Tudjman, Franjo

born May 14, 1922, Veliko Trgovisce, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes
died Dec. 10, 1999, Zagreb, Cro.

Croatian politician and president of Croatia (1990–99).

He served with the partisans under Marshal Tito in World War II. He taught political science and history at the University of Zagreb (1963–67) and later wrote numerous books on history and politics. He was expelled from the Yugoslav Communist Party in 1967 for his nationalist writings, and he was imprisoned in 1972 and 1981. In 1989 Tudjman founded the Croatian Democratic Union, which won Croatia's first free parliamentary elections in 1990. Named president, he pressed for the creation of a homogenous Croatian state. When Serbian areas of Eastern and Western Slavonia and the Krajina revolted, they were occupied by the Yugoslav army. Beginning in 1995, Tudjman reasserted control over these areas and established virtual control over portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina with majority Croatian populations. His authoritarian style, along with his refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, led to the international isolation of Croatia, and his excesses in the Bosnian conflict and his autocratic rule earned Tudjman a reputation for brutality.

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▪ 2000

      Croat politician, historian, and general (b. May 14, 1922, Veliko Trgovisce, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes [now Croatia]—d. Dec. 10, 1999, Zagreb, Croatia), led Croatia to independence in 1991 and signed the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended war in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having entered Tito's antifascist Partisans in 1941 at age 19, Tudjman launched a military career in the Yugoslav National Army, rose quickly in rank, and became one of Yugoslavia's youngest generals in 1960. The following year Tudjman retired from military service and began his public life as the first director of the new Institute of the History of the Workers' Movement in Zagreb. He obtained his doctorate in history from the University of Zagreb in 1965.

      His attention to politically sensitive nationalist issues, specifically, his thesis that “Serbianized” central authorities in Belgrade, Yugos., were deliberately inflating crimes committed by the Ustasa, the World War II Croatian Nazis—especially the number of Serbs killed in the Jasenovac concentration camp—while minimizing Croatian contributions to the antifascist movement, led to his expulsion from the Communist Party in 1967 and dismissal from his job. Tudjman's frequent critique of the regime landed him in prison for nine months in 1972. After he gave interviews to Western media in 1981, he was sentenced to another three years of prison (he served less than one), was prohibited from speaking publicly for five years, and had his military honours revoked.

      Tudjman reemerged in public life in 1989 as founder and leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which brought together democrats, disaffected communists, and the wealthy Croat diaspora. The HDZ won Croatia's first free parliamentary elections in 1990, and Tudjman was named president; he was directly reelected in 1992 and 1997.

      Tudjman immediately pressed for a homogeneous Croat state, pushing through a new constitution unfavourable to the large ethnic Serb minority. Fueled by Slobodan Milosevic's notions of a Greater Serbia, Serb areas of Eastern and Western Slavonia and the Krajina revolted and were soon occupied by the Yugoslav army. Charges of “ethnic cleansing” were leveled on both sides. Croatia's international standing was further damaged by Tudjman's long-held view that Bosnia and Herzegovina was an artificial creation that should be divided between Croatia and Serbia. Beginning in 1995 Tudjman reasserted control over the occupied areas in Croatia and established virtual Croatian hegemony over large portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina with majority Croat populations. Tudjman's authoritarian style; intolerance of dissent; tolerance of nepotism, corruption, and crony capitalism; political interference in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and noncooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia led to Croatia's international isolation and the erosion of domestic support for the party he created. Still, Tudjman would be remembered as the founding father of the modern Croatian state.

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▪ president of Croatia
born May 14, 1922, Veliko Trgovisce, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes [now Croatia]
died December 10, 1999, Zagreb, Croatia

      Croat politician who led the country to independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and who was president until his death.

      Having joined the Partisans in 1941, Tudjman launched a military career in the Yugoslav army, rose quickly in rank, and in 1960 became one of its youngest generals. The following year he left military service and became the director of the Institute for the History of the Workers' Movement. He received a doctorate in history from the University of Zagreb in 1965.

      Tudjman was outspoken on nationalist issues, including the charge that Yugoslav authorities had inflated the crimes committed by Croatian Nazis (Ustaša) during World War II. His criticism of the government led to his expulsion from the Communist Party in 1967 and dismissal from his job, and twice, in 1972 and in 1981, he was sentenced to prison terms for antigovernment activities.

      In 1989 Tudjman founded the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which won Croatia's first free parliamentary elections in 1990. Named president, he pressed for the creation of a homogenous Croat state. When Serb areas of Eastern and Western Slavonia and the Krajina revolted, they were occupied by the Yugoslav army. Beginning in 1995, Tudjman reasserted control over these areas and established virtual control over portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina with majority Croat populations. Although he signed the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia, his authoritarian style, along with his refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, led to the international isolation of Croatia.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Tudjman,Franjo — Tudj·man (to͞ojʹmən), Franjo. 1922 1999. Croatian general and historian who was president of Croatia from 1990 to 1999. * * * …   Universalium

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  • Franjo Tudjman — Franjo Tuđman [ˈfraːɲɔ ˈtudʑman] (* 14. Mai 1922 in Veliko Trgovišće (Gespanschaft Krapina Zagorje); † 10. Dezember 1999 in Zagreb) war ein Offizier, Historiker und Politiker. Er wurde nach den ersten Mehrparteienwahlen in Kroatien zum… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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