“Blessed are those who act justly,
who always do what is right” (Psalm 106:3)
Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has kept her promise and evicted Josip Broz Tito (the bust of Josip Broz Tito and other artifacts, legacy of Tito and his wife Jovanka) from the Office of the President, Yesterday 19 March 2015.
On Tuesday during her visit to Germany, about which I have written in my previous post, Croatian president held a lecture on Croatia and the European Community at the European Academy in Berlin where she participated in a discussion after the lecture and answered numerous questions, said among other things that Tito’s bust from the presidential palace is soon to be moved to another location.
“Tito was a dictator”, she said when asked about Tito’s bust, stressing that it will be removed from the presidential palace and, as a work of art, located in a suitable place, probably in the part of Croatia where he was born.
And so the president held her pre-election promise – that she will throw away the bust of Tito from her office.
Josip Broz Tito was the chief architect of the communist Yugoslavia, a socialist federation that lasted from 1943 to 1991-92 and from its decomposition new states emerged, Croatia being one of them.
“In accordance with the decision of the President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic the works of art in question will be committed to the use of the Museums of the Croatian Zagorje”, statement from the president’s office explained.
Not only the bust of Tito was removed from Pantovcak, however, but also the complete legacy of former Yugoslav President and his wife Jovanka Broz, which consists of more than one hundred works of art.
Tito’s bust in the highest Office of Croatia was a constant reminder of the oppression and totalitarian regime of communist Yugoslavia, Croatia freed itself from in the early 1990’s. It was a symbol of that to which Croatia should never rub shoulders with but it was also a symbol that also injected wind under the wings of those who remain nostalgic for Yugoslavia. To multitudes Tito’s bust displayed in such an important place was a reminder that one among the top ten mass murderers of the 20th century (Josip Broz Tito) still in a sense captured a respect he did not nor does he deserve and which sent chills through the veins of multitudes of innocent victims of communist regime .
To remove that symbol of communist existence and totalitarian regime from that office symbolises an open window to a new, freer future – a future Tito has no part in except to answer posthumously for his crimes or the crimes of his communist regime. I rejoice today immensely. Congratulations, brave President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)