President’s Speech on Second World War Met with Whistles

Total Croatia News

The Croatian President came to Istria to mark the 74th anniversary of the unification of Istria with the rest of Croatia.

In the presence of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and many other guests, the Assembly of Istria County held a special session marking the 74th anniversary of the decision on the unification of Istria with the rest of Croatia, reports on September 25, 2017.

While talking about the contribution of the Catholic Church to the unification of Istria, the President was meet with loud whistles from the audience when she mentioned the Catholic priesthood. The same happened to MP Anton Kliman, as the envoy of Speaker of Parliament, who was interrupted by whistles when he mentioned the Catholic Church.

The President recalled that the first victims of fascism in Europe fell in Istria and that the first anti-fascist movement developed there. “Every Istrian patriot was an antifascist, irrespective of ideological affiliation, and an extraordinary contribution to this popular struggle for freedom was given by the Catholic clergy,” said the President, after which whistles could be heard, coming mostly from surviving members of the Association of Antifascist Fighters, who believe that Catholic Church’s contribution is being exaggerated at their expense. On the other hand, each mention of Josip Broz Tito during the event was greeted with applause and chanting.

“We should point out that the Catholic priesthood, led by Father Božo Milanović, with the publication of the Memorial Document of the Croatian Clergy in Istria and other ways, gave a critical contribution to the final international confirmation of the decision on unification. Unfortunately, after the war, their contribution was not respected. On the contrary, for ideological reasons, the Church was subjected to various persecutions, which included murders of priests and the faithful. That should be said as one of the truths of the history from that period,” said the President. While the President was later leaving the hall, the Second World War participants sang partisan songs and chanted “Tito, Tito.”

Prefect of Istrian County Valter Flego said that “Istria cannot close its eyes when the Ustasha slogans are being legitimized and when the names of squares and streets are being changed” in Croatia. “That is absolutely unacceptable to us, and it will always be. We will warn against it again and again. Some people have not yet learnt anything from history, and therefore it is necessary to repeat the truth and preserve antifascism,” said Flego.

The session was also attended by former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić and the president of the Association of Antifascist Fighters and AntiFascists of Croatia Franjo Habulin. Mesić received ovations from the audience.

“Today, both antifascism and democracy are in danger in Croatia. It would not be a good thing if the wave of revisionism were to defeat everything which makes Croatia a culturally developed, civilised and European country. We must all be aware of this, especially younger generations because they will determine how Croatia will look like tomorrow. They should defend what most war veterans were fighting for during the Homeland War, which certainly was not an intolerant, xenophobic Croatia,” said Habulin.

Translated from


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