Croatia: Goodbye Violeta-Vicky, The Heroine Of Freedom

Tribute to Violeta Antolic - Vicky Original photo collation by Goran D.

Tribute to Violeta Antolic – Vicky
Original photo collation by Goran D.

 

She was barely 21 years old when she left her three-year-old son in the care of others at the bomb shelter in Vukovar, took a rifle into her hands and went shoulder to shoulder to the front-line with her male veterans, the heroes of Croatia’s Homeland War, to defend the city from Serb aggression, beastly destruction of anyone non-Serb, of their homes, infrastructure, community and religious buildings…Violeta Antolic – Vicky defended Vukovar’s Sajmiste to the last minute, until ethnically cleansed and devastated Vukovar fell into Serb occupation (November 1991), only to end up in a Serb concentration camp – as a courageous defender she was the only woman in HOS (1991 Croatian Defence Forces arm of Croatian Party of Rights made up of volunteers from Croatia and abroad) fighting the enemy on equally strong and determined love for freedom as her male veterans. She endured all the imaginable and unimaginable horrors of war; she was a heroine the kind of which one rarely sees in battlefields only to die in a fatal car crash in Zagreb, in her free Croatia, on Tuesday 29 July 2014.
The first line of defence was at Sajmiste, the place where I grew up and where I lived. When I arrived (to HOS local headquarters) I said that I did not want to be someone who is entrusted for First Aid, that I did not want to be nurse or a cook,” said Violeta in an interview two months ago for Oluja (Storm) magazine.
Here is some more of Violeta’s story of courage, suffering and determination for freedom:
When they started shooting at our home from the barracks, we had to run into our neighbour’s cellar. The army started to come out of the barracks and we were not aware of this. They also started to shoot at my son, whom I was carrying in my arms. As we broke through to Olajnica my three-year-old son screamed and cried: mama, mama. The shelter was full of men and women.

 

I felt safer but everything in me burned with rage.

 

I thought: they shot at my son – I’ll strike back.

 

In a coincidence, the boys from HOS formation were passing by. I asked if they had a gun for me, because I had no money to buy one. They gave me a Kalashnikov. Street battles ensued that night. They captured one of ours. Sajmiste echoed from his screams. I froze then, but I decided to remain at Sajmiste. We found clean clothes in houses and brought water from the well. That’s how we kept ourselves clean. A sniper fatally hit our first commander Vladimir Derek-Sokol at that spot. We did not go out for water any more. Things were getting worse and worse. When Vukovar “fell” we withdrew from the front lines.

 

The stench of death was in the air; the city had collapsed under the final defence.

 

The Serb paramilitary and local Serbs took the few people that remained to Velepromet. After that I dressed in civilian clothes and went to get my son, and with my child was taken to Velepromet. They separated us into male and female columns. They pulled out my stepfather and beat him.

 

They separated me from my son; I thought I would go mad. I pleaded with them to return him to me.

 

They laughed and giggled at me saying that they would take him to Belgrade and place him in an orphanage. Luckily a friend of mine took my son. Soon after four men came and took me away and beat me with batons, rifles, sticks and feet. My first neighbour who drove his fist into my face first hit me. He was younger than me. Predrag Marusin-Pedja hit me after the main gendarme Nenad Zigic gave him approval for that. Pedja was a dear young man before the war. I think he was an artist. If the situation were reversed I would never let a hair fall from his scalp. Miki Ikac and another enemy man were there too.

 

The four of them took turns in beating me. They beat me with batons, rifles, sticks and feet. I collapsed, lost consciousness and then they dragged me into the ‘room of death’ in which they had murdered four people on the same evening. They weren’t sure if I was at the front line as I lived in Sajmiste. A Serb woman had previously seen me in uniform near the hospital and it was probably she who revealed my identity.

 

 

A man returned with his face slashed, another was forced to eat bullets, and the hands of many were tied with barbed wire.

 

 

I remember how they ridiculed and giggled when they took a young man. He said: let me just get my tennis shoes. They replied: you won’t need them where you’re going.

 

 

Ljubce Atanasov saved me from certain death. He said I should be as silent as possible. When they started to beat me again, he yelled at them. He set up guard and did not allow anyone near again. One day a real Chetnik arrived, as from a movie, ripped from a mountain, bearded … I stood before him with my face all beaten up and swollen. He took out a knife and said to me – oh, you’re so swollen, I bet your tooth aches. Come on, open your mouth so I can pull it out and it won’t hurt any more. I put my hand to my mouth and kept saying my tooth did not hurt.

 

 

After that they transferred us to a military base in Mitrovica (Serbia, concentration camp) where we waited for a prisoner of war exchange. Luckily I was in the first exchange group and came out at the same time as dr. Vesna Bosanac. My recovery time did not last long. In May, together with the 204th Vukovar Veterans Bridage I went to Suica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When the air attack occurred I shot at the plane with anti-aircraft weapons, saying to myself that I could finally confront the plane that had shot at me when I was in Vukovar…

Violeta Antolic – Vicky earned the rank of Sergeant Major during the war.

