STJEPAN RADIĆ – AUTOBIOGRAPHY
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.
Stjepan Radic – His Life – His Party – His Politics.
Listen to an audio version of this speech.
Autobiography of Stephen Raditch
With an Introduction by
CHARLES A. BEARD
The 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
By CHARLES A. BEARD
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
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.
RADITCH’S POLITICAL FAITH
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
By the late STEPHEN RADITCH
(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.
A MOMENTOUS DECISION
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.
THE FIRST ARREST
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.
EXILED TO NATIVE VILLAGE
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.
THE FIRST IMPRISONMENT
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.
EFFECT OF THE DEMONSTRATION
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.
THE VISIT TO MOSCOW
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.
MARRIED IN PRAGUE
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.
EXPELLED FROM PRAGUE
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.
FOSTERS PEASANT CAUSE
“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.
SIX MONTHS MORE IN PRISON
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.
RADITCH CREATES THE PEASANT PARTY
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.
THE WAR THREAT OVER BOSNIA
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.”
CZAR ACCEPTS HIS ADVICE ON BOSNIA
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.”
HONORS IN MOSCOW AND PRAGUE
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.”
PEASANT PARTY PROGRESS
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.
TRIUMPHS OVER CENSORSHIP
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.
AS A DEPUTY
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.
MOMENTOUS CONFERENCES IN PRAGUE
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.
HIS LIFE THREATENED
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.
TWO YEARS OF IMPRISONMENT
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.
RADITCH AND HIS PARTY TRIUMPH
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.
A Monthly Magazine
October, 1928-March, 1929
The New York Times Company
POVIJEST KOJA (JOŠ) TRAJE
Malo se tko spasio iz tamnica u Ljubuškom
Traženje istine nije osveta nego pravo žrtava na dostojanstvo
Piše: dr. Ante Čuvalo
Prošla su desetljeća od kraja Drugog svjetskog rata, pali su komunistički totalitarni režimi, raspale se umjetne državne tvorevine, prohujao i odnio živote još jedan rat, donesena je Rezolucija o europskoj savjesti i totalitarizmu (2. travnja 2009.) kojom su osuđeni zločini protiv čovječanstva, ali kod Hrvata (ali i nekih drugih) još uvijek je nedovršena kobna dionica nedavne povijesti. Premda zamagljena, ona je prisutna, ona ne zacjeljuje rane i ne podučava mlađe, nego kao ružna mora muči (još poneke živuće) progonjene i progonitelje, pa i njihove potomke. Kosti ubijenih leže u masovnim grobištima, a za mnoge ne znamo jesu li uopće i pokopani. Grobišta za koja znamo još su (uglavnom) neistražena. Državne vlasti u BiH, kao i u Hrvatskoj, žele te naše drage pokojne i dalje ostaviti iza komunističke dimne zavjese koja nas još obavija i svakodnevno udišemo zrak koji su ta ideologija i njezini talibani zagadili. Misle valjda da će pobijeni i mučeni pasti u zaborav, kao i mučitelji i posljedice njihove ideologije. Ali ljudska memorija je čudna; sve ostaje, ništa se ne briše. I kroz donedavno olovna vremena ljudi su očuvali sjećanja na stratišta i grobišta, mjesta gdje su naši očevi, djedovi, braća, stričevi i rođaci bez suda i presude pobijeni i leže čekajući da istina o njihovoj nepravednoj smrti ugleda svjetlo dana.
Vodstvo Općine Ljubuški, da bi poduzelo istraživanje ratnih i poratnih žrtava na svom području, 29. prosinca 2009. ustrojilo je Povjerenstvo za obilježavanje i uređivanje grobišta iz Drugog svjetskog rata i poraća na području općine Ljubuški. Članovi Povjerenstva su Vice Nižić (predsjednik Općinskog vijeća) – predsjednik, te članovi Nevenko Barbarić (načelnik Općine), mr. fra Miljenko Stojić, fra Ante Marić, dr. Ante Čuvalo, Gojko Grbavac (šef imovinsko-pravne službe), prof. Drago Grgić, Ivan Herceg (pomoćnik načelnika) i prof. Ante Paponja.
Uz Nevenka Barbarića i Vicu Nižića, dvojicu vodećih osoba Općine, posebice je važna uloga fra Miljenka Stojića, vicepostulatora postupka mučeništva »Fra Leo Petrović i 65 subraće«. Premda je njegova službena dužnost pronalaziti, iskopavati i istraživati okolnosti poginule mu subraće tijekom i poslije Drugog svjetskog rata, svojim znanjem, iskustvom i poletom on predvodi i ovaj tužni, ali neprocjenjiv posao.
Grobište Tomića njiva
Na području općine Ljubuški ima veći broj stratišta i grobišta. U samom gradu zna se za nekoliko lokaliteta. Prvo iskapanje obavljeno je na lokalitetu Tomića njiva, koji se nalazi nedaleko od OŠ Marka Marulića, danas u okružju lijepih obiteljskih kuća. Radovi su trajali od 19. do 28. srpnja 2010. Stručni dio posla predvodili su prof. mr. sc. Tihomir Glavaš te forenzičarka prof. dr. sc. Marija Definis-Gojanović. Iskopavanje su izvodili ljudi iz Javnog komunalnog poduzeća Ljubuški uz stalnu fra Miljenkovu nazočnost, kao i čestu nazočnost vodećih ljudi iz vodstva općine.
Bili su to vrući ljetni dani, ali radilo se zdušno i prije i poslije radnog vremena. Svatko je želio da se posao odradi dobro i u što kraćem vremenu. Kroz sve te dane dolazili su članovi obitelji onih za koje se zna ili se misli da su tu ubijeni. Dolazili su mnogi fratri iz samostana na Humcu, okolnih župa i iz daljeg, jer se zna da u tom grobištu leže posmrtni ostatci i (najmanje) dvojice fratara. Jedan od njih je vjerojatno fra Slobodan Lončar, a drugi bi mogao biti ili fra Paško Martinac ili fra Martin Sopta, ili sva trojica. Saznat će se tko je pokopan u ovom grobištu, kao i drugima, kad stručnjaci naprave DNK analizu posmrtnih ostataka pobijenih.
Dolazili su ljudi iz političkog života i sredstava javnog priopćavanja koja su svakodnevno izvješćivala o rezultatima rada. Više posjetitelja donosilo je vodu i sokove da ublaže žeđ i vrućinu onima koji rade, a neki bi došli i s velikim pijetetom gledali hrpu kostiju i probali shvatiti osjećaje tih ljudi u trenutku kad su ovdje gledali smrti u oči, a vjerujem da su poneki pokušali barem donekle dokučiti dubinu mržnje onih koji su naredili i izvršili to i takva zlodjela. Radilo se to u ime komunizma i pod znakom crvene petokrake za koju nedavno reče nitko manje nego predsjednik Hrvatske da je ona »simbol ljubavi i mira«! Kakve li perverzije! Ovo grobište, kao i druga te vrste, prava su slika te ideologije i simbola ne ljubavi nego mržnje prema svima i svemu što nije bilo ideološki podobno.
Grobište na Tomića njivi nalazi se unutar jednog škripa, a po svemu izgleda da su ga prije pogibije kopali sami pogubljenici. Veličina mu je 5,10 x 4,18 x 2,54 m. U tom je prostoru pronađeno 26 cijelih tijela i 2 djelomična kostura. Ta dva tijela zacijelo su bila slabo zakopana te su im gornji dio raznijele životinje. Netko je to morao zamijetiti te je, srećom, nabacio zemlju na ono što je preostalo pa su ipak očuvani donji dijelovi njihovih tjelesa. Slaže se to s pričom svjedoka koji je kao dječak vidio ruku u fratarskom habitu koja, kao ruka pravde, viri iz zemlje. Također je vidio i ptice kako kljucaju lubanju jednog od ubijenih. Oko šaka i mišica tih naših nevino pobijenih pronađeni su ostatci telefonske žice kojom su očito bili vezani. Jedan je bio vezan oko vrata, a drugome su vezane i noge. Možemo samo nagađati zašto su ih baš tako vezali. Ubijani su na rubu jame i u nju gurnuti. Nekima, dok su bili okrenuti licem prema jami, pucali su u zatiljak pa su naglavačke pali na hrpu već mrtvih ili umirućih žrtava. Njihove suhe kosti i danas punim glasom govore o tim strašnim trenutcima.
Među hrpom kostiju nađeni su razni predmeti: dijelovi krunica, češalj, naočale, okviri za naočale, nožić, puce, ostatci rukavica na rukama dva tijela, kopče na remenu, ostatci obuće i odjeće, krojačke škare, pribor za pušenje, gumeni potplati za opanke. Među svim tim predmetima, uz ostatke telefonske žice, ponajviše je čahura i naboja. Ubojice nisu žalili streljiva! Sve te osobne stvari svjedoče o stvarnim ljudima, s imenom i prezimenom, o njihovu životu i zvanju. Također, žica, naboji i čahure dovoljno, i previše, govore o onima koji su ih ubijali.
Ovo se grobište nalazi iznad starog komunalnog, istočno od nekadašnje duhanske stanice i nedaleko od današnjeg autobusnog kolodvora. Radovi na pronalaženju i otkopavanju ovog masovnog grobišta otpočeli su 27. rujna 2010. Trebalo je očistiti teren veličine 43 x 28 metra te skinuti asfaltni sloj. Tek se tada moglo početi s otkopavanjem. Jesenske kiše počesto su ometale rad te iskopavanje nije teklo ni blizu onako brzo kao na »Tomića njivi«. No, nije se posustajalo. Iskopano je mnoštvo probnih rupa dok se konačno nije došlo do grobišta koje se nalazi samo 5-6 metara istočno od bunara koji je pravljen za vrijeme austro-ugarske vlasti u ovoj zemlji. Meni, nestručnjaku za bunare i vodu, izgleda da se u ovaj bunar sabire podzemna voda koja ispod brda kroz propusni teren uvijek pomalo teče, a otud se kroz cijev, ili kanalić, prirodnim padom prelijevala u česmu Gujista. Kako nam natpis na česmi svjedoči, ona je napravljena 1900. i nalazi se uz cestu nedaleko od bunara. Ako je to tako, onda počinitelji zločina nisu marili ni za zdravlje živih jer su pokopali ljude u neposrednoj blizini bunara iz kojeg se pila voda.
Tek nakon dva tjedna rada i iščekivanja, 12. listopada 2010., pronađeni su ostatci devet ubijenih osoba. Za neke se žrtve znaju imena, kao i za imena nekih ubijenih na Tomića njivi, ali se sa sigurnošću ne može ništa tvrditi dok stručnjaci ne završe svoj dio posla. I na ovom stratištu ljudi su pobijeni na sličan način kao i na Tomića njivi. Poslije strijeljanja bačeni su na hrpu u postojeći cik-cak rov koji je iskopan za Drugog svjetskog rata. Kosturi su isprepleteni žicom kojom su mučenici bili vezani, a čahura i naboja i ovdje ima napretek. U ovom grobištu nije nađeno puno predmeta. Tu su kutija za duhan, ogledalo, puce. Forenzičarki prof. dr. sc. Mariji Definis-Gojanović prilikom vađenja tijela pridružio se asistent Pero Bubalo. Oni su došli kao stručna pomoć arheologu prof. mr. sc. Tihomiru Glavašu koji je vodio radove.
Dok ovo pišem, iskopavanje na lokalitetu Bare još nije dovršeno. Ako budu povoljne vremenske prilike, možda sve bude gotovo do izlaska ovog broja Stopama pobijenih. Misli se da je ovdje ubijeno i zakopano još ljudi. Nitko nije siguran u broj pobijenih i točno mjesto zakopavanja. Uglavnom se govori o 4-5 mjesta na kojima su ubijani i zatrpavani. Istraživat će se dok ne bude procijenjeno da je učinjeno sve što se, ljudski govoreći, moglo učiniti da bi se pronašli ostatci komunističkih žrtava pobijenih na ovom lokalitetu. Dakle, radovi na ovom i drugim ljubuškim grobištima nastavljaju se.
Svjedoci i usmena predaja
Općinsko povjerenstvo već je od početka njegova ustrojstva molilo, i dalje moli, sve one koji su bili svjedoci, ili su od svojih najbližih čuli o stratištima i grobištima iz Drugog svjetskog rata i poraća na području ove općine, da se jave bilo kojem članu Povjerenstva i daju svoj iskaz, a anonimnost im je, ako tako žele, zajamčena. To je građanska i moralna dužnost svakog od nas. Nadamo se da će Povjerenstvo, odnosno općina, ustrojiti i posebnu sekciju Povjerenstva za prikupljanje i obradu svih prikupljenih svjedočenja da bi se mogla dobiti što potpunija slika o svemu što se dogodilo tijekom tog kobnog vremena iz naše ne tako davne povijesti.
Nakon iskopavanja, posmrtni ostatci pobijenih pojedinačno su odloženi u kutije te će se u limenim sanducima poslati Sveučilišnoj kliničkoj bolnici Mostar gdje će se DNK analizom obaviti identifikacija. Kako rekosmo, taj proces predvodi prof. dr. sc. Marija Definis-Gojanović. Za sve ove radove, posebice za identifikaciju, trebat će velika novčana sredstva. U tu svrhu Povjerenstvo, uz potporu vicepostulature i vicepostulatora fra Miljenka Stojića koji je njegov član, obraća se za pomoć svima koji su u mogućnosti pomoći ovaj human i povijesno važan pothvat. Radi toga je, u sklopu općinskog žiro-računa kod UniCredit banke – poslovnica Ljubuški, otvoren račun za troškove iskopavanja i identificiranja pronađenih posmrtnih ostataka i onih koji će zacijelo još biti pronađeni. Broj računa je 3381602276734328. Svaki i najmanji prilog dobro je došao na čemu unaprijed zahvaljujemo.
Zločin i pravda
Dužnost Povjerenstva je pronaći, istražiti, obilježiti i urediti stratišta i grobišta iz Drugog svjetskog rata i poraća na području općine Ljubuški. Zakonska istraga vezana za počinitelje ovih i sličnih zločina te pokretanje pravnog procesa kojim bi se došlo do saznanja o naredbodavcima i izvršiteljima ovih zlodjela, te eventualno kažnjavanje onih koji su još živi, nije u nadležnosti općinskog povjerenstva nego pravne države. Za vrijeme iskopavanja na Tomića njivi dva tehničara iz županijskog MUP-a Zapadnohercegovačke županije obavila su svoj dio stručnog posla. Je li to znak da će pravosuđe ove županije i države ipak pokrenuti pravni proces protiv poznatih i nepoznatih počinitelja zlodjela? Nadajmo se!
