Fra Bosiljko Bekavac i hrvatski antikomuistički i antijugoslavenski gerilci iz okolice Kiseljaka poslje II. svjetskog rata – dva pisana svjedočanstva

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Kad se spominje fra Bosiljka Bekavca treba imati na umu da su u Americi živjela dva Bosiljka Bekavca. Prvi Bosiljko (1870.-1959.) bio je fratar provincije Bosne Srebrene, koji se sekularizirao i potom (1900.) došao u Ameriku. Bio je vrlo djelatan i ugledan svećenik među tadašnjim hrvatskim iseljenicima u nekoliko gradova države Pensylvanije, kao i jedan od vodećih hrvatskih svećenika u Americi svog vremena.

Drugi fra Bosiljko u Ameriku je stigao 1953. i nikad nije djelovao na hrvatskim iseljeničkim župama. Bio je poznati simpatizer jugoslavizma i titoizma pa mu se nije bilo ni moguće družiti s hrvatskim svećenicima u Americi, kao ni s ogromnom većinom hrvatskog naroda, nego je utočište nalazio u američkim župama. Bio je nekoliko godina urednik Zajedničara, službenog glasila Hrvaske bratske zajednice, koju su tada mnogi smatrali “sedmom republikom” SFRJ-a. Pod njegovim uredništvom Zajedničar je napadao sve što je disalo hrvatskim domoljubnim duhom, uključujući i vodeće ljude iz tadašnjeg hrvatskog nacionalnog pokreta, Hrvatskog proljeća.

Ovdje donosimo in memorima o Bosiljku Bekavcu kojeg je napisao I. Gavran u Bosni Srebrenoj 1982. a može ga se naći na internetu https://www.google.com/search?q=bosiljko%20bekavac%20franjevacki%20leksikon&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&source=hp&channel=np

BEKAVAC, Bosiljko, ml. publicist (Obrenovac kod Konjica, 11. XI. 1906. — Pittsburgh, 13. IX. 1982.). — Sin je težaka Stipe i domaćice Jele rođ. Tomić. Osnovnu školu završio je u Seonici (1904.-1918.), gimnaziju u Visokom (1922.-1928., 1929.-1931.), filozofsko-teološki studij u Sarajevu (1931.-1935.), Franjevac je postao 1928., a svećenik 1925. Službovao je kao kapelan i vikar u Fojnici (1935.-1937.), kapelan u Kreševu (1937.-1938.), župnik u Osovi (1938.-1940.), Novom Šeheru (1940.-1946.) i Kiseljaku (1949.-1953.) te gvardijan u Kreševu (1946.-1949.). Godine 1953. pošao je u Ameriku kod strica Bosiljka, koji se tada nalazi o u Rankinu, Pa, kod Pittsburgha. Ostao je u Americi te služio kao kapelan u župi Presvetog Trojstva u Columbia, Pa, (1953.- 1954.), zatim u Centralia, Pa, (1954.-1962.). Godine 1962. izabran je za urednika Zajedničara, glasila Narodne hrvatske zajednice u USA, ali je uredništvo preuzeo početkom travnja 1963. kad je dobio američko državljanstvo. Uređivao je Zajedničar (1963.-1971.) u duhu zajedništva naših naroda. Desetak posljednjih godina djelovao je kao kapelan u crkvi St. Mary of Mercy u Pittsburghu. Bekavac je kroz čitavo vrijeme svog boravka u Americi održavao veze s provincijom i domovinom šaljući visočkoj gimnaziji knjige i pomažući provinciju na druge načine. Još kao gimnazijalac surađivao je u listu visočkih sjemeništaraca Cvijetu (1926.-1931.), zatim u Zajedničaru (1962.-1971.) i Iseljeničkom kalendaru Bosne i Hercegovine (1967.-1973.). LIT.: I. GAVRAN: Fra Bosiljku Bekavcu — In memoriam. Bosna Srebrena, 33(1982.) 6, str. 239-246., A. Kovačić

Uz ovaj in memoriam napomenuti je jedan ispravak i nekolike druge “sitnice”. Ispravak, postao je svećenik 1935., a ne 1925. Zatim, kaže se da je “pošao kod strica Bosiljka”, ali vladalo je opće mišljenje među svećenicima u Americi da ga je Udba “sklonila” u Ameriku radi opasnosti koja mu je prijetila u kiseljačkom kraju i ,zatim, namjestila za urednika Zajedničara. Drugo, pisac veli da je Zajedničar glasilo Narodne hrvatske zajednice. Pravo ime te ustanove je Hrvatska bratska zajednica. Također, pisac ističe da je list uređivao “u duhu zajedništva naših naroda”. Valjda je to pohvala i zahvala Bekavcu od strane pisca tih redaka. Nadalje, hvalospjevi Bosiljku Bekavcu su se mogli donedavno naći na internetu http://zupa-podhum-zitace.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=9, ali iz nekih razloga taj portal je nestao.

Ovdje donosimo dva dokumenta koji govore o fra Bosiljku Bekavcu. Našao sam ove izjave u ostavštini mog pokojnog strica fra Ljube (1908. – 1975.), višegodišnjeg urednika tjednika Danica u Chicagu. Premda se ovi iskazi (kao i usmena predaja u kiseljačkom kraju) u nekim detaljima razlikuju, one ukazuju na činjenicu da je fra Bosiljko Bekavac odigrao žalosnu i tragičnu ulogu u poslijeratnim godinama tog kraja.

Gospodin Josip Rukčić je, hvala Bogu, još živ i unatrag nekoliko mjeseci (12. ožujka 2011.) je potvrdio g. Krešimiru Mišetiću iz Chicaga autentičnost i sadržaj svog iskaza. U istom gradu (St. Louis, Missouri) živi i Josipov prijatelj i nekadašnji kolega uznik, g. Mato Borović, koji je bio izravna žrtva Bekavčeve izdaje. Gospodin Borović, iako u 87. godini života, i nakon dugih uzničkih i emigrantskih godina još je krepak i lucidan. U telefonskom razgovoru u ožujku ove (2011.) godine s g. Mišetićem potvrdio je kako je on, zajedno s Vinkom Dujmovićem te Ivom i Jurom Galićem, išao na povjerljive sastanke i savjetovanja kod fra Bosiljka Bekavca. Nakon nekoliko sastanaka ponovno su po dogovoru došli u župni stan i, uz Bekavca, našli su još petoricu “fratara”, “simpatizera križara”. Ali kad su došli na slijedeći zakazani sastanak, nisu mogli ni sanjati da će im to biti posljednji. Naime, uz Bekavca, u fratarskom habitu, druga petorica “fratara” ovaj put bili su u civilnom odijelu i odmah su se bacili na gerilce te ih uhitili.

U jednom od dokumenata koji donosimo govori se o Anti Brkljančiću, a u drugom o Brkljači. Zapravo je riječ o Anti Brkljačiću.

Onima koje pobliže zanima hrvatska antijugoslavenska i antikomunistička gerila u Bosni i Hercegovini poslije Drugog svjetskog rata preporučujemo: Dr. Ivo Lučić, “Hrvatska protukomunistička gerila u Bosni i Hercegovini od 1945. do 1951”. Časopis za suvremenu povijest, br. 3, 2010., 631-670.

Ante Čuvalo

Dva svjedočanstva – prijepis i preslik

POVJERLJIVO NIJE ZA ŠTAMPU
Zbog ljudi koji su u Jugosl.
Pa mi (sic!) mogli stradati!

Iskaz bivseg Krizara Josipa Rukčića o slučaju Rev. Bosiljka Bekavca

15. XI. 1963.

Dragi velečasni!
Prošlo je dosta vremena kako sam primio od Vas dva pisma, pa Vas molim za izvinjenje.  Bilo je više razloga zašto Vam nisam odgovorio kako ste mi pisali.  Vi trazite, da Vam po mogućnosti, koliko ja znam, opišem slučaj Bekavca Fra Bosiljka.  Ja sam zatvoren i osudjen 1947. god. za Križarsku organizaciju u Sarajevu, koja je suradjivala sa grupom Križara pod zapovjedništvom Ante Brkljančića (Brkljačić-sic!) i Stjepana Šimića.  Po mom dolasku u Zenicu, ja sam uvjek nastojao, da čujem što ima na terenu oko Fojnice i Kreševa.  To sam mogao doznati ve-inom od ljudi, koji su osudjivani za suradnju sa Križarima.  Onda najedamput 1950. god. dobio sam novine svakodašnje sa velikim naslovom, da je uhićena cijela organizacija sa Šimićem i Brkljančićem (Brkljačićem!) na čelu.  To je pisalo u junu 1950., a sudjenje je počelo u septembru iste godine.  Pratili smo sudjenje preko novina i čitali osudu: Šimić i Brkljančić (Brkljačić) na kaznu vješanjem, a Tuka Anto, Liješnjić Jure i Vidović Ivo na kaznu strijeljanjem.  Drugo ništa nisam znao, ali jednog dana Oktobra 1950, došli su transportom u Zenicu novi osudjenici a mi „stari“ se odma interesujemo zašto je ko sudjen.  Kad smo doznali za Šimićevu grupu, meni je bilo drago, da ću moći doznati iz prve ruke sve pojedinosti.  Odma nisam mogao jer su dečki morali ići u staklaru (karantena), 6 tjedana, a poslije njenoga izlaska, ja sam imao sreću, da oni, ti dečki, budu dodijeljeni u moju sobu.  Za prvo vrijeme nisu ništa smjeli pričati, a pitali su ko ima od Kiseljaka, i, kada su se upoznali sa mnom, i dobro se sprijateljili, oni su meni počeli onda da pričaju stvar, kako je tekla, koja nažalost strašno tereti „Fra“ Bekavaca.  Sve su mi pričali, kako su suradjivali sa Križarima, ali sve preko Kiseljačkog župnika, u ono vrijeme Bekavca.  Ovi dečki se zovu Mato Borović, Ivo Galić i Vinko Dujmović, svi sudjeni po 20 godina robije, ali se svi nalaze na slobodi, prvi u Kiseljaku, drugi u Kreševu, a treći na Stupu kod Sarajeva.  Kada su oni vidili, da mogu imati u mene potpuno povjerenje sve su mi pričali u najsitnije detalje.  Oni su se obraćali Bekavcu uvijek za vezu i on je davao njima instrukcije, šta će raditi.  Tako je jednog dana on, Bekavac, rekao njima da će uskoro doći iz inozemstva preko Zagreba križarski „predstavnici“.  Nitko nije mogao posumnjati u fra Bekavca.  Tako je jednog dana, maja ili juna, bio tajno sazvan sastanak na večer u 10 sati, u župskom stanu Bekavca, „sastanak sa Križarskim predstavnicima“, tako da su se ljudi sa zadovoljstvom odazvali pozivu Bekavca.  Na sastanak je preko veze od strane Bekavca pozvan i Brkljančić (Brkljačić).  Na sastanku su bili prisutni Brkljančić (Brkljačić), predsjedavajući, Bekavac, četiri predstavnika iz inozemstva, u stvari sve viši predstavnici Udbe iz Sarajeva.  Još na sastanku su bili osim spomenute trojice Borovića, Galića i Dujmovića, Iviš Anto, Grga Gagro, Jelaš Zvonko i dvojica strijeljanih Vidović i Liješnjić, sve iz sela Zagorica i Završja, samo Jelaš, Iviš i Gagro iz Kiseljaka.  Na sastanku se raspravljalo o svemu.  Bekavac je rukovodio sastankom.  Davale su se instrukcije za rad i tražilo mišljenje od ljudi. Tako je traženo, tko bi se primio u slučaju napada na Kiseljak tko bi ubio predsjednika i sekretara odbora.  Te dužnosti su se na prijedlog Bekavca primili nesretni Lijšnjić i Vidović, što ih je koštalo života kasnije na sudu.  Taj je sastanak završen sa napomenom, da se slijedeći sastanak održi za petnaest dana, ali da se svakako pozove skupa sa Brkljančićem (Brkljačićem) i Šimić.  Tako je i bilo, samo što na idući sastanak nije pozvan Borović, Galić i Dujmović, nego samo Jelaš, Iviš i Gagro.  Šimić nije došao, jer je posumnjao u to.  Kada su došli na taj sastanak i, Udba, sastanak je počeo.  Bio je i Brkljančić (Brkljačić!), predsjedavao je Bekavac. Najedamput, za vrijeme sastanka, oni tobožnji ‘predstavnici’ su skočili na Brkljančića (Brkljačića), da ga savladaju.  Nastala je borba i on je bio savladan za vrijeme te borbe.  Bekavac je odmah skočio i stao na vrata.  Ovo mi je pričao Jelaš Zvonko, koji je bio prisutan toj sramotnoj izdaji Bekavca.  Odmah je tada unišla vojska i sve je prisutne hapsila osim Bekavca.  A pošto je Šmić znao za Brkljančićev (Brkljačićev) sastanak, oni su nešto morali učiniti, da opravdaju nepovratak Brkljančića (Brkljačića).  Zato su iste te noći inscenirali “borbu” kod Palške Ćuprije da izgleda kao da je Brkljančić (Brkljačić) bio napadnut i u borbi da je poginuo.  Pucali su par sati, onda su napravili grobnicu kao da su ga zakopali.  Pošto Bekavac nije bio odmah uhapšen, on je razglasio preko veze, da je Brkljančić (Brkljačić) poginuo, tako da bi se Šimić na to namamio.  To je i bilo tako.  On je sa svojom grupom bio došao da to provjeri.  Zasjeda je već čuvala taj grob.  Borba je trajala neko vrijeme i Šimić se je izvukao sa svojim ljudima.  Samo na povratku u šumi, zvanoj Berberuša opet udari na zasjedu.  U kratkoj borbi dvojica poginu i Šimć ranjen teško uhvaćen.  Poslije toga nastalo je hapšenje i raseljavanje.  Još je ostala u selu Zagorcima gimnazijalka Marica Hočevar.  Onda je Bekavac rekao Ivi Galiću i Vinku Dujmoviću neka je dovedu u župski stan, da će je on poslati u Djakovo kod časnih sestara.  Oni su je doveli k njemu.  Došla je Udba, odvela je u Sarajevo i bila odmah ubijena bez suda, tako da ne bi rekla, kako je uhićena.  A onda je bio hapšen i Bekavac sa ostalima.  Za vrijeme islijednje on je Bekavac bio vodjen iz ćelije u ćeliju, da ga vide ostali, da je i on hapšen.  A kada je došlo sudjenje, njega nije bilo nigdje.  On je pušćen na slobodu poslije toga.  Ja ne znam što je bilo s njime.  Ali po izlasku mom iz Zenice 1959, nisam odmah nigdje radio, pa sam šio odijela kad me neko zovne u kuću.  Tako sam šio dva odijela za fra Stjepana Buljana, sadašnjeg župnika u Kiseljaku.  On mi je dosta toga rekao, skoro isto kao što sam vam već napisao.  On je samo rekao za Bekavca da je jedan „gad“ zato što poslije svega što je napravio, šalje preko godine pakete službenicima Udbe, pakete sa prezentima.  Nisam mogao to vjerovati, ali nakon nekog vremena mene je pozvao šef Udbe zloglasni Duško Kopara i pitao me, bi li ti majstore meni sašio odijelo, i, ja sam otišao kod njega u stan da mu pravim odijelo.  Jednog dana dodje neki njegov službenik sa pisima (spisima – sic!).  On pročita i treba nešto da potpiše.  Izvadi nalivpero i potpisa.  Na to će njegov službenik reći: Šefe imate lijepo pero, gdje ste ga kupili.  On kaže, doslovno ovako: To je mi (mi je) poslao „naš“ Bekavac, a i ovaj štof što majstor radi i ovaj sat , pokaza na ruci.  Ja mislim da tome ne treba nikakov komentar tko je Bekavac.  Poslije sam opet radio kod zupnika 1960. u januaru i, jednu večer smo malo posjedili, pričali o svemu.  On mi je pričao o Euharističkom kongresu u Műnchenu i da je vidio Kasića Josipa tamo.  Te smo večeri pozvali i Jelača (Jelaša) Zvonka sa ženom na sijelo, pošto on stanuje odmah do župskog stana; u toj sobi, gdje smo sjedjeli.  Zvonko je rekao, evo u ovoj sobi je bio sastanak posljednji, kada je, kaže on, Udba skočila na Brkljančića (Brkljačića).  Bekavac je stao odmah na vrata da bude pripomoć druškanima; onda nam je opet sve pričao, kako je stvar tekla, još su dvi žrtve Bekavca, koje nisam naveo.  To je Stipe Blažević, umro u Zenici, i Pero Tuka, brat streljanog Tuke.  I još jedan slučaj što narod govori u Kreševu.  Boravio sam kod moga punca Barišić Zovke (Zvonke?), sada je pokojni, u razgovoru sam rekao da idem na ispovijed.  On je rekao, idi dijete, samo se čuvaj da te fra Misilo ne ispovidi kao što je Bekavac ispovijedao.  Eto, dragi velečasni, šta je znam o Bekavcu.  Ovo je sve istina kako sam ja čuo, ne bi želio, da se igdje dadne ova izjava u janost (javnost), jer sam dobio pismo iz Austrije od moga susjeda, da mi je Mama u zatvoru od kada je Titio dolazio ovamo, i da još nije pusćena.  Ja sam spreman doći u Chicago kad god vi tamo mozete doći.  Nas ovdje ima osam zeničkih robijaša, a trojica bi došla sa mnom do vas na Drexler (Drexel), samo bi mogli nedjeljom, pa ako Vam nije ovo dosta, onda da se sastanemo u Chicagu.  To je sve, izvinite što nisam prije pisao, jer su mi oni iz Zajedničara govorili, da bi mogao biti vraćen, da Zajedničar ima novaca da plati sud i tome slično.  Drugo ništa, puno Vas pozdravlja skupa sa svojom familijom.

Josip Rukčić

Fra. BOSILJKO BEKAVAC

Rodjen je 11. XI. 1906. god. u Obrenovcu kotar Konjic.  Mladu misu sližio 6. 9. 1935. (nije jasno) god. u Podhumu, kotar Konjic.
Do svoje sedamnaeste godine, radio je kao sluga kod fratara u samostanu Kreševo.  Poslije toga, fratri su ga poslali u gimnaziju.  Kao bogoslov, družio se sa drugim bogoslovom Franjom Barišićem, rodom od Podhuma.  Ovaj je već tada pokazivao svoja protuvjerska uvjerenja i ovo prijateljstvo ostavilo je jaki utjecaj na B. Bekavaca.  Barišić je danas profesor u Beogradu.
Poslije bogoslovije B. Bekavac postaje kapelan u Kreševu a iza otslužene mlade Mise, postaje župnik u Osovi kod Žepča.  Iz Osove dolazi u Novi-šeher, pored Zavidovića.  Za vrijeme rata bio je u zatvoru iz kojeg je bio izbavljen po Stipi Križanoviću, ubijenom kasnije po jugo-komunistima.
Od 1946. god. Bekavac je župnik u Kiseljaku, kojega napušta 23. V. 1953. i odlazi u SAD.
Za vrijeme njegova boravka u Kiseljaku, Bekavac se povezuje sa ustanicima, koje tada zovu „Križari“ a koje su u tom kraju vodili Šimić i Brkljača (Brkljačić-sic!).  Poslije zdogovora sa UDBOM, B. Bekavac odlazi povremeno u šumu i okolna sela kao svećenik, vršeći svećeničke dužnosti, sa namjerom da bi što bolje i što više saznao o ustanicima.  Narod mu je vjerovao i pred njim je bio iskren.  Radi toga uspjelo mu je jednom nagovoriti Šimića, te su zajedno otišli u Sarajevo, pod izlikom nabavke oružja.  Sve sa znanjem UDBE, da bi Šimić i ostali stekli što veće povjerenje u Bekavca.
U isto vrijeme dva UDBA-ša, stanovala su u gornjem stanu župne kuće u Kiseljaku.  Ljudi za ovo nisu znali, ali su mještani čuli jauk i zapomaganje po noći iz gornjeg stana.  To su mučitelji UBDE odmah na samom mjestu mučili prevarene osobe, koje su poslije slali u druge zatvore.  Bekavac je narodu pričao, da se to ponekad po noći javljaju duhovi.
U taj župni stan B. Bekavac namamio je djevojku Dragicu, zaručnicu Šimića.  U tom su ju stanu mučili i od tuda odveli u Sarajevo, gdje su ju na kraju ubili.  Prije svoje smrti pok. Dragica uspjela je nekako napisati na zidu zatvorske ćelije i upozoriti, tko je Bekavac.  Drugi zatvorenici koji su poslije došli u tu ćeliju, to su čitali i prenosili dalje.
Isti B. Bekavac uspio je nagovoriti Šimića, da će ga ponovo voditi u Sarajevo.  Ovog puta UDBA je čekala kod Alipašin-mosta. Šimić je za vrijeme vožnje osjetio da je nešto sumnjivo i nastojao je pobjeći iz auta, ali Bekavac tjelesno jači od pok. Šimića bacio se na Šimića, uspio ga svladati te je Šimić završio na UDBI, gdje mu se zameo svaki trag.
Poslije hvatanja Šimića, UDBA uz pomoć Bekavca uvatila je 24 člana Šimićeve čete a preostala trojica od njih, uspjeli su pobjeći.  Poslije bijega otišli su na Crni Vrh u Zec planinu kod Pere Bilića.  Konačno otkriveni poginuli su u borbi a kod Bilića je tada pronadjen popis jataka.  Medju prvim jatacima, bio je stric B. Bekavca, Andrija Bekavac, kojeg su nakon hapšenja odveli u Konjic, gdje je poslije mučenja četvrti dan izdahnuo.
Uslijedilo je hapšenje jataka, radi čega je UDBA zatvorila oko tri stotine osoba iz uže i šire okolice Kiseljaka.  Neki od zatvorenih bili su pušteni kući nakon kraćeg preslušavanja a neki su osudjeni na duge godine robije.  Na dvadeset godina bili su otjerani u zatvor Zvonko Jelaš i Ivičević.  Trojica župljana iz Kiseljaka, tada su streljani.
Kad su osudjeni počeli pristizati kući, poslije izlaska iz zatvora, sve više ugrožavali su samog Bekavca.  Radi toga po naredjenju UDBE, Bekavac se sklanja u SAD, na 23. V. 1953. god.
UDBA je imala i previše podataka o privatnom životu Bekavca i radi toga poslužila se je i poslom ucjene.  Njegov privatni život, to je njegova stvar za koji odgovara kao svaki od nas pred Bogom, ali u ovom njegovom slučaju njegov nastrani tjelesni život, poslužio je UDBI.  Sama UDBA posjeduje fotografije, koje Bekavca kompromitiraju.  Posao kojeg je već davno primio Bekavac kao žbir i uhod, on taj posao obavlja i danas na zadovoljstvo svojih gospodara iz UDBE, kojima uz to još uvijek šalje i darove u novcu i paketima.  Ovo pismo pišem iz hrvatske Domovine, na molbu prijatelja.  Ako tražite dokaze, onda je tu narod iz cijele okolice i ostali iz Bekavčeve rodbine.  Mnogi o ovome šute a mrtvi ne govore a tko će nama živima na bilo kojem sudu ovo povjerovati.  Ima nas koji smo sve ovo spremni svjedočiti, jer nas iz ovih krajeva ima na radu vani.  Znadu za Bekavčev rad i ljudi oko Konjica, isto kao što znadu i njegovi poglavari i ostali fratri.  Istina je na našoj strani i sa njom djevojka Dragica i svi oni kojima je teške muke priuštio sam Bekavac.  Danas kada ljudske slabosti caruju, mi nismo klonuli jer znamo gdje je pravda.
Ovo Vam piše jedan od onih, koji je ostao na rodnoj hrvatskoj grudi.
Primite pozdrave’
ŽIVILA HRVATSKA’

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Our Declaration – A 1916 declaration by Croatian and Slovene Priests in America

Our Declaration

(A 1916 declaration by Croatian and Slovene Priests in America)

As Croatians and sons of the nation of Croatia, and of our fraternal Slovene lands, from the very start, we hereby announce and confirm our political stance as regards our homeland during these bellicose times—times which hold seen and unforeseen consequences.

We stand on the national, state, historical, and written rights of the Nation of Croatia and her people, which are contained, among others, in the Coronation Oaths taken by Croatian rulers as far back as 1490 and beyond, in fact, up to this very day; these rights are also contained in the Electoral Charter from the year 1527, as well as in the Pragmatic Sanction dated 1712. In short, we stand by the program as represented by the Party of Right from the year 1894 and as developed and promulgated long since by the apostle of Croatianism, Dr. Ante Starčević, and as adopted by our Slovene brothers at the gathering in Trsat.

We believe in the strength, national awareness, and patriotism of the Croatian and Slovene Peoples whom much more powerful enemies were unable to crush, as witnessed by 14 centuries of our history. In that already realized past, we look to our freedom and independence.

We believe that the Croatians and Slovenes, who are bound by faith, history, culture, and a contemporary national consciousness, factors that are powerful features in the nation of all peoples, comprise one whole group of peoples in southern Europe, and, as such, have all the necessary prerequisites for independence.

We know that from its inception in 924, the Croatian Nation, stretching from Mt. Triglav to the Drina and from the Danube to the Adriatic has never ceased to be, not even in its darkest days in the past, nor in more recent times from 1790 to the present. She has remained as a Nation and as a People, and will continue to remain so. Her loyal sons will not traffic with her rights.

We know that official Austria and Hungary, Turkey and Italy, aided by Great Britain, have, through the centuries, encroached and truncated the sacred rights and freedom of the Croatian People. The past history of the Croatians and Slovenes has condemned publicly and continues to condemn those very same peoples for all the wrongs and violations of their rights. Through the centuries we have fought and stood firm for our rights, rights which we will continue to value and honor, and which we ourselves must and will ultimately accomplish. Those who doubt the abilities of people to free themselves, thereby deny existence to them. Peoples who gain their freedom at the hands of others soon become their subordinates.

In the name of humanity and the right of a People to exist, we strongly condemn Hungary’s politics of force, and Austria’s approval of such politics. We seek the right to freely develop and will continue to seek the right for Croatians to retain their own lands and sea, as well as all their other rights. In the name of all the Croatian and Slovene blood spilt on the battlefields of Europe, we will seek that all wrongs against us be corrected, for that spilt blood cries out for revenge from God who is the avenger of all wrongs.

Herein we assert that the so-called Serbian element which was born and lives in the nation of Croatia during the past fifty years, or, better said, since they emerged on the political scene in Croatia, has always and faithfully stood on the side and at the service of the enemies of Croatia—especially the Hungarians, Austrians, and Italians. As to the question of the Slavs in general, and the South-Slavs in particular, our thoughts are guided by those expressed in the writings of our Croatian statesmen—patriots in life and work—Eugen Kvaternik and Ante Starčević, as well as by the mournful experience related to this question which befell our great Bishop Strossmajer from the very founding of the Jugoslav Academy and up to the very year 1885. When Bishop Strossmajer wanted to visit Serbia, the response of the Serbian government was that it could not guarantee his life or safety if he were to visit his flock which lived in Serbia. The fanatcism of the Serbs, a particular characteristic of theirs, was previously seen as being strong, as based on their oft repeated syntagm: “Serbians all and everywhere.” That fanaticism is now even stronger. According to their notion and teaching, all the Balkan Peoples should be subsumed by Serbia. We do not wish to become Serbs, or Yugoslavs, nor Serbo-Croatians, but we will remain Croatians, brothers to all remaining Slavs; however, each in his own house, in his own land, and within the scope of his own rights. From the time our forefathers settled in our present homeland, we have evolved and we have created our own history in this manner.

With Italy’s entrance into the present war, she commended the insane Austrian politics against the Croatians and Slovenes as related to their Littoral and Dalmatia. By being favorable to the Italian minority, Austria prepared the way for the Italian aggression. The French, English, and Russian Trilateral Memo of Understanding promised Italy ownership of the Adriatic and possession of our shore and the lands between Trieste and beyond. We most strongly condemn this traitorous act carried out by the great powers. England did not offer the Island of Malta to Italy as a reward for entering the war—an island she rules but which is inhabited only by Italians; nor did she offer them greater rights in the Mediterranean wherein she and the French rule, and even less, dominion in Egypt. France did not grant Italy the territories of Savoy or part of Tunisia where more than one and one-half million Italians live. Russia, which has interests in the Kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro, acceded to the promises made to Italy such that no one asked Serbia or Montenegro at the time the promise was made to Italy; rather, they simply informed it (Serbia) of what they sold to Italy. These who thunder and rule in Europe did not offer that which, by virtue of the principles governing nationhood, they should have offered; rather, they gifted the very eyes and door of Croatian state and people to treacherous and enemy Italy, so that she might close the door and eyes of the Croatian Nation forever. They offered the bones and flesh of the Croatian and Slovene Peoples at the marketplace so as to buy Italy’s entrance into the war, a war where Croatian and Slovene heroes are dying while defending their home and hearth from the treachery committed against their Peoples by France, England, and Russia. In the announcements to their peoples, these powers stated that they are going to war for sake of freeing small nations. Their history belies such an announcement since they never freed so much as one People. To the contrary, they, in fact, always opposed such freedom; nor should they castigate Germany or Austria in that regard. They promised foreigners a full two-thirds of Croatian lands such that one-third of its 110,000 square kilometers will cease to remain part of Croatia once the fundamentals of the Trilateral Agreement and Italy take place…“They divided my garments and cast lots for them.”

