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Thursday, September 30, 2004

CROATIAN PORTRAITS: PETAR ZRINSKI AND FRAN KRSTO FRANKOPAN

PETAR ZRINSKI AND FRAN KRSTO FRANKOPAN
(1825-1871)



by Dr. Vinko Grubisic


"He who dies honourably lives forever".


Frank Krsto Frankopan



I

The year l971 is the anniversary of Croatia's jubilee, a time to remember its greatness and to inquire solemnly about its past and present because never more than at this very moment has it been so urgent to think about ourselves. Who we are and where we came from are questions that can surly help us to find the answer to what is our ultimate and single purpose. And precisely to inquire about the glorious and noble Croatian families of the Zrinski and Frankopan is the proper concern of an inquiry into the destiny of the Croatian nation as a whole: its endeavours, failures, defeats but also its glory.

Perhaps someone will argue that with such historical greatness we don't need a myth. "We were once Trojans", we can say with Virgil, adding to this all our illustrious self-reliance and valour in the face of every attack, every act of ill-will meant to obliterate Croatia from the face of the earth. We shall see that our defeats throughout history are worthy of consideration and indeed of urgent inquiry concerning the moment in which we are living. History can never be merely a collection of dates and facts, names and plots. Neither is history the guardian of individualism ­ no! It only confirms us in our experience, appearing to us as the nexus of particular epochs leading to our own times, as the interrelation of historical structures. It affects us as the possibility of exaltation, the force of continuity, the justification of our experience. All this I say with only one intent; all our great men whom we celebrate this year were deeply involved with destiny. They lived, certainly, in different historical epochs but were nurtured in the same spirit of nationalism / patriotic feeling/. In the face of sterile Western promises and unscrupulousness Zrinski and Frankopan attempted new directions. Deceived and duped they tried desperately to save the "reliquiae reliquiarum", a pitiable Croatia torn asunder. They believed in the honour and worth of their ancestors, in their own strength. Eugen Kvaternik also tried to find a means of deliverance for the Croatian nation. He dreamt about help from Cavour /Camillo Benso ­ Italian statesman/, was enthused by the French love of freedom. But Rakovica remains just the beginning of Croatia's outcry, her elementary cry for freedom. Rakovica plays the same role as Wiener Neustadt in that it symbolizes the deeper and more ominous comprehension of our national endeavour and the realization of how arrogant have been our tyrants past and present. Stjepan Radic lived and acted in different historical and social structures and had to deal with far more dangerous ideological slogans. The enemy was treacherous and ruthless than ever before, but finally he, like all previous Croatian heroes, died with the full realization that Croats must draw strength from their own sources, from their own wounds. But what did all these victims have in common save that national destiny which more properly belongs to historical processes than to history itself, that original rebellion of the Croatian soul against those tyrants who came to Croatia as wolves in sheep's clothing? Now that we are in touch with our historical processes we must see the necessity for myth. As does every individual so every nation has its celebration. A time to ask about our own destiny and about the importance of our presence in the world. And as long as some persons to whom have been attributed supernatural qualities have been justified by the passage of time, so perhaps they are necessary to us insofar as we observe them still from our own captive and obscure position. As long as their dates remain so uncertain as to question their very existence, so our hero myths enlarge them in proportion as we interpret them in the light of our own times. In our existence as Croatians, myth is simply a way of attiring the truth. Therefore it seems to me necessary before broaching the topic of Petar Zrinski and F. K. Francopan, to give a brief account of their families.

Already at the end of the twelfth century the Subic family whose native place was Bribir inherited the title of princes and later on their power steadily increase so that in the thirteenth century they possessed the territory between the rivers Krka and Zrmanja and the sea. At the outset of the fourteenth century, Pavao Subic governed Bosnia as far as the Drina. Later on the town of Zrin by which they gained the epithet, Zrinski fell into their hands. In the sixteenth century, ban (1) Nikola Zrinski gained dominion over Medjimurje with its capital at Cakovec. Next to them in importance by virtue of their power, wealth, fame, glory and role in Croatia's public life ranked the Frankopan family, so called only by the first half of the fifteenth century because of their affinity with the Roman patrician family of the Frangipan. However, they were mentioned in the year ll33 as rulers and lords of the island of Krk and part of the littoral. An important date in the genealogy of the Frankopan was the date when prince Ivan V became ban of Croatia and Dalmatia in l393. Although their possessions were exposed to every assault both from the east and the west, their power increased steadily until the seventeenth century they reached even to Karlovac.

Zrinski and Frankopan by marriage ties came into closer affinity until in the eyes of the European courts they had become the most important families of Croatia, finally to merge into legend with the fame of their battles against the Turks. The famed Nikola Subic Zrinski who died fighting and won the title of "Hero of Sziget" became the first outstanding example of the epithet "bulwark of Christianity" (antemurale Christianitatis).


II


"Is it possible, Almighty Creator, that such injustice oppresses your country?"

F. K. Frankopan


The Zrinski and Francopan families united in themselves not only bellicose but also literary qualities. Nikola Zrinski wrote in his time a very important book of lyrics and an epic in 15 cantos entitled "The Syren of the Adriatic" (Adriai tengernek syrenaia), an epic using the Hungarian language as a vehicle of expression, but whose inspiration is drawn from the Croatian soul. It would be very difficult to approach this work without being familiar with the tradition of Croatian literature. Among the educators and tutors at the court of Zrinski there lived certain glagolitic priests, one of whom helped Nikola's brother Petar translate "The Syren of the Adriatic" into Croatian, a work which even today leaves an impression on the reader that it is more likely to be the original than a mere translation. Besides this translation, Petar was occupied with other translations. The writer Vladislav Mencetic who says in his book''Trublja slovinska'' that the people of Dubrovnik celebrate Zrinski "all of one accord" asserts herein something that cannot be considered mere literary encomium without foundation. Katarina Zrinski translated from the German into Croatian her famous prayer-book "Road Companion'', meanwhile adding so many of her own convictions about God that one can say that it was in fact her own book. About twenty years younger than the other brothers, F.K. Frankopan was an authentic poet in his own right. He underwent various poetic influences, none of which was able to deafen his own inspiration. In such a vein was written his ''The Garden in which to Cheat Time'', a personal account of the poet's experiences while in prison. But from those ''unhappy moments'' we hear the authentic words of a man of thirty, who sings of unrequited love, of the symbolic life of flowers and of the forebodings of death. However absurd it may sound, he unfortunately knew his poet's art so well (he had been schooled and trained in it) that with this training he curbed his true feelings. But Mr.Kombol himself, in his survey of Croatian literature, although not very generous in paying him compliments, nevertheless says about him that from time to time he left in his poems ''a hint of genuine poetic temperament''. But his poem "The heart bewails the love that it does not see'' he rightly calls ''the most searing poem of our literature''. What continually compels us to return to his poetry is the interest in his language, which he knew excellently. Living as he did in an area bordering on several Croatian dialects at once, Frankopan stands for us, at a time when our language is being trusted more and more as a regional dialect, as a living witness to the way in which our dialects can when amalgamated serve as healthy linguistic base. In prison, Frankopan translated Moliere's "Georges Dandin", the first translation not only in Croatian, but also in any language of this work of Moliere's.

These are just a few remarks about the literary importance of Petar Zrinski and even more of his brother Nikola, F.K. Frankopan and his sister Katarina, Petar's wife. It is certain that in the literary field Zrinski and Frankopan were not behind the other European courts.


III


"O God, you who set Croatia as a bulwark of Christianity, remember our sufferings through the century".

Ante Tresic Pavicic, Katarina Zrinska

Only three centuries have elapsed since the bloody and tragic misfortunes that overtook Zrinski and Frankopan. Therefore one can expect to encounter various opinions concerning them both. For some their names represent only a familiar symbol of tactlessness and idealism, for others only a moral to show that we may never trust our enemies. In both of these opinions there is some truth, but still more speculation. Petar Zrinski and F. K. Frankopan were genuine champions of Croatia worthy of their illustrious forebears in every respect. Unfortunately it is true that there fundamental errors were repeated in every critical moment of Croatia's history. At the time of the heroic deed of Krsto Vuk Frankopan, and especially Nikola Zrinski, the court in Vienna was interested in everything but the prestige of these two families. Vienna was far more interested in any truce, however comprising, with the Ottoman Empire: a staid tranquillity interspersed with diplomatic skirmishes. Only these reasons can justify the Peace of Vasvar. When the Turks were defeated at St. Gotthard and forced to sue for armistice with Austria, Montecuccoli apparently took the occasion to make the Turks appear the victors at the expense of Zrinski and Frankopan. A powerful enemy of Zrinski and of Croatia in general, not only did he enable the Turks with a shameful peace to pillage the estates of Zrinski and Frankopan, but he represented to Vienna every act of self-defence on the part of the Croats as unnecessary defiance in the face of the Turks. In one word that peace of Vasvar (1664) was resolved to the detriment of Croatia's fundamental interests. Austrian emperor Leopold here appears to be quite incapable, just as later on many occasions. He himself considered this to be an act of treason for the very reason that neither Hungary nor Croatia recognized the peace. And it would have been absurd had they done so. The aforementioned Montecuccoli, Nikola Zrinski's personal enemy, proved to be quite incapable in a battle in Slovakia, but when Zrinski offered him his aid, he rejected it. What could be worse to a warrior such as Nikola Zrinski that that an official of the monarchy of which he considered himself to be a part should reject his offer of assistance? It is too bad for Croatia that ban Nikola Zrinski perished just when he was most indispensable to it. He allegedly died while hunting wild boar, but the wounds found on him indicate otherwise. In all probability a Habsburg soldier in his retinue shot him in the hunt, although the opinion persists that a member of the Hungarian noble family of Nadasy perpetrated it. There are many grounds to support this view, the most convincing of which is that at that time there was a contention among the Hungarian nobility for the crown of Hungary and that some of them believed that Nikola Zrinski was a likely candidate for the throne. Nikola's wife Maria had been living for a long time in Vienna with her son Adam who never appeared in the political arena. So with the death of Nikola Zrinski began the extermination of the two most influential Croatian families. After his death, at the end of 1664, the succession to the ban passed on to his brother Petar who was convinced that in this way he could continue the struggle for the lost Croatian privileges. But Vienna continued on the course it had charted, to utterly eliminate the families of Zrinski and Frankopan. Their estates were relentlessly pillaged not by the Turks, but by Austrian soldiers. The generalship of Karlovac fell not to Petar Zrinski, but to his bitterest enemy Herberstein. Indeed, Petar was still from time to time in favour in Vienna, keeping lively relations with the court through the offices of certain secular and ecclesiastical dignitaries, but it became increasingly clear to him that their offices were just dead letter and that the Austrian soldiery was perpetrating its crimes with the court's approval. Although Krsto Vuk Frankopan was a prisoner in Venice, good relations with certain eminent dignitaries in that city continued to exist, the Frankopans being especially honoured there. Then Zrinski and Frankopan began to negotiate concerning the possibility of a joint resistance against Vienna. For a long time France had had a personal account to settle with Austria and therefore it was quite natural that Zrinski, through Katarina his wife, should try to appeal assiduously to Venice and France. They wished at least to obtain by diplomacy what was then impossible to obtain by force of arms. But the Venetians were primarily a mercantile people with the slightest understanding of the idealism of small nations. As for the French, it was more essential that Zrinski and Frankopan cause the court trouble than that there should be any change in the status quo. Louis XIV did not wish any intrigues at the court of Vienna. SO on the side of the Venetians and the French everything remained just a plethora of promises. After this, Zrinski took a step from which it was hard to retreat. The Austrian soldiery continued to pillage even more relentlessly. When Bukovacki, one of the chief commanders in Zrinski's army, returned from his own charred estates, he proposed to go to the sultan in order to reach an agreement with the Turks. Although they had lost many soldiers in battle with Zrinski's army, nevertheless they respected and appreciated them as good and honourable men and soldiers. The chief commander and the Sultan's lieutenant for Bosnia, Omer-spahia, himself considered that Zrinski was not about to waist his energies in main. He was the sultan's son-in-law and enjoyed as high reputation in Istanbul. Petar Zrinski consented to Bukovacki's proposal. However, on this occasion he did not forget to stress the proposal to the Sultan of an armistice under the following conditions: that new territory conquered by them belong to Croatia, if Croatian, and to Hungary, if Hungarian; that Croatia's liberty be respected by constitutional guarantee; that Croatia pay a tribute to the Sultan as long as the Sultan respects the guarantees of human rights and constitutional liberties for all Croats. Bukovacki's proposal pleased the Turks and all went smoothly until the grand vizier Cuprilic, the same one who with Austria's blessing had burnt the town of Novi Zrin in 1664, rejected the proposal. And on the other hand the Hungarians did not agree with this proposal at all, though Zrinski had good relations there too.