Moralo bi svima biti jasno da ovdje nije riječ o traženju osvete i o nečijem zatvaranju i progonu nego o želji da se sazna povijesna istina, da naši mrtvi ne ostanu prešućeni, da ih se pokopa na dostojanstven način i da im se oda dužno poštovanje. Ako se to napravi, bit će lakše djeci i rodbini pobijenih. Bit će mirniji i oni koji su doprinijeli i sudjelovali u ovim zločinima. Traži se samo da istina već jednom ugleda svjetlo dana, a istina oslobađa. Oslobađa sve! Na taj ćemo način i mi kao društvo i kao narod, kao hrvatski narod, konačno moći zatvoriti to žalosno poglavlje svoje povijesti.
Objavljeno u Stopama pobijenih – Glasilo Vicepostulature postupka mučeništva „Fra Leo Petrović i 65 subraće. Godina IV., broj 1 (6), siječanj-lipanj 2011. st. 13-15.
ASSOCIATION FOR CROATIAN STUDIES (ACS)
On October 15, 1977, a small number of Croatian scholars in America, gathered at the Annual Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) at Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington D.C., and laid the foundation to the Association for Croatian Studies. The idea for such organization was circulated among Croatian scholars participating at the AAASS Convention in Atlanta a year earlier, but someone had to take the initiative and do the work.
For those who are not familiar with the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, suffice to say that the AAASS was established in 1948 and it is a leading private organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Russia, Central Eurasia, and East and Central Europe. It publishes the quarterly Slavic Review, the leading journal in Slavic studies.
The provisional name of the new Croatian scholarly organization was “Society for Croatian Studies.” Its first officers were: Dr. Joseph T. Bombelles, President; Dr. George J. Prpić, Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Ante Kadić and Dr. Francis H. Eterović, Vice Presidents. Drs. Bombelles and Prpić were entrusted to affiliate the Society with the AAASS and to register the organization in the State of Ohio as a scholarly not-for-profit society.
On November 27, 1977, during the Twelfth Annual Seminar of the American Croatian Academic Society at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the name of the newly formed “Society for Croatian Studies” was changed to “Association for Croatian Studies” (ACS).
At the beginning of 1978, a proposed Constitution and By-Laws of the ACS were submitted to the membership for approval and a request was sent, with the necessary documentation, to the AAASS for acceptance as an affiliate scholarly society. At the same time, Dr. Prpić issued the first ACS official bulletin, called the “Announcement.”
The affiliation process was not so easy as one might assume. Actually, the AAASS officials at the time implemented delaying tactics, in order to dampen the desires of Croatian scholars to affiliate their organization with the AAASS. We can probably guess what might have been the reasons for not welcoming the ACS to this large association of Slavic scholars, but we have to move on, just as the ACS officers at the time did. They persisted, and the Association was officially affiliated with the AAASS in October of 1978, and the ACS was allotted an official panel session for that year’s National Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
The ACS’ first panel was entitled “Croatia and the Croatians in the 1970s”. The participants were : Dr. Joseph Bombelles, Chair; Prof. Mirko Vidović (France), Dr. Ante Kadic, Dr. George J. Prpic, Presenters, and Dr. Thomas F. Magner was a discussant. Dr. Prpić later reported: “The meeting was attended by more than sixty people of whom about a dozen were American Croatians.” A day later (October 13), the Provisional Executive Committee of the ACS was elected to serve a year term and the Constitution and By-Laws were unanimously accepted, under the condition that they may be revised, if necessary, in order to make them acceptable to the AAASS and the State of Ohio.
The Association was incorporated in the State of Ohio on June 8, 1983, and on November 14, 1984, the ACS became “exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 9c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.” In December of the same year the name of the ACS’ official publication was changed from Announcement to the Bulletin of the ACS.
Purpose and Activities
The main purpose of the Association for Croatian Studies, as defined in its Constitution, is “to foster closer communication among scholars interested in Croatian Studies” and to “promote the dissemination of scholarly information on Croatia and Croatians through the organization of meetings, conferences, and panels at conventions devoted to Slavic and East European Studies.” Its particular and most important mission, however, is to organize scholarly panels at the AAASS National Conventions dealing with Croatian issues. Furthermore, the ACS encourages its members to organize and/or participate in scholarly panels that foster comparative studies with other affiliates of the AAASS and scholars from other countries and backgrounds. It also promotes scholarly activities and cooperation among its members, especially the younger scholars. Moreover, the Association often serves as a resource hub where various scholars and institution turn for assistance and information dealing with Croatian subjects and issues.
The ACS Bulletin, besides informing the members of AAASS convention activities, brings news about the association and its members, and it often publishes relevant articles and/or book reviews. It frequently includes selective bibliography of new titles and Ph dissertations dealing with Croatia and the Croatians. For this reason, a number of academic libraries receive the Bulletin, and it has been included in some bibliographies as a resource publication.
The ACS founders have established a wonderful tradition, according to which during every AAASSS convention ACS members, their friends, and individuals from the local Croatian community, get together for a “Croatian Dinner.” We all look forward to this annual event in order to meet new scholars and friends, and to renew old friendships and acquaintances. It is in such gatherings that quite often new ideas for work and cooperation are born. We are pleased to announce, that this year’s “Croatian Dinner” will be at the famous Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, in the Hilton Hotel, New Orleans. It will be Croatian style and hospitality with New Orleans flavor! In 1986, the ACS enjoyed its “Croatian Dinner” at Drago’s restaurant, but at that time it was at the original location in the city’s suburbia. This year, it will be at the downtown Hilton hotel.
Since its inception, the ACS and its members have organized numerous panels dealing with a wide range of topics. Just to mention a few: Renaissance in Croatia, Marko Marulić, Faust Vrančić, Ivan Gundulić, Bartol Kašić, Rudjer Bošković, Juraj Križanić, Illyrian Movement, Kačić Miošić, Ivan Mažuranić, Krleža, Budak, Ujević, Film, History of Music, Theater, Croatian Dissent in the 1960s and 1970s, History of Dubrovnik, Croatian Language, Economic issues, Croatians in America, Croatian History, Vojna Krajina, Radić Brothers and HSS, Croatian Nationalism, Jews in Croatia, Religion, US Foreign Policy and Croatia, Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Independence and War of Liberation, Regionalism in Croatia, International War Crimes Tribunal, Dayton Accords, BiH Constitution, Geography, Politics, Ideologies, Croatia and European Integration, and many other topics. The list of participants at ACS panels is very long. It includes almost all Croatian scholars in the West, and also many non-Croatians who study Croatia or the region. Many of such scholars are also members of the ACS, and some of them have served or are serving as officers of the association.
Looking back at the three decades of ACS activities, one might divide the life and work of the association into three main periods. First, from its beginnings to 1989. This was the era of the Cold war. The AAASS was seen by the East as an instrument of Western interests and, as they would put it, scholarly propaganda. The ACS was seen in a similar, but worse light not only by the Yugoslav regime but also by Yugoslav sympathizers among American scholars. Furthermore, it was not permissible for scholars from Croatia to participate on ACS panels or Croatian scholarly institutions to be in touch with the Association. For example, the late Ivan Supek came to the 1987 Convention to participate on a panel about Ruger Bosković, but he was told by the regime’s officials he better stay away. He was actually in the convention hotel while his paper was read by an American Croatian colleague. This might sound bizarre today, but it happened not so long ago!
The second period began in 1989. For the first time scholars from Croatia began to participate at the ACS activities and panels. The guests from Croatia at the Chicago convention of that year were: Ivan Supek, Franjo Tudjman, Dalibor Brozović, Ivo Smoljan, and Vladimir Konšćak. The Iron Curtain was cracking and the dawn of freedom was on the rise. However, the early 1990s brought not only freedom but, unfortunately, also war to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the war years, the ACS and its members in their panels and presentations made an effort to clarify the causes and issues dealing with the wars of aggression, that most often, intentionally or not, were portrayed even in scholarly circles and by “experts” in a twisted light.
During the post-1995 era, scholarly activities of the ACS and its members have been oriented toward a variety of subjects and scholarly interests. In the last few years there is an increase of interest in Croatian studies among young scholars who are not of Croatian ethnic background. The ACS encourages such scholars to join the association, as well as those of Croatian heritage, so that in cooperation with each other we may contribute to the understanding of the Croatian past and present.
Although there are no more political, ideological or other barriers that might prevent cooperation of the ACS with cultural and scholarly institutions in Croatia, the bridges between the ACS and the homeland are not as strong as they could and should be. It seems to us that the homeland institutions, and (too) many scholars, don’t realize the importance of participating in scholarly activities on this side of the ocean. There has been an improvement, but both sides must cooperate in order to advance knowledge and understanding of our Croatian heritage and culture.
Thirty years have passed, and, one might say, passed too fast. But a lot has been accomplished, thanks to the ACS founders and members, living and those who have passed away. At the present, the ACS is healthy, doing well, and it is fulfilling its mission as defined by its Constitution. A good indicator that it “promotes and disseminates scholarly information on Croatia and Croatians,” are a number of panels and lectures that are on the program of this year’s AAASS National Convention in New Orleans. As long as there is Croatia and the Croatians there will be an interest and need to study the country and the people. The ACS’ mission, therefore, continues. We hope and believe that the younger scholars of Croatian and non-Croatian heritage will have interest, will, and stamina to carry on and build on the foundations that were laid thirty years ago, and keep the ACS young forever.
The following have served as executive officers of the ACS:
Joseph T. Bombelles
George J. Prpić
Elinor M. Despalatović
Ellen Elias Bursać
At the present (2007), the ACS officers are:
Ante Čuvalo – President (email@example.com)
Jasna Meyer – Vice-President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ivan Runac – Secretary (email@example.com
Aida Vidan – Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anton E. Basetić (1879-1921)
The First Victim of Yugoslav Terror among Croatian Émigrés
Dr. Ante Čuvalo
The assassination of Croatian patriots in the ranks of émigrés was a trait of the infamous Yugoslav secret police, namely, the UDBA, during the time of Tito’s regime (1945-1990). Actually, the liquidation of Croatian patriots began long before Tito’s time—that is, from the very founding of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918 (Yugoslavia after 1929). Persecution of every sort was one of the historical links that bridged the time of the bloody founding of the Kingdom until the even bloodier end of the Yugoslav State. In fact, Greater-Serbian terror in Croatian lands began even before unification. It started on the 9th of September, 1918, in the city of Vukovar, and we can still feel the ugly stench of death during and after the demise of Yugoslavia. The primary subject of Serbian terror was to be found not only among the Croatians, but also among all those who were doomed to perish for sake of the “Greater Serbia” project. That megalomania nightmare that swallowed so much blood and lives is, to our regret, alive and well even to this day and it is evidenced daily with equal insolence!
It is only recently that knowledge of those Croatians liquidated in the Diaspora (at the very least 69 of them) after the end of the Second World War is beginning to come to light in the Homeland. Although “official” Zagreb shows little interest for these and other victims, truth is slowly seeing the light of day—thanks to the Courts of foreign lands, most notably German Courts, that are attempting to solve at least some of the assassination that took place in those countries. In the meantime, little or nothing is known of the terror waged against the Croatian Diaspora prior to 1945. Here we are talking about a portion of Croatian history that is yet to be investigated and waiting for the Homeland to eventually remember it.
The very first victim of Yugo-terror in America—and, I believe, among the Croatian Diaspora in general, that followed the fateful union of Croatian Lands with Serbia and Montenegro, was Anton E. Basetić. He was the editor of the Croatian newspaper Glasnik Istine (The Herald of Truth) that was published in Chicago. Because of his explicit Croatian patriotism and anti-Yugoslav political stance, he was perfidiously liquidated “in full daylight” in Chicago on the 5th of November, 1921. This was not only the murder of a journalist, but also an attempt to frighten into submission all those who were not willing to link hands and dance the new “Yugo-dance” as accompanied by a “Serbian flute.”
The Life and Work of Anton E. Basetić
Anton Basetić was born in Primošten on the 17th of September, 1877. Church records show the date as being the 20th of June in one instance, and the 20th of September, 1877 in another. His father was Ivan, and his mother was Ana, nee Makelja. Anton’s family numbered ten children. Originally, his name was Ante Emilio Bolanča but upon arriving in America, he changed it to Anton E. Basetić/Basetich. It is unclear as to why he changed his surname (and, to some extent, his first name), or why he chose the name Basetić, but we found out that his brother Leon (born the 11th of April, 1883) also changed his surname to Basetić or Bolanča-Basetić some time after his arrival to America on October 24, 1907.
Ante Emilio Bolanča set sail into the world from Genoa on the steamship The Spartan Prince. He arrived in New York harbor on the 23rd of July, 1898. He was received by his friend, Stjepan Baković, who lived at 177 Atlanta Avenue in New York. As of the present writing, it is unknown as to what schooling Ante had, or where that schooling took place; what is known is that he was considerably more literate than the vast majority of Croatian émigrés of that time. So, whether he had a formal education or he was self-schooled is still unknown.
From the information thus far gathered about Ante after his arrival in America, and after a period of time spent in New York City, we see he stayed in Butte, Montana in 1910 and was known as Anton Basetich. The American Census documents from 1910 confirm that Anton was married at the time to 19-year-old Elsie, nee Coffin, from South Dakota. From the same Census report, we learn that Anton was a journalist by profession. (The 1910 Census document erroneously records Anton as having arrived in the U.S. in 1903. Perhaps he came to Minnesota in that year.)
A year later, Anton and Elsie were living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was the editor of the Croatian Newspaper Radnička Obrana, (The Workers’ Defense). The Salt Lake City Directory of 1911 records that Anton was the Editor and Manager of the aforementioned newspaper, and that Emil Basetich was the President of the Slavonian Publishing Company. It is obvious that in both instances we are dealing with one and the same person. Sadly, Anton’s wife Elsie died on the 16th of December, 1912. According to the memory passed on in the family, Elsie died in childbirth of their firstborn, a girl. It is not known with any certainty what became of the little girl. It is thought that she was taken in by Elsie’s parents.
Following the death of his wife Elsie, most likely during 1913, Basetić moved from Salt Lake City to Duluth, Minnesota. The Duluth City Directory of 1913-1914 indicates that the Slavonian Publishing Company‘s manager was Anton Basetich, while Milan Knezevich was the editor of Radnička Obrana. The newpaper was published in that city every Thursday. That same directory of 1915-1916 indicates that Basetich continued to be the publisher of the newspaper, but was located at a new address. As gleaned from the newspaper itself, the title of the publishing company was no longer known as the Slavonian Publishing Company, but as the Croatian Publishing Company. Clearly, Anton Basetić assumed ownership and editorial management of the Radnička Obrana. The newpaper had branch offices in Salt Lake City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary. Indiana.
Though many Croatian newspapers saw the light of day in America, few of them survived for any length of time. One of the rare numbers of Radnička Obrana to be found is the number dated March 11, 1916. That edition indicates that it was the twelfth year of publication for that newspaper. Clearly, this newspaper managed to survive longer than most Croatian publications in America at that time.
It would seem that around 1916, the Radnička Obrana ceased being published and that Anton moved from Minnesota to Chicago. That same year, Basetić purchased the newspaper known as Hrvatski Rodoljub, (Croatian Patriot). The paper was founded in 1915 and was published by B.F. Tolić in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Basetić transferred publication of the paper to Chicago. This would indicate that he already lived in the city.
