Croatian Viewpoint
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Who Are the Croatian Orthodox?

This essay discusses how some in the EU pressure for a new Balkan Union, or third Yugoslavia, through the integration of unjust Serbian geopolitical demands in Croatia. 1
Anatomy of Identity Theft
First Apostles in Croatia
Vlachs in Croatia
Orthodox Minorities in Croatia
Nikola Tesla's Anniversary
Nikola Tesla's Ancestry
The Politics of Reconciliation
Some Conclusions


Since the beginning of the Christian era, the Greek Orthodox religion has spread into Croatia due to the periodic settlement of various ethnic groups. Orthodox Christians gradually assimilated into Croatian society over the millennia and together with Catholic Croats they formed an integral part of the 19th and 20th century Croatian national struggle. Until the end of WWII a Croatian Orthodox church existed. These facts have been deliberately censored from history, with fatal consequences. These Orthodox people, or 'Pravoslavac' (as they are colloquially known) should have their own Orthodox church in Croatia, but their human rights are denied by the EU's pro-Serbian tradition.
Visible signs appear everywhere that Serbian nationalism is being presented as multiculturalism. For example, in Bosnia & Hercegovina a new statue of 'Multicultural Man' stands in stark contrast to the backdrop of a segregated country where Serbia rules over 49% of the territory. And in Lika, Croatia, a new statue of Nikola Tesla and Tesla multimedia museum are used by Serbia to justify their propaganda and control over all Orthodox people in Croatia. Less than one quarter of the 4.5% Orthodox Christians in the 2001 Croatian census are of Serbian ancestry but all of those ethnic groups are included in Serbian propaganda numbers to justify Serbian territorial expansion in Croatia. 2

Anatomy of Identity Theft

The identity of the Orthodox people in Croatia has been stolen by Serbia. The Serbian propaganda claims to ethnicity in Croatia are so ridiculous that doubt overshadows credibility. One Serbian website even claims that Serbs created the Croatian national movement in the 19th century, a movement which incidentally they criticize at the same time as having an anti-Serbian platform.
The 17th century migration of Serbian people led by their church Patriarchs into north-east Croatia (Vojvodina) occurred simultaneously with political changes there, following the Ottoman decline. 3 This migration gradually led to Serbian political claims over a wide geographical area of Croatia. By 1848 the Serbian Patriarchate of Srijemski Karlovci was established in Habsburg-occupied Croatian lands. Meanwhile, in 1879 the Serbian Orthodox Church in Serbia regained its autocephaly and in 1882 the Kingdom of Serbia was recognized. Thus, by 1883 in Croatia, the first Serbian Orthodox schools appeared, and the Serbian flag was being used in their orthodox churches there. 4 The ethnic status quo in 19th century Hapsburg-occupied Croatia therefore began to change when the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate was given the opportunity to take over existing Greek Orthodox churches.
By the end of the 19th century most former Greek Orthodox Churches in Croatia were taken over by Serbian priests, and Serbia in this way began to claim all Orthodox people as Serbian constituent people in Croatia. 5 The choice that emerged was to be either Serbian Orthodox or Catholic Croatian under Austrian/Italian or Hungarian administration. 6
Following the union of Serbia with the state of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, the Serbian Patriarchate of Srijemski Karlovci was shifted to Belgrade in 1920. By 1931 and the creation of the Serbian dictatorship, the constitution and reorganisation of the Serbian Orthodox church was finalised. 7 From this time all Orthodox peoples of the whole of Yugoslavia, including Croatia, became classified officially as of Serbian ancestry no matter what their ethnic background. 8
During WWII a Croatian Orthodox church accommodated the orthodox minorities in Croatia. But after WWII the Croatian Orthodox hierarchy (under Metropolitan Germogen) was executed by orders from Belgrade, and their cathedrals became officially Serbian-a fact little mentioned in history books. 9 In communist Yugoslavia a nationalist Serbian hegemony was threatened by the existence of the extant Eastern Orthodox Church in Croatia, even though the Greek Orthodox faith there preceded Serbian Orthodoxy. In contrast, the situation with the Catholic church in the former Yugoslavia was more tolerant. A Vatican protocol restricted the church activities, and thus even Cardinal Stepinac was spared an execution following his trial. (Up to 500 Franciscans and Catholic Priests were murdered however by Serbian-led communists after WWII.)

