|Abstract (english)|| |
The main purpose of this doctoral dissertation is to investigate the elements of historicism in the political ideology of the Ustasha movement and the elements of Marxism in the political ideology of the Yugoslav Communist movement. For this purpose, the dissertation is investigating the development of these ideologies in relation to a wider group of Croatian intellectuals as well as ideological conflicts of its protagonists on the Croatian soil in the Second World War. The topic is contextualized by following the basic lines of development, reception and appropriation of historicism and Marxism in Croatian politics and culture in the national, regional and wider European context since the 19th century. The main part of the dissertation is written in the historicist methodology of the constellational research, on the basis of diverse and mostly or entirely unknown archival sources and articles from various periodicals, as well as on the basis of numerous published sources and secondary literature. Definitions of historicism and Marxism, terminological considerations, methodological approach, and current state of research are discussed in the dissertation’s introduction. Special attention is given to the essay of German historian Martin Broszat which was published in the mid-1980s and which pleaded for historicization in the historiography of contemporary period, because of an insightful theoretical debate which revolved around it and because historicization is one of the main methodological premises of this dissertation. It is concluded that historicization which is applied in contemporary German historiography isn’t different from historicization of the older German historicist tradition. Intellectual roots, beginnings and the development of historicism and Marxism in Europe and Croatia, until the end of the First World War, are elucidated in the first part of this dissertation. Its first section summarily explains the new historicist worldview which had its strongest expression in the late 18th-century Germany, mostly in opposition to the thencurrent historiographical notions of the Enlightenment. The main features of historicism like the scientific status of the principle of reliance on individual sources in creating historical hypotheses, the concept of the understanding (das Verstehen) and unbiased subjectivism in the evaluation of historical events, as well as the importance of a thorough archival research, gave the foundation to modern historical science. The scientific status of history, on the other hand, created a very real possibility of using historical explanations as a powerful tool in justifying individual political, especially national, ideologies from the 19th century. One of the main achievements of this part of the dissertation is the conclusion that the ideas of the German Historical School of Jurisprudence gave the foundation to the political ideology of the (Croatian) Party of Right ([Hrvatska] Stranka prava/for convenience further abbreviated as the HSP) and its notion of the Croatian state right, i.e., the right of the Croatian nation on its own independent state. Namely, for the purpose of combating the political ideology of Yugoslavism, which had its scientific foundation in thoroughly proven Slavic theory of Croatian ethnogenesis by Croatian historian Franjo Rački, the leaders of the HSP, Ante Starčević and Eugen Kvaternik, created and promoted an alternative, “romantic” narrative of Croatian ethnogenesis. Their theory, further modified by Croatian historian Vjekoslav Klaić and Polish sociologist and racial theoretician Ludwig Gumplowicz, claimed that the Croats appeared in history as free, noble, nationally distinct and self-aware, as well as highly organized warrior tribe which legitimately created its own independent state immediately after migrating into the Roman province of Dalmatia in the 7th century. Elucidating the formation and development of Marxism in the European context and its appropriation in the political ideology of Croatian Social Democracy until 1914 is the main concern of the second section of the dissertation’s first part. Unlike historicism which developed mostly in opposition to the historiography of the Enlightenment and was the foundation of modern historical science, Marx developed his philosophy of history in adherence to some central notions of the Enlightenment. He materialized the concept of progress which would in theory, by means of a social revolution of the international working class, accomplish an ideal (Communist) society, free from the contradictions of the capitalist liberal-democratic “bourgeoise” society. Marx based his philosophy of dialectical materialism on the philosophical-logical analysis of the objective formation of social relations in the capitalist society, which he considered to be parallel to the factual historical development, concluding that the change in the economic base of the society, such as the means of production, caused a change in its ideological superstructure. Therefore, Marxism appropriated in the political ideology of Croatian Social Democrats before the First World War, naturally caused their agitation against the historicist political ideology of the HSP with its ideal of an independent national state, while they were pleading instead for the expansion of worker’s, political, civil and social rights. In theory and in practice, Croatian Social Democrats promoted the creation of collectives as a solution to the vexing agrarian question in Croatia of that time, at first publicly supporting the theory of future extinction of national