About Celebrating Croatia’s Independence

 

"We have asked Ina Vukic, our worldwide reputable analyst of the Croatian reality and the work of the young Croatian state to provide an answer to the few questions we had on the matter of celebrations of 10 April 1941 anniversary," Boka Cropress, 16 April 2014, Page 12. Title article under photo - Ina Vukic:  I do not celebrate 10 April, I celebrate 25 June  as symbol of Croatian independence

“We have asked Ina Vukic,
our worldwide reputable analyst of the
Croatian reality and the work of the
young Croatian state to provide an
answer to the few questions we had
on the matter of celebrations of 10 April 1941
anniversary,” Boka Cropress, 16 April 2014, Page 12.
Title of article under photo – Ina Vukic:
I do not celebrate 10 April, I celebrate 25 June
as symbol of Croatian independence

The Independent State of Croatia, often referred to simply by the abbreviation NDH, under Ante Pavelic, was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany and Italy established in part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. So too was Serbia under Milan Nedic.  However it needs to be pointed out that the NDH Pavelic’s regime was not a product of democratic election or referendum but rather an installation of government, which was not supported by all of the Croatian people and, hence there existed three opposing sides: pro Ustashe, pro-communists and those who wanted neither one or the other, were politically neutral, but did want independence. Since WWII there have been and there are Croats who celebrate 10 April (1941) as a celebration of Croatian independence, but there are and have been many more who do not and did not celebrate this date. I belong to the latter. The regretful fact is that the anti-Croatian propaganda throughout the world chooses to promote more the former than the latter! I feel privileged to have been asked about my thoughts on 10 April and its meaning for Croatian independence. I have translated the short interview with me published in the Australian “Boka Cropress” newspaper.

Boka Cropress: What does celebrating 10th April mean to you?

Ina Vukic:  Personally I do not nor have I ever celebrated the 10th of April but I do regard it as a historical symbol from 1941 which has a large meaning in a victory, however minor by some comparisons. of the Croatian people over the Greater Serbian-hegemonic Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the oppression of the Croatian people inside its legitimate and historical territory. Sadly, that meaning of the 10th of April has been lost and it has, I would say, sold itself to an eternal “conviction or biased judgment” with the mere moment of decision as to the date of the declaration of NDH (Independent State of Croatia); for choosing to use the power of Nazi Germany as the vessel that would enable an “easy” proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (as there were many against it at the time).

While the NDH was not founded on the wish to “kill”, the decision to declare or establish the NDH under the protection or alliance with Nazi powers that had at that time entered Croatian territory, in my eyes, represents a very bad moral and political decision made by the NDH leaders. The truth is that during NDH there were a large number of crimes committed and they were committed within the context of historical facts – from Pavelic’s alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to the Yugoslav communist-antifascist movement, Serb Chetnik intrusions and the support of the Allied forces including communist Russia. It is clear that these crimes were not committed by one side only – NDH, and it is clear why NDH is falsely accused of them all.

It’s necessary to understand that despite all the Serb-communist or antifascist thrust filled with lies that equates NDH with WWII Nazism (and not with the pure and just plights for freedom) 10th of April has an important meaning to many of those wanting a Croatian statehood independence, especially many living in the free “West” before the establishment of today’s free Croatia. That was the day of Croatian gatherings and thanksgiving to those who had throughout the history (not only since 1941 but also before) advocated and sacrificed for the Croatian freedom and state independence, a day of remembrance of the 1941 proclamation of Independent State of Croatia, remembrance of the heroic battles fought by its defenders and a day of prayer for all the Croats who were murdered by the Serb Chetniks and Yugoslav communists during and after WWII just because they wanted a Croatian state.

The Serbs and the Yugoslavs and the communists did not rise in 1941 against NDH because of “Ante Pavelic’s regime” but because they did not accept any form, not even the most democratic form of a Croatian state. Although these same opponents of NDH to this very day hide and try to circumvent the fact of the political WWII state regimes the truth is that by May 1942 Serbia had been one of the first European countries to declare itself officially and with sinister pride as “Judenfrei” (Jew free) and had by then under Milan Nedic’s regime exterminated some 94% of its Jewish population!

I hold that with the establishment in 1991 of today’s independent Croatia the Day of Croatian Statehood that is celebrated on 25 June is the symbol of absolute victory of the Croatian people for a lasting and democratic freedom than what 10 April symbolizes because in 1990’s Croatian people had without anybody’s help and in unity defended their right to self-determination and freedom.

And hence, celebrating 10 April (1941) represents a marking of a historical fact that is placed only as one of many attempts in history to achieve freedom for Croatian people and not as important as 25 June (1991) is. At the end of the day, why should Croatian people be different in this to any other people of the democratic and free world? Why should the Croatian people as a whole permit that their honourable intents for freedom via NDH remain muddied by the events in WWII that have more to do with individual criminal pursuits during WWII and with certain policies and laws brought about during those rapturous and politically explosive times for political power in Europe rather than uplifting the history with the real idea for freedom for Croatian people if we do not expect that from other nations who have, for example, branded their history of colonization and imperialism with equal if not greater criminal undertakings via their state establishments?

I do not celebrate 10 April; I celebrate 25 June as the symbol of free and independent Croatia.

There have been and there always will be those in the “West” and in Croatia who will criticize those who celebrate 10 April; regardless of that, whoever wishes or whoever wants to celebrate 10 April as a symbol of independence as far as I am concerned – let them be – just as I hold no judgments against, for instance, a British person when he/she remembers with fondness the history of British nation despite its devastating murderous sprees across colonised foreign lands in history for power and harnessing of riches from the colonies, from indigenous lands, resources and people, or against a Belgian when he/she celebrates his/her national day, which is soaked in dark colours of genocide in its African colonies, or some Russian his/her Victory Day – soaked in blood of some 30 million innocent victims of Stalinism … At the end, among those nations that were similar to NDH in WWII, NDH was not a greater murderer than what they were, and Croatians have never, like Americans, celebrated the dropping of any atomic bombs nor can they be compared to Israelis, who after the Holocaust tragedy to today are seen by many as hangmen of the Palestinians – and so, who has the right to judge those who celebrate 10 April in the name of independence and self-determination?

Boka CroPress: When we talk about or mention the WWII Independent State of Croatia, how do we place ourselves in relation to the crimes that were perpetrated then?

Ina Vukic: Personally I hate and condemn all crimes in the world, which have always and which are occurring to this day. In accordance with the measures of humanity there is no justification for crime; not in today’s world even though, to regret, we still find attempts to justify crimes from history – even genocide. Evidently, numerous crimes of extermination of various peoples in history (except the Holocaust) have become a political tool to which punishment does not belong! And hence, the world has been brought into a contemptible reality in which differing standards of tolerance for enormous historical crimes exist. The Communists will say, for example, that the crimes against innocent people were necessary for “freedom”! Members of nations who had in centuries past engaged in brutal extermination of indigenous people in the countries they colonised, might shrug and say something like: “yes, it was horrible but necessary in those times of promoting and creating prosperity for the people of our country and for the enlightenment of the indigenous people in those wild lands!”

In such political wilderness of the world, where the innocent victim of crime often represents a negligible value, it is important to fight for justice for victims. Because, there is nor has there ever been a lasting or real reconciliation without the real, the true justice in the eyes of humanity, regardless of how much politicians try to convince us that it’s not like that, that the horrors of certain crimes can be overcome without condemnation, without justice. That kind of reconciliation without justice for the victim is very dangerous because it implies forgiveness and/or forgetfulness, which in reality feed the possibility of the same crimes being perpetrated in the future.

In relation to the crimes perpetrated in NDH (and soon after WWII) Croatia has always been and remained a victim of discrimination against innocent victims. That is, the crimes of the Holocaust have been processed and perpetrators pursued but those – the communists or antifascists as they like to be called now – who perpetrated equally horrid crimes against innocent people and their crimes have persistently been swept under the carpet, hidden, or their crimes, if recognized, even justified as ‘necessary’! I believe that this is where the roots lie of the widespread plight for justice among Croats after WWII to this day and in this plight we can often see emotions of guilt, anger and pain.

The crimes that were perpetrated within NDH during WWII are an undeniable fact and this fact must be acknowledged with regret even though the Croats of today are not responsible for those crimes. However, it is essential to include in those crimes the crimes committed by the communists and the Partisans, who more and more like to refer to themselves as antifascists even though they fought for Yugoslavia and not the freedom of Croatian people. Therefore, it is essential to recognise and accept as fact all crimes – including those perpetrated in the NDH – as something that is repugnant and unnatural to humanity.

It is morally wrong to judge the crimes committed in the name of NDH without, in the same breath, judging the crimes committed by the communists of those times.

In the matter of crimes of WWII many automatically think only of the crime of the Holocaust, which is unacceptable in today’s world – absolutely unacceptable. If we are people that seek and pursue justice then we must confront, or place in the same basket of historical horror all of the crimes perpetrated against innocent people regardless of who the perpetrator was. It’s not without a reason that those who had in Croatia justified and defended communist crimes, or those who still do, had not welcomed with open arms the relatively recent unshakable research findings by dr Esther Gitman of the rescue and survival of Jews in NDH, including the enormous role Blessed Aloysius Stepinac played in the rescue of the Jews. The communists had hidden the truth about Stepinac’s goodness after WWII and falsely convicted him, as they did other Croatian rescuers of the Jews, as Nazi collaborator – and even today, despite these and other similar findings – they keep to their false convictions like cowards that deserve the harshest of punishment and ostracizing through processes such as Lustration would be!

How to place ourselves vis-à-vis the crimes committed during NDH? The only answer is – with the harshest of judgments! All crimes are a profound anomaly of humanity and only through judgment can we place them where they belong: into a sad history that still needs clearing and that still needs to be woven with the full truth! If I had governing power in Croatia of today I would demolish to the ground all the monuments raised to mark the so-called communist-antifascist battles during former Yugoslavia, I would leave Jasenovac and other monuments to the victims of the Holocaust and I would build equally large monuments to the victims of communist crimes.

Boka Cropress: What is the main message for the young generation in relation to the celebration of the historic 10 April?

Ina Vukic: I believe that I have laid out the main messages for the young in my answers to the above questions. Nevertheless, I think that the most important thing for the young is to separate that date from 1941 of NDH declaration from the intent to achieve an independent Croatia. If they manage to achieve this then 10 April will become less important because it is a strong reminder that NDH was a failed attempt at creating an independent state of Croatia.