First Apostles in Croatia

In the context of Croatian history we can say that at the time of St. Paul's second imprisonment in Rome, he sent his disciple Titus to Solin or Salona on the Dalmatian coast, where he founded the first Christian See there in AD 65. (see Timothy 2, 4:10) St. Paul had himself travelled and preached as far as Illyricum, today's Croatia, during his third missionary journey between AD 53 and 57. (see Romans 15:19) 10 In addition, many early settlements in Croatia came under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

Orthodox Vlachs in Croatia

It is said that the Ottomans brought with them nomadic Vlachs (Morlacchi or Wallachs, etc.) to settle land depopulated by either the plague or those who had fled or died during the Ottoman invasion. The majority of these Vlachs of the Orthodox faith were mostly assimilated into Croatian civilization by the 18th century, between Istria and Dubrovnik, and throughout the Lika, Dalmatia and other parts of Croatia. Often these Orthodox settlers along the Adriatic coast had been deliberately forced to inland Croatia by Venice and its Allies, during and after the Ottoman retreat (for example, the Uskoks of Senj).
If these Vlachs had been of Serbian ancestry as claimed, why is it that the land where they originated from was known as 'Turkish Croatia'? In addition, if these migrating Vlachs had been exclusively of mixed Serbian ancestry as claimed by their propagandists it is unlikely that they would have been at the centre of the enlightenment debate. After all, the Vlachs were the virtuous so-called 'noble savages' romanticized by Rousseau. In conflict with Rousseau, Voltaire cited the 'Morlaque' of Dalmatia as an example of people who had a lowly place in the development of enlightened civilization. 11
In one of many sources which allude to the true ethnicity of the original Orthodox in Croatia, Larry Wolff (in Venice and the Slavs) writes that "The heterogeneous Orthodox society of Zadar included Montenegrin officers and Sarajevo merchants ... and (others) from Corfu and Crete. The Venetians were concerned to reduce foreign influence on Orthodox Dalmatians, including the Morlacchi".
The presence of Vlachs is established in history, philosophy, novels, decrees or statutes, and place names on genuine original maps. 12 Place names such as Latinski Islam or Grcki Islam or the Vlasko More, as well the existence of former Greek or Eastern rite churches in Croatia testify to the existence and identity of the Vlachs and other Orthodox people in Croatia. Vlachs spoke an old vulgar Latin language and used the Latin script and this is no doubt why only five per cent of Misha Glenny's so-called-Krajina Serbs understood the Cyrillic script, something Glenny incorrectly attributed to an alleged Croatian government policy instead of to their non-Serbian ancestry. 13

Orthodox Stradioti in Croatia

The Stradioti were brought-in by the Venetians from occupied Greece to fight land battles in occupied Croatia. For half a millennium the Stradioti were behind the establishment of the Eastern Greek Orthodox communities in Venetian occupied Croatia. Their existence has been documented in Venetian archives and by many other European contemporaneous sources. Not only did the borders of Venetian occupation change frequently but forced migrations of these Orthodox communities also occurred, leading to new settlements in inland Croatia.
And there were other Orthodox in Croatia including Croats, Czechs, Greeks, Macedonians, Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians, etc. All along the Adriatic coast, and inland, Greek Orthodox churches were built to serve the various Orthodox settlers, many becoming Uniate churches later.
Other evidence of the existence of the Croatian Orthodox people is available. In Zagreb the church known as St. Margaret was first a Greek Orthodox church and later taken over by the Serbian Orthodox Church. Today's church of the Serbian Orthodox Metropolis of Zagreb-Ljubljana on Preobrazenska Street Zagreb was originally the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Preobrazenja on Petar Preradovic Square, built in 1866 on the site of a former Catholic church.  
Likewise in Sarajevo or Zadar or Lika, the churches now called Serbian Orthodox were originally known as Greek Orthodox churches which had been built or converted to accommodate the Eastern Orthodox faith to the various settlers therein. In Sarajevo what is now a Serbian Saborna Church was once a Greek Orthodox church, was built in 1882 on site of Freedom Square (formerly Tomislav Square).  
The church of St. Ilijah in Zadar (St. Elias) once served the Greek Orthodox community there and not the Serbs. St. Ilija's Church (St. Elias) church built in 1773 in place of a medieval church (1563) of the same name once served the Greek Orthodox congregation of soldiers, merchants or sailors etc. who had settled there. St. Ilijah only came under the Serbian Dalmatian Eparchy at the end of the 19th century. According to the above-mentioned author Wolff, Obradovic, a visiting Serbian-born pioneer of Serbian nationalism in Croatia, was preaching in Zadar in 1771 to the "Schismatic" Orthodox community, but was denied settlement in Skradin because Venetian authorities did not want a 'foreign' influence on the Orthodox Dalmatians and Morlacchi. If the Orthodox settlements there had been Serbian then how would the situation arise that a visiting Serbian priest would be called a 'foreigner' by the Venetian authorities? If the so-called slavicized Orthodox were under "foreign" threat from a visiting Serb, it is not likely that they were at that point in time of mixed Serbian origin. In 1876 in Skradin itself a new church replaced the original Greek Orthodox church which at some point was taken over by Serbian priests.
This take-over pattern was repeated in many settlements throughout Dalmatia and Croatia and is part of the oral history of the local inhabitants, and to speak of it in public under the former communist Yugoslav regime or in Royalist Yugoslavia would have meant instant arrest or death. Today it appears that pro-Serbian EU policy has taken over the role of the former Yugoslav government with an agenda of anti-Croatian conditions.  
According to the book about the life of Pavlinovic, a 19th century Croatian priest, on the topic of the Orthodox faith in Croatia, the Orthodox peoples of Croatia were not Serbian. According to Pavlinovic the Orthodox in Croatia were members of the old Croatian Greek Orthodox church from the early middle ages, for example, Vlachs or Romanians, Greeks, and other merchants who had assimilated into Croatian society under the Habsburg dynasty. 14 These Vlachs had been recognized as such in Venetian and Habsburg statues since the 17th century. 
To sum up, the Orthodox Minorities in Croatia include:
  • descendants of original inhabitants of Pannonia or Dalmatia,
  • the first Croatian settlers,xdescendants of Croatian Catholics who willingly or forcibly were converted to Orthodoxy
  • descendants of Orthodox Vlahs (introduced by Ottomans into Croatia)
  • descendants of Orthodox Straddiotti (merchants originating from Turkish occupied Greece under Venetian era),
  • other descendants of, Czech, Greek, Russian, Romanian, Macedonian, Ukrainian or other  Eastern
  • European immigrants; and amongst this latter group Serbs are only one ethnic group  who came.

