Anti-Croat Sentiment

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Anti-Croat sentiment (Croatophobia) is discrimination or prejudice towards Croats as an ethnic group, and towards Croatia as a country.

Anti-Croat sentiment was – and still is[1][2] – especially present among some Serbs, starting in 19th Century.

First historical instances of anti-Croat sentiment[edit]

With the nation-building process in mid-19th century, first Croatian-Serbian tension appeared. Serbian minister Ilija Garašanin's Načertanije (1844)[3]:3 claimed lands that were inhabited by Bulgarians, Macedonians, Albanians, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Hungarians and Croats were part of Serbia.[3]:3 Garašanin's plan also includes methods of spreading Serbian influence in the claimed lands.[3]:3–4 He proposed ways to influence Croats, who Garašanin regarded as "Serbs of Catholic faith".[3]:3 This plan considered surrounding peoples to be devoid of national consciousness.[3]:3–4[4]:91 Vuk Karadžić in the 1850s then denied the existence of Croatians and Croatian language, counting them as "Catholic Serbs". Croatia was at the time a kingdom in Habsburg Monarchy, with Dalmatia and Istria being separate Habsburg Crown lands. Ante Starčević, head of the Croatian Party of Rights, advocated for Croatia as a nation.[5] After Austro-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878 and Serbia gained its independence from Ottoman Empire, Croatian and Serbian relations deteriorated as both sides had pretensions on Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1902 there was a reprinted article written by Serb Nikola Stojanović that was published in the publication of the Serbian Independent Party from Zagreb titled Do istrage vaše ili naše (Till the Destruction, ours or yours) in which denying of the existence of Croat nation as well as forecasting the result of the "inevitable" Serbian-Croatian conflict occurred.

That combat has to be led till the destruction, either ours or yours. One side must succumb. That side will be Croatians, due to their minority, geographical position, mingling with Serbs and because the process of evolution means Serbhood is equal to progress.[6]

— Nikola Stojanović, Srbobran, 10.08.1902.

During the 19th century, some Italian radical nationalists tried to promote the idea that a Croatian nation has no sound reason to exist: therefore the Slavic population on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea (Croats and Slovenes) should be Italianized, and the territory included in Italy.[7]

World War II[edit]

Ethnic cleansing, the removal of certain ethnic groups with a territory was promoted by the main Chetnik ideologist Stevan Moljević 1941: to achieve the goal of forming Greater Serbia, he advocated the removal of Croat and Muslim populations from the large area between Serbia and Slovenia.[8][9] A directive of the chief Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović dated 20 December 1941, addressed to newly appointed commanders in Montenegro, Major Đorđije Lašić and Captain Pavle Đurišić, outlined, among other things, the goal of cleansing of all non-Serb elements from the territories South, East and North of Serbia, in order to create a Greater Serbia:[10]

One of them being:

-the creation of contiguous frontiers between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as between Serbia and Slovenia by cleansing the Muslim population from Sandžak and the Muslim and Croat populations from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

— Directive of 20 December 1941[10]


Yugoslav Wars[edit]

Anti-Croatian propaganda[edit]


After Serbian President Slobodan Milošević's assumption of power in 1989 various Chetnik groups made a "comeback"[12] and his regime "made a decisive contribution to launching the Chetnik insurrection in 1990–1992 and to funding it thereafter".[13] Chetnik ideology was influenced by the memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.[13] On 28 June 1989, the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, Serbs in north Dalmatia, Knin, Obrovac, and Benkovac where there were "old Chetnik strongholds" held the first anti-Croatian government demonstrations.[14] On the same day, Chetnik commander from WWII Momčilo Đujić declared Vojislav Šešelj "at once assumes the role of a vojvoda and a vladika [high-ranking religious order] unifier"[15] and ordered him "to expel all Croats, Albanians, and other foreign elements from holy Serbian soil", stating he would return only when Serbia was cleansed of "the last Jew, Albanian, and Croat".[16]

A Serb flyer used during the war, calling upon all citizens of Dubrovnik to cooperate with the JNA against the Croats' "vampired fascism and Ustašism"

