| Prof. dr. Hrvoje Kačić is a distinguished Croatian specialist in maritime law. Since 1990 he was an independent M.P. of the Croatian Parliament, elected chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs during the first mandate. From 1994 to 2001 he was president of the State Commission for Borders of the Republic of Croatia. His book Serving My Country has been published in Croatian, English (three printings), Spanish and German. It will soon appear in Ukrainian and Polish. |
Hrvoje Kačić was born on 13 January 1932 in Dubrovnik. He graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in Dubrovnik in 1951, and in the same year passed his final exams at Dubrovnik High School.
He studied Law at the University of Zagreb and Sarajevo, and in February 1956 graduated from the Law Faculty at the University of Zagreb. In 1958 he became a full-time trainee with the Municipal Court in Dubrovnik and the High Commercial Court of Justice in Zagreb (Shipping Law Department). In December 1960 he passed both judicial and solicitor examinations. In January 1961 he joined Atlantska Plovidba, a shipping company in Zagreb.
Dr. Hrvoje Kačić in the building of the University of Zagreb
Since 1965 he has been a member of the Presidency of the National Maritime Law Association, and since 1962 he has attended plenary Conferences of the Comité Maritime International / the CMI (Athens 1962, New York 1965, Tokyo 1969, Hamburg 1974, Rio de Janeiro 1977, Montreal 1981, Lisbon 1985, and Paris 1990). Since 1968, he has participated as a member of the State Delegation in a number of various diplomatic conferences.
From 1970 until 1974 he was Chairman of the Legal Standing Committee of the International Ship Owners Association (INSA) in Gdynia.
From 1981 until 1985 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Average Adjusters in Antwerp and a reporter at many United Nation Conferences on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva as well as at conferences related to issues of Maritime Insurance and Transport of Goods by Sea.
He has participated in working groups and drafting committees that have organized preparatory activities for various International Maritime Conventions.
He was in charge of the Maritime Law Department in Dubrovnik Faculty, and taught postgraduate courses at the Faculty of Law in Split and at the International Interuniversity Centre, University of Zagreb. He has lectured in Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, USA, China, Nigeria, Austria, Germany, Russia, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.
He has published four monographs of Maritime Law and over forty articles on commercial and legal topics related to shipping, shipbuilding, insurance, investments, etc.
Over the years he has served as a member of Director's Boards of various international corporations in the shipping and insurance sector. He has been a practicing solicitor in Zagreb since 1989.
Dr. Hrvoje Kačić was a top Croatian sportsman - water polo representative.
From 1950 until 1961 he was a member of the national water-polo team and played in the European Championship in Vienna 1950 (bronze medal), the Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956 (silver medal), the European Championship in Budapest 1958 (silver medal), the Mediterranean Games in Beirut 1959 (gold medal) and the Olympic games in Rome 1960 (fourth place).
As a student he was imprisoned three times for political reasons, and was expelled once from university. On several occasions between 1950 and 1972 he was banned from traveling abroad.
Prof.dr. Hrvoje Kačić as a member of Croatian Parliament - Sabor in 1990s.
In Croatia's first multiparty elections in 1990 he was elected in the first round from the Dubrovnik constituency as an independent M.P. to the Croatian Parliament with the support from HDZ, HKDS, HSLS and HSS. As an M.P., he was elected chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and voluntarily served in this function during the Croatian Parliament's first term. He represented Croatia in September and October 1991 at the Conference on the former Yugoslavia in The Hague under the charge of Croatian Parliament Community. He was also in charge of Croatian Parliament delegation at the Council of Europe Parliament, the Assemblies of Parliamentary members in the Central-European initiative and in NATO countries. He has never been a member of any political party.
A result of savage shelling of the City of Dubrovnik (protected by UNESCO) on 12 June 1992,
during the Serbian aggression on Croatia.
Photos by the courtesy of dr. Hrvoje Kačić.
From January 1994 until July 2001 he worked voluntarily as the President of the State Commmision for Boundaries of the Croatian Government.
The third edition of the book Serving my country - croatia rediviva, by Hrvoje Kačić was published by The Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar (The Institut društvenih znanosti “Ivo Pilar“), Zagreb, in December 2006.. The first edition was published in 2002.
The book was edited by Dr Vlado Šakić, who also wrote the Editorial Note. The foreword was written by Prof. Kathleen Wilkes, and the book also contains an essay by Mr Michael Foot. The book has 241 pages, including a 30-page appendix containing documents, an index of names, a list of abbreviations, and 21 documentary photographs from the period of the aggression on Croatia.
