JUNE 29 2015 11:48h

Forget the Ustasha and Partisans, let's agree - Croatia will not be Greece




Is reconciliation possible in Croatia? Not the ideological reconciliation, of course, because, as we can see, there is no solid base for that, there never was and never will be. The first Croatian President FranjoTu?man tried to achieve this historical reconciliation of "Ustashas" and "Partisans" and create a new Croatian community spirit. He failed. Today, even those who agreed with him at that time, deny that part of his policy. Tu?man's project of reconciliation of Ustasha and Partisans has ultimately been transformed into a political legalization of the dark episodes of Croatian history, giving them the right of the public and political activity. Thus, for example, in 2008 in Zadar some sort of obscure Croatian ritual society of soldiers of World War II and the Homeland War has been established. Its members walked the city in Ustasha uniforms with Pavelic's picture on the banner, explaining how it is the true and patriotic Croatian iconography, legally quite acceptable, because it says so in their Code. The state, of course, did not react.

Thus, the ideological debates have been destroying the social fabricsystematically and thoroughly for years, creating hatred and keeping us in chains of misunderstanding, mutual accusations, futile questsafter the historical truths that the opposing sides cannot and never will find and accept, because the facts that do not fit the truth that suits them do not mean anything to them. For the adherents of the NDH,that state (if it can be called a state) will never be a criminal creation, despite the fact that it was a puppet state, founded on the initiative of National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy and by the Rome treaty it was formulated as the most ordinary Italian protectorate. They will never see the ‘Poglavnik’ as a traitor who gave Istria, Dalmatia, Croatian Primorjeand Gorski Kotarto Italy, but a superb tactician who had only temporarily agreed to this, but he also included parts of today's BIH into the NDH.

They will see the fact that the German Reich used the NDH as a reservoir of human resources and forcibly recruited Croatian population in their ranks, thus creating as much as five legionary divisionsthat were funded by the NDH’s budget, as acceptable tactics that leads to the goal step by step - to the creation of a strong Croatian state. They will never ask themselves can and aim rally justify every single means used in the attempts to achieve it. They will never care about the moral question of whether race laws and extermination of people of other nations, religions and political commitment can be an acceptable way for the establishment of their own state. For them even the President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, whom they supported in the campaign, is slowly becoming a foreigner and a snake in their bosom, because, as one columnist wrote for the hrsvijet.netportal, on June 22nd in Brezovica, when they celebrated, according to the columnist, a fake Anti-Fascist Struggle Day, she was dancing in a red wheel dance and presented fake thesis that the anti-fascism is the historical value of the Croatian state, forgetting the historical importance of Ante Pavelić and NDH as the achievement the Croatian dream of statehood.

On the other side of the ideological pendulum there is also the refusal to face the dark facts, mass executions without trials, the killing of innocent women, children and the elderly, diminishing the horrors of Bleiburg, Jazovka and other execution sites. Justification is foundfor all that was wrong. Those who worship the character and work of Josip Broz Tito will never accept the evidence showing that his policy had been partly criminal. They will never accept the interpretation according to which the former Yugoslavia was a dungeon for the Croatian people and in their eyes Tito will always be an outstanding tactician who knew how to perfectly balance the repressive Soviet regime and Western civilization which has been developing democracy.

They will mitigate the fact that he was a dictator who brutally eliminated political opponents by the remark that during his time, in spite of everything, life was not so bad, on the contrary, everyone had a job and no one was hungry. "It's worse today, and we have Croatia", they will say. They will say that Goliotokand political bondage because of the Croatianhoodwas a bad thing, but in a way it is acceptable because each regime must somehow defend against internal enemies and send a message to everyone in the society that it is not worth working against it. They will say that the fact that people were imprisoned even because of songs sung on a birthday party is only an unacceptable bizarreness.

Systematically exposed to ideological confrontation, the Croatian society is brainwashed. Figuratively speaking, it is as if each side in the conflict has only one functional side of the brain. The other one is blocked for any acceptance of different facts. In this brainwashing exclusivity had developed and chauvinistic outbursts have become a common phenomenon that no one perceives. The state (and by state I mean both levels of government - local and national) least of all. In Zagreb, for example, there is no neighborhood in which one cannot see graffiti on the walls"Mamić is a Gypsy" or "Mamić is a Serb". This speaks not only of intolerance, even hatred towards one man, but also of what those who transform their hatred to graffiti consider offensive. To call someone a fool, for instance, does not count as an insult, or at least not strong enough to disturb the one who is being insulted. But, to call him a Serb or a Gypsy, well, that is the real thing. If this was not terrible, it would be funny. By ignoring such things over the years the state has become a silent partner to those who disseminate chauvinism and hatred.

Croatian society has reached the point when it needs serious rehabilitation and education about democracy. And that is why I will go back to the initial question - is reconciliation possible in Croatia? Not over the fact whose father (grandfather, uncle...) was Ustasha, and whose was a Partisan, and who was historically right, and who was wrong.

Can we begin the process of pacification and rapprochement in the society by social agreement about the fact that Croatia will not become - Greece? In the years to come and for generations yet to begin their independent lives only that will be important, and we have seen that much has been done so far that leads Croatia towards the hell that Greece is experiencing.