Croatia: The Day The Pitch Swastika Attacked

Criminals burn a Swastika Into soccer pitch in Split, Croatia

Criminals burn a Swastika
Into soccer pitch in Split, Croatia


When in 2005 Prince Harry turned up at a party in London wearing a Swastika on his sleeve, the world media was intrigued and critical, however none associated Prince Harry or British Royal Family or, indeed, the British nation with Adolf Hitler and WWII Nazis, despite the fact that the British Royal family was “cosy” with Hitler back in the day, particularly via Duke and Duchess of Windsor/ King Edward VIII, Prince Harry’s great-great uncle who is said to have been a great Nazi sympathiser and also Princess Michael Of Kent’s father is said to have been a member of the Nazi Party. Furthermore, several weeks before Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland King George VI and his wife (Prince Harry’s great grandparents) sent Hitler a birthday greeting. The 2005 incident with Prince Harry and the Swastika was brought down to a “wardrobe malfunction” (!), the Palace issued an apology for the Prince’s mistake and that was that! Having been given, the acceptance of the apology was requested and “required”. No skin off the nose of anyone else in Britain then – not even of any extreme right wing political movements – or Britain in WWII and pre-WWII history and Hitler. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the apology that came out from the Croatia Football Federation even though it’s not even known that someone from within had burned a Swastika into the football field lawn – the world media and, indeed, the left-wing politics sympathising one in Croatia keep pounding and pounding against the whole nation because of an act of one or few!


Prince Harry with Swastika 2005

12 June 2015, a faint image of what faintly appeared to look like the Swastika was discovered on the lawn of Poljud soccer ground in the city of Split, Croatia, during the game of the Croatia v. Italy Euro 2016 qualifier match on Friday. The Swastika sign imposed in/burned into the grass through a chemical agent before the kickoff became visible from the highest stands of the stadium (bird’s eye view) during the match even though the grounds maintenance did reportedly, albeit unsuccessfully, try to remove or conceal it.
Italians present in Split wasted no time to send the faint images of the Swastika to the world, reportedly complaining to UEFA. World media went berserk; almost every mainstream media outlet featured this Swastika image on its front page, thereby suggesting that Neo-Nazism is thriving in Croatia! What an awful, awful world we live in! What happened to: let’s wait and see who did this terrible thing. Let’s wait and see and who is responsible for this criminal offence and vandalism.

To me this act of vandalism (terrorism, more like it) was carefully designed and executed to have maximum political effect benefiting the hopelessly incompetent SDP (Social Democratic Party) and HNS (Croatian People’s Party) political parties – led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and foreign minister Vesna Pusic respectively – that lead the hopelessly incompetent government that’s facing annihilation at coming elections. For it was not for nothing that Vesna Pusic, in obviously sinister motives, declared on Croatian TV news, Saturday 13 June, that “symbols of Nazism and fascism do not occur by chance in Croatia, that right-wing extremism which has entered the Croatian political scene has evidently, once again, opened the opportunities for such thinking …”! The possibility that the Swastika was the act of criminal activity and criminal provocation in order to punish the Croatian soccer team for whatever reason or the work of deranged individuals, did not it seems cross Pusic’s mind! How unfortunate is that!
With the world media going berserk and Croatian foreign minister shamefully adding Neo-Nazi twist to be applied to the whole of the nation, to the incident, no wonder this particular sorry image of the Swastika left Croatia players and the country’s soccer ruling body, the HNS (Croatian Football Federation), fearing drastic punishment from the UEFA after the result left them top of Group H with 14 points from six games, two ahead of Italy and four clear of Norway.
This is a clear attack on football and we will without a doubt be severely punished,” HNS secretary-general Damir Vrbanovic told a news conference on Saturday. “We have all been slapped in the face by hooligans and it was not an accident, it was a calculated move. The cameras will identify the perpetrators, but the shame will stay,” he said.
Not only were there fears that the whole Croatian team and the football federation would be punished but that the entire Croatian nation will be dealt a heavy “slap in the face”! I find it disturbing to think that criminal acts of individuals can actually attract punishment for those who had nothing to do with those criminal acts.
For crying out loud: what happened to keeping an eye on justice and concentrating on the hooligan/s or political agitator/s who were responsible for this act of vandalism and/or crime?
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic demands pitch Swastika culprits are found and said, “this act has inflicted immeasurable damage on the reputation of Croatian citizens and their homeland all over the world. Therefore, we must finally put a stop to such things”. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the swastika on the pitch. I demand an urgent investigation and a decisive response from the relevant institutions to find and process the perpetrators,” Grabar-Kitarovic said in her statement on Saturday 13 June.
The Police in city of Split have confirmed that criminal charges would be laid against individual/s, currently unnamed, for this act. “Immeasurable damage to the Croatian football, to Split and to Croatia has been caused by this act of vandalism. I’m convinced that the police and the appropriate authorities will swiftly and effectively investigate all the relevant circumstances and find the culprit,” said the Mayor of Split, Ivo Baldazar.
Whoever turns out to be responsible for this horrible act should also be charged with terrorism. While it is obviously in someone’s interest to vilify and muddy the Croatian name, the innuendo from the media coverage and from this pitch Swastika itself have caused a great deal of pain and terror to just about everyone in Croatia and Croats living abroad. The Left wing political parties that control the current government have ensured that more salt is rubbed into the open wound by suggesting that political movements are exclusively to blame for this incident and that wretched pitch Swastika. Shame of the foreign minister Vesna Pusic and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic for not standing behind the good name that Croatia is (and insisting that individuals responsible be found) as opposed to muddying it even more. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Serbian Cyrillic Signs To Vukovar Are What Swastika Is To Victims Of Nazi Exterminations

