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Damir Agicic
The image of the peoples of South-Eastern Europe in the Croatian history textbooks for the primary school*

Stereotypes are deeply rooted and hardly changeable images of the group of people, for instance nations or social groups (peasants, workers, entrepreneurs etc.) which existed in the consciousness of the members of the other group - or as autostereotype in the consciousness of that particular group. These are simplifycated images which often have negative connotation. Generally, stereotypes are based on more or less real facts from the past. However, their factografical base is not important for their existence and long life in human consciousness. Stereotypes in the school textbooks are frequent phenomenon. Because the textbooks are limited by the number of pages it is much easier to show and explain the complex historical events by some stereotypes. They save much place and they make easier the authors work. On that way complicated historical processes are easier to accept and understood by the teachers and pupils. On the other hand, stereotypes are favourable for many manipulations. They preserved wrong images of historical persons, social groups and whole nations. It is extremely important that the picture of the "other" - especially, the "neighbour" - in school textbooks should be near the reality and as far from the stereotype as it is possible.
Regard to the nature of the textbooks and the circumstances of their writing in European countries in democratic transition, we must be happy with every - even the smallest progress in that direction. In our analyses we should not forget that almost everywhere the textbooks have to be accepted by the minister of education or the other high state office worker. Therefore the situation with school textbooks is not only the result of the development in historical science, knowledge and courage of the author, skill of editor or publisher's possibility, but often the general state of minds in the society.
Here I will try to show how our eastern neighbours, especially the Ottoman Turks and the Serbs, are presented in the Croatian textbooks for primary school, particularly for the sixth and the eighth class (13-15 years old pupils). As these two nations - the Ottoman Turks and the Serbs - in the past had the great influence in Croatian history, Croatian pupils learn much more about them than about the other nations of South-Eastern Europe. Surely, we can say that there exist a lot of stereotypes about them. The Turks are shown in Croatian textbooks from the very beginning as the enemies and conquerors. The Serbs were sometimes shown in the spirit of fraternity or even as one of "our peoples". Nowadays they are a little "forgotten". In this analyze I omit the image and stereotypes of Bosnia and Hercegowina and it's nations. It would need much more time and a separate research.

Teaching curriculum and textbooks in history
"Derencin dashed for the Turks. When the Croatian army rumbled by a Turkish ambush in the forest, the Turks attacked them from behind. Then Jakub with his part of the army also turned away. The Croatian army was encircled and virtually cut up. Some 10,000 Croats were left at the battlefield, and about 1,500 were captured, among them ban Derencin. The Turks cut off his son's head and put it in his food. According to a knight, who watched the scene from the forest, the Turks cut off the noses of everybody lying in the field, even of the dead and wounded. Namely, for every head of an enemy they would get a ducat from the Sultan. This time they only took the noses because there were too many heads."(1)
This is the description of the battle of the Krbavsko polje (the Field of Krbava) between the Ottoman Turks and Croats in 1493 in one of the two parallel (alternative) history textbooks used today in Croatian schools. The other description of the same event says: "Although the more cautious suggested laying a trap for the Turks, Derencin persisted in his wish to face them in the open field. The Turkish army wore armors for the first time, which surprised the Croats, who were used only to the Turkish light cavalry. In the violent battle of the Krbavsko polje a big part of the Croatian aristocracy was killed, and many were captured. Few people saved themselves by running away or were later bought by the Turks through mediation of the merchants of Dubrovnik. The battle of the Krbavsko polje represents the worst Croatian defeat in the wars against the Turks. The Croatian defense was considerably weakened, and the country was open to plunderers and conquerors."(2)
Croatian history textbooks, as all other textbooks, have to be respectful of and follow the curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Sport of the Republic of Croatia. In this curriculum topics that have to be taught at school are worked out thoroughly. The latest Croatian history curriculum had a slightly unusual destiny that need not be discussed here. It came out at the difficult time of transition and war after 1991. It is important to emphasize that it was sharply criticized by historians on several occasions and that it has numerous shortcomings. I hope that it will not be in effect long, and that it will soon be possible in Croatia to talk not about its improvement but about its change. There are indications that it will happen soon.