Nikola Tesla's Anniversary

On the occasion of the Tesla anniversary in July 2006 the American Ambassador Robert Bradtke visited Tesla's birthplace, Smiljan, north of Gospic in Lika Croatia with the Croatian and Serbian leadership. Mr Bradtke's message about the Tesla anniversary had a diplomatic tone, as he recalled a message from President Bush to President Mesic that "Nikola Tesla is proof that real greatness surpasses national borders and differences".  
Elsewhere around Croatia the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla's birth has been marketed as evidence of some sort of mythical rapprochement between Serbs and Croats, or as a unifying force in the Balkans. 15 The Year 2006 was proclaimed 'Nikola Tesla Year' by the Croatian government and by UNESCO and the Serbian government.  
Around the world However, in contrast to assimilation in America, when there is reference to the Orthodox people in Croatia, the assimilation argument is missing, referring instead to an alleged several hundred years of Serbian settlement in Croatia, without documentation.
The Washington Times headline claims "Tesla's Memory a healing force" (16 July 06). On the Institute for War & Peace Reporting website, D. Hedl claims "Inventor's Memory Brings Croats and Serbs together" (20 July 06). The Setimes website claims "Croats, Serbs put aside differences to honour Tesla" (13 July 06). And the Tesla Memorial Society of New York claim on their website that "Nikola Tesla is a unifying force for peace in the Balkans"; and that the "Proclamation of Nikola Tesla Day through United Nations will increase the brotherhood and peace in the Balkans and throughout the world"! On the Western Australian Science website Serbs celebrate the "Serbian-American" who lit up the world (14 June 06). The Canadian Serbian community celebrated Tesla's anniversary at Niagara Falls calling Tesla "the greatest son of the Serb nation". And the Archive of the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade has been named by UNESCO as "Memory of the World". (Tesla Society website) And in the UK David Bowie is to star in a new film about Tesla entitled "The Prestige".  

