Socialist Republic of Croatia

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Narodna Republika Hrvatska (1945–1963)
Socijalistička Republika Hrvatska (1963–1990)
Republika Hrvatska (1990–1991)
People's Republic of Croatia (1945–1963)
Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963–1990)
Republic of Croatia (1990–1991)
Flag of Croatia
Coat of arms of Croatia
flag coat of arms
Capital Zagreb
Form of government Socialist republic
currency Yugoslav dinar
founding 1945
resolution 1991
Locator map Croatia in Yugoslavia.svg

The Socialist Republic of Croatia ( Serbo-Croatian  Socijalistička Republika Hrvatska / Социјалистичка Република Хрватска ), SR Croatia for short , was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . Until 1963, the name was People's Republic of Croatia ( Narodna Republika Hrvatska / Народна Република Хрватска) or Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia . The SR Croatia was founded according to the results of the second AVNOJ conference (1943) after the end of the Second World War and ruled by the Union of Communists of Croatia . The capital was Zagreb .

The SR Croatia had a share of 20 percent of the population, 22 percent of the area and 26 percent of the gross domestic product of Yugoslavia.

With the constitution of 1990, the term “socialist” was removed and the historical state symbols were re-adopted.


As in the other republics, socialism was introduced in Croatia . Political opponents and especially former supporters of the Ustaše and other opponents of the regime were persecuted in the first few years. The formerly large German minority in the eastern regions of Slavonia , Baranja and Syrmia ( Danube Swabia ) was almost completely expropriated and driven out on charges of collective collaboration with the fascist occupiers. Tens of thousands were murdered or some of the able-bodied male population were deported to the Soviet Union for forced labor . Likewise, the majority of Italians in Istria and coastal cities such as Rijeka , Zadar and Split were resettled. In contrast to the Germans, however, the Italians who remained in the country were recognized as a nationality and received minority rights, which were also guaranteed internationally within the framework of the treaties between Yugoslavia and Italy regulating the Trieste question (see Free State of Trieste and the Treaty of Osimo ).

After the break between Stalin and Tito in 1948, and especially after the reforms of the 1960s, political practice in Yugoslavia developed on its own. There was an increasing opening to the West, the toleration of private family businesses and agricultural goods up to a maximum size of 20 hectares, a relative non-interference of the state in private affairs and the introduction of workers' self-government and a socialist market economy. Political opponents of Titoism appearing in public had to reckon with repression and even political imprisonment on the prison island Goli otok or the prison in Nova Gradiška .

Due to the extensive opening of the country to the west, tourism was able to develop on the Adriatic coast . Until the collapse of Yugoslavia, tourism was one of the main sources of foreign exchange. Another important source of money was broadcasts from guest workers . Industry was able to develop especially in the greater Zagreb area and in Slavonia, while Dalmatia lagged behind in this respect.

Croatia was one of the most prosperous republics in Yugoslavia, mainly due to tourism, productivity and relatively successful business enterprises, even if parts of the country such as the Lika , the Zagora and the Banija lagged behind and were characterized by massive rural exodus. The fact that Croatia had to financially support poorer regions and lack the money for its own development led to tension with the central government.

Croatian spring of 1971

The Croatian Spring is a reform movement, initially among intellectuals, but which soon reached the top of the Zagreb party. The representatives drew attention to themselves with a number of economic, pro-democratic and nationalist demands, including the suspension of payments to poorer republics, greater autonomy for the republics and the demand for a motorway from Zagreb to Split and Rijeka .

Due to the negative balance of payments in 45 years, the Croatians felt cheated and exploited for the results of their economic successes. While Croatia generated more than 50 percent of Yugoslavia's foreign exchange income, it received back around seven percent on a long-term average from the Belgrade Central Bank.

The Croatian Spring began, among other things, with the dispute over the position of the Croatian language in Yugoslavia. Officially, as the western variant of the Serbo-Croatian language , this was on an equal footing with the eastern variant ( Serbian ), but de facto the Serbian variant predominated, especially in state usage and in public, while the use of specifically Croatian forms was viewed as a nationalistic deviation . On March 17, 1967, numerous Croatian intellectuals, including important scholars and writers such as Miroslav Krleža , signed a declaration on the name and status of the Croatian literary language , in which they demanded the official recognition of the independence of the Croatian language and enforced it in 1971.

Savka Dabčević-Kučar , leader of the Croatian Spring

Favored by the liberalization of the political public in Yugoslavia after the overthrow of Interior Minister Aleksandar Ranković , further economic and political issues were increasingly and critically discussed in public for the first time since the Communists came to power. The leadership of the Union of Communists of Croatia under Savka Dabčević-Kučar supported this liberalization and made parts of the public demands their own. Although the leadership role of the party was not questioned, social organizations such as the traditional cultural association Matica hrvatska and the student union of the University of Zagreb , led by Dražen Budiša , broke away from the party's sphere of influence and began to perform independently.

The party leadership at the federal level was initially cautious about developments in Croatia, especially as the Croatian public did not directly criticize Tito, but rather sought his support. In the circles of the Yugoslav People's Army and the secret service, however, there was increasing demand for action against developments in Croatia, which were viewed as a threat to the unity of Yugoslavia. Finally, on November 29, 1971, Tito forced the entire leadership of the Croatian Communist League to resign. It was replaced by a new party leadership loyal to the line, which immediately put an end to political liberalization. By mid-1972 550 people had been arrested and a total of 2,000 people were convicted.

The demands for greater economic independence in the constituent republics of Yugoslavia were partially met by the new constitution of 1974, but political liberalization was not permitted until the second half of the 1980s. The period from 1972 to the mid-1980s is therefore also known as the time of Croatian silence ( hrvatska šutnja ).

1980s crisis

During the deep political and economic crisis in Yugoslavia in the late 1980s, the contradiction between centralist tendencies on the one hand and a reawakening Croatian national consciousness on the other intensified . With Tito's death in 1980, an important stabilizing factor ceased to exist.

When glasnost in the Soviet Union heralded the end of the socialist era in Europe in the mid-1980s, Slovenia and Croatia in particular increasingly demanded that Yugoslavia be converted into a confederation and a reorientation towards parliamentary democracy and a market economy .

Slobodan Milošević campaigned for a centralized Yugoslav state under communist rule. Milošević propagated against Albanians, Croats and Slovenes in order to prevent their aspirations for independence.

In the increasingly poisoned atmosphere, fear propaganda and mutual slander were the order of the day.

State symbols


coat of arms


  • Tomislav Badovinac: Zagreb i Hrvatska u Titovo doba , VBZ, Zagreb 2004, ISBN 953-99595-0-0 .
  • Berislav Jandrić: Hrvatska pod crvenom zvijezdom - Komunistička partija Hrvatske 1945–1952: organizacija, uloga, djelovanje , Srednja Europa, Zagreb 2005, ISBN 953-6979-20-9 .

Individual evidence

  1. Tobias Pflüger , Martin Jung, War in Yugoslavia: its causes; open borders for weapons - but not for refugees; Pacifist Action Perspectives , 2nd edition 1994, ISBN 3-9803269-3-4 , p. 29.
  2. Odluka o proglašenju Amandmana LXIV. do LXXV. na Ustav Socijalističke Republike Hrvatske (Croatian), Narodne novine (State Gazette of the Republic of Croatia),, accessed on November 9, 2019