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Revision of World War Two History

Revision of World War Two History Josip Bolkovac

In the official Croatian interpretation, the Ustasha continue to be regarded as fascists, collaborating with Hitler and guilty of destroying innocent people. However, from time to time, individual political leaders seeking to play a nationalist card attempt to prove that Ustasha had positive aspirations for Croatian people’s independence.

For example, in 1991, President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman allowed the umammas in exile to return to Croatia. He was also the first among Croatian politicians to begin to talk about the role of the Independent State of Croatia - a puppet state formed during the Second World War - as a “Croatian nation state.” In one of his speeches, Tudjman stated that Croatia during the Second World War was not only a Nazi formation, but also expressed the age-long aspirations of the Croatian people.

In 10 Croatian settlements, a number of streets have been renamed in honour of one of the leaders of the Ustasha Miele Budak. Ivo Rojnica, head of the Ustasha in Dubrovnik in 1941-1945, accused of expelling Serbs, Jews and Roma, living in Argentina after the Second World War, was appointed by Tudjman as his authorized representative in Buenos Aires.

Mass destruction of monuments to anti-fascists also took place; in particular, the Monument to the Victory of the Slavonian peoples, the Belovarets monument, the monument to the victims of the Yadovenko concentration camp, etc. After Tudjman's arrival to power, government started pensions for former Ustashi and veterans of the armed formations of the Independent State of Croatia.

Nationalist rhetoric and attempts to justify Croatian collaborators are present in the electronic and print media. In April 2019, on the central channel of local television HRT, in the daily cultural and information program "Calendar", A. Pavelic was called "a fighter against Belgrade violence." The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), functioning within the Council of Europe, pointed to the growing number of revisionist materials on social networks.

Internet portals such as www.poglavnik.wordpress.com (dedicated to the life and legacy of A. Pavelich), www.otporas.com (dedicated to the Ustaše movement), www.domobganzd.com (dedicated to the memory of the NGH armed forces ). The magazines Hrvatski tjednik and Hrvatski domobran are published with the financial support of relevant state structures (the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Veterans Affairs), in which articles glorifying the Ustaše are periodically published.

In 2019, the Jewish Community of Croatia announced that it was opposed to the construction of a new memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in Zagreb. The mayor's office of the Croatian capital promised to erect a monument to the victims of the Holocaust, but local Jews said they would have nothing to do with this, since it does not mention the involvement of the country's leadership of that period in the crimes of the Nazi regime. “There is no place in Zagreb and Croatia for a monument to six million Jews, since such a monument already exists in Berlin. European countries, unlike Croatia, have commemorated the murders of Jews in their territories with monuments and memorials,” the Zagreb Jewish community said in a statement about the decision of the municipality to erect a monument. The Jewish community in Croatia has been boycotting government-sponsored Holocaust commemorations since 2016, alleging that the state is working to rehabilitate the Ustaše, a fascist movement led by Ante Pavelić that killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs and dozens of thousand Jews. The country's leadership is pursuing a controversial policy on this issue. In 2016, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović posed during a trip to Canada holding the Ustaše flag. However, in 2018 in Israel, she expressed her "deep regrets" for the victims "killed at the hands of the collaborationist Ustasha regime."

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