Between Yugoslavia and Croatia
This period of time was froth with war and was an especially worrisome time for Croatians in America as well as those in the homeland. Aside from the wartime adversity, a deep political division and separation began to take shape among Croatians: there were those who were prepared to abrogate their national heritage and rights and eagerly accept unity with the Serbian Kingdom, and there were those who stood in defense of the right to Croatian Statehood. Those in the first group were more vociferous, and political conditions then present stood in their favor. The second group had to contend not only with the pro-Yugoslav element, but also with the burden of trying to prove to America and their fellow citizens (especially so after America’s entrance into the war in 1917) that they were not champions of Austria and the Central Powers, but simply desired freedom for their Croatian homeland. So as to bring a shred of light into the political fog that overshadowed the time, a well-known and respected priest, Rev. Ivan Stipanović, established and published a Croatian journal, Rodoljub (Patriot), in Chicago in January of 1915. Shortly thereafter (August of 1915), the journal’s name was changed to Hrvatski Katolički Glasnik, (The Croatian Catholic Messenger). It assumed a newspaper format and became the voice of (almost all) Croatian Catholic priests in America. Before the end of that same year, the paper established editorial links with Narodna Obrana that was published in Duluth, Minnesota, as well as with Hrvatski Rodoljub in Chicago. With such combined forces, a group of Croatian patriots now began to publish Glasnik Istine (The Herald of Truth). The editorial board resided at 2979 S. Wentworth Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Anton Basetić was chosen as its editor. It appears that in 1916, Basetić’s Radnička Obrana changed it name to Narodna Obrana and subsequently melded into Glasnik Istine. Thus, he became its new editor.
While wartime blood flowed across the European front, a ferocious ideological war raged among the Croatians in America. One group aligned with the Jugoslavenski Odbor, (The Yugoslav Committee) and welcomed, extolled, and aided the members of that committee on their arrival in the U.S., sending monetary aid and war volunteers. Others were supporters of Croatian independence and warned about Greater-Serbian ideology and its future evil effects on the Croatian people. A third group followed socialist ideas and also caused national and religious discord among Croatian émigrés across the world. Under such conditions, Anton Basetić assumed editorship of the publication which by its orientation was Croatian and Catholic, and served as the representative and voice against the Yugoslav forces in Chicago and America.
Even prior to his assumption of the role as editor of the Glasnik Istine, Basetić wrote and spoke against the union with Serbia. A significant event in the Croatian Community of Chicago serves as a primary example of his role among Croatian-American émigrés: on the 10th and 11th of March, 1915, in the LaSalle Hotel located in downtown Chicago, a Yugoslav Congress was held. More than 550 delegates and guests to the congress were in attendance. At the congress they spoke of the “homogeneity of the Yugoslav people” (naturally, the well-known Serbian in America delegate to the Congress, Dr. Paul Radosavljević, a professor at the University of New York, considered all Yugoslavs to be Serbs) and of the soon-to-be created Kingdom of the Serbs, Croatians, and Slovenes. At the same time, a group of Croatians, mostly located around Wentworth Avenue in Chicago, held a massive counter-demonstration. Some 3,000 Croatians gathered for that massive anti-Yugoslav counter-demonstration to hear one of its main speakers, namely, Anton Basetić. Clearly, then, upon his move to Chicago and his undertaking of the role of editor of the Glasnik Istine, Basetić became a person of importance among Croatians not only in this metropolis but across all of America.
Before touching on his tragic death, it is appropriate that we say a bit more about his family. Following the death of his first wife, Elsie (at the end of 1912), Anton married Sandra (Allessandra, Sanda) F. Herska while residing in Chisholm, Minnesota. Sandra was from Severin na Kupi, located in the Gorski Kotar region of Croatia. Two children were born from their union: Vera, a daughter, was born in 1916, in Minnesota, while Ivan (John) was born in 1919 in Chicago.
ANTON E. BASETIĆ
Prva žrtva jugoterora u hrvatskoj emigraciji
17. prosinca 2010
Piše: Ante Čuvalo
Likvidacije Hrvata počele su već osnutkom Kraljevine Jugoslavije. Prvom žrtvom drži se Anton Basetić, ubijen u Chicagu 1921.
Progon, svakovrsni progon, bio je jedna od povijesnih poveznica koja premošćuje vrijeme od krvavog rođenja do još krvavije smrti Jugo države. No, velikosrpski teror u hrvatskim zemljama počeo je i prije ujedinjenja (počeo je u Vukovaru 9. rujna 1918.), a još osjećamo zadah smrti koja je harala i poslije njezine službene smrti. Primarni srpski teror je također bio uzrokom terora na teror, ne samo među Hrvatima, nego i kod drugih koji su trebali nestati radi velikosrpskog projekta. Ta megalomanska mora, koja je progutala toliko krvi i života, nažalost je i danas živa i svakodnevno je očitija i hrabrija!
O Hrvatima koji su ubijeni u emigraciji poslije Drugog svjetskog rata (najmanje 69) konačno se saznaje i u domovini. Premda službeni Zagreb za ove (i druge) žrtve puno ne haje, ipak istina pomalo izlazi na svjetlo zahvaljujući i sudstvu drugih država, u prvom redu Njemačke. Ali o teroru nad Hrvatima u emigraciji prije 1945. zna se vrlo malo, gotovo ništa. Riječ je o još neistraženom dijelu hrvatske povijesti koji čeka da ga se domovina sjeti.
Prva žrtva jugoterora u Americi, a vjerujemo i u hrvatskoj emigraciji općenito, nakon ujedinjenja hrvatskih zemalja sa Srbijom i Crnom Gorom bio je Anton E. Basetić, urednik hrvatskih novina „Glasnik Istine“ u Chicagu. Zbog svojih hrvatskih domoljubnih, odnosno protujugoslavenskih političkih stavova bio je mučki likvidiran „u sred bijela dana“ u Chicagu 5. studnog 1921. Bilo je to ne samo ubojstvo novinara, nego i pokušaj zastrašivanja svih koji nisu bili voljni uhvatit se u novo jugo-kolo i zaplesati uz srpsku frulu.
Život i rad
Anton Basetić rođen je u Primoštenu 17. rujna 1877. (u crkvenim knjigama stoji 20. lipnja na jednom mjestu, a 20. rujna 1877. na drugom) od oca Ivana i majke Ane, rođene Makelja. Obitelj je imala desetero djece. Njegovo izvorno ime i prezime bilo je Ante Emilio Bolanča, koje je po dolasku u Ameriku promijenio u Anton E. Basetić/Basetich. Nije jasno iz kojih razloga je promjenio prezime (donekle i ime) i zašto baš u Basetić, ali nalazimo da se i njegov brat Leon (rođen 11. travnja 1883., došao u Ameriku 24. listopada 1907.) po dolasku u Ameriku također služio prezimenom Basetić ili Bolanča-Basetić.
Ante Emilio Bolanča u svijet je odplovio iz Genove brodom „Spartan Princ“ i u New York stigao 23. srpnja 1898. Išao je k prijatelju Stjepanu Bakoviću, 177 Atlanta Ave. u New Yorku. Zasad nam nije poznato gdje, kada i koje škole je Ante pohađao, ali je zaisgurno bio pismeniji i učeniji od velike većine hrvatskih emigranata tog vremena. Koliko je to bila formalna naobrazba ili se sam „u hodu“ doškolovavao ostaje nepoznanica.
Po onom što se dosad može pronaći, nakon dolaska i, vjerojatno, neko vrijeme boravka u New Yorku, Antu E. Bolanču 1910. surećemo kao Antona Baseticha u gradu Butte, Montana. Američki dokumenti o popisu pučanstva iz te godine potvrđuju da je Anton tada bio oženjen devetnaestogodišnjom Elsie, rođenom Coffin u South Dakoti. Iz istih dokumenata se vidi da je Anton po profesiji novinar. (U ovom dokumentu se krivo tvrdi da je u SAD došao 1903. Možda je te godine došao u Minnesotu.)
Godinu dana kasnije Anton i Elsie žive u Salt Lake Cityju, Utah. Tu je bio urednik hrvatskih novina „Radnička Obrana“. Naime, Salt Lake City Directory za 1911. navodi da je Anton urednik i manager spomenutih novina, ali i da je Emil Basetich predsjednik „Slavonian Publishing Co.“ Očito je da se radi o istom čovjeku. Nažalost, 16. prosinca 1912. Elsie je umrla. Po obiteljskoj predaji, umrla je rađajući prvo dijete, curicu. Nije sigurno što je bilo od djeteta. Vjeruje se da su ga preuzeli majčini roditelji.
Među Hrvatima nastala je politička podjela,
između onih koji su htjeli jedinstvo sa Srbima
i onih koji su branili hrvtsku državnost
Nakon ženine smrti, vjerojatno tokom godine 1913., Basetić je preselio iz Salt Lake Cityja u Duluth, Minnesota. Naime, Duluth City Directory za 1913.-1914. navodi da su „Slavonian Publishing Co.“, Anton Basetich manager, Milan Knezevich izdavač i urednik „Radničke Obrane“ u tom gradu. Novina je izlazila svakog četvrtka. Directory za 1915.-1916. godinu piše da je Basetich sada izdavač istoimenih novina i adresa uredništva je drugačija nego godinu dana prije. Iz novina se vidi da je izdavač ne više Slavonian, nego „Croatian Publishing Co.“. Očito je da je Anton preuzeo vlasništvo i uređivanje „Radničke Obrane.“ Novina je imala povjerenštva u Salt Lake City-u, Chicagu, Milwaukee i u Gary, Indiana.
Puno je hrvatski novina u Americi pokrenuto, ali malo ih se održalo na životu dulje vremena. Jedan od rijetko sačuvanih brojeva „Radničke Obrane“ je broj od 11. ožujka 1916. i tu čitamo da je to bilo dvanaesto godište tog tjednika, što znači da se ovo glasilo uspjelo održati dulje nego mnoge druge tadašnje hrvatske publikacije u Americi.
Moralo je to biti negdje tokom 1916. kad je „Radnička Obrana„ prestala izlaziti i Anton je preselio iz Minnesote u Chicago. Te godine Basetić je kupio novine „Hrvatski rodoljub“ (utemeljio 1915. i izdavao B. F. Tolić) u Pittsburgh-u i prenio uredništvo u Chicago, što znači da je on već tamo živio.
Između Jugoslavije i Hrvatske
Bila su to ratna vremena, posebice bremenita za Hrvate ne samo u domovini, nego i u Americi. Osim ratnih nedaća, među Hrvatima je nastala duboka politička podjela, između onih koji su bili spremni odreći se hrvatskog državnog prava, i prigrliti jedinstvo sa Srbima i onih koji su stali u obranu hrvatske državnosti. Prvi su bili grlatiji i svjetske prilike su im išle na ruku, a drugi su, osim borbe protiv projugoslavena, imali teret ukazivati Americi i svojim sugrađanima (posebice nakon američkog ulaska u rat 1917.) da oni nisu pobornici Austrije i Centralnih sila, nego samo ljubitelji hrvatske slobode. Da bi u tu političku maglu unio zračak svijetla, poznati svećenik Rev. Ivan Stipanović počinje (siječanj 1915.) u Chicagu izdavati časopis „Rodoljub“. Uskoro (kolovoz 1915.) časopis mijenja ime u „Hrvatski Katolički Glasnik“, poprima novinski oblik i postaje glasilo (gotovo svih) hrvatskih svećenika u Americi. Još prije konca godine ova novina se udružuje s „Narodnom Obranom“, koja je izlazila u Duluth, Minnesota, i „Hrvatskim Rodoljubom“, te zajedničkim snagama počinju izdavati „Glasnik Istine.“ Uredništvo se nalazilo na 2979 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, a za urednika je izabran Anton Basetić. Izgleda da je tokom 1916. Basetićeva „Radnička Obrana“ promjenila ime u „Narodnu Obranu“ i zatim se utopila u „Glasnik Istine“, kojem je on postao urednik.
Dok se krv prolijevala po europskim bojišnicama, među Hrvatima u Americi vodio se vrlo žestok ideološki rat. Jedni su slijedili „Jugoslavenski odbor“, dočekivali, veličali i pomagali ljude iz Odbora te slali materijalnu pomoć i dragovoljce u rat. Drugi su bili pobornici čuvanja i jačanja hrvatske državnosti te upozoravali na velikosrpsku ideologiju i njezine posljedice za hrvatski narod. Treći su pak bili sljedbenici socijalizma i ubacivali dodatnu nacionalnu i vjersku smutnju među hrvatske emigrante. U tim prilikama Anton Basetić postaje urednik glasila koje je bilo po orijentaciji hrvatsko i katoličko, te jedan od glasnogovornika protujugoslavenskih snaga u Chicagu i Americi.
Još i prije preuzimanja uredništva „Glasnika Istine“, Basetić je pisao i govorio protiv ujedinjenja sa Srbijom. Jedan važan događaj dobro ilustrira njegovu ulogu u zajednici. U Chicagu je 10. i 11. ožujka 1915. u hotelu LaSalle održan Jugoslavenski kongres na kojemu je sudjelovalo preko 550 delegata i uzvanika. Dok se tamo govorilo o jedinstvenom jugoslavenskom narodu (naravno, tad poznati Srbin u Americi dr. Paul Radosavljević, profesor na University of New York i delegat, sve ih je smatrao Srbima) i budućoj zajedničkoj državi, u hrvatskoj naseobini oko Wentworth ulice održan je masovni protuskup. Na tom antijugoslavenskom okupljanju, koje je okupilo oko 3000 Hrvata, jedan od glavnih govornika bio je i Anton Basetić. On je dakle poslije dolaska u Chicago i preuzimanja uredništva zasigurno postao osoba od velikog utjecaja među Hrvatima tog velikog grada ali i u cijeloj Americi.
Prije opisa njegove tragične smrti, red je još nešto reći o njegovoj obitelji. Naime, poslije smrti njegove prve žene Elsie (krajem 1912.), Anton se 18. srpnja 1914. vjenčao sa Sandrom (Allessandra, Sanda) F. Herska u mjestu Chishlom, Minnesota. Sandra je bila rodom iz Severina na Kupi u Gorskom kotaru. U braku se rodilo dvoje djece. Vera je rođena 1916. u Minnesoti, a Ivan 1919. u Chicagu.