The Hague Tribunal found that about 170,000 Croats were expelled from parts of Croatia, Serbian forces sought to control.[17][18] Rebel Croatian Serbs' forces together with Serbian military and paramilitary forces[19] committed numerous war crimes and massacres in Republic of Croatia. According to the Croatian Association of Prisoners in Serbian Concentration Camps, a total of 8,000 Croatian civilians and Prisoners of war (a large number after the fall of Vukovar) went through Serb prison camps such as Sremska Mitrovica camp, Stajićevo camp, Niš camp and many others where many were heavily abused and tortured. A total of 300 people never returned from them.[20] A total of 4,570 camp inmates started legal action against former Serbia and Montenegro (now Serbia) for torture and abuse in the camps.[21]

Hate speech[edit]

The borders of Great Serbia as propagated by Šešelj in 1992.[22]

Vojislav Seselj, a radical Serbian nationalist, is a major proponent of a Greater Serbia with no ethnic minorities, but “ethnic unity and harmony among Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Serbs, Muslim Serbs and atheist Serbs. Labling Croats as Catholic Serbs.[23] In late 1991, during the Battle of Vukovar, Šešelj went to Borovo Selo to meet with a Serbian Orthodox Church bishop and publicly described Croats as a genocidal and perverted people.[24] In May and July 1992, Šešelj visited the Vojvodina village of Hrtkovci and publicly started the campaign of persecution of local ethnic Croats.[25][26]

Other mentions[edit]

  • Incidents occurred on 4 November 2015 during the Olympiakos-Dinamo Zagreb soccer match. The Greek fans mixed with Delije supporters displayed chetnik symbols and recited slogans as "Kill the Croatian so the Albanian doesn't have a brother". The Croatian side protested to the referee and refused to play until the symbols were removed.[27][28]
  • In an interview with 2012 Jovan Pejin, historian and former director of the Historical Archive of Serbia, declares that the "The genocidal Croats are the most primitive people in Europe ... Croatians are mostly former Serbs who separated, and as Czechs, Poles, Russians, who are themselves divided, into one nation. Croatia is an artificial creation, and everything they have achieved so far have done so on the basis of lies ... Croats speak the Serbian language, even though they only corrupt it and make it a monstrosity, and out of it is simple to conclude that they speak a perverted Serbian language ".[29]
  • German left-wing philosopher Ernst Bloch described as "Kroaten als Faschisten, oder als zumindest Halbfaschisten" (Croats as fascists, or at least as semi-fascists) in an interview in 1975 for political weekly "Der Spiegel" (Der Spiegel, 6,29. Jahrgang, 03/02/1975., str. 80).
  • The book, "Save us, oh Lord, from the plague and Croats!",[30] (Zagreb, 2010), collects different Anti-Croat statements,
  • In the media interviews 2012, the famous American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan said: "If you got a slave master or [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood." A legal complaint has been lodged over Dylan's remark by a Croat association in France.[31]
  • In the article "Save us God of Plague, Hunger and the Croats - Ustasha mentality is as old as themselves" published in early 2014 in " ",[32] author uses - as the thruth - the writing of the Chetnik propagandist Laza M. Kostić published in USA in 1950-es: the author says (2014) it is proven the "killer mentality" is routed in Croats for centuries.