However, the curriculum is here, and we have nothing but to follow it because we are bound to do it by the law. By quotations at the beginning of this text I wanted to show that certain events, personages and historical processes can be presented differently within the same curriculum. The Balkans and Balkan peoples - or rather the area of South-Eastern Europe and peoples that inhabit it, because the word Balkans has an indelibly negative connotation in the Croatian language - are in our curriculum and history textbooks represented much less than ever before. The reason is partly the tendency to "remove from the teaching of history excessive facts and thus relieve students of their work, and instead put an emphasis on culture and the purpose of learning history"(3). If only Croatian students were really relieved of mere facts about wars, political events and personages and would learn more about culture, art and science! However, both the history curriculum and history textbooks, especially some of them, abound in political history in the worst light of traditional historiography. Let me give only one example:
seventh-grade students, according to the initial version of the latest curriculum, learned about everyday life in the second half of the 19th century in a separate lesson. In the new, changed and final version this lesson was just left out and in the form of a paragraph included in the preceding lesson, under the title "Second Industrial Revolution".(4)
Nevertheless, a much more important reason why the studying of the history of South-Eastern Europe has been reduced are the latest political developments in "this part of Europe", as it is often euphemistically stressed on various occasions. In the circle of traditional historians connected with the authorities every kind of learning about the history of our eastern neighbors is considered unnecessary, certain historical phenomena and events are distorted, and critical thinking is abandoned. Fortunately, there are still open-minded historians of contemporary views, who do not think that "all evil comes from the east", but try to explain historical processes and events in their true context and also apply their findings in school textbooks. And this is not always easy.
At the turn of the 20th century, that is when Croatia was part of Austria-Hungary, the history of South-Eastern Europe(5) was studied in separate lessons on the Byzantine Empire, Bulgarian and Serbian state in the Middle Ages, on the Ottoman Empire, as well as Serbian and Greek rebellions for freedom from the Ottoman government. Historical accounts are extensive and - for their time - methodologically updated. Historical personages are described as the driving force behind historical events, and the lives of ordinary people are not covered.
In the teaching curricula and textbooks used in Croatia after the Second World War up to 1991/92 the history of South-Eastern Europe was studied to a lesser extent: in particular, units concerning Bulgarian history were left out. In the sixth grade the history of South Slavs was studied in separate units, but Bulgarians were left out (sic!). In each unit mostly one lesson was devoted to Croats, Slovenes, Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrians and Bosnia respectively (I intentionally stress "Bosnia" because in those textbooks Bosnians do not exist even as Moslems - in the period of the early modern world in the 19th century "Turks" are constantly mentioned). Such a scheme of studing historical subject-matter was obviously imposed in the framework of the Yugoslavia of that time. In the seventh grade students did not learn about "national" history (like in the sixth grade) - Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, etc. - but the units had in their title terms "Yugoslavian peoples" or "Yugoslavian states". Of course, in the eight grade there were no suchdifficulties, since it was already possible to refer to Yugoslavia.(6)
Soon after the proclamation of independence, the Croatian authorities began working on the coordination of the history curriculum and revision of textbooks. It was exactly like that: in the initial period of independence in Croatia, altered old textbooks were in use. They abandoned the Marxist-communist ideology (not always consistently and skillfully) and Yugoslavian framework, although neither this was done thoroughly. In the meantime a new curriculum appeared, whose author was Agneza Szabo and which was based on the old textbooks. That curriculum was at first intended to be used only as a temporary improved version, and in the fall of 1997 it acquired the status of a permanent curriculum. As I already mentioned, there are indications that its "permanence" will yet be temporary and that soon a serous discussion of elementary- and high-school history teaching will be going on. I hope that the criterion of scholarship and tolerance will win and that the pattern followed today to a large degree will be abandoned.

The Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks had a deep impact on the history of South-Eastern Europe in the period between the mid-15th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Beginning with their conquering of individual medieval states, over the establishment of the spahi feudal system, islamization and bringing new cultural values, to the period of crisis, citlucenje, the loss of territory and eventually their chasing out of European mainland to the Enos-Midia line after the Balkan Wars, there were next to us and left an indelible trace. The stereotype they are associated with is very strong and not easily changed, and those that attempt to alter it are often faced with problems. And that stereotype, which exists in Croatian textbooks since the last century, says: the Ottoman Turks are conquerors, they are "wild", "mad", "cruel"... (what they are in fact not, and particularly they were not the only ones who impaled people and committed crimes against non-military population, with which they are continually charged). On the other hand, Christian peoples, who found themselves on their attack (formerly all of them, nowadays most frequently only Croats), are presented as defenders and fighters for freedom. The mythical values of "defenders of Christianity" or "a bulwark of Christianity" are attached to them.
