Croatia: De-communisation By Any Means Necessary

Student protest Zagreb Croatia September 2016 Photo: Jurica Galoic/Pixsell

Student protest Zagreb Croatia
21  September 2016
Photo: Jurica Galoic/Pixsell

 

A couple of hundred university students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (a.k.a. Faculty of Philosophy) of the University of Zagreb have thrown their rioting and protesting weight against the current Dean Vlatko Previsic. They insist he must resign or be forced into retirement as he turns 71 in few months. They claim among other things lack of transparency and autocratic and some weak decision-making in his job. They are adamant that the proposed merger/cooperation between their Faculty and the Catholic Faculty of Theology will not go ahead. The protest grew more vicious by the minute, so to speak, and had occupied a great deal of media space and as politically left-minded persons declare their support for the runaway student protests, true causes to protest are lost or become blurred amidst harsh words that keep rushing out like fiery sparks.

 

The students have dug their heels in and are adamant they will get their way, if not, they threatened to blockade the university building and stop the new academic year from starting with thousands of students attending. In all this it appears, while those supporting their protest keep saying that matters of complaints and discontent should be resolved within relevant legal and institutional bounds they seem to keep forgetting to mention that Previsic’s terms and conditions of employment, his employment rights, should also be left to legal and institutional bounds and not to the rioting students in the street.  The war between the Dean and students grew larger than life it seems as the Dean accused the students of politicking, but the police reported that he had received death threats. Students continue to demand his resignation. Student Plenum was held Wednesday 21 September at night outside in front of the faculty building, because the doors of the Faculty building had been locked for 18 hours and heavily guarded due to fear of violence. Demands for the Dean’s resignation stands and student plenum decided upon 3 October as the date by which this should occur. The plenum also demanded the immediate resignation of the Rector of the University of Zagreb, Damir Boras.

Vlatko Previsic Dean - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb Zagreb Croatia Photo: hrt.hr

Vlatko Previsic
Dean – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Zagreb
Zagreb Croatia
Photo: hrt.hr

These attacks against heads of Faculty/University are not really new to last week – the whole saga stretches several months back (since February) and arises from disagreements that surfaced following the tabling of the final draft at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Plenum of the proposal for a merger/cooperation agreement between this Faculty and the Catholic Faculty of Theology. A contract to similar effects was reportedly signed by the former Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences dean Damir Boras, now the University of Zagreb Rector, and the Dean of the Catholic Faculty of Theology, Tonci Matulic in June 2014. Some Professors and some students from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences then declared their opposition to the contract and, hence, it was placed on hold in early 2015.

The students protest against a reported lack of transparency of contents within the merger agreement, accusing the dean of autocracy and say they should also be the ones deciding whether the agreement or contract will or will not be signed. Such cooperation/merger would be seen as quite normal in other European countries or Western countries but it seems something truly disturbing is at play in Zagreb – remnants of communist minds that reject religion and faith being treated as mainstream, perhaps (?). It’s not unusual to graduate from a world-leading university similar faculty, majoring in Theology – but in Croatia, a former communist nest, this seems to pose problems for some who like to think of themselves it seems as decision makers and breakers.

If the Dean does not resign by 3 October and the rector is not dismissed the protesting students are threatening to blockade the Faculty. The plenum noted that the University Senate canceled the elections for the Student Assembly of the Faculty as well as the election of student representatives in the Faculty Council and say Senate had no powers to do that.

Damir Boras University of Zagreb rector

Damir Boras
University of Zagreb rector

It is interesting to note that the demands from the above plenum (which itself looks violent and threatening and un-democratic) are supported by the politically left-wing inclined such as members of Social Democrat Party, Centre for Peace Studies, and Social Democratic Youth, the Labour Front, Antifascist Front, Group 112, Protagoras Association, the Centre for Women’s Studies, Croatian Peoples Party, Istrian Democratic Party…

 

The politically obnoxious communist-leaning professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Neven Budak – who had been the dean for two mandates there – has been quite vocal in trying to stir revolt against the proposed merger with Faculty of Theology. He keeps stating that there is the question of equality between the students of each Faculty if these merged. That is, he says that enrollment in the Faculty of Theology requires certificate of baptism and the Parish priest’s recommendation. Stirring the pot against anything religious and provoking protesting sentiments Budak asks whether then any students at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences wishing to enroll into Theology would also be required to submit these documents? In this students are not equal, he says and judging by his communist political past he would probably like to see baptism in the church dispensed with altogether. He says that he is personally more worried about student inequality after they graduate and when entering the work force because “we know that religious studies teachers are employed without public job advertisements, bypassing the will or the opinion of the schools…Church and teacher, who would be religious studies teacher and who has, for example, graduated from another subject, such as Croatian language studies, would of course, as the one already employed without competing for the job alongside other applicants, fill in as teacher of the Croatian language at the school should a vacancy arise, and our students would not…”

 

It’s disturbing how a communist mind still works in Croatia and to boot, Neven Budak was the last Secretary of the Communist Party branch at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, when in 1990 it ceased to exist as Yugoslavia was torn apart due to efforts of plights for democracy and independence.