Atentat u Chicagu
Dana 5. studenog 1921. oko 8:15 Antun Basetić je iz svog doma na 31. ulici došao u ured trgovine nekretnina „Cannizzo, Jurko & Co.“, koji je bio na Wentworth ulici, nedaleko od njegove kuće. Premda je „Glasnik Istine“ tiskan nedaleko u „Hrvatskoj tiskari“, Basetić je, po svemu sudeći iz opreza, poštu primao u uredu spomenute tvrtke i tamo danomice po nju dolazio. Toga kobnog jutra u uredu je već bila mlada činovnica Marie Pullano i po Antonovu ulasku u ured upozorila ga da se dvojica nepoznatih muškaraca motaju na drugoj strani ulice ispred ureda, na što joj je odgovorio: „Ne boj se, ja sam tu“, misleći da ih se ona boji. Ubrzo su ta dva (ne)čovjeka došla na vrata ureda, a Marie i Anton su pošli prema vratima. Marie je otvorila jedno od dva staklena krila i upitala ih što žele. Ništa nisu rekli, a jedan je zakoracio unutra, potegao pištolj i ispucao šest naboja prema Basetiću koji je stajao kraj djevojke. Pogodila su ga dva hica, jedan u rame, a drugi u vrat i Anton je za nekoliko minuta izdahnuo. Mlada činovnica pala je u nesvijest, a ubojice su bez traga pobjegle. Tragična drama odigrala se u nekoliko minuta.
Sve chicaške novine objavile su izvješća o smrti Antona Basetića, naglašujući da je to bilo ubojstvo političke naravi. Jedne novine citiraju mišljenje ljudi iz policije i kaže da ovo ubojstvo ima međunarodno zaleđe i da je to kulminacija međunardnih političkih trzavica. Ali u tim izvješćima se provlači netočnost da je Anton bio zagrijani pro-Austrijanac, a ne da je bio hrvatski domoljub. Slijedila se i tad već dobro nam poznata „logika“: svi koji nisu bili jugofili bili su austrofili (a kasnije fašisti). Naravno, policija i novinska izvješća i ne ulaze u pitanje tko bi mogao stajati iza tog gnusnog zločina. Nije bilo nikakve ozbiljnije istrage. Za policiju su to bila „emigrantska posla“ i nikome nije bilo stalo istražiti zašto je izgubio život jedan Hrvat usred Chicaga i tko ga je ubio.
Među Antonovim potomcima i danas se čuva predaja da je atentat izvršila „Crna ruka“. Oni i ne znaju što je bila „Crna ruka“, ali zna se dobro kakvu je krvavu ulogu ta teroristička organizacija odigrala u Srbiji i dalje. Premda je ona bila službeno ugušena 1917., njezini sljedbenci su nastavili zločinački rad i, najvjerojatnije, Anton Basetić je bio žrtva u najmanju ruku njezine ideologije.
Basetiću je bilo samo 44 godine kad je ubijen. Iza njega je ostala mlada žena Sandra s dvoje nejake djece i još dijete iz
Sve chicaške novine objavile su izvješća
o smrti Antona Basetića, naglašujući
da je to bilo ubojstvo političke naravi
prvog mu braka. Sandra je od straha pokupila djecu, otišla u Minnesotu i tamo provela šest mjeseci. Ponovo se vratila u Chicago, radila i mučila se da bi odgojila svoju djecu. Među ostalim, radila je i kao kuharica u studentskom domu na University of Chicago. Po pričanju članova njezine obitelji, nikad nije htjela govoriti o muževu ubojstvu ni o politici. Bilo joj je svega dosta. Njezin životni cilj bio je svoju djecu „na noge podići“ i u tome je bila vrlo uspješna, kao i mnoge druge hrvatske udovice.
Mučeništvo Ante Emilia Bolanče, odnosno Antona Basetića, bilo je prešućeno u vrijeme njegove pogibije, a o njemu se šutjelo i sljedećih 90 godina. Bilo bi i potpuno zaboravljeno da ne bi njegovih dviju unuka (Sarah i Ann), kćeriju sina Ivana, koje su htjele doznati istinu o svom djedu. Sarah je i mene zainteresirala za ovaj tragičan slučaj i sa mnom podijelila dosta podataka koje sam ovdje iznio. Zahvaljujem joj što je upoznala ne samo mene, nego i hrvatsku javnost s djelovanjem i žrtvom svojeg djeda koji je, po dosadašnjim spoznajama, prvi politički mučenik u hrvatskoj emigraciji poslije zlokobne 1918.
Nedavno smo u „Hrvatkom vjesniku“ iz Melbourna (14. listopada 2010.) mogli pročitati svima nama iznenađujuće otkriće kako je 1. veljače 1942. „poludjeli“ četnik eksplozivom ubio 14 i osakatio još 15 Hrvata u Kalgoorlie-Boulder-u u Zapadnoj Australiji. Ubojstva Antona Basetića 1921. i Hrvata u Australiji 1942., kao i druga po svijetu za koja još ne znamo treba istražiti i dati im dužno mjesto u povijesti hrvatske emigracije i domovine.
An incomplete list of recent Ph. D. dissertations dealing with Croatia(ns) and Bosnia-Herzegovina
Prepared by Ante Čuvalo
Adeli, Lisa M. From Jasenovac to Yugoslavism: Ethnic persecution in Croatia during WWII. University of Arizona, 2004.
Anic, Rebeka. Die Frauen in der Kirche Kroatiens im 20. Jahrhundert. Universität Wien, 2001.
Augter, Steffi. Negotiating Croatia’s recognition: German foreign policy as two level game. University of London, 2002.
Babinka, Slavica. Multi-tracer study of karst waters and lake sediments in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina Plitvice Lakes National Park and Bihac area. Bonn, University, 2007.
Baric, Daniel. La langue allemande en Croatie, 1815-1848 étude interculturelle. Université de soutenance. 2007.
Bogojeva Magzan, Masha. Music as an ideological construct prevailing ideology in the music curricula in Croatia before and after its independence. Kent State University, 2005.
Bozic-Roberson, Agneza. The politicization of ethnicity as a prelude to ethnopolitical conflict: Croatia and Serbia in former Yugoslavia. Western Michigan University, 2001.
Božić-Vrbančić, Senka. Celebrating Forgetting: The Formation of Identity and Memories by Tarara in New Zealand. University of Auckland, 2004.
Cann, Sarah. The politics of ethnic identity in everyday life at the local level in Croatia. University of Edinburgh, 2006.
Caspersen, Nina Fallentin. Intra-ethnic competition and inter-ethnic conflict : Serb elites in Croatia and Bosnia, 1990-1995. University of London, 2006.
Cavka, Majda. Mental health and coping strategies in war and post-war time in Croatian [i.e. Croatia]: A longitudinal study. Univ. Zürich, 2002.
Çela, Arijana. Estimating the economic impact of tourism: A comparative analysis of Albania, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece. University of Northern Iowa, 2007.
Chaveneau, Emmanuelle. La Croatie, nouvel Etat européen. Essai de géographie politique. Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2004.
Clewing, Konrad. Staatlichkeit und nationale Identitätsbildung: Dalmatien in Vormärz und Revolution. Universität München, 1997.
Dalbello, Marija. Croatian diaspora almanacs: A historical and cultural analysis. University of Toronto, 1999.
Dedaic, Mirjana N. Discursive construction of national identity in American, South African, and Croatian 1999 state of the nation addresses. Georgetown University, 2004.
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compatible with the new common agricultural policy? University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007.
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Ercegovac, Peter Anthony. Competing national ideologies, cyclical responses: The mobilisation of the Irish, Basque and Croat national movements to rebellion against the state. University of Sydney, 1999.
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Morrissey, Christof Nikolaus. National socialism and dissent among the ethnic Germans of Slovakia and Croatia, 1938-1945. University of Virginia, 2006.
Muhic, S. Establishing production in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina: External influences for companies approaching an appropriate engagement. Technical University of Denmark, 2002.
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Palmer, Peter. The Communists and the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia, 1941-1946. University of Oxford, 2000.
Pavlakovic, Vjeran. Our Spaniards: Croatian communists, fascists, and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. University of Washington, 2005. University of California, Berkeley, 2005.
Peskin, Victor. Virtual trials: International war crimes tribunals and the politics of state cooperation in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. University of California, Berkeley, 2005.
Razsa, Maple John. Bastards of utopia: An ethnography of radical politics after Yugoslav socialism. Harvard University, 2007.
Reed, Laurel Elizabeth. Approaches to fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century painting in Dalmatia. University of California, San Diego, 2009
Rötting, Michael. Das verfassungsrechtliche Beitrittsverfahren zur Europäischen Union: und seine Auswirkungen am Beispiel der Gotovina-Affäre im kroatischen Beitrittsverfahren. Univ. Frankfurt am Main, 2008.
Segvic, Ivana. Government and the freedom of the press: An 11-year content analysis of three Croatian newspapers. University of Texas at Austin, 2003.
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Silovic Karic, Danja. Neither centralism nor federalism : The social democracy in Croatia, 1918-1941. Yale University, 2005.
Smiljanic, Rajka. Lexical, pragmatic and positional effects on prosody in two dialects of Croatian and Serbian: An acoustic study. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002
Spehar, Andrea. How women’s movements matter: Women’s movements strategies and influence on gender policy formation in post-Communist Croatia and Slovenia. Göteborgs universitet, 2007.
Troude, Gilles. La question nationale en République fédérative socialiste de Youcoslavie de la fin des années cinquante à la fin des années soixante-dix. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle (Paris). 2003.
Uzelac, Gordana. Perceptions of the nation: A sociological perspective on the case of Croatia. University of London, 2002.
Vrbetic, Marta. The delusion of coercive peacemaking in identity disputes: The case of the former Yugoslavia. Tufts University, 2004.
Vujinovic, Marina. Forging the Bubikopf nation: A feminist political-economic analysis of Zenski list, interwar Croatia’s women’s magazine, for the construction of an alternative vision of modernity. University of Iowa, 2008.
Vuletic, Dean. Yugoslav Communism and the Power of Popular Music. Columbia University, 2010.
Wallace, Richard. The Croatian public sphere and the journalistic milieu. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007.
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Wichmann, Nina. Democratization without societal participation? :The EU as an external actor in the democratization processes of Serbia and Croatia. Bremen, Univ., 2006.
Yeomans, Rory. Ideology, propaganda and mass culture in the Independent State of Croatia, 1941-1945. University of London, Year: 2005.
Zanki Alujevic, Vlasta. Energy use and environmental impact from hotels on Adriatic Coast in Croatia: Current status and future possibilities for HVAC systems. Stockholm: Kungliga tekniska högskolan, 2006.
Zivkovic, Sasa. Capital requirements and measuring market risk in EU new member states and Croatia in light of Basel Committee guidelines. Univ. of Ljubljana, 2007.
Znaor, Darko. Environmental and economic consequences of large-scale conversion to organic farming in Croatia. University of Essex, 2008.
Zühlke, Dietmar. Reforms and foreign direct investment possibilities and limits of public policy in attracting multinational corporations ; a multiple case study of Romania and Croatia. Hohenheim University, 2008.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Andjelic, Neven. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Politics at the end of Yugoslavia. University of Sussex, Jun 2000.
Arsenijevic Damir. The politics of poetry in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Re-assessing tradition since the late 1980s. De Montfort University, 2007.
Babinka, Slavica. Multi-tracer study of karst waters and lake sediments in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina: Plitvice Lakes National Park and Bihac area. Bonn University, 2007.
Batic, Goran. The question of national identity of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A micro study of non-Muslim soldiers in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Municipality of Kakanj. Central European University, 2009.
Buyse, Antoine Christian. Post-conflict housing restitution: The European human rights perspective with a case study on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Leiden, 2007.
Cilliers, Jaco. Local reactions to post-conflict peacebuilding efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa. George Mason University, 2001.
Coles, Kimberley Anne. The object of elections: International workers, electoral practices, and the government democracy in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of California, Irvine, 2003.
Corpora, Christopher A. Connections, conundrums, and criminality: Understanding local perceptions about and attitudes toward organized crime and corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina. American University, 2005.
Coward, Martin Philip. Urbicide and the question of community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2001.
De la Haye, Jos. Missed opportunities in conflict management:Te case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1987-1996. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2001.
Dimova, Guinka. Crises, conflits et leur resolution: Le cas des Balkans. Université Robert Schuman (Strasbourg), 2008.
Dodds, Shona Elizabeth Helen. The role of multilateralism and the UN in post-cold war U.S. foreign policy: The Persian Gulf, Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Australian National University, 2001.
Dulic, Tomislav. Utopias of nation: Local mass killing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1941-42. Uppsala University, 2005.
Du Pont, Yannick. Bringing civil society to Bosnia and Herzegovina: OSCE measures to develop civil society. Amsterdam, 2000.
Edmonds, Lorna Jean. The historical account of the context and process of the introduction of CBR and integration of persons with disabilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1993-2001. University of East Anglia, 2002.
Eralp, Ulas Doga. The effectiveness of the EU as a peace actor in post-conflict Bosnia Herzegovina: An evaluative study. George Mason University, 2009.
Evans-Kent, Bronwyn. Transformative peacebuilding in post-conflict reconstruction: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. University of Queensland, 2003.
Ford, Curtis. The (re- )birth of Bosnian: Comparative perspectives on language planning in Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001.
Freizer, Sabine. What civil society after civil war?: A study of civil society organizations’ effect on peace consolidation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Tajikistan. University of London, 2004.
García García, Ángel. Otra mirada sobre Yugoslavia: Memoria e historia de la participación de las Fuerzas Armadas Españolas en Bosnia-Herzegovina. Universidad de Murcia, 2004.
Gilbert, Andrew. Foreign authority and the politics of impartiality in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of Chicago, 2008.
Goodwin, Stephen R. Fractured land, healing nations: A contextual analysis of the role of religious faith sodalities towards peace-building in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Edinburgh, 2005.
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Gosztonyi, Kristóf. Negotiating in humanitarian interventions: The case of the international intervention into the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Berlin, Freie University, 2003.
Halilovich, Hariz. Forced displacement, popular memory and trans-local identities in Bosnian war-torn communities. University of Melbourne, 2010.
Hamourtziadou, Drosili. National truths: Justifications and self-justifications of three nationalisms in Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of Keele, 2000.
Hansen, Annika S. International security assistance to peace implementation processes :
the cases of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Angola. University of Oslo, 2000.
Hasenclever, Andreas. Die Macht der Moral in der internationalen Politik: Ltärische Interventionen westlicher Staaten in Somalia, Ruanda und Bosnien-Herzegowina. Tübinger Eberhard-Karls-Universität, 2001.
Herrmann-DeLuca, Kristine Ann. Beyond elections: Lessons in democratization assistance from post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. American University, 2002.
Holicek, Reima Ana Maglajlic. Cross-national co-operative inquiry into social work education in England and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anglia Ruskin University, 2006.
Huh, Jae-Seok. Rethinking the practices of UN peacekeeping operations in the early post-Cold War era: The implications of the cases of Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. University of Sheffield, 2008.
Ivanov, Ivan Dimov. Public concerns and perceptions about environment and health in post-communist Muslim societies. Michigan State University, 2004.
Jahic, Galma. Analysis of economic and social factors associated with trafficking in women: Thinking globally, researching locally. Rutgers University, 2009.
Jakelic, Slavica. Religion and collective identity: A comparative study of the Roman Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia. Boston University, 2004.