question in the expected socialist and classless society, only to begin actively promoting the ideology of integral Yugoslavism in the years before the war. The development of historicist elements in the theories of the intellectuals affiliated with the political ideology of the HSP and of those affiliated with the Yugoslav political ideology, as well as the development of Marxism in the diverging ideologies of Social Democracy and the newly founded Communist movement, is discussed in the final section of the first part in the European context of the First World War. Croatian historian Ferdo Šišić, a proponent of the Yugoslav political ideology, the Serbian Karađorđević dynasty and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia that was founded in 1918, further developed the Slavic theory of Croatian ethnogenesis that was put forward by Rački. On the other hand, Croatian national political ideologist and geopolitical theorist Ivo Pilar, a proponent of the unification of Croatian lands in the reformed Habsburg Monarchy, added new historicist elements into the theory of the Croatian state right. He strongly emphasized the historical national formation of Croatian Serbs whose national interests, according to him, differed from those of the Croats in Croatia, as well as the Croatian national character of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second part of this chapter exposes the dramatic changes that affected the Marxist ideology of Social Democracy due to the events in the First World War and especially after the October Revolution in Russia. While Social Democracy ideologically reoriented itself toward the reform of the current state and capitalist system, at the same time advocating liberal parliamentary democracy, the newly founded Communist movement insisted on Marxist orthodoxy, advocating in theory and implementing in practice international revolutionary methods to establish the Communist dictatorship which would transform the Russian society according to the Bolshevik ideals. In the aftermath of the First World War, the newly founded Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Komunistička partija Jugoslavije/KPJ), section of the Communist International (Comintern) would split from Social Democracy in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia along the same lines (war/internationalism, reform/revolution, liberal democracy/dictatorship of the proletariat). Explaining the formation and development of historicism in the Ustasha ideology and Marxism in the Yugoslav Communist ideology, primarily in the Yugoslav and the European context of the Interwar Period, is the main task of the second part of this dissertation. The first section describes the growing animosity of national-liberal Croatian intellectuals toward the Belgrade regime and their alienation from the intellectuals who supported the Yugoslav political ideology in the 1920s. In such context and in defense against the growing repression of the Belgrade regime, many nationally-oriented Croatian intellectuals started to endorse the Croatian state right theory which was an integral part of the ideology of the HSP, a party whose members were persecuted by the regime. At the same time, the Communist activity was officially banned in Yugoslavia, but Communists (primarily Serbian Communist theoreticians Moša Pijade and (in lesser part) Rodoljub Čolaković) started to organize lectures on Marxism in penitentiaries which became the centers of the KPJ’s activity in the country. Despite all the vast difference between them, national-liberal Croatian intellectuals and Yugoslav Communists were an intellectual alternative to the dominant (Yugoslav) political ideology in the interwar Kingdom of Yugoslavia. One of the main accomplishments of this part of the dissertation (second section of the second part) is the recognition that in the context of intellectual debates between the proponents of the Croatian state right theory and the Yugoslav political ideology, Ante Pavelić, a future leader (Poglavnik) of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska/NDH) who founded the Ustasha – Croatian Revolutionary Organization (Ustaša – hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija/UHRO) in 1930, wrote the Ustasha “Principles”. This core document of the UHRO’s ideology and of the future NDH was written in 1933 on the basis of misused and unfounded historicist arguments which were synthesized with the ideological elements of national exclusivism by presenting the arguments in favor of historical national individuality of Croatian people. The common element of many theories of Croatian ethnogenesis in the tradition of the HSP’s political ideology (e.g., Kerubin Šegvić’s Gothic theory and Ljudmil Hauptmann’s Iranian theory which were claiming that Croats were historically able to create and maintain an independent Croatian state), that were an alternative to the dominant Slavic theory of Croatian ethnogenesis in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was taken as the scientific basis of the Ustasha “Principles”. The “Principles” also expressed authoritarian and totalitarian tendencies and were therefore compatible with the ideological elements of related Fascist ideologies of interwar Europe, but incompatible with basic elements of the Yugoslav political ideology which propagated the common tribal origins of the South Slavs in the Early Medieval (Migration) Period. The third section of the second part discusses the content of the secret Marxist-Leninist lectures of Pijade that were the basis of indoctrination of Yugoslav (and therefore Croatian) Communists