Croatia Must Not Permit Defending The Most Murderous Regime Of Communist Yugoslavia

Former Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito  among the worst mass murderers of the 20th century Photo:Screenshot Daily Mail.co.uk

Former Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito
among the worst mass murderers
of the 20th century
Photo:Screenshot Daily Mail.co.uk

 

Nigel Jones of the UK Daily Mail wrote in October 2014 that “the 20th century witnessed death and slaughter on an unprecedented scale. It was the century of the Holocaust and two World Wars; of communist, Nazi, fascist and military dictators who between them killed more than 100 million people”. He compiled a list of the mass murderers that shaped the political maps placing communist Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito on the list as having caused the murder of 570,000 political opponents.
In an open letter by Andrija Hebrang, a Croatian prominent politician, supporting the removal of Josip Broz Tito’s bust from the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, published 25 February 2015 on Croatian Cultural Council portal we are reminded that “R. J. Rummel and prof. G. Heissohn claim that Tito’s place is among the top ten murderers in the history of humanity because he was directly responsible for the death of 1,170,000 people. As Tito got rid of witnesses to his own crimes the estimates of the numbers of his victims. And so, prof. P. Scaruffi publishes a number of 570,000 of Tito’s victims while the German Bild placed Tito among the world’s top ten of mass murderers, citing in 2007 the number of 1 Million victims…
The highest barrier to moving into the ideal future of reconciled past, unity and optimal economic harmony that includes job creation, stripping off of corruption and nepotism in the work force, is, for Croatia, the still thriving divisions from World War II that keep supplying ink to the stamp of collective guilt, and that ink comes in the form of the Croatian left-wing politics holding onto their role as the heir to or successor of their communist past.
The Croatian Left-wing political milieu is not ready to condemn Communist crimes despite the fact that the European Union, of which Croatia is a member – has. The Croatian Left-wing political milieu persists in equating communist antifascism with democratic antifascism despite the fact that the two are very different as the former is severely marked by mass crimes that helped its survival over four decades after WWII.
When the Croatian Left-wing political milieu gathers enough strength to condemn Communist crimes, Croatia will have a chance of moving forward into a better future it’s citizens deserve. The cramp of defending communist crimes, either directly as in wrongly insisting that they were “necessary” to thwart what they call fascism or, indirectly, by omitting to actively condemn communist crimes, is still holding progress in Croatia hostage.

 

 

Croatian Constitution calls upon antifascism but also upon the condemnation of the communist totalitarian regime (of former Yugoslavia).

There are no advocates of fascist heritage in today’s Croatia but there are stalwarts of communist heritage,” said recently dr. Miroslav Tudjman, member of Croatian Parliament and son of the late president Franjo Tudjman, adding that in the absence of condemnation of communist crimes and the communist regime, the place for the sculpture of Tito’s bust will remain a political question. “The conflict that arises from the place of Tito’s bust, wherever it is kept, will continue to be a point of disunity all until the history textbooks also reflect that the Constitution calls upon antifascism but also upon the condemnation of the communist totalitarian system.”

 

An example of maintaining the false superiority of communist followers, which distresses any human being bar the one defending communist crimes, could clearly be seen in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, on Saturday 28 February. A couple of hundred anti-fascist protesters rallied in Zagreb’s central square to oppose a plan by the far-right Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) to hold a public presentation of its own army and an oath-taking ceremony in the same location, which was banned by the Ministry of the Interior with the explanation that it might disturb the public. Well, what disturbs the public more than a peaceful public display of a political party’s army is the fact that the same minister omitted to send the Tito-loving anti-fascist protesters packing, as well.