So nothing came of that undertaking. Vienna in the meantime had spies all over the empire who kept an eye on Zrinski. They applied on that occasion their well-known tactics. At first, it was necessary to discredit Zrinski and Frankopan before their own people as alleged traitors. Vienna had no scruples about doing such a thing. They went as far as spreading the rumours that Katarina Zrinski had accepted the Islamic faith, that Zrinski betrayed his nation's blood spilt for liberty and wished to destroy Catholic and Apostolic Austria. Count Nikola Bakac, Hocher, Montecuccoli and Lobkowitz, himself related to Zrinski by marriage, all ministers at the court in Vienna, triumphed. They openly instigated soldiers to exterminate the Zrinskis. Seeing all this injustice, Zrinski and Frankopan went to Vienna by order of the emperor to explain to the court and to Leopold I how the names had been abused. They went there believing that by the mediation of the bishop of Zagreb, Martin Borkovic, and with the letter of safe conduct sent to them from the emperor nothing would happen to them. But they were deceived. They could foresee everything but not what actually happened to them. Even the Turks would not have foresworn their oath in order to kill their bitterest enemy. In Vienna both of them were jailed and tortured. During the night executioners brought to Petar Zrinski the false deposition of Frankopan against him while Frankopan was served likewise. A German military officer, Spankau, broke into Zrinski's estate in Cakovac and finding it defenceless, he and his soldiers pillaged without mercy all that he could lay his hands on. He forced Katarina to enter an Austrian convent where the heroic woman, the symbol of a suffering Croatia, spent the last hours of her husband's and brother's life in tears and grief.

Zrinski and Frankopan finally realized the treacherousness of the "Christian" Leopold and the crimes of Vienna, spending their last hours awaiting their tragic fate, in complete devotion to God and in the belief that the idea of a liberated Croatia would nonetheless be realized. See what consolation fills the lines of Petar's last letter to Katarina. All that they regretted was that they should be executed so miserably, that they did not die like their glorious ancestors in battle. They were sentenced to death for high treason. For Petar Zrinski the verdict was read that "he committed the greatest sins than the others in aspiring to obtain the same station as his majesty, that is, to be an independent Croatian ruler and therefore he indeed deserves to be crowned not with a crown, but with a bloody sword". On April 30th, 1671, Petar Zrinski and F. K. Frankopan were led to their place of execution. Both up to the last moment maintained their complete lucidity. "Today we have pardoned each other our transgressions. Therefore I ponder this letter and ask you for everlasting forgiveness. If I have mistreated you in some way, or offended you, forgive me. In the name of our Father, I am quite prepared to die and I am not afraid". So wrote Petar Zrinski in the letter of pardon to his wife Katarina. Frankopan also wrote a very sensitive letter to his wife. "My dear Julia, I would lie with all my soul to leave behind a last commemoration of my deepest love, but I am naked and miserable".

Before his death Petar allegedly tied his hair up in a handkerchief made by his wife, so that the executioner's axe should fall directly on his neck without obstruction. He wanted with his death to show that which he could not with this life, that a Croat knows how to die courageously. Only on the second blow did the executioner cut off first off Zrinski's head. The same thing happened in the case of F.H. K. Frankopan. Yet the court did not rest until the families of Zrinski and Frankopan were utterly destroyed. Two of Petar's daughters died in the convent. His son Ivan, after a terrible imprisonment and torture, died mad. So did Katarina, the very symbol of Croatia's destiny, the woman who in herself combined Spartan devotion and bravery with the wisdom of Athens. Nikola's son Adam died struck down in all probability by an Austrian soldier in a battle near Slankamen, twenty years after the decapitation of Petar Zrinski and F. K. Frankopan. Frankopan lost his son who died at a very young age. His family remained without male descendants, something in which only Vienna could triumph. Se disappeared from Croatian history, political and cultural life two most illustrious families. With their death Croatia became like a widow in mourning.

IV

"Deeds are better witnesses than men"

E. Kumicic, "Petar Zrinski

By now it is not very difficult to prove that there was indeed no question of any conspiracy, but rather of an attempt that promised to save Croatia. Zrinski and Frankopan did not even try to answer the court in Vienna on the terms in which Vienna dealt with them, but rather wished to counteract its injustices with what was then a quite justifiable diplomacy. Vienna had seen the whole danger of such an undertaking whose cause was rooted in the dissatisfaction among Hungarians and Croats occasioned b the unfavourable peace of Vasvar. Leopold knew what was going on. He wished to settle the matter, but above all he wished to exculpate himself. The ministers of the crown proved to be the worst rascals in the entire history of the monarchy in removing their opponents by murder as adversaries to whom even the diplomatic game was begrudged. European courts were ready to promise much, to be involved in intrigues, but small nations serve only as their morsels until they could come to an agreement with the larger nations on the divisions of the spoils. All this I would not even mention were not such situations prevalent today. Two and a half centuries after these two victims, Stjepan Radic fell in Belgrade, the victim of a heinous crime with a remark which tallied with what Petar Zrinski's forebears had already expressed, to wit: "Nevermore, neither in Vienna or in Belgrade".

We could enumerate many more reasons why the undertaking of Zrinski and Frankopan was a failure. There was great discord among Croatia's potentates and terrible denunciations. Personal interest ruined the common good. Although it was natural that Hungarians should stick to diplomacy, their interests conflicted with Croatia's. Vienna, with the formation of a military frontier against Turkey, succeeded in restricting the power of the Croatian ban even in his own backyard and to dismember not only his territories but also their unity. In Croatia then, as unfortunately today, everyone had more rights than the Croats.

At the most critical moments Vienna succeeded in creating dissatisfaction among the Croatian people and diffidence toward ban Petar Zrinski. By lies and demagoguery Vienna applied all the tried and true methods of tyranny and oppression. Even today we must not believe in the same lies that our false Croats would have us believe, that for us the present situation is preferable to being independent.

In spite of every failure the undertaking of Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan to save Croatia by recourse to diplomacy and to vindicate once more Croatia's freedom and sense of justice will remain forever honourable and noteworthy. Their selfless devotion to the liberty of their fatherland even today serves as a milestone and example. As representatives of a small nation, they simply succumbed to the executioner's sword, victims of deceit. They showed the enemy that however much one may accomplish with a sword, one can never sit quiet upon it. Yet still less does their message lie even therein, because our time is so much like theirs, in the sense that they showed clearly that Croatia can live only if it is independent; if Croats are masters in Croatia, if ones does not look upon statehood as a dole from the tyrant's country, but rather as the expression of the national spirit and well-being. This they said with their lives, their blood and their destiny.

Last Letter of Ban Petar Zrinski to his wife Katarina:

My dear heart;

Do not be too sorrowful and upset on account of this letter. God's will be done. Tomorrow at ten o'clock they will cut off my head and your brother's too. Today we pardoned each other with all our heart. Therefore I ponder this letter and ask you for everlasting forgiveness. If I have mistreated you in some way, or offended you, as well I know, forgive me. In the name of our Father I am quite prepared to die and am not afraid. I hope that the Almighty God who has humiliated me in this world will have mercy on me. I would pray to him and ask him to whom tomorrow I hope to come that we may meet each other in everlasting glory before the Lord. I know nothing else to write to you about, neither our son nor the rest of our poor possessions. I have left this to God's will. Do not be sorry, everything had to be so. In Wiener Neustadt, the day before the last day of my life, at seven o'clock in the evening, April 29th, 1671. May Almighty God bless you together with our daughter Aurora VeronikaCount

Petar Zrinski




CONSCRIPTION


In to the army, into the army, knightly elite,

Whomever a dauntless mother has raised;

Strike up the drums everywhere on hears the kettledrums;

The fifes and the trumpets are heard afar off;

Glorious companies are mustering.



Get up, get up, you envious idlers;

In the army, in the army, brave heroes,

Make ready post haste sabres and muskets;

Yourselves and your steeds deck out in chivalry;

Right now come together to the glorious flag.



Dispel from your heart all vapours of fury;

Put before you're the shield of courage;

Dearer to you will be glory, fame and honour

Than one instant, one moment of living in shame:

He who dies honourably lives forever.



Fran Krsto Frankopan

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Provjerite ovdje.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Lucijan Kordić - VIKTOR VIDA: HIS POETIC VISION

VIKTOR VIDA: HIS POETIC VISION

This essay first appeared in the book "Hrvatski Portreti" – (Croatian Portraits) published by Hrvatska Revija in Switzerland (Book Eleven - Munich - Barcelona, 1973, edited by Lucijan Kordic and Jure Petricevic; translation - Vicko Rendic and Jacques Perret).

The book "Hrvatski Portreti" is now available on this website.



By Lucijan Kordic


"Dead poets are not really dead,
They live on...
deep in the subconscious soil."


Viktor Vida



In that deeply indented bay on the romantic promontory of south Croatia, Boka Kotorska, the erstwhile gateway to the Red Croatia, Viktor Vida was born in Kotor in 1913, poet of his own destiny and recorder of the vicissitudes that beset the life of political exile. Vida is the poet of the Croatian exodus following World War II. In it and through it he encountered his human and poetical maturity and left behind his tragic grave as a symbol of the harsh destiny of a subjugated nation.

Since the distant Turkish conquests of the 15th century and then through the Austro-Hungarian oppression and exploitation to the fanatically anti-Croatian tyrannies of both Yugoslavias (that of the monarchy and that of Communism, both Serbian oligarchies), Croatian people became a nation of fugitives, migrants and exiles, driven to emigrate in the first place by a brutal political system and ruthless economic exploitation. In a huge mass movement two million people emigrated from the Adriatic shores to places as far away as New Zealand and Tierra del Fuego, to the shimmering plains of Argentina on the Atlantic shores which in the difficult days of 1948 kindly granted asylum to the Croatian poet Vida.

