As expected, Croatia’s die-hard communists have attempted to cause mayhem among the Croatian public during the past week as their bitter reactions to the eviction of Tito’s bust from the Office of the President clearly signify that Tito’s followers are far from ready to confront the communist crimes and atrocities committed by Tito’s totalitarian regime after WWII and into the 1980’s. They’d rather pull imaginary fascists out of their hats and continue dividing the nation on lies. Truth doesn’t fill their pockets, lies do!
The first reaction, the day after Tito’s bust was shipped to the museum in the village of his birth, Kumrovec, was the announcement of the Union of antifascists in Croatia (SABA) that they did not want president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic as sponsor of their celebrations of 70th anniversary of WWII victory and said that by removing Tito’s bust from her office (The Presidential Palace) she had renounced the anti-fascist struggle of the Croatian people! President Grabar-Kitarovi responded to this saying that she “is sorry to hear that SABA has made such a choice, but that it is their right and she respects it”.
President Grabar-Kitarovic also pointed out that in her work she would continue to represent anti-fascism, but that she would never agree with equating of the entire anti-fascist movement in Croatia with Josip Broz Tito, whom she considered to be a dictator. And the latter stand, of course, is commensurate with the European Council resolution regarding the condemnation of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes, including the communist Yugoslavia totalitarian regime under Tito.
Bravo – President Grabar-Kitarovic!
Actually, I think SABA did her an enormous favour by saying they do not want her sponsorship at the 70th anniversary of WWII victory for, had they not done that, she may have been placed in a situation where she would herself need to refuse such sponsorship (?), thus creating more room for the die-hard communists to criticise her without any regard to the truth behind her eventual need to refuse the sponsorship. After all, those who will celebrate the 70th anniversary of WWII victory are those who will, undoubtedly, celebrate Josip Broz Tito as their leader at the time and she has already said she considered Tito to have been a dictator. Who wants to celebrate a dictator? Those who do not like nor want democracy, for sure!
It’s indisputable that Tito had a strong role during WWII that contributed significantly in the region to the victory SABA aims to celebrate. However, once WWII ended Tito set about creating his personal tyranny, a dictatorship within the communist Yugoslavia, which did not recognise human rights as anything else but an invention of the imperialist West; mass murders of those rejecting his communism during the first three to five years ensued, then communist purges that involved murders, assassinations or imprisonment of innocent people lasted for decades to earn him a place among top ten murders of the20th century in the world! Indeed, president Grabar-Kitarovic seems rather mild to the memory of Tito by calling his merely a dictator.
Tito never wanted a Croatian independent state, he fought against it during WWII and he fought against it afterwards – his life’s work was creating and fiercely maintaining Yugoslavia. Hence, the creation of independent Croatia during 1990’s by the will, determination and great sacrifice of the Croatian people, represents the death of socialist communist Yugoslavia and the greatest defeat of Tito’s ideals and his life’s work. Tito’s bust has absolutely no place in the office of the Croatian president.
Then came Sunday last and a founding meeting of a new Antifascist league in Croatia headed by Yugo-nostalgics Zoran Pusic (brother of current foreign minister and director of board of NGO Documenta, set up to deal with the past but not communist crimes past) and Vesna Terselic, also from Documenta and if one is to judge by what ensued during that meeting the new antifascist league has one aim and one aim only: to further escalate tensions within the Croatian public by continuing to point fingers at non-existent fascists in Croatia. As expected, they were supported by the ex-president Ivo Josipovic and other few public figures – Tito and communist Yugoslavia lovers, deniers of communist crimes or, better said, justifiers of mass murders and communist purges all in the name of their, false, anti-fascism. True anti-fascism has no history of genocide, of mass murders of mass purges of innocent people from society, from the face of the Earth in multitudes of cases.
“They will wage wars against imaginary fascists in Croatia,” said Igor Peternel, vice-president of the Croatian arm of the Helsinki Committee, and hence concoct such grounds on the basis of which the new antifascist league will apply for government funding.
“To say that there is an increase of fascism (as the new antifascist league says) just because the president has removed the bust (of Tito) from her office is ludicrous. That is a total idiocy and a sharpening of the situation in society and raising the level of tension, and that is what they want. That is so impertinent,” said Peternel.
On Monday 23 March 2015 President Grabar-Kitarovic reiterated her position on Tito and antifascists for a Croatian radio program: “As far as I am concerned, the Office of the President was no longer the place for the bust of Tito, he is a dictator and that is indisputable,” she said, adding that she will always oppose equating Tito with antifascists, that is, with anti-Hitler coalition from WWII, She emphasised that members of her family were antifascists during WWII but that they were not communists nor had they equated their WWII fight with what was happening after 1945.”
And so, with the eviction of his bust from the Office of the President, somewhat renewed waves of vigour the spirit of Josip Broz Tito have made a controversial return to Croatia in the form of new antifascist league, renewed witch hunt against dedication to Croatian freedom and democracy, that lavishes fawning praise by the communist die-hard persons on the late dictator who choose to ignore the horrors of communist crimes committed under his leadership and, after his death in 1980, under the direction of the system he set up until late 1980’s.
Perhaps it’s wasn’t just attempting to drum-up business when the Croatian minister for economy headed a 100-member delegation to Russia in February, while the EU and the USA slammed sanctions against it because of Ukraine crisis? Perhaps it was also to check out first hand how Vladimir Putin gets away with moves to rehabilitate Joseph Stalin whose dark legacy was painstakingly removed in the late 1950s along with other pro-Stalin propaganda after then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin for his murderous purges and cult of personality?
At the end of the day, Croatia can feel blessed for having as it’s president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic who has the courage and know-how to address both the good and the bad, determined to help bring the country onto a path of clear vision and democratic stepping stones towards a better future for all. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)