Serving My Country, Croatia Rediviva, was published in 2003, and the whole edition was sold out by 2005. In December 2006, it went into a second printing. Both editions were published by The Matica hrvatska, Zagreb, in their series Special Issues. The book was reviewed by Dr.Trpimir Macan, Mate Maras and Đuro Vidmarović and edited by Jelena Hekman. The Croatian foreword was written by Dr.Trpimir Macan. Furthermore, the book included the translation of the foreword to the third English edition written by Prof. Kathleen Wilkes, and an essay by Michael Foot, UK MP.
The hardback book has 479 pages, two inside-cover illustrations of the devastation of Dubrovnik and Vukovar during the JNA aggression on Croatia, an index of names, a list of abbreviations, and an 18-page appendix with copies of illustrated and written documents.
In November 2006, the German edition of the book under the title Mit der Wahrheit in die Welt- Croatia rediviva (With the TRUTH inTo the World- Croatia rediviva) was published by Volksbund der Deutschen Kroatiens, Zagreb, in their “Humanitas” collection, printed by “Tonimir”, Varaždinske toplice. The editors were Jasminka Petter, Stjepan Juranić, Stjepan Šulek and Gjuro Vidmarović. The book includes a foreword by Dr. Alois Mock, and an afterword by Academician Vladimir Ibler, as well as a review by Prof. Kathleen Wilkes, (a translation of her foreword to the English edition). The book has 251 pages, 22 pages of documentation, an index of names, a list of abbreviations and 32 documentary photographs (7 colour and 25 black-and-white).
In June 2009, the Spanish version of the book under the title Al servicio de mi patria - Croatia Rediviva (Serving My Country - Croatia Rediviva) was published. This first edition in Spanish is published by the Institut društvenih znanosti “Ivo Pilar“, Zagreb, and the Croatian Heritage Foundation (Hrvatska matica iseljenika), Zagreb. The book has 535 pages, 28 pages of documentation, an index of names, a list of abbreviations and it is illustrated by documentary photographs.
The foreword was written Dr. Trpimir Macan, historian and long-time editor with The Croatian Lexicographical Institute "Miroslav Krleža" and by the editor Željka Lovrenčić, MA. The book includes also an essay by Michael Foot and a review by Prof. Kathleen Wilkes (a translation in Spanish of her foreword to the English edition).
Printing is underway for the publishing of the book in Ukrainian, by the Publishing House “Tempora”- Kiev. The foreword was written by Prof. Maksim Kameneckij.
The all editions contain a wealth of documents and personal recollections of the events that marked the establishment of independent Croatia. This has been particularly appreciated by the authors of the reviews and forewords. to all the editions.The author, Prof. Hrvoje Kačić, in the Great Hall of the Senate House, University of Zagreb, (he was expelled from the University in 1952 by the decision of the political disciplinary committee). It was in this Great Hall that he attended the graduation ceremony in 1956, when he graduated from the Zagreb University, the Law School, and in 1965, when he was awarded a doctorate in law. The same Great Hall witnessed the awarding of honorary degrees to Prof. Kathleen Wilkes, the eminent British scientist (author of the foreword to the English edition) and to the world-known statesman, Dr. Alois Mock, (author of the foreword to the German edition).
Dr. Hrvoje Kačić's monograph Serving My Country is available in the following bookshops:
Prodajna knjižara Matice hrvatske (Croatian edition only), Matičina ul. br. 2, 10 000 Zagreb, tel. 38510 4819 318
Knjižara Ljevak (English edition of Serving My Country, as well as Dubrovačke žrtve, in Croatian), Trg bana Jelačića 17, 10 000 Zagreb, tel. 38510 4812 992,
Sveučilišna knjižara Dominović, Hrvatske bratske zajednice 4, 10 000 Zagreb (zgrada NSK), English, German and Spanish editions available.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Hrvoje Kačić: Vaterpolo i ćirilična pisaća mašina
Tijekom mojeg dugodišnjeg bavljenja športom posjetio sam u nekoliko navrata Moskvu i tadašnji Lenjingrad, ali već u to vrijeme sam želio posjetiti i Gruziju, koja je u to doba bila u sastavu SSSR-a. U vaterpolo reprezentaciji SSSR-a bilo je nekoliko vrhunskih igrača iz Gruzije, od kojih su mnogi bili članovi športskog kluba "Dinamo" Tbilisi. Ja sam s njima dogovarao da se organizira recipročna turneja između klubova "Jug" iz Dubrovnika i "Dinama" iz Tbilisija. Moji prijatelji iz SSSR-a su mi kazali, da s obzirom na vertikalni ustroj svih klubova, koji nastupaju diljem SSSR-a pod imenom "Dinamo", da se sve odluke donose u Moskvi, te da bi najučinkovitije bilo, ukoliko bi mi iz Dubrovnika uputili centralnom uredu "Dinama" iz Moskve poziv za gostovanje "Dinama" Tbilisi u Dubrovniku. Ti isti Gruzijci preuzeli obvezu da će oni potvrditi primitak poziva i prihvatiti poziv, te uzvratiti sa prijedlogom, da na prijateljskim turnejama, najprije "Jug" nastupi u Gruziji, pa da će nakon toga uslijediti gostovanje "Dinama" Tbilisi kod nas. Ja sam se složio s ovakvim prijedlogom, s tim da sam želio napisati službeni dopis "Juga" ćiriličkim pismom.
