User talk:Peter Z./Notes on the former Yugoslavia

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The former Balkan State Yugoslavia is indeed a complex affair. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall evidence has emerged that portrays this country in a totally different light.

The region has had a truly tragic history since the creation of Yugoslavia in 1918.

  • Parliamentary assassination of Stjepan Radic in Belgrade (1928)
  • The Jasenovac concentration camp [1] of World War Two
  • Way of the Cross,[2] Bleiburg and Foibe massacres (1945/46)
  • Srebrenica massacre of the early 1990s during the Bosnia War (1992–1995)


Croatia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia

Croatia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is a subject that is not on today’s Western Scholars minds, at all. Yet the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had a profound effect on the region. So much so that it’s created today’s political and cultural scene.

The events of post World War Two are of Biblical proportion. As stated by Joze Dezman[3] a noted Slovenian Historian (Slovenia a former republic of Yugoslavia).

'"Killing civilians and prisoners of was after Second World War is the greatest massacre of unarmed people of all times in Slovenian territory. Compared to Europe, the Yugoslav communist massacres after the Second World War are probably right after the Stalinist purges and the Great Famine in the Ukraine. The number of those killed in Slovenia in spring of 1945 can now be estimated at more than 100,000, Slovenia was the biggest post- War killing site in Europe. It was a mixture of events, when in Slovenia there are retreating German units, collaborator units, units of Independent State of Croatia, Chetniks and Balkan civilians; more than 15,000 Slovenia inhabitants were murdered as well. Because of its brevity, number of casualties, way of execution and massiveness, it is an event that can be compared to the greatest crimes of Communism and National Socialism."

The events were best documented in the European Public Hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" held in Brussels in April 2008. The commission was mainly the work of Brussels European Union and the Government of Slovenia.

Totalitarian Political System of the Former Yugoslavia

Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy by Carl Joachim Friedrich & Zbigniew Brzezinski:

Characteristics of a totalitarian regime; a total ideology, a single mass party, a terrorist secret police, a monopoly of mass communication, all instruments to wage combat are in the control of the same hands, and a centrally directed planned economy. Totalitarian dictatorships emerge after the seizure of power by the leaders of a movement who have developed support for an ideology. The point when the government becomes totalitarian is when the leadership uses open and legal violence to maintain its control. The dictator demands unanimous devotion from the people and often uses a real or imaginary enemy to create a threat so the people rally around him.

Former Yugoslavia

  • Total ideology: Communism & Titoism
  • A single mass party: Communist Part of Yugoslavia (or League of Communists of Yugoslavia)
  • Terrorist secret police: UDBA and OZNA
  • Monopoly of mass communication: Mass communication were all placed under heavy censorship of the Yugoslav Communist State.
  • Directed planned economy:Communist Part of Yugoslavia controlled the economy.
  • Leaders of a movement who have developed support for an ideology: Titoism & Josip Broz Tito (the great leader)
  • Leadership uses open and legal violence to maintain its control:Notorious Bleiburg massacre, Way of the Cross massacres and the Foibe massacres. Ethnic cleansing of Germans, Hungarians and Italians. Communist concentration and work camps. Prison gulags: Goli Otok (Barren Island),KPH Zenica, Stare Gradiska and Sveti Grgur.
  • Demands unanimous devotion from the people:Dictator Josip Broz Tito was the main subject. Images, monuments, towns, street names, endless awards were given and a never ending production of books, films and poetry were created.

European public hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes”& former Yugoslavia"

  • Reports and proceedings of the 8th of April European public hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes”, organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission, stated the following: Totalitarian machines

Let us mention briefly Fascism, National Socialism and Titoism in Italy, Austria and Slovenia (a former republic of Yugoslavia). Three Christian nations, with nationalist tendencies, were infected with totalitarianism. The descent into barbarism has comparable structural elements: [4]

  • Abuse of national sentiment to carry out racial and class revolutionary projects;
  • Cult of a great leader, who permits his fanatics to murder, steal and lie;
  • Dictatorship of one party;
  • Militarisation of society, police state – almighty secret political police;
  • Collectivism, subjection of the citizen to the totalitarian state;
  • State terrorism with systematic abuses of basic human rights;
  • Aggressive assumption of power and struggle for territory. (page 197.)

