Prominent publicist, diplomat and politician Domagoj Ante Petrić died in his native Zagreb in his 83rd year, having spent half a century of the prime of his life abroad, living and working in Argentina.
Prominent publicist, diplomat and politician Domagoj Ante Petrić died in Zagreb in his 83rd year. Petrić spent much of his life abroad before moving back to his native homeland, where he held a number of top posts at a ministry charged with relations with the Croatian diaspora and members of the diaspora moving back to Croatia, later at the foreign and European affairs ministry, and also held the post of deputy director of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Petrić died on 24 October of this year. He was a man of honour and a great patriot, a wonderful father, caring husband and, above all, a faithful friend.
Domagoj Ante Petrić was born in Zagreb on 8 June 1938. His family were in Zagreb in May of 1945 when they left the country. His family took part in the marches toward Bleiburg and he spent part of his early childhood and first days of school at refugee camps set up in Italy. The family, with Domagoj and his sister Višnja, moved to Argentina in 1947. He took his first steps in journalism as a university student and worked as a reporter from parliament, as the editor in chief of the Planteo magazine, and writing for the Armas y Geostrategia journal. The Spanish EFE agency, the Catholic AICA agency, and the Italian ANSA and IPS agencies ran his articles and reports. He worked as an anchor and editor for the Argentina, El Mundo America and Belgrano radio stations in Buenos Aires. He worked at the office of the president of Argentina, at its secretariat for the democratisation of culture and as an advisor, and was a visiting professor teaching political journalism at the Universidad Argentina John F. Kennedy, a private university in Argentina. He held the post of secretary for culture and information at Croatia’s diplomatic office in Argentina in the early 1990s.
In 1995, having spent some fifty years abroad, he was invited by Croatian president F. Tuđman to take the post of assistant minister at a ministry set up to work with the diaspora and members of the diaspora moving to Croatia. In the 2000s he was moved to the department responsible for relations with Croatians abroad at the foreign and European affairs ministry, before being appointed to the post of deputy director of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, a position he held through to his retirement. He was a member of the Sociedad Argentina de Escritores (the Argentinean writer’s association) and the journalists’ association Circulo de la Prensa. He was a member of the presidency of the Croatian Society of Victimology, and was a columnist writing in Croatian and Spanish for the Internet portal hrsvijet.net.
He was awarded with three of the higher national decorations conferred by Croatia.
Prominent in his oeuvre is the book Asi sangraba la Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1980). He penned many papers, reports, and columns across a range of the leading Croatia-focused periodicals in the homeland and abroad. For over four decades his articles and columns published in Studia Croatica (a Spanish language magazine in Argentina launched in September of 1960) preached liberty and a democratic Croatia. Advocating for Croatia’s right to full independence they contributed to sustaining the flame of Croatian national awareness abroad, and made a significant contribution to Croatia’s ultimately successful bid for full independence in the early 1990s.
With his critical writing concerning the situation in the homeland the polyglot Domagoj Ante Petrić opened a window to many Croatians in the diaspora in the Spanish speaking countries of South America to objective information on the status Croatian then enjoyed in the Yugoslav federation.
Through his patriotic and dedicated work in preserving the national awareness of Croatians abroad Domagoj Ante Petrić made a massive contribution to the struggle to restore Croatia to a democratic order, for which he deserves our recognition. In 2006 he was instrumental in creating a magnificent Croatian Heritage Foundation exhibition of Croatia literature from the Spanish speaking countries as part of the Interliber book fair in Zagreb.
By: Darko Mažuranić