A List of Forbidden Books and Newspapers is a three-page document written on a typewriter at the District Public Court in Zagreb no later than on 16 March 1946. The list contains thirty seven book titles officially forbidden by the Zagreb District People’s Court from the autumn of 1945 until the spring of 1946 and two more passages, referring to a much larger number of blacklisted publications. The first passage lists all works by the Catholic author writer Zvonimir Remeta (1909–1964), and the second passage mentions the banned distribution of all publications issued by some twenty four publishers related to ustasha and fascist regimes (even referring to publications of the Croatian-Japanese Society). The list was apparently used to purge bookshops and libraries and was widely distributed.
Iljko Karaman took possession of the document illegally from the Public Prosecutor's Office and kept it in his home collection, which in 1992 ended in the Croatian State Archives. The material is available for research and copying and was used in the publications by Deniver Vukelić and Josip Grbelja as sources for studying the postwar communist censorship.
- Zagreb, Croatia
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Augustinas Janulaitis' letter to Juozas Matulis, the president of the Academy of Sciences of Soviet Lithuania, was written in 1946. The historian was attacked sharply by the Party authorities for his 'bourgeois nationalism', and in particular for the pamphlet 'Lithuania and Contemporary Russia', written and published in 1925. In the pamphlet, Janulaitis described very critically the political reality in Soviet Russia. He explained his stance in a letter to Matulis: why he was not 'self-critical', and did not openly recognise or regret his past 'political mistakes'. According to Janulaitis, the best way was just to 'keep silent', because nobody would believe him. On the other hand, he stated that he wanted to sort his collection, and his main aim was to carry out academic research.
Radica wrote this article in October 1946 in New York, after his escape from Yugoslavia, in which he described the terror of the revolution carried out by the Yugoslav communists. It was later published in a review called Reader’s Digest. On account this and other articles published in the American press, the Yugoslav regime banned all his works. In this article printed in the newspaper that had a large readership and reach, he was the first person who revealed this information on revolutionary events in Yugoslavia to North America and the West. The article was translated into numerous other languages, and was published in Japan in the Japanese language. He received a writer’s fee of $5,000 for the article.
Radica introduced the term “useful innocents”, a phrase unknown in the American political culture. He considered himself and other democrats from Croatia and Yugoslavia useful innocents who had an illusion that communists would not succeed to seize absolute power in Yugoslavia. They believed naively that postwar Yugoslavia would be a democratic and federal state, not a communist dictatorship. In the beginning, the communists gathered various political representatives to get the support of wider population.This kind of political organization was called the Popular Front in the postwar communist world and in Yugoslavia (Narodna fronta).
The manuscript of the book was written by Bogdan Radica during his time in exile. It was finally published in 1974 in Barcelona and Munich, by the emigrant publishing house Hrvatska revija. He also collected his own articles published in the American press, his memoirs from Croatia and Yugoslavia covering the period from November 1944 to May 1946, and his notes from Izgnanički dnevnik in which he had made note on his journey from Italy and America. After the Croatian Spring in 1971, following conversations between the editor-in-chief, Vinko Nikolić and Radica in New York, they both decided to print the book. Radica decided to do that in order to explain what are the roots of “the newest Croatian catastrophe” in Tito’s Yugoslavia. In the book, he pointed out the fear and repression of the Communist revolution in Croatia.
Croatia survived the strongest level of repression because it demonstrated much more resistance than the other Yugoslav regions. In the book, Radica describes the situation during those revolutionary days in Zagreb and his hometown Split. He described the killings and jailing of people in those cities, among whom there were many respectable people from public life. Hence, he coined the phrase “great fear in Croatia” to describe the revolutionary terror. When he decided to flee Croatia and Yugoslavia, he sent his wife a telegram importantly titled “I have left Tito's paradise forever.”
This document provides information on the status of Croatian refugees in Italy and the British zone of Austria after World War II. It is an unsigned document most likely drafted by the British Military Administration in Austria, probably in late 1946. It includes numerical estimates of refugees (20,000 Croatian refugees) in refugee and POW camps, as well as the testimonies about conditions and treatment in the camps and the information on the extradition of refugees to Yugoslavia.
These refugees fled from the units of the Yugoslav Army and managed to cross the Yugoslav-Austrian border and settle in Allied camps in Austria and Italy. The incentive for writing this document came from the Commons State Security.
Most of these refugees were civilians, including women and children. The British report shows the poor condition in which these refugees lived and their greatest fear - extradition to the new Yugoslav state.
Allied military headquarters informed the Secretary of State of the Holy See that in the future only those people whose guilt for crimes against humanity is determined after an in-depth investigation will be extradited to Yugoslavia.
The report has five appendices. These are four excerpts from letters written by Croatian prisoners in which they speak about their mistreatment at the hands of the Allied authorities. There is also the letter from the Secretary of State of the Holy See Giovanni Battista Montini (Pope Paul VI) on 17 May 1946 (Annex no. 2) addressed to an unknown person in the church, wherein he reflects about the criteria on which the Allied forces extradited Croatian prisoners to the Yugoslav authorities.
Krunoslav Draganović was almost in daily contact with these prisoners, and from them he collected valuable information and testimonies. This document collected by K. Draganović is valuable because Croatian historiography does not have much data on these events (Grahek Ravančić, 2014, 283-284).
The document is located in the file folder no. 1, under the designation no. 2.29. The use of the material is limited because it contains personal data that is subject to the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act (Narodne novine 106/2012). Unrestricted access to them may be granted to a direct descendant of the person whose data are contained in a document. Others have limitations:- either 70 years must pass since the creation of the document or 100 years since the birth of the person to whom the document pertains.
- Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
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This embroidered handkerchief was created by the harpist Viktoriya Poltaryeva and almost 40 female prisoners imprisoned at the Prison on Lonskogo St. in 1946. Museum curators count this among featured items, as each woman left her own unique design and initials, as well as cell number. The piece was donated to the museum by her son, Petro Poltaryev, who is also a musician like his mother. For many years, this item remained in the private archives of the Poltaryev family and is reminder of the complex and fraught relationship the Soviet authorities had with creatives, even in official ranks.
This piece is a vibrant rendering of Poltaryeva’s nine months at the prison. The women marked dates of significance when they might be missing their families and loved ones most, such as January 7, 1946, or Christmas by the Julian calendar. Given that this handkerchief was made by so many hand, each contribution was different in style, regional motifs and sewing techniques. Also important to remember are the conditions under which these women worked on this piece, which would have been forbidden, and how they managed to conceal the handkerchief from multiple searches, moves from cell to cell, and floor to floor. Needles would have been fashioned from fish bones, the fabric cut from someone’s dress, the thread pulled from the clothing they wore.Unfortunately, little is known about the women who were incarcerated alongside Poltaryeva, and considerable detective work would have to be done in order to find out who stood behind the many initials preserved on this handkerchief.