Jeffrey, Alexander Sam. Democratization , civil society and NGOs: The case of Brcko District, Bosnia-Herzegovina. University of Durham, 2004.
Jonsson, Inger M. Family meal experiences: Perspectives on practical knowledge, learning and culture. University of Örebro, Sweden, 2004.
Juncos García, Ana E. Cometh the ‘hour of Europe’, cometh the institutions?: Coherence and effectiveness of the EU’s common foreign and security policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1991-2006). Loughborough University, 2007.
Keane, Rory. Creating space in which to live deconstructing binary opposition: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. University of Limerick, 2000.
Keyes, Emily Fay. The experience of Bosnian refugees living in the United States. University of Virginia, 2000.
Kolouh-Westin, Lidija. Learning democracy together in school?: Student and teacher attitudes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stockholm University, 2004.
Kostic, Roland. Ambivalent peace: External peacebuilding threatened identity and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Uppsala University, 2007.
Layton, Katherine S. Education and development for refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia: “Participation” in oppositional contexts. Florida State University, 2000.
Lindvall, Daniel. The limits of the European vision in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An analysis of the police reform negotiations. University of Stockholm, 2009.
McCulloch, Allison. Seeking stability amid deep division: Consociationalism and centripetalism in comparative perspective. Queen’s University (Kingston, Ont.), 2009.
Muhic, S. Establishing production in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina: External influences for companies approaching an appropriate engagement. Technical University of Denmark, 2002.
Mulvey, Janet Dagmar. Rebuilding a society and its schools: Reconstruction of the primary education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fordham University, 2004.
Nettelfield, Lara. Courting democracy: The Hague Tribunal’s impact in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Columbia University, 2006.
O’Halloran, Patrick Joseph. The role of identity in post-conflict state-building: The case of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Dayton Agreement. York University, 2001.
Ohanyan, Anna. Winning global policies: The network-based operation of microfinance NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1996-2002. Syracuse University, 2004.
O’Hayon, Gregory Laurent Baudin. Big men, godfathers and zealots: Challenges to the state in the new middle ages (Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France). University of Pittsburgh, 2003.
Oluic, Steven. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Identity, nationalist landscapes and the future of the state. Kent State University, 2005.
Osorio Ramírez, María Amantina. La transformation du lien social: Les parcours migratoires et d’établissement des réfugiés de l’ex-Yougoslavie à la ville de Saguenay et à Joliette. Université de Montréal, 2009.
Owen-Jackson, Gwyneth Ann. Bosnia and Herzegovina: A study of the effects of social and political change on primary schooling, 1878-2002. Open University, 2006.
Palmer, Louis Kendall. Power-sharing extended: Policing and education reforms in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005.
Parish, Matthew T. Reconstructing a divided society: Learning from northeast Bosnia. University of Chicago, Law School, 2007
Perry, Valery. Democratic ends and democratic means: Peace implementation strategies and international intervention options in Bosnia and Herzegovina. George Mason University, 2006.
Pouligny, Béatrice. Les Missions polyvalentes de maintien de la paix de l’ONU dans leur interaction avec les acteurs locaux sociologie comparative de différentes situations: El Salvador, au Cambodge, en Haiti, en Somalie, au Mozambique et en Bosnie-herzegovine. Paris, Institut d’études politiques : 1999.
Rakic, Svetlana. Serbian icons from Bosnia-Herzegovina (16th-18th century). Indiana University, 1999.
Sadic, Adin. Communication regulatory agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 1998 – 2005: History and development. Ohio State University, 2006.
Sahovic, Dzenan. Socio-cultural viability of international intervention in war-torn societies: A case study of Bosnia Herzegovina. Umeå University, 2007.
Segvic, Branimir. Petrologic and geochemical characteristics of the Krivaja-Konjuh ophiolite complex (NE Bosnia and Herzegovina) petrogenesis and regional geodynamic implications. Heidelberg, 2010.
Soule, Suzanne Ruby. The crucible of democracy: Civic education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2003.
Starcevic-Srkalovic, Lejla. The democratization process in post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina and the role of the European Union. University of Hamburg, 2009.
Thorel, Julien. La France, la République fédérale d’Allemagne et la politique européenne de sécurité à l’épreuve de la question yougoslave. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle (Paris), 2004.
Tiplic, Dijana. Managing organizational change during institutional upheaval: Bosnia-Herzegovina’s higher education in transition. Oslo University, 2008.
Torsti, Pilvi. Divergent stories, convergent attitudes: A study on the presence of history, history textbooks and the thinking of youth in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Helsinki, 2003.
Troude, Gilles. La question nationale en République fédérative socialiste de Youcoslavie de la fin des années cinquante à la fin des années soixante-dix. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle (Paris), 2003.
Tsoundarou, Paul. NATO’s eastward expansion and peace-enforcement role in the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia,1994-2004. University of Adelaide, 2007.
Turkovic-Hrle, Semra. The construct of power: Bosnia and Herzegovina post-cold war. Deakin University, Victoria, 2003
Tyers, Caroline. Hidden atrocities. The forensic investigation and prosecution of genocide. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2009.
Vanderwerf, Mark. A missiological examination of national identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Western Seminary, Portland, OR, 2008.
Vrbetic, Marta. The delusion of coercive peacemaking in identity disputes: The case of the former Yugoslavia. Tufts University, 2004.
Whitaker, Kelly Lyn. The new politics of occupation: Lessons from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yale University, 2003.
Willigen, Niels. Building sustainable institutions?: The results of international administration in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo: 1995-2008. Universiteit Leiden, 2009.
Youssef, R. Multilateral Crisis Resolution Process. Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2009
Zelizer, Craig Mitchell.The role of artistic processes in peacebuilding in Bosnia-Herzegovina. George Mason University, 2004.
JOSIP JELAČIĆ – BAN OF CROATIA
Ante Čuvalo – Chicago
(Published in: Review of Croatian History, IV. no. 1, 2008, pp. 13-27)
This year (2008) marks the 160th anniversary of the 1848 revolution in which Ban Jelačić played a significant role. The short survey of Jelačić’s life that follows is written mainly for young Croatians around the world so that they may have a better understanding of Jelačić, the times in which he lived, and Croatian history in general.
In 1848, a revolutionary wave swept across Europe, except in England and Russia. In England, the revolutionary pressures were deflated by reforms; in Russia, no action could be undertaken because of the cruelty of the tsarist regime.
A mix of severe economic crisis, romanticism, socialism, nationalism, liberalism, raw capitalism, growing power of the middle class, the misery of the workers and peasants (that still included the serfdom), the slipping power of the nobility and, in some countries, royal authoritarianism bordering with absolutism, created a volatile blend that brought about the Year of Revolution! The prelude to the 1848 events began among the Poles in Galicia in 1846, a civil war in Switzerland in 1847, and an uprising in Naples in January of 1848. However, in February 1848 the French ignited a fire that spread rapidly across the continent.
In the Austrian Empire liberals demanded a written constitution, which meant a quest for greater civil liberties by curbing the power of the Habsburg regime. When such attempts failed, popular revolts ensued, especially among the students and urban workers. At the beginning there was an alliance of students, middle-class liberals, workers, and even peasants. Under such pressure, the monarchy gave in to the demands and ultimately collapsed. But because of disunity among the revolutionaries, the traditional forces and the military establishment regained courage and strength, and in the end crushed the revolution.
The Hungarians were at the forefront of the revolution in the Habsburg Empire and in March 1848 promulgated a liberal constitution in their part of the monarchy. However, what Hungarians demanded for themselves they were not willing to give to non-Hungarians. Namely, they stood firmly for a unitary Hungary in which Croatians and other non-Hungarians would not have political and cultural rights. It should be remembered that Croatia was a separate kingdom united with Hungary under the crown of St. Stephen, and not a Hungarian province. But Hungarian imperialists, including Lajos Kossuth, the key man of the revolution, were liberals only for themselves. Because of their narrow-mindedness the Hungarians pushed the revolution over the edge and turned it into a disaster for themselves and others.
Revolutions bring out an array of forces and passions and produce both heroes and villains. Depending on the perceptions, interests, and judgments of the observer. One example of such a revolutionary is Josip Jelačić, Ban of Croatia. To the Croatians, and to other Slavs in the empire, he was a hero, as he was to the supporters of the Habsburg monarchy. To the Hungarians and other anti-Habsburg forces, Jelačić was a villain. He fought the Hungarians to get more independence for his native Croatia. He also championed national and individual rights of Slavs to be equal with those of Hungarians and Germans within the empire. Thus, his goals were progressive and noble. But by fighting the Hungarians and revolutionaries in Vienna he supported the Habsburgs, whom he saw as the lesser of two evils. Because the Hungarian revolutionaries were portrayed as liberals and had the sympathy of the West, Jelačić was depicted as a reactionary. But the same pro-Hungarian forces outside the empire did not want to see the sinister side of Lajos Kossuth and his bogus liberalism.
Josip Jelačić Before 1848
Ban Jelačić came from a family deeply rooted in the Habsburg military tradition. For two hundred years it had given officers to the empire, especially to the Military Frontier region in Croatia. He was the oldest son of Baron Franjo Jelačić Bužimski, a Field-Marshal,1 who distinguished himself in the war against Napoleon.2 His mother was Anna Portner von Höflein.
Josip was born on October 16, 1801 in the fortress of Petrovaradin, which was one of the well-known forts in the long struggle against the Turks. Military spirit and smell of gunpowder were a part of Josip’s life from the time of his birth; it was no wonder then that he kept the family tradition and became an officer.
As an eight-year-old boy Josip had the honor of being presented to Emperor Francis I, who recommended he be accepted at the Theresianum in Vienna. Shortly after his father’s death in 1810, Josip entered the famous Theresianum, where new military and administrative personnel of the empire were trained.
Jelačić was an excellent student with a variety of talents. Because of his eloquence his teachers advised him to become a lawyer, but he preferred being a soldier.3 Besides Croatian, he spoke German, Italian, French, and Magyar.4 In 1819, he graduated from the academy with honors, and as a Sub-Lieutenant he was sent to Galicia. Jelačić was loved by his peers, respected by his soldiers, and recognized as an excellent officer by his superiors. He loved army life and it seems that he fascinated everyone around him. His vigor, exuberance, good temper, wit, bravery, and even his talent for poetry brought him fame, good fellowship and popularity in the military circles.5
Jelačić’s joyous and carefree military spirit was interrupted, however, by a sudden and serious illness in 1824. For a year he recuperated at his mother’s house in Turopolje, near Zagreb. During that year he wrote a book of poems, which was published in 1825 and reissued in 1851. Suffering added to the depth of his character without affecting his vigor and love of life.
In 1825, Jelačić returned to his friends and comrades in arms, who were at this time in Vienna. He was again “the beginning, middle, and end of all proceedings” among his peers.6 After a short stay in Vienna, he was sent again to Galicia. In 1830, he became a Lieutenant Captain in the Ogulin regiment at the Croatian Military Frontier, where he was stationed. One year later he and his regiment were in Italy, where he served under the renowned General John Joseph W. Radetzky. About Jelačić the General once stated: “I expect the best of him; never yet have I had a more excellent officer.”7 After his return from Italy in 1835, Jelačić stayed permanently in Croatia. In 1837, he became a Major and was assigned as adjutant to the military Governor of Dalmatia, where he gained much valuable administrative experience and also had a chance to learn more about his native land and its people. Four years later he became a Colonel and returned to the Frontier troops.
At the Frontier territory, Jelačić had military and administrative responsibilities. In both areas he became not only very efficient but also popular. With his soldiers he was fair, and he cared for their well being. He even abolished corporal punishment. As an administrator, he would hear complaints of the local people and proved to be a fair arbitrator. He was well-known in the villages, attending various community gatherings and celebrations, including dancing the kolo (circle dance) at weddings.8 Such demeanor contributed to his fame among the soldiers and civilians.
A German officer in the Habsburg armed forces, who served under Jelačić in 1848, gives the following personal and vivid account of Jelačić:
The impression which this distinguished officer made upon me at the very first moment was most prepossessing; and it has since become stronger and stronger, the more I have had occasion to observe him in all the situations of life—in battle, and in cheerful society. He is an extraordinary man; and Austria may deem herself fortunate in possessing him and Radetzky precisely at the same moment.
Jellachich is of the middling height and size. His bearing is upright and truly military; his gait quick, as indeed are all his motions. His face, of a somewhat brownish tinge, has in it something free, winning, and yet determined. The high forehead, under the smooth black hair, is very striking. The eyes are large, hazel, and full of expression. In general, there is something extremely calm and gentle in their glance; but, when the Ban is excited, they flash, and have so stern—nay, so wild—a look as to curb even the most daring fellows. At the same time he is the mildest and kindest of officers. When but captain, he had almost entirely abolished blows in his company; and, while commanding the second Banat regiment as Colonel, there were not so many punishments in it in a year as there were formerly in a month.
Here is just one instance of the care which the Ban takes of his men. Last winter, when he was still Colonel, Lieutenant Field-marshal D——, Who commanded on the frontier, fixed a certain hour for inspecting the regiment. There was a piercing frost, and the soldiers shook with cold; but the Lieutenant Filed-marshal sat enjoying himself over his bottle at the tavern, leaving the regiment exposed to the cutting wind on the parade, to be frozen or petrified, for what he cared.
Jellachich waited nearly an hour beyond the appointment time; and the General not yet making his appearance, he ordered the regiment to disperse quietly. No sooner had it obeyed, than the General appeared upon the ground; but it was then too late, and the inspection could not take place.
This affair is said to have produced a great sensation, and, when reported to Vienna, to have been entered in the black book. But March has expunged this, like many other matters; and the Ban was in a few weeks promoted from Colonel to Lieutenant Field-marshal. The whole army, some antiquated nobs perhaps excepted, rejoiced at it. But this was nothing to the rejoicing with which, on the appointment of Jellachich to the office of Ban, he was received in Croatian and Slavonia, and which is said to have defied description.
Never was general more beloved by his troops. Wherever he shows himself in a military village, all—old and young, little boys and aged men, ay, and pretty girls, too—all rush out to see him, to shake hands with him, and to greet him with one Zivio! [Long live!] after another. In battle, after the most fatiguing march; in bivouac, exposed to pouring rain; wherever and whenever the border-soldier espies his Ban, he joyously shouts his Zivio! and for the moment, bullets, hunger, weariness, and bad weather, are nothing at all to him.
The scene that I witnessed when the Ottochans, who had been with me in Peschiera, and who arrived a few days after me in Croatia, were reviewed by the Ban, I shall never forget. Old border-soldiers—who had often braved death, and not flinched when the bombs at Peschiera fell in their ranks—wept for joy, when Jellachich praised them for their good behaviour. And yet he told them at once that the repose at their own homes which they had so richly earned and hoped to enjoy could not yet be granted to them; that, after a few days’ rest, they must start for Hungary, to engage in fresh conflicts.