A free and united Croatia will order its international and political relationships, and will enter into agreements and laws according to the principle which states: “regnum regno non praescribit leges”—“One nation does not prescribe laws to another.”

Previous [pro-Yugoslav] declarations, starting with that from the gathering in Chicago on the 10th of March, 1915, fail to mention any sort of guarantees sought by an independent People as a condition of their independence; quite to the contrary, they obliterate the basis for individual and national existence for the Croatians. They divest Croatia of its past, its rights, its national name, and its national significance.

Thus far, there is no authoritative declaration on anyone’s part that Croatia will remain independent in “Yugoslavia”; to the contrary, representatives of the parties that have the authority to issue such a declaration made pronouncements at their gatherings and in their speeches in favor of a monarchical Serbia. We do not want the nation of the Croatian People to be swallowed by a unitary “Yugoslavia,” or better said, a Greater Serbia, a Croatia that is at least three centuries older than the nation of Serbia. We remain loyal to God, to our People and Homeland, and to him to whom our people conveyed their sovereign right to rule, and which persists to this day, and is sustained through the Crown of Croatian rulers.

In conclusion, and in the uncertain position in play on these shores wherein our immigrants live, let the tried and tested words of the defenders of our People’s rights, namely, Dr. Matko Laginje from Istria, representative Stjepan Zagorac from the province of Croatia, Rev. Ivo Prodan from Dalmatia, Bishop Šarić from Bosnia, and Dr. I Kreka, from Kranjska in Slovenia, serve as our guiding beacon.

Let the war end as it will, we do not abrogate our stand; rather, we will seek an Independent Croatian Nation along with all those rights possessed by a sovereign people.

Rev. Dr. E. Kajić

Rev. Pet. Čančarević (after signing the document, he withdrew his name)

Rev. Bosiljko Bekavac

Rev. Ivan Raab

Rev. Ambroz Širca

Rev. D. Krmpotić

Rev. A. Živić

Rev. Leon Josip Medić

Rev. Anton Sojar

Rev. Francis Podgoršek

Rev. Irenej Petričak

Rev. Mihael Tušek

Rev. Fr. Racinger

Rev. M. Hranilović

Rev. Valentin Mihelić

Nasa izjava 1916 – Izjava skupine hrvatskih i slovenskih svećenika u Americi

NAŠA IZJAVA“

I

K NAŠOJ IZJAVI“

STANOVIŠTE HRVATSKOG I SLOVENAČKOG SVEĆENSTVA

U AMERICI GLEDOM NA JUGOSLAVENSKU,

BOLJE VELIKO-SRPSKU PROPAGANDU U AMERICI.

CINE 25 CENTI

TISAK „NARODNOG LISTA“, NEW YORK, N.Y.

NAKLADA: CROATIAN PRINTING & PUBLISHING CO. N.Y.

1916

PREDGOVOR

Odkada je rat u Evropi započeo, nije hrvatsko svećenstvo izjavilo nigdje otvoreno svoje stanovište gledom na jugoslavensku, bolje veliko-srbsku propagandu, koja je u ovoj zemlji medju Hrvatima operirala punom parom, da prikže svojim gospodarem i najamnikom, e su Hrvati voljni i željni, da se odreknu Hrvatskog imena i povijesti, te da su voljni postati Jugoslaveni, bolje Srbi i podanici dinastije Karagjorgjevića.

To isto svećenstvo je dapače bilo prikazivano s jedne strane po Grškoviću, kao da je solidarno s njime, — dok se s druge strane tvrdilo za njeke svećenike, da su za Švabu i Magjare.

To je prisililo pod izjavu podpisane Hrvate i Slovence svećenike u Americi, da izadju sa „Našom Izjavom“, i kašnje „K našoj izjavi“.

NAŠA IZJAVA

Na prvom mjestu kano Hrvati i sinovi domovine Hrvatske i bratskih slovenačkih zemalja naglasujemo i ovim utvrdjujemo ovdje naše političko stanovište prema našoj domovini u ova ratna vremena, koja nose u sebi vidljive i nevidljive jošte posljedice.

Mi stojimo na narodnim, državnim, povjesnim i pisanim pravima države Hrvatske i njezinog naroda, koja se sadržavaju medju ostalim u krunidbenim zavjernicama hrvatskih vladara sve od god. 1490., i dalje sve do današnjega doba; zatim u izbornoj diplomi od god. 1527., te u pragmatičkoj sankciji od god. 1712. U kratko: mi stojimo na programu stranke prava od god. 1894., koga je u svojim spisima i govorima odavno razvio i dokazao apostol hrvatstva Dr. Ante Starčević, i koga na trsatskoj skupštini prihvatiše braća Slovenci.

Vjerujemo u snagu, narodnu svijest i domoljublje hrvatskoga i slovenačkoga naroda, za što nam svjedoči njegova prošlost od 14 vijekova, u kojoj ga mnogo jači neprijatelji skršiti nisu mogli, i na toj prošlosti ostvarenu gledamo njegovu slobodu i nezavisnost.

Vjerujemo, da Hrvati i Slovenci, koje veže vjera, povjest, kultura i suvereni narodni osjećaj, što su moćni faktori u državi svakoga naroda, sačinjavaju jednu cjelovitu skupinu naroda na jugu Europe, i kao takovi imaju sve preduvjete za samostalnost.

Znademo, da hrvatska država od Triglava do Drine, od Dunava do Jadrana, nije nikada od postanka svoga g. 924., prestala, pa niti u najcrnijim vremenima u dalekoj prošlosti ni u bližoj sadašnjosti od god. 1790. do danas. Ona je ostala kao država i kao narod, a takova će i ostati. Vjerni sinovi njezini neće pazariti sa njezinim pravima.

Znademo, da su službena Austrija i Magjarska, Turska i Italija, kojima je pomagala i Velika Englezka, kroz vjekove navaljivale i krnjile sveta prava i slobodu hrvatskog naroda. Prošlost Hrvata i Slovenaca odsudila je, odsudjuje neprestano i danas jošte živući narod sve krivice i oskvrnjivanja prava njegovih javnom odusdom i borbom za ista, zato uz sve ove nepravde i krivice ovaj narod ne traži osloboditelja niti ih očekuje izvana, nego iz samoga sebe, jer vjeruje u sebe da imade jakosti i samopouzdanja u radu i ustrajnosti u borbi za slobodu, koju vodi kroz stoljeća, koju će cijeniti i štovati, jer će ju sam izvojštiti. Oni, koji dvoje o sposobnosti naroda, da bi se sam oslobodio, niječu njegov opstanak. Narodi, kojima drugi dadu slobodu, postaju njihovi malodobnici.

Postupak magjarske nasilne politike i austrijsko odobravanje ove politike odsudjujemo najoštrije, i u ime čovječnosti i prava jednog naroda na opstanak i slobodan razvitak tražimo i tražiti ćemo, da Hrvatima ostanu njihove zemlje i more, njihova prava; sve krivice da se isprave, jer sadanja prolita hrvatska i slovenačka krv na bojnim poljima Europe vapi za osvetom Bogu osvetniku svake krivice.

Tvrdimo ovdje, da je takozvani srpski elemenat, koji živi i koji se je rodio u državi Hrvatskoj, kroz zadnjih pedeset godina, ili bolje odkada je stupio na političko polje u Hrvatskoj, uvijek i vjerno [je] stajao na strani i u službi neprijatelja Hrvatske, osobito Magjara, Austrije i Talijana. U pitanju Slavenstva uopće, Jugoslavenstva napose, vode nas misli izražene u spisima hrvatskih političara, patriota životom i radom, vrlih pokojnika Eugena Kvaternika i Ante Starčevića, te žalostno iskustvo koga je doživio u ovom pitanju veliki vladika Strossmajer od vremena osnutka Jugoslavenske akademije pak do god. 1885., kad je htio pohoditi Srbiju kano biskup svojih ovaca, koje živiše u Srbiji, no srpska vlada mu je pisala, da ne jamči za njegov život ako u pohode dodje. Fanatizam Srba, koji je njihovo osobito obilježje, bijaše prije jak, jer „Srbi svi i svuda“, sada je još jači; u njemu bi se morali po njihovoj nauci utopiti svi narodi na Balkanu. Mi ne idemo ni u Srbe, ni u Jugoslavne, ni u Srbo-Hrvate, nego ostajemo Hrvati, braća ostalim Slavenima, ali svaki u svojoj kući, i na svojoj zemlji i u opsegu svojih prava, jer smo se tako razvijali i povijest svoju stvarali od početka naseljenja pradjedova naših u sadanju domovinu našu.

Italija je svojim ulaskom u sadanji rat odsudila nepravednu, ludu austrijsku politiku, koju je Austrija vodila proti Hrvatima i Slovencima u Primorju i Dalmaciji, jer pogodjujući talijanskoj manjini Austrija je poripravila polje talijanskoj navali. Trojni sporazum, Franceska, Engleska i Rusija obećaše Italiji gospodstvo u Jadranu i posjed naše obale i zemlje od Trsta dalje. Ovaj prodajni rad koga izvedoše ove velevlasti mi najoštrije osudjujemo. Engleska nije Italiji ponudila za nagradu ulaza u rat, otoke Maltu u Sredozmenom moru, kojim ona gospodari, a na kome stanuju sami Talijani; niti većega prava u Sredozemnom moru, kjim vladaju Englezi i Francuzi, a još manje posjeda u Egiptu. Franceska ne dade joj pokrajine Savoie, niti Dijela Tunisa, u kojoj žive više od milijun i pol Talijana. Rusija, koja imade interesa u kraljevinama Srbiji i Crnoj Gori pristala je na obećanje Italiji, tako, da Srbije ni Crne Gore nitko ni pitao nije, kad je obećanje učinjeno, nego joj javiše što su Italiji prodali. Ovi koji sada grme i vedre u Europi ne ponudiše onoga, što bi po načelu narodnosti morali, nego su nevjernoj i neprijateljskoj Italiji dali vrata i oči hrvatske države i naroda, da ih ona zatvori i zasliepi za uvijeke. Kosti i meso hrvatskog i slovenskog naroda iznesoše na pazar, da kupe Italiju za rat, u kome pogibaju hrvatski i slovenski junaci braneći prag svoj od izdaje, koju počiniše Franceska, Engleska i Rusija na njihovom narodu. U svojim proglasima narodu za rat oglasiše one, da idu u rat za oslobodjenje malenih naroda. Povijest njihova jest protivna ovom proglasu, jer nijednoga naroda nikada oslobodile nisu, nego protivno, slobodu im uništile, te ne trebaju Njemačke i Austrije koriti radi toga. Obećaše tudjinu pune dvije trećine hrvatskih zemalja, tako da od 110.000 četvornih kilometara zemlje neće ostati Hrvatskoj niti jedna trećina, kada se izvede osnova ili ugovor izmedju trojnog sporazuma i Italije. „Razdijeliše haljine moje, i kockaše se za nje“.

Slobodna i ujedinjena Hrvatska u uredjivanju svojih medjunarodnih pravnih i političkih odnošaja ugovarati će i sklapati će ugovore i zakone po načlu: „regnum regno non praescribit leges“. Država državi ne propisuje zakona.

Dosadanje rezolucije počamši sa onom na sastanku u Chicagu od 10. ožujka 1915. ne spominju nikakvih garancija, koje samostalan narod kano uvjete svojoj samostalnosti traži, nego naprotiv držimo, da one ruše temelj hrvatskog individualnoga i državnoga opstanka, Hrvatsku lišavaju njezine prošlosti, njezinih prava, narodnoga imena i njezinoga državnoga značaja.

Autoritativne izjave do sada nema od nijedne strane, da će u „Jugoslaviji“ ostati samostalna Hrvatska, nego naprotiv izaslanici jedne strane, koja imade autoritet da to izjavi, izjavljivaše se na sastancima i u njihovim govorima, za monarhičnu veliku Srbiju. U jedinstvenoj državi „Jugoslaviji“ ili točnije Velikoj Srbiji nećemo da se gubi država hrvatskoga naroda, koja je barem tri vijeka starija od države Srba. Vjerni Bogu, narodu i domovini svojoj, te onomu, na koga je narod prenesao svoje suvereno pravo vladati, koje se odrazuje u kruni hrvatskih vladara.

Na koncu u ovom nejasnom položaju, koji se nalazi u ovim našim stranama, gdje mi iseljenici živimo, nama neka budu luči vodilicom patriotizam i riječi prokušanih boraca za narodna prava gg. Dra. Matka Laginje iz Istrije, zastupnika Stjepana Zagorca iz Hrvatske, don Ive Prodana iz Dalmacije, biskupa Šarića iz Bosne, te Dra. I. Kreka iz Kranjske.

Svršio se rat kako mu drago, mi se ne odričemo, već ćemo tražiti hrvatsku samostalnu državu sa svim njezinim pravima, koja imade suvereni narod.

Rev. Dr. E. Kajić

Rev. Pet. Čančarević (opozvao)

Rev. B. Bekavac

Rev. Ivan Raab

Rev. Ambroz Širca

Rev. D. Krmpotić

Rev. A. Živić

Rev. Leon Josip Medić

Rev. Anton Sojar

Rev. Francis Podgoršek

Rev. I. Petričak

Rev. Mihael Tušek

Rev. Fr. Racinger

Rev. M. Hranilović

Rev. Valentin Mihelić

Gornja „Izjava“ je podpuno jasna, nu, pošto je naravno, da se u takvim izjavama ili rezolucijama gleda biti što kraći, pokazala se potreba, da se „Našoj Izjavi“ dodade njeki komentar ili tumač. Tim više bila je to potreba, što protivnički listovi nas objedjuju, da mi ne želimo slobodu; da hoćemo ropstvo i slično. Pod naslovom „K Našoj Izjavi“ donosimo takovi komentar, u kojem neprijateljima političke samostalnosnosti naše Hrvatske domovine i trgovcima, njezinih prava dokazujemo, kako će izgledati sloboda naša drage domovine, koju naši politički protivnici očekuju od Četvrtoga Sporazuma (Entente).

K NAŠOJ IZJAVI

Hrvatski i slovenski svećenici i podpisani na „Našoj Izjavi“, izdali su tu „Izjavu“ skroz spontano bez ikakvih debata, sastanaka, poticanja, mamljenja, obećavanja ili prijetnja. Predložilo se pismeno, u kojemu smislu treba da izdamo izjavu i svi jednoglasno rekoše, da je takova izjava nuždna i da je svaki osjećao nuždu i dužnost slične izjave. Poznati izmamljivač političkih izjava, Don Niko Gršković, znade ponajbolje, da se od hrvatskih svećenika ne izmamljuju tako lahko jugoslavenske bolje slavosrpske izjave. To ga je poučio naš chicažki sastanak, na koji je došao sa svim svojim aparatima i spremama, kojemu su prisustvovali svi oni, na koje je on mogao računati, pa je ipak otišao duga nosa. Doista je bilo žalostno i tragično za toga trgovca političkih izjava, kada morade otići sa sastanka bez željno željkovane izjave, za koju već bio siguran i za koju je već bio sastavio kabelgram na londonski komite, što je glasio: Svi hrvatski svećenici su za jugoslaviju. To je moja zasluga. Molim da se uvaži, pa da bude što obilnija nagrada itd.

Jest, reći će kogod, al Gršković je ipak izmamio izjavu i s njom se pohvalio. Na ovaj prigovor mora se svakako ogovoriti. Gršković i njegova dva trabanta gg. Relić i Medin su najprije iznijeli čisto slavosrpsku rezoluciju, u kojoj traže ujedinjenje troimenoga naroda (srpskog, hrvatskog i slovenačkog) u jednu jedinstvenu državu — Jugoslaviju, dakako pod žezlom Karagjorgjevića.

Kad je ta rezolucija s indignacijom odbijena, da se oslabi utisak blamaže, trebalo je ma što poduzeti, jer inače s bogom ugled Don Nike pred cijelim Srpstvom i Slavosrpstvom; do vraga dinari, rublje pa i lire, kano i obećane časti u „njihovom kraljevstvu“ — Jugoslaviji. I Don Niko se dade na posao, da nas „uhvati u rijči“.

Donio drugu rezoluciju tako kapcioznu, da je mislio i u sebi uskliknuo: „eureka“! Ali i opet razočaranje, jer se rezolucija kljaštrila sve dotle, dok nije iz nje odstranjen svaki trag i miris Slavosrpštine.

U usvojenoj rezoluciji mi tražimo: 1. podpunu slobodu vjere; 2. ekonomsko osobodjenje i 3. ujedinjenje hrvatskog naroda.

Po sebi se razumije, da nismo mislili na ovaku vjersku slobodu, koju imadu katolici u Rusiji, Francuzkoj ili Srbiji. Takvu vjersku slobodu si mogu želiti naši katolički Slavosrbi, ali nikada pravi Hrvati katolici. Mi znamo, da je u Austro-Ugarskoj Monarhiji pdpuna sloboda vjerska, ali nije podpune slobode u upravi ckve, a osobito baš katoličke, u koju se država mješa. Samo takvu slobodu smo razumjeli u toj rezoluciji i nju zahtjevamo.

Ekonomičku t. j. financijalnu i gospodarstvenu slobodu traže svi pošteni i rodoljubni Hrvati, a osobito podpuno financijalno oslobodjenje od Magjarske, u koje nas je bacila nesretna nagodba sa Magjarskom.

To je program, odnosno esencijalni dio programa stranke prava, na koji mi prisižemo; dočim glavni korifeji naših Slavosrba rekrutiraju se iz koalicije, koja je magjarofilska i koja taj sistem naše financijalne podredjenosti brani i podržava. Zato Don Gršković nije s tim učinio nikakve usluge Potočnjaku magjaronu-koalicinašu i njegovoj prodajničkoj družbi.

Pod ujedinjenjem hrvatskog naroda rekli smo izrično i mislili ujedinjenje svih hrvatskih i slovenačkih zemalja u jednu nezavisnu i slobodnu državu, koja će si sama gospodariti, kojoj neće biti gospodarom ni Austrija, ni Magjarska, pa makar imala s njima zajedeničkog vladara (personalnu uniju). Eto, to je čisti program hrvatske stranke prava.

Eto, to je naš ideal, to znači ona naša izjava sastavljena na chikažkom sastanku. Na ovu rezoluciju je pristao i Gršković i njegova družba, osim Rev. Relića, kojemu je bilo prevruće na sastanku pa se izgubio prije vremena.

Rev. Gršković se pohvalio u svojoj novini, kako nas je naveo da se zamjerimo Austriji i veselo si tro ruke, a ne vidi sjerotinja, da se on blamirao prama svojim gospodarima. Da se mi ne bojimo zamjeriti Austro-Ugarskoj, predbaciti joj i najstrožije odsuditi njezine griehe počinjene na hrvatskom narodu, to mu je najrječitiji dokaz „Naša Izjava“.

ZAŠTO SMO IZDALI „NAŠU IZJAVU“?

Lovac i trgovac političkih izjava i rezolucija Don Niko Gršković i družina — tutti quanti — Slavosrbi neprestance nas trpali u slavensku torbu, da nas, kad dodje tome vrijeme, iztresu pred kralja Petra, a traže onda nagradu; da cijeli svijet vidi, da su se Hrvati odrekli svoje političke eksistencije i svakoga prava na nju, te se zadovoljuju s time da smiju pod dinastijom Karagjorgjevića zvati se Jugoslaveni. Tako su to zamislili „Srbi svi i svuda“; tako se imala ostvariti srpska „zavetna misao“. U tu svrhu se drže skupštine, stvaraju rezolucije, plaćaju mnogobrojne novine pisane ćirilicom i latinicom. Sve to vode i provode prodani Slavosrbi i Srbi.

Skupe po 200-300 ljudi (većinom svagdje Srbi) i onda se deru kao cirkuski pelivani: evo vidite ljudi, čujte narode, počujte Alirci, sav hrvaski narod se odriče svoje političke individualnosti i eksistencije i prelazi u jugoslavenstvo i jugoslavensku državu pod dinastijom Petra Mrkonjića. Takove se izjave dobro rentiraju kristalizirajući se u zlatne rublje i dinare, a bogme i u lire.

To je njima svejedno! Eksistencija je majke Hrvatske dobro unovčena. Dobije li još kogod mitru i prefekturu u kojme „Srezu“ velike Srbije (n. pr. Boduliju), onda je trud nagradjen. Dušo moja, šta hoćeš više!

Kad se započeo grozni rat mislili su naši handl-tandleri: ode Austrija k vragu, Hrvatsku će dobiti Srbija i posrbiti će nas istim načinom i sredstvima kano i macedonske Bugare, drži se Veljo, pametan budi, Veljo, ugrabi što možeš, unovči, što se dade unovčiti. Oni isti, koji su prije dvije godine prodavali (za peštanske tiz korone) hrvatsku morsku obalu Magjarima, stavljaju se na čelo toj izdajničkoj trgovini sa eksistencijom naše hrvatske domovine, koja jim ne bi smjela nikada ni kosti primiti.

Ne traže i ne tražiše izdajice svoje domovine, da jim Srbi poštuju prava i integritet domovine, da ne tiču u njezinu samostalnost. Ne, oni ne smjedoše o tome ni pisnuti, jer znaju kakva bi jih plaća čekala od „braće“ Srba (naime onaka, kakva i bugarske rodoljube u Macedoniji), kad bi „vrag odnio Austriju“ (to je njihov obljubljeni izraz) a hrvatske zemlje došle pod Srbiju. Ne, oni to ne traže, nego se odriču slobode i samostalnosti svoje domovine za Judinu plaću.

Jedanput sam rekao, Don Niki Grškoviću ovo: deder Ti poruči Srbima, da ne tiču u naše hrvatske zemlje, deder reci Srbima, da ćemo samo onda biti prijatelji i sretni, kad bude cielokupna ujedinjena Hrvatska slobodna uz slobodnu Srbiju, pa da čuješ odgovor! I on mi reče: „hoću, sutra ću to napisati“. Dobro, onda ću Ti skinuti kapu, rekoh ja. Ali Don Niko nije držao svoje obećanje; njemu se nije izplaćalo ovakovo stanovište. U slučaju, da je Austro-Ugarska doista propala, kao što smo i mislili na početku rata, onda bi svaki rodoljub Hrvat stavio se na gornje stanovište i pred cijelim svijetom to tražio za svoju domovinu; ali to se ne slaže sa srpskom zavetnom misli, kojoj se dadoše u službu naši prodani Slavosrbi ovdje i u domovini.

Mi smo u „Našoj Izjavi“ to stanovište zauzeli u slučaju pobjede Aliiraca, onim riječima: „Svršio rat kako mu drago, mi se ne odričemo, već ćemo tražiti hrvatsku samostalnu državu sa svim njezinim pravima, koja imade suvereni narod.“ Mi smo govorili iz duše i srca svih rodoljubnih Hrvata, koji neće pazariti sa pravima svog naroda i svoje domovine; mi smo u „Našoj Izjavi“ govorili iz duše stotina hiljada junačkih hrvatskih vojnika, koji se bore i ginu kano lavovli sa Talijanom, kojeg su pozvali u pomoć na račun naših hrvatskih i slovenačkih zemalja, oni isti, od kojih se naši prodani jugoslaveni nadaju spasu, a da budu još veće i smješnije budale, pišu i govore narodu, da će Velika Srbija uzprkos cijeloj Ententi iztjerati Talijane iz naših zemalja, ni pedlja, a ma baš ni pedlja joj neće dati od naših zemalja. Ako to nije vrhunac budalaštine i pljuska zdravom razumu hrvaskog naroda, onda nemože drugo ništa na svijetu biti. Organ Don Nike Grškovića je čak i to pisao, da je austro-talijanski rat samo finta, jer da su oni u zdogovoru kako će nas (Jugoslavene) zajednički uništiti.

„Jugoslavenski odbor u Londonu“ neće dopustiti, da Talijani dobiju ma jednu stopu naših zemalja“, pišu i govore bez prestanka naši Slavosrbi; a sami znaju, da taj jugoslavenski odbor nevrijedi obsolutno ništa, da on nema upliva na vlade entente ni koliko zadnji fakin na londonskoj ulici.

Kad bi oni što vrijedili, dala bi jim bogata Englezka bar kruha da se najedu i da ga neprosjače od amerikanskih siromašnih radnika. Sav rad njihov je prosti humbug i mamipara. Oni bi sigurno razvikali svaki svoj uspjeh na sve strane svijeta, ali sav njihov rad i uspjeh sastoji se u varanju sirmonašnog naroda i mamljenju dolara od njega.

Ententa bi dala ne samo hrvatske nego i srpske zemlje i istome Kinezu, ako bi ju samo htjeo i mogao spasiti iz kaše, u kojoj se nalazi.

I tomu odboru je poslao Don Niko Gršković novac „Hrvatskog Saveza“, koji su rodoljubni hrvatski radnici smetali u korist Hrvatske, a nipošto za fakine, koji nam prodavaju domovinu Srbima i Talijanima.

Jest, oni nas prodavaju upravo i Talijanima, jer biti uz Ententu, koja nas prodaje Talijanima i onda od nje spas očekivati znači direktno prodavati svoju domovinu. Od ovoga se nemožete oprati, Vi Slavosrbi i izdajice Hrvatske, i kad bi još toliko gnjusoba na nas mogli izbaciti u svojim stovarištima laži i prostote, koliko ste jih dosada izbacitli. Vi to niste nikada ni pokušali s kakvim dokazom, nego samo gnjusobama i glupim rekriminacijama. Vaša Jugoslavenska — bolje velikosrpska — politika jest politika mrcinaša i vi leaderi te politike ovdje i u Londonu jeste pravi mrcinaši. Činilo Vam se da je Austro-Ugarska Monarkija a dosljedno i u njoj i naša mila domovina Hrvatska mrcina, na koju će se, na sada, spustiti srpski i talijanski orlovi strvinaši, da joj raznesu izmučeno tijelo. Da vam zapane koji komad toga tijela, Vi ste se s njima skupa sletili na tu umišljenu strvinu. Vama dovikuje hrvatski narod, koji se bori kano div proti svojima mrcinašima, dovikujemo mi i Hrvatska sa sv. Pismom: „jao vama psima (vodjama), koji skupa s vucima trčite i razdirete stado moje“. Jao vama mrcinaši!

Vi znate, da Srbi nemisle iskreno s nama; vi znate, da nam svojataju sve naše zemlje i niječu nam isto ime naše; vi znate, da Srbi u svojim nastavnim (školskim) knjigama to čine. Vi to niste nikada pobili, a ni kušali opovrći, jer je to opovrći nemoguće. Izmedju hiljada evo vam jedan dokaz srpskoga šovinizma. Srpski profesor B. [ovo je vjerujemo V./Vladimir, a ne B.] Karić, izdao je „Zemljopis za IV. razr. osnovnih škola“, štampom kraljevske državne srpske štamparije u Beogradu. Sada čujte samo njekoliko mjesta iz te školske srpske knjige:

Odmah na prvoj strani u sadržaju čitamo, da su srpske zemlje: Kraljevina Srbija, Bosna i Hercegovina, Stara Srbija, Makedonija, Crna Gora, Dalmacija, Istra, Hrvatska i Slavonija, Bačka i Banat“.

No kud i kamo je taj školski zemljopis zanimljiviji u pojedinim odjelima, gdje je govor o našim hrvatskim zemljama, koje prikazuje kao čiste srpske zemlje. Da se vidi, kuda je pohlepnost Srba težila, mi ćemo doslovno citirati, kako se nalazi u toj školskoj knjizi.

BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA.

Bosna i Hercegovina su dve srpske zemlje; nahode se u severozapadnom kutu balkanskog poluostrva i sa svih strana okružene su samim srpskim zemljama. Naroda ima u Bosni i Hercegovini na 1,320.000 duša, a to je sve sam Srbin, osim nešto malo cigana, Izraljaca (Jahudija) i doseljenih Nijemaca. Jezik, koji tamošnji Srbi, a naročito Hercegovci govore jest jezik, kakav čitamo u našim divnim narodnim pesmama, dakle najčistiji i naljepši južni govor srpski. Zapadni se govori u samo nekim krajevima prema granici Hrvatske. No Bosanci i Hercegovci i ako su pravi Srbi, na žalost nisu jedne vere (!). Istina, pravoslavnih imade najviše, 572.000, ali imade i muhamedanaca i katolika.

DALMACIJA.