U tu svrhu pitao sam nekoliko svojih školskih kolega u Dubrovniku, znajuči da potiču iz srpskih i pravoslavnih obitelji u kojima su mnogi stariji članovi bili intelektualci, da mi posude pisaću mašinu na ćirilici. Nakon što sam dobio od svih upitanih informacije, da nemaju ćirilične pisaće mašine, zamolio sam kolegu Rastka Barbića, već tada odvjetnika u Dubrovniku koji je kasnije bio i na čelu lokalnih Srba u Dubrovniku, da me povede kod paroha pravoslavne crkve u Dubrovniku, što je on rado prihvatio. Nakon prethodno dogovorene posjete parohu, ja sam vrlo opširno iznio razloge za naše posjete i molbu, da nam dopusti korištenje pisaće mašine ovdje u njihovom uredu, a da će predstavnici "Juga" doći sa pripremljeim tekstom. Na to je pravoslavni paroh upao u moje izlaganje i rekao "Pa ni mi nemamo ćiriličnu pisaću mašinu", te doslovno dodao "pa ko to danas više piše ćirilicom".
Ovaj istiniti događaj opisao je dr. Hrvoje Kačić u svojem poznatom djelu "U službi domovine / Croatia rediviva" (treće, dopunjeno izdanje), objavljenom u Zagrebu godine 2011. u izdanju Matice hrvatske, na str. 87. Objavljuje se portalu CROWN s dopuštenjem (i na sugestiju) samog autora. Naslov priloga je redakcijski.
Quotations from chosen reviews and presentations of the book by Hrvoje Kačić, supplied by eminent Croatian and international politicians, writers and scientists when the books were introduced to the public
Mr Kačić's book is undoubtedly unique in its approach to the description of historical events during the recent Liberation War, when Croatia was defending itself from Serbian aggression and in his personal views of the complex diplomatic activities leading to the establishment of Croatia as a sovereign state as well as in its evidence of war ravaging, particularly of his birthplace Dubrovnik, during the Serbian and Montenegrin aggression on the Dubrovnik area in 1991/92.
Mr. Vladimir Ibler, Academician and Professor at Zagreb University Law School, when presenting the English edition of the book said:
“... When it comes to ... colleague Kačić's book, ... I would like to stress at least some of the reasons why I hold that Kačić's work is worth careful reading and re-reading.
... What the readers will find to be most valuable is the author's presentation of the events he participated in or, at least, was not far from in space and time... Using legal language, he was an "eye-witness" and not experiencing at second-hand.
...In these dramatic situations and circumstances ... in the years when our country was coming into being, the aggressors tried to enforce their right to self-determination and they did not hesitate to use forbidden methods or even the most despicable crime of genocide in its various forms... In these situations, the witness - I mean Mr Kačić, the author, - and his testimony, particularly when in written form and supported by evidence, in its full meaning, has a double impact, a double effect, a double value:
1. firstly, it can be used to establish the facts, and
2. secondly, it can be used to challenge and expose false, untrue claims.
...Already in the very course of unfinished historical processes there appeared very sophisticated misrepresentations, distortions and insinuations (see Appendix 4, General Adžić's speech, p. 219 of the English edition and Appendix 6, the letter of the Serbian Government, signed by Dragutin Zelenović, p. 225 of the English edition). I am certain that parts of Kačić's book can be used to fight falsifications spread by the enemies of Croatia.
...I would like to raise the question how Kačić's book relates to international law, to the UN Charter. What should the views be on the exertion of power against Croatia, especially after its recognition... Article 51 of the UN Charter allows the Republic of Croatia to defend itself. It guarantees Croatia the right to "individual self-defence", and this important right ... has been reasserted many times even after the implementation of the UN Charter.
... The Declaration of Rights and Duties of States contains Article 12, and the UN General Assembly Resolution 375(IV) says: "Every country has the right to individual self-defence or collective self-defence from an armed attack" ... Kačić's text... provides a certain and proven factual basis for the application of international law standards ... Kačić's text comprises and contains confirmable and confirmed facts justifying the use of weapons by the Republic of Croatia. This is important! Because there is evidence that there are attempts to proclaim, whether deliberately, malevolently, or out of sheer ignorance that Croatia should not have taken up arms. Kačić's text can and has to be used to strike down any openly hostile activities or the opinions of uninformed, barely educated individuals..."
