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Etudes balkaniques, xlvi, 2010, No 4


University of Zagreb



During the First Balkan War Croatian public opinion supported almost unanimously the allies’ joint efforts to cast the declining Ottoman Empire out of Europe. The reasons for this were manifold, ranging from humanitarian (for a long time the Croats had believed that the Ottoman rule was extremely inappropriate for the Christian inhabitants of the Tur­key’s European part, particularly after the regular reports of slaughters committed before the war in Kocani, Berane and Stip) and culturological (a century-long hatred for the Turks had been accumulated during the persistent struggle to defend Croatian territories) to Slavic (most of the Christian inhabitants of European Turkey were of Slavic origin). Fur­thermore, there was an intentional defiance to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s foreign policy and its decision to dissolve the constitutional state of Croatia and its Parliament (Sabor in Croatian) and to instigate an emergency state – the commissariat – precisely in 1912. Croatian public opinion was represented by politicians who, since they were unable to convene in the Sabor, had to transfer their political activities onto the pages of Croatian press. These politicians were grouped into several con­



tingents of which the Croatian-Serbian Coalition was the most powerful one and which held an overwhelming majority of voters ever since its formation in 1905. In 1910 the Coalition’s leadership was taken over by a Serb – Svetozar Pribicevic, who was also the leader of the Serbian Inde­pendent Party. In 1912, apart from the Coalition, a rather strong public position was also gained by the temporarily united Party of Rights whose leader was Dr. Mile Starcevic. The recently founded Croatian Peoples’ Peasant Party of the Radic brothers could not exert much influence in the representational body because of its limited electorate, but it was greatly supported by the common people who saw it as their representative. Most of the press was owned by the political parties (at least 70% by the Coa­lition) and Obzor was the only independent paper. Apart from the party papers there was the official gazette Narodne novine and from 1912 on the newly founded semi-official Jutarnji list. Although neither the Croa­tian Parliament or – as a token of solidarity – the Dalmatian Parliament, did not meet, the Croatian politicians were taking part in the sessions of the Hungarian Parliament and the Parliament of the Austrian part of the Monarchy – the Imperial Council. The Croatian representatives in the Hungarian Parliament were not elected in a fair way and consisted only of the pro-Hungary oriented noblemen who never asked any of the ques­tions set forth by the Croatian public. In a contrast, the Croatian repre­sentatives from Dalmatia and Istria in the Imperial Council were fastidi­ously involved in its work, supporting the Balkan allies and fighting against the Monarchy’s foreign policy. The Second Balkan War put an end to this unanimous support. Most of the Croatian public supported Serbia: on the eve of the Second Balkan War the Coalition and some of the Party of Rights’ members were again divided into two fractions and in Dalmatia – into three. Some of the Party of Rights’ members and the clerical circles took Bulgaria’s side, while the Obzor and the Croatian Peoples’ Peasants Party regretted the missed opportunity to form a firm Slavic bloc capable of confronting German imperialism in the Balkans.

Recently Svetlozar Eldarov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) published an article on the Croatian public opinion on the Balkan



Wars1. As a result of his analysis the author comes to some, for the most part, accurate conclusions. His basic premise is that the Croatian public had indeed considered that war as a Balkan War, unlike both the contemporary and historical Bulgarian writing, which characterized the conflict as a Bulgarian war against the Ottoman Empire. His second accurate finding is that the Croatian press had devoted much more at­tention to the Serbian and Montenegrin victories than to the Bulgarian ones. As a proof of this claim, Eldarov states that during these wars not a single Croatian reporter was stationed in Bulgaria – a sharp contrast to the situation in the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885. Since this claim, although correct, was inadequately explained, I felt obliged to bring closer to the Bulgarian public the political situation in Croatia in the years 1885 and 1912 and by this to justify to a certain extent the neglect shown by the Croatian press regarding the Bulgarian and Greek battle­fields. The second part of this paper looks at the Inter-alliance War (or the Second Balkan War) from a Croatian viewpoint, in order to clarify the reasons for which the majority of the Croatian press favoured the Serbian side in this conflict.

The Main Differences in the State of Croatian Internal Affairs during the 1890s and on the Eve of the Balkan Wars

Croatia’s situation in the period from 1883 to 1902 was quite dif­ferent to that of the following year 1903 – a significant milestone in Croatian history, with important developments in many areas. That year Khuen Hedervary’s regime was deposed and fresh influences from the neighbouring countries were astir, as the ruling dynasty in Serbia was also supplanted. The years of Khuen Hedervary’s reign overlapped with those of the Serbian king Milan Obrenovic’s cooperation with the Aus­tro-Hungarian Monarchy. Khuen was superposed as the Croatian Ban in order to solve the problem with Croatia’s dissatisfaction with its status as stipulated in the Croatian-Hungarian agreement of 18682, as

1 Светлозар Елдъров, “Балканската война, видяна от Загреб”, Военноисторичес- ки сборник, 2008, 1, 43-48.

2 By this agreement Croatia gained certain autonomy in the Hungarian part of the



well as with the constant infringements of this same agreement3. To restrain Croatia’s ambitions he used well-known tricks such as spurring some regional and national antagonisms that culminated in the anti- Serbian demonstrations of 19024. Under those conditions any coopera­tion between Croatian and Serbian politicians in the Monarchy became impossible. On the other hand, a part of the Serbian king’s adulatory politics towards the Austro-Hungary aimed to detract all those who op­posed the Serbian regime. In such a situation the opposing politicians who were undermining the Monarchy’s rule could not have been exiled nor could they flee to Serbia, which was by no means perceived as a friendly country for the refugees. At the same time, Bulgaria presented an attractive destination for Croatian politicians for at least three rea­sons. The first one was that it was not very far from Croatia, so they did not need a lot of money to get there. The second reason was a prevail­ing idealistic perception of the Bulgarian fight against the Ottoman Empire: some Croats had even fought in the Bulgarian Chetnik Divi­sions5. The third and maybe most important reason were the good rela­tions with Bulgarian students who were at that time already coming to the University of Zagreb. Slavdom, the similarity of languages and also the need for expert help after Bulgaria’s liberation of 1878, in which it achieved an autonomous status, provided the educated Croatian politi­cians with means of sustaining themselves in exile. Krunoslav Heruc

Monarchy; this autonomy was acknowledged in some areas (judiciary, education, internal administration and religion) as well as the right to have a separate parliament headed by Ban. However fiscal independence was abolished and the person to take the Ban’s position was nominated by the Hungarian presiding minister. The paradox of this situation can be illus­trated by the fact that the second world’s metro was built in Budapest (earlier than any in the U.S.), while in Croatia the Lika-Dalmatian railroad was not finished until the end of Monar­chy since a great part of Croatian tax money was being spent in Hungary. Dalmatia and Istria fell under the jurisdiction of the Austrian part of the Monarchy under the governor ruling Dalmatia, so that the integrity and the unification of Croatian lands would become impossible as long as Austria or Hungary would not give up ‘their’ territories.

3 The problem arose due to an attempt at imposing Hungarian language on the rail­roads, although according to the agreement the official language should have been Croatian.

4 Mato Artukovic, Ideologija srpsko-hrvatskih sporova (Srbobran 1884-1902), Zag­reb, 1991, 267-272.

5 The case “Valter” was described in: Кирил, Патриарх български: Българската екзархия в Одринско и Македония след освободителната война (1877-1878), I/1, София, 1969, 513-51.



was one of them. At the time when the Serbo-Bulgarian War broke out, he was already living in Bulgaria; and someone with a restless spirit like his naturally chose to participate in the war on the Bulgarian side, reporting at the same time for the Croatian press6.

