Edo Murtic, painter:
Tudjman Loves Fascists
"I was fourteen years old when king Alexander was assassinated. At that time, from the bridge on the Sava to Dubrave, thousands of citizens of Zagreb came out to say goodbye to their king. They knelt along the railway lines and cried. A group of nuns, standing next to me were sobbing for their king. The Germans came we welcomed them with flowers. The partisans came Zagreb was on its feet, elated. Tito died entire Zagreb cried, thousands of voices sang "For every gentle word ..." shedding tears.
While giving this "illustration of us Croats" the famous Croatian painter Edo Murti_ (75) in his long interview given recently to "Feral" indicated the "state of spirit and politics which could cost us only too dearly":
A claim that it was not 700 thousand people that were killed in Jasenovac but 25 thousand, does not diminish the crime. It is not the question of numbers but of the act. In the first days of the Independent State of Croatia, as a young man, I went with my mother to a village to get potatoes. The train started from Zagreb early and in the blueness of the morning I saw a stretch of land, the size of a tennis court completely white. Then I caught a glimpse of a hand, head, hair appearing out of it. The Ustashi had killed Serbs from the village of Gutovac, threw them into a pit and poured lime over it. That explained the whiteness ...
A former student in Belgrade, a partisan, laureate of highest Yugoslav and world awards, holder of the silver medal of Pope Paul VI and the knight of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic, author of thousands of paintings which can be found in all respectable galleries of the world, but were recently removed from Tudjman's Presidential court, explains why does he "feel incessant fear, since the first shock he experienced in the Independent State of Croatia":
It is very odd that the coryphaeus of culture in the present Croatian authority is someone like Vinko Nikolic, a fascist, proponent of Pavelic's ideology. A man who until yesterday wrote panegyrics to the leader, the Croatian fuhrer, is today a model we should look up to. That is the man who now explains us that from 1945 until 1990 darkness prevailed and nothing important transpired in the field of culture. These words are deceits and stupidities. Take, for instance, Krleza. He is a giant, indispensable in our culture which is why it is, to put it mildly, idiotic that the minister of culture Ljilja Vokic should advocate "correcting of Krleza". At the same time, Mile Budak, who was a kind of our Goebels, is turned into a saint. These are dangerous inanities of this political leadership. We are today in a position of not knowing either what or where we are, as fascism we fought against is being induced again. We are witnesses to some people bragging that their fathers were Ustashi, and thinking that the present day Croatia should be a continuation of the Independent State of Croatia. I think that the termination of the Square of Victims of Fascism was the largest mistake of President Tudjman. Removal of a symbol of a time and a people is a disgrace and is a slap in the face of all antifascists emphasizes Murtic.
Opposing Tudjman's favourite thesis, almost generally accepted in Croatia, concerning "conciliation " of Ustashi and partisans, Edo Murtic, noting that "the two ideologies are disparate like oil and water", highly illustratively points out the following:
You know, I asked my friends in Germany if it could be possible for a street or a square in that country to be named after a Goering or a Goebels. They told me that it is a crazy thought. But here, I see units of the Croatian army and barracks being named after war criminals and Ustashi cutthroats Maks Luburic, Rafael Boban and Jure Francetic.
I have seen photographs of Croatian tanks plastered in pictures of Ante Pavelic. And I could not believe my eyes. But, what could a man think if he sees a fascist salute, as has been the one of Dario Kordic, president of the Croatian Democratic Community of HerzegBosnia at a rally of the Croatian Army recently held in Herzegovina! I have been on friendly terms with Tudjman for decades and now unimaginable things are happening in his country. I don't know why he allows that ... I am deeply disappointed with some colleagues. But, one must not forget that fear is a reality here. Things are happening in small towns in the province, which are not harmless at all says Murtic.