… His voice is soft and pleasing, but perfectly distinct when giving the word of command. He is unmarried; has not much property; lives simply and frugally, applying almost all that he can spare to the support of his soldiers.9
The above biographical account, even if from a friendly officer, is impressive for any individual and it supports other first-hand accounts about Jelačić.
The Political Situation in Croatia in the 1840s
The political and cultural life in Croatia was very vibrant during the 1840s. Young intellectuals were full of enthusiasm for national revival. National newspapers began to appear, book publishing flourished, and even the first Croatian national opera premiered in Zagreb in 1846. Political life was dynamic and exciting, especially after use of the “Illyrian” name was forbidden in 1843. The language question became one of the major issues. The Magyars decreed their language to be the only official language in the kingdom; the Croatians, however, rejected this resolution of the Hungarian Diet (Parliament). The question of language was in the forefront of the policies of Magyarization by which Lajos Kossuth and other nationalists demanded an integrated Hungary stretching from the Carpathian Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Hungarian pseudo liberalism denied others what Hungarians were demanding for themselves. On the other hand, nationalism in Croatia, and other non-Magyar regions was not less intense then that of the Magyars. It was inevitable that these forces and passions would clash sooner or later.
The Military Frontier and the army did not play a significant role in the national movement. But it had not been isolated from the spirit of the time either. There were demands from the Frontier for better living conditions, for reduction of military obligations, and even for the abolition of the region as a separate political unit from the rest of Croatia.10
Jelačić himself was under the influence of the leaders of the “Illyrian” movement, like Ljudevit Gaj and others. However, this did not prevent him from being a loyal officer of the empire.
Jelačić and the Events of 1848
With Ferdinand’s approval of Magyar self-rule in March 1848, a new situation developed in the relationship between Hungary and Croatia. From that moment, Hungarians were responsible to their Diet (Parliament) and not to the emperor/king. (The official title of the Austrian emperor in Hungary and Croatia was king, not emperor.) The king would no longer be able to veto resolutions and laws passed by the Diet in Hungary even if such laws were directed against other nations and nationalities in the kingdom. Therefore, non-Magyars were thrown at the mercy of the ruling nation. The results of this development were soon felt. The Hungarian Diet passed legislation by which Croatian political and cultural distinctions were to be obliterated. In one of his speeches Kossuth declared that there had never been a Croatian name or a Croatian nation.11
A provisional national assembly was called in Zagreb on March 25, 1848 in order to respond to the dramatic changes in Hungary and their effects on Croatia. This was done on the initiative of some leading Croatian liberals. However, only a few days earlier one of the conservative nationalists, Franjo Kulmer, who had good relations with the Court, went to the capital to advocate the Croatian cause among influential circles in Vienna. Interestingly enough, Croatian nationalists of both liberal and conservative political persuasions, wanted Jelačić to lead the nation through this growing crisis. They believed that a man with his popularity and character, who had also the army behind him, could make a stand against the Magyars and their imperialistic appetite. He was a nationalist but a Habsburg loyalist who believed that the only way to stop the Hungarians was to be on the side of Vienna. On March 23, 1848, Kulmer succeeded in Vienna to get Jelačić nominated as the new Croatian Ban (Viceroy); two days later the provisional assembly in Zagreb unanimously acclaimed him for that position without knowing about the Vienna nomination.
However, no one asked Jelačić if he would accept the nomination. On the contrary, he was not eager to get involved in the political arena. On March 26, 1848 he wrote to his brother: “Indeed we live in extraordinary days. That I am Ban, Privy Councilor, and General you will know already…. I can forbid no one to nominate me; but if they ask me whether I wish to be Ban, then decidedly I say No!”12 He was at the same time promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Field-Marshal and Commanding General in Croatia, including the Military Frontier.
Jelačić, therefore, became Ban without the approval of the government in Hungary, so in the Magyar eyes it was an illegal appointment. This defiance made the new Ban completely independent from Pest. Hungarians began giving orders to the Frontier regiments and to local governments in Croatia, but Jelačić issued a proclamation forbidding anyone to take orders from anyone except himself. He officially broke all relations with Hungary, leaving it to the new Croatian Sabor (Parliament) to renegotiate Hungarian-Croatian relations.
The Hungarian government tried to stop the meeting of the Sabor. Due to Magyar pressure, the Habsburg emperor ordered Jelačić to call off the meeting. But Jelačić declared that “he could not obey the order of his sovereign who does not have his free will.”13 The Sabor was solemnly opened on June 5, 1848. It confirmed all the decisions made by Jelačić since he took office, among them abolition of serfdom and the law of equal taxation. This finally ended feudalism in Croatia. The Sabor then proposed a structural change of the Habsburg empire. It advocated federalism, in accordance with the wishes of other Slavs in the realm. This Sabor deliberated in full freedom and independence from Vienna and Pest. It proved itself to be a capable political body of free representatives.14
Jelačić’s political views, one could say, were shaped by the spirit of the time and by his military and family background. He desired to make a big step forward for his Croatian and other peoples in the empire by advancing federalism, but he was against any radical revolutionary undertakings in this process. His national feelings can be seen already in his first proclamation as Ban of Croatia, which states:
The good of the people and country; that is my wish and my sole aim. I desire that our country may be strong and free…. In all my thoughts and deeds I will be the true expression of the nation’s will and thoughts. Therefore I intend to walk and continue in the path, which shall lead our country to happiness and glory.
The revolution has shattered and overthrown the old foundations of social life and the national and governmental relations, especially those with our old ally, Hungary—therefore, remembering our ancient league with the crown of Hungary, it is necessary to renew the connection in spirit of freedom, self respect, and equality, and to form a basis worth of a free and heroic nation, though on our side all relations with the present Hungarian Ministry must be broken off….15
In his speech on the day of the opening of the new Sabor Jelačić reiterated his position:
Brothers, all the relationships between governments and the people, between state and state, between nation and nation have to be based on freedom, equality and fraternity. That demands the powerful spirit of the time in which mankind is progressing toward its perfection. On this basis we too will base our relationship with the Magyars…. In an unfortunate case, if the Magyars show themselves to be not like our brothers toward us our kinsmen in Hungary and assume the role of oppressor, let them know that we said it, the time has passed when one nation ruled over another. We are ready to prove this to them even with a sword in our hand, keeping in mind the words of our honorable Ban Ivan Erdedi: ‘Regnum Regno non praescribit leges.’ [Kingdom does not prescribe the laws to another kingdom.]16
Jelačić stressed national rights very strongly, but on the other hand he believed that the Habsburgs would respect the liberal “spirit of the time” and help to achieve the equality of various nations in the empire. He had perhaps too much faith in the Habsburgs’ good will and willingness to change. In May of 1848, Jelačić wrote to the Archduke Karl; “Is it possible that all will get their freedom and only we Croatians and Slavonians will be left to the despotism of the Magyar Ministry?… We ask you to respect us now or never!”17 He was looking for help from Vienna. It seems, however, that he already suspected help would not be forthcoming.
On June 12, 1848, Jelačić and his Council arrived in Innsbruck to present the emperor the Sabor’s recommendations; but two days earlier Hungarians had persuaded Ferdinand to dismiss the Ban. However, Jelačić did not know this when he met with the emperor. Magyar representatives were present at that audience. Furthermore, Archduke John was appointed to mediate between the Magyars and the Croatians.
Jelačić’s visit to Innsbruck was a turning point in his policies toward Vienna. Kulmer and his friends at the Court gave the impression that Vienna was fully behind the Croatian cause. One of Jelačić’s companions in Innsbruck, F. Žigović, wrote to Zagreb: “…from the highest to the lowest [person] here is disposed with the friendliest spirit toward us.”18 Jelačić agreed to call upon the Croatian soldiers in Italy to continue the fight for the empire there. He began to think as a Habsburg general again. But the contradictory situation of Croatia and her Ban became more and more evident.
To look for the reason of Jelačić’s support of the dynasty in Archduchess Sophie’s weeping on his shoulders, as some do,19 is naïve, or that the only freedom he knew was “that which he proclaimed with his sword”20 is perhaps a willful misjudgment of his character. He definitely had a high vision for Croatia and the freedom of its people, as can be seen from his speeches. He must have had honorable political goals — perhaps even assurances — in mind when he decided to support the dynasty. Even Camillo Cavour of Piedmont recognized that Jelačić’s demands were in accordance with the demands of other Slavs and not based on Habsburg reactions.21
Jelačić learned about his dismissal as Ban while returning from Innsbruck, but he ignored it and continued to function as though nothing had changed. The Court in Vienna did press the case. Hungary, however, took the emperor’s order seriously by trying to get some anti-Jelačić support in Slavonia. But this did not bring the desired results. In Slavonia Jelačić was received as a national hero. The imperial commissioner, who was to replace Jelačić’s authority as military commander, at Magyar urging, attacked the town of Srijemski Karlovci and a general fight broke out with the local Serbian population. The Sabor in Zagreb passed a resolution to send immediate help to the Serbs, but Jelačić did not rush to engage the fight.
There was another attempt to solve the Hungarian-Croatian crisis by peaceful means. Archduke John called a meeting of Jelačić and Hungarian Prime Minster Battyanyi in Vienna in July of 1848. It is said that Jelačić asked for the impossible because he did not want peace with the Hungarians.22 However, his demands were misinterpreted “in respect of their spirit and intention.”23 The meeting with Battyanyi did not bring any results because the Magyars demanded a total submission on the part of Croatians. It actually ended with a threat of war. Battyanyi declared to Jelačić: “Then we meet on the Drava [river].” “Say rather on the Danube,” responded Jelačić.24 On this occasion in Vienna, Jelačić told the “immense multitude” that came to greet him “I wish a great, a strong, a powerful, a free, an undivided Austria.”25 In response to the Magyar threat he sought to save the Monarchy and Croatia with it.
Soon after, the Habsburg war machine started to move, and Jelačić with it. On September 4, 1848, the emperor restored Jelačić to his rightful position as Ban. Three days later he was on his way from Zagreb toward the Drava, or rather toward the Danube. In his manifesto to the people before he moved into Hungary he declared: “We want a strong and free Austria…we want equality, and the same rights for all nations and nationalities living under the Hungarian crown. This was promised by the words of our sovereign to all nations in the Monarchy in March .”26 Obviously he had taken Ferdinand’s promises seriously.
On September 11, Jelačić crossed the river Drava. His army, however, was not a unified fighting force. The volunteers were undisciplined and not of much help. He sent 12,000 volunteers home after the battle of Pákozd on September 29.27 The battle had been fought to a draw, and neither Jelačić nor the Hungarians were eager to renew the fight. Jelačić waited for 7,000 more Graničars (men from the Military Frontier), but they never arrived. Meanwhile revolution broke out in Vienna and Jelačić turned his forces toward the capital.
There are indications that Vienna had not wished Jelačić to enter Pest after he crossed the Drava. For example, the material support given him by the Court had not been significant. Also, the seven thousand Graničars under General Roth did not follow Jelačić’s plan. Meanwhile, Count Lamberg was in Pest seeing if things could be worked out between Hungarians and the Court. It seems that Jelačić was being used to put pressure on the Magyars, while Croatian interests were simply ignored.28 One interpretation of these events is that Hungarian conservative forces had planned this “little war” in order to stop their Hungarian liberal colleagues in their radical pursuits.29
Soon after the revolutionaries were pacified, Jelačić learned about the “rewards” for his loyal service. Oppression, centralization, and Germanization were equally applied to the loyalists and to the revolutionaries. This was a bitter disappointment to Jelačić. His popularity at home declined. The former pro-Magyar forces in Croatia came to power again. He was Ban in name only. From 1849 to 1851, he attended all the meetings of the government in Vienna. He resisted oppressive measures but seeing that he could do nothing about them, he stopped going to Vienna. At his last meeting he told the emperor: “Highness, there is not a single man satisfied in the country.”30 But things did not improve. Jelačić himself was under police surveillance. Even his wife’s chamber maid was in the police service.31
A contemporary English diplomat, Sir Robert Morier, who visited Croatia soon after the revolution and even took private crash-courses in Croatian, states the following about the Habsburg treatment of Jelačić, whom he describes as “a most remarkable man:”
If ever, since the foundation of the Order of Maria Theresa, an Austrian subject deserved the Grand Cross of the Order by the fulfillment on the largest scale of the conditions originally stipulated by the rules of the Order, it was the Ban. Those rules, as is well known, recognize by preference the claims of those who have successfully achieved some great exploit either without or in contradiction to orders received from their superiors. Now, this latter was achieved by the Ban upon a scale rarely seen in history. As an outlaw he places himself at the head of an entire nation, declares war on his own responsibility, marches successfully into the very heart of the enemy’s country, and then by a brilliant maneuver, after a doubtful battle, comes to the rescue of the capital of the Empire. Nevertheless, the Chapter of the Order (on the very same day, if I am not mistaken) awarded to Prince Windishgrätz, for his successful putting down of the émeute at Prague, the Grand Cross of the Order; and to the Ban, for the services by him rendered, the Commander’s Cross only. Again, Prince Windishgrätz was named Field-Marshal, the Ban General; but two years later it was retrospectively stipulated that he should not advance towards the grade of Field-Marshal, otherwise than if he had become General by seniority.32
The main reason for such treatment of the Ban and the Croats, according to Morier, was “the contempt which the Austrian German” has for the Austrian Slav “combined with the very real fear with which the numerical superiority of the latter inspires him.” Furthermore, the Englishman describes the Habsburg ungratefulness as follows: “…I must confess that, with every wish to make allowance for the difficulties of the situation, it yet seems to me that a more wholesale act of injustice, ingratitude, and bad faith, a display on a large scale of mean and paltry spirit, grosser fraud, more clumsily veiled, it would be difficult to meet with in all the pages of history.”33
Jelačić was politically active until 1853. His policy was to save what could be saved. By his efforts the Zagreb diocese became an archdiocese, independent from the Hungarian church hierarchy. He organized the National Theatre in Zagreb, in which only Croatian was used. He succeeded in getting Juraj Strossmayer nominated as bishop of Djakovo. And a number of other cultural advances are also attributed to him.
In 1850, Jelačić married Countess Sophie von Stockau. He was forty nine and she was sixteen years old. On the occasion of the marriage in 1854, he received the title of Count from Francis Joseph, the emperor. But already at that time his health was waning. A year later his only child died. His public life was ended and he was tormented by all that had happened since the euphoric days at the beginning of 1848. He told one of his closer friends: “The Austrian government is killing me. I do not have any organic sickness. I am healthy. I have full strength of the body, but I am dying. Austria, in which I have believed, is destroying me.”34
Jelačić died on May 20, 1859, a man whose ideals were destroyed by a regime which he helped to save. He was buried in his Novi Dvori, near Zagreb, by the side of his only child.
Jelačić was a product of both national and pro-Habsburg feelings and loyalties which he did not perceive to be contradictory. When he entered Zagreb on his inaugural day, the whole city came out to greet him. It was an historic occasion. Croatians and many other Slavs looked at him as the only hope for a better future in the Monarchy. He declared that his only goal was the good of the people and his native land.
