’ the overwhelming feelings that we finally could be free and control our united destiny. What an amazing time. Let’s recapture that spirit, that optimism, that selflessness and determination to overcome and prosper. Serbs tried to take this away from us and nearly succeeded. While lot of energy, treasure and lives were spent on defending ourselves from Serbian aggression, we conquered the impossible odds against us. We can surely conquer anything before us again, and again, and again forever. We need to start to act like the victors that we are, we need to again take the moral high ground and proclaim we are Croatians proud and free, we keep only what is ours and will defend ours to the end. We have a righteous place among nations and a prosperous future ahead of us. Za Dom Spremni!

  4. is there a love button? like is not enough for this post 🙂

  5. costamagna says:

    Reblogged this on dr. costamagna.

  6. Thank you for sharing this Hymn and its poignant words and thank you for your work in aiding those caught up in this conflict I remember at the time so touched my heart..

    I was so moved I wrote a poem which I added to a donation of some medical aid which was sent out to Croatia and Bosnia along with Medical staff who volunteered their services… The poem I wrote was read by a surgeon who sent it to the local papers. who printed it at the time… I hope you will not mind me sharing it here again.. And may I thank you for following my own Blog.. Many thanks.. Its called


    Everywhere around the world is darkness and despair.
    Lord help heads of nations, a better future to prepare.
    I cry from the heart, to all of those in power.
    Look to your people in their darkest hour.
    Leaders, gather together for peace, listen and unite.
    Stop this senseless slaughter, end this bitter fight.

    What do you gain; tell me whose the winner?
    Who pays the price who’s the greater sinner?
    Where is the glory in the torture and the death?
    Where is the victory for the homeless and bereft?
    Families and their homes are ripped and torn apart.
    Broken bodies tortured minds, a mothers broken heart.

    War has always been a part of mans lurid past.
    Peace only seams to be a myth never meant to last.
    Why is there distrust, anger, hate and greed.
    Has man progressed, or has he become an ugly breed?
    It only needs a spark of faith to kindle and to brighten.
    Those embittered souls who deal in death, their reason to enlighten.

    Healing hands of friendship held out for our tomorrow.
    Show them that the power of love can wipe away our sorrow.
    So leaders of the world, lets stop all this oppression.
    Only peace and love will guide us through to mans progression.

    Blessings Sue ..

    • Wonderful to know Sue, love the poem and the thoughts behind it – looks like we’re kindred spirits 😀 when it comes to matters of suffering … Cheers

  7. Contrast the pride and love of Croatia with the hatred and shame the current government of Croatia has for it’s homeland. Evidence is not hard to find, just look at Vesna Pusic’s statement in Belgrade this week…treasonous, ill-informed, disgraceful and shameful. She must resign immediately!

  8. I loved the Croatian hymn. It is so beautiful! Hugs, Barbara

  9. Nearly 25 years. Wow! Progress can be sustained and cherished!

  10. Yes, a reminder of what all Croatians worldwide wished and hoped for – a democratic, sovereign Croatian nation, free of the shackles of the bloody Communist regime. Unfortunately, HDZ failed so miserably in meeting the expectations of their electorate over the last two decades, that they got ousted royally in the last elections- losing to (of all people) – communists. A clear message was sent to HDZ that they no longer had the trust and confidence of the Croatian people and that votes cast were cast more AGAINST them than for anyone else. So,I suggest, that if we have anyone to thank for the state of affairs in Croatia today – what with the revival of “Jugonostalgia” and the pervasiveness of the communist element throughout the Croatian govt.(due to a lack of lustration), open celebration of partisanship, lack of justice for victims of WWII, unbridled corruption at all levels, etc. – I suppose we can thank HDZ for the role they played or failed to play in the course of events. Two days of “Pride and Celebration” in 1990 pales in comparison to the twenty-four years of bitter disappointments and betrayals that this political party has wrought on Croatia and Croatians. The old adage, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” was proven true.

    On a different note, I often wondered when, whom and by what right was decided the redesign of our flag and the wording of our anthem – thank you for confirming my suspicions that it was a political party – in this case HDZ who spearheaded the resolution. I was not aware that in 1990 they had been given a mandate to unilaterally do so. I don’t remember any speeches/literature from the time focusing particular attention on our flag/anthem or the need to alter either. I wonder why then, that that very flag – the historical flag- that Dr. Tudjman is pictured kissing and the flags that are pictured from the HDZ general assembly were suddenly deemed “inappropriate” and in need of alteration? There must have been a monumental reason to alter our flag- because I can not imagine that such an historical step would have been done secretly, in haste and without at least an all-party discussion. So, if someone could point me in the direction of what I am sure is an abundant wealth of literature on the topic, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Velebit – re the Croatian hymn or anthem, it was adopted as Croatian official hymn (1972) after the 1971 Croatian Spring uprising against Yugoslav control and in demands for greater autonomy…it was used before etc and in 1990 it was inserted into the Constitution of independent Croatia with lyrics changed somewhat in the process towards independence…adopted in parliament where of course HDZ held majority seats and at that time it needs to be remembered that HDZ was considered more of a people’s movement than a political party per se ( I believe it was in late 1993 when HDZ changed somewhat its constitution to define it more strictly as a political party) as for the flag there used to be the communist star and it was replaced briefly by the coat of arms consisting of red and white checks then the crown was added to represent various regions by May 1990, shortly after the first multiparty elections and towards the new independence. The current flag and the coat of arms were officially adopted on 21 December 1990, about ten months before the proclamation of independence from Yugoslavia and a day before the Constitution of Croatia on 22 December 1990.
      I believe that all governments HDZ, SDP etc in the past 20 years have a lot to answer for and the presidents after Tudjman, have most to answer for regarding lack of progress in democracy and in tackling corruption etc. They turned the direction that Tudjman started and indeed slowed down the transition from communist ways…

  11. It is absolutely shameful how every government and basically every politician since Tuđman has halted progress and turned away from the direction he wanted for Croatia. What a contrast it is to see what was – the pride, joy and hope; and what is today and in many ways, it is absolutely mind-boggling to think how this was allowed to happen. I truly believe the only way forward for Croatia is lustration, and moving towards a constitutional republic that limits the powers of the government. God knows, our biggest problem has always been governments and treasonous rulers, and I think Croatian people desperately need to create measures that will not only limit the powers of government over their lives, but allow for wrongdoers to be held accountable swiftly.

  12. ovo sam tek danas proöitao, bravo Ina!

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