Tenth Anniversary of Dayton


Ante Čuvalo – Chicago

Hrvatska revijaYear V/2005, No 4, pp. 49-53.

In Place of an Introduction

My eldest brother Vlatko lives in Proboj near Ljubuški, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I was born. His children and grandchildren are an offshoot of a tree-of-old that set its roots centuries ago. As a Croatian and a Catholic, my brother “enjoyed” all the “blessings” (including imprisonment) that were part and parcel of Yugoslavia, communism, the recent war in Bosnia-Herzegovina , and the Dayton Accords. His is a typical Croatian family that lived and survived by working, praying, looking after its own, and respecting others, including those who were different from them. His wish is to continue to live in that manner but in freedom and justice, and with a sense of security that rings true.

As it was for the majority of Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina who lived under the previous regimes, it was clear to him who was master over him. Not only was he without rights, but as a Croat he was “marked” as an enemy of the state even prior to his birth. True, under Dayton’s Bosnia-Herzegovina he is not spied on or bugged; he is free to sing any patriotic song he wishes and can say what he will; he moves about freely; he associates with whom he pleases and votes for whom he wishes. Seemingly, all appears to be in order. Although ten years have passed since the sound of guns has ceased in that land, my brother does not feel that he is living a “normal” life nor does he experience Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “normal” state. He is “free,” he lives in a “democracy,” yet he is very much aware that all that takes place in that land which is fateful and vital does so in his name (in the name of the people)—but really without him, without the concrete person, without the citizen. What is more, as a Croat he is suspected of being a disloyal citizen of his internationally recognized country.

Even those who supposedly represent him as a Croat and those who wish to represent him as no more than an “undefined” citizen, as well as those who arrived from the “civilized” part of the world and who assumed the fate of Bosnia-Herzegovina in their hands, have set up such a system of governance that my brother, and all who are like him, have no connection to their various “processes,” economic programs, or political, social, cultural and educational constructs and experiments. They create a country along with its political, economic, and cultural constructs for him, his children and grandchildren, but without his participation and at his expense. It is not only the politicians who do not care what my brother and the ordinary mortals think: all those “missionaries” of various persuasions as well as those well-paid “experts” for the “Bosnian question” care little as well. They look to their own interests, push their own ideologies, or test their latest socio-political theories on this land and its peoples that remain foreign to them. They build from the top down; they build “their” Bosnia-Herzegovina. The consequences of all of this are quite evident for all to see. Those who survived and remained at home eke out a living while the young long to escape wherever. People are saturated with the feeling of uncertainty, hopelessness, and even fear because they cannot even begin to fathom what shape their country will take in the future or what place someone like my brother, his children and grandchildren, and the Croat people in general, will have in their native land.

The causes for such a state of being are multi-layered and complex. However, one of the key causes is the Dayton Accords. Instead of having established the basis for a stable and normal course of life for all the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Accords made a firm and just constitutional structure for the country impossible. If this course of action continues, both the people and the country will float aimlessly toward yet another catastrophe—one that will once again open the door to yet another “process” of “solving Bosnian question.”

Dayton as Millstone

The Dayton Accords, that is, its signatories, stopped the war in progress; however, they made possible the continuation of that war in a different manner. The portion of the Accords that dealt with military questions was clearly defined. The international military force (IFOR, and its successor forces) was guaranteed the necessary military might and legal power to carry out the agreed-to mission. They succeeded in that task. To the joy and amazement of many, the sound of weaponry was silenced—all because it was clear to everyone what the military demands were and because IFOR acted decisively.

On the other hand, the portion of the Accords that dealt with constitutional questions and civil life was and continues to be a stone around the neck of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A country with three officially recognized constituent peoples was divided into two proportional entities. Out of those entities, an almost “pure” ethnic Serbian Republic (RS) was created, while the other was Federation of Bosniacs/Muslims and Croats with ten cantons. The area of Brcko became a self-contained republic of sorts, while Mostar was placed under the direct administration of Europe. Meanwhile, Bosnia and Herzegovina—a country of 14 constitutions, 14 governments, and 180 ministers—became (and remains) a huge, unresolved question. Clearly, it is not spelled-out as to whether the Dayton Accords were the start of a better future or the beginning of the end for Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is in such a contradiction that the Bosnian “straight jacket” (as a former international official to Bosnia-Herzegovina called it) was fashioned.

Furthermore, all the burning questions such as the return of refugee and those forced from their homes, the missing, war criminals, the organization and holding of elections, possible changes to the Constitution, human rights, minority rights, the judiciary, the school system, banking institutions, economic renewal, the formation of a new police force, the safe-guarding of the nation’s borders, etc. was given over to various international organizations. These organizations neither were given clearly defined authority or power. Even less, they do not have the will to resolve such questions openly, clearly, or justly. The International High Commissioner, along with a massive and highly paid bureaucracy, was appointed to coordinate the execution of the Dayton Accords—that is, to rule over Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Sovereign who holds all authority in his hands while not being held responsible to answer to anyone for his (mis)deeds.

Colonialism in the Name of Freedom

Not all that long ago, the British, French, and other western European brands of colonialism were justified as being a part of a civilizing mission. The leading liberal intellectuals of the time were busily engaged not only in promoting the ideas of freedom within their own lands but also in supporting the spread of a liberal brand of colonialism. Thus, for example, we have the well-known de Tocqueville advocating personal freedoms while at the same time justifying the French occupation of Algeria.

However, times change and so does colonialism. Today’s brand of colonialism is far more polite and subtle. Today, it is not “well-bred” to simply occupy and assume rule over someone else’s land. Aside from that, it is too expensive to do so and can be dangerous. Today, an indirect form of colonialism is imposed. True, it tends to be a bit more complicated than in the past, but it is packaged more nicely; it is, therefore, more easily “sold” to the world at large, and tends to be more remunerative than in the past. Furthermore, today’s colonialism is multi-centered and infuses itself through international markets, through multi-national corporations, bilateral and multi-lateral economic agreements, as well as through global organizations and institutions. Its tentacles also spread through various funds, investments, banks, media domination, educational and cultural institutions, and through various self-serving organizations for human, minority and even animal rights groups, as well as through international courts.

Post-communist “transitional” countries and those of the Third world are most favorable and fertile sites for this brand of neo-liberal colonialism—one that does not hesitate to make use of highly non-liberal methods so as to realize a society that is not democratic but rather one that is—to be politically correct—“a civil and open society.” The two, however, are not the same. In a democratic society the people have (or are supposed to have) the fate of their nation in their own hands, while in an “open” neo-colonial society the sovereignty of the people “eludes” the voice of the people while someone else slowly implements “politically correct” policies. Even peoples in countries that are traditionally considered to be powerful nations are beginning to come to grips with the fact of globalism and multi-centered colonialism that tends to undermine their civic power, their jobs, their economic stability, and imposes upon them an intellectual and ideological obedience along with an absolutistic global relativism of all values.

The old and new forms of colonialism are interwoven in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is a sovereign country, a member of the UN, but it is without any real sovereignty. The country is really ruled by Brussels through the self-elected Peace Implementation Council (PIC) and the High Commissioner. They, and all others who involve themselves in the fate of Bosnia-Herzegovina clearly serve their own interests and have their own plans for its future. Regular elections are held in the land. The people are free to vote for those who have received the imprimatur of the High Commissioner. The politicians elected thus become the middle layer between the people and the international rulers in the country. Their formal legitimacy is derived from the people who elected them, but this is a farce: their role depends entirely on the political will of the High Commissioner and those who appointed him—not on the people who elected them.

Besides the absolutistic power of the High Commissioner, the fate of Bosnia-Herzegovina is put in the hand of an entire witches’-brew of every possible sort of “well-wishers,” and “benefactors,” along with an army of “experts” whose only desire is to “civilize” Bosnia-Herzegovina and to make of her something that she is not—not to mention those who “fish” in murky waters. Contradictions of the Dayton Accords serve well everyone except those who would want Bosnia-Herzegovina to move in the direction of political, social, and economic stability—in other words, to become a country where one can live “normally” and freely.

Circling or Dividing of the Bosnian-Herzegovinan Triangle

In as much as the international power brokers did not intend to assure a true peace in a multi-national Bosnia-Herzegovina, nor to put in place a constitutional basis for its three constituent peoples to commonly build a better future for themselves, they in fact left an opening for the war to continue without gunfire. The battle for various political outcomes in Bosnia-Herzegovina—as well as in its neighborhood—continues. We will only mention the most important “visions” that serve as the basis of the battle over Bosnia and Herzegovina of tomorrow.

We will begin with the Serbs since their national dream is most clear. Even though the leaders of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs at the time (1995) bitterly opposed the Dayton Accords—because they sought much more—today, all Serb political, social, and religious forces within the RS, (Republika Srpska), in Serbia proper, and in the Serbian diaspora firmly stand behind the Dayton Accords—that is, behind an “ethnically pure” RS. According to their interpretation of the Accords, Dayton opened the door to the process of eventual secession of the RS from the remaining parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the eventual unification with Serbia proper. Therefore, the Republika Srpska is not their final goal: it serves as the key to Serbia’s further “incursion to the West,” and to the realization (sooner or later) of its dream of a Greater Serbia wherein it will ultimately find and incorporate the “temporarily lost” Serbian parts of the Republic of Croatia. The possibility of a “tri-entitized,” a cantonized or regionalized Bosnia-Herzegovina would bring into question the intended historical role of the RS. For this reason Dayton’s Bosnia-Herzegovina and the RS within it (for now, at least)—even though it presently finds itself in an unenviable position in every regard—is the only choice. The Serbian logic continues to unfold: all must be endured so as to realize the centuries-old dream of a Greater Serbia which is the ideal of its “heavenly people.” Hence the Serbs are (for the present) the most zealous guardians of Dayton’s Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The dreams for Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future as envisioned by the political, cultural, and religious elite among the Bosniacs are, at first glance, fanciful and multi-faceted. It is not, however, difficult to reduce them to two basic tendencies. One group would wish to create a unitary Bosnia—(the majority find Herzegovina to be a major hindrance to their nation-building project)—one wherein the Bosniacs/Muslems, because they are the population’s majority, would play the role of guardians of the state. Bosnia (and Herzegovina) would become a mini-Yugoslavia. Bosnianism would replace Yugoslavism, the Bosniacs would assume the role of yesterday’s Serbs, and a Muslem/Bosniac Sarajevo would replace Serbian Belgrade. This national program, among other things, is clearly stated by the designation of the language as “Bosnian” as opposed to let us say Bosniac or even Bosnian-Herzegovinian language.

The alternative to the first model is the acceptance of the country’s division into two entities as imposed by Dayton. Eventually, however, the Bosniac-Croat Federation would be transformed into a Bosniac/Muslim Republic: the thought is that eventually the Croats as the minority partner within the Federation would die off by various means or else would simply become an ethnic minority. In this manner the mini-Greater Bosniac dream would come to be realized while at the same time the Bosniac/Moslem element in the RS would increase, their thought being that time is on their side. After all, even according to God’s universal plan Islam is to prevail. It would seem that the ruling Bosniac elite around the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) that signed the Dayton Accords considered the mini Greater-Bosniac dream more realistic for the moment and thus played (and continue to play) to the Serbian card more so than to a partnership with the Croats in a united effort to defeat the realization of a Greater Serbia. While the adherents of this view consider such action as a wise course of political realism, there are other forces among the Bosniacs that condemn the leadership of the SDA as being Serbophiles who have brought Bosnia-Herzegovina to the edge of destruction.

Though all the important Bosniac political, civil, and religious forces within Bosnia-Herzegovina might perhaps be amenable to some sort of non-ethnic regionalism, they all reject a tri-national Bosnia-Herzegovina in which its three peoples would be guaranteed the same and equal rights and responsibilities in a united country. All Bosniac political groupings swear to a “civil” and multi-ethnic Bosnia (or perhaps some Bosnia-Herzegovina); however, their idea of a “civil” and “multi-ethnic” Bosnia is little more than a shiny candy wrapper covering the ideology that espouses a Greater-Bosniacism, wherein Bosniacism, or perhaps Bosnianism, as the other face of that same ideology, would be accepted (sooner or later) as the national identity of all its citizens. In such manner, the traditional Bosnia-Herzegovina would transmogrify into a multi-ethnic state in which, of course, the Bosniacs would be the “basic people” as well as the guardians of the state. However, where there are “basic people” there are also “non-basic people” and where there are “guardians” of the country there must also be those who are to be “guarded” against!

It is a reality that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina have no fundamental vision for its future. Through the last fifteen years or so, there were various dreams as well as conscious or subconscious deceptions or perhaps self-delusions about a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They failed to grasp that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war were simply one of the tactical cards played by the officialdom in Zagreb in defense of the Republic of Croatia. This is precisely why the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was so easily written off. The Republic of Croatia made possible the Dayton Accords through its military action designated as “Oluja.” It signed the Accords not because of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but rather because of the interests of the Republic of Croatia—or so it seemed at the time.

Judging by what one can hear or read concerning the various current visions for the Bosnia-Herzegovina of tomorrow, one can, nonetheless, find a common denominator among the Croats. They are in favor of changes in the Dayton Accords. They seek a Bosnia-Herzegovina that will assure Croats lasting civil and national rights and as well as full equality. They are less concerned as to what constitutional means might achieve their goal, although, there is much talk about a possible third entity or else cantonization od the country, similar to the Swiss constitutional model. Certainly, there are those—chiefly in Herzegovina—that would like to see the dissolution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the incorporation of their villages within the Republic of Croatia. However, for the majority, a predominant and realistic concern for the preservation of their centuries-old hearth and home is at play rather than some sort of dream of a Greater Croatia at the expense of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is as important to mention that no great interest exists within Republic of Croatia for the present conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, much less interest in usurpation of some of its parts.

One must point out that along with the Bosniac point of view, there are other groups within the land that advocate a “civil” Bosnia-Herzegovina. They too are in favor of changes to the Dayton Accords; however, they reject in advance all solutions that take into account any national factors. As for them, they do not acknowledge any collective rights but only individual rights. The fundamental principle, as far as they are concerned is the one that states: one person, one vote. They are in favor of a Bosnia (and Herzegovina) in which the notion of nation and state are identical. They say that their model is the multi-ethnic American model; however, in essence they have remained true to the old Yugoslav myth of “brotherhood and unity,”—a myth wherein they were at least some sort of elite class. They also wish to retain their status as the cream of Bosnian-Herzegovinian society in the name of the ethno-religious group that they happen to belong to.

There are two important forces within international circles who oppose a traditional Bosnia and Herzegovina. One group is in a hurry to “develop” a sense of Bosnian national identity among the people. Their reasoning is that by doing so they will cleanse individuals and groups from their roots and thereby make possible a class of “pure citizens.” Despite so many bloody proofs that this sort of forced societal construct does not solve—but rather worsens—relations between individuals and peoples, they, nonetheless, favor a Bosnia (and Herzegovina) that would become a melting pot of peoples. Bosniac nationalists of various persuasions and those proponents found among all three Bosnian-Herzegovinian peoples who favor a “civil” but unitaryBosnia are eager to side with such international forces. They see them as tactical allies. By doing so, they gain additional political and even material power.

There is a second, but somewhat smaller group to be found outside the country that is comprised of geopolitical “realists.” Some of them advocate the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into three parts. Others among them advocate its division into two parts. In both instances, the RS (Republika Srpska) is seen as a reality and its eventual unification with Serbia proper is presumed. On the other hand, some see today’s Croat-Bosniac Federation as Bosniac republic of tomorrow, while still others would urge that the western portion of Herzegovina be assigned to Croatia. The Serbs see the “realists” as their best allies while some Croats in Herzegovina calculate that “something is better than nothing,” or else, they hope that at least their native place will be united to the Republic of Croatia so such “realism” is acceptable to them.

Reveries over Nationalism

Among the most vocal international groups that have great influence on the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina are the various (in most cases) self-proclaimed experts. They see nationalism as the source of all problems that beset the former Yugoslavia and the present situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina—most especially that of the Serbs and Croats—whom they intentionally equate. However, the day-dreams and constructs that these self-proclaimed experts wish to impose on Bosnia-Herzegovina do more to muddy the situation in the country than to clarify it. They are so insistent on their vision that one may with justification start doubting if their true intention is to help to resolve the existing socio-political problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or something else.

It is as though these advocates of an “open” a-national society forget that in this part of Europe (as in most of the world) the forging of a national consciousness has preceded the independent state. In fact, the newly-formulated nationalism of the Bosniacs is not the result of state independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That nationalism simply entered into a new and more exuberant phase of its development since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Such advocates must not forget that even in America—a land they frequently cite as the model of a “civil state”—every so often changes its electoral boundaries based on ethnic and racial factors: American society, as well, does not live in some sort of faceless and pure “civil” vacuum.

It is interesting to note that these same forces are, in theory, opposed to any sort of nationalism. Yet, in practice, they promote this newly-forged Bosnian nationalism by calling upon a historical myth that suggests some sort of “Bosnian cosmopolitanism” that is supposedly innate and extends back to the times of Medieval Bosnia and the Ottoman Conquest as well as to the yesteryear time of “brotherhood and unity”—a unity and brotherhood that the nationalism of modern-day Croats and Serbs is said to have put into a state of disorder. They, of course, now wish to restore that lost order in a new set of clothes. Furthermore, these advocates pass over the nationalism of the Bosniacs in silence while setting forth Croat and Serb nationalism as being equal and one and the same. Their silence has both a political and propaganda purpose—one that does not lend itself to a clarification of constitutional and existential questions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. All those who are fair-minded can easily discern who and why the war in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina was initiated. They can also discern just as easily that the Greater-Serbia-expansionism and that the Bosnian/Bosniac-unitarism of today are far greater dangers for the continued existence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not Croat nationalism. Those two are the key problems facing the solution of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian question. Croats simply have as their goal the assurance of lasting constitutional rights and equality within a tri-national Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In Place of a Conclusion

While a fateful battle rages over the Bosnian-Herzegovinian question, my brother Vlatko and his offspring, whose very lives and future are at stake, in the meantime, is simply a non-existent factor in that struggle. They simply must accept that which is forced upon them in the name of freedom by the major powers. It was thus in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the centuries—and it’s as though it must continue to be thus even today. Were anyone to bother to ask common folk like my brother, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian question is not as irresolvable as might seem. They desire peace, true freedom, and a country that will guarantee them a secure life by virtue of law, and in essence, to be that which they are by virtue of nationality, faith, language and culture. They fail to see why individual rights and the rights of peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina need to be confronted rather than harmonized. They cannot understand why individuals must be “altered” into something that they are not and thereby force them (perhaps intentionally) to be “enemies” of the state rather than positive citizens. Precisely because of such a political stance, the former state disintegrated.

Let those who truly wish what is good for Bosnia-Herzegovina and its citizens cease to force various ideological reveries along with socio-political experimentations. Such reveries and experiments will, sooner or later, lead to new crises and bloodshed. The same approach that was used to end the war ten years ago, namely, a direct, practical, and determined approach to the military engagement, must be used to find a constitutional solution wherein all three constitutive peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina along with all its citizens will be truly equal and free. In order for this to happen, Dayton’s Bosnia-Herzegovina must be brought to an end. In its place, a just and lasting constitutional solution must be guaranteed wherein each of its three peoples as well as each individual will be able to live and to create a better future for himself and for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Translated by Dusko Condic – Chicago

Deseta obljetnica Daytona


Ante Čuvalo – Chicago

Hrvatska revijaGodište V./2005., broj 4., st.49-53.

Umjesto uvoda

U Proboju blizu Ljubuškog, Bosna i Hercegovina, gdje sam rođen, živi moj najstariji brat Vlatko. Njegova djeca i unučad su mladice iz starog panja koji se već stoljećima tamo zakorjenio. Kao Hrvat i katolik, on je proživio sve „blagodati“ (uključujući i zatvor) koje su doše s Jugoslavijom, komunizmom, nedavnim ratom u Bosni i Hercegovini i daytonskim sporazumom. Tipična je to hrvatska obitelj koja je živjela i preživjela radeći, moleći, čuvajući svoje i poštujući druge i drugačije, i tako bi željela i dalje živjeti, ali u istinskoj slobodi, pravdi i sigurnosti.

Za prijašnjih režima njemu je bilo vrlo jasno (kao i većini Hrvata u BiH) tko nad njim gospodari. Ne samo da je bio bezpravan, nego, kao Hrvat, bio je i prije rođenja označen kao neprijatelj države. U daytonskoj Bosni i Hercegovini nitko ga ne prati ili prisluškuje; pjeva i priča što hoće, slobodno se kreće, druži se s kim želi i glasuje za koga hoće. Prividno sve izgleda uredu. Ali premda je prošlo deset godina od kako u toj zemlji oružje šuti, moj brat ne osjeća da „normalno“ živi niti doživljava Bosnu i Hercegovinu kao „normalnu“ državu. On je „slobodan“, živi u „demokraciji“, ali je vrlo svjestan da se sve važno i sudbonosno u toj zemlju odvija u ime njega (u ime naroda) ali bez njega; iznad konkretna čovjeka, građanina. Još i više, kao Hrvata i dalje ga neki smatraju nelojalnim građaninom njegove međunarodno priznate države.

I oni koji ga naime zastupaju kao Hrvata i oni koji bi ga htjeli zastupati samo kao „nedefinirana“ građanina, kao i oni koji su došli iz „civiliziranog“ dijela svijeta i preuzeli sudbinu Bosne i Hercegovine u svoje ruke, uspostavili su takav sustav vladavine da moj brat i svi kao on, nemaju s njihovim raznim „procesima“, gospodarskim programima ili političkim i društvenim nadogradnjama i eksperimentima, nikave veze. Oni stvaraju državu i u njoj političke, gospodarske, kulturne i obrazovne nadogradnje za njega, njegovu djecu i unučad, bez njega i na njegov račun. Ne samo političare, nego i razne skupine „misionara“ različitih uljudnosti i dobro plaćene „stručnjake“ za bosanskohercegovačeko pitanje, ne zanima šta moj brat i obični smrtnik u Bosni i Hercegovini misli i osjeća. Oni slijde svoje interese, nameću svoje ideologije ili isprobavaju najnovije društveno-političke teorije u tuđoj zemlji i na tuđim životima. Oni zidaju odzgo, oni grade „svoju“ Bosnu i Hercegovinu. Posljedice svega toga su lako uočljive. Oni koji su preživjeli i ostali doma životare, a mlađi bi htjeli odprhnuti bilo kamo. Ljudi su prožeti osjecajem nesigurnosti, beznđem, pa i strahom, jer se još i ne nazire kako će ta zemlja i država izgledati u budućnosti i koje će mjesto u njoj imati moj brat, njegova unučad i hrvatski narod kojem pripada.