The populous city of Buenos Aires became Vida’s second home in the second half of his life. Finally he settled down there on Avenida Alvarez Thomas where grow the "legendary jacaranda trees – clothed in blossoms of a gentle violet hue". In the first years of exile in that new country, in a foreign environment, his life was not very easy. He was confronted with the struggle for bare existence. Therefore it is no wonder that the poet drew from the resources of his pat happiness, from his youth, continually harking back in fantasy to his native land: Boka Kotorska, which he could not forget, for which nothing compensated. In effect the private life and "Weltanschauung" of his youth, that nexus of mind and body, became of an univocally rich and charming fountain which nurtured his life and poetry in exile.

The poet is full of overt pride for his birthplace and in a moment of inspiration confessed openly: "I was born in Kotor, a brown fortress, but when they ask me for my birthplace, as fingers seeking and plucking the loveliest flower, my soul chooses Perast – my place of birth was nought to envy white Greece where twins lead horses by the castle".

The birthplace of Viktor Vida is full of charm and enchantment. "Belfries, houses, brambles and cultivated gardens – Out of mounds of shells peer sprays of rosemary which decorate the window sills – The sea resounds which the shrill cry of the wagtail and the pine, its needles tipped with gold. The sea is a mirror. In it one can see, peering between the algae, polyps and molluscs".

The Dalmatian littoral and the Mediterranean panorama or still nearer environment that creates and produces the inlet of Boka Kotorska is a diamond mine and heritage in which the entire universe of Vida’s poetry lives. Without such an environment it would be difficult to produce such a varied and original poetry. Boka’s navy is famous for its long tradition. Its people are mariners who sailed all over the world, but returned to their homes. Vida’s imagination was fraught with the poetry of life on the sea. With the acquaintances he had learned to play the gay blade, assuming the role of Boka’s mariners and admirals. In the meantime he was driven across the sea by the apocalyptic gale unleashed by the war, unwilling navigator and traveller. Due to this he went every day back in mind and spirit to this forefathers, in the abandoned courtyards back home where nature’s chimes echo and the nymphs still recline and chant. In his first poem "Voyagers from Boka" (1932) and "Boka"(1933) the attachment to that piece of native soil is so evident that it could never wither as long as there was life. His two collections of poems "The universe of the person" (1951), "Victims of the times" (1956) and his inspirational works to the last evidence the attachment to his native place found in Vida’s poetical verse (1). In his last poetical works "Metamorphoses of J. R. Jimenez" (1960) and as in a transformation of his spirit he harkened back to episodes in his boyhood, in his native surroundings.

"Free from bread, from the whip and the frontier

I go ever and anon to the Mediterranean

In the radiant dominion

Of the cricket and wagtail."


The poet makes a nostalgic return to his home in the spirit of his ancestral traditions. He expresses this very enthusiastically and gives free rein to his fantasy in describing it: "Behind the doors of a corridor, I go recklessly in silence before a harnessed cloud of glass, those immobile blue spheres around which gyres a seagull observing my movements with a beady eye".

The Adriatic-Mediterranean environment is the focus of Vida’s poetical universe. The Mediterranean represents to Vida the feeling for life, the substance of poetry and the panorama embracing all life. He lived as a citizen of the world caught in the tide of emigration. But nonetheless he is constantly fixed on the narrower ambit of his Dalmatian homeland. In it he sails far over the seas. The sea with its Adriatic aquarelle is for him the correlation between his poetry and his actual experience. All his poetic symbols, images and fantasies have been drawn from those areas, from his childhood and the Mediterranean outlook formed in his youth: "How much of the sea does the small casement overlook." (Windows on the sea) The poet himself wonders and to him only a small inset of that sea is enough to hear "the shriek of the seagulls, cry of the Mediterranean." He remembers unfailingly and with particular reverence how he was "on that sea over which the sun passes, on fragments of glass, his mother rocking him." He wishes to remain forever in those horizons…"Let me remain alone among the algae." Vida’s very vocabulary issues out of that Mediterranean panorama: minerals, aquarium, calcium, phosphorus, heather, agaves, algae, lizards, swallows and seagulls. The gamut of Vida’s poetic expression is imbued with the sea and the salt, with all the prisms and colour of light. As a child and high school boy he grew up and blossomed in those surroundings. Although he completed his further education in Zagreb and became professor of South Slavic literatures, it did not deter him at all from his primary purpose of being a classical Mediterranean poet. Orienting himself along the lines he created a way of life to go with his poetry: "On the sea was I born, but I like Zagreb with the moon on the Cmork." (Moon and Machinery)

The reality of modern poetry, as also the modernity of Vida’s verse, will not prevent the historian of literature from ranking him in his own way among the classical poets who in the genres of modern poetry have found their own particular classicism based on the culture of the past and on the feeling for nature containing in itself the ideal of artistic finesse and clarity of though. The very association of ideas and poetical elements are predominantly classical. In his poetry the Dioscuri and the Minotaur, Adronicus and Palmyra still move; Odysseus and Electra are still alive. The water clock chimes in the labyrinth of time; out of the wisps of fog on the sea loom Diana and Medusa. In order to see how powerfully and anciently the classical world breathes through and permeates the poetry of Vida it is enough to approach the gates of his "Hortus conclusus", "Ithaka" and "Recollections upon Dalmatia". It would be hard to find a poet – not only in Croatia but also even in Europe who belongs to the school of modern poetry while at the same time using so preponderantly the techniques of pure classical poetry. The only poetical inspiration from which Vida drew he conceived of in classical terms. That phenomenon is for him some kind of "Archangel Michael" who "touches the forehead as some down from the firebird, bringing noble verses." For the poet Vida poetry represents some mysterious, inconceivable drama. He classifies and ranks modestly with all classical refinements in a cosmic relief "in which chime the hours of happiness." That cosmos is "the work of the Great Poet who succeeded in reconciling the spirit of geometry with the spirit of finesse." Vida himself considered the mission of the poet grandiose. "Before the poet the earth was deserted." Later he says "I would not give anything for it". About himself he says:

"Here, dear Lord, I am born to blossom

With the heritage of this azure earth

Encircled by icy whales." (New World)


Vida was very familiar with Romance literatures and languages, particularly Italian and Spanish literatures. Nonetheless his poetical world is neither Jimenez nor Lorca, neither Urgaretti nor Quasimodo whom he translated and particularly liked. He was not a Southern Mediterranean. Rather by his poetical character he was paradoxically nearer to the Northern European represented by Rilke and Eliot. He translated Rilke and read the English poets while still a young student strolling through Tuskanac Park and forming his poetical vision. About his poetry the poet himself says, "He succeeded in creating his won style". That poetical style results from his total poetical work, which it might be possible to define as new specimens passed through the mill of Vida’s poetical spirit. That intricate and happily created literary amalgam, which in the case of Vida represents his own poetry, combines in like measure classical dithyrambs with the modern versatility of poetical language. He calls "his preceptors in poetry" Matos and Wiesner. In the meantime no matter how much he resembles them in his poems "Caravan", "Wicked mannequin" and "Fireworks", he nonetheless differs form them as is revealed in the poems "Recollections upon Europe", "Harlem Nights" and "Three Stones or Night of Love".

When Vida wrote the poems "Universe of the Person" or "Captive of Time" – it was not poetry of a universal scope or of one universal world. Above all it did not contain the dimensions of unity of time. Vida’s poetry is very intimate and personal. It is a spark and an echo of his personal universe of feelings experienced in a definite time and place. With all these shortcomings it does not mean that it could not become a universal poetry for all. The poet himself is the focus of poetical experience, of his aspirations and disappointments and of his love. According to this, his poetry could be called "centrifugal" because in the first place it expresses the personal experience of the poet within the scope of his life. But his poetry is at the same time objective because is stems from objective circumstances which have become the substratum of poetical personality itself. Moreover it is concrete, born of everyday life, events and feelings and from dreams themselves, which more often have significance exclusively for the poet. "All those useless objects in the intimacy of one apartment to which the artist’s presence imposes a particular impression." These make up quite a few of his poems, converted by the spark of his poetic genius into a subtle, artistic and highly creative product.

Vida is a poet-novelist. In his poetry he does not speak with the language of contemporary abstract art, but with the language of the story anecdote. All modern poetry tends in the direction of the pithy adjectival phrase, of brevity of content and imagery. Vida indeed moves wholly in the field of modernity, but in the direction of another paradox. He employs freely the poetical novel. He is very interested in the drama of events out of which he takes and analyses entire portions to ten elaborate them in detail in his poetry. Even the poems containing a high proportion of abstract expression have in them just such a characteristic feature. Typical poems of this sort are "Biographical Note", "The Iron Curtain" and "In a Baroque Niche". He is at the same time a poet-miniaturist who with small jewels creates diminutive cameos of brief and pithy expression, such as "Eternity", "The First Dusk", "The Call" and "The Arcade". Here the poet emphatically represents himself as a brilliant classical and at the same time modern rhapsodist who with the enchantment of his verse weaves his miniature tapestry.

One significant part of Vida’s poetry carries explicit patriotic meaning, whether by its localization, content or patriotic accents that can be extraordinarily dramatic and ardent. For the poet Vida, Croatia is something more than the earth, than a national or geographical name. It is the idea and mission, entailing one inconceivable and tragic destiny.

"Croats are – he writes in ‘Spiritual Croatia’ – an ancient folk and as such experience the feeling of injustice as a deep and exemplary distress of the soul…from this stems her eternal agony… I imagine the Croatian land as a white fortress high on a glacier beneath which mists roll and fiery dragons hiss. Here is then Croatia several miles above the earth in elevated spheres. It reigns above the clouds with a hoary smile and white roses all around…"

So much the more in the contemporary world is such a pure and genuine idea and mission of Croatia necessary. For according to the poet "over the great spaces of the globe brute force rules and diplomacy is the teacher of insincerity." In the "The Disbanded Army" evokes the Croatian disaster and tragedy of Bleiburg. And in the poem "European October", he celebrates the Hungarian uprising and its warriors and freedom fighters in 1956. He himself makes his vow about his life and poetry:

"Freedom, I like you as bread

Freedom, I like you as a star and bird

Freedom, I like you as a beloved dream."

(Freedom)


His cult of freedom grew to such an extent that the voluntarily ranked himself among the conspirators and warriors whose destiny is clearly determined and sealed. "Never will I surrender – In the fight I will fall" (Warrior’s Destiny).

Vida could be considered without hesitation as a religious poet. It would be hard to find a poet of his generation and calibre who was so deeply and intricately connected with the ideas of deity and the sacrosanctity of human life. His poetical piety is not so obvious and forceful, being neither official nor traditional, but rather a personal and composite part of his poetical élan. In his religious poems – although in essence none of them were created with this purpose in mind – there are some mystical accents. This is all the more significant because when Vida was a student he belonged to the left although he came from a very religious Catholic background. In this respect his emigration and its variety of experiences enabled him to develop his poetical talent to the full and to preserve his original love for his fatherland. The scope of his religious comprehension underwent a change. His poems are the most authentic attestations of these changes. With his religious enthusiasm he traverses the whole spectrum of life’s reality. He descends to the miner in the mine, among machines and mechanics praising God who "with the fire of his heart melts the glacier of indifference"(Mine). God is present everywhere even in the most hushed life, in all things for which "the Almighty with his finger describes the limits" (Hushed Life). And when poverty looms over the earth and darkness descends then the poet cries out to his God…"invisible, obscure, immortal one who is hidden behind the architrave" to sculpture "a spark of light." There are moments when the poet finally feels concretely God’s presence reflected as in a mirror"(Burning Bush). Vida feels the need for a single spiritual culmination. In the poem "The Ladder" he states his case with the following symbolism: "Last night I dreamt of Jacob’s ladder rising out of the shrubs in the darkness. Those shrubs were my heart." Here the culminating point of his religious conception and enthusiasm has been reached. The piety of Vida from time to time takes the form of the ardent monastic mystic. St. Francis is particularly near to him and he recurs time and again to the image of the saint. "Umbria, sacred Umbria, Franciscan, bluish in the distance (Autumn in Umbria). With Vida’s tragic death his "summa poetica" comes to an end, just at the time when on the soil of the fatherland new movements, new lights on the cultural and literary horizons began to emerge.

