Personal Memories of Participants of the Croatian War of Independence

Andriana Benčić

Abstract


Based on the analysis of in-depth interviews of oral history with 50 participants of the Croatian War of Independence, this article aims to analyze, comprehend and explain meanings which these 50 participants attribute to the Croatian War of Independence. The article examines the construction of the personal memories of those social actors who did not have political power during the period of war, and the central focus is placed on the social and cultural circumstances that influence the construction of personal wartime narratives. The article discusses and ultimately concludes that the personal narratives are largely witness to the previously planned, aggressive and genocidal nature of Serbian politics led by Slobodan Milosevic which served as the cause and start of the Croatian War of Independence. Furthermore, personal narratives reveal the large-scale destruction of Croatian cities during the war (urbicide and culturocide), and the distancing of interpersonal (inter- -national) relationships as a consequence of the war. Ultimately, although multilayered in their narrative explications, the personal narratives of people who experienced the Croatian War of Independence are compatible with the concept of the Croatian War of Independence as an aggression towards Croatia, with the aim of destruction of the Croatian national identity and conquest of Croatian territory.

Keywords


the Croatian War of Independence (the Homeland War); collective memories of war conflicts; oral history; personal memories; public memories

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Copyright (c) 2017 Andriana Benčić

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096