Historical Commission’s Chairman Satisfied with Issued Recommendations

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 4, 2018 – The president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) Zvonko Kusić, who chaired the council for dealing with the consequences of the rule of undemocratic regimes that recently adopted guidelines for how to treat insignia of totalitarian systems in the 20th century, has said that the document the council has produced “is not ideal but is realistic”.

Kusić, who was a guest on the national television (HTV) political show on Sunday afternoon, says that the council “has made a great success”. It managed to produce a document in a cool-headed manner and free of ideologies as much as possible, Kusić said, describing the document as free of emotions and being reduced to the facts.

Criticisms coming both from the left-side and right-side of the political spectrum against the council and its recommendations is interpreted by the academician as “commendation” to the council, composed of 17 experts from different scientific fields and of different political inclinations.

One of the conclusions of the council is that the salute “For the homeland ready”, which was used by the Ustasha regime in the 1941-1945 Nazi-style Independent State of Croatia, should be banned as the salute was in contravention with Croatia’s Constitution. However, the salute can be used only for commemorative purposes when fallen members of the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS), the armed wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) during the 1991-1995 Homeland War, are remembered. And the use of that salute should be approved by relevant authorities in such cases.

Kusić, who declined to give his private opinion on the matter, highlighted the council’s conclusion that insignia such as Communist Red Star could be treated as disputable if they are associated with the Communist regime’s crimes and the aggression against Croatia in the 1990s.

Elaborating the exceptions for the use of the above-mentioned salute, Kusić said that HOS members stood up to defend Croatia during the aggression and they gave their lives for the defence of their homeland, adding that this tipped the balance for the approval of the exceptions. “It is interesting that the 17-member council unanimously decided for the exception and none of those 17 members challenged this decision.”

He also said that, for the first time in the history, this document declares Communist symbols disputable. Kusić said that communist crimes had often been concealed and had not been condemned to the extent to which Fascist crimes were. However, the document puts Communist symbols into the category of disputable ones, he recalls.

Kusić praised Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for having initiated the process of the establishment of the council tasked with the job of giving guidelines on how to treat symbols and insignia of undemocratic regimes.


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