From the August 2002 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 49, No. 8)
Croatia: New Math
World Press Review correspondent
A Croation woman holds aloft a picture of late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman in a Oct. 20,
2001 protest in Zagreb (Photo: AFP).
Croatia’s 2001 census indicates a sharp drop in the Serb population, prompting commentators
across the political spectrum to speculate about the cause of the decline. Some blame the
nationalist designs of Serbs themselves, while others fault Croat chauvinism.
Before war broke out in the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Serbs comprised 12.6 percent of Croatia’s
4.7 million population. Since then, the total population has fallen to 4.4 million, and the share of
Serbs has dropped by nearly two-thirds, to 4.5 percent. This supports the view that there was a
deliberate expulsion by government forces: the first, in May 1995, when the army took over
Serb-held territory in eastern Croatia, and the second, in August of that year, in central Croatia.
Slobodna Dalmacija’s Josip Jovic attempted to cast the census numbers in the best possible light
(June 5). He wrote that Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan “gave the best definition of the
situation” when he said that “those who started the aggression [Serbs] ought to have expected
Zagreb has accused Serbia of supporting Croatian Serbs to instigate conflict before Croatia’s
declaration of independence in June 1991. But Srecko Jurdana of Nacional suggested that one
should not paint all Serbs with a broad brush (May 28): “[I]t seems that ethnic reduction is
officially regarded as a kind of deserved collective punishment, despite the fact that it involves
many Serbs who had nothing to do with provoking the war.”
Yet in analyzing the cause of the population drop, Jovic returned to the question of blame: “Many
Serbs did not want to reveal their nationality, seeking to hide or change it after all that
happened” during the war. He added: “To be a Serb in Croatia was not pleasant for a while.
Maybe it still isn’t. But isn’t that a result of [their] support of an extremely anti-Croatian
program?” Such fear itself is worrisome, wrote Globus’ Inoslav Besker (June 7): “Allowing fear (or
shame) to suppress nationality in the census or expanding minority rights on the basis of
[census] data is truly vile, even if malice is unintended and not proof of [late President Franjo]
Tudjman’s onetime aim of reducing the Serbs in Croatia to 3 or 4 percent.”
In an effort to explain the census results, the government has presented documents allegedly
seized after the Croatian army regained control in Krajina, a formerly Serb-held territory in
central Croatia. According to Novi List, the documents indicate that Serbs left Croatia after being organized by their leaders and before Croatian troops arrived.
Yet, commented Novi List columnist Jelena Lovric (June 7), the government version “carefully
notes events on the Serb side, but it neglects all known evidence that the Croatian regime [at the
time] had a detailed plan that it carried out to reduce the number of Serbs in Croatia.” By taking
such a selective approach to historical evidence, Lovric wrote, the current regime “defends
Tudjman’s policy and hides his crimes.”
Underneath are the contacts. Please write a letter to this two email addresses in a civilized way, with the facts and good questions. Where is the census for Croatians who left Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia. Most of the Serb population in Croatia was of military occupation forces source. Since they lost the war they left. They left alive, not like 250.000 people who died in this war from their hands. If there was no occupation and Serbian dictatorship in Croatia for 80 years there would be 0.5 - 1 % of Serbs in Croatia. Same as Croatians in Serbia.
Furthermore, there was no official apology of Serbs in Croatia to the Croatian people. There is no conversation of WAR REPARATIONS. Yes, we want war reparations from Serbia. As soon as possible. If they can not pay in hard currency, they have tanks and plains (that abused their neighbors for decades) electricity and minerals. There is a way if there is a will.
I would like to see an article and essay about that subject. And census of how many Croatians left Vojvodina alive.
Also adjectiv "A Croation" is incorrect. It should be "A Croatian" (that is under the picture)
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