Already in the 19th-century textbooks the Ottoman Turks did not fare well: they are known as "wild", "mad" and the proverb "Where the Ottoman Turks pass, the grass does not grow and flowers do not bloom"(7) is mentioned. In one handbook the Turks are characterized as "cruel".(8) After the Ottomans burst upon Europe and occupied "the most beautiful Byzantine countries", Slavic nations were on their attack: Bulgarians, Serbs, and then Croats, who fought with a great bravery and courage", but all three of them succumbed to the Ottomans.(9)
In the textbooks of the socialist Croatia the Ottoman Turks are also blackened and presented as conquerors and robbers. The author of the quotation from the beginning of this text Ivo Makek has written textbooks and contributed to defining history teaching almost during the whole post-war period. In his 1963 textbook he speaks of "wild Turkish troopers" and teaches students that Sultan Murat I was "recklessly followed by primitive and poor nomads, rapacious and ready to comply with his orders".(10) Historical sources are used by Makek in order to strengthen the overall impression of Turkish vandalism and cruelty. He still speaks of the battle of the Krbavsko polje much more moderately than in his newest textbook. Indeed he cannot do without descriptions such as: "All day and night villages blazed, and captives, battered and covered with blood, tottered behind Turkish troopers tied to the tails of their horses."(11) It may be interesting to mention that in his lecture delivered in 1946 to district and county officials of the elementary schools of the National Republic of Croatia, Makek, among other things, spoke in favor of the use of illustrations and "art historical literature", i.e., extracts from literary and other works. According to Makek, these are necessary for a clear presentation of historical events because of their "emotional impact on students".(12) There would be no problem at all if the author for that purpose suggested using the illustrations or artistic descriptions of famous buildings or particular historical personages. But he advised his school inspectors to encourage their teachers to refer to the following literary description of the death of the leader of the 1573 Croatian-Slovene peasant rebellion: "His skin split, his blood spouted, pale lips trembled, a deathly pallor covered his face... Then his eyes began pouring out, pouring out..."(13) When we take a look at his latest textbook, it becomes obvious that in the course of his longtime dealing with the texbook problems Makek did not make a step forward from what he taught half a century ago. For his last textbook the reviewers and editor of the book are to be blamed more than Makek himself.
In today's Croatian elementary school curriculum the Ottoman Turks should first appear within the lesson entitled "Alpine and Balkan States. New Powers - Austria and Turkey" (sic!). In this lesson - according to the curriculum requirements - the following topics should be studied: Slovene provinces and the Habsburgs, Raška in the time of the Nemanjic dynasty (1770-1371), the Ottoman Turks and the Turkish conquests in the Balkan Paninsula.(14) It is actually clear that we are dealing with a reduced curriculum dating form the period of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, according to which students studied "Slovene countries under the foreign rule", Serbia during the Nemanjic period and about Turkish invasion from separate lessons.(15) Compared to the old curriculum, the chapters on the medieval history of Bosnia are not shortened - on the contrary, they are enlarged - but Bosnian history is included in the unit dealing with the themes from Croatian history. Since the author of the curriculum was not very skilled and inventive, she used the syntagm "Alpine and Balkan states" in the title of the lesson. I wonder where Switzerland, North Italy, Bavaria, Bulgaria, Greece, the Byzantine Empire, etc., are.
Frane Sabalic, the author of the textbook that was used at schools for one school year only (1996/97), and then withdrawn because of its ideological bent and disrespect toward the basic principles of the profession of a historian, in this lesson on "Alpine and Balkan countries" - unclearly and in fragments, like in the rest of the text, too - speaks about everything that the curriculum prescribes. He is concerned with "Slovene provinces", i.e. countries inhabited by the Slovenes, then he speaks about about Raška (Serbia) at the time of the Nemanjics and finally about the Ottoman Turks and their conquests in the Balkans. The author argues that akindžijas "plunder and set on fires", and at the end stresses that "Turkish conquests impose Islamic civilization upon the conquered population".(16) The textbook's author is not interested in the fact that this is simply not true, that instances of the imposing of Islam are rare, as well as that the position of dependent peasants in the classic period of the Ottoman Empire was much better than the status of peasants in Central Europe.