Cyrillic in Vukovar Croatia

As I briefly commented in my last post the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Vukovar has issues with Vukovar’s Local Government declaration of Vukovar as a place of special piety for its suffering under brutal Serb aggression in 1991 and declaring the Croatian and Latin script as its official language.

I now turn to some of those “issues” some Serbs of Vukovar have with the Vukovar’s Croats (victims and veterans of Homeland war). On Wednesday 6 November  the president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Vukovar Srdjan Milakovic appeared on TV Vinkovac program “Politics and Truth” and stated that his people would not be joining the procession to honour the victims of Vukovar on the 22nd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar 18 November because, he said, not all victims are honoured in that procession!

As things would appear here Milakovic considers that families, friends, wives, children, mothers, fathers, colleagues … of murdered victims should march side by side with the murderers, suspected murderers, rapists, suspected rapists, plunderers, ethnic cleansers – hand in hand as if nothing had happened!

While, in terms of humanity’s “forgive and forget” slogan, that may be a desirable albeit often far-fetched goal, it is certainly not a realistic one, especially not if in that procession you get to walk side by side with known or identified, but pardoned through political wheeling and dealing war criminals, walking freely, dishing out cynic’s glances.

But Milakovic does not stop there. He drives the sharp dagger further into the still inconsolable pain from the horrors of the war of Serb aggression and says: “the introduction of Cyrillic signage in Vukovar was not done to offend the emotions of Croats, but primarily for the reasons where members of the Serb minority would feel that they are welcome and equal in Vukovar, just as they were before 1991”.

There you go, right from the “horse’s mouth”: Introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar had/has more to do with forced reconciliation, with shoving war crimes under the rug than with rights of ethnic minorities under the law.

Milakovic says this without a single tiny speck of remorse for mass crimes perpetrated against Vukovar and its Croatian population in 1991!  He fits in among the slime and slimy politicians who will say and do anything to equate the innocent victim with a determined and premeditating murderer.

He, himself, stated that conditions for the introduction of Cyrillic do not yet exist and he, nevertheless, vigorously opposes the declaration of Vukovar as a place of special piety (which concept, by the way, honours all victims, regardless of their ethnicity).

And many other Serbs of Vukovar know that, they do not want Cyrillic there yet either.

Things cannot be the same as they were before 1991 in Vukovar just as things cannot be the same for anyone who has lost and suffered so severely from criminal acts against them, against their family.  The fact remains that Serb aggression in Vukovar (as everywhere else in Croatia) started in 1991 when majority of Croatian citizens voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia and Croatian Serbs (rebels) started pouncing like mad dogs upon their Croat neighbours in villages and towns, killing, plundering, shifting them in trucks to concentration camps in Serbia … At times on this blog when I write about these issues I appear like a broken record, at times repeating the same things over and over again and I do that with purpose and without apology: battling against evil and the insufferable stench that emanates from political agenda’s of war crimes denial, from denying the victims the right to heal and choose how they will best heal, from brutal forces that attempt equating victim with aggressor – is a battle of perpetual need to stay focused on the truth and keep going back to how it all started, over and over again until the truth sits at its rightful place without being tampered and interfered with.

And no, Srdjan Milakovic, Serbs who participated in the persecution and murder, and rape and ethnic cleansing in Vukovar in 1991 can never enjoy the respect and the tolerance that existed before 1991! They may one day be forgiven, for it is in human nature to forgive and contemplate forgiveness BUT true forgiveness is a two way process: the one to be forgiven must also want to be forgiven, must show humility and remorse and I have yet to see any meaningful gestures of that.

Indeed the Croatian war veterans and the majority of Vukovar’s residents say the city – which was destroyed by Serbs in the 1990s war – cannot be considered like others. Serbian and Cyrillic letters are a reminder of the conflict’s killings and tragedies and therefore the city should be exempted from the law that provides for bilingual signage under national minority legislative rights.

The Cyrillic script to the still-suffering victims of Serb aggression is what the Swastika is to the victims of Nazi extermination. No doubts about that in my mind as symbols and scripts have a powerful effect of association and in this case that association is torturous for the victims. While Swastika is an ancient spiritual symbol of wealth and peace in WWII it became the symbol of war crimes, extermination, torture, hate, evil; the Serbian Cyrillic script certainly is not in itself an evil script but it became to symbolise evil in Vukovar and Croatia during the Serb aggression of 1990’s, for everywhere one turned where war crimes proceeded graffiti in Cyrillic signs installed fear, announced murder, rape, deportation, reveled in the insufferable suffering inflicted upon Croats . Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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