On the other hand, when he came to Vienna to meet Battyanyi, he was greeted again as a hero, but now by the Vienna crowd. He declared to them “I wish a great, strong, powerful, free, and undivided Austria.” He tried to synthesize these two conflicting goals. He believed that the first could be achieved through the second one. But the Habsburgs had other aims and plans for him, Croatia, and the empire.
Jelačić has been attacked from many sides, as a Panslavist, as a pro Russian, as an Austrophile, and a reactionary, among other and often contradictory labels. Even after his death, he was a hero to some and a villain to others. To Croatians he became a symbol of the struggle against the Magyars and a martyr of the devious Austrian regime. A monument was erected in the main square in Zagreb to his honor and patriotic songs about him carried his name to the younger generations. After the Second Word War, however, he was condemned once more as an antirevolutionary and reactionary figure. His monument was removed from public eye and the songs were banned. But his name could not be obliterated from the memory of the Croatian people. As soon as the communist regime in Croatia collapsed his monument was returned to its rightful place and Zagreb’s main city square bears Jelačić’s name again. He continues to be a symbol of Croatian enthusiasm for freedom and independence.
Der kroatis che Banus Josip Jelačić
Der Autor verfasste diesen Überblick über Jelačić“ Leben anlässlich des 160-jährigen Jubiläums der 1848-er Revolution und seines Antritts in den Amt des kroatischen Banus in demselben Jahre. Dieser Überblick ist vor allem den jungen Kroaten zugedacht, die außerhalb Kroatiens leben und die grundsätzliche Informationen über das Leben und politische Tätigkeit des Banus Jelačić erfahren wollen. Der Aufsatz ist hauptsächlich aufgrund zugänglicher Literatur geschrieben und bezieht sich größtenteils auf die wichtigste Periode in der politischen Tätigkeit des Banus Jelačić – auf die Revolutionsjahre 1848-1849. Zu dieser Zeit war Jelačić nicht nur die hervorragendste Person der kroatischen Politik, sondern auch ein wichtiger Teilnehmer an den Geschehnissen in der Habsburgermonarchie im Ganzen.
1 Jellachich, Ban of Croatia,” Eclectic Magazine 16 (March 1849), p. 359.
2 E. F. Malcom Smith, Patriots of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Longmans and Green, 1928, p. 55.
3 Ibid., p. 56.
4 “Jellachich,” Eclectic Magazine, p. 359.
5 Ibid., p. 359.
6 Ibid., p. 360
7 Smith, Patriots, p. 58.
8 Ibid., p. 59.
9 W. baron. Scenes of the Civil War in Hungary in 1848 and 1849; with the Personal Adventures of an Austrian Officer. Philadelphia: E.H. Butler & Co., 1850, pp. 19-23.
10 Gunther E. Rothernberg, “Jelačić, the Croatian Military Border, and the Intervention against Hungary in 1848.” Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 1, 1965, p. 50.
11 Lovre Katić, Pregled povijesti Hrvata. Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1938, p. 218.
12 Smith, Patriots, p. 61.
13 Josip Horvat, Politička povijest Hrvatske. Zagreb; binoza, 1936, p. 182.
14 Vaso Bogdanov, Historija političkih stranaka u Hrvatskoj. Zagreb: NIP, 1958, p. 300.
15 Smith, Patriots, pp. 62-63.
16 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 184.
17 Enciklopedia Jugoslavije, Vol. IV, S. v. “Jelačić, Josip.”
19 Perscilla Robertson, Revolutions of 1848: A Social History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967, p. 281. Sophie was mother of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
20 Ibid., p. 282.
21 Josip Nagy, “Smjernice pokreta g. 1848.” Hrvatsko kolo 14, 1933, p. 27.
22 Robertson, Revolutions of 1848, p. 282.
23 C. Edmund Maurice. The Revolutionary Movements of 1848-9. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1887, p. 383.
24 Smith, Patriots, p. 65.
25 “Jellachich,” Eclectic Magazine, p. 365.
26 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 193.
27 Ibid., 195.
28 Ibid., 196.
29 Bogdanov, Historija, p. 309.
30 Horvat, Politička povijest, p. 212.
31 Ibid., p. 207.
32 Rosslyn Wemyss. Memoirs and Letters of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Morier, G.C.B. From 1826 to 1876. London: Edward Arnold, 1911, pp. 150-151.
33 Ibid. p. 150.
34 Antonija Kassowitz Cvijic, “Grofica Sofija Jelačic,” Hrvatsko kolo 13, 1932, p. 105.ć
Josip F. Mikulec
Tireless World Hiker
Some one-hundred years ago, the American press (and, I’m sure, elsewhere as well), reported on the then young, and I must say, very brave Croatian adventurer, Joža Mikulec. He set out to circumnavigate the globe on foot in the span of five years. With the start of this journey, Joža, one might say, became a perpetual wanderer. Mostly hiking, he traveled the world some 28 years and achieved a degree of fame for having collected more than 30,000 autographs of world-famous people. From time-to-time, some of the more notable American newspapers kept track of his wanderings across this globe of ours.
I haven’t noticed that this interesting, if not especially notable Croatian was mentioned among his fellow Croatians—at least not through the past decades or so. I haven’t investigated as to how much was written about him in the Croatian press of the time. I’ll leave that to those in Croatia who might be interested in his story. Let this brief glance at Mikulec serve as my contribution to a fuller biography of this American Croatian who, by all accounts, was a restless soul who was always ready to break-in a new pair of shoes.
Joža Mikulec first caught my eye as I was searching trough some microfilm images of the Chicago Hrvatska Zastava (The Croatian Banner), dated the 24th of January, 1908. The Banner carried a translation of an article that appeared in the Star Journal from Pueblo, Colorado, dated the 23rd of November, 1908. Joseph Mikulec came through Pueblo at the time, and the Journal carried the story of his journey from Zagreb to Pueblo.
Among other facts, the article stated that Mikulec, a “young Croatian,” had arrived in Pueblo. He had entered into an agreement with Matica Hrvatska (Croatian Cultural and Publishing Society) in Zagreb to hike 25,000 miles in the course of five years, and, upon completion of his trek that he would set to paper his journey for them. Matica, in return, would award him 50,000 crowns (c.$10,000 at the time) and also publish his account. The Star Journal stated that Josip was to have sent his report to Matica each and every week updating his journey.
Mikulec departed Zagreb on the 5th of February, 1906 and by the time he arrived in Pueblo, he had walked 15,800 miles. He had already exceeded his plan by 800 miles. Mikulec set out on his journey without any sort of material support. He simply sold picture postcards along the way so that he could have enough cash to feed himself. One could add, he found many kind and generous people along the way who were willing to come to his aid.
The Mikulec’s path took him across Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. He set out from Portugal by way of boat to Cape Town in Africa. From Cape Town he set sail for Argentina. He intended to cross from Mendoza into Chile, but, because of intense cold and snow in the Andes, he set out for Buenos Aires instead. Mikulec encountered particular difficulties when crossing the Argentinean Pampas. Besides the unfavorable terrain for hiking, and the lack of food and water, he was beset by robbers as well. That was toward the end of 1907. While in Buenos Aires, Mikulec came into contact with the richest Croatian in Argentina, namely, the ship-owner, Nikola Mihanović. Mihanović was most welcoming to him.
From Buenos Aires, Mikulec set out for Montevideo and then on to the North through Brazil (Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria, and Bahia). Once again, he was robbed while in Brazil, however, it was the mosquitoes that gave him the biggest pain. He set out from Brazil as a deckhand on a steamer bound for the U.S. He arrived in Philadelphia and from there, he set out for Baltimore and Washington. Leaving Washington, he set out through Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, part of Ohio, onto Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and into Colorado. Wherever he traveled, he sought out the autograph of important people and state and civic officials. He would ask that they affix the official seal of their jurisdiction to the signed autograph. He had a special book made just for that purpose, and he guarded it against loss faithfully.
Colorado’s Star Journal article printed his comments of praise for America and the Americans. They mentioned that he arrived in Springs, Colorado on the 22nd of November, 1908, and that he would temporarily reside with Nikola Badovinac. After leaving the company of Badovinac, Mikulec continued his journey toward the western shores and on into Portland. From Portland he planned to set out for Australia and from there to Japan, across Asia, and on through Siberia by way of train to St. Petersburg, Russia.
I have not succeeded in finding a description of Mikulec’s journey to Portland and beyond. However, I did find an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune, dated the 29th of July, 1910, wherein they report that the world traveler, Mikulec, arrived in Chicago on the 27th of July, and that the local Croatians were preparing a welcoming party for him on the 30th of July, in the National Hall on 18th Street. Mikulec would then set out for Springfield, capital city of Illinois, so as to obtain the autograph of the Governor just as he had done in all the states that he had traversed. The article also mentioned that he had an authentic autograph of President Taft. The article went on to say that Mikulec had worn out 42 pairs of shoes and that his journey was on schedule as he had planned and agreed to with Matica Hrvatska. In fact, he had said, he was 19 days ahead of his planned schedule.
From this “encounter” with Mikulec in Chicago, I was unable to thus far learn anything more about his journey until his reappearance in Chicago. The Tribune once again on the 21st of February, 1917—a full seven years later—writes that Mikulec once again arrived on foot in Chicago, and that his agreement with Matica Hrvatska was abrogated because he failed to fulfill his promise to journalize his travels as promised. They said that instead, he wrote what might be seen as a romanticized novel. This time they asserted that he had worn out 36 pairs of shoes. This would mean that Mikulec, despite his disagreement with Matica, continued his journey nonetheless and that he started anew to record how many shoes he had worn out. Meanwhile, the more important announcement in the article was the fact that Mikulec, adorned the length of his body with various medals of honor that he had received, had made a visit to the City Clerk’s Office of Marriage Registrations so that he could marry his fiancée, Mary Medrić. Mary was 36 years old at the time, and Mikulec was three years her senior. The author of the article notes that Mikulec, at the time of his registration, “is now plain Chicago ‘Joe’ instead of Croatian ‘Joža’,” and that the young couple would now reside at 1332 W. 18th Street, in Chicago. At the time, that part of Chicago had a very large Croatian community. One would think that Joe Mikulec, now married, would have settled down to a “normal” life among his fellow Croatians in Chicago. However, the newsman deceived himself: Mikulec remained the “Croatian Joža” and continued his adventurous journey across the world.
The New York Times, dated the 2nd of September, 1923, carried an article about Joseph Mikulec, the “collector of autographs.” The article goes on to relate that Mikulec had already traversed the globe twice, and had gathered autographs of important personages wherever he traveled. He found himself in New York city at the time of the article along with his leather-bound Autograph Book. The book, at the time, weighed a full 57 pounds. John F. Hylan, the mayor of New York, had signed Mikulec’s book as well as those who were well-known persons among the industrialists, artists, politicians, and others. The signatures of American Presidents, T. Roosevelt, W. H. Taft, W. Wilson, W. G. Hardy, C. Coolidge, along with other notables such as Lloyd George, Lord Curzon, the Prince of Wales, the President of China, Admiral Togo, J. Pierpont Morgan, and various senators, governors, ambassadors, etc. The article goes on to give a brief account of Mikulec’s first journey across the world, and adds that Joža’s full time residence was now (September, 1923) in Philadelphia. It goes on to say that he became a naturalized citizen in December of 1910, and that from 1910 through 1923 he journeyed through Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India, Egypt, the Holy Land, and South Africa. Mikulec told the press that he was quite exhausted and that he wished to settle down into a “normal” life on some farm in the plains of America that has fertile soil. Along with this wish, he hoped to see his book of autographs in some appropriate museum. Meanwhile, wanderlust, and, perhaps, a new pair of shoes, won out again, and Mikulec set out from New York for the West.
Within two months time, (20th of November, 1923) the New York Times once again carried a somewhat longer article about Mikulec. The article goes on to say that Mikulec arrived once again in New York along with his 58 pound, 2,896 page book of autographs. Upon entering the city, Joža immediately set out for the Rosenbach rare book store so as to attempt to sell his book of autographs. His main reason for doing so was that he was exhausted of lugging that heavy book around. It is interesting to note that the New York Times newsman accompanied Mikulec to Rosenbach’s firm. The newsman reports that Mikulec bemoaned the fact that he had not succeeded in gathering so much as a single autograph of any monarch. He sought $10,000 for his collection. Dr. Rosenbach felt the collection was worth at least that amount, but that he did not traffic in such books. He, however, did suggest that Mikulec seek out Henry E. Huntington in California who, perhaps, might be interested in buying his collection. Hand on forehead, Mikulec bemoaned the fact that he had collected Huntington’s autograph but that it had not occurred to him to offer Huntington his collection.
We meet Mikulec once again on the pages of the New York Times, on the 30th of October, 1927. This time, the paper simply published a picture of Mikulec showing his book of autographs to admirers on the streets of Berlin. Clearly, Joža did not find a buyer for his collection of autographs as he had hoped to do in New York some four years earlier. Instead, Mikulec continued his wandering across the world.
The last article I was able to find about Mikulec was also in the New York Times, dated the 29th of April, 1928. The headline read: “Man 28 Years on Tour Collects Autographs.” The sub-head read: “Wheels 55-Pound Volume Containing 30,000 Signatures in a Special Carriage.” The article says that Mikulec was 50 years old at the time, that he was from Croatia, that he set out across the world some 28 years ago and gathered autographs of renowned people along the entire way including the autographs of several European rulers, and nine American Presidents as well as those of well-known artists, writers, actors, scientists, politicians, religious leaders, etc. He lugged his collection in a specially designed cart, but had to haul the book on his back as he visited various offices of those whose autograph he sought. Mikulec said that he had traversed hundreds of thousands of miles on foot gathering these autographs and that he would continue his journey.
Thanks to the internet (boards.ancestry.co.uk) we found the following facts: Josip Franjo Mikulec was born on the 15th of January, 1878, in the village of Krušljevo selo, Croatia, near Zagreb. His father was Josip Mikulec, and his mother was Kata Novosel from the same village. The internet also informs us that Mikulec arrived in America in 1905, that he married Anna Stiopu on the 20th of June, 1908 in Westfield Chautauqua County, NY, and that on his application for citizenship (September, 1910) he indicated that he was not married.
The New York Times article dated the 2nd of September, 1923 states that he was born in Stubice, Croatia. Krušljevo selo is near Stubičke toplice. What is more, the article of 1928 states that Mikulec had been on his journey for the past 28 years. If that is accurate, then we must assume that he could have arrived in America even before 1905 and then returned to Croatia to enter into his agreement with Matica Hrvatska. He set out on that agreed-to journey on the 5th of February, 1906. It is reasonable to assume that Mikulec was somewhat acquainted with the world prior to his setting out on his hike across the world. As far as his marriage is concerned, if he did in fact enter into a union with the Rumanian poetess, Anna Stiopu, who also set out on foot across the world in May of 1905, it would seem that the marriage of these two world-travelers did not last long; meanwhile, we are told that Josip married in Chicago in 1917.
