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Croatian historian Vjekoslav Klaić and his contribution to the edification of the Croats

Mira Kolar-Dimitrijević

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page 367-397

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The author of this paper deemed it necessary to point to Klaić’s life and work in the function of the nation’s edification, i.e. the edification of the Croats, and thus commemorate the 80th anniversary of his death (which occurred in 1928). As a teacher’s son, he had been aware since his childhood that the people needed to be taught not only about its past, but also about the correct ways to behave in the present. Focused on the people in the manner of a teacher’s son, as opposed to the nobility’s and military’s sons, he wrote several papers that characterized him as a moderate Party of Rights follower who always acted in times of crisis (1917 and 1926). In addition to his notable work on geography and history textbooks that were supposed to teach the youth geography and history with special focus on the areas inhabited by Croats, in 1917 Klaić published an article entitled “The Ten Commandments” in the journal Hrvatska njiva. The article was in fact a code of conduct for the Croats. This article was published again in 1926 under the title “The Ten Commandments of the Mother Croatia to All Her Faithful Sons and Daughters”. Perhaps this text, and not Ferdo Šišić’s attitude toward Klaić’s work, was the reason why Klaić was completely neglected as a significant Croatian historian until 1973, when his History of the Croats in five volumes was published again. In any case, Vjekoslav Klaić is a great name of Croatian historiography and the last statement about his methodology has not been made yet, since it has still not been sufficiently studied. However, the article “The Ten Commandments” is certainly worth republishing because it shows what the heart and soul of Vjekoslav Klaić were like and proves that he was a true Croatian historian who should be paid tribute to constantly and permanently.


Vjekoslav Klaić, publicist work, ideology of the Party of Rights, 1906-1928, death anniversary

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