Profile 11 Jul 16

Culture Minister Who Left His Mark on Croatia

Thanks to his controversial statements about World War II and his interventions in the media and in culture, Zlatko Hasanbegovic will not be forgotten soon.

Sven Milekic
Zlatko Hasanbegovic. Photo: BETAPHOTO/HINA/Damir SENCAR/DS

“What makes me a little sad is that all this has the elements of a kind of an ideological ‘lynch’ that has no basis in facts but in the selective use of various statements that I gave over the past ten years.”

So said Zlatko Hasanbegovic on January 22, on being voted in as Croatia’s new Minister of Culture.

The “lynch” he referred to was hostile media reports about his past statements that prompted activists to gather in front of Croatia’s parliament on the same day, booing and shouting “Goebbels!”

“I propose all those who are interested to carefully read all my interviews, all of my written works; I stand behind all my work,” Hasanbegovic continued, claiming his robust views about anti-Fascism in Croatia reflected his opposition to “Yugoslav totalitarian communist heritage”.

More trouble was to come, however.

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