Report on oversight of the legality of the work of Matica hrvatska, 1972. Typescript
Matica hrvatska (MH) became the central Croatian cultural institution during the Croatian Spring, gathering the Croatian intelligentsia that was dissatisfied with the position of Croatia within the Yugoslav federation, especially with the attitude of the federal government toward Croatian national identity. For this reason, the communist government began to look at it as an institution that spread oppositional political ideas. By the fall of the Croatian Spring in 1972, Matica was practically abolished, and many of its prominent members came under attack by state repression under the accusations of "Croatian nationalism." The bearer of all actions against MH was the Republic Internal Affairs Secretariat (RSUP) of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which also collected information about the work of Matica and its branches years before the quashing of the Croatian Spring. Following the political decision in Karađorđevo in December 1971, the RSUP was tasked with filing a report on the work of MH that was supposed to serve as a basis for future indictments and the court prosecution of Matica hrvatska’s members.
The RSUP inspectors compiled a report on oversight of the legality of the work of the Matica hrvatska on five hundred typed pages. The first 150 pages refer to the history of Matica and the work of its centre in Zagreb, while the rest of the report is dedicated to its branches in numerous cities. The history, structure and the activities of the institution were given, as well as data on the most prominent individuals and their activities. A special section is devoted to the links of Matica with Croatian émigrés, which the communist regime usually characterised as "hostile political emigration." The report ends with a brief conclusion (on one page) that Matica "has grown into an association for achieving counter-revolutionary goals" (Hekman 2002, 484). Based on this report, indictments were written, and trials against Croatian intellectuals were conducted.
The Matica hrvatska Collection at the Croatian State Archives maintains the original copy of the Report on oversight of the legality of the work of Matica hrvatska, based on which Matica published a reprint (Hekman 2002) with an accompanying foreword by Josip Bratulić. One copy of the 1972 Report is also stored at the National and University Library in Zagreb.
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