Dr. Žarko Domljan, The Chairman of the Croatian Parliament in its first term, scientific consultant, wrote in his review of Mr. Kačić's book Serving My Country - Croatia Rediviva:
“... The texts collected in this book .... offer an interesting insight into one of the most dramatic periods in Croatia's recent history and they are a welcome supplement to the existing literature dealing with the Patriotic War ... They are especially valuable for their ... English ... translation, which will place them among the relatively few works on the Patriotic War which consistently present the Croatian case ...
The texts ... are thematically and temporally linked, revealing some facts and details which ... the Croatian public was not aware of until now. This is because the author ... a competent lawyer, particularly familiar with international law, could, in the actions and, particularly, in the decisions taken by international factors, understandably spot some details which other writers missed or were not able to interpret adequately ... In the earliest days of our struggle for the international affirmation of Croatia, Mr Kačić was head of the parliamentary delegations to the Council of Europe and, therefore, his evidence of this period is extremely valuable.“
Prof. Katheleen Wilkes, Professor at St. Hilda College in Oxford, lecturer at many universities throughout the world and holder of a Zagreb University Honorary Degree, wrote in her foreword to the first English edition of the book:
“… It is an honour to be asked to write a foreword to Hrvoje Kačić's book. I found it quite eye-opening; for in the besieged city of Dubrovnik I, along with many others, had very little access to news from "outside". Indeed, I had to be more concerned with trying to get news about, and appeals for, Dubrovnik out than getting news in - I had access just to one much-overworked telephone/fax. In particular, I read with astonishment that in Zagreb even Tudjman himself thought that in Dubrovnik there was no stomach for the defence of the city, or that it might yield to the blandishments that invited it to consider a status as an "autonomous" province within the so-called "Greater Serbia"; and this scepticism about the determination of Dubrovnik's (hugely courageous) defenders and citizenry, and about its loyalty to Croatia, clearly spread to the world outside and, obviously, to the Serbian generals and politicians - a fact which helps explain some of their otherwise inexplicable changes of tactics. Equally surprising was the discovery that it had been widely assumed that Dubrovnik's defence was largely provided by mercenaries; this was something that Cyrus Vance, for example, had taken to be a fact. From inside the city, most of us were unaware of these lying and dangerous rumours. But Kačić, as the reader will see from this book, hit such canards firmly on the head.
He was in an exceptional position. An independent in politics – thus owing his allegiance to Croatia rather than to any political party – he shows in this volume his independence of spirit time and again. He was often in Dubrovnik, usually accompanying heads of state, foreign ministers, ambassadors and diplomats, people like Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Bernard Kouchner; but also in Zagreb, Belgrade, The Hague, talking to the European Parliament, to parliamentarians of the NATO countries, to the Council of Europe, to Cyrus Vance, even to generals in the JNA and much, much more. He took every opportunity to argue, to explain, to correct misapprehensions such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph. A "roving ambassador" in every sense; for Croatia in general and Dubrovnik in particular.
Possibly the single greater disaster to befall Croatia, though, was the appalling siege and eventual fall of Vukovar, that most courageous of Croatian cities. Returning briefly to Dubrovnik, the news that Vukovar had been overwhelmed was our worst day – the worst, at any rate, until our “black Friday”, December 6, 1991. Vukovar was a symbol to us, as it was to everyone in Croatia, of extraordinary bravery against extreme odds. Kačić keeps our minds on Vukovar; this is necessary, because the tragic brutality in the onslaught against this city never received the press coverage in the west that it should have done. Whilst never overlooking the disasters that hit other towns, villages, and cities throughout Croatia, he shows how Vukovar and Dubrovnik – “top right” and “bottom left” in this most eccentrically-shaped of countries – encapsulate, and serve to illustrate, both the human and cultural catastrophes, and the sheer courage of the citizenry, throughout the country.