Vida was not only a poet but also a very prominent prose writer and essayist of incontestable quality. In poetry he was for the most part an optimist despite personal setbacks and moments of grave doubt. He was a "bon viveur", full of effusive charm who nevertheless by a grey autumn morning disappeared under the wheels of a running locomotive – perhaps for the reason that everyone has "his particular death" (Rilke). And often it is enough that only one bolt in the motor of one’s life bursts loose…and the motor stops forever. Or perhaps that bloody death was the fatal reward of the poet’s unlimited sensitivity. At the appointed time he was unable to carry the world on his shoulders. This is not the first time a Croatian writer died far from his people. For Croats are scattered all over the globe. In 1910 Janko Polic Kamov died in Barcelona. Ljubo Wiesner, "a typical scion of Zagreb" died in Rome in 1951. Srecko Karaman was buried in Buenos Aires in 1964 while Fran Mazuranic, a romantic son of Croatia, surpassed all in his sufferings and death in exile. So the exodus of immigrants from Croatia included its poets as well. The hard lot of the exile was not spared them. These Croatian poets represented themselves as the voice of their nation’s higher life, as heralds of its faith in it own ideals. Trumpeters of our national identity throughout the continents they proclaimed that word which we designate by the magic name of freedom.

In that gallery of immortal Croatian bards, seers and prophets of the nation, of messengers of the enslavement of the motherland, belongs also this Apolline victim on his Parnassian height. This religious poet issued forth from the sunny soil of Dalmatian Croatia at Boka Kotorska – the poet Viktor Vida on whose grave in Buenos Aires, in the Chacarita cemetery, is engraved the inscription: "Ars longs, vita brevis" (2). That is, above the exhumed and premature grave rises the inextinguished beacon of his ineradicable and irresistible poetical words.




SPIRITUAL CROATIA

All the earthly experiences undergone by Croatia reflect on her own significance. Her true national character corresponds more to the formations, which gleam at us from the depths of eternity, as stalagmites in bluish caves, the deposits of geological millennia, than to the political expediencies of empirical reality.

She became acquainted with politics "par excellence" at an early age, in the Machiavellian world of Byzantine treachery. Now she is entangled like a Cinderella in a web of ugly intrigue trammelled by her envious sisters. As long as these suppress her nationhood and distort it in false reflections her name will lurk in the subconscious of this world’s mighty potentates, like a long repressed guilt, which an enlightened perspicacity might remove.

Croats are an ancient folk and as such experience the feeling of injustice as a deep, exemplary distress of the soul. On this earth justice is persecuted and Croatia, although desirous of life even in this profane world, finds it difficult to renounce that tenet whereby she is all that she is. In her eternal agony she stands in constant tension between the extremes of Caesar’s claims and those of the spirit.

She was always waiting for the moment when the Lamb grazing among the lilies would appear out of the wondrous portents in the sky rather than looking out fro her mines, arable lands and fields of golden wheat.

We are in a hurry, indeed, but what does a handful of centuries mean for her?

In the end justice must triumph at last, when the hawthorn stake is planted in the vampire’s burial mound. Then the jewels of her diadem will sparkle as a tear of consolation over the heads of her children and her martyrs.

So the mother Helena through her goatskin discovered the beauty of her soul when with feeble hands she questioned the orphan, despising the luxury of the palaces crumbling and decaying as heaps of sand.

I imagine the land of Croatia as a white fortress high on a glacier beneath which mists roll and fiery dragons hiss. The mire bubbles in the ravines and furrows, yet will never defile the holy threshold of the fatherland.

Here, then is Croatia several miles above the earth in elevated spheres. It reigns above the clouds with a hoary smile and white roses all around, as a beautiful woman in the apotheosis and quintessence of light and sound.

In her hands a sceptre; her locks of hair the silvery moon. Deep down below her the iron raven crows late in the centuries.

Viktor Vida



Sunday, September 19, 2004

Setting

Place

Setting is one of the most neglected aspects of fiction; after all, it is merely where the story takes place, right? Right. But every aspect of writing should be carefully considered by the serious writer, in order to take full advantage of it. And setting is a tool a writer can use to great effect.

Because we are trying to convince a reader that our story really happened -- at least for as long as it takes them to read the thing -- having a convincing place for the story to happen in is vital. And consider how differently an deathbed scene would read if it happened in a stark, sterile hospital room compared to a lushly appointed bedroom full of warm candlelight with the smell of baking bread wafting in through the door. The words and actions and characters present could be exactly the same, but the scene becomes very different when it happens in different settings.

Time

Time as an aspect of setting is something we sometimes overlook. But time is as important as place; New York of 2003 is a very different place from New York of 1723 or 3015. Different time periods have different looks and atmospheres, even if most of the buildings are the same. And even a few years can make a difference -- how has the New York of today changed from the New York of 2000? Not only has the landscape changed, but so has the feeling of being in that city.

Of course, what year it happens to be is not the only temporal aspect of setting to consider. How might the time of year change both the physical setting (snow, ice, less colour in the landscape) and the atmosphere (more people are depressed in the winter)? And what about the time of day? Even if it is not necessary to specify these things in the text of your story, you as the writer ought to know. These questions will affect the details you include in your descriptions, the behaviour or mood of your characters and various other things. Always consider what the time you've chosen means; what things result from it being that time and not some other time.

Setting is More Than a Place to Happen The most obvious function of setting is to give your story a place to happen. All settings do that. But we already have some hints about other possible things a setting can do. Remember the difference between the deathbed scenes in a hospital room and a bedroom? Those settings are doing more than providing a location for events. They are adding atmosphere and mood, they are affecting the characters and maybe even influencing events. Setting can be subtle, but also quite powerful.

The Implications of Invented Settings

If you are writing fantasy or science fiction, you are probably going to be using invented settings, or imaginary worlds, at some point. For more information on worldbuilding in fantasy and SF, see the article Do-It-Yourself Setting. Because you've made everything up, you have a special task to make sure all aspects of your setting make sense and to consider all the implications of your imaginary world. For example, if you've chosen to give your world a red sun, what might this mean to the people living on the world? For science fiction, you have to consider what a red sun is in astronomical terms and how it would affect the planets and creatures orbiting it. For fantasy you can be a little more playful, but you still need to think things through. How might a red sun affect the way people see colour, for example? What magical or fantastical aspects might a red sun have? Would the colour red come to have some special significance, perhaps?

In his book Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (compare prices), Crawford Kilian suggests that writers should think about the metaphorical implications that their choice of setting will have. He divides settings into two broad categories: demonic and paradisal. The idea is that a story about a world that is a metaphorical paradise being threatened by a world that is a metaphorical hell has a very different meaning from a story about a demonic, hellish world that is being turned into a paradise. Even if the basic action and plotlines of these two scenarios were essentially the same, the stories would have very different meanings, and what meaning a reader takes from them would largely come from what kind of settings are used. This is only one example of the metaphorical possibilities of created worlds. Can you think of others? If you are going to use invented settings, you should be able to think of many other ways to manipulate the "meaning" of a story by changing the setting in this way.

Possible Functions of Settings

Jack Hodgins lists seven roles for settings in his book A Passion for Narrative (compare prices). Each makes more use of setting than the last, and the final role is truly the most memorable when it is used by a capable writer.

Generic: The setting is without unique features, implying that the story could happen anywhere. The problem with this is that all real places have their own cultural and physical characteristics and these characteristics influence characters. A generic setting will not seem real and may actually detract from the story.

Backdrop: The setting merely provides us with a way of knowing where we are and, though it may have unique characteristics, it does not affect the characters or action. It is a place, but it doesn't do anything.

Local Colour: The story is flavoured by attention to the unique details of the setting, which may give the impression that the story could not have happened anywhere else. The writer may be tempted to make the setting entertaining without really giving it any significance.

Atmosphere/Mood: Setting can be used to set the mood or atmosphere for the whole story or novel. In addition, the settings of individual scenes may reflect the state of mind of the characters. For more information on ways the achieve this, see Get Moody: Evoking Atmosphere in Your Writing.

Affects Action and Character: Characters are more real if they have a historical and geographical context; the place where a person grew up will affect their attitudes and behaviour for their whole lives. For example, someone raised in a big city will think and act differently from someone raised in a tiny rural village.

Place as Character: One example of this is in the old "man versus nature" plot, where the main struggles the protagonist faces are with the environment. In this situation, the setting itself is the antagonist. In stories of this sort, changing elements of the setting would change the entire story. Can you imagine a story about a woman's struggle to climb a mountain unaided being set on the prairies? That story wouldn't work without a mountain, and so the mountain becomes a central character. The story's plot, then, is largely determined by its setting.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The Black Legion (Crna legija) by Klement L.

KLEMEN L. writes
(March 5, 2004)

Hi!

Since I am often quoted on several websites as the author of the article about the Black Legion (Crna legija) which I had written about two years ago, I kinda felt obliged to write here my own corrigo errata about this unit with some new information that I have obtained in the meantime and which were unfortunately not on my disposal when I was writing the article. So here we go....

The Black Legion (Crna legija) was a popular nickname for the Sarajevo Ustasha Regiment, I. and V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade. The outfit was apparently formed on 15th June 1941 in Sarajevo. It received its nickname by the black uniforms that they had worn and which were made from a black cloth which was the only suitable cloth for uniforms that could be found in Sarajevo at that particular time. The Crna legija was formed by Captain Jure Francetic and Lieutenant Rafael Boban, both returnees from the Ustasha training camps in Central Italy. In many sources the name of Becir Lokmic appaears as one of the original co-founders of the Black Legion, but he was mortally wounded near Gornji Vakuf in July 1942 as a Lieutenant of the 2nd Company of the 1st Ustasha Active Service Battalion, so this story of him is unlikely or highly dubious at least.

Originally the Legion was made up of two battalions: I. Ustasha Active Service Battalion and Ustasha Preparatory Battalion of the City of Sarajevo. At the beginning of 1942 the two battalions were joined by the third battalion, the II. Ustasha Railway Battalion. By the end of 1942 the Legion saw extensive service in Eastern Bosnia and northwestern Herzegovina, particulary around Konjice, Ozren plateau and Sarajevo. In January and February of 1942 it took part in the Romanija and Ozren Operations in Eastern Bosnia. By the end of February 1942 it was, reinforced by a battalion of Vojna Krajina, involved in sweeping of the communication line Sokolac-Han-Pijesak, into which she has entered at the beginning of March.

From 31st March and till the mid-of April the Black Legion undertook the famous March to the Drina River, what is also considered by some historians as her most famous operation. At that time the Legion was expanded to five battalions (bojni) with ca. 2,200 men. At the end of April she undertook some sweeping operations around Rogatica area, afterwards it occupied the positions along the border of the Drina River. It was approximately at that time that it was renamed into the Sarajevo Ustasha Brigade (Sarajevski ustaski zdrug) or 1st Ustasha Active Service Brigade with seven battalions and was operating mostly on the operational area of the III. Domobran Corps. In Svibanj part of the Legion operated around Vrgorac and Makarska and in June and July 1942 some parts took part in the Kozara Operation.