Even though the A-HSP party army did not show up in the main square because the party gathering was banned, anti-fascist protesters arrived there around noon, displaying a banner that read “United against fascism” and shouting anti-fascist messages.
Police were present in the square, securing a buffer zone between the “anti-fascist” protesters and members of the public. Several members of the public shouted insults at the protesters. Police, or the authorities, made no moves to remove the anti-fascist protesters from the main square. Such behaviour is designed to promote lies that Croatia promotes fascism and stall moves towards condemnation of communist crimes. Such behaviour must be quashed otherwise Croatia has no chance of thriving as a country founded on historical truth and justice.
Given the deep divisions that stem from WWII and post-WWII communist Yugoslavia era in Croatia, the new president of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s call for unity and togetherness, reconciliation of history… can, in essence, be interpreted as a call to “nation building” as a pre-requisite to achieving economic reforms that would benefit all and lift the standard of living of all in Croatia. The “nation building” can only be successfully achieved if it rests primarily on the values for freedom and democracy expressed through the endurance and bravery of Croatia’s 1990’s Homeland War while condemning most strongly all totalitaria regimes that ravaged Croatia until 1990. There is no doubt that through the post-WWII communist era members of the communist elite and members of the pro-communist elite after Croatia’s independence of the 1990’s made a great deal of money at the expense of the state and society in transition. Streets of Croatia are densely populated by individuals with amassed wealth that was impossible to amass – within the earning capacity of former Yugoslavia and independent Croatia economic circumstances – without the presence of corruption, theft, insider-dealings and favouritism. Widespread economic distortions created many conflicting vested interests and this makes carrying out economic reforms difficult across Croatia. Corrupt individuals thriving in each other’s pockets, harbouring each other’s ‘trade’ secrets of past and present is the padding around the spine of a politically resistant system that will continue thwarting economic progress and economic fairness to ordinary citizens unless the political marrow of former-communism is eradicated or, at least, watered down to impotence. And that means the condemnation of communist crimes in Croatia and their propeller – Josip Broz Tito. So, the sooner the authorities make it their business to remove the former communist regime (even by force if need be) as the epitomiser of democratic antifascism, the better. The sooner the totalitarian regimes of Croatia’s past are put on equal footing of irrelevance for today’s and future Croatia the better. This though, cannot be done without condemning Tito for his crimes and condemning his communist regime. As painful as it may come to many Croats, this is absolutely necessary otherwise, living by double standards (condemning crimes of WWII Independent Croatia while upholding as just, even worse in many ways, the crimes of communist Yugoslavia/Croatia) condemns Croatia to a life in perpetual tatters and perpetual political finger pointing while the ordinary citizens suffer insufferably. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Great post and historic importance to know.I lived under the regime of terror under the leadership of Saddam Hussein Brutality .Best regards.

    Like

  2. Another detailed and excellent post, Ina – Thank You.

    Please take good care.

    Big Hugs

    john

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    • Thank you, John – I would rather be writing about happier things but this communist blackness that still envelops and lurks is something that will let sunlight in once defeated…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael Silovic says:

    (Quote) condemning crimes of WWII Independent Croatia while upholding as just, even worse in many ways, the crimes of communist Yugoslavia/Croatia condemns Croatia to a life in perpetual tatters and perpetual political finger pointing while the ordinary citizens suffer insufferably. ) There are other countries outside of Croatia that want the division to be able to continue to point fingers as they would like to see Croatia not forget the past and move on for their own political reasons.All crimes against humanity are terrible but I disagree that we should be condemning at all the crimes of WW2 independent Croatia There is a difference between fighting for independence and out right killing of opposition.for the sole purpose of ones power.

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    • The fact is that Croatian communists rely on the already established condemnation across the world of WWII crimes committed in Croatia that do not include those committed by the communist Partisans, Michael. There were, as you suggest, multitudes of independence fighters in WWII Croatia i.e. NDH (Independent State of Croatia) who committed no crimes and yet unfairly and unjustly suffer guilt by association or collective guilt. The world that’s felt in Croatia still has to condemn communist crimes and there were more of those than those committed by the several in the independence movement. I agree with you that all crimes against humanity are terrible and we have yet to openly and honestly as a society to look upon the unfinished business of communist crimes with the same repulsion as we do with any proven crime. We have yet to fully rehabilitate those falsely accused and condemned by communist Yugoslavia of collaborating with the Nazi regime. Lots of work to do yet

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  4. Thank you for another informative post, for the truth needs to be known.

