Anti-Fascist Struggle Day is a public holiday in Croatia. It is observed on 22nd of June, and commemorates the formation of the First Sisak Partisan Detachment, a Communist-led guerilla unit, on 22nd June 1941., as well as the general uprising of Communist Partisans against the Axis. The public holiday was introduced by the Croatian Parliament in 1991, replacing the commemoration of the Chetnik uprising in Srb on 27th of July.
The only problem is, all of it is a lie.
There is no evidence that any kind of a Partisan Detachment had been founded in Sisak on 22nd of June. What did happen on that day was that Nazi Germany had attacked the Soviet Union, thus cutting off the existing Nazi-Soviet alliance. A group of communists from Sisak went to discuss matters in the forest, basically going on a field trip, because they were afraid of being arrested. But nothing of note had actually happened.
The event was explained by Lojzo Butarić:
It was in the year 1955. that I met Vlado Janić in Sisak in the house of his sister and her husband Panča. There were three of us, Nikola Zečić, then a forrestry student, Vlado and myself, and we talked for a long time. Vlado Janić told us the full story of the events from April to September of 1941. In first days of April of 1941., monument to king Petar Karađorđević in Sisak was torn down.
This act was blamed jointly on the Communists and the Ustashi, which at the time were both fighting against Yugoslavia. For a short time, both groups were in prison together. Because of this, but primarily due to the Hitler – Stalin pact, there were no problems between the Ustashi and the Communists from April to June 1941.
But problems appeared when on 22nd June Hitler attacked the Soviet Union with no warning. On this same day Janić went to Petrinja with a Party bicycle to reach an agreement with local Communists about going illegal. Marijan Cvetković went by train to Sunja and Kostajnica by the same task.
In the evening of the same day, both Janić and Cvetković were in the village of Žabno near Sisak, visiting the Party comrades Ivo Lovreković and Joso Lasić. Along with few other members of the Party which happened to be there, it was decided that better-known Communists should retreat to underground, and that at first it should be Žabno forest. Illegals should be brought weapons immediately, which the Communists had earlier stored on the attic of the church of st. Fabian in the village of Vurot. There in Žabno Janković and Cvetković slept the night. As it can be seen, there had been no Brezovica and no Partisan detachment on 22nd June 1941.
Following days, Janić told us, they searched for and found acceptable shelters in the Žabenska forest. One they called “Šikara” and the second, 500 meters further away, “Mali kolićevac”. In Šikara were Janić and Cvetković, joined several days later by Nada Dimić. Few days later people started gathering in Kolićevac under leadership of Miko Šipljak, and after a few days there were a dozen rebels. But they were discovered after a month, and were attacked by Croatian Army on 22nd July 1941.
- Miroslav Matovina and Dragan Božić, “First Partisan Detachment”, 1981. Journalists from Sisak, Matovina and Božić, had talked with Vlado Janić and other partisans from Sisak so their book is mostly true. The book describes conditions around Sisak from June to September 1941. On 22nd June 1941. there is only a mention of Sisak – Petrinja – Sunja – Kostajnica – Žabno. Then for a month Žabno Forest, then a complete quiet, and then for a month Brezovica to which Janić had come to only at the end of August.
- Sisak Museum and the Tourist Community of Sisak had published a leaflet titled “Sisak-Brezovica, a monument to the First Partisan Detachment”, Turistkomerc Zagreb 1981. It is part truth and part lie. True part is that the Sisak Communists in June and July did not gather in Brezovica but rather in Žabenska forest. Lie is that they founded a Partisan detachment in Šikara forest on 22nd July 1941.
- Dragan Božić, “Žaben forest” article in the magazine “Forum” 1985. and copied in Božić’s book “History of the rare bird” (“Povijest rijetke ptice”), Sisak 2009. pg. 5 – 36. Božić as a journalist and a writer, having talked to a detail with Sisak fighters, equally detailly described the events of 22nd July 1941. and the following days in Sisak, Petrinja, Sunj, Kostajnica, Žabno and Žaben forest. Important part is that in this detailled description on 30 pages has no Brezovica nor partisan detachment.
- Finally, an editor of New Sisak Weekly from 24th June 2010., Željko Maljevac, was given an interview by Ljubica Čulig, former Partisan from village of Žabno. She stated that in 1941., as a 19-year-old girl, she was a Communist activist and was closely cooperating with leading Communists in Žabno, which were Ivo Lovreković and Joso Tuškanac.
It is known to her that on 22nd June, Vlado Janić and Marijan Cvetković had come to Žabno. They spent next several months, until 22nd July, hiding in the Žabno forest. Every day, she collected the food and other necessities in the village, and carried them to comrades in the Žabno forest. Despite being very active and involved in the events of the time, she says that she had never heard of any establishment of any partisan unit.
As we know all of this, it is our duty to reject the currently enforced lies and embrace the truth. It is our duty, towards Europe, towards Croatia, in which we live over 20 years, and towards today’s and future generations, to whom we owe the truth. There is no reason to defend the lies, imposed by the Communist order, in a state that had condemned the crimes of the Communist regime.
Lojzo Buturac, Sisak, 22nd June 2014.
As Leftist (Communist-Chetnik) historiography is always founded on lies, so was the creation of the Communist detachment on 22nd June 1941. based on a lie. The detachment was created only two months later, but the Communists used the public money and resources to double down on their lie. The decision to begin rebellion against the Axis forces was only made after the Axis invaded the Soviet Union – Communists literally cared more about their Soviet Motherland than about their own countries. Post-fact, the Leftist historians attempted to cover this fact up by making up stories about how the Party had been preparing in advance for the uprising, but fact is that no such preparations were in the evidence.
In fact, the Communist Yugoslavia was celebrating Chetnik rebellion in Srb – 27th July, a month later – as a date of “antifascist” uprising. Actual Croatian antifascist uprising began in April 1921. in Istra, and was aimed against Italian occupation of the peninsula and forcible Italianization of Croatian populace in the interior of the peninsula. This movement had absolutely nothing to do with the Communist Party of Croatia, or Communist Party at all, as the Communist International required any movements to be organized by the Communist central of the country in which they were operating.
The only thing that happened on 22nd June was that two genocidal morons – Hitler and Stalin – broke their alliance and went to war, but this has nothing to do with Croatia. And while Croatian communists like to say that 22nd June was the date of first organized uprising against the Axis, that too is a lie: first organized resistance unit was established in March 1940. near village of Husicka in Poland, by Major Henryk Dobrzanski-Hubal. This unit of 180 men destroyed a German battalion that same month, and attacked another unit the next month. Dobrzanski (born 1897.) was a veteran of the First World War, Polish-Ukrainian War and Polish-Soviet War. He was killed on 30th April 1940. near Opoczno in an ambush, along with most of his soldiers.
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