As I write this post, I watch live streaming Croatian HRT TV coverage from Vukovar – Heroic City, City of Special Piety, City that was on 18 November 1991, after three months of siege under brutal Serb destruction, mass murders, rapes, imprisonments in concentration camps, ethnic cleansing of all non-Serb population, levelled to the ground. As I write this I also think of the village of Skabrnje, which also on the same day suffered massacre and mass murder by the Serb aggressor.
Today is the 23rd anniversary of these horrible war crimes for which no one has as yet been convicted! The grief becomes deeper and deeper. Little if any sight of relief that justice can bring, if it came.
As I watch this commemoration in Vukovar on the TV I notice a Tweet by Martin Schulz, EU Parliament President in which he tweets to the world that Vukovar devastation happened in the name of “ethnic hatred”! Shock and horror overwhelms me, for this is wrong. Ethnic hatred with which Serbs entered Vukovar in 1991 was ushered into Croatia with a song they sang loudly in Vukovar’s streets: “Slobo (Slobodan Milosevic), Slobo, send us some salad, there will be meat, we’ll slaughter the Croats”! Ethnic hatred was a tool to use in Serbia’s attempt to grab one third of Croatian territory – so the devastation was not in the name of ethnic hatred but in the name of land grabbing, of denying democracy to a nation (Croatia) that wanted out of communist Yugoslavia. Now that Croatia is a part of EU I trust there will be a Croatian MP who will educate the European Parliament about the war in Croatia in 1990’s! I’ve replied to Mr Schulz’s tweet – of course I did, I cherish the memory of the many thousands of fallen innocents and all other victims of this terrible time in Croatia’s history.
Croats mourned today in Vukovar, over 100,000 came, and in Skabrnja and, indeed, there is not a single city, town or village that has not lit candles in its streets and squares in commemoration of the victims.
Following are screenshots (hrt.hr) of the procession through Vukovar today that ended at the War Memorial Cemetery and walked and prayed in silence and dignity.
Never forget and never forgive until the last criminal repents, is made to take responsibility for his/her crimes. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)