Grahek Ravančić, M. (2023). U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest. Preuzeto s https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477.
Grahek Ravančić, Martina. U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. Zagreb, Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2023. https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477.
Grahek Ravančić, Martina. U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2023. https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477.
Grahek Ravančić, M. (2023) U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. [online]. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest. Preuzeto s: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477 (Datum pristupa: 15.02.2024.)
Grahek Ravančić M. U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. [Internet]. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest; 2023, [pristupljeno 15.02.2024.] Dostupno na: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477
M. Grahek Ravančić, U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine. Zagreb, Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2023. [Online] Dostupno na: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:513477
|U ime naroda! : djelovanje sudova za zaštitu nacionalne časti Hrvata i Srba u Hrvatskoj 1945. godine
|Martina Grahek Ravančić
|Hrvatski institut za povijest
|Znanstveno / umjetničko
područje, polje i grana
Hrvatska i svjetska moderna i suvremena povijest
The postwar judiciary in Croatia/Yugoslavia was based on the unity of powers, and consisted of regular people’s courts, courts-martial, and ‘special’ or ‘revolutionary’ courts. This last category refers to the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. These courts were not specific to the Croatian, i.e. Yugoslav, post-war judiciary. The beginnings of these courts stem from the Soviet courts that tried exclusively officers in the 1930s. After the end of World War II, Europe was faced with numerous crimes and traumas. Dealing with the enemy and their helpers became a task that united almost the entire continent. Courts of national honour were an integral part of this, and were also present in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Norway. Although the idea behind all these courts was similar at the beginning, the implementation and results of their operation were different. Accordingly, even after all this time, some societies are still having trouble dealing with the consequences of these courts’ work. As the supreme legislative and executive representative body and highest state authority of Democratic Federal Croatia, the State Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH) adopted at its session held on 24 April 1945 the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs, signed by Vladimir Nazor. From that day on, the Courts for the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia became operational, and remained so until 8 September 1945, when the Presidency of the People’s Parliament of Democratic Federal Croatia passed the Law on Amendments to the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, and their remaining tasks were taken over by the competent county (okrug) people’s courts. According to instructions, the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs on the territory of Croatia were organised in county seats, and there were 16 of them in total. They were located in: Bjelovar, Delnice, Dubrovnik, Gospić, Karlovac, Makarska, Nova Gradiška, Osijek, Petrinja, Slavonski Brod, Split, Sušak, Šibenik- Zadar, Varaždin, Virovitica, and Zagreb. According to the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, criminal acts against national honour were defined as those acts ‘that insulted and insult the honour of the people, or are directed against the basic interests of the people and the heritage upon which Democratic Federal Yugoslavia is built’. A crime or offence was described as: ‘any cooperation with the occupier or his helpers, [including] political, propaganda, cultural, artistic, economic, administrative, or other form of cooperation’. Any ‘activity or propaganda in favour of the occupier and his helpers, by spreading religious or racial intolerance, justifying the occupation, or condemning the people’s liberation struggle’ was subject to sanctions. Any maintenance of intimate or friendly relations with members of the occupying armies and authorities was also punishable. The issue of looting property and providing economic assistance to the occupier was not left out, either, and neither was working in the administrative/clerical apparatus of the former authorities. Ultimately, the Decision referred to ‘any action that was intended to serve the occupier or his helpers’. From a legal standpoint, this final item is an example of a so-called general or open clause, which enables the use of analogy within the Decision itself. It follows that the Decision’s adherence to the legal principle of specificity of crime and punishment (nullum crimen sine certa) is questionable. In addition, the Decision referred to acts that had already been committed and those that could be committed in the future. According to the then valid legal regulations, if there had been no laws punishing certain acts at the time they were committed, one of the basic legal principles was being violated: nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege (there is no guilt if an act is not prescribed by law as punishable). An objective circumstance that should be noted is that, at the time the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia were being organised, legal regulations were still in their infancy, which had both a negative and a positive side for the new government. The negative was that it was necessary to simultaneously create a completely new system of laws and judiciary, while the positive was that, during this break, the new government secured the space for different and inconsistent interpretations— and therefore enforcements—of the law. A letter of the Public Prosecutor of Croatia addressed to all county prosecutors in Croatia stated that ‘According to the text of the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour, a huge part of the population that lived in the former Independent State of Croatia until the end would be impacted by this Decision. It is therefore necessary to properly assess the application of this Decision and avoid applying it en masse. The persons who should be especially impacted by this Decision are those who, during the occupation, had a particular influence in any branch of the economy, in the cultural field, in the economic field, etc.’ Although these lines may make it appear like an effort was made to avoid the mass application of the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, it is clear that it was to be applied in the economic and cultural fields. These two categories clearly indicate the target groups of persons who were to be brought before the courts for the protection of national honour in the immediate aftermath of the war. It should be noted that the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia was not applicable to persons who were not citizens of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia— such persons were under the competence of the courts-martial. The proceedings before the courts were initiated at the proposal of the public prosecutor, the People’s Protection Department, People’s Liberation Committees, committees of the People’s Front, and individuals. The reports of the People’s Protection Department mostly applied to larger groups of people who were of particular importance to the new authorities. Reports contained the suspect’s personal data, place of residence, occupation, financial situation, marital status, and number of children. This was accompanied by a signed statement about the person by one or more people who reported them. The investigative procedure was mostly led by a special investigative judge, who was an integral part of the public prosecutor’s office. In most cases, the interrogations were quick. The information about the suspects and the statements in the interrogation records did not differ much from what had already been stated in the reports. According to numerous testimonies, it appears that the accused were kept in remand prisons for a long time while they waited for the indictment to be filed. The indictment was filed and pressed by the competent public prosecutor. In particularly important cases, this was the Public Prosecutor of Democratic Federal Croatia. After the indictment, the judge convened the main hearing. Minutes were supposed to be taken at the hearing, but this was not done in the majority of cases, and the indictees often did not have a defence attorney even though this was guaranteed to them. In case the indictee was absent, a defence attorney was supposed to be assigned by the competent court, and persons who were on the run or beyond the reach of the authorities were tried in absentia. Despite these provisions, in most cases the indictees defended themselves. The hearings were short and usually public (e.g. in Czechoslovakia the trials were strictly closed to the public). At the hearings, the prosecutor would first read the indictment, after which the indictees were called to present their defence. This mostly corresponded to what had been said at the interrogation. After that, the public prosecutor would present the evidence and propose a sentence based on it. After a brief consultation, the presiding judge would pronounce a verdict, which was based on one or more articles of the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. Most of the charges before the courts in Croatia were drawn up on the basis of Art. 2 of the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. In most cases, the verdict was guilty. The public prosecutors usually automatically accepted the reports of the People’s Protection Department as charges. They used a uniform wording to describe a certain ‘crime’ regardless of the number of culprits, circumstances, etc. After the final hearing and the verdict became final, the convicted were sent to prisons or camps. The verdicts were pronounced ‘in the name of the people’ and effective immediately. Verdicts had to be written in the original and five certified copies. The presiding judge, members of the court chamber, registrar, prosecutor, and indictees were listed at the beginning of the verdicts. According to the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, the penalties for criminal acts included loss of national honour, forced labour, partial or full confiscation of property, fines, or expulsion. The penalty of losing national honour referred to exclusion from public life, loss of the right to perform public functions, and loss of all civil rights. In terms of public rights, loss of national honour meant losing the right to vote and be elected (active and passive voting rights), the right to freedom, speech, press, assembly, agreement, and association. It was specifically noted that the indictee can be punished with several sentences simultaneously. Additional clarifications stated that loss of national honour was the main punishment and could in certain cases be imposed without simultaneously imposing any other punishment. Those convicted by the Courts for the Protection of National Honour served their sentences in penal camps. Convicts from Dalmatia, the Croatian Littoral, the Gorski Kotar, or Istria were sent to the Vrana camp (near Biograd na Moru), convicts from the Osijek County People’s Liberation Committee to the Bohn camp (the former brickworks) near Vinkovci, while convicts from other areas were sent to the Stara Gradiška camp. According to the available documents, sentences from the Karlovac area were also carried out in the camp in Buzet (near Glina). There is no concrete data on the number of persons who were sent to these camps following the verdicts of the court for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. They mingled with other convicts (most commonly Volksdeutschers) in these camps, but it is clear from a considerable number of documents that the capacities of the camps were often filled, in which case requests were made that the convicts be redirected to another camp. In addition to trials for criminal offences, the duties of the courts also related to various administrative tasks: they kept registers of suspects and convicts, carried out various instructions that they received from the central court in Belgrade or competent institutions, wrote reports on their work, saw to the execution of sentences, solved possible problems, and coordinated their work with everyone who was in any way connected to the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. Unfortunately, such documents are very rare in Croatian archives, but