Nikola Tesla's Ancestry

Talk about Tesla's ancestry was different during his lifetime however, for example when a different American Consul visited Gospic, as told in the chapter, 'A Night in Lika' in a book by Dorothea Orr in 1936. 16 The US Ambassador had visited decades ago in the early 1930s not long after Tesla had appeared on the front of Time Magazine (Vol XV III No. 3, 1931 20 July). On that occasion in Gospic the US Ambassador didn't see any reason to mention Tesla even though the centralist Serbian dictatorship ruled over Croatia! Even in America, during Tesla's lifetime little interest appeared in his ethnicity. Any major public association with Serbian identity seems to have taken place after Tesla's death for political gain.
Tesla's anniversary was not the first time a large gathering was attracted in his name. In January 1943 Serbia or Royalist Yugoslavia was an important WWII western ally, and Tesla's funeral was obviously a convenient platform to express this alliance. Tesla's funeral was a large 'Yugoslav' event in New York. And, at his eulogy the famous Mayor of New York City, LaGuardia, born to Italian and Hungarian Jewish parents from Trieste, described Tesla as the son of a Greek clergyman who had been born in Austria-Hungary and graduated from school in Croatia! He would have chosen his words carefully. LaGuardia had also worked in the US Consulate in Trieste before working at Ellis Island as a translator, eventually rising to the rank of major on the Italian Austrian WWI frontline, then becoming director general for UNRRA in 1946.  
Tesla's father, whose real family name was Draganic had been ordained at what had originally been a Greek Orthodox Church, not a Serbian Orthodox church. If there was any portion of Serbian ethnicity in the Draganic or maternal Mandic line it would have originated several hundred years before his ancestors arrival in Hercegovina. Tesla did not attend a Serbian school because none existed at the time in Croatia. Some of the Orthodox churches throughout Dalmatia and Lika we see today were not there when Nikola Tesla was born. The 18th century church of St. Peter & St. Paul (where Nikola Tesla's father was a priest) was renovated several times, but for some unexplained reason it appears that after WWII its façade was changed from the original architectural style to an earlier pilaster style.
St. Peter & Paul Church, Smiljan,
Lika Croatia Before WWII
St. Peter & Paul Church, Smiljan,
Lika Croatia After WWII
How long does a person's family have to reside in a place before they identify with its culture? In America it takes about 2 generations, or less. Even prominent American ethnic groups today are worried about the rapid assimilation rate in spite of multiculturalism. However, in contrast to alleged assimilation in America, when there is reference to the Orthodox people in Croatia, the assimilation argument is missing, referring instead to an alleged several hundred years of Serbian settlement in Croatia, without documentation.
In spite of all this however, even Tesla identified himself as a Croat on his arrival at the Castle Garden Immigration office in Manhattan in 1884, even though the Croatian region of his birth was administered from Austria and not directly from Croatia at the time Tesla was living there. In other words, Tesla did not have to say he was from Croatia, and could have said he was from Austria, so he freely made his choice. In any case, Tesla was not the type of individual to overly concern himself emotionally with other people, politics or national fanfare, as it has been acknowledged today that he displayed classic autistic-savant characteristics (similar to well-known Temple Grandin).  
The pro-Yugoslav sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, of Croatian birth, had created monuments to honour Tesla as a 'Yugoslav', not as a 'Serb', in America and Belgrade. 17 
And there are other reasons to question the ethnic origin of Nikola Tesla. Tesla's ashes had not been held at an American Serbian church grounds, nor was there ever a bust of Tesla by the Serbian church where Mihajlo Pupin's monument can be found. In addition, if Tesla had really been Serbian, would it not be the case that the Serbian-born scientist and Serbian activist (and one-time Serbian Ambassador in US) M. Pupin in America would have come to his aid in 1911 (Serbia was a recognized nation at that time) when Tesla had a mental breakdown due to the lack of funding for his Wardenclyffe project on Long Island.  
Indeed, one website which highlights how Tesla has been virtually erased from American history attributes this to the fact that Tesla did not have large segments of the general public complaining on his behalf. It would appear obvious that until recently Tesla has been almost ignored by Serbia, an observation which is surprising when one considers the might of the former Yugoslav or Serbian lobby in America! 18  
Only after his death did Tesla become more important to Belgrade. The main source of claims to Tesla's Serbian ancestry seem to have originated from Sava N. Kosanovic, a member of the Yugoslav Mission to the USA in New York during WWII. Tesla's sister had married a Serb, and Sava Kosanovic was their son suggesting perhaps that Tesla's association with Serbian ethnicity occurred indirectly through marriage of his relatives, and not through his ancestors.  

The Politics of Reconciliation

The expression of one's ethnic or religious identity is a basic human right enshrined by the United Nations Charter. It is questionable whether or not the new EU history project in the Balkans will be able to accommodate those human rights in Croatia however.  
"Reconciliation through education" is the motto adopted by the Stability Pact in its new Balkan 'History Workbook' project. This project is being developed by the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation which will present history from a multi-perspective approach, allegedly to eradicate ethnocentrism. The EU's Stability Pact will be called the Regional Cooperation Council in the future and that name change indicates that the next phase of their agenda in the former Yugoslavia is being launched, namely 'conflict resolution'. Conflict Resolution doctrine theorizes that the conflict management process can be thought of as a continuum from total destruction of the other to complete integration with the other".  
This doctrine artificially imposes reconciliation between former adversaries by building upon the coexistence which was in place before the conflict began in a process of "Peace Learning". It would seem that the EU "Reconciliation through Education" advocates are experimenting with the "Peace Learning" theory. 19  
The disturbing part of this process is that its foundation rests on 'what existed before'. Thus, in place of the former Yugoslavia, we have advocates of an artificial Western Balkan state, with the unstable foundation of the alleged previous peace of the 'negotiated social order'.  
The problem is that the previous 'social order' in the former Yugoslavia translated into Serbian-led control of the workplace, education, Orthodox religion, government and military. Foreigners who were shocked at the Serbian bombing of Sarajevo had believed that a successful coexistence existed there before because of the state-manufactured illusion conjured up for the Winter Olympics.  
Unfortunately there is no foundation of justice and human rights to build on from the former Yugoslav state. From the perspective of Croatian families who have been subjected to genocide under the former Yugoslavia, their sacrifice for freedom will now be reinterpreted again, this time in schools. The Croatian leaders should ask why their former masters get to alter the new EU history workbooks before they do. From past experience Croats know that this alternative 'multi-perspective' history will serve Serbian nationalism in Croatia, and never reconciliation, because there is no evidence that Serbian nationalism has moderated.  

