Franjo Tuđman Website
The website illustrates the life path and evolution of Franjo Tuđman’s ideas. Tuđman was a historian and politician who was twice sentenced to prison and banned from engaging in any public activity because he published and defended the results of his historical research, which contradicted the prevailing narrative promoted by the regime. The website contains digitised photographs, excerpts from Tuđman's diary, manuscripts and published works. The material testifies to his academic and political activities and his transformation from a relatively high-level communist official to a party dissident and finally the leader of the political opposition which overthrew the communist regime in Croatia.
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Website Tudjman.hr - Dr Franjo Tuđman – The First Croatian President
Provenance and cultural activities
The content of this collection of texts and photos reflects the deliberations and the life path of Franjo Tuđman (1922-1999), historian and politician. It is a memorial collection administered by his relatives, who gave their view on his life path and his political heritage. As a young man, Tuđman favoured the idea of socialism, which was most clearly formulated by the then Communist Party of Yugoslavia, which he joined in 1942. Although he fought as a Partisan during the Second World War and he achieved an enviable military career after the war, during the 1960s he came into conflict with the leadership of the Communist Party (in 1952 renamed the League of Communists of Yugoslavia). It was primarily because of his interpretations of certain historical topics, such as the issue of the Croatian Peasant Party in monarchist Yugoslavia, the Croatian contribution to the antifascist Partisan war in Yugoslavia and the number of victims of the Second World War in Yugoslavia, especially in the notorious Ustasha concentration camp Jasenovac. After the split with the Party, Tuđman gradually abandoned the idea of Marxism and turned to the ideas of nationalism, democracy and pluralism. He publicly defended his historical hypotheses and conclusions, which had opened questions of ethnic/national relations in Yugoslavia, for which he was sentenced to prison twice (in 1972 and 1981). The prison experience led him to move his struggle from the academic and cultural field to the political sphere.
The grandchildren of Franjo Tuđman are the publishers of the website Tudjman.hr - Dr Franjo Tuđman - The first Croatian president. The pages are edited by Dejan Košutić, Siniša Košutić, Nina Tuđman Vuković, Ivana Tuđman, Ana-Marija Tuđman and Nera Tuđman. They believe that it is interesting to observe Tuđman's intellectual and political evolution, and especially his idea of creating an independent and democratic Croatia which grew from the 1960s, almost three decades before the crisis and collapse of the Yugoslav communist system in the late 1980s. The material published on this website shows how Tuđman succeeded in achieving his ideas in practice. On the other hand, the publishers of this website are dissatisfied with certain perceptions of Tuđman, and the fact that the first Croatian democratically-elected president has not in any way been institutionally commemorated - with, e.g., a museum or institute. That is why, in 2013, they decided to create this website to commemorate the life and work of their grandfather. Their motivation to create this website also shows how Tuđman’s political legacy is still the subject of debates in Croatian society.
Most of the materials on these web pages are digitised copies of sources owned by Mrs Ankica Tuđman, Franjo Tuđman’s widow. The purpose of the website is to make its contents available to everyone without any restrictions. Although it has not served as a repository so far, many different works and users cite this website. According to the publisher's records, the content of the site is used by various groups and individuals from different parts of the world, mostly researchers, historians, and also school and college students. There are more than 10,000 visits a year. So far, there have been no significant events in the history of this collection, such as exhibitions or publications based on this website. The only notable event is the website’s launch.
The publishers do not have a budget, rather they maintain the web pages on a voluntary basis. So far, they have not applied to any tenders, nor have they lobbied for political institutions, because they do not want this website to be linked to everyday politics. The editorial board is open to any networking that would increase the collection’s visibility, even for some form of institutionalisation.
Description of content
This on-line memorial collection was created with the aim of honouring and celebrating the life of the first Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman. The founders (operators and owners) of this website structured its contents around Tuđman's idea of creating a free and democratic Croatia as a modern nation state. The underlying principle is to demonstrate that Tuđman's idea did not emerge only during the deterioration of the communist regime in the late 1980s, but rather had its origin at the beginning of the 1960s and evolved during time. That is why they chose content which is intended to show the development of these ideas. The central section includes excerpts from Tuđman’s diary, which most lucidly reflects Tuđman's thinking and conceptual evolution. Most of the digitised materials on these web pages are scanned copies of sources owned by his widow, Mrs Ankica Tuđman.
The website contains 11 sections: Home, News, Vision, Reflections, Speeches, Biography, Papers, What They Said about Tuđman, Photos, Articles and Downloads.
"Reflections" is the central section of the website, where Tuđman's thoughts on Croatia can be seen. According to the website’s editors, they show that his political platform, with which he won the first multiparty elections in Croatia, was the result of his ideas and actions that evolved over several decades. Here are some digitised (transcribed) excerpts from the diary written by Franjo Tuđman, mostly from his prison years (1972, 1981-1984) (http://www.tudjman.hr/promisljanja/). From these texts, his reflections and life path, from a young man who began to politically reflect on events in Croatia, through his disillusionment with Marxist ideas, his suffering during imprisonment and the final maturity in a political sense, can be seen. His writings show his aspiration for Croatia's statehood and the interweaving of that idea with his thoughts on democracy, freedom, justice and truth.