During the breakthrough of the communist proletarian brigades from Montenegro and Eastern Bosnia to Herzegovina the elements of the Black Legion tried to halt the partisan advance. She suffered a defeat in the defence of Prozor, but with the arrival of the reinforcements succedded to defend the strategical cities of Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno. At the end of July Colonel Franjo Simic assumed command of a couple of Black Legion companies and took them towards Livno, which has then fallen into the Croatian hands. It should be noted that on this occasion a single platoon of Black Legion infantry supported by three light tankettes took the the entire elite 1st Partisan Proletarian Brigade by suprise and after panicking she was chased out of Livno much to the embarassment of the Tito's Supreme Headquarters. The Black Legion suffered on this occasion only 3 killed and 14 wounded, so this was indeed a huge success and great morale boost for Colonel Simic's men.

In the middle of August 1942 the Legion was having its proudest hour in Kupres, where she had defended, together with the Kupres Militia, the large scale communist attack, inflicting heavy casualties to the attacking partisan force (ca. 100 dead). Regarding the Kupres battle it should noted that controrary to the popular belief Colonel Jure Francetic was not present there or in any way active during the battle. He left Kupres on 7 August 1942 in order to command an Ustasha battalion from Foca to Imotski. Kupres and the surrounding villages was, besides Domobran and Kupres Militia, defended by one battalion of the Black Legion with five companies: 1st and 3rd Company of the I. Ustasha Battalion, Combined Company of the II. Ustasha Railway Battalion, 2nd Company of the VIII. Ustasha Battalion and 1st Company of the IX. Ustasha Battalion. On top of that there was also the 1st Company of the XVII. Ustasha Battalion, but this company was not part of the Black Legion. Fourteen members of the Black Legion received the Great Silver Medal of Poglavnik Ante Pavelic for the Bravery in the Face of the Enemy during the defence of Kupres. Most of them were the members of the 1st and 3rd Company of the 1st Ustasha Active Service Battalion.

Meanwhile, while the furious fight for Kupres was in motion, a small number of other companies saw some sweeping operations around Posusje and Imotski. After the end of this operation Colonel Ivo Stipkovic, former Commanding Officer of the 1st Croatian Mountain Division, assumed command of the 1st (Sarajevo) Ustasha Active Service Brigade.

At the end of August 1942 several companies from the Kupres and Bugojno area were re-formed and under the command of Domobran Colonel Franjo Simic re-took Sujica and Tomislavgrad and freed the communication link all the way to Imotski. At the end of October the V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade was formed from parts of the I. Ustasha Active Service Brigade and some new reinforcements from the Ustaska Vojnica that were pouring into Kupres, Tomislavgrad, Livno, Imotski and Bugojno the entire autumn of 1942. The brigade was officered by Colonel Rafael Boban, thus also called the "Bobanova Crna legija" (Boban's Black Legion). The strength of the Black Legion in autumn 1942 was eight battalions and a mountain artillery battery, which was attached to the V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade. Her operational area again switched to Eastern and Central Bosnia. By the end of 1942 it sweeped Romanija and Podromanija and was involved also in the operations "Jajce I", "Jajce III" and "Tuzla II".

The beginning of 1943 found parts of the Legion in the Operation "Weiss II", while the main body was again thrown in Eastern Bosnian, where she had fought with the Partisans and Chetniks in securing the communication lines and the Drina River Valley.

After the Operation "Schwarz" the 1st Ustasha Active Service Brigade suffered badly in a serie of the partisan and chetnik offensives which lasted in total for a few months and during which the Legion lost several important strongpoints. The commander, Major Milan Sulentic, was replaced by Major Frane Sudar, who immediately re-organized the brigade back to a first class unit with three battalions. In autumn and winter 1943 the brigade fought Sokolac-Mokronoge and Praca-Mokro and was involved in the Operation "Kugelblitz". The entire year of 1944 was marked with heavy battles with the partisans: Sarajevo-Rogatica-Visegrad, Srebrenica, Zvornik, Bratunac, Bugojno, Turbe, Vitez, Kresevo and the painful retreat from the Vrbas Valley. In autumn 1944 it was back again on Romanija and occupied Rogatica, followed by skirmishes at Kiseljak and Busovaca. While the V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade became a part of the 1st Croatian Assault Division under General Rafael Boban, the 1st Ustasha Active Brigade, now officered by Colonel Delko Bogdanic, entered the ranks of the 8th Croatian Infantry Division under General Frane Sudar.

In 1945 the brigade fought at Travnik, Capljina, Citluk and took part in a heavy battle for Ivan Sedlo. It acted as a rear-guard during the retreat from Sarajevo in early 1945 and from April onwards the remnants of the brigade under Lt.-Col. Ante Mamic pulled back to Zagreb and from there further back to the north to Slovenia and Austria (German Reich) respectively.

The fate of the V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade was greatly similar except that it was later renamed into the 23rd Croatian Assault Regiment and fighting heavy battles around Krizevci and Bilo gora until the final retreat to Austrian Carinthia, where part of the men escaped the capture by the British and Yugoslavs, including the division commander General Boban whose exact fate remains unknown until this day.

Very few personal testimonials of the members of the Black Legion were written what alone published. Some short personal testimonials (like about the Battle of Kupres 1942) appeared in the Croatian exile newspaper "Drina", Year 5, Nr. 4-7 in the article titled "Nasi 'crnci'". The Drina newspaper was being published by General Vekoslav Luburic in Spain in mid 1950s. Then recently I have discovered a website with a short personal testimonial of a Croatian veteran who claimed to have been a member of the Black Legion's V. Ustasha Active Service Brigade in 1943-1945. But I have heard that recently one alleged and notorious member of the Black Legion published his memoars about the last days of the war in Croatia and about the retreat to Slovenia and Austria in May-June 1945, but unfortunately I haven't read the book yet, so I cannot comment it.

As far as I know there was never made any poll with the names of all the members of the Black Legion. However you may check for their personal records at the Croatian National Archive, but you have to fill first some paper work, where you have to put the full name of a person you are looking for, the armed forces branch (Air Force, Navy, Domobran, Gendarmerie, Ustasha), date and place of birth and a reason of why do you want this documentation to be given out to you. I have somewhere on my computer a copy of this formular sheet, so feel free to contact me and I will try to forward it to you as soon as possible.

Hope this helps to answer most of your questions.

Yours sincerly,

Klemen

Francetić šalje brzojav poglavniku - dokument

Axis History Forum :: View topic - Crna Legija (Black Legion)



Allen Milcic piše:

The letter is actually the text of a telegram that Francetic is sending to Pavelic from Doboj (Bosnia). The upper part of the text is what Francetic wants the telegraph operator to send, the bottom part is the operator's confirmation of receipt.

The Francetic text reads:

"Poglavnik Dr. Ante Pavelic, Zagreb

Danas 27. kolovoza u tri sata i pedeset minuta sa ustasama i jednim vodom vojnika uspostavio promet Sarajevo Doboj stop

Vulin(?) ranjen stop

Za dom spremni
Francetic"

Poglavnik Dr. Ante Pavelic, Zagreb

Today 27 August at 3:50 am with ustasa and one platoon of soldiers established traffic connection Sarajevo to Doboj STOP

Vulin(?) wounded STOP

Standing ready for the Homeland
Francetic

The text by the telegraph operator reads:

"Predao brzoglasno u 1656 predstojniku postaje Lipljanica.

Doboj 27/VIII 41
Predst. postaje
(potpis)"

Received at 4:56 pm by the Station Supervisor of the Lipljanica station.

Doboj August 27, 1941
Stat. Supervisor
(signature)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

SLOBODNA DALMACIJA, PETAK 15. rujna 2000. - novosti: Ore�kovic i Norac zaslu�ni �to Gospic danas nije Teslingrad!

SLOBODNA DALMACIJA, PETAK 15. rujna 2000. - novosti: Ore�kovic i Norac zaslu�ni �to Gospic danas nije Teslingrad!

DA SE NE ZABORAVI: NAŠ NOVINAR
BORAVIO JE NA LIČKOM RATIŠTU U RUJNU 1991. GODINE, KADA JE GOSPIĆ BIO PRED PADOM
U RUKE SRPSKIH AGRESORA
Orešković i Norac zaslužni što Gospić danas nije Teslingrad!



Početkom rujna 1991. Zagrebom se šaptalo da je "još jedan grad pao u srpske ruke, da su branitelji Gospića razbijeni, a linija obrane pomjerena prema Karlobagu". Kao pojačanje upućeno je tridesetak pripadnika bojne Zrinski kojima je zapovijedao današnji general Miljenko Filipović, te nekoliko pripadnika ATJ Lučko, među kojima su bili general Mirko Norac, te Miro Laco i Boris Preb

Piše: Marko MARKOVIĆ


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Od 12 tisuća stanovnika, koliko je za popisa 1991. imao grad Gospić, njih 4886 ili 38,4 posto izjasnilo se Srbima. Bilo je to više nego dovoljno da beogradski ideolozi taj grad proglase srpskim,
ucrtaju u svoje granice i povedu sveti rat za priključenje velikoj Srbiji. Srpsko stanovništvo na tom području u značajnoj je mjeri prihvatilo velikosrpski plan, pobjeglo iz grada želeći se u njega vratiti kao "osloboditelji", preimenovati ga u Teslingrad i dvadesetak kilometara dalje postaviti carinu prema Rijeci.
Međutim, hrabri Ličani su uz pomoć nekoliko desetaka pripadnika specijalnih policijskih i vojnih postrojbi obranili i oslobodili okupirani dio grada. Gospić je, uz Pakrac, koji je cijelo vrijeme rata bio ničiji grad, jedino veće naselje u kojem su Srbi imali više od 20 posto stanovništva, a koji nisu osvojili. A toliko su to željeli.

Zarobljen general JNA

U rujnu i listopadu 1991. proveo sam, kao novinar, izvjesno vrijeme u Gospiću i Lici i bio svjedok mnogih događaja: od četničkog napada na Gospić i pokušaja spajanja s vojarnom u središtu grada, zarobljavanja neprijateljskoga generala Krstevskog s 24 vojnika i nekoliko BOV-a (borbenih oklopnih vozila), do pregovora koje je hrvatska delegacija vodila s predstavnicima neprijateljske vojske, osvajanja skladišta s municijom, upada u vojarne, predaje JNA i odbacivanja četnika od grada.
Početkom rujna 1991. Zagrebom se šaptalo da je "još jedan grad pao u srpske ruke, da su branitelji Gospića razbijeni, a linija obrane pomjerena prema Karlobagu". Iz Zagreba je kao pojačanje upućeno tridesetak pripadnika bojne Zrinski kojima je zapovjedao ondašnji bojnik, a danas general Miljenko Filipović, te nekoliko pripadnika ATJ Lučko, među kojima su bili današnji general Mirko Norac te Miro Laco, Boris Prebeg i Damir Škara.
Grad je u to doba bio podijeljen na slobodnu zonu koju je kontrolirao Zbor narodne garde i pripadnici MUP-a te na dio koji su držali JNA i domaći četnici.
Da bi se organizirala obrana Gospića i cijele Like, Vlada je s premijerom Manolićem na čelu imenovala Antu Karića šefom Kriznog štaba, što je ujedno značilo i povjerenikom za cijelu Liku. Dotadašnja vlast je suspendirana i sve bitne odluke bile su u rukama Ante Karića.
O tome u jednom od intervjua njegov tajnik Tihomir Orešković kaže: "Iako je Srba u Gospiću bilo 40-ak posto, držali su između 80 i 90 posto rukovodećih mjesta u Općini, policiji, gospodarstvu i svemu drugome. Državnu upravu su apsolutno kontrolirali. I prije sam tvrdio, a i sad kategorično tvrdim da bi Gospić doživio sudbinu Petrinje, Slunja, Drniša i drugih gradova na graničnom području s nekadašnjom Krajinom, a da ne govorim o sudbini Belog Manastira ili Vukovara, da se obrana Gospića prepustila ondašnjim strukturama u gradu."
Prva velika akcija u Gospiću odjeknula je u cijeloj Hrvatskoj. Pripadnici Specijalne policijske postrojbe Lučko i bojne "Zrinski" zarobili su jugoslavenskog generala Krstevskog, koji je s 30-ak vojnika išao u pomoć posadi JNA u gradu. Bilo je to 5. rujna 1991. U akciju zarobljavanja generala Krstevskog sudjelovali su Miljenko Filipović, Miro Laco, Boris Prebeg, Ivan Drviš, Mirko Norac i Antonio Lekić, a presudnu ulogu odigrao je Ferdo Sučić, koji je u travnju 1992. herojski poginuo u obrani rodnog mu Livna.

