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This topic is a complex one and for the most part is based on the abuse of power.

Such abuse translated into promoting national interests, namely more land, ethnic and cultural supremacy, etc. In this instance Serbia hated Croatia because Croatia and other Yugoslav states (namely Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia) foiled its plans of creating 'Greater Serbia'. The Serbian abuse of power prompted the other states to secede.

From the time of Serbian independence in 1878 Serbia held the upper hand over the other western Balkan states and for the greater part of the following century.

Serbia made sure that the power was used for the benefit of the Serbian people and to the detriment of others. In the 19th century Serbs, unlike other western Balkan nations, had their own independent kingdom and powerful allies such as the Russian Empire that made sure Serbia was and stayed powerful.

Serbia's long term goal was to make every Balkan ethnic group in its sphere of influence (south Slavic nations of Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians and Macedonians) become Serbian. The notion of greater Serbia stems from a 19th century Serbian politician Ilija Garasanin who wrote a memorandum in 1844 that covered taking over and incorporating surrounding countries and people into a Greater Serbian state. This memorandum was to serve as a backbone of Serbian expansionism for future generations.

It was a general Serbian consensus that all the people in these lands were Serbian: Slovenes being the alpine Serbs, the Croats being Catholic Serbs, the Bosniaks Muslim Serbs and the Macedonians - southern Serbs.

In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia of the early 20th century, the Macedonians were not allowed to have a nation but were referred to as the southern Serbs. The Macedonians were not happy in the least and subsequently assassinated the Serbian King Alexander I by a Macedonian revolutionary (Velicko Kerin also known as Vlado Chernozemski).

Furthermore, none of the lands that were to be incorporated into Greater Serbia had any historical links with Serbia apart from brief periods of occupation in the late middle ages by the Serbian Kingdom of parts of Macedonia, Greece and Albania, and the Vlach and Serbian orthodox refugees that were fleeing the Turkish oppression during the 17 century.

These Vlach refugees settled in parts of Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia.

The Vlachs were an indigenous Balkan population of romanized Illyrians and Thracians that converted to Orthodox Christianity and from 18th to 20th centuries in particular, came to see themselves as Serbs due to their cultural similarities and relative isolation from their true kinsmen - the Romanians. At the time of these migrations ethnic Vlachs were closer related to the Romanians than the Serbs both ethnically and linguistically.

Serbs were Slavs and Vlachs were not.

The lands (outside of Serbia), although currently populated by Serb minorities were NOT initially populated by Vlachs or Serbs. As an example, Croatia was initially settled by the Croats in the 7th/8th century and the Vlach populations started arriving 1000 years later - from the 17th century onwards. These lands still had Croatian settlers though now had Vlachs as well, invited by the Habsburgs to populate the decimated lands of the Ottoman invasions.

After World War 1, Croatia joined the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The kingdom was ruled by a Serbian dynasty eager to exert control over all the nations in the country with the final aim of making a kingdom of all Serbs - The Greater Serbia.

This of course was welcome by neither the Slovenes nor the Croats, nor the Bosniaks, Macedonians and Albanians for that matter.

The Serbian Dictatorship in the kingdom was ever present in the country. The military, police and the government were all Serbian. The school curriculum was taught in Serbian - Serbian history, Serbian language. Slowly other nations were to be wiped out culturally and if not, forcibly if need be as was evident in the 1990s Serbian aggression in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and finally Kosovo. These wars were led by Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia who died in the Hague whilst being tried for war crimes in former Yugoslavia.

To conclude, Serbia and Serbian politics was its own worst enemy bringing hatred to its neighbours. Prior to the 19th century, there were no historical records of any western Balkan nations hating the Serbs or vice versa. Serbs brought hatred through their thirst for power and their own selfish interests to the detriment of others.

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12y ago
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13y ago

- Croatia is a new founded country. They were integrated within former Yugoslavia to avoid war reparations because they were allied with Nazi Germany. However, after so and so years, they sought independence. However, Serbia didn't want to recognize this because there is a large population of Serbs living in these areas, and they did not want to separate. <br />- The Serbs and the Croats were brothers in history. But because of religion, the Croats (Roman Catholic) and the Serbians (Orthodox Christian) are different. This spurred nationalism within Croatia more so than it does in Serbia. As a result, the Croatian Nazi government during the WWII forced a mass migration of Serbs (as well as Croats who had connections in Serbia or where from mixed marriages), out of Croatia in an attempt to create an ethnically pure Croatian state. This national pride is the reason for the Croats "hatred" towards the Serbs. <br />- However, mind you, there are bad people everywhere. One bad person does not dictate the moral value of a whole population or country. Today most young Croats and young Serbs don't feel hatred but more of a curiosity towards each other. This is because they speak basically the same language and are more similar then different, except for religion.

