Vjeran Pavlakovic is an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He has published articles on the politics of memory, World War Two commemorations, war criminals and war crime tribunals, and democratization in Croatia, and co-edited the book Serbia since 1989: Politics and Society under Milosevic and After (2005), published by the University of Washington Press. in History in 2005 from the University of Washington.In Croatia, the legacy of World War Two had two significant consequences for the course of events following the collapse of communism and the Croatian War for Independence (referred to in Croatia as the Homeland War, or , 1991-1995).Both related to the thawing of collective memories, long repressed by the communist regime, of those associated with the Ustase and other opponents of the Partisans.
Narratives of the 1990s conflict are often woven into the World War Two commemorations. Two recent books on Bleiburg with diametrically opposite...Politicians, certain institutions (the Catholic Church, veterans’ organization), and the media play a considerably more vocal role in creating a Bleiburg narrative for consumption in the public sphere than scholars, who merely have a supporting part.First of all, the new government of President Franjo Tudjman sought a “national reconciliation” between the antifascist (communist-led Partisan movement) and pro-fascist (Ustasa movement) factions of the Croatian national corpus.In practice, this meant the rehabilitation of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH - , the state founded by the Ustase in 1941) and demonization of Tito’s Partisans and antifascists in general.