The reader should be aware that this volume is a collection of articles, speeches, addresses, reports, letters, interviews; most were written in 1991-2, some in the 1-2 years following. Each piece was delivered, recorded, or written at the date given. This means that each can be read as a free-standing chapter, without reference to others; but also, of course, makes some slight degree of repetition inevitable. It also means that none of them makes reference to events that followed (for example, only a few make reference to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina which came hard on the heels of the war against Croatia, and none to the events in Kosovo that followed that; nor, of course, to the downfall of Milošević in 2000). Thus, the items in the book constitute almost a diary-like account of the war against Croatia as it proceeded. Several pieces use the present tense, some the past. The present tense - for example, in speeches or appeals - adds a great sense of immediacy, and brings vividly to life the situation as it was seen and felt in these years so crucial to Croatia. It is important to see each chapter in the context and time at which it was written or presented…”
Mr. Michael Foot, editor of the Evening Standard, and later the Tribune. He was elected Member of Parliament where he spent 42 years and the Speaker in the House of Commons on behalf of the Labour Party. He published many books, and his book “The Uncollected Essays Old And New, 1953-2003”, edited by Brian Brivati, deals with people who have most influenced and fascinated him – natural choices such as Bevan, and Bevin, Churchill and Gorbachev, Indira Ghandi and Willy Brandt - and places - Hampstead, Wales, Venice, Dubrovnik - which remained closest to his heart. Here are some parts from his essay “Dubrovnik, Serving My Country, Subtitle 2003, after reading the text by Hrvoje Kačić.
“… Just a few months before, in mid September 1991, Jill and I were completing our annual holiday in Dubrovnik. Rumours of war had been heard in Belgrade: indeed some professors at their university had been preaching a doctrine which sounded more like Hitler's fascism than any natural product of Yugoslavia. Serbia must have the right to rule wherever the Serbs lived: the first time I heard the phrase 'ethnic cleansing'....
The new book on the subject which Kathy Wilkes introduces has an authenticity all its own. No previous writer on the subject has had the same combined experience of the subject as Hrvoje Kačić. His knowledge of the old Dubrovnik and the new Croatia, the country he has sought to serve, according to his title, is one with the deepest roots but with a quite modern flowering. Croatia was not supposed to exist at all; according to the most wretched Serbian gibe, it was just a German invention. And in the chancelleries of Europe where such nonsense was accepted, why should not old Dubrovnik be wiped off the map altogether? Fortunately for us, all the men, women and children of Dubrovnik had a different idea. Kačić has a special insight into that story and a special obligation to tell it.
Little Slovenia had given bullying Belgrade a bloody nose on the actual battlefield which should have taught the military chieftains in Belgrade a lesson. Instead they drew the opposite moral. They would act more fiercely, more viciously. Who was giving the military orders in Belgrade? It was not easy to tell. Slobodan Milosevic was the recently elected President. Sometimes he would give orders. Sometimes it looked like an army off the leash. Both the political and the military leaders might be looking for a chance to repair the ignominy of the Slovenian defeat.
Kathy Wilkes singles out as the greatest disaster to befall Croatia the appalling siege and eventual fall of Vukovar. This new book calls it the crucifixion of Vukovar.... Vukovar was a Croatian town roughly the same size as Dubrovnik at the very top of the Eastern-most frontier of the new Croatia, nearest to the very top of the easternmost frontier of the new Croatia, nearest to the Serbian border, just as Dubrovnik was at the furthest point to the east. But the people of Dubrovnik felt the lash of Vukovar across their own backs. Indeed , their would-be assailants from the nearby mountains posts threatened them with the same fate. So the massacre of the Croatian men, women and children of Vukovar maybe had a military purpose after all ....
It was a terrible insult when the assailants of Dubrovnik sought to brand the defenders as fascists or Ustase, the friends of the fascists. It was worse still when they sought to use the example of Vukovar to intimidate the defenders of Dubrovnik. Worse still again, they started to apply the same methods in the villages round Dubrovnik or when allied forces from Montenegro seized the neighbourhood township of Cavtat. All these threats and incursions could have produced the surrender which the people in charge in Belgrade certainly expected. But there was no wavering inside old Dubrovnik, as Kathy Wilkes was so eager to tell the world. And there had also been a properly directed military defence. Higher up on one mountain above those seized by the JNA, a handful of defenders were there to ensure that if the victors of Vukovar sought to repeat their final tactics in Dubrovnik, they would pay a terrible price for it. Month after month, the defenders of Dubrovnik – men, women and children, as Kačić emphasises – held their own.