It is simply unbelievable, but Ivo Makek sees the Ottoman Turks already at the beginning of the 13th century, at the time when the Crusaders were trying to capture Constantinople and destroy the Byzantine Empire: "By destroying the Byzantine Empire the Crusaders opened the door of Europe to Islam. In Asia Minor hard Moslems - the Ottoman Turks - were ready to move."(17) Such serious material mistakes and illogicalities were not made by history textbook writers before.
In his account of the Ottoman conquests of South-Eastern Europe Makek, among other things, argues that the Turks "cut up" the Serbo-Macedonian army in 1371, "beat" the army of Lazar, the Serbian prince, in the Kosovo polje (the Field of Kosovo) in 1389, but that they themselves met a bad fortune when they were "annihilated" by Tamerlan's army (1402). After that battle Sultan Bajazid II himself was captured and "taken to Asia, where he served as a stay to the lame Tamerlan, who mounted his horse using the Sultan's back". After he captured Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II, according to Makek, "sold out its inhabitants or apportioned them to his spahis or janissaries".(18) So, the Turks again appear as enemies that occupy countries, and their Sultan sells the inhabitants of the biggest city in the world of that time! In his textbook Makek gives even three illustrations showing what a spahi looked like and two pictures of janissaries. He speaks of akindžijas on several occasions, always in a very negative context: they "plundered and set on fires" along the borders, "herds of akindžijas, lurking in the woods, would raid Croatian villages and did horrible things", akindžijas "ravaged" certain areas.(19) The culmination of that negative presentation is accompanied by an additional information that akindžijas were recruited among the Vlachs: "The Turks waged war in a cruel way not only against soldiers, but also against unarmed people.(20) Their conquests were prepared with the help of borderline divisions - akindžijas, who came from the ranks of nomadic cattle-breeders - the Vlachs. These were brought from the mountainous areas around the upper flow of the rivers Drina, Lim and Ibar. On their horses akindžijas would suddenly, usually at night, raid villages and plunder, massacre and set fires there. Those that they captured were taken to Turkey tied to horse tails. The glowing sky above the villages on fire would spread panics far."(21)
It is important to mention that in the whole unit on "Austria and Turkey - new great powers on Croatian borders", which takes two and a half pages, only nine (!) lines and one question is devoted to the presentation of Austrian history, and the rest to Turkish history and the history of Serbia at the time of the Nemanjic dynasty.(22) Even in just nine lines the author managed to write a series of inaccuracies.
Also, in the introductory part of the unit on the early modern world (16th-18th c) Makek calls the Ottoman Empire a "raw Islamic power".(23)
The authors of the textbook Birth of the Contemporary Croatia and Europe (Radanje suvremene Hrvatske i Europe) Neven Budak and Velimir Posavec set the whole problem of the history of neighboring countries and nations, in particular the Ottomans, differently. Their textbook had an unusual destiny. For three successive years it was elected as the best textbook for the sixth grade of elementary school, and in all three cases the commission abandoned the other textbooks' manuscripts (the two texbooks by Frane Sabalic and Ivo Makek mentioned above), but the Minister of Education and Sport persistently refused to give her approval to its use at schools. Only when the publisher prepared and almost printed the book did the Minister sign the document of acceptance. Immediately after that she officially and publicly invited applications for a new texbook, and Budak and Posavec's textbook was again accepted and eventually got the approval to be used at schools on legal terms. Therefore from this school year half students use this textbook and the other half Makek's.
Budak and Posavec devoted a little less than half text in the lesson entitled New Powers: Austria and Turkey to Austrian history, but really speaking of problems of the history of the Habsburg Monarchy as a whole. Unlike the authors of the previous two textbooks, Budak and Posavec explain the term "Austria" and the area it covers. In the rest of the text of this lesson they speak of the Ottoman Turks as "skilled warriors", of the Byzantine Empire that "lost its power", and of Serbia which became a "great force" under the emperor Dušan. They say that "it seemed that the Turkish invasion (in the area of South-Eastern Europe, comment D. A.) could be stopped only by the Serbs".(24) They finally refer to the fall of Serbia and the Byzantine Empire under the Ottoman government. They also give an illustration - the portrait of Mehmed the Conqueror made by the Italian painter Vicenzo Bellini, stressing that the Turks saw in the Byzantine Empire a big enemy, but after the conquering of Constantinople tried to imitate Christian emperors. There are no illustrations of spahis in their book (let us remember Makek: 3), and an illustration of a jannisary is found in another lesson.
