GEDENKEN, ERINNERN, HANDELN
“W E WILL FIGHT FOR ANTIFASCISM” Katarina Peović is a member of the Croatian leftist party Workers Front and is the party representa tive in the Croatian parliament. She is also a professor at the Cultural Studies Department at the University of Rijeka. Jakob Gruber and Matthias Schreckeis invited her to an Interview in order to talk about Croatian remembrance politics early in 2021. Katarina Peović in conversation with Matthias Schreckeis and Jakob Gruber.
In September you inquired with the Minister of Defence, whether it would be suitable for the new University of Defence to carry the name of Franjo Tuđman. After this, other members of the parliament reacted very hostile towards you. Could you tell us a little bit about this incident? I was just quoting the final judgement of the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague (Den Haag). This judgement established the existence of a joint criminal enterprise, aimed at ethnic cleansing of parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was not a judgement of Franjo Tuđman himself, as he had already passed away, which released him from all charges. However, the tribunal clearly stated that Tuđman, among others, was to be held responsible for this joint criminal enterprise. I was just posing one humble question, whether a namesake such as him would be suitable for a new University of Defence. Other members of parliament reacted very harshly towards me and even tried to remove me from parliament. And what was really pathetic, was
that this was not only the reaction of the rightwing, but also of the so-called „left-wingers”, the Social Democratic Party. One member of the SDP tried to interpret my words as some kind of attack on Croatian history and as a revision of Croatian history. This shows how bad the climate regarding our remembrance politics is and how we interpret certain figures of our past. A few decades ago, the reaction to my quoting of the final judgement would not have caused such harsh and irrational responses because the problematic relationship regarding the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was less publically disputed then. Whereas today it has become an unquestionable fact in our public discourse that there is no negative dimension of Tuđman’s politics. This is obviously something dangerous, although many in Croatia know that this revisionism is not factually correct. I would say that many know that we have to be more specific and critical towards the role of Croatia in those days.