One of the people we interviewed was Sokratis Ivanovich. He is Croatian and Greek. He was born in Brooklyn and he is 19 years old. His father comes from a small farmer's village called Rabas, in Croatia, which is very close to Zagreb. Sokratis is familiar with the conflict. He believes that the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia did not separate in a peaceful way like Czechoslovakia. It separated into two republics and there was violence. He didn’t believe that Yugoslavia was united. He just saw Yugoslavia as a federation of separate states. “Tito was the one that held Yugoslavia together all these years and when he died people believed that there was no reason of staying unified.”, said Sokratis.
Sokratis views the independence of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina as a religious issue. He believes that this is one the reasons that drew the conflict. “The Croats just tried to maintain their borders and there was little fighting.”, said Sokratis. He believes that the Serbs had to use the ethnic cleansing policy, as in other words “genocide”, to achieve their goals. He views Serbs as arrogant and compares them to Nazis. Sokratis agrees with the independence of Croatia because they have their own culture. The Serbian minority in Croatia opposed the separation.
After talking to his father and a close friend from Croatia, he found out that when they lived in former Yugoslavia, the Serbs had all the executive positions. They worked for the government and the Croats had the smaller jobs. When Croatia became independent, Serbs lost their labor force. The Serbs did not want to do the Croats jobs. He believes that this was what drove them to fight. The Croats did not want to be under Serbian control because they had control of the government and the military.
He views the culture of the Serbs as disgusting, and he compares them to Nazis because they killed other people for not being Serbian. “This is primitive and immature and Serbia is not a great country because it has this outlook.”, said Sokratis. He believes that they have no respect for different cultures. When we asked him about the Croatian ethnic cleansing against the Serbs in Krajina and Western Slavonia, he said, “That there were no death camps, women were not raped and that they only had prisoners of war (POW) camps.” They did not kill or torture them and he doesn’t see it as genocide. He believes that when the Serbian army was retrieving, the Croatian army responded by killing them and he does not see it as genocide.
Sokratis views the end result as “Selling your soul to American and European politics.” He believes that the agreements have not worked and there is still fighting going on. He also believes that media is saying that the fighting is over. Sokratis says, “Things will erupt again in a few years because the accords are just there to satisfy the general public.” Bosnians will fight each other again. He believes that Serbia shouldn’t have never declared war because it is foolish to hold on to something that it is not the same. He said, “If no battle ensued there would have not been no need for accords.” He sees Croatians as non-violent and beautiful people. He said, “Croatia is a tourist country and it can survive on its own.”