Tito's friends and foes

Former mayor of Karlovac, Josip Boljkovac, has taken the initiative to establish the Josip Broz Tito Society of Karlovac. "If there had not been unity of the Serbian and Croatian peoples and the Communist Party, Croatia as we have it today would not exist", he explained.
Most people agree with that, although many would add that Croatia today could have been a better country had it not been ruled by a brutal communist dictator. Around 2000 people who hold that opinion gathered last Saturday on Zagreb's Trg maršala Tita (Marshall Tito Square). Their protest was aimed at the very name of the square, as it honours the man they call a "war criminal". Instead, they want to change the name of the square around the Croatian National Theatre into Kazališni trg (Theatre Square). Theatre Square sounds logical, but it was only during the fascist Independent State of Croatia that the square went by that name. Before World War Two it honoured Petar Karađorđević and, before 1918, Franz Joseph, the Austrian emperor.
A counter-demonstration of antifascists drew a few hundred people. Their message was that Tito had defeated fascism in Croatia and given Yugoslavia a respectable position in world politics. The Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists (communists love lengthy names) said that it is time to "stop expressing hatred and spreading lies about the antifascist struggle and Marshall Tito".
There is, of course, nothing wrong with antifascism. That is why Croatian communists present themselves as antifascists, because everything else that has to do with communism has been discredited. I don't have much faith in Croatian anticommunists either. There is, again, nothing wrong with anticommunism. But the anticommunist community here is too often made up of an unholy alliance of the catholic church and people with an excess of love for the homeland.
That is, in short, the trouble with Croatian history and society. This country has no history of civil liberalism that said "no" to any kind of totalitarianism.
The Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists boasted that seventeen cities around the world named a square or street after Tito, among them London, New Delhi and Washington. If you have a picture of a Tito Square or Street, wherever you live, please send it me so I can make a Tito gallery on this blog.

2 reacties:

Arie said...

A short googlesearch taught me that there is a Titostraat in Paramaribo, a sidestreet of the wellknown Kasabaholoroad. I didn't manage to send the picture but here is the link: http://www.dbsuriname.com/archief/nat/2008/jan08/24-01-08/images/Bewoner%20Herman%20Schalwijk.jpg Unfortunately it is in a very bad state. Another one is the Titostraat in Almere, Netherlands, next to the Churchillroad and Rooseveltroad!

Boris Levalle said...

Thanks. Many streets named after Josef Stalin didn't survive the Soviet invasion in Hungary, so now Tito is among the big three in Almere. Pity that the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters and Antifascists is unaware of that.