Original scientific paper
In his first interview to Croatian media after a long period of silence, in October 1989 the leader of the newly formed Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Franjo Tudjman, described himself as “a Croat man, Marxist, Revolutionary and Historian”. Why did he use concepts such as “Marxist” and “Revolutionary” at the time when elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe these concepts became politically incorrect and unpopular? In this article we argue that Tudjman’s views on self-determination and secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia were driven by life-long commitment to Leninism and (especially when it comes to the “national question”) Stalinism. When he reappeared in Croatian politics in 1989, Tudjman used the Leninist – not Wilsonian – concept of “self-determination”, which in Lenin’s and Stalin’s interpretation includes the “right to secession”. This position enabled him to form an unusual – but logical – coalition with f ormer Communists who were at the same time also nationalists, as well as with anti-Communist separatists. The author analyses the link between Tudjman’s politics in the 1990s and Leninist-Stalinist principles of the “right to self-determination” and “right to secession”.