General Zeljko Glasnovic Delibetations And Which Wolf Is Being Fed In Croatia?

Hrvoje Zekanovic (L) Zeljko Glasnovic (R) Photo: Screenshot

In today’s political world where the leftist ideas akin to largely disastrous communism and socialism for human freedom and dignity appear to thrive on life-support it is, I think, important to remember and act upon an old story which has shaped morality (or immorality) for centuries.  And this is how that story goes: An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

It has been 31 years (and a few months) since I was a part of a thrilling movement in Croatia and in the Croatian diaspora that set itself the goal of freeing Croatia from the communist Yugoslavia oppressive hold. The positive emotions, the elation for the prospect of freedom were overwhelmingly thrilling. I remember my late father describing similar emotions he felt as a young man when he became a part of the Croatian Home Guard forces, which rose after the Royal Army of Yugoslav (Serb) Kingdom was no more in 1941 and whose role was to protect and defend the borders and territory of Croatia from the onslaught of Yugoslavia communists.

It’s 2020 now, I search for those thrilling emotions that inspired hope and belief in the real possibility of freedom and which were the foundation of masses for the victory in Croatia’s 1990’s Homeland War. I find them here and there, their spark is still there, however it is terribly dimmed as we see that somehow since year 2000, in Croatia, the wrong wolf has been fed! A resurgence of ugly communism, an utter denial of horrific communist crimes during and post WWII – a keeping on life-support of communist mindset that sees corruption, theft, law and public administration still working against the betterment of all the people just like it was done in former Yugoslavia.  

That a new plateful of food has just been served to the wrong wolf in Croatia is plainly seen in the representatives in the new Croatian Parliament assembly since July 2020 of the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS. During the past week one of its representatives, Dragana Jeckov, has on several occasions attacked Croatian people and their fight for freedom. She particularly twisted the history and said that there are many streets in Croatia carrying the names of WWII Ustashas and that they must be removed! Of course, the street names she alludes to have nothing to do with the WWII Ustasha movement except of course with the fight for freedom against Serb oppression and Yugoslavia. She failed short of saying: Croatians do not deserve to have a free state! What an odious member of parliament to have to put up with.

And so I came across a video talk between Retired General Zeljko Glasnovic (1990’s Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council General) and Hrvoje Zekanovic, Croatian Sovereignists Party Member of Croatian Parliament who ran with the Patriotic Movement (Domovinski Pokret Miroslava Skore) at July 2020 elections.  This chat is not your ordinary leisurely chat with little national significance one might find around the place; it captures the core of the problems stifling the progress to full democracy and freedom in Croatia. So, I have translated the dialogue from this “chat” for you:       

    

Hrvoje Zekanovic: “General, today colleague Jeckov, SDSS representative, in the parliament today delivered a very interesting speech, you did not see it but I will briefly tell it to you. She mentioned NDH (WWII Independent State of Croatia) ten times today, the Ustasha, the Ustasha crimes – in the Croatian Parliament 2020.”

General Zeljko Glasnovic: “Here we are Mr Zekanovic, back in parliament, I’m here after a longer time, a pause, and what I see there is sad, it appears to me like the sitting of the 3rd Comintern (Communist International organisation) at the times of Stalin and the Chetnik movement, a mixture of that. But the problem is that our politicians are not interested in the history, the truth doesn’t interest them, most of them are vaccinated against the truth, all respect goes to the individual patriots though. It’s like this: the genesis of conflict in these parts of the world is completely hidden by mainstream media, and in that fog that falls over the universities, that are not Croatian universities, such as the Faculty of Philosophy. From 1912 to 1990, either under the five-pointed star or the cockade about one million people have been murdered in these areas and today the Chetnik movement has de facto been rehabilitated.

You have, for example, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace commission, an American commission had in 1912 recorded what was happening in Kosovo in the Second Balkan War where tens of thousands of Kosovars, Albanians, and Christians in Kosovo were killed and where does Greater Serbian imperialism end? I will repeat, whether under five pointed star or the cockade about one million people were murdered in this region in almost one hundred years, it ends in August of 1999, NATO Operation Allied Force , how can we not see that. Only in the old Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1941, to the entry of Axis Forces into Yugoslavia, the Serbian gendarmerie had murdered in peace time about one hundred thousand people in this region. Where did it murder these people? In Sandjak, in Albania, where they burned to the ground the Drin Valley, turned it into ashes and dust, murdered tens of thousands of Albanians. In Croatia they murdered hundreds of peasants, thousands of beatings across soles of feet was punishment for insulting the King and Fatherland. You have Senj victims, Stipe Javor who died in Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia’s prison), they are all victims of Greater Serbia imperialism that has remained to today the greatest threat in this region and we, Croats, are we deaf; autistic?