Wikipedia & former Yugoslavia

This is funny, Wikipedia states:

  • "The post-World War II Yugoslavia was in many respects a model [citation needed] of how to build a multinational state."
  • "The ethnic violence was only ended [citation needed] when the multiethnic Yugoslav Partisans took over the country at the end of the war and banned nationalism from being publicly promoted. "
  • "Most notable of the victories against the occupying forces were the battles of Neretva and Sutjeska."

Editor's notes: Victories?

  • "Yugoslavia solved the national issue of nations and nationalities (national minorities) in a way that all nations and nationalities had the same rights."

Editor's notes: Thru the Way of the Cross, Bleiburg and Foibe massacres (1945/46)

Now thanks to the Internet, this pseudo historical perspective that once was only know to Tito's Yugoslavia, has gone World Wide. This is truly disturbing because the former communist Yugoslavia encompassed peoples descendant of the Roman Empire, Republic of Venice, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and so and so forth.

Editors Notes: Well, one could say, what would you expect from a Totalitarian political system? It needs to do historical re-writes. Part of its existence is based on falsehoods. It's the nature of the beast. Now I'm not saying it's all pseudo historical but sections of it would have to be. The regime had to justify its existence. I suspect it's all derived from 19-century thinking, i.e., Marxism combined with extreme Nationalism & Darwinism. The theory of Evolution incorporated into history of Civilisation. It is based on the Great Union of Southern Slavs combined with Communism's grand plan for its people to evolve into a superior society (and a superior man) as a whole.

Yugoslavia had it all. Kids were all educated in this way and taught to love the great leader. I'm not making this up:

Communist Yugoslavia ( & the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) has gotten off lightly when it comes to history. I would love to get my hands on scholarly works prior to 1945/46 and compare notes to what was written afterwards. I'm not alone in these matters, there are others who share my view.


Centre for History, Democracy and Reconciliation-Hague:

  • Myths and stereotypes of communism and nationalism which are still alive in our region (former Yugoslavia). Some historians still use these myths and stereotypes in their scientific work. CHDR will encourage researchers on the project "Myths in politics and modern history" to challenge these controversial aspects of the past which have been repeatedly manipulated for political purposes.

(Link: Additional: There was some good academic work done during the Communist era ( & post Communist). Experience has taught me that these writings are usually hardish to obtain and the information is generally disregarded by hot headed nationalism or Neo-Communists. Peter Z. 01:55, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Media links

  • Press Agency: Columnist Says Silence on Post-War Killings Needs to End (Interview). Ljubljana, 1 April (STA) - Alenka Puhar, an author who has written extensively about Slovenia's Communist past (a former republic of Yugoslavia), has told STA in an interview that post-WWII killings need to be examined and discussed. "We need to talk about it and live with it, with this pain," she said.
  • EurActiv Network Croatian PM pays tribute to controversial war victims (Croatia a former republic of Yugoslavia).

Slovenia 1945

(Selected as "Book of the Year" 2005 in the Times Literary Supplement by John Bayley, literary critic, retired Oxford University Professor and widower of Iris Murdoch. The authors wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair asking for Britain to make a gesture of regret to Slovenia for sending back the surrendered soldiers.)

Quote link: This book tells how the British Army in Austria forcibly repatriated surrendered Slovene anti-Communist soldiers to their deaths in 1945. Authors John Corsellis and Marcus Ferrar appealed to the government for a British expression of regret to Slovenia. Sixty two MPs signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for this. Then British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw wrote personally to the authors, and the head of a U.K. Parliamentary delegation to Slovenia did subsequently express regret.

