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Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world! /s

hague-double-standards

That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).

No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today. Croatia’s wartime leader Tudjman died peacefully and was buried with full honors and with no protests from the West.

It’s hard to think of an ethnic group, barring the Jews and possibly the Armenians, that has had a more traumatic 20th century. 25% of Serbians died in World War I. Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. They were then incorporated into a federal state headed by an ethnic Croat whose internal divisions stranded many Serbs outside of Serbia’s borders. When in the wake of Yugoslavia’s collapse those stranded Serbs took up arms to defend themselves against revived nationalisms in Croatia and Bosnia – and ultimately, in their own country, against the metastasized Molenbeek that was Kosovo – they were steadily pushed back to their bombed out heartlands, unable to mount a sustained resistance against the Clinton clique’s sponsorship of the Croats and the Kosovars, cowardly betrayals from the Yeltsin regime in Russia, and the vaccilating Milosevic himself, always seeking to make deals with the “Western partners” (he only wised up to the fact that you can never trust the West by the time he was on the dock).

To round it all off, it was Serbia that had to send all its wartime leaders and generals off to the absolutely fair and impartial judgments of the Hague Tribunal – so fair and impartial that three times as many Serbs received prison sentences than all the other combatant parties combined – to be sacrificed on the altar of promised Euro-Atlantic integration.

A promise that now rings as almost completely hollow, the only result since then being the accession of Croatia to the EU, while Serbia has continued falling apart with the loss of Montenegro. And as of today, it is increasingly clear that the only additional peoples the EU is interested in integrating – or trying to, anyway – are young male Muslim refugees.

But not all hope is yet lost.

Perhaps Karadzic will eventually be seen not as the last knight of a dying order, but as one of the first heralds of a new dawn. It was NATO’s attack on Serbia more than anything else that lifted Russia from its blind-drunk 1990s pro-Western stupor, and it has become more and more active at countering further Western designs on its territories – in Crimea and Novorossiya, and in the sovereign state of Syria. The pushback against the globalist cabal will continue and this time Serbia will no longer be alone should it rejoin the struggle.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Karadzic, despite his advanced age, will live long enough to see the wrongs done unto his people this past century avenged and to set foot one last time on a liberated Serbia.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: European Union, Serbia, Western Hypocrisy 
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  1. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In reporting the Karadzic verdict the DailyMail ran again the by now discredited photo of the skinny guy standing on the other side of a barbed wire fence which made it look like he was in a concentration camp. The picture was widely circulated at the time for shock value. Years afterward I saw the same photo but from further back without it being cropped; the barbed wire ended just a few yards away. The place wasn’t a camp at all but just a farm area where people had gone for safety. The photo was staged, a propaganda fraud, yet here they were showing it all over again. During that period of time the full-spectrum propaganda machine really reached it’s peak, not missing a trick. I wonder how many people and how much money is involved in this extensive spin apparatus that seems to reach everywhere?
    The US targeted and bombed a Belgrade television station, killing sixteen civilians in what’s widely considered a war crime, along with the bombing of the Chinese embassy. The US also used DU munitions, poisoning the environment for years afterward as well as the Danube being contaminated from chemical plants being targeted. Even the factory making the much joked about Yugo was bombed. Civilian targets were part of the bombing campaign. No one is going to put the Clintons or the Albrights or any of the rest on trial, they can do whatever they please with impunity. If this acted as a wakeup call for the Russians then good for them lest they also fall victim. For some reason the US has positioned itself as an implacable enemy of the Russians no matter what they do. This needs to sink in if it hasn’t already by now.

  2. “25% of Serbians died in World War I.”

    Well yes, but given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1. Back then the Serbs were also presented as heroes by the western allies (who had other bogeymen back then). The current vilification of Serbs really dates only back to the 1990s, and is closely connected to liberal “humanitarian” interventionism and multiculturalism. The Serbs just were the perfect villains for proponents of those ideologies (like the odious Joschka Fischer in Germany).

    • Replies: @Elena
    Only a dog deserving a bullet could place the responsibility for WW1 on the little weak people against whom the genocidal war started. [AK: Redacted. Let's not make this personal.]
    , @Mark Eugenikos

    ...given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1.
     
    You don't seem to know your country's history that well. I suggest you read the historical accounts (a nice summary can be found on Wikipedia in the article on July Crisis).

    I don't agree with your claim of the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WWI. Certain rogue elements within the state apparatus, for sure. But there is no proof that it was a policy or an intent of the Serbian government to provoke a war with Austria-Hungary, nor did A-H ever find such proof. Per David Fromkin, from Europe's Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914, the Austrian investigators reported to the A-H foreign minister Count Berchtold that "There is nothing to prove or even to suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparations, or the furnishing of weapons." Also quoting Luigi Albertini, from Origins of the War of 1914: "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence and render it more difficult for Austria to hold her responsible for the crime was to open a judicial inquiry into the possible complicity of Serbian subjects and take the necessary measures in that event."

    One may argue that the Serbian government should have done more to reign in the conspirators who plotted against A-H, but it is questionable if it was in their power to do so at the time. What is indisputable, though, is that A-H wanted the war with Serbia and was looking for an excuse. According to Fritz Fischer, from Germany’s Aims in the First World War, "Those in the “War Party” in Vienna saw the assassination as an excellent excuse to execute their 1912 plans for a war to destroy Serbia's ability to interfere in Bosnia."

    What is also indisputable is that Germany wanted the war as well, and was egging on A-H, while trying to appear as not doing it, to start a war with Serbia sooner rather than later. According to both Fischer and Fromkin, German General Staff and the government though that the time was right for a "general war" since they believed that Germany was better prepared than either France or Russia, so it was a now or never moment for them. They were also concerned that if they had to wait for a few more years for a confrontation, by 1917 Russian military modernization program would have been completed and they would lose their chance to beat Russia forever.

    The ultimatum A-H presented to Serbia was designed to be rejected, and the Austrians went back and forth with Germans multiple times to make sure that the ultimatum was severe enough to be rejected for certain. When the 10-point ultimatum was finally presented to the Serbian government, the Serbs accepted all points except one, that Austrian police be allowed to operate in Serbia. After learning that, Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 'that eliminates any reason for war', however by then the situation was outside his control. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg was actively sabotaging Kaiser's peace offers, and the Chief of General Staff General Falkenhayn told Kaiser he “no longer had control of the affair in his own hands” and implied that the military would stage a coup d'état, and depose Kaiser Wilhelm II in favor of his son Crown Prince Wilhelm if the Kaiser continued to work for peace.

    You can say that the Serbs pulled the tripwire, but not that they planted the bomb.

    Re: your comment that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WWI and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, that is completely backwards. Serbia didn't win in WWI, as no country that lost 25% of its population can be considered a winner of anything. Being formally on the winning side of something does not make one a winner. Or to make myself even more clear: anyone who thinks that the Serbs won in WWI, historian or politician or patriot, is an idiot. And as far as "getting" Yugoslavia, Serb-dominated or otherwise, creating Yugoslavia was the stupidest unforced mistake that the Serbs made in the 20th century. So there you have it.
    , @Jamie_NYC

    given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1
     
    G_r, it was the German Kaiser himself that, upon reading the Serbian government's reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, declared: "Well, it seems to me that no war is now necessary." Unfortunately, by that point it was too late, due to the 'blank check' Germany has already given to Austria.

    To state the historical facts: assassination was not the official policy of Serbian government, but an individual pursuit of the head of counterintelligence through a separate secret organization ('Black Hand'); Serbian government did its utmost to reach agreement with Austro-Hungary, subject to preservation of country's independence; thirdly, armed resistance to foreign occupation was an inalienable right of the majority Serbian population of Bosnia - Franz Ferdinand was in Sarajevo in full uniform of an inspector general of Austrian armed forces.

    It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War; it is sad that we have to go over these facts all over again.
  3. I understand your point about the court in The Hague being unfair and too many Kosovar and Croat war criminals not getting punished, but how in the world is Karadzic not guilty as charged?

    • Agree: Pseudonymic Handle
    • Replies: @Pseudonymic Handle
    While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic's punishment is not that long.
  4. I don’t know enough to take sides on the civil war aspect but looking back specifically at the NATO attack on Serbia it seems now it was clearly motivated by the same war-against-nations that is being inflicted on Europe now.

  5. Anatoly, you’re a good guy and I read all your stuff. But please, you really need to not post on the conflict in the ex-YU as you simply seem to take whatever nonsense Serbs and their allies put out as fact.

    Here’s just one example:

    ” The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today.”

    How could the Croats cleanse what wasn’t there? As revealed not only during the trial of Milan Martic, head of the Serb parastate in Croatia, but also during the Gotovina Trial and other trials, as well as during the Milosevic Trial, and revealed in Serbia by Serbian media, the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.

    They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact.

    You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.

    And before you raise the natural objection that they were ‘fleeing indiscriminate shelling’, that was also proven wrong during the various trials. In fact, Croatian artillery proved to be more accurate than American and British artillery during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as per an academic study conducted by an official in the US Armed Forces.

    I’m not saying Croats didn’t do some bad shit during the war, all sides. Nor am I suggesting that the Hague wasn’t impartial, politicized, etc.

    But there is a reason why so many Serbs landed there outside of the politicization of the conflict and the judiciary.

    • Replies: @Elena
    >>>"They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact."<<<


    Spoken like a true genocidal Nazi.

    Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn't flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won't achieve anything.
    , @Seamus Padraig

    ... the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived. They cleansed themselves. This is a fact. You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.
     
    Oh brother. You remind me of those Israelis who insist that, during of the Nakba War of 1948, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just suddenly and mysteriously decided to get up one day and waltz on out of their country for no particular reason. The advancing Israeli forces committing massive ethnic cleansing had absolutely nothing to do with it!
    , @Mark Eugenikos

    ...the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.
    They cleansed themselves.
    This is a fact.
     
    Well, no: according to the Wikipedia article on Operation Storm, "In 2010, Serbia sued Croatia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), claiming that the offensive was an example of genocide. In 2015, the court ruled that it was not genocidal, though it affirmed that the Serb population fled as a direct result of the offensive and that serious crimes against civilians had been committed by Croatian forces. As of November 2012, the Croatian judiciary has convicted 2,380 persons for various crimes committed during Operation Storm."

    Now you may argue that Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but this particular article has 235 footnotes and hundreds of other references. Why should we trust your word over an extensively researched article that contradicts what you're saying?
  6. “Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. ”

    No they didn’t.

    The independent studies conducted by Kocovic and Zerjavic (a Serb and a Croat), both specialists, resulted in almost identical numbers between the two for WW2 in the ex-YU.

    Considering that only some 550k Serbs died out of a population of some 10 million, your numbers are wrong.

    Those 550k Serbs died from the following:

    1. German bombing invasion
    2. German massacres
    3. Conflict between Tito’s Partizans and Royalist Chetniks
    4. Conflict between Partizans and Albanians
    5. Conflict between Partizans and Croatian Axis Forces
    6. Conflict between Royalist Chetniks and Croatian Axis Forces
    7. Massacres by Croatian Ustashi
    8. Massacres by other Serbs (Montenegro as best example)
    9. Allied Bombing raids
    10. and more

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished
    , @Mark Eugenikos
    It seems to me you are treating this as an accounting issue. Meaning, if the number of victims (Serbs in WWII Croatia in this case) was not 700K but only 350K, then the crime is only half as bad. But this is not an accounting issue, it is a moral issue. And it is undisputed that the Ustashe regime had genocidal policies towards Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.

    From the Wiki article on the Independent State of Croatia, the paragraph dealing with racial legislation: "The implications become clear following the July speech of the minister of education, Mile Budak, in which he declared: 'We will kill one third of all Serbs. We will deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to convert to Catholicism'."

    The Independent State of Croatia was a genocidal state. That they didn't manage to kill as many as they intended just means that they weren't as efficient as they had hoped, but it doesn't make the crime any less monstrous.
  7. @Anonymous
    I understand your point about the court in The Hague being unfair and too many Kosovar and Croat war criminals not getting punished, but how in the world is Karadzic not guilty as charged?

    While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic’s punishment is not that long.

    • Replies: @Elena
    You are repeating lies and you're a complicit in crimes.
    , @Niccolo Salo
    "While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic’s punishment is not that long."

    What actually happened at Srebrenica falls generally between the two sides in respect to truthfulness.

    Mamny of the Muslim men were killed in running battles as they tried to break out of the pocket towards Tuzla. Others were simply executed after surrendering.

    The Western Media tried to make it seem like all 8,000 men were without arms and simply rounded up and executed, which isn't true.

    Nor is true that there were no mass executions, as the physical evidence and testimony from Serbs complicit in the massacres shows us.
  8. @German_reader
    "25% of Serbians died in World War I."

    Well yes, but given the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1. Back then the Serbs were also presented as heroes by the western allies (who had other bogeymen back then). The current vilification of Serbs really dates only back to the 1990s, and is closely connected to liberal "humanitarian" interventionism and multiculturalism. The Serbs just were the perfect villains for proponents of those ideologies (like the odious Joschka Fischer in Germany).

    Only a dog deserving a bullet could place the responsibility for WW1 on the little weak people against whom the genocidal war started. [AK: Redacted. Let’s not make this personal.]

    • Replies: @German_reader
    That's a pretty extreme reply...seriously, some Serbs and Serb-apologists are just deranged in their cult of victimhood coupled with aggressiveness. I actually think I'm relatively sympathetic to the Serb view on some things (e.g. the Kosovo war really was a bad case of unjustified Western aggression, and of course the Serbs suffered pretty horrendously in WW2 at the hands of the Germans, Ustasha, Bosnian Waffen-SS members etc.). But WW1? Sorry, but Serbia in 1914 was just a rogue state whose leaders thought they could get away with terrorism against Austria-Hungary because their great pan-Slavic buddy Russia would always support them (and in a way that of course is how it turned out). The Austrians undoubtedly behaved in an extremely harsh manner during their occupation of Serbia, but ultimately a large part of responsibility for this lies with Serbia's own leaders who had provoked that reaction by their indulgence for expansionist terrorism.
    The fact that even today some Serbs are deluded enough to actually honor Gavrilo Princip as an hero speaks for itself!
  9. @Pseudonymic Handle
    While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic's punishment is not that long.

    You are repeating lies and you’re a complicit in crimes.

  10. @Niccolo Salo
    "Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. "

    No they didn't.

    The independent studies conducted by Kocovic and Zerjavic (a Serb and a Croat), both specialists, resulted in almost identical numbers between the two for WW2 in the ex-YU.

    Considering that only some 550k Serbs died out of a population of some 10 million, your numbers are wrong.

    Those 550k Serbs died from the following:

    1. German bombing invasion
    2. German massacres
    3. Conflict between Tito's Partizans and Royalist Chetniks
    4. Conflict between Partizans and Albanians
    5. Conflict between Partizans and Croatian Axis Forces
    6. Conflict between Royalist Chetniks and Croatian Axis Forces
    7. Massacres by Croatian Ustashi
    8. Massacres by other Serbs (Montenegro as best example)
    9. Allied Bombing raids
    10. and more

    Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished"

    No, those numbers are wrong. There were no WMDs in Iraq, Putin isn't looking to revive the USSR and invade Europe, and Yad Vashem is full of shit as are Serb propagandists.
  11. @Niccolo Salo
    Anatoly, you're a good guy and I read all your stuff. But please, you really need to not post on the conflict in the ex-YU as you simply seem to take whatever nonsense Serbs and their allies put out as fact.

    Here's just one example:

    " The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today."

    How could the Croats cleanse what wasn't there? As revealed not only during the trial of Milan Martic, head of the Serb parastate in Croatia, but also during the Gotovina Trial and other trials, as well as during the Milosevic Trial, and revealed in Serbia by Serbian media, the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.

    They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact.

    You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.

    And before you raise the natural objection that they were 'fleeing indiscriminate shelling', that was also proven wrong during the various trials. In fact, Croatian artillery proved to be more accurate than American and British artillery during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as per an academic study conducted by an official in the US Armed Forces.

    I'm not saying Croats didn't do some bad shit during the war, all sides. Nor am I suggesting that the Hague wasn't impartial, politicized, etc.

    But there is a reason why so many Serbs landed there outside of the politicization of the conflict and the judiciary.

    >>>”They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact.”<<<

    Spoken like a true genocidal Nazi.

    Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn't flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won't achieve anything.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn't flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won't achieve anything."

    The notion that all Serbs who remained were killed simply isn't factual.

    Over 150,000 Serbs remained in Croatia, some 150 in total were killed after the Serbs fled.

    Please don't even try and bother spewing nonsense. I've been correcting these errors since the war and can do it blindfolded.
  12. Now a comment of my own – thank you for writing this.
    And thank you for pointing out who Milosevic was. It gets usually forgotten and people take sides and go to the extreme.

  13. Croatia’s wartime leader Tudjman died peacefully and was buried with full honors and with no protests from the West.

    Interestingly enough, I distinctly remember reading a news article from Croatia in 1991 or 92 (I think it was in Time magazine) where the reporter dryly noted that Tudjman often liked to wear around an Ustashe uniform. The odd thing about it was that Tudjman had actually fought with Tito and against the Germans and Ustashe in WW2. For a time, he was even a Yugoslav Army general. But he apparently later became disillusioned with Yugoslavia and turned to radical Croat nationalism.