The pages contain important speeches, interviews and a lecture by Franjo Tuđman, available in full form (http://www.tudjman.hr/govori/). It includes ten interviews (from 1989 to 1998), 16 speeches (1990 to 1999) and the lecture "Croatia in today's Europe" held at Yale University on 22 September 1990.
There is also Tuđman's curriculum vitae (http://www.tudjman.hr/zivotopis/) and a select bibliography of his works (http://www.tudjman.hr/bibliografija/) in which all of his books and a selection of articles are listed. The "What They Said about Tuđman" section (http://www.tudjman.hr/rekli-su/) contains 29 statements by well-known and distinguished personalities (e.g. Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Ivo Banac) regarding Tuđman.
The "Articles" (http://www.tudjman.hr/clanci/) include contributions by various persons who wrote about Franjo Tuđman. The editor's wish is to post as many well-backed articles about Tuđman, which is why the site invited readers to suggest authors, texts and sources on two themes: (1) Myths, and (2) Great Ideas. In the "Myths" column, they post polemics and other texts pertaining to myths rooted in public perceptions of Tuđman's political activities. In the "Great Ideas" section, we can find texts that discuss Tuđman's strategic ideas, especially his reflections on democratic states and the role of small nations in a global context. That is one of the central topics that preoccupied Tuđman since the 1960s, about which he published the book Great Ideas and Small Nations: Debates and Tales (Zagreb: Matica hrvatska, 1969).
At the "Downloads" section (http://www.tudjman.hr/preuzim-download/), after registration, visitors can download a set of Franjo Tuđman's portraits, a scan of the manuscript of his diary written in prison on his sixtieth birthday (14 May 1982). There is also a manuscript of the title page for one of his most famous books: Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy, originally published in Croatian in 1989.
The "Photo Gallery" section (http://www.tudjman.hr/galerija-fotografije/) includes photographs that accompany Tuđman's biography from his youth to his death. The website’s editorial board wanted to highlight images of Tuđman’s monuments and streets and squares which bear his name to show that Croatian citizens honour his role in the history of the Croatian people, because there is almost no community in Croatia that does not have a street, square or monument named after Franjo Tuđman.
The site also contains a "Visitor's Log" (http://www.tudjman.hr/knjiga-posjetitelja/2012/12/17/knjiga-posjetitelja), where visitors can share their impressions on the pages, and there is also link to an official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tudjman.hr.
Although this collection (website) does not constitute an academic attempt to scrutinize Tuđman’s political legacy, but rather promotes the views of its owners, it is still valuable because it facilitates open access to original historical material. Moreover, it reflects a mainstream approach to the assessment of Tuđman’s legacy in Croatia.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 0-9
- photos: 100-499
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
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Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
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Author(s) of this page
- Mihaljević, Josip
Artuković, Mato and Ljubomir Antić. 2013. Sudski progoni dr. Marka Veselice: Dokumenti (Judicial persecutions of Dr Marko Veselica: Documents). Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Banac, Ivo. 2010. „Tuđman: plus i minus“ (Tuđman: plus and minus). Kolo, 20, no. 3-4. Accessed September 3, 2018. http://www.matica.hr/kolo/316/tuman-plus-i-minus-20738/.
Bing, Albert. 2011. “Franjo Tuđman i samoodređenje naroda” (“Franjo Tuđman and the Self-determination of Peoples”). In: Dr. Franjo Tuđman u okviru hrvatske historiografije (Dr Franjo Tuđman in Croatian historiography), edited by Herman Kaurić Vijoleta, pp. 79-89. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Čepo, Zlatko. 1982. “Dva decenija instituta za historiju radničkog pokreta Hrvatske“ (“Two decades of the Institute of History of the Labor Movement of Croatia”). Časopis za suvremenu povijest 14, no. 1: 7-58.
Danilović, Rajko. 2010. Upotreba neprĳatelja. Politička suđenja u Jugoslavĳi 1945-1991. (Utilising enemies: Political trials in Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1991). Belgrade: Zavod za udžbenike.
Đurašković, Stevo. 2014. „Nation-building in Franjo Tuđman’s Political Writings“. Croatian Political Science Review, 51, no. 5: 58-79.
Goldstein, Ivo. 2004. Croatia: a history. London: Hurst & Company.
Gotovac, Vlado, Franjo Tuđman and Marko Veselica. 1981. Pisma protiv tiranije (The letters against tyranny). London: United Publishers.
Hameršak, Filip. 2016. “Tuđman, Franjo”. HBL-online. Accessed May 1, 2017. http://hbl.lzmk.hr/clanak.aspx?id=11922.