Govoreći o Dalmaciji u toj knjizi, „koja služi mladoj srpčadi za nauku i izobrazbu“ piše se o Dalmaciji ovo:

„Naroda u Dalmaciji imade na 480.000 duša i to je sve sam Srbin. Imade 20.000 Talijana, koji žive po varošima. Velik deo Srba zovu se Hrvatima. Jedna je samo petina naroda pravoslavni, a ostalo su sve katolici… Dalmacija je kraljevina, ali kralja nema, već joj car austro-ugarski postavlja namesnika“.

Govoreći o Dubrovniku posvećuje mu najveću pažnju, pa veli: „Dubrovnik je najstarija srpska varoš, jer joj ima ne malo 1000 godina. Vodila je živu trgovinu po svim srpskim zemljama. Mnogo je slavnih naučnika i književnika srpskih (Pisci: Gundulić, Gjrodjević, Palmotić. Naučnik Bošković, itd.) rodjeno i živelo u Dubrovniku…“

ISTRA.

„U Istri imade 300,000 duša. Od toga broja dolazi 100.000 na Srbe, 43.000 na Slovence, koji su veoma srodni Srbima i 90.000 na Talijane. Bez malo svi su Istrani katolici, nešto samo preko hiljadu duša vere su pravoslavne. Značajno je to,što se u krčkoj eparhiji služba božja služi srpskim jezikom. Sve osnovne škole su talijanske, pa je stoga škola tamošnja Srbima davala vrlo malo znanja. No danas je mnogo bolje, jer imade do stotinu srpskih škola, u kojima se govori srpski jezik.

HRVATSKA I SLAVONIJA.

U Hrvatskoj i Slavoniji osem nešta Nemaca i Madžara sve su to sami Srbi, koji se u severo-zapadnoj Hrvatskoj zovu Hrvati. U Sremu narod govori čistim istočnim govorom srpskim. U ostaloj Hrvatskoj srpski je narod raznolik: Prema Štajerskoj i Kranjskoj su Kajkavci, a u Primorju Čakavci. No književni je jezik južni i istočni govor srpski. Po veri u severo-zapadnoj Hrvatskoj imade katolika, ali idući na jug i istok sve ih je manje, tako da ih u Liki nema nikako, jer su tamo sve samo pravoslavni.“ Govoreći o Fruškoj gori, veli: „Da je to sveta srpska gora, jer da u njoj imade šesnaest srpskih manastira“.

Sve to je popraćeno s ad hoc priregjenim zemljopisnim kartama, samo da se mladeži čim jače utuvi u glavu velikosrpstvo.

I tako smo u kratko iscrpili, kako se o pojedinim zemljama, čisto hrvatskim zemljama uči u srbijanskim školama. No svakako je najkarakterističniji zaglavak cijele knjige pod naslovom:

UKUPNI PREGLED SRPSKIH ZEMALJA.

Ne možemo, a da iz ovog odsjeka, koji je doista najzanimljiviji, i koji nam najjasnije odaje velikosprske težnje ne citiramo ponešto više, nego to u gornjim odsjecima.

„U svim tim zemljama, koje smo nabrojili žive srpski narod, pa smo te zemlje nazvali srpske zemlje. Severnu granicu tih srpskih zemalja čini reka Moriš do svoga ušća u Tisu, a onda ide suva severna granica Bačke, sad nastaje ići Dunavom do ušća Drave pa Dravom do izlaska u Štajersku, odavle Kranjskom do Trsta, pa preko raznih visova do izvora Kupe. Zapadna pako granica teče od Trsta do ušća Drinskog… Srpska zemlja u ovim granicama prostrana je ko Italija i velika ko kraljevina pet puta… U zemljama srpskim, koje se prostiru kraj Jadranskog mora: Istra zapadna Hrvatska, Dalmacija gorske kose idu uporedu s morskom obalom… Prostrane ravnice u srpskoj zemlji su: Podravina, Posavina i Podunavlje… Reke, koje teku srpskim zemljama staču se u tri mora: Jadransko, Belo i Crno more… Jedni od najglavnijih raskrsnica drumskih u srpskoj zemlji jesu: Zagreb, Mostar, Rijeka, Šibenik, Spljet, Dubrovnik i Kotor….

U srpskoj zemlji, u granicama, kojima smo ju ranije obuhvatili, ima naroda 8,760.000 duša, dakle četiri i pol puta toliko, koliko u kraljevini. No u srpskim zemljama ne žive sve samo Srbi, već imade u njoj i prilično velik broj i drugih naroda, a naročito Nemaca, Madžara, Vlaha, Arnauta i Talijana. (Svega samo ne Hrvata!)

Velika većina katoličkih Srba u severnoj Dalmaciji, Hrvatskoj i Istri zovu se Hrvati mesto Srbi. Ali to ne treba nikoga da buni e da pomisli, da su oni neki drugi narod, jer je njihov materinji i narodni jezik pravi srpski jezik. Tako se i muhamedanci u Bosni zovu Turci. Ali to nisu nikakvi Turci, već pravi Srbi. Da su oni pravi Srbi, a ne Turci vidi se otuda, da turski niti ne govore niti znaju, već govore pravim lepim srpskim jezikom, koji su govorili i predci njihovi, dok su još bili hrišćani…“

Dakle ne priznaju nam niti naš hrvatsko ime, već nam kažu, da se tako i Muhamedanci zovu Turcima kano i katolici Hrvatima, t. j. kako Muhamedanci nisu Turci, tako ni katolici u svim srpskim zemljama nisu Hrvati nego zgoljni Srbi. Hrvatu nema mjesta u hrvatskim zemljama. Cigani, Židovi, Talijani i Njemci obstoje i živu, ali Hrvati ne. Ex uno disce omnex. Take su manje više sve srpske školske knjige.

Možete li ovo pobiti, mrcinaši?

Mi vam možemo poslužiti sa stotinama srpskih pisaca i školskih naukovnih knjiga. Zašto nikada vi strvinaši, neopomenete te svoje prijatelje radi te nečuvene bezobraznosti, radi najgadijih i najdrzovitijih insulta? Zar Vam krv nevrije kad čitate i čujete ovo? Zašto šutite mrcinaši? Vi šutite, jer govoriti nesmijete, jer kad bi progovorili, onda ne bi imali mrcinaškog udjela na tijelu naše domovine i hrvatskog naroda — ne bi bilo nagrada.

„Srbi su se promjenili sada“, odgovarate vi. Na temelju čega to tvrdite? Recite nam, tko vam to jamči?

Sve do rata su Srbi tako pisali i govorili a sada se preko noć popravili i odrekli svog šovinizma i priznali Hrvatima pravo na njihove zemlje i na njihovo ime! Samo budala to može vjerovati. Quod gratis assertur, gratis negatur, kažu filozofi. Vi tvrdite svoje ludorije bez dokaza, a to mogu vam samo ludjaci vjerovati. Mi branimo naše stanovište sa nepobitnim dokazima i činjenicama.

Dopustimo za čas, da se ostvari Jugoslavija, pa pogledajmo, kako će ta Jugoslavija izgledati!

Mislim, da će svaka budala znati, da Jugoslavija znači zemlja na jugu, u kojoj stanuju Slaveni. Medju tim Slavenima nalaze se: Bugari, Hrvati, Srbi i Slovenci. Svjesni Bugari niti nemisle o jugoslavenskoj jedinstvenoj državi, ona je za njih najveće ludilo na svijetu. Vaša ćeJugoslavija obuhvaćati Srbe, Hrvate i Slovence. Dakle tri imena. Kojim će se od tih tri imena zvati narod, koji će sačinjavati Jugoslaviju? Hoće li Srbi žrtvovati svoje ime za volju Hrvata i Slovenaca? To Vam mogu samo budale vjerovati. „U Jugoslaviji biti će sva tri imena zadržana“, tvrdite vi. Ali kako će se zvati jezik tog jedinstvenoga troimenoga naroda, kako ga vi zovete? Hoće li to biti jugoslavenski jezik? Nonsense! Kraj svih ludorija koje ste rekli i napisali, ipak nećete uztvrditi, da će se zvati jugoslavenski jezik. Kako će se dakle zvati taj jezik pred cijelim svijetom? Da bude svima pravo, morao bi se zvati: srpsko-hrvatsko-slovenski jezik.

Pitajte, gospodo, sve iskrene Srbe, neka Vam oni odgovore na to pitanje.

Niti će Srbin, niti svijestan Hrvat, niti Slovenac odreći se svog jezika ili točnije svog imena i naziva svog jezika.

Recimo, da je ovo filologiziranje nuzgredna stvar, pa podjimo dalje promatarati Jugoslaviju sa političkoga gledišta.

Kako će izgledati Hrvatska u Jugoslaviji? Odmah u početku mi priznajemo, da smo genetički isti narod sa Srbima i Slovencima, ali politički niti smo bili niti hoćemo da budemo sa Srbima jedan te isti narod, zato smo uztvrdili u „Našoj Izjavi“: „Mi ne idemo ni u Srbe, ni u Jugoslavne, ni u Srbo-Hrvate, nego ostajemo Hrvati, braća ostalim Slavenima, ali svaki u svojoj kući, i na svojoj zemlji i u opsegu svojih prava, jer smo se tako razvijali i povijest svoju stvarali od početka naseljenja pradjedova naših u sadanju domovinu našu.“

Ostvarenje Jugoslavije može se samo zamisliti u slučaju pobjede Aliraca (četvornoga sporazuma), a onda kako će izgledati Hrvatska u Jugoslaviji?

Srbija dobiva: Bosnu, Hercegovinu, Dalmaciju (u koliko neće pripasti Talijanima) i Srijem. Italija dobiva: Istru i sve hrvatske otoke i preostali dio gornje Dalmacije (u koliko neće pripasti Srbima), ona dobiva i neograničeno gospodari hrvatskim morem, tom žilom kucavicom našega života i naše budućnosti. To znači od 110.000 četvornih kilometara, dobre tri četvrtine izgubiti će Hrvatska, na koju će se sletiti kao na strvinu braća Srbi i njihovi saveznici Talijani. Tako ogoljena i oglodana Hrvatska imati će čast, da bude pokrajina u Jugoslaviji, pod dinastijom Karagjorgjevića. Hoće li se ta reliquia reliquiarum (ostatak ostataka) smijeti zvati Hrvatskom? Sudeći po onomu, što su dosada o nama jednodušno i službeno učili Srbi, moramo i o tome podpuno zdvojiti, jer kako znamo, oni priznaju i Cincare u jugoslavenskim (t. j. srpskim) zemljama, ali Hrvate ne.

Djeca i budale mogu vjerovati laskanjima njekih Srba. To je samo zamka, da od hrvatskog naroda izmame političke izjave, kojima se odriču svoje samostalne eksistencije, svojih historičkih i narodnostnih prava i bacaju se u zagrljaj Srbima. Udica se zove Jugoslavija, u kojoj će tobože biti jedinstveni troimeni narod ravnopravan. Ta Jugoslavija nije ništa drugo, nego Velika Srbija. Kaže talijanska poslovica: „che ti accarezza piu di quell’ che suole, o ti ha ingannato or (???) ingannar ti vuole“. Tko ti se laska više nego obično ili te je prevario, ili te hoće prevariti. — Ta se poslovica ovdje ispunjuje.

Srbi nemaju nikakva prava na Bosnu. Sami su priznali, da nemaju historičkog prava na Bosnu i Hercegovinu, ali se pozivaju na narodnostni princip. Nu ni načelo narodnosti neda im toga prava. Po službenoj statistici, koja je sigurno više bila njima u prilog (hvala kratkovidnoj i protuhrvatskoj politici kojekakvih magjarskih Kalaja i Burina), nego Hrvatima, oni su sačinjavali 43 po sto pučanstva; dok Hrvati katoličke i muhamedanske vjere sačinjavaju 50 po sto pučanstva, a ostalo su druge narodnosti, izmedju kojih je najviše španjolskih jevreja (oko 4 po sto cijelokupnog pučanstva). Srbi svojataju sebi Muhamedance onako isto bezobrazno, kako nama Hrvatima niječu i isto naše ime i u samoj užoj Hrvatskoj; — nu, bosanski Muhamedanci nisu nikada bili niti će biti Srbi, oni se sada do jednoga priznaju Hrvatima. Isto tako i bosanski jevreji drže se samo s Hrvatima. Dakle ni po narodnosti oni nemaju pravo na Bosnu i Hercegovinu, ma koliko to trubili i lagali pred cijelim svijetom. A što istom, da rečemo o njihovom prisvajanju Dalmacije i Srijema? To je drzovitost, kojoj nema primjera na svijetu. Nu, kada su po njihovom učenju sve hrvatske zemlje srpske, u kojima ima Cigana, ali ne Hrvata, onda su dosljedni sami sebi i u toj tražbi. Zar Vas nije sram, mrcinaši, zar vi niste izdajice svojega naroda i svoje domovine?

Svi mrcinaši nisu u stanju nam dokazati, da će naša hrvatska domovina bolje izgledati u Jugoslaviji, koju bi stvorila pobjeda Aliiraca.

Da bi braća Srbi srbili po Bosni i drugim hrvatskim zemljama, koje jim naši strvinaši daju, onako, kako su srbili po Bugarskoj Macedoniji — nožem i olovom, o tome nitko nesumnja, tko ih pozna. Što bi bilo od hrvatskog naroda u Bosni i Hercegovini, koji se ne bi htjeo odreći svoga hrvatskoga imena? Vi svi dobro poznajete Srbe, pa nevjerujem da je kod vas bona fides ili tolika naivnost, da sami vjerujete u ono, što učite. Vjerujem da ona njekolicina naroda hrvatskoga, kojeg ste zaveli ovdje u Americi, nije kriva, nego prevarena. Vi Mrcinaši korifeji i prodanici, kada bi ste znali, da Austrija i u njoj naša Domovina nisu strvine, vi bi bili ljuti magjaroni i prodavali Magjarima meso svoje vlastite majke Hrvatske, kako ga sada prodajete Srbima i Talijanima. Kad ste već tako daleko zašli i zaletili se, nema vam povratka, pa zato varate naš biedni radnički narod, jer bi drukčije poskapali od gladi te od mrcinaša postali mrcine.

Srbskih dinara je nestalo već davno, dok druge Ententine vlasti mare za vas i za vaš londonski odbor toliko, koliko za gladne pse na londonskim ulicama, zato vam je jedini spas u zavedenom hrvatskom radniku, nu i to vrelo se brzo suši. Novac „Hrv. Saveza“ ste samovoljno požderali. Grane su se osušile. A šta onda? Idemo da vidimo što ćete sada izmisliti, čim ćete dalje varati hrvatski narod? Kako malo imade naroda u vas povjerenje najjasnije pokazuju kolekte za voj. udove i siročad. Kraj svega toga, da je N.H. Z [Narodna Hrvatska Zajednica, kasnije Hrvatska Bratska Zajednica] uzela u ruke to sabiranje, neide to nikako. A šta je tomu razlog? „Gospodine“, rekoše mi već mnogi, „mi se bojimo, da će taj novac poći onamo, kamo je pošao i novac „Hrv. Saveza“. Ja se bojim, da će gladni mrcinaši iz Londona svakako gledati, da se dočepaju te narodne muke, koju su delegati na zadnjoj konvenciji odredili „za hrvatske udove i siročad“.

Svaki dan čitam u novinama kako Hrvati šalju lijepe svote novaca za naše hrvatske stradalnike, ali ne u fond, koji je pod vlašću mrcinaških pristaša.

Pošto smo podpuno uvjereni, da će Hrvatska izgledati u vašoj Jugoslaviji onako, kako smo gore opisali, t. j. da će biti naše političko samoubojstvo, morali smo u „Našoj Izjavi“ najodlučnije odsuditi tu zamku postavljenu hrvatskom narodu. Mi vam se zahvaljujemo na srpskim i talijanskim osloboditeljima uz tu cijenu. Mi hoćemo „Hrvatsku Hrvatima!“ Mi tražimo onaku Hrvatsku, kakvu traži program stranke prava od g. 1894., koji su program usvojili i braća Slovenci; mi tražimo ujedinjenje svih hrvatskih zemalja u okviru Austro-Ugarske Monarkije; mi tražimo financijalno oslobodjenje od Ugarske; mi tražimo da budemo regnum aequale (jednako slobodna država) u Monarkiji, kano i Magjarska.

„Regnum Regno non praescribit leges“, doviknuli su naši stari Magjarima, to jim i mi dovikujemo. Za to ćemo se boriti i ne sumnjamo, da će svijesni hrvatski narod to svojim vlastitom snagom postići. Naša su prava i pravice okrnjene i gažene, pa smo i zato u „Našoj Izjavi“ digli muževno i neustrašivo naš glas. Mi nismo takovi optimiste, da se nadamo, da će nam rat u slučaju pobjede centralnih vlasti ostvariti podpuno program stranke prava; mi znamo, da hrvatski narod čeka još golema i žilava borba; ali čvrsto se uzdamo, da će naš žilavi narod postići svoja prava, to čvrsto naše uhvanje se osniva na opornoj sili hrvatskog naroda, koju nisu mogli slomiti mnogi jači neprijatelji kroz 9 stoljeća.

Neka se bratski srpski narod mane megalomanskoga šovinizma i sizanja za našim zemljama, neka prestane jednom za uvijek nijekati naše ime, neka ostaje u svojim granicama, pak ćemo se tek onda sporazumiti. Nije li ta šovinistička megalomanija Srba pozvala Rumunje i Grke da satru junački slovenski bugarski narod i to na najperfidniji način?

Taj težki grijeh izdajstva na bratskom narodu otudjio je težko i nepomirljivo zavadio ta dva naroda. Taj se neoprostivi grijeh već užasno osvećuje srpskom narodu. Kako da onda vjerujemo u njihovu iskrenost?

Slično je Rusija postupila sa Poljacima, pa će se i njoj osvetiti taj grije. Ako danas ima Slavena, koji se bore proti slavenske braće i traže zaštite u tudjina proti toj braći, kriv je tome narodni šovinizam i vjerski fanatizam. Rusija je otudjila sebi poljski narod, a Srbija si pravi neprijatelje od jednakokrvne hrvatske braće istim grijehom. Naši jugoslavenski leaderi htjeli bi nas uvjeriti, al dakako samo praznim riječima, da su se Srbi preko noći promijenuli. Takovo psiholožko čudo se ne dogadja preko noći.

Kako su Slaveni na Sjeveru: Rusi, Poljaci i Česi posebice razvijali i stvarali si svoju povjest, tako su se južni Slaveni: Bugari, Srbi i Hrvati posebice razvijali i stvarali svoju povjest. Taj proces vidimo i kod Germana, t. j. današnjih Njemaca i Škandinavaca, kod Romana i drugih. Njemci su se (u današnjoj Njemačkoj) ujedinili u savezne države, svaka pod svojom dinastijom, jer su i prije politički ujedinjeni bili. Hrvati i Srbi nisu nikada politički ujedinjeni bili, a k tomu su jih uvijek dijelile vjeroispovjesti i politički protivni uplivi Zapada i Istoka.

Sve te okolnosti, a ponajpače drzoviti srpski šovinizam čine Jugoslaviju skroz i skroz nemogućnom i apsurdnom. Srbi su, dosljedno svojemu šovinizmu i nijekanju Hrvatstva, na sve moguće načine i svagdje radili proti Hrvatstvu. U Hrvatskoj, Bosni i Hercegovini kano i u Dalmaciji bili su uvjek glavno orudje proti svakom hrvatskom pokretu u rukama protuhrvatskih vlada.

To znademo svi. Tko nezna za bratstvo jedne moćne magjarske stranke i Srba u kraljevini, koje je išlo za tim, da Srbi pomoćju Magjara dobiju Bosnu, Hercegovinu i Dalmaciju, a Magjari pomoćju Srba neograničeno zagospodare ostalim hrvatskim zemljama?

Dakle nema vraga ni sotone, s kojim se Srbijanci ne rote proti Hrvatima?

Pok. Ante Starčević je tu braću izvrsno poznavao, pa si je uzeo bio za životnu zadaću borbu proti Slavosrpstvu, on je neobičnom bistrinom svoga uma uvidio, da su naši Jugoslaveni Slavosrbi, da to Slavosrpstvo vodi do podpunoga političkoga samoubojstva hrvatskoga naroda. Sva ta njegova gigantična borba proti slavosrpstva, a za političku samostalnost Hrvata, izrazuje se u onoj njegovoj: „Hrvatska Hrvatima.“

Naši mrcinaši t. j. jugoslovenski apoštoli, računajući na glupost svojih čitatelja, htjeli bi sada dokazati čak i to, da je Starčević bio za Jugoslaviju. To oni hoće da dokažu iz njegove borbe proti nepravdama, koje je počinjala austro-ugarska monarhija proti Hrvatima; oni trgaju pojedine, obično nesuvisle, rečenice iz njegovih spisa i govora, da sipaju lug u oči hrvatskomu narodu, da „obsjene prostotu“, rekao bi Veliki pokojnik.

Više nego Austriju mrzio je on Slavosrbe. Da je sada pokojnik na životu, pa da čuje tu nečuvenu drzovitost današnjih Slavosrba, šta mislite da bi rekao? Rekao bi bez sumnje: „to je slavosrbski“, jer je njemu Slavosrbstvo bilo inkarnacija drzovitosti i bezobraznosti.

Zar zbilja se nestidite, vi strvinaši domovine tvrditi, da je Starčević bio za vašu Jugoslaviju. To je isto tako drzovito i bezobrazno, kao i to, što Srbi tvrde i u školama svojim uče, da u hrvatskim zemljama živu i Cigani, ali ne Hrvati.

Strossmajer je slijedio srce svoje, te je radio za zbliženje Jugoslavena, nu Starčević je politički uvidjavniji uvidio, da to vodi političkom samoubojstvu njegove domovine i njegova naroda, vidio je i znao, da su Srbi najveći neprijatelji Hrvatske.

Strossmajer je u zadnjim godinama svog života priznao svoju političku pogrešku i odobrio Starčevićevu nauku. Strossmajer nije nikada niti za jedan čas bio za političku Jugoslaviju, u kojoj bi njegova Hrvatska bila onako okljaštrena, kako bi bila u ovom slučaju (u slučaju pobjede Entente) gdje bi ju „braća“ Srbi i njihov talijanski saveznik razkasapili i do kosti oglodali uz pomoć i sudjelovanje naših jugoslavenskih strvinara. Strossmajerove se kosti vrte u grobu i protestiraju proti insinuacije naših mrcinaša, da je on htio, da Hrvatska bude pokrajina Karagjorgjevića. Dokažite, vi varalice hrvatskog naroda, kada i gdje je Strossmajer zagovarao tu jedinstvenu jugoslavensku državu, u kojoj će Hrvatska biti provincija? Dokažite, da je Strossmajer u opće zagovarao političko jedinstvo Srba i Hrvata. On je radio lih na kulturnom podizanju svij Jugoslavena (Bugara, Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca) i na njihovom kulturnom jedinstvu. Pak što je doživio od Srba god. 1885.? Po vašoj neizmjernoj gluposti i smješnosti tvrdite, da je to bila austrofilska Srbija onda. A što bi tek učinila Karagjorgjevićeva Srbija?

Nikada se niste usudili da predbacite Srbima te griehe, niti nesmijete toga učiniti, jer bi otvorili oči hrvatskomu narodu, a zamjerili se onima, od kojih očekujete vašu strvinarsku plaću.

Srbska beogradska propaganda je tako daleko zavela pravoslavne živalj u hrvatskim zemljama, da je ovaj svaki čas bio spreman na masacre svega, što se zove hrvatsko. Život medju pravoslvnim i Hrvatima katoličke i muhamedanske vjere u Bosni i Hercegovini postao je — hvala beogradskoj propagandi —upravo nesnosan. Prije tri godine su me uvjeravali ljudi u Bosni ob onomu, što nisam mogao absolutno vjerovati odavle iz tudjine, da je naime beogradska propaganda pripravljala u Bosni pravoslavne na pokolj Hrvata Muhamedanaca i katolika. Jednom riječju: toj propagandi [je] uspjelo, da je od ogromne većine naših pravoslavnih stvorila same veleizdajnike.

Koliko ima danas pravoslavnih u hrvatskim zemljama, koji nisu pripravni svaki čas izdati Srbiji svoju hrvatsku domovinu?

Prije pet godina u Bihaću u Bosni dogodio se ovaj slučaj: u gostioni sjedilo i veselilo se jedno hrvatsko družtvo sastojeći se od muhamedanaca i katolika, pjevali su „Živila Hrvatska i njezina prava“, za drugim stolom sjedila dva viša sudska činovnika pravoslavne vjere (Srbi), pa jim odpjevaše ovako: „Živila Hrvatska i njezina prava, zabila joj Srbija k….i dva j…“. (Neka mi oproste čitatelji, ovo nije moja prostota, nego njihova, t.j. one srpske gospode, a dogadjaj je tako eklatantan dokaz srpske snosljivosti, da ga nemogu prešutiti). Jedan odlični mladi beg trgne revolver, da ga saspe u zube gadnom stvoru, ali ga spriječiše drugi članovi hrvatskog družtva.

Trebalo bi, da naši Slavosrpski Jugoslaveni proglase ovako (po srpski) travestiranu „Živila Hrvatska“, za jugoslavensku davoriju, inače neće ugoditi Srbima. Tako su se Srbi u kraljevini Srbiji kroz generacije i generacije službeno (u svojim školama) odgajali a taj odgoj prenijela je srbijanska propaganda medju pravoslavne u hrvatskim zemljama. Tako si je Srbija stvorila od bugarskog i hrvatskog naroda najveće neprijatelje, radeći jim o glavama, a naša poslovinca kaže: „pri glavi i oca po glavi“.

Tako sada Hrvati uvidjaju više nego ikada dosada, da spas svoje individualne političke eksistencije traže u okviru Austro-Ugarske Monarkije. Eto, to je razlog „Našoj Izjavi“.

Mi ne laskamo Austro-Ugarskoj, nego odsudjujemo onako isto, kano i pok. Ante Starčević, sva bezzakonja počinjena na hrvatskom narodu i tražimo, da se poprave. Vjerujemo u snagu hrvatskog naroda, kojom će on to postići; vjerujemo, da će Pravda Božja uništiti tu državu, ako bude i nadalje počinjala slične grijehe na svojem najvjernijemu narodu. Uvjereni smo, da bi Hrvati dandanas kamokud bolje stajali, da nije bilo naših Srba, koji su kroz zadnjih 50 do 60 godina bili glavno orudje svih vlada proti svakom hrvatskom pokretu.

Hrvati bi, radi silnih nepravda što ih je počinila Austro-Ugarska proti njima, služeći se najviše Srbima i Talijanima, mogli sada zlorado se smijati, gledajući kako joj se osvećuju njezini grijesi počinjeni na hrvatskom narodu, kad se ne bi i o njihovoj koži radilo.

Don Niko Gršković u svojoj najslavorspskijoj novini „Hrvatski Svijet“ osvrnuo se na „Našu Izjavu“ u više brojeva, izasuo na nas sve psovke i prostote, koje je on već nebrojno puta do ogavnosti opetovao. To je cvijeće, koje raste samo u slavosrpskoj bašći. Što tko ima, to i dijeli.

Zaista, još nijedan hrvatski novinar, pa ni onaj u Americi, nije tako nisko pao kao on. Svaki članak vrvi epitetima: vol, hrt, svinja, tegleća marva, pas, vižle itd. Pratio sam pisanje i drugih novina, ali palmu gnjusobe i prostote odnio je Rev. Gršković. Njegova je zasluga, on je prvi uveo ovako divljaštvo; dok su drugi naši novinari (bar oni neslavosrpski) uzdržali se takvih izraza. Još ntko nije nazvao njega, ni psom, ni volom, ni hrtom, ni krmkom. „Štil je sam čovjek“, t. j. štil odaje čovjeka, rekli su pametni ljudi.

Bilo bi divno, kad se kome ne bi gadilo, da to cvijće Don Grškovića prevede na engleski i podkući amerikanskoj publici. On je sada pravi i podpuni Slavosrb. Njegovu slavosrpsku dušu i kulturu odaju i oni izpadi proti njegovoj braći svećenicima, koji mu nisu nikad ništa na žao učinili, osim toga, što neće da budu Slavosrbi i izdajice svog naroda.

On se prijeti u svojoj novini, kako će bosanske fratre, kojima on nije dostojan opanke skinuti, zaćerati u sakrištiju, da će s njima u njegovom novom kraljevstvu obračunati zdravo srpski, a to sve radi toga, što se bosanski franjevci brane, da ne dodju pod bratski srpski nož kano i Bugari u Macedoniji i albanežki katolici n. pr. P. Alojzije Palić. Bosanski su franjevci osvjestili i podigli Hrvatstvo u Bosni, a to je baš najveći zločin u očima Srba, a dosljedno i naših mrcinaša njihovih pristaša. Hinc illae lacrimae! Zato škripe zubima na njih.

