A ship without a leader: the Bulgarian political crisis and the storm to come
The first half of May in Croatia is marked by the anniversaries of two events at the end of the Second World War. With a democratic Croatia, which, if its Constitution is to be believed, is built on the foundations of anti-fascism (and opposite the so-called Independent State of Croatia, established by the Ustasha movement, under the wings of the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) should be proud of, the other would be politically expedient not to mention at all, or to stay within the confines of individual commemorations. We are talking, of course, of the Victory Day and the date of the surrender of the remnants of the Ustasha and Home Guard forces, gathered in the Croatian Defense Forces, on the Bleiburg field, that is – that is, the liquidation of a still uncertain number of those who took prisoners. the.
The opposite is happening, however. Instead of being proud of V Day, the official Croatian tries to push it into oblivion, and because he cannot (still) only do certain ceremonial gestures. And the fact that during WWII a Croatia existed that was on the side of Nazi fascism existed and continued to fight until the last day, and even after that there was a Croatia that consistently committed war crimes against Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croats. – political opponents, thus tarnishing the Croatian name, are constantly pushed to the fore. With a barely concealed positive context.
This is evident not only from this year onwards, but exactly in 2021. It is perhaps becoming clearer than ever. And this presents the Republic of Croatia as a state which is dangerously transforming itself in the waters of neo-fascism, that is to say of Ustasism. High representatives of the State, Victory Day was personally marked only by the Head of State, who laid flowers on the tomb of the national heroes, ie. Partisan fighters (representatives of high-ranking politicians are not worth mentioning, they were really there just to please the form). And yes, one, the only (!) Academy was organized to mark this day by the Alliance of Antifascist and Antifascist Fighters (and not by the State!). It commemorated Victory Day, the (almost forgotten) Liberation Day of Zagreb and Europe Day, which is celebrated on May 9 in order to thus convey the message that post-wEurope, and which should also mean Europe today is built on the foundations of the anti-fascist struggle and on the values ââof anti-fascism. The current president was not present at this academy. There were two former Presidents of the Republic and still – several representatives. Information about this celebration sort of found its way into the media, but that was it.
Public television marked this important day by showing an American film and a Russian-Ukrainian film on a theme from the era of the Second World War. And with an unspoken message: this war in Croatia did not rage, and if by any chance it did – there are no movies about it (what about some famous movies world showing the anti-fascist struggle in Yugoslavia, as Neretva or Walter defends Sarajevo?)
The other event, the surrender at Bleiburg and everything that happened after that, has been the subject of discussion for days. The State (the Parliament) and the Church are as much engaged as possible in the organization of the commemoration of something which is called as cynically as hypocritically the memorial day of the “Croatian victims in the struggle for freedom and independence. “. Mass celebrations and gatherings will be held in three (!) Locations in Croatia, and buses (even from Germany) are being organized to bring “pilgrims” to them. And what about the pandemic? Everything will, they say, comply with epidemiological measures and restrictions. They say it and lie knowingly and recklessly, believing that the public is so stupid, or resigned, that something like this can be served to them with impunity, even on the eve of important local elections.
Since 1990, when Bleiburg’s surrender was first publicly marked in Croatia (and when, on that occasion, the renamed Croatian radio “shone” with a report featuring Dinko Å akiÄ, former commander of Jasenovac, the one of the 60 concentration camps in Ustasha state, which categorically stated that – if he lived again – he would do everything as he did, this commemoration did not turn into a commemoration of those executed without trial after the surrender, but in regret for the defeat of the para-state Ustasha which, in accordance with Tudjman’s statement at the first HDZ congress, held during the Yugoslav era, was “the fulfillment of the secular aspirations of the Croatian people too”.
Austria has for years tolerated rallies on the Bleiburg field, often politically colorful speeches, highlighting the symbols and flags of Ustasha (the first white field of the Croatian coat of arms), but then – largely under pressure of Europe – refused hospitality to the, as reputable European media called it, the largest gathering of the radical right and neo-fascists in the Old Continent. The official Croatia, but also the âChurch of the Croatsâ could not accept this, so last year the âMass of Bleiburgâ was held in Sarajevo (probably to recall how Sarajevo was part of the state of Ustasha ), while this year organized gatherings are being organized, it bears repeating, at three sites in Croatia, the largest in Udbina.
What message does such treatment of Victory Day and the date of surrender of the Ustasha forces and the Home Guard (as well as other Yugoslav collaborators) send to Europe and the world? ?
