LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Croatia owes Serbs an apology

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The late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman had every reason to think that he could get way with ridding Croatia of its pesky Krajina Serbs (“U.N. court convicts Balkan wartime hero to Croatians,” Web, Friday).

Tudjman was an apologist for the World War II Ustasha regime that was responsible for the butchery of hundreds of thousands of civilian Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia. The Serbs’ only political ambition in 1941 was to lie low given that Serbia proper was under brutal German occupation and their only crime was their national and religious identity.

When the Krajina Serbs objected to being railroaded into a Tudjman-led Croatia, most Western observers and governments accused the Serbs of unnecessarily dredging up the past.

Tudjman’s 1989 book, “Wastelands of Historical Truth,” a revisionist whitewash of the Ustasha, was dismissed as an unfortunate slip of the pen, and his proud boast during Croatia’s first free elections that his wife was neither Serbian nor Jewish was deemed a mere indiscretion. His subsequent withdrawal of the Serbs’ constitutional status as one of Croatia’s two historical nations was brushed aside as a petty detail. No wonder the Krajina Serbs took up arms.

The Krajina Serb nation was “ethnically cleansed” in 1995. It is owed an apology, and not just by Zagreb.


Dorset, England

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