  1. ^ "Croatian ministers call for putting an end to anti-Croat sentiment in Serbia", the official pages of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, 02. April 2015
  2. ^ "Serbia compares Croatia to Nazis", Zoran Radosavljevic and Matt Robinson, "Huffington Post", 24. September 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Philip J.; Riesman, David (1996). Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0-89096-760-1. 
  4. ^ Anzulovic, Branimir (2001). Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide. New York University Press. ISBN 1-86403-100-X. 
  5. ^ In the Name of Independence: The Unmaking of Tito's Yugoslavia, Branko Belan, 2010, p. 83
  6. ^ Bilandžić, Dušan (1999). Hrvatska moderna povijest. Golden marketing. p. 31. ISBN 953-6168-50-2. 
  7. ^ "Buying and Selling the Istrian Goat: Istrian Regionalism, Croatian Nationalism, and EU Enlargement", (book), John E. Ashbrook, 2008, Pg. 37
  8. ^ "The Transformation of Mihailović’s Chetnik Movement: From Royalist Yugoslav Forces to Serb Nationalist Guerrillas", Aleksandar Petrović, (doctoral thesis) 2011., str. 346-347
  9. ^ "Četnici kao nosioci građanskog rata i saveznička intervencija", citation of the text of Moljević from 30. Jun. 1941, kod ""
  10. ^ a b Tomasevich 1975, p. 170.
  11. ^ [1] The directives of Draža Mihailović from December 1941. ("")
  12. ^ Mennecke, Martin (2012). "Genocidal Violence in the Former Yugoslavia". In Totten, Samuel; Parsons, William S. Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-87191-4.
  13. ^ a b Ramet 2006, p. 420.
  14. ^ Milazzo, Matteo J. (1975). The Chetnik Movement & the Yugoslav Resistance. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-1589-8.
  15. ^ Mitrović, Andrej (2007). Serbia's Great War, 1914–1918. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press. ISBN 978-1-55753-476-7. Mojzes, Paul (2011). Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the 20th Century. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-0665-6.
  16. ^ Pajović, Radoje (1977). Kontrarevolucija u Crnoj Gori: Četnički i federalistički pokret 1941–1945 (in Serbo-Croatian). Cetinje, Yugoslavia: Obod.
  17. ^ Atrocities in Yugoslavia unraveled much later
  18. ^ Simons, Marlise (10 October 2001). "Milosevic, Indicted Again, Is Charged With Crimes in Croatia". New York Times. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Prosecution submission of an expert report of Reynaud J.M. Theunens pursuant to Rule 94bis" (PDF). The Hague: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. December 16, 2003. p. 27633-27630, 27573 & 27565-27561. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Natalya Clark, Janine (2014). International Trials and Reconciliation: Assessing the Impact of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. ISBN 9781317974741. 
  21. ^ "Danijel Rehak ponovno izabran za predsjednika Hrvatskog društva logoraša". Vjesnik (in Croatian). 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 30 April 2004. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "Granice (srpske)". Biografija: Pojmovnik (in Serbian). Vojislav Šešelj official website. April 1992. Retrieved 21 December 2012. Srpske granice dopiru do Karlobaga, Ogulina, Karlovca, Virovitice. 
  23. ^ "Vojislav Seselj: I Wanted a ‘Greater Serbia’". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  24. ^ Renaud de la Brosse (4 February 2003). "Political Propaganda and the Plan to Create a "State for all Serbs" – Consequences of Using the Media for Ultra-Nationalist Ends – Part 3" (PDF). Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  25. ^ Marcus Tanner (August 1992). "'Cleansing' row prompts crisis in Vojvodina". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  26. ^ Chuck Sudetic (26 July 1992). "Serbs Force An Exodus From Plain". New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Tifozët grekë e serbë brohorasin "Vrite kroatin, që shqiptari mos të ketë vëlla"" [The Greek fans: "Kill the Croatian so the Albanian does not have a brother"] (in Albanian). TV Koha. 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  28. ^ Grekët dhe serbët në Athinë: Vrite kroatin që shqiptari mos të ketë vëlla (Video) [Greeks and Serbians in Athens: Kill the Croatian so the Albanian does not have a brother] (in Albanian), Panorama Sport Online, 2015-11-05 
  29. ^ "INTERVJU, ISTORIČAR JOVAN PEJIN: Hrvati su genocidan narod, najprimitivniji u Evropi!",, 21.03.2012.
  30. ^ Sačuvaj nas Bože, kuge i Hrvata, Antihrvatski komitet u Beogradu, Zagreb 2010.
  31. ^ "Bob Dylan faces French legal inquiry over Croat remarks", BBC NEWS Europe, 2. Dec 2013
  32. ^ "SAČUVAJ NAS BOŽE KUGE, GLADI I HRVATA – Ustaški koljački mentalitet je star koliko i oni sami",, 28. Jan 2014

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