Letter: Fascism forced on Croatia

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The Independent Online
Sir: Contrary to your leading article's claim ('Has Serbia become a fascist state?', 9 June), fascism did not flourish in Croatia in the period between the two world wars. Unlike the other countries listed in this context (Italy, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Germany), Croatia was not an independent state at the time, but part of the kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In all elections held in this period, including the last of December 1938, Croats voted overwhelmingly for the Croat Peasant Party. Fascism came to Croatia not by way of elections or even a coup d'etat, but only after the country was occupied by Axis armies, which installed Pavelic's quisling Ustasha regime.

Your analysis of the extent to which Serbia is fascist is largely accurate, especially in regard to the regime's failure to develop a coherent ideology. Your conclusions, however, are weakened by the absence of any reference to Seselj's Radical Party (which controls one-third of the Serbian parliament), the paramilitaries commanded by Seselj, Arkan and Jovic (who co-operate closely with the so-called Yugoslav army and the Serbian ministry of the interior), and, most important, the nature of the war Serbia is waging in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (territorial expansion accompanied by forced deportations of whole populations in the name of racial purity).

Yours faithfully,

BRANKA MAGAS

London, W11

9 June

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