An amazing photo-video tribute: “Violeta Antolic –Vicky: goodbye my friend”

Violeta’s tragic death in a car accident barely attracted a few lines on back pages of mainstream print media in Croatia. No doubt, the culprits for such a shameful display are those who still sit in high positions of power, pining for communist Yugoslavia, making sure Croatia’s heroes and heroines are kept away from widespread national show of pride. Never mind – God is great! For Violeta’s funeral will come in the days of celebrating 19 years since Operation Storm (5 August 1995), which freed much of Croatian territory from Serb aggression and set the path to freedom and democracy.

I will end this post with the words of 1LT Anne (Sosh) Brehm, US Army Nurse Corps/WWII:
Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom. That our resolve was just as great as the brave men who stood among us. And with victory our hearts were just as full and beat just as fast – that the tears fell just as hard for those we left behind”.

 

Screenshot from movie "The Heroes of Vukovar" -  Violeta Antolic - Vicky

Screenshot from movie “The Heroes of Vukovar” –
Violeta Antolic – Vicky

 

Rest in God’s peace, Violeta – Vicky!
Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Antifascists Vilify Veterans To The Disgrace Of The Nation

Monument to the HOS 9th Battalion Rafael Vitez Boban raised in Split, Croatia - 9 May 2014

Monument to the HOS
9th Battalion Rafael Vitez Boban
raised in Split, Croatia – 9 May 2014

On 9 May of this year the mayor of the city of Split, Ivo Baldasar (a Social Democrat) presided over the unveiling of the monument to the 9th HOS Battalion Rafael Vitez Boban. Croatia’s communist lot, who boldly call themselves antifascists even though no antifascist organisation in the world protect from condemnation and processing of WWII and post-WWII communist crimes like they do, formed a so-called “Antifascist league”. These two events in Croatia on the same day did not occur by accident.

No Siree!

The communism lovers from various NGO’s are all about calling and labelling members of Croatian defence forces from the 1990’s Homeland War as fascists, maliciously and without any truth, except for communist political agenda, linking them to WWII Independent State of Croatia Ustashe! Some have even gone so far as to say that the monument in Split for a 1990’s Battalion carrying the name of WWII Ustashi Rafael Vitez Boban who formed the WWII Black Legion alongside Jure Francetic is designed to equate WWII fascists (Ustashe) and WWII communists/antifascists and this to them is not acceptable! The WWII Black Legion consisted mainly of Croatian and Muslim refugees from eastern Bosnia where large massacres and atrocities were committed against the population by Serb Chetniks and Yugoslav/communist Partisans. Communists or antifascists of Croatia still sweep under the carpet the communist crimes committed against innocent Croats, the scale of which far surpasses the crimes committed by the so-called WWII Ustashe regime.

There are it seems no limits to where Croatia’s antifascists will venture in order to protect their predecessors from being prosecuted and condemned for communist crimes. While many rejected to take part in creating the independent and democratic Croatia in the 1990’s – as they wanted communist Yugoslavia – they now enjoy and abuse the independence, democracy and freedom which they use to label Croatian veterans and indeed anyone who loves an independent Croatia – a fascist!
On 25 June of this year the televised program “Calender” by editor Vladimir Brnardic sparked Croatia’s antifascists into a new frenzy in which they labelled Homeland veterans as fascists!

Above Video: Croatian TV Kalendar program 25 June 2014, editor Vladimir Brnardic – transcript translated into English:
Upon the embarkation of the Greater Serbia aggression against Croatia, Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) were founded 25 June 1991 as a military wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP). HSP leader Dobroslav Paraga became its commander in chief, and Ante Paradzik undertook the duty of headquarters chief. Volunteering was exclusively the only criteria to enlist into HOS. Regardless of the label of radicalism that followed them at all times political party membership and nationality were not important. On the contrary, members of other nationalities and émigré Croats and a large number of foreign volunteers fought with HOS. Conscious of the fact that war was inevitable HOS leaders were preparing for the defence much before the eruption of the conflict.

 

In collaboration with the Slovenian police one of the first military training camps was organised in Zumberak (area between Croatia and Slovenia). From the very beginning members of HOS were active on all crisis battlefields. They were especially prominent in the defence of Vukovar, but also of all Slavonia, Dubrovnik, Banovina (central Croatia) and later in Livno and Bosnian Posavina then Mostar and other parts of Herzegovina.

 

The murder of HOS chief Ante Paradzik, in September 1991, sharpened the already high tensions between leaders of HSP and leaders of HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union), the party in government. In an atmosphere of distrust pressure mounted to abolish HOS, whose members either joined units of the Croatian Army or went to voluntarily defend Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

Despite the allegations of extremism it’s essential to emphasise that they fought honourably and not a single one of the several thousand members of HOS has been convicted of war crimes.