As mentioned previously, the year 1903 brought important changes to Croatia. The accession of Petar Karadordevic to the Serbian throne completely changed the situation close to home. The deposition of Khuen Hedervary from his post in Croatia combined with the loos­ening of repression enabled the so-called “new course” politics and the foundation of the Croatian-Serbian Coalition of 1905. The Coalition held an overwhelming majority in the Croatian and the Dalmatian Par­liaments from its foundation until the end of World War I. Parallel to this, the forming of the Croatian People’s Peasant Party significantly changed the political scene in Croatia. The Party of Rights, traditionally set against the Serbs, was reduced to a minority. It was losing its foot­ing in the country due to the founding of the Peasants’ Party lead by Stjepan Radic who in his youth had favoured Croatian-Serbian coop­eration. In the cities some of the Party of Rights members shifted from a Croatian view of resolving the problems in the Austro-Hungary to a Yugoslav view of the same. Resistance to the regime lost its Croatian prefix and took on a Yugoslav one7. This change was effected by two means. Serbia, parallel to the propaganda which was being carried out in Macedonia for the purpose of expanding its territories into those of the Ottoman Empire, conducted a much more sophisticated propaganda in Croatia. The leading Serbian intellectuals of the day – Jovan Cvijic, Stojan Novakovic and Jovan Skerlic – were encouraging the coopera­tion with the Croatian-Serbian Radical Youth, thus exerting a tremen­dous influence on them. Alongside this planned indoctrination, Serbo- oriented activities were carried out on a daily basis through the Serbs present in the Croatian-Serbian Coalition, whose leader after the de­parture of Fran Supilo in 1910 became the Serb Svetozar Pribicevic.

6 Ivan Ocak, Hrvatsko-ruske veze [Russo-Croat Connections], Zagreb, 1993, p. 107.

7 The concept of being Yugoslav normally included the collaboration of Serbs, Slove­nians and Croatians; Bulgarians were only mentioned declaratively, without any further ideas as to what was to be done with them.



Pribicevic was in a constant contact with Serbia’s Prime Minister Nikola Pasic, keeping his political activities attuned to Serbian wishes. Unlike Bulgaria, which was connected to the Croats only through the mutual feelings of South-Slavic solidarity and cultural cooperation, the connection with Serbia became of utmost political interest for Croatia. Serbia was a free and defiant country on the borders of the Monarchy, perceived by the major part of the political public as supporting the lib­eration from German and Hungarian oppression or simply as the Lib­erator on its own. The Bulgarians had taken part in the various Yugo­slav exhibitions aimed at bringing together the Yugoslav peoples, like for example in the exchanges of horticultural experts and other similar manifestations, but the Chetnik conflicts between Serbs and Bulgarians in Macedonia made any real cooperation impossible. Right before the breaking out of the First Balkan War both the constitutional state of Croatia and the parliament were dissolved. During the commissariat a great number of politicians and intellectuals were forced into exile from the Hungarian part of the Monarchy. Some of them settled in Dalmatia (the Austrian part of the Monarchy), but some of them went to Serbia. Many of them became correspondents and other even grant-holders of the Serbian government. At the time of the wars they were already liv­ing in Serbia so that their situation was similar to that of Heruc in the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. When they started reporting from the field, naturally they presented the country which had accepted them as political exiles in a favourable light.

The Situation in Croatia and Dalmatia during the Balkan Wars

The reasons for introducing the commissariat in Croatia involved both home and foreign politics. On the occasion of signing the Croatian- Hungarian agreement, an obligation for its extension and revision every five years was agreed upon. At that time the assembly of parliament, in which the majority was held by the representatives of Croatian-Serbian Coalition, refused to extend the agreement without achieving financial independence from Hungary. Under the current political circumstances it



was impossible to achieve a change in the parliament, which would en­able the extension of the agreement even after new elections, because all the political forces were striving for financial independence. The second reason for dissolving the constitutional state was the pending resolution of the Eastern crisis induced by a chain of events (the annexation of Bos­nia and Herzegovina by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Italian war against the Ottoman Empire for Libya, etc.). The Austro-Hungarian authorities wanted to have the greatest possible control over the Croatian people before a storm broke out in the neighbourhood. Protests against the dissolution of the constitutional state were held in Serbia on the 17th of March 19128, as well as in Bulgaria on the 17th of April 19129. Also, some Croatian students visited Serbia in April 1912 where a twinning with Serbian students took place and they were officially greeted by the Serbian authorities10.

8 Hrvatski Drzavni Arhiv (Croatian State Archives), Zagreb, Predsjednistvo zemaljske vlade (HDA, PRZV), 6-14/2929/1912, box 849. In the reports of the royal secretary of the government from the 12th of September 1912, the manager of the Police board Sporcic re­garding Tin Ujevic stated the following: “When on the 17th of March in Belgrade the aca­demic youth held the assembly in the name of the protest against the conditions in Croatia, Ujevic spoke in the name of the Croatian academic youth, and his speech was welcomed with a great excitement.” In the report, Sporcic wrote that it was impossible to get the content of the speech. The ambassador of Austro-Hungary in Belgrade, Ugron reported to the Minister of foreign policy, claiming that a student from Zagreb Ujevic spoke aggressively against the Monarchy and the dynasty, claiming that Croats and Serbs are one nation with two names.

9 Riecki novi list, 25th and 26th April 1912.

10 Србобран, 22.03. (4.04.) 1912. “As they reported the news from Belgrade about the coming of the Croatian university students, the news was welcomed with an exceptional satisfaction. The administration of the students’ association Pobratimstvo had taken all the precautions to make their Croatian brothers’ stay as nice and friendly as possible. The other youth associations were also invited to participate in the welcoming and entertaining of the Croats and the entire youth from the Belgrade University and high schools will participate. The Belgrade youth and different corporations and citizens are getting ready, each on their side, to welcome the guests. The program for the reception and stay is already being made. So the society of singers “Obilic” will hold a concert to honour the guests. The professors from the university, Dr. Cvijic and Dr. Skerlic, as well as the academic and an old agitator for the peoples’ unity of Croatians and Serbs the honourable Stojan Novakovic were invited and they responded positively, to hold ceremonial lectures which the guests will attend. Aside from that, a conference will be held, and right after that another one for the press will also take place. On the conference, it will be discussed about the works on the Yugoslav student con­gress, which will, during the autumn, take place in Belgrade. In order to introduce the guests to some parts of Serbia, there are two field trips scheduled, one to Sabac and the other to Smederevo and also few minor picnics in the wider Belgrade region. That’s the result of preparations to this point.”



The Party of Rights managed to achieve unity and to form to­gether with the Coalition an opposition block which set the goal of win­ning the elections. Apart from that they reached an agreement not to ex­tend the Croatian-Hungarian agreement, or at least its financial part. It should be also considered that the validity of the agreement had expired. The radical youth became unified when Cuvaj became Ban, after the introduction of commissariat and Luka Jukic’s failed attempt at Cuvaj’s assassination11. The news about the beginning of the Balkan War con­tributed to the increasing homogenization of the people’s desire to fight. In Croatia, the majority of reporters wrote in favour of the war, because of the Albanian massacres against the Christian people in the Ottoman Empire, because there were favourable conditions as a result of the good relations between the Balkan states and because of the weakness of the Ottoman Empire after to the Turkish-Italian war, the Albanian rebellion and the numerous government crises. Besides, there was an overall cli­mate of cooperation with the Serbs and the Bulgarians, enhanced by the students’ visits to Belgrade, Yugoslav exhibitions and Mestrovic’s Kosovo cycle, by the visits of university professors from Belgrade to Croatia and Dalmatia, and Bulgarian peasants’ field trips to Croatia12. These were all expressions of support for Croatia by Serbia and unoffi­cially by Bulgaria. After the outbreak of the war the Croatian reporters wrote openly in favour of the Alliance forces. Social democrats were against the war, following the example of the Serbian and Bulgarian so­cial democrats who had even voted against the war and war credits in their own parliaments. The guiding idea of social-democracy in the Bal­kans was the creation of a Balkan federation which would prevent for­eign capitalist penetration into the Balkan region. The federation was

11 On the 7th of June 1912 Luka Jukic, a Croatian student, originally from Bosnia, at­tempted to assassinate the royal confidant for Croatia, Slavko Cuvaj. Instead he murdered Hervojic, the counsellor of Ban, who was with Cuvaj in the car. Captured in the streets of Zagreb, Jukic was taken into custody and sentenced to death by hanging which was later changed into life imprisonment. After the Austro-Hungarian defeat in the First World War he was released from the prison.