I draw my conclusion on the basis of the instructions issued during the organisation of the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. These courts were part of the postwar people’s judiciary, so their composition corresponded to that idea. In most cases, court employees were people without the necessary legal knowledge. The staff employed during the Independent State of Croatia was completely unacceptable to the new authorities, so it must be admitted that they did not have much choice. It was normal for the members of the court to be housewives, traders, agricultural workers, etc. Only among those heading the courts could one sometimes find trained lawyers. Although the people were the ones who could best assess the responsibility of the indictees and determine the punishment they deserved, the lack of professional education was often manifested in semi-literate and unfounded verdicts. We find mention of this even after the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia were terminated. Equally important when selecting court employees was that careful attention was paid to their national composition. This issue was most prominent in the Vojvodina region. And last but not least, it was of key importance for court employees to uncompromisingly support the ideas of the Communist Party. Immediately before the courts started operating, and especially during the first days of their operation, a strong propaganda campaign about a reckoning with ‘enemies of the people’ and ‘collaboration’ was launched in the daily press. Images of the accused were associated with freaks, traitors, and those who ‘had sold their souls to the devil’. As the Slovenian press put it, ‘Through these courts, our peoples want to eradicate all that does not possess enough pride and courage, honesty, and honour to deserve the right to participate in the building of our rule.’ Daily newspapers regularly reported verdicts, especially when they involved people with significant property or those who belonged to the intellectual stratum. It was particularly important to depict the atmosphere in the courtroom and the mood of the people gathered there, who usually demanded the harshest punishment for the indictee. Through the press, these cases went ‘out on the streets’ and were retold among the general public. Condemnation was ubiquitous, and people feeling that ‘justice was being dealt’ became the norm. In this sense, the courts fully achieved their objective. And this is why newspaper articles are an indispensable source for researching the operation of the courts for the protection of national honour. The courts operated with varying intensity and faced numerous objective and subjective problems. The first and foremost was, as I have already mentioned, the lack of professional staff. In addition, during the first days the courts operated, there was a lack of supplies necessary for work. Additional problems included communication difficulties between the courts and the lack of sufficient infrastructure for delivering instructions, press materials, etc. (destroyed roads, lack of vehicles, insufficient postal communication). As can be expected, courts in Dalmatia began operating earlier because military operations ended earlier there, and these courts were often praised for their efforts. Likewise, the efforts of the public prosecutor for the Banija region, who was very successful in directing the operation of the courts for the protection of national honour in this area, were mentioned many times. Bigger problems were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county area, and the most serious issues were related to the Istria and Rijeka areas. The public prosecutor’s office repeatedly noted that it could not find adequate personnel for these areas, and that the people employed by the judiciary were constantly obstructing the assigned tasks. Moreover, Italians often complained that, as I have already mentioned, according to the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, they had to be tried by courts-martial, which necessarily meant harsher punishments. In addition, Rijeka was under a Military Administration, and therefore the legal provisions issued by the Yugoslav federal authorities were not applicable there. This was a continuous and insurmountable problem for the government. By the beginning of July, most of the courts had overcome some ‘beginner’s pains’. Their main task was still to deal with persons accused of ‘economic cooperation with the enemy’ and, as it has been repeatedly noted, especially those who possessed significant property. Working simultaneously with these courts were Courts of Honour at cultural, scientific, and educational institutions. They actively cooperated with the Inquiry Commission for the Investigation of Crimes through Cultural Cooperation with the Occupier. Already in June 1945, the Court of Honour at the Writers’ Association began to operate, followed by the Court of Honour at the Croatian State Conservatory, the courts of honour at the Croatian National Theatre, the Composers’ Association, etc. The most researched example is the Court of Honour of the Zagreb University. Thirty-five out of 139 teachers at the University of Zagreb were prosecuted. A verdict was pronounced in only 5 cases. For the first time, colleagues judged colleagues, which caused great resentment and sometimes amounted exclusively to the settling of personal grievances and animosity. It is clear that these verdicts were passed hastily and no great effort was put into investigative procedures. Most of the people who stood before such courts nonetheless continued their work unhindered later on. At the same time, cultural cooperation with the enemy was punished much more severely in Serbia. For example, a large number of people from the University in Belgrade (370 teachers and assistants) found themselves before the court of honour, and their punishments were more rigid and longer-lasting. On the other hand, this type of court did not even exist in Slovenia. Members of the National Theatre in Ljubljana were brought before a regular court of national honour, but this was the only case in which cultural cooperation with the enemy was punished. It should be noted that the decisions of the University Court of Honour in Zagreb were not of decisive importance for the fates of individual professors. The reason for this, in both Croatia and Serbia, was the fact that these persons