Some Conclusions

The reason for the Serbian ascendancy in Croatia is more complex than mere irredentism. An east-west struggle between superpowers lurks behind the scenes. Croatia, like Greece, has contributed more to western civilization than eastern, but the conversion from Greek Orthodoxy to Serbian Orthodoxy in Croatian territory took Croatia away from western development. 
In this essay I have given evidence to show that Croatian society has always been heterogeneous. And, I have shown that the Orthodox believers in Croatia have worshipped in their own Greek Orthodox churches during the past two thousand years. I have also discussed how those Greek Orthodox Churches in Croatia were taken over by the Serbian Patriarchate during Hungarian/Austrian occupation and the former Yugoslavia.  
For centuries the Orthodox people in Croatia have been used as 'cannon fodder' and vassals, but not always by the East, as under the Ottomans and the Austro/Hungarian empire. The Venetians also used the Orthodox settlers to fight for their interests against the East. Under the Serbian-led former Yugoslavia however Croatia was taken again into the eastern bloc.
Even today the Serbian minority in Croatia wants to use all the Orthodox numbers for their 'greater-Serbia' ambitions. In 1991 Serbs in Croatia may have failed in their attempt to link territory to the issue of minority rights but in the 21st century there is evidence that their goals have not yet changed. For example around the world Serbian publicity about the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla reveals the emphasis placed on his alleged Serbian ancestry, even though contradictory evidence exists and his ancestors had lived in Croatian territory for centuries. Indeed, nowhere has it ever been written that Tesla's ancestry reaches back to 'Serbia' per se. Actually, the claims go only back to his origins in 'Herzegovina', where the absurd Serbian claim that all Vlachs there were of Serbian ancestry is without foundation.  
It would seem that some in the European Union want to 'contain' Croatia, and to do this they are bowing to Serbian intransigence in Croatia and in Bosnia & Herzegovina. This pro-Serbian sentiment in the EU illustrates how an east-west struggle still exists there, one reason why the European Union still has no constitution or unified foreign policy.  
An atmosphere of greater religious freedom and equality in Croatia would go a long way towards reconciliation. For example, much confusion exists in Catholic sources about 19th century Croatian history. Conflicting information, with missing dates and incorrect sequencing of events, creates a maze which allows Serbian propaganda to continue unchallenged. It's as if the Nikola Tesla Museum complex is the reincarnation of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The following question needs to be answered. Why is lobbying for the creation of a Croatian Orthodox Church not 'politically correct' - after all, if Montenegro and Macedonia can have an Orthodox Church, why not Croatia? The metamorphosis of Croatian Orthodoxy under Serbian leadership for the past century has been the source of destabilization, and until the issue is resolved no reconciliation will occur at a grass roots level. Will the EU's alternative perspective 'history workbooks' reflect the will of the Croatian people? Perhaps only Croatian membership in NATO can create an east-west balance of power in Croatia. One thing is for certain, politically correct manipulation of history will not lead to reconciliation.  
researched by 
Jean Lunt Marinovic 


