Remembering the War in Dubrovnik.
Hrvatski Vjesnik (Australia) New Generation Supplement
No. 922 21 June 2002
I recently visited Croatia, taking the time to visit Dubrovnik. The city was as beautiful as ever.
What caught my eye was a paperback book entitled Dubrovnik in War, published by Matica
Hrvatska - Dubrovnik. This was the 2001 imprint of a book printed during the war and contains a
number of essays on the war, but primarily carries many shocking photographs of war damage.
Another item that caught my alert eye was an excellent thirty minute video on the same topic was
also prominently available. It simply showed scenes from the war on Dubrovnik, without
narration. The video clearly showed the attacks for what they were: Barbaric attacks on a
defenceless city. Simply put, war crimes.
The book and video were prominently on display in a number of shops on the Stradun, along with
other similar material. This is a good thing. There is a great effort to try and forget the war and
create an illusion of "equal guilt", as opposed to the truth of Serbian expansion effectively backed by
certain Western nations.
The book and video would no doubt be regarded by some as "relentless propaganda". That was a
term recently used by a notorious extreme left wing Croat journalist- whose Yugo-nostalgic
lifework appears to be to create the illusion of equal guilt - to describe why Croats are suspicious of
Serbs, and vice versa.
The book and video clearly show why some people may still be suspicious of Serbian intentions.
Indeed, given Dubrovnik's - and Croatia's - role in European history, such suspicion should be
shared by all, not just Croats.
No doubt many tourists who purchased these items will have been shocked by the photographs
and footage of the war; incontrovertible evidence of who the aggressor was and that these events
really did happen. Such events should not be forgotten for political convenience.
It is a testimony to the independent spirit of Dubrovnik that such items are on prominent display;
right in the faces of any visiting international officials who promote the "all sides equally guilty"
line, extreme left-wing journalists and those that supported Serbian aggression.
Neither item was expensive; I recommend the purchase of both to anyone visiting Dubrovnik.
(c) Brian Gallagher