A propaganda war is again being waged against us by Serbs. We are paying for and the Serb HAVC (Croatian Audio-visual Centre) has paid for the Diana Budisavljevic film that is a complete falsification, we still do not have an official World War Two history, but Serb imperialists, who committed those crimes, are writing it for us. Currently in Serbia a film “Dora from Jasenovac” is being made. How is that going to look!?

To conclude, we must pull out of this lethargy because that battle is still being fought in the media space, and I would say that if we don’t write our own history somebody else will and that which is happening today is a total embarrassment of all of our cultural institutions, educational institutions.

Why are there no monuments to victims of Chetniks in Bosnia and Herzegovina? There are none because most Chetniks had gone over to the Partisans. And today people protect that criminal regime and I will finish with that today. Today you have people sitting in the Croatian Parliament who protect the largest criminal organisation in this region and that is the former communist regime.”

Hrvoje Zekanovic: “So, while we are keeping silent Mrs Jeckov speaks about Ustashas in the Croatian Parliament, and all that you said, General, and it’s very important for us to know, we do not have in the mainstream media but have Dragana Jeckov and soon we will have Dora from Jasenovac, a film being made in order to discredit Croatia.”

General Zeljko Glasnovic: “Yes. If war crimes don’t have a statute of limitations why is the chief of Zagreb OZNA (Department of People’s Protection of communist Yugoslavia), Josip Manolic, walking around in Zagreb. In Lug forest you have 50 mass graves, where hundreds of people were murdered. That means we have two standards in the justice system. Regretfully, this is a deep state, we got our flag and anthem, but this is not despairing, we must fight for the truth.”

Hrvoje Zekanovic: “And the representation…”

General Zeljko Glasnovic “ Yes and representation. Look, the Chetnik movement, I will only give one example, it has been rehabilitated in Serbia, the Chetnik movement is rehabilitated. You have from ten years ago the funeral of Nikola Bojevic, mass murderer, who in Sandjak in 1942 murdered hundreds of women, children, elderly, burned them in their houses, at his funeral a Serbian priest, Orthodox priest, that is a sect and not Orthodoxy, that is de facto Saint Sava following, a sect, he holds a speech and says that Nikola Bojevic (their war criminal) was loyal to his Fatherland and mother’s milk. We do not react at all.

What is more frightening is what is our diplomacy doing? That is frightening.”

Hrvoje Zekanovic: “I will deviate from the topic, I will ask for your opinion on a topic America Trump Biden, give me a comment, how do you look upon the situation?”

General Zeljko Glasnovic: “I would say it is a huge fight for the Western civilisation. Today as we always have in the world, that battle from living memory, we have the political battle, the cultural-media one and above all the spiritual, metaphysical battle because a huge battle is being fought for the souls of today’s world. And look what’s happening today, they always repeat the communist mantra forget the past we must worry about the future. Is it like that!? Look at today’s tensions between Greece and Turkey, look at today’s tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It means that if we do not know the genesis, if we do not possess fundamental knowledge, we cannot defend ourselves. We need facts, we need people like Mr Zekanovic and other patriots we have who have entered into the parliament and as Christ had not abandoned his way of the cross at the fourth station, we must follow his example. We all must fight because these hicks sitting in the parliament, those lunge-out/stand astraddle alphabet soup of NGOs, these neo-communists like Peovic (Katarina), Bencic Sandra) and those redesigned communists will introduce, we will see in two years in Croatia that children will until the age of 12 be deciding by themselves which gender they will be. If we lose that spiritual battle, and we will not lose it, then we have betrayed all young Croatians, 23 years old in average, who had given their lives in the Homeland War.

…For Croatia, all for Christ and against Communists.”  

And so I conclude this article by saying that the wisdom of the Cherokee story comes alive in Croatia. Now perhaps more than in 1990’s, when such grave losses were sustained from the Serb aggression against us Croatian because we wanted out of communism, by exercising the freedom of choice our blood-soaked victory brought us, we can make life-changing decision as of which wolf is going to be fed in Croatia. Do not feed the communist Yugoslavia one any more, feed the Homeland War one. Ina Vukic

Croatians Remember The Suffering and Victims of Communist Crimes

When the Associated Press publishes an article regarding WWII Croatia and other world mainstream media such as New York Times shares it, you can safely bet your bottom dollar an evidently anti-Croatian independence biased journalist of Serbian extraction wrote the article. And so, on 17 May 2019, the world’s public has been served an article written by Dusan Stojanovic, “Croatia’s WWII Divisions in the Open as Merkel Visits”, not because of the need to acknowledge and respect WWII and post-WWII victims, no matter which side they were on during the war. The article is obviously served in order to prop-up anti-Croatian propaganda regarding victims without even blinking an eye at even the thought that the numbers of victims pinned to Croatian independence fight during WWII and blown out of every proportion, are in fact wrong and made up to no other end but to vilify the Croatian people who wanted Croatia’s independence as opposed to a communist Yugoslavia.

“The (Ustasha) regime was responsible for sending hundreds of thousand Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croatian anti-fascists to death camps,” writes Stojanovic! He gives no source for this statement in his article. Of course, he gives no credible or factual source because there is none! The fact that there are sources based on research that give an entirely different picture, overwhelmingly discrediting the atrociously concocted estimates he helps spread does not seem to interest him.

Expectedly so, Stojanovic, goes on to quote communist Yugoslavia’s last president and president of Croatia between 2000 and 2010, Stjepan Mesic, as if wanting to justify the horrendous communist crimes against Croats: “Innocent people died in the (WWII) concentration camps, in Bleiburg, the Ustasha army capitulated and they were not innocent victims.” By using this Mesic quote one cannot but conclude that Stojanovic obviously subscribes to the communist depraved thinking that an unarmed, white-flag-waving enemy soldier needs no court ruling to be proven guilty of any crimes, need not be afforded the due treatment as POW, let alone the fact that those murdered at Bleiburg were murdered after WWII had ended! Let alone the fact that both Mesic and Stojanovic and multitudes of pro-communists fail to emphasise that civilians (women, children, elderly) as well as ex-Croatian soldiers were slaughtered in masses, dumped into mass graves and pits, at Bleiburg and along the Way of the Cross, throughout Slovenia and Croatia.

Communist purges by Yugoslav communists occurred because of power-hungry intolerance towards differing political opinions or orientation. All anti-communists were murdered, incarcerated or tortured, forced to flee the country to avoid persecution and ostracising or simply existed as socially inferior citizens of communist Yugoslavia. And Stojanovic has the gall to write about the Ustashe regime as being murderous and fascist. One would expect a fairly balanced article from a source such as Associated Press or New York Times, but no – all we get as a token gesture of balance in this article is this:

“During her pre-election campaign, the leader of the small Independents for Croatia far-right party, Bruna Esih, said Bleiburg represents a ‘symbol of sacrifice, suffering and freedom’”. But then, it’s a poor token gesture of balance because immediately after those words Stojanovic lets the readers know that “many in Croatia disagree.” Forgets conveniently to inform the public that those disagreeing with Bruna Esih’s words are in fact former communists who still hold power in Croatia and in whose interest it is to keep communist crimes under the carpet or to justify them, using fascism as excuse, but in that, proving to us the horrible truth that the communist regime had no tolerance for human rights to varying political allegiances or opinions.

Bruna Esih, President pf Independents for Croatia Party
(Neovisni za Hrvatsku)
Photo: narod.hr

Stojanovic goes on to write and says: “The memorial in Bleiburg, sponsored by Croatia’s parliament, has developed into a festival of right-wing extremism. Anti-fascist groups from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria have requested the event be banned and plan to protest on Saturday. Since last year, Austrian authorities have banned Ustasha flags, their black uniforms and insignia with letter ‘U’ at the gathering, and the local Austrian Catholic Church refused to take part in prayers held in the vast field surrounded by mountains.” He ends his article with this: “Anyone has the right to mourn their loved ones, regardless of who they were or how they ended up,” said Franjo Habulin, head of the Association of Antifascist Fighters of Croatia. “However, no civilised European country has the right to participate in commemorating the fall of fascism.”