    It was NATO’s attack on Serbia more than anything else that lifted Russia from its blind-drunk 1990s pro-Western stupor …

    In fact, wasn’t it right after that disgraceful act of NATO aggression that Yeltsin finally stepped down and appointed Deputy PM Putin as interim president?

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Interestingly enough, I distinctly remember reading a news article from Croatia in 1991 or 92 (I think it was in Time magazine) where the reporter dryly noted that Tudjman often liked to wear around an Ustashe uniform."

    Incorrect.

    Tudjman on rare occasions wore a white uniform which was similar to the one worn by Tito. He was criticized by both nationalists and liberals for doing so.

    He never wore an Ustasha uniform. Your memory is faulty.
  14. @Niccolo Salo
    Anatoly, you're a good guy and I read all your stuff. But please, you really need to not post on the conflict in the ex-YU as you simply seem to take whatever nonsense Serbs and their allies put out as fact.

    Here's just one example:

    " The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today."

    How could the Croats cleanse what wasn't there? As revealed not only during the trial of Milan Martic, head of the Serb parastate in Croatia, but also during the Gotovina Trial and other trials, as well as during the Milosevic Trial, and revealed in Serbia by Serbian media, the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.

    They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact.

    You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.

    And before you raise the natural objection that they were 'fleeing indiscriminate shelling', that was also proven wrong during the various trials. In fact, Croatian artillery proved to be more accurate than American and British artillery during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as per an academic study conducted by an official in the US Armed Forces.

    I'm not saying Croats didn't do some bad shit during the war, all sides. Nor am I suggesting that the Hague wasn't impartial, politicized, etc.

    But there is a reason why so many Serbs landed there outside of the politicization of the conflict and the judiciary.

    … the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived. They cleansed themselves. This is a fact. You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.

    Oh brother. You remind me of those Israelis who insist that, during of the Nakba War of 1948, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just suddenly and mysteriously decided to get up one day and waltz on out of their country for no particular reason. The advancing Israeli forces committing massive ethnic cleansing had absolutely nothing to do with it!

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Oh brother. You remind me of those Israelis who insist that, during of the Nakba War of 1948, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just suddenly and mysteriously decided to get up one day and waltz on out of their country for no particular reason. The advancing Israeli forces committing massive ethnic cleansing had absolutely nothing to do with it!"

    Are you denying the fact that the Serb authorities in RSK ordered their own people out ?

    Because if you are, you're calling Milan Martic and Slobodan Milosevic both liars as both admitted that this was what happened.

    You can't cleanse what has already cleansed itself.

    And as I've already mentioned, the notion that indiscriminate shelling took place simply doesn't hold up to the facts established.

    Just because The West engaged in a lot of bullshit to target the Serbs by the end of the War in Bosnia and just because they blatantly stole Kosovo from them does not mean that Serb propaganda should be taken at face value.
  15. @Anonymous
    Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished

    “Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished”

    No, those numbers are wrong. There were no WMDs in Iraq, Putin isn’t looking to revive the USSR and invade Europe, and Yad Vashem is full of shit as are Serb propagandists.

    • Replies: @Elena
    Why are the "numbers wrong"? Just because you say so? :)
  16. @Elena
    >>>"They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact."<<<


    Spoken like a true genocidal Nazi.

    Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn't flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won't achieve anything.

    “Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn’t flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won’t achieve anything.”

    The notion that all Serbs who remained were killed simply isn’t factual.

    Over 150,000 Serbs remained in Croatia, some 150 in total were killed after the Serbs fled.

    Please don’t even try and bother spewing nonsense. I’ve been correcting these errors since the war and can do it blindfolded.

    • Replies: @Elena
    The only one spewing nonsense is you. I guess you believe in repeating lies. Turks like to say too that Armenians got up and walked into desert by themselves.
  17. @Seamus Padraig

    ... the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived. They cleansed themselves. This is a fact. You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.
     
    Oh brother. You remind me of those Israelis who insist that, during of the Nakba War of 1948, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just suddenly and mysteriously decided to get up one day and waltz on out of their country for no particular reason. The advancing Israeli forces committing massive ethnic cleansing had absolutely nothing to do with it!

    “Oh brother. You remind me of those Israelis who insist that, during of the Nakba War of 1948, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians just suddenly and mysteriously decided to get up one day and waltz on out of their country for no particular reason. The advancing Israeli forces committing massive ethnic cleansing had absolutely nothing to do with it!”

    Are you denying the fact that the Serb authorities in RSK ordered their own people out ?

    Because if you are, you’re calling Milan Martic and Slobodan Milosevic both liars as both admitted that this was what happened.

    You can’t cleanse what has already cleansed itself.

    And as I’ve already mentioned, the notion that indiscriminate shelling took place simply doesn’t hold up to the facts established.

    Just because The West engaged in a lot of bullshit to target the Serbs by the end of the War in Bosnia and just because they blatantly stole Kosovo from them does not mean that Serb propaganda should be taken at face value.

  18. @Seamus Padraig

    Croatia’s wartime leader Tudjman died peacefully and was buried with full honors and with no protests from the West.
     
    Interestingly enough, I distinctly remember reading a news article from Croatia in 1991 or 92 (I think it was in Time magazine) where the reporter dryly noted that Tudjman often liked to wear around an Ustashe uniform. The odd thing about it was that Tudjman had actually fought with Tito and against the Germans and Ustashe in WW2. For a time, he was even a Yugoslav Army general. But he apparently later became disillusioned with Yugoslavia and turned to radical Croat nationalism.

    It was NATO’s attack on Serbia more than anything else that lifted Russia from its blind-drunk 1990s pro-Western stupor ...
     
    In fact, wasn't it right after that disgraceful act of NATO aggression that Yeltsin finally stepped down and appointed Deputy PM Putin as interim president?

    “Interestingly enough, I distinctly remember reading a news article from Croatia in 1991 or 92 (I think it was in Time magazine) where the reporter dryly noted that Tudjman often liked to wear around an Ustashe uniform.”

    Incorrect.

    Tudjman on rare occasions wore a white uniform which was similar to the one worn by Tito. He was criticized by both nationalists and liberals for doing so.

    He never wore an Ustasha uniform. Your memory is faulty.

  19. @Pseudonymic Handle
    While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic's punishment is not that long.

    “While the court is obviously biased the serbians did commited the worst massacre of the yugoslav wars at Srebrenica, and Karadzic’s punishment is not that long.”

    What actually happened at Srebrenica falls generally between the two sides in respect to truthfulness.

    Mamny of the Muslim men were killed in running battles as they tried to break out of the pocket towards Tuzla. Others were simply executed after surrendering.

    The Western Media tried to make it seem like all 8,000 men were without arms and simply rounded up and executed, which isn’t true.

    Nor is true that there were no mass executions, as the physical evidence and testimony from Serbs complicit in the massacres shows us.

  20. @Niccolo Salo
    "Croats committed one the most horrific genocide in WW2 over Serbs, killing only in concentration camp in Jasenovac 700.000 people (number from teh Nuremberg trial). Yad Vashem speaks of 500.000

    In all 1.1 million Serbs perished"

    No, those numbers are wrong. There were no WMDs in Iraq, Putin isn't looking to revive the USSR and invade Europe, and Yad Vashem is full of shit as are Serb propagandists.

    Why are the “numbers wrong”? Just because you say so? 🙂

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Why are the “numbers wrong”? Just because you say so?"

    No, it's because they aren't factual based on several independent studies by specialists not only within the ex-YU, but globally as well.

    For example, the Americans conducted a study in the early 1960s which managed to produce results that were almost identical to those by Kocovic (Serb) and Zerjavic (Croat) two and half decades later.

    It's why pretty much everyone accepts the figures of roughly 80k to 100k dead at Jasenovac except for extreme Zionist outfits and Serb propagandists and their allies.
  21. @Niccolo Salo
    "Of course, people fled before army that was set to annihilate them, and old people who couldn't flee were all found head side down thrown in wells. As long as I am around and this platform allow me to comment, you won't achieve anything."

    The notion that all Serbs who remained were killed simply isn't factual.

    Over 150,000 Serbs remained in Croatia, some 150 in total were killed after the Serbs fled.

    Please don't even try and bother spewing nonsense. I've been correcting these errors since the war and can do it blindfolded.

    The only one spewing nonsense is you. I guess you believe in repeating lies. Turks like to say too that Armenians got up and walked into desert by themselves.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "The only one spewing nonsense is you"

    Everything I've said is factual. You simply don't have a grasp of the facts.

    If you want me to bury you in the facts, just say so.
  22. @Elena
    Why are the "numbers wrong"? Just because you say so? :)

    “Why are the “numbers wrong”? Just because you say so?”

    No, it’s because they aren’t factual based on several independent studies by specialists not only within the ex-YU, but globally as well.

    For example, the Americans conducted a study in the early 1960s which managed to produce results that were almost identical to those by Kocovic (Serb) and Zerjavic (Croat) two and half decades later.

    It’s why pretty much everyone accepts the figures of roughly 80k to 100k dead at Jasenovac except for extreme Zionist outfits and Serb propagandists and their allies.

    • Replies: @Elena
    During the 90's Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. You already mentioned him. Perhaps you can mention all those swaths of others confirming and their amazing facts :))

    As for threats of burring me with facts that people ethnically cleanse themselves, please do that as well. :))
  23. @Elena
    The only one spewing nonsense is you. I guess you believe in repeating lies. Turks like to say too that Armenians got up and walked into desert by themselves.

    “The only one spewing nonsense is you”

    Everything I’ve said is factual. You simply don’t have a grasp of the facts.

    If you want me to bury you in the facts, just say so.

  24. @Niccolo Salo
    "Why are the “numbers wrong”? Just because you say so?"

    No, it's because they aren't factual based on several independent studies by specialists not only within the ex-YU, but globally as well.

    For example, the Americans conducted a study in the early 1960s which managed to produce results that were almost identical to those by Kocovic (Serb) and Zerjavic (Croat) two and half decades later.

    It's why pretty much everyone accepts the figures of roughly 80k to 100k dead at Jasenovac except for extreme Zionist outfits and Serb propagandists and their allies.

    During the 90’s Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. You already mentioned him. Perhaps you can mention all those swaths of others confirming and their amazing facts :))

    As for threats of burring me with facts that people ethnically cleanse themselves, please do that as well. :))

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "During the 90′s Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. "

    Is Bogoljub Kocovic, the Serb whose expert study aligned with Zerjavic's study a "Nazi" and an "Ustasha" too?
  25. in addition Croats in WW2 were the only ones who had a special concentration camp for children, and believed that Serbs do not deserve to die from bullet, but from say hits with bats on heads and “Serb cutters”. Germans invented gas chambers because it was gross to butcher people. For Croatish Ustashas that was the preferred method.

    This is hardly the topic of this blog, but since we have an obsessive Croat crime-denier who believes people ethnically cleanse themselves in 1995, and that remaining old people weren’t thrown head down the wells, let him deny this too. :popcorn:

  26. @Elena
    Only a dog deserving a bullet could place the responsibility for WW1 on the little weak people against whom the genocidal war started. [AK: Redacted. Let's not make this personal.]

    That’s a pretty extreme reply…seriously, some Serbs and Serb-apologists are just deranged in their cult of victimhood coupled with aggressiveness. I actually think I’m relatively sympathetic to the Serb view on some things (e.g. the Kosovo war really was a bad case of unjustified Western aggression, and of course the Serbs suffered pretty horrendously in WW2 at the hands of the Germans, Ustasha, Bosnian Waffen-SS members etc.). But WW1? Sorry, but Serbia in 1914 was just a rogue state whose leaders thought they could get away with terrorism against Austria-Hungary because their great pan-Slavic buddy Russia would always support them (and in a way that of course is how it turned out). The Austrians undoubtedly behaved in an extremely harsh manner during their occupation of Serbia, but ultimately a large part of responsibility for this lies with Serbia’s own leaders who had provoked that reaction by their indulgence for expansionist terrorism.
    The fact that even today some Serbs are deluded enough to actually honor Gavrilo Princip as an hero speaks for itself!

    • Replies: @Elena
    Nono, my comment was edited. You didn't get to see what was harsh. Pity. Oh well...
  27. @Niccolo Salo
    Anatoly, you're a good guy and I read all your stuff. But please, you really need to not post on the conflict in the ex-YU as you simply seem to take whatever nonsense Serbs and their allies put out as fact.

    Here's just one example:

    " The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today."

    How could the Croats cleanse what wasn't there? As revealed not only during the trial of Milan Martic, head of the Serb parastate in Croatia, but also during the Gotovina Trial and other trials, as well as during the Milosevic Trial, and revealed in Serbia by Serbian media, the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.

    They cleansed themselves.

    This is a fact.

    You cannot remove that which has already left, especially when done by the orders of their own authorities.

    And before you raise the natural objection that they were 'fleeing indiscriminate shelling', that was also proven wrong during the various trials. In fact, Croatian artillery proved to be more accurate than American and British artillery during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as per an academic study conducted by an official in the US Armed Forces.

    I'm not saying Croats didn't do some bad shit during the war, all sides. Nor am I suggesting that the Hague wasn't impartial, politicized, etc.

    But there is a reason why so many Serbs landed there outside of the politicization of the conflict and the judiciary.

    …the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.
    They cleansed themselves.
    This is a fact.

    Well, no: according to the Wikipedia article on Operation Storm, “In 2010, Serbia sued Croatia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), claiming that the offensive was an example of genocide. In 2015, the court ruled that it was not genocidal, though it affirmed that the Serb population fled as a direct result of the offensive and that serious crimes against civilians had been committed by Croatian forces. As of November 2012, the Croatian judiciary has convicted 2,380 persons for various crimes committed during Operation Storm.”

    Now you may argue that Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but this particular article has 235 footnotes and hundreds of other references. Why should we trust your word over an extensively researched article that contradicts what you’re saying?

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    The fact is that the RSK authorities ordered their own people out. Keep reading Wiki to see that fact.

    No one is claiming that Serbs didn't fear for their lives nor is anyone claiming that crimes weren't committed against them (although once again, massive exaggeration is present here).

    The point is that the Croats didn't cleanse them because they had already left under the orders of their own leaders.

  28. @Niccolo Salo
    "Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. "

    No they didn't.

    The independent studies conducted by Kocovic and Zerjavic (a Serb and a Croat), both specialists, resulted in almost identical numbers between the two for WW2 in the ex-YU.

    Considering that only some 550k Serbs died out of a population of some 10 million, your numbers are wrong.

    Those 550k Serbs died from the following:

    1. German bombing invasion
    2. German massacres
    3. Conflict between Tito's Partizans and Royalist Chetniks
    4. Conflict between Partizans and Albanians
    5. Conflict between Partizans and Croatian Axis Forces
    6. Conflict between Royalist Chetniks and Croatian Axis Forces
    7. Massacres by Croatian Ustashi
    8. Massacres by other Serbs (Montenegro as best example)
    9. Allied Bombing raids
    10. and more

    It seems to me you are treating this as an accounting issue. Meaning, if the number of victims (Serbs in WWII Croatia in this case) was not 700K but only 350K, then the crime is only half as bad. But this is not an accounting issue, it is a moral issue. And it is undisputed that the Ustashe regime had genocidal policies towards Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.

    From the Wiki article on the Independent State of Croatia, the paragraph dealing with racial legislation: “The implications become clear following the July speech of the minister of education, Mile Budak, in which he declared: ‘We will kill one third of all Serbs. We will deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to convert to Catholicism’.”

    The Independent State of Croatia was a genocidal state. That they didn’t manage to kill as many as they intended just means that they weren’t as efficient as they had hoped, but it doesn’t make the crime any less monstrous.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Numbers are important. When Anatoly spreads the lie that the Ustashe killed a quarter of all Serbs during WW2 it needs to be pointed out that it is a severe exaggeration and and lie.

    Thank you for agreeing.
  29. @German_reader
    "25% of Serbians died in World War I."

    Well yes, but given the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1. Back then the Serbs were also presented as heroes by the western allies (who had other bogeymen back then). The current vilification of Serbs really dates only back to the 1990s, and is closely connected to liberal "humanitarian" interventionism and multiculturalism. The Serbs just were the perfect villains for proponents of those ideologies (like the odious Joschka Fischer in Germany).

    …given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1.

    You don’t seem to know your country’s history that well. I suggest you read the historical accounts (a nice summary can be found on Wikipedia in the article on July Crisis).

    I don’t agree with your claim of the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WWI. Certain rogue elements within the state apparatus, for sure. But there is no proof that it was a policy or an intent of the Serbian government to provoke a war with Austria-Hungary, nor did A-H ever find such proof. Per David Fromkin, from Europe’s Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914, the Austrian investigators reported to the A-H foreign minister Count Berchtold that “There is nothing to prove or even to suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparations, or the furnishing of weapons.” Also quoting Luigi Albertini, from Origins of the War of 1914: “What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence and render it more difficult for Austria to hold her responsible for the crime was to open a judicial inquiry into the possible complicity of Serbian subjects and take the necessary measures in that event.”

