Croatia And Psychological Importance of History And Its Facts

 

Psychological importance of history and truth
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National identity is the pillar of individual affiliation with a state or nation. It is the catalyst that drives people to do their best for the sake of the homeland, including sacrificing their lives in support of a country and protecting its achievements. In this strong affiliation lies, absolutely, the success of Croatian people’s magnificent victory over the brutal and genocidal Serb-led aggressor in the 1990’s.

It is without doubt that national identity plays a vital role in guaranteeing progress, prosperity, security and stability of any country. It is a homeland that, in its truest sense, safeguards human dignity, ensures happiness and a decent livelihood for its citizens, who, wherever they go, have pride in belonging to that homeland, which, in turn, is proud of its people. Globalisation has contributed to changes in both the notion and nature of national identity across the world. With technology and communication advances and freedom of movement, with globalisation came the so-called global society but this new global society is no alternative to national identity.  It bears no hallmarks of individual sacrifice for greater good, it bears no sense of belonging, which is one of the basic needs human beings have in life.

But, in Croatia, things have gone terribly wrong especially since the minority governments started forming governments with Croatian Serb minority leaders who did not (during the 1990’s Croatian War of Independence) and still do not see Croatia as their homeland but rather see Serbia as their homeland. Hence, even the age-old Croatian greeting and salute “For Homeland Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) has been the target of vicious attacks, constant bombardments and barrages of humiliation and bullying aimed at Croatian people who hold their homeland dear; these bombardments come and came through historical lies devised by no other than the Serb-led communists of Former communist Yugoslavia.

At this time in particular, when the Croatian government has evidently dropped the superior importance of Croatian homeland for Croatian national identity and callously works hand-in-hand with the Serb minority leaders in Croatia to run to the ground the very positive and elating emotion in loving the homeland that had preserved and saved from perish the Croatian nation through centuries and particularly the 20th century, it is good to remind ourselves of the importance of knowing our true history.

Serbia has not given up its sights on access to the sea – the Adriatic Sea! Since 1918, when it managed to create a Kingdom that would include Croatian territory even though the Croatian Parliament never wanted nor ratified that it be joined to Serbia in the kingdom, through WWII and after it, when it held wielding power within the Yugoslav Army and ruling communist party and in 1990’s when it brutally attacked Croatia because Croats wanted out of Yugoslavia – Serbia has demonstrated over and over again that it would do anything and everything to have access to the Adriatic and retain command over the fate of Croats in Croatia (and in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

As human beings progress through life building social attachments in order to fulfil their basic needs developmental theories such as those of Jean Piaget suggest that children undergo a socialisation process that moves from the egocentric to the sociocentric. From the perspective of a nation the group satisfies and fulfils sociocultural, economic, and political needs, giving individuals a sense of security, a feeling of belonging, and, of course, prestige. We find that Psychology’s leading theorists (e.g. Abraham Maslow, B,F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud …) agree that the need to belong is a fundamental human motivation; national attachment can fulfil that need and help individuals construct their identity. Henri Tajfel’s social identity theory suggests that a person’s identity is based in part on his or her group (nation), so a group’s status and importance affect the individual’s own. In other words, you want to view your nation as being superior to others to increase your own self-esteem, creating “in-group favouritism” that drives enthusiasm for life and work (example: the classic “U! S! A!” chant; for Croatia “Za Dom Spremni” [For Homeland Ready]).

It would be, therefore, justified to say that we all as human beings have an existential interest in history. Compare a nation which has no interest in its own past with one which has a very pronounced interest in its history and the conclusion usually reached is that the latter may be humanly progressive while the former cannot truthfully be so designated. The knowledge of the past is not only of critical value to the fundamental needs of human beings but also to dealing with the modern problems human beings encounter, for if history does not repeat itself, there are undoubtedly some very striking analogies. If experience is the best teacher for an individual, the same may be said to apply for a nation, which is only an aggregate of individuals. Whether in classrooms or within family unit or on the streets education and knowledge we gather on the history of our and other nations impact significantly on personality and character development of each individual, and, therefore, the nation. If that knowledge is healthy, if it is commensurate with the sense of justice, which all human beings possess albeit in myriad ways or nuances, then a sense of pride is that harmony that defines a progressive nation that satisfies the basic needs of a just and good life each individual within it has.