It’s blatantly clear that what Croatia is dealing with here is yet another way or scandal to disrupt the government and governance of its institutions. One would not assume that students or staff have the executive power or decision making regarding any agreements or contracts the Faculty/University that arise as a matter of operating the educational institution. One can comment or discuss to exhaustion but the final say lies with those charged with the responsibility and delegation for decision making.
Member of Croatian Parliament for the diaspora General Zeljko Glasnovic raised a mighty storm when he reacted on Saturday 24 September to the student protest and blockades saying as follows:

The defeated political forces and their useful idiots have commenced a media lynch against Professor Vlatko Previsic … This social performance is played by spoiled brats of recycled communists, quasi-intellectuals who have not worked and just like their parents they want to secure for themselves a comfortable laziness… They are a minority gang of two hundred anarchists and Bolshevik Satanists who block the work of the Faculty and prevent more than 7,000 students from attending classes… In developed democracies, when a minority oppresses the majority, the problem is solved with police batons and tear gas. I propose the formation of a foundation that will enable one-way, non-returnable journey of young Titoists and their leaders with unshaven legs to Pyongyang. There, they will have all the time in the world top develop their own quasi democracy. There, like their grandparents, they can sing for eternity: we will plant the wheat from the sky, while America and England look on.”

General Zeljko Glasnovic, Photo: Goran Mehkek/Cropix

General Zeljko Glasnovic,
Photo: Goran Mehkek/Cropix

While Glasnovic’s words were judged by many as harsh, insulting, extremist and unfounded, it is interesting and indicative of bias to note that his criticisers say that the student plenum – against which he spoke – has a long history of peaceful speech and conduct, which does not include incidents of violence or call for violence! Well, if ultimatums the plenum has given for University employees (the Dean…) to be stood down without reference to any rights as employee and threats of blockades of the Faculty are not in the category of violence, what is?

Without any doubt, Glasnovic’s words against the students will serve as a new foundation for communists and former communists to undermine progress and true democracy under a predominantly conservative new government and keep vilifying diaspora (Glasnovic had lived in Canada for many years before returning to Croatia to help defend the country from Serb aggression in early 1990’s) as extremist and distancing it from Croatia as communists did during the life of communist Yugoslavia.

There comes a time in a nation, especially in a former communist nation transitioning into democracy, when niceties, bon ton, political correctness and such need to be dispensed with and “a spade called a spade”. Here we have aggressive students in Zagreb who are on a mission to topple the Faculty dean and the University rector with vicious and unforgiving force, who have the hide to point the finger at Glasnovic for his words of criticism against their moves and behaviour, which essentially would deny access to studies to 7,000 students until their demands are met. The latest version of student demands that if the dean is sent into retirement as he will be 71 years old next year then the students will not seek the dismissal of the University rector. So, these students and their supporters will engage in discrimination against a 71-year-old, force him into retirement because he made some bad decisions in his work according to the students – and still call Glasnovic extremist.

And these students and their supporters have the gall to call Glasnovic extremist. Rarely has anyone seen such brutal degradation and derogation of one person’s employment rights and fair treatment as we see here against dean Previsic.

If that’s not behaviour reminiscent of communist Yugoslavia, nothing is. Glasnovic speaks out what most people know and feel – Croatia needs to rid itself of every little bit of communist Yugoslavia once and for all – by any means necessary!

Student plenum outside Faculty building Zagreb Croatia 21 September 2016 Photo: Jurica Galoic/Pixsell

Student plenum outside Faculty building
Zagreb Croatia 21 September 2016
Photo: Jurica Galoic/Pixsell

On Saturday 24 September Zeljko Glasnovic, MP, said that there is a need to carry out an academic lustration and de-communisation and throw a light onto historic events and as to the many negative comments his words against the students’ protest attracted he said:
Structures that were here in 1990 have infiltrated Croatia. They have infiltrated and taken over the cultural space, media, education, and politics. I do not care about what someone will think of me, I will speak that for which I think is the truth. We whispered for 40-50 years, that does not need to continue.