Uzroci takvom stanju su mnogostruki i slojeviti, ali jedan od ključnih je daytonski sporazum, koji je, umjesto postavljanja temelja stabilnosti i normalizaciji života za sve narode i građane Bosne i Hercegovine, onemogućio temeljit, čvrst i pravedan ustavni ustroj zemlje. Ako se ovako nastavi, i narod i država će plutati do opet nekakve druge katastrofe, kad će se ponovo „riješavati“ bosanskohercegovačko pitanje.

Daytonski mlinski kamen

Daytonski sporazum, to jest njegovi potpisnici, zaustavili su tadašnji rat oružjem, ali su omogućili nastavak rata na druge načine. Dio sporazuma koji se ticao vojnih pitanja bio je jasno definiran. Međunarodnim vojnim snagama (IFOR-u i njegovim nasljednicima) bila je osigurna potrebna vojna moć i ovlasti za provedbu dogovorenoga, i one su uspješno obavile svoj zadatak. Na radost i čuđenje mnogih, oružje je trajno zašutjelo jer se u vojnom pitanju znalo što se hoće i odlučno postupilo.

Na drugoj strani, dio sporazuma koji se odnosi na ustroj države i na civilni život bio je i ostao mlinski kamen oko vrata Bosni i Hercegovini i onima koji bi u njoj htjeli osigurati slobodan i normalan život. Državu sa tri priznata konstitutativna naroda popolovilo se na dva po omjeru umalo ista entiteta. Od jednog se stvorila etnički gotovo „čista“ Republika Srpska (RS), od drugog desetokantonska Federacija Bošnjaka i Hrvata, Brčko postaje svojevrsna republika za sebe i Mostar dolazi pod direktnu upravu Europe, a Bosna i Hercegovina, država sa 14 ustava, 14 vlada i 180 ministara, (p)ostala je veliki upitnik. Nije se doreklo je li Bosni i Hercegovini Dayton početak bolje budućnosti ili početak kraja. U takvom je protuslovlju krojena, kako jedan od bivših međunarodnih dužnosnika u BiH reče, luđačka košulja za daytonsku Bosnu i Hercegovinu.

Nadalje, sva goruća pitanja, kao povratak protjeranih i izbjeglih, pronalazak nestalih, ratni zločini, organiziranje i provedba izbora, moguće izmjene i dopune ustava, ljudska i manjinska prava, sudstvo, školstvo, banke, obnova gospodarstva, formiranje nove policije i vojske, sigurnost granica itd., Dayton je raspodijelio raznim međunarodnim ustanovama koje nemaju ni jasno definirane ovlasti niti moć, a još manje volje rješavati ih otvoreno, jasno i pravedno. Međunarodni Visoki Predstavnik, uz pomoć masovne i dobro plaćene birokracije, je postavljen koordinirati provodbu Daytona, odnosno vladati Bosnom i Hercegovinom kao suveren koji ima sve ovlasti, a za svoja (ne)dijela nikome na polaže račune.

Kolonijalizam u ime slobode

Ne tako davni britanski, francuski i drugi zapadnoeuropski kolonijalizam bio je opravdavan civilizacijskom misijom. Vodeći liberali tog vremena bili su angažirani intelektualci ne samo u promicanju slobodarskih ideja u svojim zemljama, nego i u potpori širenja liberalnog kolonijalizma. Tako, na primjer, dobro nam poznati Tocqueville na jednoj strani je veliki zagovornik osobnih sloboda, a na drugoj opravdava i podržava francusku okupaciju Alžira.

Ali vremena se mijenjaju, pa i kolonijalizam. Današnji kolonijalizam je uljudniji i suptilniji. Nije danas „pristojno“ jednostavno okupirati i vladati tuđom zemljom. Uostalom, to je preskupo i zna biti opasno. Danas se nameće indirektni kolonijalizam, koji je malo kompliciraniji, ali ljepše je pakiran, lakše ga je svijetu „prodati“ i unosniji je nego onaj bivši. On je višecentričan i uvlači se kroz tržište, međunarodne tvrtke, gospodarske bilateralne i multilateralne ugovore, kroz globalne organizacije i ustanove, razne fondove, investicije i banke, dominacijom u medijima, školstvu i kulturi, kroz razne sebi-služeće organizacije za ljudska, manjinska, životinjska i druga prava, te međunarodne sudove.

Postkomunističke „tranzicijske zemlje“ i one Trećeg svijeta, su najpovoljnije tlo za ovu vrstu neo-liberalnog kolonijalizma, koji se neustručava poslužiti i neliberalnim metodama da bi ostvario, ne demokratsko, nego kako se to danas politički korektno veli „civilno i otvoreno društvo“. A nije to jedno te isto. U demokratskom društvu narod ima (ili bi trebao imati) sudbinu države u svojim rukama, a u otovreno-neokolonijalnom suverenitet „izmče“ narodu i netko drugi ga pomalo preuzima. Ali narodi i u tradicionalno moćnim zemljama počinju se suočavati sa globalnim i višecentričnim kolonijalizmom koji sve više podkopava njihovu građansku moć, radno mjesto i ekonomsku stabilnost, te nameće ideološku i intelektualnu poslušnost, i globalni apsolutistički relativizam svih vrednota.

U ratom razrušenoj daytonskoj Bosni i Hercegovini prepliće se stari i novi tip kolonijalizma. To je suverena država, članica UN-a, ali bez stvarnog suvereniteta. Njom se vlada iz Bruxelles-a, preko samo-birajućeg PIC-a (Peace Implementation Council) i Visokog Predstavnika, a oni i svi drugi koji se upliću u sudbinu Bosne i Hercegovine imaju u njoj svoje interese i za nju svoje planove. U zemlji se održavaju redoviti izbori u kojima narod bira one koji dobiju imprimatur Visokog Predstavnika, a izabrani političari postali su s(l)oj ljudi, politička klasa, koji su između naroda i „međunarodnjaka“. Njihov legitimitet se formalno temelji na narodu koji ih je birao, ali to je farsa jer oni i njihove ovlasti ovise o političkoj volji ne naroda, nego Visokog Predstavnika i onih koji su ga postavili.

Osim apsolutističke vlasti Visokog Predstvnika, u Bosni i Hercegovini i oko njezine sudbine vrzino kolo vije cijela vojska svih mogućih „dobroželjitelja“ i „dobročinitelja“, te raznih „stručnjaka“ koji žele „civilizirati“ Bosnu i Hercegovinu i od nje napraviti nešto što ona nije. One koje materijalno love u mutnome ne treba ni spominjati. Nedorečenosti daytosnkog sporazuma svima dobro dođu, osim onih koji bi željeli i htjeli da Bosna i Hercegovina već jednom krene prema političkoj, društvenoj i gospodarskoj stabilnosti; da postane zemlja u kojoj se može slobodno i „normalno“ živjeti.

Djeljenje ili zaokruživanje bosanskohercegovačkog trokuta

Međunarodoni čimbenici, budći da nisu išli za tim da osiguraju u multinacionalnoj Bosni i Hercegovini pravedan mir i da pomognu postaviti ustavne temelje na kojima bi tri konstitutivna naroda i svi građani u zemlji gradili zajedničku bolju budućnost, ostavili su prostor nastavaka rata bez oružja. Nastavlja se, dakle, borba za različite političke ishode u Bosni i Hercegovini, pa i u njezinu susjedstvu. Ovdje ćemo navesti samo one najvažnije vizije oko koji se vodi borba za sutrašnju Bosnu i Hercegovinu.

Počet ćemo od Srba jer njihov nacionalni san je najjasniji. Premda su se tadašnje (1995.) vođe bosanskohercegovačkih Srba žestoko opirale daytonskom sporazumu (jer su tražili puno više), danas sve srpske političke, društvene i vjerske snage (u RS, u Srbiji i srpskoj dijaspori) koje među Srbima iole nešto znače čvrsto stoje na obrani Daytona, odnosno „etnički čiste“ RS. Po njihovu tumačenju sporazuma, Dayton je otvorio vrata procesu odcjepljenja RS od ostalih djelova Bosne i Hercegovine i njezinu budućem ujedinjenju sa Srbijom. Dakle Republika Srpska nije konačni cilj, nego ključ za dalji „prodor na zapad“ i ostvarenju (prije ili kasnije) velikosprskog sna u kojoj će se naći i „trenutačno izgubljeni“ dijelovi Republike Hrvatske. Moguća tro-entitetska, kantonizirana ili regionalizirana BiH bi dovela u pitanje namjenjenu povijesnu ulogu RS i zato za Srbe daytonska BiH i u njoj (zasad) RS, premda u nezavidnom gospodarskom i društvenom stanju, je jedini izbor. Slijedi se logika da treba sve izdržati za ostvarenje vjekovnih velikosrpskih ideala „nebeskog naroda“. Zato su Srbi (zasad) najrevniji čuvari daytonske Bosne i Hercegovine.

Snovi bosnjačke političke, kulturne i vjerske elite za buduću Bosnu i Hercegovinu su na prvi pogled maštoviti i višebojni, ali ih nije teško sažeti u dvije temeljne odrednice. Jedni bi htjeli ostvariti unitarnu Bosnu (za većinu Hercegovina je samo smetnja u bošnjačkom državotvornom projektu) i u njoj bosansku državnu naciju u kojoj bi Bošnjaci/muslimani, kao većinski narod, imali ulogu čuvara države. Bosna (i Hercegovina) bila bi mini-Jugoslavija, Bosanstvo bi zamjenilo Jugoslavenstvo, Bošnjaci jučerašnje Srbe i muslimansko/bošnjačko Sarajevo srpski Beograd. Ovaj nacionalni program se, među ostalim, jasno izražava u „bosanskom“, a ne bošnjačkom ili pak bosansko-hercegovačkom jeziku.

Alternativa prvom modelu je prihvaćanje daytonske podijele zemlje na dva entiteta i postepeno pretvaranje bošnjačko-hrvatske Federacije u bošnjačku/muslimansku republiku, računajći da će Hrvati kao nejači partner u Federaciji na razne načine odumrijeti ili postati samo etnička manjina. Na ovaj način bi se ostvario mini-velikobošnjački san, dok bi se u isto vrijeme jačao bošnjački/muslimanski elemenat u RS računajući da je vrijeme i po božanskom zakonu na njihovoj strani. Izgleda da je kod potpisivanja Daytona vladajuća bošnjačka elita oko SDA i njezinih saveznika smatrala ovaj mini-velikobošnjački san za sad realnijim te je igrala (i igra) više na srpsku kartu, nego na partnerstvo s Hrvatima u zajedničkom suzbijanju ostvarenja velike Srbije. Dok njezini sljedbenici ovu taktiku smatraju mudrim političkim realizmom, neke pak druge bošnjačke snage osuđuju vodstvo SDA za srbofilstvo kojim su Bosnu i Hercegovinu doveli na rub propasti.

Sve važnije bošnjačke političke, društvene i religijske snage dok bi možda pristale na neku vrstu neetničkog regionalizma, odbijaju tronacionalnu BiH u kojoj bi njezina tri naroda imala zagarantirana ista prava i iste odgovornosti u zajedničkoj državi. Sve se bošnjačke političke grupacije zaklinju u „građansku“ i multietničku Bosnu (ili neki Bosnu i Hercegovinu), ali ono „građansko“ i „multietničko“ je svjetlucavi omot oko velikobošnjačke ideologije po kojoj bi bošnjaštvo ili pak bosanstvo, kao drugo lice iste ideologije, bilo prihvaćeno (prije ili kasnije) kao nacionalni identitet svih građana. Time bi se tronacionalna Bosna i Hercegovina pretočila u multietničku u kojoj bi, naravno, Bošnjaci bili „temeljni narod“ i čuvari države. Ali gdje ima „temeljnih“ ima i „netemeljnih“ i gdje ima čuvara države, mora biti i onih od kogo bi ju trebalo čuvati!

Stvarnost je da Hrvati Bosne i Hercegovine nemaju zajedničku temeljnu viziju za sutrašnju Bosnu i Hercegovinu. Zadnjih petnaestak godina bilo je različith snova, kao i svjesna ili nesvjesna zavaravanja i samozavaravanja oko moguće podijele Bosne i Hercegovine, dok nisu mnogi shvatili da su ipak Hrvati BiH tokom rata bili samo jedna od karata u taktiziranju službenog Zagreba oko obrane Republike Hrvatske. Zato je Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna tako lako i otpisana. Republika Hrvatska je „Olujom“ omogućila i zatim potpisala Dayton ne radi Hrvata Bosne i Hercegovine, nego radi interesa (ili se barem tako mislilo) Republike Hrvatske.

Sudeći po onome što se može čuti i pročitati, današnjim različitim vizijama za sutrašnju Bosnu i Hercegovinu ipak se među Hrvatima BiH može naći zajednički nazivnik. Oni su za promijenu Daytona i traže Bosnu i Hercegovinu koja će im trajno osigurati građanska i nacionalna prava i ravnopravnost. Manje im je važno kakvim ustavnim odrednicama bi se to osiguralo, premda se najviše govori o trećem entitetu ili švicarskom modelu kantoniziranog ustroja države. Zasigurno, ima i onih, u prvom redu u Hercegovini, koji bi još rado vidjeli raspad BiH i uključenje barem njihova sela u granice Republike Hrvatske, ali kod većine prevladava realizam i u prvom redu zabrinutost za ostanak i opstanak na svojim vjekovnim ognjištima, a ne za nekakav velikohrvatski san na račun Bosne i Hercegovine. A važno je napomenuti i da u Republici Hrvatskoj nema puno interesa ni za prilike u Bosni i Hercegovini, a kamo li za svojatanje nekih njezinih djelova.

Ovdje treba dodati da uz bošnjačku postoje i druge skupine unutar zemlje koje zagovaraju „građansku“ Bosnu i Hercegovinu. I oni su za promijenu Daytona, ali unaprijed odbacuju sva riješenja koja uzimaju u obzir i nacionalni faktor. Za njih ne postoje skupna, nego samo pojedinačna prava. Temeljni ustavni princip bi trebao biti jedan čovjek-jedan glas. Oni su za Bosnu (i Hercegovinu) u kojoj se nacija i država positovjećuju. Kažu da im je multietnička Amerika model, ali u biti su ostali vjerni mitu „bratstva i jedinstva“ u kojem su oni donedavno bili kava-takva elita, te žele i dalje zadržati status kreme bosanskohercegovačkog društvu u ime etno-vjerske skupine kojoj slučajno pripadaju.

U međunarodnim krugovima, posebice na Zapadu, postoje dvije važnije snage koje se protive tronacionalnoj Bosni i Hercegovini. Jednima se žuri „razgraditi“ nacionalne identitete u Bosni i Hercegovini računajući da će odsjecajući pojedince i skupine od njihovih korijena omogućiti stvaranje „čistih građana“. Usprkos tolikim krvavim dokazima da ovakve nametnute društvene konstrikcije ne riješavaju, nego pogoršavaju odnose među ljudima i narodima, ipak se zalažu za Bosnu (i Hercegovinu) kao talionicu naroda. Bošnjački nacionalisti raznih struja i zagovaratelji „građanske“ Bosne iz redova sva tri bosanskohercegovačka naroda rado se priključuju ovim međunarodnim snagama kao taktičkim saveznicima, i to im daje dodatnu političku, pa i materijalnu moć.

Drugu manju skupinu čine geopolitički „realisti“. Neki od njih zagovaraju podijelu Bosne i Hercegovine na tri dijela, a drugi pak na dva. U oba slučaja Srpsku Republiku se uzima kao stvarnost i prihvaća se njezino konačno priključenje Srbiji. U Federaciji jedni vide sutrašnju bošnjačku državu, a drugi bi ipak dodijelili Hrvatima zapadni dio Hercegovine. U „realistima“ Srbi vide najbolje saverznike, a među Hrvatima u Hercegovini neki računaju „bolje išta nego ništa“ ili se nadaju priključenju barem svog rodnog kraja Republici Hrvatskoj te im je ovakav realizam prihvatljiv.

Tlapnje o nacionalizmu

Među najglasnijim međunarodnim skupinama koji imaju velik utjecaj na budućnost Bosne i Hercegovine su razni (u najviše slučajeva) samozvani stručnjaci koji u nacionalizmu vide izvor svih problema u bivšoj Jugoslaviji i današnjoj BiH, posebice u srpskom i hrvatskom, koje oni vrlo rado i namjerno izjednačuju. Ali njihove tlapnje i konstrukcije koje žele nametnuti više mute, nego bistre prilike u Bosni i Hercegovini. Toliko su uporni da se spravom može posumnjati da oni uistinu žele pomoći riješiti postojeće društveno-političke probleme u Bosni i Hercegovini.

Ovi promicatelji anacionalnog „otvorenog društva“ kao da zaboravljaju da u ovim dijelovima Europe (i u većini svijeta) „kovanje“ nacionalne svijesti je prednjačilo osamostaljenju država. Čak i novoformulirani bošnjački nacionalizam nije rezultat državnog osamostaljenja Bosne i Hercegovine, nego je samo raspadom Jugoslavije ušao u novo i bujnije doba svog razvoja. Nebi trebali zaboraviti da i u Americi, koju oni često spominju kao model „građanske države“, svako toliko se mijenjaju granice raznih izbornih okruga radi etničkih i rasnih razloga jer i američko društvo ne živi niti će živjeti u nekakvom bezličnom „građanskom“ vakumu.

Zanimljivo je zamjetiti da ove snage su u teoriji protivnici svakog nacionalizma, a u praksi nameću novo-kovani bosanski nacionalizam i pozivaju se na povjesne mitove o nekakavu urođenom „bosanskom kozmopolitizmu“, od srednjovjekovne Bosne i osmanske okupacije do jučerašnjeg „bratstva i jedinstva“, kojeg su naime moderni hrvatski i srpski nacionalizmi poremetili, te oni ga sad žele obnoviti u novom ruhu. Nadalje, njihovo prišućivanje bošnjačkog nacionalizma i izjednačavanje srpskog i hrvatskog nacionalizma ima svoju političku i propagandnu svrhu, što ne doprinosi razjašnjavanju ustavnih i egzistencijalnih pitanja u Bosni i Hercegovini. Svi dobronamjerni mogu lako shvatiti zašto i tko je prouzročio rat u Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini i da su danas velikosrpski ekspanzionizam i bosanski/bošnjački unitarizam puno opasniji za opstanak Bosne i Hercegovine i ključni problem za rješavanje bosanskohercegovačkog pitanja, a ne hrvatski nacionalizam, kojemu je glavni cilj osigurati trajna ustavna prava i jednakost u tronacionalnoj Bosni i Hercegovini.

Umjesto zaključka

Dok se vodi borba oko sudbonosnih bosanskohercegovačkih pitanja, moj brat Vlatko i njegovi potomci, o čijem se životima i budućnosti ovdje radi, kao da i ne postoje. Oni moraju prihvatiti ono što im veće sile u ime slobode odrede. Tako je to bilo u Bosni i Hercegovni već vjekovima i kao da mora biti i danas. Ali kad bi se njih pitalo bosanskohercegovački problemi nisu tako nerješivi kako ih se prikazuje. Oni žele mir, istinsku slobodu i državu koja će im zakonom zagarantirati pravo na siguran život i na biti ono što jesu po narodnosti, vjeri, jeziku i kullturi. Oni ne vide zašto prava pojedinaca i naroda u Bosni i Hercegovini treba sučeljavati, a ne usklađivati i ljude „pritakati“ u nešto što oni nisu, te ih time prisiljavati (možda i namjerno) da budu ne pozitivni građani, nego „neprijatelji“ države, kao što su ih smatrali i u onoj donedavnoj, koja se radi takve politike i raspala.

Oni koji žele dobro Bosni i Hercegovini i njezinim građanima neka dakle prestanu namećati razna ideološka sanarenja i društveno-političke eksperimente koji će prije ili kasnije dovesti do novih kriza i krvoprolića. Kao što se unazad deset godina pristupilo vojnim problemima direktno, praktično i odlučno, tako treba donijeti i ustavna riješenja po kojima će svaki od tri konstitutivna naroda i svaki građanin biti istinski slobodan i ravnopravan. Da bi se to postiglo, treba dokončati daytonsku Bosnu i Hercegovinu i osigurati pravedna i trajna ustavna rješenja po kojima će njezina tri naroda i svaki pojedinac moći živjeti i graditi bolju budućnost sebi i Bosni i Hercegovini.


Iz članka: Kako je planula “Partizanka” 1949. – Prema dnevniku hrv. gerilca.

Hrvatski glas, 20. srpnja 1966. (vol. 38, br. 33).

..Komunisti i njihova OZNA i KNOJ nisu već 1947. godine „likvidirali“ odpor hrvatskih gerilaca, već, naprotiv, 1949-50-51., taj je odpor zadao neprijatelju najjači udarac i bio najuspješniji. Tek 1949. godine komunitički tisak počeo je donositi gubitke na njihovoj strani.

    Nabrojit ćemo nekoliko važnijih u to vrijeme:

Napad na brzi vlak kod Gračaca u Lici, u kojem su se nalazili fr. Diplomati, kojeg je posljedica bila, radi velikog publiciteta u inozemstvu, „da je Jadran u sezoni 1949-50, posjetilo svega 51 strani turist“. Uništavanje dvaju vlakova na postaji Plavno. Diverzije u tvornici u Dugoj Resi i skladištima nafte u Rijeci. Likvidiranje Josipa Poduje, jednog od osnivača KPJ. Vješanje hrv. zastave na Marjanu u Splitu, koja se vijala pola dana, a vezle su je majka i sestra Titiong „narodnog heroja Ante Jonića“, i za to bile kažnjene (vidi list „Slobodna Dalmacija, svibanj 1949.). Palenje doma „Vicko Krstulović“ u Splitu. Palenje borada „Partizanka“. Likvidacija nekih Udbaša usred Splita. Krajiški ustanak i napad na Bihać. Stotine akcija i sukoba sa milicijom i KNOJ-em u planinama Papuku, Motajici, Romaniji, Malovanu, Koprivnici (kod Bugojna), Kamešnici, Dinari, Kapeli, Velebitu i drugima – u kojima je bilo “ubijeno ili ranjeno 12,342 milicionera i knojevaca..”‘ (te brojke dao je u svom izvješću Nar. Skupštini, glavom A. Ranković, ožujak 1954. god.).

    Cilj tih akcija bio je jedan, – pokazati komunističkim tiranima, da hrvatski narod nije prignuo pred njima šiju, niti im se pokorio. Hrvatski gerilici nisu išli za tim, “da što više ubiju komunista”, već naprotiv, ubijanje je vršeno u krajnoj nuždi i jedino nad onima, čiji je teror nad narodom bio prevršio svaku mjeru.

    Kako je svrha ovog pisanja iznijeti samo jednu akciju, povodom njene godišnjice, to se nećemo zadržavati na opisivanju naših gerilaca, već prepuštamo riječ dnevniku:


“Ne možemo razumjeti, zašto nas narod zove „Križarima“ i tko je to ime izmislio? To mi, a napose Bosanci, ne možemo usvojiti. Naš svijet u Bosni zove nas „Zelenim Kadrom“. – Na kapama nosimo hrv. grb, to je simbol sviju nas. Za ime manje više…” (srpanj 1945.)