12 A group of Bulgarian agro-culturists, in fact forty-two of them, came to Croatia in June on a study trip when they visited households and were warmly welcomed in all the places they went to; their visit was recorded by all the press with daily reports on their activities.



meant to include Turkey and the Albanians. The Balkan federation en­joyed the full support of the Second International as it was meant to fight for the workers’ rights and against capitalism. For the Serbian and the Bulgarian social democrats the Balkan war was not a war of libera­tion of the Christian brothers but was a war of conquest for the benefit of the bourgeoisie only. In their opinion Turkey was not good enough for the Turks either, since the problem was not their nationality but the country’s backward feudal system13. Some articles against the war were even published in the Croatian Party of Rights paper Hrvatska14 Al­though most articles showed the editorial board of Hrvatska was against the war, in an article dated the 5 th of October 1912 its author openly called out for forcing the Turks out of Europe because he considered Turkey as an anachronism in the 20th century15. The Party of Rights in Dalmatia as well as its paper did not share the opinions expressed in Hrvatska so that in Hrvatska kruna we could find articles entirely sup­porting the Balkan allies16. Hrvatska riec also fully supported the Balkan Alliance forces. All of the papers connected to the Coalition saluted the

13 More on that in, for example, Зора Приклма]ер, “Српската соцщалдемократи|а и македонско национално праша&е”, Современост (Скоп|е), 5, 1954, 355-370; Ангел Ди- нев, Илинденската enoneja II, Скоп|е, 1987; Fedora Bikar, “Razvoj odnosa izmedu hrvat- ske i srpske socijalne demokracije i pokusaji uskladivanja njihovih koncepcija o nacionalnom pitanju od 1909. do 1914.”, Putovi revolucije (Zagreb) 5, 1965, 165-192; Cepraje Димит- рщевиЬ, “Димитрще ТуцовиЪ, марксистички неимар српске соцщал-демократске стран- ке”, Истори/ски гяасник (Београд), 4, 1949, 7-19.

14 Hrvatska, 7.10.1912: “From the Croatian point of vested interests in any future battles in the Balkans, we have no reason whatsoever to be pleased about the victory of the countries in the coalition, because that would represent the victory of pan-Slavism which we’re opposing and fear of it as the devil himself if we want to remain Croatians. Nor we can be excited with the potential victory of the Turkish weaponry, because that would represent the victory of pan-Germanism, which would strengthen and spread over the Croatian people”.

15 Hrvatska, 5.10.1912. The text concludes with this sentence: “In the century in which flight was discovered, when all of their headquarters were discovered, it would’ve been a true miracle if the Turks had not been forced into exile from Europe.”

16 Hrvatska kruna, 16.10.1912: “Today, a couple of hundreds of kilometers from us, a holy war for liberating the Balkan Christians is taking place. It is led by a part of our people for the freedom of not yet liberated brothers, but when this bloody tragedy is taking place, the Europe is negotiating how to save Turkey. (Status quo) We the Slavs, and especially, Croats, who know, what the Turkish tyrant authorities are, who know what’s folk … we are welcom­ing the battle of the people for the people”. Hrvatska kruna, 26.10.1912: “And we Croats are following the struggle of the Balkans for the freedom wide awake. It is not all the same to us which will be the winning side, because their victory means the victory of culture against primitivism, the victory of the justice against unfairness, victory of freedom against slavery”.



war’s commencement. They wrote that it had begun at the right time and the proper moment. The paper Crvena Hrvatska17 was especially active and showed no constraints in its pro-war journalism.

Even the clerical press (Hrvatska Straza, Hrvatska zastava istine)18 was openly supporting the Balkan alliance forces. Aside from the above mentioned goal of forcing the Turks out of Europe, the Catholic Church saw in addition a chance to spread the Catholic faith and to put back the cross on the Church of St. Sofia. In the Dom’s (a weekly journal of Croatian People’s Peasant Party) editorial of the 7th of January 1913 Stjepan Radic underlined that Turkey had provoked the founding of the Balkan Alliance and the beginning of the war. He concluded that every cloud had a silver lining and that the oppressed peoples would some day gain their freedom19. Most field reports came from the Serbian and Montenegrin battlefields, while the reports from the Bulgarian battle­fields were re-printed from the foreign press and with some delay. The majority of the population regarded their Balkan neighbours with envy because they were defying all Europe, defeating the Ottoman military forces and thus liberating the Christian population of the Balkans from the “Terror of the Crescent moon”. There was a rise of the circulation of the papers; money was being collected for the Red Cross of the Balkan states; many authors wrote pathetic poetry glorifying the Kosovo myth and Prince Marko. Since the supremacy of the Balkan Christians over the Ottoman Empire surprised the rulers of Austro-Hungary, they were late to impose repressions for the time being of the first war, so declarations of solidarity kept coming from everywhere. Part of Croatia’s population (mostly but not exclusively of Serbian ethnicity) went to Serbia to join the volunteer divisions; many doctors and nurses joined the medical units

17 Crvena Hrvatska, 9.10.1912. “Hands off! – roared the young Balkans at the “Con­cert” of the old European grannies, when they’re already fed up with the usurers’ noise of their trades. Oh what a wonderful moment! – We should enjoy it drop by drop, as if we were tasting some old, legendary wine. And yet – we’ve lived to see this moment, that unique, that new, that unbelievable, that absurd moment in the history of ours, and it will be good to re­member it in the future! Hands off! That means “Balkans to the Balkan peoples!” Or „Our house is not yours!” – or – “We’re fed up with the European control.”

18 Hrvatska straza, 1913, 219-227; Hrvatska zastava istine, 2.01.1913.

19 Dom, 7.01.1913.



of the Balkan states. A lot of volunteers were turned down partly for the fear of being the Monarchy‘s spies, but also because there was no need for them or enough available weapons. A number of volunteers were stopped at the border in Zemun and Mitrovica.20 By an official order is­sued on the 9th of December 1912 all men capable of military service were deprived of issuing passports except in special cases21. But there were many special cases. The Croatian State Archives has in its holdings two and a half boxes containing special permits for travelling to certain European countries, across Europe and even to America. There were also quite a few permits for going to Serbia, and some even for going to Bul­garia. In the applications people were usually asked to specify their rea­son for travelling (apprenticeship, work), for how long they required the passport, the country where they wanted to go. In order to get the permit the applicants had to state that they were not intending to settle in the country they were going to. The permits had to be approved by the Hun­garian royal minister of defence, Baron Samuel Hazai. The applications of doctors going to the battlefields were especially interesting as they pointed as the purpose for travel surgical internship22. Some of the doc­tors went to Bulgaria to help (Bakaric, Matek and Butorac)23. The pro­vincial prioress of the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Bakovo applied for a permission to be allowed to accept a Bulgarian medal for her contribu­tions during the wars24. As the Balkan War went on and particularly when it became clear which side was winning, the repression against the solidarity with the Balkan alliance forces continued to increase. Hand in hand with the open solidarity there were frequent anti-government pro­

20 Crvena Hrvatska, 16.10: ground one hundred of Croatian volunteers from Croatia joined the Serbian army. They are fighting under the Croatian flag. A unit of Croatian volun­teers which was on its way to Serbia was stopped and arrested in Zemun. There are Hungar­ian volunteers (around 80) in the Turkish army. They were not stopped.”

HDA, PRZV, vol. 6-22, 4523/1912, 4929/1912, 5041/1912, box 859. Memorandum of the army command from Mitrovica and Hrtkovci, in which they recorded news about the people reasons for going to war and about the attempts of deserting to Serbia committed by some young men from Split, aged 20 to 29.

21 Ibid., 5583/1912, box 860.

22 Ibid., 973/1912, box 861, application of Gjuro Butorac for Bulgaria, dated


23 Србобран, 29.01. (11.02.) 1913; 31.01. (13.02.) 1913.

