Turning back the clock

Byzantine Sacred Art Blog

Visiting the new, independent Slovenia, Peter Handke wrote:

Now… I arrived at the Hotel ‘Zlatorog’ … at the valley’s end, everything arranged for German speakers, and in the entrance the framed photos of Tito’s visit had been removed not a pity really and replaced with those of Willy Brandt…. On state television almost nothing other than German and Austrian channel over and over again a foreign trade or economic delegation was having native folk songs sung to them. Then the Slovenian President would enter the scene. Wasn’t he once a capable and proud functionary? But now he behaves like a waiter, almost like a lackey, who serves up his country to the foreigners who visit, as if he wanted to satisfy every wish of a German employer or customer: the Slovenians aren’t this or that, but rather a ‘hard working and willing Alpen people’. A Journey to the Rivers: Justice For Serbia

The first question that Handke heard a customer in the new supermarket ask, was: “Has The Bild (German newspaper) arrived?”

Likewise, the Independent State of Croatia II (NDH II), never bothered to curtail its rather embarrassing enthusiasm for the opportunity given by Germany, Vatican and the West in general to turn the clock back and revert to the ethnically clean German satellite. Quite the contrary. From the fateful 1991 when Tudjman’s Croatia proudly unveiled the dusted off insignia from its fascist slice of heaven with the spontaneous burst into a collective Danke Deutschland song – the absolute worst, prime example of the kitsch, tastelessness and shameless sycophancy ever recorded in the history of humanity – till today, Croatia has been cheerfully sliding back in time, to the abominable 1940’s.

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