Raketiranje grada

Nakon zarobljavanja generala Krstevskog, brzo je reagirala međunarodna zajednica, pa su dan kasnije u Gospiću upriličeni pregovori o razmjeni. Istodobno dok su trajali razgovori, skupina ondašnjih bojovnika, na čelu s Pajom Šimićem, sivomaslinastu boju na oklopnim vozilima promijenila je u maskirnu i tri BOV-a ušla su u naoružanje hrvatskih snaga.
Na pregovorima organiziranim posredstvom europskih promatrača, koje je predstavljao nizozemski diplomat Waynents, u ime JNA sudjelovali su general Andrija Rašeta, pukovnik Petar Čavar ("naš čovjek u njihovim redovima") i major KOS-a Tomić, a s hrvatske Ante Karić, ondašnji povjerenik za Liku, a time i načelnik Operativnog stožera, te Ivan Jarnjak, tada zamjenik ministra unutarnjih poslova. Karićev tajnik Tihomir Orešković bio je prevoditelj.
Iako je zapovjednik gospićkog garnizona bio pukovnik Petar Ćavar, JNA postrojbama stvarno je zapovijedao major Tomić, oficir KOS-a koji je nekoliko tjedana prije u Gospić stigao izravno iz Beograda. O njegovu ponašanju tih dana u nedavnom intervjuu svjedoči Tihomir Orešković: "U prvim razgovorima major Tomić je prijetio da će spaliti cijeli Gospić, poklati sve Hrvate i sve ustaše. Kako su borbe trajale, postajao je umjereniji. Na kraju je morao kapitulirati."
Nakon pregovora vođenih u zapovjedništvu Garnizona JNA i potpisanog primirja, obje delegacije obišle su Gospić, Lički Osik, Perušić i druga obližnja mjesta. Primirje je trajalo manje od pola sata, upravo onoliko koliko je trebalo Rašeti i Waynentsu da helikopterima napuste grad. Odmah po njihovu odlasku slobodni dio Gospića, položaji hrvatskih snaga, ali i Zapovjedništvo u hotelu Lika, raketirani su s položaja koje je držala vojska kojom je zapovijedao Andrija Rašeta.
Žestoki napad bio je odgovor na zarobljavanje generala Krstavskog, kao i na činjenicu da hrvatske snage u Gospiću, unatoč zapovijedi iz Zagreba, nisu željele vratiti zarobljene transportere. Tih dana na Gospić je u prosjeku dnevno padalo oko 1100 granata.
Drugi tjedan rujna u Gospiću je vladala pat pozicija. Srbi su svakodnevno raketirali grad, ali nije bilo pomjeranja fronte. Četnici iz prigradskih naselja pucali su nastojeći iscrpiti hrvatske snage, istjerati preostalo stanovništvo i ovladati kompletnim gradom. Cijelo to vrijeme trajali su pregovori i taktička nadmudrivanja. Kad su hrvatske snage konsolidirale redove, uslijedila je akcija zauzimanja vojarne, zapovjedništva garnizona i velikog skladišta municije.
Po sjećanju iz rujna 1991. navodim riječi jednog od zapovjednika akcije: "Kad je SIS operativno pripremio teren, uvjerivši se da je oružje koje je JNA oduzela Teritorijalnoj obrani u vojnom skladištu, odlučili smo se za brzo djelovanje. Pripremili smo akciju ne samo za njezino osvajanje, nego organizirali i brzi prihvat i raspodjelu oružja kako Srbi ne bi raketirali vlastitu vojarnu i uništili sve oružje. Za dva dana naoružala se cijela Lika."
Tada se govorilo da je osvojeno 14.000 pušaka i mnoštvo protuoklopnog oružja, što je znatno olakšalo oslobađanje preostalih vojarni, predaju JNA i odbacivanje četnika od grada. Bilo je to u petak 13. rujna 1991. Loš dan za JNA.
U subotu 14. rujna osvojena je kasarna u Perušiću, istu večer kasarna "Kaniža" u Gospiću postala je vojarna i na njoj je izvješena hrvatska zastava. Četiri dana kasnije, 18. rujna, predao se major Tomić i kompletna komanda garnizona. Idućeg jutra oko 300 zarobljenih vojnika i oficira su, u dogovoru s ondašnjim gradonačelnikom Rijeke Linićem i riječkim Crvenim križem, prevezeni u Rijeku. Među zarobljenima je bio samo jedan Hrvat koji je otišao kući u Zagorje. Ostali su bili Srbi i Crnogorci i nekoliko Makedonaca.

Presudna bitka

Petar Ćavar prešao je na hrvatsku stranu. Umirovljen je u činu generala. Dan kasnije hrvatske snage probile su srpsku obranu u Obradović Varoši, osvojili kasarnu "Jasikovac", jedno od većih skladišta oružja JNA u Hrvatskoj. Deblokirana su hrvatska sela Ribnik i Bilaj, koja je mjesec dana u potpunom okruženju branilo 30-ak hrabrih Ličana. U selu Bilaj je, u odnosu na broj ljudi, poginulo najviše djece u Hrvatskoj. Ginuli su uglavnom u topničkim i minobacačkim napadima, a o njihovoj smrti danas se ne govori.
Jedan od značajnijih datuma kojega se svi Gospićani sjećaju je 16. 11. 1991. Naime, toga se dana odigrala presudna bitka za obranu grada. Operativni stožer u hotelu Lika obaviješten je da je na područje Like upućena veća skupina niških specijalaca s ciljem da presijeku cestu Karlobag—Gospić. Da su uspjeli u toj nakani, praktički bi to značilo odsijecanje Gospića od Hrvatske i spajanje riječkog korpusa JNA s Karlovačkim, Kninskim i Bihaćkim. Očekivao se žestok napad na grad. Hrvatsko zapovjedništvo stoga se pripremilo ofenzivno djelovati, primijenivši taktiku intenzivne obrane. Prije nego što je počela očekivana topnička priprema napada i udar na prometnicu Karlobag—Gospić, hrvatske snage su 16. 11. 1991. u ranim jutarnjim satima izvele napad i potpuno razbile niške specijalce i Srpsku dragovoljačku kraljevsku gardu u Divoselu.
Srpskom dragovoljačkom kraljevskom gardom, koju su osnovali Vuk Drašković i njegova supruga Danica, zapovijedao je poznati Dragan Božović Giška, koji je u to doba među srpskim borcima imao ozračje narodnog junaka i za koga je Arkan bio "mali od kužine". Giška je poginuo na ulazu u Gospić, tek stotinjak metara od onodobne crte razdvajanja.
Kao novinar koji je tijekom 1991. godine vidio mnoga ratišta u Hrvatskoj, mogu svjedočiti da se Gospić herojski branio. Brže i efikasnije nego neki drugi gradovi o kojima se pisalo mnogo češće i mnogo više. U ratnim danima u Gospić se moglo doći jedino iz pravca Karlobaga, pa su ga novinari češće zaobilazili nego posjećivali, a sam Gospić nije imao "svoje novinare". Iz tog doba pamtim i jednu anegdotu koja plastično oslikava takvu situaciju. Dvojica Ličana, Dane i Mane, u rovu razgovaraju o ratu:
— Kako to, Dane, da u svim drugim gradovima naši ratnici ruše srpske zrakoplove i uništavaju tenkove, a samo mi u Gospiću nismo srušili ni jedan srpski MIG? — žali se Mane.
— E, moj Mane, bit će da imamo lošeg novinara — tješi ga Dane.
Nekoliko tjedana po zauzimanju vojarni i oslobođenju Gospića počelo se šaptati o "eskadronima smrti", "crnim listama", "popisu likvidiranih Srba" i sličnim spekulacijama. Spominjano je 120 imena ubijenih ili nestalih, a mnogi od njih kasnije su (ne)uspješno pisali demantije novinama dokazujući neistinitost tih popisa. U nekim kasnijim tekstovima spominjani su i videozapisi o navodnom masakru zarobljenih vojnika i civila. Koliko se danas zna, riječ je samo o snimkama srpske televizije emitiranima nekoliko puta na onodobnoj TV Knin o razmjeni zarobljenih tijela pokraj Obradović Varoši i Kule.
Iz tog vremena zabilježeno je i ovaj tjedan ponovno aktualizirano pismo što ga Ante Karić uputio predsjedniku Tuđmanu. Za razumijevanje njegova stava i odnosa prema podređenim mu suradnicima citirat ću nekoliko njegovih opservacija i stavova. Karić u pismu piše: "U vremenu od 22. 8. pa do zauzimanja vojarni i preuzimanja naoružanja naoružali smo sve sposobne za borbu, proglasili opću mobilizaciju, oformili vodove, čete, bataljone do brigade.
Pojavio se šverc i krađa zaplijenjenog oružja te dolazak raznih grupa sa svih područja Hrvatske, iz Australije, Amerike, Kanade. Dolazi i četa HOS-a... U tom burnom vihoru pojavljuje se masovna ustaška struja i vojska od domaćih i pridošlih. Masovno se okoštavaju ustaški elementi te razni iz emigracije, koji tobože dolaze u Liku po specijalnim zadacima. Svi se ti elementi okupljaju oko Tihomira Oreškovića i njegova brata Ivice, koji radi kod Perkovića u Ministarstvu obrane. Orešković je — piše dalje Karić — oko sebe okupio sve najokorjelije ustaše iz Gospića, emigracije (tj. sinove očeva koji su poginuli kao ustaše.)...