Don Niko Gršković javno zove braću svoju katoličke svećenike hodžama i raznim drugim pogrdnim imenima. Rev. Relić, njegov trabant u Chicagu, zove nas hrvatske svećenike, kako sam čuo od ljudi iz njegove okolice, vatikanskom bandom. To je veoma značajno!

Dakle sve čisto slavosrpski. O. Medin travestira jednu propovjed za Veliki petak, makar da je sada pokladno vrijeme. Toj propovijedi samo fali zaključak, što bi imao glasiti ovako: s njime t. j. s Petrom (koji personificira Jugoslaviju) razapeše dva razbojnika s desna jednog hrvatskog Slavosrba (kojeg personificira on — Medin), a s ljeve jednog Talijana. Ta dva razbojnika počmu se medju sobom svadjati, jer se lijevi razbojnik počeo rugati Petru, radi čega ukori ga desni razbojnik, rakavši mu: „Ti talijanska canaglia (psina), zar se niti ne bojiš Boga (kano ni „izjavaši“). „Šuti“, odgovori Talijan, „ti si veći lopov od mene, ja sam htio otimati tudje, dok si ti, carogna croata, radio proti životu svoje vlastite majke“.

Bezobrazni Slavosrb postidjen obrati se k Petru i reče: Gospodaru, sjeti se mene kad unidješ u jugoslavensko carstvo svoje.

I odgovori mu Petar: zaista, zaista kažem vam obojici još danas ćemo k vragu svetrojica i jugoslavensko carstvo moje. Amen.

S Don Grškovićem natječe se u Slavosrpštini dr. Biankini iz Chicaga. I to je jedna velika zagonetka, koju možete riješiti samo onda, ako se stavite na načelo mrcinaške politike: „Austrju, a bogme i Hrvatsku odnese vrag, drži se stranke, koja te može bolje nagraditi.“ Dr. Biankini je po zanatu strastveni denuncijant i ulizica kod vlastih. U arhivima mnogih hrvatskih biskupija vidio sam bezdušne klevete na ovdašnje hrvatske svećenike. U Z. me pitaše, što mislim o njegovoj roboti. Rekao sam od prilike, da je B. profesionalni doušnik i klevetnik kod oblastih, dočim sam uputio preč. gospodu, da se — ako se baš zanimaju za nas — obrate na naše biskupe, koji su jedino kompetentni naši suci.

Čuo sam već davno, da je on i kod političkih oblasti bavio se istim zanatom. Koliko je na tomu istine, neznam, ali ovo što rekoh o njegovim denuncijacima kod duhovnih oblasti, opravdava sumnju, da je to činio i kod političkih austro-ugarskih oblasti. Ele, pravi Slavosrb!

Dok ovo pišem, dodje mi „Hrv. Svijet“ u ruke sa „svijetlom“ našeg o. Pere Čančarevića. U svijetlu toga „svijetla“ vidi cijeli svijet, da je naš dobročina Pero „pogriješio“ i samo zato podpisao „Našu Izjavu“, jer je mislio „da neće nikada izići na javnost“. Zar ovo nije dosta, da se vidi njegova slavosrpština!

Čestitamo vam, Slavosrbi, na tako iskrenom prijatleju! Doista divno „svijetlo“ i ogledalo Čančarevića! Sve drugo, Pero, što si napisao jesu bezobrazne laži i Tvoje poznate cifrarije, kojima si htio sakriti pravo „svijetlo“, da Te nitko neupozna, ali baš to „svijetlo“ osvjetlilo [je] Tvoj značaj kako treba. S čovjekom takoga značaja nije se moguće prepirati. Što si uztvrdio danas, poreći ćeš sutra. Da li je ozbiljno promišljena „Naša Izjava“, o čemu Ti sumnjaš, naći ćeš odgovor u člancima „K Našoj Izjavi“. Kod podpisa, „Izjave“ zaista smo se smijali , a to je išlo, Pero, upravo Tebe, jer smo znali, da si kuhan i pečen u slavosrpskoj kuhinji, pa ipak podpisuješ onakovu „Izjavu“. Tko se ne bi tu smijao?

Perino „svijetlo“ prosvijetlilo čak i don N. Grškovića, te u svjetlosti toga svijetla i pod utiskom Medinijeve propovijedi piše i on sličnu propovijed. Velč. Gospodo, to je sve čisto slavosrpski. Nitko se od nas ne veseli propasti Srbije, ali će nam biti milo i drago, ako vama Slavosrbima neuspije, da skupa sa svojim talijanskim ortakom ne razkomadate našu dragu hrvatsku domovinu. Vi ste vidili iz „Naše Izjave“, da mi želimo, da se svaki slovenski narod razvija u svojim granicama, dakle i Srbi. Mi tražimo za Hrvate, što jih ide po narvnom i Božjem zakonu. Zato za te vaše krokodilske suze i parashevalne propovjedi ja neznam drugog izraza nego onaj Starčevića: „slavosrpština“.

(Da čitatelji podpuno shvate moć ovoga Starčevića omiljenog izraza, moram jim reći, da je on Slavosrbima krstio one, koji su išli za uništenjem hravtske individualne političke eksistencije u korist Srbima, koje je on držao za najveće zločince svog naroda. Imenicu „slavosrpština“ il prislov „slavosrpski“ rabio je, da označi tu gamad ili — kako to on veli „pasminu“ i njezino djelovanje. On nije mogao u nijednom jeziku naći dosti jakoga izraza, pa ga sam iznašao. On doista prenosi taj izraz i na druge, kad hoće da jih što jedrije ošine. Čitam u novinama naših Slavosrba, da S. nije ni mislio na Slavosrbe, kad jih ovako zove, a ne vide, jad ih ne vidio, da je tu sliku Starčević od njiha uzeo, iz njihove duše izvadio i tom se slikom služio, da i druge njima slične prozove „Slavosrbima“ i njihova djela i značaj „slavosrpštinom“. A kako bi jih blagopok. Starčević tek onda zvao i okrstio, kad bi bio znao, da će mu ta gamad i istom Talijanu domovinu prodavati?)

Tendenciju i svrhu „Naše Izjave“ ste dobro pogodili i još bolje osvjetlili, kako se vidi iz vaših bjesomučnih napadaja, ma da joj po slavosrpsku izvrćete smisao. I mi smo zadovoljni sa njezinim uspjehom.

Da, „Naša Izjava“ je ustuk vašim izjavama, u kojima ste prodavali Hravtsku Srbima i Talijanima. Vi ste se odrekli samostalnosti svoje domovine, prava na samostalnu eksistenciju i prelazite u vašu ludu „Jugoslaviju“ u kojoj će Hrvatska izgledati onako, kako smo vam rekli u „Izjavi“ i u ovim člancima. Entente vaša spasiteljica pozvala i Talijane na račun naših hrvatskih zemalja, a vi to, hoćeš, nećeš odobravate i morate joj ljubiti ruke.

Bude li nama Hrvatima Ententa krojila sudbinu, onda će biti upravo onako, kako ju naša „Izjava“ riše. Reći će nam „pravdu“ forum njezin: „evo vaših rezolucija, u kojim se odričete svojih historičnih, juridičnih i suverenih prava i tražite da budete pokrajina u kraljevstvu Karagjorgjevića, pa neka vam tako bude; nu pošto je naš talijanski saveznik pomagao nama, to mu dajemo slovenske zemlje, njegova će biti Istra, svi vaši (hravtski) otoci, komad Dalmacije i njegovo će naravno biti vaše more; od vaših zemalja dajemo Srbima: Bosnu i Hercegovinu, Dalmaciju (u koliko ne dadosmo Talijanu) i Srijem. Ono što preostaje od vaše Hrvatske neka bude pokrajina Velike Srbije pod dinastijom Karagjorgjević, a vi ćete biti sretni, što ćete se smjeti zvati Jugoslavenima“.

To je neumoljiva logika, gospodo mrcinaši, koju vi sa svima vašim prostotama pobiti nemožete, a vi ćete se onda ceriti nad razkomadanim udima vaše vlastite majke i krv njezina će pasti na vaše glave.

Mi smo izdali „Našu Izjavu“, da prosvjedujemo pred cijelim svijetom, proti vašoj sotonskoj nakani. To smo bili dužni Bogu, hrvatskom narodu i svojoj savjesti. Mi se u „Izjavi“ pozivljemo na sva naša prava historična i narodnosna; dočim si vi svega toga odrčete. Vi ste pravi matricidae —majko-ubojice. Vi ćete i opet graknuti, kako će u Jugoslaviji biti spas i sloboda za sve jednaka; al ste sami uvjereni, da će Jugoslavija za Hrvate izgledati onako, kako smo vam ovdje rekli, jer vi dobro poznate što hoće Srbi i Talijani — ti vaši ortaci — od naše domovine.

„Naša Izjava“ nije nikakvi novi politički program; ona je program stranke prava poprimljen od svih Hrvata, u svima hrvatskim pokrajinama i od braće Slovenaca. To je program, kojeg paklenski mrze Srbi i Slavosrbi u našoj dragoj i nesretnoj Hrvatskj, te su osobito s pomoću Magjara nastojali, da ga svim mogućim sredstvima osujete. A zašto? Jedino zato, jer se kosi sa srbskom zavjetnom misli, a ta srbska zavjetna misao izključuje i isto hrvatsko ime, a pogotovo samostalnost Hrvatske.

Neće biti na odmet ako ovdje spomenem nješto o jednom slavosrpskom svešteničkom sastanku u Chicagu. Na tomu sastanku ustao jedan mladi hrvatski svećenik, pa će reći od prilike ovako: gospodo, ja nemogu shvatiti zašto vi negovorite o savezu izmedju Hrvatske i Srbije radje, nego li o ujedinjenju u jednu jedinstvenu državu Karagjorgjevića? Pa šta mislite, šta odgovoriše Srbi i Slavosrbi — naši mrcinaši? Pogledaše se izpod oka i prezirno predjoše preko toga na dnevni red, a u svojim izvještajima ni jednim slovcem ne spomenuše toga.

Nije li to prava perfidija slavosrpska, zar može itko pametan predmnijevati, da je kod njih bona fides? Neće Srbi da čuju o savezu slobodne, samostalne i cjelokupne Hrvatske sa Srbijom, jer bi to značilo raditi proti njihovoj zavetnnoj misli, koja nepoznaje ni Hrvatske ni Hrvata.

Naši Slavosrbi formalno pobjesniše na „Našu Izjavu“, a mi u tom neizmjerno uživamo. Sada zovu u pomoć državnu vlast, da nas proćera „za Dumbom“, jer da smo pogazili gradjansku prisegu ovim državama i slično.

Sjajno, slavosrbski. „Eh, da je srpski nož, da jim sudi“, misle si i uzdišu naši mrcinaši. Don Niko već prijeti, kako će nas „iztrijebiti“ poput Bugara u „srbskoj“ Macedoniji, ljutim nožem i hladnim olovom, dakako.

Gospodo Slavosrbi, kolikogod ste zlobni, toliko ste i glupi. Na „Našoj Izjavi“ ima podpisanih i njekoliko amerikanskih gradjana. Zar ima zakona na svijetu, koji će jim zabraniti da budu „vjerni Bogu, narodu i domovini svojoj“? Zar obstoji zakon, koji će negradjanima zabraniti, da izjave i podaničku vjernost: „onomu, na kojeg je narod prenesao svoja suverena prava“? Na temelju čega vi sudite, da su pogazili njeki od nas (gradjani S. D.) podaničku vjernost? Kad bi mi svi bili gradjani Sjed. Država, ni onda nas ne bi mogao nitko bijediti zbog nelojalnosti. Ta „vjernost“ znači ono isto, što vjernost Iraca prama Irskoj, Njemaca (gradjana S. D.) prama njihovoj domovini i amerikanskih Engleza prama Englezkoj i njezinoj vladi.

Durgo je ta vjernost, a durgo podanička lojalnost. Dodje li kad do toga, da pokažemo našoj novoj domovini gradjansku lojalnost, pa makar se radilo i o Austriji i hrvatskom vladaru, onda mi nećemo oklijevati, da pokažemo svoju lojalnost sigurno bolje i časnije nego vi slavosrpska „pasmina“.

Da umanjite važnost „Naše Izjave“ svi se požuriste, da unisono istaknete, kako smo ju poslali u „Narodni List“, premda ste znali, da smo „Našu Izjavu“ otisnuli posebice i poslali i vašim listovima kano i „Narodnom Listu“, a njeki ste ju i pretiskali. S tim ste samo pokazali, da vaša slavosrpština, uz sva druga gadna svojstva, zadržaje i — glupost.

U ostalom „Narodni List“ je zauzeo skroz naše političko stanovište, pa nema na svijetu razloga, zašto se ne bi smjeli poslužiti njime. K tomu je „Narodni List“ upravo radi svoga političkoga pravca najobljubljeniji i najrašireniji hrvatski list u Americi i mi smo mu zahvalni, što nam otvara svoje stupce.

Hrvatska Hrvatima!“

K.

(Kajić?)

Memorandum of the Croatian National Council of North America (1933)

MEMORANDUM

The Croat clings stubbornly to

freedom which has been transmitted to him

by his ancestors for so many centuries.

CROATIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL

Youngstown, Ohio, United States of America

“These are the ends for which the associated peoples of the world are fighting ….:

…. 2. The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship, upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned, and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.”

PRESIDENT WILSON,

Address at Mount Vernon,

July 4, 1918.

“It is an old and indestructible demand of the Croatian People, that it should live in its own, sovereign, and independent state.”

D. HRVOJ,

Croatian Representative,

November 23, 1918.

Memorandum

Whenever a nation, or a state, becomes so “divided against itself” that the dissatisfaction, felt by one or more elements composing it, with their position in that state, and the intensity of their desire to break away from it, greatly out-weigh, on their part, all considerations favorable to its preservation and the retention of the status quo, even if this status be slightly modified, such a state—the lesson of history is unmistakable—cannot endure.  Such a state, moreover, is a standing danger to the peace of the neighboring nations, who are drawn into the conflict either by the very discord in, and the instability of, the country of incidence, or by the vortex formed by its ultimate sinking and vanishing from the surface.

The kingdom of Yugoslavia—formerly the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes—is a state, in which the discord between the component parts and the dissatisfaction of some of those parts with the ruling section have reached such heights and such intensity of feeling, that, if nothing is done to ease the strain, an open outbreak of hostilities is extremely probable, nay, inevitable.

What effect that happening would have on the peace in Southern Europe should not be a mystery to anyone familiar with the general situation in that part of the world.

At the present time, the only power, which keeps the discordant elements in Yugoslavia together, is the brutal force possessed and con– trolled by the ruling section, while the centrifugal forces consist of the desires and tendencies of most of the other sections to free themselves from the persecution and exploitation by the rulers.

The first and foremost of these sections—one that contains more than one-third of the total population of Yugoslavia—are the Croats, whose desire for freedom and independence is by no means unreasonable or whimsical, but is well founded on facts, and on the unfortunate experience they went through during the fifteen years of being a part of Yugoslavia.

The most important of these facts and experiences—the principal reasons for the Croatian demands and position—are as follows:

Croatian National Rights and Traditions.

I. The Croatian People represents a distinct, full-grown and highly civilized nation, with a fully developed national consciousness, based on twelve centuries of separate statehood and of continuous historic development, political, cultural and economic.

Fully organized State since Eighth Century

The main body of the Croatian people—seven of its strongest and largest tribes—came to present-day Croatia in the second quarter of the seventh century at the invitation of Emperor Heraclius, as the emperor’s allies in his fight against the Avars. In a bitterly fought war they succeeded in routing the Avars completely, and in conquering all the territories between the Danube and the Adriatic Sea, which they kept then for themselves, as their permanent habitation. Assimilating and absorbing all of the smaller Slavic tribes which had preceded them into this land, they were in a very short time able to organize their national state, which became as early as the middle of the eighth century an important factor in South-Eastern Europe. In the year 925, Croatia became a kingdom, which remained for two centuries the most powerful—with the exception of the Eastern Empire—and the best organized state in the Balkans and Central Europe.

In Personal union with Hungary

In 1102, the majority of the Croatian nobles elected as the king of Croatia the Hungarian ruler Koloman.  Thereby Croatia entered into a personal union with the kingdom of Hungary, preserving in that union not only the continuity of its separate statehood, but also the full sovereignty of the Croatian nation. This point is well established and is best illustrated by the fact that in 1527 the Croatian Diet elected as the king of Croatia Ferdinand I of Austria, quite independently and long in advance of the Hungarians.

Member State of Hapsburg Empire

By this election of Ferdinand all of Croatia—except Bosnia and Hercegovina then under Turkish rule—came into that combination of states, from which there developed in time the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Hapsburg Empire.

Although even then, while a part of this empire, Croats were successful in preserving the internal autonomy of their country and the political individuality of their nation, the powers of Vienna and Budapest were yet able to encroach upon their rights and violate their interests in a sufficient degree to make the Croatian people justifiably dissatisfied with their status and with the treatment accorded them by the common rulers. This dissatisfaction became especially strong after 1849, when a regime of cruel absolutism was established, which—by greatly diminishing the scope of Croatian national autonomy, and by continuing the division of Croatian people in two separate political bodies—served well the selfish interests of the associated nations, but was very detrimental to the political, cultural and economic interests of all Croats.

Complete Independence regained 1918

In accordance with the truths expressed in the first paragraph of this Memorandum, the final result of the above mentioned state of affairs was, that—at the first opportunity they had—Croats broke away from their exploiters, and made their country again completely independent. The opportunity was given them by the developments in the world-war, and the independence was proclaimed by the Croatian Sabor (Diet), as the legal bearer and representative of the Croatian national sovereignty, on October 29, 1918—two weeks before the armistice on the Western front.

Treachery and Fraud of 1918.

II. The union of Croatia with the kingdom of Serbia was concluded, on the Croatian side, by politicians who had absolutely no authorization for such an act. The method of the union and even its earliest results was entirely adverse to the wishes and expectations of the Croats. For these reasons the act of the union was never ratified by the Croatian people, but was, on the contrary, overwhelmingly rejected by them, not only at the elections for the Constituent Assembly in 1920, but also at every other opportunity which they had before and since that time.

The idea of united front of the South-Slavs

During the long fight against the supremacy of Austria and Hungary a conclusion was reached by a number of Croatian leaders that, when the complete independence of Croatia is finally regained, a special arrangement will have to be made in order to protect it from new assaults by the old enemies.  An ideal protection, many thought, would be found in the establishment of a united front of all the South-Slavic nations, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs and Bulgars, which could find its expression in a common united state, organized either as a federation or confederacy of free and autonomous peoples.

During the war

In accordance with this thought, whose popularity rose in proportion to the growing hegemonistic tendencies of the Austro-Hungarians, those Croatian leaders, who had been able to leave the country before the outbreak of open hostilities in 1914, together with some Slovenes and Serbs from the lands of the Monarchy, constituted themselves into a “Yugoslav Committee”, the purpose of which was to work for the liberation of all the South-Slavs from the Austro-Hungarian rule and their ultimate union with Serbia and Montenegro into a common state, which would act as the protector of the liberty and territorial integrity of each nation joining it.

Inside the country, in Croatia, this program was also gaining momentum. Its most open and most radical champion was then the Starchevich’s Party of Rights, which, on June 5, 1918 adopted a resolution, whose most important clause was the following:

Expected retention of Croatian statehood

“We demand liberty and the union of all our people into a national state of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which would preserve all the separate (national) individualities of our trinomial people, and guarantee the continuity of all the historic politico-juridical structures on its territory. On the basis of our own state-rights, we particularly demand the preservation of the continuity of the distinct Croatian statehood.”

Free State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs

This passage expresses not only what the members of the Starchevich’s Party of Rights thought, but also what the great majority of Croats wished, hoped for, and confidently expected from the union. In that expectation, the same declaration of the Croatian Diet, which proclaimed the complete independence of Croatia, expressed also the willingness of the Croats to join “a united, national, sovereign State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which would include all the territories in which this trinomial people now lives, irrespective of any provincial or international boundaries.” At the same sitting the Croatian Diet also recognized the National Council of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs—organized some time before—as the de facto government of the State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs—a fully sovereign and independent state, which was established on the basis of that declaration, and which included all the South-Slavic lands of the (former) Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

The duties and powers temporarily entrusted to the National Council SHS included those which up to that time were exercised either by the common government at Budapest, or by the central government at Vienna, or by the emperor; they also included the authority to enact necessary emergency legislation. The Council, however, was given no authority to conclude, on its own responsibility, a definite union with either Serbia, or any other -nation. The idea was to first complete the organization of the new State SHS, and then to enter, on a footing of full equality, into discussions with the constitutional representatives of Serbia, with the view of finding and establishing a mutually satisfactory basis, on which the union would ultimately be enacted.

The Geneva Protocol

The task of entering these discussions the Council entrusted to its own president, Doctor A. Koroshetz; to the president of the Yugoslav Committee of London, Doctor A. Trumbitch, and to a few other delegates. The meeting with the representation of Serbia—consisting of the prime-minister, Mr. N. Pasich, and of the chiefs of all the larger political parties—took place at Geneva, November 6-9, 1918. The result of the ensuing conference was the so-called “Protocol of Geneva”, which, although not quite satisfactory from the Croatian standpoint, was yet much more so than the act of Dec. 1, which superseded it. The Protocol, namely, not only accepted the principle of the complete equality of the State SHS with the kingdom of Serbia, but also left to the first named state its full sovereignty and self-government—with the National Council of Zagreb as the highest authority—until a new constitution had been adopted by the proposed Constitutional Assembly.

Intrigues and Nov. 24

Such an arrangement, however, was exactly what the real (though invisible) government of Serbia—a clique of militarists, financiers and politicians, with the prince-regent Alexander as one of the group—did not want. While the telegrams sent from Geneva were mysteriously “lost on the way”, this clique succeeded—by propaganda and cajolery, as well as by intrigues and various underhand deals—to so influence the membership of the National Council SHS at Zagreb, that it finally fell victim to the designs of the plotters, and decided (Nov. 24, 1918) for an immediate union with Serbia, conferring at the same time the highest executive authority on its prince-regent, Alexander Karageorgevitch.

Although the declaration, which proclaimed the above decision, contained also a few of what they considered as “saving clauses”, about which more will be said later, the members of the Council caused an irreparable mischief by their hastiness: Notwithstanding the fact that they had clearly overstepped their authority—which, of course, made their act constitutionally illegal—yet they had succeeded in giving over into the hands of the above mentioned ruling clique of Serbia all the real power in the whole country, administrative as well as military, opening thereby the way for all the misuse of that power, and for all the tyrannical persecutions, in which even some of them, themselves, later were victims.  This power, moreover, allowed Belgrade to manipulate further developments and arrangements connected with the organization of the united state in such a way, that Croats, instead of finding in the union a protection for their national independence and for the integrity of their territory, only found in it a monster, which has robbed them of both.

Beginning of terrorism

Immediately, namely, after the proclamation of December 1, 1918, Croatia was overrun by detachments of the Serbian army and gendarmerie, and a rule of terror and intimidation was introduced. The favorite method of this terror was and is the beating and flogging of the Croatian peasants and the incarceration of their leaders. The immediate motive for these atrocities was the fact that Croatian people—in contrast with the majority of their politicians, members of the National Council SHS—had a better sense of realities and of their national rights, and declined to accept the arrangement of Dec. 1 as final or legally binding.  In April 1919 they sent a petition with 157,669 signatures, to the Peace Conference at Paris, which petition pointed out the fact that, by their act of Dec. 1, the National Council SHS had clearly exceeded its authority, and that, therefore, this act was null and void.

Croats decline to accept the arrangement of Dec. 1

In November 1920, at the elections for the Constituent Assembly, Croats reiterated this stand.  More than three-fourths of all the Croatian votes were cast for parties — primarily the Croatian Peasant Party — whose programs included the non-recognition of the legality of the said act.  This position, as all the later parliamentary elections showed, was never changed by the Croatian people.

Broken Pledges.

III. Unauthorized on the Croatian side as it was, and such as it was, the Pact of the Union-if such a name could be given to a number of documents and declarations, the most important of which were the National Council’s resolution of Nov. 24, 1918, and the prince-regent’s address accepting the same—was afterwards broken, and violated in its most import- ant provisions, by the Serbian government and the executive head of the Serbian state.

In the National Council’s resolution of Nov. 24 the most important of the saving clauses”—on the basis of which many of the Croatian members, who would not have done so otherwise, voted for its adoption—was the following:

Constitution adopted contrary to preliminary provisions

“The final organization of the new state can be determined only in a general Constituent Assembly of the whole united nation of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, by a two-thirds majority of votes ….  For the Constituent Assembly is specifically reserved to determine: The Constitution, including the form of government—monarchy or republic,—the internal organization of the state, and the fundamental rights of citizens”.

In the address by which the prince-regent of Serbia, in behalf of that nation, accepted the Council’s declaration, and proclaimed the union of Serbia with the State of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, we find this passage:

“In regard to the wishes and opinions with which you have acquainted me, and all of which I and my government unreservedly accept, the government will at once undertake to bring to realization everything you stated regarding the transitory period till the meeting and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, and also everything you stated regarding the election and the organization of that Assembly”.

However, when the Constituent Assembly finally convened, more than two years later—the intervening time was utilized by the ruling clique to engineer the elections to its own advantage—the new constitution was not adopted by a two-thirds, but by a simple majority, only 223 out of 419 members having voted for its adoption. Even this simple majority, moreover, could be secured only after several smaller groups had been openly bought by the government; the expropriated Bosnian begs, controlling the Bosnian Moslems’ Party, receiving, for instance, 100 million Dinars. Out of 91 Croatian representatives only 11 voted for the new constitution, while 51 members of the Croatian Peasant Party, faithful to the principle of non-recognition of the original act of the union, never took their seats in the Assembly.

Eleven out of ninety-one, a little more than 12%! Yet, in November and December 1918 no cry was heard oftener than the assertion, that there would be no “majorization” in the Constituent Assembly of either of the uniting peoples, i. e., that no constitution would be adopted, unless it received the support of the majority of each, the Slovenian, the Serbian, and the Croatian representation.

Inequality in rights and privileges

Another provision contained in the “Pact of the Union” and announced with all the loudness possible was the principle of the full equality in civic rights and privileges of all citizens, regardless of their being Slovenes, Croats, or Serbs.

In reality, as soon as the union was carried through in the above described manner, it became evident, that being a Croat was a terrible handicap to all those who had any business with governmental agencies and particularly for those who were qualified for, and wished to enter, any branch of the government service. The Serbian ruling clique and the Serbian politicians had plenty of their own henchmen to place in the government service, and the question of qualifications was not considered one of importance.  There were many instances of former clerks with only a couple of years of public school education displacing law-school graduates with 15 or 20 years of experience, in the important office of district commissioner.

Army, finances, railroads, public instruction, diplomatic corps and foreign service—all these departments of government were filled with Serbs, protégés of the Serbian politicians, and in none of these departments was there ever much of a chance for a Croat, unless, of course, he was willing to become useful, not to the people, but to the camarilla.

In the Austrian-Hungarian army there were always from ten to twenty commanding generals who were Croats.  In Yugoslavia, which was supposed to be “their own” country to the Croats, there were at one time more than 80 generals, and not one of them was a Croat, although there still lived several of the former Austro-Hungarian high officers of Croatian nationality, who had rendered, during the critical period of October and November 1918, a great service to the cause of liberty of all the South-Slavic peoples.

This simple example may serve as a fair illustration of the “equality in privileges and civic rights” as between the Croatian and Serbian citizens of Yugoslavia.

Dictatorship—violation of the original “pact”

Still another cardinal provision in that “Pact” concluded between representatives of Serbia and the members of the National Council SHS was the unconditional stipulation that the united country would be run in accordance with the principles of democracy and parliamentarism.

In the above mentioned address of acceptance of the National Council’s declaration of Nov. 24, the prince-regent made the following pledge:

“Faithful to the example and to the counsels of my exalted parent, I shall be the king to only the free citizens of the State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and shall always remain faithful to the great constitutional, parliamentary and broadly-democratic principles, based on the right of general popular franchise”.

This pledge was reiterated by the prince-regent in his first proclamation addressed to the people, and dated January 6, 1919, in the following words.

“As the king of a free and democratic people, I shall steadfastly, in everything I do, remain true to the principle of constitutional and parliamentary government . . .”

On the tenth anniversary-day of this last quoted proclamation, i. e., on January 6, 1929, king Alexander made another one by which he suspended the constitution, dissolved the parliament, and set up an absolutist dictatorship.

A Medieval Conspiracy.

IV. In setting up the dictatorship, the real rulers of Serbia have not only removed from their authority in Croatia the last remaining vestige of legality, but, since the preliminary steps leading to dictatorship included the murdering of foremost Croatian leaders, they have also made any reconciliation between Croatia and Serbia—for as long at least as they are the masters in the latter nation—quite impossible, except, of course, on the basis of complete restoration to the former of all the national and state rights.