Hudelist, Darko. 2004. Tuđman. Biografija (Tuđman. Biography). Zagreb: Profil international.
Jareb, Mario. 2011. „Tuđman, NDH i problematika žrtava Drugog svjetskog rata“ (“The Independent State of Croatia and World War II Victims in Franjo Tuđman's Historical Research“). In: Dr. Franjo Tuđman u okviru hrvatske historiografije (Dr Franjo Tuđman in Croatian historiography), edited by Herman Kaurić Vijoleta, pp. 279-312. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Knežević, Domagoj. 2015. “Hrvatska demokratska zajednica, od osnivanja do raskida s Jugoslavijom” (“The Croatian Democratic Union, from its founding to the disintegration of Yugoslavia“). PHD thesis, University of Zagreb.
Kolar Dimitrijević, Mira. 2011. ”Franjo Tuđman i organizacija rada u Institutu za historiju radničkog pokreta Hrvatske od 1961. do 1967.“ (“Franjo Tuđman and the organisation of work at the Institute of History of the Labor Movement of Croatia, 1961-1967”]. In: Dr. Franjo Tuđman u okviru hrvatske historiografije (Dr Franjo Tuđman in Croatian historiography), edited by Herman Kaurić Vijoleta, pp. 9-40. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Mihanović, Nedjeljko. 2010. Tuđmanova baština (Tuđman's legacy). Zagreb: Detecta.
Radoš, Ivica. 2005. Tuđman izbliza: svjedočenja suradnika i protivnika (Tuđman in close proximity: Testimonies of associates and opponents). Zagreb: Profil international.
Sadkovich, James J. 2010. Tuđman: prva politička biografija (Tuđman: The First Political Biography). Zagreb.
Tuđman, Ankica. 2006. Moj život s Francekom (My life with Francek). Zagreb: Večernji list.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1957. Rat protiv rata. Partizanski rat u prošlosti i budućnosti (War against the war: Partisan war in the past and the future). Zagreb: Zora.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1960. Stvaranje socijalističke Jugoslavije (Creation of Socialist Yugoslavia). Zagreb: Naprijed.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1969. Velike ideje i mali narodi: rasprave i ogledi (Great ideas and small Nations: Discussions and essays). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1981a. Na braniku povijesne istine: dokumenti sa suđenja 17-20. veljače 1981. u Zagrebu (On the bumper of historical truths: Trials documents 17-20 February 1981 in Zagreb). Issue place unknown: Bokatron.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1981b. Na suđenju dr. Tuđmanu sudilo se Hrvatskoj (At the trial of Tuđman, Croatia was tried). London: United Publishers.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1981c. Nacionalno pitanje u suvremenoj Europi (Nationalism in Contemporary Europe). München/Barcelona: Knjižnica Hrvatske revije.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1981d. Stirbt Kroatien? (Croatia dies?). Hamburg: Ost-Dienst, cop.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1989. Bespuća povijesne zbiljnosti: rasprava o povijesti i filozofiji zlosilja (Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske.
Tuđman, Franjo. 1995. Usudbene povjestice (članci, proglasi, pisma i rasprave 1958-1989) (Predestined histories (articles, proclamations, letters and debates 1958-1989). Zagreb: Hrvatska sveučilišna naklada.
Tuđman, Franjo. 2003. Petrinjska 18. Zatvorski dnevnik iz 1972. (Petrinjska street 18. Prison diary from 1972). Zagreb: Naklada Pavičić.
Tuđman, Franjo. 2011a. Osobni dnevnik: 1973. - 1989. (Personal diary: 1973-1989). Vol. I. Zagreb: Večernji posebni proizvodi.
Tuđman, Franjo. 2011b. Osobni dnevnik: 1973. - 1989. (Personal diary: 1973-1989). Vol. II. Zagreb: Večernji posebni proizvodi.
Tuđman, Franjo. 2011c. Osobni dnevnik: 1973. - 1989. (Personal diary: 1973-1989). Vol. III. Zagreb: Večernji posebni proizvodi.
Tuđman, Miroslav. 2011. “Na marginama Dnevnika dr. Franje Tuđmana (1973.-1989.)” (“On the margins of dr Franjo Tuđman Diary, 1973 - 1989”). In: Pamćenje i suvremenost. Rasprave o prošlosti, sadašnjosti i budućnosti Hrvatske (Memory and contemporaneity. Discussions on Croatia's past, present and future), edited by: Mate Ljubičić and Miroslav Tuđman, pp.43-69. Zagreb: UHIP. Accessed 13 June 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281098666_Na_marginama_Dnevnika_dr_Franje_Tudmana_1973-1989.
Vuković, Milan. 2004. Dr. Franjo Tuđman u sudskim dosjeima: (11. siječnja 1972. - 10. lipnja 1990.) (Dr Franjo Tuđman in court files: (January 11, 1972 - June 10, 1990)). Koprivnica: Alineja.
HIP_A01, interview by Mihaljević, Josip, June 19, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection