May 1945: Josip Broz Tito/Yugoslavia – A Mass Murderer/Croatia – A Graveyard of Slaughtered Patriots  

During the past week on 4th May one could still find quite several praises and celebrations of former communist Yugoslavia and its leader Josip Broz Tito, who died on 4th May 1980! Accolades from former communists or their children or grandchildren polluted the air Croatians who fought for freedom from communism and democracy in 1990’s breathe. At times the pollution is unbearable. And the accolades continue despite Tito’s communist regime of Yugoslavia now being confirmed as one of top ten mass murderers of its people in the 20th Century! The Yugoslav communists held the key to state archives until 1991 and of course it was only after the archives became freely available to researchers that the world learned what a murderous butcher Tito was; 1,700 mass graves or pits so far unearthed there, 1,000 of these in Croatia. The alternative to not showering the memory of Tito with accolades would be to stand before the truth and stare into the faces of many mass murderers who carried out Tito’s orders for purges of all political opponents of communism. Most who have stood by that communist regime will not switch against it now – they cannot switch against their grandfathers, fathers, mothers, uncles… who murdered for the “glory” of communism…they cannot vacate the villas and ill-gotten wealth their families thrived upon as corruption thrived in former Yugoslavia. They are the ones who praise former Yugoslavia as being a “great country to live in”, if not the greatest…

And today 8th of May, the former communists of Yugoslavia and their children, grandchildren and deluded followers will tell you that the Yugoslav Army of communists/Partisans marched in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and liberated it (from fascists)! No they did not! They made sure Croatia continued imprisoned in the Serb-led concoction of a country forcefully and deceitfully stitched together after WWI led by the Serbian Monarchy related by marriage to the English Queen Victoria royal apparatus.  

Today, 8th May 1945 the First and Second communist armies entered the city of Zagreb … “soon mass killings began, the establishment of detention camps for opponents of communism and pillaging … the Canal camp at the main train station, old Zagreb disappeared … they are still with us today. Balkan bluffers, Yugo-nationalists … just look at the content of the Parliament, and how soon have we forgotten all of it … the torment of that dragon that is still among us needs to be put to an end. God and Croats…” General Zeljko Glasnovic as a Member of the Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora said in parliament in May 2020 and these words still stand as truth.

General Zeljko Glasnvic in Croatian {arliament May 2020

Let’s be real and realistic: Yugoslavia these pro-Tito people admire, and respect was not a successful state. Tito was not a modest, democratic, and generous, popular ruler, as he is still presented today by these and some media. Tito was not a saint protector from fascism who would probably still be here if he were not there, but an ordinary communist dictator who declared himself lifelong president, whose merit we were not part of the Western, democratic world but the repressive and economically unsuccessful socialist bloc, the primitive who built an unprecedented cult of personality in the world and carried Tito’s baton (phallic symbol) as part of the ritual of ultimate collective obedience to the demigod, and man to whose recklessly luxurious life that included private islands with a safari park, dozens of castles, Rolls, Mercedes and yachts and thousands of people who took care of everything went a good portion of the country’s GDP.

Josip Broz Tito was a dictator and a mass murderer. Tito did not liberate Croatia in World War Two, he basically fought for the introduction of a communist dictatorship across what was the previously false union of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Stalin’s empire. To portray Tito in a historical context exclusively through the prism of “anti-fascism” and to pay tribute to him for Croatian independence is a mere intelligence spin that benefits only those who thieved the Croatian public goods and purged hundreds of thousands of those who did fight for independence of Croatia during World War Two.

All of those who shower the memory of Tito today always mention how grand his funeral in 1980 was! How many world leaders, presidents, kings, princes, prime ministers attended his funeral in Belgrade! They say that such attendance is and was proof of how a great person and leader Tito was! The truth is that had Tito’s communists not falsified history, had they not kept the keys to state archives, Tito’s funeral would not have been attended by world’s respected leaders but by mass murderers such as Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, King Leopold II of Belgium, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet and so on.

“Tito built hospitals, roads, railways, schooling and health care was free,” says the pro-Tito mantra even today in Croatia! During Tito’s life in Zagreb and Rijeka, however, no new hospitals were built, although the population increased. True, the people of Zagreb “voluntarily” paid two so-called self-contribution to the university hospital, but never built. A self-contribution was also taken for the highway to Split, but it was declared nationalist and never built. In Yugoslavia corruption started, one simply did not visit the Council nor the doctor without a blue envelope with cash for bribe.