All this evidence was available when Jill (December 1991) and I returned to Dubrovnik, just about Christmas time, to make a film about the siege. Croatia was now involved in the larger war next door, when the military authorities in Belgrade resolved that the people of Bosnia must be denied the right to vote for their independence, just as Croatia had been denied the same right two years before. How could such monstrous demands and proscriptions be allowed to continue in our civilised Europe without effective protest? Could they not hear the appeals from Kathy Wilkes and Vesna Gamulin in Dubrovnik? Theirs was the true voice of civilised Europe…”
Dr. Alois Mock, in the 1980s and 1990s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, President of the European Democratic Union (Vizekanzler und Aussenminister Oestereichs a.D., Praesident der Europaeischen Demokratischen Union) and holder of a Zagreb University Honorary Degree, in his foreword to the German edition of the H. Kačić’s book “Mit der Wahrheit in die Welt” wrote:
“... I am glad that Prof. Kačić devoted himself to writing this book, bringing the happenings in the period 1991 - 1992 closer to the readers ... Kačić had an insight in the internal decision-making processes otherwise inaccessible to the public. He describes a host of interesting details that would rarely become part of historic or political and scientific works. However, Kačić, the lawyer, carefully produced a scientific publication, very valuable for the documents it contains as well as for his personal notes. Kačić's book is not only a historical overview by a witness but it is also an interesting and exciting document of the time, with a lot of information for the readers. Prof. Kačić was never member of a party, neither in Yugoslavia nor in Croatia, and thus his statements are even more valuable because he could approach them with maximal objectivity. I recommend this book to the German-speaking public…”
Dr. Trpimir Macan, historian and long-time editor with The Croatian Lexicographical Institute "Miroslav Krleža" says in his foreword to the Croatian edition:
“… When I finished reading Kačić's book, my first thought was that its character was both biographical and documentary and that he had chosen the right title U službi domovine (Serving My Country) Kačić ... expounds his views of the political situation in Croatia and the world in the crucial period of the late 1980's and the beginning of the 1990's, explaining and documenting his own political activities. His feelings about communism, about Yugoslavia, its contradictions and sustainability, about the Croatian state, his lucidity and ability to differentiate, ensured the steadiness of his convictions.
... Because of his activities, Hrvoje Kačić is a first-class witness. It is not to be disregarded that this witness is a democrat by his views and judgements, that he is against hatred and war, a supporter of freedom and individual rights, equality, tolerance and the peaceful solution of misunderstandings and conflicts. Peace, common-sense and good-will - he believes - can overcome passion, hatred and violence, and take us from the restless and destructive Balkan mentalities and reality towards the desired, orderly civilisation. His political credo is acting in accordance with his conscience and beliefs, trust in the effectiveness of democracy and the rule of justice and reason…”
Mr. Igor Zidić, Director of the “Matica hrvatska” said, presenting the book in the Matica hrvatska premises, on 25 January 2006:
“... We are presenting a book which speaks of Croatia in its most difficult but also, definitely, and without false modesty, its most important, most glorious and most tragic days.... We are presenting a book by one of those brilliant, silent, almost invisible people of the time, who felt for his homeland since his early days, who educated himself, even in the prisons of what was then Yugoslavia, combining somehow the life of a Croatian child with the life of a fisherman and top sportsman ... and spending weeks between different competitions in jail.
... Two determinants, Dubrovnik and Croatia, are important for the moral, political, expert and scientific habitus of Hrvoje Kačić. Sport opened for him the gates to the world ... and the world of his experience in representing big companies provided H. Kačić, an eminent expert in maritime law, with the experience necessary to qualify him as a negotiator with this world and its high representatives in 1991 and 1992, when he first addressed the Council of Europe ...
Our generals are being processed in The Hague, even the person who, as a soldier, contributed most to the liberation of the country, and Kačić's book has become, by a twist of fate, relevant again, perhaps even more relevant than when it was first published. I am saying this because this book ... includes numerous documents of value to those who know how to read them and will want to read them, because I often feel that a lot has been put on the table already but has not been noticed ...
In one of his addresses in Dubrovnik, H.Kačić said: "Protect this small number of Serbs who have remained in town, who have done nothing against the town and who share their distress with you ... protect them as evidence of our culture ... we are simply not barbarians in our civilisational achievements and our culture and we must differ from barbarians ..."
With the military and police operation STORM - Oluja, the commitment undertaken by the UN Security Council was not met by UN forces, but the Croatian self-defence army stopped additional escalation of armed conflicts and bloodshed...
....Hrvoje Kačić, as a lawyer and politician, even a historian in his own way, spoke about what the United Nations did with the so-called safety zones they had established. Not only did they not protect them but in Srebrenica and Žepa they left them to be turned into the largest execution sites in the 1991-1995 war. If this was the case, and if there was an initial wish to protect people, then, says Hrvoje Kačić, it was the Croatian operation Oluja that did what the UN Blue Helmets were called to but did not perform. And because we did something the UN troops failed to do, instead of being praised we are now being accused of crime.
If Oluja had not happened, the Srebrenica and Žepa tragedy would have been repeated in Cazin, Bihać, Goražde and who knows where else. It would have been a chain reaction that had just started. Only the Croatian Army action stopped the errors of the UN representatives from being repeated...
