NEWS 10 Oct 18
Vineyard Sells Wines Celebrating Croatian Fascist Leader
A vineyard owner in Bosnia and Herzegovina is selling bottles of wine labelled with a picture of Croatian WWII-era fascist Ustasa leader Ante Pavelic.
A wine producer in Siroki Brijeg, a city with a majority Croat population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is selling bottles of wine bearing the name Poglavnik, the title used by Croatian fascist Ustasa leader Ante Pavelic.
Bozo Pinjuh, the owner of the Zlatna kapljica winery in Siroki Brijeg, told BIRN that he sells the wine in Croatia, but only in small amounts - approximately 1,000 bottles per year - and only through private orders.
The labels on the bottles feature a photograph of Pavelic, the ‘Poglavnik’ - a title similar to ‘Duce’ in fascist Italy or ‘Fuhrer’ in Nazi Germany.
Pinjuh said that he has been selling the wines for 15 years, and has never run into any problems even though his Poglavnik product has been reported on by Croatian media.
“I am registered, I have my papers,” Pinjuh said.
Bosnian law has no definition of what a fascist organisation is, and the use of fascist symbols is not banned in the country.
At the end of September, a customer at the Bracera restaurant in the Croatian coastal town of Malinska complained that the Poglavnik wines were on sale there.
"Food [is] OK, the prices are normal, the waiters are polite. However, in a very prominent place in the restaurant, there are wine bottles on which is Poglavnik is written, below which is a photograph of Ante Pavelic,” the customer, Djurdjica Cilic, wrote in a review on Google.
“I’m now writing here, and the next thing I’ll do is contact the MUP [Croatian police] and the tourist board of the Malinska municipality. Shame on you if do not know whose picture you have in the restaurant, and if you do know, then you should be imprisoned,” Cilic added.
Cilic said that she wrote to the police, complaining that the Poglavnik wine bottles were a violation of the Croatian law on public order.
The police replied that they visited the restaurant and that “there were no elements of a disturbance of public order and of the peace”, Cilic said.
When contacted by BIRN, the restaurant declined to comment.