24 HDA, PRZV, 5-3, 4077/1912, box 837.



tests and expressions of the desire for the creation of a common Yugoslav state. In the period from the beginning of 1913 until the end of May over two hundred trials for treason were held25. Sentences ranged from a few months of imprisonment for hurling insults against the king to a couple of years for espionage. There was a tacit agreement among the junior gen­eration that should the war between Serbia and the Monarchy break out they would desert and flee to Serbia26.

The start of the Balkan Wars created a major problem for Croatian housewives. In Croatia agriculture was an occupation traditionally held by the Bulgarians. At the beginning of the war most of those Bulgarians left Croatia in order to help their country in conquering Balkan territory and liberating their fellow countrymen from the Turkish governance. An article entitled Zagreb and Bulgarians, published in the journal Koprive in October 1912, informs us of this fact27. The paper published by the Party of Rights Hrvatska came up with the proposition of establishing an agricultural community in order to save Croatia from the loss of Bulgar­ian horticulturists. What was requested of young Croat men was to edu­cate themselves in horticulture so as to fill the void left by the Bulgari­ans’ departure28. On the other hand, Dom tried to use the Bulgarian victo­

25 Ferdo Sisic, “Kako su Hrvati mislili u prvoj polovini 1913. g.”, Rijec (Zagreb), 15, 1930, 9-11.

26 Niko Bartulovic, Od revolucionarne omladine do ORJUNE, Split, 1925, p. 29.

27 Koprive, November 1912, issue 25-26: “We, the citizens of Zagreb, although we do not have any relationship with the Bulgarians, apart from kinship, nor do we have any special ties or interests, nonetheless feel that we are very close and that the relationship between us and the Bulgarians is much warmer than with any other Slavic brothers. When, a couple of years ago, Bulgarian students had to leave the University of Sofia and to spread across Europe, a large part of Bulgarian students had come to Zagreb where they were instantly loved by the citizens. Their open nature and good-heartedness and a fair attempt at communi­cation somehow suited the temperament of Zagreb as well as their genuine respect of our abilities in which we were more advanced than the Bulgarians, made a great impression on the intellectuals of Zagreb. Famous Bulgarian horticulturists captivated the hearts of the citi­zens of Zagreb. Their innocence and honesty was greeted by the citizens. One should only observe the vegetable sales that those small and large Bulgarians did. Citizens were bartering for the goods. The Bulgarian tsar Ferdinand truly dallied with Zagreb. He was visiting the botanical gardens and warmly welcomed at the Sokol events. When some of the horticultur­ists had died, ladies and the maids of Zagreb met on the squares and talked to one another about the death of this one and that one who they’ve known by their first names.”

28 Hrvatska, 19.02. 1913. It is interesting that some people in Croatia even today use the term bugari (Bulgarians) for the people that are into horticulture.



ries against the Turks to diminish the peasants’ alcohol consumption. In the issue of 7th March 1913 answering to the question why the Turkish Empire failed in Europe, an American from Istanbul explained that the Bulgarians were a new peasant superpower and that one could travel across Bulgaria for months without seeing a single drunk, and that made them the most opulent nation of the world29.

During the wars there was an ongoing talk about the emigration of Croats to the newly gained Balkan states (Bulgaria and Serbia) for reason of prosperity. The Zagreb Trade and Crafts Guild made a lot of unofficial inquiries in Bulgaria and Serbia since many people from Croatia and Dalmatia were interested in going there, but in the end no concrete offers were made and few people found jobs in those lands. Offers and expres­sions of interest could be found in most of the Croatian papers of that time30. The people who were interested most were teachers, clerks, and forestry experts. But even among them only a small amount of people actually did find jobs in the Balkans. We have on record an invitation made by the Bulgarian government to a professor from the Krizevci School of Economics Vychodil, in which he was invited to organize the economy in the new Bulgarian regions31.

In Dalmatia, unlike Croatia, there existed a constitutional state, but the Dalmatian parliament did not meet out of solidarity. Freedom of press was more honoured in Dalmatia and the Radical Youth forced into exile from Croatia arrived to Dalmatia; the core of the movement of Serbo- Croatian Progressive Radical Youth moved to Split and Sibenik. The group around Tartaglia, Ujevic, Cerina and Bartulovic accepted the agenda of the Belgrade club called “Peoples’ Unity” (Narodno ujedin-

29 Dom, 7.03.1913.

30 Hrvatska, 21.01.1913, 16.07.1913; Gospodar, February 1913; Hrvatski Lloyd, 19.04.1913; Zrno, January 1913, April 1913, June 1914, “Generally speaking, we tried to actively develop our actions and trying everything within our abilities, to secure the positions for our members in Serbia and Bulgaria. And since constantly a lot of our members were contacting us, and they were asking for a position there, the board has finally, in the session held on 12th September, decided to send their two members to Serbia and Bulgaria so they would observe the situation there.” We can see from this that it might have been achieved in Serbia in a few places, but it is not even remotely like the way it was described in the papers. It was even harder to obtain positions in Bulgaria.

31 Hrvatska, 22.02.1913.



jenje) and on the 4th of October 1912 a declaration was proclaimed under the name “Unified for Liberation”32.

After the outbreak of the First Balkan War, money collections for the Red Cross of Balkan Peoples started in Dalmatia, volunteers and doctors left for the battlefields, solidarity was shown during the passage of soldiers from the Balkan countries to the battlefields. Immediately af­ter the first war victories the poet Rikard Katalinic Jeretov expressed his admiration for the Bulgarian breakthrough in the poem “Lozengrad”, which was later translated and published in Balgarija, a journal of the Progressive Party of Bulgaria33.

The most famous protests took place in Split and Sibenik, which led to the dissolution of the municipal authorities. After the fall of Thes­saloniki, on the 10th of October mass manifestations were held during which slogans against Cuvaj and the Monarchy were shouted out. The mayor went as far as saying: “We are hoping that those heroes will also liberate us!”34 Despite the protesters’ very hostile attitudes towards Aus­tria, the police did not intervene. Anti-Austrian demonstrations were also held in Sibenik; the local mayor Krstelj spoke to the protesters that he was hoping that the liberation of Dalmatia would be brought by the victo­rious Slavic Balkan bayonets35. By the order of the Zadar governorship, the municipalities in Split and Sibenik were dissolved through military intervention36. The dissolution of the city municipalities provoked a large protest meeting in Zadar on the 24th of November, which was attended by 32 out of the 35 parliament members, 6 members of the Imperial Council, and 60 municipalities while the other municipalities had sent telegrams of support. The meeting was presided by the oldest member of this Parlia­ment Pero Cingrija from Dubrovnik37. A very provocative resolution was

32 Niko Bartulovic, Od revolucionarne omladine…, p. 23.

33 Hrvatskipokret, 28.11.1912.

34 Milan Z, Zivanovic, “Dvije demonstracije u Splitu i Sibeniku 1912. god” [Two demonstrations in Split and Sibenik in 1912], Radovi instituta JAZU u Zadru [Zagreb], 1957, 327-352, 339.

35 The same as under 33, p. 343.

36 Hrvatska riec, 18th and 19th November 1912.

37 Milan Z, Zivanovic, Dubrovnik u borbi za ujedinjenje 1908-1918, Beograd, 1962, p. 95; Idem, “Dvije demonstracije …”, 344-348; Hrvatska riec, 25.11.1912. “The attendants expressed their adoration of the people of the unified Balkan states, especially for the same-



adopted, which was read out in the Imperial Council by Matko Laginja38.