    One may argue that the Serbian government should have done more to reign in the conspirators who plotted against A-H, but it is questionable if it was in their power to do so at the time. What is indisputable, though, is that A-H wanted the war with Serbia and was looking for an excuse. According to Fritz Fischer, from Germany’s Aims in the First World War, “Those in the “War Party” in Vienna saw the assassination as an excellent excuse to execute their 1912 plans for a war to destroy Serbia’s ability to interfere in Bosnia.”

    What is also indisputable is that Germany wanted the war as well, and was egging on A-H, while trying to appear as not doing it, to start a war with Serbia sooner rather than later. According to both Fischer and Fromkin, German General Staff and the government though that the time was right for a “general war” since they believed that Germany was better prepared than either France or Russia, so it was a now or never moment for them. They were also concerned that if they had to wait for a few more years for a confrontation, by 1917 Russian military modernization program would have been completed and they would lose their chance to beat Russia forever.

    The ultimatum A-H presented to Serbia was designed to be rejected, and the Austrians went back and forth with Germans multiple times to make sure that the ultimatum was severe enough to be rejected for certain. When the 10-point ultimatum was finally presented to the Serbian government, the Serbs accepted all points except one, that Austrian police be allowed to operate in Serbia. After learning that, Kaiser Wilhelm II declared ‘that eliminates any reason for war’, however by then the situation was outside his control. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg was actively sabotaging Kaiser’s peace offers, and the Chief of General Staff General Falkenhayn told Kaiser he “no longer had control of the affair in his own hands” and implied that the military would stage a coup d’état, and depose Kaiser Wilhelm II in favor of his son Crown Prince Wilhelm if the Kaiser continued to work for peace.

    You can say that the Serbs pulled the tripwire, but not that they planted the bomb.

    Re: your comment that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WWI and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, that is completely backwards. Serbia didn’t win in WWI, as no country that lost 25% of its population can be considered a winner of anything. Being formally on the winning side of something does not make one a winner. Or to make myself even more clear: anyone who thinks that the Serbs won in WWI, historian or politician or patriot, is an idiot. And as far as “getting” Yugoslavia, Serb-dominated or otherwise, creating Yugoslavia was the stupidest unforced mistake that the Serbs made in the 20th century. So there you have it.

    • Replies: @5371
    Crap from Fischer and Fromkin (not coincidentally Wikipedia's only two sources for the July crisis) is not the way to convince anyone who isn't convinced already. The Serbian government only rejected the ultimatum once they had got the word that Russia would back them up.
    Obviously no Serb was to blame for the war involving all the great powers. But without the complicity of high Serbian officials in the plot to kill the Archduke, obvious at the time to anyone who wanted to know the truth and confirmed fully in the sequel, no war would have started in 1914 at all.
    , @German_reader
    "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence"

    Serbia wasn't innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn't have the power to do so, but it's just as or even more likely they deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists' actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability ("Of course it's horrible when people use terrorist means, but what can we do...they're just good boys really, driven to extremes by the Austrians' horrible oppression!"). Somewhat like Erdogan's Turkey and its attitude towards jihadis.
    And if Serbia wasn't among the winners of WW1, does that also mean the Soviet Union didn't win WW2 because of its very high losses? Odd logic.
    As for Fritz Fischer, there are obviously political reasons why his one-sided thesis still commands the respect it does, but since this is mostly OT, I don't have any inclination to discuss this matter in detail.
  30. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1.
     
    You don't seem to know your country's history that well. I suggest you read the historical accounts (a nice summary can be found on Wikipedia in the article on July Crisis).

    I don't agree with your claim of the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WWI. Certain rogue elements within the state apparatus, for sure. But there is no proof that it was a policy or an intent of the Serbian government to provoke a war with Austria-Hungary, nor did A-H ever find such proof. Per David Fromkin, from Europe's Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914, the Austrian investigators reported to the A-H foreign minister Count Berchtold that "There is nothing to prove or even to suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparations, or the furnishing of weapons." Also quoting Luigi Albertini, from Origins of the War of 1914: "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence and render it more difficult for Austria to hold her responsible for the crime was to open a judicial inquiry into the possible complicity of Serbian subjects and take the necessary measures in that event."

    One may argue that the Serbian government should have done more to reign in the conspirators who plotted against A-H, but it is questionable if it was in their power to do so at the time. What is indisputable, though, is that A-H wanted the war with Serbia and was looking for an excuse. According to Fritz Fischer, from Germany’s Aims in the First World War, "Those in the “War Party” in Vienna saw the assassination as an excellent excuse to execute their 1912 plans for a war to destroy Serbia's ability to interfere in Bosnia."

    What is also indisputable is that Germany wanted the war as well, and was egging on A-H, while trying to appear as not doing it, to start a war with Serbia sooner rather than later. According to both Fischer and Fromkin, German General Staff and the government though that the time was right for a "general war" since they believed that Germany was better prepared than either France or Russia, so it was a now or never moment for them. They were also concerned that if they had to wait for a few more years for a confrontation, by 1917 Russian military modernization program would have been completed and they would lose their chance to beat Russia forever.

    The ultimatum A-H presented to Serbia was designed to be rejected, and the Austrians went back and forth with Germans multiple times to make sure that the ultimatum was severe enough to be rejected for certain. When the 10-point ultimatum was finally presented to the Serbian government, the Serbs accepted all points except one, that Austrian police be allowed to operate in Serbia. After learning that, Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 'that eliminates any reason for war', however by then the situation was outside his control. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg was actively sabotaging Kaiser's peace offers, and the Chief of General Staff General Falkenhayn told Kaiser he “no longer had control of the affair in his own hands” and implied that the military would stage a coup d'état, and depose Kaiser Wilhelm II in favor of his son Crown Prince Wilhelm if the Kaiser continued to work for peace.

    You can say that the Serbs pulled the tripwire, but not that they planted the bomb.

    Re: your comment that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WWI and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, that is completely backwards. Serbia didn't win in WWI, as no country that lost 25% of its population can be considered a winner of anything. Being formally on the winning side of something does not make one a winner. Or to make myself even more clear: anyone who thinks that the Serbs won in WWI, historian or politician or patriot, is an idiot. And as far as "getting" Yugoslavia, Serb-dominated or otherwise, creating Yugoslavia was the stupidest unforced mistake that the Serbs made in the 20th century. So there you have it.

    Crap from Fischer and Fromkin (not coincidentally Wikipedia’s only two sources for the July crisis) is not the way to convince anyone who isn’t convinced already. The Serbian government only rejected the ultimatum once they had got the word that Russia would back them up.
    Obviously no Serb was to blame for the war involving all the great powers. But without the complicity of high Serbian officials in the plot to kill the Archduke, obvious at the time to anyone who wanted to know the truth and confirmed fully in the sequel, no war would have started in 1914 at all.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Fischer and Fromkin are not the only two sources Wikipedia used. But by all means, please expand on your comment why you don't consider them reliable sources and which other sources we should rely on instead. I'm not being sarcastic, this is a genuine question. I am willing to reconsider anything when new facts are presented.
  31. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...the Serb Authorities ordered their own civilians out before the Croatian Army arrived.
    They cleansed themselves.
    This is a fact.
     
    Well, no: according to the Wikipedia article on Operation Storm, "In 2010, Serbia sued Croatia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), claiming that the offensive was an example of genocide. In 2015, the court ruled that it was not genocidal, though it affirmed that the Serb population fled as a direct result of the offensive and that serious crimes against civilians had been committed by Croatian forces. As of November 2012, the Croatian judiciary has convicted 2,380 persons for various crimes committed during Operation Storm."

    Now you may argue that Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but this particular article has 235 footnotes and hundreds of other references. Why should we trust your word over an extensively researched article that contradicts what you're saying?

    The fact is that the RSK authorities ordered their own people out. Keep reading Wiki to see that fact.

    No one is claiming that Serbs didn’t fear for their lives nor is anyone claiming that crimes weren’t committed against them (although once again, massive exaggeration is present here).

    The point is that the Croats didn’t cleanse them because they had already left under the orders of their own leaders.

  32. @Mark Eugenikos
    It seems to me you are treating this as an accounting issue. Meaning, if the number of victims (Serbs in WWII Croatia in this case) was not 700K but only 350K, then the crime is only half as bad. But this is not an accounting issue, it is a moral issue. And it is undisputed that the Ustashe regime had genocidal policies towards Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.

    From the Wiki article on the Independent State of Croatia, the paragraph dealing with racial legislation: "The implications become clear following the July speech of the minister of education, Mile Budak, in which he declared: 'We will kill one third of all Serbs. We will deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to convert to Catholicism'."

    The Independent State of Croatia was a genocidal state. That they didn't manage to kill as many as they intended just means that they weren't as efficient as they had hoped, but it doesn't make the crime any less monstrous.

    Numbers are important. When Anatoly spreads the lie that the Ustashe killed a quarter of all Serbs during WW2 it needs to be pointed out that it is a severe exaggeration and and lie.

    Thank you for agreeing.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    If you really insist on treating this as an accounting problem, the Ustashe killed about 20% of the Serbs residing within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia, even by the more conservative estimates you insist on using. Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic's and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely). So even if we go by the numbers that you consider accurate, you could claim that Anatoly inflated the percentage from 20 to 25. I don't see how that can be called severe exaggeration and a lie.

    I also noticed that you chose to avoid the moral aspect of this in your reply.
  33. @Elena
    During the 90's Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. You already mentioned him. Perhaps you can mention all those swaths of others confirming and their amazing facts :))

    As for threats of burring me with facts that people ethnically cleanse themselves, please do that as well. :))

    “During the 90′s Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. ”

    Is Bogoljub Kocovic, the Serb whose expert study aligned with Zerjavic’s study a “Nazi” and an “Ustasha” too?

    • Replies: @Elena
    Both (Kocovic and Zerjavic) are just demographers who had their GUESSES and many showed them they are wrong. But ok, you may cling to that.
  34. Lot of gory video available on YouTube showing Ustasha behavior during the last war. It’ll give people an idea of why even to this day emotions can be induced to run high.

  35. @Niccolo Salo
    "During the 90′s Croats Nazis had been busy revising history and your Zerjavic is from that time. "

    Is Bogoljub Kocovic, the Serb whose expert study aligned with Zerjavic's study a "Nazi" and an "Ustasha" too?

    Both (Kocovic and Zerjavic) are just demographers who had their GUESSES and many showed them they are wrong. But ok, you may cling to that.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Both (Kocovic and Zerjavic) are just demographers who had their GUESSES and many showed them they are wrong. But ok, you may cling to that."

    Demographic studies in Academia aren't "guesses". They are scientific processes.
  36. @German_reader
    That's a pretty extreme reply...seriously, some Serbs and Serb-apologists are just deranged in their cult of victimhood coupled with aggressiveness. I actually think I'm relatively sympathetic to the Serb view on some things (e.g. the Kosovo war really was a bad case of unjustified Western aggression, and of course the Serbs suffered pretty horrendously in WW2 at the hands of the Germans, Ustasha, Bosnian Waffen-SS members etc.). But WW1? Sorry, but Serbia in 1914 was just a rogue state whose leaders thought they could get away with terrorism against Austria-Hungary because their great pan-Slavic buddy Russia would always support them (and in a way that of course is how it turned out). The Austrians undoubtedly behaved in an extremely harsh manner during their occupation of Serbia, but ultimately a large part of responsibility for this lies with Serbia's own leaders who had provoked that reaction by their indulgence for expansionist terrorism.
    The fact that even today some Serbs are deluded enough to actually honor Gavrilo Princip as an hero speaks for itself!

    Nono, my comment was edited. You didn’t get to see what was harsh. Pity. Oh well…

    • Replies: @German_reader
    You do realize that calling other people "dogs who deserve to be shot" (or even worse, given your comment was edited) makes you look like a deranged psychopath, unfit for civilized company?
  37. @German_reader
    "25% of Serbians died in World War I."

    Well yes, but given the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1. Back then the Serbs were also presented as heroes by the western allies (who had other bogeymen back then). The current vilification of Serbs really dates only back to the 1990s, and is closely connected to liberal "humanitarian" interventionism and multiculturalism. The Serbs just were the perfect villains for proponents of those ideologies (like the odious Joschka Fischer in Germany).

    given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1

    G_r, it was the German Kaiser himself that, upon reading the Serbian government’s reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, declared: “Well, it seems to me that no war is now necessary.” Unfortunately, by that point it was too late, due to the ‘blank check’ Germany has already given to Austria.

    To state the historical facts: assassination was not the official policy of Serbian government, but an individual pursuit of the head of counterintelligence through a separate secret organization (‘Black Hand’); Serbian government did its utmost to reach agreement with Austro-Hungary, subject to preservation of country’s independence; thirdly, armed resistance to foreign occupation was an inalienable right of the majority Serbian population of Bosnia – Franz Ferdinand was in Sarajevo in full uniform of an inspector general of Austrian armed forces.

    It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War; it is sad that we have to go over these facts all over again.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    "It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War"

    Germany never admitted willingly that it was solely responsible for WW1, and resentment against the war guilt clause in the Versailles treaty (which Germany was forced to accept as the loser) was one of the major reasons for nationalist agitation in the 1920s. I'm not going to discuss this in detail here, but my position is that while imperial Germany did indeed bear a significant part of the responsibility for the escalation of the July crisis into world war, the other powers weren't innocent either, with Russia and Serbia being especially bad.
    , @5371
    So winning the war should preserve your cartoonish version of its origins from ever being questioned? You're a hoot.
  38. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1 and the fact that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WW1 and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, I find it difficult to regard Serbia as an innocent victim of WW1.
     
    You don't seem to know your country's history that well. I suggest you read the historical accounts (a nice summary can be found on Wikipedia in the article on July Crisis).

    I don't agree with your claim of the Serbian state's responsibility for the start of WWI. Certain rogue elements within the state apparatus, for sure. But there is no proof that it was a policy or an intent of the Serbian government to provoke a war with Austria-Hungary, nor did A-H ever find such proof. Per David Fromkin, from Europe's Last Summer: Why the World Went to War in 1914, the Austrian investigators reported to the A-H foreign minister Count Berchtold that "There is nothing to prove or even to suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparations, or the furnishing of weapons." Also quoting Luigi Albertini, from Origins of the War of 1914: "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence and render it more difficult for Austria to hold her responsible for the crime was to open a judicial inquiry into the possible complicity of Serbian subjects and take the necessary measures in that event."

    One may argue that the Serbian government should have done more to reign in the conspirators who plotted against A-H, but it is questionable if it was in their power to do so at the time. What is indisputable, though, is that A-H wanted the war with Serbia and was looking for an excuse. According to Fritz Fischer, from Germany’s Aims in the First World War, "Those in the “War Party” in Vienna saw the assassination as an excellent excuse to execute their 1912 plans for a war to destroy Serbia's ability to interfere in Bosnia."

    What is also indisputable is that Germany wanted the war as well, and was egging on A-H, while trying to appear as not doing it, to start a war with Serbia sooner rather than later. According to both Fischer and Fromkin, German General Staff and the government though that the time was right for a "general war" since they believed that Germany was better prepared than either France or Russia, so it was a now or never moment for them. They were also concerned that if they had to wait for a few more years for a confrontation, by 1917 Russian military modernization program would have been completed and they would lose their chance to beat Russia forever.

    The ultimatum A-H presented to Serbia was designed to be rejected, and the Austrians went back and forth with Germans multiple times to make sure that the ultimatum was severe enough to be rejected for certain. When the 10-point ultimatum was finally presented to the Serbian government, the Serbs accepted all points except one, that Austrian police be allowed to operate in Serbia. After learning that, Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 'that eliminates any reason for war', however by then the situation was outside his control. German Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg was actively sabotaging Kaiser's peace offers, and the Chief of General Staff General Falkenhayn told Kaiser he “no longer had control of the affair in his own hands” and implied that the military would stage a coup d'état, and depose Kaiser Wilhelm II in favor of his son Crown Prince Wilhelm if the Kaiser continued to work for peace.

    You can say that the Serbs pulled the tripwire, but not that they planted the bomb.

    Re: your comment that Serbian nationalists were among the winners of WWI and got a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, that is completely backwards. Serbia didn't win in WWI, as no country that lost 25% of its population can be considered a winner of anything. Being formally on the winning side of something does not make one a winner. Or to make myself even more clear: anyone who thinks that the Serbs won in WWI, historian or politician or patriot, is an idiot. And as far as "getting" Yugoslavia, Serb-dominated or otherwise, creating Yugoslavia was the stupidest unforced mistake that the Serbs made in the 20th century. So there you have it.

    “What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence”

    Serbia wasn’t innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn’t have the power to do so, but it’s just as or even more likely they deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists’ actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability (“Of course it’s horrible when people use terrorist means, but what can we do…they’re just good boys really, driven to extremes by the Austrians’ horrible oppression!”). Somewhat like Erdogan’s Turkey and its attitude towards jihadis.
    And if Serbia wasn’t among the winners of WW1, does that also mean the Soviet Union didn’t win WW2 because of its very high losses? Odd logic.
    As for Fritz Fischer, there are obviously political reasons why his one-sided thesis still commands the respect it does, but since this is mostly OT, I don’t have any inclination to discuss this matter in detail.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Serbia wasn’t innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn’t have the power to do so
     
    Actually this would mean that Serbia was not a sovereign state, because its government had no control over and oversight of rogue terrorist groups operating within the government.
    , @Mark Eugenikos

    ...but it’s just as or even more likely they [the Serbs] deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists’ actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability...
     