The English historian Edward Augustus Freeman defined history as “Politics of the past” and Sir John Seeley extended the concept into saying that “History is past politics; and politics present history.” In the case of May 1945 Bleiburg massacres, as well as massacres and murders of multitudes of Croatian people who fought for or were associated with the efforts for an Independent State of Croatia by Yugoslavia’s communists after World War Two, the fact that often vocalised reasons for these mass murders and massacres remain to this day uncondemned on a national level speaks volumes into the truth behind Freeman’s and Seeley’s above mentioned phrase. By the end of the 20th century there was much talk worldwide of the decline of the nation-state: the institutions that had once defined politics appeared to have been bypassed and undermined by ‘globalisation’ on the one hand and consumerist, empowered individuals on the other. It is in this that I argue there is, in this period of the 21st century, significant potential for the “people” to be active in the making of their nation’s history.

We have already experienced the use of the word “revisionism” in a negative, reprimandable, sense when any scientific researcher attempts to look into the history with view to either confirm existing historical records or to disprove them – to set the record right as the popular phrase would say. For the case of a great percentage of Croatian people (who either fought for or yearned for an independent Croatia as the most important parameter defining lasting happiness of Croatian people) revision or research into the history is not only paramount for the Croatian human spiritual and existential importance of truth and facts but also for refusal to live a lie. Limiting history to the 20th century in this article, Croatian people thriving on pride arising from being seen as Croatian nation have suffered greatly, whether by being unwillingly pushed into a union of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia or whether subsequently being persecuted and oppressed by Yugoslavia’s communist regime. As the European Parliament has declared (September 2019) that the Communist regime was criminal regime (as well as Nazism) it is absolutely necessary and essential to research the history of Croatian suffering because it is a fact that hundreds of mass graves of communist crimes victims, hidden and denied by the communists during Yugoslavia era, have been discovered since 1991, i.e. since Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia.

Revision and research of history is vital for and meaningful particularly to a nation that has spent the 20th century being denied historical truth and fact. World War Two Jasenovac and Bleiburg massacres have divided the Croatian nation during that century and continue to divide it in the 21st largely because the presented truth and available facts are not something people can safely rely on in formulating or planning for a better future. Put in terms of psychological factors of individuals making up the nation the sense of belonging to a nation is dichotomous; the sense of belonging under one umbrella – Croatian nation – is difficult to develop a sense of belonging when one part of that nation does not see the other as one of their own, and vice versa. This dichotomy within the same nation of people can easily be attributed to the fact that much of the official history of 20th century Croatia has been written with political pen and fabrications and lies, and as such taught at schools and in life. Mixed with home or non-mainstream teachings (teachings by family members of a child, of an offspring or by activists in society) that either differ from, or are same as the claimed official version of the history are a consideration towards a national harmony in belonging for the Croatian nation, indeed, for all former communist countries undergoing transition towards actual truth, whether historical or current.

Challenging the historical events and accounts by Yugoslav/Croatian communists isn’t just an academic issue but has profound implications for the way a Croatian person understands his/her own nationhood. The decades of commemorations of mass murders of Croatian people by Yugoslav communists, the decades of discovering new mass graves of communist crime victims – a thousand of these so far and only a few days ago another one was discovered, the decades of commemorations of thousands fallen at the hands of Serb aggression for the Croatian homeland are our courage and strength to pursue the truth of history and reject the deceit in it injected by the Greater Serbia politics and die hard communists of Yugoslavia/Croatia. Ina Vukic

Interview With Covid-19 Survivor Marko Franovic

 

Marko Franovic, July 2020
Photo: BokaCroPress

Interview conducted by Ina Vukic

Croatian born Marko Franovic, a most successful businessman and a generous benefactor and philanthropist particularly for causes directly relating to the achievement of Croatia’s independence and promotion of its truths. Living in Australia (Sydney) for decades he has never abandoned the good fight for Croatia and indeed, with his intense passion served as one of its freedom wheels.  Fleeing communist Yugoslavia in 1960, after some months in refugee camps in Northern Italy he ended up in Australia’s Bonegilla Migrant Centre and then in Sydney and was later joined by his two brothers (Bozo and Ivo), who also fled communist Yugoslavia. Approaching his 80th birthday (which will be celebrated in 2021) he contracted COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and survived. The path to his full recovery was harsh, demanding and still continues but, seeing him four months after the infection one is in awe and filled with tender hope amidst the darkness seen around COVID-19 on a daily basis. Today we read of more than 17.4 million cases and more than 670,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

COVID-19 cases July 2020
Photo: Screenshot John Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center

So what is it really like to have been infected with COVID-19 Coronavirus and come out the other side recovered and pursuing life to as fullest as possible? Here is what Mr Franovic had to say in my interview with him.

In March of this year you were infected with COVID-19 Coronavirus. Can you tell us what happened?

I was invited to a dinner in Sydney with about 100 people from all over Australia and the possibility exists that I was infected with the virus there; the place was crowded. Before that day I hadn’t been anywhere where there were large crowds or lots of people in one place for an assembly of sorts.

When did you first feel that you may be ill from COVID-19? That is, what did you feel, what symptoms?

A couple of days after that dinner I began to feel some kind of weakness, I simply did not have control over myself, I wasn’t capable of driving a car. I went to the hospital for COVID-19 testing.

Did you feel like fighting the virus before you ended up in hospital? Did you try and resist the symptoms of the illness?

To tell you the truth, I did not believe at the time in such symptoms of the virus. I was sceptical about a virus causing so many consequences. I did not want to believe that I was infected. Given that the medical findings upon X-ray screenings of my heart were all good I went home from the hospital, thinking everything was fine with me.

After how long and with what symptoms did you end up in hospital, again?

After I arrived home my condition began deteriorating. General weakness, I could not getu up from the bed, my breathing was laboured and difficult and I felt a constant pressure against my lungs and, hence, ended up in hospital again.

What happened in hospital, how did it all go and what was undertaken to get you back to health?

On the fifth day my health condition began deteriorating rapidly. When I was started on 9l of Oxygen they transferred me into the intensive care unit. After that they put me onto a respirator and I was in an induced coma for 25 days and on dialysis for 30 days. My kidneys were failing, pneumonia developed, my liver was infected, my gall bladder presented with problems (I will need surgery), I suffer from diabetes, and with all that I contracted blood infection – sepsis.

It must have been very difficult to discover how much your illness was life-threatening. How did you carry yourself with such a realisation? What was the most difficult part of your healing?

As I was in an induced coma, I was not aware of anything, which perhaps is a good thing. When I woke up from the coma I initially did not know where I was, I don’t remember anything. The first thing I asked was whether one of my company’s jobs had been completed. Lying in bed on my back for two months I could not turn to the side (I usually sleep on the side), it was very difficult for me. I lost 11 kilograms of my body weight while I was in hospital.

What was the most important thing for you during your treatment?

Given that I was not conscious during the time of my „sleep“ whatever they did was fruitful, brought about good results.

How would you comment on the health services that were provided to you?

I was treated in Sutherland Hospital. I have no words that would adequately describe the care that I experienced there. Words fail me when I try to describe the care I recevided from medical staff there. In caring for the sick these people risk their own lives and the lives of their families every day. I think the public doesn’t respect them enough. I can say that I am alive now because of their efforts.

I was treated with the experimental drug Hydroxychloroquine and an another medication in the combination. Did this help me? I do not know. When I woke up I was told that I must have a strong wish for life because, they said, I fought and that it was much due to that will for life that I survived. The doctors consider my recovery a miracle.

I believe you had heard while in hospital, while you were so weak due to COVID-19 infection that thousands of people across the world were praying for your recovery. How did those prayers affect you, how much did they mean to you?

Being in a coma I was not aware that people were praying for me. There are no words with which I can express my gratitude for the prayers for my recovery. I was amazed, words failed me when I was told of this. Sometimes I feel as if I’m still confused because I feel as if I need to make up for the lost time through the long „sleep“. So much has changed from March of this year, the whole world is different. I don’t know whether you can place yourself in a situation where you wake up and you realise that a whole month has passed by through which unbelievable events had occurred throughout the world.  It’s like falling from planet Mars, and now I constantly look at what had occurred and try to stay up to date with things.

What did you feel when the hospital doctors told you you could go home?

What do you think I felt? I could not walk properly, I was emotionally shaken by everything that had happened. I have a family, I worried about them, I worried about work, I did not not know how long my full recovery will last after the hospitalisation.

How is you full recovery coming along?

It’s unbelievable that my lungs have recovered so well and that my kidneys no longer pose a problem. I still have problems with walking but with ongoing exercising it’s getting better by the day. A week after I came out of hospital I went to work. I now work full time, my brain functions well and full recovery will take a bit longer. As I’m in advanced years of my life some things will take a bit longer to recover, but it’s getting better. I see progress every day.

When you now look at the dangerous state your health was in due to Coronavirus and when you look at the path of your recovery do you think that you have been given a second chance at life?

I am grateful for having been given a second chance. Many younger people have not been as fortunate. Many families are wrapped up in mourning black. I respect life more now.

Marko Franovic in his office July 2020
Photo: BokaCroPress

Are you planning on staying active with work? Has anything changed with that due to Coronavirus infection and its consequences for you?

Well, as I said above I am back at work full swing. Walking gets slower and more tiresome but I’m building up my energy; I tend to my other medical issues with the intent of staying as strong as possible. I was never the one to give up on working, or contributing with work in my companies’ success.  As long as my health and my fighting spirit allow me – I will work.

Do you have any message to pass on regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Yes I have. As it has been told us, we should adhere to the instructions given to us about COVID-19. Hand washing, social distancing, wearing a mask; all that has its own reasons and it is up to us to comply with what is asked of us. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions have been infected. I don’t even want to talk about the economic crisis that has emerged but I do want to say that we are all in it and that we need to help each other to stay healthy, to look after our elderly, not to be arrogant and think that the virus will not touch us. You never know when and how it can strike at us. From my personal experience I can say to your readers: look after yourselves and, once again, thank you for all the prayers for my recovery, which evidently have been answered and granted.

Australian Croatian Voters Have Lustrated From Their Lives Croatian Communists and Former Communists!

Candidates for Croatian General Elections
4th and 5th July 2020 on “Independent List Zeljko Glasnovic
From left front row! Marko Juric, Zeljko Glasnovic, Ina Vukic, Mate Knezovic Back row from left: Milena Matic, Tomislav Sunic, Marina Sunić-Zakman, Elizabeta Mađarevi, Srecko Telar Candidates not on photo: Marko Perkovic, Martina Ćurić, Franjo Miroslav Perkovic,
Marina Sabljic, Kresimir Tabak,

 

Only about 18 months ago I wrote that lustration in Croatia starts in Australia. Yesterday’s General Elections for Croatian Parliament results have proved that is the case.

Knowing in advance that candidates running for Croatian Parliament from the diaspora have no chance of getting in due to discrimination built into the Electoral law I am pleased to say that an overwhelming victory by our Independent list Zeljko Glasnovic in every polling booth in Australia where I live was achieved, with the highest percentage of votes being in Sydney (states of NSW and Queensland) 77% and Melbourne (States of Victoria and South Australia) 63% Canberra 51%…

The sadly realistic point about running as a candidate at elections for the Croatian Parliament from the Croatian diaspora has never been about possibility of winning because winning, due to brutal discrimination within the Electoral legislation, which makes winning a parliamentary seat an impossible outcome! The point about running as a candidate at elections for the Croatian Parliament from the Croatian diaspora is about fighting for justice and fighting against discrimination and collecting evidence of that abominable discrimination against people (the Diaspora) who were crucial in the fight for independence from communist Yugoslavia. Croatian HDZ and SDP governments since year 2000 have ensured that they place the Croatian diaspora within the same Electorate (XI) as Bosnia and Herzegovina and that they reduce the number of seats from 12 to 3! Furthermore, more than 90% of Croatian eligible voters in the diaspora physically cannot reach a polling booth due to distance and prohibitive personal costs for travel to the booth. Bosnia and Herzegovina has thousands upon thousands more voters who are able to access polling places on election day than the Diaspora. In the Diaspora in 2010 the Croatian government has done away with accessible voting booths that used to exist within Croatian clubs etc in the diaspora and limited the polling booths to Croatian Consulates and Embassies!

Talk about passive aggression against own people! This is a painful example!

This is purposeful discrimination against citizens by a government and it cannot be ignored nor unattended. This is a purposeful action of former communists and their followers who want corruption, nepotism and citizen-unfriendly laws to continue, to thrive just as they did in former communist Yugoslavia. I have felt it on my own back as a candidate from Australia but Australian Croats have done me proud, have done retired General Zeljko Glasnovic proud. Overwhelming majority of voters in Australia – true fighters for democracy and freedom and lasting well-being of all Croats. Even if official Croatia has failed miserably at lustration, the General Elections’ results in Australia (and I am quite confident it will be the same for rest of the Croatian diaspora, e.g. USA, Canada, South America…) overwhelmingly demonstrate that they themselves have managed to implement lustration in their local communities. They have managed to decimate HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union and SDP/Social Democratic Party to smithereens!

This should be a glorious wake-up call for democracy-loving Croatians of today whose voices have been silenced by discrimination and lies!

My personal gratitude to all Croatians in Australia who have been able to reach a polling booth and who voted, in droves, voted for the Independent list Zeljko Glasnovic on which list I myself stood as a candidate! The fight for truth and justice continues! Ina Vukic

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