Karićeva zbunjenost

Tu je npr. Štimac Ivica (Ikača), otac mu je ubijen kao ustaša 1942. godine, Stipe Rukavina, koji je došao iz Australije, neki Leo iz Amerike, sin jednog od najekstremnijih emigranata. To su većinom sinovi ustaških koljača. Orešković je sastavio Vojnu policiju od najvećih kriminalaca, lopova i sinova ustaša!"
Za Karića su, dakle, sve ustaše koljači, svi sinovi ustaša — ustaše, dakle koljači, svi povratnici iz emigracije — također ustaše, teroristi i najokorjeliji kriminalci i lopovi.
Pročitavši pismo, predsjednik Tuđman je kazao da je "pisano dosta jednostrano, ali da tu nešto ima" i zapovjedio Manoliću da istraži slučaj. Daljnji tijek javnosti je, više ili manje, poznat.
S Karićem sam proveo dvije noći u podrumu hotela "Lika" u Gospiću početkom rujna 1991. Čak sam mu crvenim Iskrinim telefonom osobno uspostavljao vezu sa Zagrebom, i spajao s ondašnjim premijerom Josipom Manolićem. Karić se, naime, u svojoj zbunjenosti i strahu dok su po gradu padale granate nije mogao sjetiti broja Vlade RH.
Na dan kad je zarobljen general Krstevski čak sam mu pisao izvještaj o stanju u Gospiću, koji su diktirali on i Miljenko Filipović. Sjećam se i Karićeva gubljenja pištolja u toaletu gospićkog hotela i drugih poteza. Naime, zapovjedio je vojnicima da nam oduzmu film na kojemu se vrlo dobro vidjelo zarobljavanje generala Krstevskog s tri BOV-a i 32 vojnika. A izlazak generala Krstevskog iz oklopnog vozizla s uzdignutim rukama, predaja hrvatskim specijalcima i stavljanje lisica na ruke bio je tako željen prizor u Hrvatskoj tih dana.

Hajka počela lani u "Globusu"

Nakon 1992. o Gospiću se malo pisalo. Hajka u medijima počinje u vrijeme godišnjice smrti ministra Šuška, u svibnju prošle godine. U "Globusu" se tad pojavljuje naslov: "Tihomir Orešković imao je harem maloljetnih izbjeglica iz Bosne, nevinih djevojčica, a jednom je počastio ministra maloljetnom curicom od 14 godina."
Tihomir Orešković ovako je to komentirao:
"Centri moći, koji su daleko iznad, upotrijebili su i Josipa Manolića i Antu Karića kao svoje instrumente za stvaranje osvetničkog raspoloženja prema mrtvom Gojku Šušku. Krajnji cilj je obračun sa tzv. Šuškovim strukturama u Ministarstvu obrane, ali i cijeloj državnoj upravi, a u konačnici i kriminaliziranje Domovinskog rata, pokojnog predsjednika Franje Tuđmana i svega što je napravio.
Što normalan čovjek može reći na takav tekst? Meni su najbolji svjedoci ljudi iz Gospića, ljudi koji nisu samo Hrvati, koji nisu samo ratnici, nego i Srbi koji su u najtežim danima rata ostali lojalni Hrvatskoj, a danas su ugledni građani Gospića."


Ustaše od Matije Gubca do Ante Pavelića!?

Slobodna Dalmacija, 6. XII. 2002.

ZADAR: DOMOBRANSKO SJEĆANJE NA "PROSINAČKE
ŽRTVE" PROTEKLO U RASPRAVI O USTAŠAMA

http://arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr/20021206/zadar02.asp

Ustaše od Matije Gupca do Ante Pavelića!?

Uz obilježavanje desete obljetnice osnutka njihova ogranka, članovi "Hrvatskog domobrana" održali su u četvrtak u prostorijama Doma hrvatske mladeži komemoraciju u znak sjećanja na "prosinačke žrtve Hrvata, koje su pale u Zagrebu na Jelačićevu trgu 5. prosinca 1918. godine, te općenito na hrvatske žrtve koje su pale u vremenu od 1945. do 1995. godine". Želeći odmah na početku sastanka razjasniti, kako je istaknuo, "tko je čovjek ustaša?", Pavao Milković, predsjednik ogranka, u prisutnosti dopredsjednika Stipe Živkovića i Ilije Baljaka koji je na glavi nosio prigodnu crnu kapu s velikim U, kazao je kako je to čovjek koji se s oružjem u ruci kroz vjetrometinu neprilika u muci borio za Nezavisnu državu Hrvatsku.- Kroz vjekove su hrvatski ustaše bili korjenito ustaljeni u našem narodu. Hrvatski kralj Petar Svačić je bio prvi ustaša, a nakon njega njegovim su koracima nastavili i Matija Gubec, Eugen Kvaternik, veliki Ante Pavelić i mnogi drugi - kazao je Milković obraćajući se članovima među kojima su bili prisutni i predstavnici udruga proizašlih iz Domovinskog rata. Govoreći u nastavku sastanka, na kojemu se isticalo još nekoliko crnih kapa, o "prosinačkim žrtvama" Milković je kazao kako su na dan 5. prosinca 1918. u stvaranju crvene Jugoslavije pale prve žrtve.- Taj je dan održan mirni prosvjed koji su "razbili" pripadnici crvene Jugoslavije. Ubili su 20 ljudi, a stotine ih ranili. U toj je zavjeri, pucajući s krova jedne od kuća, sudjelovao i djed sadašnje političarke Vesne Pusić - kazao je Milković, nakon čega je uslijedilo prosvjedovanje članova protiv ukidanja ustaških obilježja. Mi smo ih krvlju platili, a oni koji nam ih žele ukinuti su obični gubavci i srpsko-komunistički podrepci - govorili su sudionici skupa. Potom su dijeljene "spomenice" za poginule na Bleiburgu i za žrtve križnog puta.

B. SVILIČIĆ

Saturday, September 11, 2004

"Budak-onaj pravi"

Google Groups: View Thread "Budak-onaj pravi"

Vidim da se nesto razgraktala "antifafalicka" cergarija oko
inicijative za podizanje spomenika hrvatskom piscu i politicaru Mili
Budaku. Zasipaju epitetima dripci (uglavnom neznalice povijesti), pa
rekoh- hajde da vidimo sto je s tim.

Prvo, da nema zabune: Budak je svakako zasluzio spomenik, i tomu se
protivi samo protuhrvatska bjelosvjetska klatez. Da vidimo njihove
"argumente":

-Mile Budak je ratni zlocinac, ergo....Netocno. Mile Budak nije ratni
zlocinac. On je bio ministar u vladi NDH i nije odgovoran ni za kakav
ratni zlocin- nijedan nije podpisao, inicirao niti ista slicno.
Uglavnom se do besvijesti, kao pokvarena gramofonska ploca, ponavlja
njegova izjava da trecinu Srba (u NDH) treba pokrstiti, trecinu
iseliti, a trecinu pobiti. Istina je da je to Budakova izjava, no
njegov verbalni radikalizam, iskazan samo u toj jednoj situaciji (i za
koji je na licu mjesta upitan od strane kolega "Sto govori", zbunjeno
je odvratio."A, zaletio sam se".
Mile Budak nije bio kreator nikakve politike progona ni bilo sto
slicno. I njegova ministarska "karijera" je bila skoro pa-nikakva. U
Pavelicevoj nemilosti od pocetka, nije imao utjecaja na kreiranje
politike te je uglavnom samo figurirao kao fasada.

-Mile Budak je ubijen od komunista zbog............"veleizdaje
Jugoslavije". To je bio razlog, a ne nekakve "trecine" ili bilo kakva
konkretna optuzba. Naivni Budak je mislio da ce ga Krleza (kojega je
on "izvukao", kao i hrpu drugih) "spasiti", dok nije imao pojma da je
i samom Fricu glava bila u torbi. Sam "proces" je bio obicna
svinjarija, a komunisticki kriminalci su poubijali cijelu Budakovu
obitelj (supruga, kceri, ...).

-Budakovo mjesto kao pisca ostaje sporno. Osobno, nisam veliki
ljubitelj njegovih djela, no smatram da je, u okvirima propale
Jugoslavije, bio svakako znacajnijim piscem od tevabije tipa Ivo
Andric. Njegovo "Ratno roblje" je jedna od najboljih hrvatskih
dokumentarnih proza, dok su mu pripovijedke i romani solidni, a
"Ognjiste" i znacajan tradicionalni roman.

I u Budaku prilicno nesklonoj novijoj knjizi, autor je morao priznati
da je komunisticki proces Budaku i njegova demonizacija obicna
montaza. Da se sudilo lege artis, pa i po "kvislinsko-jugoslavenskim"
optuzbama, Budak bi dobio maksimalno nekoliko godina zatvora.
Budakov zivot i smrt su, iako ne bas sa simpatijama, ali faktografski
posteno, prikazani u knjizi Ive Petrinovica :"Mile Budak-portret
jednog politicara".

Gojko Borić: Ponavljanje otrcanih komunističkih optužbi o Budaku - Vjesnik, 16.8.04.