Croatian opposition

The fraudulent manner in which the union with Serbia was executed, and the terrible misrule which followed that union, were naturally resented by the Croatian people, who in a short time developed a strong opposition to the whole system of government which was imposed on them against their will, and under which they were subjected to a reign of brutal terrorism. Since the very first elections held in the new state—those for the Constituent Assembly, in the fall of 1920—the Croatian voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the conditions by electing to the Belgrade parliament ever increasing numbers of deputies, who were opposed to the whole system on which the country was organized.

The Croatian opposition was becoming ever stronger. The ruling clique of Belgrade felt itself really endangered, and particularly so, when, through the efforts of Croatian deputies, one of their own number—R. Pasich, the son of the former veteran premier—had been publicly convicted for corruption, shady dealings, and misappropriation of -public property. Then, for the first time, rumors of an impending suspension of the parliamentary principle began to circulate in Belgrade coffeehouses and newspaper offices.

Croatian leaders doomed

The resistance of the Croats, however, was still increasing. Using the Belgrade parliament as the medium, through which they could be most easily heard, Croatian leaders were raising a cry of protest, which was becoming ever louder. The ruling camarilla was in a tight corner, but it was still far from being ready to give way to the will of the people. Instead, it decided: “Parliamentary must go, but, before this can be done effectively, Croatian leaders must first be put away . . where they could hold no speeches, and write no articles for the papers . . .”

June I 8 and 19, 1928 were busy days for some people in Belgrade. One of the busiest places was the king’s palace, where a great many conferences took place during those two days. One of the most frequent visitors to the palace was a Serbian representative, whose name was—Punisha Rachich. On the night of June 19, Punisha was there again and spent several hours in a talk with the Marshal of the King’s Court, Drag. Jankovitch.

Murder in the parliament

On June 20, this representative, a member of the parliamentary majority, asked to be recognized by the speaker. Afterwards he seemed to change his mind. But at the direct urging by the speaker—also, of course, a member of the parliamentary majority—he went to the rostrum and, immediately upon arriving there, he produced a revolver, which he leisurely proceeded to empty into a group of Croatian leaders. Result of the shooting: Two Croatian deputies dead, three wounded, one of the wounded being the chief of the Croatian Peasant Party, Stephen Radich, who died from the consequences of the shooting a few weeks later.

The first object of the conspiracy was attained. The way to the second was now open.

Dictatorship was proclaimed some six months after the shooting.

The Plight of Croatia.

V. Since one party to the Pact of the Union of December 1, 191 8, the National Council SHS, had no authority to conclude it; and since the other party to it, the king and the government of Serbia, had afterwards broken and violated its most important provisions: therefore, that pact is legally null and void, and the rule of Serbia over Croatia cannot be considered as resting on any other foundation, but on that of brut- al force. The main effects and consequences of that rule of force for Croatia were, and still are: the annihilation of the Croatian national individuality and of distinct Croatian statehood; the subordination of Croatian national and racial interests to those of Serbia; maladministration; economic exploitation of Croatia by the Serbian rulers; deliberate restraint of the cultural progress in Croatia; and a reign of terror and oppression.

Instead of better security — annihilation

ABOLITION OF THE STATE OF CROATIA. For twelve hundred years the Croatian people lived in their own national state. This state was at first completely independent, but since 1102 its independence of action was somewhat limited by the personal union with Hungary and, afterwards, by its becoming a member-state of the Hapsburg Empire. During all this time, however, Croatia preserved its individuality and distinctness as a nation, as well as the autonomy of its internal affairs. Resenting the hegemonistic policies of Hungary and the centralizing efforts of Vienna, and the encroachments upon their national rights and privileges, Croats made use of the opportunity given them by the developments in the world war BY MAKING THEIR COUNTRY AGAIN COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT. This newly won independence was, unfortunately, short-lived. Through treachery and fraud Croatia came into the grasping claws of imperialistic Belgrade, WHOSE FIRST MAJOR ACT, WHEN IN POWER, WAS THE ABOLITION OF THE SEPARATE CROATIAN STATEHOOD AND ANNIHILATION OF THE CROATIAN NATIONAL INDIVIDUALITY. Croatia was wiped off the map of Europe, its inhabitants transformed into a subject-people, its territories made into a domain for exploitation by the ruling class of Serbia.

Denationalization of the Croatian people was one constant policy of the Belgrade rulers. Since the establishment of the dictatorship this policy is particularly pronounced.  The use of the very names of “Croat” and “Croatia” was forbidden by a decree of the dictator, and also the Croatian flag, and every other emblem of Croatian national distinctness. The present generation of Croats is being forcibly prevented from using and honoring all that, which countless generations before it had zealously preserved, and had left to it, as its rightful heritage.

Betrayal of Croatian interests

SUBORDINATION OF CROATIAN NATIONAL INTERESTS IN THE FOREIGN POLICY OF YUGOSLAVIA. One of the main arguments propounded by the advocates of the union with Serbia among the Croatian politicians was, that such union would serve as a preservator for the integrity of the Croatian national territory.  This argument was proved as faulty, and the expectation on which it was based as unfounded, when a great part of Croatia was lost to it, only through either the criminal negligence or deliberate planning on the part of the Serbian diplomacy.

The terrible cost of “liberation”

ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION OF CROATIA. The economic policy of the Yugoslav (Serbian) government was from the very beginning violently anti-Croatian. Early in 1919 the government decided to devaluate the Crown (Krone), which was, naturally, the only money used in Croatia. The first act was to stamp all the Crown-notes with a special stamp, and to confiscate 20% of all the money offered for such stamping. Only a short time later, the stamped Crown was forcibly exchanged with the Serbian Dinar in the ratio of 4 Crowns for 1 Dinar—in spite of the fact that on international exchanges, although these were previously artificially manipulated through the selling of Crowns and buying of Dinars by the Belgrade government, the ratio was still much more favorable to the Crown. BY THESE TWO OPERATIONS THE CROATIAN NATION WAS ROBBED OF MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF ITS SAVINGS.

In addition to that, TAXES PAID BY CROATS WERE, AND STILL ARE, FROM THREE TO SIX TIMES AS GREAT AS THE TAXES PAID BY THE INHABITANTS OF SERBIA WITH THE SAME INCOME AND PROPERTY. This inequality has been defended by the Serbian politicians with the cynical statement, that the Croatian people were thereby paying only what they “owed” Serbia for their “liberation” from the Austro-Hungarian yoke!

The rate of taxation was not only exorbitant but truly ruinous. While the prices of agricultural products, which bring more than 80% of Croatia’s income, fell between 1921 and 1928 nearly 300%, the rate of taxation rose in the same period some 1500%.

The power of the government was also used to divert the flow of commerce in such a way as to benefit Serbia and weaken Croatia. There were many instances of government’s refusing a license to operate to a manufacturing or commercial concern unless and until it was willing to move its place of business from Croatia to Serbia.

DUE TO SUCH ECONOMIC POLICIES OF THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT, CROATIA, ONCE A REMARKABLY PROSPEROUS COUNTRY, IS TODAY ON THE VERGE OF ECONOMIC RUIN.

Forcing down the standards of culture

GOVERNMENT’S SABOTAGE OF CROATIAN CULTURAL PROGRESS. In the field of cultural and educational endeavors Belgrade pursued the same policy in regard to Croatia as in the field of economic development. Many Croatian cultural institutions and organizations were forcibly dissolved and their funds confiscated by the government. The standards of teaching in the public schools were deliberately lowered, a great many of the high schools altogether abolished, and the standards of the University of Zagreb impaired by the refusal or restriction of necessary budgetary credits. Several of the most prominent professors at the University were dismissed, some because of their political convictions, some again simply in order to injure the cultural prestige of the Croatian nation in general, and of its main university in particular.

These were some of the means by which Belgrade hoped to equalize the cultural standing of Serbia with that of Croatia, WHOSE CIVILIZATION IS SEVERAL CENTURIES IN ADVANCE OF THE SERBIAN.

Corruption and incompetence of officials

MALADMINISTRATION. In accordance with their idea that Yugoslavia was only an enlarged Serbia, the Serbs retained the same administrative apparatus, which had been designed to administer a nation of a little more than 4,000,000 people, to administer a country with a population of more than 12,000,000. This apparatus was, moreover, filled with personnel—appointed for political reasons, as previously mentioned—so incompetent and so corrupt, that in a short time a terrific chaos became supreme in all the branches of public life.

Croatia, whose administrative machinery before the union was excellent, felt the change to the new system of inefficiency, incompetence, and plunder-by-bribery most strongly, for it was to Croatia that the worst element of the Balkanic Serbian officialdom was sent, THIS TYPE BEING THE MOST SKILFUL IN THE ART OF PERSECUTING AND TERRORIZING A PEACEFUL AND CIVILIZED PEOPLE.

Barbarian methods and oriental cruelty

OPPRESSION AND TERRORISM. From the time, when the first Serbian troops came into Croatia, and up to the present day, Croats were subjected to a reign of terror and oppression, which has few equals in the whole history of Europe. It began with the flogging of the Croatian peasants in the winter of 1918-1919 and reached its height in the killing of the Croatian national leaders in June 1928. During the era of dictatorship, consequent upon that killing, it was developed into a complete system of governing by terror and persecutions.

Culmination Under dictatorship

The installation of the dictatorship was followed by the suspension of the rights of assembly and free speech. Then the press was muzzled, and the whole country was put under a rigid censorship so that no cry for help may escape across the frontiers. When these preliminaries had been attended to, thieves and other common criminals were released from the jails and penitentiaries—to make room for the “political offenders”. In a short time all these jails and penitentiaries were filled to overflowing with the patriotic Croats, whose only “crime” was, that they wanted to remain true to their nation and their race. These prisoners were then generally subjected to the most inhuman cruelties imaginable, the purpose of which was to extract from them incriminating “confessions” by which others could be arrested and convicted.

Flogging, bastinado, murder

The favorite forms of torture were flogging and bastinado, but frequently methods were used which probably had not been employed since the times of the barbaric invasions. Only two of the many KNOWN instances: A merchant, Javor by name, was hanged by one arm, while burning candles were applied to his naked body. To M. Starchevich, a young college graduate, heavy weights were hanged on the most vital part of the male human body, and removed only, when the terrible pain caused him to loose consciousness. Later they were put on again, and the operation was repeated several times. It happened at times that one of the victims could not endure such or similar treatment, and he died either during the torture, or shortly afterwards. The unfortunate’s body was then generally thrown from an upper-story window down on the pavement below, to make it appear as though he had committed suicide.  In this particular manner, and in less than two years, eight Croatian patriots lost their lives in the Zagreb penitentiary alone.

Again, dozens of prisoners were killed by the police while being taken from one jail to another. The pretext was always that the victims had “tried to flee”, or that they were “resisting the officers of the law”.

Persecutions and killings of intellectuals

Croatian intellectuals seemed to be especially obnoxious to the dictatorial government of Belgrade. One of them, the University Professor Milan Sufflay, whose inborn astuteness had prevented Serbian agents from bringing him to jail by the favorite method of the frame-up, WAS FINALLY MURDERED BY PROFESSIONAL ASSASSINS HIRED FOR THAT PURPOSE THE AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, MEMBERS OF THE ZAGREB POLICE FORCE.

The same method was used in the, fortunately unsuccessful, attempt to assassinate the Croatian leader Dr. Mile Budak. Doctor Budak escaped death only because of his strong constitution, but, as a consequence of the terrible beating he received in that assault, he had to spend many months in bed, recuperating from the wounds and from the shock to his nerves.

The latest victim is Jos. Predavec, the representative of the Croatian Peasant Party, who was murdered.

Such are the means upon which the King of Serbia and his camarilla rely in their efforts to restrain Croatia—enslaved by them only through fraud and treachery—from regaining its freedom and independence.

Can they be successful? Or will they succeed in only starting another general conflagration in Europe—as they did once before?

Conclusion

In view of all the reasons enumerated and all the f acts mentioned above, the Croatian National Council of North America, in the name of more than 250,000 American Croats, who have either countersigned or otherwise endorsed this Council’s resolution of February 22, 1932, hereby declares:

1. The rule of the king and the government of Serbia over Croatia has no basis in either law or equity. It is maintained exclusively by force, and in direct opposition to the repeatedly and clearly expressed will of the Croatian people. The further toleration of that rule is, for that reason, dangerous to the peace in Europe, and contrary to the best interests of civilized humanity.

2. The only true representative and the only de iure government in Croatia is at the present time the Croatian National Representation consisting of representatives chosen by the Croatian people in the parliamentary elections of 1927.

3. The Croatian National Council of North America heartily endorses—with the amending reservation, contained in clause 4 of this declaration—the resolution of the Croatian National Representation of November 1932, as interpreted and amplified by its now imprisoned president, Doctor Vlatko Matchek. This resolution calls for a return of Croatia to the status of October 29, 1918, and demands an immediate withdrawal of the Serbian army and of the king’s minions from the territory of Croatia, in order, that the Croatian nation may freely determine the form of government, under which it wishes to live, and all the relationships with the neighboring nations, into which it may wish to enter.

4. In reference to the future relationships of Croatia with the neighboring nations, including Serbia, the Croatian National Council of North America, in accordance with the opinions and demands expressed in the four appendices to this document and in the Joint-Memorandum of all the Croatian groups in emigration, feels duty-bound and fully authorized to state:

Americans of Croatian descent, and Croats residing in the United States and Canada, as well as all the other groups of the Croatian race now living outside the boundaries of Croatia (in South America, Belgium, France, Germany, etc.) have repeatedly and nearly unanimously expressed a decided preference, over all the other suggested solutions of the Croatian question, FOR THE REESTABLISHMENT OF CROATIA AS A COMPLETELY FREE, COMPLETELY SOVEREIGN, AND COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT NATION, inside of whose boundaries would be gathered and reunited all the historically Croatian territories on which Croatian people live in compactness.

5. Having been assured, and fully convinced, that Croats in Croatia agree completely with the above stated declaration of political aims of the Croatian nation, but are prevented from publicly proclaiming their convictions by the brutal force of their oppressors: Therefore we, the members of the Croatian National Council of North America, in the name of 250,000 people of Croatian origin now living on this continent, appeal hereby to the League of Nations, to the governments of the United States and Canada and all other civilized nations, to the Press, and to the individual statesmen and political leaders of the world., to use their power and their influence in such a way, as to speedily bring an end to the suffering and to the enslavement of the Croatian nation.

We particularly appeal to them to prevail upon the king and the government of Serbia to peacefully withdraw the Serbian troops and administrative apparatus from the Croatian territory, in order, that the Croatian nation may in complete freedom exercise its right of self-determination, and decide about its future. We also ask, that to the right of national self-determination of Croatia no strings be attached beforehand, and that the free decision of the Croatian people be in advance recognized as final and binding for all the parties concerned.

In conclusion, we again call attention to the fact, that, unless the just demands of the Croatian nation receive, in the future, more consideration from the League of Nations and other responsible factors, and, unless Serbia is prevailed upon to recognize Croatia’s right of national self-determination, and to peacefully withdraw from its territory, Croatian people have no other recourse open, but to resort to that kind of self-help, which may include open rebellion. If that happens, further conflicts will be unavoidable, and the peace of the world will again be disturbed.

The responsibility for such consequences will not rest with the Croats, whose just demands include only the recognition of their elementary rights to liberty and free development.

Youngstown, Ohio, September 20th, 1933.

Kuzma Kuharić

Ivan Stipanović

Ivan Krešić

Milan Billich

Appendices

Appendix No. 1

Declaration of the All-Croatian Congress

(On October 16 and 17, 1931, representatives from nearly all of the fraternal, educational, and political organizations of Americans of Croatian descent and of Croats residing in the United States and Canada, met in Detroit, in order to protest against the oppression of their brethren in the country of their common origin, and to design plans, whereby they could participate more actively in the fight for a free and sovereign Croatia.  This, the All-American Congress, unanimously adopted the following declaration:)

Americans of Croatian descent and Croats residing in the United States and Canada, as represented at this Congress, enthusiastically declare themselves in complete sympathy with their brethren in the country from which they originate, and with their demand for the re-establishment of the free and independent Croatia.

The All-Croatian Congress protests bitterly and vehemently against the oppression and the persecutions of the Croatian people in the homeland, and against the rule of terror and exploitation, the responsibility for which lies with king Alexander Karageorgevich and his henchmen.

This Congress appeals to the League of Nations, to the governments of all free nations, especially the government of the United States, and to all liberty loving and humane people throughout the world to do everything in their power to bring to an end the suffering of the Croatian nation by a general recognition of that nation’s right of self- determination.

Appendix No. 2

MESSAGE

OF THE CROATIAN PRIESTS

TO THE CROATIAN PEOPLE

IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

“We, the undersigned, Catholic priests of Croatian birth or ancestry, hereby proclaim to our beloved Croatian brethren this, our message and our vow:

In union with you, and with all true sons and daughters of Croatia, we shall always defend the vital interests of Croatia in national and religious affairs; and, with all the strength of our souls, we shall stand staunchly by our Croatian brethren, ever ready to make any necessary sacrifice, so that our brothers and sisters, who live across in the beloved land of our ancestors, with our humble help may regain for the Croatian people that position in the family of nations, which is rightly theirs as ordained by God and justice.”

Dated December 1st, 1931.

Rev. Mirko Kajić, D.D., pastor, Johnstown, Pa.

Rev. Oskar Šuster, pastor, Detroit, Mich.

Rev. Francis Podgoršek, pastor, E. Chicago, Ind.

Rev. Leo Jos. Medić, OFM., pastor, Steelton, Pa.

Rev. I. Petričak, OFM., Steelton, Pa.

Rev. Ivan Stipanović, pastor, Youngstown, Ohio

Rev. John Juricek, pastor, Omaha, Nebr.

Rev. Albert Žagar, pastor, Millvale, Pa.

Rev. Ilija Severović, pastor, Chicago, Ill.

Rev. Ambroz Mišetić, OFM., pastor, Milwaukee, Wis.

Rev. Špiro Andrijanić, OFM., pastor, So. Chicago, Ill.

Rev. Zvonko Mandurić, OFM., pastor, West Allis, Wis.

Rev. Blaž Jerković, OFM., pastor, Chicago, Ill.

Rev. Bono Andačić, OFM., San Francisco, Calif.

Rev. Franjo Bahorić, pastor, Los Angeles, Calif.

Rev. V. Vukonić, pastor, Lorain, Ohio

Rev. B. Badura, pastor, Lackawanna, N.Y.

Rev. Chas. A. Štimac, pastor, Kansas City, Kansas

Rev. Dobroslav Sorić, pastor, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Rev. A. Hugolin Feisz, OFM., Chicago, Ill.

Rev. Josip Mišić, Youngstown, Ohio

Rev. Anselm Slišković, pastor, Farrell, Pa.

Rev. Vladislav Luburić, OFM., Chicago, Ill.

Rev. Josip Matun, Cleveland, Ohio

Appendix No. 3

Resolution

ADOPTED AT THE 3rd CONVENTION OF THE H. B. Z.

(CROATIAN FRATERNAL UNION,)

HELD ON THE 27th OF JUNE 1932, IN GARY, IND.

The third Convention of the H. B. Z., representing and speaking in behalf of the 90,000 organized Croats in the United States and Canada, and interpreting the thoughts and feelings of its members concerning the conditions to which the Croatian nation in the old country is subjected, adopts, unanimously, the following declaration:

1) The H. B. Z. condemns most emphatically all the tyrannies and persecutions, that have been, and still are, perpetrated by the Belgrade regime over Croatia and the Croatian nation. It condemns the annulment of the millennial Croatian State, the total disregard of Croatian interests in the spheres of international politics, in economics, and its cultural development. It condemns the unabated use of terror as a means, by which the insane imperialism of Belgrade militarists tries to keep the Croatian nation forcibly and perpetually enslaved.  It condemns, explicitly, the imprisonment, flogging, torturing and murdering of Croatian leaders, eliminating, thereby, the best sons of the Croatian nation.

2) Having unbounded faith in the immortal American declaration of independence and of the inalienable right of every nation to its freedom and to an independent and self-sustaining national life, which right has been attested to the Croatian nation by the well known declaration of the President of the United States during the world war, this Convention solemnly demands the return to the Croatian nation its liberties, its confiscated rights and its stolen wealth. It, furthermore, demands the acknowledgement of its sovereign right to decide for itself, and to establish its own State: a free and independent Croatia with full freedom, full equality and perfect social justice for all its citizens.

3) The Convention greets all those Croatian patriots who work and strive in the spirit of the above declaration, calling to them: Persist, and do not relax, until the defrauded and sorely tried Croatian nation has established its right to a free life in a free State of Croatia.

4) The Convention honors the countless victims who sacrificed their lives in the struggle against the imperialistic tyranny and for the freedom of their nation and the rights of Man.

Appendix No. 4

AFFIDAVIT OF OFFICERS OF

THE CROATIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA

RELATIVE TO CIRCULATING PETITIONS APPEALING FOR THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF CROATIA

THE STATE OF OHIO

COUNTY OF MAHONING

ss:

KUZMA KUHARICH and REV. JOHN A. STIPANOVIC, both of Youngstown, Ohio, being first duly sworn according to law, upon their oaths severally depose and say:

That they are the duly elected, qualified and acting president and secretary, respectively, of THE CROATIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA; that as such, they were instructed and authorized to circulate, amongst the Americans of Croatian ancestry or Croatians residing in the United States of America and others, petitions which were styled “AN APPEAL FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF CROATIA”, and which contained the following language:

WHEREAS, the Croatians, who constitute one of the smaller civilized nations of Europe, have been wrongfully and unjustly denied their national independence and their right of self-determination after the World War; and

WHEREAS, militaristic Serbia now rules Croatia through force and deceit and chicanery; and

WHEREAS, the tyrannical, despotic and oppressive government of the Serbs is persistently subjugating and trodding over the Croatians, with a view of wiping them out of their motherland; and

WHEREAS, the Croatians in Croatia (including Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Hercegovina and Vojvodina), by reason of the Serbian military occupation of the Croatian provinces, are being wrongfully denied the privilege to freely express their honest convictions as to their right of self-determination as a nation.

NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved, that we, the undersigned, either Americans of Croatian descent, or Croatians residing in the United States of America, or friends and advocates of justice and liberty for all nations, hereby appeal to you for the liberation of Croatia from the tyrannical and despotic rule and domination of the Serbs, and we further appeal to you for the national independence of subjugated and down-trodden Croatia.

Pursuant to said authority and said instructions, such petitions were circulated and the genuine and bona fide signatures of 41,087 such persons were procured; and that in addition thereto, the genuine and bona fide signatures of 66 civic, church and fraternal organizations, by and through their respective officers, were procured.

AND FURTHER, deponents saith not.

Kuzma Kuharić (signature)

Ivan Stipanović (signature)

SWORN to before me, and subscribed in my presence this 20th day of September, 1933.

Julia M. Matus, m.p.

Notary Public.

Constitution of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia

as discussed by the 4th sitting of the republican majority of Croatia under the rule of the Ban (head of the government) on the 5th and 6th day of March, 1921, accepted by the 5th sitting of the said republican majority of representatives on the 9th day of April 1921, and promulgated in the sitting of the 26th day of June 1921, in the capital city of Zagreb.
Published by L. Kezman, LL. D., Croatian deputy, Secretary General of the Croatian Republican Peasant Party.
Pittsburgh, Pa., 1923.

NOTE

The present edition of the Constitution of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia has, in the first place, been intended for the members of the Croatian Republican Peasant Organizations in America.
From this edition of the Constitution have been omitted the territorial provisions of Section A, number 2 of its original text, which omission is due to the actual changes effected by the popular vote cast at general elections of March 18, 1923. Pending constitutional amendment by the Assembly, the declaration, contained in the resolutions, passed by the Croatian Representative Assembly on March 25, 1923, stating that Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia shall be regarded as indisputable and incontestable territory of the Croatian Nation, may provisionally serve as a formal regulation of the point in question. (See appendix).
It may be taken for granted that amendments relative to territory will abide by the universally acknowledged right of national self-determination as the principle, and the plebiscite to be held within certain bordering areas as the method, by application of which the state territory may be extended or reduced.
Besides territorial regulations there has been omitted from this edition also the political preamble from Section B, number I, entitled “World and home factors which have been at work in making small nations subject of international law.”
Both passages, territorial and introductory, have also been barred from the recent edition of this Constitution published at Zagreb, which fact will remove from my proceeding any possible censure of arbitrariness.
These and such other amendments to this Constitution as may deem necessary to the Nation will be made the subject of deliberations by the respective Assembly, if not earlier, then when the times comes for the Constitution of Croatia to take effect.
That this time is no longer far distance, such is the unanimous conviction of the Croatian people.

Pittsburgh, Penna., August 1st, 1923. Dr. L. K.

A. THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA.

1. NAME OF STATE.

The State shall bear the name: The Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

2. THE STATE TERRITORY OF THE NEUTRAL PEASANT REPUBLIC OF CROATIA.

(See note on page 1st and appendix).

3. CITIZENSHIP.

The citizenship shall be Croatian.
The manner of acquiring the right of a citizen and all other particulars shall be enacted by a special Citizenship Act.

4. THE STATE AND NATIONAL HERALDIC BEARINGS.

The State and National Heraldic Bearings shall consist of a checky shield emblazoned with 12 argent (white) and 13 gules (red) squares with an azure edging and the device of a plough.

5. NATIONAL FLAG.

The State Flag shall be the Croatian national red-white-blue tricolor.
The same flag with the national heraldic shield shall be used as commercial flag.

B. GENERAL.

Origin and Purpose, Characteristics and Principles of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

I. World and Home Factors which have been at Work in making small nations subjects of international law.

(See note on page 1st..)

II. Characteristics of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

1. ABSOLUTENESS AND CONTINUOUSNESS OF THE NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY. THE REPUBLIC.

The Sovereignty of the Nation is absolute and continuous. It is exercised by the nation through a plebiscite on territorial and constitutional questions, and through its right of initiative and referendum on legislative questions. From this absoluteness and continuousness of the national sovereignty results the perfect and unlimited right of national self-determination in all matters of internal state organization.
Croatia, consequently, is a Plebiscitary Republic.

2. GOVERNMENT BY PEASANT MAJORITY.

According to the established principle of the constitutional democracy, the decision of all state affairs lies in the hands of the majority of representatives returned at a general election.
The peasantry of Croatia, forming the overwhelming majority of the nation, is incontestably entitled to this right of decision the moment it has won that majority at a general election.
Croatia, consequently, is a peasant republic.

3. PEACEFUL DISPOSITION AND NEUTRALITY.

Perfect neutrality in every international conflict, besides the acknowledgment of its right to self- determination, has, ever since the end of the world war, been the very question of every small nation’s existence. A standing army is generally, and among peasants particularly, apt to undermine the foundations of morals, wealth-production, civilization and liberty. For these reasons our plebiscitary republic is pacific and neutral. There shall be no standing army, but all citizens shall have to make themselves fit for the defence of their home and country according to the provisions laid down by a special National Defense Act.
The most elementary military instruction shall always be combined with general instruction as well as with a special teaching of the general principles of wealth- production and with a universal national working obligation.
For the maintenance of internal safety and order a special civil force shall be organized.

4. HUMAN RIGHTS IRRESPECTIVE OF CITIZENSHIP SAFEGUARDED.

For humanity’s sake the following rights shall be safeguarded to every person temporarily or permanently residing on the territory of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

a) Personal Safety and Inviolability.

With regard to his or her body every person shall be inviolable. Nobody can be arrested or deprived of his or her personal liberty without a court warrant adducing legal grounds for this proceeding. This warrant shall be read to or served on the person to be arrested before the very act of arrest.
The civil force responsible for the maintenance of public order shall be authorized to arrest without such a warrant persons caught in the very act of a murder, robbery, arson, burglary or theft, and shall immediately hand them over to a court.
The arrested person shall be released, if 24 hours have elapsed after his or her arrest, and the court has failed, in either case, to begin with the investigation of his or her case.
The arrested person shall in no case be kept confined for a longer period than a month after the commencement of the trial.
If the court officers fail to fulfill these two provisions of the Constitution, the prisoner shall be at liberty to leave the prison and nobody shall have the right to prevent him from doing so.
Whosoever violates these provisions, and particularly the police and court officers, shall be personally responsible to the law, and their pleading of having acted upon higher orders shall not be accepted.
The acquitted prisoner shall be entitled to a compensation fixed by law. Every grown-up person shall have the right to sue for redress whenever anything against anybody’s personal safety or inviolability has been done.

b) Punishments.

Capital punishment shall be abolished.
The imprisonment shall be combined with work. During the trial such work shall be imposed upon the prisoner as corresponds with his calling, but after judgement has been pronounced, this must not necessarily be so. Duration, kind and enforcement of such work shall be enacted by a special Act.
There shall be no corporal punishments. Any physical ill-treatment of a person on trial or prisoner shall be punished, unless it be a crime of a legally graver kind, by at least an instantaneous dismissal from service.

c) Freedom of Motion.