 

Although many HOS members were wounded and became profound war invalids and laid their lives for Croatian freedom their status due to political disagreements, especially with the head of Croatian secret services Josip Manolic, has been devastating, even after the war. It was only in 1996 that HOS was officially recognised and only in 2004, in line with Croatian Homeland War Veterans’ Act, HOS members were recognised as true defenders and a part of Croatian armed forces. It’s interesting that the only formation that retained the HOS name and symbols was the 9th Battalion Rafael Vitez Boban, which is included in the 114th Brigade of the Croatian Army. Those killed from HOS formations still await their memorial symbols and only the city of Split had in 2014, with the erection of the monument to the 9th Battalion of HOS,  in a dignified manner paid its respects to the formation that had 46 of its members lay their lives for the defence of the Homeland.

Damir Markus KutinaOn 1 July 2014 Damir Markus from the town of Kutina arm of the Association of HOS Volunteers (UDHOS) published a firm statement and plea on the Dragovoljac (Volunteer) website protesting the labelling of Croatian Homeland War veterans as fascists. Indeed, he states that Croatia in the only country in the world that calls its army fascist!

He says: “If we intend entering into history as the only nation which won’t process all war criminals, regardless from which war, in the name of all of us who have defended and created this country we ask you to please ensure that we don’t become a rare state in which its own army is labelled fascist.

The last of the many media outbursts in which formations from the Homeland War, especially HOS, are equated with fascism points to a clear tendency to generally criminalise the values of the Homeland War. For the first time since Croatia’s independence HOS is openly and unambiguously called a fascist organisation, i.e. an Ustashe formation, in the announced lawsuit ‘Antifascist league’ versus the author Vladimir Brnardic, who in his TV program Calendar examines the events from the war. How is it possible that the so-called ‘civil associations’ like that phantom one called ‘antifascist league’, which is well funded from the state budget, openly name-call and vilify as fascists the volunteers who defended the Homeland in 1991 – 1995? In which country of the world is it at all possible for an association or an individual to call their country’s victorious army formations criminal and treat them as fascists?!!

Let alone the fact that we have repeated many times that we have no connection with World War II but that we are a formation founded during our holy Homeland war and in reality are, as are all other Croatian army formations, the answer to the Greater Serbian fascism. It’s becoming more and more evident that our clear responses cannot bring results also due to the fact that the anonymous individuals who hide behind the phantom civil associations are still conducting calls to account from WWII. That is their right.

But, they do not have the right to draw us into their dirty games and it’s scandalous that the institutions of authority permit such things. In any other country the institutions would have long ago gone about sanctioning of subjects who vilify the values of the war for freedom of the Homeland and the formations that reined in that freedom. In our country, regretfully, the situation is reverse. Not only the WWII and post-WWII criminals are not sanctioned but also the terrible crimes committed by the Greater Serbia fascist hordes during the aggression against Croatia have not been investigated. In light of this, the paradox that the Croatian army formations are called, nothing more and nothing less than fascists is possible and that historians like Vladimir Brnardic, who objectively research the Homeland war, are threatened with lawsuits for promoting fascism!?!

Of course we also are contemplating lawsuits but it’s difficult to undertake anything under the law when we do not have the protection of the state and when the ghosts from the past vilify the Homeland War without signing their name to their deeds from within phantom associations. We invite all the state institutions to protect us in this, i.e., to respect the law of the country and to not succumb to the laws of phantom pressures of ghostly associations, who still live for retributions for events that occurred 70 years ago”.

Turning the clock back to 24 February 1990, Croatia’s first president Franjo Tudjman said: “The advocates of the hegemonic-unitarian or Yugoslav state attitudes see in the goals of HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) nothing except a demand for a rehabilitation of the Ustashe NDH (WWII Independent State of Croatia). They forget, though, that NDH (The World War II Independent State Of Croatia) was not merely a ‘puppet’ creation and ‘fascist crime’ but that it was also an expression of both the political aspirations of the Croatian people for their independent state and of the perceptions of those Croatian aspirations and its geographic borders within the international factors, in this case the government of Hitler’s Germany, which tailored a ‘new European order’ on the ruins of Versailles. Accordingly, NDH was not a mere whim of the Axis forces but rather a consequence of the quite specific historical factors.”

Of course, as one would expect, the 1990’s anti-Croatian independence pro-Yugoslavia communist forces hurled around the world and in Croatia maliciously branding this speech by Tudjman as pro-fascist and “as a beginning of turning the Ustashe into good and patriotic boys”, reiterates Novi List journalist Ladislav Tomicic with a mean spirited slant.

Who benefits from labelling Croatia’s independence defenders of the1990’s as fascists? Certainly not Croatia! No one but communists or false antifascists benefit! Do Croatian authorities truly want such social rot to take hold? It would seem that the answer to the latter is yes and that yes is closely associated with sabotaging growth of democracy and freedom. Why else would authorities tolerate the situation where antifascist organisations and their individual spawns label the country’s honourable veterans as fascists?

Croatian veterans of the 1990’s had sacrificed everything to defend Croatia from Serb and communist Yugoslav People’s Army aggression and atrocities. They sacrificed their lives for democracy and freedom only to find themselves vilified and falsely accused as being fascists, as being an extension of WWII fascism! This is beyond insulting! This is a disgrace for the whole of the Croatian nation! This cannot be tolerated! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: