Give It Up Efraim Zuroff!

Marko Perkovic Thompson
at welcoming home Croatia’s national football team
Zagreb, 16 July 2018

When Holocaust deniers hunter himself falls into the category of genocide deniers then you really get a problem of pervasive moral decay being forced onto the world. After the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that Srebrenica massacres (1995) was genocide, Efraim Zuroff, of Simon Wiesenthal Center, had said repeatedly that Srebrenica was not genocide but politically inspired mass murder of men and boys! That this genocide was not history but politics! It took two days for Efraim Zuroff, relentlessly pro-Serbia Nazi hunter, who shuts a blind eye to Serbia’s WWII Judenfrei (Jew-free) status through extermination of Jews by May 1942, to falsely accuse – once again – Croatia of fascism because of massive expression of love for Croatia that filled the streets of Zagreb on Monday 16 July 2018 when the national football team returned triumphant from Russia, FIFA World Cup 2018.

On Wednesday 18 July 2018, the Jerusalem Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued press statement condemning the participation of Croatia’s most popular singer Marko Perkovic ‘Thompson’ at the Croatian celebrations in Zagreb’s main square, Ban Jelacic Square,which gathered over 200,000 citizens, welcoming Croatia’s national football team back from FIFA World Cup competition.

According to Zuroff: Marko Perkovic has never missed an opportunity to transmit his hateful messages. It is no accident that numerous people show up at his concerts wearing Ustasha uniforms and/or symbols and give Ustasha salutes. He should not be an honoured guest anywhere, let alone at one of the biggest gatherings in democratic Croatian history to celebrate a magnificent sporting achievement. Luka Modric might indeed have deserved to be World Cup Most Valuable Player, but for inviting Thompson to sing he deserves a red card.”

(Zuroff full statement link here)

Zuroff is the one who spreads messages of hate, not Thompson. It is by no mistake or accidental omission that Zuroff gave no evidence to support his claims regarding Thompson’s messages or people wearing Ustasha uniforms at his concerts. Zuroff in his long-standing and baseless accusations of fascism on the rise in Croatia stands out as a professional bully when it comes to Croatia. Had Zuroff cared to examine the lyrics of Thompson’s songs then his claims would indeed be different. They would actually confirm self-preservation, love of freedom and independence, defence against aggression, love for Croatia, patriotism…the stuff most national musical hits throughout the world are made of. I am not even going into details here that there are no people wearing Ustasha uniforms at Thompson’s concerts. So it truly saddens the mind that some of the world’s mainstream media outlets simply published Zuroff’s statement without bothering to check the facts! There is no doubt in my mind that Zuroff simply cannot tolerate well the love and unity for Croatia expressed so freely and openly by its people.

At the end of the day, looking at the truth – who cares about Zuroff’s deceitful and bullying statements. As long as there is widespread heartfelt, pure, love for Croatia and its freedom the bottom line stands: all is fine with love for Croatia and what its people stand for! Ina Vukic

Jubilant Croatia

Croatian National Football Team
Welcomed Home 16 July 2018

Yes Croatia came second in the FIFA World Cup 2018, yes the team Captain Luka Modric won the Golden Ball for best player at the FIFA World Cup 2018 and – yes the Croatian national pride and spirit are infectious; exhilarating.

Experiencing the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Croatia has been eye-opening for me; the demonstrated unity and love for Croatia was, to my memory, only matched in August 1995 as Croatian defence forces in military action “Oluja/Storm” liberated a large part of Serb-occupied Croatian territory and, hence, won the war for independence – when independent Croatia was crowned in decisive and determined battle.

Zagreb maincity square/ Ban Jelacic and Main Street Ilica
Breathless from joy

As facts would tell us Croatia is the smallest country to compete in FIFA World Cup final since 1950. With its 4.3 million people Croatia produced a stunningly winning team of talent most large countries can only dream of. And yet, the Croatian national team doesn’t even have its own stadium or official training camp.

Luka Modric
Captain of Croatian National Football Team

The team’s captain Luka Modric, as most of his generation; grew up in a war zone, experienced his beloved grandfather being murdered by Serbswhen he was 6 years old, ate beans in a shelter to the sound of grenades and had his family’s home burned to the ground by Serbian militants. It is understood the executed grandfather lived with a young Luka and his parents who were then forced to live as refugees, hopping from hostel-to-hostel in the town of Zadar before finding a permanent home. Born in 1985, Modric spent part of his childhood in the Velebit mountain surrounded by signs warning of “Mines — Keep out!”

The 32-year-old spent his early years there and in the nearby village of Zaton Obrovacki until Croatia’s 1990s independence war against Yugoslavian communists and Serbian forces broke out.

Luka Modric greets the public standing on moving bus at Ban Jelaci square

Modric ended up playing aged 18 in the Bosnian-Hercegovinan league for Zrinjski Mostar. Fast forward 15 years, through a journey that has taken him from Dinamo Zagreb via Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid. “Even though he still looks like, in the unimprovable words of the Guardian’s Barney Ronay, ‘a little boy dressed as a witch’, he is now one of the best players in the world: a midfielder of fabulous talents, one of the very few who can bend time and space to his will,” wrote British novelist, screenwriter and newspaper columnist Boris Starling on 12 July 2018.

Being there was indescribable! joy to last and last. Ina Vukic

Even though the World Cup ended with silver medal, not gold, Croats stood proudly by their national team and cheered loudly from every corner. The homecoming of the Croatian National Football team on Monday 16 July 2018 was, in today’s standards of community cheer and joy, truly second to none world-wide.

In an outburst of national pride and joy, Croatia rolled out a red carpet and staged a euphoric heroes’ welcome for the national team.

Open bus carrying Croatian National Football team to Homecoming celebration
Zagreb 16 July 2018

About 500,000 people, majority wearing national red-and-white checkered colours and waving Croatian flags poured into the streets in the capital Zagreb to greet the team. Observers described the homecoming event as the biggest ever in Croatia and if one compares it with country population then most likely this was the biggest event of this nature the world has ever seen. Greeting the team, people lined the whole 15 Km route from Franjo Tudjman Airport (where the plane from Russia landed with the national team on board) to the main city Ban Jelacic square. The cavalcade carrying the national team took over six hours to travel the 15 Km and reach Ban Jelacic square or the main celebration! Along the route, in a roofless bus moving at snail pace as people blocked the streets cheering, the joyful, singing crowd crammed the central squares and the route where the players passed in an open bus, greeting the public and signing autographs.

Zlatko Dalic
Croatian National Football team manager/selector

“Thank you Croatia, thank you Zagreb!” captain Luka Modric told the crowd after the team finally arrived at the central square in the evening.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic added, “There are no words to describe how we feel now!”

Ivan Rakitic

There are no words to describe how Croatia felt. Jubilant, proud – victorious! Congratulations everyone who took part in these hours of absolute joy, triumph and unity! Croatia lives on in pulsating unity! Ina Vukic

Congratulations Croatia!


Winning in Semi-finals against England in FIFA World Cup 2018 (11 July 2018) Croatia enters the Finals! To play France on Sunday 15 July 2018.

Such happiness – such glory!  So proud!

All photos from the Semi-finals match are those from Croatian Football Federation (HNS)






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