'You are despised by patriotic Serbs'

Wednesday, December 11, 1991

The following open letter was written by ANICA RADOVIC-OSTOJIC to the principal commander of the Serbian-dominated "Yugoslav federal army", General Veljko Kadijevic. It was published in the October 4 issue of the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija.

Veljko, we have known each other since childhood. We know each other's parents and relatives. In the anti-fascist war, together with our Croatian brothers, we fought together against a common enemy, fascism.

Your deceased mother and wife were of Croatian heritage just like my husband. Have they now become our enemies just because they are Croatian? How is it that the Croatian people, who fought against a common enemy en masse with us, have all at once become a genocidal people?

Veljko, you are well aware that from our region of Imotski not one Serb was ever a Chetnik before. How is it that today certain elders of the Yugoslav army to whom you issue orders are being sent with the Serbian reservists and Chetniks, not simply to wage war on our homeland Croatia but rather to create a wasteland; to demolish, burn and loot Croatian cities and villages; to destroy hospitals, homes, schools, kindergartens, sacred Catholic objects (even those of the Orthodox confession) and cultural-historical monuments; and to kill innocent children, women and elderly folk.

I cannot conceive, Veljko, that you are unaware and that you do not understand what sort of game you are becoming party to. Your subordinate generals, admirals and many other officers who are also not Croatian, are deserting you, and individuals are committing suicide. Many mothers have disowned their officer sons and husbands, and even children have disowned their dishonoured fathers, officers of the Yugo-army.

Until recently, Veljko, we were proud of you and your name. In the meantime, you have become despised by all those respectable patriotic Serbs — those that knew you and those that did not — from our region of Imotski, as well as those from Dalmatia, Croatia and Yugoslavia. You have come to experience the shame of us Serbs from Imotski.

How will you, Veljko, you and many others who are leading this dirty war on this toil-worn Croatian people, ever look them in the eye again, and how will you ever be able to return to our Imotski?

Will you allow yourself to be written into the history books, not only as a negative personality but as a war criminal? That is why I call on you, if it is not already too late, to halt the mob you lead because, despite the casualties and destruction, the people of the Republic of Croatia cannot be crushed by anyone, nor can the peoples in the other republics.

Veljko, hear the voice of your conscience. Walk away from your subservience to the sick Milosevic who is intent on forming a "Greater Serbia". Follow the path which will lead you into history eat person, return happiness to the homes of Serbian, Croatian and other neighbours who share this Balkan region and who, until today, have never waged war on one another.

In this, your great decisive moment, think, Veljko, my fellow countryman.

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