(1) Following the Cold War, perestroika and glasnost precipitated the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Some in the EU want to reconstruct a third Yugoslavia to be called the Western Balkan Union. The situation today is not so different to 19th century Austria/Hungary feudal politics.  
(2) The number of Serbian speakers in the Croatian census is inconsistent with other data.
1991 12.5% Orthodox,   4% Serbian speakers
2001 4.5% Orthodox,   1% Serbian speakers
(3) Croatia & Slavonia were reunited with Dalmatia during the Illyrian movement, but the Croatian feudal elite believed that the political unification of Croats Serbs and Slovenes would help them to throw off the yoke of Austrian/Hungarian occupation. So, in 19th century Croatia, the national rights of Croatian people under Starcevic or Kvaternik were undermined by the leadership of the pan-slavist, Roman Catholic Bishop of Djakovo, J. Strossmajer. Political division was so deep that Dr. Ante Starcevic, the head of the Croatian Party of Rights, was accused of poisoning Croatian youth by the liberal Bishop Strossmajer. The London Times stated in its issue of May 1, 1870, that Strossmayer wanted to fuse the Catholic minority in South-East Europe with the Greek Orthodox Slavs for the sake of obtaining political unity of the South-Slav nations. Strossmayer even introduced liturgical changes in order to merge the differences between eastern and western Christianity. Hindsight tells that artificial pan-slav politics were too utopian because they were dependant on Serbian support in Hapsburg-occupied Croatia which evolved into Serbian expansion under Garasin's Greater Serbia platform. The Croatian people themselves had not been consulted. (source: Sivric)  
(4) The Ottoman invasion, occupation, and eventual decline in the region they called the Balkans preceded a gradual ethnic and religious metamorphosis. The head of the original Serbian church in Pec (in Kosovo, autocephaly since 1219) had been dissolved in 1766 and came under the jurisdiction of Constantinople during Ottoman occupation. After Pec was lost the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church moved to occupied Croatia.  
(5) The Catholic Bishop Strossmayer had already created the Yugoslav Academy in Zagreb in July 28 1867. Both in 1861 and 1867 the National Party unanimously agreed to recognize the Serbs in Croatia. In the Sabor on May 11, 1867 it was declared that the 'Triune Kingdom recognizes the Serbian people living in it as a nation identical and equal with the Croatian nation. Both the Academy (1867) and the Sabor proclaimed the Croatian or Serbian language as the official language in Croatia In 1850 the Serbo-Croatian language had been artificially created in Vienna. As a response to the Hungarian Nagodba, in 1871 the National Party in Croatia had Strossmayer as its political head whose agenda was to merge Croats and Serbs together.  
(6) Sometimes people with the same Croatian family name inadvertently had their ethnicity changed to Serbian, due to the change in the ethnicity of the church hierarchy. Earlier census records provide evidence that many were not of Serbian ancestry. For example the following, "It has been said that Manda was Serb Orthodox, but Cavcic shows up in a 1712 census of the Lovinac area, as being a Croatian surname". (Lovinac is in Lika). (source: Beckie, page 73 )  
(7) Following the shooting in 1928 of five Croatian front-bench parliamentarians by a Serb during a session of the Belgrade parliament, the Kingdom of Croats Serbs & Slovenes then became known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, a dictatorship led by the Serbian King.  (Three of the five died.)
(8) These Orthodox people had included Greeks, Montengrins, Vlachs, Croats, Bulgarians, Ukranians, Russians, Czechs, Romanians, Albanians, and Macedonians, etc. Sometimes in countries overseas census results or ports-of-entry registries revealed their ethnicity. For example, Australia census data according to religion about the former Yugoslavia indicated that only a minority of the Orthodox from there were of Serbian origin. (Like everywhere in the world, the same place names are used in more than one place. For example there is a Smiljan in Bulgaria.)
(Note also: The later exception was the Macedonian Orthodox Church created by the Yugoslav authorities in 1967. And at the first opportunity after the fall of Yugoslavia (1997) Montenegro re-created its own Orthodox Church which had been usurped by the Serbian Orthodox Church in the early 20th century.)  
(9) "The formation of the Croatian Orthodox Church and its relationship with the Catholic Church in Croatia shows that the Croatian Orthodox Church was not established with 'anti-Catholic tendencies', neither was its intention to 'attract' the Serbs. It was a solution to the problem of professing the Orthodox faith on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia for all the Orthodox Serbs, Croats, Ukrainians, Russians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, etc. ." (source: Obrknezevic)  
(10) When the English talk about their Roman archaeological sites in Britain it is always in the context of English or British history. Therefore early Christian settlements along the eastern Adriatic coast are part of Croatian history. Double standards should not exist in historical dialogue. (source: Sanader) 
(11) Source: Wolff, pages 156-157; (Note: In this essay I am not discussing the complex history of the Vlachs, only referring to their existence.)
(12) Oct 5, 1630 Statuta Valachorum ('Law of the Vlachs') under Hapsburg King Ferdinand II acknowledged that the Vlachs would not be subject to the Croatian leadership but would instead be soldiers in the military cordon subject to the King; and in 17th century Venice a statute re Morlacchi.
(13) Misha Glenny incorrectly accuses the Croatian government of "dismissing the Serbs' Cyrillic script" as if Croatia had some Herculean power to cancel a century of Serbian hegemony overnight. Glenny continues about the Cyrillic script,, . "According to moderate Knin Serbs I met in 1990, only about 5 per cent of the local Serbs used the Cyrillic script, the rest not only spoke the Croatian variant, they used the Latin Script. Eighteen months later, on my return, I witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a Knin Serb attempting to write the address of his relations in Belgrade in Cyrillic-he could not do it. Half-way through the address, he gave up and wrote it in Latin. The Croatian language was already dominant in Knin and Tudjman did not need to force it on people. As soon as he did, this helped to drive them away from Croatian culture." (Source: Glenny page 12 )  