    Oh come on, everyone was playing a double game. Please don't tell me you believe that Serbs were somehow unique in this. It's funny that when Kaiser calls the Serbs "liars, tricksters and masters of evasion" he is oblivious to lies, tricks, and evasions that his own government is playing on him and on the other great powers. That's pot calling the kettle black.

    I am not saying Serbia was wholly innocent in this. I believe their resentment towards A-H was justified, but that they should have done everything possible to avoid provoking A-H into a war. Perhaps they didn't do everything possible. But in the end, Serbia was a minor player. Like I said, they pulled the trip wire, but the will to go to war was already there for reasons that were much bigger than Serbia.

    Re: your comment comparing USSR to Serbia, it doesn't compare. It's not just the percentage of population a country loses (and USSR lost less in WWII in percentage terms than Serbia did in WWI). It's also what happens after that. After WWII USSR became a world power which ruled half the planet for 50 years, and set the foundations for what Russia is today. After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. As I said, being politically on a winning side does not make one a winner.
  39. @Elena
    Nono, my comment was edited. You didn't get to see what was harsh. Pity. Oh well...

    You do realize that calling other people “dogs who deserve to be shot” (or even worse, given your comment was edited) makes you look like a deranged psychopath, unfit for civilized company?

  40. @Jamie_NYC

    given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1
     
    G_r, it was the German Kaiser himself that, upon reading the Serbian government's reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, declared: "Well, it seems to me that no war is now necessary." Unfortunately, by that point it was too late, due to the 'blank check' Germany has already given to Austria.

    To state the historical facts: assassination was not the official policy of Serbian government, but an individual pursuit of the head of counterintelligence through a separate secret organization ('Black Hand'); Serbian government did its utmost to reach agreement with Austro-Hungary, subject to preservation of country's independence; thirdly, armed resistance to foreign occupation was an inalienable right of the majority Serbian population of Bosnia - Franz Ferdinand was in Sarajevo in full uniform of an inspector general of Austrian armed forces.

    It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War; it is sad that we have to go over these facts all over again.

    “It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War”

    Germany never admitted willingly that it was solely responsible for WW1, and resentment against the war guilt clause in the Versailles treaty (which Germany was forced to accept as the loser) was one of the major reasons for nationalist agitation in the 1920s. I’m not going to discuss this in detail here, but my position is that while imperial Germany did indeed bear a significant part of the responsibility for the escalation of the July crisis into world war, the other powers weren’t innocent either, with Russia and Serbia being especially bad.

  41. @Jamie_NYC

    given the Serbian state’s responsibility for the start of WW1
     
    G_r, it was the German Kaiser himself that, upon reading the Serbian government's reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, declared: "Well, it seems to me that no war is now necessary." Unfortunately, by that point it was too late, due to the 'blank check' Germany has already given to Austria.

    To state the historical facts: assassination was not the official policy of Serbian government, but an individual pursuit of the head of counterintelligence through a separate secret organization ('Black Hand'); Serbian government did its utmost to reach agreement with Austro-Hungary, subject to preservation of country's independence; thirdly, armed resistance to foreign occupation was an inalienable right of the majority Serbian population of Bosnia - Franz Ferdinand was in Sarajevo in full uniform of an inspector general of Austrian armed forces.

    It has been almost a hundred years since Germany admitted the guilt over the First World War; it is sad that we have to go over these facts all over again.

    So winning the war should preserve your cartoonish version of its origins from ever being questioned? You’re a hoot.

  42. @German_reader
    "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence"

    Serbia wasn't innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn't have the power to do so, but it's just as or even more likely they deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists' actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability ("Of course it's horrible when people use terrorist means, but what can we do...they're just good boys really, driven to extremes by the Austrians' horrible oppression!"). Somewhat like Erdogan's Turkey and its attitude towards jihadis.
    And if Serbia wasn't among the winners of WW1, does that also mean the Soviet Union didn't win WW2 because of its very high losses? Odd logic.
    As for Fritz Fischer, there are obviously political reasons why his one-sided thesis still commands the respect it does, but since this is mostly OT, I don't have any inclination to discuss this matter in detail.

    Serbia wasn’t innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn’t have the power to do so

    Actually this would mean that Serbia was not a sovereign state, because its government had no control over and oversight of rogue terrorist groups operating within the government.

  43. @Niccolo Salo
    Numbers are important. When Anatoly spreads the lie that the Ustashe killed a quarter of all Serbs during WW2 it needs to be pointed out that it is a severe exaggeration and and lie.

    Thank you for agreeing.

    If you really insist on treating this as an accounting problem, the Ustashe killed about 20% of the Serbs residing within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia, even by the more conservative estimates you insist on using. Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic’s and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely). So even if we go by the numbers that you consider accurate, you could claim that Anatoly inflated the percentage from 20 to 25. I don’t see how that can be called severe exaggeration and a lie.

    I also noticed that you chose to avoid the moral aspect of this in your reply.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic’s and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely)."

    Wow, are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?

    Do you even know how many conflicts were running in parallel to one another on the ground in WW2 Yugoslavia?
  44. @5371
    Crap from Fischer and Fromkin (not coincidentally Wikipedia's only two sources for the July crisis) is not the way to convince anyone who isn't convinced already. The Serbian government only rejected the ultimatum once they had got the word that Russia would back them up.
    Obviously no Serb was to blame for the war involving all the great powers. But without the complicity of high Serbian officials in the plot to kill the Archduke, obvious at the time to anyone who wanted to know the truth and confirmed fully in the sequel, no war would have started in 1914 at all.

    Fischer and Fromkin are not the only two sources Wikipedia used. But by all means, please expand on your comment why you don’t consider them reliable sources and which other sources we should rely on instead. I’m not being sarcastic, this is a genuine question. I am willing to reconsider anything when new facts are presented.

    • Replies: @5371
    Fischer's book was a political event rather than a scholarly one, Fromkin just a plodding hack. If you want a brand new guide, you could do worse than Christopher Clark's "Sleepwalkers". But to really understand this debate, there's no substitute for steeping oneself in the original documents, by dipping regularly into the great 40-volume German collection "Grosse Politik der Europäischen Kabinette".
  45. @German_reader
    "What Serbia ought to have done to prove her innocence"

    Serbia wasn't innocent, its intelligence service directly supported the terrorists, and the civilian politicians knew about this and did nothing. One might of course claim they didn't have the power to do so, but it's just as or even more likely they deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists' actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability ("Of course it's horrible when people use terrorist means, but what can we do...they're just good boys really, driven to extremes by the Austrians' horrible oppression!"). Somewhat like Erdogan's Turkey and its attitude towards jihadis.
    And if Serbia wasn't among the winners of WW1, does that also mean the Soviet Union didn't win WW2 because of its very high losses? Odd logic.
    As for Fritz Fischer, there are obviously political reasons why his one-sided thesis still commands the respect it does, but since this is mostly OT, I don't have any inclination to discuss this matter in detail.

    …but it’s just as or even more likely they [the Serbs] deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists’ actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability…

    Oh come on, everyone was playing a double game. Please don’t tell me you believe that Serbs were somehow unique in this. It’s funny that when Kaiser calls the Serbs “liars, tricksters and masters of evasion” he is oblivious to lies, tricks, and evasions that his own government is playing on him and on the other great powers. That’s pot calling the kettle black.

    I am not saying Serbia was wholly innocent in this. I believe their resentment towards A-H was justified, but that they should have done everything possible to avoid provoking A-H into a war. Perhaps they didn’t do everything possible. But in the end, Serbia was a minor player. Like I said, they pulled the trip wire, but the will to go to war was already there for reasons that were much bigger than Serbia.

    Re: your comment comparing USSR to Serbia, it doesn’t compare. It’s not just the percentage of population a country loses (and USSR lost less in WWII in percentage terms than Serbia did in WWI). It’s also what happens after that. After WWII USSR became a world power which ruled half the planet for 50 years, and set the foundations for what Russia is today. After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. As I said, being politically on a winning side does not make one a winner.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    "After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. "

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia? Serious question, why do you think Yugoslavia was bad for Serbs (apart from the breakup, obviously)? My impression was that Serbs enjoyed a somewhat privileged status, certainly in interwar Yugoslavia, but also post-WW2. But I'll admit my knowledge of Yugoslav history is rather superficial, so I'd be interested in what your judgement is based on.
  46. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...but it’s just as or even more likely they [the Serbs] deliberately played a double game, stoking the nationalist resentment behind the terrorists’ actions and at least indirectly supporting them, all the while preserving plausible deniability...
     
    Oh come on, everyone was playing a double game. Please don't tell me you believe that Serbs were somehow unique in this. It's funny that when Kaiser calls the Serbs "liars, tricksters and masters of evasion" he is oblivious to lies, tricks, and evasions that his own government is playing on him and on the other great powers. That's pot calling the kettle black.

    I am not saying Serbia was wholly innocent in this. I believe their resentment towards A-H was justified, but that they should have done everything possible to avoid provoking A-H into a war. Perhaps they didn't do everything possible. But in the end, Serbia was a minor player. Like I said, they pulled the trip wire, but the will to go to war was already there for reasons that were much bigger than Serbia.

    Re: your comment comparing USSR to Serbia, it doesn't compare. It's not just the percentage of population a country loses (and USSR lost less in WWII in percentage terms than Serbia did in WWI). It's also what happens after that. After WWII USSR became a world power which ruled half the planet for 50 years, and set the foundations for what Russia is today. After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. As I said, being politically on a winning side does not make one a winner.

    “After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. ”

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia? Serious question, why do you think Yugoslavia was bad for Serbs (apart from the breakup, obviously)? My impression was that Serbs enjoyed a somewhat privileged status, certainly in interwar Yugoslavia, but also post-WW2. But I’ll admit my knowledge of Yugoslav history is rather superficial, so I’d be interested in what your judgement is based on.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?
     
    You could write a thesis on that question, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been "let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states", but Serbs aren't always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn't really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren't happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I'm listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs ("we need to help our South Slav brothers") and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I ("bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state"), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I'll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That's why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn't really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of "weak Serbia - strong Yugoslavia" which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a "new" and "just" society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don't bite more than you can chew.
  47. @Mark Eugenikos
    If you really insist on treating this as an accounting problem, the Ustashe killed about 20% of the Serbs residing within the borders of the Independent State of Croatia, even by the more conservative estimates you insist on using. Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic's and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely). So even if we go by the numbers that you consider accurate, you could claim that Anatoly inflated the percentage from 20 to 25. I don't see how that can be called severe exaggeration and a lie.

    I also noticed that you chose to avoid the moral aspect of this in your reply.

    “Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic’s and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely).”

    Wow, are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?

    Do you even know how many conflicts were running in parallel to one another on the ground in WW2 Yugoslavia?

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    ...are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?
     
    Not all, but I would say the vast majority. For the simple reason that no other entity except the Ustashe (i.e. not the Germans, nor the Italians, nor the Partisans) had the extermination of Serbs as part of their political program.

    As I said earlier: I don't want to get into accounting discussions with you (or anyone else) on this topic. This is a moral question. Having extermination of one's neighboring people as a major part of one's political program is fundamentally wrong. The numbers killed just show how efficient or inefficient the killing machine was. Either you get that or you don't.
  48. @Elena
    Both (Kocovic and Zerjavic) are just demographers who had their GUESSES and many showed them they are wrong. But ok, you may cling to that.

    “Both (Kocovic and Zerjavic) are just demographers who had their GUESSES and many showed them they are wrong. But ok, you may cling to that.”

    Demographic studies in Academia aren’t “guesses”. They are scientific processes.

  49. @Niccolo Salo
    "Out of 1.8M Serbs living there before WWII, Ustashe killed 340K (Wikipedia number, matches Zerjavic’s and US Holocaus Museum estimates pretty closely)."

    Wow, are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?

    Do you even know how many conflicts were running in parallel to one another on the ground in WW2 Yugoslavia?

    …are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?

    Not all, but I would say the vast majority. For the simple reason that no other entity except the Ustashe (i.e. not the Germans, nor the Italians, nor the Partisans) had the extermination of Serbs as part of their political program.

    As I said earlier: I don’t want to get into accounting discussions with you (or anyone else) on this topic. This is a moral question. Having extermination of one’s neighboring people as a major part of one’s political program is fundamentally wrong. The numbers killed just show how efficient or inefficient the killing machine was. Either you get that or you don’t.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "Not all, but I would say the vast majority."

    Roughly slightly less than half can be attributed to Ustasha massacres. The rest involved other conflicts and of course disease, particularly typhus, which ravaged the region during the war.

    "As I said earlier: I don’t want to get into accounting discussions with you (or anyone else) on this topic. "

    Because I'm correct in pointing out the massive exaggerations made by Anatoly in his post (little fault of his own since they are so pervasive).

    "This is a moral question. "

    The only one raising this is you. No one is disputing it.
  50. @Mark Eugenikos
    Fischer and Fromkin are not the only two sources Wikipedia used. But by all means, please expand on your comment why you don't consider them reliable sources and which other sources we should rely on instead. I'm not being sarcastic, this is a genuine question. I am willing to reconsider anything when new facts are presented.

    Fischer’s book was a political event rather than a scholarly one, Fromkin just a plodding hack. If you want a brand new guide, you could do worse than Christopher Clark’s “Sleepwalkers”. But to really understand this debate, there’s no substitute for steeping oneself in the original documents, by dipping regularly into the great 40-volume German collection “Grosse Politik der Europäischen Kabinette”.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Thank you for suggesting Sleepwalkers, I'll try to check it out. I don't know German so I'll have to skip the original sources you mentioned. Speaking of which, it's been my impression that Fischer went to great lengths to dig through the German archives in 1950s and 1960s, and that Clark got criticized for selectively using his sources to make his point. I am not qualified to make an independent judgment on this.
  51. @German_reader
    "After WWI Serbia just kept getting weaker, exhausting itself in first and second Yugoslavia. "

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia? Serious question, why do you think Yugoslavia was bad for Serbs (apart from the breakup, obviously)? My impression was that Serbs enjoyed a somewhat privileged status, certainly in interwar Yugoslavia, but also post-WW2. But I'll admit my knowledge of Yugoslav history is rather superficial, so I'd be interested in what your judgement is based on.

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?

    You could write a thesis on that question, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been “let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states”, but Serbs aren’t always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn’t really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren’t happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I’m listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs (“we need to help our South Slav brothers”) and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I (“bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state”), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I’ll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That’s why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn’t really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of “weak Serbia – strong Yugoslavia” which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a “new” and “just” society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don’t bite more than you can chew.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    You've left out the biggest error made in Royalist Yugoslavia, the centralist Vidovdan Constitution of 1921. Serb parties pushed this through and managed to get it adopted with the support of the JMO (Yugoslav Muslim Organization), which represented the Muslim Bey landowning elite. They threw their support behind centralism in a deal that they cut with the Serb parties to forestall land reform, which was the biggest desire of Serb and Croat peasants in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Muslims owned a very disproportionate amount of land there due to centuries of Ottoman rule.

    When the Serbs reneged on this deal and allowed for the pogroms of Muslims in Eastern Herzegovina only a few years later, the JMO began the process of internal splitting with the majority of its leadership moving towards Croat Radic's HSS (until his assassination by Serb Radical Punisa Racic in the Belgrade Skupshtina) and later Macek. This was consolidated in WW2 when the Kulenovic brothers, by then leading the Bosnian Muslims, brought their constituency to support the Croatian Ustasha State. These Muslims then got their revenge for the pogroms by engaging in massacres of Serbs in Eastern Herzegovina, memoralized in Vuk Draskovic's novel "Noz" (Knife).

    The Vidovdan Constitution overnight ended majority Croatian support for Yugoslavia since it rendered Croatia less than a province. A federalized constitution would have ensured the support of the majority of Croats for a few decades, but the greed of the Belgrade Charshiya (bourgeoisie) and the influence of French State Administration (which also influenced Romania's centralism) wouldn't allow it.

    An excellent academic treatment of this is Ivo Banac's "The National Question in Yugoslavia" which deals with that first decade after Versailles.

    , @Niccolo Salo
    Your post overall is a thoughtful one and quite good in its broad strokes so you are to be commended.

    One more comment from me:

    "Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties"

    Again, I don't think that the Serbs would have been allowed to have an expanded Serbia. Yugoslavia was imposed on them by the Brits and the French for the reasons I highlighted above.

    As for WW2, if Macek had accepted Hitler's offer to rule a Croatian state, the number of massacres would have been much, much less on all sides and the Communists would never have gained such prominence in Bosnia nor in Croatia outside of Dalmatia where no doubt the Croatians would have eventually resisted Italian rule, but using which vehicle to resist is for us to speculate.
    , @reiner Tor

    The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a “new” and “just” society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above).
     