Within the boundaries of the State territory of Croatia every grown-up person shall be allowed to go where he or she likes, and live where he or she pleases, and nobody shall be interned or confined or expelled either from a community or from the State. Aliens shall not be extradited to be tried for acts considered in their respective countries as political crimes.

d) Inviolability of Home (Dwelling-Place).

A person’s home (dwelling-place) shall be inviolable. A search-warrant, if justified by law, may be granted only by a court, and a person’s premises shall be searched only by a magistrate himself. A member of the civil force may enter a house only when called for assistance by the inmates.
For the observation of these rules both the police and the court officers shall be personally liable to the law. Under a person’s premises his house, the court-yard, and all farm-buildings are to be understood.

e) Letter Secret and Postal Delivery Safeguarded.

The delivery of postal consignments, particularly of letters and newspapers, shall be guaranteed by a special Act, which shall also provide for the inviolability of the letter secret and for the keeping secret of all telegraphic and telephonic messages.

5. THE FREE PEASANT HOME.

The Peasant State is an organic community of free and organized households.
For the general improvement of every single peasant home (family) there shall be enacted a special Farmer’s Inheritance Act providing also for liberal facilities of peasant husbandry on the lines of the ancient common unwritten social communities law brought into harmony with modern thought and requirements of peasant classes. Another Act shall provide for the exemption of a peasant’s home and property from execution and again another for the internal family organization and authority. The latter act shall also provide for the free establishment of new social communities.

6. FAMILY ORGANIZATION.

The Family is the primary factor of moral education and acquisition of principles on which general culture of mind and production of wealth are based.
A special act shall lay down the duties of the family as to education, culture of mind and teaching of principles of wealth production.

7. PERFECT EQUALITY OF BOTH SEXES.

Both sexes shall have equal rights.

III. Principles of Organization of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

1. THE REPUBLIC IS A MORAL COMMUNITY OF SENSIBLE BEINGS.

a) Freedom of Meeting.

The freedom of meeting, being one of the most natural necessities of man, shall be universal.
The authorities shall in no case and for no reason whatever have the power to forbid the holding of a meeting or gathering.
For gatherings and meetings on private premises or on private ground permission shall have to be asked for of the respective owner.
Of a meeting to be held on a public place generally used or otherwise convenient for that purpose the competent authorities for the maintenance of public order shall have to be notified before the commencement of the meeting at the latest by anyone of its organizers either orally or by a written notice which may be simply posted up on the said authorities’ office door.
Meetings in public buildings which are either generally used or otherwise convenient for that purpose, such as public schools, town halls, etc. shall be held by political associations or parties in the same order as they have been notified, and in the same way as in open public places. By the Meeting Act freedom of speech at all meetings shall be safeguarded according to the principle that any interference with a speech held at a meeting, or with the order during the same, forms an infringement of one of the most natural human rights without which there can be no progress. Any infringement of such nature shall be punished by a special punishment.

b) Liberty of Press.

The Press as the chief means of diffusing human thought and knowledge shall be entirely unhampered. No censorship shall be established and no newspaper shall in any case be suppressed.
Only political associations or parties shall be allowed to issue political newspapers. Every article on politics, every notice, and every article referring to a person’s name shall have to bear the full signature of the writer. All leaflets, irrespective of their contents, shall also have to be signed by the author’s full name.
No special licence from the authorities shall be necessary for the starting and issuing of a newspaper. The responsibility for any article shall always rest with the writer except in case of his absence abroad, when the chief of the political association or party (if the article in question has appeared in its paper) shall be held responsible for it. For personal affronts offered through a newspaper the shortest possible procedure shall be enacted by a special act.

c) Liberty of Associating.

No association of any kind whose activities are public and whose members exercise control over its management and property shall need a permission of the authorities for its starting and working.
Political parties which have been publicly formed and have adopted a party program of their own shall be considered as public associations and normal organs of political life.
Membership of secret societies shall be made punishable by law.

d) Responsibility of Public Officers.

Every public officer shall be entitled to obedience to his orders as long as he keeps within the limit of law. Any disobedience to legal orders as well as the issuing of illegal orders shall have immediately to be accounted for in ordinary court and the offender shall be tried according to criminal law.
For injuries done to individuals by either the state or by the officers of the autonomous bodies, the state or the respective autonomous body (parish, county) shall be made answerable for the injured individuals at an ordinary court.

2. THE REPUBLIC IS A WEALTH-PRODUCING ORGANIZATION.
a) Universal Working Duty. Everybody’s Right to Life worthy of man.

Wealth cannot be produced without work. A nation cannot produce wealth, unless every member of the community does his share of work. The most obvious postulate of justice is that everybody should enjoy the fruits of his or her own work.
There shall be no requisitions at all, and in cases of expropriation for common good the manner shall be provided for under an Act. The State as a wealth-producing community shall pass a special Universal Working Duty Act, a General Farming Experience Act, and an act on everybody’s right to life worthy of man.
The peasant majority of the nation shall be engaged in agricultural pursuits in their free homes.
The life interests of this majority are inseparable from those of other wealth-producing classes.
The peasant state shall ensure the regularity of working of all wealth-producing industries, but it shall especially secure the industrial production of the country by the passing of a Working Men’s Rights Act by which to the whole working classes movement adequate consideration shall be given. Nobody shall be obliged to do any work without a consideration. In future there shall be neither commandeering of vehicles nor of labourers for any purpose whatever. A special act shall be passed on the right to strike.

b) The Foundations of the Production of Wealth. Agrarian Reform. Liberty of following a trade or profession.

Farming forms the foundations of the wealth-production.
A special Act shall be passed to the effect that large estate forests, at present in State, Church and private possession be handed over into the nation’s possession so that pasture and timber thereof shall be adequate to meet the wants of every peasant household, and the fuel wood, as far as possible, the requirements of every other citizen. The existing joint Ownership Parishes Act and the Landed Property Communities Act shall be altered in the same spirit.
All state, church and private large estate ownerships shall be abolished. No estate shall be allowed to surpass in extent the largest existing peasant estate in the same county. On the exceptions to that rule, taking into consideration model farming, co- operative progressive farming, and the farming industry, special act shall be passed. By a special Home Colonization Act farmsteads shall be established for the home colonization of farmers on the whole area got by the breaking up of large estates. The same act shall provide for farming areas left uncultivated and for peasant households where there are no children. Moreover, by a special act provision shall be made for the acquisition of farmsteads of their own by peasants who are agricultural labourers and for persons who, though not being peasants, have satisfied the requirements of the General Farming Experience Act. There shall, first and foremost, take place a restitution to the peasantry (Landed Property Communities, social communities and sole owners) of all that landed property which had been taken away from them by an unjust or inaccurate partition of such property (on the occasion of the so called segregation, when the feudal serfdom was abolished). The vested interests of all present owners in such property shall be taken into account inasmuch as they do not collide with the principles set forth above.
In adjudicating compensations for landed property the principal question before the decision of the issue shall be, how a particular large estate has been acquired. The adjudication of compensations for landed property shall be provided for by a special Compensation Act.
Everybody shall be allowed to follow any occupation, and particularly any trade he has learnt and to the extent of his skill. Under a special act special qualification shall be required for the exercise of, and the control shall be established over, professions having any relation to human life or health, or being of primary importance to the people.
Every kind of trade shall be perfectly free, but special tariff advantages shall be granted only to co-operative societies of producers and consumers.
On principle, there shall be no custom duties. Subject to custom duties shall be made by law only articles of luxury, but other kinds of goods only in cases of a foreign state trade policy making the adoption of this course imperative.

c) Banking and Credit.

All the banking business done should go to increase and improve the production, but particularly so of agricultural production.
The Republic will issue paper and metal money as a legal tender for the exchange of goods, and will guarantee for its value.
A special Act shall provide for the encouragement of granting individual credits to farmers and for the promotion of the accumulating co-operative farmers’ savings to enable the farmers to supply their wants, and to exercise control over the transactions of every single banking institution.
A normal development of the whole national economic life is conditioned by an orderly working and organization of parish, county and state finances. The fundamental principles of these finances shall be laid down by the Constitution.

d) General Insurance.

General Insurance shall be enacted by law to provide for the relief of persons suddenly becoming disabled to earn their living and especially for old age, lest anybody should, without his or her own fault, go without the means of living.
In the same manner, lest anybody should suffer loss of property without his or her own fault, general insurance of all property shall be enacted against damage done by elementary disasters such as fire, flood, hail-storm, earthquake, as well as epidemics.

3. THE REPUBLIC AS A CULTURAL ORGANIZATION.

a) Religion.

Religion is the foundation of morals. Religion in general and the Christian doctrine in particular is the foundation of sound education.
Christian Churches and all public religious communities shall enjoy perfect freedom of teaching and professing their religion, of observing their religious rites, and of intercourse with their coreligionists and church authorities without the boundaries the Republic.

b) Judiciary.

Under a special Judges’ Independence Act the separateness of the judiciary from legislature and government as well as the independence of judges shall be safeguarded.
There shall be neither military nor other special courts nor special police and administrative courts.
The court proceedings shall as a rule take place in the centre of the economics parish or, if necessary, on the spot.
Proceedings, at least those in the lowest courts, shall be public and oral. Expeditiousness of legal proceedings shall be enacted under special acts.
The people’s share in the legal proceedings through its jurors and assessors shall be regulated by special laws.
Every person charged with felony or misdemeanor shall be put on his or her trial before the jury.
The jury lists shall be made out in the manner that the majority of the jurors shall consist of peasant household heads of the district of the competent court.
The court shall be competent to examine the laws of the country as to their being in harmony with the Constitution as well as the legality of various decrees. They shall be competent to decide in disputes on competence between the national government and the autonomous authorities as well as in disputes of individual citizens with either the government or the autonomous authorities.

c) Education.

National education in school and without it being a matter of concern of the whole nation, the whole Republic shall take not only the principal care of the national education but shall also, if need be, bear the necessary expenses.
The elementary school shall bear distinctively peasant characteristics having for its primary object a thorough and lasting literacy of the people.

1) School for Literacy.

The economic parish shall in every village (hamlet, place) establish a public school where children and grown-up people shall be taught reading and writing gratuitously. Children shall be supplied with books and stationery gratuitously, and all expenses arising therefrom shall be borne jointly by the parish, the county and the whole Republic as enacted by a special Literacy Act.

2) Common National School.

With regard to the cultural and wealth-producing principles taught in the Common National (elementary) School in villages as well as in towns the said school shall be an eminently peasant institution.

3) General Training of the Youth of the Country to Work. Learning of Russian and German Languages.

All male and female pupils shall, after leaving the Common National (elementary), School. for a period of at least two years, be trained to various practical wealth-producing trades according to the existing facilities or expediency, but always combined with general mind cultivating instruction and practical teaching of the Russian and German languages.

4) National School for General Instruction.

All the existing, so called secondary schools (grammar-schools, secondary schools where ancient languages have been substituted by modern languages, and lyceums) shall be abolished. They shall be substituted by National Schools for General Instruction with a curriculum extending over a period of no more than 4 years. Grown-up people shall also be allowed to attend these schools. Hand in hand with this instruction shall be conducted the training to practical work, either during the scholastic year or during the prolonged vacations.
In these schools there shall be neither marks nor certificates given as in present use, and English shall be taught in them.
Only those pupils who have regularly for two years attended above mentioned practical training courses shall be allowed to attend this National School for General Instruction.

5) Technical and Trade Schools.

Besides National School for General Instruction there shall be established a large number of special technical and trade-school(agricultural, handicraft and commercial schools) where instruction shall be given simultaneously with that in the National Schools for General Instruction.
Besides continuation courses for the Russian and German languages there shall be special courses held in these schools for general instruction.
On leaving the National School for General Instruction students shall have choice to enter schools for learned professions to study for various professions such as schools for agriculture, law, architecture, engineering, surveying, pharmacy, veterinary science, and schools for teachers of elementary schools. The curriculum of these schools shall not extend over more than three years.
The existing University in its present form, pretending to be the highest school, shall be abolished and transformed into a number of scientific institutions. The Faculty of Medicine and the High Technical School (School of Engineering) shall be retained and there shall be established a Professorial Faculty for professors going to be teachers of National Schools for General Instruction and of Schools for various learned professions.
Lectures given at the Professorial Faculty shall be free, but to lectures given at various University scientific institutions shall be admitted only persons (students) able to show at an entrance examination a sufficient knowledge to attend the lectures with profit.

6) Other Educational Institutions not connected with schools.

Private Schools.
The organization of other educational institutions not connected with schools shall be regulated by a special Act.
Anybody may establish various schools and hold courses provided they shall harmonize with the spirit of this Constitution and shall keep within the limit of the School Act.

d) Public Health.

The citizens of the State form the main source of its vitality and intrinsic value. Under a special Public Health Act sanitary administration shall equally be provided both for villages and towns so that even the most indigent part of population shall have the benefit of medical attendance and medicine.

C. SPECIAL SECTION: Organization of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

I. Exercise of National Sovereignty.

By virtue of its absolute and continuous sovereignty the nation will organize the whole of its cultural and wealth-producing activities, determine every citizen’s rights and duties and see to their being carried out either directly itself or through the agency of its elected representatives or appointed national officers respectively.

1. DIRECT EXERCISE OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY.

The boundaries of the country or state established by the nation’s history can be rectified only by the nation’s plebiscite demanded by a majority of grown- up citizens (electors) of a boundary county.
100,000 citizens can by a petition signed by their own hands demand a plebiscite to be held on the following points:

1.) the convening and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly;
2.) the closing of a session of the Legislative Assembly before the expiration of its legal period;
3.) the resignation of the president and vice-presidents of the Republic.

30,000 grown-up citizens can by a petition signed by their own hands suggest the passing through the Assembly of a new bill or the making of an amendment or the abolition of an existing law (legislative initiative).
By the same kind of petition the nation may demand a plebiscite for the sanction of any law within a period of 2 months from its having been passed through the Assembly (referendum).
Laws relating to vital national questions – such as alliance with foreign states, raising loans without the boundaries of Croatia, making of laws of the reorganization of land-ownership and inheritance relations (the agrarian reform) – shall have no legal power without this referendum.
The registering of signatures as well as all the business of conducting the plebiscite and the referendum shall be done by the courts as laid down by a special Act.

2. EXERCISE OF NATION’S SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH RETURNED REPRESENTATIVES.

a) National Constituent Assembly. National Legislative Assembly.

Members for the National Constituent Assembly shall be elected in the same way as those for the Legislative Assembly with the difference that for every single member of the former only half the number of votes necessary for the election of the latter shall be required.
It shall assemble a fortnight after the general election has taken place. It shall have sovereign powers and shall dissolve itself of its own will.
If three months have elapsed after its convening, the nation may address a petition to the president of the Republic demanding a plebiscite on the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. This petition must bear original signatures of at least 100,000 citizens.
All laws are made by the National Legislative Assembly whose members are elected for a period of 4 years. The suffrage is universal, exercised equally by men and women voters, the only restriction being the age which must not be less than 18 years.
Statutory elections shall take place on the first Sunday in September, but if the Assembly has been dissolved, they shall be held on 9th Sunday after its dissolution.
The number of representatives is not fixed, but depends on the number of given votes.
A representative is elected, if 6000 electors have voted for him.
Every party shall put forward a list for its candidates for all constituencies of Croatia. By the same act of voting for a candidate the voters vote also for the candidate’s party. A candidate for whom 6000 voters have voted shall be considered as elected. Any number of votes failing to reach this total or exceeding it shall be accounted in favor of the candidate’s party.
Besides those candidates who have been elected representatives by receiving the full 6000 votes, every party shall be allotted the number of representatives resulting from the division of the remaining total of given votes by 6000, the mode of the allotment being as follows. The candidate who has received the largest majority of votes next 6000, shall be elected first and so on until the remainder of the sum total of votes to be divided in this manner has been reached. If this latter remainder exceeds 3000 votes, one more representative shall be allotted to the party which has got them.
Every citizen possessing the right of voting shall be eligible for a representative.
Elections shall take place in parishes. They shall be conducted by courts. Under a special Act delegates of every party interested in the contest shall be admitted. The Board of Seven (the highest court of justice) shall examine and determine the validity of the return of every single elected representative.
The ordinary session of the Assembly shall begin on the 15th October and end on the 15th March. The assembly shall sit without interruption on weekdays only.
Extraordinary sessions may be summoned:

1) if demanded by one fifth of representatives;
2) if the Assembly convenes after having previously been dissolved;
3) if a petition with legal initiative has been presented by the nation;
4) if a question of immunity of a member arises; and lastly
5) if a substitute of the president has to be elected.

Every debate must be attended by at least one third of all the representatives, and when a vote is going to be proposed, by at least one half.
National representatives i.e. members of the Constituent Assembly and the Legislative Assembly shall enjoy not only general personal inviolability which is guaranteed to them as to human beings, but they shall also enjoy an absolute immunity for anything they have said or written in the Assembly or without it during the period of their being representatives, irrespective of the Assembly sitting or not, as well as during the time of the dissolution of the Assembly until the elections have taken place.
For none of his doing, either in speech or in writing, during that period shall a representative ever be called to account.
If a representative should be caught in the very act of committing a crime involving the loss of his claim to immunity from the arrest safeguarded to any person by this Constitution, notice shall at once be given to the president of the Assembly. The president shall, if the Assembly is in session, on the same day, and if in recess, within three days, assemble the Sessional Committee of Immunity which shall by a vote of two thirds of all its members present decide whether judicial proceedings should be instituted against that member or not. This resolution shall have to be adopted by the whole body of representatives of the Assembly within 3 days, if the same is sitting, and within 8 days, if not.
But, if all the measures as here set down have not been taken, such a representative shall be considered free and shall be at liberty to leave the prison, and no person, under personal responsibility, shall have any right to prevent him from doing so.
For any other action done by a member only the Assembly shall have the power to declare that member deprived of his privilege of immunity on the motion of two thirds of the members of the Immunity Committee.
The Privilege of Immunity shall become operative the moment, when the District or the Chief Election Committee has declared a candidate elected by a sufficient number of votes, and it shall become void the moment, when the Chief Election Committee has ascertained the number of the newly elected representatives.
The right of voters to be elected representatives themselves being practically another aspect of the right of voting of all the electors and consequently an act of national sovereignty, any check to personal liberty of an elected representative, on whatever valid judgement it might have been based, shall be stopped the moment, when the privilege of Immunity has taken effect.

b) County Meeting.

The County Meeting shall consist of an equal number of delegates from all the associated economic parishes forming a county. These delegates shall be elected by the Parish Meeting for a period of 4 years from among all grown-up parishioners. They shall be elected at the same election as the parish councillors.
Every two years half the number of the members of the County Meeting shall be re-elected.
The County Meeting shall be empowered to make by-laws within the limits of its autonomy.
The management of the county affairs shall be conducted according to the established principles of progressive community co- operation by the County Administration Committee presided over by a president called zupan.
This committee and its president shall be elected by the County Meeting.

c) Parish Meeting, Parish Council.

Parish Meeting shall consist of all grown-up parishioners of unblemished character. It shall assemble, discuss and conduct business on the principles of progressive community co-operation. The Parish Meeting shall elect the parish councillors whose president shall be called mayor (nacelnik).
It shall have the power fo making by-laws within the limits of its autonomy.

II. INTERNAL ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUBLIC

1. EXERCISE OF THE NATIONAL SELF-GOVERNMENT.

The whole existing political administration shall be abolished, and the division of the country into political administrative parishes, political administrative districts and political administrative counties shall disappear.

The existing, purely political, administration, largely supported by the police force, shall be substituted by the administration on economical and sanitary principles.

a.) The Peasant’s Household or Home.

The fundamental unit of this administration shall be the peasant’s household or home i. e. every farm (homestead) as the primary wealth-producing and educational unit bearing the general national characteristics.
These national characteristics shall mainly depend on the number of the members of a farmer’s family and each representative (male or female) of such a farmer’s family or farmer’s household a respectively shall be given, under a the Economic Parishes Act, as many votes in the parish as there are persons in his family.
The legal titles and position of town-residing families and particularly of the working class families as well as of all families having no home (homestead) of their own shall be formulated by a special Act.

b) Economic Parish.

The primary territorial unit of the whole of this administration shall be the economic parish which shall, as a rule, consist of every village by itself, but where people want it or circumstances require it, it shall consist of several small villages or hamlets, principally of such only as are within the limit of a landed property community or a parish forming at present one tax-collecting unit. A special Economic Parishes Autonomy Act shall be passed on the principles of the general and special peasant progressive community co-operation.
The extent of the sphere of the parish autonomy shall be the same as that of the county, and shall be limited only by actual ability of exercising it. The economic parish as a member of a county shall perform only those duties the performance of which it has voluntarily engaged, and it is only through this function that it shall be considered as an organ of the county.
To meet the expenses incurred by its own sphere of activity the parish shall possess quite independent means obtained by levying of parish rates (sources of taxation and amount of rates to be fixed by the parish council) e. g. tobacco-growing, distilling alcoholic drinks and other similar taxes not imposed by the state itself.

c) County

Counties are formed by the voluntary association of economic parishes. They form organizations of a wider area and simultaneously of a higher degree of wealth-production, education and national health. Their sphere of action shall be laid down by a special County Organization Act.
Under this act the manner of Association of economic parishes into permanent county areas shall be enacted. All economic parishes within the boundaries of the existing political districts shall without delay join to form temporary counties, and the management of their affairs shall remain in the hands of the existing county and district qualified civil service staffs.
Under a special County Self- Government Act the county shall retain its independence in all matters except those belonging to the state sphere of action, such being: country finance, national defense, judiciary (with a special organization of its own), schools, from the National School for General Instruction upwards, as well as all matters bearing upon the production of wealth, means of communication and public health inasmuch as the last mentioned three relate to the whole country or fall within the sphere of international agreements and obligations respectively.
The government of the country cannot make the county its organ in any sphere of its activities, but it may attach to the county civil service staff special government expert officers whose duty shall be to perform functions having reference to matters concerning the whole state.
To meet the expenses incurred by the management of affairs within its own sphere of activity the county shall possess independent financial means of its own.
Both the economic parish and the county shall be autonomous (self-governing) in the fullest sense of these words. These words mean that both the parish and the county shall have the power, with in the limits of the law, to make their own by-laws with binding legal power, and that they shall not be interfered with either by the President of the Republic or the government of the country.
A special Poor Parishes and Counties Grants Act shall lay down the manner of granting poor parishes and counties of the whole republic financial aid for all those needs which are of common national interest.
The parish by-laws shall be made by the Parish Meeting and those of the county by the County Meeting. These by-laws shall be submitted to the national Government with the only purpose of having them examined as to their keeping within the limits of the Parish and County Autonomy Act.
If the national Government be of opinion that these limits have been exceeded, the by-laws shall at once be presented to the Board of Seven who shall have to decide the matter at issue within a month at the latest. If the said Board does not decide it within that period, the Government shall return the by-laws to the parish or county respectively provided with the only remark that they have been examined. In no case shall the by-laws remain with the Government longer than a month.

d) Municipal Self-Government.

The title of Royal Free Town shall be abolished.
The economic parishes shall in future not be allowed to unite with urban districts, whereas the former rural administrative parishes and the individual urban districts belonging to the same tax-collecting areas and having a predominant peasant population shall be allowed under Economic Parishes Act to separate from urban districts and join the economic counties.
Under a special Urban Districts Self-Government Act towns shall be given autonomy on the same scale as economic counties so that the working classes, the tradespeople and the remaining wealth- producing town population shall actually have in their hands the decision in all matters of town government through the town-council elected on the principle of the universal secret equal suffrage.

2. EXERCISE OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT.

National affairs shall be administered by the President of the Republic together with the National Government.

a) National Affairs.

The principal national affairs are:

1) Administration of justice.
2) Production of Wealth of the Nation.
3) National Education and Instruction.
4) National Health.
5) National Defense.
6) Permanent Relations with other Nations and States.
7) State Finance.

A minister shall be entrusted with the management of each of these departments. He must possess adequate qualification necessary for the efficient working of his department. He may be, but need not be a member of the National Assembly. He shall conduct business with the help of other specialty qualified officers (deputy ministers) each of whom shall be the head of a special ministry sub-department.
The specially qualified officers at the head of various ministry sub-departments shall be called deputy ministers. They shall perform their work according to the instructions received from the minister and under the control of specially delegated Assembly Commissioners chosen from among the representatives.
A special Government, Organization Act shall lay down the controlling duties of the Controlling Assembly Commissioners and the duties of the deputy ministers.

b) The President of the Republic (Ban.)

At the head of the administration of National Affairs shall be the president of the Republic, called also Ban. He shall be elected for a period of 4 years by a plebiscite to be held on the first Sunday of May and shall enter upon his office on the 1-st of July of the same year.
Any person entitled to be elected a representative shall also be eligible for the president, if nominated by 60,000 electors or by that party of the Assembly which has received that number of votes at last election. The two vice- presidents shall also be chosen at the same election.
In case of the president’s death, resignation, absence or inability (indisposition or otherwise) the first vice-president shall act as his substitute during his absence or till the end of the period for which he has been elected. The second vice-president shall act as the substitute of the first vice- president in the same way in all above mentioned cases.
As president elect and vice- presidents elect respectively shall be considered those candidates for whom the largest number of electors has voted. The president cannot be simultaneously a representative nor can the vice- presidents act as representatives so long as they are performing the duties of a vice president.
The official residence of the president shall be the city of Zagreb.
The president is the representative of the Republic and the head of the National Government, the members of which he alone shall be authorized to appoint and remove. He shall choose the various members of the Government from among the representatives of the National Assembly and other citizens.
The National Government shall administer all national affairs under the political responsibility of the president, and the president shall be responsible for his policy only to the nation.
The Nation as well as the Assembly can, the former by a petition with 100,000 original signatures registered within a month, the latter by means of a resolution carried by two thirds of all its members, demand the president’s resignation.
On the 4th Sunday after the Board of Seven have found that the petition submitted has been properly signed or 4 weeks after the resolution demanding the president’s resignation has been passed by the Assembly, a plebiscite using the formula: “the president so and so has to resign” or “has not to resign” shall be held.
If the plebiscite decides for the president’s resignation, not only the president but also both the vice-presidents shall resign. The Assembly shall, if sitting, without delay, with a simple majority and within 24 hours after the plebiscite at the latest, and, if not sitting, within 8 days, elect the deputy president.
On the 4th Sunday after the deputy president’s election a general election shall take place with the purpose of electing the new president. If between the deputy president’s election and the first Sunday of May there should happen to be an interval of only 6 months or less, the said extraordinary president’s election shall not take place, but the president who had been newly elected at an ordinary election shall enter upon his office as soon as the Board of Seven have declared him elected. The president who has been elected at an extraordinary election shall also immediately enter upon his office.
A special Presidential Election Act shall be passed upon presidential election, on the president’s entering upon office, and on every change in the presidency of the Republic.

c) Relations to other Nations and States.

The Republic of Croatia will never use secret diplomacy in international affairs and will not recognize any secret international treaties.
The Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia is a living member of the great human community which is slowly but surely undergoing the transformation into a great world federative republic.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs shall have no so-called diplomatists. Abroad, the Republic, of Croatia as an organization of both peculiarly Croatian and general human wealth-producing and cultural elements shall have only her consuls whose duty shall be to watch her commercial and cultural interests. Their main care shall be to look after life, health and well-being of her citizens abroad.

d) Defence and Safety of Home and Country.

There shall be no Universal Military standing army training Duty in the Republic. It shall be substituted by an universal national working duty system including the general obligation of home and country defence. Every person living within the territory of the republic shall be required for a period of 6 months to do work for the republic as specified by the Universal Working Duty Act.
For the most part of this period, but at least for 4 months, every person shall have to do work of public utility such as building roads, hydraulic and drainage work, etc., tending to the raising of the productivity of soil and other kinds of similar public work with the purpose of cutting down national expenditure as much as possible by enabling the Government to dispense with paid work.
Less time, but no more than two months, of this period shall be employed on all kinds of physical exercise and on the special t training for the defence of Home and Country (militia). If any special training should require more time, the fittest men shall, if necessary, be chosen, who shall then devote even full 6 months to that training.
The Universal National Working Duty can be imposed on women only by a plebiscite which shall be held as soon as demanded by a petition of 30,000 grown-up inhabitants of the Republic, but women shall be employed only near their homes, and in such a manner that neither their honour nor health shall suffer in any way.
Everybody’s duty to defend his home and country shall last to his death.
With the national defence shall be combined also the organization of a special civil force for the maintenance of public order. The training required for the commanders of this civil force as well as the headquarters of the respective militia districts shall be fixed by a special Act. The area of this militia districts shall correspond to that of jurisdictional and tax-collecting districts.

e) State Finance.

