Za dom spremni! (lit. "For home (land) – ready!") was a salute used
World War II
World War II by the
Ustaše movement. It was the Ustaše
equivalent of the fascist or
Nazi salute "Sieg heil".
1 Usage during World War II
2 Modern usage
2.1 Legal status
3 Za dom
4 See also
Usage during World War II
Main article: Ustaše
Police authorities in
Travnik report on the deportation of 118 Jews to
Jasenovac concentration camp, ending with the official salute "Za dom
During World War II, the Ustaše, a movement of radical Croatian
nationalists and fascists, ruled the Axis puppet state Independent
State of Croatia (1941-5), created after the invasion and breakup of
the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The salute "Za Dom – spremni!", was
immediately instituted as a new, revolutionary salute to be used in
official correspondence and everyday life. On April 10th 1941 Slavko
Kvaternik, designated commander-in-chief of the State's Armed Forces
and deputy of state leader (Poglavnik) Ante Pavelić, proclaimed the
establishment of the state on Radio Zagreb, and ended the statement
with Bog i Hrvati! Za dom spremni! (English, God and the Croats! For
the homeland prepared!) In October 1941, state minister of
education and culture
Mile Budak issued strict rules regarding the
mandatory usage of the salute. In July 1941, Ustaša commissar for
Sarajevo, Jure Francetić, issued a circular to state authorities on
the importance of using the Ustaša greeting. As British historian
Rory Yeomans notes, the
Ustaše authorities were disappointed with the
low acceptance of the salute among the population, even in the areas
where the new regime enjoyed support. State officials and the
government-controlled press constantly complained about the lack of
the usage of the new salute, threatened with sanctions and reprimanded
those who did not use it. In 1944, newspapers admonished the
readers that "in the
Independent State of Croatia
Independent State of Croatia there exists only
one greeting: For the homeland – prepared!" According to Yeomans,
Ustaša movement saw the usage of the new greeting as "not only the
question of ideological purity, but also the national pride."
Ustaša official Mijo Bzik furiously attacked all other greetings as
foreign, servile and slavish. All official government and military
reports and documents usually ended with "Za dom spremni." Ante
Pavelić used the salute to end all of his private correspondence even
after the war ended, in exile (1945-56.)
As a part of their new cultural and language policy, government took
an effort to replace "hello" when answering the phone with
"prepared". State Intelligence and Propaganda Bureau (DIPU) wanted
to assess how many people used the salute by calling them randomly on
the phone and recording whether they answered with "hello" or
"prepared". Some of those who did not answer with "prepared" had
their telephones confiscated.
During this time salute was used in various ways, for example as "Za
poglavnika i za dom spremni!" (For
Poglavnik and homeland
ready) and in form of a question and answer: "Za dom?! – Spremni",
"Za koga?! – Za poglavnika" ("For homeland?! – Prepared!", "For
whom?! For Poglavnik!"). There was also usage of Za Boga i poglavnika
svoga – Uvijek spremni! ("For God and Our
Poglavnik – Always
Prepared!") on various flags of NDH.
Main article: Far-right politics in Croatia
First part of the salute together with an Ustaša symbol (U) sprayed
on a dumpster
The salute was used in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the
Croatian War of Independence
Croatian War of Independence and Bosnian War. Croatian Defence Forces,
the paramilitary arm of the right-wing Croatian Party of Rights,
emulating Ustaša forces and using their iconography,
adopted it as their official salute and included it in their logo.
This salute was an official slogan of the party's branch in Bosnia,
Croatian Party of Rights
Croatian Party of Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina, until April 2012,
when it was replaced by Semper fidelis.
In 2011, a court in
Knin dismissed a case against a craftsman who sold
souvenirs labelled with Za dom spremni, ruling that the defendant
didn't wear clothing or souvenirs with slogan that encourage national,
racial or religious hatred, but instead he was selling them. While the
former is punishable by law, the latter is not. The court ruling
stated that "
Za dom spremni
Za dom spremni is an old Croatian salute known throughout
history" as a part of the defense statement, yet it didn't cite any
opinion on the subject.
Croatian singer Thompson used that salute at the beginning of his
wartime song Bojna Čavoglave and in the song Golubovi bijeli.
The chant is often heard among fans in his concerts. In the song
Srce vatreno by Nered and Zapresic Boys the salute was also used in
the middle of the song, but was later replaced with U boj.
Chant is sometimes used by nationalist football fans in
Croatia. In 2013, Croatian international football player
Josip Šimunić led the chant four times with the crowd in Zagreb
after Croatia beat Iceland to qualify for the
2014 World Cup
2014 World Cup finals.
He was subsequently banned for ten matches and fined by FIFA, which
barred him from participating in the
2014 World Cup
2014 World Cup finals. Simunic
denied supporting "any form of intolerance or bigotry."