When we went to the doctor in Yugoslavia, the doctor’s examination was often waited on for months, and the operation waited on for years if you did not have a relationship or gave a bribe –  but it was free.

Zagreb had only one dialysis machine that was more often broken than it worked, diabetics were dying – but it was free.

As a matter of record and interest, the last public hospital (KBC Rebro) built in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, was built by the regime of Ante Pavelic, WWII Independent State of Croatia!

During Tito’s Yugoslavia a highway was built from Zagreb to Karlovac, about 45 kilometers, the only one after the end of World War Two until Croatia’s independence in early 1990’s. Other roads were from Napoleon and Maria Theresa, full of potholes and poorly maintained, and Croatia had less railways in 1990 than in 1940.

The factories were ours; everything was ours, says the pro-Tito mantra. In truth, they served as living rooms for workers who waited for months for minimal and raw materials, to produce something that ended up in a warehouse or, at best, crammed into the Non-Aligned countries for fictitious clearing of dollars. They produced mostly pollution and losses and swallowed irretrievably hundreds of millions earned on tourism (largely in Croatia) and remittances from guest workers (diaspora), but they were “ours” whatever that meant.

They produced alumina in Obrovac, in which there was no raw material, no port or railway, with a loss that did not exceed the planned hundred million dollars a year, and coke in the most beautiful bay of the Adriatic. It has often been said that “they can’t pay me as poorly as I can work poorly.” By 1974 some 94% of workforce wages in Yugoslavia were paid from foreign debt or subsidised by successful industry such as tourism, but not from workers’ productivity. We pretended to work, they pretended to pay us.

True, most of them were not really hungry, with work on the black and a bit of leasing of rooms in the house or apartment little roommate, a family would cover themselves for their monthly living expenses, smuggling stuff from Trieste, Italy, even better. The “middle class” in the 1970s lived quite tolerably from the grey economy, like “Del Boy Trotter”, and in social housing like his. For some, such flats, such as those given by the governments outside Croatia to social or welfare cases for free, are still today a notion of the middle class that has allegedly destroyed after the fall of Yugoslavia. “Comrade Tito, you stole, but you also let us steal” says a graffiti – and you already have a strong foothold for the claim that “life was better in Yugoslavia”.

Substandard work, two or three-hour brunches and lunch breaks and mass paid sick leave while working elsewhere such as seasonal field work, counter workers, tellers, who are always on a break, stealing from firms ranging from cement bags to dollar bags, depending on location. A system in which people learned to “navigate” in one way or another – most often in another. Those who knew how to “get along”, the Byzantine-Balkan way, was not so badly off. Whoever wanted to solve everything in a regular way, through completely dysfunctional and extremely corrupt institutions of the system, would quickly fail. Private individuals, cafe owners and money launderers, foreign exchange smugglers, shopkeepers, comrades from the Communist Party Committee, thieving socialist directors, guest workers who were millionaires with money earned in Germany on building sites, and  room-letters on the Adriatic – these are the categories of the population anti-fascism was generally good to.

Socialism protected the workers?  No, it sent them to Munich to get German Marks. Socialism, to be honest, protected the unemployed and those who did not want to work.

And then everything got sold out, destroyed, says the pro-Tito, pro-Yugoslavia mantra. It did not fail because socialism failed, and with it the entire Eastern bloc, nor because there was no market for socialist products anywhere, it did not fail because of theft and corruption, but because of the hated capitalism, nationalists, those who wanted independence and democracy, and Franjo Tudjman. Petrol vouchers and queues that mark 1980’s communist Yugoslavia were quickly forgotten, smuggling fake jeans from a flea market in Trieste and going by bus to get laundry powder in Graz, electricity reductions and coffee shortages, hyperinflation and perpetual stabilisation and normalisation after which everything was even less normal – all quickly forgotten. The fact that one could not even secure the services of a plumber, or another tradesperson, without connections to someone in the SIZ/ Self-governing interest community – was quickly forgotten also.

Tito’s Yugoslavia was not organised and successful as pro-Titoists see it today. Its declared bankruptcy in 1983 meant that Yugoslavia could not service its debts. Bankruptcy was accompanied by shortages of everything imported, power cuts, petrol vouchers and a complete collapse of the economy. And still, the Tito die-hards will tell you these absolute facts are made up – not true! Humanity can truly sink to the depths of despair and depravity. Nothing confirms this as the pursuits of communists and former communists who defend blindly and stubbornly the indefensible. Ina Vukic

Croatia: Distancing From Communist Yugoslavia Still Like Having Teeth Pulled Out Without Anaesthetics

Upper left image – removed mural dedicated to victims of Serb aggression/Vukovar, with inscription “People will never forget”

If there is a living example of a miserably painful transition from communism into democracy it is Croatia. At times the moves that those in power make which degrade and offend those who fought or participated by other means in the war for Croatia’s independence during the 1990’s feels to such patriots like having one’s teeth pulled out one by one – without the anaesthetics or pain-numbers!