On the 8th of May 1913 the junior coalition members from Dalma­tia began publishing a journal named Ujedinjenje (Unity), in which they pointed out that one of consequences of the Balkan Wars was the strengthening of Croatian-Serbian nationalism; the journal was banned right after the first issue39. Later on a second issue was published, but its distribution led to arrests (Ujevic, Bartulovic). People were tried for trea­son in Dalmatia too40. During the wars large contingents of military forces were stationed in the province and the local population was con­stantly mobilized41. This brought about heavy financial losses to the population, so most of the requests made by the members of parliament were against the mobilization of the lower social strata. In Dalmatia money collecting for the Balkan Red Crosses started before that in Croatia, the protests there were larger and a greater number of Croatian volunteers from Dalmatia joined the units of Serbian and Montenegrin army. The

blood Serbian brothers with a wish for their great victories achieved by the knightly efforts and through bloody victims to be crowned with the well-earned final success.”

38 Hrvatska riec, 25.11.1912. “And they are protesting against the pursuits by which they want to push our people into one more war between the brothers. They are stating that the expressions of solidarity for the allied Balkan states – in which during the last couple of years and by the Austrian authorities in Dalmatia have come special measures, the downsizing of the civil freedoms, and the country’s right to autonomy – are the natural feel­ings of the population of Dalmatia and its representatives thus condemning the anti-civilian police system, which found its way: in Dalmatia by the autocratic dissolution of the munici­pal parliaments; in Bosnia by cutting down one of the most important constitutional rights; in Croatia with the introducing of the commissariat by which one of the oldest constitutional monarchies of Europe is robbed of its hundred-year-old lawful independence; at the same time when most important circles in Austro-Hungary are speaking in favor of giving Albania an autonomy in order to show their benevolence to the decaying Turkish empire, while at the same time being unjust to people who have made through many centuries a constitutional life and culture, which has the number of a few millions of strong, gifted and brave citizens as the inhabits of the borders of the Balkan states, and now, the southern territory of the Monarchy. The representatives of Dalmatia are against that systematical slavery, and they shall not hesi­tate, without any further political discussions, to jointly defend those peoples’ constitutional rights to proclaim the moment when Dalmatia will fulfill its sacrament of unifying with the complete kingdom of Croatia, which shall be reborn and created as an independent state of all her sons.“

39 Ujedinjenje, 8.05.1913.

40 Hrvatska riec, 21.01.1913. This article is about the protests in Sibenik that took place in Sibenik on 10th October 1912 when six of Catholic peasants were accused for insult­ing his highness and the Monarchy.

41 F. R. Bridge, From Sadowa to Sarajevo, The Foreign Policy of Austria-Hungary, 1866-1914, London-Boston, 1972, p. 350.



members of Dalmatian Parliament showed much stronger support for the Balkan Alliance forces in the Imperial Council than the Croatian members of the Hungarian Parliament; their newspapers were writing more openly about the Balkan Wars. The reasons for this can be explained by the com­missariat which prohibited political actions in Croatia, by the greater proximity of Montenegro, by the convenient sea routes that the volunteers took to the battlefields, by the activities of the forcibly exiled Radical Youth of the Coalition from Croatia to Dalmatia and finally by the greater presence of other ethnic groups in the Dalmatian region (Italians).

The Second Balkan (Inter-alliance) War

The almost full support given to the Balkan Alliance and the politi­cal unanimity fell sharply down during the Second Balkan War when the former allies fought against each other. The Croatian public was mostly interested in the conflict between the Bulgarians and the Serbs. This con­flict caused a split in the Party of Rights in Croatia and Dalmatia and it shattered the unity of its youth: some of the Party’s youths no longer be­lieved in the idea of Yugoslav reciprocity. The diplomatic forces of the Monarchy, aided by the actual situation on the field, managed to find politicians and civil servants who were ready to publicly express their support for its foreign policy and to present Serbia as a factor of instabil­ity in the region. In the conflict of the former allies the majority of the population took Serbia’s side; the war was also seen as an imperialistic struggle of the small Balkan countries for a larger territory. The press was divided between the open supporters of Serbia (whereas they had once been writing about Turkish war crimes during the first war, now they were writing about the Bulgarian ones) and those who were openly taking the Bulgarian side precisely for the reason of Serbian alliance with non-Slavic nations against Slavic Bulgaria. Many were disappointed with the development of the situation, accentuating the destruction of the ideal of the Slavic reciprocity. Pro-Serbian attitude was expressed in the papers connected with the Coalition and also in Hrvatska riec, which caused conflicts in the Party of Rights in Dalmatia. Pro-Bulgarian views were



expressed by the papers that were close to the leaders of the Monarchy as well as by the majority of the Party of Rights and the clerical papers. The independent Obzor, the paper of Croatian Peoples’ Peasant Party Dom and the social-democrat Slobodna rijec (which was not enthusiastic about the First Balkan War either) expressed their neutrality and disappoint­ment. From March 1913 onwards the reporters of Srbobran started pub­lishing articles on “Bulgarian chauvinism” thus preparing the Croatian public for the new war. Some of the articles were directly taken from the Serbian press and some were written by the reporters. Whilst writing about chauvinism, in the beginning they did not mention the agreements signed by the allies for defining their lines of interest. For the first time the agreements were mentioned in the middle of April in the text “Bul­garian chauvinism”42. This article, together with some other following afterwards, claimed that the agreements signed between Serbia and Bul­garia should not be entirely honoured because of Bulgaria’s insufficient help for solving the Albanian question and that the regions conquered by Serbia in battle should not be handed over to Bulgaria, regardless of any Allies’ agreements. In addition, another argument for not observing the agreements was the Serbian help to Bulgaria during the siege of Edirne which had not been specified in the initial contracts. The reporters of Srbobran came into possession of a photo copy of a document ordering an attack on the Serbian positions in the war, written by a Bulgarian bri­gade commander, and they published it as a proof of their claim that Bul­garia was to be blamed for the war43. Srbobran entered into a quarrel with Obzor and Hrvat because of the alleged bulgarophillia. Taking completely the Serbian side was a journal from Split Sloboda; its editor Oskar Tartaglia later reported directly from the battlefield44. On the Ser­

42 Србобран, 1./14./04.1913, “The Bulgarians have mentioned some contract which guarantees them the possession of Bitola, Ohrid, Prilep and Veles. The idea of the Balkan federation is without any doubt a big one. But it is not the solemn duty of Serbia to be sacri­ficed for that federation, but to be equal. If Bulgaria provokes a conflict for the reason of the Macedonian towns, that were conquered by Serbs, then that will be the best sign that it does not need the Balkan federation and that it has no intent to keep it, or maybe only for the price of the Serbian blind obedience.

43 Србобран, 26.06. (9.07.) 1913.

44 Oskar Tartaglia, Veleizdajnik, Zagreb-Split, 1928, p. 72.



bian side were also Narodni List45, Hrvatska Riec46, Riecki Novi List47, Crvena Hrvatska48 and Hrvatski pokret49. An open letter written by the Croatian author and politician Ante Tresic Pavicic to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Dr. Danev was published in the Riecki Novi List, in which he accused Dr. Danev of provoking the war among the former allies. That letter made Tresic Pavicic very popular in Serbia50.

In the inter-allies war Slobodna riec was not looking to take anyone’s side and most of the headlines contained words like “folly”, “barbarity”, “crime” and “bestiality”. For the social-democrats the war was exclusively a struggle between the capitalist elites who never con­sidered the ordinary people and waged wars for their own profit only51. Hesitant in its support was the peasants’ Dom52, although Stje-

45 Ante Bralic, “Narodni list i Hrvatska kruna o drugom balkanskom ratu”, Radovi Zavoda zapovijesne znanosti HAZU Zadar (Zadar), 1999, 277-298.

46 Hrvatska riec, 12.06., “But today we will be open as when approaching a serious event on the Balkans we have to be open: The Bulgarians are more to blame than the other brothers in this conflict that can turn into a bloody brother-killing war.”

47 Riecki novi list, 8.07.1913, “Apart from maybe the followers of Frank or the clerics which are very few around here, who are fond of the Bulgarians; all of our people from the coast are in this war rooting for Serbs. They are all taking the side of Serbia for defending itself from the Bulgarian attack from the ambush, and from their pretensions which would bring the Serbs, if they would come through into a worse position in the Balkans than it was before the war with Turkey. That would be the thanks indeed for Edirne!”

