Croatia: Living the Past, Not Confronting It

Coat of Arms of the Republic of Croatia - by Croatian Parliament - ZAKON O GRBU, ZASTAVI I HIMNI RH TE ZASTAVI I LENTI PREDSJEDNIKA RH which based its decision on the design by Miroslav Šutej F.C.A. proposals. MaGa (based on Decision of the Parliament) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Coat of Arms of the Republic of Croatia – illustration: Croatian Parliament – ZAKON O GRBU, ZASTAVI I HIMNI RH TE ZASTAVI I LENTI PREDSJEDNIKA RH which based its decision on the design by Miroslav Šutej F.C.A. proposals. MaGa (based on Decision of the Parliament) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Like every country and its society, Croatia has a complicated and somewhat disputed 20th century history. As a country achieving independence in 1990s, Croatia was present on the historical and geographical crossroads of various empires and states, like Austro-Hungarian and Turkish Empires. Through a long process of the complete formation of its national identities through culture, art, religion and political struggle, Croatia was a relatively dependent entity for a long time, either in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kingdom of Yugoslavia or socialist Yugoslavia.

When socialist Yugoslavia fell apart, or was torn apart (as some historians claim), falling into civil and international war, Croatia, as well as some other former Yugoslav countries, looked back into its past in order to find its foundations, on which it can historically, ideologically and, most importantly, symbolically lay on. Today, Croatian society faces considerable historical revisionism or even forgery – especially with regard to remembering the crimes at Jasenovac concentration camp.

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