During the past couple of weeks, the newly elected President of the Supreme Court, Judge Radovan Dobronic, wasted no time to publicly declare that the age-old greeting for Croatian patriots “For Homeland Ready” (“Za dom spremni”) has no place anywhere, must not exist, and that people were killed under that greeting during WWII in Croatia!  Of course, he did not do the same for the communist greeting “Brotherhood and Unity”, or its red star symbol or that many more innocent people were killed under “Brotherhood and Unity” greeting during WWII and after it than under any greeting known to Croatian history!  What Dobronic said was just what the former communists and Yugoslav nostalgics wanted to hear. He omitted completely to say that in 1990’s the people that formed HOS units (Croatian Defence Forces) whose official symbol and greeting was “For Homeland Ready” are owed utter respect as they contributed significantly to today’s freedom and independence. For over a decade there have been cruel attempts to make the greeting “For Homeland Ready” illegal in Croatia in all instances of life and having a Supreme Court head judge whose one of the first public declarations that touches upon national morality undertones certainly signifies that communists and pro-Communists now have a new friend in Croatia that will continue targeting the values fought for during Croatia’s Homeland War in 1990’s.

A few days after Judge Dobronic stated that the Croatian patriotic greeting “For Homeland Ready”, on 27 October 2021, wall murals on the walls of electric power station in the capital city of Zagreb dedicated to Croatia’s Homeland War, Vukovar and Victims of Serb Aggression during that war were painted over; disappeared. Public revolt and protest, against these acts, occurred in some media, not mainstream that is government controlled, and especially in social media. Protest by members of former HOS units occurred as did from politicians from the right side of political spectrum.  

Mural in Zagreb Erased or painted over
Erased Mural in Zagreb dedicated to General Slobodan Praljak and suffering of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This depraved act of erasing the patriotic murals can also be compared to the pain of having teeth pulled out without anaesthetics. It signifies pure hatred for the glorious victory Croats had over communist Yugoslavia in 1990. These acts were done by the City of Zagreb administration (via HEP/Croatian Electricity) whose new Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic brought in a leftist administration riddled with communist Yugoslavia nostalgia. Coupled with the fact that on the state level the HDZ government is kept alive by its coalition with Serbs in Croatia who sided with the Serb aggressor against Croatia during the Homeland War there is no doubt in many minds that this act also forms an ongoing plan to keep wearing down Croatian patriotism and the values fought for during separation from communist Yugoslavia. Within a day or two Mayor Tomasevic came out saying that the painting over the murals dedicated to Vukovar, victims of aggression, war, Homeland war was a mistake that the only mural that was meant to be painted over was the one that had the late General Slobodan Praljak’s face on it (Slobodan Praljak was a General in the Croatian Defence Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s who committed suicide (29 November 2017) in the Hague courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal insisting he was innocent of war crimes charged with and convicted of.)

Of course, it was only a matter of a day or so after the murals were removed or painted over that new mural on the same walls appeared – thanks to patriotic citizens who were among those abhorred by the act of murals dedicated to Vukovar and Croatian Homeland War being removed.  

New mural dedicated to Vukovar and victims of Serb aggression in Croatia being painted again on same wall by protesting patriots

Often we hear that the sadness of attacks on Croatian patriotism will turn into defiance against current political leadership and into political assertion of values fought for during 1990’s for a free and independent Croatia. This though is proving to be a task of gigantic proportions as former communists or their offspring hold onto their family’s past during which most profited – they still reside in properties stolen from Jews or wealthy pro-Croatian citizens after WWII, they still know that nepotism and corruption is their only ticket to success in life … 

Forty-one years after the death of Josip Broz Tito. The one and only president of former communist Yugoslavia ever. All other presidents were presidents of the Presidency set-up in accordance with his wishes after his death in 1980 so that no other living person could become a lifelong president of Yugoslavia ever.  This Presidency ensured that seeds are planted after Tito’s death among people that would not tolerate, that would hate with a vengeance any expression of national pride or independence from it by any of its republics.