were recognised experts and successful teachers. In addition, there was a shortage of professionals and the state needed educated people. More specifically, the new authorities could not replace such personnel. However, it is apparent that the authorities deeply mistrusted all those who found themselves indicted for anything. The operation of the Court of Honour at the Zagreb university was not marked so much by the verdicts it delivered, but by the influence it had on shaping new relationships and powers at the university. It is clear that those whose political beliefs were more inclined towards the new government were the ones who determined the guilt of those who stood before said court. The newly created situation was additionally marked by conflicts that had previously burdened the university community. The actions of this court therefore had far-reaching consequences for the university environment. Towards the end of the courts’ operation, the prosecutor’s office noted that special attention must be given to persons accused of speculation. From everything mentioned above, it is clear how broad the applicability of the legal provisions regarding the operation of these courts was, and to whom they were applicable, but the letters of the competent institutions clearly illustrate that the superiors were never completely satisfied with what had been achieved and accomplished. At times, this ‘view from above’ actually best illustrates the high expectations these courts were held to in the immediate aftermath of the war. Political circumstances significantly influenced the operation of the courts, so that, after the ‘voter base’ for the upcoming elections had been secured, the focus began to move away from the operation of the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. Numerous unfounded verdicts became a burden for the new government, and attention began to turn towards the organisation of the upcoming elections for the Constituent Assembly. The time for settling scores was running out. As regards the overall operation of the courts, it must be said that they did not respect basic procedures when determining possible guilt. The incriminating evidence was superficial and ‘all-encompassing’, so it was not difficult to find someone guilty. According to this logic, group verdicts for members of Kulturbunden on the entire territory of Yugoslavia followed. It is almost pointless to discuss whether they were well-founded. This is also confirmed by the judicial practice. Namely, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia submitted a request for the protection of legality and reopening of the proceedings that had led to the verdicts of the courts of national honour regarding membership in the Kulturbund, which was approved with the explanation that membership in the aforementioned organisation represented only an incriminating element with respect to the indictee, but not an actual criminal act. Very often even passive behaviour (especially when it came to working within the administrative system) was considered a crime. It seemed that an indictee would be automatically declared guilty if they could not prove their innocence (which was made impossible in many cases). Therefore, it was not crucial for the court to prove guilt according to the indictment. Courts were often guided by the phrase and criterion ‘they should have known better’. And this was severe and incriminating enough by itself. It was often stated in the explanation of the indictment that the loss of national honour, especially if it was not accompanied by forced labour or confiscation of property, was a mild punishment because ‘The convicted person had no honour in the first place, they say, and their face would not turn red because of such a punishment.’ Furthermore, according to interpretations, the court did not take into account the indictee as an individual and their face, but observed each case from the point of view of the people as a whole, who ‘put their honour and national pride above property, above, life, above everything’. It therefore concluded that these people also know and ‘(...) rightly judge those exceptions who have fallen away from it’. From these lines, it is fully clear that the main goal of the post-war Yugoslav judiciary, and therefore the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, was above all to protect the legacy of the People’s Liberation Struggle, then to protect the rights and interests of institutions and organisations, and only then to protect individuals. The frequent unfoundedness of the indictments was likely the reason behind the rapid issuing of the Decree on General Amnesty and Pardon of 5 August 1945. As one would expect, the government tried to present it as a final attempt to voluntary integrate the indicted individuals into society. Likewise, immediately following the Law on Amendments to the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia of 8 September 1945, which dissolved the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia, the Presidency of the People’s Parliament of Croatia issued the Decree on the Amnesty of Persons Convicted under the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia. This decree granted amnesty and pardoned those who had thus far been legally convicted of the acts referred to in the Decision on the Protection of National Honour and sentenced 168 U IME NARODA! to forced labour, regardless of the severity of their sentence, providing that they were aged 55 or above, as well as all those who had been sentenced to two years forced labour. Those who had been sentenced to 2 to 5 years forced labour had their sentence reduced by half, those sentenced to 5 to 10 years forced labour had their sentence reduced by onethird, those sentenced to 10 years or more had their sentence reduced by one-quarter, and those sentenced to forced labour for life had their sentence reduced to 20 years. Decisions involving the loss of national honour and confiscation of property, as well as fines and expulsion, were not subject to the provisions of said decree. Only the minister of justice was authorised to interpret the application of these decrees. Was this amnesty followed by amnesia? Certainly not. Confiscated property was not returned to its owners, fines were not covered by said decree, and persons sentenced to expulsion remained excluded from the communities in which they had grown up and lived. The mark on the