Croatia And Psychological Importance of History And Its Facts

 

Psychological importance of history and truth
Click on image to enlarge

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

Croatia: Reconciliation Cannot Be Achieved With Denial Of Truth And Lacking Love For Nation Of People

Ina Vukic, August 2020

 

Many people are asking me these days what is the reaction of the Croatian diaspora to the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of victory in Knin on August 5.

The celebration of the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm, was neither visually nor morally nor truthfully a celebration of the great and deeply sacrificial victory over the brutal and obscene Serbian or Yugoslav aggressor! What that celebration was is a false picture of the truth and reality of that time and now!

During the Homeland War, Croats and anti-Croatian Serbs did not sit together in any rows, let alone in the front row of the battlefield, but on opposite sides. On one side, aggressive brutally murderous Serbs, and on the other side, Croats whose lives were endangered in the middle of that Serbian aggression.

Then in Knin on August 5, we saw and heard General Ante Gotovina who, without a shred, without a shred of shame or embarrassment, dishes out some lesson that discipline is needed in war and in peace! Of course, this mention of discipline certainly referred to the HOS (volunteer Croatian Defence Forces), whose defenders of the Homeland War and Operation Storm  were standing at that time on the streets of Knin during the celebration of Operation Storm with police threats directed at them. Because, you see, their slogan For Homeland Ready (Za Dom Spremni), which infused courage and determination for an independent Croatia, bothers the current government of the Republic of Croatia. This slogan was decisive in the defence of the Republic of Croatia, i.e. in the establishment of independence.

Then, General Gotovina, straight-faced, gave himself the right to speak about discipline, which in this case should surely keep HOS defenders, under police pressure and threats behind the lines, the police lines, while others, undeserving others, celebrated part if not the whole victory to which they contributed, to which HOS contributed and deserve to be a part of its celebrations.

So, I have never seen such perversion anywhere in the world. That something like this should happen, that the celebration of victory should be denied to those who contributed to that victory, in national defense or in national victory.

Perversion itself!

It is not just about discriminating against HOS defenders in this case, it is about perversion against the Homeland War, perversion against victory.

HOS Veterans denied access to celebrations
of Victory/ Operation Storm
in Knin, Croatia, 5 August 2020
Photo: Screenshot

And then so that this discrimination and perversion could become even stronger or better – worse! – at almost the same time not far from Knin in Grubori, the Croatian government, that is, Serbian politics in Croatia, organised a commemoration for victims of a crime against six Serb civilians that took place some three weeks after Operation Storm. The crime was committed by individuals who, in fact, with that act of crime violated the policy of the Croatian defence, the policy of Franjo Tuđman, the policy of Gojko Šušak, also now deceased. So, this commemoration in addition to the victory celebration in Knin was simply planned in order to diminish the value and the validity of the victory of Operation Storm. That’s why they sent Tomo Medved (Deputy Prime Minister) there. The appearance of Tomo Medved in Grubori at the commemoration for the victims of a crime committed by disobedient individuals who violated the policies and orders of the Croatian defence. This appearance by Tomo Medved there undoubtedly symbolises also that the top of Croatia wants to attribute this crime committed by individuals to the overall Croatian defence in the Homeland War. And that is nothing else but an another step in equalising the victim and aggressor in the Homeland War.

So, a perversion, perversion which I and I believe many others have not experienced before.

What courage against the Croatian people!

But, all this said, Croatian diaspora was before the Homeland War, during the Homeland War and after the Homeland War “For Homeland Ready” and for God and Croatia,  democratic Croatia, ready!

Some will say that by organising the celebration of 25th Anniversary of the magnificent victory over the brutal Serb aggressor in Knin at almost the same time they organised the commemoration for the victims of crime against six Serb civilians that occurred in the nearby village of Grubore, three weeks after the victorious Operation Storm, is good for reconciliation! Well, my professional opinion derived from my substantial training and experience as a Psychologist, tell me that nothing can be further from the truth. Firstly, the killing of the six Serb civilians occurred on 25 August 1995, twenty days after this Serb-occupied Croatian territory was liberated by Operation Storm, and the commemoration should have been planned for that date! Secondly, the ICTY Appeals Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) in the Hague had, in its Judgment in the Gotovina & Markac case, in November 2012, stated that “the state and military leadership had no role in their planning and creation” of this crime. So, why join the commemoration for these victims with the glorious victory of Operation Storm!? Utter perversion and political manipulation in the lame efforts to achieve reconciliation between the Serb aggressor and Croatians whom they attacked, perhaps? But here is the reality: one cannot achieve reconciliation through the denial of truth nor through lacking love for one’s people! And the current government with its Serb minority elected coalition clearly possess both of these characteristics that are not reconciliation-friendly: denial of truth and lacking love for the Croatian nation. Ina Vukic

Below is the video in the Croatian language with English subtitles that I have made with the above record of distressing happenings in Croatia around the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Operation Storm. Please visit!