It has been thirty years since in 1991 Croatia severed all its ties with communist Yugoslavia, bravely forging its independence through a brutal was of Yugoslav Army and Serb aggression. The later twenty years of those thirty, i.e., from year 2000, after President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman passed away in December 1999, Croatia has proven to be a continuance of the same hunting ground that it was under communist Yugoslavia for any and every sign or display of Croatian patriotism taking hold among the public. More and more people from the communist Yugoslavia “family” breed crept into the power echelons of Croatia, not having spilled a drop of blood for her freedom, not wanting her free and independent in the first place, not having deserved to have power by merit but placed there through communist-bred corruption and nepotism.

If most offspring of former Yugoslav communists did not hold such a commitment to their families’ past, then every public debate about Tito would not still create unrest among Croats and push them into antagonistic opposing sides and conflicts as it occurs even forty years after his death. On the one hand there is an ideologically blinded and noisy group of Croats of Yugoslav orientation, who persistently claim that Tito saved the Croatian people and laid the foundations for the establishment of today’s state of Croatia, and on the other hand, there Croats who reject that and, rightfully so, claim that the 1990’s Homeland War was and is the foundations of today’s modern and independent Croatia.

The absolute truth about Josip Broz Tito and his communist Partisans is that they committed horrendous crimes and genocide against the Croatian people who fought for an independent Croatia, not Yugoslavia, not within Yugoslavia. The absolute truth is that Josip Broz Tito is today counted among top ten mass murderers of the Twentieth century as his state ordered purges ordered many hundreds of thousands of anti-communist citizens (more than 500,000). Thankfully, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, with the appearance of new facts as more than a thousand of mass graves of victims of communist crimes were unearthed, as state archives of historical records were opened, merits and positive opinions about Tito began to decline and today, more than ever, people in Croatia and the world consider him a dictator and a criminal of suspicious ethnic or national origins. But this “more than ever” is not enough to it seems to place communism far far behind those who live in a supposedly democratic Croatia.

Tito used all possible means and methods in the destruction of Croatia and the Croatian people. Unfortunately, along with the Belgrade authorities, Croatian Yugoslavs, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian national minority in Croatia helped him a great deal. The consequences of his long-term policy towards the Serbian minority and bribery of certain members of that minority, whose ancestors in the time of Ante Starcevic were considered Croats of the Orthodox faith, were well felt by the Croatian people in the 1990s in the Greater Serbia aggression.

Today’s Croatia and Croats who wish Croatia well cannot legally or morally deny civil rights to members of minorities living in Croatia, but at the same time the Croatian people rightly expect members of all national minorities to act in accordance with Croatian law, without being required and enjoying special privileges and serving foreign masters. Above all it is expected that minorities in Croatia adhere to and respect the values and significance of the Croatian Homeland War of Independence. But they do not do this, and one would be completely correct in saying that it’s because the governments have not developed the mechanisms that would police and monitor matters of that importance for the nation.

It needs to be kept in mind that with the establishment of communist Yugoslavia, Tito created the conditions for the killing and persecution of Croats and devised a system whose purpose was the biological destruction of the Croatian people. For the killing, imprisonment, and persecution of Croats in Tito’s Yugoslavia, it was enough to declare someone an enemy of the people. So too, it needs to be kept in mind that the victims of Serb aggression against Vukovar, against Croatia bother Mayor of Zagreb Tomasevic and they bother the leftist political parties, including those in power since year 2000. They do not like the fact that Croats fought for and risked their lives for Croatian patriotism and democracy while most of them hid away while the war of aggression against Croatia raged. All of them should have long ago banned the Red star symbol of communism and torn down all monuments to the criminal dicator Tito and his communist Yugoslavia regime. But they did not, they continue hounding Croatian patriots, throwing their dearest symbols into the waters of worthlessness and criminal connotation.

The removal or the painting over the patriotic murals in its capital city of Zagreb may continue to remain politically significant and encourage the right-wing patriotic parties and movements to unite into a force that may change Croatia’s political and moral future into that what it should have become after 1998 when the last occupied areas were reintegrated into Croatia. Let’s hope that the protests against this incident of trying to erase the victims of Homeland War from those city walls will not constitute a yet another short-lived protest and become just a point of street-talk for a while, until it dies out with a shrug of the patriotic shoulder. Perhaps we will see much more action that will result in a new Croatia after the next general elections; a new political landscape that cemented the Croatian resolve to defend itself from communist Yugoslavia and Greater Serbia onslaughts.

