Area of Study
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
One of the more interesting forms of memory of the Hapsburg past, one can find in Croatia. This small European state, to borrow Benedict Anderson’s words, started to “reimagine” itself in the 1990s and reclaim its “Western” European heritage lost following admissions, first, into the South Slav Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and then authoritarian socialist state in the aftermath of World War II. Not surprising, given that many of Eastern European nations, formerly part of the Soviet sphere of influence, started to fabricate their own past and utilize nationalism as a tool of not only awakening national consciousness necessary to delegitimize communist rule but also desire to purify their nations and bring them home—to Europe, to West—where they believed they truly and historical belonged. What this article thus will attempt to do is to provide an objective analysis of how Croatian political elites, but also ordinary people, used the heritage of the Hapsburg past to narrow down the 1990s bloody divorce to binary terms—they vs. us, west vs. east, and civilized vs. uncivilized—and, in a sense, announce to the world that they should have never been put under one South Slav roof in the first place. But, most importantly, how the monarchy continued to be invoked, remembered, and preserved in the moments of national upheaval way past the 1990s. The analysis of the dominant ideology of the 1990s in conjunction with four case studies is in the center of this argument.
Leskovar, Fran, "‘Playing Hapsburg:’ The Hapsburg Monarchy and The post-Yugoslav Croatian Society" (2020). Summer Research. 375.
University of Puget Sound