 

CROATIA: President Milanovic – You Are Fired! An Open Letter To The President Of Croatia

Zoran Milanovic, President of Croatia
Inset: Jasenovac Plaque honouring fallen Croatian defenders during Croatian Homeland War
Foto: Robert Fajt / CROPIX

President Zoran Milanovic,

Were I confident that this letter would not end up in a wastepaper basket in your office then this letter would not be an Open Letter, but sadly my confidence is justifiably shaky. Were the matters I will address in this letter not matters that are of utmost importance for Croatia and its people in the 21st century then this letter would not be written.

I am writing to you to add to the public awareness that you, as President, must do everything in your power to ensure that the values, the victims and the meaning for Croatia and its people of the 1990’s Homeland War receive the full respect they deserve. After all, that is one of the most important roles of the President of the Republic of Croatia under its Constitution! When you do not do what you should be doing then you have no place to sit in the Office of the President; the highest office in the land representing Croatia and all it stands for, so to speak.

Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia includes the clause that says: “The President of the Republic of Croatia shall be responsible for the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia.”  Adding from the Historical Foundations of the Republic of Croatia in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia that  Croatia’s foundations lie “in the new Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (1990) and the victory of the Croatian nation and Croatia’s defenders in the just, legitimate and defensive war of liberation, the Homeland War (1991-1995), wherein the Croatian nation demonstrated its resolve and readiness to establish and preserve the Republic of Croatia as an independent and autonomous, sovereign and democratic state,” it follows that the President of the Republic of Croatia must act and show morally, politically and in every way adherence to and promotion of the values of the Homeland War and must not compromise them in any way for, such compromise jeopardises independence. Otherwise, if the president does not act in accordance with set principles and expectations, he or she has no place sitting in that office and if the appropriate authorities do nothing to impeach him or her from the Office when he or she has breached his or her duties as President then the people must act towards that goal. After all, the people directly elect their President in Croatia!

The Homeland War and those who lost their lives so that Croatia may be free and independent, so that it can carve its own future in a democracy, far removed from communist Yugoslavia heritage, cannot and must not be bullied, ridiculed, insulted, belittled, threatened or intimidated! And you do and have done that exactly that! Accordingly, you have in mine and many other eyes committed treason; betrayed the modern Croatian nation!

It is, of course, your latest public statements at Jasenovac on 22 April 2020 when you, regarding the plaque dedicated to 11 Croatian Homeland War of Independence defenders from HOS unit, which fought under the slogan “For Homeland Ready”, said that “the plaque should be moved to somewhere else, thrown away…it has no relevance to the Homeland War… Those who fought in 1991, thought they were fighting under the salute For Homeland Ready (Za dom spemni), did not fight only for the Croatian state but for the restoration of the 1941 Croatian state,”  shined a spotlight on your incompetence and your despise for the Croatian state, you are supposed to protect and uphold.

These statements of yours unequivocally demonstrate that you disregard and betray purposefully the fact that almost 94% of Croatian voters (among which you evidently were not) voted in May 1991 for independence and that this fact and national resolve gave the mandate and legitimacy to those fighters and defenders who fought under whatever slogan and salute reinforced their loyalty and self-sacrifice to independence they were defending, fighting for. This May 1991 referendum had nothing to do with NDH and everything to do with the long-standing oppression at the hands of the Yugoslav communist regime.

You, President, should be ashamed of yourself and the Croatian people must have no other alternative but to remove you from the position they recently elected you for! I am quite certain you will not willingly resign from it all by your own self.

Your denial of the legitimacy Croatia’s Homeland War defenders, including those fighting under the slogan “For Homeland Ready” has turned into deception and lies — lies to a nation of frightened people. For it has, due to statements like yours, become increasingly scary to express pride in the independence of Croatia and its war veterans, leading to a generalised fear of being labelled as some unwanted extremist because of one’s expressed pursuit of joy and pride for what Croatia had achieved via its war of defence against Serb-led aggression!

Why do you need to prostitute the way you do the outcome of the 1991 vote for independence by almost 94% of Croatian voters? What drives you, President Milanovic?  Hatred for the independence of Croatia? Contempt for the independence of Croatia? What!?

You were a professed Communist before you saw possibilities for personal advancement within the League of Communists of Croatia Party/ Social Democratic Party that would set itself up to benefit personally from the blood lost from those whose names are written on that HOS plaque in Jasenovac and thousands of others fighting for and defending today’s independent state of Croatia. I’m not writing about your obvious infatuation with the dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito.  It’s obvious that you salivate over the thought of you being able to exercise the same unbridled power when it comes to degrading the will of the Croatian people for independence and secession from Yugoslavia.

But, President Milanovic, the buck does stop at your door; therefore, “you’re fired.”

Will the “shipping clerks” (the people) please come forward!

Ina Vukic

Sydney, Australia

9 May 2020

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