Friday, April 17, 2015

Challenging the Enduring Fallacies

Croats and Muslims called to join the
Waffen-SS (WW2 recruiting poster)
A book by Croatian-American economist Jozo Tomasevic, tellingly titled "War and Revolution," has served as the authoritative work of "history" on the matters of Yugoslavia in WW2. Published in 1975, it remains the foundation for numerous pseudo-histories written since, with the aim of somehow proving that it was really the "greaterserbian bourgeois oppressors" (actual Communist phrase) to blame for wartime slaughter and the interwar "oppression" of other groups.

In present-day Serbia, the cult of Serbian collective guilt has dominated politics, culture and academia since the 2000 astroturf revolution. That explains why few, if any, challenges to Tomasevic's myth have been put forth. Until now.

Miloslav Samardzic, another economist who turned historian, has researched archives, interviewed eyewitnesses, and written over a dozen books about WW2, focusing on the royalist resistance (aka the "Chetniks"). He is also one of the authors of a documentary series about Yugoslavia in WW2, mentioned here before - which will be shown in Washington DC on April 19 (see here for more information).

Samardzic has recently written a two-part essay addressing the numerous problems in Tomasevic's work, too lengthy to reproduce here. I do, however, commend them to the attention of anyone interested in WW2 history of Yugoslavia:

- “Chetniks” by Jozo Tomasevich: The Fallacy that Endures (Part 1)
“Chetniks” by Jozo Tomasevich: The Fallacy that Endures (Part 2)

If it were just the Communists distorting the history of the war, to justify their takeover in 1945, that would be one thing. Quite another is to see Communist-invented history championed (example) by heirs of Nazi collaborators in present-day Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia. Baffling as that might appear at first, once you realize that the common thread of these "histories" is the shared hatred of Serbs, things will begin to click into place.


Asteri said...

To be fair the anti-Yugoslav right is just as guilty of this sort of thing. Check out the Australian ex-pat Ina Vukic, whose blog is a Tudjman/Ustase apologist hate site and most of its commenters are raving Serb hating loonatics. Vukic claims a vast Communist conspiracy against Croatia while claiming to be some kind of human rights activist which is funny.

CubuCoko said...

Indeed. As I've often explained here, I am reluctant to use the label "Communist" because Tito's regime wasn't really about Marxism as much as about Austro-Hungarian ethnic engineering. I've come to regard Croatian blogs that denounce "Communist crimes against Croats" as a smokescreen, a red herring, a curtain designed to keep people from realizing it was Tito who *created* the modern Croatian state in its borders and allowed Croats to avoid punishment for WW2 atrocities.

Asteri said...

Croat myths always claim persecution in the Yugoslav state i.e they were being forcely converted and made to use cyrillic - even though the opposite was true. The Croatian Banovina before WWII was territorially larger than the one that existed under Hungary and Croatia created in 1945 was one united nation except for the Bosnian territories. Compared to Serbia they got a good deal, especially as Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia and Ragusa had all been separate entities.

CubuCoko said...

Precisely. Although the "Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia" was essentially a legal fiction, while Dalmatia, Ragusa and Istria were all separate entities. The first time they were all encompassed within an entity called "Croatia" was 1945.

James said...

What about Montenegro's enlargement? Wasn't Montenegro originally just a small area on the coast, but it ended up getting parts of Hercegovina and annexing parts of Serbia too?

CubuCoko said...

Actually, Montenegro started out in the coastal hinterlands (hence the name, "Black Mountain"). It took in parts of Old Hercegovina in the post-1878 border adjustments, and won half of the "Novibazar sanjak" after the Balkan War in 1912 (including the western half of Metohija, with Peć, Dečani and Đakovica).

All of the Bay of Kotor was under Austrian rule, though, which is why King Nikola wanted Skadar (Scutari), and why Vienna insisted he cede it to the newly-created Albania in 1912.

Montenegro got access to the Bay of Kotor - as well as the rest of the Adriatic coast, for that matter - in 1918, though modern-day "Montenegrinists" (who are trying hard to manufacture an anti-Serb ethno-cultural identity along the lines of "Croatian Lite") don't like to mention that.

James said...

A few months ago some officials in Bosnia were making claims on Montenegro lands (saying it was stolen from BiH) but then western officials (I forget whether EU or the Empire) threatened them to back off and they've been silent about it since.

Didn't Montenegro also get parts of western Serbia that weren't part of the Sandzak - and by that I mean what is the more northeastern parts of Montenegro (and the Sandzak doesn't go up to Montenegro's northern border does it?) I seem to recall looking at a map with border changes and annexations and it seemed they sliced off some parts of Serbia, non Sandzak areas.
And aren't there parts of Montenegro in the north, that are majority Serbian, even today despite all the anti-Serbian brainwashing and pressure.

Who controlled the Bay of Kotor before Austria, and who before that?