Keepers of Communist and Serb Crimes in Croatia Suffocate Progress

Croatia is surely one of the most fertile grounds in the world for historians, political analysts, social psychologists, and those in fervent pursuits of truth to study and stand back cringing in disgust at the open and palpable tactics utilised by former communists (under the mask of antifascism) in the prostitution of transition from a totalitarian regime into a democratic one. If we adopt the position of labelling the hiding or desecrating the truth about crimes committed as a wicked act (if not criminal), then the coalition of Croatian HDZ and SDP governments in the past decade or so with the SDSS Serb minority in parliament reminds us of a joint wicked enterprise. A kind of a political joint wicked enterprise that strips the dignity off the defender of Croatia from brutal aggression. The joint wicked enterprise whose task manifests itself in the hiding, in the twisting, in the distorting of truth of countless crimes perpetrated by Yugoslav communists/Partisans against the Croatian people seeking independence in both World War II and by Serbs in the Croatian Homeland War of 1990’s as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

A normal, compassionate government would not even contemplate on forming a coalition with those who attacked its people from inside, like rebel Serbs living in Croatia at the time and their family members, joined in these crimes by Serbs from Serbia. A normal government of Croatia would know what it meant for its democracy-loving people in early 1990’s when the Serbs engaged in relentless and brutal campaigns of ethnic cleansing, expelling Croats (in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and other non-Serbs from their homes, wreaking mass murder, rape, torture and devastation.  

This type of government coalition is much about blaming the victim – freedom loving Croat in this case – and justifying or shutting a blind eye at mass crimes perpetrated by communist Yugoslavia partisans during WWII and after it, as well as multitude of those committed by communist Yugoslavia nostalgics during the 1990’s war of Serb aggression. This type of government by participating in and tolerating such distortions and belittling of the historical truth of the territories populated by communist agendas and the agenda of Greater Serbia stifle and suffocate true democracy. It is in their interests to do so, otherwise the acknowledgement of communist crimes for the depravity they represent would sink them utterly and completely into the garbage bin of history, where they belong. The pursuits of secession from communist Yugoslavia in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s aimed to achieve exactly that: dump communism and its totalitarian regime into the garbage bin of history. While these pursuits were successful militarily and with heroic gumption of Croatian independence fighters, they encountered monumental failures after the War ended. The communist mindset grew wings in its efforts to redeem the unredeemable monstrosities of Yugoslav communists and their Serb echelons. Anyone attempting to show the truth, to research the truth, to lift Croatia where it should have been decades ago after the Homeland War ended, well rid of the communist mindset and its stinking corrupt heritage, finds himself, or herself, labelled revisionist and still fighting for dignity of the good fight it fought when seceding by the will of the people from communist Yugoslavia.      

 Given that such government coalition in Croatia has also scooped under its wings the mainstream media, the truth and horror of Yugoslav communist crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Serb-perpetrated crimes, suffers deeply. It’s difficult to say how long the truth-loving people will need to keep investing their energy in disputing the communist filthy mantra that communists liberated Croatia in 1945 and showing-up Serb denials of depravities they committed against Croats during 1990’s. The strong communist mindset thriving within such government coalition in Croatia has placed often insurmountable barriers on the road of achieving full and functional democracy since the Homeland War ended completely in late 1990’s.

The month of July is as telling as any month of the year where we see examples of such despicable approaches to historical truths.

The historical village of Srb belongs to the Boricevac parish in Croatia that in Spring of 1941 saw, at the hands of communist partisans, great human and property suffering and destruction of Croats. Their houses, church, parish residence, were burned and destroyed. All the Catholic faithful of this parish, about two thousand of them, had to leave their centuries-old homes, and unfortunately, to this day, their descendants have not realised the right of return. The inhabitants of the village of Ivezici, 37 of them, failed to escape and all were murdered and thrown into a pit, near Brotnja, on Dabin peak. In 2017 their exhumation was carried out and they were buried in the Catholic cemetery in Boricevac. And yet, one will not find this historical truth in any Croatian mainstream media. What one will find there in relation to the historical village of Srb is the Serbian National Council of Croatia, supported by the government, holding a commemoration dedicated to the so-called first antifascist uprising (against the fight for independent Croatia). The fact that horrific crimes were committed by anti-fascists against local Croats during the uprising is not mentioned anywhere where the Croatian Serbs in coalition with the government have a say. The pure truth is not a pastime the so-called antifascists of Croatia have any time or will for.

A sad state of affairs in Croatia, indeed!