    It must be noted that the Partisans killed a lot of people before "papering over" the animosities.

    For example Hungarian troops killed some Serbs (altogether over 3,000 people, of whom maybe 700 were Serbs and the rest Jews) in January 1942. (Between 1942-44, there was no partisan warfare in the Hungarian-held area.) At the war's end in 1944-45, the Yugoslavs (I guess mostly Serbs) killed up to 40,000 Hungarians (some lower estimates put the number around 20,000).

    After that, all animosity to Hungarians was "papered over", which means both Serbs and Hungarians were supposed to pretend that there was no such animosity. Still, obviously school textbooks blamed Hungary for anything bad that might have happened, so it wasn't totally "papered over".

    (A separate grievance of Hungarians is that the Hungarian communist government was so eager to paper over these events that in Hungary history textbooks dealt with the Hungarian massacre in early 1942, and even a movie was made about it, but they never dealt with the retaliation where Hungarians were the victims, and in much larger numbers. But that has nothing to do with the Serbs.)

    For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. So it wasn't all just some kind of Christian forgiveness.

    , @German_reader
    Interesting, thanks for your reply. There's much I don't know about Yugoslavia's history, I'll readily admit that (e.g. I was vaguely aware of Italian designs on Dalmatia whose cities like Ragusa had been intimately connected with Italy in the middle ages and early modern period, but from your account those designs seem to have been more serious than I had realized).
    In any case, Yugoslavia's history (and obviously that of Serbia) is pretty tragic.
  52. @5371
    Fischer's book was a political event rather than a scholarly one, Fromkin just a plodding hack. If you want a brand new guide, you could do worse than Christopher Clark's "Sleepwalkers". But to really understand this debate, there's no substitute for steeping oneself in the original documents, by dipping regularly into the great 40-volume German collection "Grosse Politik der Europäischen Kabinette".

    Thank you for suggesting Sleepwalkers, I’ll try to check it out. I don’t know German so I’ll have to skip the original sources you mentioned. Speaking of which, it’s been my impression that Fischer went to great lengths to dig through the German archives in 1950s and 1960s, and that Clark got criticized for selectively using his sources to make his point. I am not qualified to make an independent judgment on this.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    "Clark got criticized for selectively using his sources to make his point."

    I've read Clark's book and it seemed solid to me. Now I'm not qualified to judge matters in detail, and I'll admit Clark's somewhat pro-German bias fits right in with my own predispositions :-) ...but Clark really seems to have tried to read all the relevant sources for the July crisis, including those from Russia and Serbia. I can't tell how successful or thorough he was in that undertaking...but Fischer really concentrated on the German side, to the exclusion of everything else. He was quite parochial in a way. So whatever his biases, I think Clark's book is at least an advance on Fischer insofar as it tries to capute the multiperspectivity and complexity of the July crisis with its multiple actors.
  53. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...are you seriously suggesting that all Serbs who died on the territory of NDH were killed by the Ustashe?
     
    Not all, but I would say the vast majority. For the simple reason that no other entity except the Ustashe (i.e. not the Germans, nor the Italians, nor the Partisans) had the extermination of Serbs as part of their political program.

    As I said earlier: I don't want to get into accounting discussions with you (or anyone else) on this topic. This is a moral question. Having extermination of one's neighboring people as a major part of one's political program is fundamentally wrong. The numbers killed just show how efficient or inefficient the killing machine was. Either you get that or you don't.

    “Not all, but I would say the vast majority.”

    Roughly slightly less than half can be attributed to Ustasha massacres. The rest involved other conflicts and of course disease, particularly typhus, which ravaged the region during the war.

    “As I said earlier: I don’t want to get into accounting discussions with you (or anyone else) on this topic. ”

    Because I’m correct in pointing out the massive exaggerations made by Anatoly in his post (little fault of his own since they are so pervasive).

    “This is a moral question. ”

    The only one raising this is you. No one is disputing it.

  54. @Mark Eugenikos

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?
     
    You could write a thesis on that question, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been "let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states", but Serbs aren't always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn't really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren't happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I'm listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs ("we need to help our South Slav brothers") and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I ("bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state"), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I'll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That's why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn't really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of "weak Serbia - strong Yugoslavia" which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a "new" and "just" society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don't bite more than you can chew.

    You’ve left out the biggest error made in Royalist Yugoslavia, the centralist Vidovdan Constitution of 1921. Serb parties pushed this through and managed to get it adopted with the support of the JMO (Yugoslav Muslim Organization), which represented the Muslim Bey landowning elite. They threw their support behind centralism in a deal that they cut with the Serb parties to forestall land reform, which was the biggest desire of Serb and Croat peasants in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Muslims owned a very disproportionate amount of land there due to centuries of Ottoman rule.

    When the Serbs reneged on this deal and allowed for the pogroms of Muslims in Eastern Herzegovina only a few years later, the JMO began the process of internal splitting with the majority of its leadership moving towards Croat Radic’s HSS (until his assassination by Serb Radical Punisa Racic in the Belgrade Skupshtina) and later Macek. This was consolidated in WW2 when the Kulenovic brothers, by then leading the Bosnian Muslims, brought their constituency to support the Croatian Ustasha State. These Muslims then got their revenge for the pogroms by engaging in massacres of Serbs in Eastern Herzegovina, memoralized in Vuk Draskovic’s novel “Noz” (Knife).

    The Vidovdan Constitution overnight ended majority Croatian support for Yugoslavia since it rendered Croatia less than a province. A federalized constitution would have ensured the support of the majority of Croats for a few decades, but the greed of the Belgrade Charshiya (bourgeoisie) and the influence of French State Administration (which also influenced Romania’s centralism) wouldn’t allow it.

    An excellent academic treatment of this is Ivo Banac’s “The National Question in Yugoslavia” which deals with that first decade after Versailles.

  55. ” With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been “let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states”, but Serbs aren’t always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.”

    What’s missing here is the fact that it was the British who insisted that the Karadjordjevich Dynasty accept the Yugoslav option rather than a truncated Serb-majority state. This was just another example of big power politics to create opposing blocs so as to protect their own interests. The Brits and the French felt that a Serb-led Yugoslavia would prove to be a better bulwark against Germans (and Austrians since no one knew which way they were headed) in the Southern Alps and Northwest Balkans.

    The Serbs would have been better off with an enlarged Serbia, which would have been a disaster for Croats.

  56. “Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs (“we need to help our South Slav brothers”) and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I (“bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state”),”

    This of course is a subjective view. What history shows us from the 19th century and the first Serbian forays into independence is that Serbianization of non-Serbs was the rule.

    For example, in the 1840s the Serb Regime passed a law that stated that anyone who lived in Serbia for at least 10 years was automatically declared a Serb. It was also at this time that surnames began to appear in Serbia Proper (Serbs in A-H Dual Monarchy already had surnames by this time due to Imperial decrees forcing all subjects to adopt them), and patronymic surnames based on Serbian proper names were imposed. This helped Serbia create Serbs out of Bulgars and Vlachs in particular in what is now Eastern and Southern Serbia.

    When the first Yugoslavia was created, it was either Supilo or Trumbic (heads of the Croatian Delegation on Corfu, shaping the country post-war) who asked Serbian politician Milan St. Protic (Serbia’s leading liberal) what was to be done with the Muslims of BiH and Sandzak. Protic replied that they would do what the Serbs had been doing for century; give them 48 hours to return to the faith of their ancestors or expel them. (As a sidenote, a classic example of this was the first Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. His ancestors refused to renounce Islam and left Sabac, Serbia for Northern Bosnia in the 19th century after the Serbs set up their state).

    So the idea that the expansion of the Serbian state would be benign is very much a debatable notion. Suspicions of this came to be realized with the adoption of the Vidovdan Constitution, the gerrymandering during state-wide elections, and much, much more.

    However you are wholly correct in that the Croats and Slovenes had no choice but to throw in their lots with Yugoslavia as the alternative would have been much worse.

  57. “While most Partisans were Serbs they didn’t really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.”

    Not only were the Partizans not worried about retribution against civilians, they in many ways actively encouraged it because they held the belief that it would rally peasants and workers to their cause. They were proven correct in many places.

    On the flip side as you mention, the Serb Royalists were wary of more civilian massacres as the Serbs shed a lot of blood over the previous several wars. The massacres at Kragujevac and elsewhere pretty much ended Chetnik resistance to the Germans in Serbia proper. The Partizans took full advantage of this to portray the Chetniks as collaborators which was correct in varying degrees depending on highly regional specifics.

  58. “When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of “weak Serbia – strong Yugoslavia” which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern.”

    Serbia itself was split up by awarding autonomy to both Vojvodina and Kosovo. The fall of Rankovic is what triggered a lowering of Serbian influence in Kosovo particular where the Serbs actually did suffer during Communist rule.

    However Serbs in both Croatia and Bosnia were over-represented in state, military, media, and police. This was a legacy not only of the large number of Serbs in the Partizans in the early days of WW2, but also because of things like the Montenegrin tradition of military duty. For example, by 1990, 35% of the JNA Officer Corps was Montenegrin even if Montenegro only contributed some 3% of Yugoslavia’s population.

    In SR Croatia, Serbs were 12% of the population for example, yet were some 37% of Communist Party officials and contributed an even higher rate of police forces in the Milicija.

    In short: Communist Yugoslavia did cut down the strength of the Serbian nation as a whole in Yugoslavia and did result in discrimination post-Rankovic in Kosovo, but Serb individuals did gain more prominence, and therefore power, in Croatia in particular and in Bosnia to a large extent when compared with Royalist Yugoslavia.

    As for Vojvodina, Serbian colonists from Hercegovina, Montenegro, Bosnia, and some parts of Croatia were awarded the best abandoned Volksdeutche homes and villages after the Germans were expelled.

  59. @Mark Eugenikos

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?
     
    You could write a thesis on that question, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been "let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states", but Serbs aren't always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn't really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren't happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I'm listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs ("we need to help our South Slav brothers") and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I ("bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state"), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I'll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That's why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn't really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of "weak Serbia - strong Yugoslavia" which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a "new" and "just" society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don't bite more than you can chew.

    Your post overall is a thoughtful one and quite good in its broad strokes so you are to be commended.

    One more comment from me:

    “Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties”

    Again, I don’t think that the Serbs would have been allowed to have an expanded Serbia. Yugoslavia was imposed on them by the Brits and the French for the reasons I highlighted above.

    As for WW2, if Macek had accepted Hitler’s offer to rule a Croatian state, the number of massacres would have been much, much less on all sides and the Communists would never have gained such prominence in Bosnia nor in Croatia outside of Dalmatia where no doubt the Croatians would have eventually resisted Italian rule, but using which vehicle to resist is for us to speculate.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Thanks; it's hard to write concisely about this topic, and I tried to stick to the barest minimum. Had I added all of the detail from your follow-up comments my initial post would have been three times as long, but I had promised a brief summary to the German_reader. I guess the uber-point could be that it's really hard for "southern" emotional peoples to make rational, cool-headed decisions that better suit "northern" peoples (Dutch, Danes, etc.); the problem is, they still have to live with the consequences of those decisions centuries later. Or to paraphrase one of our hosts here (Steve Sailer): the "southerners" haven't yet quite learned to stop digging when in a hole.
  60. Great, more Serb victimhood bs. I agree that NATO bombing over Kosovo was completely out of line, but they were basically an aggressive terror state throughout the 20th century, not helpless victims: from their assassinations that led to WW1 to mass rape and butchering of Croats, Muslims, and Albanians in the 1990s.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Great, another comment from the planet "I have no idea what I'm talking about".
  61. @Mark Eugenikos

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?
     
    You could write a thesis on that question, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been "let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states", but Serbs aren't always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn't really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren't happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I'm listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs ("we need to help our South Slav brothers") and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I ("bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state"), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I'll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That's why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn't really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of "weak Serbia - strong Yugoslavia" which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a "new" and "just" society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don't bite more than you can chew.

    The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a “new” and “just” society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above).

    It must be noted that the Partisans killed a lot of people before “papering over” the animosities.

    For example Hungarian troops killed some Serbs (altogether over 3,000 people, of whom maybe 700 were Serbs and the rest Jews) in January 1942. (Between 1942-44, there was no partisan warfare in the Hungarian-held area.) At the war’s end in 1944-45, the Yugoslavs (I guess mostly Serbs) killed up to 40,000 Hungarians (some lower estimates put the number around 20,000).

    After that, all animosity to Hungarians was “papered over”, which means both Serbs and Hungarians were supposed to pretend that there was no such animosity. Still, obviously school textbooks blamed Hungary for anything bad that might have happened, so it wasn’t totally “papered over”.

    (A separate grievance of Hungarians is that the Hungarian communist government was so eager to paper over these events that in Hungary history textbooks dealt with the Hungarian massacre in early 1942, and even a movie was made about it, but they never dealt with the retaliation where Hungarians were the victims, and in much larger numbers. But that has nothing to do with the Serbs.)

    For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. So it wasn’t all just some kind of Christian forgiveness.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. "

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.

    There were also Montenegrins who were executed post-war during the Death Marches and there was a smaller 'settling of scores' within Serbia Proper where former elites were executed by the Communists.
  62. @Mark Eugenikos

    How exactly did Serbia exhaust itself in Yugoslavia?
     
    You could write a thesis on that question, but I'll try to be as brief as possible.

    Serbia exited WWI with by far the highest death toll of any country involved: 17-28% of population, depending on the estimates (for comparison, Germany and A-H had total losses in the 3.5-4.5% range). With such horrific human costs, Serbs should have played it safe. Since they were on the winning side, the smart play for them would have been to just take over A-H territories where Serbs were majority population, do some population exchange across the newly formed western border, and called it done.

    That approach would have left Croats and Slovenians hanging, at the mercy of the Italians who were also on the winning side. The rational approach by the Serbs would have been "let Croats and Slovenians worry about creating their own states", but Serbs aren't always known for making rational choices, for better or for worse.

    [As an aside, Croats didn't really have any good cards to play at that time. Nobody wanted to sponsor the independent state that they were hoping to create and had the right to create, so their only real options were to be overrun by Italians or create a joint state with the Serbs. I know majority weren't happy about the joint state with the Serbs, but I personally think their other option would have been worse. Within Italy they would have likely been totally subjugated linguistically, culturally, economically, etc. since they would have constituted only about 7% of the population of an expanded Italy. At least with the Serbs, the Croats got to keep their language and culture and were a bigger fish in a much smaller pond. But if any Croats want to convince me that the Italian option would have been better, I'm listening.]

    Back to the topic: due to magnanimity of the Serbs ("we need to help our South Slav brothers") and the megalomania and vanity of the king Alexander I ("bigger state is better than a smaller but more stable state"), Serbian army advanced west and blocked the Italians from occupying Croatian and Slovenian lands. I'll skip the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later to become Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The drawbacks were that the Serbs angered the Italians who were promised territorial gains in the former A-H lands for their participation on the Allied side. Again, dumb move from the Serbian side, to create an enemy out of Italy.

    I mentioned earlier that the Croats really wanted their independent state. Hence they were never really satisfied in the new Yugoslavia and there was constant bickering, not just between the Croats and the Serbs but also between two major Serbian parties, and also with Bosnian Muslim party and the Communist party thrown into the mix. What the Serbs had done by pushing to create a common state with the Croats and the Slovenes was to create an unhealthy state. Yugoslavia was weakened by so many internal divisions and different interests pulling into different directions, making it impossible to completely satisfy everyone and in the end nobody was satisfied. That's why Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs: they were wasting lots of energy and resources fighting with others or trying to accommodate others, instead of focusing on repairing the losses in human and material capital from WWI.

    When WWII started, the internal divisions existing in Yugoslavia exploded. Croats formed their Independent State of Croatia which had as one of its foundations extermination of Serbs, so another 320-350 thousand Serbs died in WWII under Croatian rule. At the same time the Communists were using the war to advance their own agenda through their Partisan units, fighting at various times against Germans, Italians, Croatian Ustashe and Serbian monarchists (Chetniks). While most Partisans were Serbs they didn't really pay as much attention to civilian casualties. Germans had a brutal repression policy against civilians in Serbia, killing 100 civilians for one killed German soldier and 50 civilians for one wounded German soldier. In the end, around 500 thousand Serbs in total died in WWII, in addition to 750 thousand to 1.25 million dead from WWI.

    When the Communists took over after WWII, they continued with the policy of "weak Serbia - strong Yugoslavia" which had been their slogan since 1935 in conjunction with the Comintern. The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a "new" and "just" society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above). Finally when the fall of Communism shook former Eastern Bloc countries the shock waves led to the break-up of the second Yugoslavia and the wars of the Yugoslavian succession in 1990s.

    Therefore the second Yugoslavia was bad for the Serbs for the same reason the first one was: instead of focusing on rebuilding human capital lost in the two world wars, they were wasting lots of energy and resources first trying to build a socialist utopia and later fighting the unfinished battles from WWII.

    By now you may see why I called the creation of first Yugoslavia the biggest unforced error that the Serbs made in the 20th century. Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties, and a stronger state that may have been resistant enough to repel Communist overtake during and after WWII. Also no wars and dissolution in 1990s. History, for the Serbs at least, could have turned out much nicer. I hope they learned their lesson: don't bite more than you can chew.

