Sunday, July 15, 2018

World Cup Postscript: Palatable Slogans

Nazi fascism Ustaša crime politics sports war violence genocide hate racism xenophobia

ZAGREB/BERLIN (Own report) - The Croatian nationalism, currently causing an uproar at the FIFA World Cup has been supported by the German government for decades. During the World Cup, members of the Croatian national team also sang a song with well-known fascist lyrics - originally a song from a singer glorifying Ustaša fascism and praising the mass murder of Serbs in World War II. Virulent nationalism has been prevailing for years throughout the Croatian society. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recently confirmed that fascist tendencies are gaining strength in that country. Following World War II, old Ustaša structures had been able to hibernate in the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn also had supported the growing Croatian separatism in the 1970s and established links to the exile Croatian nationalist groups. In the early 1990s, Germany promoted Croatia's secession - and thus its nationalism - for geostrategic reasons.

Even before the Croatian player Domagoj Vida's remarks became known, one of his teammates staged a provocation, by referring positively to his country's fascist past during the World Cup in Russia. Following the Croatian team's victory over the Argentine team, Dejan Lovren enthusiastically chimed in a song of the Croatian singer "Thompson" that starts with the words "Za dom - spremni!" ("For the Homeland - Ready!"). This had been the slogan of Nazi Germany's collaborator Ustaša fascist movement, which had ruled the Croatian state between 1941 and 1945 and participated in the Holocaust. The exact number of its victims is unknown, however, estimates run from 330,000 to over 700,000 murdered Serbs and up to 40,000 murdered Jews and Romani, respectively. "Thompson" is known for his glorification of the Ustaša-regime. In his songs, he has verses such as "Oh, Neretva, flow down, drive the Serbs into the blue Adriatic Sea," or "Shining star above Metković, send our greetings to Ante Pavelić." Pavelić had been the Ustaša's historic Fuehrer.  (more...)

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