June 21st 2007 05:08:13 PM
The caption under this photo identified these people as the “Zuzul Family.” A quick search of Croatian newspapers by my pal Nebojsa Malic produced a matching photo: the man in question is Miomir Zuzul , former Croatian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the US and UN.
The Mesic government in Croatia, meanwhile, issued a response to Sunday’s Nazi concert on Tuesday after the Jewish Municipality of Zagreb expressed displeasure that there was “no official reaction from Croatian authorities about the public display of Ustasha symbols at the concert…Such indifference does not only directly harm Croatia’s reputation, but it harms the country’s future as well, ZOZ president Ognjen Kraus said in the statement.” (From the Croatian news agency HINA, via BBC Monitoring.)
The government’s statement:
The Croatian government rejects any attempt at using and displaying insignia and salutes from the World War Two Ustasha regime…Contemporary Croatia rests on the values of the [1990s] Homeland War as well as on the foundations of antifascism and resistance to all forms of totalitarianism.
The problem with this statement, of course, is that the “Homeland War” was drenched in the same imagery of the 1940s Ustasha regime (and even some of the same crimes) — all the while a pro-Ustasha patriotism was whipped up by the pro-Ustasha government of Franjo Tudjman, so as to regain Croatians’ Hitler-bestowed independent state.
There is no reforming Nazi Croatia. So after a few more superficial gestures and words, it will be embraced the way it is by a unified Europe. I’ll be in the attic. With this diary.
It’s like Croatian reader “Ivan” wrote me not too long ago:
…keep spilling your hate on paper all you want. Just know this: In 2010 [the anticipated year of Croatia’s EU membership], millions of tourists will visit Croatia. That includes our Serbian neighbors, as well as scores of your US countrymen. The one thing we’ll make sure to tell them when they cross our border is to have a pleasant stay in the European Union.
Enjoy this short poem from the autumn 1993 issue of the Jewish-Serbian Friendship Society of America newsletter:
“The New World Order–Central European Division” by Calvin Trillin
Croatians are the good guys now,
Although their past is slightly shady.
So worry not that these same guys
Chased both your bubbe and your zayde.