    “Komunisti vrše veliku propagandu preko svoga broda „Partizanka“. Varaju narod, tamo, u Americi i Australiji, lažu mu, kako je ovdje dobro i dovoze ga tim brodom natrag. U Splitu ga dočekuju velikim paradama. Vele, da neki dovode i auta koja da im komunisti oduzimaju uz malu odštetu. One koje nemaju kuća, komunisti smještaju u bivše talijanske vojničke barake u Splitu. To je naselje narod prozvao „drvenim Čikagom“.

    Da bi toj lažnoj propagandi stali na kraj, i spasili mnoge zavedene od propasti, odlučili smo poraditi na tome, da „Partizanke“ nestane. U Splitu ćemo to najlakše postici. Tamo imamo naše ljude.“ (kolovoz 1948.)

    „Dobili smo vijest iz Splita, da bi uskoro „Partizanka“ imala stići na generalni popravak u splitsko brodogradilište. Vijest nas je obradovala.“ (lipanj 1949.)

    „Stigla je u splitsko brodogradilište. Na doku se nalazi i bivši američki brod „Liberty“, koji je vozeći krompir, naišao na Jadranu na minu, Amerikanci ga napustili, a komunisti kupili i dovezli na popravak. Sada se zove „Hrvatska“. Na brodogradilištu je i jedna torpiljarka, koju su dobili za ratne reparacije od Italije. Na njoj je se nalazi oko 150 tona topničkih granata. „Partizanka“ je usidrena izmedju „Hrvatske“ i torpiljarke. Naši nam javljaju, da samo oni radnici koji su članovi Partije, smiju na „Partizanku“ i to s naročitim propusnicama. Primjerke tih propusnica su nam poslali. Veličine su „visit-karte“. Nešto posade je i dalje na brodu. Detaljan plan brodogradilišta će nam stići sjutra.“

    „Dobili smo plan. Krasno, jednim potezom uništiti ćemo sva tri broda, dok i brodogradilište. – Brodogradilište čuva jedna četa KNOJ-a, čiji je komandir neki Mrvica iz Šibenika. Kontrola je stroga, ali nam naši javljaju, da će se eksploziv moći unijeti i postaviti. Predlažu, da se upotrijebi “Plastik”, jer ga netreba mnogo i lakše ga je unijeti.”

    “Napravili smo plan i izabrali trojicu koja će u tom poslu krenuti u Split. Javili smo našim, da nastoje onesposobiti motor za vatrogasne pumpe, jer brodogradilište ima svoje vatrogasce. Prešli smo Cetinu i stigli u Mosor, gdje nas je na ugovorenom mjestu dočekala veza, jedan mladić, gimnazilac. Ne zna naše namjere, a i ne pita mnogo, ima poslužiti samo kao vodić do Splita. Jako je oduševljen susretom s nama. Kada se razdanilo s jednog velikog vrha gledamo more. Za većinu je to prvi put da ga vide. Kad se smrklo krenuli su, ona trojica i vodič, za Split. Ostali ostaju u Mosoru. Našima smo poslali plan i upute s tim, ako misle da nešto treba izmijeniti, da to urede.”

    „Noćas je stigao do nas izaslanik iz Splita. Naši su sa eksplozivom sretno stigli. Izaslanik veli, da će se akcija izvešti sutra na večer, 12. kolovoza, jer taj je dan na ulazu Mate Perković, komunista iz Kučina. Naš prijatelj nam kaže, da je taj Mate glup i da će se najlakše unijeti eksploziv baš kad je on na ulazu. Taj Mate Perković da je u ratu domamio svog najboljeg prijatelja do svoje kuće i tu su ga komunisti dočekali u zasjedi i ubili, radi toga, što je odbio suradnju s njima. Dežurni na brodogradilištu da će biti tu noć Jozo Kokan, mladi komunac, naivčina i neiskusan, pa će biti lako onesposobiti vatrogasne motore. Ne predviđa se, da bi moglo biti puno ljudskih žrtava, jer će se plan izvesti tokom noći.”

    „Ako plan uspije, bit će ogroman uspjeh. U tenkovima „Partizanke“ nalazi se 24 vagona nafte, koju je utovarila u Rijeci prije polaska za Split. Eksplozija te nafte zahvatit će torpiljarku i „Hrvatsku“. Ukoliko nafta s „Partizanke“ ne dosegne skladišta nafte na brodogradilištu, to će učiniti granate sa torpiljarke.”

    „Čim se smrklo, 12. kolovoza, popeli smo se na vrh Mosora i tu se smjestili za promatranje. Nešto prije ponoći suknuo je plamen na brodogradišlitu. Najprije manji, pa onda sve veći i veći. Oko 1 sat dosegao je visinu od 80 metara. Očekujemo eksploziju. – Ne pojavljuje se. Ali kako bilo da bilo, kula Titove lažen propagande „grije nebo“. „Drveni Čikago“ će morati dugo čekati na nove stanovnike. Ovo je nož u utrobu komunističkim krvnicima, koji već četiri godine prolijevaju potoke hrvatske krvi. Neka vide da nam nisu dorasli i da možemo napraviti što želimo i u mjestu koje oni drže kao svoju najsigurniju „bazu“ u njihovoj Strmoglaviji. Mislili su da im je brodogradilište “Vicko Krstulović“ nepovrijedivo. Čekajte krvnici, naučili smo se i mi, u ove četiri godine, nečemu….”

    „Naši su se sretno iste noći povratili. Neznaju nam mnogo objasniti, radi čega nije došlo do eksplozije. – Vele, da su nam naši iz Splita poručili, da pričekamo par dana u Mosoru, pa će nam poslati izvješće.”

    „Treću noć su stigla dvojica nših. Pričaju nam slijedeće: Sve je išlo po planu, kako treba. Eksploziv je postavljen kod malog tenka, jer do velikih tenkova bilo je teško doći. Motor na vatrogasnoj pumpi je bio onesposobljen. Komunisti su imali pod parom jedan remorker, pa su izvukli torpiljarku iz brodogradilišta. “Partizanka” je uništena tako požarom, da je se neće moći popraviti. Šteta je ogromna, a moralni uspjeh još veći. Mornari što su bili na njoj, poskakali su goli u more. Žrtava nije bilo. Udba je odmah uhapsila preko 300 članova Partije i obiteljima njihovim nije htjela reći, gdje su zatvoreni. Neki vele da su na Gripama, neki opet kažu, da su u Mejama. Drug Oto Ševeljević, sekretar partije na brodogradilištu, da je bijesan kao tigar. Udba da postupa sa partijcima gore nego sa “reakcijom”. Žene i obitelji partijaca “krešu” Udbi, partiji, pa i drugu Titu “sve na kamaru”…”

    „Vratili smo se u Bosnu. Iz Splita nam stižu vijesti, da se još mnogi partijci nalaze u zatvoru. Prvi da su pušteni nakon osam dana. Naša akcija podigla je uvelike moral u narodu. Po selima se čuda pričaju. Dolje u selu stari Ahmo pričao komšiji, da su naši potopili „Partizanku“. Ovaj odmah znatiželjno uzvrati:

Ma, u ćijem je bunaru utušiše?

Uh, brate, ma kakvom bunaru. Nije bolan insan, to ti je golema lađa, štono ovi šejtani hilnom narod dovalči iz Amerike.

Teško je starim ljudima rastumačiti koliko je bila velika „Partizanka“ jer nisu nikada bili na moru i vidjeli prekoceanske brodove. Vidili su šlepove na Savi i neki, kad su služili kod cara Franje, u Beču manje brodove.“



Iz dnevnika su, razumije se, izostavljena mnoga imena, način na koji je eksploziv pripravljen i unešen (čto je i najinteresantnije), ukratko sve ono, zašto nije vrijeme da se objavljuje. – Mnogi su od učesnika te akcije mrtvi, pali u neravnoj borbi s nadmoćnijim neprijateljem. Bili su sve to mladi ljudi, nijeda nije bio, u to vrijeme, prekoračio tridesetu. Volili su svoj narod i borili se za njegovu slobodu. Nisu željeli živjeti na koljenima i biti robovi tiranima. Nisu vjerovali da se bjegstvom preko granice može odatle Hrvatska osloboditi iz pandža komunizma. Svojim bistrim, seljačkim mozgom mislili su realno. Borili su se s oskudnim sredstvima protiv tirana na rodnoj grudi, i pali sa srcem punim ljubavi i patriotizma za tu grudu, – za Hrvatsku.


(Preneseni su dijelovi članka kojeg je pisac potpisao pseudonimom Mehmedalija Tuzlak)




Priv brod koji je nakon rata prevozio emigrante povratnike i materijalnu pomoć iseljenika u Titovu Jugoslavio bio je trgovački parobrod “Radnik”, kupljen u San Franciscu. Zatim je u srpnju 1947. kupljen brod “City of Lisabon” u Portugalu i nazvan je “Partizanka”. Njezina glavna uloga je bila prevoziti iseljenike povratnike iz Južne Amerike i Australije. “Partizanka” je mogla smjestiti 750 putnika i imala je 195 članova posade, koji su bili provjereni partizanski borci, a uz njih je povratnike “zabavljalo” još 15 političkih komesara. “Partizanka” je plovila četiri puta u Južnu Ameriku i dva puta u Australiju. Ukupno je dovezla 2858 putnika, od tog broja oko 70% bili su Hrvati. Zadnji put je s povratnicima iz Australije uplovila u Riječku luku 5. svibnja 1949. i iskrcala 5 putnika i četerdeset ovaca! Pročula se istina o Titovom raju, socijalizmu i antifašizmu, te Partizanka ostala bez posla! Uskoro poslije povrataka iz Australije durogvi su unutrašnjost broda “oslobodili” svih stvari koje su se mogle skinuti i zatim poslali na “remont” u Split gdje je “Partizanka” planula 12. kolovoza 1949.

Priredio Ante Čuvalo

Social Elements in the Croatian National Movement of the Early Seventies: Manipulation or a National Reawakening?


Paper delivered at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, 1989

Ante Čuvalo

The Croatian national revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s has been interpreted by official and semi-official observers in Yugoslavia, and also by a number of individuals outside the country, in a negative light. According to them, the movement was a counter-revolution, rotten liberalism, blind and uncontrollable nationalism, or merely a manipulation of the masses by the young and ambitious Communist Party leadership in the republic of Croatia. It is claimed that the movement had gotten out of hand, and, therefore, the regime had no choice but to crush the evil forces that could have brought calamity to the whole country. These and similar assertions, however, are too simplistic. They have been put forward, it seems, mostly for the purpose of justifying the regime’s actions or, in the case of foreign observers, out of fear that any kind of Croatian revival might be perilous to the unity of the Yugoslav state and, therefore, to the balance of terror between the two superpowers.

If one looks a little deeper, however, it is clear that the Croatian movement was a genuine national reawakening and, as such, it became a major challenge to the centralist forces in Belgrade, their allies in Croatia, and to the Communist Party’s monopoly of power, which constantly reinforce each other.

In this presentation, we will look at the Communist Party factions at the time, how different social segments in Croatia responded to the movement, and, at the end, we will offer some general observations on the movement.

Factions in the Party

There were three party factions in Croatia in the early 1970s: conservatives, neoconservatives, and progressives. The conservatives yearned for the “good old days” when the party leadership was in full control of the state and society. Centralism and unitarianism were two main characteristics of their political view regarding the national question in the country. According to their own party comrades at the time, the conservatives were “stricken by panic only by hearing the words Croat, Croatian, Croatian language, or the like. They considered it to be a revival of unhealthy ghosts of the past….. They did not wish to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a Yugoslav nation.”1

The second faction, neoconservatives, emerged after the Tenth Session of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia in January 1970. The leading members of this group belonged to the liberal reformists party faction in the 1960s. But after a progressive party platform was promulgated at the Tenth Session, some of the former liberals began to disagree with the young top party leadership in the republic over the interpretation and implementation of the platform. As a result, they moved closer to the old conservatives, and these two factions were instrumental in bringing down the progressive party leadership and in crushing the movement.

The party progressives were found among the younger party membership, intellectuals, and at the top of the party leadership at the time. Their main goal was to implement the republic’s liberal party platform which stood for further decentralization of the Yugoslav federal center, a larger role of a market economy, Croatian national emancipation, as well as for a more pluralistic and open society.

One of the main causes of the split between the neoconservatives and the progressives was the question of handling rising Croatian national voices regarding economic, social, cultural, political, and national issues. To the neoconservatives such voices were a threat to the goals and achievements of the Revolution because they were meddling into the domain designated only for the avant-garde of the working class. They especially looked upon the intellectuals as a potential political challenge that “cultivated a deep process of political struggle with the aim of discrediting the party ….2 This party faction, therefore, advocated a policy of the “firm hand” and accused the progressives of not being decisive enough in dealing with, what they claimed to be, a political opposition in the making.

The party progressives in Croatia were heirs to the “national communism” that had been present in Croatia before, during, and after World War II. In accordance with that tradition, they attempted to combine class and national components in Croatian society. In doing so, they legitimized the Croatian national revival and also began to politicize the social elements outside the party. Both of these moves, however, were condemned by the party traditionalists. To combine the “class” and “national” struggle had been an old dualist heresy for the “old believers” in the party. But most of all, the growing politicization of the masses was seen as a threat to the party’s monopoly of power, as well as to the personal power of the “faithful servants” in the party bureaucracy. Thus, it was inevitable that a conflict would arise between those who sought to preserve the political and ideological status quo and those who strived for a change.

In their struggle, each of the groups turned to their natural allies. The conservatives and neoconservatives found a strong support outside of Croatia, most of all at the federal center and the federally controlled forces. (There is a strong likelihood that these two party factions in Croatia were more an instrument of than a partner to the centralist forces.) The progressives, on the other hand, stressed moral, ideological, and historical rights in their arguments and turned to the Croatian people. However, the real balance of power was overwhelmingly on the side of the party traditionalists and the federal center. While the progressives had the masses, their opponents had the military, police, and other federal instruments of power on their side. It is no surprise, therefore, that the progressives were easily defeated when the two sides openly clashed in November 1971.


There were two main groups among the intellectuals in Croatia in the late Sixties. One was gathered around Matica hrvatska (Matrix Croatica), the oldest Croatian cultural institution, and the Croatian University in Zagreb; the other around the Praxisjournal. The Weltanschauung of the Matica and University intellectuals was humanist socialism and internationalism through freedom and equality of every individual and every nation. For them, the world was a rainbow of different races, peoples, and individuals living in harmony. Diversity, racial, and national differences were a blessing and not a curse. They believed that “a uniform world meant a homogenized emptiness.”3

It was this group of intellectuals that initiated and sustained the Croatian national reawakening in the Sixties. They were among the first to raise the question of national and individual rights, as well as of cultural suppression and economic exploitation of Croatia. Their quest was to stop such injustices and to promote full implementation of the principle of federalism, national equality, and self-management.

The second group of Croatian intellectuals was very small in number, but became known outside the country for its criticism of governments in other communist countries, and for its own interpretation of Marx. However, while criticizing the existing socialist order, their own definitions “became pure dogmas at the moment…at which those definitions were applied to existing [social, national, or economic] relations.”4

One of the major differences between the Praxis and Matica groups was that the intellectuals around Matica believed one does not have to step out of national categories in order to come to international humanism, while the other group considered nationalism, by its very nature, to be contrary to socialism and humanism. However, while the Praxis group was always ready to speak on universal issues, they tended to stay aloof from concrete national problems. Furthermore, while stubbornly supporting Yugoslav nationalism, they condemned the Croatian national movement as too constrictive, and their proclaimed humanism and liberalism became very confining, even authoritative, when they dealt with those that disagreed with them.


Since World War II until the late 1960s, university students in Croatia tended to fall into two major camps. In the first were the students who cooperated with the regime, and in the second those who stayed outside the system. While independent student organizations were not tolerated and the existing ones were mere “transmission belts” of the party, many of the students outside the party-controlled organizations were quite often denounced as anti-state elements and persecuted.

During the national revival, the organized student groups became more and more involved in political and national life on their own, and finally in 1970-71 they became independent from the party’s tutelage. As a result, the two student camps were converging into a single force. Furthermore, students at the time, like the nationalist intellectuals, did not oppose the system itself but began to work independently through it. And, in a very short time, students became the most active part of the Croatian national movement, putting the proclaimed party principles to a real test. And even more importantly, the traditional divisions between the pro-regime students and the anti-regime ones were dissipating.

With the election of Ivan Zvonimir Čičak (December 21, 1970) as Pro-Rector of the Croatian University in Zagreb and with the election of the non-party student leadership in Zagreb (April 4, 1971), the students in Croatia finally emerged as an independent social force. They ceased to be an arm of the party and began to chart their own course. They supported the progressive party leadership, worked closely with the leading intellectuals at the University and Matica, and became the heart of the Croatian national revival.

The students’ concerns went far beyond their own interests; they were very much aware of and preoccupied with the economic, social, and political problems of their nation. Like so many other student movements at the time, they had a universal vision of a peaceful global community, but their concerns were also very concrete. They wanted to be “deeply and sincerely Croatian and at the same time international and socialist in the best meaning of the word.” 5

The social background of the Croatian students was mixed. It was, however, no accident that the most active students in the movement came from the regions of Croatia and neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina that had been most economically deprived and politically oppressed by the Belgrade centralism and hegemonism. Thus, their demands were not only national but also social and economic. They stressed that speculations of whether their activities were nationally or class motivated were nothing but pure metaphysics.

While the student movement was accepted as legitimate by the party progressives, the other two factions in the party saw the student activism as a clear threat to the party role in society. The students and the Matica intellectuals were looked upon as a growing political force parallel to the party, and the conservative forces were waiting for an opportune moment to crush them.

The national movement was not limited to the students at the university level. It also involved the secondary school and the Youth Alliance itself, which traditionally had been a hotbed of party recruits. The leadership of the Youth Alliance in Croatia stressed at the time that their organization was not “above or below the interests of people of Croatia” and that the Alliance was “an integral part of the national movement as a whole.”6

Workers and Peasants

Because there were no political or cultural centers, or organizations exclusively for workers and/or peasants, except under the party control, it is very hard to measure how deeply did the movement penetrate these two social groups in Croatia. These two elements make up the largest portion of population in Croatia but it can be stated that this majority was a “crowd” without a specific political or even social framework. The social lines between the two groups had been very much blurred since many workers were at the same time peasants and vice versa and there was not an independent political structure to give an organizational framework to that “crowd.”

The relationship between the party and workers and peasants had been of political nature. Although the party had legitimized its rule and claimed the leading role in society by proclaiming to be the avant-garde of the working class, it had become progressively alienated from the working class, and even more so from the peasants. In 1948, for example, workers represented 30.1 per cent and in 1970 they made up 29.9 per cent of the party membership. At the same time, the peasants constituted 47.8 per cent and 6.5 per cent of the membership for those respective years.7 The relationship between the workers and the regime was described at the time in this way:

The workers have comprehended that under the existing conditions they cannot find solution to their vital problems. They do not want barricades. But the political leaders of the land gave them what is most necessary – they gave them a passport. They did not, however, go to Sofia but to Munich. In this way, they are solving their problems.8

The workers’ problem, however, cannot be put simply into a class problem, because, among other things, massive immigration of the Croatian working class pointed to the national dimension of the difficulties that the worker/peasant class faced.

Probably, the best indicator of the popularity (a fact that even the regime conceded) of the Croatian national movement and a clear sign that it did spread to Croatian villages, factories, and even to all elements of society is the growth of Matica hrvatska. For example, from November 1970 until December 1971, some thirty new branches of Matica were organized in today’s Republic of Croatia. At the same time, its membership grew from 2,300 to 41,000. By the end of 1971, this organization had 33 steering committees to organize new chapters. (One should also keep in mind that Matica was not allowed to organize its branches directly among the workers.) Furthermore, Matica had 14 publications when it was crushed at the end of 1971. Hrvatski tjednik/Croatian weekly, the main voice of the movement, reached a circulation of over 100,000 copies in only 33 weeks of existence. This could not have happened if the nationalist ideas did not find a fertile soil among the Croatian common people.

A possible explanation for this phenomenon can be found in the fact that the Croatian peasant and worker, or better said, a common person, has never adhered to the idea of “Yugoslavism” or Communism. These two ideologies remained alien to the common people; these were ideologies of the elite. That is why none of these ideologies has ever been legitimized in Croatia, and the representatives of both ideologies have been constantly looked upon with mistrust and even with animosity. It was among the common folk where the elementary national identity had been preserved and, most probably the Croatian village played a more important role in post-World War II Croatian nationalism than has been visible on the surface.

Another indicator that the movement was widespread in all regions of the republic, and that it cut through all elements of society, is the official statistics about the party purges in 1972. Out of 741 Party members dismissed before April 1972, 228 were from Osijek (north of the republic), 171 from Split (south), and 213 from Zagreb (center). Out of that number, 85 were workers, 80 “technical intelligentsia,” 96 “humanist intelligentsia,” 288 leadership officials, 144 administrative officials, 56 students, 43 retired personnel, and 37 other.9 The enthusiasm and high hopes among the Croatian masses during the movement, massive purges, and national lethargy in the post-Karadjordjevo period strongly indicate that the movement was a genuine national revival and not merely an artificially concocted crusade by the party leaders, as it has been suggested by a number of analysts in the West.

Concluding Remarks

If taken purely from the functional point of view, every nationalism has, at least partially, a mobilizing role. Thus, the latest Croatian national movement too was a strong mobilizing force. However, if probed deeper, one can easily discern that the movement was much more than a tool in someone’s hands, as it is often portrayed. This movement had a painful birth among the Croatian intellectuals in the early 1960s, and grew very slowly during the process of decentralization of the country after Aleksandar Ranković‘s fall in 1966. As it has been stated earlier, the Croatian national consciousness and desire for national emancipation was preserved in the Croatian society at large, but it was suppressed by the Belgrade regime, more specifically by the infamous Udba and its methods of terror. The reforms of the late Sixties and early Seventies, however, created enough room for a change. Croatians had a strong enough will to take the chance, and try to turn a deep desire for individual freedom and national emancipation into a national movement.

This movement could not have been manipulated by a single group or by an individual, because it was not fully unified not controlled from a single nerve center. One can, perhaps, say that there was a tacit understanding between the different social elements, primarily between the party progressives and the Matica intellectuals, that something should be done to change the fate of the Croatian nation, but there was not a central group that planned the events nor manipulated the masses. Students, for example, went on strike contrary to the party progressives’ wishes and that marked the end of the movement at the beginning of December 1971. Actually, there had been some deep mistrust between the Matica and the progressive party leadership. An indication of this disunity can be even seen in Miko Tripalo’s only interview since 1971 given last year to Mladina (March 11, 1988) in which he talks about “we” and “they”, meaning the party progressives and those at Matica.