    Interesting, thanks for your reply. There’s much I don’t know about Yugoslavia’s history, I’ll readily admit that (e.g. I was vaguely aware of Italian designs on Dalmatia whose cities like Ragusa had been intimately connected with Italy in the middle ages and early modern period, but from your account those designs seem to have been more serious than I had realized).
    In any case, Yugoslavia’s history (and obviously that of Serbia) is pretty tragic.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Dalmatia presents an interesting case due to Italian Irredentism that was present there until the capitulation of the Italians in 1943 and the expulsion (and some massacres committed by the Communist Partizans) of Italians from the Istria region next door to Trieste.

    During the National Awakenings of the 19th Century, the scenario was as follows in Dalmatia:

    1. an Italianite urban ruling class forming a small percentage of the population as a whole
    2. a Croatian Catholic majority in the towns and almost all of the rural communities
    3. a Serbian Orthodox minority which formed a majority in the northeast of Dalmatia

    The Italians allied with the Serbs to create an autonomist movement which through the small franchise of those days allowed them to hold onto power until late in the century against the Croatian nationalists who sought to unite Dalmatia with Croatia-Slavonia into its own united body under the Habsburg Crown. Croatia-Slavonia was under the Magyars while Dalmatia was ruled by the Austrians.

    When the Italians only managed to get the city of Zadar (Zara) in Dalmatia awarded to them post-WW1, they naturally harboured a strong antipathy towards the new Yugoslav state. This led to D'Annunzio's seizure of Fiume (Rijeka) and to Mussolini's sponsorship of the Croatian Ustashi in exile during the 1930s as a tool to use to break up the country.

    So when the Ustashe marched into Croatia under the protection of the Italians the Yugoslav state was smashed but the Italians quickly rendered the new state stillborn by not only annexing a large chunk of Dalmatia, but also by disallowing the presence of Ustasha and regular Croatian army units from the half of the Croatian state which occupied by the Italians. This quickly caused friction as Croatians in Dalmatia turned not only against their Italian occupiers but also the Ustashe. This left them with having only one choice for resistance: the Communist Partizans.

    At the same time, Serbs in Dalmatia (and adjoining regions under Italian occupation) who rejected the politics of the communists quickly came to collaborationist deals with the Italian Fascists and not only received arms from them, but also food, other supplies, and de facto autonomy. The Serb Royalist Chetniks in these areas went as far as to petition the Italians to annex Serb-populated regions.

    Complex? Yes....but par for the course in the area.

    Today Dalmatia is Croatia's most nationalist region within Croatia (West Herzegovina being the most nationalist overall).
  63. @Mark Eugenikos
    Thank you for suggesting Sleepwalkers, I'll try to check it out. I don't know German so I'll have to skip the original sources you mentioned. Speaking of which, it's been my impression that Fischer went to great lengths to dig through the German archives in 1950s and 1960s, and that Clark got criticized for selectively using his sources to make his point. I am not qualified to make an independent judgment on this.

    “Clark got criticized for selectively using his sources to make his point.”

    I’ve read Clark’s book and it seemed solid to me. Now I’m not qualified to judge matters in detail, and I’ll admit Clark’s somewhat pro-German bias fits right in with my own predispositions 🙂 …but Clark really seems to have tried to read all the relevant sources for the July crisis, including those from Russia and Serbia. I can’t tell how successful or thorough he was in that undertaking…but Fischer really concentrated on the German side, to the exclusion of everything else. He was quite parochial in a way. So whatever his biases, I think Clark’s book is at least an advance on Fischer insofar as it tries to capute the multiperspectivity and complexity of the July crisis with its multiple actors.

  64. @Niccolo Salo
    Your post overall is a thoughtful one and quite good in its broad strokes so you are to be commended.

    One more comment from me:

    "Had they stuck to just creating their own state where they had majority population after WWI, there would be no Croatian dissatisfaction to deal with, much less reason for the rise of Croatian Nazism (Ustashe), far less internal fighting in WWII and also likely fewer casualties"

    Again, I don't think that the Serbs would have been allowed to have an expanded Serbia. Yugoslavia was imposed on them by the Brits and the French for the reasons I highlighted above.

    As for WW2, if Macek had accepted Hitler's offer to rule a Croatian state, the number of massacres would have been much, much less on all sides and the Communists would never have gained such prominence in Bosnia nor in Croatia outside of Dalmatia where no doubt the Croatians would have eventually resisted Italian rule, but using which vehicle to resist is for us to speculate.

    Thanks; it’s hard to write concisely about this topic, and I tried to stick to the barest minimum. Had I added all of the detail from your follow-up comments my initial post would have been three times as long, but I had promised a brief summary to the German_reader. I guess the uber-point could be that it’s really hard for “southern” emotional peoples to make rational, cool-headed decisions that better suit “northern” peoples (Dutch, Danes, etc.); the problem is, they still have to live with the consequences of those decisions centuries later. Or to paraphrase one of our hosts here (Steve Sailer): the “southerners” haven’t yet quite learned to stop digging when in a hole.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    The real lesson is that 'good fences make good neighbours'. This is why a Serbian-Croatian War is not going to happen but is precisely why Bosnia continues to be a powderkeg and will explode again one day.
  65. @Marcus
    Great, more Serb victimhood bs. I agree that NATO bombing over Kosovo was completely out of line, but they were basically an aggressive terror state throughout the 20th century, not helpless victims: from their assassinations that led to WW1 to mass rape and butchering of Croats, Muslims, and Albanians in the 1990s.

    Great, another comment from the planet “I have no idea what I’m talking about”.

    • Replies: @Marcus
    Fact: Serbia was a terrorist pariah state during the entire time it was independent in the 20th century.
  66. @Mark Eugenikos
    Thanks; it's hard to write concisely about this topic, and I tried to stick to the barest minimum. Had I added all of the detail from your follow-up comments my initial post would have been three times as long, but I had promised a brief summary to the German_reader. I guess the uber-point could be that it's really hard for "southern" emotional peoples to make rational, cool-headed decisions that better suit "northern" peoples (Dutch, Danes, etc.); the problem is, they still have to live with the consequences of those decisions centuries later. Or to paraphrase one of our hosts here (Steve Sailer): the "southerners" haven't yet quite learned to stop digging when in a hole.

    The real lesson is that ‘good fences make good neighbours’. This is why a Serbian-Croatian War is not going to happen but is precisely why Bosnia continues to be a powderkeg and will explode again one day.

  67. @German_reader
    Interesting, thanks for your reply. There's much I don't know about Yugoslavia's history, I'll readily admit that (e.g. I was vaguely aware of Italian designs on Dalmatia whose cities like Ragusa had been intimately connected with Italy in the middle ages and early modern period, but from your account those designs seem to have been more serious than I had realized).
    In any case, Yugoslavia's history (and obviously that of Serbia) is pretty tragic.

    Dalmatia presents an interesting case due to Italian Irredentism that was present there until the capitulation of the Italians in 1943 and the expulsion (and some massacres committed by the Communist Partizans) of Italians from the Istria region next door to Trieste.

    During the National Awakenings of the 19th Century, the scenario was as follows in Dalmatia:

    1. an Italianite urban ruling class forming a small percentage of the population as a whole
    2. a Croatian Catholic majority in the towns and almost all of the rural communities
    3. a Serbian Orthodox minority which formed a majority in the northeast of Dalmatia

    The Italians allied with the Serbs to create an autonomist movement which through the small franchise of those days allowed them to hold onto power until late in the century against the Croatian nationalists who sought to unite Dalmatia with Croatia-Slavonia into its own united body under the Habsburg Crown. Croatia-Slavonia was under the Magyars while Dalmatia was ruled by the Austrians.

    When the Italians only managed to get the city of Zadar (Zara) in Dalmatia awarded to them post-WW1, they naturally harboured a strong antipathy towards the new Yugoslav state. This led to D’Annunzio’s seizure of Fiume (Rijeka) and to Mussolini’s sponsorship of the Croatian Ustashi in exile during the 1930s as a tool to use to break up the country.

    So when the Ustashe marched into Croatia under the protection of the Italians the Yugoslav state was smashed but the Italians quickly rendered the new state stillborn by not only annexing a large chunk of Dalmatia, but also by disallowing the presence of Ustasha and regular Croatian army units from the half of the Croatian state which occupied by the Italians. This quickly caused friction as Croatians in Dalmatia turned not only against their Italian occupiers but also the Ustashe. This left them with having only one choice for resistance: the Communist Partizans.

    At the same time, Serbs in Dalmatia (and adjoining regions under Italian occupation) who rejected the politics of the communists quickly came to collaborationist deals with the Italian Fascists and not only received arms from them, but also food, other supplies, and de facto autonomy. The Serb Royalist Chetniks in these areas went as far as to petition the Italians to annex Serb-populated regions.

    Complex? Yes….but par for the course in the area.

    Today Dalmatia is Croatia’s most nationalist region within Croatia (West Herzegovina being the most nationalist overall).

    • Replies: @German_reader
    Very informative, thank you. I was somewhat aware of Italian territorial ambitions since I read the Historia Salonitana by Archdeacon Thomas of Split (a 13th century chronicle, very interesting if you have any interest in medieval history), in an edition by the Societa Dalmata di storia patria (early 20th century)...it was clear from the preface that this patriotic society sort of regarded Dalmatia as Italian soil. But I didn't quite make the connection to Italy's actual occupation of the region during WW2.
    Since Tito has been mentioned in several other comments, I'd like to ask you another question: Some time ago I read about a theory that Tito wasn't really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s. That seemed really outlandish and hard to believe to me, but supposedly the CIA came to similar conclusions. Do you have an opinion about that, is there anything to it or is it just a bizarre conspiracy theory?
  68. @reiner Tor

    The main result of that policy was that the grievances from WWII were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. The old rivalries from the first Yugoslavia and WWII were papered over, and most everyone was pretending that everything was just fine, building a “new” and “just” society in the name of brotherhood and unity (imposed from above).
     
    It must be noted that the Partisans killed a lot of people before "papering over" the animosities.

    For example Hungarian troops killed some Serbs (altogether over 3,000 people, of whom maybe 700 were Serbs and the rest Jews) in January 1942. (Between 1942-44, there was no partisan warfare in the Hungarian-held area.) At the war's end in 1944-45, the Yugoslavs (I guess mostly Serbs) killed up to 40,000 Hungarians (some lower estimates put the number around 20,000).

    After that, all animosity to Hungarians was "papered over", which means both Serbs and Hungarians were supposed to pretend that there was no such animosity. Still, obviously school textbooks blamed Hungary for anything bad that might have happened, so it wasn't totally "papered over".

    (A separate grievance of Hungarians is that the Hungarian communist government was so eager to paper over these events that in Hungary history textbooks dealt with the Hungarian massacre in early 1942, and even a movie was made about it, but they never dealt with the retaliation where Hungarians were the victims, and in much larger numbers. But that has nothing to do with the Serbs.)

    For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. So it wasn't all just some kind of Christian forgiveness.

    “For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. ”

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.

    There were also Montenegrins who were executed post-war during the Death Marches and there was a smaller ‘settling of scores’ within Serbia Proper where former elites were executed by the Communists.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.
     
    I read somewhere 100,000, but maybe it was only 50,000. I personally found the 100,000 estimate more plausible because if they killed 20-40,000 Hungarians when Hungarians were barely enemies at all, they must have killed many more Croatians (Ustashe and their family members and sympathizers) who were probably more hated enemies. But things could be more complex, what with Tito being Croatian himself.
  69. @Niccolo Salo
    "For all I know, a lot of Croatians were also massacred at the end of the war. "

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.

    There were also Montenegrins who were executed post-war during the Death Marches and there was a smaller 'settling of scores' within Serbia Proper where former elites were executed by the Communists.

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.

    I read somewhere 100,000, but maybe it was only 50,000. I personally found the 100,000 estimate more plausible because if they killed 20-40,000 Hungarians when Hungarians were barely enemies at all, they must have killed many more Croatians (Ustashe and their family members and sympathizers) who were probably more hated enemies. But things could be more complex, what with Tito being Croatian himself.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    More research needs to be done the number of those killed and that requires a lot more digs and explorations along the route of the Death Marches. I tend to give conservative estimates so as not to engage in unnecessary alarmism. Time will tell.
  70. @reiner Tor

    A median estimate of 50,000 Croatians were massacred at the end of the war during the Death Marches. 10s of thousands more were imprisoned in forced labour camps.
     
    I read somewhere 100,000, but maybe it was only 50,000. I personally found the 100,000 estimate more plausible because if they killed 20-40,000 Hungarians when Hungarians were barely enemies at all, they must have killed many more Croatians (Ustashe and their family members and sympathizers) who were probably more hated enemies. But things could be more complex, what with Tito being Croatian himself.

    More research needs to be done the number of those killed and that requires a lot more digs and explorations along the route of the Death Marches. I tend to give conservative estimates so as not to engage in unnecessary alarmism. Time will tell.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As far as I know most Hungarians were killed in camps that were supposed to be internment or forced labor camps, but either out of negligence or on purpose the Yugoslav authorities failed to provide much in the way of feeding the inmates, who quickly died off as a result. I think not much attempt was made to make the inmates actually do some work, so these camps were essentially death camps with no other purpose than to kill all the prisoners.
  71. @Mark Eugenikos
    Great, another comment from the planet "I have no idea what I'm talking about".

    Fact: Serbia was a terrorist pariah state during the entire time it was independent in the 20th century.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Fact #2: you still have no clue what you're talking about.
  72. @Marcus
    Fact: Serbia was a terrorist pariah state during the entire time it was independent in the 20th century.

    Fact #2: you still have no clue what you’re talking about.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    This 'Marcus' dolt is exhibit A of the failures of American education. Really embarrassing to behold.
  73. @Niccolo Salo
    More research needs to be done the number of those killed and that requires a lot more digs and explorations along the route of the Death Marches. I tend to give conservative estimates so as not to engage in unnecessary alarmism. Time will tell.

    As far as I know most Hungarians were killed in camps that were supposed to be internment or forced labor camps, but either out of negligence or on purpose the Yugoslav authorities failed to provide much in the way of feeding the inmates, who quickly died off as a result. I think not much attempt was made to make the inmates actually do some work, so these camps were essentially death camps with no other purpose than to kill all the prisoners.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Pretty much, yes.
  74. @Niccolo Salo
    Dalmatia presents an interesting case due to Italian Irredentism that was present there until the capitulation of the Italians in 1943 and the expulsion (and some massacres committed by the Communist Partizans) of Italians from the Istria region next door to Trieste.

    During the National Awakenings of the 19th Century, the scenario was as follows in Dalmatia:

    1. an Italianite urban ruling class forming a small percentage of the population as a whole
    2. a Croatian Catholic majority in the towns and almost all of the rural communities
    3. a Serbian Orthodox minority which formed a majority in the northeast of Dalmatia

    The Italians allied with the Serbs to create an autonomist movement which through the small franchise of those days allowed them to hold onto power until late in the century against the Croatian nationalists who sought to unite Dalmatia with Croatia-Slavonia into its own united body under the Habsburg Crown. Croatia-Slavonia was under the Magyars while Dalmatia was ruled by the Austrians.

    When the Italians only managed to get the city of Zadar (Zara) in Dalmatia awarded to them post-WW1, they naturally harboured a strong antipathy towards the new Yugoslav state. This led to D'Annunzio's seizure of Fiume (Rijeka) and to Mussolini's sponsorship of the Croatian Ustashi in exile during the 1930s as a tool to use to break up the country.

    So when the Ustashe marched into Croatia under the protection of the Italians the Yugoslav state was smashed but the Italians quickly rendered the new state stillborn by not only annexing a large chunk of Dalmatia, but also by disallowing the presence of Ustasha and regular Croatian army units from the half of the Croatian state which occupied by the Italians. This quickly caused friction as Croatians in Dalmatia turned not only against their Italian occupiers but also the Ustashe. This left them with having only one choice for resistance: the Communist Partizans.

    At the same time, Serbs in Dalmatia (and adjoining regions under Italian occupation) who rejected the politics of the communists quickly came to collaborationist deals with the Italian Fascists and not only received arms from them, but also food, other supplies, and de facto autonomy. The Serb Royalist Chetniks in these areas went as far as to petition the Italians to annex Serb-populated regions.

    Complex? Yes....but par for the course in the area.

    Today Dalmatia is Croatia's most nationalist region within Croatia (West Herzegovina being the most nationalist overall).

    Very informative, thank you. I was somewhat aware of Italian territorial ambitions since I read the Historia Salonitana by Archdeacon Thomas of Split (a 13th century chronicle, very interesting if you have any interest in medieval history), in an edition by the Societa Dalmata di storia patria (early 20th century)…it was clear from the preface that this patriotic society sort of regarded Dalmatia as Italian soil. But I didn’t quite make the connection to Italy’s actual occupation of the region during WW2.
    Since Tito has been mentioned in several other comments, I’d like to ask you another question: Some time ago I read about a theory that Tito wasn’t really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s. That seemed really outlandish and hard to believe to me, but supposedly the CIA came to similar conclusions. Do you have an opinion about that, is there anything to it or is it just a bizarre conspiracy theory?