The liberation process and the defensive (Homeland) war of the1990’s were successful because the majority of people believed in freedom and wanted freedom for centuries before 1941, just as they did after NDH, as best demonstrated by the 1970’s Croatian Spring uprisings, and also because of the efforts invested for freedom from the diaspora where there were more of those that did not than those that did celebrate 10 April – but none wanted to live as Yugoslavs.

And so, today’s Croatia’s independence is the act and achievement of a far greater section of the Croatian national body of people than what is represented by the followers of “Ante Pavelic’s” NDH and, since we are talking about celebrating Croatia’s independence, I think it fairer and more proud to accept that fact and celebrate 25 June because that date truly includes all who had in any way fought for Croatian independence without the defining and morally unacceptable reliance upon any foreign power and might – this independence and democracy of Croatia created in 1990’s is the product of the work of the Croats!

Comments

  1. Hilda Marija Foley says:

    Dear Ina,
    Great commentary regarding NDH – in total agreement! Thank you very much.

    Like

  2. Indeed. British imperialists had a wide variety of motives from rapine to conversion, and some achievements such as the city of Hong Kong, and crimes I condemn.

    Thank you for this. You increase my understanding of the history and of Croatia today.

    Like

    • Thank you Clare for your feedback. We will all sink together as a hopeless world or rise up to the truth and together make a better world based on humanity rather than on political games where the kettle calls the pot black to put it bluntly. I am among the first to condemn all crimes and the last to justify any. I am the last to condemn a nation collectively for the crimes of its few or several, for in every nation there is and there has been more good than evil and we must show that.

      Like

  3. Thanks for this article Ina, and I hope it will reach more young Croatians, who sometimes seem to celebrate things without truly being aware of the historical context. I think the last paragraph sums it up and I totally agree with you there – the independence of Croatia created in the 90s is truly of our own creation. It was a hard earned freedom paid for with blood; wanted and supported by all Croats, without reliance on foreign powers, but our own strength and will. We must always remember this and never underestimate the significance of June 25th.

    Like

    • Me too, Kat! I do know that many young people of Croatian descent living in the “West” are not aware fully of the historical context of plight and fight for Croatian independence… it’s time all leave 10 April where it belongs – in history that bears no medals but does remind of great pain … 25 June 1991 is what Croats are and have been about!

      Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        I disagree completely!! April 10 should always be remembered and celebrated. If it were not for April 10 there would be no independent Croatia today. Croatia exists today because brave people fought for it in 1941. My grandmother was murdered by Yugoslavs because she stood for an independant Croatia- those of you who dimiss April 10 and the proud Croatians who stood and fought for a free country, the murdered Croatians in Blieubrg, disgrace generations of Croatians who have sacraficed for what you now call independance in May 1991. Its that line of thinking that has brought back the communists into power once again in Croatia and who proliferate that communist views against the brave people of Vukovar, Blieburg and the image of a strong free and democratic Croatia that those in the past and present sacraficed their lives for.
        And to rebute your statement that those in the “West” are not fully aware of the historical context is absurd!! It’s us in the WEST that fought behind the lines to achieve what you now call independence! If it was not for us fighting for a free Croatia for the past 55 years you would not have a Croatian state. Maybe some of you ought to come to Los Angeles to St. Anthony’s Croatian church and tell us about not knowing historical context I’d would love to view the receive.
        Again, its ideas and ideologies expressed in these posts that have allowed the state of Croatia to once again fall into the hands of Communists. Do you know who the current president of Croatia’s father was and what he did for the Yugoslavs?
        I do, my father was in grade school with him..
        How many of you diaspora in Australia voted for the Yugoslav Mesic? Come to St. Anthony’s and let us know..
        Maybe all of you “down under” need to look in the mirror and study Croatian history before you cast stone at the ones in the WEST that supported the new free Croatia because they had to leave after the communists took control after the war like they have control today.
        April 10 is the original Croatian Independence day and the one in May 1991 is an independence from a greater Serbia that was supported by England, France, Russia, Canada and the USA.

        Like

      • It evident, Rajko Strizic, that you have not fully read the article you’re commenting on or you choose to reject the fact that it is 10 April 1941 as a date for Croatian independence during WWII that is to my eyes and to the eyes of many Croats in Australia and elsewhere that isn’t acceptable – and their view is just as valuable as yours, if not more. I completely reject the notion that if it was not for NDH that today’s Croatia would not be independent. What about the attempts at independence before and after WWII which were crushed by stronger forces and what if anything would have happened to NDH attempt at lasting independence were it not for the alliance with Germany? The brave people of Vukovar are celebrated on 25 June and “Bleiburg” victims are included in Communist crimes I write about. As to people Down Under it was actually them, including myself, who saw Mesic for what he was way back in 1992 and contributed to his ousting as Speaker in Croatian parliament in 1994 – it was not people from St Anthony’s in LA. It takes courage to see the good and the bad of NDH and sadly it seems you only see the good and that is why Croatia is in political turmoil because the communists also see the good of their ways and reject the bad… As to my views of the current president etc do read some of my posts and commentaries on him…10 April is not the original day of independence because for much of WWII Croatian people were split into three adversary forces (Ustashe, Home Guards and Partisans) and later the Home Guards although integrated by Pavelic and Nazi Germany into NDH army but were separated from the Ustashe forces and many Home Guards either defected into Partisans or hid in the forests etc rejecting to join the Partisans and not wanting to align themselves with NDH official army, etc – these are facts and not fiction. You conveniently forget that Croatia was an independent kingdom in the 10th and part of 11th century and it was as united then as what 1990’s Croatia was… Croatian independence fighters were murdered in Belgrade parliament in 1920’s … I could go on and on from Croatian history when Croat leaders were crushed because of their fights for freedom…and you come here and uplift the NDH as if nothing had happened before…it is not for nothing that the 1990’s battles were dubbed as realising the Thousand year old dream for independence…I do wish you thought about my article better rather than reacting as you do – you are entitled to your views but you are not entitled to insult people especially when your vision of facts seems so blurred

        Like

      • Ina i have a question what attempts at independence did we have before april tenth, only one and that wasn’t even an uprising it was a peaceful protest in Jelacic square that ended with blood thanks to the Serbian calvary and police. After that we gave up its not until ww2 a week prior to the german invasion against king Paul, that Croatian units within the yugoslav army staged a revolt against Yugoslavia in order for our independence, my grandfathers participated in that revolt. That was our first true attempt at independence as a people and not by politicians who were few in number such as stejpan radic. After that unfortunately we were pushed against the wall with the invasion by the germans and italians, and the Chetniks and our backs murdering our families and burning down are villages. With that we either had the choice to accept them become part of the axis and iactually have some statehood/ some safety from the marauding bands of foreign and ethnic serbs or become annexed and then massacred by them specifically the italians. I don’t agree and regret the crimes committed with in the new independent state but a majority of them are either over-exaggerated or communist propaganda written by the kids of partisans usually the goldstiens. Plus ina the partisan movement wasn’t fully popular in Croatia, and anyone had been a partisan had connections to the soviets and thats why the partisan uprising happened coincidentally the week of invasion of the soviet union. Also it was two forces the majority where in the states armed forces which were the domobran and ustashe, and then the minority the partisans.

        Like

      • Jure, the way that I see it is that there have been attempts (however small on records) to regain independence since the tragic end of the Kingdom of Croatia in the 11th Century – through bits and pieces, through assemblies in the Banovine…through the Republic of Dubrovnik even if it was under foreign protectorate at times…through various uprisings even if they were localised across the territory and occurred at different times …through multitudes of Croats who were interned in concentration camps of Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand…during WWI as Austro-Hungarian citizens even though they protested and claimed to be Croat…the Croatian history is filled with “small” but true and real examples of attempts at independence and freedom and when you add them all they make what was in 1990 called “A Thousand Year Dream” – I understand the difficulties of 1941 political scene but I do not accept that the times around that time was our true attempt of independence for that attempt would not have come about were the seed for independence not kept alive for centuries before …

        Like

      • “it’s time all leave 10 April where it belongs – in history that bears no medals but does remind of great pain”

        Why would I do that when my grandfather fought for a free Croatia in WWII? That’s pretty disrespectful to those that fought and gave their lives for Croatia in that war, as well as disrespectful to their families.

        Like

      • No one says you should not celebrate 10 April if you want, the article clearly states that, MelbCro – but that day is NOT the day of Croatian independence Croatia has now and therefore, it is not official Day of independence

        Like

      • Then why did you make the statement that we “all” need to leave that day to history? That seems like a contradiction does it not? Whether or not its labelled as an independence day is irrelevant, all Croatian patriots should celebrate or mark April 10 as a day to remember and show respect to the sacrifice by those war veterans. Why would you or others be against that?

        Like

      • Perhaps you should read the article again and check where I said “all” – you’re making things up MelbCro

        Like

      • Quite clearly I’m referring to your statement in the comments, I’ve already quoted it just above. I’ll do so again: “it’s time all leave 10 April where it belongs – in history that bears no medals but does remind of great pain”. Pretty sure I didn’t make that up. I’m trying to have a genuine discussion Ina but you seem to be getting upset. I’m just trying to understand why you would be against the commemorating of WW2 veterans? Why can’t April 10 be used in that manner rather than an ‘independence day’ which you find so objectionable. My concern is that those Croatian heroes are being completely forgotten and discarded. That is something which is shameful.

        Like

      • Comments are one thing and article another when it comes to “all”, MelbCro – but NDH is in history, the independence it had is in history – it did not last – so to my view the independence day is the one from 1991. As I said in my article those who want to celebrate it should do so, those who don’t are also OK to follow their heroes from history – it is history and history should not be forgotten but it must not overshadow what we have today nor should it compete with today

        Like

  4. Great article Ina!

    I too prefer June 25, to honor the Branitelj that have given us lasting freedom.

    Like

    • Yes, Zeljko, there is no comparison with the 1990’s war Veterans! All my respect of Croatian independence is pointed to them and, of course, the 94% of Croatian voters who voted for democracy and freedom then, giving the Veterans the courageous wind under their wings!

      Like

  5. Ina, you articulated what many Croatians feel, but have not expressed. We can’t change history, but must pursue the truth for better understanding and learning for a better future. Croatians have a proud history that we need to own and not let other manipulate. History should be used as a foundation for better future. June 25th is Croatian Independence Day – true, proud, victorious. April 10 represents the aspiration and frustration of countless generations of Croatian who simply wanted freedom. How things would have been different had the Allies offered Croatia it independence instead of doggedly supporting Yugoslavia/Serbia – sound familiar?