Vjesnik on-line - Stajali�ta

Ponavljanje otrcanih komunističkih optužbi o Budaku
Suđenje Budaku bilo je inscenirano i bez mogućnosti priziva, a osuda na smrt izvršena je vrlo brzo nakon tog nakaznog procesa. Oni koji danas tvrde da je to suđenje bilo u redu, morali bi prihvatiti i sva ostala poratna komunistička suđenja kao ispravna, pa i ona zagrebačkom nadbiskupu, blaženom Alojziju Stepincu. Kad to ne bi danas bilo zazorno, oni bi se tako izjašnjavali
GOJKO BORIĆ
Da se odmah na početku ovog članka izbjegne svaka sumnja, kažem jasno i glasno: nije potrebno podignuti spomenik hrvatskom književniku i visokom ustaškom dužnosniku Mili Budaku u njegovu rodnom mjestu Svetom Roku. Ali ne zbog toga što bi nas to »udaljilo od Europe«, kako reče predsjednik Mesić, ili poradi toga što bi to »vratilo križ na leđa hrvatskom narodu«, kako je izjavio potpredsjednik Sabora Darko Milinović (HDZ).
Također je povijesno netočna tvrdnja HHO-ova predsjednika Žarka Puhovskog da je Budak bio »jedan od pet vodećih ljudi koljačkog režima«. Vrlo je opasan navod docenta na Filozofskom fakultetu Tvrtka Jakovine da je Budaku suđeno za ratne zločine, a on nije vidio »čvrstu argumentaciju... koja bi njegovu ratnu krivicu relativizirala«.
Budaku ne treba podignuti spomenik ponajprije zbog toga što je teško ali ipak možda moguće u daljnjoj budućnosti potpuno odijeliti Budaka političara od Budaka književnika. Da su oni koji vode tu akciju pametniji, oni bi inzistirali da se na rodnoj kući Mile Budaka postavi skromna spomen-ploča na kojoj bi pisalo ono što piše na svima: »U ovoj se kući rodio Mile Budak, hrvatski književnik, koji je vrlo uvjerljivo opisao život ličkih ljudi. Rođen 30. kolovoza 1889. – pogubljen 7. lipnja 1945.« I ništa više!
O Budaku političaru još nije objavljena nijedna znanstvena knjiga. Ono što o njemu ovih dana pišu razni »dežurni antifašisti« većim je dijelom ponavljanje otrcanih komunističkih optužbi. Tvrdnju da je Budak rekao »Srbe na vrbe«, ispravio je Vjesnik od 9. kolovoza, smjestivši je u usta nekog slovenskog svećenika. Treba dodati da je nastala i objavljena u slovenskim novinama nakon atentata na austro-ugarskoga prijestolonasljednika Franju Ferdinanda daleke 1918. u Sarajevu.
Mnogo teže zvuče Budakove riječi o »rješenju« srpskog problema u po trećinama, koje treba poubijati, protjerati i prekrstiti. Neki u to ne vjeruju, drugi u tome vide Budakov eksces koji se može protumačiti njegovim neizmjernim patnjama tijekom velikosrpske diktature u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji. Na Budaka je usred Zagreba izvršen atentat – željeznom šipkom po glavi, a na veliko čuđenje ostao je živ. Neki su tvrdili: zahvaljujući svojoj »tvrdoj ličkoj glavi«. Poznavatelji Budaka kao čovjeka govorili su da se od tada Budak pretvorio u žestokog nacionalista.
Ne treba se bojati da bi eventualno podizanje spomenika Mili Budaku Hrvatsku udaljilo od Europe. Tko to govori, ne poznaje slične događaje u nekoliko europskih država.
Tako je u Rumunjskoj, koja je u svemu ispred Hrvatske glede članstva u Europskoj Uniji, prije nekoliko godina podignut spomenik domaćem fašističkom diktatoru Antonescuu. Također nije na mjestu tvrdnja da je Budak napisao rasističke zakone u Endehaziji. On ih je samo supotpisao, a oni su nastali pod pritiskom nacističke Njemačke na isti način kako su ih bile prihvatile sve satelitske države Hitlerova »novog poretka«.
Svakome bi trebalo biti poznato da je Pavelićeva NDH bila uglavnom kvislinška tvorevina i da su njezini dužnosnici većim dijelom radili ono što su im sugerirale fašistička Italija i nacistička Njemačka.
No kad već govorimo o Budakovu potpisivanju nehumanih zakona, molimo da se uvaži i to da je književnik Vladimir Nazor, čije ime nosi i danas najvažnija hrvatska kulturna nagrada, potpisao brojne nečovječne zakone u svojstvu predsjednika Prezidija Sabora Narodne Republike Hrvatske, na temelju kojih su mnogi ljudi bili osuđeni na goleme kazne, pa o tome nitko ne govori. Žrtvama ustaškog i komunističkog režima potpuno je svejedno tko je bio na »crnoj« ili »crvenoj« strani, jer kazne su u svim slučajevima bile drastične i često nepravedne.
Budak je dolazio u sukob s Pavelićem, njegov utjecaj na funkcioniranje ustaškog režima bio je minimalan, a njegove dužnosti više formalne nego stvarne u stranačko-državnoj hijerarhiji Endehazije. No to ga ne oslobađa sve krivnje za zločine ustaškog režima, ali da mu je suđenje bilo u nekoj demokratskoj državi, umjesto u komunističkoj Jugoslaviji, te bi činjenice bile uzete kao olakotne okolnosti.
No suđenje Budaku bilo je inscenirano i bez mogućnosti priziva, a osuda na smrt izvršena je vrlo brzo nakon tog nakaznog procesa. Oni koji danas tvrde da je to suđenje bilo u redu, morali bi prihvatiti i sva ostala poratna komunistička suđenja kao ispravna, pa i ona zagrebačkom nadbiskupu, blaženom Alojziju Stepincu. Kad to ne bi danas bilo zazorno, oni bi se tako izjašnjavali.
Ne smije se zaboraviti i sramotna činjenica da su komunističke vlasti Budaka izbrisale iz svih knjiga i kao književnika. On naprosto nije postojao prema onoj Orwellovoj kao »neosoba«. Krešimir Nemec je, naravno, uvrstio i ocijenio Budaka kao književnika u svojoj »Povijesti hrvatskog romana« (Zagreb, 1998.), napisavši: »Budak je bio eruptivna stvaralačka priroda, rasni pripovjedač koji je pisao "iz prve", bez naknadnih prepravljanja i dotjerivanja ... Budakovi romani s ličkom tematikom, u kojima se naglašava kolektivni etos, tradicionalne vrijednosti te metafizika krvi i zajednice, najkarakterističniji su izraz našeg proznog "Heimatkunsta".«
Eto, samo kao takav književnik Mile Budak zaslužuje spomen-ploču na svojoj rodnoj kući (ako je nisu srušili četnici u Domovinskome ratu), a njegovo političko djelovanje bilo je štetno za hrvatski narod, koliko je god on u tome bio iskren rodoljub i žrtva svojih ideoloških zabluda.
Uostalom, ako se Budak nalazi u svim leksikonima, enciklopedijama i povijestima hrvatske književnosti, zašto bi bilo koga smetala ploča (a ne spomenik!) na njegovoj rodnoj kući. Moglo bi je postaviti Društvo hrvatskih književnika i/ili Matica hrvatska. Zašto ne?
Autor je novinar i publicist iz Kölna.

Budak, za konac

Google Search:

Dakle-sve je receno na sljedecim stranicama:

http://www.index.hr/clanak.aspx?id=218775

http://www.vjesnik.hr/html/2004/08/16/Clanak.asp?r=sta&c=3

No, za konac…..da vidimo o cemu se zapravo radi (iako to uopce ne
znaci da se moze postici suglasje o premetu rasprave).

1. tvrdi se da je Budak potpisao "rasne zakone" na temelju kojih su
mnogi ljudi proganjani i ubijani. Tocno, to je istina. SAMO- to i nije
bas neka jaka optuzba kad se sve uzme u obzir. Bitno je da Budak nije
ni upravljao, ni inicirao, ni imao ikakva utjecaja na sve to. Stavio
potpis, kao i n drugih. Big deal, nema sto.
Nego-vaznije je tu sto je ovaj primjer opet pokazatelj komunisticke
pobjede iluzije nad zdravim razumom. Npr. sovjetski ustav iz 1937 (ili
6), koji je vjerojatno napisao Buharin za Staljina, je jedan od
najdemokratskojih ustava na svijetu. Opet-pa sto onda ? Uza sve te
savrsenosti na papiru pobijeni su milijuni ljudi. Roosevelt nije nista
lose pisao (samo je pljeskao Staljinu u prijedlogu da se preventivno
strijeljaju svi Nijemci ispod 16 godina da bi s esprijecio daljnji
njemacki imperijalizam), ali je Curtis LeMay (i ostali vojni planeri)
odgovoran za bombardiranje Tokija i drugih civilnih ciljeva sa 100.000
ubijenih civila. OK- a po cemu je to Budak tako strasno odgovoran ako
je bio jedan od supotpisnika nevaljalih zakona koji su bili izlikom
(ne uzrokom !) progona i ubijanja- a sam nista nije naredio niti
odlucio ? Dok je Curtis LeMay odlucio, bez ikakvih zakona, da pobije
na stotine tisuca japanskih civila, i ima koliko hoces spomenika po
americkim zrakoplovnim akademijama. O "bombarderu Harrisu" (Koeln,
Dresden) da se i ne govori.

Da ovo sumiram: Budak je potpisnik nevaljalih zakona koji su posluzili
kao izlika za progon i ubojstva. Uzmu li se okolnosti (marionetski
status NDH i Budakova osobna degradiranost) u obzir, moze se samo
reci- pa sto onda ? To mu ne sluzi na cast, ali nije ni neki
bogznakako veliki grijeh, pogotovo u usporedbi s masovnim ubojstvima
koja su pocinili, bez ikakvih potpisa i naklapanja, totalitarni
komunisticki rezimi (SSSR, Kina, Koreja) ili liberalno imperijalne
demokracije (SAD, Britanija). Daleko su veci zlocinci americki
"oslobodioci" Filipina (oko 100.000 ubijenih filipinskih civila) ili
Britanci (dovoljno je navesti samo dio njihovih zlocina, od Burskoga
rata i konclogorske hrane s mrvljenim staklom u klopi do 2. svj.
rata).

Ukratko- Budaku potpisi u zakonodavstvu NDH ne sluze na cast, no ni u
kom slucaju ne predstavljaju nekakav silan i nezamisliv zlocin. Jebes
te potpise bez potpisanih ubojstva koja je organizirala CIA i Colby,
gdje su pobili min. 20.000 ljudi "od oka".

http://www.thememoryhole.org/phoenix/internal-security.htm
Concurrent with Accelerated Pacification, Phoenix advisers were
assigned a nationwide quota of 1,800 VCI neutralizations a month,
which were tabulated through the Viet Cong Infrastructure Information
System. VCIIS compiled information gathered from all US, Republic of
Vietnam, and Free World units on VCI boundaries, locations,
organizational structures, personalities, and activities. (In January
1969, VCIIS was renamed the Phung Hoang Management Information System.
Phung Hoang was how the South Vietnamese referred to their facet of
the CIA's Phoenix Program.)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SScolby.htm

Colby was CIA station chief in Saigon from 1959 to 1962 and headed the
agency's Far East division from 1962 to 1967. Then from 1968 to 1971
he directed the Phoenix program during the Vietnam War. It is
estimated that as many 60,000 supporters of the National Liberation
Front were killed during the Phoenix program. However, Colby put the
number at 20,587. Although Colby maintained that the deaths
characteristically arose in combat and not as a result of cold-blooded
murder, critics of Phoenix labeled it an assassination program and a
crime against humanity.


Ako je Budak "ratni zlocinac"-sigurno je to u manjoj mjeri od
Churchilla, Tita, Trumana, Kennedyja, Breznjeva, Nixona, Kissingera,
…. Sapienti sat.

2. pitanje o "neodvojivosti" Budaka pisca i politicara. Ma nemoj ?
Michelangelo Caravaggio je ubojica i veliki slikar (isto i Cellini za
kiparstvo). Lenjin je masovni ubojica i dobar autor 2-3 djela o
imperijalizmu (na crti Hilferdinga), Hamsun najveci norveski pisac i
pristasa Quislinga, Trocki je isto masovni ubojica i veoma dobar
knjizevni kritik kasne ruske avangarde, …Sto tek reci o "memoaristima"
Churchillu ili Clintonu ? Clinton je debelo odgovoran za smrt preko 2
milijuna sjevernokorejaca- pa nikom nista.

Toliko o "neodvojivosti". Budak je znacajan pisac- iako je kao
politicar minoran grjesnik, ali ne nikakav monstrum- za razliku od
masovnih ubojica lijevih i desnih totalitarizama-KAO I LIBERALNIH
IMPERIJALNIH DEMOKRACIJA:

3. no, glavo je sljedece: Budak kao takav je samo lakmus za vaznije
stvari. A one su sljedece: liberalno imperijalna ekipa jednostavno
krcmi po planeti zemlji i radi pizdarije sve umotano u apologetiku
temeljenu na prodaji magle o njihovoj "dobroti" I "naprednosti". Ne
radi se o tom da je nacizam uopce moguc gdje je bio (nema vise
bioloske strasti i fanatizma koji potjece iz osjecaja misije, kao i
zelje za ekspanzijom). Ili- "antifasizam" i sl. samo su smokvin list
kojim se peru zlocudni suvremeni naumi i djela- od imperijalnoga
iskoristavanja Iraka do Izraela sa hrpom svinjarija, od britanske
pljacke bivsih kolonija (poglavito raznih arapskih Omana i sl.)- da se
ne govori o megalopurdama kao IMF ili WB, koji su ideoloski isto tako
temeljeni na opsjeni o benignosti liberalnoga imperijalizma i "bad,
bad" desnom ekstremizmu (lijevi je, kao, bio dobar. Masovni ubojica
Tito je imao gala sprovod, jel'te ?).

Tek kad komunizam i imperijalne demokracije dobiji adekvatan zig srama
kakav ima nacizam i njegovi podrepasi (svaki na svoj nacin, svatko po
zaslugama)- e, tek onda ce se moci govorii o zdravijoj atmosferi. A ne
o ovoj ljigavoj situaciji koja se moze "popraviti" jedino tako da
propadne u pozaru, zajedno s glavnim krvopijama.