48 Crvena Hrvatska, 12.07.1913, “This sad, sinful, brother-killing war, which Serbia never desired, but was forced to it by the greedy politics of the megalomania from Sofia, with ugly attacks, treacherous and treasonous ambushes, has shed a lot of light to the truth.”

49 Hrvatski pokret, 11.06. “We are on our way to experience a sad thing: a war be­tween the ones that, until yesterday, shoulder to shoulder, fought against its destroyers of hundred years. The Bulgarians want to have the hegemony of the Balkans, and they don’t want to comply with the justified requests of Serbia. Bulgaria, with its thoughtless, certainly is not following the Slavic goals.”

50 Riecki novi list, 30.07.1913, “We the Croatians have had the disease of bulgaro- phillia to that extent, that our right part resented the left one. We the Croats consider the Ser­bian territory to be our territory and were we to advise our brothers to settle with less and to comply with your greed, we would be giving up our own territory. What kind of name in the Bulgarian history will leave Bregalnica and Dr. Danev! Bulgaria was on the peak of its glory, the whole world adored it! The Bulgarians were the biggest heroes! I feel sorry for all of you but even more, I feel sorry for thousands and thousands of victims of your fatal mistake.”

51 Slobodna rijec, 2.07, “A blatant lie, that yesterdays’ allies went to the liberating war against Turkey is found out as the Balkans’ bourgeoisie in their territorial greed started their own war for the land took from the Turks.”

52 Dom, 9.07.1913, “What we have feared the most and what we had dreaded of has fi­nally happened; Christians of the Balkan, after conquering heroically and with great suffering and the persistence of its destroyer for hundred years the dreaded Ottoman, jumped at one another. But



pan Radic was considered to be in favour of the Bulgarians. Yet his partiality was manifested not during the Balkan Wars, but later on during the First World War in which Bulgaria and the Monarchy were on the same side and the Serbs were the enemies. Aside from that, Radic was afraid to join a union based on the unitary principles to­gether with the Serbs. Obzor emphasized mostly the mutual animosity among the Balkan countries remerging just when the South Slavs were finally becoming an important factor in the Balkans. The region’s states continued to depend entirely on the Great Powers which were using them to their own advantage. In addition, the author of the Obzor’s editorial was afraid that the war could spark a century long hatreds among the Slavic peoples53.

A pro-Bulgarian point of view was expressed by the clerical right’s journal Hrvatska zastava istine54, by the partly right-oriented Hrvatska kruna55 and by Hrvatska which, after the schism in the Party of Rights, openly supported the Bulgarian side. In Hrvatska, the Serbs were accused of betraying the Slavdom56 (because of the cooperation

now, unfortunately, we can clearly see these three things: First, that among the Bulgarians on one, and Serbs and Greeks on the other side a great hatred developed. And the Greeks are, against the Bulgarians, calling out to Turkey, and the Serbs are crying out to Romania, and that Bulgaria, surrounded from all sides, is looking for the support anywhere where it’s to be found. The second thing is that the Balkan Christians, and especially the Slavs, fell from the same height, on which they exalted themselves as the avengers and liberators of enslaved brothers, because of which the German Emperor Wilhelm II said for them that they are the avengers of the entire Europe, Christi­anity as a whole and our Christian education; and third, the most important one is that the Balkan Alliance has been destroyed and where there should be one strong and noble whole, an new su­perpower, which had a task of renewing the order in the Balkans, and also freedom and every kind of progress, we have here the same old torture, old chaos and the old known weakness when op­posing any foreigner. In Bulgaria and also Serbia, old political inciters are in power, those are the people of the narrow mind or a rotten soul, and those are the ones who, with their yelling and racket, and especially with journalist teasing mislead the people.”

53 Obzor, 5.07.1913.

54 Hrvatska zastava istine, 18.09.1913, “For us, the Croats, brothers are the Bulgari­ans. There’s a word that the Serbs are closer. That is not true. We have the same language, but in everything else we’re opposed and different. The Bulgarians must fight first against the Turks to free the brothers in Thracia and Macedonia and then defend themselves from the wild greed of their neighbors; Serbs, Greeks, Turks and Montenegrins.”

55 Hrvatska kruna, 23.07.1913, “In the name of Slavdom, Serbia, being the South- Slavic Piedmont and Montenegro with it allied with three non-Slavic countries – Greece, Romania and Turkey, are deciding on the fate of the Slavic State of Bulgaria!”

56 Hrvatska, 6.08.1913. An article written by the professor Miletic: “The Slavs with the non-Slavs against the Slavs.”



with non-Slavs, especially with the Turks, against the Slavs), of disre­garding the Alliance agreements57 and of the crimes they had commit­ted58. Despite the fact that the Bulgarians were the first to attack the Serbs, the journalists of Hrvatska failed to find any motives for sup­porting Serbia. More reasons for supporting Bulgaria, apart from the ones mentioned above, could be found in the Party’s policy of obedi­ence to Austria. Still hoping to introduce trialism, they feared at the same time that they could lose the Croatian nationality because of the mass support for the Serbs. We can also find traces of that fear in the articles of the clerical papers Hrvatska Straza59, Dan60 and in the paper of the Party of Rights’ Youth Mlada Hrvatska61. Support for the Bul­garians in the Second Balkan War was expressed in all of the clerical press. The Serbophilia of the people put into jeopardy even the Ro­man-Catholic faith62. There were many articles stressing the greater similarity of the Croats to the Bulgarians rather than to the Serbs (apart from the similar language)63. After the end of the war one could come across articles about the Bulgarian wish for entering into the union (in Hrvatska and Srbobran): disappointed by the Orthodox Slavs (Russians and Serbs) the Bulgarians found inklings of solidarity in the Catholic Slavs. The idea of joining the union would have also helped

57 Hrvatska, 19.05.1913. An article entitled Balkan crisis.

58 Hrvatska, 26.09.1913, a text entitled A message for the Slavs. There are a lot more writings about the Greek crimes. For example the text “Bloodsheds in Macedonia”, Hrvatska,


59 Hrvatska straza, 1913, p. 499 and 500.

60 Dan, 5.12.1912, entitled Serbophilia and Catholicism of our nation.

61Mlada Hrvatska, October 1913, “As Serbs are Serbs and only Serbs, we, even if we are Slavs, are remaining to be Croats and only Croats. If the Croats and Serbs are the same in the matter of language, they are not only in the state way, meaning the peoples’ thought, if we are of the same tribe, we are not the same as a nation. Serbs are sticking to that principle and establishing themselves as good Slavs by making an alliance with non-Slavic Romanians and Greeks against the Slavic Bulgarians, and tomorrow, if the situation changes, they might as soon make an alliance with the Hungarians and the Italians against the Croats.”

62 Dan, 5.12.1912. In Serbia, Catholics are not allowed to build Churches. Serbia, at the time of the wars, still did not have a concordat with the Roman-Catholic Church, so there was a problem when taking over some new territories inhabited by the Catholics. A commis­sion was formed which had a task of arranging the relations with the Catholic Church, and it was led by the educational minister Jovanovic.