The Ottoman Turks are much less represented in the seventh and eight grades. They no more plunder and are not cruel. The term "Ottoman government" is found more frequently than the term "Ottoman Turks". However, also in the seventh-grade textbooks - there are again two of them(25) - the approaches are different.
What in the sixth-class textbook took up only one lesson, i.e., the "Alpine and Balkan areas", in the seventh grade turned into four lessons in the unit entitled Alpine and Balkan Areas from the End of the 18th Century to the Mid-19th Century. It was just with the middle of the 19th century that this "magic area" disappears from the horizon of interest of the curriculum's author, which means also from the field of vision of the texbook's authors. Admittedly, the south eastern part of this unusual neologism appears from time to time within European history (in the section on the Great Eastern Crisis 1875-78) or in a separate unit (sic!) on the Balkan Wars(26), as well as in the whole unit under the title National Movement in Turkey (sic!)(27) in the eighth grade. The latter is definitely a curiosity - Croatian students learn of the "national movement in Turkey", that is of the emergence of the modern Turkish state in a separate lesson in the eighth grade. It is completely unclear how such a unit got into the curriculum and then into the textbook.(28) Of course, there is no such thing in the old curricula and textbooks. Apart from Turkey, eighth-grade students study the Soviet Russia, Italy, Germany and Japan in individual lessons - nothing is said of the neighboring countries or Western states... There are no "Alpine and Balkan areas". They remained in the darkness of the 19th century.

The Serbs
It is undeniable that Serbs are an important neighbour to Croats, already because of the fact that a significant Serbian minority lives in Croatia, and a Croatian minority in Serbia, i.e., the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Common mixed past which contains hard mutual clashes, especially in the 20th century, created a lot of stereotypes. Unfortunately, they are now manifesting vigorously in everyday life. They are present also in history textbooks for primary school. Although, in textbooks they are not as common as in everyday life, it is very important to break them down as soon as possible and as much as possible, and to study relevant historical facts - both from the history of Croatian-Serbian mutual relationships and the history of Serbia in general.
In the 19th century Croatian students learned comparatively much about the Serbs as a South-Slavic nation. The students at the time of the first and second Yugoslavia studied even more. Of course, this was influenced by the framework of the common state and the educational policy that was, especially in the interwar period, led from one center - the Ministry of Education in Belgrade. At that time the stereotypes of the common origin, similarity and "fraternity and unity" were strongly reinforced. In the socialist Croatia all "our" people were studied: Slovenes, Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrins and the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and - naturally - Croats in particular.
In newer Croatian history textbooks our next-door eastern neighbor is dealt with to a much lesser degree than before. The 1389 battle of Kosovo, the important historical event in the early phase of the clashes between the Ottomans and Christians, was extensively described in the late 19th century textbooks and the textbooks from the time of the socialist Croatia. Among other things, these textbooks emphasize the fact that the Serbs were helped by the military divisions of the Bosnian duke Vlatko Hranic and Croatian ban Ivan Horvat, many Bulgarians, some Albanian feudalists, and troops sent by the Vlach duke Mirca,(29) i.e., the troops of the Bosnian and Croatian aristocracy"(30) or "the army sent by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I".(31)
The new Croatian curriculum does not require the explicit mentioning and description of the Kosovo battle, but enjoins that the Ottoman conquests in the Balkan Penninsula be spoken of.(32) However neither did the older curriculum especially emphasize the battle of Kosovo as one of the topics, but demanded that the Ottoman invasions of "our states" to the end of the 16th century be talked about.(33) As a consequence, in the latest Croatian history textbooks for the sixth class of elementary school, the battle of Kosovo is referred to in two different ways. In one case it is totally marginalized and only mentioned - literally only mentioned (34), whereas in the other it is given quite a lot of attention and there is an eeplanation of its meaning, causes and course. The fact that the Serbs were helped by the troops of the Bosnian king Tvrtko, among them Croats, is emphasized.(35)
Speaking of the war for freedom from the Ottomans (1683-1699), Makek stresses that the Croats "could hardly wait for this war and accepted it as their own", and that they rose up in a series of rebellions against the Ottoman government in Croatian areas. When the royal army invaded the Balkans and threatened to cut Bosnia off from the interior of the Ottoman Empire, the French king Louis XIV - "the most Christian Turk", as he is called by Makek - attacked the Habsburgs from the west. Consequently, the Habsburg army retreated, suffered defeats, the Turks conquered Belgrade, and in their invasion of Hungary(36) they were stopped by Eugene de Savoie. About 30,000 Serbs withdrew with the royal army to south Hungary, afraid of a Turkish revenge for the Serbian rising against them.(37)
Information that students can obtain from Budak and Posavec's textbook are again considerably different. First of all, the writers do not mention Louis XIV but France, which did not want to let Austria, its all-time enemy, to get too strong, and attacked it. The Turks dealt with the Christian rebels "very cruelly", so "a big part of Serbs, especially from Kosovo" moved to safe areas under the leadership of their supreme religious head, Arsenije III Crnojevic, the patriarch of Pec. The authors also state that the migration of Serbs ended in their "settlement in Srijem, Slavonia and south Hungary", whereas the areas given up by the Serbs in a greater degree started to be settled by the Albanians. In these few sentences the authors gave many data important for the understanding of the contemporary situation: why there are Serbs in some parts of Croatia, or Albanians in Kosovo...