    Like

    • Thank you Sunman – ah, yes, the Allies! Given that Serbian King Peter II was then seated in London – as “Yugoslav” monarchy in exile (being supported by King George VI, a cousin albeit distant but a cousin nevertheless, via Queen Victoria’s lineage/great granddaughter who married Serb King Aleksander) – there was no hope in the world that the Allies would give Croatian independence a chance! The Allies helped create the Kingdom where Serbian kings would rule over foreign lands such as Croatia, Slovenia … and they weren’t about to take away from the Serb “kingdom” that what it gave to it in 1918! Indeed, Croats have had to fight bitterly for what is theirs by right, it’s a shame that those who led NDH resorted to a full alliance (with Germany or anyone else) in order to obtain enough strength to declare independence in WWII – I stand convinced to this day that despite the communist opposition to Croatian independence then, Croats would have done a good job without alliances …? But then again, those were the days of German occupation and times were harsh, indeed … and it paved the way of mistrusting the strong Croatian Home Guards, who, if given half a chance could have brought true Croatian independence to fruition in WWII – as it was they were torn around by both “Pavelic’s” Ustashi and the Communist Partisans …

      Like

  6. Great interview Ina.!! And I love your explanation for celebrating June 25.!

    Like

  7. Rajko Strizic says:

    It was Stepan Radic – Croatian Peasant Party that murdered in Belgrade when it was time for a Croatian to led the government. That’s why my great grandmother all all Croatian women in those generations wore black until the day they died. Where were you when the Yugoslav secret police and Australian government set up innocent Croatian in Australia? You write “insult people”
    I have been marching and protesting since I was child and escorted by secret US police due to family death threats from Yugoslav secret police. It was the diaspora in the WEST that fought for 55 years especially in Los Angeles for a free Croatia- … Don’t cast stones towards the WEST when you should be sending letters of thanks!!
    … my family comes from the area of the first Croatian Kings, … my family, and the Croatian patriots who have given their lives, children, and property to realize a free Croatian state. I could really care less what date you believe is independence day but don’t you dare insult me with your rhetoric when you have not lived in Croatia during those days, or have a personal experience or knowledge of what you write is fact or fiction.

    Like

    • Well now Rajko Strizic you do seem to assume quite a bit about what people know and where they might have been- wrongly I might add. Where was I when the Yugoslav secret police and Australian government set up innocent Croatian in Australia – you as. In Croatia where I went back in 1970 to partake in the Croatian Spring only to have taken quite severe beatings from Yugoslav police i their cells at Sv Duh in Zagreb, almost lost my life then…but I stayed nevertheless in hope to contribute to furthering the cause of Croatian independence…but, the communist fist was too mighty and I returned to Australia to promote the cause from there… I wonder if in the Croatian Kings you also count the Italian Prince Aimone who was declared and crowned as King of Croatia in May 1941 by NDH leader’s request…You do not hold the monopoly over Croatian independence there are millions of others who, thank God, have the courage to see the good and the bad without entering into insults … and by the way I too am included in the “West” and I do not need any letters of thanks even if I did earn my Homeland War medals for my work and help…the achievement of independence for Croatia has been the task many have gladly taken and you do not even know most, so stop pretending you do … speak for yourself just as I did and people can agree or disagree but the facts related stay facts regardless of agreement or disagreement

      Like

    • Rajko Strizic – it’s people like you who have difficulties with separating fact from fiction it seems to me! The article Ina wrote is well balanced, clear, has no fiction in it and she unlike you lives in today’s world! Are you the only Croat who comes from the land of Croatian Kings? So what if you have been protesting on the streets and escorted by US police…so what! … that does not make you any more capable in forming an opinion than anyone else…frankly, I think that Ina is very courageous for pointing out to the world that NOT ALL DISAPORA CELEBRATES WWII INDEPENDENT CROATIA! Why should people who don’t celebrate it tolerate to being put in the same basket as WWII pro-Nazi Germany collaborators… this is 21st century and people have a right to speak up and as I said, there is nothing in Ina’s article that cannot be verified when it comes to facts!

      Like

  8. Our biggest problem is that we Croats cannot unite beyond crisis. The situation in Croatia is a reflection of our disunity. We need to accept each other’s view and somehow weave them into a tapestry of a united and strong Croatia. Yep, easier said than done. But I for one will say I love Croatians even though I don’t agree with their views. As they say united we stand, divided we fall. More than ever we need a Tudjman; a true Croatian patriot, true leader and statesman. He did not waiver or compromise Croatia for expediency or political opportunity. He stood strong and determined. He was/is a great role model for us all.

    Like

    • Yes Sunman – we need to accept both the good and the bad of the past and I for one have experienced many a times that those who call themselves Croats will trash Tudjman with lies and innuendos because they want to uphold the false glory of “leaders” past! Strength is what is needed that is for sure!

      Like

  9. Michael Silovic says:

    One of the tragedies of the consequences in creating a free Croatia is the fact that many people pull in many different directions for many reasons whether it be for political or personal , criminal reasons.As the article stated it doesn’t matter which date you prefer to celebrate as the older generation will more then likely be in favor of the earlier date and the younger generation the latter date. What is important is that we all understand our history and support a free and united Croatia and hold accountable everyone responsible not only for past crimes but present crimes as well. I chose to celebrate both dates as respect to my ancestors who were members of the Ustashe regime and for those who have given their blood, life, and salvation to our country in the homeland war.The pain and suffering our many families went throughout our history does not get any better because we chose to celebrate different days as the pain will always be remembered by families of those lost for what it is a great loss and tragedy. One thing I would never do is apologize for our history under any circumstances. One of the things we have failed to do as a nation is to unite as a people because we have failed to have a Croatia First Policy that unites all of us in a common goal of prosperity. We have a freedom but it seems we have no clue what to do with it and the political divisions are a big part of the problem and will remain to be a problem until we as a nation unite under a Croatia First policy.While I have a great deal of respect for the Croatian diaspora I would prefer that we all unite to further the cause of our homeland on issues such as reintegration, Citizenship for past generations, economics, social and educational opportunities and policies for our future. We can debate the pros and cons of our history which we rightfully should so that the truth be known regardless of how triumphant or tragic it is and was.We should never be ashamed of being Croats and of our history.I personally found the article to be pretty much on target with honesty and not one with self loathing as some people would have done. Thank you for the defining article on our history and yes the truth will prevail……~ Za Dom Spremni! ~

    Like

    • Thank you Michael for your feedback and thoughts. Indeed we should all work towards Croatia First and unity instead of trying to compete which phase in history means more to freedom, forgetting at that to effectively work at hold dear what today is. Apologies for history are not our duty but seeing accepting it is and many do not see the difference it seems. And so this contributes to an often wrong picture painted by others.

      Like

    • You are right. Croatia First. Za Dom Spremni.

      Like

  10. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to like each other, but we need to keep the love for Croatians/Croatia.

    Like

  11. Lovely lady, I just started conversing with this wonderful 16 year old Croatian girl !

    http://ivymosquito.wordpress.com/

    Like

  12. while I think your article is a fair and reasonable review of the situation I think you have undervalued the veterans of wwII and those that were forced into emigration and thus formed the bulwark of independence for Croatia founders and financiers. I have never been the strongest supporter of Deseti Travanj because of the association with the Nazis but I grew up within a community that celebrated this holiday as a community of refugees. These refugees worked tirelessly to have Croatia referred to as Croatia and not Yugoslavia. These people in the West were spied on by the UDBA, my inlaws were threatened by them regularly, my parents who were part of the founders of HOP in Vancouver were also surveiled by these Yugoslav Croatians – but from here came the generations of Croatians that stood proud and assisted and fought for Croatia when the time was right in the 90’s I received no medals for my contributions but then I did not support Tudman and never will. For this reason I always struggle with your articles. Tudman took advantage of the situation to become leader – his decisions should be looked at more critically and under impartial reviews – I always found it hard to believe that he had changed so completely from being a party guy to a real Croatian. Took him a long time to realize his Croatianness…. this is not a real true Croatian. In the end the struggle of each Croatian, those without recognition of any kind, contributed to the freedom of Croatia – in the heart, the mind, the soul, and finally the country.

    Like

    • Thank you on your comment, bakerstreetpl. My article was a translation on interview with me by a newspaper and indeed, I think I am among the first to publicly say – I DO NOT CELEBRATE 10 APRIL – and indeed there were and there are more Croats NOT celebrating it than those that do in the diaspora. I do not agree with your suggestion that those who celebrated 10 April were the only ones against Yugoslavia. Do not discard the fact that less than half (probably only up to 30%) of Croats living in diaspora chose to belong to Croatian clubs and associations, that does not make their plight against Yugoslavia less valuable, indeed many were more valuable because they had “assimilated” into the Western society while still keeping their Croatian heritage at heart and had gained many useful skills in the lobby for independence etc. The fact that Tudjman was a member of communist party during Yuigoslavia does not take away the fact that he was a Croat and dreamed of Croatian independence…I guess when you say that “it took him a long time to realize his Croatianness” can also be said for Ante Pavelic who fled Croatia in 1929 due to “dire” political circumstance at home and returned in 1941 with support of Germany etc…quite like those days when Tudjman was in the communist party…you perhaps are not aware that Tudjman was sentenced to two years prison for his part in the 1971 Croatian Spring when Croats wanted greater autonomy within Yugoslavia and were crushed by communist forces…indeed circumstances in history have defined how much one could do to achieve independence amidst strong political opposing forces…but that does not mean that they stopped being Croatian all the while…

      Like

      • Thanks for the response. In Vancouver it was quite well know who the real Croats were and who the yugos were…. as I said I have never been a strong supporter of deseti travanj but it gave the community a focal point to meet, gather, and contribute culturally in this community. As for the 30% you state in diaspora that never belonged to clubs I am not sure that this is an accurate representation of what was happening in Canada and there are others that would be more factual with numbers than I could be.. The foundation of those that helped Croatia came from those immigrants that went to those events. Maybe some came because it was a chance to connect with others and not out of any political belief. I would not know that. I am familiar with the fact that Tudman spent time in jail when he woke up during the spring movement. But that being said, others lost their lives before, during and after the spring. Neither man as far as I am concerned deserves the undulating obsessive praise that they are granted. Someday – I hope sooner than later a real Croatian leader will emerge – not tarnished by association with historical negativities nor communism – never a friend of a real Croatian. Many people gave up a lot to fight for Croatian freedom – two years in jail is just one sampling. Amazing how when he became leader a lot of his cohorts were the old commies themselves. Croatians needed independence and some wanted it their whole lives and gave up so much to help it be realized. My former inlaws were people like that… Some Croatians decided to become nationalistic during the war of the 1990s – I guess better than never! Some never felt that call but enjoy Croatia to this day! I am proud to be Croatian, I love the food, the language, the culture, the joy of the people, the determination of the people, the sea, the sun, the fields… all of it! As for the politicians none of them have left an untarnished legacy! Great to read your blogs!

