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Dom; The Voice of the Croat Peasantry
Topic Started: May 31 2018, 08:04 AM (144 Views)
mcmorgan79
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Open Letter to the National Council

Gentlemen! Your mouths are all filled with words: Narodno Jedinstvo - A single, united nation - one kingdom, under the Karadjordjevic dynasty. And you think that it is sufficient to state that we Croatians, Serbians, and Slovenes are one people, because we speak one language, and that, for that reason, we must have a united and centralistic nation, the same kingdom. You think that only linguistic and national unity under the dynasty of Karadjordjevic can save us and make us prosper.

How surface, how shallow, how unjustified is your thinking!

Gentlemen! All of your work in the National Council is neither democratic, nor constitutional, nor is it just, and, it certainly is not intelligent.

You, in fact, are no democrats because you do not care at all about what this awful war has made of our people, especially of our peasants.

Not in the least do you reflect upon the fact that our entire people, and our Croatian peasants in particular, have, from the depths of their souls, come to hate militarism, to such an extent that it cannot be expressed or described.

You care so little for what the people think and believe. You say and write that the people refuse to serve in the military out of fear and cowardice.

You do not believe that our peasant was in a state of slumber prior to the war. It was the war that shook him mercilessly, awakened him, and made of him a man.

You fail to see how courageous that must be, and how wise, when a hundred and more thousands Croatian peasants, one after the other, abandon the front and refuse to return to it. Some of them leave for the "Green Cadres", while others make use of all means, their money, friendships, or deceit, so as not to deliver their heads in the public market at the command of a foreign master, and, supposedly, in defense of King and the homeland.

In fact, you gentlemen care not a whit that our peasant, in general, and the Croatian peasant in particular, does not wish to hear a thing about the King or the Emperor, nor about the nation which is being forced upon him. Our peasant has matured to such a degree, that he fully knows that a nation and a homeland are to be found in justice and freedom, in prosperity and in education. Neither a unitary nation, nor a government under the monarchy in Belgrade, nor anyone else, will be of help to us.

You know well that where the rights of an entire nation have no value, then the influence of one nation or of one person has even less value. Even though you know this, you, intentionally, and knowingly, speak falsehoods, namely, that our people will be doomed, or that we will suffer irreparable harm unless we immediately, head over heels, fail to create a centralistic monarchy, and a united, centralistic kingdom.

You frighten our people as though they were children, and you think that you will win the people over to your political point of view. Perhaps you will win over the Slovenes, I don't know. Perhaps, for a short interval, you will win over the Serbs, as well. However, I know, with certainty, you will not win over the Croatians for that cause. You won't succeed in wining them over because the entire Croatian peasantry, as a totality, is against your centralism, and against your militarism; as much for republicanism as for the national agreement with the Serbs. If you wish to impose your centralism by force, this is what will happen: We Croatians will openly, clearly, and directly say: If the Serbians truly wish to have such a centralistic nation and government, God's blessings upon it. However, we Croatians want no other national structure other than an allied Federal Republic.

Gentlemen! The entire world recognizes the right to national self-determination. We have to thank that right for our very own freedom. That right to self-determination belongs, in an international sense, to all three of our peoples, namely, the Slovenes, Croatians, and Serbians, in the determination of our national boundaries in relationship to other nations. That right belongs to all three of our nations, and especially to us Croatians in Croatia as regards the formation and the advancement of our common nation.

Gentlemen! It is an awful thing, the greatest sin, and the most grave political error to present to your very own people an accomplished fact, that is, to carry on politics according to your own gentlemanly whims without consulting the people and contrary to the will of the people. If you do not believe me - God grant that all of you live long enough, and that won't be too long off, to see as to how the Croatian people in their sense of republicanism and humanness will blow you away in the very moment you think they have quieted down, and at the time you feel you have saddled and ridden them well. Long live the Republic! Long live Croatia!
BOP XVI
Posted Image Stjepan Radić, President of the Croatian People's Peasant Party

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mcmorgan79
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An Open Letter to President Woodrow Wilson

Mr. President,

Nearly a year ago, you delivered a passionate speech to your Congress in the United States, in which you included a promise of self-determination for national minorities. Now we, the people of Croatia, are asking you to honor that promise.

In 1915, the Yugoslav Committee was formed in London and advocated a federal Yugoslav state and lobbied for a unified Yugoslavia based on the principle of self-determination. But this small group of exiled intellectuals were hoodwinked by the Serbs, and what we have been forced into is much different from what you have advocated as a principle of peace.

In place of federalism, we have been forced into monarchical centralism. Instead of self-determination, we find ourselves subservient to the rule of law of the Kingdom of Serbia. Rather than determining our own future, we are now ruled by the Serb Royal family, under King Peter I.