I would like to add to this. There is a lot of truth and pride in account's of the history between these two close nations. However there is an almost equal amount of pain caused by the untruth told of such a complex time in our history. Serbians were brutalized in WWII and still hold on to the pain deeply, but I think a lot of it is at the hands of their own people. Many accounts have been grossly exaggerated to breed hate for Croat's but in doing so the hurt is largely on the Serb's that are innocent and believing people. An example is the death toll of Serb's at Jasenovac, I've read as many as over 700,000 Serb's were killed there and I also read a book written by a Jewish doctor that some 26,000 thousand Serb's met their demise in Jasenovac. It would be simple to realize a population change if it were so notable in size as a census was done post war. The actual Serb population changed by 260,000 in Yugoslavia, many of which defected and others were sadly killed by the other forces. Many Croat's are in the same boat and believe what they read or hear and of course this is shocking to them, while it is an extreme exaggeration still the deaths were carried in vien. There are many pictures and accounts of both Serbians and Croations carrying out questionablely motivated act's yet all some of them can now do is talk about how horrible the other nation is. I find this very sad because really the only way people will achive happiness is to get past it all.

In the late ninteenth century Serbia and Croatia took a run at breaking away from the Hungarian empire and forming the Nation of Serbia, Croatia and Slovens. This was squashed by the Hungarians by offering Serbian's a handsome reward for being asimilated into their society with many accolades.

It was thought to be in Hungarys best interest to defuse the potential threat such a combined nation could pose. Croations were abandoned by the Serb's and their infrastucter was handed over to the Serb's by the Hungarians. Croatians, not allowed to vote unsupervised would lose all economic support if a non-supportive ballet was cast. This went on for twenty years. Ferdinand was assassinated and Croatia supported the Serbs at war.

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3y ago
This is not corre4ct. Shame of you not mentioning war in 1991 when Serbians did ethnic cleansing in Eastern Croatia. I am from Vukovar and know what happen there. Next time do not write if you do not have enough knowledge of the matter.

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11y ago

The question should be the opposite: why Serbs hate Bosnian Muslims. They are the Serbs who committed massacres against Muslims and pushed them out of their lands. Muslims, per God and prophet Muhammad (PBUH) commands, do not hate non Muslims and are ordered per religion to be kind and tolerant with them so far Muslims are not attacked or oppressed by them. Refer to question below for more information.

Actually it´s not right what´s written above. All these serbs, croats and muslims were guilty in the Bosnian war. And it´s not right to blame only serbs, because hiredmojaheds and over-religious muslims and croats killed each other and serbs as well.But I don´t think that peoples hate each other in their hearts, blame politicians who make kindred peoples to kill each other.

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11y ago

It's fair to say that most of them do because the Croatian Ustashe (Nazi puppet regime) killed some 80,000 Serbs, Gypsies and Croats at camps during WWII. The Ustashe was formed by Ante Pavelic in 1928 after the murder of Stepan Radic. They were training and hiding in Italy with the assistance of Mussolini and then handed over to Hitler by him when Hitler felt a need for "Exacting a special vengeance" against the Serb's for betraying him. The Ustashe formed concentration camps for Serbs, Jews, Croats and Gypsies. The most notorious of these was Jasenovac, where most of the victims were murdered.

However, Croats hate Serbs perhaps more fiercely than Serbs hate them as the long history of Serbian hatred by Croats dates back to pre-WW2. After WWI Serbian generals ordered Croat military to force Bosnian Turks to convert to the Orthodox faith or be killed. Well, the Croats were Catholic and felt it as a precursor of things to come their way and with the opportunity to jump first in the 2nd conflict who could blame them.

It has been stated in by a Jewish Author (Cohen) that a Serb organization carried out ethnic cleansing to all non Serb nationalities a much as six months before Hitler had Pavelic ( the head of the Ustache Nazi organization) commit any murder of Serbs. Did this make it easier for some of them? I think probably so, but certainly not the right thing to do still. In the 19th century the Hungarian ruler Hedervary? ( might be wrong spelling) drove a stake between Croat's and Serb's by welcoming in the Serb's as more of an equal and the Croat's more a liability. This was to stop the formation of "The kingdom of Serb's Croat's and Sloven's" which could have been a worthy adversary and so, neither of them are to blame for that. After Ferdinand was killed the Serb's waved in the Croat's during WWI and probably saved them but it may have been for numbers only ( not likely). After WWI the Croat's again feared repression by the Serb's and announced that they wanted to become a Independent state. Stjepan Radić the leader of the Croatian Peasant party and four other Croat deputies were shot while in the Belgrade parliament when he anouced it. Three of the deputies, including Radic died. So, everyone is the bad guy and the good guy in this soon never to end war.

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Q: Why do Serbs and Croats hate each other?
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