SLOVENIA 1945 – sample reviews:

  • It has contrived wholly to avoid all the clichés of the genre …it presents us with a range of individuals as vividly seen and as sharply characterised as the multifarious inhabitants of War and Peace or A Dance to the Music of Time – 'Book of the Year' choice by John Bayley, literary critic, Times Literary Supplement, December 2005
  • An accessible, engaging read – The Catholic Herald.
  • This excellent book …raises a number of questions of profound historical and moral interest – The Tablet.
  • Part of a healing process …it is inspiring – The Friend.
  • Promises to contribute to our collective understanding of a terrible period of European history. It is right …that we too remember the tragedy which befell the Slovene people – Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary.
  • A valuable contribution to upholding the common values Slovenia and Great Britain share as members of the European Union – Janez Jansa, Slovene Prime Minister
  • Impossible to put down – Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto.
  • A wealth of precise information and balanced judgments presented in a clear and pleasant style … a serious and objective work – Cardinal Franc Rode, Vatican
  • An exciting and moving read – Michael Nelson, former Gen Mgr, Reuters.

Displaced persons from the former Yugoslavia

Displaced persons from former Yugoslavia:

Around 6,000 of these displaced persons from the former Italian region of Venezia Giulia (Istra) and Zara (Zadar) resettled in Australia with the assistance of the IRO. After transfer of Trieste to Italy in 1954, another several thousand Giuliani were assisted to migrate to Australia. While most were classed as Yugoslav residents and citizens, an estimated 5,000 were ethnic Italians from the cities of Fiume, Pola and Zara (Gardini 2004). Given the difficulty of ascertaining the ethnicity of displaced persons from the names and nationalities listed on official IRO documents, it is unclear how many displaced persons who identified as 'Italian' settled in Western Australia. What is clear is that the Istrian 'Italians' came from different backgrounds and had different motives for leaving their homes compared with other Italian assisted passage or sponsored migrants.[5]

Taken from Wikipedia:

  • Below-Croatisation of Italy's Julian March and Zadar

Even with a predominant Croatian majority, Dalmatia retained relatively large Italian communities in the coast (Italian majority in the cities and the islands, largest concentration in Istria). Italians in Dalmatia kept key political positions and Croatian majority had to make an enormous effort to get Croatian language into schools and offices. Most Dalmatian Italians gradually assimilated to the prevailing Croatian culture and language between the 1860s and World War I, although Italian language and culture remained present in Dalmatia. The community was granted minority rights in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; during the Italian occupation of Dalmatia in World War II, it was caught in the ethnic violence towards non-Italians during fascist repression: what remained of the community fled the area after World War II. [6]

The history took its turn: while from 1919. - 1945. Italian Fascists stated by the proclamation that all Croatian and other non-Italian surnames must be turned to Italian ones (which they had chosen for every surname, so Anić became Anetti, Babačić Babetti etc.; 115.157 Croats and other non-Italians were forced to change their surname),[7] the Italian community of Istria and Dalmatia were forced to change their names to Croats and Yugoslav, during Tito's Yugoslavia.[8][9]

The same happened - but with lower incidence - with Italians in Istria and Fiume who were the majority of the population in most of the coastal areas in the first half of the 19th century, while at the beginning of World War I they numbered less than 50%.