That the movement had not been a mere balloon in the hands of the party progressives which lost all the air when it was punctured at the end of 1971, is evident from the official and semi-official assessments of the national situation in the country, which constantly have being pointing out that Croatian nationalism, although in a dormant stage, continues to be present in schools, churches, sport stadiums, the university, among the young and the old alike. If it had only been a superficially created nationalism, without deeper roots in the society at large, it would have disappeared as soon as the increased persecution began. But, because it did grow out of a deep Croatian dissatisfaction with the Yugoslav state and it had the support of the masses, the crush of the movement merely proved to the Croatians that their future was in serious jeopardy in Yugoslavia.

The real issue in December 1971 was not the threat of Croatian nationalism or of counter-revolution. It was a struggle between centralist and decentralist forces, and the party’s fear of losing the monopoly of power. An indication of this, is the notorious meeting of Tito with Croatia’s communist leadership in Karadjordjevo, Bačka (December 1, 1971) where the main discussion centered around the intra-party struggle and not the students’ strike or the so-called counter-revolution. The movement was portrayed as a threat to the country and/or to peace in Europe; and it was simply labeled as ustashism and fascism for the purpose of disarming it of any positive value, so that its suppression and the regime’s terror could be justified in the eyes of the world.

If we look at those events from an historical perspective, the Croatian national movement of the late Sixties and early Seventies, in its goals and methods, corresponds closely to Radić‘s movement of the 1920s. Its methods were peaceful and popular. Its main goals were national self-preservation and emancipation, direct participation in the world rainbow of nations, with its national colors and not through mediators like Vienna, Budapest or Belgrade; its ultimate goal was individual and national freedom.

1 Savka Dapčević-Kučar, Deseta sjednica Centralnog komiteta Saveza komunista Hrvatske (Zagreb: Vjesnik, 1970), p. 8.

2 Jakov Blažević in Zapisnik sjednice iz Karađorđeva (Chicago: Hrvatska tiskara, 1975), p. 185.

3 Vlado Gotovac, “Autsajderski fragmenti,” (III) Kritika Vol. 2, No. 8, 1969, p. 538.

4 Z. C. “Praxisov bijeg od sadašnjosti,” Dometi Vol. 1, No. 2-3, 1968, p. 82.

5 Hrvatsko sveučilište No. 5, April 15, 1971.

6 Mirko Madjor, “Preobražaj Hrvatske – zadatak mladih,” Hrvatski gospodarski glasnik, No. 4, July 5, 1971., p. 22.

7 April Carter, Democratic Reform in Yugoslavia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), p. 261. One should also keep in mind that the percentage of the unskilled workers in the party has been constantly declining.)

8 Ivan Babić, Studentski list, No. 22, October 26, 1971.

9 Izvještaj o stanju u Savezu komunista Hrvatske u odnosu na prodor nacionalizma u njegove redove (Zagreb: SK Hrvatske – CK, 1972), p. 127-130.



Podaci koji slijede objavljeni su na engleskom jeziku u “Hrvatskoj kronici – Chicago”, br. 1., proljeće 2002., prigodom 90. obljetnice potonuća Titanika. Ovdje ih donosimo u prijevodu, s nekim sitnijim izmjenama i dopunama, povodom 100. obljetnice tog poznatog tragičnog dogođaja.
Petnaestog travnja 2012. navršava se 100 godina od potonuća prekoocenaskog “nepotopivog” broda Titanika. Među 1316 putnika, od kojih je 818 izgubilo živote u ovoj užasnoj nesreći, koja je zapanjila tadašnji svijet, bilo je i nekoliko Hrvata i drugih koji su dolazili iz Hrvatske i Bosne-Hercegovine. Od tih, slijedeći su izgubili živote:
Čačić Jago/Grga, 18, neoženjen, Široka Kula, išao u South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Luka, 38, oženjen, Široka Kula, išao u South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Manda, 21, neudata, Široka Kula, išla u South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Marija, 30, neudata, Široka Kula, išla u South Chicago, Illinois.
Čalić, Jovo, 17, neoženjen, Breznik, išao u Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Čalić, Petar, 17, neoženjen, Brezik, išao u Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Čor, Bartol, 35, oženjen, Kričina, išao u Great Falls, Montana.
Čor, Ivan, 27, oženjen, Kričina, išao u Great Falls, Montana.
Čor, Ljudevit, 19, oženjen, Kričina, išao u St. Louis, Missouri.
Čulumović, Joso, 17, neoženjen, Lipova Glavica, išao u Hammond, Indiana. (On se ukrcao pod  imenom Ećimović.)
Dakić, Branko, 19, Gornji Miholjac, nije poznato u koje mjesto je išao. Njegovi posmrtni ostaci, ako su i pronađeni, nisu nikad dentificirani.
Dika, Mirko, 17, neoženjen, Podgora (Crikvenica?), išao u Vancouver, Kanada.
Dimić, Jovan, 42, oženjen, Ostrovica, išao u Red Lodge, Montana.
Draženović, Josip, 33, oženjen, Hrastelnica, išao u New York, NY. Njegovo tijelo je pronašao brod MacKay Bennett i položeno je u more 21. travnja 1912. Na njegovu tijelu je nađeno: lula, putovnica, krunica, 25 dolara i 5 kruna. (Na jednom mjesu se veli da mu je bilo 30 godina.)
Hendeković, Ignjac, 28, oženjen, Vagovina, išao u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Putuje s Matildom               Petranec. Njegovo tijelo je pronašao brod MacKay Bennett i pokopano 10. svibnja 1912. u  katoličkom groblju Mount Olivet, Halifax, NS. Na njegovu tijelu je nađeno: nožić, novčanik s  12 dolara u papiru i u manjem novčaniku 72 centa, zatim 2 brodske karte trećeg razreda, broj 349245 za Matildu Petranec i broj 349243 za Toznai!! Hendoković.
Karajić, Milan, 30, oženjen, Vagovina, išao u Youngstown, Ohio.
Orešković, Jelka, 23, neudata, Konjsko Brdo, išla u South Chicago, Illinois. (Putuje s Lukom i Marijom Orešković.)
Orešković, Marija, 20, neudata, Konjsko Brdo, išla u South Chicago, Illinois. (Putuje s Lukom i  Jelkom Orešković. Marijna majka je kasnije primila £50 od Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund.)
Orešković, Luka, 20, oženjen, Konjsko Brdo, išao u South Chicago, Illinois. (Putuje s Marijom i  Jelkom Orešković.)
Pavlović, Štefo, 32, oženjen, Vagovina, išao u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Petranec, Matilda, 28, udovica, Vagovina, išla u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Putuje sa Ignjacom  Hendeković. Njezina putna karta je pronađena na tijelu g.  Hendekovića.
Pocrnić, Mate, 17, neoženjen, Bukovac, išao u South Chicago, Illinois. (Nekad je pisan i kao  “Pacruic”, “Pecruic” i “Pokrnic”.)
Pocrnić, Tomo, 24, oženjen, Bukovac, išao u South Chicago, Illinois. (Nekad je pisan i kao “Pacruic”,  “Pecruic” i “Pokrnic”.)
Smiljanić, Mile, 37, Pisač kod Udbine, nije poznato u koje mjesto je išao. Njegovi posmrtni ostaci, ako  su bili i pronađeni, nisu nikad dentificirani.
Stanković, Ivan, 33, neoženjen, Galgovo, išao u New York, New York. Na webu se može naći da je Stanković već prije bio u Americi, vradio se doma samo radi sređivanja papira oko imovine svoje pokojen žene i na povratku u Ameriku izgubio je život.
Strilić, Ivan, 27, oženjen, Široka Kula, išao u South Chicago, Illinois.
Turčin, Stjepan, 36, oženjen, Bratina, išao u Youngstown, Ohio.
Ovom popisu možemo dodati i ime svećenika benedektinca Josipa Perušića (Josef Peruschitz) koji je rođen 1871. u Njemačkoj (Bavarska) ali hrvatskog je podrijetla. On je putovao u Minnesotu da bi preuzeo dužnost ravnatelja tamošnje srednje škole. Poznato je da je odbio ući u čamac za spasavanje da bi dao prednost suputnicima da spase život.
Iz Bosne i Hercegovine
Bakić, Kerim, 26, oženjen, Bakić, išao u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Bekić, Tido?, 38, oženjen, Bakić, Bosnia, išao u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Prezime se navodi i kao Kekić.)
Sivić, Husein, 40, oženjen, Bakić, išao u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Ponekad naveden i kao Husen Sivic.)
Posmrtni ostaci ove trojice, ako su i pronađeni, nikad nisu bili identificirani.
Ivan Jalševac, 29, Topolovac. Žena mu Kata ostala je u njegovu rodnom selu. Išao je u New York, NY, ali poslije spašavanja pošao je u Galesburg, Illinois, gdje mu je živio prijatelj Franjo Karun. S vremenom Jalševac se vratio u Hrvatsku i umro je 1945. u rodnom selu.
Nikola Lulić, rođen 24. veljače 1883. u selu Konjsko Brdo u Lici. Pobjegao je iz austrijske vojske 1902. i otišao u Ameriku. Živio je u Chisholm, Minnesota i radio u rudniku “Alpena Mine”. U jesen 1911. vratio se u Hrvatsku posjetiti obitelj, ženu Marta i dvoje djece. Budući da je već bio nekoliko godina u Americi, kad je pošao nazad služio je kao neslužbeni vodič drugim iseljenicima koji su mu za uzvrat platili putnu kartu. Ukrcao se na Titanik u Southamptonu i pošao u Minnesotu. Poslije brodoloma, Lulića je sapsila Carpathia, na kojoj je bio velik broj hrvatski mornara.
Po dolasku u New York, Lulić je umjesto u Minnesotu otišao ujaku Ross-u Rosiniću u Chicago, Illinois. Poslije Prvog svjetskog rata Lulić se vratio u svoj rodni kraj i bavio se poljoprivredom. Ali, kako se od tog nije moglo živjeti, išao je više puta između dva svjetska rata u Francusku kao sezonski radnik.
Lulića žena Marta je umrla dosta rano i on se sam brinio za brojnu djecu iz svoja dva braka. U starijim danima živio je dosta samotno i umro je 1962. u Perušiću, u kući svoje najmlađe kćerke Mare.(*Milan Gnjatović, u pjesmi “Potonuće broda Titanica”/Narodna američka Pjesmarica. St. Louis: Ivan Sikočan, 1913., spominje ga netočno kao Nikola Lukić.)
Mara Osman, 31, udata*, Vagovina, išala je u Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Poslije brodoloma spasio ju je brod Carpathia. Nakon dolaska u New York (18. lipnja 1912.) otišla je sestri Mrs. Rudolph Paulovich u Steeltonu, Pennsylvania. (*U imigrantskom uredu stoji da je neudata i da je Poljakinja. Gore spomenuti Gnjatović u svojoj pjesmi navodi Maru kao jednu od troje Hrvata koji su preživjeli tragediju Titanika.
O Mari Osman mogu se na webu pronaći, među ostalim, i slijedeće pojedinosti. Rođena je1881., udala se za Miška Banski 1904. godine i da su imali sina Franju. (Drugi opet pišu da su imali tri sina.) Izgleda da se rastala od muža i putovala je pod djevojačkim prezimenom Osman. Sin Franjo joj se kasnije pridružio u Americi i umro je u Kaliforniji 1980. Po dolasku u Ameriku Mara se preudala i navodno je umrla 1938. u državi Wisonsin. Što je sve od ovog točno, nismo sigurni.
Ante Čuvalo



The following article was published in the “Croatian Chronicle – Chicago”, No. 1, Spring 2002, under the title “Sinking of the Titanic – 90th Anniversary.”  On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, we are bringing here the same text with a few small changes.
April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the famous Titanic liner.  Among 1,316 passengers, out of which 818 died in this horrific tragedy that stunned the world, there were also a number of Croatians and/or people coming from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The following among them lost their lives:

Čačić Jago/Grga
, 18, single, Široka Kula, destination South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Luka, 38, married, Široka Kula, destination South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Manda, 21, single, Široka Kula, destination South Chicago, Illinois.
Čačić, Marija, 30, single, Široka Kula, destination South Chicago, Illinois.
Čalić, Jovo, 17, single, Breznik, destination Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Čalić, Petar, 17, single, Brezik, destination Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Čor, Bartol
, 35, married, Kričina, destination Great Falls, Montana.
Čor, Ivan, 27, married, Kričina, destination Great Falls, Montana.
Čor, Ljudevit, 19, married, Kričina, destination St. Louis, Missouri.

Čulumović, Joso
, 17, single, Lipova Glavica, destination Hammond, Indiana. (He boarded under his “calling-name” of Ećimović.)

Dakić, Branko
, 19, Gornji Miholjac, destination unknown.  His body, even if found, was never  identified.
Dika, Mirko, 17, single, Podgora (Crikvenica?), destination Vancouver, Canada.
Dimić, Jovan, 42, married, Ostrovica, destination Red Lodge, Montana.

Draženović, Josip
, 33, married, Hrastelnica, destination New York, NY. His body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#51) and was buried at sea on 21 April 1912. “Pipe bowl, passport, set of beads [rosary], $25.00 and 5 krones” were found on his body. (At another place it is stated that his age was 30.)
Hendeković, Ignjac, 28, married, Vagovina, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He traveled with Matilda Petranec.  His body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#306) and buried at Mount Olivet Roman Catholic Cemetery, Halifax, NS on May 10, 1912.  “One knife, purse with $12 in notes; small purse with 72 cents; two third class tickets, No. 349245 for Matilda Petram (Petranec) and No. 349243 for Toznai!! Hendeković” were found on his body.
Karajić, Milan, 30, married, Vagovina, destination Youngstown, Ohio.
Orešković, Jelka, 23, single, Konjsko Brdo, destination South Chicago, Illinois. (Boarded together with her relatives Luka and Marija Orešković.)
Orešković, Marija, 20, single, Konjsko Brdo, destination South Chicago, Illinois. (Boarded together with her relatives Luka and Jelka Orešković.  Marija’s mother received a grant of £50 from the Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund.

Orešković, Luka
, 20, married, Konjsko Brdo, destination South Chicago, Illinois. (Boarded together with Marija and Jelka Orešković.)

Pavlović, Štefo
, 32, married, Vagovina, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Petranec, Matilda, 28, widow, Vagovina, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Boarded with Ignjac Hendeković.  Her ticket was found on the body of Mr Hendeković.
Pocrnić, Mate, 17, single, Bukovac, destination South Chicago, Illinois.  (Sometimes listed as “Pacruic”, “Pecruic” i “Pokrnic”.)
Pocrnić, Tomo, 24, married, Bukovac, destination South Chicago, Illinois.  (Sometimes listed as “Pacruic”, “Pecruic” i “Pokrnic”.)
Smiljanić, Mile, 37, Pisač near Udbina, destination unknown.  His body, even if found, was never identified.

Stanković, Ivan
, 33, single, Galgovo, destination New York, NY.  Some sources on the web claim that Stanković was in America previously.  Supposedly, after the death of his wife he returned to take care of some legal matters dealing with her inheritance, and on the way back he lost his life.
Strilić, Ivan, 27, married, Široka Kula, destination South Chicago, Illinois.
Turčin, Stjepan, 36, married, Bratina, destination Youngstown, Ohio.
To this above list we are adding also the name of a Benedictine priest, Josip Perušić (Josef Peruschitz), born in 1871, Bavaria, Germany, but who was of Croatian heritage.  He was on the way to assume the position of a principal in a Catholic High School in Minnesota.  Survivors of the Titanic tragedy witnessed how he refused to enter a safety boat in order to give others the chance to save their lives.
People from Bosnia and Herzegovina who lost their lives:
Bakić, Kerim, 26, married, Bakić, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Bakić, Tido?, 38, married, Bakić, Bosnia, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Mr Bakić’s last name is often written as Rekić or Kekić, but most probably it is Bakić.)
Sivić, Husein, 40, married, Bakić, destination Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Sometimes listed as “Husen Sivic”.)
The bodies of the above passengers from Bosnia, even if recovered, were never identified.

Ivan Jalševac
, age 29, from Topolovac.  He was married to Kata, who stayed behind in his native village.  He was on his way to New York, NY.  After he was rescued, however, he traveled to Galesburg, Illinois, where he had a friend, Franjo Karun.  Later, he returned to Croatia and died in 1945, according to some sources.
Nikola Lulić was born on February 24, 1883 in the village of Konjsko Brdo, Lika, Croatia.  In 1902, while serving in the Austrian Army, he deserted and immigrated to America.  He went to Chisholm, Minnesota and worked as a miner in the “Alpena Mine”.  In autumn 1911, he came back to Croatia for half a year to visit his family.  At this time, he was already married for the second time.  His second wife, Marta, and his two children lived in Croatia at the time.  When it was time to go back to America he served as an unofficial companion to other immigrants who paid his ticket.  He helped them with translation and advised them of what to expect during the voyage and after their arrival in America.  He boarded the Titanic at Southampton and was on the way to Minnesota.  Mr Lulic survived the sinking and was rescued by the Carpathia.
After arriving in New York, Lulić went to his uncle Ross Rosinić at 118 Tocence (Torrence?) Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  His Americanized name was “Nicola Lulich”.  After the First World War, Lulić returned to Croatia and earned his living as a farmer, but sometimes he also worked in France as a seasonal worker between the two World Wars.
His wife Marta died long before he did, so he alone had to look after the children of his two marriages.  In his older days, he secluded himself more and more from his fellow villagers of Konjsko Brdo.  Nikola Lulić died in 1962 in Perušić, at the age of 79, in the house of his youngest daughter Mara.  (Milan Gnjatović, in his poem Potonuće broda Titanica – Narodna američka Pjesmarica. St. Louis: Ivan Sikočan, 1913, lists his name as Nikola Lukić, but it should have been Lulić.)

Mara Osman
, age 31, married, from Vagovina, Croatia, boarded the Titanic at Southampton and she was going to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  She was rescued by the Carpathia.  After arriving in New York (June 18, 1912), she went to her sister, Mrs. Rudolph Paulovich, at Steelton, Pennsylvania.  (The Immigration Officer incorrectly lists her as single woman and her nationality as Polish.  She is also listed sometimes as “Maria Osman”.  Gnjatović, in his above mentioned poem, lists her as one of the three Croatian survivors.)
Some sources tell us that she was born in 1881 and she married Miško Banski in 1904.  They had a son, Franjo. (Other sources state that they had three sons.)  Whatever the case, it seems that she left her husband and went to America, traveling under her maiden name, Osman.  Later, her son Franjo joined her in the US and he died in California in 1980.  Mara eventually remarried and, supposedly, she died in Wisconsin in 1938.  Details about her life in America are not know to us.
Ante Čuvalo

The Austro-Hungarian Fleet under the Croatian Flag 1918 – Dr. Matthew Zvonimir Markotić


Dr. Matthew Zvonimir Markotić

Introductory remark
Matthew Zvonimir Markotić was born in Slavonski Brod in 1929. He came to the United States after World War II and, among other achievements, he received a doctorate of jurisprudence from Harvard University. History was his hobby. He died in California in 2001.  He gave me a copy of the posted article in the 1990s and, although it needs a critical update, I’m sure a number of readers will find it interesting, and even useful.
A. Č.


With the enthusiastic support of the Crown Prince, Franz Ferdinand, the battle fleet of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy underwent major ship construction during the immediate years before World War I, with the result that the fleet entered the war not only with an increased number of ships, but also with improved technical quality and firepower.
During the war the monarchy ‘s battle fleet consisted of three battleships of he Radetzky class (14,226 tones, 20.5 knots, and four 12 inch guns), four battleships of the Viribus Unitis class (20,000 tons, 20.5 knots, nine 12 inch guns), and nine older and smaller warships of the Erzherzog, Hapsburg and Monarch classes (1).  Support ships included two armored cruisers, 2 light cruisers, 3 older cruisers, 18 destroyers, 90 torpedo boats, and 5 submarines (2).
The fleet was not strong enough to compete with the British or even the French fleet.  However, the British fleet remained primarily in the Atlantic, and the French fleet, and the few British units not only in the Atlantic, were mostly based in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The Austro-Hungarian battle fleet’s main opponent was the Italian fleet, and the monarchy’s fleet was sufficiently powerful to face and even to keep in check the Italians.  Based mainly in Pula, Kotor, and Sibenik, in the Northwestern Adriatic, off the coast of Albania, and in the Straits of Taranto.