convicted persons and their families lasted far longer than the few months these courts had been in operation. Exact data on the number of amnestied and pardoned persons is not available to us. Although the court repeatedly insisted on the submission of summary data, it was never submitted to the competent county courts in full. As the Decision on the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia was repealed, ongoing cases were tried according to the Law on Criminal Offences Against the People and State. There were many discussions in legal circles about its applicability in the mentioned cases, but the ministry of justice insisted that it was absolutely justified and well-founded. The work of these courts was, above all, of a political-ideological nature, and their legal segment was almost negligible. They dealt out a significant part of ‘transitional justice for which, as they often stated, they had little time, and which was inevitably accompanied by the desire to show that ‘we are not like them’. In practice, this desire often led to an even harsher reckoning than was proportional to the possible crime. This is especially visible in cases of economic collaboration. The verdicts of the Court for the Protection of the National Honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia provided the basis for the so-called ‘patriotic nationalisation’, whose sole intention was to confiscate the property of ‘enemies of the people’. This was by far the most important and far-reaching goal of said verdicts. In this way, the basis for the creation of a powerful, state-owned economic sector of the new state was secured. About 80 to 90 percent of the industry in Yugoslavia was confiscated and subsidised through the verdicts of the post-war courts. In addition, the verdicts of the courts for the protection of the national honour ensured that the more influential strata of the population were excluded from the political and social scene. Their marginalisation through the loss of national and civil rights also removed their right to vote, and therefore their control over the electorate, which was of crucial importance for the upcoming elections for the Constituent Assembly on 11 November 1945. Dissidents lost all ability to act or express a different opinion. Punishments of forced labour and/or expulsion also meant the literal, physical removal of individuals from the community, which was certainly significant when it came to intellectuals who were excluded from the communities in which they received training and acquired scientific competences. By punishing them, a message was sent to the entire community. Therefore, it is justified to conclude that the verdicts of the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia had far-reaching consequences, and some of them are felt even today (especially when the question of the return of confiscated property is raised). Among archival documents, it is not rare to find examples of reopenings of proceedings and the verdicts from being 1945 annulled. Many individuals whose fates were marked by such verdicts and their families want to prove their legal groundlessness and, to a large extent, their political motivation. Croatia, i.e. Yugoslavia, was not alone in its attempt to deal with war criminals and collaboration. At that time, this was the goal of almost the whole of Europe. The desire for revenge itself was not completely unjustified and unfounded. As such, it represented, on the one hand, a moral effort. Justice, although fundamentally imperfect in similar courts of Western Europe, better incorporated the three basic elements that were put before them: ethical imperatives, the need for legitimacy, and the political need for efficiency. The crimes of World War II in Eastern Europe also demanded an answer, but the creators of the legal framework, as well as its implementers, included, allowed, and encouraged measures that enabled and even encouraged numerous abuses. The trials of collaborators in this region were an arena in which opposing forces tried to impose their own interpretation of the past, and in doing so determine the future of the country. Although it may appear that violence is a justified and, in fact, inevitable result of brutal occupation, the ‘anarchy’ that crippled this region was a consequence of the decisions that were made—and those that were not made—by the authorities during the war and in its immediate aftermath. The approximately 3,000 verdicts passed by these courts in Croatia were another direct consequence of this. If we add to that the similar figures often cited for Slovenia and Serbia (specific research for the other federal units of Yugoslavia is lacking), we arrive at a total figure of around 10,000 verdicts for the protection of national (people’s) honour on the territory of Yugoslavia. Once again, it should be noted that these were not qualified as war crimes. The sheer number of verdicts speaks in favour of the interpretation that the organisation of such courts was carefully planned and their goals clearly outlined even before military operations ended. I shall repeat that, in this case as well, the new government thought shrewdly and long-term about the era it was trying to usher in, not caring much about the price that had to be paid for it. The absence of legal norms in combination with the impossibility/unwillingness to stop ‘wild purges’ led to the establishment of an uncertain, or perhaps better said unreliable, postwar justice (law). Ultimately, courts can only be as fair as the laws they are given to interpret. In this case, the shortcomings were numerous and evident. There was no real will to ‘deal with’ them. And it is unacceptable, especially today (without applying today’s standards to a time that is behind us) to ascribe all these shortcomings to a system that was in its infancy. Thus, things become much simpler, but whether they are therefore also more accurate—that is the real question. In these few months of the immediate aftermath of the war in Croatia, honour as a symbolic capital came under the attack of legal norms. The verdicts of the courts for the protection of the national honour of Croats and Serbs in Croatia are a reflection of the fates of people who did not accept the postulates of the communist regime, or whose loyalty the new government considered suspect but did not spend too much time or effort to prove this.
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