        Like

      • Thanks for your reply, bakersstreetpl – I understand what you are saying – Canada may be different to other countries where Croatians lived but somehow I think they are/were similar. I do not accept the proposition some people have that belonging or attending a Croatian club defined ones “Croatianness”. The fact that Tudjman had quite a number of communists by his side during transition from Yugoslavia and those mad days does not take away from his “Croatianness” – that was I guess necessary to be, to employ the knowledge needed for administration, war defense etc…Pavelic latched onto Germany when he established NDH and nobody who celebrates 10 April seems to fault him for that because I guess they attribute the political climate and its resources to achieving the goals at the time. It seems to me that Croatians are failing in defining what it means to be a Croat and still many latch onto who did what from 1941 onwards for Croatia. This is a shame for yes – better late than never. And I truly believe that among those who are seen as “suddenly Croatian” there was a majority of them who were Croatian and wanted Croatian freedom in the privacy of their families and friends because they did not want to frequent either the “Croatian” or the “Yugoslav” clubs in the diaspora. This section of the population has widely been ignored for it is not politically beneficial to acknowledge them while the other two go about the business of who did more for Croatian independence…

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        Are you kidding me?
        What kind of idiotic statement is ” people wanting a free croatian state but not sure whether to align with Croatia
        Clubs or Yugoslav clubs..

        You are Croatian or you are. Yugoslav commie with a giant red star on your back period!!!
        They are not the same, do not have the same goals, or perceived future for the country. One aligns with Croatia proper one with Serbia period .
        They are not ignored, they are to be watched !!!!

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic, you completely misunderstood or are confused – the fact was before 1990 in diaspora there were two types of clubs where people of Croatian descent went: the Croatian clubs, with Pavelic’s and the Yugoslav clubs with Tito’s picture on wall. There were great many Croats who wanted to be associated with neither one of these types of clubs and were “true”, as some like to call, Croats. The beauty of the so-called Yugo clubs was that in 1991 they took down Tito’s pictures, raised Tudjman’s picture plus the new Croatian flag and the few from these clubs that did not agree with this left the clubs forever – thank God. Then began a close collaboration between all the clubs towards helping the cause of Croatian independence it almost seemed that people from those so-called Yugo clubs were waiting all the years for Tudjman to arrive (or someone like him) and, also masses of new Croatian faces started appearing in all the clubs, they were the ones who previously belonged to no club.

        Like

      • Interesting review. We had no Yugoslav clubs to speak of – although there definitely were Yugoslavs in Canada and they were not supportive of an independent Croatia. We also had Yugoslav secret police monitoring in the community the behavior of those so called nationalists. I actually don’t feel that 1941 is relevant anymore – although I certainly do know people that cannot drop that issue. The decisions made around 1941 were definitely influenced by power positions. If Hitler had succeeded the discussion would be completely different. But fortunately he did not. But Tudman was in a different situation and he did not have to choose communists in the transition – it is a sign of how powerless he actually felt – leaving the old dictators in place to support his Presidency. I do not believe this is a sign of his Croatianness – more a sign of his his true alliances. I have said it before and I will say it again – is there not one Croatian leader out there that is not carrying a load of crap around with him – a real Croatian – not encumbered by past inappropriate associations?? I believe somewhere there lies that person. You know that saying about a leopard changing his spots…. I can say locally that people chose to be Croatian publicly or not.. It was not easy to be a public Croatian in a country that only recognized Yugoslavia but we as children were raised to always say our background was Croatian. Then the next task was to teach everyone where that was because it did not exist on a map. Then we gave everyone a history lesson. Those who chose to be Croatians privately means what? That in public they identified themselves as Yugoslavs? Those are not Croatians – they are cowards. Those that were Croatians quietly and privately and chose not to take the struggle public is not an issue – to each his own. It is not those people that are an issue. But I think if you spent any time in the US you would see what the complete erosion and dilution of Croatianness was – yugi clubs; slav clubs; etc…. a whole generation of people that were embarrassed to say they were Croatian; then they raised their children with incredible levels of ignorance. Shocked me the first time I encountered a woman like this. Finally during one conversation I had to stop her and say – jen I am sorry but I cannot listen to you calling Croatians Yugoslavs anymore – that was in 1991. But a lot of Croatian people (children of immigrants in the 20s) did not identify as Croatians at all. Some of them woke up in the 90’s. Some did not. As for your comment about the section of the population being ignored as it is not politifally benefical – I do not think that is true at all. They chose their bed and were treated accordingly. The fight for Croatian independence was a major commitment here; picketing the Yugoslav consulate, hunger strikes, fundraisers etc. etc. It happened years before the 90’s. Those committed to independence were there – those that were not were not. It really is that simple and a lot of those roots were formed in 1941! It was okay to be Croatian after 1991 – for all who came from there. Not so easy before though! I guess I will summarize by saying real Croatians did not belong to any group except the group that fought for freedom – where that first desire came from needs to be acknowledged with gratitude! Without these veterans of Croatian persecution (and Tudman was part of that crowd for a long time) no free Croatia today. Like it or not the NDH contributed to emigration and the fight for freedom all over the world. BTW my name is Kathy.

        Like

      • I agree with a lot you have to say, Kathy, but I still understand those Croats who in the diaspora before 1991 did not want to be called Croats because, sadly and via Yugoslav propaganda this name was wrongly associated with WWII fascism etc. Many of these people worked silently or lobbied in one way or another for Croatian independence, kept the homeland traditions in privacy of their family circles etc. As for those who called themselves Yugoslavs, and some still do, they are not worthy of any Croatianness. As to Tudjman having around him former communists in high positions at the time I think this was a move he had to make in two ways: one to utilise the knowledge in administration, of resources, and the other to further his dream of unity, i.e. to reconcile all sides of WWII into a unified Croatia. The latter is not succeeding I think because neither side has shown good will to make this dream stick, political recriminations for history all over the place, instead of all sides seeing the good and the bad and moving on

        Like

    • “I agree with a lot you have to say, Kathy, but I still understand those Croats who in the diaspora before 1991 did not want to be called Croats because, sadly and via Yugoslav propaganda this name was wrongly associated with WWII fascism etc. Many of these people worked silently or lobbied in one way or another for Croatian independence, kept the homeland traditions in privacy of their family circles etc.”

      Wow that’s just absurd. How on earth can someone who was ashamed to publicly say they were a Croat, then at the same time work for a free Croatia? That makes zero sense. DELETED – NO CORROBORATION – ASSUMPTION

      “the fact was before 1990 in diaspora there were two types of clubs where people of Croatian descent went: the Croatian clubs, with Pavelic’s and the Yugoslav clubs with Tito’s picture on wall. There were great many Croats who wanted to be associated with neither one of these types of clubs and were “true”, as some like to call, Croats. The beauty of the so-called Yugo clubs was that in 1991 they took down Tito’s pictures, raised Tudjman’s picture plus the new Croatian flag and the few from these clubs that did not agree with this left the clubs forever – thank God. Then began a close collaboration between all the clubs towards helping the cause of Croatian independence it almost seemed that people from those so-called Yugo clubs were waiting all the years for Tudjman to arrive (or someone like him) and, also masses of new Croatian faces started appearing in all the clubs, they were the ones who previously belonged to no club.”

      Now you are just making stuff up. Most people made a choice, that there was a significant so called neutral element is a myth. And there is beauty in Yugo clubs? How can you say that about people who are Tito worshippers? That’s beyond ridiculous. Also there is no collaboration between Croatian clubs and the ‘former’ Yugo clubs In Australia. I don’t really understand what your agenda is with these kind of comments. Truly bizarre.

      Like

      • I think you are bizarre, MelbCro – you obviously moved in limited circles, an example that evidences the collaboration between different clubs soon after 1991 comes into mind for New South Wales in Australia – the formation of United Croatian Clubs in NSW association and I am sure similar things occurred elsewhere, in some states of Australia this did not happen or it took a long time to. There is nothing ridiculous about groups of Croatians in the diaspora meeting, going on picnics etc without being members of clubs, following developments of Tudjman’s build-up to independence … donating funds or collecting humanitarian aid in 1991 as soon as war broke out and shipping it privately to hospitals in Zagreb etc, there is nothing ridiculous about various groups organising Croatian nights, dances etc at local Council premises or other Australian general community halls outside Croatian or “Yugo” clubs etc…where do you think tens of thousands of Croats came from when demonstrations were organised, picnics for aid to Croatia etc? From Clubs? I don’t think so as far as a good part of numbers there were concerned…

        Like

      • just to be clear and this is Kathy speaking I hope your whole commentary is not related to what I said because I did not say ll those things. thanks

        Like

      • I’m not the one making claims that people who were ashamed to publicly state they were Croat due to the stigma attached, were actually true patriots working towards a free Croatia. Also I’m not the one claiming there was beauty in Yugo clubs who overnight decided to suddenly become ‘Croats’ because it was convenient for them. Those are most definitely bizarre remarks and don’t do anything to support your position. Those kinds of people are not contributors to the Croatian cause nor the Croatian community.

        To an extent I understand what your are saying, that there was a sizeable amount of people that chose not to gravitate actively to the Croatian nationalist clubs and institutions because they felt it didn’t appropriately connect with their political view. But those are not the people who gravitated to the Yugo clubs and they are not the people who were ashamed to call themselves Croats. The point I’m making is any person that ‘actively’ called themselves a Yugoslav and was ‘actively’ involved in the Yugoslav community are not our brothers. They worked against the cause of Croatian freedom. That should not be forgotten.

        Like

      • There is no shame in not wanting to associate oneself with 10 April as far as I am concerned but the truth is that celebrating 10 April has somehow thrown a stigma on all Croats in the diaspora as “Ustashe” and if someone does not or did not want to be associated with that, that is their right. But, MelbCro – you will read in my article about other nations and their history and that no one has a right of criticising those who choose to celebrate 10 April in modern times of new Croatian independence that is, unlike NDH, lasting and recognised by the whole world. As I said, NDH was just one of many attempts, however small, at Croatian independence and that is the fact – the 1990’s was was successful and contributed to by a wide population.