Progressive income-tax as the principal state tax shall be imposed by a special Act. Every year, during the budget debate, the National Assembly shall fix the amount of the income-tax based on the assessment of the tax-payers, proportionally to their income, according to the progressive principle i. e. the larger the income the larger the percentage of the income-tax.
The amount of the income absolutely necessary for a person’s subsistence shall be fixed by law and shall not be taxed with more than 1 per cent.
On the income-tax no rates shall be levied.
Revenue-taxes can be imposed only by the National Assembly, but county and parish rates respectively only by the county and parish meeting respectively.
No one can be exempted from taxation.
Neither taxes nor any kinds of rates shall be imposed on the most necessary means of supporting life such as bread and flour, salt, milk, kerosine.
No state, county or parish moneys shall be expended unless their expenditure has been provided for by the budget, the county, or parish estimates respectively.
The annual budget shall be debated and voted upon by the National Assembly, and shall remain in force only a calendar year.
The National Government shall present to the National Assembly the budget for the coming year together with the statement of income and outgoings for the previous year. The National Assembly shall have no power to raise the various items of expenditures as forecasted in the estimates, but it shall have the power to cut them down or even to strike them off. If there should happen to be any savings, the Assembly alone shall be authorized to decide what use should be made of them.
The state, county and parish estimates respectively shall always be debated and voted upon for the coming financial year. If the state, county or parish estimates respectively for the coming year have not been voted for, nobody shall be obliged to pay those state taxes, and county or parish rates respectively which have not yet been voted for by the National Assembly, the County and the Parish Councils, so long as the said estimates lack the sanction of these bodies. Any demand for payment of such taxes and rates by the authorities or even unauthorized enforcement of such payments shall be punished as an abuse of official authority.
The exclusive right (monopoly) to sell certain articles of general consumption shall be reserved to, and shall be exercised only by, the Republic.
Under the Auditors’ Act a special Government Audit Department shall be established with the purpose of auditing all State accounts.
Under the Auditors’ Independence, Qualification and Responsibility Act the independence competence and responsibility before the Board of Seven of the whole audit official staff shall be safeguarded.
The duties of the Audit Department shall be to examine and correct the state, county and parish estimates in the manner specified by a special act and authorize the appropriation of state, county and parish moneys granted. It shall further watch the keeping of expenditure within the limits of the budget. It shall moreover point out those items of county and parish expenditure which have exceeded the amount by the county and parish estimates, and it shall finally close the State accounts.
The Audit Department shall present the annual budget financial statement with a report and a freely expressed comment thereon, through the president of the Republic to the National Assembly for the final examination and sanction within reasonable time to enable the National Government to present to the Assembly the Financial Statement for the past year simultaneously with the budget for the coming year.
For each district forming a tax-collecting area the Republic shall establish a tax-collecting office. The area of these districts shall coincide with that of jurisdictional and militia district. They shall be smaller than the existing administrative districts, but larger than the existing administrative parishes, the aim of the Republic being to facilitate the collection of taxes by tax-collecting offices in all the parishes of their area.

3. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.

Sentences shall be pronounced in the name of justice and law.
Courts of justice can be established and abolished only by law.
Judges shall be independent. They can be neither removed to another place, nor pensioned off before the completion of their 65th year, nor dismissed against their own will unless a competent judgement has been pronounced against them for bad behavior.
After the completion of his 65th year every judge must retire with a pension.
Vacancies on the staff of judges of Low Courts shall be filled on the competitive system, the High Court giving preference in appointments to those competitors who have been longest in the possession of a qualifying examination certificate. Judges for the Court of Appeal and the Board of Seven shall be chosen by the members of these courts themselves among the whole body of judges and barristers of the country.
The first judges of all courts to be appointed shall be nominated by the president of the republic himself. Judges shall not be classed according to their salaries which shall be increased gradually and automatically after a certain number of years to be fixed by law, according to the length of service.
One hundred of grown-up citizens (male or female) of unblemished character earning their own livelihood, and at least 30 years old can by a petition signed by their own hands demand from the Board of Seven that an official enquiry should be instituted against a judge. Such an enquiry shall commence at once and shall be terminated within a month at the latest by a judgement pronounced jointly by the court and the jury.
The area to be served by the lowest courts shall be determined by a special law. These areas shall be called jurisdictional districts and coincide with the tax collecting and militia districts respectively.

III. Final Organization Work of the Neutral Peasant Republic of Croatia.

Acts by which the provisions of the Constitution are carried out and supplemented.
All Acts mention of which is made in this Constitution shall form an integral whole together with the Constitution. They are to be made by the Assembly during its first ordinary session or during the summer extraordinary session of the same year, as the case may be.

APPENDIX

Resolutions of the Croatian Representative Body, Returned at General Election on March 18, 1923, Passed in its First Plenary Sitting, Held at Zagreb, The Capital City of Croatia, on March 25, 1923.
The Representative Body of the Croatian Nation returned at the general election hold on the territory of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on the March 18, 1923., i. e., the overwhelming majority of the total number of representatives elected within the indisputable territory of the Croatian Nation (Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia), to wit, 61 out of 83, and a minority of representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina – 9 out of 48 – this minority being supported for the first time in the Bosnian history by both Mussulman and Catholic Croats united in the great movement for a new type of government based on social justice, which movement is as early as now backed by the majority of Bosnian population – passed in its first plenary sitting of the March 25, 1923, held at Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, the resolutions as follows:

I

The Croatian Representative Body accepts, agrees to, and approves of, all declarations, resolutions, policies and, in the main, all proceedings of the late Representative Body returned at the elections of Nov. 28, 1920. Accordingly, this Representative Body regards itself as the sole legal and legitimate successor of the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) of Zagreb, which de jure never has discontinued to exist, since it could be neither dissolved nor abolished by any act not emanating from the Constituent Assembly of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, but only by passage of a resolution or act voted upon by the said Constituent Assembly and adopted by a qualified majority of the said Assembly under exclusion of any outvoting, these conditions being required by the resolution of the Croatian Parliament passed on October 29, 1918, but which resolution has been infringed upon by the Belgrade men in power.
This Representative Body regards itself, as well as the Representative Body elected in 1920 regarded itself, as Parliament (Sabor) of the Croatian Nation. In omitting, however, a formal installation as parliament it does so only to ward off the danger of civil or internal war, which, from the pacifist and humanitarian standpoint of this Representative Body, would be a crime and an evil even more atrocious than an international war.

II

The foundations of the policy of this Representative Body shall remain:

1) Interpreting, respecting, and enforcing the will of the Croatian people;
2) Full and unlimited right of national self-determination;
3) Practical pacifism and real humanitarianism, which for our country can be secured only through its organization and recognition as a neutral peasant republic.

III

A just and durable agreement between the Croatian Nation and the Serbian Nation shall constitute, as well as it did heretofore, one of the chief tasks of the policies of the Croatian Representative Body.
This Representative Body considers the humanitarian and republican program of the Croatian people as the first and foremost aim to be realized. It is this very aim towards which all efforts shall be directed and on which depends the solution of the question, whether or not a delegation of Croatian representatives shall be sent to Belgrade.

IV

The Croatian Representative Body regards the actual common international frontiers of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as a territorial adjustment most suitable to the present political conditions in Europe, this being so both from the Croatian national point of view and from the European point of view.
It is so from the Croatian point of view, because the Croatian people have been united within the common frontiers of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as never before in their history, and more especially so, because those common frontiers embrace now, after centuries of separation, the whole incontrovertible territory of the Croatian Nation (Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia), whose more than millennial continuity as a sovereign and more or less independent state has never been interrupted from 852 AD to October 29, 1918, on which day the Croatian Parliament in Zagreb proclaimed Croatia (Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia) a fully independent state. This full independence of the Croatian state did immediately take effect in the practical exercise of this independence under recognition by the kingdom of Serbia, after which Croatia effected the mutual association with Bosnia, Herzegovina, Slovenia, Batchka, Banat, Barania into a federative republic with its center in Zagreb, which republic was officially styled “The state of the National Council of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs” and was in a solemn way recognized by the kingdom of Serbia under a special treaty agreed upon, and signed, at Geneva, November 9, 1918, by the Serbian government (Nikola Pashich) and representatives of all Serbian parliamentary parties on the Serbian part, and by Dr. Koroshetz and Dr. Trumbich on the part of the National Council of Zagreb.
Furthermore, this actual community of international frontiers among the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes is a question of European and universal interest, because every change of these common frontiers – and particularly a violent one – would be able to provoke such conflicts and, on the part of certain neighbors, such pretensions as would endanger European and even world peace.

V

The Croatian Representative Body regards as null and void and as non- binding upon the Croatian Nation, and consequently, lacking any legal and moral value, all laws, regulations, ordinances and other acts issued or imposed by the government of Belgrade as far as they affect the indisputable national territory of Croatia, because all these laws, rules, regulations and acts have been made without any previous consultation of, or approbation by, the Croatian Parliament; have been made contrary to the clearly expressed will, and in spite of reiterated protests, and without any concurrence, of the Croatian Representative Body elected in 1920; finally, because the enforcement of these laws, rules, regulations and decrees is tolerated, and the Belgrade men of power are obeyed, by the Croatian people only as far as the latter are forced to do so under the pressure of threats of armed force or under the real application of that force.
In particular, this Representative Body, resuming the resolutions of the late Representative Body returned in November, 1920, declares and proclaims as null and void, and without any binding force on Croatia (Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia) both all Belgrade acts passed on loans and all acts, rules, regulations and decisions through which the Belgrade men in power have aimed and still are aiming to deprive Croatia of her national and state property, and at settling the great economical and social problems on lines contrary both to the centennially established principles of peasant freehold and to the existing landed property conditions, over which the political authorities, and still much less the agents of the Ministry of Police, have no legal power, this especially being so of the important problem of agrarian reform.

VI

This Representative Body considers, as did the late Representative Body, the whole administration of the Belgrade government over Croatia as a mere usurpation, against which a continuous resistance is practiced both by the Croatian people as a whole and by the overwhelming majority of the Croats as individual citizens, so that this usurpation is incapable of establishing any tolerable, much less settled, political and economical conditions. If the innumerable acts of violence, lawlessness and ordinary crimes perpetrated by the agents of Belgrade authorities, particularly the barbarous every day bastinado of citizens, civilians and soldiers, the cruel torturing in all, and in particular in military prisons, have caused no revolution, civil war, and foreign intervention this fact is to be ascribed only and solely to the high standard of general consciousness of Croatian people and to the extraordinary strength of their political organization able both to keep the Belgrade oppression and violence within certain limits and to maintain the general conviction that such a political ability and organization accompanied by the triumphant electoral results of March 18, 1923, will finally awaken such an interest of the public opinion of European nations and more especially the attention of the League of Nations all to inspire the Belgrade men of power with the respect for the self-determination of the Croatian people, unless their love for justice and a correct understanding of interests common to both peoples, Croatian and Serbian, are not strong enough to incline them to that respect.

VII

The Croatian Representative Body in concordance with the new international public law regards itself fully equal to every parliament. In the event of failure of all attempts to come to a just agreement with the Serbian people, the condition of which agreement is that the Croatian political and national equality with the Serbian political and national individuality shall be recognized, this Representative Body will apply for support to all European and other parliaments, particularly to the congress of the United States of America, which in its courses of action is not bound by those regards which to an extent restrict European parliaments and which in its highly favorable position may, prior to any other, take into consideration the most important fact that the Croatian people in their claim to independence are not only perfectly unanimous, but also possess all cultural, social, economical and political prerequisites for actual exercise of their sovereignty, so that they are in no need of any military, financial or any other foreign help whatsoever, and want only a purely moral support.
An appeal from such an authority will probably persuade the Belgrade government that now, after the world war, and almost in the very center of Europe, it may not by most brutal and most violent methods of the darkest periods of the Middle Ages continue to carry out a regime of oppression and plunder over the whole Croatian Nation under the mendacious plea of the existence of one tri-named nation of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Letters of Protests

American intellectuals organized by Roger N. Baldwin, Chairman of the International Committee for Political Prisoners, sent the following letter to the Yugoslav representative in Washington on November 24, 1933.

     Dr. Leonide Pitamic,

     Minister of Yugoslavia,

     Washington, D.C.

     Sir:

     For some years past dispatches in the American and foreign press have indicated that political prisoners in Yugoslavia are suffering inhuman treatment. This committee has noted the reports and has on occasion intervened in behalf of some particular prisoner as have many associations and individuals throughout the world interested in checking persecution for political opinions and activities.

     More recently, we have obtained documentary material form one of our associates, Louis Adamic, and American writer of Yugoslav birth, lately returned from a year’s stay in his native land as a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation. Mr. Adamic’s standing as a writer of integrity and accuracy is above question. We have substantiated to our satisfaction the genuineness of the material he has brought corroborating previous information.

     In the light of these reports, and Mr. Adamic’s specific information, we desire to protest, through you, to your government against the whole system of political persecution which marks the regime in Yugoslavia today and particularly against the incredible tortures inflicted on political prisoners under that system. These reports involve authentically reported tortures at police headquarters in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Skoplye, Novi Sad and other cities, as well as in various state penitentiaries. They affect the various groups opposed to the policies of the present government: the Croat, Slovene, Moslem, and Macedonian nationalists; the Socialists, Agrarians, and Communists.

     These reports make it evident beyond question that scores if not hundreds of these prisoners are beaten and tortured before being brought to trial. The records show about 120 known cases of persons either directly killed or so tortured that they died. Such cruel and revolting methods employed during the so-called examination of prisoners are described as sticking needles under prisoners’ fingernails, placing live coals between armpits and body, prolonged beating on the soles of the feet, driving sharp instruments into the heels and perpetrating outrages upon sexual organs. These methods are used in attempts to force confessions incriminating themselves and other men and women active in opposition movements.

     But the tortures described are not confined to the period of preliminary examination. They continue after commitment to prison. Even those prisoners convicted of such trivial offenses as distributing opposition literature or belonging to opposition groups are systematically beaten and starved. Some are reliably reported as having been inoculated with disease germs, others have had iron bands clamped around their heads for months at a time. Conditions in the prisons are reported to be so inhuman that many prisoners must sleep on the bare floors of their unheated and wet cells. Against these unbearable conditions 248 men and women in the Sremska Mitrovica Prison are now said to be on a mass hunger strike.

     Solitary confinement of political prisoners and for long periods of time is another method against which we direct our protest. A reliable report come to us that Dr. Yovanovitch, former professor at Belgrade University, a well know political economist and leader of the Yugoslav Peasant Movement, is, or until very recently, was for several months in solitary confinement. We are advised, too, that Dr. V. Machek, leader of Croat Peasant Party, in serious ill health, is incarcerated under unsanitary conditions which may lead to his death.

     We learn, too, that scores of prisoners particularly among the intellectuals, are exiled to the malaria-infested regions of Macedonia where they are required to report to the local police every few hours day and night.

     Your government must be aware that knowledge of brutalities such as these arouses the indignation of the civilized world. In the name of a section of the American public opposed to such severity against political opponents, we protest against the policies and methods of your government. So long as 2100 opponents remain in prison under conditions such as these they are a standing indictment of the claims of your government to recognition by the civilized world.

     While we are aware that condition in prisons in our own country are not above reproach, that political persecutions sometimes take place here as elsewhere, we are just as quick to condemn them here. But of all the reports which have come to us in recent years these from Yugoslavia are among the most appalling and barbarous.

      We are, Sir,

     Very truly yours,

     For the Committee: Roger N. Baldwin, Chairman.

     Authorized Signatures William Allen White, Author, Editor-Publisher of Emporia (Kansas) Gazette

     Theodore Dreiser, Novelist, Poet, Dramatist; New York

     Arthur Garfield Hays, Author, Lawyer; New York

     Oswald Garrison Villard, Editor, Author; New York

     Mary Austin, Author; New Mexico

     Sherwood Anderson, Novelist, Poet; New York

     John Dos Passos, Novelist, Dramatist; New York

     Norman Thomas, Author, Political and Civic Leader; New York

     Harry Elmer Barnes, Historian, Publicist; New York

     W. E. Woodward, Novelist, Biographer; New York

     Burton Rascoe, Author, Critic; New York

     Ernest Boyd, Author, Critic, Editor; New York

     Kyle Crichton, Author, Editor; New York

     Edmund Wilson, Author, Critic; New York

     Upton Sinclair, Novelist, etc.; Los Angeles

     Bruce Bliven, Author, Editor; New York

     George Soule, Author, Editor; New York

     Louis B. Boudin, Author, Historian, Lawyer; New York

     Benjamin Stolberg, Author, Critic; New York

     Mrs. Paxton Hibben, Author, widow of close personal friend of late King Peter of Yugoslavia

     John Haynes Holmes, Minister, Publicist, Civic Leader; New York

     Erskine Caldwell, Novelist; Maine

     Horace Gregory, Poet, Critic; New York

     Grace Lumpkin, Novelist; New York

     Clifton Fadiman, Critic, Editor; New York

     Richard L. Simon, Publisher; New York

     Eliot White, Minister; New Jersey

     Lenore G. Marshall, Editor; New York

     Carleton Beals, Writer; New York

     Newton Arvin, Critic, Professor; Northampton, Massachusetts

     George Leighton, Author, Editor; New York

     Carey McWilliams, Author, Critic, Lawyer; Los Angeles

     V.F.Calverton, Author, Editor, Critic; New York

     Alfred M. Bingham, Editor; New York

     James Weldon Johnson, Author, Poet; Connecticut

     Margaret Reese, Social Worker; New York

     Nels Anderson, Sociologist; Columbia University

     Edward J. Allen, Economist; Columbia University

     Florence L. Voorhis, Librarian; Seth Low Jr. College

     John M. Brewster, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College

     Paul C. Clifford, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College

     Matthew N. Chappell, Professor; Seth Low Jr. College

     

     Einstein Accuses Yugoslavian Rulers in Savant’s Murder

     The following article concerning the assassination of Dr. Milan Suffly appeared in the New York Times on May 6, 1931.


     Charges the Slaying of Sufflay, Noted Croatian Leader, Was Inspired by Government. Links King to Terrorism

     Protests With Heinrich Mann Virtually Lays Parliament Killing Monarch

     Increase in Cruelty Seen

     League for Rights of Man Is Urged to Take Action Against “Horrible Brutality” of Belgrade Regime.

     

     Berlin, May 5.-Accusing the Yugoslav Government of the murder of a Croatian, Professor Milan Sufflay, who was struck down in the streets of Agram (Zagreb) on Feb. 18, Professor Albert Einstein and the novelist Heinrich Mann, the brother of Thomas Mann, have sent a joint letter to the international headquarters in Paris urging a protest against the “horrible brutality which is being practiced upon the Croatian people.” The letter also was signed by the German headquarters of the league.

     The Paris headquarters, upon receipt of the communication, immediately undertook steps toward an effective protest to Belgrade.

     “As the professor was walking home on the fatal day he was attacked from behind with an iron rod, according to our information, and felled,” the letter of protest reads. “On the next day, he died and he was buried on the twenty-second beside other Croatians.”

     Professor Sufflay was noted for a long list of scientific books, the letter continues.

     “Yet Agram newspapers were not allowed to report his activities, and the news of his death was suppressed,” the protest goes on. “Condolence telegrams were not delivered. The time of the funeral was not allowed to be made public and the raising of the mourning flag on the university was forbidden. The authorities went so far as to expel those school children who took part in the funeral and to remove wreaths which were bound with the Croatian national colors from the grave.

     “The name of the murder was known. It was Nikola Jukitsh. His organization (Young Yugoslavia) likewise is known. It was even known that arrangements for the murder had been worked out on the night of the eleventh in the home of the military commandment of the city, General Beli Markowitsch, at a session in which members of the Young Yugoslavia organization, Brkitsh, Godler, Martschetz and the murderer Jukitsh, took part. Yet the Agram police officially stated the next day that the name of the murderer was not known.

     Turning to the events leading up to the murder, Professor Einstein and the other signers charged that when the King visited the Croatian capital in January numerous leading Croats received letters, signed “For the King and Country,” in which their lives and those of their families were threatened if they uttered any protest while the King was there. Professor Sufflay received one of those letters, it is charged.

     “The name of these terrorist organization was Young Yugoslavia, the protest continued. “The King, in an address to the organization, told how the Croatian representatives to the Parliament had been put out of the way at his request. An example of this was the shooting of a Croatian leader on the floor of the House on June 20, 1928.”

     Following the King’s visit the murder of political and intellectual leaders of the Croatians was openly demanded in the government press, says the letter.

     “The official organ, Nascha Sloga, in Suschak, on Feb.18 wrote,’Skulls will be spilt.’ The same evening Professor Sufflay was struck down,” the letter says.

     In January the delegates to the Croatian National Assembly sent a memorandum to Geneva calling attention to the situation in Croatia.

     “The facts show that the cruelty and the brutality practiced upon the Croatians only increases,” Professor Einstein’s letter says. “In view of this frightful situation, we urge the International League for the Rights of Man to do everything possible to suppress this unrestrained rule of might which prevails in Croatia.

     “Murder as a political weapon must not be tolerated and political murderers must not be made national heroes. The league should muster all possible aid to protect this small, peaceful and highly civilized people.”

     Sufflay a History Professor

     Professor Milan Sufflay, who was murdered in Agram (Zagreb) on Feb.18, had been a Professor of History at Zagreb University for ten years. He had written many works on the history of Albania. In 1920, because of his connection with Croat extremists, he was sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment for lese-majeste and high treason. On his release he resumed his political activities.

     Protest against the Yugoslav dictatorship of King Alexander have been frequent since the murder of Professor Sufflay and the many “suicides” of Croats and Macedonians in the prisons of Belgrade and Zagreb.

     Three Serbs were arrested in Vienna recently who were alleged to have been sent there on a murder mission with the knowledge of the Zagreb Chief of Police.

     The bitter feeling in Yugoslavia has resulted in numerous bombings and assassinations.

     When King Alexander proclaimed the dictatorship two years ago his chief problem was the deadlock caused by the refusal of Croatia to be dominated by a parliamentary government recruited largely from extreme Serbian sources.

Recollections of Stalin’s Labor Camps

Stjepan Sego

      Stjepan Sego (1913-1990), a Croat from Herzegovina, was captured by the Soviet troops in Hungary in 1948 and was taken to the Soviet Union where he spent eight years in labor camps. Thanks to Khrushchev’s destalinization policy, he was freed in 1956, came to the United States, and lived in Chicago till he died in 1990. We bring here the English translation of a text the late Stipe Sego wrote in Croatian about his experiences in the Soviet prison camps.

     After long investigation, hearings, and torture in Hungarian prisons, I, and the others, was to be sent to Russia.

     We arrived at the Hungarian border. It was wrenching to look out from the train and to see the Hungarians being torn from their homeland, and the same was with Austrians. We departed on the road to the unknown. The train moved below the Carpathian Mountains toward Lvov. We were removed from the train and transferred to a huge camp. I don’t know its capacity, but the number of its internees was nonetheless gross. The usual method of counting by barracks was not employed, but rather, the count was by “corps.” I know of six such corps, but, undoubtedly, there were more.

     We were in Ukraine, which, during the war, was well organized with the aim of establishing a free and independent Ukraine. Their beloved leader was Stepan Bandera. Since the Germans, in their blindness, were opposed to an independent Ukraine, Bandera worked against them. Hitler ordered him captured and placed General Meljnik in his place, thus dividing the Ukrainian forces.

     The “Banderites” were a powerful group and were prepared. They spread their organization deeply throughout eastern Ukraine which was under Soviet control. When the war ended, they continued their battle deep in the woods. Since the terrain was favorable to guerrilla warfare, they were able to maintain themselves for a long time. The Soviets had their hands full well into l948. Real battles took place. The Soviets wanted to exterminate them at all costs. Even the slightest hint that a village had any contact with the “Banderites” was cause for it to be destroyed without mercy.

     Those residents not killed in such raids were summarily sent to Siberia. That rule applied to all including mothers with small children, as well as old men and women. We found such persons in the camp to be under the most extreme conditions.

     So that their deportation might be covered by some element of “law,” it was always listed under some sort of “judgment” which carried a penalty, almost consistently, of some 25 years imprisonment. Those fortunate souls to whom no wrong other than that they were from such Ukrainian villages could be attributed, were sentenced up to 5 years and were retained in those camps. All others were sent on the icy road to Siberia.

     Hunger, terrible hunger, reigned in the camp we were in. All that one possessed was given up for a bit of bread. The vast majority, unfortunately, had nothing to give. That horrid camp was my first encounter with the “Russian [socialist] heaven.”

     We found ourselves in this camp for 14 days before our transport moved forward…. Cold and hungry, packed like sardines, our boxcars rolled on for a full two weeks. Ultimately, they allowed us to exit the cars. Half of us were unable to even stand upright. Those who were able to move were taken to another camp. The barracks were empty. There was but one stove in the very center of the barracks. The barracks were infested with bugs eager to get their share of the newly arrived victims.

     Inta was the name of the place we arrived at. That is the name of the place and the province it is part of. Its geographic area is about that of France. Two additional provinces lie before us and the North Sea, namely, Yarkuta and Varkuta. These lie in the sub-polar region.

     When the weather is clear, one can see the Urals. Tundra surrounds us all about. No inhabitants other than prisoner can be found in the regions mentioned. Only the camp’s personnel are free. They founded little villages for themselves and erected schools for their children.

     All three provinces are situated in a coal-rich basin. The prisoners work the mines. The quality of the coal produced is poor. It is said to be too “young,” and, as declared by the experts, would need at least another million years to “ripen.” Nonetheless, it is mined and shipped across Russia.

     The area is that of the Tundra and has no forests. Dwarfed shrubs only are to be found. The climate is bitter cold and is often as cold as minus 50 C.

     Inasmuch as the region is near the Pole, the days are six months in length and the nights as well. Thunder is not heard, nor is there any rain, except occasionally. The Northern Lights are quite common.

     The camp we are situated in is only temporary. The Province has 13 coal mines and each mine has its own camp, the exception being if two mines are in close proximity. One camp then serves both mines. The food at this camp was a bit better and we seemed to improve our health somewhat.

     The residents of our camp were from all corners of the world — Americans, Japanese, Chinese, and others. They were punished for ostensibly spying. A “fertile” source of prisoners for the Russians was Vienna, and, in a similar fashion, Berlin.

     A common destiny haunts all those in the far North, a destiny none of them even dreamed of. We all underwent a physical exam while interred in the camp. We were divided into three groups. The first was to work under ground. The second worked outside, while the third, including those who are sick, worked as servants to the camp.

     After five weeks, I was sent to a mining camp of some five thousand internees. The very first days were quite difficult since I knew no one.

     The camp was quite extensive and was well fortified. Escape from the camp is impossible, and, ultimately, it would have been futile. It was surrounded by barbed wire four meters wide by three meters high. Watch towers with klieg lights lay behind the fence for the guards. Between the rows of barbed wire trained dogs roamed.

     The mine was about a kilometer distant from the camp. The road leading to the mine was secured in the same manner as the camp. It was, in fact, a corridor through barbed wire.

     I was horrified each morning as I watched the night shift returning. They were as black as the coal they mined. They had no place to wash themselves, the excuse being that the lavatories were not yet completed. Dirty, they consumed their thin soup, and half dead from exhaustion, went to sleep.

     By nationality, one fourth of the prisoners were Russian, one fourth prisoners from western Ukraine, a fourth from the Baltic peoples (Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania), and the final fourth was made of those of us who were from a mixture of peoples outside the borders of the Soviet Union.

     It is said that some 30 to 40 million prisoners were to be found in Soviet camps. Regions under German occupation were especially hit supposedly because they were “collaborators” with the Germans.

     I was told by present inmates of the camp that conditions were notably better than those directly after the war. At that time, prisoners were sent there to build a railroad to be used to transport the coal which was to be mined. They were simply transported to the site and under armed guard were made to erect the very barbed wire fence meant to keep them in. They lived with the sky as their roof, without barracks or any protection from the elements. It is no surprise that few were able to survive the ordeal. This is why the claim is made that beneath each railroad tie a human skeleton can be found.

     To my good fortune, I discovered a Ukrainian in the camp who had lived in Croatia. He was my helper and my protection in my most difficult moments. May God reward him!

     I was especially pleased that I could finally speak with someone, especially in my own Croatian tongue.

     The prisoners were separated into work brigades. Each brigade had its “strukach” which in Russian meant its “denunciation,” or, as we might say in Croatian, its “cancer.” Even though such a person is never formally known, somehow one always intuited who it was.

     Every prisoner was given a number worn on his back. The numbers were large enough to be easily seen at a distance.

     Should a prisoner utter a word of criticism against the regime, or commit some sort of infraction, the “strukach” would remember his number and the prisoner would be called in the next day for his punishment. The most heavy punishment was the “kaiser.’ That was a room so tiny that a person could not even lie down. The prisoner is left with his own clothes, to the extent he has them, and is made to spend the time in the bitter cold. He is given 300 grams of bread and water each day, and a meal every third day.

     Just as everything in the communist system is done by plan, so too there is a “plan” for everything in the camp. Each mine has its “rules,” that is, how much coal is to be extracted. If it fails to meet its quota, the prisoners are punished, and if the mine exceeds its quota, the managers receive a “premium.”