In reality, of course the real reason the majority did not use the Cyrillic script is because they had no Serbian ancestry- in fact the opposite was true. It was Croats who had been forced to learn Cyrillic in their schools under the first and second Yugoslav dictatorships. 
Interestingly, for Glenny, the language is suddenly known as "Croatian" instead of 'Serbo-Croatian'- a term consistently adopted by all foreigners; and it is suddenly known as "Croatian" culture instead of 'Yugoslav' culture!  
(14) The following explains the identity of the Vlachs in the context of domestic politics in Croatia, in the Croatian language (Source: Zelic-Bucan page 91) "Ovdje treba istaknuti jos jednu znacajnu cinjenicu. Nikada, pa ni u jeku najzescih raspri sa Srpskim listom nije Pavlinovic rijekao Srbima u Hrvatskoj njihovu posebnu vjersku, kulturnu, pa ni etnicku posebnost. Taj svoj stav obrazlagao je upravo braneci svoj hrvatski politicki program. U pismu Stipanu Ivicevicu od 20 lipnja 1871. godine pisao je: "prijatelju, i djeca znaju da je Dalmacija kolijevka hrvatskoj drzavi i matica hrvatskomu narodu. Pridoslo je Srba i mi ih primamo i priznajemo kao bracu, i sve sto imamo s njima dijelimo. Ali zemlja, narod, drzava, to se za zive glave ne dijeli. Manjina valja da se prisloni uz vecinu. To je ustavno, to je slobodoumno. Srb, kao clan drzavni, kao clan narodni ne moze da ima kod nas u Hrvatskoj ni prava ni duznosti mimo nas. A svakomu Srbu doseljeniku slobodno ime srbsko, slobodna ta vjera, i sve ono sto ne smeta samostalnnosti i jedinstvu drzave i politickoga naroda hrvatskoga."  
"Potrebno je odmah u ovim uvodnim napomenama istaknuti jos jedan znacajan zakljucak hrvatskog sabora od 1861. godine, a to je zakljucak o priznavanja postojanja Srba u Hrvatskoj. Na intervenciju gornjokarlovackog (Srijemski Karlovci) patrijarha Rajacica, onog istog koji je 1848 godine ustolicio bana Jelacica, a na prijedlog od Sabora posebno imenovanog odbora, Sabor je na brzinu, ne shvacajuci dalekoseznost te odluke, usvojio kao saborski zakljucak od tog odbora formulirn prijedlog: "docim nije ovaj sabor nikad nijekao, dapace pripoznaje da u Trojednoj Kraljevini ima i naroda srpskoga". Nekoliko godina kasnije, 1867, godine, na intervenciju zastupnika iz Srijema poslije dalje debate hrvatski je sabor usvoljio I drugi zakljucak od Srbima u Hrvatskoj, kojim ih priznaje 'kao s narodom hrvatskim istovjetan I ravnopravan' " . . . " . do druge polovice XIX soljeca zitelji grkoistocne vjere u Hrvartskoj sebe nikako ne osjecaju, niti nazivaju Srbima u nacionalnom smislu.
On page 155 B.Zelic-Bucan goes on to describe the old Croatian Eastern Greek faith in Croatia. "Nisu oni svi nip o podrijetlu homogeni: bilo je tu starinom Hrvata grkoistocne vjere, koji su zaostali jos od vremena ranog srednjeg vijeka, avremena laviranja izmedu Istoka i Zapada, pa onda Hrvata koji su presli u grkoistocnu crkvu kako bi mogli uzivati njihove povlastice sadrzane u tzv. Vlaskom zakonu od 1620. kao i povlastice koje su dobili od vladara, a u biti su se sastojale u oslobodenju od kmetskih obveza zbog duznosti sluzenja vojske i cuvanja granice. Bilo je medu grkoistocnima mnogo starinom pravih Vlaha, tj. Potomaka prezivjelih Romana, koji su bili grkoistocne vjere, ali koji su se ziveci medu Hrvatima jezicno vec davno pohrvatili. Bilo je osobito u gradoovima I dosta Grka, trgovaca, koji su se takoder veoma brzo asimiliraaali s Hratima u pitanju jezika, ali su zadrzali svoju pripadnost grkoistocnoj crkvi. . " 
(15) The Croatian media and leadership have alleged that at some point during his life Tesla uttered that he was equally proud of his Serb origin and his Croatian homeland. This was never written down by Tesla however so it is difficult to verify. Also in Croatia an alleged Opinion Poll chose Tesla as Croatia's "greatest son". This Opinion Poll is just as unrepresentative of feeling in Croatia as was that other recent Opinion Poll about Tito which alleged that Tito was the greatest Croat.  
Note: Are the greatest Croats in Opinion Polls today always those who represent Yugoslavia or Serbia instead of Croatian people? - one would wonder why Croatian people resisted Yugoslav aggression if these Opinion Polls are genuine.  
(16) Orr, Dorothea, 'A Night in Lika', chapter in 'Portrait of a People: Croatia Today', Funk & Wagnalls Co., NY, 1936.
(17) Mestrovic's pro-Yugoslav sentiments turned to great regret later in his life however. "Neither the exiled politicians, nor myself", he wrote "are called to say the last word on relations between Croatia and Serbia and the relations among the republics of Yugoslavia. Only the peoples of those republics, and of the autonomous regions as well, will have this word. Politicians can and will search for a common platform, but as I said, the final decision is up to the people on the basis of equal rights. A contented population represents the greatest and only real strength of each nation (state) . " (Source: Jareb & Mirth)  
(18) On a website by John W Wagner, a campaign to bring attention to Tesla's contributions to electricity into mainstream American education, etc. is described. "Tesla is America's Forgotten Scientist of Epoch Dimensions" . "(Tesla) omitted in school text books . in technical journals" . "(Tesla) the underdog of electrical history" . "(Tesla) erased by Smithsonian Institute and its books of invention" . etc. (Source: Wagner website) Another recent book also supports this theme: "Forgotten Genius" is the subheading in a chapter about Tesla entitled, 'Electricity's Hidden Genius'. (Source: Tutt) 
(19) The Conflict Continuum (As applied in the former Yugoslavia)
  • War of extermination -- (Serbia attacks all former republics)
  • Limited War -- (within Yugoslav borders, Arms embargo, No-fly zone)
  • Threat systems, deterrence -- (UN Resolutions; NATO)xArbitration -- (Peace Monitors; the Hague-'Equal Guilt', 'minority rights')
  • Mediation -- (International presence- & law)
  • Negotiation, exchange -- (ceasefire negotiations; prisoner exchanges)
  • Mutual Adaptation-- (leadership changes, official apologies; uneven compensation)
  • Alliance -- (indirectly within EU Stability Pact framework) 
  • Cooperation -- (History Workbook for 'Reconciliation through Education') 
  • Integration -- (EU-led 'multicultural' solution to conflict in former Yugoslavia) 
  • Union -- (Western Balkans-eg. third Yugoslavia-Slovenia out, Albania in)  (Source: Boulding)


