Main topic

ESSAYS AND STUDIES

THE ROLE OF CROATIAN MYTHOLOGEMS IN GENERATING SERBOPHOBIA: CROATIA AS „THE BULWARK OF CHRISTENDOM“ AND SERBS AS „VLACHS“

Abstract

There are many examples of historical constructs, which have been serving the ideology of „Croatian state law“ for centuries. This paper is a continuation of the consideration of the most important Croatian mythologems that have served as building blocks of the national identity of Croats. Some of them, mentioned in the last issue of this magazine („Croatia to the Drina“ and „Red Croatia“), have long since evolved into factoids; they are woven into the „collective memory“ of the Croatian nation and the anatomy of Serbophobia. In order for the structure of hatred to be stronger, and for the Greater Croatia aspirations to be justified, the Serbian people were subjected to dosed racist insults by prominent Croatian historians, politicians and Catholic clergy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with the instrumentalization of history, prejudices were created about the Krajina Serbs, who were renamed „Serbized Vlachs“: a people anthropologically a little strange and culturally quite distant from European civilization. The inferior „Slavo-Serbian garbage“, as the „fathers of the Croatian nation“ called it, hindered all the progress of the people and the state since it „got“ to Croatia, and began to be considered unworthy of coexistence with „real people of the Croatian spirit“ – the so-called „descendants of the Goths“, Aryans, soldiers-conquerors from ancient Iran. Serbs, on the other hand, acquired the epithet „slave breed“, which the Greeks or Hungarians „named“; they became the descendants of martolos, in whom „evil and rust“ boiled, robbers and slaves of the „holy land of Croatia“, „Bulwark of Christendom“. With the disappearance of the Ottoman threat, although for centuries they made up the largest part of the Krajina military troops, the Serbian people were presented as „Vlachs being ripe for an ax“, the henchmen of „Serbian swarthy savages“ and their „gypsy dynasty“. Thus, mythomania, aided by Croatian scientific and educational institutions, successfully completed its Serb-hating task: it inspired persecution on three occasions in a period of only a hundred years. However, it also induced Croatophobia, enabling indefinite „circulus vitiosus“ of Serbo-Croatian conflicts.

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PERIODICS Political Review 1/2021 1/2021 УДК 323.1(497.11:497.5)"19/20" 85-106
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