Retired General and former Member of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Glasnovic

The reactions to the erasing of the patriotic murals were many and one so well and succinctly put (that also demonstrates the political landscape in Croatia at present as related to transitioning from communism) on a Facebook profile was that by retired General and former Member of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Glasnovic on 29 October 2021 and it was as follows:

“Mausoleum of Vukašin Šoškočanin in the middle of Borovo selo – permitted, monuments to partisans all over Croatia – permitted, hundreds of pits full of Croatian bones – permitted, streets and squares named after the biggest mass murderers – permitted, five-pointed stars on buildings and flags – permitted, graffiti of the unrepentant Yugoslavia, bloody locksmiths and communism – permitted, marching through the cities to the beats of ‘White Violet’ (song about Tito) – permitted.

Murals dedicated to Vukovar, the 204th Guards Brigade, General Praljak and Dinamo – not permitted. They made criminals out of heroes and made heroes out of criminals. They made an aggressor out of a victim; they made a victim out of an aggressor. It only exists in Croslavia. To celebrate the executioners and the anniversaries of their monstrous crimes committed against their own people and to humiliate, belittle and degrade their liberators. To live in Croatia and to hate and despise everything that is Croatian. Fight for independence and freedom and sell that same freedom for a couple of silver coins. Frightening. The selective memory of the Croatian people has reached its peak. Apathy, amnesia, and indifference are just some of the characteristics of the average Croat who still sits passive in his home hiding behind his keyboard. And while he is virtually fighting for his country, with popcorn in his hands, he is waiting for the solution and the continuation of his carefree future, which he will not fight for alone. Why would he? He brought these people to power with his indifference. Good night Croatia.” Ina Vukic

Remembering the Bleiburg Massacres and Communist Yugoslavia Crimes Against Croatian Patriots

Map of Mass Graves of victims of communist Yugoslavia crimes in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina compiled in 2017 by Croatian association of historians “Dr Rudolf Horvat”, PHOTO: Screenshot 15 May 2021 https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1acZrR00vSr3kkgGXBZUsSL0Dbk&ll=43.93469114726703%2C18.12258350000001&z=7

Today, in Croatia, the communist Yugoslavia legacy of lies, deception, silence, denial of communist crimes and secrecy conspire against Croatia’s well-being and against the future for which rivers of Croatian patriotic blood was spilled during the 1990’s Homeland War. Without full disclosure of the crimes and criminals, without lustration and/or disabling former communists and their followers from power in Croatia, the political future of the country as a functional democracy remains uncertain and unlikely. Indeed, without a lustration the region within which Croatia sits remains politically unstable and widespread corruption is set to continue undermining livelihoods of the people and peace.

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This year, this month of May, marked the 76th Anniversary of the end of World War Two. At the end of World War II, despite the victory of the Allies in Europe and the official defeat of fascism, the secret genocidal killing continued as organised groups of Yugoslav communist Partisans, starting on 15th May 1945 at Bleiburg Field in Austria under the very noses of the British forces administering that part of Europe after the War, sought and pursued revenge against those who fought for and wanted an Independent Croatia. Most of the refugees reaching Bleiburg left the Croatian capital of Zagreb on 7 May 1945. A column of people approximately 70 kilometres long was reported by Radio London to be moving north to Austria from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, people scrambling to leave Yugoslavia, “overtaken by a fear of the Partisan units” (Portmann, M. [2004], Communist Retaliation and Persecution on Yugoslav Territory During and After World War II [1943-1950], pp 130-134).

Josip Broz Tito’s communist Yugoslavia killing machine started the brutal genocide there at Bleiburg and continued under the pretence of repatriation, forced repatriation to communist Yugoslavia of those who were fleeing it. This genocidal mass murder of Croatian patriots continued as the so-called death marches, the Way of the Cross, in that forced repatriation process as well as communist purges continued for several years to come. The British records indicate that up to 700,000 unarmed men, women and children were massacred by the Yugoslav Partisans, forcibly repatriated and their bodies dumped, as we now know, in over 1700 mass graves.

Croatian children were among those who fled communist Yugoslavia in May 1945 and were brutally massacred

On Bleiburg Field in southern Austria, the great deception began on 15 May 1945. According to records of the British Foreign Office Headquarters 5th Corps, 200,000 Croatian and Slovenian soldiers and military personnel, as well as 500,000 civilians headed to Bleiburg at the end of World War II seeking asylum, expecting that the British would abide by the principles of the Geneva Conventions and provide them sanctuary to protect them from Partisan reprisals. They expected deadly reprisals from the communist Yugoslavia regime because, refusing to endure the oppression and brutalities against Croatians within any Yugoslavia, they fought for an independent Croatia during WWII.  