The battle fleet was manned by all nationalities comprising the monarchy but the plurality of the naval personnel were Croatian.  Ten percent of the officers and a third of the enlisted men were Croats (3).  These Croats were generally loyal to the Emperor Franz Joseph, and to his successor, Emperor Karl.  At the same time, they were Croat nationalist, and most of them hoped that the dual monarchy would be transformed into a multinational federation with Croatia becoming a sovereign kingdom independent of Hungary.
The hardship of the war, the military defeats, and the unprecedented losses in killed and wounded soldiers lessened the Croats’ faith in the Emperor and his government.  By 1917, it became evident to all but the most fanatic supporters of the monarchy that the Austro-Hungarian empire and its allies were losing the war.  There were serious shortages of food and clothing not only among the civilian population but also among the military.  These shortages increased in 1918.  There was a mutiny by sailors in Kotor in February of 1918, which was brutally suppressed (4).
By October of 1918, it became clear not only that Austro-Hungary had lost the war, but also that the monarchy could not be saved and that the Habsburg empire was coming to an end.
On October 18, 1918, the American President Wilson, through a diplomatic note signed by the Secretary of State Robert Lansing, advised the Austro-Hungarian Government that in accordance with the President’s 14 Points, various nationalities of the monarchy would be given the opportunity for autonomous development (5).  In effect, the note signaled the breakup of the monarch.  On October 28, Emperor Karl requested an armistice from President Wilson (6).
In Pula, aboard the fleet flagship Viribus Unitis (7), the fleet commander, Admiral Miklós Horthy, found it increasing difficult to maintain order and discipline in the fleet (8).
On October 23, there were disturbances and fights between Croatian and Hungarian sailors in Rijeka. Shots were fired (9). On the fleet flagship Viribus Unitis there were incidents of disobedience and increasing chaos.  A young officer on the Viribus Unitis, Lieutenant Commander Alexander Milošević,  became so upset by the events that he shot himself on October 28.  In a suicide note he expressed hope that his death would help bring order and discipline to the fleet (10). The next day a mob tried to storm the officers’ club in Pula.  On October 30, LCDR Milošević was given a military burial.  The ceremony at the grave was the last common action of the multinational crew of the Viribus Unitis (11).
In the meantime, events in Zagreb accelerated the collapse of the monarchy.  The Croatian parliament, the Sabor, declared on October 29, 1918, the constitutional connection with Hungary terminated, and proclaimed Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and independent state (12).  The Sabor then went on to give executive authority in the new state to the National Council in Zagreb.
The day before, the sailors of the Viribus Unitis and representatives of other ships met in Pula and elected a sailors’ committee with intent to take over the fleet.  Commander Metod Koch, a Slovene, was elected by the sailors as a local representative of the National Council (13).
Commander Koch’s position was approved later by the admiralty of shore in the hope that he would act as a liaison officer with the by then almost mutinous sailors.
By October 28, the Austro-Hungarian high command in Baden was in touch with the Italian military headquarters in Padua.  Terms of armistice were negotiated, and it became evident to the Austrians that most of their battle fleet would have to be surrendered to the Allies, primarily to the Italians.  Emperor Karl decided on that day to turn over the battle fleet to the Croats in the hope of preventing its surrender to Italy.
Appropriate telegraphic messages were sent by the high command in Baden to the National Council in Zagreb, to the admiralty in Pula, and to Admiral Horthy aboard the Viribus Unitis (14).  Similar orders providing for the turning over of the fleet to the National Council were also sent to the naval authorities in Kotor, Šibenik, Triest, and Rijeka (15).
Another telegraph was sent to Admiral Horthy in Pula on October 30 releasing all sailors who were not south Slavs from duty, and ordering their return to their homes (16).
In Zagreb the National Council appointed Dr. Ante Tresić-Pavičić, Vilim Bukšek, and Dr. Ivan Čok as its representatives to receive the battle fleet from Admiral Horthy.  These three were joined in Pula by local representatives Dr. Lovro Skailer, Dr. Mirko Vratović, Lacko Križ, Mario Krmpotić, and Commander Metod Koch (17).
At about 9 a. m. on October 31, Admiral Horthy received these representatives on board of the Viribus Unitis.  With tears in his eyes the fleet commander signed the transfer agreement.  At the request of the Admiral, the actual transfer ceremony was postponed until late afternoon.  Captain Janko Vuković pl. Podkapelski, the commanding officer of the Viribus Unitis, and one of the most senior Croatian naval officers, was appointed the new fleet commander (18).  Captain Vuković had a distinguished naval record.  For instance, on December 20, 1917 he had led a squadron of warships to the shores of Cortellazzo to bombard the Italian batteries (19).  The sortie was successful (20).
At proximately 4 o’clock that afternoon the formal ceremony turning over the fleet to the Croats took place on the quarter deck of the Viribus Unitis.  Admiral Horthy and his officers were saddened while the Croats were jubilant.  To the sound of bugles the red-white-red flag of the old monarchy was hauled down for the last time, and the Croatian red-white-blue flag was hauled up the mast not only of the Viribus Unitis but also to the masts of hundreds of other naval and merchant ships in the harbor of Pula.  The ships’ bands played the Croatian national anthem, “Lijepa naša Domovina…”, and 21 gun salutes followed (21).  Admiral Horthy left the flagship at 4:30 p. m. carrying with him a portrait of the Emperor Franz Joseph, the ship’s ceremonial ensign, and his personal flag.  He was visibly moved as he left the ship for the last time (22).
That night the ships in the harbor of Pula were illuminated for the first time since the beginning of the war, and there were celebrations on ships and on shore (23).  Similar events took place in all other Adriatic ports abroad the units of the fleet.  The Croatian flags flew everywhere, and the joy of the people was immense.
Early next morning, November 1, 1918, at about six o’clock, two Italian naval officers, Medical Lieutenant Raffaele Paolucci and Major of Naval Engineers Raffalle Rossetti, acting as what a later generation would call frogmen, entered the harbor of Pula swimming in rubber suits and pushing a torpedo-like mine (24),  they attached the mine to the hull of the Viribus Unitis, just below the accommodation ladder leading to the main deck (25).  A timing device was fixed to explode the mine.  As they were swimming away, they were seen by a petty officer in a picket boat.  They were hauled aboard  the boat and taken on the board the flagship.  There they were brought before Captain Vuković.  In his presence the two Italian officers became increasingly nervous, and finally stated that the ship would explode at any time.  Captain Vuković issued orders to abandon ship.  He was concerned with the safety of the two Italians, shook their hands telling them that they were brave men, and arranged for them to be taken ashore immediately (26).
True to the naval tradition and with great personal courage Captain Vuković went up to the ship’s bridge to await the explosion.*  When it came a few minutes later, Viribus Unitis sank, and Captain Vuković and about 50 Croatian sailors went down with the ship (27).  Such was the end of the first battleship to fly the Croatian flag (28).
After they were taken ashore, the two Italian officers claimed that they did not know that the Viribus Unitis had been turned over to the Croats.  Their story is credible since the Italian naval command expected to acquire all Austro-Hungarian battleships, and sinking one of them made no sense.
After the sinking by Italians of the Viribus Unitis, and of the merchant ship Wien during the same night, the Croats were incensed.  They believed that they and the newly independent state proclaimed in Zagreb were not enemies of the Western Allies but their friends and associates.  On November 1, 1918, Commander Metod Koch sent a telegram to the commander of the Allied fleet complaining of the sinking of the two ships, and requesting protection by the U.S. fleet or a fleet of a nation not having a geographic interest in south Slavic territory (29).  Unfortunately this transparent reference to Italy was not effective since by the Treaty of London of 1915 Great Britain and France were under obligation to satisfy Italy’s ambitions in the Adriatic.
The response came next day in the form of telegram signed by Lloyd George, Orlando, Clemenceau, and Col. House.  While it was friendly in tone, it directed the fleet to proceed immediately to Corfu under a white flag, and surrender to the supreme command of allied forces (30).  To add insult to injury, a few days later the Italian naval command ordered the fleet to take down the Croatian flag since the allies did not recognize the flag as one of the interdependent state (31).
Despite emotional protests by Croatian sailors, part of the fleet went to Corfu under the white flag.  The rest of the fleet remained in port, and was gradually taken over by the Allies, most by Italians.  The Croatian flag disappeared from the Adriatic.  The once powerful battle fleet was distributed to the Allies.  The new state of the Kingdom of SCS (later known as Yugoslavia), proclaimed on December 1, 1918 in Belgrade, received only a few coastal defense ships.
*According to another source:
“The explosion did not happen at 6:30 as predicted and Vuković returned to the ship with many sailors (believing mistakenly that the Italians had lied). He therefore remained on his ship and went down with her and 300–400 of her crew when the mines exploded shortly afterwards at 6:44. Following the explosion, the battleship sank in 15 minutes.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Viribus_Unitis

See Assault on the Viribus Unitis http://www.worldwar1.com/sfvu.htm
(1) Paul G. Halpern, The Naval War in the Mediterranean. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987, p. 7.
(2) Ibid. p. 7.
(3) Arthur J. May, The Passing of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1914-1918. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966, p. 780.
(4) Hans Hugo Sokol and Theodor Braun, Ősterreich–Ungarns Seekrieg 1914-1918. Graz: Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, 1967, Vol. 2, pp. 705-707.
(5) Ferdo Šišić, Dokumenti o postanku Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca. Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1920, p. 179.
(6) Ibid. p. 189.
(7) Named after the motto of the Emperor Franz Joseph.
(8) Admiral Horthy later became regent and ruler of Hungary.
(9) Sokol, Seekrieg, p. 715.
(10) Ibid., p. 721.
(11) Ibid., p. 721.
(12) May, Passing, pp. 779-780.
(13) Petar Pekić, Propast Austro-ugarske monarhije i postanak nasljednih država. Subotica: Globus, 1937, p. 272.
(14) Bogdan Krizman, Raspad Austro-Ugarske i stvaranje jugoslavenske države. Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 1977, p. 105.
(15) Ferdo Čulinović, 1918. na Jadranu. Zagreb: Glas rada, 1951, p. 211.
(16) Pekić, Propast, p. 273.
(17) Ibid., p. 273.
(18) Miklós Horthy, Memoirs. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1957, p. 92. [Memoirs was published by R. Speller in New York, 1957.]
(19) Halpern, Naval War, p. 411.
(20) While a Croatian patriot, Captain Vuković was not universally favored for his new command because he had accompanied earlier in the year Count Tisza on his trip to Sarajevo to rally the Bosnians to the monarchy. Captain Vuković was under orders and had no choice. See, Henry Baerlein, The Birth of Yugoslavia, London: Leonard Parson, 1922, Vol. 2, p. 20.
(21) Ibid., p. 20.
(22) Gordon Brook-Shepherd, November 1918. Boston-Toronto: Little, Brown, 1981, p. 316.
(23) Halpern, Naval War, p. 567.
(24) Ibid. p. 567.
(25) Baerlein, Birth, p. 21.
(26) Ibid., p. 21.

(27) Horthy, Memoirs, p. 92. See also Baerlein, Birth, p. 21-22.

(28) Viribus Unitis not only played a role in the ending of the war but also in its beginning in 1914. It carried the Crown Prince, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife from Triest to Metkovic on their fateful journey to Sarajevo. After their assassination, their coffins were carried back to Triest on the flagship. See Horthy, Memoirs, p. 317.

(29) D. Janković – B. Krizman, Gradja o stvaranju Jugoslovenske države. Beograd: Kultura, 1964, 2 vol., p. 442.

(30) Ibid., p. 455.

(31) Krizman, Raspad, p. 144.

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

Nekoliko napomena

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

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 reka
o, 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


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’





A note to the reader

Current History, the oldest US periodical dedicated to world affairs, Vol. XXIX, October 1928 – March 1929, pp. 82-106, published the article Autobiography of Stephen Raditch (Stjepan Radić). After a few introductory remarks written by the editor of the periodical, an opening short article “The Last Years of Stephen Raditch” was written by Charles A. Beard, one of the most influential American historians of the last century.
In his numerous books and articles, Beard (1874-1948) advocated a new approach to American history that would include the relationship of economic interests to politics.  He was a well-known political scientist as well.  He supported America’s participation in the First World War and, as a political liberal, he was also a leading supporter of the New Deal, but Beard opposed America’s entering World War II.  He was then labeled an isolationist and that helped to derail his professional carrier.  However, he became a very successful independent scholar.
Both Radić’s autobiography and Beard’s preface are significant historical writings, and we bring them to public attention one more time, so that they may contribute to the understanding of events that took place in Croatia, and also in the region since they were published.

Ante Čuvalo

Also see

Stjepan Radic – His Life – His Party – His Politics.

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

Listen to an audio version of this speech.

Autobiography of Stephen Raditch

With an Introduction by


radThe unique document published herewith was handed to Professor Charles A. Beard, in Zagreb, Croatia, in March, 1928, by Stephen Raditch’s daughter, under the circumstances described by Professor Beard at the end of his introduction.  Written indifferent, and at times even bad French, its interest and importance are incontestable.  It is a record of one of the stormiest political careers of modern times.  From a humble peasant home Raditch rose to a position of power in his own country as the founder of a peasant party which eventually was destined to participate in the Government and subsequently to form an Opposition party representing a political force that could not be ignored.

In these pages Raditch tells of his early struggle to obtain an education, of the growth of his desire to help his ignorant and oppressed Croatian people, of his eternal battle with the police for championing the peasant cause, leading to many arrests and imprisonments, often to flight and exile, of his eventual rise from persecution and grinding poverty to a position of national and international importance.  Raditch’s Recent assassination, as Professor Beard points out, leads a tragic interest to this autobiography. –EDITOR CURRENT HISTORY.

I –The Last Years of Stephen Raditch



The death of Stephen Raditch in August, 1928, as the result of complications arising from a wound inflicted by an assassin in the Yugoslav Parliament, removed from the theatre of Balkan politics one of the most interesting figures in that peninsula of storms.  What irony that he should perish at the hand of a South Slav brother, not a Hungarian police officer!
A son of Croatia and educated in the traditions of Croatian autonomy, Mr. Raditch early in his youth came into conflict with the Hungarian Government, then in control of his native province.  More than once he collided with the authorities in Zagreb; many weary days did he spend in exile.  And yet he was not a revolutionary advocate of Yugoslav unity at all costs-he called himself “the greatest of political acrobats”; on the contrary, he was rather, most of the time at least, an advocate of a triune system which would give Croatia a position of autonomy akin to that enjoyed by Austria and Hungary under the Habsburg monarchy
Unlike the other Croatian intellectuals, who took a similar view of affairs, Mr. Raditch appealed mainly to the peasants.  Groaning under the burdens of landlordism, largely illiterate, and for the most part too poor to vote for members of the Croatian Diet under the existing suffrage law, these laborious tillers of the soil rallied enthusiastically around the one leader who understood them and championed them in the forum.  They were not seriously disturbed by the agitations of the poets and dreamers in favor of a great South Slav State dominating the Balkans and making adventures in the grand style.  Far from it.  They were more interested in getting land for the landless, in easing the load of alien landlordism, and in reducing Hungarian taxes, than in the projects of the young Slavs who frequented the cafes on Belgrade, Zagreb, and Sarajevo, and planned for “the great day of union.”
When at last, in the Autumn of 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire crashed to earth, all schemes for a triune kingdom came to naught; events now pointed out some kind of a union as the destiny of the South Slavs.  In the late Autumn of that year a revolutionary Assembly, known as the National Majority, composed of party leaders from the sections formerly subject to the Habsburgs, met in Zagreb to make momentous decisions.  Stephen Raditch was among them.  But he had little power over their deliberations, because the real strength of his Peasant Party was unknown.  In the rush he was overborne in his fight for complete Croatian autonomy.  Against his wishes a committee of the convention went to Belgrade in November and surrendered to the Serbian Nationalists, without first making sure of federalism.  Its leaders, conservative men, felt that they could not wait; Italian troops were busy on the Dalmatian coast; peasants were sacking the castles of landlords; and the protection of the Serbian Army was needed.
After two years of Provisional Government, elections were held for the convention to graft a Constitution for the United Kingdom.  Although the Croatian Peasant Party, under Mr. Raditch’s leadership, returned fifty members, it refused to take part in the manufacture of the new document.  For five years more Mr. Raditch remained in the Opposition, spending a part of the time in prison.  But convinced at last that this course was futile, he finally made a truce with the Belgrade authorities in 1925.  Before many months passed he entered the Government as Minister of Education and remained there through various vicissitudes until the Spring of 1926, when in a Cabinet crisis he was retired temporarily to private life.
Despite this turn in his affairs Mr. Raditch remained at the head of the Croatian Peasant Party, and members of his organization continued to serve in the Cabinet until Feb., 1927, when Slovene Clericals were substituted for Croats, sending the latter to the Opposition benches.  Triumphantly returned to Parliament in the elections of Sept. 11, 1927, Mr. Raditch, assisted by his nephew, Paul, and his former enemy, Mr. Pribichevich, an Independent Democrat, took personal charge of the Croat Opposition in Belgrade and held practically all legislative business in a deadlock until he was laid low by the assassin’s bullet in June, 1928.


In the course of an interview granted to the author of this note and Mr. George Radin of the New York Bar, last February, in Belgrade, Stephen Raditch expounded three fundamental articles of his political faith.  “first of all,” he said, “the unity of the Yugoslavs is permanently established”; then he pointed out that, owing to their relations to Italy, Hungary and Austria, the Croats were simply compelled to cling to the United Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.  But, in the second place, Raditch laid great stress upon the historical and cultural differences of the several sections now composing the kingdom, and insisted that more autonomy must be granted in the interest of national harmony.  Finally, he emphasized the necessity of settling the long-delayed questions of land reform and providing full compensation for property already expropriated, especially lands taken away from rich peasants whose accumulations represented years of toil and saving.
In response to a request for material bearing on his career, Mr. Raditch stated that he would arrange for us to secure it in Zagreb.  Immediately on our arrival in that city, late in March, we hurried to his little bookshop on one of the crowded streets of the ancient Croatian capital and were fortunate enough to receive from his daughter, among other papers, the manuscript of his autobiography (written in French), which is here presented in English translation.  Besides its value as a human documents and a contribution to the story of Yugoslav political development, it possesses a tragic interest now that its author has gone to his last sleep in Croatia, the land of his birth and his enduring love.  No one can tell, either from it or from other records, whether Mr. Raditch, called a vacillating madman by his foes and worshipped as a hero by his followers, will become a great figure in death.  Perhaps his historical stature will depend more upon the course of affairs in the Balkans than upon the work that he did there and the dramatic close of his troubled career.

II – The Story of My Political Life


(Translated by Current History)

I was born on June 11, 1871.  I was the ninth of a poor peasant’s family, which lived at Trebarjevo, a village quite near, and lying on the “right bank of the Sava.  My parents had eleven children, eight of whom were still living not a long ago, and five of whom survive today.  Those of my brothers and sisters who are still alive are peasants.
My late father, Imbro Raditch, found himself at the beginning of his career with a family dependent on him and with only a hectare (2.47 acres) of land which he cultivated assiduously.  Besides this he was a skillful wheelwright, and though he had so many children, he became in twenty years’ time one of the most comfortably well-off peasants of his village.  He sent all his children to a school in the near-by village of Martinskaves, although this village was three kilometers distant from Trebarjevo, and although this often imposed on him the burden of providing shoes, clothing and food, especially for the school, for three school children at a time.
The village has him to thank for the foundation of a peasant society, organized on the most modern basis, and not considering the importance of each member’s farm but rather the size of his family.  Thanks to this organization, it was found possible to purchase from Count Erdödy some 6,000 hectares of a forest that lay on the outskirts of the village.  The peasants, divided into three classes, according to the number of their children, pledged themselves to contribute a fixed sum, payable over twenty years.  My father paid his contribution regularly on St. George’s and St. Michael’s Day; the amount, in his case 24 florins, was quite a considerable sum in those days.  Although he could neither read nor write, he was considered the man of the most outstanding intelligence of the village, and the man who was most capable in conducting the public affairs of this little community.  He drank neither wine nor brandy, nor did he smoke.  Not until his last years he smoke, and this was because he had a mill on the Sava, and as a miller he had to smoke.
My mother, whose maiden name was Posilovich, was one of a large family to the same branch of which the Archbishop of Zagreb, of the same name, belonged.  She also was illiterate, but she was a woman of great intelligence and also of great courage.  One day, while she was still a young woman, the Mayor of the village tried to strike her with a stick because she was late in arriving to do her share in a piece of compulsory community labor.  She tore the stick from his hands and broke it.  For this she was condemned to nine days in jail, in accordance with a ministerial decree then in force.  When she was released she went directly to the Governor and succeeded in having the Mayor dismissed.  Later she went to Vienna to see Emperor Francis Joseph and persuaded him to pardon her eldest son, Andres, father of Paul Raditch, the present Minister, #so that he might be able to support his family, which was a large one.
When the famous Prefect of Zagreb, Stefan Kovachevich, nicknamed Pishta Bachi, tried to start an uprising in our parish of Martinskaves, my mother publicly asked him about a dozen questions, which were so searching that he could fin no answer, and stole away in this carriage ignominiously.  She asked him also how he could have said in the Croatian Parliament that he had two countries, inasmuch as a man’s country was his mother, and no man can have more than one mother.


My School Life—My late brother Anthony was three years older than me.  He was born on June 11, 1868.  It was said in our family that he resembled his father, not his mother.  Our parents allowed him to attend school at Zagreb.  Our mother obtained for him the patronage of the late Canon Rumpler.  But they did not wish me to go to the lycèe because of my extreme shortsightedness, with which I had been afflicted since my birth.  But I persuaded my brother to help me find lodgings, and the Humanitarian Society provided dinners for me in the People’s Kitchen.  Besides this I helped myself by giving lessons to my little classmates, and so I found it possible to attend school regularly.  I always received the highest grade in all my examinations, and my conduct was always rated as irreproachable.

Without asking for it I received the privilege of entering the college of the Zagreb Archbishopric, where I was admitted to the second class.  There I clashed with the monitor, who compelled the boys to shine his shoes, and when I told him that he ought to ask us politely to do him this service he slapped my face, and I returned his slap.  He investigation that followed this incident proved that it was I who had been in the right, and the monitor was dismissed by Rector Krapac, who became Bishop of Djakovo a few year later.  But at the close of the school year they sent me away from the lycee (temporarily) under the pretext that I was so nearsighted that I was destined to lose my sight in two or three years.
From my third class on I was financially independent, thanks to the lessons I gave my classmates.  In my fourth class I had another conflict with one of the teachers, whose brutal treatment of the pupils was notorious.  As the head of my class I considered it my duty to defend my comrades.  The director pronounced me to be in the right, but at the same time advised me to leave the College of Zagreb.  Thus I entered the fourth class at Rakovac, near Karlovac, where I suffered greatly at first, having no friends nor any possibilities of giving lessons.
My First Travels to Learn to Know the People—During the Summer vacation of 1886, after finishing my third class, I undertook alone my first student tour from Zagreb to Koprivnica, and then through the Drava and Danube Valleys to Zemun and Belgrade, and through the plain of the Sava returning to Sisak, the governmental district to which my native village belongs.  I left Zagreb with about 2 francs in my pocket, and I returned with around 64 francs, although I had asked no help from any one.  The rector of the high school of Belgrade, now the university, forced me to accept 10 dinars, and the Orthodox priests in Eastern Croatia were as hospitable to me as the Catholic priests.  I wrote my travel-diary regularly, describing particularly what the people thought of officials, of government, the economic position of the peasants in one Department or another, the organization and values of the schools, state of the roads, and so on.


It was then that I decided never to be an official, but to devote myself entirely to defending the rights of the people and to their education. My father did not oppose my plans and my mother was delighted with them.  She predicted that I would often be arrested, but this she did not mind, preferring it to my being either a lawyer or a priest, for, she said, lawyers must plead that falsehood is truth and truth falsehood, and the pocket of priests has no bottom.  During the Summer vacation after my fourth class I could not travel, the Director having held back my diploma because my roommate had not paid his share of the rent.  I was so annoyed by this that I asked the Director of the Zagreb Lycèe to admit me to the fifth class of his institution, for the Zagreb Lycèe, in comparison with that of Rakovac, was a real university.
Subsequent Travels—After the fifth class I traveled through Styria, Corinthia, Carniol and the old Austrian littoral.  Finally I returned home from Triest by way of Istria and the Croatian littoral.  At Ljubljana (Laibach) I visited the then Bishop, Mgr. Misia; at Goritza, Archbishop Zorn, and at Triest M. Mandich, Governor of Istrian Croatia.  While traveling through the Vipara Valley I visited at Gradishka the famous Slovene poet, Simon Gregorchich, who was delighted when I declaimed from memory some of his poems, and particularly his wonderful poem called “The House of Peasants.”
In the sixth class we counted, all told, more than seventy pupils.  The teachers were in despair when they saw how many we were.  They did not even have time to get to know us, much less to examine us.  I then proposed to the teachers to organize the instruction in such a way as to allow the strongest students to teach the weakest. The former then brought to the teachers at every lesson as many weak pupils as the teachers themselves deemed practicable to examine.  In this way the teachers would not be compelled to examine at random those pupils whom they considered weakest, and who usually stammered and halted in their replies.  The teachers thus would have all their time for real instruction and examination.  Those pupils who had fallen far behind in their studies would voluntarily attend the Thursday and Sunday classes.  My proposal was accepted, and the success of this reorganization was so great that thirty-six of us were graduated with distinction; seventeen received excellent grades in all subjects and not one a low mark.  Even the weakest had good marks.  And furthermore the deportment of our class was exemplary.


