|The origin of the Croats|
Like the creation of the Croatian state, the origin of the Croatian people is today understood by the masses in a rather epic way, in the manner of the “Lord of the Rings”. Various right-wing portals also contribute to this, which elaborates the so-called “Iranian theory” about the origin of Croats. Today there are a lot of works, as a rule by various amateurs of dubious qualifications, about today’s Croats as direct descendants of ancient Asian civilizations, some Sarasvati / Harahvata / and I don’t know what kind of non-avatar. Every possible similarity of names, words, anything that could get Croats out of the group of hated Slavic peoples is sought. Regardless of the fact that his language is almost identical to Serbian, regardless of the fact that it is Slavic, regardless of the fact that according to some statistics, 60 percent of Croatian and the largest Slavic, Russian language match, the Croat would rather be of Iranian, Hittite, if necessary Indian origin, only not to be a Slav. We had a similar situation during Pavelić’s NDH, when the so-called “Gothic theory”, in other words, that the Croats were Slavicized Germans, all for the purpose of licking Hitler and securing a place in his “New Order”.
However, what is the real ethnic origin of today’s inhabitants of the Republic of Croatia, who declare themselves to be Croats? To answer this question, we must be aware that the genetics of today’s Croats were crucially influenced by two historical factors or events: the first was the great migration of peoples, and the second was the war with the Turks in the late Middle Ages and early modern times.
The great migration of peoples
The great migration of peoples was a centuries-long process of migration of tribes and peoples from Asia and the interior of Europe, to the south and west. Historical sources for this period mainly place the arrival of Croats in the 7th century. However, in connection with this immigration, it should be noted, and the previous post will help us, that the people under the Croatian name inhabited a much smaller territory than today. The whole of Croatia north of the Kupa and Petrova Gora (Gvozd), was inhabited by various Old Slavic tribes, the ancestors of today’s Kajkavians, and Slovenes. These Kajkavian Slavs, who came under the rule of the Croatian king in the 10th century, were given the Croatian national name only in the migrations caused by the Turkish wars. Not only were the original Croats-Čakavians, in the area of Dalmatia, Lika, etc., a Slavic people, but a huge non-Croatian ethnic corps of Kajkavians was incorporated into today’s Croats. Even in the south, in original Croatia south of the Kupa, not to mention the former Byzantine Dalmatia, the Croats found the remains of the natives, and previously settled peoples (Avars, various Slavic and Germanic tribes…), who assimilated into their national corps. Not only did the Croatian state begin its historical course as a confederation of three states, but the Croats themselves, as a people, expanded by centuries of expansion into non-Croatian, Slavic, and non-Slavic national elements.
However, for today’s ethnic origin of the Croats, the Turkish wars are perhaps even more important, in the period from the 15th to the 18th century. This matter is generally little known today, and it is very important because the raids of the Turks over these centuries have caused such migrations and changes in the composition of the population, which can hardly be compared with anything before or after. Changes in the population of today’s Croatia in the Turkish wars can be divided into the following groups: changes caused by direct Turkish attacks and occupation, those caused by the withdrawal of the Turks, and finally those caused by the Austrian colonization of areas liberated from the Turks.
1.) The Turkish occupation of the territory of today’s Croatia, ie the then Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia, was long, painful, and bloody. With many losses, countless battles, breaking through from fort to fort, from town to town, the Turks managed for decades to occupy the area to the borderline that ran from the Drava River between Virovitica and Koprivnica, through the Bjelovar area, Moslavina, then south of Sisak and Karlovac, then at the crossroads of Lika and Gorski Kotar, to break out into the sea along the Velebit mountain somewhere south of Karlobag. The population of most of Croatia and Slavonia was massacred, taken into slavery, and deported to Turkey. Historical annals record thousands and tens of thousands of prisoners being systematically taken away. The famines and contagions that accompany each, and especially these long and bloody wars, have done their part. People began to flee en masse to the unoccupied part of Upper Slavonia, as well as to European countries. In many cases, the nobility alone, seeing that they could not resist the Turks, knew how to literally raise thousands of submissive peasant-serfs, and take them with them to the west, leaving behind virtually empty areas. The chronicles record that in this way today’s Moslavina and western Slavonia were emptied of their pre-Turkish population. The remaining Croatian-Slavonian population converted to Islam en masse; the bishops of Zagreb fear for the thousands of abandoned peasants who have accepted the new government “falling away from the saving faith of Christ in the Mohammedan sect.” From the east, a new population is emerging, of the Shtokavian language and of the Orthodox faith – the Serbs, which the Turkish authorities are colonizing practically on a desolate land. When the opportunity arises, Serbs will flee en masse to the free side, so that a network of Serbian Orthodox settlements will be created all the way to the slopes of Medvednica and Kalnik. The Orthodox population will make up the majority in many areas.
2.) The retreat of the Turks and the liberation of the Croatian-Slavonian regions created today’s Bosnian-Croatian border, but also brought new mass migrations; Thousands of Islamized Croats and Slavonians, after several generations probably completely loyal to the new religion and state, and fearing violence from their Christian compatriots, left their lands en masse, and withdrew after the Turkish army to Bosnian territory, on the other hand, new thousands of Catholics and Orthodox, fleeing Turkish revenge, they leave their territory, and cross into Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia (the latter being ruled by Venice).