        Like

      • “There is no shame in not wanting to associate oneself with 10 April as far as I am concerned but the truth is that celebrating 10 April has somehow thrown a stigma on all Croats in the diaspora as “Ustashe” and if someone does not or did not want to be associated with that, that is their right.”

        But that stigma a symptom of left wing political correctness, which is something cannot stand. If people modify their behaviour because of political stigma that is rather pathetic. At the end of the day no Croat should be made to feel ashamed just because outsiders view it negatively.

        Like

      • Peopple do not modify their behaviour nor have they because of stigma – they just found themselves explaining what Croats they are or politically were and that is also how they “fought” to stay Croat.

        Like

  13. Vidikovac says:

    I cannot tell you how much this article made me happy! I have lived in Canada since my early childhood when my family fled communist Yugoslavia but we never went to Croatian clubs here because those near us were always having 10 April celebrations and celebrated Ante Pavelic and NDH, which we were never part of. The tragedy was and still is that this reality gave all the Croats in diaspora a bad name in the sense that we were all seen as fascists or pro-Nazis and I have always had to explain what Croat I am – freedom loving but not NDH follower or communist Yugoslavia follower. It has been difficult to live with the stigma put on all of us just because some celebrated 10 April as Croatian independence day. If those who celebrated 10 April distanced themselves from Pavelic etc or at least condemned the crimes committed by all sides in WWII then it would be different. I am glad this issue has come out into a discussion. Thank you!

    Like

    • Thank you Vidikovac on your comment…in this 21st century and lasting independence in Croatia it is time to face realities, accept the good and the bad of the past and move on.

      Like

    • Bravo Vidikovac. I too am sick and tired of being frowned at when I say I am a Croat! I have to explain myself, that is, I say my family was not Ustasha, was not communist either…the two forces did what they wanted and now we all wear the consequences…enough of that!

      Like

  14. Tony Matko says:

    So proud to be a Croat! Love your work, Ina Vukic

    Like

  15. Very informative. I’m afraid I was very ignorant of the history behind these and other conflicts so your article is very interesting.

    Like

  16. Michael Silovic says:

    Those in the Croatian Diaspora that seem to have an issue with being labeled fascist, communist or other in my opinion are those who are afraid of being Croat for fear of being an outcast amongst certain groups.. The fact is you can be all of those things and some are but most importantly you are Croat. You owe no one an apology for what your beliefs are because we all had to live through all of that time and this time period and were raised on what our families beliefs were at the time. Back in the days my family were members of the Ustache because they wanted independence then as we all wanted independence now which we rightfully deserved and have.Croatians died in all circumstances of war through out our history. War is not a pretty thing under any circumstances. Tragedies happen in every war and at times nasty things happens to people on all sides and that is just facts of life. Do I agree with everything that happened in war ? of course not but survival is just that. I make no excuses nor do I apologize for my ancestors position in history nor do I condemn their actions as they did what they thought was best for them and their country as many others have including those who were and still are communists at heart. I fully supported our independence in the 90s and I know some who did not because of fear of uncertainty of the future and not because they did not want to be free but it was what they were thinking and believing of what the future holds. Many of what those people feared are actually legitimate reason to give pause to those who did not support independence but non the less they are still Croats. There are many positions from all of the parties in our history that I agree with even to this day and many Croats disagree with my position which at times are very radical but I do not hide from anyone and nor do I hide from what I am which is a Croat for which I owe no one an apology or am ashamed of being…… ~ Za Dom ! ~

    Like

    • Michael, I too agree that all are Croats regardless of political affiliation in the past and if some did not want Croatian independence and still don’t want it then there is cause to work on that towards creating a unity that Franjo Tudjman started to work on and was rudely interrupted by those who aligned themselves with one or the other WWII sides.

      Like

    • you nailed it Michael and good for you!

      Like

  17. I don’t understand how any Croat would not celebrate April 10. For what purpose is there to ignore this part of our history? It seems to be the politically correct thing to do now, where we celebrate all parts of Croatian history except the fight for Croatian independence in WW2. What you don’t seem to understand is that by doing so you are belittling and disrespecting the memory of those that fought and gave this lives fighting for Croatia during the NDH. You are saying we should not commemorate those people? That’s a shameful viewpoint to hold.

    “While the NDH was not founded on the wish to “kill”, the decision to declare or establish the NDH under the protection or alliance with Nazi powers that had at that time entered Croatian territory, in my eyes, represents a very bad moral and political decision made by the NDH leaders.”

    Your comment is a very easy one to make, but please explain what was a viable alternative given that the Allies refused to give Croatia any support.

    “And hence, celebrating 10 April (1941) represents a marking of a historical fact that is placed only as one of many attempts in history to achieve freedom for Croatian people. ”

    Then why would you not celebrate it? Why not mark a day where Croats achieved independence, the first independent Croatia we had in over 800 years. I really don’t understand where you are coming from.

    “and also because of the efforts invested for freedom from the diaspora where there were more of those that did not than those that did celebrate 10 April ”

    That is not true. In Australia April 10 was widely celebrated by the Croatian community pre independence. It was the biggest day on the community calendar outside of religious ones. To suggest otherwise is a rather blatant re-writing of our community’s history.

    Like

    • As I said, MalbCro, if anyone wants to celebrate10 April as far as I am concerned they should do so, it is a personal choice. If I were you I would not define the Croatian community before 1991 as the one that celebrated 10th April because that is simply not true – that was only a section of the Croats living in diaspora and not everyone, therefore you cannot label it as Croatian community – just like you cannot call the Croatian community of today that gravitates towards clubs or Croatian associations because there are many more Croats who do not gravitate towards such clubs but they are still Croats. You may talk of that Croatian community that celebrated 10 April as part of the Croatian community and not the whole of it.

      Like

      • As an active member of the Croatian community in Melbourne, I am definitely in a position to label it as the Croatian community. And I’m not defining the community before 1991, you made the comment that in that era most people did not celebrate the day. I simply replied to your claim. April 10 was the only day we had to celebrate in those days, and people did. It was used as our national because there was no other alternative. So now to say decades later that its not the case is a whitewash of our history.

        Like

      • You MelbCro and others might have celebrated but that is not everybody and that is not whitewashing – you are actually trying to make it that everywhere the whole of Croatian community celebrated 10 April and those who did not were not Croatian. Rubbish! You belong with Stjepan Mesic who says the same even though the facts are quite different.

        Like

      • You are getting pretty emotional Ina. When you pose your opinion on a blog you should be willing to have a respectful and calm discussion about those opinions. As such I don’t appreciate being labelled a Stipe Mesic type character. Is that really necessary?

        You talk about facts but choose to ignore just how big of an event April 10 was prior 1991. As I said, that was celebrated as our national day because there was no other alternative. That can’t be disputed. And like I said before outside of religious days it was the biggest day on the community calendar. Again that’s a fact. What purpose is there to dispute that?

        Like

      • I am not emotional MelbCro – I just reply to your cynical and misinformed labelling of people you know nothing about. 10 April was big to some and to others it was not.

        Like

    • Rajko Strizic says:

      Melb Cro
      Well written
      ZA DOM SPREMNI
      Rajko Strizic
      Los Angeles California

      Like

  18. Rex Croatorum says:

    Nisu svi Hrvati bili Ustase, ali su svi Ustase bili Hrvati !

    The Class of 91′ are exactly that, spineless latecomers who appeared out of no where and go how the wind blows. Thankfully for them we (the purest, uncompromising drzavnotvorni Hrvati and their descendants) extended the olive branch of reconciliation to them and they ended up on the winning side, the Croatian national side.

    Its no secret Tudjman when he started his nation building program and came to Canada to rally support for his HDZ in the late 1980s, he sought out an audience with the so called ‘ extremists’ (Otporasi) not the born-agains, and or moderate groups (such as CFU and HSS) which elements compromised with the yugoslav regime in the past.

    Courting the dynamic nationalist so-called ‘radical’ emigres (the so-called Norval group) was key to Tudjman and worried moderates such as Tudjman’s old friend Caldarevic and his CFU as they did not want to associate with ‘extremists’, but Tudjman surely did !

    You can try to hoodwink the issue all you want but It was precisely this collaboration which ensured Tudjman would be successfull in his nation building program. Its no surprise when Tudjman later adopted Luburic’s policy of national reconciliation and the importance of linking the diaspora and domovina as official HDZ platform, as many so called ‘ radicals’ (essentially just domoljubni drzavnotvorni Hrvati) from Canada moved into key positions in the Croatian government, most notably the late Gojko Susak.

    Like

    • But – Rex Croatorum – Tudjman also connected at that time with Croats in the diaspora WHO HAD NEVER CELEBRATED 10 April! So, it would be wise for you to accept that fact, but even if you do not – facts will not change and truth will stay out there.

      Like

  19. Rex Croatorum says:

    The FACTS which you speak of, is Tudjman sought out and courted Croatian nationalists (whose who revere the memory of NDH) as I provided with the Canadian example as only they could propel him to legitimacy, influence and power, not the moderates and or born-again Croats of convenience. Those one day yugo, one day Croat, third day something else joined the bandwagon later, and yes we embraced them for the greater cause. This is best illustrated by an old quote by Mark Twain.

    “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

    Lako je sada biti Hrvati. Back in the day when it was more costly and pure, and udba agents were spying on you it was much easier to, as you put it stand on the sidelines instead of publicly engage for the cause of Croatian independence.

    Like

  20. Rex Croatorum says:

    And it is precisely those active Croats in the diaspora who tirelessly risked life and limb demonstrating against the yugo regime; founded our churches/soccer teams/folklore groups/academic foundations and YES celebrated the memory of 10 Travanj as the biggest yearly feast day of Croatian statehood (and remembrance for the fallen) in the hopes that it would one day again be renewed, that I admire and cherish. Not the class of 1991 born-agains. It is because of them and all who came before us that I still remember 10 Travanj as a milestone in the Croatian nations fight for freedom and statehood.

    Like

    • There are “born against”only for you Rex Croatorum and those who think like you, but I know thousands from Sydney only who never celebrated 10 April, never celebrated 29 November, never went to a Croatian club before 1990/91 when war started and humanitarian aid drives went ahead, never went to a “Yugo”club, never went to a Serbian club and YET did more in the background before 1991 for Croatian independe3nce than many who attended Croatian clubs before that date. Sorry, to rain on your parade but I am not about to allow you to offend groups of people you obviously know very little, if anything, about

      Like

    • Rajko Strizic says:

      Bravo!!!
      Great response!
      Good for you Rex

      Like

    • Rajko Strizic says:

      Great responses Rex
      ZA DOM SPREMNI
      Rajko Strizic

      Like

  21. alija derzelez says:

    Thanks Ina for reminding us of the Croatian history,Pavelic and NDH.