I have already mentioned that in the seventh-grade textbooks the Serbs appear in lesson within the unit on the "Alpine and Balkan areas", the topics on the Great Eastern Crisis and the Balkan Wars. Apart from this, they appear in the context of Croatian-Serbian clashing in Croatia. The Serbian fight against the Hungarians during the course of the 1848-49 is presented (38), and the account of Serbian history in the first half of the 19th century is accurate. To the possible objections to this judgement - taking into consideration that in the both existing textbooks the politics of Ilija Garašanin and his Nacertanije are evaluated as the beginning of Great-Serbian politics - I answer that the same opinions exist both in Croatian and Serbian historiography.(39)
While in the older textbooks Gavrilo Princip and his co-operators were celebrated as national heros for their preparation for and assassination on Archduke Francis Ferdinand, this event is today referred to in a totally opposite way. It is stressed that this terroristic action was prepared and committed by members of the Serbian people, and that the official Serbian politics was also involved. From the mythical importance of a national hero, Gavrilo Princip turned into the assassin of two innocent people.
Nowadays in Croatia there is only one textbook in use for the eighth grade, written by Ivo Peric.(40) There, Serbs are mentioned in a pretty negative context, but Serbian politicians and Serbia are referred to, and not the Serbs as a nation. The author was cautious enough in not characterizing them as a nation. However, it is enough to mention Serbian and "Great-Serbian" politicians and "Serbian" policemen in a negative context to cause negative connotations about all of Serbs. Surely, the author's listing exclusively negative side in the relations between the Serbs and the Croats is not a factor of reconciliation. It is the greatest problem with the history textbook for the eighth class. It is also the greatest problem of the history curriculum: there is nothing positive from the Croatian-Serbian relations mentioned at all. Opposite to the period of socialistic Yugoslavia when there were only "fraternity and unity" presented in textbooks and when the negative things in Serbian-Croatian relations were completely neglected, in the contemporary curriculum and in Peric's book any positive thing is forgotten. There are also neglected any explanations of some reasons of the conflicts in relations between the Serbs and the Croats. The other reasons are shown not clearly and even incorrectly. On that way existing negative stereotypes became stronger.
Although Peric tried not to make any evaluations of the historical proceses, events and persons, some judgments he did creep in, so, for instance, in the lesson entitled Anti-Regime Manifestations in Croatia after the Bloodshed in the National Assembly he points out that Belgrade is a "socially uncivilized and morally unhealthy environment".(41) It is obvious that this quotation, as well as the following sentence "The news about this barbaric crime traveled all over the world and shocked people", and one of the last sentences from the previous lesson ("The assassination in the National Assembly in Belgrade on June 20, 1928 demonstrated the utter brutality of the Great-Serbian hegemony in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes") were enough for the special reporters of the OESS Mission in Croatia to generalize in their Special Report on Education in the spring of 1998 that in Croatian textbooks intolerance toward other nations is expressed, "especially toward Serbs, who are, when they are mentioned, often called by derogative names, such as 'barbaric', 'uncivilized', 'brutal', etc.".(42) However, is the assassination of two and wounding of a few other members of an opposition party in the middle of Parliament not a "barbaric act"? And was the Great-Serbian hegemony not "brutal", not only toward Croats, but also toward other nations in the royal Yugoslavia? In this particular case the author of textbook is right. Let me repeat, it is not a problem that a certain event is presented in that particular way, but that the accent is put down on the negative experience in the Croatian-Serbian relations.