Glasnovic attended a mass in remembrance of the 35 highly positioned officers of the Croatian Army of WWII Independent State of Croatia either sent to death or imprisoned for life in September 1945 after WWII ended by Yugoslav communist authorities from Belgrade, Serbia. Glasnovic said that it is necessary to research the past. “Inversion, lies and deceit about history continue in Croatia. History is a branch of science and not hearsay. That is an area that needs research. George Orwell said – he who controls the past, controls the future. Someone else has always been writing our history and that is why we are where we are. We carry out our internal and foreign politics without a historical context and until such time when academic lustration and de-communisation are carried out in Croatia we will not have a Croatian state.” Truer words are rarely spoken in Croatia these days. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. From Facebook: These students who do not wish to go to class and learn should be dismissed and escorted from the campus of the university. There are plenty of schools in the world which they may attend. Surely somewhere they can find one to their liking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From Facebook: Does a young adult being born into assimilated Yugoslavia no matter what its called now stand a chance to be different. now about 20-25 born during the war, not knowing any better from parents only knowing 1 system of favours and fix its and shams to get by, angry that they didn’t have it as good as their parents always whine about but forget to add we had a good time on the back end of torture, others extreme poverty and killings… they know only 1 thing, couple with all the political parties far left extreme assimilated Yugos that have set up Shop in every major campus including the private ones. They are not all privileged either, however you can be that are influenced by the friends who’s parents had it easy in communism on the tail end of torture, poverty and killings.. if i wiped out half the street i lived in of its residence through ousting them politically, economically or killing them.. i would live well too, there would be no unemployment because we would have their jobs and often would have taken over the land and assets that belonged to them. The youth instrumentalised into anarchy when they should be concentrating on their studies. The are referred to as ‘Children of Communism’ because they behave that way, being dependent on their parents and peers for handouts and pathways to get ahead. They are also referred to has children because of a mindset unable to handle criticism and offers of direction that don’t involve the Easy way because they have no tools to handle that. A child acts with aggression when he is unable to understand or know how to go about his missions peacefully and diplomatically. Having said that they better Grow Up quick smart because they are Adults, very much so and their parents, political parties or God is not going to take away their responsibilities in life or the karma of Consequence for their own actions. Consequence which mainly the not so well to do of them will have to face and will find that their friends with benefits of parents in the right places will not join them in or offer to bail them out of.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The double standard in still very socialist Croatia astounds me.
    The journalist hacks and anarchist students were quick to attack the university and General Glasnovic, yet these same useless imbeciles did not react AT ALL when for example, Zagreb university professor Mate Kapovic posted on his Facebook page: “I shit on your Bleiburg.”
    (Bleiburg being the place of profound piety where historians estimate more than half a million Croatian and non-Croatian men, women, and children were killed en masse by Tito’s communist partisans or forcibly repatriated, in May 1945, after WW2 had ended. Thousands were shot, buried alive, tortured, massacred, and killed en masse and their remains are only being discovered in mass graves today.)
    Imagine the reaction if a professor in another country said something similar about Auschwitz, the Katyn Forest, Hiroshima…or countless other places where people were slaughtered en masse?
    But a communist-sympathizer, University of Zagreb professor, is given free reign to say whatever he wishes regardless of how it offends, provokes, and insults.
    This is but one of countless examples of a double standard in a country where the judiciary, press corps, and ‘cultural elites,’ look like something from Castro’s Cuba or Kim Jong-un’s North Korea.
    Yet when decorated war veteran General Zeljko Glasnovic says, “In developed democracies, when a minority oppresses the majority, the problem is solved with police batons and tear gas,” everyone is up in arms.
    What other reaction would be appropriate to university students calling for the beheading of the university’s rector and dean, and a call for the physical assault – ‘breaking the legs’ – of school security guards?
    In other nations, when this kind of call to violence occurs the police and army are called in.
    Amazing the lengths to which the losing SDP communist party and their cronies in academia, and the NGO world, will go to, in order to destabilize and incite violence.

    Like

  4. You do realize this is the new agenda, they nouveau facist way of demanding my way or we will destroy you mentality that is plaguing the west and Europe. That this way is an instigation that has been proven time and again to be related to Soros desire to create a youth movement of chaos. Because our youth have always been the source of false ideologies. He learned his agenda well – from the imperial Hitler, and wreaks havoc wherever he unloads his hatred…
    NO bias in my opinion… sorry

    Like

    • I see terrible stuff in this particular youth, Helena and it’s terrible that anyone can give their protest credibility, but here we are and yes, Soros has long ago infiltrated Croatian layers in society – 😦

      Like

  5. Social sciences are a breeding group for communists. Just look at the leftist social justice idiots or black lives matter in the US. It’s happening around the world. It’s utterly disgusting. We are creating another generation of politically, economically and historically illiterate imbeciles who want to basically have their success handed to them on a silver platter, all courtesy of the tax payers of the country/ies they seem to hate so much.

    I agree with General Glasnovic – one way ticket to Pyongyang. Or if they really love Tito so much, just re-open Goli Otok for them, I’m sure they’ll really feel his presence there.