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    ...a theory that Tito wasn’t really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s.
     
    Ah, perfect: you asked the question that I so wanted to answer.

    To native speakers of Serbo-Croatian (or Serbian, or Croatian, not much difference really) Tito never sounded like a native speaker. The story went that he had a Slovenian mother and a Croatian father, but he supposedly forgot Slovenian that he learned as a child, while not sounding like he learned proper Croatian either. I've talked to many people from Yugoslavia who told me this.

    Then few years ago I found this document in the NSA archives; an analysis of Tito's speech done in the late 1970s. (Short read, just three pages of dense text.) It was done by expert linguists and it analyzed his speech based on phonological and morphological features.

    The conclusion: no way Tito (the one during and after WWII) was a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian. Based on how he really spoke, he was most likely a Pole or a Russian.

    I've heard other stories that questioned his real identity based on things other than speech (mannerisms, habits, etc.) but speech is the most difficult to fake.
    , @Niccolo Salo
    I come down on the side that rejects the theory that Tito was an ethnic Russian/from the USSR.

    He was born in a region where dialects were plentiful and very fluid. The dialect is Kajkavian (spanning Northern Croatia and is also the main dialect version of Slovenian) and the subdialects of Kajkavian were many back then and only started to coalesce/die out with increasing industralisation and urbanization. Kajkavian sounds much more Czech or Slovak due to its lilting quality and it's different consonant stresses that the other dialects in Croatia, and all other South Slavic languages.

    Tito also spent a lot of time in Russia and the USSR and in many places throughout those lands for several years after he was taken prisoner during WW1. I'm certain that this affected his speech.

    He managed to swim through the Comintern by being the most loyalist Stalinist possible, and new evidence has been uncovered of his time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War where he was tasked with rooting out Trotskyites and other anti-Stalin Marxists and executing them.

    His break with Stalin in 1948 and the fact that there was no presentation of his supposed non-Yugoslav heritage by the Soviets to completely undermine his standing buttress my position.
  75. @Mark Eugenikos
    Fact #2: you still have no clue what you're talking about.

    This ‘Marcus’ dolt is exhibit A of the failures of American education. Really embarrassing to behold.

  76. @German_reader
    Very informative, thank you. I was somewhat aware of Italian territorial ambitions since I read the Historia Salonitana by Archdeacon Thomas of Split (a 13th century chronicle, very interesting if you have any interest in medieval history), in an edition by the Societa Dalmata di storia patria (early 20th century)...it was clear from the preface that this patriotic society sort of regarded Dalmatia as Italian soil. But I didn't quite make the connection to Italy's actual occupation of the region during WW2.
    Since Tito has been mentioned in several other comments, I'd like to ask you another question: Some time ago I read about a theory that Tito wasn't really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s. That seemed really outlandish and hard to believe to me, but supposedly the CIA came to similar conclusions. Do you have an opinion about that, is there anything to it or is it just a bizarre conspiracy theory?

    …a theory that Tito wasn’t really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s.

    Ah, perfect: you asked the question that I so wanted to answer.

    To native speakers of Serbo-Croatian (or Serbian, or Croatian, not much difference really) Tito never sounded like a native speaker. The story went that he had a Slovenian mother and a Croatian father, but he supposedly forgot Slovenian that he learned as a child, while not sounding like he learned proper Croatian either. I’ve talked to many people from Yugoslavia who told me this.

    Then few years ago I found this document in the NSA archives; an analysis of Tito’s speech done in the late 1970s. (Short read, just three pages of dense text.) It was done by expert linguists and it analyzed his speech based on phonological and morphological features.

    The conclusion: no way Tito (the one during and after WWII) was a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian. Based on how he really spoke, he was most likely a Pole or a Russian.

    I’ve heard other stories that questioned his real identity based on things other than speech (mannerisms, habits, etc.) but speech is the most difficult to fake.

    • Replies: @5371
    That document should shake your prejudices about the accuracy of whatever comes out of the NSA, rather than anything else. The theory about two Titos doesn't impress me. Two Rudolfs Heß, now you're talking))
  77. @German_reader
    Very informative, thank you. I was somewhat aware of Italian territorial ambitions since I read the Historia Salonitana by Archdeacon Thomas of Split (a 13th century chronicle, very interesting if you have any interest in medieval history), in an edition by the Societa Dalmata di storia patria (early 20th century)...it was clear from the preface that this patriotic society sort of regarded Dalmatia as Italian soil. But I didn't quite make the connection to Italy's actual occupation of the region during WW2.
    Since Tito has been mentioned in several other comments, I'd like to ask you another question: Some time ago I read about a theory that Tito wasn't really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s. That seemed really outlandish and hard to believe to me, but supposedly the CIA came to similar conclusions. Do you have an opinion about that, is there anything to it or is it just a bizarre conspiracy theory?

    I come down on the side that rejects the theory that Tito was an ethnic Russian/from the USSR.

    He was born in a region where dialects were plentiful and very fluid. The dialect is Kajkavian (spanning Northern Croatia and is also the main dialect version of Slovenian) and the subdialects of Kajkavian were many back then and only started to coalesce/die out with increasing industralisation and urbanization. Kajkavian sounds much more Czech or Slovak due to its lilting quality and it’s different consonant stresses that the other dialects in Croatia, and all other South Slavic languages.

    Tito also spent a lot of time in Russia and the USSR and in many places throughout those lands for several years after he was taken prisoner during WW1. I’m certain that this affected his speech.

    He managed to swim through the Comintern by being the most loyalist Stalinist possible, and new evidence has been uncovered of his time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War where he was tasked with rooting out Trotskyites and other anti-Stalin Marxists and executing them.

    His break with Stalin in 1948 and the fact that there was no presentation of his supposed non-Yugoslav heritage by the Soviets to completely undermine his standing buttress my position.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    I have never heard that theory about Kajkavian dialect so I don't know what to think of it. Tito wasn't the only public figure in post-WWII Yugoslavia from that part of the country. One could hear how native Slovenian speakers speak proper Serbo-Croatian, how northern Croats speak proper Serbo-Croatian, and how everyone else from other parts of the country speaks it. [By proper Serbo-Croatian I mean the ligua franca of the country, the TV-news, Shtokavian dialect.]

    But from what I understand, Tito's speech was sui generis. Not only was his pronunciation of certain sounds (phonemas) off, he was also not using grammatical cases (Kasus in German) correctly. I'm not a linguist so I don't know if that would be typical for a Kajkavian speaker.

    Clearly Tito (referring to the mid-1930s and after person) was extremely capable and cunning. If you read his bio, a few years leading to WWI are like a 'preparing to become James Bond' novel. A locksmith who traveled through multiple countries, working in Skoda and Benz factories, a stint as a test driver for Daimler, learned German, Czech, dancing and fencing. And he supposedly only had fourth-grade formal education, even repeating 2nd grade, and three years of locksmith apprenticeship. WTF?

    No way someone less sharp would have survived internal Communist party power struggles, Soviet purges of the 1930s, WWII partisan warfare, and manage to balance between East and West after WWII. So maybe he had something on the Soviets to keep them quiet, or maybe Soviets figured out that there was more to lose by outing him than to keeping his real identity secret. The only way we'll find out for sure will be if Russians ever open Soviet archives on that subject.

    One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?

    Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven't claimed him?
  78. @reiner Tor
    As far as I know most Hungarians were killed in camps that were supposed to be internment or forced labor camps, but either out of negligence or on purpose the Yugoslav authorities failed to provide much in the way of feeding the inmates, who quickly died off as a result. I think not much attempt was made to make the inmates actually do some work, so these camps were essentially death camps with no other purpose than to kill all the prisoners.

    Pretty much, yes.

  79. @Mark Eugenikos

    ...a theory that Tito wasn’t really from Yugoslavia at all, but a Soviet agent who was switched for the real Josip Broz sometime in the 1930s.
     
    Ah, perfect: you asked the question that I so wanted to answer.

    To native speakers of Serbo-Croatian (or Serbian, or Croatian, not much difference really) Tito never sounded like a native speaker. The story went that he had a Slovenian mother and a Croatian father, but he supposedly forgot Slovenian that he learned as a child, while not sounding like he learned proper Croatian either. I've talked to many people from Yugoslavia who told me this.

    Then few years ago I found this document in the NSA archives; an analysis of Tito's speech done in the late 1970s. (Short read, just three pages of dense text.) It was done by expert linguists and it analyzed his speech based on phonological and morphological features.

    The conclusion: no way Tito (the one during and after WWII) was a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian. Based on how he really spoke, he was most likely a Pole or a Russian.

    I've heard other stories that questioned his real identity based on things other than speech (mannerisms, habits, etc.) but speech is the most difficult to fake.

    That document should shake your prejudices about the accuracy of whatever comes out of the NSA, rather than anything else. The theory about two Titos doesn’t impress me. Two Rudolfs Heß, now you’re talking))

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    I disagree: that document confirms what I've heard from many ordinary people from former Yugoslavia who've had countless opportunities to hear Tito speak over decades. The native speakers didn't think he sounded like a native speaker, plain and simple.

    Unless you can offer a convincing point-by-point rebuttal of that NSA paper, I will continue to consider that theory the most likely explanation for the time being. If Russians ever open Soviet archives and provide a better explanation, then we can talk.
  80. @5371
    That document should shake your prejudices about the accuracy of whatever comes out of the NSA, rather than anything else. The theory about two Titos doesn't impress me. Two Rudolfs Heß, now you're talking))

    I disagree: that document confirms what I’ve heard from many ordinary people from former Yugoslavia who’ve had countless opportunities to hear Tito speak over decades. The native speakers didn’t think he sounded like a native speaker, plain and simple.

    Unless you can offer a convincing point-by-point rebuttal of that NSA paper, I will continue to consider that theory the most likely explanation for the time being. If Russians ever open Soviet archives and provide a better explanation, then we can talk.

    • Replies: @5371
    You don't even attempt to answer the obvious point made in the last paragraph of Niccolo Salo's comment at 12.12 am.
  81. @Mark Eugenikos
    I disagree: that document confirms what I've heard from many ordinary people from former Yugoslavia who've had countless opportunities to hear Tito speak over decades. The native speakers didn't think he sounded like a native speaker, plain and simple.

    Unless you can offer a convincing point-by-point rebuttal of that NSA paper, I will continue to consider that theory the most likely explanation for the time being. If Russians ever open Soviet archives and provide a better explanation, then we can talk.

    You don’t even attempt to answer the obvious point made in the last paragraph of Niccolo Salo’s comment at 12.12 am.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    I just did. But don't piggyback on what Nicolo Salo wrote, offer your own explanation. Rebut the NSA paper point by point.
  82. @Niccolo Salo
    I come down on the side that rejects the theory that Tito was an ethnic Russian/from the USSR.

    He was born in a region where dialects were plentiful and very fluid. The dialect is Kajkavian (spanning Northern Croatia and is also the main dialect version of Slovenian) and the subdialects of Kajkavian were many back then and only started to coalesce/die out with increasing industralisation and urbanization. Kajkavian sounds much more Czech or Slovak due to its lilting quality and it's different consonant stresses that the other dialects in Croatia, and all other South Slavic languages.

    Tito also spent a lot of time in Russia and the USSR and in many places throughout those lands for several years after he was taken prisoner during WW1. I'm certain that this affected his speech.

    He managed to swim through the Comintern by being the most loyalist Stalinist possible, and new evidence has been uncovered of his time in Spain during the Spanish Civil War where he was tasked with rooting out Trotskyites and other anti-Stalin Marxists and executing them.

    His break with Stalin in 1948 and the fact that there was no presentation of his supposed non-Yugoslav heritage by the Soviets to completely undermine his standing buttress my position.

    I have never heard that theory about Kajkavian dialect so I don’t know what to think of it. Tito wasn’t the only public figure in post-WWII Yugoslavia from that part of the country. One could hear how native Slovenian speakers speak proper Serbo-Croatian, how northern Croats speak proper Serbo-Croatian, and how everyone else from other parts of the country speaks it. [By proper Serbo-Croatian I mean the ligua franca of the country, the TV-news, Shtokavian dialect.]

    But from what I understand, Tito’s speech was sui generis. Not only was his pronunciation of certain sounds (phonemas) off, he was also not using grammatical cases (Kasus in German) correctly. I’m not a linguist so I don’t know if that would be typical for a Kajkavian speaker.

    Clearly Tito (referring to the mid-1930s and after person) was extremely capable and cunning. If you read his bio, a few years leading to WWI are like a ‘preparing to become James Bond’ novel. A locksmith who traveled through multiple countries, working in Skoda and Benz factories, a stint as a test driver for Daimler, learned German, Czech, dancing and fencing. And he supposedly only had fourth-grade formal education, even repeating 2nd grade, and three years of locksmith apprenticeship. WTF?

    No way someone less sharp would have survived internal Communist party power struggles, Soviet purges of the 1930s, WWII partisan warfare, and manage to balance between East and West after WWII. So maybe he had something on the Soviets to keep them quiet, or maybe Soviets figured out that there was more to lose by outing him than to keeping his real identity secret. The only way we’ll find out for sure will be if Russians ever open Soviet archives on that subject.

    One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?

    Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven’t claimed him?

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    "One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?"

    The variation of the rumour that I heard when I was young was that the "Original Tito" was missing half of a finger that magically 'reappeared', meaning that this one was an impostor.

    "Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven’t claimed him?"

    The notion that Tito is a favourite among Croatians is simply incorrect. His historical importance and influence is noted, and by most only grudgingly. This is why he will win polls on the question "Who is the most important Croatian of all time?" There is a diehard constituency that still loves him to death, but they are geriatrics who either are still believers in Communism and Yugoslavism, or benefited from the system, or are products of mixed-marriages. This is the anti-national constituency which Tudjman claimed form some 20% of Croatia's population.

    There are more diehard Titoists in Serbia these days for varying reasons but the population that still love him most are the Bosnian Muslims, for whom he granted recognition of them as a people. If not Belgrade then he would best be buried in Sarajevo.

    I was just a little boy in the diaspora when Tito died. When word got out that he was in the hospital and had a leg amputated, my father upset me because he took my Curious George Monkey and in permanent black marker wrote TITO on its back in big letters. I had no idea what was since I was too young but he thought it was hilarious. When Tito died later that month, I think the parties lasted for a week.

    Interestingly enough, Tudjman continued to be fond of Tito even throughout his Presidency. Although he broke with Tito by the late 60s due to his work in the Historical Institute, he still viewed him as a great man who simply went down the wrong path i.e. Yugoslavism. This continued attachment to "Stari" (The Old Man) made him very suspicious in the eyes of much of the Croatian Nationalism Emigre Community and it took a lot of work to get them to rally around Tudjman when the time came to do so. A good 10-15% never did...they just couldn't fathom ever accepting a Partizan General.

    The two key figures in this acceptance were:

    1. Bruno Busic - a Croatian dissident and writer who was assassinated by UDBA in Paris in 1978 for his writings not just on WW2 Yugoslavia, but also on the ethnic breakdown per republic of positions of power. He shocked the emigres by telling them that if Croatia were ever to become independent, Tudjman would be the man to lead them to it.

    2. Gojko Susak - the Croatian emigre from Ottawa, Canada. He took the view from Maks Luburic, the genocidal Ustasha who eventually broke with Pavelic post-war and was assassinated by UDBA in Spain in 1969, that all ideological battles would have to take a back seat and that moderates, Ustashe, and Communists should all unite for the sake of Croatian Independence. Susak eventually became Defense Minister under Tudjman. Funnily enough, his cousins to this day still denounce him for siding with Tudjman "that Partizan!".
  83. @5371
    You don't even attempt to answer the obvious point made in the last paragraph of Niccolo Salo's comment at 12.12 am.

    I just did. But don’t piggyback on what Nicolo Salo wrote, offer your own explanation. Rebut the NSA paper point by point.

    • Replies: @5371
    No you didn't, unless you think "maybe ... maybe" is an answer.
    A speculation which has also been made for a long time, and has more chance of being true than yours (not saying a lot!) is that Tito was a freemason.
  84. @Mark Eugenikos
    I just did. But don't piggyback on what Nicolo Salo wrote, offer your own explanation. Rebut the NSA paper point by point.

    No you didn’t, unless you think “maybe … maybe” is an answer.
    A speculation which has also been made for a long time, and has more chance of being true than yours (not saying a lot!) is that Tito was a freemason.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    So I get it you are not going to rebut that NSA paper after all, expert on languages that you are.

    As I said, the answer is most likely in Soviet archives. And no, I am not catching the first plane to Moscow to break in and get the answer for you. Until those open up, everything else is speculation. But since you haven't offered your view on who Tito was, there's nothing to discuss with you.

    , @Niccolo Salo
    I'm not exactly sure as to whether Tito was a Freemason or not and would have to check my notes. The Freemason Lodge in Yugoslavia took a very strong unitarist stance by the 1920s which doesn't dovetail with that of the Comintern who flip flopped on the Nationalities Question. With direction from the Comintern, they would at varying times support Unitarism or National Autonomy, creating some hilarious situations in retrospect like their temporary de facto alliance with Ustashe during the early 1930s when both were targeted for political persecution by the Royalist Dictatorship.
  85. @5371
    No you didn't, unless you think "maybe ... maybe" is an answer.
    A speculation which has also been made for a long time, and has more chance of being true than yours (not saying a lot!) is that Tito was a freemason.