    Like

    • You forgot to thank me for reminding about the Yugoslav communists, Partisans and Chetniks, Alija Derzelez, I wrote about them too – but then, no surprise there when it comes from you …

      Like

  22. Rex Croatorum says:

    So these people who were non-existent in the greater Croatian community did more than those who tirelessly promoted Croatia’s name and cause in the free world? Some even got a bullet in the head for it. Id sure like to know who these ghosts are? You don’t want to address any points (Tudjman seeking the Norval group over Caldarevic) and the fact that many active diaspora Croats actually took on posts in the then forming Croatian government, but i guess none of this is true and it was reserved for some type of phantom figures. It seems you are the one misinformed and turning this into a pissing match of who did what/when. Its quite simple, there were those who were always for Croatia and those who woke up to the cause late, albeit better late then never. The deeds of the later will never trump the former.

    Like

    • Let me put it this way Rex Croatorum – I am one of the people you keep calling ghosts or “born again” – what a ridiculous and small man you are by this – I had not attended before 1990 a Croatian club that celebrated 10 April and Pavelic, I had not attended a Yugo club that celebrated 29 November and Tito before 1990 – I had attended many Croatian functions at various Aussie Town Halls in Sydney between 1962 and 1990 filled with people who did not attend any of the existing clubs but these functions were always organised by Croats for Croats, I had attended many a meetings of groups working with others internationally on Croatian independence…I had gone to Croatia in 1970 to participate in Croatian Spring and after it…I could make a very very long list of people who contributed quite a lot towards the independence without the need to celebrate 10 April (but I am leaving that honour for a book that is being written about it) – perhaps they chose not to celebrate because pf people like you seem to be: belittling other people without really knowing personal involvement facts about them…? Actually YOU are the one who started “Who did what” or some other commentator with whom you agreed did – and everyone who contributed contributed equally but it’s funny how only those who celebrated 10 April keep saying Ï did it, if it wasn’t for NDH there would not be today’s independent Croatia”- you see that is not the truth absolutely – You are the one who keeps calling people “ghosts”, “born again” etc – just because somebody celebrated something, listened to speeches, had big dinners and dances on 10 April does not mean he/she contributed to the independence where it really counted – but hey you will say probably their heart was in the right place! And you will not say the same for someone who is just as much of a Croat but did not celebrate 10 April

      Like

      • Ina you don’t seem to know the actual meaning of the term ‘born again’ in this context. Which is pretty surprising because its a common term in the diaspora in both Australia and North America. What it means is people who prior to 1991 labelled themselves as Yugoslav and only chose to identify as Croats post 91. That’s not something that describes you, as I’m sure you would agree. So I don’t understand why you are getting so upset with the term?

        And I think you are disingenuous when you state you never attended a Croatian club. Find it hard to believe that in all those decades you would boycott the only Croatian clubs around simply because they have a portrait of Pavelic on the wall. You do realise these institutions that you are ridiculing were built through the blood, sweat and tears, as well the hard earned money of your average working class Croats in the diaspora. To boycott them is to work against your own community, which is a very silly way of trying to prove a point.

        Like

      • Where did you pull out the word boycott, MelbCro. It’s a matter of choice and freedom gives us the right to choose. As far as I know there was never boycotts of any clubs, just a personal choice as to how to live and practice the C
        “Croatianness”. And – again – here you go again – giving people lessons what “born again” means when they’ve known it in all its facets, forms and domains for decades. I am not getting upset it’s just that you and many others keep denying the group of Croats who were and are Croats and had not or do not belong to any clubs etc. A community is made up of people not clubs and people have various ways of gathering together etc.

        Like

  23. Rajko Strizic says:

    MelbCro RexCroatorum
    To the point and historically accurate responses. My emotions ran too high when I was responding to articulate the points I wanted to make. Thankfully, you two were able to express the truth.
    Thank you,
    Rajko Strizic
    Los Angeles CA
    ZA DOM SPREMNI

    Like

  24. Rex Croatorum says:

    Exactly melbcro. Ina, i never called you a ‘born again’ nor do I see you as such. Melbcro nicely described what a ‘born again’ is, namely those once self proclaimed yugos who after 91′ then realized that failed experiment of an artificial state died, changed their national orientation like their underwear, according to their own interest and along the established political climate of the times.

    You have a fabulous blog here with great articles but this one entry just took me by surprise and blew me into left field. Whats your obsession with rebuttels of…. yes, but not all celebrated 10 travanj bla bla? Why is remembering 10 Travanj such a crime? It just boggels my mind because where I come from Croats who were always Croats have nothing against 10 Travanj. It was acknowledged and remembered by all across the political and social spectrum (not just former NDH personnel and their families) as a remembrance of statehood after 839 years (however imperfect it may have been, but lets not forget it was born and fighting for its survival in the most tumultuous time in human history with both the meddling of external enemies; de iure ‘allies’ who in many cases did more harm than good, and internal enemies; namely the dual rebellion of yugo partizans and srbo cetniks), a day of remembrance for the fallen and acting as a beacon of hope that Croatia will be a independent country once again.

    As far as community, how can one be a member of a community if they do not frequent clubs, organizations and events in which the Croatian community gathers? A community is definately centered around clubs/organizations; be they of a sport, religious, cultural or academic nature. If one is not involved in any of these how can they claim to be part of the community? A community is not an island of one. You claim some were scared to define themselves as Croats and to associate with the Croatian community before due to bad press, well in that case those people are nothing other than pickin dim.

    Im not from Australia but the Croatian experience there was not much different than it was elsewhere. You make it seem as if there was no place for Croats pre91. As if the masses were stuck between a choice between titoist yugoslav clubs and some kind of supposed ‘fascsiod’ Pavelic worship cult circles. The reality is the former was the active and visible Croatian community, ordinary Croats who would of and did anything for Croatian statehood, even if it meant reconciliation with fallen and or lost brothers. They celebrate all facts of Croatian statehood yet those who jumped on the bandwagon in 1991 are not willing to do the same. Sad.

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum – I always try to bring into this blog issues that affect real people and their lives. I did not nor do I say that celebrating 10 April is a crime. I also respect the wishes of the people who do not celebrate 10 April to be respected if they do not want to be associated with that date or NDH policies and laws etc…This issue has been ignored as most people were afraid to say they do not celebrate NDH but are Croats just the same. And comments from you and MelbCro prove to me their fear is/was justified. And, now about community – community is made up of people and yes its profile includes clubs – I for instance with my family belonged to a club of Croatians that did not have club premises but leased hall for functions etc in mainstream community in Sydney, Father Romac from Summer Hill Croatian Catholic Centre for instance visited our homes just as he visited the homes of others etc and there were many such pockets within the community which wanted to have nothing with the clubs that celebrated 10 April or 29 November… A community is NOT centred around clubs because belonging to a club is a personal choice, going to dances at the club instead some mainstream disco is a personal choice…working for Croatian independence in way of lobbying etc can be done independently or as part of a committee etc… that is a community…Sydney for instance in 1991 had 7 Clubs with Croats and these clubs were satellites or islands as you may put it before 1991… You define the community too narrowly in accordance with what clubs or association they belong to and yet in reality not everyone in community will be a member (community here being defined by ethnic origin, tradition, culture and wanting an independent and democratic Croatia)…the reality was that people were NOT stuck with a choice between “titoist “clubs and “Pavelic”clubs THERE WAS A THIRD CHOICE AND MANY TOOK IT and this is the problem – these multitudes get ignored and labeled even if many among them have done more for Croatian independence than those belonging to “pavelic”club – I understand that this group does not lend itself to the political war between Ustashe & Partisans that still goes on as matter of historical issues and its existence and views are as important as any, hence my blog article or rather newspaper interview.

      Like

  25. Rex Croatorum says:

    You obviously misunderstood my sarcasm. There never was and is no such thing as ‘Pavelic club’. To claim such a thing is absurd. There is only CROATIA CLUB club and the Croatian community, the ‘mainstream’ as you put it and those others who for whatever reason chose to remain on the sidelines….DELETED

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum – sarcasm cannot be misunderstood not where I am standing from. Much of your comment has been deleted simply because third majority did and does exist as part of Croatian community. Pavelic or Tito clubs of course did not exist but those that kept their pictures on the walls and entry did. Enough said about that, thank you

      Like

  26. Rex Croatorum says:

    I don’t have to repeat what constitutes a community. A community does not mean you hold a membership card for a particular club or organization, it means you are visible active and engaged with other Croats…deleted

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum – let’s just say your view of community is narrow… definition of community includes people living in similar places with similar characteristics or interests etc so Croatian community is and was made up of different for instance interests but the are all ethnic Croats and therefore Croatian community if you define a community by ethnic origin, if you define a community by political interests then you talk about it in those terms… I will not be entering into this with you as I am sure readers knows what a community is and what it can be etc

      Like

      • MelbCro says:

        How is the definition of being active and engaged a narrow definition of community? Please explain that because it makes no sense to me. And no he didn’t define it as sharing political interests, that’s you putting words in his mouth so as to suit your confusing agenda.

        Like

      • Well MelbCro – you and another commentator insist that the Croatian community in diaspora was/is the one that celebrated 10 April only, so in terms of defining the community that is NOT true because there were Croatians there are Croatians that do not celebrate this date and they form a Croatian community too – what I am saying is that Croatian community is a concept related to people of same ethnic origin living geographically close. within those numbers people have the human and citizens’ right to celebrate or follow whoever they wish – so the Croatian community you refer to as such is only a sub-community or part of the larger Croatian community, and your definition of community is around political ideals etc and as such there is no exclusivity to “Croatian”given to any pro-independence Croat group they all are for the same goal only via different means. I will not go any further into the obvious because you just do not seem to accept the truth. My article was and is well balanced, truthful and personal and obviously courageous among people like you seem to be. So I shall cut this dialogue here –

        Like

  27. Rex Croatorum says:

    DELETED by Admin

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum, your comments have been deleted because they do tend to belittle people, offend, to argue some truths or untruths for which this blog is not a place because of the nature of the blog and length and depth of matters discussed, to move away from the article in trying to deny that there is and has been a third option among Croats ie those that do not side with NDH politics or Communist politics in WWII and post WWII etc etc… this blog will not support any repeated denial of truth and the use of sarcasm to belittle people or suggest they lack knowledge when in fact you do not know those people and what they do know. The article you comment on is well balanced, fair and truthful and that is the way it stays. Any reader who wishes to delve further or deeper into issues they do so either by using source links provided or by self-search. Thank you

      Like

  28. Rex Croatorum says:

    Since you repeatedly delete my well formulated responses how about you tell me what this ‘third option’ was during ww2? …DELETED

    Like

    • It’s all in my replies,Rex Croatorum, it’s in multitudes that did NOT agree with NDH/Ante Pavelic’s or Yugoslavia/Josip Broz Tito’s political policies as to how independence should be achieved. That is the third option albeit not active in battles for obvious reasons but active in mind and heart and for me that is just as legitimate as any political options. The fact that you do not accept that there were and are people who do not wish nor have they ever wanted to associate themselves with either of two main options in WWII does not mean they did not exist or do not exist. Your comments have been deleted mainly because you choose to belittle or deny the existence of third option as far as community interests etc are concerned … this discussion ends here: there was, there is third political option for Croatian independence.