in Yugoslav penitentiaries (i.e., “Communist Universities”) in the Interwar Period. Relation of such official party teachings to the wider circle of leftist intellectuals in Croatia, especially around the group of Miroslav Krleža, who will be pivotal in starting the conflict on the (literary) left in 1928, is also briefly discussed. Pijade and Čolaković translated the basic works of Marx and connected them with the Marxist interpretations of Lenin and Stalin. On such basis Pijade lectured on political economy, arguing against the capitalist system, and on agrarian question, advocating the nationalization of the land, introduction of collectives in the Yugoslav agriculture, and a Stalinist “dekulakization” in the planned “merciless class struggle”. Finally, this section presents the history of the national question in the debates of the leading Yugoslav Communists of the interwar period. Although Communist ideology remained nihilistic on the national question, advancing the view that it will disappear in the future classless society, its strategy moved from the advocation of the unitarist Yugoslavism and centralism to the final consolidation of a feigned federalist (and in practice still centralist) strategy, as could also be seen in Pijade’s lectures and the works of August Cesarec and Otokar Keršovani in the second half of the thirties. This strategy, primarily inaugurated by the General Secretary of the KPJ, Josip Broz Tito in 1937, was evident in the establishment of the Communist Party of Croatia (Komunistička partija Hrvatske/KPH) and the Communist Party of Slovenia (Komunistička partija Slovenije/KPS). Radicalization of the Ustasha and the Communist ideology in the last years of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, i.e., during the existence of the Banovina of Croatia, is the focus of the final section of the dissertation’s second part. Although the Ustasha movement began aggressive agitation for its nationalist goals, while historicist elements in its ideology were further developed by Mladen Lorković, Vladko Maček of the Croatian Peasant Party (Hrvatska seljačka stranka/HSS), now in power in the Banovina of Croatia which repressed the Ustasha and the Communist activity, could still gather the support of the most of Croatian intellectuals who were opposed to radical ideologies. At the same time, the KPJ was thoroughly stalinized under Tito and tried to subject most of the left-wing movement in Yugoslavia to its will, which led to the rekindling of the conflict on the (literary) left and the merciless expulsion of the left-wing intellectual circle around Miroslav Krleža. The conflict clearly showed an almost blind adhesion of the KPJ’s leading members to the Stalinist interpretation of Marxism at the end of the Interwar Period. Main topic of this dissertation is covered in its final, third part. The first chapter discusses the events in 1941, after the Axis had established the Ustasha-led Independent State of Croatia in April, which led to the direct conflict between the Ustasha and the Yugoslav Communist ideology in Croatia. The ideological core or the “constitution” of the Independent State of Croatia were the historicist Ustasha “Principles” which were synthesized with new biologistic elements typical for Fascist ideologies and which were incorporated in racial and nationalistic laws directed primarily against the Serbs, Jews, Romani, and political opponents of the Ustasha ideology. According to their vision of “historical Croatia”, the leaders of the Ustasha movement with Poglavnik Pavelić at their head, tried to consolidate the new regime with brutally exclusivist domestic policy and foreign policy which was in complete servitude toward the Axis powers. They tried to gather relevant Croatian intellectuals around the new regime, force their ideology about the “historical” national characteristics of the Croats with the help of institutions from “above” and by promoting pseudoscientific historical works of Ustasha activists and sympathizers from “below”, as well as by securing borders of the envisioned medieval Kingdom of Croatia. Since they failed in the latter task, with Fascist Italy incorporating a big part of Dalmatia (“the cradle” of Croatian state, culture and history) already in May 1941, they alienated most of the Croatian population and intellectuals, even those who were old proponents of the Croatian state right theory, not least because of their policy of extermination toward national minorities and political opponents. Second section of this chapter discusses the popular uprising organized by the KPJ immediately after the start of the Operation “Barbarossa” and the organization of the national liberation struggle (Narodnooslobodilačka borba/NOB) against the occupying and collaborationist powers under directives from the Comintern (i.e., Stalin), which was formed in the model of the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War. It is concluded that the NOB manifested itself as a Stalinist Marxist-Leninist national concept which called for a broad cooperation in armed resistance of all those who were against the Fascist ideology within the global anti-fascist coalition. However, despite the warnings from the Soviet Union not to instigate the social revolution, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia used the national liberation struggle for just such a goal. With the help of the political commissars, the party began to instill the Stalinist ideology of Marxism-Leninism in the partisan ranks and started to implement the policy of “leftist errors”, under the influence of the Wehrmacht’s