Again, Stojanovic fails to mention that the same Franjo Habulin continues to lead events celebrating communist Yugoslavia, which as far as civilised Europe he refers to is concerned, has placed communism at the same level as fascism when it comes to condemnation of totalitarian regimes. Stojanovic does not even bother to tell the public that WWII Croatia was not a country ruled by Fascism in the full sense of its definition; it appears the innuendo that it was fascist suits many a communist regime apologetics where the victims of communist crimes are concerned. While facts tell us that Ustasha regime in WWII (whose prime goal was Independent Croatia) made profound mistakes, both on political and human life level, and imposed terror over groups of people, it was a time of war in which all sides (including the communist whose prime goal was to retain Croatia within Yugoslavia) made similarly profound mistakes and imposed terror over groups of people. Just because one side won the war, and the other didn’t, justifies nothing and especially not the crimes that brought about so many victims.

This weekend is a weekend of large significance for Croatians who have fought for, supported and cherished the independence of Croatia throughout time. It is the weekend that commemorates communist genocide against Croatians, the hundreds of thousands of innocent Croatian victims murdered by the communist Yugoslav partisans and authorities particularly from 14 May 1945 at Bleiburg, dumped tortured or murdered into mass graves along the so-called “Way of the Cross” through Slovenia and Croatia (so far some 1700 mass graves unearthed). While Stojanovic’s numbers of victims of Croatia’s WWII Ustasha regime are politically mounted estimates by communists and are increasingly proven to be wrong through research, the numbers of communist crimes victims are not estimates – the already unearthed hundreds upon hundreds of mass graves of Croatian victims speak loudly for themselves even though their voice is cruelly subdued by communist operatives or their apologetics. Lest we forget Bleiburg! Ina Vukic

Tito’s Crimes Should Never Be Forgotten

Robin Harris
Photo: http://www.unicath.hr/

The leaders of Croatia’s antifascist movement repeatedly identified themselves with Tito. They offered no apologies for Tito’s methods and the Communist Party’s crimes.

Tito, in fact, behaved as Communists do, promoting revolution by the mass liquidation of potential opponents, by subverting every independent institution, and by bringing all power within the Party’s control.

By Robin Harris,

(source:  standpoint.co.uk )

Progressive opinion affects to take symbols lightly. Thus public acceptance of blasphemous plays and obscene exhibitions, the burning of a national flag, and insults to heads of state are all supposed to be evidence of intellectual liberation. Particularly in former Communist countries, where symbolism has altered in ways that disorientate the new as well as the old Left, the cry quickly goes up that any concern for symbols is an “obsession” or a “distraction”.

In Eastern and Central Europe, though, the Left’s indifference to symbols is an affectation. The modern leftist turns in a flash into a snarling neo-Communist — lacking only a Party membership card and Kalashnikov to revert to the older variety — when his own myths are challenged. Moreover, his assumed indifference to tradition quickly becomes intolerance of “extremism”, if any unwholesome, or ambiguous, symbol emerges from shadows on the Right.

On Friday September 1, Zagreb City Council voted to change the name of one of the most prominent squares from “Marshal Tito Square” to the “Square of the Republic of Croatia”. The decision was greeted by some solemn shaking of heads in the Western media, where it was depicted as an assertion of reactionary nationalism. Credibility was lent to this by the fact that the campaign to change the name was spearheaded by Dr Zlatko Hasanbegović, the former Croatian culture minister, who fell foul, when in office, of agitation from George Soros-backed NGOs, whose tax-financed budgets he was minded to cut. Hasanbegović is a nationalist historian with a taste for controversy and what, for politicians in Croatia, is an unnerving willingness to argue intellectual positions. He is not, however, a fascist, anti-Semite, or racist (he is a Muslim, and so has received his fair share of Islamophobic abuse). In any case, the majority for the change was provided by the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the centre-left party grouping attached to Zagreb’s mayor, Milan Bandić.

