Advertisement

The “Cleansing” of Croatian Libraries in the 1990s and Beyond or How (Not) to Discard the Yugoslav Past

  • Dora Komnenović
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter departs from two earlier accounts on the so-called cleansing of Croatian libraries in the 1990s and further analyzes the phenomenon by focusing on the Croatian state’s positioning vis-à-vis the removal of “unsuitable” books during the process of ethnonationalization of previously shared, all-Yugoslav cultural spaces. It is argued that the authorities made “discarding” possible due to the impunity reserved for “cleansers,” by installing “suitable” cadres in important positions, and in general by fostering “exclusionism” and anti-intellectualism. Most importantly, the text poses questions about the potential of the discarded volumes 20 years later and the symbolic weight of murky discarding, as well as about the implications of its “normalization” and relegation to an unavoidable consequence of structural or sociopolitical changes.

Keywords

Libraries Cleansing Discarding Croatia 1990s 

References

  1. Aparac-Gazivoda, T. and Katalenac, D. (eds.) (1993) Wounded Libraries in Croatia (Zagreb: Croatian Library Association).Google Scholar
  2. Báez, F. (2008) A Universal History of the Destruction of Books. From Ancient Sumer to Modern-Day Iraq (New York: Atlas & Co.).Google Scholar
  3. Baković, A. (ed.) (1992) Duhovna obnova Hrvatske. Zbornik radova sa savjetovanja održanog u Zagrebu 11. i 12. Lipnja 1992. [The Spiritual Renewal of Croatia. Proceedings of the consultation held in Zagreb on June 11 and 12, 1992] (Zagreb: Vlada Republike Hrvatske, Agencija za obnovu).Google Scholar
  4. Burghardt, R. and Kirn, G. (2013) ‘Yugoslavian Partisan Memorials. Between Memorial Genre, Revolutionary Aestethics and Ideological Recuperation’, Manifesta Journal around curatorial practices, 16 (‘Of Regret and Other Back Pages’) http://www.manifestajournal.org/sites/default/files/issues-pdf/mj16-regret-and-other-back-pages/MJ-16-screen.pdf. Accessed on 2 February 2017.
  5. Delo, January 7, 14 and 21, 1993.Google Scholar
  6. Doll, C. and Baron, P. P. (2002) Managing and Analyzing Your Collection. A Practical Guide for Small Libraries and School Media Centres (American Library Association).Google Scholar
  7. Feral Tribune, April 22, 2000, March 30, 1998 and March 1, 1999.Google Scholar
  8. Hameršak, M. (2006) ‘Osnovnoškolska lektira između kanona i propisa, institucija i ideologija’ [Elementary School Assigned Reading between the Canon and Lists, Institutions and Ideology], Nar. Umj. 43(2), 95–113.Google Scholar
  9. Hrženjak, J. (ed.) (2002) Rušenje antifašističkih spomenika u Hrvatskoj 1990–2000 [The Destruction of Anti-Fascist Monuments in Croatia 1990–2000] (Zagreb: Saba RH).Google Scholar
  10. Knuth, R. (2003) Libricide. The Regime Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century (Westport: Praeger).Google Scholar
  11. Knuth, R. (2006) Burning Books and Leveling Libraries. Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction (Greenwood Publishing Group).Google Scholar
  12. Kuzmanović, J. (1990) ‘Epoha na smetlištu’ [Epoch in the junkyard], Danas, 4, 37–38.Google Scholar
  13. Lasić, I. (2015) ‘Sjećanje na “otpis”. Uništavanje knjiga devedesetih’, Bilten, 30 June. http://www.bilten.org/?p=7977. Accessed on 2 February 2017.
