Tudjman, Franjo

Tudjman, Franjo

biographical name

(born May 14, 1922, Veliko Trgovisce, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes—died Dec. 10, 1999, Zagreb, Cro.) Croatian politician and president of Croatia (1990–99). He served with the partisans under Marshal Tito in World War II. He taught political science and history at the University of Zagreb (1963–67) and later wrote numerous books on history and politics. He was expelled from the Yugoslav Communist Party in 1967 for his nationalist writings, and he was imprisoned in 1972 and 1981. In 1989 Tudjman founded the Croatian Democratic Union, which won Croatia's first free parliamentary elections in 1990. Named president, he pressed for the creation of a homogenous Croatian state. When Serbian areas of Eastern and Western Slavonia and the Krajina revolted, they were occupied by the Yugoslav army. Beginning in 1995, Tudjman reasserted control over these areas and established virtual control over portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina with majority Croatian populations. His authoritarian style, along with his refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, led to the international isolation of Croatia, and his excesses in the Bosnian conflict and his autocratic rule earned Tudjman a reputation for brutality.

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