The square’s name change was historically significant. It clearly symbolised a break with the country’s past. But it became involved with another dispute about symbols, which has, despite the sound and fury, no historical significance at all. Near the Jasenovac concentration camp, where a large number of Serbs, Jews and political opponents of the quisling Independent State of Croatia (NDH) were killed by the Ustasha authorities, a private memorial was raised a year ago to members of the HOS (Croatian Defence Forces — a rightist paramilitary force) who died fighting in the war for Croatian independence in the early 1990s. On the memorial was inscribed the Ustasha salute “Za Dom Spremni” (“Ready for the Homeland”). The salute was apparently used by many HOS fighters — though who knows with what understanding of its true significance? The memorial plaque has since been moved a few miles away. What to do generally about totalitarian symbols — including the Communist five-pointed Red Star (“Petokraka”) positioned near the sites of mass graves of Communist Party victims — is now the thankless task of a government-appointed commission. Meanwhile, a well-funded, internationally-supported “antifascist” movement currently seeks to link cases of real or imagined nostalgia for the Ustasha regime — which collapsed 70 years ago — with the movement to cleanse Croatia of the remains of the Communist regime — which have a disconcerting degree of life in them still.

But what is this “antifascism”? There the historical evidence is clear. Antifascism is not a catch-all category of democrats. It is a Communist construct. It is, indeed, meaningless without reference to Communist ideology. Its exponents quickly manifest this even today by their willing defence of the record of Communism, their espousal of a recognisable (anti-Western) Communist world view, and their unshakeable conviction that the only threat to civilisation comes from the Right, not the Left.

Until the recent upsurge of leftist anarchism in America, there was, significantly, no antifascism in the US or Britain. Yet these countries were the key components of the Western alliance against the Axis powers in the Second World War. The absence of any antifascist movement in the US and the UK is not just because there was no significant indigenous Anglo-Saxon fascism (Mosley quickly fizzled out); more importantly, it is because there was no significant indigenous Communism — whose creation antifascism is.

Antifascism was a propagandist device to broaden support for Communist Party aims among non-Communists. It was a tactic to gain power, at which point power would be wielded exclusively by the Party itself. The intermittent emergence of antifascism was just a sign of the Communist Party’s temporary weakness. Between the two world wars the promotion of antifascist “Popular Fronts”, most successfully in France, encompassing the democratic Left but serving the Party, was authorised by Moscow. In 1939, however, Stalin opted for the alternative strategy — alliance with Hitler — and antifascism was immediately discarded.

Yugoslavia’s leader Josip Broz Tito in 1960
(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The Yugoslav Party under Tito, like other European Communist parties, obediently followed the new line. The much-trumpeted “rising” of the Communist partisans was not in response to Ustasha atrocities — the NDH had been formed on April 10, 1941. It was an authorised response to Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union — on June 22. With energetic prompting from Moscow, the Yugoslav Party now took up antifascism as a device to rally opposition to the Axis occupiers and the quisling regimes in Zagreb and Belgrade, but with a view to imposing a classic Marxist-Leninist revolution. The term “antifascist” was meanwhile used to legitimise what were presented as non-Party institutions of an alternative government — as with AVNOJ, the Antifascist Council of the People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia. Once the Communists attained power and squeezed out or liquidated non-Communist elements, under way by 1944, antifascism was relegated from its prominence in the Party’s ideological arsenal. Only in 1990, when the Communists knew that they were facing a reckoning with real democracy, did the Party revive antifascism. So, for example, while the Party changed its name from the League of Communists of Croatia (SKH) to the less threatening Party of Democratic Change, and then the Social Democratic Party, the Communist veterans’ organisation, SUBNOR (Alliance of Associations of Fighters in the People’s Liberation War), was retitled the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters. In short, antifascism never existed independently of the Communist Party, and though millions of genuine democrats have fought oppressors who may, at a pinch, be described as “fascist”, those freedom fighters had nothing in common with the ideological artefact of antifascism, except occasionally as useful dupes.

This, then, answers the question: what is antifascism? And what is its link with Communism? But the further question is: What is Tito’s role in it?

The old plaque on Tito Square, now intended for the Zagreb historical museum, makes a large claim. It reads: “Marshal Tito Square. Josip Broz Tito, politician, leader of the antifascist movement, President of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, 1945-1980, 1892-1980.” (Emphasis added.) An array of campaign groups turned out — in only modest numbers, despite the media attention — to protest against dethroning their hero from his square. The television pictures told the story of their identity and their marginalisation. Everywhere big red flags bearing the hammer and sickle were waved. The only Croatian flags present were those of the old socialist “People’s Republic”. Some protesters wore items of Yugoslav army uniform — the same worn by the Serbian/Yugoslav army forces which in 1991 attacked Croatia.