The situation is similar with the other problematical and sore spots in Peric's textbook. The author consistently speaks of the Great-Serbian hegemony, the violence of the regime, cetniks' crimes (not omitting the crimes of ustašas' or partisans), of the neglecting of the Croats in the second Yugoslavia and their insecurity, and Serbian crimes in this last war. There are historical facts which have confirmation in historical sources. The problem is that in textbooks is not said that the Croats lived in shuch Yugoslavia, that they had even certain succeses and demografic growth, that they built houses and roads... The life under totalitarian regime which was one in socialistic Yugoslavia was not easy for all peoples in the country, not only for the Croats. So, the picture created by Peric's textbook, in which only misfortunes of the Croats are mentioned, is not corect. The great problem is also using the adjective a "great Serbian". This words nowadays in Croatia often can be read only as a "Serbian". In this waycertanin sentences from the eighth grade history-textbook could not have a good impact on the mutual relations.

The others peoples of the Balkans
The other Balkan peoples are not studied much in Croatian history textbooks for elementary school. The exception are, to a certain degree, Montenegrins. Students learn about Montenegro somewhat in the sixth grade, somewhat in the seventh grade - in any case insufficiently to understand that this area had a separate political development, that a state and the independent Montenegrin nation was established there. Macedonian history and Macedonians are even more neglected.

The other nations, Bulgarians, Greeks and Albanians, appear from time to time as a topic of interest of the textbooks' authors. None of the five nations is illustrated sufficiently to form any stereotypes or make a complete picture of them.

* This text was presented at the conference "The Image of the Other / the Neighbour in the School Textbooks of the Balkan Countries" which was hold in Thessaloniki, 16-18/X/1998 (materials of this conference were published in Greek only). It consists an analyze of the Croatian textbooks published till then. Since 1998 a lot of new textbooks was published in Croatia.
(1)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, Zagreb 1997, p. 74
(2)Neven Budak - Vladimir Posavec, Radanje suvremene Hrvatske i Europe, Zagreb 1998, p. 79
(3)Nastavni program povijest od V. do VIII. razreda osnovne škole, Vjesnik Ministarstva prosvjete i športa Republike Hrvatske, br. 12, Zagreb 25.XI.1997, p. 3
(4)Ibidem, p. 10
(5)In the analysis that follows I did not take into account topics concerning prehistory and antiquity, dealt with in the fifth grade of high school. These topics are represented sufficiently, it seems even too exceedingly and - at last in the fifth grade - are methodically too demanding for th estudents' age.
(6)Plan i programi odgoja i osnovnog obrazovanja, Vjesnik Republickog komiteta za prosvjetu, kulturu, fizicku i tehnicku kulturu SR Hrvatske, br. 15, Zagreb 1984
(7)Ivan Hoic, Poviest novoga vieka za niže razrede srednjih ucilišta, Zagreb 1878, pp. 141, 142, 148
(8)Ivan Hoic, Slike iz obce poviesti za više djevojacke škole, Zagreb 1883, p. 46
(9)Ivan Hoic, Slike iz obce poviesti za više djevojacke škole, Zagreb 1883, p. 46
(10)Ivo Makek, Prošlost i sadašnjost I, Zagreb 1965, pp. 151, 170
(11)Ivo Makek, Prošlost i sadašnjost I, Zagreb 1965, p. 176; the same description is repeated by Makek in his textbook coauthored by Blagota Draškovic and Olga Salzer: Narodi u prostoru i vremenu 2, Zagreb 1974, p. 95, but in his textbook coauthored by university professor Josip Adamcek Covjek u svom vremenu, Zagreb 1985, p. 131, the last sentence had been left out. It was put back in the newest textbook Povijest 6, p. 97, although slightly changed.
(12)Ivo Makek, Methodical Instructions for History Teaching (Metodska uputstva za povijesnu nastavu), Zagreb 1946, p. 19 and other - At the beginning of his work Makek quoted Stalin's words: "Education is a weapon whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands, whom he wants to hit with this weapon." (p. 3)
(13)Probably on the scent on this advise in his latest textbook, Makek wrote the following about the destiny of the defeated peasants in 1573: "The winners, in the fury of revenge, treated the defeated people inhumanly. According to a contemporary source, only on one pear tree sixteen unfortunate peasants were hanged, "exposed to the winds to swing them and birds to peck them." (I. Makek, History 6, p. 96) - This textbook is designed for children aged 11-12!