63 Hrvatska zastava istine, 18.09.1913.



the Bulgarians in Macedonia64. In Srbobran such a publicly announced desire was perceived as a form of putting pressure on Russia, which was expected to help improve their current status65. The support for the Bulgarian people can also be seen in an unpublished document written by a Croatian attorney Vladimir Mazuranic, who was the president of the Ban’s Council up to 1912 and also the president of JAZU (Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts) after the First World War. In a letter to Bogumil Vosnjak, dated the 14th of July 1913, he regretted the fate of Bulgaria: “For years negotiations on the Balkan case have been carried on by decisive agents of both peoples – Serbian and Bulgarian; at the end of February 1912 these exhausting negotia­tions were finalized… They managed to conclude the final agreement. On the basis of this agreement they went to war and this war was vic­torious for both armies. When the job was done, the agreements were disregarded, new territorial demands were put forward and this imme­diately pulled the trigger. I was afraid that that might happen, and so we’ve unfortunately discovered that my fears were justified and your noble optimism was untimely. This war of brotherly nations offered an advantageous position to the Greeks stationed in southern Macedonia, to the Romanians willing to obtain even more of the Black Sea coast, and to the Turks hoping to gain back the Thracian fields soaked with Bulgarian blood. I find the smell of blood shed by one Slavic tribe greedy for their neighbour’s land, acknowledged by the agreement as unequivocally Bulgarian only an year ago, is now rising up to the heaven and will not be an incense pleasant to God.”66

During the Second Balkan War, the Croatian media space was divided between the ones who were counting the Bulgarian crimes and the ones who counted the crimes of the Alliance forces. The press of the Party of Rights took the lead describing the crimes committed against the weaker side in the war, the Bulgarians. At the end of the war, a journalist under the pen name Sriemac wrote in Hrvatska a series

64 Hrvatska, 25.10.1913.

65 Србобран, 30.08. (12.09.) 1913.

66 Nacionalna i sveucilisna knjiznica Zagreb, Collected writings of Vladimir Mazura­nic, correspondence R6965.



of articles about the atrocities committed against the Bulgarians in Ma­cedonia. These articles tarnished the image of the former allies. A spe­cial emphasis was put on the crimes committed by the Greek army during the cleansing campaign: “The Greeks are diabolically ravaging those parts of Macedonia, left by the Bulgarians. These “friends of the Slavs” are ardently talking about their victories and continuously ac­cusing the Bulgarians of barbarity as if the Greeks were not the cham­pions compared to all their neighbours.”67 An article entitled Blood­sheds in Macedonia reproduced a conversation with the Bulgarians from Thessaloniki about the Greeks’ behaviour68. Another article, enti­tled The Meanness of the Greeks, condemned the behaviour of Greeks and the way they were mocking at the suffering of the Bulgarians69. In the article The Morals of the Serbian Government Sriemac ridiculed the Serbs: “So, have you heard what the humble government of our mild and merciful Serb brothers said? They claim (please don’t laugh), that they have never opposed the idea of an investigatory ccommission, but they were simply against the investigatory commission itself. Because, as you know, an idea cannot discover anything, whereas a commission is sticking its nose everywhere and thus can eventually find out who has burned down hundreds of Bulgarian villages. Please, look, some people from the great wide world have come here and they are not only not promising to expose the misdeeds of the Bulgarians, but they might also discover the misdeeds of the Serbs and the Greeks. For heaven’s sake, we don’t need them.”70 Antun Gustav Matos referred to the same in his article The Bulgarian Tragedy: he quoted a letter of a Greek sol­dier from the battlefield to his family71. This brings us to a conclusion

67 Hrvatska, 16.07.1913.

68 Hrvatska, 30.08.1913, “We are fighting against you because you won’t sign and identify yourself as Serbs or Greeks. If you do not choose to become Greek, we will slaughter you all. He who refuses to call himself a Greek and who does not speak the Greek language will not live anymore.”

69 Hrvatska, 19.09.1913. “It isn’t any better in the Greek capital. They have put on plays about the war at the theaters of Athens, in which the Bulgarians and their Emperor are being shown in a shameful way.”

70 Hrvatska, 11.09.1913.

71 Hrvatska, 13.09.1913, “That war was mighty painful – Spilidopus Filipos wrote on 11th June on a journey back home from the Rhodope. We torched all the villages that were



that Hrvatska was reporting only the crimes of one of the sides, and that its editors had no doubt about who the victims of this war were. On the other hand, Srbobran was reporting predominantly about the Bul­garian “bestialities”72.

Another two topics preoccupied the Croatian public opinion dur­ing both Balkan wars. The first one was Bulgaria’s dispute with Roma­nia and the other one was the unbelievable return of the Edirne Thrace to the Turks. In the dispute with Romania most journalists took the Bulgarian side. At the time when the Bulgarians and the Serbs were allies, most articles against Romania’s aspirations could be found in the papers of the Coalition. A number of outright articles published in Ri­ecki Novi List in the beginning of 1913 described Romania’s negative and even shameful role. Their headlines speak of the journalists’ atti­tude towards the Romanian actions73. During the London Peace confer­ence, Romania claimed that 3000 square miles of Bulgarian territory should be given to her as a compensation for its neutrality in the war74. The journalists also accused European diplomacy of using the Roma­nian question in order to weaken the position of Slavs in the Balkans75.

abandoned by the Bulgarians. They are burning Greek villages and we are doing the same to the Bulgarian ones. They slaughter, we slaughter, and every member of that disgusting nation that has fallen into our hands was eaten by Manlicher. From around 1200 prisoners in Nigrita, only 41 are still in jail, as everywhere we’ve passed not a trace was left of that damned race.”

72 Србобран, 5.(18.)07.1913; 6.(19.)07.1913; 15.(28.)07.1913.

73 Riecki novi list, 12. 1. 1913, “Backstabbing”.

74 Riecki novi list, 2.01.1913, “Romania is asking that in the name of compensation for their fair attitude, for keeping neutrality in the Balkan War, in other more transparent words, in short, for that that they did not do the disgusting deed of attacking those fighting for the liberation of their fellow tribesmen at the moment when they were concentrating all their forces to execute that deed. The Albanians are getting their share because they were fighting eagerly the ones who opposed the Turkish oppression; Romania has to get what it’s asked for, because they didn’t do the same thing when it could have been much more dangerous for the Slavs if they had.”

75 Riecki novi list, 12.01.1913, “The knife is Romanian, the backs are Bulgarian, we can not evaluate in any other way that apache act of Romania, even if we were to try covering it up in any worn out ethical cloak to prove the right of Romania to a prize for its neutrality in the Balkan War. Even more so, Europe in its old, weak way of doing things is trying so hard to keep the balance, that they are shoving all kinds of sticks at the liberated Balkans and it seems justified to them that, for every inch of the land liberated and conquered by Bulgaria, Romania is to be compensated for not attacking by a part of the Bulgarian territory. The ac­tions of Romania are stirring up doubts, as if it had been goaded by its protectors who could not accept the idea of the strengthening of the Balkan Slavs, that they have given her the role



Obzor even begrudged the inclusion of Romania in the land distribution because her aggressive behaviour had been ardently supported by the Austro-Hungarian diplomacy76. Journalists of Obzor were also con­cerned that the Romanian-Bulgarian conflict could threaten the peace in Europe. According to them, the Bulgarian public was right to be angry with the moment chosen by Romania to make her claim; respectively, they were afraid that Russia was going to support Bulgaria and then the countries of the Tripartite Pact would support Romania77. Suggestions of how to justify Romania’s claims were made by the semi-official Ju- tarnji list. In conformity with the Monarchy’s foreign policy line of using the Romanian requests during the First Balkan War in order to unsettle the allies and to fight diplomatically Russia, an article entitled Romanian-Bulgarian Dispute claimed that Romania had made enough sacrifices by not entering into the war despite the desire of its citizens and by not thwarting Bulgarian aspirations but even supporting them through her neutrality78. After the break of the Serbian-Bulgarian con­flict, the unfavourable reports on the Romanian claims were taken over by the Party of Rights. Romania was now Serbia’s ally and the jour­nalists who were supporting Serbia could not write against it anymore. The image of Romania, who had taken Bulgarian territories without engaging into a single battle, was most actively expounded in Hrvatska; the Coalitional press also often reminded that Romania’s expansion was not welcomed by the Slavs, but this press still put the blame on Bulgaria. Romania’s part in the Balkan crisis was evaluated in an ex­tremely negative way by Hrvatska19. Negative attitudes towards Roma­nia’s role in the dispute can also be found in Hrvatska kruna80 and Hrvatska misao%x.

of a provocateur, as if there are bigger secret plans with this.”

