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This, then, answers the question: what is antifascism? And what is its link with Communism? But the further question is: What is Tito’s role in it?

The old plaque on Tito Square, now intended for the Zagreb historical museum, makes a large claim. It reads: “Marshal Tito Square. Josip Broz Tito, politician, leader of the antifascist movement, President of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, 1945-1980, 1892-1980.” (Emphasis added.) An array of campaign groups turned out — in only modest numbers, despite the media attention — to protest against dethroning their hero from his square. The television pictures told the story of their identity and their marginalisation. Everywhere big red flags bearing the hammer and sickle were waved. The only Croatian flags present were those of the old socialist “People’s Republic”. Some protesters wore items of Yugoslav army uniform — the same worn by the Serbian/Yugoslav army forces which in 1991 attacked Croatia.

The leaders of Croatia’s antifascist movement repeatedly identified themselves with Tito. They offered no apologies for Tito’s methods and the Communist Party’s crimes.

But a glance at the list of groups supporting the protest suggests that some very special apologies were in order. Were the “Women’s Network” aware, one wonders, that Tito initiated sexual relations with his first wife when she was just 14? That he later denounced her, and his second wife — and a host of other Party “comrades” — to the NKVD when he was in Moscow in the 1930s? Did the homosexual activists know — as a forthcoming book by a Croatian historian will shortly detail — that at the Goli Otok concentration camp, to which Tito despatched his political enemies, the authorities publicly humiliated and beat  homosexuals, whom they considered “bourgeois decadents”?

The Jewish community, represented at the protest, has, of course, reason to detest the behaviour towards them of the wartime Ustasha, who fully collaborated in the Holocaust decreed by the Reich. But should Croatian Jews be grateful to Tito and the Party? In 1945 well-known Jewish businessmen were killed and their businesses seized by the Communists. When the Communists arrived, Jewish properties confiscated by the Ustasha were not returned, but were again seized and enjoyed — and are often still enjoyed — by the Communist elite and their privileged, cosseted progeny — the so-called “red bourgeoisie” who provide the bulk of the ruling class of  “post-Communist” Croatia.

As for the Croatian Serbs, whose leaders were prominent in the protests — whatever privileged positions they disproportionately occupied under the Party, notably in the repressive apparatus, they would be well advised to reflect on the long-term cost of those benefits. That cynical Communist policy of divide and rule meant that in 1990, when democracy arrived in Croatia, Serbs were both distrustful and distrusted and as such automatically seen as hostile to the new state — which the Serb rebellion prompted by Belgrade (still then led by Communists) confirmed. If Tito’s Yugoslavia left hatreds so raw and wounds so deep, who can seriously conclude that Communism offered a cure or even a palliative for atavistic nationalism, as its apologists still claim?

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Giordano Bruno
November 7th, 2017
8:11 PM
Fascism is like globalism - neo-imperial corporatism or ecclesiastical despotism, essence-based evil based on greed and power, and as such any method for their removal is justified. Tito is quite successful in removing that weed. After all, he succeeded in establishing a rather humane and successful multi-ethnic and multi-religious secular society, progressively and intellectually advanced, which set an excellent model of society that should be everywhere, despite the efforts of the West to prevent further creation and maintenance of a similar, out of West covert imperialist dogma. In the end, it was like in the old sentence "all evil comes from the West (also before from Vatican)", as they spoke to us, and it came in the sense of an instrumentalized parliamentary democracy in which hiding the old hydras: the corporation and the church. I hope that it will appeal to some new civil revolutions, which I hope will completely eradicate their sick paradigm of authority and Orwellian vision of "democracy".

Miroslav
November 7th, 2017
11:11 AM
What is this fatuous babble? People didn't protest the renaming of the Marshal Tito square because of the sanctity of Tito's figure, but because the renaming process was blatantly violated. This was publicly acknowledged by the city Mayor Bandić, who stated that the votes cast in his favor at the recent local elections can be taken as a "sign of the times" that makes consultations with the local residents required by law unnecessary. At the time Bandić considered organizing a referendum on the issue, Hasanbegović and his sidekick Bruna Esih wrote that the referendum would "insult the Croatian people and the democratic spirit of its capital." Such are the democratic and legal standards of the people who pose as the guardians of democracy against the imagined communists. That said, there is absolutely no doubt that Bandić would have sided with the center-left or the devil incarnate if the alliance promised him a majority in the City Council. As far as Yugoslavia under Tito is concerned, the existence of Goli Otok certainly wasn't the defining feature of the Yugoslav society in the way that was the case with death camps in Jadovno and Jasenovac or grisly excursions of Ustasha butchers in Eastern Herzegovina during the Independent Croatian State. Furthermore, the uprising against the Ustasha started before June 22, 1941, because the Serbian population in the Independent Croatian State didn't need the Communist Party to tell them that their throats will be cut unless they fight for their lives. For the vast majority of the partisans who fought fascism in Yugoslavia, siding with the communist party was in no way a product of their leftist leanings, and the author should know this. Finally, the center-right "founding" party (Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ) of the modern Croatian state has been the dominant political force in the country ever since its independence. The only time it lost parliamentary elections was when it shot itself in the foot by a weapon from its lurid arsenal of cronyism, one-man party rule, graft and lurid nationalist ideology. If the left is to blame for anything, it's for not being able to make a sufficiently vivid distinction between itself and the conservative hypocrites nested in the HDZ. Seeing snarling neo-communists in Croatia is a frightening ailment that calls for a doctor's appointment. To conclude, connecting the protests against the renaming of the Marshal Tito square with Goli Otok should disqualify you from serious journalism.

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