US Ambassador: “For the Homeland Ready” Salute Has No Place in Public Discourse

By 19 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 19, 2019 - US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst on Tuesday welcomed Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović's admission that she was wrong to say that the salute "For the Homeland Ready", used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime in Croatia during World War II, was a Croatian historical greeting, noting that notwithstanding respect for freedom of speech, "there are some phrases which have no place in modern society."

"While all countries must protect free speech and political expression, there are some phrases which have no place in modern society," the ambassador wrote on his Twitter account.

"We applaud recent statements by President Grabar-Kitarović regarding the use of divisive speech in Croatia," the ambassador said in his message, including a link to Grabar-Kitarović's statement of Saturday, when she admitted to having made a mistake by describing the salute "For the Homeland Ready" as a historical greeting.

"I accept what historians have said, that it is not a historical Croatian greeting. But the point of my statement was not that part of the sentence, but that it (salute) is compromised and unacceptable," the president said this past Saturday, noting that she was wrong to have trusted her advisors on the issue.

More news on the dark era of Croatia’s history can be found in the Politics section.