A painful fury sets in. This week, authorities in Zagreb, Croatia, had actually permitted a march through its streets of some two hundred people who call themselves the Immortal Partisan Detachment and who stated they were marching to raise public awareness of people who gave their lives for a free Croatia (World War II)! The problem with this claim is that the communist Partisans did not free Croatia to make it free and independent – they fought against the Croatian army and the Independent State of Croatia fighters to keep Croatia within communist Yugoslavia and won the war. The word “free” in their language essentially means that they defeated the Ustasha regime, whose aim was to bring freedom and independence to Croatia, to make Croatia a sovereign state.
But as things repugnantly go with communists and former communists they use the word freedom to cover up and justify the heinous crimes against humanity they, as Partisans, committed for that fake “freedom”. Many people today still remain in a permanent and dangerous state of denial or semi-denial about the legacy of communism a century after its birth in Russia and in our case, about the legacy of communism in Croatia (as part of Yugoslavia). Do they question at all what freedom are these communists and former Partisans talking about?
No, they do not. No, they are not unaware of the toll of the communist Partisan crimes against Croats during WWII, no, they are not unaware of the Bleiburg massacres (May 1945) and Way of the Cross and multitudes of other mass murders of innocent people and of those who wanted an independent Croatia, not communist Yugoslavia. No, they are not plotting to undermine democracy – they are plotting to get away with murder and to call “freedom” that which is not.
But they will insist that there is an essential difference between Nazism and communism – between race-hatred and class-hatred; Jasenovac and Bleiburg (Huda Pit,Goli Otok) – that morally favours the latter (class-hatred). They will attempt to dissociate communist theory from practice in an effort to acquit the former. They will balance acknowledgment of the repression and mass murder by communism with references to its “real advances and achievements.”
There was no true freedom in communist Yugoslavia – that is why the overwhelming majority of Croatian people voted to secede and carve their own freedom and democracy. And, of course, Croatia paid a terrible price in the 1990’s Homeland War through which it actually achieved freedom from Yugoslavia! That achieved freedom from Yugoslavia also symbolises freedom from almost a thousand years of enslavement by foreign powers. The communist ideology that at one point during the 20th century enslaved and impoverished roughly a third of the world collapsed elsewhere in the world almost without a fight and was exposed for all to see. Yet there are people who still have trouble condemning it as we do equivalent evils. And we treat its sympathizers as romantics and idealists, rather than as the extremist fanatics they really were and are; they are a dangerous breed that suffocates and denies the truth. They are the ones that are responsible for the increasing impoverishment of many Croats, now forced to emigrate in droves, in search of jobs and decent survival.
This Immortal Partisan Detachment that marched through Zagreb this week are associated ideologically and otherwise with the processions that started in Russia, in 2012 – Immortal Regiment – as way of marking WWII victory over the Nazis! And yet, some 36 million innocent people were purged under Russian communist regime and ideology!
What a sad and infuriating evidence that points to the fact that Croatian authorities have lost sight of what made Croatia free today! They have lost sight of the values of Croatia’s 1990’s Homeland War – a free, sovereign and democratic Croatia. While democracy brings freedom of association and expression, surely it must not tolerate any denials and cover-ups and excuses for crimes that drove Croats to fight and lose lives for a free state in that war.
Had the authorities not lost sight of that they would not permit this garbage, lie and fabrication of history to walk the streets in an organised march. They would make sure that all, including former Partisans and communists know that the Homeland War is the foundation of Croatia’s full freedom, not any WWII events. These marching thugs call themselves antifascists and yet they symbolise the communist Yugoslavia perpetrators of the greatest mass murders and extermination of innocent Croatian people the history has ever recorded in that part of the world during and after WWII!
The fact that symbols of the totalitarian communist Yugoslav are freely displayed also adds to the tragedy of what free Croatia is turning or has turned into: an emerging democracy contaminated by the lack of condemnation of the communist regime and its atrocious crimes against innocent people.
It’s a bitter fact that the most astonishing victory by the Croatian forces in defending Croatia from Serb aggression in 1990’s (Homeland War) turns out to be the one whose lessons Croatia has never seriously bothered to teach, much less to learn. This is due to the influence former communists still weave into life.
It was noted once that when the Germans allowed the leader of the Bolsheviks to travel from Switzerland to St. Petersburg in 1917, “they turned upon Russia the most grisly of all weapons. They transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus.”
A century on, the communist bacteria isn’t eradicated, and democracy’s immunity to it in Croatia is, alarmingly and destructively, still in doubt.