We argue that Croatia's entry into the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes has no legal basis because neither the Croatian Sabor nor the Croatian people gave their consent. The decision to join the kingdom was taken by a special committee rather than the Sabor as a whole.

Because of this we ask the following:

That Mr. Wilson and the representatives of the great Powers should recognize the independence of the Croatian people;

That an international Commission should be sent to Croatia to inquire;

That a Constituent Assembly should be formed so that the Croatian people be free to decide their fate;

That the Serbian Army be withdrawn;

That the Sabor, should be respected as being alone authorized to the making of laws in Croatia; today, they are being dictated by Serbia and executed in the most brutal manner by the military.

With Great Respect,
Stjepan Radic
President of the Croatian People's Republican Peasant Party
BOP XVI
Posted Image Stjepan Radić, President of the Croatian People's Peasant Party

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mcmorgan79
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My fellow Croats!

Prior to the dissolution of the monarchy and the military collapse of Germany, it was necessary for us to cooperate and to be patient with the Serbs. But there are new facts here today, and not only coercion, but the old Serbian military and bureaucratically corrupt and conspiratorial system, which was shameful before the war, but today is catastrophic.

For years we said that we were one with the Serbs. We did this because we had to defend ourselves against the Magyars, Italians, and Germans. We were foreigners in our own lands. It was necessary unconditionally to defend nationality, therefore unity, oneness with the Serbs, because foreign brute force was over and around us. But now the situation has changed radically.

Today we know that we are free from this foreign force. We have an opponent with whom we are equal and even stronger. We do not need to submit to a policy of coercion. Now justice must be defended against domestic force and injustice. It is the right of the Croat people to national self-determination. We will not allow the rights of the Croat peasantry be trampled on by a monarchical system of government in the name of narodno jedinstvo!

We ask that you join this republican movement and unite under the banner of the Croatian Peasant Party. Support a Croat peasant democracy and force this to become an international question.
BOP XVI
Posted Image Stjepan Radić, President of the Croatian People's Peasant Party

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mcmorgan79
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Belgrade to Hand Over Rijeka to Italians

It appears as though the Karadordevic government in Belgrade is prepared to hand over control of the town of Rijeka to the Italians. In secret meetings held with the Italians, the inept Serb dominated government in Belgrade has agreed to transfer the Istria peninsula, including Rijeka, to the Italians in exchange for the whole of the Dalmatia coast. Why the Serbian government is negotiating with the Italians over Croatian land is incomprehensible.

The town known as Fiume to the Italians, is the only outlet Croats and his fellow Yugoslavs have to the Adriatic Sea. In the hands of the Yugoslavs, Rijeka would grow, and the town would become a rival of the port of Trieste. If both ports are in the hands of the Italians, Trieste will be highly developed by them and Rijeka left to stagnate. Rijeka and Trieste are the natural outlets for a large commerce that is bound to be far more important in the future. To take away Rijeka from Croatia and Yugoslavia is to take away the focus of our northern railways, the one Adriatic port easily accessible to Yugoslavia and capable of high development, the natural center of a Yugoslav region, a possible commercial capital.

With five hundred miles of deeply indented and island-bordered coastline of the eastern Adriatic, it might be supposed that it would furnish us with adequate harbors, even with Rijeka lost. But this is not the case. The harbors are small and they are not capable of economical improvements. The mountains stand knee-deep in the sea, with so little flat land along the shore for development of towns, and such steep descents from the uplands behind the towns, that port works on a large scale are almost prohibitive. Another disadvantage of the coast is the "bora", a cold and treacherous north wind that descends swiftly from the uplands and is exceedingly dangerous for ships in narrow passages and in deep water where anchorage is difficult. But these are small details that the Belgrade government should have known about the Croatian coastline.

For our immediate future, why is control of Rijeka so important? The answer is trade, and primarily the importing of coal to Yugoslavia. It might come as a surprise to the Serb government in Belgrade that the resources of Yugoslavia are poorly balanced. We are poor in coal; the only mines of commercial importance are in Serbia and Bosnia. To make things worse, as the Hapsburg armies retreated last year, the Serbian coal mines were largely dynamited and flooded, and production has all but stopped. Because of this, we will be heavily dependent upon northern Europe for coal. As a people, we use about 300,000 tons of coal a month, of which we had only produced about 270,000 tons. The remaining deficit must be made up through trade. But how can we trade with northern Europe when we have no outlet to the Adriatic Sea?

BOP XVI
Posted Image Stjepan Radić, President of the Croatian People's Peasant Party

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