Hrvoje Kačić's arguments give us the right to expect from all those who are engaged today, no matter how sincerely and how enthusiastically, and are organised in the defence of Croatia, to study these documents and the arguments offered because if they do not do it we shall ask them one day what they think of what Hrvoje Kačić had written and why they have not used it..."
Mr. Đuro Vidmarović, former Member of the Croatian Parliament, retired ambassador, writer and historian, said in the presentation of the book:
“…This book (by H. Kačić) has to be taken as a collection of documents on current Croatian history. ... it is outside Croatia that Croatian history is tailored, because what we know is reinterpreted and misinterpreted as witnessed by the author of this book.
There are several historiographic theses offered by Mr Kačić ... in several languages ... that should be accepted by historians and politicians ... and perationalised on the international political scene. It depends on them whether they will or will not read this (and do what is necessary). This does not depend on the author any more. ... here are the evidences offered by Mr Kačić.
First: the disintegration of Yugoslavia did not commence in 1991 through the actions of Croatia and Slovenia but started with Milošević's constitutional coup, with the suspension of the autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina, once constitutional and legal entities, constitutive factors of the Yugoslav federation...
Second: Mr Kačić proves and offers a realistic thesis of the strength of the Serbian lobby in the United States, which coincided, in those dramatic days, with the American endeavours to keep Yugoslavia ... he mentions an important name we keep forgetting ... the influential Congresswoman Helen Delich-Bentley, who gathered a powerful lobby ... on Milošević's side ... and did a lot for his status in that powerful country ...
The JNA stance: ... it is terrible what the Yugoslav Army Commander-in-Chief said to his subordinates already in early July 1991 : .... The traitors should be shot on the spot without mercy or regret..... There are no indictments by the Tribunal in The Hague against those holding such terrible command responsibility....
In these dramatic situations, while the war is raging, Kačić takes a small aircraft to fly to Serbia via Hungary ...
Parts from the book (pp. 93-94):
“... Before boarding the warship, Admiral Jokić took us to the Navy Headquarters at Tivat, sat us down in the presence of numerous foreign diplomats, in capacity of ambassadors in Belgrade and started to provide the political and alleged strategic reasons of the military attacks against Dubrovnik. This was the stereotypic language of the ‘political and educational lesson’ given to recruits and the regular soldiery. He spoke in Serbian, and an official interpreter translated his speech into English. His message boiled firstly down to the claim that the army had had to start the operation to “liberate” the Prevlaka peninsula, since this was a strategically important point. He spoke as if we, i.e., the Croatian forces, had attacked the military fortress at Prevlaka...
H. Kačić listened patiently for a long time to everything that was launched from that "arsenal of lies and imputations", until he said that for those reasons the Yugoslav Army had had to intervene and start, as he said explicitly, "liberating Dubrovnik and the whole Dubrovnik region". He could no longer bear this repeated misuse of the term "liberator", and stopped his presentation, saying:
"You, Admiral, present here the events like a witness, but it is well known that in the period you are speaking about you were not personally present in the region. You only arrived on 7 October 1991, after the previous commander, Djurović, was killed in extraordinary circumstances. I listened patiently to the series of untruths you presented here until you used the term of the necessity to liberate the Dubrovnik area.” He then continued, "You, with your troops and army, are aggressors in Croatia; and in the whole region, meaning southern Croatia and Dubrovnik, you can only be occupying forces ... and you know very well how occupying forces should be treated."
H. Kačić furthermore pointed out the following to Admiral Jokić:
"You know that already at the beginning of this month, on October 5, a letter of protest (see Appendix for full version) was sent from the President, Dragutin Zelenović, on behalf of the Government of Serbia to the Government of Croatia. In this letter “Serbia” urges Croatia to stop the destruction of Dubrovnik and condemns its alleged decision to station paramilitary formations, black legions and numerous foreign mercenaries in a city of priceless historical and cultural value and to use the area to start armed attacks on inhabited places in Herzegovina and Boka Kotorska; this presages an extremely uncivilised, inhuman and ignoble act.
But you know that these allegations by the Serbian Government are gross lies, and, please, admit this here in the presence of the respected representatives of the diplomatic corps from Belgrade… “.