Just one thing: when it comes to Victory Day, we don’t know if it should be and how much it should be celebrated, because in the meantime we have managed to turn the victors into criminals and murderers, and their supreme commander in “one of the 10 mega murderers of the twentieth century”, and are ready to consider the day of the liberation of the Croatian metropolis as the day of the beginning of its occupation (this, under the mask of freedom of expression public, can be calmly declared today – as an explanation of the suppression of the street of May 8, 1945. On the other hand, we are very committed to the commemoration of those forces and their members who, ignoring the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich signed on May 8 in Reims and May 9 in Berlin, continued to fight until mid-May, trying to escape Tito’s supporters, knowing that among the supporters there is hardly anyone who does not have not directly or indirectly felt the terror Ustasha. The official Croatia and the Church of Chatolic commemorate mourning and mourning their defeat, because they were – as it is written in a stone memorial at the Bleiburg field “the Croatian army”. Really? And who were the Croatian supporters?
There is not a single country in the world that would hold commemorations for war criminals executed without trial or sentenced to death (and that there were such people in the Bleiburg field is an indisputable fact). Croatia is an exception – for now. And we listed those two categories of post-war casualties (if that’s an appropriate term) because retaliation was not a specific feature of Yugoslavia. It took place, on a more or less large scale, for several weeks or several months in all the European countries occupied until then. In France, unofficial estimates list around 100,000 liquidated employees, while the head of the Free Frence, who would later become President of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, officially admits 10,000, with the laconic remark: ” Considering what they were doing at the time of the occupation, France can live with that â.
Croatia could soon find itself in the company of several other countries, former Soviet satellites, well immersed in historical-revisionist waters, which allow the marches of former members of the SS units and which – like Ukraine – proclaims collaborators. notorious (Stepan Bandera) as national heroes. But will that mean Croatia is on the right track in ignoring (almost) V-day and glorifying and mourning members of the collaborationist forces? Not at all! This will only be another worrying indicator of the divisions within the European Union and of the abandonment by some of its “young” members of the ideas and ideals which have guided those who conceived the project of a European Union. United Europe. Accepting the idea of ââthe possibility of a new war (and the EU should have prevented it forever) is not just a theoretical possibility, is best seen from the full membership of d ‘part of the EU to the American policy of confrontation with the Russian Federation (even armed military exercises which are going on for several months in Europe at the moment, demonstrate this).
And, finally, back to the name of the commemorative day of mid-May, mentioned earlier. It is the day to commemorate the Croatian victims in the struggle for freedom and independence. What does it mean? That only the Ustashas (Croatian fascists) and the Home Guards were fighters for Croatian freedom and independence? Given the date, such a conclusion only seems possible. But if so, all those Croats (not to mention Croatian Serbs) who fought in the ranks of the People’s Liberation Army were enemies of Croatian freedom and independence. But, if somehow we ârememberâ what is written in the Constitution, if today’s Croatia, democratic and independent Croatia, âgenerouslyâ added Partisans to Ustashe and Home Guard, this would mean the completion and realization of the morbid ideas of the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman who wanted to bury the remains of the victims of fascism and anti-fascist fighters with those who killed them in the area of ââthe former concentration camp of ‘Oustasha Jasenovac. Tudjman then, under pressure from abroad (even from the United States), had to give up copying something that had been achieved in Spain during his long-term dictatorship by the openly pro-fascist genelisimus Francisco Franco (who entered- time was “withdrawn” from this memorial complex by the Spanish democratic authorities). .
His successors went further. While Tudjman never attacked (participated in) the popular liberation struggle, nor uttered a horrible word about Marshal Tito, they âcourageouslyâ abolished Marshal Tito Square in Zagreb (and no candidates for mayor of Zagreb dare not say that he would return the square with that name), they tolerate and even encourage the most severe revision in history (as if they were learning from the Serbian right, but also from the current authorities who marked Victory Day with an academy with photos of Chetnik leader DraÅ¾a MihailoviÄ and supporters Josip Broz Tito, claiming resistance to fascism only for the Serbian people), they (almost) ignore Victory Day and glorify the sacrifice of those who had been on the side of Nazi fascism during WWII.
Does today’s Croatia (and not just the official) really have a dilemma: either to celebrate V-day or mourn the surrender of the Quisling forces near Bleiberg, their defeat? Judging by what we are witnessing – no! And his is devastating not only for Croatia, but also for the European Union of which Croatia is a member.