The Struggle for Commemorating the World War I Centenary as an Illustrative Example of the Attitudes Towards That War in Croatia

Vijoleta Herman Kaurić


The commemoration of the World War I Centenary
(2014–2018) was the most important social event
in the last decade in the developed countries of Western
Europe, especially Britain and France, and in the former
British dominions, Canada and Australia. In contrast
to these victorious countries, the countries defeated in
the war (primarily Germany and Austria) had a
significantly more modest and different approach to the
commemoration. The emphasis was on all war victims,
soldiers and civilians, regardless of which side of the
war they had fought on. Since Croatia, as a former
part of Austria-Hungary, found itself in a completely
new state union after it was united with the Kingdom of
Serbia after the war, veterans were ill-advised to mention
their participation in the war on the wrong side. It was no
better after the end of World War II, when one victor's
narrative replaced another, and made the mentioning of
formerly existing monarchies completely unacceptable. All
these facts influenced attitudes towards World War I, which
was almost completely forgotten in Croatia over time.


centenary; World War I; Croatia; commemorations

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096