    Like

    • It gets too much, Kat, at it doesn’t subside, ever a new issue such groups come up with … there should be more “Glasnovics” around that’s for sure otherwise the future is bleak or it will produce counter-groups that will seek to cut the protests by these leftist nut-jobs down

      Like

      • The popularity of Donald Trump is I think, basically a reaction to the leftist nut-jobs in the US, so I think to some degree we’re already seeing counter-groups to them. But I fear that with Europe’s political landscape, when groups push too far left, then we see a far right reaction. It’s a no-win situation for people who just want liberty for all and a small government that is held accountable to the people.

        What we need are more young people who are like Glasnovic. The toll of fighting (physically and mentally) and surviving has taken its toll on too many war veterans and our older generations.

        Like

      • Yes, Kat – everyday seems like a war, tiring and frustrating. Croatia has many great young people with talent and hope they take charge in not too distant future.

        Like

  6. While excavations continue, more than 600 mass graves have been discovered in Slovenia, more than 900 in Croatia, (of these 120 may be found around the capital city of Zagreb), and unfortunately no one has even started excavations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other republics. It is estimated that more than 2,000 mass graves exist on the territory of the former Yugoslavia and these are filled with victims killed exclusively by Tito’s communist regime. Yesterday, remains of some of the victims from the Huda Jama mine were transferred in a solemn ceremony.

    The article link is here:
    http://kamenjar.com/poceo-prijenos-posmrtnih-ostataka-zrtava-iz-hude-jame-dugo-presucivanog-mjesta-jugokomunistickih-zlocina/

    TRANSLATION:
    The transfer of victims’ remains from the Huda Jama mass grave – a place where the Yugoslav Communists committed crimes that were kept silent for decades.

    On Monday, October 3, victims’ remains found in the post-war mass grave at the abandoned Barbara pit mine, near the village of Huda Jama, near Celje, Slovenia were transferred to the Dobrava cemetery in Maribor, Slovenia.

    The transfer of remains of more than 700 persons, both civilian and military victims, executed following the post-World War ll months of 1945, was approved by a Slovenian government commission and agreed upon by most political parties. However, civil organizations representing the relatives of the victims expressed opposition stating that the remains should stay in the tomb or ossuary where the victims were killed.

    It is estimated that the transfer of remains of more than 700 victims of Huda Jama will be completed by the end of October, when a memorial service commemorating the tragic events will take place at the Maribor cemetery, with Slovenian President Borut Pahorin in attendance.

    According to Pahor, the process of reconciling former enemies and reconciling with the past is a continuous one, and the dignified burial of the victims of Huda Jama could be a historic milestone.

    In two of Huda Jama’s mining trenches about 2,000 victims’ remains can still be found and have yet to be exhumed and buried.

    “On Monday, October 3, the first 796 victims were transferred from Huda Jama to Maribor. At 10:00 a.m. a Mass was celebrated by the bishop of Celje and the Catholic rite of burial laid these victims to rest. A funeral for the victims will take place on October 27, in Maribor. The funeral will be attended by Slovenian President Borut Pahor, and an invitation has been sent to Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. The removal of remains of about 2000 victims should be completed by the middle of next year,” said author, archivist, and expert on Yugoslavia’s communist crimes, Roman Leljak, on the portal narod.hr.

    This is just one location of victims of the post-World War ll mass murders by Yugoslav communists. In 2009, at Huda Jama, a Slovenian national committee found the remains of 726 victims killed without gunshot wounds, and it is believed that they were buried alive. Years later, the number of victims’ remains unearthed has numbered into the thousands, and about 10 per cent of the victims are women. It is believed that the first trench is 48 metres deep and holds around 3000 bodies.

    This is one of a number of execution sites and graves of Croatian soldiers and civilians killed in Slovenia during the months of May and June 1945.

    The haunting 3-part video (here: http://narod.hr/eu/huda-jama-mjesto-na-kojem-su-jugokomunisti-zakopali-preko-3000-zivih-zarobljenika
    shows when the corpses of more than 3,000 people buried alive were found: (Note. part 3 at 1:32 minutes. The other videos show workers breaking through metres of concrete, brick, and lime to find the remains.)

    Like

    • Truly distressing stuff arising from communist crimes, Veronika. I hope Croatian president attends the funeral in Maribor and the whole government cabinet too, send a strong message of condemnation

      Like

  7. Seriously? This is crazy!

    Like

    • It is crazy, Kev – sad too – this week the University Senate found that the Dean had done nothing wrong, that he hadn’t breached any rules or laws etc but they still said he had to go forthwith due to his age which is 71! In all decent and democratic countries this would go straight to a court for discrimination etc (there is no law saying the age one must retire from such a position etc)…We live and shake our heads in disbelief. The new Dean may be a really good person etc but that’s not the point, the point is that it seems if you protest hard enough you can achieve your goal even if your complaint are totally out of whack from reality. Terrible stuff in my books

      Liked by 1 person

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