After World War II most of the Italians left Istria and the cities of Italian Dalmatia in the Istrian-Dalmatian exodus.[10] The remaining Italians were forced to be assimilated culturally and even linguistically during Josip Broz Tito's rule of communist Yugoslavia.[11][12] Following the exodus, the areas were settled and heavily croatized with Yugoslav people.[12][13] Economic insecurity, ethnic hatred and the international political context that eventually led to the Iron Curtain resulted in up to 350,000 people, mostly Italians, forced to leave the region. The London Memorandum (1954) gave the ethnic Italians the hard choice of either opting to leave (the so-called optants) or staying. These exiles would have been to be given compensation for their loss of property and other indemnity by the Italian state under the terms of the peace treaties.Who opted to stay, had to suffer a slow but forced croatisation.[14] Some sporadic Croatization phenomena still took place in the last years of 20th century after Croatian Indipendency, despites many towns were declared bilingual by Croatian Law.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Yugoslavia." Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Ed. Dinah L. Shelton. Gale Cengage, 2005. 2006. 26 Jun, 2010 Yugoslavia: Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity-Mark Thompson.
  2. ^ Hrcak Portal of Scientific Journals of Croatia by Mr Dizdar's Scientific Journal:
    • An Addition to the Research of the Problem of Bleiburg & Way of the Cross. This paper dedicated to the 60th anniversary of these tragic events represents a small step towards the elaboration of known data and brings a list of yet unknown and unpublished original documents, mostly belonging to the Yugoslavian Military and Political Government 1945-1947. Amongst those documents are those mostly relating to Croatian territory although a majority of concentration camps and execution sites were outside of Croatia, in other parts of Yugoslavia. The author hopes that the readers will receive a complete picture about events related to Bleiburg and the Way of The Cross and the suffering of numerous Croats, which is confirmed directly in many documents and is related to the execution of a person or a whole group of people and sometimes non-stop for days.
  3. ^ International Law Observer Responding to post-Second World War totalitarian crimes in Slovenia Posted on June 22, 2009 by Jernej Letnar Cernic
  4. ^ European Public Hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" Reports and proceedings of the 8 April European public hearing on “Crimes committed by totalitarian regimes”, organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission. Page 197. Joze Dezman: COMMUNIST REPRESSION AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN SLOVENIA Additional chapter: COMMUNIST REPRESSION Of “INTERIOR ENEMIES” IN SLOVENIA
    • In the greater part of this paper, the author deals with individual repressive measures that Communist rule imposed in Slovenia in the period from the end of the war in 1945 until the beginning of the 1950s. In this period, the Communist authorities in Slovenia implemented all the forms of repression that were typical of states with Stalinist regimes. In Slovenia, it was a time of mass killings without court trials, and of concentration and labour camps.
    • Property was confiscated, inhabitants were expelled from Slovenia/Yugoslavia and their residences, political and show trials were carried out, religion was repressed and the Catholic Church and its clergy were persecuted. At the beginning of the 1950s, Communist rule in Slovenia abandoned these forms of repression but was ready to reapply them if it felt threatened.
    • Thus the regime set up political and show trials against certain more visible opponents later. In the case of an “emergency situation”, even the establishment of concentration camps was planned in Slovenia in 1968, where around 1,000 persons, of whom 10 % were women, would be interned for political reasons. Page 161
  5. ^ The University of Western Australia (Italian Lives
  6. ^ Društvo književnika Hrvatske, Bridge, Volume 1995, Nubers 9-10, Croatian literature series - Ministarstvo kulture, Croatian Writer's Association, 1989
  7. ^ Hrvoje Mezulić i Romano Jelić [1] (croatian)]
  8. ^ Nenad Vekarić, Pelješki rodovi, Vol. 2, HAZU, 1996 - ISBN 9789531540322
  9. ^ Jasminka Udovički and James Ridgeway, Burn this house: the making and unmaking of Yugoslavia
  10. ^ Several estimates of the Istrian-Julian exodus by historians:
    • Vladimir Žerjavić (Croat), 191,421 Italian exiles from Croatian territory.
    • Nevenka Troha (Slovene), 40,000 Italian and 3,000 Slovene exiles from Croatian and Slovenian territory.
    • Raoul Pupo (Italian), about 250,000 Italian exiles
    • Flaminio Rocchi (Italian), about 350,000 Italian exiles
    The mixed Italian-Slovenian Historical Commission verified 27,000 Italian and 3,000 Slovene migrants from Croatian and Slovenian territory.
  11. ^ Luciano Monzali, Antonio Tacconi e la comunità italiana di Spalato, Società dalmata di storia patria.
  12. ^ a b <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Darko Darovec. "THE PERIOD OF TOTALITARIAN RÉGIMES - The Reasons for the Exodus".
  13. ^ Liliana Ferrari, Essay on Raoul Pupo, pag. 5, Rizzoli, Gorizia 2005
  14. ^ Sabrina P. Ramet, Balkan babel: the disintegration of Yugoslavia from the death of Tito, Westview Press, 2002 «...and since the sixties, those of the rest of Croatia. The Istrian Democratic Party demanded autonomy for Istria, as a protection against "the forcible Croatization of Istria" and an imposition of a coarse and fanatical Croatism[...] Furio Radin argued that such autonomy was vital for the cultural protection of the Italian minority in Istria.»
  15. ^ «Pola, no to Italian chorus in St. Anthony church» in "Difesa Adriatica" year XIV n.5 - may 2008
  16. ^ Alex J. Bellamy, he formation of Croatian national identity, Manchester University Press, 2003, ISBN 9780719065026
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