This day (24 July) in 1992, the village of Brisevo in the municipality of Prijedor, became a torture and hell for the Croatian people, wrote retired General and former Member of Croatian Parliament, Zeljko Glasnovic (pictured above), on his Facebook page last week, 67 Croats were brutally killed. Everyone to the last was a civilian. The Serbs beat the killed Croats to exhaustion, cut the tendons on their arms and legs with knives, cut off their flesh from their bodies, slaughtered them, stabbed them in the body, cut off their noses, ears, genitals, ripped their bellies, broke their ribs, bludgeoned them with clubs and hoes, forced mothers, wives and children to observe the brutality and abuse of men after which women and girls were raped. You will not hear about this monstrous crime in the Croatian media. Brisevo has never existed for the Croatian media! For, the people need to be kept in ignorance, in guilt and obedience of every kind. This is the testimony of one girl (Helena Komljen, from the book on Brisevo victims by Frano Pilipovic and Ivo Atlija) who survived this horrific massacre:

“I was 13 and I remember everything well. I know we couldn’t escape anywhere, we had to stay at home and wait for our fate. As a child, I didn’t understand it all, although I used to hear Mum and Dad talk so I was scared I was also afraid that the infantry would destroy and kill us all, and I had no idea what infantry was. I thought about how we could hide and run away somewhere, although all that when I think about it now was impossible. So, the days passed in fear that some grenade may hit us, because they also shelled us sometimes as well. Then came the worst day of my life, July 24, 1992, when I was left without everything by Serbian soldiers. No family, no friends, no childhood. Only my little brother was left with me. I don’t know what it would be like if he wasn’t with me afterwards. It was morning and we all got up, Nedo Mlinar passed by our house and told us that we had to hang a white sheet on the house and that no one would touch those houses. It was then that all of us with white sheets perished. Everything was the other way around.

Around 12 o’clock, exactly what we were all afraid of – happened; the infantry entered the village. We were in the house when they threw a Zolja rocket on the roof, I was in the bathroom, I could only feel the pieces of the ceiling falling on me and the dust and hissing in my ears. We all ran outside in panic to hide in our grandparents’ basement because we didn’t have a basement in our house. My brother managed to run to my grandparents, my mum and dad managed to hide under our house, and I stayed in the middle, neither here nor there. They started firing at me in bursts, I saw bullets near my feet crashing into the ground and raising dust, cutting down plum branches and then suddenly, I fell. As I fell bullets flew over me. God was with me and saved me, that’s what I felt then. Dad thought I was hit, he called me from the side and when he saw me looking at him, he told me to get up abruptly and run to them as fast as I could. That’s what I did, and they didn’t shoot then. Then they called from above from the hill that we should all come to them otherwise they would come and kill us all, even the children they emphasised. Then my dad said, there’s no life here anymore. And of course, to save ourselves since we couldn’t escape anywhere, we went to them.

My dad immediately recognised a man who went to school with him, told him you could have killed my daughter. The same man and a few others took my dad, my grandpa and my uncle somewhere. My grandmother, mum, brother and I stayed there with the others. There were about 20 of them on that road. Grandma told them she would bring them food and water and they told her she was talking too much and that she wanted to poison them. Then one completely young man, maybe 16 years old, came to me and played with a knife in front of my face. Grandma said nothing more, she was afraid he might kill me. I was in shock, I no longer felt or feared, I didn’t care, like in a movie, in fog and I don’t know where. We were all silent, mum was holding my brother and me and grandma were sitting next to each other on the ground. Then again one of the Serb soldiers started shooting near my ear in the direction of the forest. Mum and grandma begged him, don’t, then one came to mum and said, ‘how about we kill your son, he will kill us when he grows up.’ She told them in a sad voice, don’t please, he won’t kill anyone. At that moment, 4 or 5 of them were returning, taking my dad, grandad and uncle, bloodied pants, and shoes. When grandma saw that she just cried and told her my kids are dead. They came and showed us their legs how they were wounded, how the Ustashas wounded them and that the blood on them was from the Ustashas. I will never forget my grandmother’s and mother’s face, that fear and that sadness, and they kept silent because every word could mean death for them.

