Round table in Zagreb, Scholars Initiative report.
20. October 2007.
PDF Document Download pdf documents:
The War in Croatia 1992 – 1995 (war_in_croatia.pdf)
Rat u Hrvatskoj 1992 – 1995 (rat_u_hrvatskoj.pdf)
Mesić o “Oluji”. Predsjednik Republike Hrvatske Stjepan Mesić za “Slobodnu” komentira međunarodno istraživanje “Inicijativa znanstvenika”o ratu u Hrvatskoj (mesic_o_oluji.pdf)
Je li Hrvatska i moralni pobjednik rata? (jutarnji_list.pdf)
Round table report
„WAR IN CROATIA 1991 – 1995“
(Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb, Croatia. 20. October 2007)
On 20. October, 2007, at Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, members of the Scholars Initiative (SI) on the former Yugoslavia, representatives of the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation (CHDR) and Scholars from Croatia and Serbia met to discuss on round table, report from SI „War in Croatia 1991 – 1995“. The round table organised Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation who is partner with the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in Salzburg (IHJR).
The scholars gathered in Zagreb represented a cross-section of different backgrounds and professions from Croatia and Serbia, (former Yugoslavia) united with the common goal of discussing report „War in Croatia“ and to start with dialogue and reconciliation process in a region which is still scarred by the wars of the 1990s. Participants included PhD.Mile Bjelajac (Serbia), PhD. Ozren Žunec (Croatia), PhD. Drago Roksandić (Croatia), PhD. Tvrtko Jakovina (Croatia), PhD. Ranko Končar (Serbia), PhD. Boris Kršev (Serbia), PhD. Ljubiša Despotović (Serbia), PhD. Josip Jurčević (Croatia), PhD. Charles Ingrao (United States), PhD. Vjeran Pavlaković (Croatia), PhD. Darko Gavrilović (Serbia).
Darko Gavrilović, professor at Universities in Banja Luka and Novi Sad and CHDR leader, chaired the meeting along with Vjeran Pavlaković, member of CHDR Steering Committee in what proved to be an intensive and productive session. The CHDR’s secretary Marjana Gavrilović assisted in ensuring that the meeting proceeded smoothly.
During the round table in Zagreb, the work of the SI to date was discussed, as well as the various projects of the IHJR around the world same as the mission of CHDR. Several of the participants presented their opinion about SI report, which could serve as a model for the future work on writing War in Croatia not only as kind of impovement of the report but more as possible paths for writing the common narrative in history in the region as turning point on historical reconciliation. Discussion of the content of report, in addition to conversations on other political and historical topics, sparked debates among the gathered scholars, which highlighted both the challenges in constructing a common narrative of the recent past as well as the necessity of facilitating a dialogue in the region with underlining the historical controversies in this two countries.
The round table set out to challenge the nationalist myths and narratives of Yugoslavia’s dissolution and a key element of that was put at the end of round table. That includes the necessity of finding and facing with the primarily historical documents and sources, breaking with national myths, involving the more methodology in scientific work when this kind of topics are the subject of writing, comparing and consulting with others scientific reports same as necessity to solve the methodological problems and national stereotypes in writing the history school textbooks about 20. century history in our region. Transmitting the results of the report to the broader public of the Yugoslav successor states was highlighted and it was one of the ultimate goals same as begin the necessary dialogue that can facilitate long-term stability and co-existence.
Nationalist myths and stereotypes about War in Croatia discussed at the round table in Zagreb included controversies on that period of Southern Slav history, and brought question of “living together or hating each other”, same as different key questions such as refugee question and question about who was the moral winner of the war in Croatia.
After the meeting the Center members (Despotovic, Pavlakovic and Gavrilovic) discussed about publishing a book that will include, two SI reports „War in Croatia 1991 – 1995“ and „Independence – Faith of Minorities“ in hope that this book will help in promotion in solving the problems with the past, reconciliation, the promotion of civil society, democratization, and approaches to history stripped of the chauvinism that characterized the 1990’s. The publisher will be The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, Salzburg and Kultura Polisa, Novi Sad.