My First Demonstration and Arrest—Toward the middle of April the Ban,# at this time Count Khuen-Hedervary, issued a decree suppressing the Croatian opera, I was very indignant over this, and I decided to make a public protest against this decision.  I could easily have convinced my whole class of the need of making a vigorous demonstration, but I hesitated to urge my comrades to commit an action which I knew might have unpleasant consequences for them.
On April 13 the opera Nikola Zrinjski was being played for the last time.  The libretto was by the poet Hugo Badalich.  I knew that in a passage of the third act the Pasha Sokolovich offered Zrinjski, in the name of the Sultan, the crown of Croatia, if he would surrender the fortress to the Turks.  Zrinjski replied: “The Croats need no King, for the Ban is King to the Croats.”  I took advantage of this scene to shout three times:  “Glory to Zrinjski; down with the tyrant Hedervary!”  I was arrested.  When I was questioned at the police station I was told that I would be released if I expressed regret at my action, or if I declared that I had uttered the cries in a moment of excitement.  I replied that I had made this demonstration with full deliberateness and in the deep conviction that Hedervary was really a tyrant, and that he was unworthy of occupying the historic seat of the Ban of Zrinjski and Jelachich.  On the third day of my imprisonment the police tried by violent threats of long imprisonment to make me repudiate in writing the words I had shouted in the theatre.  They told me that I would be severely punished; that I would be forbidden to attend the lycèe, and that I would be expelled from Zagreb.  I absolutely refused to do what they demanded; and yet I was not delivered over to the courts, and I heard Count Khuen himself intervening in my favor over the telephone.
My First Journey to Russia—I was not expelled from the lycèe because one of my teachers, Mr. Georges Arnold, advised me to leave of my own accord, adding that I would receive a diploma attesting that I was an excellent pupil, so that the teaching board would not have to expel me.  I followed this advice and decided to go to Bishop Strosmayer at Djakovo, on foot of course, and ask him to give me a letter of recommendation to someone in Russia.  I traveled through the Moslavina and the Pogega valley and through the Krndija.  Strosmayer received me in a very friendly way, but said that any recommendation from him would do me more harm than good.  He did give me, however, a very warm letter of recommendation to the Serbian Metropolitan Michael at Belgrade, who had just returned from Kiev, where he had been exiled by King Milan and where he had been living for many years.  Metropolitan Michael received me very cordially and gave me a short but cordial letter of recommendation to Professor Rakhmaninov of the University of Kiev, who was at that time President of a Slav charity society.  He gave me 10 dinars, explaining that he was poor; and he severely condemned all Serbs who were then Magyarphils, in general, and above all the Orthodox priests.  We talked about the political situation for more than two hours.  Before my departure ha gave me his blessing and kissed me affectionately, wishing me the greatest success in Russia.  What pleased him most was my resolution not to continue my studies at a Russian lycèe.  I decided also not to take up advanced studies at a Russian university, for I was happy and proud that we had a university—we Croatians—and it was for that reason that I wanted above all to finish my studies—with God’s help—at Zagreb.  I contemplated traveling widely afterward when I reached manhood. I dreamed above all of visiting Russia.
I learned to speak Russian perfectly in Kiev and then returned to Zagreb, where I entered the seventh class at the college.  During that time I was watched by the police, who believed that they had found in me a Russian military spy.


While in the sixth class I established in cooperation with several of my fellow students a reading room, for which we subscribed to all the literary reviews of the Croatians, Serbs, and Slovenes.  The most important Serbian reviews were Brankovo Kolo, Bosanska Vila and Stragilovo. We took also the Russian literary review Njiva (The Fields), and I taught Russian to nearly all my fellow-students.  Aside from the class, we met often on Thursdays and Sundays in our reading room to tutor the weakest among our group in mathematics, physics, and languages.  The Faculty began to suspect that we were discussing politics at these meetings, and, without warning, the director, M. Divkovich, said to me in class: “Since this class is organized without political aspects, I demand that you leave the college at once.  Whoever cares to follow you may leave with you.”  After hearing these words I turned to my classmates and said to them:  “You will have an opportunity to follow me later on; or, still better, to act according to your convictions.  For the present it is better for me to go alone.”
Some days later the police arrested me during the night and took me to the hospital of the Brothers of the Misericordia, where they placed me in the ward for melancholia observation.  News of this got about in Zagreb and a professor of the university, Francois Markovitch, intervened for me with the former Mayor, M. Amrousch.  He insisted that I be given my freedom and said that if the doctors, Dr. Sladovich, Dr. Markovich, and Dr. Chvrluga, wished to find me insane they must do so on their own responsibility.  I was released from the hospital on the eighth day and from there I was hurried away accompanied by the police, back to my native village.
I remained at home nearly a year.  I took part in the work in the fields.  I tended the horses in the forest.  My comrades were only peasants.  They began to tease me and to try to find a sweetheart for me, as is the custom in our village when a young man approached his twentieth year.  But as for me, I worked untiringly in the hope of finishing my college course and, thanks to the intervention of my friends, the police of Zagreb in the Fall of 1890 promised not to disturb my plans until I had secured my diploma.  My friend and classmate, Stanko Hondl, now professor in the university, taught me on a big blackboard in a tiny garret during many a long hour the principles of physics and mathematics, and another of my comrades, who also is now professor in the university, Jean Maourovich, read Horace and Sophocles to me.  Before passing my examinations for the bachelor’s degree as a day scholar, I had to undergo a severe test in which I had to know and translate perfectly the works of these two poets.  I secured my degree at the modern college in 1891 at Rakovac, although I had made the classics my particular study.
Immediately after my examination I left for Dalmatia with my diploma.  I walked through the whole of Dalmatia from Obrovac in the North to Metkovich.  From Metkovich I went to Mostar.  Here some Serbs before whom I had spoken enthusiastically of an economic and ethnographic exposition held at Zagreb, denounced me to the authorities, accusing me of conducting Croatian propaganda in Bosnia.  The police arrested me and expelled me from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Escorted by the police, I went by steamer to Fiume.  I then walked through the whole Croatian littoral, also through all the mountainous sections between the sea and the valley of the Sava.  I returned to the university with my mind teeming with vivid impressions of the life of the people.
My First Political School—These impressions influenced me so greatly that I definitely decided to prepare and devote myself to public life and I requested certain of the cleverest politicians of the time—the late M. Rachki, M. Smichiklas, M. Brestiyensky, M. Boroch and M. Amrouch—to permit me to lunch with them once a week so that I might keep in touch with the most important events of recent political history, which at that time was still not discussed in print.
In my conversations with M. Rachki, above all, I learned many important things about the creation of the Croat-Hungarian compact, and about all our relations with Vienna and Budapest.  I repeated all I heard almost daily at our [viz, student] meetings.  In this way a large number of students at the university received most important political instruction, and they were delighted with this addition to their studies.  With regard to our meetings we adopted the following resolutions:
1—Those students who are the most ardent and most race-conscious Croats, shall attend regularly all the university courses, and shall pass their examinations with high grades as quickly as possible.
2—They shall not demonstrate in favor of any party, less still shall they make any disturbance In the streets and coffee houses; but they shall prepare themselves for political life by serious study in the university library, by mutual discussions and by establishing contact with the people in order to learn to know them better.
At this time seventeen Dalmatians and four Bosnians, joined by a few apprentices, organized a demonstration against the university Professor, M. Smichiklas (a Serbophile).  Under his windows on Mesnichka Street they sang the song:  “Cursed Be the Betrayer of His Country!”  The former leader of the Right Party (a Serbophobe) wrote an article saying that hundreds of students headed this demonstration, attended by several thousands of Zagreb citizens.  For this reason our club published in the paper Obzor, a statement signed by seventy-two students, severely condemning the demonstration against Smichiklas, and declaring that the students should demonstrate in the public streets only when they were forced to demonstrate against the alien Government, which was becoming more and more tyrannical.
Because of these last words, steps were taken at the university against all the signatories of the resolution, and scholarship students were threatened with the withdrawal of the scholarships which they were receiving from the State.  In reply to these threats, fourteen more students signed the manifesto, and the eighty-six signers, all told, must be considered as the nucleus of the group which shortly afterward burned the Hungarian flag on Oct. 16, 1895. [After this act, the militants moved the headquarters of their organization to Prague, and from this group issued the men of our generation who are today at the head of the intellectual and political life of the Croat people.]
During the long vacation before my entrance into the second class of the university, I visited Southern Germany, particularly Bavaria and Württemberg.  I lived for several weeks in Munich, where I devoted myself to quite a thorough study of the most notable artistic productions and of the extraordinary political relations between Bavaria and Prussia.


My first appearance in court for political causes, and my first sentence—On July 232, 1893, my comrade, Jean Kovachevich, and I were sent to Sisak as delegates of the university to the third centenary of the victory of Ban Tomo Bakach over the Turks, which occurred on July 23, 1593.  It was decided that no toast would be proposed to the authorities.  Buy Mayor Fabac, who was a violent Maryarphil, violated this decision by proposing a toast to the Ban then in power, Count Khuen-Hedervary.  I protested vigorously against this action, stressing the facts: “We are celebrating the third centenary of the victory of the Croat Ban, not the tenth anniversary of the barbarous tyranny of a Magyar Hussar who gave himself this title in Parliament and who was proud of it.
Because of this declaration, I was sentenced to Petrinja, in the Autumn of 1893, for four months of imprisonment with hard labor.  I refused to appeal and went immediately to prison.  In prison I learned the Czech  language, and when I was freed, I went to Prague, where my most eminent professors, the eminent jurists, M. Randa, M. Braf and M. Cuker, were living.  M. Braf took a liking to me, and from him I learned many things, for he had been the son-in-law of M. Rieger, the famous statesman, who, it was said, held the whole political history of the Czechs in his hand.
From Prague to the burning of the Hungarian flag—I taught Russian and Croatian at Prague in the “Slavia” Academy with considerable success, and established friendly relations with almost all the present leaders of the Czech nation, some of  whom have since died.  My friendship with M. Rachin, especially, who later became Finance Minister of the Czechoslovak Republic, and who, as the result of his strong character, was the victim of a homicidal attack, was extremely cordial.  During the Christmas and Easter vacations I did not return home, but went to visit Czech families outside of Prague. At the end of the academic year 1894, during an excursion, I made the acquaintance of my future wife who, at this time, was finishing her studies at the Normal School to become a teacher [We were married at Prague in the Autumn of 1898.]
I passed the vacations of 1894 as a tutor in the house of Count Thomas Erdödy at Chtakorovatz near Dugoselo, preparing him for the first examination of the Croatian University.  I succeeded in establishing the custom of speaking Croatian at table while I was there, and persuaded the Count to obtain several hundred books in Croatian on legal, economic, and literary subjects.  The naïf astonishment of the Count and the Countess when the Count received these Croatian books elegantly bound, and when I told them that these represented but a tenth part of our Croatian literature, constituting a veritable historical monument, was almost indescribable.
I had but little to do in the Count’s household, and I had much leisure time, which I devoted exclusively to study of the Czech language, in which I was the more interested because I wrote daily to the lady whom I now considered my fiancée, long letters and summaries of my lectures.  After a few months I began to write to her in Croatian, with explanations in Czech, and finally I used only Croatian written in Slavic characters, so that she might learn the Russian language more easily.
In the Autumn of 1895, on Oct. 16, the students of the University [the Zagreb University, where Raditch had resumed his studies] almost under the eyes of Emperor Francis Joseph burned the Hungarian flag.  While my comrades were busy burning the flag, some holding it, others wetting it with alcohol and some others finally burning it, I undertook the self-imposed task of interviewing the Chief of Police of Zagreb, to show him that by virtue of the Croatian-Hungarian entente, the Hungarian flag ought not to be on Croatian territory, and that we were burning it as a protest against he illegal Magyar supremacy and not to offend the Magyar nation.  I explained to the Chief of Police tht it was for this reason that the flag had been dipped in alcohol so that it might burn quickly without leaving any disagreeable odor.  Several students proposed that the flag be dipped in oil, but eh proposal was rejected in order to avoid the accusation that the manifestation had an offensive character.
My version of the incident made the Chief of Police so angry that I almost had to hold him back by main force.  Thanks to my action, my colleagues were able to return freely to the university, while the police could arrest me as the leading spirit of the demonstration.
Meanwhile, the late Lacko Vidrich, who, because he was the handsomest boy among us, had been deputed to bear the famous Croatian flag of the university of 1848, under which the Magyar flag was burned, on his return from this manifestation organized a meeting, at which it was decided, amidst scenes of indescribable enthusiasm, that the entire assembly should go and declare to the police that the demonstrators were all my accomplices.


But the police drove the majority of the students roughly out of the police court.  Those who remained were asked: “Did you take part in the burning of the flag by impulse or by conviction?” Those who replied “by impulse” were thrown out, for the police were determined to diminish the importance of this manifestation.  Those who replied “by conviction” were imprisoned.  Of these there were about fifty.  But despite this fact, the Hungarian Government stated in the press that twenty-three students only had taken part in this manifestation, allegedly condemned by the vast majority of the young student body.  Francis Joseph himself, in his thanks to the City of Zagreb, described our action as reprehensible, and we were threatened with many years of imprisonment.  Nevertheless we were sentenced only to a punishment of from two to six months.  But the political historians of the world recorded the fact that Croatia was so dissatisfied with her relations with Hungary that the youth of the university had expressed their discontent by the burning of the Hungarian flag in the presence of the Emperor himself.
The news of our conviction and sentence was published on Nov. 19, 1895.  We were sent at once to prison and before Christmas we were removed to the Departmental House of Detention of Bjelovar in order, as the Director, M. Herrenheiser explained to us, to prepare for us an “honorable status of imprisonment” (custodia honesta). The whole first floor of the prison was reconstructed and made into bedchambers, and the large hall into a study room during the day.  I profited by this opportunity to teach Czech to my comrades, as we had all agreed to go to the Prague University after our release.  Because of this, the authorities separated me from my comrades and placed me among the prisoners sentenced for common law crimes.  They forbade me to receive food from outside.  All this was very illegal.  Fortunately some of my comrades were sentences to only four months’ imprisonment, so that on March 17 I found myself again alone and back again on the first floor, with almost the whole library of the Minister of Justice at Zagreb, which M. Herrenheiser had had transported for my comrades, at my disposal.  Among the law books then very much in use there was a remarkable work on Russia in three volumes translated into German under the title Das Reich der Zaren und die Russen (The Empire of the Czars and the Russians).  The author was M. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, who is [was] perhaps the most profound Russian scholar of the time and who subsequently became my teacher in Paris.  During the two last months of my imprisonment they allowed me to have a drum.
My Second Visit to Russia and How Love Saved My Life—On May 19, 1896, I was taken from Bjelovar to my native commune under a strong police escort.  The gendarmes delivered me over to the Department Prefect, who set me free only on my arrival within the limits of the commune.  Next day, to my great surprise, two ladies elegantly dressed in black and wearing gloves drove up to see me in carriages.  They introduced themselves as the mother-in-law and the wife of the Chief Justice of Zagreb, Rakodozay, who had inflicted on us so harsh a penalty for the flag demonstration.  The two ladies declared that they had heard I wished to go to Russia and said they knew I was innocent and persecuted, and they gave me a loan of 300 florins to pay my traveling expenses.  I also received 100 florins from a society organized to assist students financially.
I reached Moscow at the beginning of June, 1896.  On the insistence of some ladies of Zagreb I had decided to be in Moscow at the time of the coronation of Czar Nicholas II, which was to take place on May 30, 1896.  He was to be crowned at the Hodin Fields and a souvenir was promised to all who witnessed the ceremony.  The souvenirs were to be a pitcher, a saucer and an artistically embroidered handkerchief.  I had promised these ladies to bring each of them one of these imperial gifts and wished to keep my promise.  But on my way to the coronation I broke my trip in order to visit my fiancée, who was then a teacher in Eastern Moravia in a village situated amid the mountains.  Thanks to this, I reached the coronation ceremonies late, to learn that about 10,000 people had been killed there in a terrible accident, most of them buried alive, while an even larger number had been grievously wounded.  So I can say that my love for my fiancée saved my life.


At Moscow I lived in the house of a Polish patriot named Chrzanowsky, who came from Vilna [then a part of Russia].  I taught Russian to my host’s younger son, who had failed in his Russian examination for the sixth class as the result of his ardent patriotism, which had brought him to the unwise decision not to learn the Russian language.  I succeeded in persuading him that the Russian language and literature had nothing in common with the oppression of Poland by the Czaristic Government and that his duty as a Polish patriot was, on the contrary, to acquire a thorough knowledge of both.  My host’s eldest son was of about my own age and we soon became fast friends.
I remained in Moscow for five months.  Hearing that the Minister of Public Instruction had arrived there, I went to see him personally and asked him to allow me to enroll at the university as a special student.  He first replied severely that by rights I should not be at the university but in Siberia, but after he heard all I had to say he wrote an order allowing me to enroll at the university.  But I could not take advantage of this favor, for the reason that the curriculum was so arranged that I would have had to stay in Moscow for several years to finish my law studies and this, because of lack of money and time, was impossible.
At the School of Political Science of Paris—I had already been excluded from the University of Zagreb on account of the episode at Sisak, when I had protested against the toast in honor of Ban Hedervary.  I had also been excluded from the University of Prague in the Autumn of 1894 because of a conflict with the Police Commissary, who had dispersed a student meeting on the ground that the students had applauded the orator too enthusiastically.  At the same time I was expelled from all the countries represented in the Vienna Parliament (17 provinces of old Austria).  I had enrolled in the University of Budapest in January, 1896.  I had learned Hungarian so well that I was able to follow the courses; but at that time# the Hungarian flag had been burned under my inspiration and on this account I was also excluded from the Budapest University.
Fortunately enough, I had already learned in Moscow that there existed in Paris a Free School of Political Sciences which had been founded in 1871.  I received its curriculum and saw at once that it contained everything I needed to finish my university studies.  SO I left for Prague, where I had to stay in hiding for six weeks and where, with a small group of Croatian comrades, I made all necessary preparations for the publication of a monthly review called Croatian Thought (Hrvatska Misao). I wrote almost all the articles for it and here for the first time. I expressed all my political and social ideas.  I also devoted many pages to the works of the famous Russian professor and historian, Karieiev, who was working actively to provide the young generation of Russia with a study plan with which they could themselves fill in all the lacunae of the secondary and university courses which they needed.  Hence I translated and published in Croatian Though six letters of this professor explaining how the young people of Russia could learn by self-study all the modern ideas about the world and life.
Although I went to Paris at the end of  January I could not enroll in the Political School until the Autumn of this year, because the enrolment fee was 180 francs and I had only 57 francs in my pocket when I reached Paris.  But my Prague and Zagreb comrades aided me.  I passed the 1927 [sic!] 1897 vacations at Lausanne, where many courses on the French language and literature are given even during the vacation period, and I was also able at the same time to study the political situation in Switzerland and to perfect my knowledge of spoken French.
I finished the first semester at the Ecole Politique in June, 1898, with great distinction.  I chose the general section, the main subjects of which were diplomatic history, comparative civil law and finance.  I also chose nine other subjects, including the Russian and German languages.


I learned at this time that my fiancée had become a teacher in Prague, her native city.  I was afraid that she would be too weak to resist the influence of her whole family and all her friends who reproached me for what they called my Bohemian life, and I therefore decided to marry her immediately.  I advised her to resign her teaching post which she had now held for four years.  When I received her definite consent, I hastened to Prague, and we were married there on Sept. 23, 1898.  After this, I left Prague, and traveling by way of Krakow, Lwow and Russia, beneath the Carpathians of today, I reached Trebarjevo, my native village.  But I noted a complete change in the attitude of my comrades, and even of my family, due to my having married without having either any position or any money.  They were all afraid that I would fall back on them for support, and some of them even broke off all relations with me.  I lived in poverty in my village for fully four months, and I finally became convinced that all my political career would be held up unless I finished my university studies.  “They will all forget,” I thought, “that I have been excluded from all the universities of the Monarchy, and that I had no money to go abroad, and they will think my failure was due merely to neglect.”
With much difficulty I succeeded in getting together the sum of 300 francs, with a “white-seal,” [signature in blank] of course.  I thus arrived for the second time at Paris, this time with my wife.  To this fact alone I owed the possibility of being able to write my thesis and to prepare for my examination in five months, during which time we often had to pass whole days without eating.  The title of my thesis was, “Croatia of Today and the Southern Slavs.”  I was busy with my courses the whole day, so that I was obliged to dictate my thesis till the late hours of the night.
The eminent French Professor, Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, was assigned the duty of estimating the value of my work, and he found it so good that in May, 1899, he reported that it was not only wholly original, but also a learned political study.  Thanks to this judgment it was recopied by a number of eminent French statesmen, among others by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Paul Deschanel, who later became President of the French Republic.  Some of these gentlemen, who knew how poor I was, gave me a financial recompense for the work, and the Ecole Politique, on the basis of the thesis, and of my oral and written examinations conferred on me a diploma, declaring me “Laureat des Sciences Politiques,” that is, a scholar of political science crowned with laurels.  Moreover, I received a whole political library composed of the works of the best French writers.