Memorial to victims of Serb crimes in Brisevo

They told us to go to the weekend cottage nearby. As we were going up the one that killed my dad, grandpa and uncle said grandma stays because she talked a lot. We went on and entered the cottage. After 5 minutes two shots were heard. At that moment, I felt that my grandmother was dead. Mum looked at me and that look of hers full of fear confirmed once again that grandma was dead. She was holding my brother in front of her, and I was about 2 meters away from her. They told my brother to come to me and my brother came to me. Then, a Serbian soldier slapped my mother across the face and told her that she was a whore and that she was giving birth to Ustashas. Then, I noticed right across from me one person I knew, it was M.I., and I was hoping he could help us. I begged him with my eyes to do something or say something, but he just kept quiet. Even in his eyes there was fear. He later told me that he tried to tell a soldier, but he told him to keep quiet, otherwise he would kill him if he tried to save someone. Then they told my brother and me that we had to get out of the cottage because a soldier was waiting for us on the main road to take us to the command. We went out and I thought it was our turn now. The one who said that to us came out with us, drew his gun, and told us to run. We did that, we ran lightly, waiting for the bullet to pierce our backs, but it didn’t fire. Good luck again and God’s help. As we moved running like that, we passed our grandmother lying dead on her back, her arms folded beside her head as if praying to God. Blood was still dripping from her forehead, her eyes closed as if asleep. My grandmother, whom I loved the most in the world and without whom I could not sleep a single night, now I look at her dead in that worst way. We passed by that too and down the road a man was waiting for us. He told us sadly, oh dear children this is a war, and I will take you to safety to the command. I don’t know who that man was, I never saw him again. We went that way and then he left us with Dule in the command. So, it was a command for them.

They kept us in the attic for a few days to survive somehow, gave us food and water. There were, I don’t know anymore, exactly, maybe about 15 people. I just cried and cried day and night. In order for a group of Serb soldiers to pass, they would enter the house near Dule, and they wanted to inspect the whole house in case anyone hid. As for my mother, she was left alone in the cottage, she was taken back with 4 soldiers to the house, they raped her, bit her, tore pieces of flesh from her chest and then took her out from under the house and shot her in the head. Everyone heard her cries and moans. A few days later, my mum was buried by her brother himself and he confirmed it all. Later, my brother and I were in Ljubija with Ned Dimac and Nada and their children. They helped us a lot, they fed us and took care of us for 2 months, for sure. After that, my brother and I went to Croatia by bus. It was very difficult, years of fear and bad dreams, a big black hole in my heart and a broken childhood.”

Ina Vukic

Antifascist Struggle Day Equals Communist Mass Murders and Purges In Croatia

Top right: portrayal of Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia by renowned Australia-based artist Charles Billich (Top Centre Andrej Plenkovic PM, Centre middle Zoran Milanovic, President of Croatia, Left communist monument in Brezovica, bottom left and right two out of 1700 mass graves of Croatian victims of communist crimes in so far discovered/ Huda Pit and Butina Pit)

On 22 June Croatian government and those that call themselves antifascists spent that unfortunate public holiday celebrating-come-commemorating the so-called Antifascist Struggle Day at Brezovica forest (near the city of Sisak) where former communists now antifascists say the First Partisan resistance movement unit was formed 80 years ago. That’s the resistance movement against Croatian fight for independence even though they will try to convince you that their fight and resistance were against German and Italian occupation of Croatia during World War Two. This detail is crucial in the ongoing political crisis in Croatia because the former communists/Partisans keep telling everyone that they liberated Croatia in May 1945 but what really occurred is that they fought for, stood for, and managed to keep Croatia within Yugoslavia, which, of course, a great majority of Croatian people did not want!

So, we can safely say that this Brezovica related event in history marks the start of communist seizure of power through resistance to independence of Croatia from Yugoslavia, which led to the establishment of the oppressive communist regime in Yugoslavia in 1945.   

The Brezovica event on 22 June 2021, sponsored and attended by the cream of Croatia’s government led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic as well as Croatia’s President Zoran Milanovic, is an occasion when Croatian people, in essence, should remember the tsunami of oppression, tyranny, political persecution, mass murder and purges that the communist regime unleashed after World War Two ended. The majority of Croatian people remember those painful and dark misfortunes on that day, but they do not attend Brezovica on 22 June.  Those that do attend it shamelessly glorify the communist ideology, which murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people and after which mass murders its followers, in order to gloss over their mass crimes, started calling their communist ideology – an antifascist one!

The enormous scale of communist crimes and atrocities in Croatia (in former Yugoslavia) has been documented by historians and others especially after 1991, when Croatia set itself on a path of independence from communist Yugoslavia. Over 1,700 mass graves of victims of communist crimes have been unearthed, 1000 of those in Croatia alone. New mass graves keep showing-up all the time, evidencing the horrendous depravity and brutality with which those “antifascists” murdered innocent people as well as those who fought for an independent Croatia, for a liberated from Yugoslavia Croatia.  

One would think that after its victories in the 1990’s Homeland War, after defending itself from the brutal Serb and Yugoslav aggression, after thousands of lost lives for independence, after immeasurable destruction, losses and ethnic cleansing of Croats from their homes, the lesson from the horrendous history of communist crimes against Croats in former Yugoslavia would be learned. This horrendous history was, after all, a part of the reason why on 25 June 1991, after the May referendum at which 94% of Croatian citizens voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia, the Croatian Parliament voted to commence proceedings of secession from Yugoslavia and its other republics. The injustices of communism were not limited to mass murder alone as those patriots who wanted an independent Croatia who were fortunate enough to survive were subjected to severe oppression, including violations of freedom by political imprisonment, loss of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, loss of property rights, and loss of right to work…

A cruel irony seems to be playing out in Croatia: It defended itself from the communist onslaught in 1990’s, it was victorious – only to be hunted down by the same enemy of the people and democracy, the communist mindset, incessantly with increasing force on Croatia’s own terrain!

