Croatia, ‘Greater Serbianism’, and the conflict between East and West

Macdonald David Bruce

in Balkan Holocausts?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780719064661
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700198 | DOI:
Croatia, ‘Greater Serbianism’, and the conflict between East and West

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Like Serbia, Croatia also saw the merits of reinterpreting history to buttress their own political objectives. Many of Croatia's most interesting national myths were created well before the collapse of Yugoslavia. Franjo Tudjman's rise to power in 1990, and the eventual independence of Croatia, after almost five decades of Communist federalism, engendered a fertile climate for national myth creation. Croatia's national propaganda evolved within an authoritarian context, and many of the central themes favoured by Croatian writers were similar to those advanced by their Serbian counterparts. The spectre of ‘Greater Serbia’ — which became likened to an anti-Semitism for Croats — was remarkably similar to Serbophobia. Many other myths appeared to be a reaction to a fear and strong distrust of the Serbs. Several, like the ‘state right’ tradition, the Antemurale Christianitatis, and Medjugorje, proved the existence of a civilised, peace-loving and enlightened Croatia. Other myths advanced the claim that the Serbs were religiously, culturally, and racially part of an Eastern and therefore inferior civilisation, while the Croats were more Western, more enlightened, better educated, and more democratic.

Keywords: Serbia; Croatia; propaganda; myths; Franjo Tudjman; Greater Serbia; state right; Antemurale Christianitatis; Medjugorje; Serbs

Chapter.  15988 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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