     A quota of l00% was established. Food was distributed from 5 large cauldrons on the basis of that percentage. If the quota was met, namely, l00%, then we received hot water with a few remnants of beans. If we exceeded our quota, namely 110%, then the second cauldron was used giving us a bit more beans in the hot water. In both cases we ended up hungry. If we aimed for more production, the stomach was somewhat fuller, while at 150%, the prisoners were full. However, to achieve 150% meant to give one’s all, and to work like an ox. One could endure that for a while, but, ultimately, one would succumb.

     The communists would, with sarcasm, quote the Bible and say: “He who does not work, need not eat either.” Further, they would point out that all power descends from God, and hence, so to does that of the communists, and so, the need to obey. They are masters of man’s exploitation.

     Under such a regime of hunger and work, the prisoners had to vie with each other, and hence, our mine carried first prize over the others and was rewarded with a good library. The communists said we had need of good “breeding,” while we simply wished for a generous crust of bread.

     The library was indeed a good one. Along with a good representation of Russian literature, there was a smattering of foreign classics as well. I was amassed at the number of German works: Goethe, Schuller, Heine, and others. I found a copy of our own Gundulic’s “Osman.” We were allowed to borrow the books for a ten day period.

     Newspapers from Moscow, one copy each, were also available. The were placed between panes of glass so that each side could be read. Each barracks had a bulletin board loaded with satirical items, mostly caricatures of foreign leaders. Since Tito was on a wartime footing with Stalin at the time, he was the frequent butt of such satire. One such cartoon showed Tito all bloodied with a hatchet in his hand decapitating someone’s head. The inscription below the cartoon read: “Traitor — Fascist.”

     Loud speakers were placed in our barracks and they ripped our ears apart and destroyed our nerves. It was unbearable to listen to them at the time of Stalin’s illness and death.

     The Russians did not like Stalin, but they had great fear of him. He was the incarnation of cruelty. He was the infinite ruler over millions of his subjects, and he simply removed all who were not to his taste. He liquidated almost all of the October Revolution’s leadership.

     A popular man in Russia at this time is General Zhukov, a wartime hero. Stalin pushed him into the background. He would like to have liquidated him as well, but it would have been inconvenient.

     Camp life in that far northern outpost was horrid. The worst was the fact that the mines were always damp. A man had to work while soaked as though in the rain, and still wet had to return to the camp. Hunger, exhaustion, dampness, and the cold, worse yet, the hopelessness of the situation, a picture of the blackest future, dogged the men and brought them to despair.

     Even though it was difficult to come by Vodka, and even though it was strictly forbidden, somehow and from somewhere, it appeared. It was of the worst sort, the kind that tears the nerves apart, nonetheless, it was consumed for sake of relief and with resignation. It also brought with it evil consequences which often led to fights which sometimes ended in tragedy.

     To my joy, a fellow Croat from one of the other camps arrived. My joy was short-lived. One of the wagons disengaged while at work and he was killed. When I heard of the accident I went to pay my respects to my lost fellow sufferer. It was hard to recognize his mangled body. Thus my dear Murat Lojo, a son of Bosnia, from Kalinovnik, breathe his last in the far northern regions of Russia. He was a lieutenant in the famous “Black Legion” under the legendary Jure Francetic wherein he spent the entire war.

     Through a Ukrainian friend who had good connections in the camp, I was able to improve my situation somewhat. He was helpful to me in many instances. Through his efforts, I was able to attend a course in “geology” conducted by one of the engineers. I was thus able to rid myself of heavy duty. I was given the task of testing the coal. As the coal passes through a grinder, sample particles are taken and are place in a laboratory kiln to determine its caloric value.

     Because the camp had good production in l950, we realized a significant improvement in our meals. Even the communists came to realize that hungry men are not as productive as satiated men.

     The camp acquired brass instruments. There were musicians among us and when the work brigade exceeded l50% production, the band would greet us at the camp entrance and escort us to the kitchen. The kitchen and its cauldrons are the goal of hungry men.

     When it was to their advantage, the communists tried anything. The camp was quite active, in fact, at times we even had a movie.

     There are those in Russia known as “blatni” (“dirty”). The connotation of this is somewhat akin to the American “gangster.” Such individuals appear strange to the normal person. They deserted during the war and yet achieved political status. They refuse to work, yet when they arrive at the mess hall, the cook must give them that which is best, otherwise they will pay the consequences. Politics really does not concern them, rather they simply live to do evil and to steal. Their bodies are tattooed. They always present a threat to peace-abiding men. Communism tolerates them, I suppose, for their own reasons. The managers of the camp wish to win them over to their side and thus, give them the better jobs, for the other fear them.

     The “blatni” have their own unwritten law, one that is quite strict. Once inducted into their group, one needs to be subject to their wishes. If you cross them, death is as certain as it would be in the American “syndicates.” It is said that they even take an oath of loyalty. Those who escape the clutches of the group end up working for the regime and are called “sukes.” An open battle between the “blatni” and the “sukes” is commonplace. People end up dead.

     The “blatnis” are unforgiving and harsh. A package arrives from home, of course for either a Russian or a Ukrainian containing boots, and immediately one of the “blatni” say, “I lost my boots while playing cards, pull off your boots.” If a person does not wish to bow to the wishes of the “blatni”, he is in trouble, for all the other “blatnis” are behind their fellow “blatni.”

     In the meanwhile, the Ukrainians who fought in the forests with the revolutionary Bandera, and the Russian prisoners were fiercely opposed to the “blatnis.” These Banderites, for whom the communists could not show direct links with Bandera, else they would have been killed, often fought real battles with the “blatnis”, and frequently prevailed.

     I, myself, was witness to the guards removing four “blatnis” from one of the other camps from the showers. In a flash, five men appeared from one of the barracks and shortly, found themselves in a pool of blood. They killed all of them. The Banderites saw in them a group of “blatnis” of a higher caliber who were “owing” to them. The judgment was swift. There was no inquiry.

     I was forced to live under such conditions and to await my fate. My documents, which followed me to the camp, recorded that fate — 25 years!

     (From American Croatian Review, Year V, No. 1-2, 1998, pp. 48-50)

Speech of Stjepan Radic Addressed to the Members of the National Council During a Night Session on November 23-24, 1918

During a Night Session on November 23-24, 1918

Translated by Sam Condic. Published in American Croatian Review. Year V, No. 3 and 4, December 1998, pp. 36-40.

Listen to an audio version of this speech.

Also see this related article about Radic

Gentlemen!

As you can see, there is neither an audience in the gallery, nor is there a stenographer present, not even the official Secretary of Record. It is clear, therefore, that I will not speak to create an effect outside this chamber, as might be supposed. At the onset, I must say that I have no illusion that I will persuade you to desist in this proposition, and that I can convince you to adopt my proposition. I completely agree with Representative Hrvoje, who stated that he knows beforehand that his exposition is in vain. I speak so as to fulfill my duty, and so as to take advantage of my right, and, also, so as to prick your conscience, so that you have no excuse to say that no one showed you the abyss into which you wish to hurtle all our peoples, and especially the Croatian people.

Gentlemen! A rather large number of speakers have already spoken. And lo, with the exception of Representative Hrvoje, all have spoken as though this chamber is not that of the Croatian National Parliament, as though this is not that Croatian fortress–and, I dare say, shrine–from which, for centuries, were heard courageous and wise words in defense of justice and right, seeking a better future for the Croatian people, and all Slavic peoples. Not only did every single speaker fail to remember Croatia or the Croatian people, but all the speakers, in fact, competed with each other so as to obliterate and demolish us as Croatians. They want to first crunch us and then to trample us. However, the greatest mistake and the most unforgivable sin lies in the fact that all those speakers failed to learn anything from the war. It is as though they do not see the people. It is as though they have no knowledge of the people. For that reason exactly, they speak the very opposite of what our people want and need.

Gentlemen! Your mouths are all filled with words: National Unity–A single, united nation–one kingdom, under the Karadjordjevic dynasty. And you think that it is sufficient to state that we Croatians, Serbians, and Slovenes are one people, because we speak one language, and that, for that reason, we must have a united and centralistic nation, the same kingdom. You think that only linguistic and national unity under the dynasty of Karadjordjevic can save us and make us prosper.

How surface, how shallow, how unjustified is your thinking!

As relates to national linguistic unity, we are all Slavs by language, actually one people. Ask one-hundred thousand of our soldiers and our prisoners of war, who traversed Galicia, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Serbia. All will tell you that in all those lands a single Slavic people live, or better said, all Slavs, suffer. But you do not wish to hear about Slavism, nor, in fact, about full South-Slavism. You are presently enthralled by your strange rebus: SHS, one which speaks neither to our hearts, nor to our intellect. And you wonder, then, why the Italians refer to that rebus of yours (In its own fashion, a puzzle.), as a comedy. Is there an example in history wherein a national name is written as abbreviated initials? A given vocation title can be abbreviated, or that of a particular service, a given political party or organization, why even a given country, however, the name of a people is never abbreviated, just as one cannot abbreviate the family name of a particular person, hence, even less, that of an entire particular people, especially in such an insincere fashion as this. SHS first designated Slovenes, Croatians, and Serbs; now it designates Serbs, Croatians, and Slovenes. And, what will it designate tomorrow?

Gentlemen! All of your work here in the National Council is neither democratic, nor constitutional, nor is it just, and, it certainly is not intelligent.

You, in fact, are no democrats because you do not care at all about what this awful war has made of our people, especially of our peasants.

Not in the least do you reflect upon the fact that our entire people, and our Croatian peasants in particular, have, from the depths of their souls, come to hate militarism, to such an extent that it cannot be expressed or described.

You care so little for what the people think and believe. You say and write that the people refuse to serve in the military out of fear and cowardice.

You do not believe that our peasant was in a state of slumber prior to the war. It was the war that shook him mercilessly, awakened him, and made of him a man.

You fail to see how courageous that must be, and how wise, when a hundred and more thousands Croatian peasants, one after the other, abandon the front and refuse to return to it. Some of them leave for the “Green Cadres” [rebellious bands of deserters], while others make use of all means, their money, friendships, or deceit, so as not to deliver their heads in the public market at the command of a foreign master, and, supposedly, in defense of King and the homeland.

In fact, you gentlemen care not a whit that our peasant, in general, and the Croatian peasant in particular, does not wish to hear a thing about the King or the Emperor, nor about the nation which is being forced upon him. Our peasant has matured to such a degree, that he fully knows that a nation and a homeland are to be found in justice and freedom, in prosperity and in education. And, today, as you beat him in the arsenals, and drive him by force to follow along with you, to defend us, supposedly, from the Italians, he declares, or at least thinks it, that you are no different to him than the Magyar, or the German oppressors were. And, do you know why? Because every man of ours, even to the last, comprehends what was said to you this morning in such a direct and incontrovertible manner by Representative Hrvoje: Either Italy has the backing of the entire Entente–and then we cannot even help ourselves–or else, Italy is acting on her own, and then we will succeed on our own against her. In either case, neither a unitary nation, nor a government under the monarchy in Belgrade, nor anyone else, will be of help to us.

You, yourselves, know this well. You know that neither Italy nor the Entente will accede to the will of the Belgrade government. You know well that where the rights of an entire nation have no value, then the influence of one nation or of one person has even less value.

Even though you know this, you, intentionally, and knowingly, speak falsehoods, namely, that our people will be doomed, or that we will suffer irreparable harm unless we immediately, head over heels, fail to create a centralistic monarchy, and a united, centralistic kingdom.

You, therefore, frighten our people as though they were children, and you think that you will win the people over to your political point of view. Perhaps you will win over the Slovenes, I don’t know. Perhaps, for a short interval, you will win over the Serbs, as well. However, I know, with certainty, you will not win over the Croatians for that cause. You won’t succeed in wining them over because the entire Croatian peasantry, as a totality, is against your centralism, and against your militarism; as much for republicanism as for the national agreement with the Serbs. If you wish to impose your centralism by force, this is what will happen: We Croatians will openly, clearly, and directly say: If the Serbians truly wish to have such a centralistic nation and government, God’s blessings upon it. However, we Croatians want no other national structure other than an allied Federal Republic.

I have on many occasions, gentlemen, in detailed expositions during the meetings of this Central Committee, stated how it is entirely incorrect to think that I am supposedly “guilty” for having supposedly “misled” the peasantry. I have explicitly and sincerely related to you how, I, myself, was extremely surprised–I must say, pleasantly, when, on the occasion of the first meeting of the Chief Committee during this time of war, namely, July 27, l918, took note of the fact that all the peasants, resolutely and with enthusiasm, were for a Republic, and that, even before the meeting, as I was entering, they greeted me with the exclamation: “Long live our first Republican!” Obviously, they were referring to my recent address in the Parliament, in which I postulated and demonstrated that the Croatian constitutional system is entirely republican in nature, and that the Croatian Banovina is, in fact, the same as is a Republican Croatia. Further, that the Croatian Ban, in the truest sense, is like the president of a Republic.

Nonetheless, you did not give credence to it, or else, you did not care, just as you do not care or believe it now. This is so, because democracy is no more than a word for you, and because it never, not even in your dreams, occurs to you to regulate your actions in accord with the meaning of that word. The word’s meaning implies that the people are to be asked their thinking in every point of importance, that all national matters are to be conducted so as to reflect the will of the people and their needs, that is, in our case, the peasant majority, are to regulate our actions, and we are not to act on behalf of the willfulness of an insignificant, lordly, minority…

Gentlemen! Inasmuch as you are democrats in word, and outwardly only, it is completely understandable then, that you do not act in accord with the constitution, that is, you act without regard for any laws, regulations, or customs, and that you carry out your own self-will in the most forceful way. Today’s meeting is the most accurate proof that you care not a whit for constitutionality, that is, even for the sake of a so-so respectable and appropriate outward appearance, wherein the people are asked their thinking, at least a little.

Behold! You did not want to call into session the entire National Council, but only this Committee. You know very well that even the Council itself does not represent the people, for the people did not elect it. However, at least nearly all the political parties and factions are represented in that body, and hence, the public at large should be represented here as well. But as soon as the public is present, there cannot be the sheer supremacy of an oligarchy, one of self-will and imposition.

I ask you, why haven’t you called the entire National Council into session for so fateful a step? You didn’t because you know that you are doing wrong, and that it would become immediately apparent as soon as a public debate within a larger circle of discussants would take place. When I stop to reflect upon it, I can grasp how profound is your unconstitutional behavior, since you by-pass our Croatian National Parliament! Representative Hrvoje already spoke of this, therefore I will not drag it out, but I will warn you that you bitterly deceive yourselves if you think that you can willfully sidestep one-thousand and more years of Croatian history and Croatian statehood.

You hold that history and that nationhood as nothing, supposedly because you feel that we Croatians were under foreign domination, and supposedly because our history is really foreign and not our own. You are doubly wrong in your view. You are wrong firstly, because you knowingly and intentionally remain silent about the fact that we Croatians–at least those of us to the left–always struggled against foreign domination, and that we knew how to be victorious throughout that struggle, at least to the extent that the foreign dominators were never the true or successful masters over the Croatians.

That was the first reason, while this is the second: You, as educated men, know that Croatian history, the 1,000 years of the Croatian past, has great moral significance, without regard to politics. We regard the man who if forgetful of all that has transpired, the man who labors as though he has no memory of his past experiences, to be a fool. The Croatian people do not wish to be such fools, and do not wish to forget their past history, if for no other reason but that they have no desire to do so. Behold, you so eagerly call attention to our progressive brothers, the Czechs. Just read the message of their leading politician Masaryk–who wrote much against historical rights–and you will see that even he, ceaselessly stresses Czech National rights, the Czech historical borders, the thousand years political and cultural heritage of the Czechs.

However, gentlemen, you are especially unconstitutional to the extreme as regards all that you said and wrote up to yesterday–you and your predecessors from all the various parties represented here today.

Let me mention you Slovenes first. You raised your voices to the heavens, entirely of your own initiative and voluntarily, saying that you are one in soul with us Croatians, and that you wish to be united with us on the basis of our Croatian historic state rights. All you Slovenes were as one on that point, those of you who are Clericals: Dr. Sustersic, Dr. Krek, Dr. Korosec; and Liberals: Dr. Tavcar, Triller, Hribar; and Radicals: Dr. Ravnikar and his followers; in fact, even Socialists. All your newspapers wrote as much, and in that vein, you placed your signatures on the May Declaration (May 30, 1918), and what is most important, you told your people their only salvation lay in that course of action. On the basis of that proposed union, on the basis of the union of the Croatian and Slovene populace at the national level, you garnered the trust of the people, and came to this meeting.

Undoubtedly, you will respond: “We not only stand by that basis, in fact, we expand it to include the union of the peoples and nations of the Slovenes, Croatians, and Serbs.” Good! Good! However, did you receive the authority and assent of your people for that course, and for such an expansion? You did not! In fact, you did not even ask your people’s permission, and you do not even intend to ask them, but rather, you simply maintain that the Slovene people desire that which you now propose, that is, the union of the populace within a national union with the Serbs, wherein the entire government and its legislature will be in Belgrade–that Zagreb and Ljubljana be, not equal to, and alongside Belgrade, but rather subject to Belgrade.

I tell you loud and clear, that is not the truth, and what is more important, you, yourselves, just four days ago, said that it was not the truth. Just four days ago, Dr. Remec announced at the meeting of this Committee, that he “fully agrees with Mr. Radic, and that he declares in the name of the entire Slovene people, that all Slovenes are Republicans.” Mr. Svetozar Pribicevic snarled his response to that statement and said: “Why, Dr. Kramer is here present, and he and his Party are not for a republic.” Dr. Remec, the representative for the pan-Slovene peoples Party, corrected him by saying that in the name of nine-tenths of the Slovene people, he can announce that they are all republicans.” Even though you Slovenes know that well, you knowingly and intentionally, and contrary to the will of your people, therefore entirely unconstitutionally, propose a centralized national union with the Kingdom of Serbia.

And, gentlemen, what am I to say about you Dalmatians?! The entire political history of Dalmatia through five centuries–from the 7th through the 12th century–was purely Croatian. Dalmatia, at that time was but a few towns and islands, as all of you know, while all of the present-day Dalmatia, and even up to the River Kupa, was, and is, the real and true Croatia.

However, you will respond: “Spare us that ancient history.” But behold: through the last fifty years, the Dalmatian Croatian hardly offered a gasp politically, except for union with Croatia’s Banovina into a united nation and homeland: Croatia. Now that you have the opportunity to make that national Croatian-Dalmatian program a reality, you, gentlemen, have, without the consent, and against the will of the people, severed yourselves from Croatia. Without the approval of the people, you wish to subject yourselves under Belgrade, in a centralistic national union within the Kingdom of Serbia. And, you act so unconstitutionally that you do not even intend to ask the people about this matter, but, rather, you simply intend to force your new program upon the populace of Dalmatia!

And you, Serbian gentlemen from Vojvodina, you also forgot, entirely, the program and plea of your immortal leader, Svetozar Miletic: “Our trust is in the Triune Kingdom [Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia].” You now make of this Triune a “two-une”, and wish to make of it a “non-une.”

The same applies to you, gentlemen, from Bosnia. One of your leaders, Dr. Alaupovic, in fact, utters the phrase: “You Croatians,” as though he intends to imply that he is no longer a Croatian. All of you trample all of your promises, all of your public oaths to the people, and on all that you have spoken or written. You now wish to create something which you have never spoken about to the people, and which you have never debated, much less, given the people an opportunity to vote upon.

I know how you will respond to me: “The great moment has arrived,” you will say, “opportunity knocks, and the moment we have dreamed of for centuries can now be made a reality, a reality of which we were unable to speak of or even dream of while under foreign domination.”

Good! And what, precisely, is that of which we were not permitted to dream of? For the Serbs, if what you say is true, and I hear that it is not, it was that Serbia be enlarged and glorified, that King Peter be crowned as emperor, so that he can renew Dusan’s Empire. In your opinion, the Serbians have no other thoughts on the matter. To be sure, I hear that the majority in Serbia are already republicans. While there are no brothers from Serbia present, you Serbs from Croatia, and from Hungary, and from Bosnia are, in truth, exclusively Dusanites. You are for a Greater Serbia, for a powerful and glorious empire, and for the idea of the “Vow of Kosovo,” for revenge on all sides, for the nine Jugovic’s, for Kraljevic Marko, etc. etc. We Croatians are not for that. Our Croatian peasant–and that means nine-tenths of our population–came of age during the war: he no longer intends to be a servant to anyone, to slave for anyone–neither a foreigner nor his brother–neither for a foreign nation, nor for his own. He wishes his nation to be built upon the base of freedom, republicanism, and social justice, in this hour of momentous decision. And you, gentlemen, who are but a tiny fistful, you are opposed! And by being opposed to such a free, republican, and socially just desire, the willful desire and need of all our people–especially the Croatian people, in whose name I now speak–you do not, even for a moment, reflect upon the fact that you commit an awful and tremendous, forgive me for saying it, stupidity.

It is an awful fault when the torrents of martyr blood–you refer to it as hero’s blood– the blood of Serbs, and Croatians, and Slovenes is as nothing to you, for you say that same blood was spilt for King Peter and for a new, greater kingdom. All the tears, prayers, and sighs of all our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters, are as nothing to you. You say those tears are to be jewels in the crown of King Peter, and are to be the shining rays of some sort of kingly glory and greatness! You have no clue, or else wish to have none, that all our people, especially our Croatian people, wish, want, seek, and demand that all their spilt blood result in a just, and completely republican freedom, the sort that was tasted by many of our people in America. Our people desire that those countless innocent tears procure for them the justice they fought for, and the kind their peasant brothers in Russia will soon achieve.

When you are so unjust, to the extreme, then, naturally, you cannot be wise.

Lo, the telegram of those Serbian Ministers who are already in Belgrade, was read here. Those Ministers, quite wisely, state that they are willing to meet and to discuss with the delegates to the National Council about that which the full National Council agrees upon. They will then submit those proposals to the Serbian Parliament, and, to the extent it applies in particular, also, to the Croatian National Parliament.

Their proposition is insufficient for you. You are in a hurry to impose your power upon all the people as quickly as possible, especially upon Croatia. You do not sense, in the very least, that it is unwise, that it is imprudent, that it is, in fact, irrational to act without the consent of the people, never mind, against the will of the people. You learned nothing from the fall of [Istvan] Tisza [in Hungary] or of [emperor] Wilhelm [in Germany]. You became the N.V. (National Council) by means of the supposed revolution, and you evidently think the National Council to be the new “His Royal Highness.” I say to you again, and you heard me say it so often before: there is no firm or justified power without the consent of the people.

I know. I know. You hold that you are not only with the people, but, in fact, that you represent the people. I proved to you that you are not. The entire Croatian people are for republican freedom, and for social justice. You are for the old and bankrupt use of force, as well as for economic selfishness and robbery. You, therefore, are no longer with the people, and hardly, can you be said to speak for the people. For that reason, nothing will come of your scheme…You will go to Belgrade. You will declare, without the support of, and contrary to the wishes of the Croatian people, a united and centralistic nation. Without shame, and with no fear, you will rule on the basis of the old corrupt and unjust Austrian and Hungarian laws, and with the aid of the entrenched, submissive, and corrupt officials. Perhaps you will even rule without laws–by force and despotism. The people will see from this that you are not a part of them, and they will not be for you. Wherever you beckon them to go, they will not follow. Least of all, they will not respond to you by giving you their trust, nor will they, of their own freewill, recognize and approve your use of power and your deceit. In pursuit of this effort, should you gain the support of the Entente, and should the Entente be so unwise, and so weak, as to help you, you will not, in that case, have the trust of the people. As soon as it is time for the first elections, be they of whatever sort, either for a constitutive or a simple parliament, the people will no longer elect such gentlemen who have trampled upon all their promises, and all of their programs, and who have, without question, forced upon them all the same old power, injustice, and brigandry. The people will elect to the Parliament only peasants of the plow and hoe, and of the gentlemanly class, only those who have, under the present conditions, stood by the will of the people, that is, stood for republican freedom, and social justice. And I, whom you dismiss and exclude from you midst, and upon whose head, in fact, you have put a price, will, God willing, be the fish in the water not only among the Croatian Peasantry, but also among the Slovene and Serbian peasantry.

Gentlemen! I will conclude with that of which you speak most about, and of which you least reflect upon, that which is of the least concern to you: I will conclude with the unity of the people. There are enough of you present who know quite well that I have openly, publicly, fearlessly, and with determination defended the unity of our people–the unity of all the South Slavs, especially that of the Croatians and Serbs, as far back as twenty years and more ago, when a man’s head would be in a bag for it, or else would end up behind bars. There are enough of you who know in particular that I placed my life, that of my wife and children, on the line in September of l902, when I publicly, by word and deed, spoke out against the destruction of Serbian property in Zagreb, at the time when Zagreb was consumed with bitterness and rage because of the incomprehensible insult on the part of the Serbs, which was thoughtlessly published in Belgrade’s Literary Messenger , and, foolishly re- printed in Zagreb’s Srbobran , namely, that the Serbian battle must endure unto “extinction,” that is, until the destruction of one of us, the Croatians or the Serbs. From that time forward, I only broadened and deepened my thinking about national unity: I broadened it to include all Slavs, and I deepened it to such an extent, that after this awful war, I now say to you, before it is too late: Gentlemen! Don’t just speak hollow words about national unity. Do not say and write that our common language is sufficiently strong a tie for our people. Grasp, once and for all, that a people is something much deeper and broader than is their language. Grasp, once and for all, that nationality matters, especially after this war in which millions of peasants, workers, and townsfolk have participated, at the war front or the home front, that, from now on nationality matters only to the extent to which it defends and develops a sense of humanity, that is, only to the extent that with the aid of nationality men gain more advantage and get along better. Grasp, once and for all, that the old class, military, capitalistic, bureaucratic, and clerical days are forever gone.

Our people especially no longer wish to hear talk of militarism, capitalism, bureaucrats, and clericalism. All our people, especially our Croatian people, want, desire, seek, and demand that every peasant feel the new freedom and new justice for themselves, in their homes, in their villages, in their counties, and in their region. For that to be a true reality, you must first, remove all the old tyrants, all the old, unfair laws and arrangements; secondly, you must grant the right to the people themselves to have the chance to rule and regulate themselves. If you fail to grant these opportunities to them, and if you fail to recognize those rights, the people will take for themselves these rights and conditions, without your consent and against you.

Gentlemen! It is still not too late! Do not rush forward as geese in a fog! Do not conclude a unitary government with the Kingdom of Serbia if for no other reason but for the fact that no one in the name of the Kingdom of Serbia is present, in fact, nothing more is present than that single telegram, which, in fact, also proposes something entirely different than you do. Do not proceed in such a manner that, today or tomorrow will have to be said of you Slovenes, and you Serbs from Vojvodina and Bosnia, and you our own Croatian Dalmatians, and most especially you, our local Croatian Serbs, that you have gathered here so as to only carry out a conspiratorial act against the people, especially against Croatia and against the Croatians. At least see that this decision is extremely important and of great consequence, and that it is necessary to call into session the entire National Council and, of course, the Croatian Parliament. Based on your present proposition that twenty-eight members of the Central Committee immediately leave for Belgrade, and in that there are no more than twenty-eight members in the Committee, it is obvious that every one will say that the Committee authorized itself to proclaim a unitary government with the Kingdom of Serbia. Obviously, the Committee is not authorized to do so, and does not have that right.

Gentlemen! The entire world recognizes the right to national self-determination. We have to thank that right for our very own freedom. That right to self- determination belongs, in an international sense, to all three of our peoples, namely, the Slovenes, Croatians, and Serbians, in the determination of our national boundaries in relationship to other nations. That right belongs to all three of our nations, and especially to us Croatians in Croatia as regards the formation and the advancement of our common nation.

We are three brothers, Croatian, Slovene, Serbian, and not one brother. Each brother is to be asked. Serbs from Serbia are not even present here, while you well know how we Croatians from Croatia are here represented. No one and nothing is forcing you, except, perhaps, your guilty conscience, to rush this cause, which you know will not be approved by the Croatian people, and which you wish to carry out, and ratify as quickly as possible against their will.

Gentlemen! It is an awful thing, the greatest sin, and the most grave political error to present to your very own people an accomplished fact, that is, to carry on politics according to your own gentlemanly whims without consulting the people and contrary to the will of the people. If you do not believe me–God grant that all of you live long enough, and that won’t be too long off, to see as to how the Croatian people in their sense of republicanism and humanness will blow you away in the very moment you think they have quieted down, and at the time you feel you have saddled and ridden them well. Long live the Republic! Long live Croatia!

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It has been eighty years since Stjepan Radic delivered the above speech. It was spoken in vain. The unitary state was created and the tragic results are well known to us today. However, the speech has an historic value. It expresses the social and political reality of the time, the desires of the people on one side and the manipulations of a small elite on the other. The decisions of that elite proved to be disastrous not only for all the peoples involved, especially the Croatian people, but also for Radic, and even for those who rushed to create a common South Slavic state in 1918.