The leaders of Croatia’s antifascist movement repeatedly identified themselves with Tito. They offered no apologies for Tito’s methods and the Communist Party’s crimes.

But a glance at the list of groups supporting the protest suggests that some very special apologies were in order. Were the “Women’s Network” aware, one wonders, that Tito initiated sexual relations with his first wife when she was just 14? That he later denounced her, and his second wife — and a host of other Party “comrades” — to the NKVD when he was in Moscow in the 1930s? Did the homosexual activists know — as a forthcoming book by a Croatian historian will shortly detail — that at the Goli Otok concentration camp, to which Tito despatched his political enemies, the authorities publicly humiliated and beat  homosexuals, whom they considered “bourgeois decadents”?

The Jewish community, represented at the protest, has, of course, reason to detest the behaviour towards them of the wartime Ustasha, who fully collaborated in the Holocaust decreed by the Reich. But should Croatian Jews be grateful to Tito and the Party? In 1945 well-known Jewish businessmen were killed and their businesses seized by the Communists. When the Communists arrived, Jewish properties confiscated by the Ustasha were not returned, but were again seized and enjoyed — and are often still enjoyed — by the Communist elite and their privileged, cosseted progeny — the so-called “red bourgeoisie” who provide the bulk of the ruling class of  “post-Communist” Croatia.

As for the Croatian Serbs, whose leaders were prominent in the protests — whatever privileged positions they disproportionately occupied under the Party, notably in the repressive apparatus, they would be well advised to reflect on the long-term cost of those benefits. That cynical Communist policy of divide and rule meant that in 1990, when democracy arrived in Croatia, Serbs were both distrustful and distrusted and as such automatically seen as hostile to the new state — which the Serb rebellion prompted by Belgrade (still then led by Communists) confirmed. If Tito’s Yugoslavia left hatreds so raw and wounds so deep, who can seriously conclude that Communism offered a cure or even a palliative for atavistic nationalism, as its apologists still claim?

Tito’s persona still, however, evidently holds a certain attraction. It is of more than historical interest to understand why. The answer seems to be that Tito, though an orthodox Communist — his quarrel with Stalin was caused by ambition, not doctrine — was also something else, and this “something else” turns out to be that he was a heroic “antifascist”.

Tito, in fact, behaved as Communists do, promoting revolution by the mass liquidation of potential opponents, by subverting every independent institution, and by bringing all power within the Party’s control. He authorised the killing of tens of thousands of people, many without trial, others with staged trials — soldiers, conscripted Home Guard members, unpolitical civilians, Catholic priests, monks and nuns, doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists, businessmen, women and children. The mass graves, where people were thrown in alive to be slowly suffocated by the weight of those who followed, are still gradually being excavated. For fear of annoying influential Communist cadres, who had joined anti-Communists to create the fledgling Croatian state in 1991, these horrible crimes were for many years left unmentioned. Until recently, most Party and secret police archives were similarly inaccessible. There was no lustration of Party members. Not a single trial within Croatia has been held of a Communist official: only in Munich, after Germany managed to secure their extradition, were two high-ranking Yugoslav secret police officials given life sentences for a politically authorised murder on German soil in 1983.

The new Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman, apparently admired Tito; but Tudjman never dreamed of imitating Tito’s personality cult, whose effects must still be remembered when assessing the Marshal’s reputation. Leafing through the snapshots portraying Tito’s gaudy, greedy, self-indulgent, spendthrift, pointless political life, it requires an exercise of imagination to take the performance seriously. Yugoslavia solved nothing internally. It achieved nothing externally. But heroic myths, imposed by expert media control over 35 years, so brainwashed its population that they became a heaving, wailing, neurotic, human wreck when the dictator’s death was finally announced. Only a system in which all hold on reality had been lost could have solemnly announced as its watchword for the country’s future that lapidary slogan: “After Tito — Tito!”

Tito’s achievements, such as they were, have largely been forgotten, along with most of his crimes; only his antifascist credentials are still burnished. Yet antifascism, like the smile on the Cheshire Cat, reminds us, in a disembodied form, of what Communism was, what the Communists did, and what their successors would like to do, if they had the chance. It should go the way of Tito’s plaque

 

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