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  5. what a great review!

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  6. I am reading a book called, Savage Continent, right now. It is about Europe and the Soviets post WWII. It is an entire bit of history I never read before. I pray that Croatia will be fortunate enough to get out from under the yoke of Communism and put the pain and suffering aside and go Democratically into the future. Hugs, Barbara

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  7. Heartafire says:

    thank you for the fine article, informative and enlightening as always, very much appreciate the link to the world that you offer her at your blog.

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  8. Velebit says:

    “…… the party gathering was banned, anti-fascist protesters arrived there around noon, displaying a banner that read “United against fascism” and shouting anti-fascist messages.
    Police were present in the square, securing a buffer zone between the “anti-fascist” protesters and members of the public. Several members of the public shouted insults at the protesters. Police, or the authorities, made no moves to remove the anti-fascist protesters from the main square. Such behaviour is designed to promote lies that Croatia promotes fascism and stall moves towards condemnation of communist crimes. Such behaviour must be quashed otherwise Croatia has no chance of thriving as a country founded on historical truth and justice.”

    When are we going to be politically, socially and individually mature enough to embark on a course of self-examination? When will we possess the desire and the will necessary to critically, objectively learn about and question our “national story”- especially those chapters of our common history which were purposely distorted, falsified and propagandized by Tito and his Partisan’s communist regime (1945-1990)? How many more years must pass before those responsible for the Croatian Holocaust face their judgement day in a courtroom? Twenty-five years since secession,after twenty years of democracy we are still struggling to face ourselves and our collective past – we still are unwilling to publicly, irrevocably, condemn our bloody communist history. We are still allowing those who slaughtered us by the hundreds of thousands, those who persecuted, imprisoned, and brutally wielded their power over us, a voice, a hand, a say, in shaping our futures without so much as a may you please!
    As usual, the leftists are using, the constant intonation of the word “ANTIFASCIST” as their mantra when protesting against those they see as diverging from their communist frame of reference, in hopes that if they repeat it often enough – people will actually believe that they are “antifascist” and therefore… the good guys, right? That they are bravely fighting the evil fascist empire of……..???? Whom? Who are these fascists that are alive and well in Croatia today? But, more to the point, who were the “fascists” that they and their ilk fought against in WWII?- because clearly that is whom they are referring to. The Italian and German occupiers were both admittedly proud fascists,…are these the targets of the protesters in Zagreb 2015? Of course not,because logically, they would be, but are not, protesting in front of the embassies of those nations…so,by process of elimination and as no surprise to anyone, these “antifascists” are aiming their barbs at those CROATIANS who are amongst the few that possess the will and strength of conviction to actually stand up for their rights and be heard.(branitelji, AHsp) In order to render ineffectual any public gathering that threatens to reawaken of slumbering Croatian consciousness they pull out and dust off the old communist rhetoric. They see the branitelji from Savska 66 as the ustase of yesterday ….But to address the ustase of yesterday… it is a falsehood, and totally unsubstantiated to accuse as fascists those who supported Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska (1941-45) – be they Ustasa, Domobrani, members of the wartime NDH govt. or their civilian sympathizers. There is a distinct difference between those who collaborated with the ‘fascist ‘occupiers and those who were truly ‘fascist’ in ideology. As there is a distinct difference between those that fought to re-establish sovereignty and international recognition for one’s country and those who fought against that country and its people.( As an aside, let us recognize that the war waged in WWII on Croatian territory was fought by Croatian patriots against the same enemy, against the same ideology that the branitelji of the Domovinski Rat faced in 1991-95. Yugoslav Communists. A hard pill for some to swallow but nonetheless, true). The sooner we recognize their leftover communist ploys to smear those who are their enemies, the better. It is time we take our own futures into our hands, stand up for what is right and just and above all recognize who are enemies were and who they continue to be.

