The Bosniaks, the Croats and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Experiences of Yugoslavia

The Bosniaks, the Croats and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Experiences of Yugoslavia

The truth is that the percentage of Serbs in the entire population
of Bosnia-Herzegovina almost crumbled at the time of socialist
Yugoslavia (from 44% of the population in 1948 it fell to 31% in
1991). Despite that fact, the majority of Serbian Communists were
devoted to Bosnia-Herzegovina’s affirmation as an equal federal
unit of Yugoslavia throughout the socialist era. What seems most
convincing is that the B-H Communist movement as a whole
was not ethnically oriented since the Communists endeavored to
affirm and develop all national identities and opposed the building
of a supra-national identity that could have disturbed the ethnic
balance – a major factor of B-H, s integrity. This was evident in
the 1960s and 1970s when some circles promoted Yugoslavianism
and Bosnianism as national identities. The Communists of Bosnia-Herzegovina
turned down both options flat, arguing that anything
like that could lead towards centralization and unitarianization
of the country (Yugoslavianism) or denial of the Serbian and
Croatian national identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnianism).

The Communist movement in Bosnia-Herzegovina remained
loyal to a man to Yugoslavia for a very long time. Thanks to this
unity, Bosnia-Herzegovina modernized its society in the socialist
era, made economic progress, integrated its infrastructure, set
up scientific and cultural institutions, and opened itself up to the


Excerpted with permission from YUGOSLAVIA FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.  Editor:  Sonja Biserko.  Copyright © Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, 2017.

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