3.) At the beginning of the 18th century, the Austrian authorities found themselves in front of massively abandoned and uncultivated territories, which were inhabited by refugees and the Serb border population and the remains of the natives. Then they embarked on mass colonization of abandoned land. Everything from southern Lika to Srijem, the country is flooded with thousands of colonists: Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, even Italians (some villages around Pakrac).
For the area of today’s Croatia in the 18th century, we can ask ourselves, who is more of a native here. Croatia and Slavonia resemble a mosaic of remnants of Chakavian Croats and Kajkavian Slavonians, Germans, Czechs, Orthodox, and Catholic Serbs, Catholics from Bosnia of unclear “shock” and “Bunjevac” identity… The whole of today’s central Croatia, from Prigorje to western Slavonia was in fact ” small Czech Republic ”, in some places even today up to fifty percent of the Croatian population is actually of Czech origin. Today’s Czech community around Daruvar is actually the “remnants of the remnants” of the former population. In the villages of northwestern Croatia today, every third family bears a foreign surname, or can state their German, Czech, Polish, Hungarian or Slovenian origin; the hinterland of Bjelovar is soaked with Hungarians, and the city itself was initially inhabited en masse even by Ruthenians. A huge percentage of Croats, even Kajkavians, is of Serbian origin; Serbian fugitives from the Turkish side were called “refugees” and “lecturers”; The surnames “Prebeg” and “Predavec” are common among Croats in this area, and there are several Croatian settlements that are so-called. Until the 19th century, many hamlets and hamlets bore the adjective or nickname “Vlachs” or “Vlachs”, which speaks of their Serbian origin. Croats themselves would be amazed at how many of their surnames are actually Serbian. carried the adjective or nickname “Vlachs” or “Vlachs”, which speaks of their Serbian origin.
All these Catholic inhabitants, natives or immigrants to the Kingdom of Croatia, en masse accepted the Croatian nationality and national name throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. How could this happen? First, we must understand that at that time, religion played a much larger role in society than it does today. Western and Central Europe are Catholic, and the Catholic Church is ruled by a universalism, a legal and organizational unity, governed from Rome and under Latin. In such a situation, religion could not be a factor in the preservation of national consciousness among Catholic peoples, but the framework in which nations were created was a state unit. Thus, the Catholic inhabitants simply, by inertia, in the universal Catholic world, accepted the identity of the state in which they found themselves, as their national. Here is an example: the original Croats, fleeing from the Turks, in the tens of thousands, go to Germany, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, and there they assimilate en masse into the native peoples. Even today, the surname “Horvat” (= Croat) is a mass surname in Central European countries. On the other hand, all these Catholics, both Serbs and “Shocks”, Czechs and Hungarians, Germans and Slovaks, are taking over the Croatian name en masse, the name of the country in which they found themselves. It was simply a spontaneous process conditioned by the perceptions of the time. Thus, the basic matrix of the creation of the Croatian nation as belonging to the Croatian state. It is similar to the American model, where immigrants of different ethnic groups, accepting loyalty to the US, English language and American style, life, become-Americans are all equal and the dominant nation does not exist. Even today, when you talk to the average Croatian citizen, as a rule, you will find the identification of nationality and citizenship – if you live in Croatia, you are simply a Croat. If in Serbia, you are a Serb.In such an environment, in which the population of different origins, of the Catholic faith, merged into the Croatian people, the only “black sheep” remained Orthodox Serbs, due to a different national model that ruled them. Serbs, therefore, belong to Orthodoxy. There is not so much pronounced universalism in Orthodoxy, but the Church in a certain nation completely belongs to that nation, and that is why it becomes a builder and guardian of identity. The Serbian state could have collapsed, and it failed, but the Serb continued to hear in his Church about the Serbian name, St. Sava, holy Serbian rulers, etc. That is how a much stronger national system was created, whose main engine was the Serbian Church. So the historical root of the national conflict between Croats and Serbs can be seen as a conflict between two models of creating a modern nation. Because, from the Croatian perspective, the Serbian “to remain a Serb” within the borders of the Croatian state remains foreign, incomprehensible, and sabotaging. And when it is noticed that the “culprit” is the Serbian Church, the whole edge turns against it – it is no coincidence that throughout history there have been so many attempts to unite and convert Serbs to Catholicism, as well as attempts to create the “Croatian Orthodox Church”. From the Serbian point of view, the Croatian model seems insane – to give up its origin and nation, and replace it all with the name and national identity of a historical and legal creation of the Croatian kingdom? That is why a Serb could remain a Serb even without his state, but on the condition that he preserved his faith. By falling away from the Serbian Church into Catholicism or Islam, he remained without a national sign and easily fitted into other nations.
When all this is added and subtracted, Croats are a mixture of everything and everything, united by the Catholic faith and the name of the Croatian state. Not only were the original Croats a mixture, basically Slavic, but most of today’s Croats have no blood ties with them, nor can they trace their ancestors in today’s area beyond the 15th century. Therefore, every Croatian right-winger, who today flaunts Iran and Croatian ethnic unity, continuity, superiority, and uniqueness, should first study the genealogy and history of the inhabitants of their region. Maybe he manages to understand some things and starts building his Croatian patriotism on some healthier foundations