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  9. threalamericro says:

    Excellent analysis Ina.

    Lets hope HDZ puts its money where its mouth is if they win the election, which for now seems to be likely.

    The Communist hydra is a political-(anti-)intellectual / university-media-economic hydra that is eating away at the country’s political culture, universities, media and economy. It is a virulent cancer that needs to be surgically removed from all facets of Croatian society and life.

    Lets not forget that the red managers – appointed during the failed economic model of painted rust and debt building known as Yugoslav Socialist Self-Management – simply stayed in their red dress and continued to be SDP-SKH turned SDP members and remained directors, or were “awakened,” changed political dresses and joined the then national preservation and patriotic coalition party, HDZ, and remained managers; after which both the SKH to SDP and SKH to HDZ members ran the economy into the ground with illegal, untransparent privatization(s).

    As for the so-called “anti-fascists” – considering the fact that most espouse a form of Yugoslav nationalist socialism, they are in reality Yugoslav national-socialists – i.e., Yugoslav nationalists – and hardly fit the democratic anti-fascist mold they claim to be part of.

    Their main drive is keeping alive the primitive cult of personality surrounding Tito, and the mythical and discredited “successful multi-cultural Yugoslav socialist” model praised by the Mercedes driving Marxist – and wartime Milosevic – apologists of Western academia, such as Susan Woodward and her ilk, alive.

    They are, in reality, Yugoslav ultra-nationalist recidivists trying to justify the unjustifiable and keep discredited mythologies and slogans alive. They still have not forgiven the Croatian people for ending their reign as the ruling one-party *caste.*

    The “antifascists” on Jelacic Square on Sunday have as much to do with true antifascism as you do Islamic extremism, Ina.

    What is troubling is the majority of Croatian media – and of course Soros’s and the US State Department’s mouthpieces N1 and Balkan Dimsight, I mean “Insight” – using the derogatory term, “Satorasi” to describe the veterans engaging in legitimate, democratic protest against injustice and discrimination.

    The fact that the media is engaging in childishly primitive name-calling demonstrates the (in)validity of their positions.

    Keep digging your own political graves, dummies.

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    • Thank you, therealamericro. Your addition here is most welcome and to the point, so very relevant. The sign of terrible times can also be seen in some youth that protest at Jelacic Place under “antifascist” banner, seemingly intent on spreading lies about some sort of fascist manifestation in purely democratic expressions and pursuits – they have been brainwashed or are children or grandchildren of communists who have much to answer for. A firm hand is needed to bring about sanity and let truth shine.

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  10. It would be nice to learn when and if Croatia will ever dismantle its domestic Udba (POA, SOA, whatever). Interestingly, the HDZ leader Karamarko was the chief of Croatian political police, and he is now threatening to the witnesses in Perkovic/Mustach trial in Munich. That is very bad, but seems that the Croats are not capable to stop with Udba’s wrongdoing, even though we joined the EU.

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    • It is most unsettling that processing communist crimes is so slow in Croatia, Ivo – I totally agree with you. A reason could be in that so many were affected as perpetrators that they or their descendants do not want to admit to the wrongdoing. It seems to me that ensuring communist crimes are dealt with and condemned places one in an unsavoury position of being attacked and called a fascist where there is no fascism, strength is need to endure all that and I fail to see it yet, so I ask the question why, too.

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  11. The Daily Mail; a leading, peer-reviewed resource on world history. This is truly a wonderful choice of factual, non-sensationalist literature. Kudos to you!