Dr. Vlado Šakić, editor of the English edition of Hrvoje Kačić's book Serving My Country, Croatia Rediviva, (issued in 2002, two years before the already prepared Croatian issue of U službi domovine, Croatia Rediviva), wrote in his foreword:
“… Hrvoje Kačić's book Serving My Country is difficult to ordinarily typify for a number of reasons. The first reason is related to the events that the book deals with. Namely, these are crucial events that contributed to the realisation of the centuries-old Croatian aspiration for a state. The second reason is related to the authors approach to the theme of the book. Specifically, this refers to the author's relation towards the facts, which undoubtedly support the well-foundedness of the author's standpoint as well as the book's conclusions. For these reasons, this book belongs to the category of scientific studies. On the other hand, since the author was also a political actor involved in the events that the book refers to, we have a valuable testimony, which crosses Croatian borders. In addition, special gratitude is given to the eminent English academician Katheleen V. Wilkes for the time and effort that she devoted to this book. Hence, by all means, this book had to be published because it contributes to a better understanding of the events that occurred at the beginning of the nineties in the so-called “areas of former Yugoslavia“ and thus prevents further attempts to interpret those events in an untrue way..”.
Mr. Stjepan Šulek, journalist, publisher, formerly engaged by the Croatian diplomatic service, co-founder and co-editor of the Burgerland Croat students' cultural magazine Glas, contributor to Cologne radio-station, Editor-in-Chief of the Kroatische Berichte (Croatian Reports) magazine, advisor for cultural matters, information and teaching in Croatian, when presenting the Croatian, German and English versions of H. Kačić’s book “Serving My Country, Croatia Rediviva” at the Frankfurt Book Fair, on 13 October 2007, as one of the editors of the German version, said:
”... The book provides a correction of all former misunderstandings of the Patriotic War conveyed by the Croatian and international press. The book should, therefore, be bought by all Croatian associations in Germany and other countries and it should be delivered to scientific institutes, publishers and historians to have the Croatian truth about the Patriotic War heard. It is no coincidence that the German translation of the book is entitled Mit der Wahrheit in die Welt – With The Truth Into The World. Whoever is interested in the roots of the war on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia is invited to read this book ... in it, the war background is described through original documents. ... The Croats in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are invited to go through this exceptional book, written in a sober but decisive tone, defending Croatia from the misinterpretations of the Patriotic War in the international and Croatian press...”
Davor G. Gjivoje, famous businessman, Chairman of Net World Inc. New York, wrote to his correspondents on the book “Serving my country”:
1. The book evokes some of those incredible times and sheds a lot of historically accurate light on the events surrounding the tragedy of former Yugoslavia. Thus, you may be interested to glance through some parts of the book.
2. It is written by a most respected long-time friend, Professor Hrvoje Kacic, born also in Dubrovnik. Although a sophisticated cosmopolitan, he is deeply in love with our home city and has been an inexhaustible fighter for the freedom and independence of Croatia since his childhood. Apart from becoming an Olimpic medalist as a brilliant achiever in sport, Dr. Kacic is one of the European most recognized legal experts in international maritime law. His highest achievements in the field of sports have been followed by an equally brilliant career as corporate executive, university professor, highly respected international lawyer and, during the last decade, in total dedication to servicing his beloved country with every ounce of his energy.
3. The book has a special meaning to me and my family. In the early days of the war, Dr Kacic was trying to convey (on location in Croatia) the truth about the unthinkable aggression on peaceful Croatian lands and its civilian people to the likes of Clayborne Pell, Cyrus Vance and others. Simultaneously, my son Davor and I were desperately trying to do the same by visiting with these same people here in New York, Washington and London.
4. Dr. Kacic is not only a writer, he is a fighter. But as an Olympic medalist he is an honourable and objective fighter. His book is full of facts and as such exudes credibility.
I hope that if and when you find a free moment in your busy life to glance through it, you might find it an interesting reading ...
29. rujna 2008.
Na tribini o žrtvama komunističkog terora prozvane Britanske novine
Hrvoje Kačić: Financial Times ubojice prikazao kao žrtveNije osnovano krivnju za fojbe u Istri i Slovenskom primorju pripisivati Hrvatima i Slovencima. To su učinili partizani koji su pred kraj rata zamijenili kokarde petokrakama.
“Financial Times” nedavno je objavio laž o grobovima partizana koje su ubili nacisti na Daksi. Ni nakon naše intervencije to nisu ispravili, te ćemo u tu svrhu pozvati u pomoć Hrvatsko novinarsko društvo - najavio je međunarodni pravni stručnjak dr. Hrvoje Kačić na javnoj tribini “Žrtve komunističkog terora u bivšoj Jugoslaviji”, održanoj u Dubrovniku.
Sve žrtve “olovnih vremena” komunističkog terora imaju pravo na dostojanstven spomen i grobno obilježje - temeljni je zaključak te tribine.Izvor Slobodna Dalmacija
Koliko mi je poznato, dr. Hrvoje Kačić za svoje knjige nije bio novčano poduprt ni od koje hrvatske institucije u razdoblju od 2002. do danas, 2011, unatoč izvrsnim recenzijama uglednih stručnjaka. Ta je izdanja dr. Kačić sam financirao.
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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