In August 2015, a number of conservative and right-wing public figures
and Catholic clergy members (including most notably Sisak bishop Vlado
Košić and auxiliary bishop of Zagreb Valentin Pozaić) signed a
petition and an open letter to the President of Croatia
Grabar-Kitarović and to the chairman of Croatian Democratic Union
Tomislav Karamarko, calling for the introduction of the salute as the
official salute of the Armed Forces of the Republic of
Croatia. In June 2016 Elvis Duspara, a Catholic blogger and
columnist, published a book titled "Za dom spremni" in Zagreb,
focusing on whitewashing the salute and claiming that "this salute is
in the DNA of every Croat." Croatian mathematician and
academic, controversial far-right writer Josip Pecaric, published a
similar book titled "Diary Under the Sign of Za Dom Spremni". Its
presentation on public premises was rejected by
In November 2016 in Jasenovac a plaque commemorating members of
Croatian Defence Forces
Croatian Defence Forces killed in action 1991-2 was unveiled,
containing CDF emblem with the salute "Za dom spremni". This
caused an outrage as Jasenovac is the site of the biggest Ustaše-led
concentration camp and a memorial area for 80,000 ethnic minorities,
resistance fighters and political opponents of
Ustaše regime that
perished there 1941-5. Jewish, Serb, Roma, and WWII veteran
organisations as well as opposition parties boycotted the
government-led annual commemoration in April 2017, protesting the fact
that Croatian government has not removed the inscription. The
plaque was finally removed 10 months later, in September 2017, to be
placed in nearby Novska. In similar cases, as CDF emblem included the
salute, their emblem on war flags and memorials was altered to remove
it, most recently when a monument in Split was unveiled in 2014 and
during the 2015 military parade in Zagreb. CDF emblem with the
salute was also painted in a graffiti mural in Mokošica, a
neighbourhood of Dubrovnik.
Croatian computer scientist Filip Rodik analyzed the prevalence of the
salute among Facebook comments on right-wing or conservative news
portals and Facebook profiles between 2012 and 2017. Rodik found that
out of 4,5 million comments, 33,000 comments used the salute in the
affirmative manner. More than 10,000 individual users left at
least one message/comment including "Za dom spremni." Rodik also
noted an increase in the frequency and spread of its usage: in 2014
1,700 individual users used it at least once, in 2015 they numbered
3,400, while in 2016 the number stood at 4,700. The salute is
sometimes also abbreviated into "ZDS."
On 12 February 2018, when Serbian President Vučić was to meet with
Croatian government representatives in Zagreb, hundreds of
demonstrators chanted the salute Za dom spremni! at the St. Mark
The salute is not explicitly banned by law in Croatia. The police
usually views it as implicitly banned by misdemeanor laws and
anti-discrimination laws. For instance, during a house search and
seizure of an illegal weapon in June 2017 in
Kistanje near Knin, the
police have removed the shirt with the salute from a man who was
wearing it and charged him with the offence against the public
order. Constitutional court of Republic of Croatia has in at least
two separate occasions (May and December 2016) upheld the decisions of
lower courts ruling that individuals who used the salute have
committed an offense against the public order and have incited to
hatred (similarly to the concept of
Volksverhetzung in German
law). Due to his chant at a football stadium,
Josip Šimunić was
sentenced for "incitement to hatred based on racial, ethnic and
religious grounds, as the salute was used in NDH and is a
manifestation of racist ideology." This was also the opinion of
the High Misdemeanor Court of Croatia, which ruled that those using
the salute "expressed unacceptable political ideas, upon which
Republic of Croatia as a (...) democratic country is not based."
In December 2016, state administration office in
Varaždin refused to
verify and register CDF veterans' organization statute and emblem due
to its emblem containing the salute. Administration office ruled that
it is "an established fact that the salute [...] was used as an
official salute of the totalitarian regime of the Independent State of
Croatia and, as such, is rooted as a symbol of racist ideology,
expressing contempt for other people due to their religious and ethnic
identity and trivialising crimes against humanity". The office
found the salute to be in violation of
Croatian Constitution and the
Law on Association.
In 2011, a municipal court in
Knin dismissed the case against a
craftsman who sold souvenirs which contained the salute Za dom
spremni. The court ruled that accused didn't wear clothing or
souvenirs with slogan that encourage national, racial or religious
hatred, but instead he was selling them. While the former is
punishable by law, the latter is not. The court ruling cited
defendant's claim that "
Za dom spremni
Za dom spremni is an old Croatian salute known
throughout history" as a part of the defense statement, however, it
didn't state any opinion on that subject.
Local authorities and security agency in
Austria have noted that the
salute and other Ustaša symbols are undesirable during the annual
Bleiburg repatriations in Bleiburg, Carinthia.
