A guest post from Sonny Kekelj from (I think) Canada on April 24, 2016, on the need to urgently address Croatia’s past.
At TCN, we are happy to publish relevant, well-written news and opinion on all aspects of Croatia. With heightened tensions and increased discussion about Croatia’s history, an opinion piece which we received by email from Sonny Kekelj, and reproduce in full.
These are troubled times in Croatia; lots of ideological divide and hysteria. Croatia has been dominated by foreign powers for hundreds of years. The dream of a free, democratic and independent state only became a reality in the 1990s; the 1941 regime doesn’t count. In all this time Croatia never owned its history. It was always written by others, and usually to our determent. To move forward we must own our past. This is a difficult process. The search for truth is not a universal desire due to vested interests. But we must have the truth. It cannot be any worse than what the Yugo Communist and Chetnik Greater Serbians have accused us of and created a Croatian genocidal myth. A re-examination of the past is vital, but dangerous to others especially of Yugo nostalgists and Serbs. If the truth proves to be less than what we are accused of, or in fact false or excludes critical data and events, then the Yugo – Greater Serbian world view and political system is destroyed. An historical settling of accounts is desperately needed.
American historian James M. McPherson said “Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. […] The unending quest of historians for understanding the past — that is, “revisionism” — is what makes history vital and meaningful.” Given that Croatia was subjugated by a totalitarian communist regime for over 50 years and Greater Serbian hegemony, we all should be questioning historical “facts”. After all the ‘winner’ writes the history, and Communist regimes around the world are well know for their manipulation and distortion of facts, and simply outright lies which were wrapped in layers of propaganda to create an Utopian society. Communist regimes certainly didn’t have any respect for human rights, what makes you think they would respect the truth? Greater Serbians certainly don’t want a re-examination of their version of history for risk that they are exposed for their imperial desires. Seeking the truth should not be construed to minimizing victims or justifying crimes (that’s always UNACCEPTABLE). It seems to me that only people with something to hide fear seeking the truth. So, Croatia is at a cross-road – legitimate questions are being asked and search for truth is being undertaken. This makes people feel uncomfortable for various reasons, but why does a re-examination of something so important trouble people? The answers will only support the existing facts, or truly uncover new evidence to reveal the truth. A truth and reconciliation process is vital for peace, but it is also a very difficult process. Vested interests should be put aside for a pursuit of truth. Let’s get on with with a truth and reconciliation process in the entire Yugoland region.
It’s also interesting that Serbia can rehabilitate and revise history ranging from it’s role (and denial) of its criminal Nazi puppet state in WWII and criminal Chetnik movement to distorting facts and denying truth of the Croatian Homeland war – their constant accusing Croatia of expelling Serbs, when the facts and the truth were verified and validated and proven at the IOCTY that is was an order evacuation by Serbian leadership; and denying that they were even aggressors in a horrible war. It’s amazing what having friends in high places, and how being unethical and deceptive can do for you. It’s actually sad.
Hopefully a fair article can be written – it’s not about ideology, but about process to uncover the truth.