76 Obzor, 2.02.1913.

77 Obzor, 19.02.1913.

78 Jutarnji list, 22.02.1913.

79 Hrvatska, 22.07.1913, “Not even the most despicable usurer would violate the hard situation of his debtor in such a way. Romania has, by its malice, overruled all other Bulgar­ian enemies and the idea that it is, allegedly, merely a weapon in Russian hands is no ex­cuse.”

80 Hrvatska kruna, 23.07.1913.

81 Hrvatska misao, 4.10.1913.



At the beginning of the Second Balkan War, Srbobran wrote that the new hostilities would facilitate Romania’s expansion – something that could have been avoided if the Bulgarian government had acknowl­edged the outcome of the first war82. In the Coalition’s press the interest to the Romanian question was connected to Serbia’s aspirations and to the dissatisfaction that non-Slavic peoples were expanding their territo­ries at the expense of the Slavic peoples.

The second question which preoccupied both Croatian journal­ists of all political colours and the general public was the Great Pow­ers’ failure to impose the implementation of the London Treaty and hence to stop the Turks from repossessing the Edirne Thrace. All Croatian media shared the same opinion. Croatian journalists were amazed that the Turks had been allowed to remain in Edirne after the Second Balkan War. The Great Powers which had signed the London Treaty should have ensured that the demarked borders were respected. These same powers had made Montenegro leave Shkoder and Serbia – leave Durres, but they did watch passively how the Turks took Edirne from Bulgaria and never made the Ottoman Empire respect the treaty. This was another diplomatic defeat of Russia too, which according to the Croatian journalists had been too compliant towards Austro- Hungary for the fear of a European war. In mid-July, Turkey joined the war against Bulgaria after signing an agreement with the Greeks. From that moment on, the Croatian newspapers were following the situation with a certain dose of disgust, hoping at the same time that the major powers would try to respect the London Treaty. From July 15th 1913, covering the Turkish expansion at Bulgaria’s expense, Obzor pointed out that Turkey had managed to deceive the Great Pow­ers and to take without any battle territories for which Slavs had spilled their blood. Other articles stated that the Great Powers were unanimous that the Ottoman Empire should not be allowed to return to the Balkans, and so were also Serbia and Greece. The Turks justified their expansion by the fact that they had signed the agreement with an

82 Србобран, 20.06. (3.07.) 1913.



alliance that had ceased to exist83. Since the Great Powers were hesi­tating, Obzor expected a Russian military action to impose the obser­vance of the settlements of the Ambassadors Conference in London84. In the article Greece’s excessive claims the author of Obzor’s editorial, having censured Bulgaria for its war actions, nonetheless professed his support for the Slavic cause and pleaded for leniency towards Bulgaria in order to prevent the Turks from re-entering the Balkans85. At the end of August when it became clear that Bulgaria should negotiate di­rectly with the Ottoman Empire in order to save what could be saved, Obzor openly attacked the Great Powers’ diplomacy86. Riecki Novi List also challenged the European diplomacy, comparing the situation of Edirne to that of Shkoder. There were strong expectations that Rus­sia would come to the rescue of Bulgaria87. In Hrvat, Dr. Mile Starce- vic also voiced his disappointment with Europe’s position vis-a-vis the Edirne question, comparing it again to the Shkoder crisis88.

83 Obzor, 25.07.1913.

84 Obzor, 26.07.1913., 30.07.1913., 31.07.1913., 1.08.1913.

85 Obzor, 3.08.1913, “It is here that all the fondness fades away from the general Slavic point of view for this or that side of the war, and the question of actual gain is being stated – what is the interest of Slavic South … Bulgaria, which has lost its best quality of physical strength and all of the reserves saved by its hard working people, Bulgaria is weak and within the reach of the Slavic peoples’ century-long archenemy in the Balkans. and has never received adequate compensation for the hundred years of torment inflicted on the en­slaved people.”

86 Obzor, 31.08.1913.

87 Riecki Novi List, 23.08.1913, “The main focus of the international politics is on whether there will be another Bulgarian-Turkish war, will the Great Powers stop the ad­vancement of Turkey towards Bulgaria. The fact is that the London Treaty was complied under the auspices of the Great Powers so that they have assumed certain responsibilities for its implementation (Shkoder).”

88 Hrvatska riec, 16.08.1913. Hrvatska riec copied an article from Hrvat since the journalist completely agreed with its author: “There is one only significant thing regarding the Edirne question. The civilized Europe, which likes to emphasize the moral principles of its politics, is now showing that in regards the Bulgarian people all those principles are just soap bubbles, politics is led by the principle of selfishness. The Edirne question is the final proof that the allegedly cultured Europe is not willing to judge the Slavic nations by the same standards. When it was necessary to save Shkoder and the half-wild Albanian tribe, Europe positioned heavy artillery against small Montenegro to prove its alleged authority and to gain respect for the London settlements. But now, when it comes to enforce the London Treaty for the benefit of the Slavic Bulgarians against the Asian Turks, the alleged cultured Europe is acting deaf and blind.”




When the Balkan Wars broke the Croatian public was already very anxious about the dissolution of the constitutional state and quite ready for any form of cooperation with Serbia in order to improve its situation. Over 70 per cent of the political press was in the hands of the Croatian- Serbian Coalition. The press helped forward the idea of cooperation and help with Serbia. The mayors of some cities even called up on Serbia to liberate Croatia. Under these circumstances, all the other countries fight­ing in the Balkan Wars were perceived through this lens of a pending co­operation with Serbia. Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians, Albanians and Turks were judged accordingly as allies or enemies of Serbia. The current state of affairs in Croatia was so bad that the Croatian public opinion chose to ignore the evil done by Serbia during the wars: after all, help could be expected only from Serbia. The feeling of empathy to the Bul­garians, which had been growing during the previous decades, quickly faded away because of the simple fact that Croatia could not expect any concrete help from a remote country. In addition, the policy of negotiat­ing and maintaining good relations with Austro-Hungary, fostered by the main negotiator Dr. Danev, managed to distance in many ways the Croa­tian public opinion from supporting Bulgaria in the war against Serbia. During the first war Croatia sent financial aid to Bulgaria via the Red Cross; Croatian doctors and nurses went to Bulgaria and the press was reporting positively about the Bulgarian needs and achievements. But immediately after the conflict with Serbia began, the mood changed. Bulgaria was the only one to be blamed for the Second Balkan War. The arguments were taken mostly from the Serbian press and were repeating the contents of a letter sent by Nikola Pasic to the then prime minister of Bulgaria Ivan Estratiev Gesov89. These well-known arguments were the lack of help regarding the Albanian question, a bigger expansion of Bul­garia than was provided for in the alliance contracts, the help of two Ser­bian divisions in Edirne and the lack of support in Macedonia where, ac­cording to an incomplete war convention, there should have fought 100

89 ЦДИА, МВР (София), ф. 176, оп. 2, а.е. 1368-2, л. 239-244.



000 Bulgarian soldiers. Little attention was paid to the fact that the can­cellation of the negotiations and the giving up of the Russian arbitration happened only because of the thoughtless behaviour of Tsar Ferdinand and General Savov. Unlike the press and the Coalition’s voters, the cleri­cal and some of the Party of Rights’ press wrote in favour of Bulgaria. The reasons for this can be found once again in domestic politics. Some of the Party of Rights’ members were seduced by the idea of trialism publicly professed by the Regent Franz Ferdinand90, so they were against any rise of Serbia’s reputation and influence. These members used differ­ent arguments concerning the Serbian-Bulgarian dispute. The first one was their breach of the contract, the second – the Serbian cooperation with non-Slavs guilty of many crimes against the Bulgarians and the third one was, surprisingly enough, that there were more similarities between Croats and Bulgarians than between Croats and Serbs. Towards the end of the war, the press united once again expressing support for the Bul­garians in the conflict with the Turks and the desire that the eastern Bul­garian border should stay as it had been demarked by the Treaty of Lon­don.

90 Idea by which, alongside the Austrian and Hungarian part of the Monarchy, a South Slavic (Croatian) one would be made, in which Croatia would have the final word, and it would include Croatia, Istria, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Slovenian lands.