President Tries to Clarify Her “For the Homeland Ready” Comments

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, February 23, 2019 – Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Friday that the salute “For the Homeland Ready” was the official and discredited salute of the 1941-1945 Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and that it should be distinguished from the salute “For the Homeland Ready” used by some members of military units that fought in the 1991-1995 Homeland War.

Speaking in an interview with national radio, the president further explained her recent statement that she had been wrong to say that the salute “For the Homeland Ready”, used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime in Croatia during World War II, was a Croatian historical greeting, and that her point was that the salute as such was “compromised and unacceptable”.

Her admission has met with criticism from the far-right end of the political spectrum.

Asked if it was a mistake to make this admission, she answered in the negative and reiterated that the salute used during the NDH regime was compromised, whereas the situation was different during the 1991-1995 war of independence when some of the units used that salute and it became part of their insignia.

She quoted the first Croatian President Franjo Tuđman as saying that the Ustasha-led NDH was a quisling and Fascist state as well as an expression of the Croatian people’s desire for independence from the Yugoslav state. President Tuđman and we agree that the fact that the NDH was in a coalition with the Axis powers and all that happened during WWII compromised the salute “For the Homeland Ready”, she said pointing out the different context of the Homeland War.

During the 1991-1995 war, there were specific conditions when Croatia was exposed to a war waged against it by forces that used “a five-point red star which was compromised during the attacks against Vukovar and other parts of Croatia”, the president said underscoring that soldiers wearing the five-point red star were allied with Serb units with Chetnik insignia in the Homeland War.

In those specific conditions people who used this salute defended Croatia. They wanted a free, independent Croatia, the president said.

She underscored that no government in Croatia had questioned this fact and added that it was now up to lawmakers and the government to propose a law on the matter.

Grabar-Kitarović warned of attempts being made from abroad to belittle the Homeland War and the actions of the forces that defended Croatia during the 1991-1995 war.

More news about the Ustasha regime can be found in the Politics section.


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