As I said at the start, this is no more than a small excerpt of the life of a Croatian who wandered the world endlessly. Many questions arise such as those that ask: where and how did he die; did he have any children; what all lands did he hike through; do any reports that he was to have sent to Matica Hrvatska exist, that is, if they ever existed at all; and especially pertinent, whatever happened to his book of collected autographs? Should all the details of Joža’s travels ever become know, and the whereabouts of his book of collected autographs, the name of Josip Mikulec would and should find its way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
It is my hope that this article will arouse the interest and attention of its readers about this tireless Croatian adventurer and hiker, and that this article will inspire someone to seek out, record, and publish a fuller biography of Josip Franjo Mikulec, as well as to discover where and when he ended his life and what became of his treasured book of autographs gathered over so many years.
Translated by Duško Čondić from Croatian into English
* Picture 1 – in possession of Ante Čuvalo
* Picture 2 – taken from the web: boards.ancestry.co.uk
* I am grateful to the staff of the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library in Pueblo for providing me with a copy of the Mikulec article from Star Journal, November 23, 1908.
JOSIP F. MIKULEC
NEUMORNI PJEŠAK KUGLOM ZEMALJSKOM
Unazad oko stotinu godina američke (vjerujem i drugdje) novine pisale su o tad mladom, moramo reći i veoma hrabrom, hrvatskom pustolovu Joži Mikulcu, koji se uputio pješice za pet godina obići kuglu zemaljsku. Tim putovanjem, moglo bi se reći, Joža postaje vječiti putnik. Putovao je širom kugle zemaljske, najviše pješice, barem 28 godina i proslavio se prikupljanjem preko 30.000 autografa raznih svjetskih uglednika. Neka važnija američka glasila pratila su, s vremena na vrijeme, njegov hod kroz ovaj naš bijeli svijet.
Nisam zapazio da se ovog, ako ne baš znamenitog, ali svakako zanimljivog Hrvata spominjalo među nama u Americi, svakako ne zadnjih desetljeća. Koliko se o njemu pisalo u Hrvatskoj u njegovo vrijeme i kasnije, nisam imao prigodu istraživati. To ostavljam znatiželjnima u domovini. Ovo moje upoznavanje s Mikulcem nek bude doprinos budućoj potpunijoj biografiji toga američkog Hrvata nemirna duha i uvijek spremna derati đonove novih cipela.
Joža Mikulec mi je prvi put „zapeo za oko“ kad sam pretraživao mikrofilmove čikaške Hrvatske Zastave i u broju od 24. prosinca 1908. pročitao prijevod članka iz dnevnika Star Journal od 23. studenog 1908 iz Pueblo, Colorado. Naime, koncem studenog 1908. Josip Mikulec je boravio u tom gradu i novine su donijele podulje izvješće o njegovu putovanju pješice od Zagreba do Puebla.
Među ostalim se veli, da je tih dana u grad Pueblo stigao Mikulec „mlad Hrvat“, koji je napravio ugovor s Maticom hrvatskom u Zagrebu (njezinim nakladnim zavodom) da će za pet godina proći 25.000 milja pješice i nakon putovanja napisati putopis, a Matica će mu isplatiti 50.000 kruna i izdati knjigu. Zato je Josip, veli novina, tokom putovanja svaki tjedan slao izvješće Matici o prevaljenom putu.
Mikulec je pošao iz Zagreba 5. veljače 1906. i do dolaska u Pueblo prevalio 15.800 milja, te da je nadmašio svoj plan i raspored putovanja za 800 milja. Putovao je bez ikakvih materijalnih sredstava, jedino je prodavao razglednice i od toga kupovao hranu. A moglo bi se zasigurno dodati, da je bilo uvijk dobrih i darežljivih ljudi koji su mu priskakali u pomoć.
Put iz Hrvatske našeg je Jožu vodio preko Italije, Francuske i Španjolske do Portugala. Otud je brodom otplovio u Cape Town, a odatle je otputovao u Argentinu. Htio je preći iz Mendoze u Čile, ali zbog hladnoće i snijega u Andama, pošao je prema Buenos Airesu. Posebice je imao problema preko provincije Pampa; osim neprikladna terena za hodanje, trpio je nestašicu hrane i vode, a usput su ga orobili i razbojnici. Bilo je to 1907. godine. U Buenos Airesu Mikulec se susreo s najbogatijim Hrvatom u Argentini, brodovlasnikom Nikolom Mihanovićem, koji ga je vrlo gostoljubivo primio.
Iz Buenos Airesa je otišao u Montevideo, zatim prema sjeveru kroz Brazil (Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Vitoria, Bahia). I u Brazilu je bio orobljen, ali su mu tamo najviše jada zadavali komarci. U Brazilu se, kao radnik, ukrcao na parobrod i stigao u Philadelphiu, a odatle je pošao u Baltimor i Washington – kroz Virginiju, Zapadnu Virginiju, Kentucky i dio Ohia, Indianu, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas do Colorada. Kamo god je prolazio, tražio je razne uglednije osobe da mu dadu autograf i, u slučaju državnih i drugih službenika, da udare pečat grada, općine ili države u njegovu knjigu napravljenu za tu svrhu, a koju je pažljivo čuvao.
Članak iz Puebla donosi i Josipove pohvale Americi i Amerikancima, te veli da je Mikulec 22. studenog stigao u mjesto Springs, Colorado, i da će odsjesti kod Nikole Badovinca, te zatim nastaviti put prema zapadnoj obali, a iz Portlanda je trebao poći u Australiju, pa preko Japana (Azije), te sibriskim vlakom preko Rusije do St. Petersburga.
Opis Josipova putovanja do Portlanda i dalje još nisam uspio pronaći, ali sam pronašao članak u Chicago Daily Tribune (29. srpnja 1910.) u kojem piše da je svjetski putnik Mikulec stigao u Chicago 27. srpnja, da Hrvati za njega priređuju doček za nedjelju 30. srpnja u Nacionalnom domu na 18. ulici, te da zatim odlazi u Springfield, glavni grad države Illinois, da bi od guvernera mogao dobiti autograf, kao što je dobio od drugih guvernera kroz čije države je prolazio. Također se navodi da je imao autentičan autograf predsjednika Amerike Tafta. Članak završava da je Mikulec dotad poderao 42 para cipela i da mu putovanje ide po planu kako je ugovorio s Maticom, i čak da je je 19 dana ispred planiranog vremena.
Iza ovog mog „susreta“ s Mikulcem u Chicagu, nisam mogao ništa pobliže saznati o nastavku njegova putovanja do njegove ponovne pojave u Chicagu. Gore spomenuta čikaška novina od 21. veljače 1917. (znači blizu sedam godina kasnije) piše da je Mikulec ponovo dopješačio u Chicago, da mu je propao ugovor s Maticom hrvatskom jer nije ispunio obećanja, da je počeo pisati putopis, ali se to izrodilo u romantični roman. Ovaj put se navodi da je poderao 36 pari cipela, što bi značilo da je Mikulec, premda nije ispunio Matičine uvjete, nastavio pješačiti i dalje, te valjda iznova počeo brojati koliko je poderao cipela. Ali najvažnija vijest u članku je ta da je Mikulec dan prije, „nakićen duzinom“ raznih odličja na grudima, sa svojom zaručnicom Mary Medrić posjetio gradski ured za vađenje vjenčanih dozvola. Ona je tada imala 36, a on 39 godina. Pisac članka veli da je Mikulec tad postao „obični čikaški ‘Joe’, umjesto hrvatskog ‘Jože’“ i da će mladi par živjeti na adresi 1332 W. 18. ulica, Chicago. Usput, u tom dijelu grada bila je jedna od tadašnjih velikih hrvatskih naseobina. Dakle, bilo bi za očekivati da se sad Joe Mikulec oženio, smirio i nastavio „normalan“ život među Hrvatima u ovom gradu. Ali, novinar se prevario, on je i dalje ostao „hrvatski Joža“ i nastavio putovati svijetom.
Naime, New York Times od 2. rujna 1923. donosi članak o Josephu Mikulcu, „sakupljaču autografa“. Članak ističe da je Mikulec dva puta obišao svijet pješice, sakupljajući autografe uglednijih osoba kamogod je prolazio. Tih dana je bio u New Yorku i njegovu ogromnu, kožom uvezanu knjigu s autografima (koja je tad težila 57 funti) potpisao je gradonačelnik John F. Hylan, kao i važnije osobe iz poslovnih krugova, kazališta, politike i drugi. U knjizi su bili potpisi američkih predsjednika T. Roosevelta, W.H. Tafta, W. Wilsona, W.G. Hardya i C. Coolidgea, kao i mnogih drugih uglednika: Lloyd George, Lord Curzona, Princa od Walesa, predsjednika Kine, admirla Togoa, J. Pierpont Morgana, raznih senatora, guvernera, ambasadora itd. Članak donosi sažetak priče o njegovu prvom putovanju i dodaje da je Jožin stalan boravak u to vrijeme (rujan 1923.) bio u Philadelphiji i da je u prosincu 1910 postao američki državljan, te da je otada, to jest od 1910. do 1923. obišao slijedeće zemlje: Australiju, Novi Zeland, Kinu, Japan, Indiju, Egipat, Svetu Zemlju i Južnu Afriku. Mikulec je za novine izjavio da je već umoran, da se želi smiriti i otpočeti „normalan“ život na kakvoj manjoj farmi u američkim plodnim ravnicama, a da bi knjigu sa autografima želio vidjeti u kakvu muzeju. Ali, ipak je želja za putovanjem pobijedila pa je Joža tada iz New Yorka krenuo prema zapadu.
Samo dva i pol mjeseca kasnije (20. studenog 1923.) New York Times opet donosi članak o Joži, ovaj put malo podulje štivo. Veli se da je Joža ponovo stigao u New York noseći svoju kjigu od 2.896 stranica i tešku 58 funti. Joža je došao u grad i odmah posjetio tvrtku Rosenbach, trgovinu rijetkih knjiga, da bih unovčio dragocjene autografe. Glavni mu je razlog za prodaju bio umor od nosanja te velike knjižurine. Zanimljivo je da ga je u trgovinu pratio novinar New York Timesa, koji opisuje Jožu i njegovo podrijetlo. Novinar dalje piše da je Joža vječiti putnik, nabraja iskupljene autografe znameniti ljudi, kako se Joža žali da nije uspio dobit autograf ni jednog kralja, itd. Mikulec je tražio 10.000 dolara za knjigu a vlasnik Dr. Rosenbach je prosudio da je to realna cijena, ali da se on ne bavi takvim knjigama, nego mu je preporučio posjetiti Henry E. Huntingtona u Kaliforniji, koji bi možda otkupio knjigu ove vrste. Mikulec se uhvatio za glavu i kazao da ima Huntingtonov autograf, ali da mu nije palo na pamet ponuditi mu knjigu kad je bio kod njega.
Jožu Mikulca ponovo susrećemo u New York Timesu 30. listopada 1927., ali ovaj put novina donosi samo njegovu fotografiju na kojoj znatiželjnim prolaznicima na ulicama Berlina pokazuje svoju ogromnu knjigu autografa. To znači da Joža nije prodao knjigu i da se nije smirio, kako je priželjkivao dok je bio u New Yorku četiri godine ranije, nego je nasatavio putovati svijetom.
Zadnji članak o njemu kojeg sam mogao pronaći u New York Timesu je od 29. travnja 1928., a naslovljen je „Čovjek 28 godina na turneji skupljanja autografa“. Podnaslov glasi: „Vozi u posebnim kolicima 55 funti težak svezak koji sadrži 30.000 potpisa.“ Članak navodi da je Joža tada imao 50 godina, da je iz Hrvatske, da je prije 28 godina pošao po svijetu skupljajući autografe poznatih osoba i da knjiga sadrži potpise nekoliko europskih vladara, devet američkih predsjednika i mnogobrojnih glasovitih umjetnika, pisaca, glumaca, znanastvenika, poltičara, vjerksih uglednika itd. Knjigu je vozio na posebno sagrađenim kolicima, ali ju je ipak morao na leđima nositi u urede osobama od kojih je tražio potpis. Josip izjavljuje da je prošao stotine tisuća milja i da nastavlja svoje putovanje svijetom prikupljajući autografe.
Zahvaljujući internetu (boards.ancestry.co.uk) nalazimo slijedeće podatke: Josip Franjo Mikulec rođen je 15. siječnja 1878. u selu Krušljevu od oca Josipa Mikulca i majke Kate r. Novosel iz istog sela. Također se, u istom izvoru, navodi da je Mikulec došao u Ameriku 1905. i da je oženio Annu Stiopu 20. lipnja 1908. u Westfield, Chautauqua County, NY, a da na molbi za američko državljanstvo (rujan 1910.) piše da nije oženjen.
U članku u New York Timesu od 2. rujna 1923. se kaže da je rođen u Stubici, a Krušljevu selo je nedaleko od Stubičkih toplica. Nadalje, članak iz 1928. navodi da Josip putuje već 28 godina, ako je to točno onda je on mogao biti u Americi i prije 1905., a zatim se vratiti u Hrvatsku i dogovarati s Maticom putovanje oko svijeta, koje je otpočeo 5. veljače 1906. Vjerovati je da je Joža ipak bio barem malo upoznao svijet prije nego se poduzeo poći pješice oko kugle zemaljske. Što se tiče ženidbe, ako je sklopio brak sa Annom Stiopu, rumunjskom pjesnikinjom koja je iz Rumunjske krenula pješice u svijet u svibnju 1905., izgleda da brak dvoje svjetskih lutalica nije trajao dugo i Josip se ponovo ženi 1917. u Chicagu.
Kako rekoh na početku, ovo je samo mali doprinos biografiji jednog Hrvata, vječitog pješaka lutalice po svijetu. Nameću se mnoga pitanja na koja bi trebalo odgovoriti, kao na primjer: gdje i kada je umro, da li je imao potomstvo, koje je sve zemlje propješačio, da li postoje izvješća koja je slao (ako je slao) Matici, a posebice gdje i kako je završila ta ogromna Jožina knjiga s autografima? Ako se pronađu detalji o Jožinim putovanjima i autografima, vjerujem da bi njegovo ime moglo i trebalo biti u knjizi Guinnes World Records.
Nadam se da sam člančićem barem malo probudio pozornost čitatelja na ovoga hrvatskog neumornog svjetskog putnika pješaka, te da će ovaj dopis nekoga ponukati istražiti, napisati i objaviti potpuniji životopis Josipa Franje Mikulca te pronaći gdje je i kako su završili on i njegovo blago kojeg je sakupljao toliko godina.
Ante Čuvalo – Chicago
* Slika 1.- u vlasništvu A. Čuvalo
* Slika 2. – uzeta sa web-a: boards.ancestry.co.uk
* Zahvaljujem osoblju u Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library in Pueblo za kopiju clanka o Josipu Mikulec iz Star Journal, 23. studenog, 1908.