      Like

      • Censorship?
        denying individuals an opportunity to express opinions other than “the party line”
        very much like the current policies in Croatia today and after 1945..
        Very interesting!!!

        Like

  29. Rex Croatorum says:

    Never once did i say the Croatian community consisted solely of those who celebrate 10 Travanj only, I said i saw them as the vanguard. And since you cannot put a face to a name ill help you out. The ‘third option’ during world war two was that of the Croatian peasant party (who formed the backbone and majority of pre ww2 Croat allegiences). Tito/yugoslavism was never an option for independence, and the Croatian peasant partys passive, sit-on-the-fench approach proved inept (along with the fact its leaders ie. macek , continually courted the notion of yugoslav federalism) as many on the right spectrum naturally held allegiences to NDH and those on the left to the NOP/partizani as they continually. This naivety that there would be a power sharing after the war and the Croatian question could be solved within a equal yugoslav framework was crushed after the war as they had to resign to communist domination.

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum, you continue to accept as any other “option” beside the two main ones in WWII only those that had some “organised” form in public, however, I and many hold that the “silent” masses also represent an “option” the same as in today’s world where you have masses that don’t go out and vote at election as a matter of protest. So, let’s leave it at that.

      Like

  30. Rajko Strizic says:

    Censorship,
    Denying an individual a right to share their ideas, beliefs, feelings, on a particular subject matter if they go against “the party line”
    Hmmm, just like the communist government today in Croatia and after 1945..
    Makes you wonder doesn’t it

    Like

    • Rajko Strizic, censorship as you call it is there to protect people from various attempts of insults etc. Everyone is free to express their ideas and indeed the internet is so giving that anyone can create a platform to write about their ideas for instance in a blog on a portal, publish newsletters or pamphlets … be accountable via providing possibility of verification etc…once ideas start belittling others instead of simply comparing them, once ideas start to deny the facts others put out then that denial is nothing more than an insult to humanity that was the communist regime and others too during WWII because, don’t forget, each side in WWII had a way of destroying in masses those that did not fall into its policies…opinion or beliefs of individuals are a totally different matter but still denying someone their attributes and contributions, in this case regarding fight for independence, just because they did not belong to any of “major” movements but acted differently, is something that cannot really be accepted, not as far as I am concerned, and I am quite certain multitudes agree

      Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        I was very happy to see that you lifted your censorship of RexCroatorum.
        He as well as MelbCro are quite eloquent in presenting truth and unbiased facts.

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic – I lifted nothing – rules of commenting are well spelled out on the bottom of the blog. These two commentators you mention did not present unbiased facts in fact they were very biased and in places quite insulting – hence, some deletions – so please do not pretend to know it all for you do not know the content of what was deleted. The lack of truthfulness in their comment is evidenced by the fact that the large sections of “Croatian” community that did not or do fall into certain groupings are belittled, offended, assumptions without foundations made against them, called “ghosts” etc … their facts are biased and my article was not

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        RexCroatorum and MelbCro are the ones presenting the facts and substantiating them quite well.
        It’s a pleasure reading their posts.

        Like

      • To you a pleasure, Rajko Strizic, to others – not!

        Like

  31. Rex Croatorum says:

    Yes, prewar UHRO and communists were on the political fringes and the HSS were the undisputed representatives of the Croats during the interwar years. But the HSS in those interwar years was not a homogenous political body but a national movement (much like hdz in 1990) being draw in all shades of political thinking and a great variety of interest groups.

    When war came and greater serb marrauders are roaming the countryside there is no such thing as passivity, sitting on the fence, and a wait-and-see approach. It spelled death.

    Macek’s indecisive policy of passive waiting proved unsatisfactory to most in the HSS and either sympathized and put their allegiences with NDH (such as Hefer, Susic, Frkovic, Toth) or the leftist orientated defected to the partizani.

    Since the Treaty of Versailles and confirmed at the Teheran conference, the ‘Croatian question’ was time and time again ignored by all. You define NDH by the horrors of war, policies, laws, and limitations of the time (many of which were imposed by outside forces) but one thing is undeniable, the NDH generation were the torch bearers of dynamic Croatian nationalism and only ones who stood for independence at the time. That is why the 10 travanj uprising/revolution is remembered. (Those in the middle were never really in the middle as the HSS was torn between two camps, NDH or yugo partizan. Remember Krnjevic getting into bed with the royal yugoslav-government-in-exile in London so out of touch with reality praising the resistance of Draza’s forces at the time, or Subasic, prime minister of the yugoslav government in exile who later reached an accord with tito?) Did they succeed, No. Did NDH achieve the definitive form it intended to be, No. Were they forever compromised politically to the world eyes for ending up on the losing side of history with nazi germany, yes. But it is nothing short of a miracle that it existed at all, considering all of its external and internal enemies and Croats shed rivers of blood for it. They are forever accredited with taking the Croatian question out of the framework as a internal ‘yugoslav’ problem and clearly placing it before the world as a specific and international question.

    Like

  32. I like the fact that articles like this cause lots of discussion because these topics should be acknowledged and talked about in the open. But it is disappointing to see that a reasonable, factual article by Ina, gets overlooked by some who prefer to come in here and accuse her and other readers, of not having enough/anything to help Croatia’s fight for freedom. If you actually took the time to comprehend the point of the article and look into what Ina has actually done, you might actually learn a thing or two. If you actually took the time to realise you simply do not know everyone’s individual story or their family history and involvement in helping Croatia, you’d keep quiet and perhaps be a bit more humble and keep your “I’m a real Croat” ego in check.

    It’s disappointing to see that after so much political oppression and division, us Croats still can’t put past political affiliations behind us and work towards a common goal of bettering our homeland. Well, we did do this once, in the 90s, when we were lead by Dr. Franjo Tudman. I know for a fact that in those times, the sons and relatives of past Ustashe and Partisans banded together and fought for a free Croatia. Regardless of their family history, they managed to fight side by side for a common goal, but according to the logic of some comments here, I guess those who are from a non-Ustasha or April 10th celebrating background, don’t get enough points on the Croatiannness scale, despite laying their lives on the line for the country, right? Going by that logic, I guess Vesna Pusic is more a real Croat than Dr. Franjo Tudman because her father was part of NDH armed forces? Well, I’ll be damned. Try to keep in mind that during Yugoslavia, many people were simply trying to survive each day and earn their bread and butter. This has nothing to do with being spineless latecomers, this has everything to do with individual circumstances and opportunities. There were many who didn’t have many opportunities to be politically aware and active within communities, but when the time came, still fought FOR the survival of Croatia. (I’m talking about those who lived in Yugoslavia). They might not have celebrated April 10th, but I know for a fact that they still kept Croatian traditions alive in their communities, in spite of the pro-Yugo propaganda and Tito worship that was thrown at them left, right and centre. I dare you internet warriors to tell someone who fought in the Homeland war or lost loved ones, that they’re less of a Croat just because they don’t choose to celebrate the same dates as you do, and we’ll see just how brave you really are.

    Just because someone didn’t have the same opportunities to be politically active, or they didn’t choose to celebrate the same dates as you and your relatives, does not mean they were any less Croatian. There are still many people who are only now seeing the truth about the past (and present), but it doesn’t make them any less Croatian. Instead of belittling such people, we’d achieve more by sticking together and learning from each other. Some who did not “do much” for an independent Croatia were afraid of what will happen in the future, and seeing what has happened to the country, can you even blame them? From the looks of things, they were right in thinking that nothing will change, just look at where we are! Of course they wanted a better life, but so many of our predecessors didn’t even know what freedom is and what democracy brings. But still, there were many, many more, who wanted freedom and did what they could when they had the opportunity, when they could finally free themselves from the grip of pro-communist propaganda.

    I’m not ashamed of saying I’ve never celebrated April 10th. I never have and I never will. While I can understand why people may do so for personal reasons, such as remembering family members who were victims of communist crimes, I have no connection to that date. I recognise and condemn communist crimes against all Croats, but I refuse to glorify any regime from WWII. Even if their intentions were once noble, neither regime achieved true freedom and unity of all Croats. They all divided us and put Croat against Croat when we should have been fighting side by side for a free nation, instead of slaughtering one another and other minorities. But June 25th signifies a time when we finally did all unite for a common cause and when we fought for a free Croatia with our own hands. No puppet states, no “leaders” that weren’t even chosen by the people. We forged a path towards a free and democratic nation with hardly any help (or none at all) from foreign powers, and it didn’t matter who was what politically, whether in Croatia or the diaspora. We knew what the common goal was and we worked towards it with our blood, sweat and tears, that is what I celebrate. I celebrate the victorious veterans of the Homeland war that fought defensively and held the moral high ground in the most trying of times. I celebrate the Croatia that was forged from the unity of all Croats worldwide.

    Mind you, I do not apologise for the past or for being who I am. I simply do not glorify the the past, but recognise the good and the bad from all sides, and make up mind up accordingly. I refuse to be a hypocrite who condemns one murderous regime while in the same breath glorifying another. I recognise that our turbulent political history has given way to many different and dividing opinions. Nevertheless, I think many of us simply want to see improvement economically, socially and politically, but this cannot be achieved if we keep dividing ourselves up over who is a real Croat and who isn’t, and if we refuse to accept ALL facts of the past an present. Our past isn’t black and white, so let’s not look at it with such a narrow scope. Let’s not look at the present in such a narrow scope either.

