Sandra Benčić, a well-known public figure, laid a wreath in the Danube in Vukovar on Sunday to honor all civilian victims of the war. This was an act meant to express regret and acknowledge the suffering of those who lived through the conflict. However, this gesture was met with criticism from certain groups who accused Benčić of being insensitive and nurturing a typical Yugoslav complex.
The Most party, in particular, took issue with Benčić’s actions. They argued that recognizing the suffering of Croatia for its role in the defensive war should come before acknowledging the suffering of Serbs. They also criticized Benčić for throwing a wreath on that day without specifically honoring the victims that were not recognized by the official Column of Remembrance.
To them, Benčić’s move was an example of external humanism that is more dehumanizing than callousness because it serves to give a sense of superiority to those making the gesture. They believe that this type of gesture is not appropriate for all citizens of Croatia and serves as an expressed form of callousness.
Overall, their labeling of Benčić’s move as a quasi-leftist move offended many citizens and served as a reminder that Pupovac’s gesture may be bigger than Pupovac himself when it comes to acknowledging and honoring civilian victims during wartime events.