Beckie, Ken, 'Croatian Pioneers of Kenaston Saskatchewan: I Tell You Story . ',Sundog Printing, Calgary, 2004.  
Beljo, Ante (chief Editor), 'Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression', Croatian Information Centre, Jeztisak, Zagreb, 1993. 
Boulding, Elise, 'Learning Peace', Chapter in 'The Quest for Peace', Ed.R. Vayrynen, International Social Science Council, 1987. 
Dogan, Zeljko, 'Ciji Je Nikola Tesla', Hrvatski Vjesnik, Melbourne, 28 srpnja 2006. 
Franolic, Branko, 'An Historical Survey of Literary Croatian', Nouvelles Editions Latines, Paris, 1984.  
Jareb, Jerome & Mirth, 'Mestrovic in America: Relations Between Croatia and Serbia', in Journal of Croatian Studies, Vol XXIV, NY, 1983. 
Jelic, Tomislav (Editor) , Licko-Senjska Zupanija, Skolska Knjiga, Zagreb, 1995. 
Kevric, Ivan, 'Visocane', Zupni ured, Zadar 2002. 
Kusan, Ivan, (Editor of the English translation edition), 'Nikola Tesla: My Inventions', Skolska Knjiga, Zagreb, 1990.  
Obrknezevic, Milos, 'Razvoj Pravoslavlja u Hrvatskoj i Hrvatska Pravoslavna Crkva', published first in Croatian language in 'Croatian Review', Munchen-Barcelona, June 1979. (Translated into English language as 'Development of Orthodoxy in Croatia and the Croatian Orthodox Church' on the website of 'Croatian Studies'.)  
Omrcanin, Ivo, 'Forced Conversions of Croatians to the Serbian Faith in History', Samizdat, Washington, 1985.  
Orr, Dorothea, 'A Night in the Lika' in 'Portrait of a People: Croatia Today', Funk & Wagnalls Co. NY, 1936.  
Radic, Ante, 'Hrvatska Pravoslavna Crkva', Hrvatska, Dom, Br. 4, 1903.  
Sanader, Mirjana, 'Ancient Greek and Roman Cities in Croatia', Skolska Knjiga, Zagreb, 2004. 
Sivric, Ivo, 'Bishop J.G. Strossmayer: New Light on Vatican I', ZIRAL, Chicago, 1975.  
Tutt, Keith, 'Electricity's Hidden Genius' in 'The Scientist, the Madman, the Thief and their Lightbulb', Simon & Schuster, London, 2001.  
Wolff, Larry, 'Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlgitenment', Stanford University Press, California, 2001.  
Wagner, John W., '' website.  
Zelic-Bucan, B., 'Hrvatski Narodni Preporod u Dalmaciji i Don Mihovil Pavlinovic', Matica Hrvatska, Split, 1992.  
Zivkovic, Ilija, (chief Editor), 'Ranjena Crkva u Hrvatskoj (1991 - 1995)', Zagreb, 1996.  
Zubrinic, Darko, website, see science link in 'Croatia-Austria, Overview of historical and cultural relations - a sketch', 2005.
Jean Lunt Marinovic 
November 2006 
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