first halts near Moscow at the end of 1941. The period during the years 1942 and 1943, which was a turning point in the war, is discussed in the second chapter of the final part. In a renewed effort to attract Croatian intellectuals, the Ustasha regime tried to present the Independent State of Croatia as a natural outcome of Croatian history whose alternative could only be, as Vilko Rieger formulated, “a complete destruction”. To gain at least an appearance of historical legitimacy, the Ustasha regime established the Croatian State Parliament (Sabor) and the Croatian Orthodox Church in the first half of 1942, but their role was only ceremonial. Furthermore, not only did the Ustasha leaders fail to get support from much of the population and Croatian intellectuals, but were openly criticized by the latter. In his lecture entitled “Kako će filozofija kulture prosuđivati našu sadašnjost?” held in the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences in July 1942, Stjepan Zimmermann, a foremost Croatian theologian and philosopher of that time, covertly criticized Pavelić and the Ustasha regime for their crimes. Although he embraced the historicist arguments in his claim that the Croats deserved an independent Croatian state on the basis of their historical experience, he expressed his opinion that the Ustasha regime was leading the state in a wrong direction both in foreign and inner policy, which was a common opinion of many Catholic, conservative and liberal intellectuals. This was also evident in the intellectual debates of the time. Slovene historian working in Zagreb, Ljudmil Hauptmann, who also adhered to some basic tenets of Klaić’s historical theses, opened the first debate. In 1942 he published an article “Podrijetlo hrvatskoga plemstva” in which he claimed that the medieval Croatian nobility originated from Croats who were originally a noble warrior tribe which conquered the Roman province of Dalmatia while the serfs in the medieval Croatian Kingdom originated from subdued Slavs. Although his article was highly professional, showed a brilliant command of sources and was backed by historian Stjepan Krizin Sakač, Hauptmann’s colleague Miho Barada, who was an adherent of the historiographical tradition of Rački and Šišić, opposed his views by claiming that the origin of Croatian nobility is not to be connected with the ethnogenesis of Croats. The second debate was opened in a series of works by Jaroslav Šidak in which he espoused his hypothesis that the medieval Bosnian Church was not dualistic (“heretical”) but showed many characteristics of religious orthodoxy that could be seen, for example, in the Roman Catholic Church of that time. Barada once again reacted to such claims by following the theses of Rački and affirming the dualistic character of the Bosnian Church. Finally, in 1943 Blaž Jurišić prepared the selected works of Ante Starčević who was a central historical figure in the Ustasha ideology. In the afterword of the book, Jurišić warned that the principle of leadership and authoritarianism was not to Starčević’s liking. Therefore, historical debates that were opened during 1942 and 1943, and in which scientific tenets of historicism clearly showed themselves, undermined the basic tenets of the Ustasha ideology. The national character of the first Croats, the position of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the historical Croatian land and the relationship of the original political ideology of pravaštvo toward the Ustasha ideology became disputed and highly controversial. One of the last links that the Ustasha regime could use to unify and attract heterogeneous Croatian intellectuals was anti-Communism. Articles against various aspects of Communism, which were published in the Ustasha press, especially in the well-known weekly Spremnost, were written not only by Ustasha intellectuals like Julije Makanec, Ivo Guberina and Vilko Rieger, but also by former Communists like Milivoj Magdić and Ante Ciliga. However, the Ustasha regime failed to gain support with such propaganda toward the late phase of the war, especially after the capitulation of Fascist Italy and the international recognition of the Yugoslav national liberation movement at the Tehran Conference. Continuing with the reaction of Moscow on the “leftist deviations” of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the second part of the second chapter at first discusses the return of the Yugoslav Communists to the tactics of the wide People’s Liberation Front in the first half of 1942. The major achievement of the Yugoslav Communist leadership in the same year was the accession of famous Croatian intellectuals Vladimir Nazor, Ivan Ribar and Ivan Goran Kovačić in the national liberation movement. As they gave the liberal-democratic pluralist appearance to the movement, sorely needed because of the suspicion of the Western Allies that the Yugoslav Communists are trying to instigate a social revolution in Yugoslavia, they took prominent roles in the Antifascist Council of People's Liberation of Yugoslavia (Antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Jugoslavije/AVNOJ) and the Land Antifascist Council of People's Liberation of Croatia (Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Hrvatske/ZAVNOH). The first one, founded in November 1942, became the highest representative body of Yugoslav peoples and consequently of the national liberation struggle, which was internationally recognized at the Tehran Conference. In reality, the AVNOJ was a realization of the Marxist-Leninist national concept which was a vehicle of the socialist revolution