  14. Lešaja, A. (2010) ‘Kulturocid. Sudski process protiv Milana Kangrge’ [Culturecide. The Court Case against Milan Kangrga], Republika, n. 490–491: http://www.republika.co.rs/490-491/23.html. Accessed on 2 February 2017.
  15. Lešaja, A. (2012) Knjigocid. Uništavanje knjiga u Hrvatskoj 1990-ih (Zagreb: Profil & SNV).Google Scholar
  16. Najbar-Agičić, M. and Agičić, D. (2007) ‘The Use and Misuse of History Teaching in 1900s Croatia’, in S. P. Ramet and D. Matić (eds.) Democratic Transition in Croatia. Value Transformation, Education (Texas: Media, A&M University Press).Google Scholar
  17. Novi list, November 27, 1997, March 30, May 10 and September 10, 1999 issue.Google Scholar
  18. Polastron, L. (2007) Books on Fire. the Destruction of Libraries throughout History (Rochester: Inner Traditions).Google Scholar
  19. Prosvjeta vol. 12(37), n. 71 (681), Special English Language Edition Bibliocide- Culturecide. Where one burns books, one will soon burn people. November 2005.Google Scholar
  20. Radonić, Lj. (2012) ‘Standards of Evasion. Croatia and the “Europeanization of memory”’: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2012-04-06-radonic-en.html. Accessed on 2 February 2017.
  21. Riedlmayer, A. J. (2007) ‘Crimes of War, Crimes of Peace. Destruction of Libraries during and after the Balkan Wars of the 1990s’, Library Trends, 56(1), 107–132.Google Scholar
  22. Skender, D. (ed.) (1992) Hrvatske knjižnice na meti. Vodič [Croatian Libraries on Target. Guide] (Zagreb: National and University Library).Google Scholar
  23. Strićević, I. and Pehar, F. (2015) ‘Libraries in Croatia. Developments and Trends in the Postsocialist Period’, Library Trends, 63(4), 675–696.Google Scholar
  24. Šuvar, S. (2003) Hrvatski karusel-prilozi političkoj sociologiji hrvatskog društva (Zagreb: Razlog).Google Scholar
  25. Tuđman, F. (1996) Speech delivered at Zagreb Airport on November 26, 1996. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqbJOVlEzng.
  26. Udar na sjećanje/Damnatio memoriae (2001), Documentary film by Bogdan Žižić, 46 min.Google Scholar
  27. Ugrešić, D. (1996) Kultura laži. Antipolitički eseji [The Culture of Lies. Antipolitical Essays] (Zagreb: Arkzin).Google Scholar
  28. Ugrešić, D. (2015) ‘Esej koji putuje već pune 23 godine’ (An Essay that has been travelling for 23 years): http://pescanik.net/esej-koji-putuje-vec-pune-23-godine/. Last Accessed on 2 February 2017.
  29. Valencia, M. (2002) ‘Libraries, Nationalism, and Armed Conflict in the Twentieth Century’, Libri, 52(1), 1–15.Google Scholar
  30. Van der Hoeven, H. and van Albada, J. (1996) Memory of the World. Lost Memory. Libraries and Archives Destroyed in the Twentieth Century (Paris: UNESCO).Google Scholar
  31. Večernji list, January 26 and February 7, 1993.Google Scholar
  32. Vegh, Ž. (2015) ‘Sudbina hrvatskih knjiga kršćanske tematike i nadahnuća u Gradskoj knjižnici u Zagrebu za vrijeme komunizma’ [The Fate of Christian Themed and Inspired Croatian Books at the Zagreb City Library During the Communist Era], Kroatologija 6(1–2), 27–93.Google Scholar
  33. Vjesnik, January 30 and March 6, 1993.Google Scholar
  34. Zlatar, A. (2001) ‘Kultura u tranzicijskom periodu u Hrvatskoj’, Reč, 61(7), 59–74. www.otpisane.org http://www.lupiga.com/vijesti/tako-je-govorio-franjo-tudjman http://www.dzs.hr/default.htm.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dora Komnenović
    • 1
  1. 1.Justus Liebig UniversityGiessenGermany

Personalised recommendations