However, as they are not explicitly covered by Austrian laws banning
Nazi insignia and symbols, they are often observed at the
commemorations. The Greens and many civil organizations have therefore
asked Carinthian and federal Austrian authorities to ban the
Modern proponents of the salute claim its alleged continuity and
tradition predating the pre-WW2 period. Historian Hrvoje Klasić from
the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences stated that "Za
dom spremni" as a phrase has not been documented in any historical
document prior to the 1941 formation of the Independent State of
Croatia. Other prominent Croatian historians Tvrtko
Jakovina and Ante Nazor, as well as former minister of culture Zlatko
Hasanbegović, also a historian, supported this view.
Supporters of the salute say that the words "Za Dom" ("For home" or
"For homeland") were used in the 19th century by count Josip
Jelačić, while he was leading the army from
Varaždin into a battle
with Hungarians. Allegedly, the army replied with: "Spremni!" ("Ready!
to die "). But historians claim that there is no historical document
or any other credible evidence quoting Jelačić using "Za Dom!" ("For
home!"). Phrase Za dom i narod Slavjanski (For home and Slavic
people) appears on a decorative mini gloriette presented to Jelačić
commemorating the events of 1848.
The words Za dom were previously also used in Pavao Ritter
Vitezović's 1684 work Odiljenje sigetsko about the Siege of
Szigetvár, in the opera Nikola Šubić Zrinjski composed by Ivan
Zajc in 1876, and several songs published in the mid-19th century
issues of the Danica, the literary magazine published with the early
The phrase Za dom was documented as a salute in a 1939 issue of a
Varaždin weekly Hrvatsko jedinstvo.
Far-right politics in Croatia
Croatian Defence Forces
Yeomans, Rory (2013.) Visions of Annihilation: The Ustasha Regime and
the Cultural Politics of Fascism, 1941–1945. Pittsburgh: University
of Pittsburgh Press, ISBN 9780822961925
^ Romano, Jaša: Jevreji Jugoslavije 1941-1945: žrtve genocida i
učesnici Narodnooslobodilačkog rata, p.106
^ Ivica Kristović, Pozdrav 'Za dom spremni' ekvivalent je
nacističkom 'Sieg Heil!', Večernji list, 22.11.2013
^ 'Za dom spremni' je isto što i 'Sieg Heil'!, Danas.hr 09.01.2012.
^ Proglašenje NDH – 10. travnja 1941., 16:00 (video)
^ Hrvatski Narod – Posebno izdanje 10. travnja 1941.
^ a b c d e f g Yeomans 2013, p. 258.
^ Zbornik dokumenata i podataka NOR-a. tom V – Dokumenti NOVJ –
Borbe u Hrvatskoj, knjiga 32
^ a b , telegram.hr
^ a b c Yeomans 2013, p. 259.
^ Izvještaj Župske redarstvene oblasti u Sarajevu od 2 oktobra 1943
god. o situaciji na području Župe, Zbornik NOR-a. tom IV – Borbe u
Bosni i Hercegovini – knjiga 18 – oktobar 1943., page 452
^ Zbornik NOR-a. tom V – Borbe u Hrvatskoj – knjiga 25 – ožujak
1944. II – Ustaško-domobranski dokumenti
^ Hrvatski branik, year 1941, number 51, page 2
^ Simicevic, Hrvoje. "Hostaska banda", Novosti, September 9th, 2017
^ "Hrvoje Klasić: Napokon se Anto Prkačin i ja u nečemu slažemo",
N1, September 4th, 2107
^ "Izdali su Francetića kao što je Juda izdao Isusa", N1, September
^ Proclamation of the HOS Headquarters, 9 May 1992
^ Presuda iz Knina ne odnosi se na pozdrav " Za dom spremni"
^ Bojna Čavoglave (video)
^ Golubovi bijeli lyrics
^ "EINES DER GESICHTER DES KROATISCHEN NATIONALISMUS", Belltower News,
^ Srce Vatreno (video)
^ "SRAMOTNO NAVIJANJE Torcida skandirala: 'Za dom, spremni! Ajmo, ajmo
ustaše...'", Jutarnji list, 24.11.2013
^ Goran Penić: S OSJEČKIH TRIBINA SE ORILO 'ZA DOM SPREMNI' I 'AJMO,
USTAŠE' Vlada RH osudila sramotna skandiranja, Jutarnji.hr,
^ "In Kroatiens Stadien wuchert der Rassismus", 22.07.2015
^ "Croatia's Josip Simunic banned from World Cup for 'pro-Nazi'
chants". CNN. December 16, 2013.
^ "Croatia's Josip Simunic banned for World Cup for pro-Nazi chant".
Associated Press. December 16, 2013.
