In pursuit of justice – Communist crimes

On Friday 4 November 2011 The widely read and acclaimed Huffington Post published an article :

“Josip Boljkovac, Croatia Former Interior Minister, Arrested Over Post-WWII Killings”

Public debates ran hot last week in Croatia on the issue whether an anti-fascist from WWII should be apprehended and tried for war and post-war crimes.  One could have easily understood from those who spoke against the arrest that the terrible crimes Boljkovac is suspected of having committed were not as important as the fact that he was an anti-fascist.

Having read the article published in the Huffington Post I reacted and commented. The Huffington Post published my reaction:

Ina_Vukic | Nov 4, 2011 9:39 AM EDT

“The sources or contributors for the article seem to exclude the Croatian side, and gives an impression of yet another unfair attack on Croatia and its integrity.It would have been more credible if Mr Elan Steinberg corroborated his accusations against alleged Croatia’s failure to prosecute criminals from WWII by providing actual names of persons that should have been prosecuted but weren’t. The reference to Stipe Mesic’s (ex-president of Croatia) words that Boljkovac was a proven “anti-fascist” somehow alludes to the idea that anti-fascists were incapable of murder and mass murder, or that if one was an anti-fascist and murdered innocent people he/she could not be called to account for such heinous crimes; not even for the brutal filling with corpses hundreds of mass graves in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1945 and after – the documented vicious deeds of so-called anti-fascists. At the end of the day, with lots said, everyone deserves justice including the anti-fascists. So wouldn’t the world be a great place if Croatia was allowed to prosecute, with due process and in an orderly fashion, the alleged murderers on evidence they have?! In February 2010 prominent European politicians, former political prisoners, human right advocates and historians signed a Declaration on Crimes of Communism which called for the condemnation of communism. Ina Vukic,”.

On the 5th of November 2011 Vecernji List ( from Zagreb published an article quoting Stjepan Mesic (former president of Croatia): “A long time ago I said to Karamarko that the antifascist’s battle was the brightest page in Croatia’s history. To wrestle out of a most horrible evil in the history of mankind, we have done that. Were there crimes committed in that? Probably yes … It’s a 70 years distant event but we haven’t heard of a single piece of evidence. They are only indications, but I wouldn’t enter into the police’s work.”

The article further states that Mesic had sent a message that the crimes of anti-fascists have to be viewed in a historical context and that the law should not protect anyone. He also stressed out that all crimes that occurred in that region must be cleared.

The crimes of anti-fascists have to be viewed in a historical context! According to Mesic!

Would that mean that historical events such as WWII victory should be used as an excuse for mass murder of innocent people?

Does that mean that because communists or anti-fascists gained victory and power over Yugoslavia in 1945 their war crimes are not really bad crimes, or that being an active anti-fascist is a mitigating factor in the crimes of murder?

The only historical context that comes to my mind for those WWII mass murders – if they were committed – is that they were committed. It does not matter where or when – murder is murder and nothing can excuse nor mitigate it.

I gather (from Mr Mesic’s past public statements) that when he talks of “a most horrible evil in the history of mankind” he is talking about Nazism/Fascism… BUT the facts of history are that many, many thousands of innocent Croatians who were neither pro-Nacism/Fascism nor pro-Communism lost their lives in mass graves of Communist/ Anti-fascist war crimes and post-war crimes.

Croatia was and is filled with millions of people who had no political affiliations nor sympathies with either Ustashi or Communists during and after WWII.

Hundreds of thousands had emigrated or fled to the West – distancing themselves in their daily lives from that harsh political dichotomy which was imposed upon the Croatian people, as though nothing else existed, without any regard to those who stood firmly outside it. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb), B.A.,M.A.Ps.(Syd)

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