Government to Establish a Historical Commission

Total Croatia News

The commission is supposed to discuss historical and ideological issues.

The commission for dealing with the past, which Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said should finally close all open historical and ideological issues connected with undemocratic regimes which existed in Croatia during the 20th century, will probably be established on Thursday during a session of the government, reports Večernji List on March 1, 2017.

The commission will have about 20 members, and its goal will be to reach a consensus on all issues connected with the totalitarian past. It should also define the legal framework to regulate all the controversial symbols of totalitarian regimes.

The exact composition of the commission is still not known, but names of people who have been invited to become its members have been reported by the media. Most members represent certain public institutions. The commission should be headed by Zvonko Kusić, president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, while members will be various historians, lawyers, sociologists, political scientists…

According to unofficial information, an invitation to become members of the commission has been received by former president of the Constitutional Court Jasna Omejec, professor of criminal law Davor Derenčinović, and SDP’s former Culture Minister Antun Vujić. Representatives of two youth organizations have also been invited, as well as historians Ivo Lučić from the Croatian Institute for History, professor Ante Nazor, director of the Croatian Memorial and Documentation Centre of the Homeland War, and professor Mladen Ančić from the University of Zadar.

Hrvoje Klasić, historian from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, was also invited, but he declined. “It seems to me that the government really does not want to deal with historical problems any longer, and I support it in its efforts. However, we have not come to an agreement how it should be done. As an expert for 20th century history, I am ready to talk with all the experts who have dealt with various aspects of Croatian history in the 20th century. But, the proposed members of the commission do not inspire confidence that they could achieve a success, given that these are mainly people who have not dealt with the Croatian 20th century history, especially with the socialist period which will presumably be the most controversial”, said Klasić, adding that he was worried because majority of proposed members were not historians.

“The principle was that the commission should include people from key Croatian institutions, universities, the Constitutional Court… and that, in addition to historians, it should also include ethicists, lawyers and so on. It is a false perception that we are the ‘Commission for the History of the League of Communists’ and that we will say that, for example, the Ustasha were evil and that the Partisans were good. We will point out the problems which are faced by researchers and set up a legal framework within which problems should be solved”, said one of the proposed members of the commission.

The establishment of the commission has been coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Davor Božinović.


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