    So I get it you are not going to rebut that NSA paper after all, expert on languages that you are.

    As I said, the answer is most likely in Soviet archives. And no, I am not catching the first plane to Moscow to break in and get the answer for you. Until those open up, everything else is speculation. But since you haven’t offered your view on who Tito was, there’s nothing to discuss with you.

  86. @Mark Eugenikos
    I have never heard that theory about Kajkavian dialect so I don't know what to think of it. Tito wasn't the only public figure in post-WWII Yugoslavia from that part of the country. One could hear how native Slovenian speakers speak proper Serbo-Croatian, how northern Croats speak proper Serbo-Croatian, and how everyone else from other parts of the country speaks it. [By proper Serbo-Croatian I mean the ligua franca of the country, the TV-news, Shtokavian dialect.]

    But from what I understand, Tito's speech was sui generis. Not only was his pronunciation of certain sounds (phonemas) off, he was also not using grammatical cases (Kasus in German) correctly. I'm not a linguist so I don't know if that would be typical for a Kajkavian speaker.

    Clearly Tito (referring to the mid-1930s and after person) was extremely capable and cunning. If you read his bio, a few years leading to WWI are like a 'preparing to become James Bond' novel. A locksmith who traveled through multiple countries, working in Skoda and Benz factories, a stint as a test driver for Daimler, learned German, Czech, dancing and fencing. And he supposedly only had fourth-grade formal education, even repeating 2nd grade, and three years of locksmith apprenticeship. WTF?

    No way someone less sharp would have survived internal Communist party power struggles, Soviet purges of the 1930s, WWII partisan warfare, and manage to balance between East and West after WWII. So maybe he had something on the Soviets to keep them quiet, or maybe Soviets figured out that there was more to lose by outing him than to keeping his real identity secret. The only way we'll find out for sure will be if Russians ever open Soviet archives on that subject.

    One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?

    Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven't claimed him?

    “One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?”

    The variation of the rumour that I heard when I was young was that the “Original Tito” was missing half of a finger that magically ‘reappeared’, meaning that this one was an impostor.

    “Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven’t claimed him?”

    The notion that Tito is a favourite among Croatians is simply incorrect. His historical importance and influence is noted, and by most only grudgingly. This is why he will win polls on the question “Who is the most important Croatian of all time?” There is a diehard constituency that still loves him to death, but they are geriatrics who either are still believers in Communism and Yugoslavism, or benefited from the system, or are products of mixed-marriages. This is the anti-national constituency which Tudjman claimed form some 20% of Croatia’s population.

    There are more diehard Titoists in Serbia these days for varying reasons but the population that still love him most are the Bosnian Muslims, for whom he granted recognition of them as a people. If not Belgrade then he would best be buried in Sarajevo.

    I was just a little boy in the diaspora when Tito died. When word got out that he was in the hospital and had a leg amputated, my father upset me because he took my Curious George Monkey and in permanent black marker wrote TITO on its back in big letters. I had no idea what was since I was too young but he thought it was hilarious. When Tito died later that month, I think the parties lasted for a week.

    Interestingly enough, Tudjman continued to be fond of Tito even throughout his Presidency. Although he broke with Tito by the late 60s due to his work in the Historical Institute, he still viewed him as a great man who simply went down the wrong path i.e. Yugoslavism. This continued attachment to “Stari” (The Old Man) made him very suspicious in the eyes of much of the Croatian Nationalism Emigre Community and it took a lot of work to get them to rally around Tudjman when the time came to do so. A good 10-15% never did…they just couldn’t fathom ever accepting a Partizan General.

    The two key figures in this acceptance were:

    1. Bruno Busic – a Croatian dissident and writer who was assassinated by UDBA in Paris in 1978 for his writings not just on WW2 Yugoslavia, but also on the ethnic breakdown per republic of positions of power. He shocked the emigres by telling them that if Croatia were ever to become independent, Tudjman would be the man to lead them to it.

    2. Gojko Susak – the Croatian emigre from Ottawa, Canada. He took the view from Maks Luburic, the genocidal Ustasha who eventually broke with Pavelic post-war and was assassinated by UDBA in Spain in 1969, that all ideological battles would have to take a back seat and that moderates, Ustashe, and Communists should all unite for the sake of Croatian Independence. Susak eventually became Defense Minister under Tudjman. Funnily enough, his cousins to this day still denounce him for siding with Tudjman “that Partizan!”.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    I heard the story about missing half of a finger too, and how supposedly when Tito went back to his village after WWII some old aunt saw him and said "you're not our Joze, he was missing half a finger" and how the old aunt suddenly died that night. But that is all hearsay, so I didn't want to mention it. Glad to see we got our hearsay from the same source. :)
  87. @5371
    No you didn't, unless you think "maybe ... maybe" is an answer.
    A speculation which has also been made for a long time, and has more chance of being true than yours (not saying a lot!) is that Tito was a freemason.

    I’m not exactly sure as to whether Tito was a Freemason or not and would have to check my notes. The Freemason Lodge in Yugoslavia took a very strong unitarist stance by the 1920s which doesn’t dovetail with that of the Comintern who flip flopped on the Nationalities Question. With direction from the Comintern, they would at varying times support Unitarism or National Autonomy, creating some hilarious situations in retrospect like their temporary de facto alliance with Ustashe during the early 1930s when both were targeted for political persecution by the Royalist Dictatorship.

  88. (I still can’t figure out how to use blockquotes here. I’m using Firefox).

    “I have never heard that theory about Kajkavian dialect so I don’t know what to think of it. Tito wasn’t the only public figure in post-WWII Yugoslavia from that part of the country. One could hear how native Slovenian speakers speak proper Serbo-Croatian, how northern Croats speak proper Serbo-Croatian, and how everyone else from other parts of the country speaks it. [By proper Serbo-Croatian I mean the ligua franca of the country, the TV-news, Shtokavian dialect.]

    But from what I understand, Tito’s speech was sui generis. Not only was his pronunciation of certain sounds (phonemas) off, he was also not using grammatical cases (Kasus in German) correctly. I’m not a linguist so I don’t know if that would be typical for a Kajkavian speaker.”

    Tito wasn’t the only figure in post-WW2 YU from that part of the country, but he was certainly the only public figure who had little education in the linguistic standards (Shtokavian) since he was a 4th grade dropout. His time in Croatia prior to being mobilized was spent in varying Kajakvian areas such as Zagorje and Sisak. His exposure to Shtokavian was limited and he probably only had his first real exposure during WW1, albeit briefly. His immersion in Shtokavian only took place AFTER he returned from the USSR, meaning that he was already close to being 30 years old.

    As follows:

    1. grew up as a very poor peasant in a remote area with micro-sub-dialects belonging to a minority dialect
    2. 4th grade drop out meaning that his exposure to standardized Croatian was close to nil
    3. spoke not only a highly regionalized subdialect, but also was of half-stock as his mother was Slovene and no doubt exposed him to the subdialect across the river
    4. worked as a locksmith in Sisak, another Kajkavian-speaking area
    5. taken prisoner during WW1 and spent close to a decade across Russia, going as far as to start a family there
    6. returns to Yugoslavia, formally joins the party and engages in conspiratorial work, thus exposing him to the Shtokavian Dialect which covers most of Royalist Yugoslavia and is the basis of standardized Croatian and Serbian

    IMO, had Tito pursued education much further he would have lost his highly-regional dialect and all of the characteristics of it minus a few ill-placed stresses and some regional words and sayings. His introduction to standardized Croatian/Serbian in social settings came late in life which would go a long way in explaining why he sounded odd to the majority of Croatian speakers and to all Serbs, Montenegrins and Bosnian Muslims.

    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    That's plausible. But then I find the NSA version plausible too, so I'm just not going to have a definitive opinion on this.

    What's really fascinating though is, if Tito really had so little formal education, how was he able to pick up all of those skills: foreign languages, mechanics, driving, fencing, dancing, playing piano, etc.? Imagine if this were in England: some prole from Cardiff with 4th grade education learns all those James Bond skills, and then becomes Field Marshall Montgomery, and then the Prime Minister, and he keeps it for 30+ years? How likely is that?

    Either he was off the charts smart (possible), or he had a lot more formal education and polish than he was letting on. To me the latter seems more likely. Maybe that's why he was able to herd the cats in Yugoslavia so well: because he wasn't really one of them. Again, this is all speculation.

    Re: the Titoism today, I can sort of understand that on the level of the common man. Objectively life in Tito's Yugoslavia was quite decent, from what I know. They valued their independence and they owned whatever they had, and the country and its leader were treated with respect. Nowadays in all of the former Yugoslavia countries (with Slovenia a possible exception) anything of value is owned either by foreign corporations or local mafia, primitive capitalism is much harsher on workers' rights, middle class has shrunk, and debt has skyrocketed. Their leaders (I'm not even going to bother to look up the names of the current ones), when they go visit Germany or France or UK, are treated as domestic help, while Tito was treated as the boss that he was. (I gathered this from the occasional emails I get from friends, and many of those emails seem to originate in Croatia even though they come to me from Serbia primarily.)

    Anyway, fascinating topic but I think we have exhausted it.
  89. , Niccolo Salo
    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I’m obviously not qualified for a judgement on the matter, but your posts make for quite fascinating reading.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    You're welcome. All of us daily wade through a ton of shit when it comes to history, international affairs, etc. Just because one opposes one side's views does not mean that he should swallow whole the views of the other side.
  90. @German_reader
    @Mark Eugenikos, Niccolo Salo
    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I'm obviously not qualified for a judgement on the matter, but your posts make for quite fascinating reading.

    You’re welcome. All of us daily wade through a ton of shit when it comes to history, international affairs, etc. Just because one opposes one side’s views does not mean that he should swallow whole the views of the other side.

  91. @Niccolo Salo
    "One semi-independent topic could be: were there two Titos, the real Josip Broz from Kumrovec and the one that emerged in mid-1930s? And if so, who was the second one? Another Kajkavian speaker or a Pole/Russian pretending to be a Croat?"

    The variation of the rumour that I heard when I was young was that the "Original Tito" was missing half of a finger that magically 'reappeared', meaning that this one was an impostor.

    "Btw, I see Tito is still interred in Belgrade. I thought Croats considered him the greatest son of Croatia, how come they haven’t claimed him?"

    The notion that Tito is a favourite among Croatians is simply incorrect. His historical importance and influence is noted, and by most only grudgingly. This is why he will win polls on the question "Who is the most important Croatian of all time?" There is a diehard constituency that still loves him to death, but they are geriatrics who either are still believers in Communism and Yugoslavism, or benefited from the system, or are products of mixed-marriages. This is the anti-national constituency which Tudjman claimed form some 20% of Croatia's population.

    There are more diehard Titoists in Serbia these days for varying reasons but the population that still love him most are the Bosnian Muslims, for whom he granted recognition of them as a people. If not Belgrade then he would best be buried in Sarajevo.

    I was just a little boy in the diaspora when Tito died. When word got out that he was in the hospital and had a leg amputated, my father upset me because he took my Curious George Monkey and in permanent black marker wrote TITO on its back in big letters. I had no idea what was since I was too young but he thought it was hilarious. When Tito died later that month, I think the parties lasted for a week.

    Interestingly enough, Tudjman continued to be fond of Tito even throughout his Presidency. Although he broke with Tito by the late 60s due to his work in the Historical Institute, he still viewed him as a great man who simply went down the wrong path i.e. Yugoslavism. This continued attachment to "Stari" (The Old Man) made him very suspicious in the eyes of much of the Croatian Nationalism Emigre Community and it took a lot of work to get them to rally around Tudjman when the time came to do so. A good 10-15% never did...they just couldn't fathom ever accepting a Partizan General.

    The two key figures in this acceptance were:

    1. Bruno Busic - a Croatian dissident and writer who was assassinated by UDBA in Paris in 1978 for his writings not just on WW2 Yugoslavia, but also on the ethnic breakdown per republic of positions of power. He shocked the emigres by telling them that if Croatia were ever to become independent, Tudjman would be the man to lead them to it.

    2. Gojko Susak - the Croatian emigre from Ottawa, Canada. He took the view from Maks Luburic, the genocidal Ustasha who eventually broke with Pavelic post-war and was assassinated by UDBA in Spain in 1969, that all ideological battles would have to take a back seat and that moderates, Ustashe, and Communists should all unite for the sake of Croatian Independence. Susak eventually became Defense Minister under Tudjman. Funnily enough, his cousins to this day still denounce him for siding with Tudjman "that Partizan!".

    I heard the story about missing half of a finger too, and how supposedly when Tito went back to his village after WWII some old aunt saw him and said “you’re not our Joze, he was missing half a finger” and how the old aunt suddenly died that night. But that is all hearsay, so I didn’t want to mention it. Glad to see we got our hearsay from the same source. 🙂

  92. @Niccolo Salo
    (I still can't figure out how to use blockquotes here. I'm using Firefox).

    "I have never heard that theory about Kajkavian dialect so I don’t know what to think of it. Tito wasn’t the only public figure in post-WWII Yugoslavia from that part of the country. One could hear how native Slovenian speakers speak proper Serbo-Croatian, how northern Croats speak proper Serbo-Croatian, and how everyone else from other parts of the country speaks it. [By proper Serbo-Croatian I mean the ligua franca of the country, the TV-news, Shtokavian dialect.]

    But from what I understand, Tito’s speech was sui generis. Not only was his pronunciation of certain sounds (phonemas) off, he was also not using grammatical cases (Kasus in German) correctly. I’m not a linguist so I don’t know if that would be typical for a Kajkavian speaker."

    Tito wasn't the only figure in post-WW2 YU from that part of the country, but he was certainly the only public figure who had little education in the linguistic standards (Shtokavian) since he was a 4th grade dropout. His time in Croatia prior to being mobilized was spent in varying Kajakvian areas such as Zagorje and Sisak. His exposure to Shtokavian was limited and he probably only had his first real exposure during WW1, albeit briefly. His immersion in Shtokavian only took place AFTER he returned from the USSR, meaning that he was already close to being 30 years old.

    As follows:

    1. grew up as a very poor peasant in a remote area with micro-sub-dialects belonging to a minority dialect
    2. 4th grade drop out meaning that his exposure to standardized Croatian was close to nil
    3. spoke not only a highly regionalized subdialect, but also was of half-stock as his mother was Slovene and no doubt exposed him to the subdialect across the river
    4. worked as a locksmith in Sisak, another Kajkavian-speaking area
    5. taken prisoner during WW1 and spent close to a decade across Russia, going as far as to start a family there
    6. returns to Yugoslavia, formally joins the party and engages in conspiratorial work, thus exposing him to the Shtokavian Dialect which covers most of Royalist Yugoslavia and is the basis of standardized Croatian and Serbian

    IMO, had Tito pursued education much further he would have lost his highly-regional dialect and all of the characteristics of it minus a few ill-placed stresses and some regional words and sayings. His introduction to standardized Croatian/Serbian in social settings came late in life which would go a long way in explaining why he sounded odd to the majority of Croatian speakers and to all Serbs, Montenegrins and Bosnian Muslims.

    That’s plausible. But then I find the NSA version plausible too, so I’m just not going to have a definitive opinion on this.

    What’s really fascinating though is, if Tito really had so little formal education, how was he able to pick up all of those skills: foreign languages, mechanics, driving, fencing, dancing, playing piano, etc.? Imagine if this were in England: some prole from Cardiff with 4th grade education learns all those James Bond skills, and then becomes Field Marshall Montgomery, and then the Prime Minister, and he keeps it for 30+ years? How likely is that?

    Either he was off the charts smart (possible), or he had a lot more formal education and polish than he was letting on. To me the latter seems more likely. Maybe that’s why he was able to herd the cats in Yugoslavia so well: because he wasn’t really one of them. Again, this is all speculation.

    Re: the Titoism today, I can sort of understand that on the level of the common man. Objectively life in Tito’s Yugoslavia was quite decent, from what I know. They valued their independence and they owned whatever they had, and the country and its leader were treated with respect. Nowadays in all of the former Yugoslavia countries (with Slovenia a possible exception) anything of value is owned either by foreign corporations or local mafia, primitive capitalism is much harsher on workers’ rights, middle class has shrunk, and debt has skyrocketed. Their leaders (I’m not even going to bother to look up the names of the current ones), when they go visit Germany or France or UK, are treated as domestic help, while Tito was treated as the boss that he was. (I gathered this from the occasional emails I get from friends, and many of those emails seem to originate in Croatia even though they come to me from Serbia primarily.)

    Anyway, fascinating topic but I think we have exhausted it.

  93. Tito was treated as the boss that he was.

    During Cold War I, Yugoslavia was officially neutral; in fact, Tito was one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) along with Nasser and Nehru. Since he didn’t belong to either the Warsaw Pact or NATO, he was able to play off both sides against each other in order to maximize Yugoslavia’s national interest. Unfortunately, after the USSR imploded, that all came to an end in a hurry.

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