Historical writings after WWII show that the great majority of the people the British forced back from Austria, Bleiburg, were simple peasants. They had no murders on their hands. They had not been Croatian Ustashas or Slovenian ‘Home Guards’. Their only fear was of communism and the reputation of the communists. The British forces pursued an unforgivable act by sending these refugees back to communist Yugoslavia knowing they were sending them to certain and brutal death.

Croatian civilians, children, women, unarmed soldiers fleeing communist Yugoslavia in May 1945

According to the testimony of a Partisan soldiers: the orders came from the staff of the 11th Dalmatian Brigade that the most reliable communists, both officers and soldiers were to be chosen for a confidential task… They (communists) created a special unit of them, which amounted to seventy people. Every day between 10 to 20 trains arrived at the station full of people. They didn’t receive any food or water. The overwhelming majority of them were collapsing. Most were men. A smaller proportion were women who were raped in the pit before they were shot… Two hundred boys from 14 to 16 years of age. Everyone was killed. All killed. In two pits. There were 30,000 to 40,000 killed in 8 days… The Partisans went to Lake Bled on vacation on Sundays after eight days of killing, then came back for another round. From Kočevja alone we sent over twenty freight cars of clothes. Daily we sent two to three freight cars of personal effects of the dead (Tolstoy, N. [1986], The minister and the massacres, London: Century Hutchinson Ltd., pp. 198-200). Yugoslav communists created many extermination squads that operated at local levels across Yugoslavia but the relatively greatest number of them operated within Croatia for a number of years, even within the WWII Jasenovac camp which Tito’s communists kept open until 1952 where, according to new and emerging research of historical archives and facts, extermination of anti-communist Croats occurred constantly.   

Croatian refugees fleeing communist Yugoslavia in May 1945

Killing civilians and prisoners of war after the Second World War is the greatest massacre of unarmed people of all times in that territory. Compared to Europe, the Yugoslav communist massacres after the Second World War are probably in size and ferocity second only to the Stalinist purges and the Great Famine in the Ukraine. Because of its relatively short time, the number of murdered innocent people, the way of execution and massiveness, the so-called Bleiburg Massacres (that encompass murders at Bleiburg and the years that followed) is an event that can be compared to the greatest crimes of communism and National Socialism. Communist Yugoslavia’s leader Josip Broz Tito, under whose command the State-ordered purges and massacres of Croats occurred, stands listed among the World’s top 10 mass murderers of the Twentieth century.

And yet today’s powers that be in Croatia fail to legislate a ban on communist Yugoslavia symbols, insignia and celebrations! They barely pay a lip service to the commemoration of Bleiburg massacres and the State-owned or controlled mainstream media barely give it a mention. It would be a reflection of absolute truth that this appalling situation in remembering the victims of the communist Yugoslavia totalitarian regime exists because those who committed these crimes are and were among families of many today’s persons who hold positions of power or some form of control.   

All of the crimes committed in Tito’s name from 1940 to 1980 were repeated again during the 1990’s war when Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina sought to secede from communist Yugoslavia. The message of the Serb-led Ovčara massacre at the outskirts of Vukovar, the message of ethnic cleansing of Croats from two thirds of Croatian sovereign territory, the message of thousands of rapes, tortures and murders committed by Serbs and Yugoslav forces, is identical to the message of the horrible massacres of more than 1700 mass graves and pits filled with the remains of brutally massacred Croats and Slovenes.  Communist Yugoslavia hid these crimes, and it was only in early 1990’s when Croatia became an independent state, even if it was still in the midst of brutal Serb aggression and war of defence, that historical archives opened up and research into truth began without fear of communist reprisals.

Today, in Croatia, the communist legacy of lies, deception, silence, denial of communist crimes and secrecy conspire against Croatia’s well-being and against the future for which rivers of Croatian patriotic blood was spilled during the 1990’s Homeland War. Without full disclosure of the crimes and criminals, without lustration and/or disabling former communists and their followers from power in Croatia, the political future of the country as a functional democracy remains uncertain and unlikely. Indeed, without a lustration the region within which Croatia sits remains politically unstable and widespread corruption is set to continue undermining livelihoods of the people and peace. Ina Vukic

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