A year of work at Prague, and a year and a half at Zemun—I returned from Paris to Prague in July, 1899.  I did not believe that the Prague police would interfere with me.  I remained in the neighborhood of Professor Masaryk, the present President of the Czechoslovak Republic, with whom I was on friendly terms, although our political views were different.  He had a marked preference for the Jews, and I told him that he should turn the universal prestige which he enjoyed to the service of his unhappy Slovak people.  He was also the advocate of a policy favorable to Germany, while I, on the contrary, advocated a policy favorable to Russia.
I contributed to almost all the literary and national economic periodicals, and I was a member of the editorial staff of a weekly paper called Samostalnost (independence), for which I wrote the regular review of foreign politics.  When I began to write for the daily newspapers and for the Radikálni Listy (Radical Leaves), in particular, I received one day a notice from the police ordering me to leave Prague immediately and to stay out of a full half of the Austrian State.  After reflection, I decided to go to Zemun, where I would be on Croatian territory, and from where I might watch the ominous events developing at Belgrade, and I succeeded in obtaining the post of reporter for several Czech, French and Russian newspapers.
Throughout the whole year I wrote several books in Czech, for which the Czech Literary society, Svatobor, conferred on me the tile of Czech man of letters.  One of these works was a pamphlet called The Ecole Libre of Political Sciences at Paris; another Croatia of Today, in which I incorporated the first part of my thesis at the Ecole Politique at Paris.  At Prague I also wrote a work called The Southern Slavs, which took in the second half of my thesis, and which appeared in a monthly review, Rozhledy (Panorama), of which Joseph Pelel was the editor.  Somewhat later I wrote a work called Reflections on International Politics, in which I embodied translations of some of the most important lectures on diplomacy by one of my teachers, the French historian of diplomacy, Albert Sorel.
The press, and particularly that of the Social National Party, the leader of which is still today M. Klofach, made sympathetic comments on my expulsion, and M. Klofach referred to it most sympathetically in his paper and protested energetically to the Government against it.  He also asked me to write a kind of farewell pamphlet to be called Slavic Youth and Its Social Action. I did this, and thousands of copies of the work were printed; it also appeared in the leading paper of the Social National party, a weekly journal called Czech Democracy.
At Zemun the police wanted to expel me immediately, but Alexander Badai, the present Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation, who was the most influential member of the Municipal Council, intervened in my favor against this action.
My Relations with Serb Politicians: I study the Serbian Political Situation—I lived at Zemun for nearly a year and a half.  At first I rarely went to Belgrade, because it was difficult to get permission to cross into Serbia.  I established contact with some of the leading Serb politicians and three of them became my close friends, namely Professor Ljuba Jovanovich; the then Chief of the Macedonian section of the Foreign Ministry, Sveta Simich, who wrote under the pseudonym of Paul Orlovich, and who later became the Serbian Ambassador to Sofia, and finally the secretary of the Ecole Supérieure, later the University of Belgrade, Zhivojin Dachich.  All complained, cautiously, of course, of being worse off in Serbia than in Afghanistan, and declared that they did not know how the tyranny of the Obrenovich dynasty and the apathy of the Serbian people respecting this tyranny would end.
At this time there again appeared a bi-monthly review called Srbski Knjizhevni Glasnik (Serbian Literary Review), in which two of my studies were printed without change, the first under the title The Croats and the Magyars From 1848 to the Present (1901), and the second entitled The German Influence in the Balkans. The other collaborators received no honorarium, but through the intercession of M. Jovanovich I received a recompense of 26 dinars for each of these two studies.  This sum, plus the 10 dinars which I had received from the Director of the Grande Ecole, as well as the other 10 dinars which the Metropolitan Michael had give me, are all the money I ever received from Serbia.
M. Michael Vouich and Sveta Simich tried to persuade me to enter the Serbian Diplomatic Service, or at least to collaborate in the correspondence work of the Serbian Bureau, of which I might soon become the Chief, but I politely but decisively refused both opportunities, mainly because the collaborator the Chief of a Correspondence Bureau would obviously be the servant of all Governments.


I remained at Zemun from the Summer of 1900 till the beginning of 1901.  I then went to the Czech village, Konchanitsa, in Croatia, near Daruvar, on the invitation of a professor who lived there, M. Joseph Krzepelka, who had helped me during my stay in Paris.  There I passed several months in great financial distress.
At this time Ban Khuen-Hedervary declared open the period of the legislative elections of the Croatian Parliament in the Autumn of 1901, a whole year before the date when they were scheduled, obviously to precipitate the Opposition, in which object he was successful.  As for me, I was arrested because in my propaganda work in the large villages of Podravina (on the right bank of the river Drava), I advised the peasants to vote in favor of the Opposition.  Seventy-seven Magyarphile Deputies named solely by the Magyar people were elected, and the Opposition received only eleven mandates.  M. Joseph Frank and M. Michael Starchevich broke away from the other Opposition parties, and fought more energetically against the Opposition Party than against the Government.  The rest of the Opposition, represented by nine Deputies, organized the “Union of Croatian Opposition,” which, on the recommendation of M. Derenchin, the lawyer and Deputy, appointed me Secretary, with a salary of 60 florins a month.  Toward the middle of the year 1902, I moved from Konchanitsa To Zagreb, and settled down there.  The union of Croatian Opposition had then no political nor financial organization and they charged me with the task of creating one.  I wrote thousands of letters to America and I traveled from village to village in Croatian, and on account of this I was arrested not long afterward.
My Program of Peasant Policy in My First Pamphlets—At Zemun I had written a pamphlet called How to Find a Remedy for Our Troubles. Twelve points listed in the conclusion may be considered as the embryo of the social program of the Peasant Party.  This pamphlet was printed in Sisak in 3,000 copies at my own expense.  It was already exhausted when it was seized by police.  In the Autumn of 1902 I published another pamphlet, called The Strongest Party in Croatia. In this study I advocated the idea that the toilers of the field, viz, the peasants, constituted the strongest party because their life and their conception of the rights of the State, as well as their national consciousness naturally inspired them with the best of programs, and that it was necessary only to organize them in order to realize this program by means of the real vital forces of the nation.  This second pamphlet was also seized, but fortunately I had then already sold or sent out almost all copies.  Two thousand copies were printed at my expense by the Cooperative Printing House.
In the Autumn of 1902 I published a monthly review of democratic Slavic thought called Hrvatska Misao or Croatian Thought, which had already appeared in Prague for one year in 1897, and which was already imbued with this same Slavic and peasant sentiment.


The Croatian Thought”—This was a review whose object was to win over intelligent and cultivated people to the peasant cause.  I published this review for three years, and toward the month of July I published also in a special pamphlet the plan of the complete program of the Croatian Peasant Party.  This plan served as a basis, which I developed into a final program at the end of the same year.  During the first year of its existence, from 1903 to 1904, the review was active and gained great influence among its readers; but the second year, 1904-1905, there was a small financial deficit.  The third year all the younger readers ceased reading the review because in my articles I had condemned the policy of the Croat-Serbian coalition, that is, the policy of the Magyar Kossuth.  The older readers also turned against it, because at that time I was organizing the Croatian Peasant Party.  It took me several years to pay the debts the magazine had made me incur.
My Sufferings on Account of My Defense of the Serbs of Zagreb in My Struggle Against the Magyarization of Croatia—On Sept. 2 and 3 there occurred at Zagreb serious demonstrations against the Serbs, the result of an article called “War or Destruction,” published in The Serb Literary Review of Belgrade and republished in the Zagreb paper Srbobran. I was living then at 15 Prilaz Street, and next door stood the shop of a Serb named Popovich.  From the first floor I witnessed the scene of violence which took place during which the mob wrecked the shop and destroyed all the merchandise.  On the second day of this reign of terror (Sept. 2), I went down at the insistence of my wife amongst the demonstrators, and spoke to them briefly, telling them that thought he obstinacy of the Serbs and their pro-Magyar action hampered all progress in our country, nevertheless they were our blood brothers, and hence that I was both inhuman and unwise to take such violent action against them.  The Magyars, on the contrary, I added with whom we are bound by a compact which has the character of an international treaty—a compact under whose terms the Croatian language must be the only official language of the [Government] bureaus and the Croatian re-white-blue tricolor can wave over the public buildings—wish to tear up this treaty and make us slaves.  If the people wish to protest against illegality and violence, I said, they have every opportunity to do so at the railroad station, where all public notices are printed in Hungarian.  “Your numbers are so great that you can as easily as playing a game for your own amusement tear down all these illegal notices, put them in a box and send them back to Budapest!”
At first the mob wanted to attack me, but some young men began to shout: “Leave him alone; it’s Raditch, who six years ago burned the Magyar flag!  He’s right; let’s leave the Vallagues [viz., the Serbs] alone, and march to the station to tear down the Magyar notices!”  At once the mob rushed to the University Square, following the road to the station.  But the police and gendarmes were already there an, of course, they arrested me.


My words to the crowd brought me six months more in prison, after an investigation in which the police tried vainly to drag false statements from other witnesses who had been questioned.  The police wanted the witnesses to say that I had urged the demonstrators to destroy the station.
My Family and My Freedom—Already at that time the police persecuted my wife and children to force them to leave Zagreb on the ground that they were not of this section.  We were fortunate enough to possess 1,000 crowns, 600 of which came from the literary society “Matica Hrvatska” for my work entitled Djevojachki Svijet, or the World of Girls; and 400 came from the Czech society “Svatobor” of Prague, mentioned by me above, with which sum my wife was able to begin negotiations for the purchase of a house which had no second story, make advance payments, and with the money which she borrowed from certain banks to buy the house and have it registered in her name as the possessor.


Organization of the Croat Peasant Party Under My Presidency—During this time I worked diligently on a long study called Modern Colonization and the Slavs, which soon appeared, published by the society “Matica Hrvatska.”  This article increased my influence among my political colleagues and because of it I was chosen as President of a temporary committee for the organization of the Peasant Party.  This choice was renewed each year and always unanimously by the members of our party.
On Dec. 22, 1904, the meeting of the chief temporary committee for the founding of the Peasant Party was held and at this meeting there was drafted the party program and its interpretation.  The program by itself appeared on Dec. 31, 1904, in the weekly review, The Croat Nation, and about the middle of January, 1906, the platform and its interpretation were published in a special pamphlet, 10,000 copies of which were printed.
During this time I was occupied on one hand with the organization of the party, on the other hand with writing scientific articles which the above-named association, “Matica Hrvatska,” published.  These were: The Real Europe, in 1908, The Science of Finance, The Czech Nation at the Beginning of the Century, and then a book of great length, Real Parliamentarianism—Or the Basis for the Establishing of the State in the Countries of the West. This work first appeared in 1910 and was published at my own expense.
In 1901 and 1901 I had written a published part of y Recollections of Prison in two volumes.  The first volume was seized, but by that time it had been entirely sold our or distributed and so the censors suppressed about twenty passages in the second volume.  At the following session of the court I appeared for the sole purpose of obtaining a decision under which my book might appear in such a form that it would show no evidence of the suppression of these twenty passages.  Two thousand copies of these volumes were printed and sold, for the most part among students.
Because of the amount of work which the organization of the Peasant Party and the editing of the party’s magazine put upon me, I was obliged to give up my collaboration on several Czech, Russian, and French newspapers to which I had regularly contributed.  I kept up my relations with Czech politicians, however, and for several years I spent a good deal of time in Prague.
The second Slav Congress at Prague and My Third Trip to Russia: My Sufferings and My Success at St. Petersburg—In 1908 the second congress of the Neoslavs (new Slavs) took place in Prague.  To this congress came also a delegation of Russian deputies, at the head of which was Maklakov, as well as the delegation of Polish members of the Russian Parliament headed by Dmovski.  (The first Slav Congress had taken place in Prague in 1848.)  The delegates only, that is to say, those representatives of all the Slav nations eligible to active membership, took part in the congress.  I myself took part as a member of the Croat Parliament and succeeded in making myself known as a force for insistence.  The congress held meetings throughout an entire week and after these discussions the members of the congress, Russian and Polish particularly, made a trip to the south of Bohemia, where I translated for the Czech public the speeches of each of the members of the congress.  I made the acquaintance of and better still I made friends with several Russians, who seeing that I spoke the Czech language perfectly and knew the Czech situation in all its details, invited me to come again during the same Autumn to St. Petersburg to give a series of lectures on the Czechs and on the Slavs of the South.  Prince Lvov, later the Minister-President [Premier] of the first truly democratic government of Russia, as well as General Volodimirov and M. Ozerov, Professor of the University of Petrograd, among others, invited me for these conferences.  But several months went by after the close of the congress and even the entire Autumn of 1908 and nearly the whole Winter of 1909 before I was able to go to Russia.  For this sojourn I had to borrow from the First Croat Savings Bank on our little home, still without a second story and now burdened with a mortgage of 1,400 crown to pay for this trip.


At this time the Austrian Government proclaimed the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria-Hungary.  Bulgaria at once proclaimed herself independent of Turkey, and there came about in Europe an extraordinary political tension between Russia on one side and Germany and Austria on the other. Nevertheless, I went to St. Petersburg with my wife, and my children remained in Prague with my family.  In St. Petersburg I found a whole group of Serbs, who were agitating, with a great deal of success, to the effect that Russia should not recognize the annexation and who proposed that Bosnia be annexed to Turkey. They lectured and wrote especially that it would be preferable to provoke a war than that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be annexed to Austria.
There was then in St. Petersburg an organization called “The Society of Public Combatants” at the head of which were Milyukov and Maklakov.  I succeeded in obtaining the privilege of lecturing before this society on the rights of Croatia and Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a geographical point of view, taking into account both intellectual and moral aspirations and religious considerations, since the Mohammedans of Bosnia, who are Slavs and who form the oldest part of the population of Bosnia, were in increasing numbers declaring themselves Croats in both the political and nationalistic sense of the word.  Thus Bosnia and Herzegovina, with regard to nationality are as much Croatian as Serbian.
My lecture lasted nearly two hours, in spite of interruptions from the Serbs, who at the outset heckled me at each phrase and punctuated my sentences with ironic reflections.  I succeeded, nevertheless, in securing the serious interest of political circles in the questions that I had discussed.  I said in particular that it was stupid to assert that there would come to Bosnia every year a half million Germans from Germany and that Bosnia would be Germanized within several years, since no political desire can direct the flow of emigration, which is subject to very severe and unavoidable economic laws.  I pointed out in particular that about 1890, 200,000 people had emigrated from Germany, but that at the end of ten years this total had fallen to 20,000; that all the German population was bound for America and that all the Bismarcks in the world and all the Hohenzollerns could not make them go to Bosnia.
Prince E. E. Ukhtomski, the most intimate friend of the Czar, was interested in this and invited me to his home some time later.  There I found a very distinguished group of Russian and foreign economists, specialists in economic and financial questions, and also some politicians.  I had the opportunity there of expressing my views on the annexation of Bosnia and of showing clearly and briefly the situation of all the Slav nations in Austria-Hungary.  At this meeting were present, as I have already said, several political and financial notables, to whom I repeated briefly what I had said in my public discourse on the subject of the annexation of Bosnia.  I expressed also my opinion that only the Poles, the Czechs and the Southern Slavs could be the links between Russia and the democracies of the West, under the condition naturally that the Russians should be free as well.  I explained finally the organization of the Peasant Party, referring to a number of the Croat Idea of 1904, in which an article entitled Against Tyranny and Against Revolution had helped me to develop the idea that a real democracy is as far from violence from above as from revolution from below.
Prince Ukhtomski observed that he had never heard any one express these ideas and be begged me to tell him in detail the history of the founding of the Peasant Party and what had been the result of my work and my organization up to this time (1909).  I told him among other things that in the course of my frequent sojourns in Croatia I had questioned the children so as to learn whether there was in their village a single man who would not drink at the local tavern, who had the courage to reproach the village priest, who was economical and who loved not only his own children but those of others as well.  When the children had shown me such a man I went to stay at his home and when I learned that he could read and write, that he loved the school and that his wife ate with him at their table, I put him down as one of my future collaborators.  There were then a few more than a hundred of these peasants and all together we had succeeded in bringing together about 10,000 peasants, having for our chief principle the doctrine that we must not believe in any authority, but that we must fight no government with arms.  When the entire nation, or at least a great majority, would be organized on this basis no government would be capable of resisting our will.
After these words, a banker arose and interrupted me, saying:  “You will never succeed in this, even in fifty years.”


But Prince Ukhtomaki asked me whether I could make a resume in writing of all that I had just said and in addition of my ideas of a peasant democracy, of the annexation of Bosnia and finally of the present situation and of the duty of Slavs who were not Russians.  He said that he wished to send it to the Czar and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and to publish some passages from it in his newspaper, Peterburgskiya Viedomosti Petersburg News). Furthermore, he told me that Professor Sirotinin had written a comment of seven columns on my study The Modern Colonization and the Slavs in the above paper and that Professor Sirotinin was going to translate some chapters of my book The Real Europe, because, as he said, a book of this kind did not exist in Russian political literature.  The next day I received an invitation from the famous Russian publicist, M. Stakhovich.  This publicist, who had also been at the Congress of Prague, where he had invited me to go to St. Petersburg, lived outside St. Petersburg on his estate.  He held Ukhtomski not only as a conservative but as a violent reactionary  Nevertheless, he rejoiced that Ukhtomski had promised that he would take my resume to the Czar, and he encouraged me to write my best.
I worked at this report for nearly two weeks and if I had written it alone it would have taken me a month.  As it was, I delivered it in a beautifully written manuscript in my wife’s handwriting on Feb. 12, 1909, I believe in the presence of Baron Frederiks, Minister at the Czar’s Court, who was intensely interested in the reasons why the annexation of Bosnia was [as I stated] a triumph for the Slav cause.  This would be the case, of course, only if Russia would give the Slavs, instead of the orthodox or territorial policy, a national policy, which in fact would mean a policy of peasant democracy.  I explained this briefly and earnestly and I talked with so great persuasiveness of the foolishness and the terrible danger that it would be for Russia (because of the internal revolution) to undertake a war on behalf of Bosnia, that, after I had spoken, Baron Frederiks rose and said to me: “All that you have said I would like to repeat today to the Czar. Russia will confirm the annexation and because of the annexation will not invoke a war.”


I judged from this that I had succeeded in the principal purpose of my trip to Russia.  On the insistence of my Russian friends I remained in St. Petersburg until the end of the on the of March and then delivered a lecture in Moscow, which was organized by some professors of the university.  By good fortune General Volodimirov, Professor in the Military Academy of st. Petersburg, spoke before me, and in a discourse which lasted for an hour he presented the Croat Peasant Party as the purest form of democracy imaginable.  In the midst of the conference about twenty Serbians rushed into the hall crying, “Down with Austria! Down with Annexation!  Down with Raditch!” and they started toward the platform.  God alone knows what would have happened  if they had reached me.  But I was seated in the audience and General Volodimirov simply ordered that the Serbs be excluded and that they be kept from re-entering the hall. Thanks to that order I was able to deliver my lecture without interruption.  The subject of the discourse was The Situation and the Duty of Forty Million Slavs Who Are Not Russians. I began it by speaking of Prague and the Czechs, I continued speaking of Constantinople, of the Bulgarians and the Serbs, and finally of the Poles of Posed (which then belonged to Germany) and of Galicia, and I finished by speaking of the Danube, of the Adriatic Sea and of the Croats.  I had an extraordinary success and they applauded me at the end for ten minutes.
After this lecture I delivered a very animated address in a well-known hotel in Moscow at which several hundred men of the intellectual elite were present.  Through this speech I prevented any further attention from being paid to the perfidious calumnies according to which I had bee sent to Russia by the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Aerenthal, and that I had gone to Russia with the expectation of being rewarded with an Austrian portfolio.
From Russia I se out for Krakow, where I remained for only a short time and where I lectured before the “Slav Society,” at the head of which was the University Professor Zdiechowski, and in the Union, the largest academic society in Krakow.  I took for the subject of my discussion The Two Slav Factions, the Faction for Revolution and the Faction for Democracy. I spoke naturally in favor of the democratic party and I proved with irresistible and convincing force that the real Slav democracy should and must be only the Peasant Democracy.
Soon after, in Prague, I wrote a long article, My Third Trip to Russia, which appeared in a monthly Czech conservative review, most highly esteemed, entitled Osveta). This article was published by the Croat Journal of Sarajevo, but it did not appear until April or May, 1914.  The entire Czech press commented at length on this article and M. Francois Udrznal, the President of the Slav Union and then a member of the Austrian Parliament, who was a short time ago Minister of War, wrote me a long letter, which he concluded as follows: “You alone are ignorant of the extent to which the Slav Union is indebted to your work in St. Petersburg and Moscow, for all your discourses have been taken down word for word and communicated to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and this proves that our Slav policy is open, pure and loyal in this monarchy.  I can tell you that I have learned that you have contributed enormously to the avoidance of an outbreak of war on the occasion of the annexation.  And this war would have had for us Slavs consequences even more terrible than those which the war of 1866 held for the Germans.”


The Peasant Party and Ban Tomasich—At this time the Croat-Serb Coalition became reconciled with Budapest and Professor Tomasich of the university became the Ban, or Governor, of Croatia.  He interested himself in the peasant program, not in the way in which it was drawn up, but in its realization.  For this reason, I had long discussions with him which ended in such a way that the Governor made known to Pesth and to Vienna that the Peasant Party, although against militarism and in favor of the referendum of Switzerland [Under this referendum the Swiss people have the right to vote on Constitutional Amendments—EDITOR] was not a party of revolution, but, on the contrary, was conservative with respect to religion and national customs; that from a political point of view it was liberal, particularly in what concerned constitutional liberty and electoral rights; that it was radical in concrete social questions already ripe for solution and that it pointed out specific ways of solving these problems.
The result of these discussions was a small brochure, The Rights of the Peasant, containing 100 questions and 100 answers, of which 10,000 were printed.
Governor Tomasich pointed out to me in particular that at Budapest, and still more in Vienna, he had found a flurry of  denunciations proceeding from the aristocracy and from the bishops, as well as from several “secret advisers” of all possible parties.  And all these denunciations ended in the mendacious affirmation that the Peasant Party was entirely of the Pan Slavic and Republican faith;  that I myself was the most dangerous enemy of the dynasty and the monarchy, and that I was in the service of Serbia, of Russia, and of France.
A short time later they extended the electoral rights, a reform the greatest credit for which must be given to Governor Tomasich, who, on May 28, 1910, presented the above mentioned bill for signature to the Emperor and King, Francis Joseph, at Budapest, without asking to be announced to the Minister-President [Premier] Khuen-Hedervary until this project should receive the royal sanction.
This law increased the total of voters from 48,000 to more than 200,000 at the following Parliamentary elections in the Autumn of 1910.  Thanks to this law the Peasant Party obtained 16,000 votes and nine Deputies, five of whom were real peasants working their own lands themselves.  The party made use of this force to bring about the insertion by the Governor in the message to the King of some of the measures advocated in the peasant program, and in this it succeeded.  The Ban seemed to believe that the Peasant Party could aid him under the terms of the Croat-Serb Coalition.  But not only were the denunciations of  the reactionary circles—feudal and clerical—not stopped, they even brought into their net the Governor, Tomasich, about whom they said that he was like Raditch and perhaps even worse.  In order to free himself of this accusation Tomasich decided to arrest me, although the Croat Parliament was not yet dissolved.  I declared that as a Deputy I would submit only to armed force.  To avoid all scandal the chief of police suspended my arrest, but I was to be arrested after the dissolution of the Chamber.  I succeeded in finding a refuge throughout the entire electoral session, that is, for six weeks, and when at last the official report of my election in my district of Ludbreg was announced I was able to come out of hiding and to return to my home.
Founding of the Slav Bookshop—At this time, I founded with my wife the Slav Bookshop, which still exists today as the property of my wife.  I borrowed the necessary amount for the bookshop from a Czech friend, who could not bear that in spite of my constant literary and political work I should live in the greatest poverty with my wife and children.  He advised me not only to write but to sell books, assuring me that I would earn more thereby.