(14)Nastavni program..., op. c., p. 7
(15)Plan i programi..., op. c., p. 6
(16)Frane Sabalic, Povijest za VI. razred osnovne škole, Zagreb 1996, pp. 40-41
(17)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, p. 47; the same is written in the introduction to the unit "Europe in the developed and late Middle Ages, from the 11th to the end of the 15th century", p. 44
(18)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, pp. 59-60
(19)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, pp. 58, 74, 94
(20)The phrase "unarmed people" irresistibly reminds of the phrases referring to the attacks of the Fascists and their assistants on "unarmed people" in World War II or the newest theses about the "unarmed Serbian people" in Croatia on the eve of the latest war. The latter had to be helped by the Yugoslavian National Army to provide them with arms and protect them.
(21)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, p. 97
(22)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, pp. 58-60
(23)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, p. 80
(24)This sentence provoked Agneza Szabo, the reviewer of this textbook, who was also the author of the curriculum and the special reporting official of the Ministry of Education and Sport of the Republic of Croatia for history textbooks, to state the following in her review: "To whom did 'it seem that the Turkish invasion could be stopped only by the Serbs'?" Her review was negative at the end, for she put a series of unacceptable requirements before the authors. - Izjava recenzenta o cjelovitom rukopisu udžbenika, Zagreb July 1, 1997 (in the author's possession).
(25)Filip Potrebica - Dragutin Pavlicevic, Povijest za VII. razred osnovne škole, Zagreb 1996 (1997, 1998); Damir Agicic, Povijest 7, Zagreb 1996 (1997, 1998) - Since I am the author of one of the two textbooks, I refrain from the analysis of the competitive textbook. Therefore, in the text that follows, I will only point out some of the most important issues in the presentation of the Serbs and other Balkan peoples in the 19th century.
(26)In my textbook this illogicality referring to the fact that one lesson makes up one unit has been rectified. The lesson on the Balkan Wars appears in the unit "World War I" under the title Balkan Wars - the Prologue to World War. Compare Damir Agicic, Povijest 7, Zagreb 1998, pp. 107-109
(27)Ivo Peric, Povijest za VIII. razred osnovne škole, Zagreb 1996 (1997, 1998), pp. 30-31
(28)Nastavni program...., op. c., p. 11
(29)Ivan Hoic, Obca poviest za gradjanske škole, Zagreb 1879, pp. 171-172
(30)Ivo Makek - Blagota Draškovic - Olga Salzer, Narodi u prostoru i vremenu, op. c., p. 92
(31)Ivo Makek - Josip Adamcek, Covjek u svom vremenu,op. c., p. 126
(32)Nastavni program..., op. c., p. 7
(33)Plan i programi..., op. c., p. 6
(34)Frane Sabalic, Povijest, op. c., p. 41, it is mentioned that the battle was waged and that the Turkish army won, but the battle among the Serbs later "assumed a mythical significance in spite of the defeat". Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, p. 59, states that in 1389 the Turks "cut down the army of the Serbian prince Lazar in the Kosovo polje".
(35)Neven Budak - Vladimir Posavec, Radanje suvremene Hrvatske i Europe, op. c., pp. 59-60
(36)Makek consistently speaks of Madarska instead of Ugarska in the whole textbook.
(37)Ivo Makek, Povijest 6, op. c., pp. 103-104
(38)Although there are no Serbs on the map of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1848-49 in Potrebica and Pavlicevic's textbook, they appear in the context of the war against Hungary some lessons further.
(39)Compare Nikša Stancic, "Problem 'Nacertanija' Ilije Garašanina u našoj historiografiji", Historijski zbornik, XXI-XXII, Zagreb 1968-69, pp. 179-196; Damir Agicic, Tajna politika Srbije u XIX. stoljecu, Zagreb 1994.
(40)Ivo Peric, Povijest 8, za VIII. razred osnovne škole, Zagreb 1996 (1997, 1998)
(41)Ivo Peric, Povijest 8, op. c., p. 39
(42)Martin Mayer - Elena Drodzik, Specijalno izvješce Misije OESS-a o obrazovanju (The OESS Mission's Special Report on Education)