Last year (2020) in Brezovica on 22 June, Croatia’s Prime Minister said that “the victory over fascism was a prerequisite for building a democratic Europe.” Which is undisputable. But Plenkovic omitted to say that communists were not part of that democratic Europe. Indeed, communist Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1991 was far from democracy and freedom.

This year (2021) in Bezovica on 22 June, Croatia’s Prime Minister talked about the terrible communist crimes after World War Two against Croats (who fought for and wanted freedom and independence of Croatia) but still, straight-faced, celebrates that post-war communist regime (he and those like him call antifascism for some decades now) and Partisans and their symbols and insignia! He too has the gall to claim that communists/antifascists fought in WWII for Croatia’s independence.

They did not!

This year Plenkovic paid a lip service to communist (antifascist) crimes committed post WWII against Croats who fought for true independence of Croatia during WWII.

“Also, regardless of the mentioned merits of Croatian partisans for the establishment of the Federal State of Croatia – which prevented the unitarian organization of Yugoslavia in which Croatia would not have its own borders – it is time to look at these turbulent times in all their complexity.

I am thinking primarily of the post-war crimes of the Yugoslav Army after the extradition near Bleiburg, i.e. the mass executions of disarmed soldiers and civilians along the Way of the Cross, especially in Slovenia and Croatia, which is still traumatic for many families.” said Plenkovic on 22 June 2021 in Brezovica.

Just as the crimes of the Ustashas and Jasenovac cannot be justified by anything, nothing can justify the mass execution of defeated forces and often innocent people, which not only cast a shadow over the anti-fascist movement but also deepened the pernicious divisions in post-war Croatia. Post-war purges of political dissidents such as the persecution of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, although he was one of the bravest pastors of the Catholic Church in Europe, who in his sermons publicly opposed the persecution of Serbs and Jews and saved many from death. Here, in the end, I am thinking of the establishment of the totalitarian regime of Yugoslavia that betrayed the ideals of many Croatian anti-fascists, which unfortunately happened again after the breaking of the Croatian Spring (1971),” Plenkovic continued.  

And so we must ask: Why does the Prime Minister of Croatia and his government continue celebrating the communist regime whose ideology was the turning wheel of more crimes and murders than WWII Ustashi regime ever saw!? Why does he say that the communist regime with its crimes betrayed the ideals of many anti-fascists and fails to do the same for those who fought for Croatian independence during WWII? Why does he stand behind those who want the greeting “Za dom Spremni” (For Home Ready) banned in Croatia and does not stand behind those who want the Red Five-pointed Star and Partisan/Communist Yugoslavia greetings banned!?

The answer to the above questions is obvious through his actions and the actions of his government as well as the actions of the country’s president and they, at every corner, defend the communist (their antifascist) ideology instead of coming to terms with its darkness just like the 94% of voters did way back in 1991. This is not likely to happen though, they are not likely to accept the darkness of the ideology they and their families have stood by and participated in and benefitted from for decades, and living standards and democratic processes in Croatia will, hence, keep deteriorating.

 Hence, they should be thrown out at the next elections! For that to occur, to throw the bastards out at next elections, the silent majority that abstains from voting at elections (because, with the experience of the former communist Yugoslavia power machine, they think they cannot change anything) must turn up at polling stations. The alternative, i.e. street unrests while they can eventually reap results in essence – would just not be pretty.

Unfortunately, with the mainstream media being so biased against the government’s opposition (patriotic parties, right-wing parties) effective opposition parties are unable to pursue what they need and must do: to be able to put out their message and mobilise voters. Croatia continues to experience the same issues that it did under former communist come socialist Yugoslavia – opposition to government cannot function as it should because it is not allowed to spread its message on state-owned media or in the corrupt mainstream media. Suppression of the voice of reason, truth and justice continues in Croatia. It is no accident that virtually every communist regime suppressed opposition parties soon after coming to power and that is exactly what has been happening in Croatia. It is fortunate, though, that we live in the so-called digital era and communications, including media, are not limited to what governments own or bribe. But we do live in an era where new ways of outsmarting and outperforming the mainstream media owned or controlled by the government is possible. Great resources for that are needed, of course.

The better we learn the painful and horrendous lessons of the history of post-World War Two communism (in Croatia and in terms of former communism in Yugoslavia now dubbed antifascism), the more likely it is that we can avoid any repetition of its horrors in 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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