But scarcely had I established this bookshop, in November, 1911, than the successor of Governor Tomasich, the Royal Commissioner Cuvaj, at the end of January dissolved the Chamber without having convoked it, by a simple decision published in the official record.  The Commissioner of Police arrived at my bookshop with a number of the official record which was not yet dry and took me off to prison with all speed, whence I was later transferred to the prison of the tribunal of the city of Osiek.  They left me there until the month of August and then I was again transferred to Zagreb.  There I had to serve another sentence of three weeks, discovered on the books.  After that I regained my liberty while waiting for the Supreme Court to pronounce a decision on my condemnation.
My Struggle and My Pamphlet Against Political Assassinations and Against All Revolutions—At this time an attempt was made to assassinate the Commissioner, Cuvaj.  I was imprisoned for some time with the instigator, Yukich, his accomplices and his supposed accomplices.  I had the opportunity to talk with all these young men and I learned from them that they had brought ideas from Belgrade, from the society of young Serbian students which was called Slovenski Yug (Southern Slavs).  This society edited a weekly journal by this name.  Of course, I had spoken to no one except my most intimate political friends, for I knew that young Croatia aspired to national enfranchisement and that under the growing pressure of Magyar tyranny and Austrian reaction a revolt of this kind was inevitable on the part of a people such as ours.  In spite of that I was very uneasy, because I was even at that time profoundly convinced that a terrorist action could hinder the growth of even great nations and could bring about the ruin of a small nation, without considering the fact that terrorism and revolt are outlawed from a moral point of view.
In the meantime I received a visit from a Young American who told me that he had been sent by a secret society of seventy Croats in America for the purpose of assassinating the royal commissioner.  I listened attentively to this young man and when he had finished I said to him:  “Either you are a rascal and an agent provocateur [policy spy] and then naturally would assassinate no one, which is well, or you are a brave lad and believe truly that you can enfranchise Croatia by an attempt at assassination.  But in the latter case you are on the wrong track, for the royal commissioner is not the cause of our slavery to Hungary and Austria; on the contrary, his presence is the consequence of this slavery.  It is the terrible political ignorance of the Croat peasants which is the cause of it.  An you must find another cause in the deplorable fact that for twenty years, every year, ten, twenty and even thirty thousand men among the most capable and enterprising of our country emigrate to America.  More than a half million Croats are in America, and you tell me that seventy of them wish to assassinate, one after the other, all the tyrants imposed on us by Vienna or Budapest.  First, this shall not and cannot come about; second, if assassinations were committed, Austria would consider us—all Croats—as outcasts and would put us outside the law.  Do you know what Prince Kropotkin did in Russia?  Yes?  Good!  Have you heard of the whole list of Russian, Polish and Magyar princes and counts who brought about a revolution?  Yes?  Good!  You see, then, that only an aristocracy, and an aristocracy only of a great nation where the aristocrats are in large numbers, can have recourse to assassination or instigate a revolution with more or less success.  A nation of peasants like ours has before it but one road, that of culture and organization, and finally a fearless and tenacious struggle by all the means which Western democracy has at its disposal.”
I concluded by asking him:  “Have you understood all I said?”  He replied: “Yes; I thank you for the excellent advice which you have given me.”
I added something more at the end of our conversation: “Listen!  If you are really an honest lad, it would be regrettable for you to expose your life for a renegade like Cuvaj.  There are dozens of men like Cuvaj, while you are the only one of your kind.”  I warned him that he must not by his language allow any one to suspect that he had been sent by Croats in America.


Some time after this conversation Baron Skrlec became the Governor, and my mysterious visitor made an attempt upon his life.  I began then to believe that it was true that our American compatriots had organized a secret society having for its purpose the sending into our country of as many patriotic assassins as the commissioners whom Hungary and Austria put in Authority.  I reflected upon this and decided to work over the article which I had published in 1904 in my magazine under the title, Against Tyranny and Against Revolution. I had it published in a little pamphlet entitled A Public Message to Our Croat Brothers in America. I wrote as an inscription on the cover of the pamphlet the words of Jesus Christ, “They who take the sword shall perish by the sword,” and I put with it the Croat proverb:  “Mud is not purified with mud.”  I wrote this pamphlet at one sitting, and poured my whole soul into it.
The pamphlet appeared in 25,000 copies, and I secured a number of the publication of the National Croat Union in America entitled The Unionist (Zajednichar), in which were the addressed not only of its branches, but also the addresses of all the committed of each branch.  I had thus several thousand correct addresses which were recorded day and night in my bookshop, and I hoped to be able to sell several thousand in Croatia.  But suddenly I received a decision of the Attorney General that my pamphlet, entirely censored, had been seized.  I went immediately to the headquarters of the Government to ask of the Governor what this action meant, but the Governor was in Budapest.  I then went to the home of the Vice Governor, Fodrocij, and I commenced my conversation with him in these words: “Even God cannot help imbeciles.”
“What do you mean by that?” he replied.  I explained to him that I feared that this outrage would be followed by another, and that I proposed to prevent it.  We would not, I
said, succeed in this through the medium of the police, but by an appeal to reason, to honor, to humanity and to the political conscience of our people yonder.  Naturally, I could do this only by relying on the Croatian peasant policy which was at once constitutional and progressive, Slav, and humane, and in consequence in entire agreement with the opinions of our American compatriots.  At the same time, I read him several passages from my pamphlet, in which I proved irrefutably that attempts at assassination and revolution could ruin a small people.  Recourse to this method was not necessary, I added, now, especially since we had received wider electoral rights, which placed in our hands an invincible weapon for continuing the struggle legally, following the example of the western democracies.  The Lieutenant Governor at once summoned. Teodor Bosnjak, a Serb, and M. Gustave Frank, a Jew, and requested them to read the pamphlet rapidly and report to him whether or not the censorship could be released.  Four hours later I arrived to learn the answer, and M. Fodrocij informed me that he had just telephoned the Governor at Budapest, M. Skrlec, to tell him his own personal opinion and that of the two gentlemen, and that the Governor had ordered that the censorship be lifted entirely.
I rejoiced at this measure; I took a dozen copies of my pamphlet and, going from one publisher to another, I asked them whether they would be willing to announce it and recommend it.  I also expressed my views of what should be written on the subject of the attack, and, naturally, against it.  Finally, I went to the publishing house Srbobran (The Serbian Defender), where M. Pribichevich, the publisher, received me coldly and unpleasantly, telling me that he was unwilling to publish, much less recommend, such a pamphlet, since we needed among us men of this kind.  I interrupted him with the words, “If you were not a vulgar coward you would have been forced to make such an attack long ago.”
The Beginning of the World War:  The Croatian Peasants Opposed to the War—At the close of the Autumn of 1913 the Parliamentary elections were held under the control of a royal Commissariat.  All the bourgeois parties united to defeat the Peasant Party.  For this reason it obtained only three representatives, although it had received 17,000 votes.  Ten candidates, among them my brother, M. Antoine Raditch, were defeated by ten votes.  Even this did not satisfy the Serb-Croat coalition majority in Parliament, which, therefore, voided my election twice on the pretext that I had no civil rights, not yet having served a sentence incurred in an affair with a Prefect.  This accusation was made despite the fact that, though sentenced for only three months, I had spent nearly a year in prison.  I was elected at each of these elections, the first time in April, 1914, and the second time on June 28, of the same year; that is to say, on the exact day of the murder of Sarajevo.


At the same moment that my election was announced the telegram telling of the murder of Sarajevo arrived at Ludbreg.  I condemned this murder publicly, in accordance with my convictions, and the people condemned it even more severely.  At the same time the people immediately began to say that it would not be just to kill many thousands of people because of the death of only two people, Francis Ferdinand and his wife. This proved to me that the judgment of enlightened workers on great events is more profound and broader than that of the greatest thinkers and philosophers.
At the beginning of the war I immediately received news from all parts of Serbia of the fire and destruction caused by the Magyars in the Serbian country, being, as they were, a people who had no idea of the difficulties of building a home and raising wheat.
Shortly afterward I received an immediately published peace songs written by women and young girls, for which reason the army authorities informed me that they had suppressed the Dom [the weekly periodical of the Peasant Party].  I went to army headquarters and explained that the war was a passing fever, and that in respect to those duties which apply in ordinary times war is an exception, while peace is the normal state.  That will not injure war, I added because soldiers know how to do their duty, that duty which finds the Croats also at their posts.  Nevertheless, I was later summoned twice more and ordered not to publish any songs of peace under that title, or, at least, not to print them on the front page, but only on the last page.  I found myself the latter time in the presence of an intelligent officer, to whom I succeeded in showing the fundamental fallacy, primarily from the military point of view, of suppressing the Dom solely because of the publication of the pacifist songs.  From then on I was not again summoned on this charge.
But suddenly I was put through a military examination and declared fit for service, in spite of my extreme nearsightedness.  I succeeded with great effort in obtaining counter-examinations, naturally by a Magyar and a German doctor.  Fortunately, both were so honest that they declared me so nearsighted that I could not even walk in the street, and that, for this important reason, it would be absolutely impossible for me to serve in the army.
How did I Learn That the Entente Would Be Victorious?  My departure for Prague at the Beginning of 1918—At this time I began to receive some interesting cards and letters from military men who were partisans of the Peasant Party.  These communications, written with a profound knowledge of the sentiment of the Slav people, and the Russian people in particular, and all overflowing with the purest humanity, gave me a picture of all that was happening at the front and enabled me to foresee what would be the denouement of the war.  Although I had absolutely no relations either with military circles here or with our political exiles abroad, already in 1915 in my speeches in Parliament, I was calling the Entente the conscience of Europe, and America the conscience of the Entente.  I also protested against the inhuman and barbarous treatment to which the Germans subjected the Serbs, and on another occasion I predicted that the German Emperor, Wilhelm, would end his days on an island off Siberia or Africa, as Napoleon had on St. Helena.  When Charles, the new Emperor, mounted the throne I told Parliament clearly that Croatian fidelity did not and could not mean fidelity to the dual hegemony of the Magyars and the Germans, nor fidelity to the Croat-Hungarian convention, nor, in general, fidelity to the relation of tyrants to slaves.  I added that if we Croats were forced to remain always faithful to such a form of state I would be the first to cry, “Down with the Habsburgs!” and that I was sure that all the Croatian soldiers would follow me, especially those of the Italian front.
Because of these declarations, the former Vice President of the Parliament, M. Lukinich, excluded me from fifteen to thirty sessions, sometimes on his own initiative, sometimes on the initiative of the Croat-Serb coalition, then in the majority.  Simultaneously the same coalition, as I afterward found out, by a secret and sure way sent my declarations, exaggerated and falsified, to the foreign press, particularly to Switzerland, with lying statements regarding the wild enthusiasm with which the majority in Parliament had applauded and actively approved my declarations and what I had said in favor of immediate union with Serbia.


In March, 1918, M. Rudolf Giunio of Dubrovnik (Ragusa), in Southern Dalmatia, former editor-in-chief of the Svobodna Tribuna (The Free Tribune), brought me an invitation for M. Shvehla President of the Czech Peasant Party and former President of the Government of Prague, to come to that city, despite all obstacles, in view of the fact that the fate of all the Slav people under monarchies was at stake.  I accepted this invitation, and on the way visited the Bulgarian Embassy at Vienna, where I declared without reservation that at home in Croatia there were practically no partisans of the Habsburg dynasty, and that we Croats begged and implored Bulgaria to forsake the Central Powers, to stop fighting and to hasten the liberation and union of the Slavs in Southern Austria-Hungary.  At the above-mentioned Slav Congress of Prague in 1908 I had struck up very cordial relations with a professor of the University of Bulgaria, Bobchev, who a little later became Minister of Religion.  In this role he had sent me all the information I needed and requested, to keep me in touch with the Bulgarian situation, from the political, intellectual, and economic points of view.  Basing my study on this data and on personal observations which I had made in Bulgaria in 1911, I wrote a work at great length, entitled The Bulgarian Renaissance (Obnovljena Bugarska), the first part of which I published in 1914 under the title of The History o Bulgaria to 1878 (Bugarska od najstarijih vremena do 1878). The second part, entitled Bulgaria from 1878 to 1913 (Bugarska od 1878 to 1913), is still in manuscript because of my lack of resources.  This work gained for me the deep and sincere sympathy of several Bulgarian political leaders, particularly the former Ambassador to Vienna, and it was for this reason that I went to his home with as much confidence as though I had known him for many years.
In Prague I was present, on March 13, at a confidential meeting which included seventy foremost Czechs of all parties, and besides myself three other Croats, a Serbo-Croat and one Slovene (Korochez).  I explained to them frankly, in the course of an hour and half’s speech, that for the Croats the policy of Vienna and Budapest was completely finished, that in Croatia the old confidence in Austria, similar to that of the soldiers of the frontier, had disappeared, and that the new hopes that Hungary might be better than Austria had vanished.  I told them also that we were entirely ready to accept with open arms union with Serbia and Montenegro, but naturally on the guarantee of complete and concrete equality, either from the standpoint of the old Croat State, which had existed for a thousand years, with national independence, or, what would be still better, in the spirit of our Slav peasant policy.  I insisted that this evolution existed also among the Slovenes and that M. Shushtershich, and his small group of adherents, made up of “black and yellow” [designations of political factions] incorrigibles, were the only ones who stood in the way.
Among the most important Czechs who were present at this meeting were M. Shvehla, M. Stanek, M. Udzhal, M. Kramar, the late M. Rashin, and M. Hay, M. Shamal, who congratulated me and begged me to make a resume in Croatian so that the Croats and M. Budisavljevich, a Serb, also present, might express themselves o the subject of my speech, the only part of which they disapproved being my attack on M. Shushterschich.  The Croats and the Serb enthusiastically approved what I said.
At that moment, a message arrived form Ljubljana, containing the information that Shushtershich had, in the Assembly, condemned my departure for Prague, and had declared that the whole conference of Prague was treasonous.  After that the Czechs placed even more faith in my assurances that Croatia was entirely willing to leave Austria-Hungary.
In the same year, 1918, I spent a week at Prague toward the middle of May, and while passing through Vienna I stopped off at the Bulgarian Embassy.  There I received positive information that Bulgaria had decided to quit the Solun frontier, abandoning the Central Powers, and that the Bulgarian people were ready to take this action in case King Ferdinand refused to do so.
On July 27, 1918, so certain was I of this, that I convened, for the first time since 1914, a meeting of the Chief Committee of the Peasant Party.  In these circumstances the Peasant Party declared itself republican.  The regular annual General Assembly, which was held on Nov. 25, 1918, and the extraordinary General Assembly, held on Fe. 3, 1919, approved this decision.  At the first Assembly 2,832 representatives participated, and at the second 6,838 representatives of all the Croatian countries.  All this was the work of the Croatian peasant spirit, reawakened and developed by the World War.


The Tyranny of Svetozar Pribichevich—In the interval, according to a plan of M. Pribichevich to be carried out by one of his most zealous agents, I was to be brought before a tribunal of the people in the public square of St. marc and executed there.  I told Pribichevich that he could do that, but that he would have to cope with the fury of the peasants, who within twenty-four hours would make short work of him and all the members of the National Council.
On Nov. 24, 1918, it was decided that some Dalmatian and Serbian officers would attack me in the great hall of the Parliament.  But they were so impressed by my speech, which lasted late into the night, and in which I stressed the possibility of a real union of spirit between the Croats and Serbs, that two of them, accompanied by Dr. Dushan Popovich, one of the leaders of the Pribichevich faction, escorted me home as a bodyguard.
At the close of 1918 I sent to President Masaryk at Prague two delegates of the Peasant Party with written and irrefutable proofs of the inhuman beatings which had occurred in Croatia, beginning Dec. 1, 1918, especially in the Department of Bjelovar, and particularly in the commune of Racha. Among the documents there was also the condemnation of a certain Lieutenant Yovanovich, a former Judge, who also had beaten women for reading Dom (the weekly periodical of the Peasant Party) and for proclaiming themselves republicans.  President Masaryk promised that he would intervene with a friendly warning to the Government of Belgrade against the beatings.  This intervention, if carried out, had absolutely no effect.  But the Belgrade Government officially denied in the foreign press that any beatings were occurring or ever had occurred in Croatia.  In the meanwhile, beatings continued to occur all over Croatia.
The chief instigator of these barbarisms was a man named Teslich, a former Austrian Colonel, a Serb and a fanatic adherent of Pribichevich, who, as Commandant of the town of Fiume, then under Yugoslav control, evacuated that town and seaport without orders from Belgrade and subsequently started a large alcohol and liqueurs factory at Sisak, near Zagreb.  On March 22, 1921 [Z. Kulundžić in his book Stjepan Radić (1971) in a footnote on page 91 states that the year was 1922] he attempted to kill me during an assembly of the Peasant Party by firing at me four times as I stood on the platform, about to begin my speech.  He was no further than twenty meters away from me and counted on surely killing me with the first volley.  The Attorney General, nevertheless, refused to prosecute him for this crime.
My Third Trip to Prague in 1918 to Fix a Common Boundary for the Croats and Czechs—Between the Croatian town Varazhdin, on the Drava, and the Slovakian town Bratislava, on the Danube, there is a region called Burgenland, part of which at present belongs to Austria, but most of which has remained under Magyar rule.  Historically this area has been entirely Slav for a thousand years, and from the racial point of view is today largely Croatian.  Even in 1851 the noted Austrian statistician, Dr. Czoernig, found 140,000 Croats here.  According to Austrian and Magyar statistics, there are actually 80,000.  From the point of view of the new European policy, which was supposed to assure a lasting peace, feudal, anti-social and militaristic Hungary had to be absolutely cut off from Austria, which fortunately considers itself only an appendage of Germany, and it was of first importance to connect Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia by this region.  I explained the plan of this union to the Premier of Czechoslovakia chiefly from the economic standpoint, suggesting a railway from Bratislava to Varazhdin through a neutral zone similar to that between Germany and France.  Minister Shvehla was enthusiastic about it, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs vetoed the project.


The Croatian Note to the Versailles Peace Conference and My Two Years’ Imprisonment—On Feb. 3, 1919, 6,668 Croatian peasant delegates at Zagreb adopted a resolution to address to the Peace Conference a note, signed by the head of the party, demanding the right of self-determination for the Croat nation.  During one month more than 200,000 signatures were collected.  On March 25, 1919, in spite of the fact that I was a member of the Croatian Parliament and one of the temporary representatives at Belgrade, I was arrested by order of Pribichevich, then Minister of the Interior, who kept me in prison without instructions and without giving a single reason for the arrest until February, 1920, or about one year.  Soon after, on March 22, 1920, under the regime of the famous Stojan Protich, I was arrested for a speech at Sisak, where the above-mentioned Teslich was to have killed me.  Since I escaped death, they again deprived me of my liberty, and it was not until Nov. 28, 1920, the day of the election of the Yugoslav constituents, that I was set free by a royal pardon.
My Exile—On March 28, 1923, the Peasant Party obtained 420,000 votes and 69 Deputies in the Parliamentary elections.  The Premier, then Pashich, made me a secret offer to enter the Government, without any condition, or he would dispose of me in the same way as he had disposed of several Serbian officers, members of the Black Hand.  Thus, I was forced to leave the country, and I betook myself to London to learn English and to study at close rate the institutions of British political life.
I arrived in London on Aug. 17, 1923, and remained there until Dec. 22 of the same year.  I made no effort to see any of the high officials, but on the contrary lived in complete retirement and studied ten hours a day, with the result that I was able to read three lectures in English, one to the Balkan Committee, another to the Central Committee of the Labor Party and a third to the Near East Society.  These lectures explained the Croatian problem and the general economic and social situation in Yugoslavia.
On Dec. 24, 1914, I arrived in Vienna.  There I did everything in my power to come to an agreement with the faction opposing M. Pashich and succeeded in reaching an agreement with the leader of this faction, M. Davidovich.  The Croatian peasant Deputies came to Belgrade and forced him into the minority, so that he was obliged to resign.  But suddenly the Parliament, which had been completed by the arrival of Croat Deputies, was dissolved on May 26, 1924, until Oct. 20 of the same year.
At this moment I received the fourth invitation from M. Chicherin to come to Moscow to study the Soviet regime on the spot.  Before leaving, I explained to the Austrian Chief of Police, former Chancellor Schober, in a long conference, my reasons for my trip to Moscow.  I explained to him in particular that I in no way approved the dictatorial method and the materialistic ideal of the Bolshevist leaders, but that I was eager to know the other half of Europe in its new form, which in my opinion would never return to Czarism.  I left Vienna on May 29, 1924, arrived at Moscow on June 2 and returned directly to Zagreb on Aug. 1, 1924.
On July 26, 1924, M. Davidovich formed the new Government, with the consent of the Croatian Deputies, and although this Government did not dare invite me to return to my native land, it also did not dare to arrest me when I did come back.
The Davidovich Government lasted only four months, and it was then that the famous PP regime (Pashich-Pribichevich) was formed, which on Dec. 24, 1924, by an executive act outlawed the Croatian Peasant Party as Bolshevist and imprisoned not only me but five other leaders of the party and approximately 2,000 leaders of local organizations.  The general election took place under this exceptional regime on Feb. 8, 1925.  The Peasant Party cast 532,000 votes and elected 67 Deputies.


The Peasant Party in Power—At the Parliament of Belgrade on March 27, 1925, a declaration was read in which the Peasant party reaffirmed its faith in its program of social justice, from the peasant point of view, including the recognition as well as the radical reform of private property; respect for religion, but also the elimination of all clerical influence, and lastly, respect for the citizen, not only as a juridical entity but also as a human personality, as the basis of all civilized society.  This declaration expressly recognized the monarchy, the Karagjorgjevich [Karageorgevich] dynasty, and the existing Constitution of the Yugoslav state.
After this, it was impossible to invalidate all the Croatian representatives as being communistic.  They annulled only the eligibility of six of the leaders and appointed for twenty-nine representatives a board of inquiry, which declared after three months of work that there was not the slightest trace of communism in the ranks of the Croatian Peasant Party.  All the Croatian delegated were then proclaimed eligible, with the exception of the President and the five collaborators.
It was then that the Radical Serb Party and the Croatian Peasant Party each chose three Deputies, who during six weeks held oral conferences and written communications, culminating in an agreement on July 14, 1925, which provided that in the entire State of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, all citizens would be equal in the eyes of the Constitution; that all communes would receive complete autonomy and that all taxes would be levied by the same method throughout the kingdom.
On July 18, following, the new RR (Radical-Raditch) Government was appointed and I, together with the five leaders of the Peasant Party, was freed by an act of royal pardon.
On Nov. 18, 1925, I entered the coalition Government as Minister of Public Instruction.  At the beginning of April, 1926, I told M. Pashich quite frankly that I could cooperate with him only on condition that a serious and efficacious struggle would be carried on against corruption and that a continuous and effective effort would be made to give the people legislation on taxes and on the autonomy of the communes.  Since Mr. Pashich refused my conditions, I declined to cooperate with him and it was another leader of the Radical Party who, after having accepted these conditions, again formed a coalition Croat-Serb Government.  This Government had already been partially revised four times and I retired from it to facilitate the position of the new President of the Council, Mr. Uzunovich, in the radical club.  At the time of the fourth partial revision of the Government, I succeeded in introducing a Slovene into the actual coalition Government to represent the entire Slovene people, so that there are now [viz, in 1926] thirteen Serbian Ministers, four Croats and one Slovene.  The time is approaching when there will be nine Serbs and nine Croats and Slovenes, which will be a visible sign and an irrefutable proof of the real and practical equality between the Croats and Slovenes and our brother Serbs.
Current History
A Monthly Magazine
October, 1928-March, 1929
Published by
The New York Times Company