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    • Thank you, Ragnar

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      • Haha, so sarcasm is not your strongest point. I’ll clarify; The Daily Mail is a silly tabloid news outlet not worth the paper it’s printed on. Just go to their online site and see for yourself the utter nonsense they sell as “news”. While there are important points to be made about international dictators, Tito included, a more reputable source than a trashy article in The Daily Mail would do wonders for the credibility of your follow-up piece. But anyway, keep fighting the good fight. I’m sure what Croatia REALLY needs right now is more talk about how bad a guy Tito was….I mean, if you can blame a guy who died nearly 40 years ago for all your country’s troubles now, then that’ll solve everything 😉

        P.s I love Croatia and Croatian people. Beautiful country. Vis is particularly gorgeous, and it’s a shame Tito had it closed off to the outside world for so long

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      • Ah, Ragnar but the truth is that The Daily Mail gets quite a following, so there you go – this needs to be acknowledged and if so does one then ridicule the readers too? Think not. It takes all kinds to help life along and as long as the truth gets out there it will all be OK. It’s not that Tito died 40 years ago it’s his totalitarian regime that instilled practices and mindsets which are simply not compatible with democratic progress. His lot still get to have a big say in how the country is run and that is terrifying.

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    • ‘The Daily Mail gets quite a following’ – by your logic, Fifty Shades of Grey, which has huge following and has sold countless copies, is a fine piece of literature. And yes, I think it’s fair to ridicule the reader of a tabloid news outlet which, just now, has its main headline as

      “Do I have to, Mummy? Sleepy Prince George rubs his eyes and tugs at Kate’s coat as the royals receive an official welcome in Berlin (while happy-go-lucky Charlotte is presented with a bouquet)” – important stuff! I stand by my point that any intelligent person would really have to do a lot of fact-checking and vetting of an article published in The Daily Mail as it is widely regarded as one of the lowest common denominators in journalism.

      Secondly, ‘as long as the truth gets out there it will all be OK’. It seems the truth is already out there. Tito was a repressive dictator, a point which has been made numerous times by numerous people. It’s no secret. A fixation on this topic and an unwillingness to let go of the past, both WWII-era and Yugoslav war-era, will never lead to progress. From what I’ve seen of your posts, there is a real reluctance to move on. Unfortunately, both the Serbian and Croatian governments are the same way, with constant inflammatory remarks from both camps and deliberate provocations. It’s time for both sides, Serb and Croat, to stop with the ridiculous game of ‘who had it worse’ and ‘but they did it first!’. We have to let the younger generations move out from the shadow of the horrific things both sides did to one another, and this will only happen when Serbs and Croats stop making the events of the past the centre-piece of political conversation. Why are the governments of Croatia and Serbia still debating about what happened in World War II and who did what to whom, for crying out loud? Sadly, I believe the only real solution to this will come in many generations time, when any living memory of these events has faded and nationalistic rabble-rousers from both sides are dead and gone! Hopefully harmony will prevail at that point between two sides who are no different except for their religious affiliations related to the East-West Schism of 1054; a laughable point, really.

      A third point is that you live in a democracy. You have to come to terms with the fact that you live with people who have different political ideologies to yourself. You won’t have to agree with them, but you will have to tolerate them if you want to live in a free and open society. In your case, these are supporters of communism and Tito. Again, I hardly think a few thousand old Tito sympathizers (who you rudely described as ‘unkempt’ in a recent article – an unnecessary and mean ‘ad hominem’ slander, entirely unrelated to political discourse) are the prevailing existential threat to Croatia. If you are concerned with true political, social and economic progress, perhaps your gripe lies with organised criminal elements, corrupt politicians, greedy multi-national corporations and vested foreign interests, who endeavour to line their pockets and trash the environment while the poorest and most trodden-on in Croatian society continue to struggle to find work, healthcare and a good education. Just a thought.

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      • Oh dear, Ragnar – even the readers of Daily Mail are voters and make a difference. They have value within a na nation made of of diversity. As to your saying that it is no secret that Tito was oppressive yes it has been out there even that he was one of the top ten mass murderers in the 20 century world. Try telling his followers in Croatia that. The said part is that many hold high positions of power and should have been lustrate long time ago. Yes deal with corruption but what can one do when those corrupt are a network of old communists mainly – lustration is the answer. So, it has sense to clear the history for without reconciliation of that there can be no much better future.