    Like

    • Well put, Kat. Croatian independence belongs to all equally and the sooner all see that the better, while the crimes in history are dealt with we can move on.

      Like

    • Rajko Strizic says:

      I had to stop reading your tirade when you commented that partisans fought with real Croatians for a free Croatia in 1991. Where did you come up with this atrocious idea? They were fighting with Serbs snd Chetniks for a greater Serbia!
      Unfortunately, uninformed and gullable individuals … bice this and as a result a communist s now president of Croatia – … who is on a mission to destroy the croatian past and create a greater Serbia.
      DELETED in parts due to personal attacks

      Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        Censored..
        Seems those that agree with you can comment and refute others at free will. However, those that disagree with you and your friends are censored.

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic – it seems to me you have a problem with rules – read the Disclaimer and Comment Policy of this Blog – this blog reserves the right to delete or moderate material that particularly may be construed as an attack, an insult etc on individual people (not politicians as they are public figures etc). And that information is available always on every page and if commentators choose to ignore or respect rules then they need to expect deletions etc. Parts of your comment were deleted because the original comment you made did contain assumptions, accusations etc against a person without providing proof or evidence to back up your claims who is what who was where etc. This has nothing to do with censorship but common decency and respect. You should start your own blog rather than trolling around on others’ – you can then moderate your own legal obligations instead of trashing those that won’t publish parts of your comments that should not be published unless facts corroborating are provided etc – when it comes to individual people etc

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic says:

        I stopped reading your response after I read your comment “trashing others.”
        Once again, you deem it ok for yourself and others to trash MelbCro and RexCroatorum but censor those who diagree with you and those that agree with you.
        Facts are facts

        Like

      • Rajko Strizic, this is the last time I will explain the rules of moderation in the language you are using because it seems you do not know the difference: anyone can “trash” politics, general reference to groups of people without identifying anyone in particularly, politicians’ policies etc can be “trashed” as it is in public realm and often corroboration is needed or matter “trashed” is publicly known fact but when you or any commentator go about saying that “so & so” is or was member of particular political movement or inclination etc etc THAT IS NO LONGER AN OPINION BUT ATTEMPT TO STATE FACTS WHICH MAY NOT BE FACTS and you simply cannot say that on this blog or anywhere else in public without verifiable source of facts, if you provide proof of facts then moderation will not happen for any matter of public interest etc. No trashing here – just deletion of inappropriate content due to legal obligation towards reputations of people or groups etc.

        Like

    • Rajko Strizic says:

      Kay,
      Are you also on of those so called “New Croatian Partizans” that supports the government referendum on Cryrillic writing in the Heroic Croatian town of Vukovar??
      I would like an answer to that question.

      Like

    • MelbCro says:

      “I like the fact that articles like this cause lots of discussion because these topics should be acknowledged and talked about in the open. But it is disappointing to see that a reasonable, factual article by Ina, gets overlooked by some who prefer to come in here and accuse her and other readers, of not having enough/anything to help Croatia’s fight for freedom. If you actually took the time to comprehend the point of the article and look into what Ina has actually done, you might actually learn a thing or two. If you actually took the time to realise you simply do not know everyone’s individual story or their family history and involvement in helping Croatia, you’d keep quiet and perhaps be a bit more humble and keep your “I’m a real Croat” ego in check. ”

      The article is Ina’s opinion and her political viewpoint about the significance of April 10. Opinion does not equal fact. Regardless the discussion which has been taking place is specifically about Ina’s comments not the article itself. I’ve simply tried to understand her viewpoint and to gain clarification. Her reaction to that is to either delete my comments or childish name calling like comparing me to Stipe Mesic. Its been very disapointing because up until this point I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this blog and have agreed with most of what Ina has posted.

      “It’s disappointing to see that after so much political oppression and division, us Croats still can’t put past political affiliations behind us and work towards a common goal of bettering our homeland. Well, we did do this once, in the 90s, when we were lead by Dr. Franjo Tudman. I know for a fact that in those times, the sons and relatives of past Ustashe and Partisans banded together and fought for a free Croatia. Regardless of their family history, they managed to fight side by side for a common goal, but according to the logic of some comments here, I guess those who are from a non-Ustasha or April 10th celebrating background, don’t get enough points on the Croatiannness scale, despite laying their lives on the line for the country, right? Going by that logic, I guess Vesna Pusic is more a real Croat than Dr. Franjo Tudman because her father was part of NDH armed forces? Well, I’ll be damned. Try to keep in mind that during Yugoslavia, many people were simply trying to survive each day and earn their bread and butter. This has nothing to do with being spineless latecomers, this has everything to do with individual circumstances and opportunities. There were many who didn’t have many opportunities to be politically aware and active within communities, but when the time came, still fought FOR the survival of Croatia. (I’m talking about those who lived in Yugoslavia). They might not have celebrated April 10th, but I know for a fact that they still kept Croatian traditions alive in their communities, in spite of the pro-Yugo propaganda and Tito worship that was thrown at them left, right and centre. I dare you internet warriors to tell someone who fought in the Homeland war or lost loved ones, that they’re less of a Croat just because they don’t choose to celebrate the same dates as you do, and we’ll see just how brave you really are. ”

      Perhaps you should re-read much of the comments because you’ve missed the point. There is a big difference between someone not being pro Ustasa and being a ‘Yugo’. People who identified or still identify themselves as Yugoslavs are not people who fought for Croatia, they fought against it. They are a very different group of people than those who were simply not ideologically aligned with the Ustasa.

      Everything else that you are saying such as “I dare you internet warriors to tell someone who fought in the Homeland war or lost loved ones, that they’re less of a Croat” is simply absurd. Where has any one made such a conclusion? At no point has anyone said anything against anyone who picked up arms to fight for Croatia in the 90s. Why would you even say that? It blows my mind that you can even saying such a derogatory thing. I do not appreciate being a accused of something which I never said. How about you answer a question that Ina herself has refused to do so, do you believe Croatian veterans from WW2 should be commemorated for their sacrifices? Maybe you are the one who should be fronting up to those war veterans and explaining to them how you believe they are not worthy of the same respect.

      “I’m not ashamed of saying I’ve never celebrated April 10th. I never have and I never will. While I can understand why people may do so for personal reasons, such as remembering family members who were victims of communist crimes, I have no connection to that date. I recognise and condemn communist crimes against all Croats, but I refuse to glorify any regime from WWII. Even if their intentions were once noble, neither regime achieved true freedom and unity of all Croats. They all divided us and put Croat against Croat when we should have been fighting side by side for a free nation, instead of slaughtering one another and other minorities. But June 25th signifies a time when we finally did all unite for a common cause and when we fought for a free Croatia with our own hands. No puppet states, no “leaders” that weren’t even chosen by the people. We forged a path towards a free and democratic nation with hardly any help (or none at all) from foreign powers, and it didn’t matter who was what politically, whether in Croatia or the diaspora. We knew what the common goal was and we worked towards it with our blood, sweat and tears, that is what I celebrate. I celebrate the victorious veterans of the Homeland war that fought defensively and held the moral high ground in the most trying of times. I celebrate the Croatia that was forged from the unity of all Croats worldwide. ”

      You have no connection to a date that saw Croatia gain independence for the first time in over 8 centuries? Clearly you are a proud Croat, so I don’t understand how you cannot have a connection to that date.

      Like

      • Although this comment is in reply to Kat, MelbCro, here’s a quote from one of your comments which certainly points to what you consider to be a Croat: “Ina you don’t seem to know the actual meaning of the term ‘born again’ in this context. Which is pretty surprising because its a common term in the diaspora in both Australia and North America. What it means is people who prior to 1991 labelled themselves as Yugoslav and only chose to identify as Croats post 91” – you obviously categorise Croats into those more worthy of name than others. My point was that you cannot do that if you classify Croat on basis of ethnic characteristics – to me all Croats are Croats and different political standing or opinion is a different issue in a free world.

        Like

  33. Rex Croatorum says:

    And they say tito was a ‘Croat’ too, so much for that.

    And not to start a pissing contest but does Croatia’s freedom really belong to all equally? Does it belong the same to say a war deserter (the so called minhen bojna) or a war profiteer as it does to say Vukovarska majka Kata Soljic who lost four sons in the war?

    Kat, you talk about people putting their differences aside and working for a common goal. Well this is exactly what the so called ‘ nationalists’ did. They were willing to do anything for Croatian statehood, even if it meant embracing the other side. National reconciliation was the ideology of Max Luburic, which was adopted by Bruno Busic and later Tudjman. The question remains however, how genuine was the embrace from the other side.

    As far as reformed partizani, they switched coats when they saw the writing was on the wall and to ensure their own political survival. Croatia and yugoslavia, Croatinness and yugoslavness are two polar opposites, for one to survive the other one has to perish. The fact of the matter is we won, our ideology won. I believe there was some genuine converts, such as bobetko but also those who never woke up from their neo-yugoslav amnesia, such as manolic, mesic, boljkovac, nobilo. Some of them proved useful at the beginning of the war for their counter intelligence experience they had in udba but were dumped by Tudjman (in favor of a younger cadre with no udba/jna roots, many from the diaspora with french foreign legion background – gotovina, filipovic etc.) when they started to stirr up shit. Kako narod kaze, Vuk dlaku mjenja al nikad cud.

    One of Tudjman’s biggest mistakes is he did no eliminate this element and instigate lustration laws for these ex communist elements. During wartime it was understandable as not to aggitate this element as Croatia’s survival was on the line but he could of done it later. This neo yugoslav element not only outlived him, initiated the so called de-tudjmanization policy in 2000 but continues to dominate and plague the political, social economic life in Croatia. We still have to listen to fairy tales of how the ‘anti fascists’ (a modern, gentler term for yugoslav partizans) fought for the same Croatia which was achieved in the domovinski rat. Thanks to them (partizani) we were serbian slaves up until 1990. They put Croatia in a colonial position via serbia, had they not done so the bloody exit from the yugoslav greater serb empire in 1991 wouldnt of been necessary.

    Like

    • Rex Croatorum – you obviously have not been following this blog for long for if you have you would find lots of articles on matters you mention here… yes freedom belongs to all equally now that it’s here or has been for quite a few years. As to detuidjmanisation it began long before year 2000…it began in 1992…

      Like

  34. Great coverage, Ina.

    Like

  35. Modern Croatian Statehood has its origins in 1943, not 1941 or 1991

    Like

    • You can think what you like, Stipe, but the date of entry into force of original text of the Constitution of Modern Croatian Statehood is 22 December 1990. That is the fact anything before is for history books

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

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: