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The Historiography of Bleiburg and the Death Marches since Croatian Independence

Review article
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.07

Martina Grahek Ravančić ; Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: english, pdf (294 KB) pages 133-144 cite

Abstracts
This paper presents a review of recent research results and the published literature related to the topic of Bleiburg and Death Marches. The main accent is set on the data and knowledge about the (still) controversial events from the end of the Second World War and its aftermath in comparison with some currently (not) accepted knowledge.

Keywords
Bleiburg; Death Marches; 1945; Croatia; Victims

Hrčak ID: 201787

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201787

Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Cultural Memory of Bleiburg

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.06

Amra Čusto   ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-3797-0946 ; Institute for the Protection of Cultural- Historical and Natural Heritage in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fulltext: english, pdf (309 KB) pages 111-130 cite

Abstracts
This article provides a preliminary overview of the perceptions of Bleiburg among Croats and Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as its role in the overall construction of cultural memory in this deeply divided post-Yugoslav state. The author explores how the remembrance of the Second World War in socialist Yugoslavia fragmented and was replaced by new, nationalist narratives among Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks. The memory of Bleiburg plays a central role in the victimization narrative among Bosnian Croats, and their political leadership has been deeply involved in the commemorative practices related to the events in May 1945. Bosniaks, while primarily focusing on the continuity with the antifascist Partisan tradition, have increasingly opened up the question of communist crimes such as Bleiburg, albeit through the media and memoirs and not yet systematic academic analysis. The article also examines how the Bleiburg narrative is intertwined into the memory of the war in the 1990s, and more broadly how these memory politics are used by various actors in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s deeply divided society.

Keywords
Bleiburg; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Second World War; Commemorations; Memory Politics

Hrčak ID: 201786

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201786

To Each Their Own: Politics of Memory, Narratives about Victims of Communism and Perspectives on Bleiburg in Contemporary Serbia

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.05

Jelena Đureinović ; Justus Liebig University Giessen, Gießen, Germany

Fulltext: english, pdf (314 KB) pages 89-110 cite

Abstracts
This article examines politics of memory on the Second World War and its aftermath in contemporary Serbia, focusing on the people executed or sentenced after the war and their framing. Discussing the dominant narratives and institutional and legal frameworks of official memory politics, the first part of the paper is concerned with the dynamics between different mnemonic agents, including non-state actors. Namely, commemorations and memorials dedicated to victims of communism come from below, from the groups considering the state efforts in this sphere insufficient. They are, however, supported by some political actors, the church, and Karađorđević family. Finally, the paper looks at the perception of Bleiburg commemorations in media and political discourses in Serbia, placing it in the context of relations between the two countries concerning the memory of the war and its aftermath. As opposed to very similar tendencies in Croatia and Serbia, the political actors are concerned with their own victims respectively, framing them as the victims of communism. At the same time, the commemorations and rehabilitations happening in the other country are never acknowledged but condemned.

Keywords
Memory Politics; Revisionism; Chetniks; Bleiburg; Yugoslavia

Hrčak ID: 201784

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201784

Avengers of Bleiburg: Émigré Politics, Discourses of Victimhood and Radical Separatism during the Cold War

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.04

Mate Nikola Tokić ; Department of International Relations, Central European University, Hungary

Fulltext: english, pdf (303 KB) pages 71-88 downloads: 69* cite

Abstracts
Bleiburg was at the center of a deeply-ingrained national victim-complex that served as an integral component of post-war Croatian émigré identity discourse. This article explores the relationship between this victim-complex and the radicalization of a small but active group of Croatian émigrés in the 1960s. It examines how discourses regarding “Serbo-communist” genocide first at Bleiburg and later within socialist Yugoslavia both radicalized many young emigrants to the West and was used to justify acts of terrorism against the regime in Belgrade. More specifically, the article explores how disputes within the émigré community itself concerning responsibility for Bleiburg contributed to the radicalization process. While not the only factor leading to an embrace of political violence by younger radicals, this generational schism surrounding the memory politics of Bleiburg proved central to the development of a campaign of émigré separatists terrorism aimed at the hated Yugoslav state that lasted more than two decades.

Keywords
Political Violence; Radicalization; Separatism; Generational Conflict; Émigrés

Hrčak ID: 201783

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201783

The Yugoslav State Security Service and the Bleiburg Commemorations

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.03

Christian Axboe Nielsen ; Institute of History and Area Studies, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Fulltext: english, pdf (283 KB) pages 50-70 cite

Abstracts
This article, based overwhelmingly on primary sources produced by the Yugoslav State Security Service, provides a historical overview of their work with respect to the commemorations at Bleiburg. It summarizes the stance of the Yugoslav State Security Service towards Croat émigrés by focusing on the concrete measures and the e ntire spectrum of available methods undertaken by the Service in conjunction with the commemorations. After a general summary of the work of the Yugoslav security services with respect to émigrés, the article provides detailed examination of two events separated by two decades (1966 and 1985). The 1966 commemoration was notable not only because it was the year in which the émigrés purchased a plot of land in Bleiburg, but also because the aftermath of that year’s commemoration was marred by a bomb attack. The second case is the fortieth anniversary commemoration in 1985, which was perceived by both the agents of the Yugoslav state and the émigrés themselves as being particularly important. Together the two cases provide insight into the Yugoslav State Security Service’s long-term operation aimed at curtailing and suppressing Croat émigré activity. The article shows that even though the Yugoslav State Security Service was willing to use violent means in this struggle, the preferred means remained infiltration, disinformation, provocation, and constant surveillance.

Keywords
Bleiburg; Yugoslav State Security Service; Croatian Émigrés; Commemorations

Hrčak ID: 201782

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201782

Post-Communist Memory Culture and the Historiography of the Second World War and the Post-War Execution of Slovenian Collaborationists

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.02

Oto Luthar ; Institute of Culture and Memory Studies, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia

Fulltext: english, pdf (275 KB) pages 33-49 cite

Abstracts
This paper aims to summarize the transformations in contemporary Slovenia’s post-socialist memorial landscape as well as to provide an analysis of the historiographical representation of The Second World War in the Slovenian territory. The analysis focuses on the works of both Slovenian professional and amateur historiographical production, that address historic developments which took place during the Second World War and in its immediate aftermath from the perspective of the post-war withdrawal of the members of various military units (and their families) that collaborated with the occupiers during the Second World War.

Keywords
Slovenes; Partisans; Home Guards; Historiography; Memory

Hrčak ID: 201781

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201781

The Controversial Commemoration: Transnational Approaches to Remembering Bleiburg

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.55.2.01

Vjeran Pavlaković   ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-2549-0627 ; Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Croatia
Dario Brentin ; Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria
Davor Pauković   ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-1324-6328 ; Department of Communication, University of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fulltext: english, pdf (3 MB) pages 7-32 cite

Abstracts
This article provides an overview on some of the key issues related to the Bleiburg commemoration and more broadly the cultural memory of Partisan crimes at the end of the Second World War. Drawing upon four years of fieldwork, media analysis, and recent historiographical debates, the authors take a transnational approach in examining why Bleiburg remains one of the most controversial commemorations not just in Croatia but in the region. The article focuses on historical narratives in the commemorative speeches, the role of space in shaping memory politics, symbols and monuments present at Bleiburg Field, and the broader context of how Austrian politics affects the commemoration and its public perception.

Keywords
Bleiburg; Commemorations; Second World War; Victims of Communism; Symbols

Hrčak ID: 201779

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/201779

Croatian Political Science Review, Vol.55 No.2

Table of contents Full text
The Controversial Commemoration: Transnational Approaches to Remembering Bleiburg (str.7-32) englishpdf 3 MB
Vjeran Pavlaković, Dario Brentin, Davor Pauković
Original scientific paper
Post-Communist Memory Culture and the Historiography of the Second World War and the Post-War Execution of Slovenian Collaborationists (str.33-49) englishpdf 275 KB
Oto Luthar
Original scientific paper
The Yugoslav State Security Service and the Bleiburg Commemorations (str.50-70) englishpdf 283 KB
Christian Axboe Nielsen
Original scientific paper
Avengers of Bleiburg: Émigré Politics, Discourses of Victimhood and Radical Separatism during the Cold War (str.71-88) englishpdf 303 KB
Mate Nikola Tokić
Original scientific paper
To Each Their Own: Politics of Memory, Narratives about Victims of Communism and Perspectives on Bleiburg in Contemporary Serbia (str.89-110) englishpdf 314 KB
Jelena Đureinović
Original scientific paper
Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Cultural Memory of Bleiburg (str.111-130) englishpdf 309 KB
Amra Čusto
Original scientific paper
The Historiography of Bleiburg and the Death Marches since Croatian Independence (str.133-144) englishpdf 294 KB
Martina Grahek Ravančić
Review article