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      • Oh dear, Ina. It’s sad that you don’t want to address any of my points properly.

        a) Again, the large following of the Daily Mail is IRRELEVANT. I was making note of the lack of journalistic credibility of The Daily Mail and the fact that it is not a news outlet worthy of referencing . For your own good, I would urge you to not source The Daily Mail for historical information as it will seriously undermine what you are trying to achieve. The link I posted earlier makes that clear.

        b) It’s laughable you believe the only thing holding Croatia back is old communists in parliament. How easy it must be for you to sit back and pin all the problems of a modern democracy on one, relatively small group of people. “If we get rid of all the communists, everything will be better!” – a naive and crudely reductionist thought. By your logic all organised crime groups and money-hungry multinational corporations who avoid paying taxes in Croatia must also be communists, right?

        c) You offered no true perspective on the idea that ceasing continued references to what happened in WWII and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia will help alleviate Serb-Croat tensions. But I guess you wouldn’t have a website to run without constantly fanning the flames and agitating. As an impartial outsider to the Serb-Croat divide, it’s plain to see the futility of the arguments on both sides. Croats and Serbs are jjust as bad and just as good as each other. The only difference is who belongs to which Christian sect; a downright PATHETIC reason to spill blood.

        Perhaps my points are difficult to digest because they’re more nuanced than “communism is responsible for everything bad!” Perhaps it’s time to move away from the ‘reds under the bed’ mentality and not blame an imaginary bogey man for your country’s woes, Furthermore, it would be lovely to see you use your platform for reconciliation between Croat and Serb rather than a stage for continued anger. Do you take into account that maybe young people out there are reading your posts and fostering a hatred of Serbs because of them? And, if so, do you think this helps the situation overall? Something to think about.

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      • Ragnar – I do address your points it’s just a matter that your thinking follows a very narrow path and I would like you to tell when have I quoted Daily Mail for historical facts etc. As to my writing my posts always pick up an what is happening ou there especially regarding Serbia and relations and issue – but you perhaps don’t like anyone showing up Vucic for what he is – a liar and with that he causes damage. So I’m about damage control here. No one said getting rid of communism would solve everything – just some things holding progress back and those things are hidden in various behaviours learned during the decades of communist regime. n

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    • Hi Ina,

      I note that my last reply was not posted. Did it break any rules? Just wondering why an objective opinion could not be voiced.

      Cheers

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      • First of all, Ragnar, the article you referred to in Daily Mail, is not a historical find – it stated the facts based on people killed by communist regimes etc including Tito’s. Secondly, when facts are circumvented when it comes to history and referred to as historical revisionism, as many do, or when facts are twisted then it all falls into politics rather than justice for victims and that has been a problem with Serbia’s choosing not to accept even ICTY findings regarding war in Croatia. I find it off-putting when people talk of hatred between nations and omit to state the facts, which may tell things about one or the other. It is to be recognised that no true and lasting reconcilliation can ever happen unless truth and facts are accepted by both sides of a reconciliation process

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      • Again, why was my previous reply not posted? Regarding the Daily Mail question, you have no clue about the proper sourcing/referencing of information. OBVIOUSLY it is not a “historical article” which I believe you mean to mean as ‘having been written at time the events occurred’. The problem is that the “facts” quoted in the article are NOT independently verified and should NOT be taken as an accurate source of information because the Daily Mail is a TABLOID newspaper with ZERO credibility. What part of that is so difficult to understand?

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      • Ragnar, the facts regarding victims of Tito’s communist regime have been and are researched. Once you stop offending, your comments will not be moderated

        Like

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  1. […] of thousands of innocent people murdered under the communist regime in WWII and post-WWII times Josip Broz Tito rates as one of the worst criminals in Croatia’s history and removing his name from the city square also serves as recognition that the era of communist […]

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