^ "AKADEMICI, BISKUPI, ODVJETNICI… Traže da službeni vojni pozdrav
bude “Za dom spremni”", net.hr, 24/08/2015
^ "Kroatischer Erzbischof fordert Referendum über Faschisten-Gruß",
Die Zeit, 28/08/2015
^ "OVO ĆE IZAZVATI REAKCIJE: Elvis Duspara napisao knjigu ZA DOM
SPREMNI!", dnevno.hr, June 17th, 2016
^ "ELVIS DUSPARA U SUZAMA PREDSTAVIO KNJIGU – ZA DOM SPREMNI!
Reakcije? Genijalne!", dnevno.hr, 6/7/2016
^ "Načelnik zabranio predstavljanje knjige na temu 'Za dom spremni'",
Vecernji list, August 1st, 2017
^ "Plaque near WW2 Concentration Camp Scandalises Region"
^ "Premijeru je žao zbog tri komemoracije u Jasenovcu; nema, kaže,
nikakve relativizacije ustaštva", Telegram, 23/4/2017
^ Ante Božić: "Savez udruga dragovoljaca HOS-a: Ako se sramite
našeg ratnog stijega pod kojim smo branili i oslobodili Lijepu našu
i pod kojim su ginuli naše sestre i braća onda ga nemojte niti
nositi u Mimohodu", nacija.hr, 4. kolovoza 2015.
^ "HOS-ov pozdrav na ulazu u Mokošicu podijelio građane", HRT,
^ a b c Šimičević, Hrvoje. "Cyber Ustaše", Novosti, 17/04/2017
^ "PRAVE HAOS U ZAGREBU
Ustaše skandiraju: "Za dom spremni"".
^ "U majici s natpisom 'Za dom spremni' i s privjeskom na Pavelića
napao policajku: Oduzeli mu puškomitraljez!", sibenik.in, 28/6/2017
^ Odluka Ustavnog suda Republike Hrvatske Broj: U-III-1296/2016
Zagreb, 25. svibnja 2016.
^ Ciglenečki, Dražen: "Predsjednica zaziva pravosuđe, ali Ustavni
sud je još u svibnju rekao da "Za dom spremni" treba kažnjavati",
Novi List, 10.8.2016.
^ "Ustavni sud odbio Šimunića zbog uzvika “Za dom spremni”",
^ Presuda Visokog prekršajnog suda Republike Hrvatske broj:
Jž-2824/2014 od 3. prosinca 2015.
^ Marina Karlović-Sabolić: "'Za dom spremni' odlazi u povijest,
neće se više smjeti koristiti nigdje u Hrvatskoj? Konačna odluka za
nekoliko mjeseci, evo kako bi Plenković mogao umiriti radikalnu
desnicu",Slobodna Dalmacija, 10.9.2017.
"...općepoznato da se uzvik 'Za dom' uz pozdrav 'Spremni' koristio
kao službeni pozdrav totalitarnog režima Nezavisne države Hrvatske
te je kao takav ukorijenjen kao simbol rasističke ideologije, uz
izraženi prezir prema drugim ljudima zbog njihove vjerske i etničke
pripadnosti te trivijaliziranje žrtava zločina protiv
^ Presuda iz Knina ne odnosi se na pozdrav ” Za dom spremni”
^ ""Hier dürfen wir alles bis auf den Nazi-Gruß", Der Standard, 17.
^ "Am Samstag findet in Kärnten das großte Neonazitreffen in Europa
statt!, Vice.com, June 2017
^ "Za što su to točno 'spremni'?". tportal.hr. 2015-04-16. Retrieved
^ "'Za dom spremni' kao pozdrav je uveden tek utemeljenjem ustaške
NDH – Večernji.hr". Vecernji.hr. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
^ "Predsjednica kaže da je inicijativa o pozdravu 'Za dom spremni' na
razini provokacije, a povjesničari tvrde da nema veze s hrvatskom
tradicijom –". Telegram.hr. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
^ "HRT organizirao raspravu o pokliču 'Za dom spremni!':
Hasanbegović, Jakovina i Nazor se složili kako je riječ o
ustašluku iz vremena notornog Ante Pavelića i NDH", Slobodna
Dalmacija, September 6th, 2017
^ "Čehok: I ban Jelačić je išao u rat protiv Mađara s pokličem
ZDS", Faktograf 31.8.2017.
^ p.420, p.595
^ Oddiljenja Sigetskoga čentiri děla: S uvodom životu Nikole kneza
Zrinjskoga, str. 50
^ Libreto for the 1876. opera Nikola Šubić Zrinjski
^ Danica Horvatska, Slavonska i Dalmatinska, issue 21, 28 May 1846
^ Danica Horvatska, Slavonska i Dalmatinska, issue 6, 6 February 1847
^ Danica Horvatska, Slavonska i Dalmatinska, issue 34, 19 August 1848
^ Hrvatsko jedinstvo, year 1939,