in the ideology of the Yugoslav Communists. Its federalist conceptions, however, were somewhat different from the national conceptions of the ZAVNOH which led to the first conflicts of the Yugoslav and the Croatian Communist leadership with Andrija Hebrang at the head of the latter. This has shown a certain dysfunctionality of the MarxistLeninist national concept appropriated within the Yugoslav Communist movement under the influence of Stalin in the interwar period. However, the international recognition has removed many obstacles in the propagation of the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the national liberation movement. The research for this dissertation has shown the steady rise of publication of core texts of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, especially of those written by Stalin, in the movement between the years 1942 and 1943, on all the essential topics of the Communist ideology like the political economy and the constitutional, national and agrarian questions. Such influence in the partisan ranks would further strengthen the domination of the Communist Party in the national liberation movement. The last chapter of the main part of this dissertation is focused on the final phase of the war during the years 1944 and 1945. This period witnessed the final political breakdown of the Ustasha ideology and the collapse of the Independent State of Croatia, as well as final victory of the Yugoslav Communist movement and the open implementation of the Stalinist MarxistLeninist ideology in Yugoslavia. Under difficult military, political and economic circumstances toward the end of the war, the Ustasha regime lost an almost entire support of a large part of Croatian intellectuals, whose “defeatism” Pavelić connected with the coup of his ministers Mladen Larković and Ante Vokić in the summer of 1944. A certain tendency of reducing the Ustasha ideology to its historicist core in the works of the high-ranking Ustasha intellectuals could be observed in this period. However, such attempt to attract Croatian intellectuals to voluntary action for the Ustasha cause, i.e., the defense of the Independent State of Croatia, didn’t have much effect because of the obvious distortion of the Croatian state right theory for the goals of the Ustasha regime and inseparable synthesis of the historicist and the biologistic (racial) core of the Ustasha ideology which remained firm until the end of the war. Therefore, the Ustasha regime, which was the only source of financial wellbeing in the difficult economic circumstances in the Independent State of Croatia, resorted to other means like terror and coercion in its last attempt to gain support of Croatian intellectuals. Since many of them continued to actively publish their work in the press, partially in accordance with the historicist elements of the Ustasha ideology, and since many of them were outright hostile to the Marxist-Leninist ideology, they were compromised in the eyes of the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. At the beginning of 1944, the Yugoslav national liberation movement was the only warring side in the war which was internationally recognized by both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union and was therefore the only legitimate movement in the Second World War in Croatia. However, due to the attempts of the Western Allies, and especially of Churchill’s arrangements with Stalin on the fate of Eastern and Southeastern Europe after the war, the Yugoslav Communist leadership was faced with the pressure of recognizing the claim of king Petar II Karađorđević to the throne of Yugoslavia. Consequently, throughout 1944 and 1945 diplomatic negotiations between the prime minister of the Royal Yugoslav government-inexile Ivan Šubašić and Tito were taking place and they were supported at the Yalta Conference. But the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was aware that these negotiations and the possible return of king Petar were a “trojan horse” which opened the danger of “a return to the old” liberal-democratic parliamentary and capitalist social and economic order. To prevent this from happening, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia developed the ideological concept of “people’s democracy” as a “democratic” type of the dictatorship of the proletariat and was reorganized for the purpose of centralization and elimination of more independent national Communist movements (Hebrang) which developed during the war. At the same time, in the liberated territories under its control, the party membership was practically implementing Marxist-Leninist ideology (judiciary reforms, expropriations, liquidations of perceived enemies) for the purpose of carrying out a social revolution, realization of the ideal of the “people’s democracy” as the one-party dictatorship of the proletariat in Yugoslavia against the will of the Western Allies. To legitimize such Sovietization, Tito was increasingly relying on the support of Stalin’s Soviet Union which was, despite minor frictions, providing considerable support for the new Democratic Federal Yugoslavia which in turn became all the more dependent on the Soviet Union. The content of this doctoral dissertation ends with an epilogue, which elucidates the fate of many Croatian intellectuals (who were mentioned in the work) in the first months after the war. Conclusion summarizes the main contributions of this dissertation and discusses the importance of a thorough archival, methodologically perfected and substantially precise historical research for contemporary historiography and society.