Efraim Zuroff, Nazi war crimes headhunter, head of Israel based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, has according to the media revealed that he wrote a letter, in May, to the Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, calling for Croatia to withdraw pensions given to members of WWII Independent State of Croatia armed forces (Ustashi as well as soldiers of the Home Guard Army – Domobran). Efraim Zuroff said last week that such pensions are an embarrassment to Croatia and an “insult to their victims”!
“In view of the horrendous war crimes committed in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH)… such a policy is inherently mistaken,” the centre’s chief Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said in a letter to Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.
I find it deeply disturbing that due criticism and condemnation from Croatia has not, to my knowledge, been adequately directed at Zuroff for this letter and its reported contents. I find it incredulous that not enough teeth have been bared at Zuroff for even contemplating, let alone going ahead with labeling every single WWII Croatian soldier with war crimes. Zuroff, a man who has hunted and hunts individuals, individual persons for WWII war crimes of the Holocaust, has now it seems moved his reach beyond the scope of his ‘job description’ and is on a rampage that inflicts collective guilt upon innocent individuals.
He has almost run out of individuals to hunt and is evidently now on a road of placing “plaques” of collective guilt wherever he wants to!
It means nothing to him that not a single person in receipt of the Croatian pension who had served in WWII Croatian Armed Forces has ever been charged with, let alone convicted of any war crimes!
This move by Zuroff is deplorable in many ways, but let’s just name two! First – his depraved finger pointing goes at innocent men in Croatia conscripted into the regular army (Home Guards/Domobrani) once the Royal Army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia dissolved in 1941 and honourably defended Croatia from external and internal enemies. Second – his attack on these pensions in 2015 have come 22 years after their introduction in 1993, when Croatian legislation provided for pensions to all armed forces of WWII, and it is blatantly obvious that with this move Zuroff may hope to add to the defence of indefensible communism, i.e. obstruct the battles currently being waged in Eastern Europe in particular to bring communist crimes to justice.
Of course, if one were to pay closer attention to the media then one would come across a long raft of articles coming out of Serbia supporting Zuroff’s call of collective guilt for Croats! And isn’t that interesting: all this at the time when Serbia rehabilitates the Nazi collaborator and executed WWII criminal Draza Mihailovic and keeps silent about the fact that it – Serbia – was among the first WWII countries, after exterminating 94% of its Jews and blaming others for it – to declare itself “Jew free” in May 1942. Mind you, the Serbs and Zuroff will easily tell us that it was the occupying Germans that did all the extermination in Serbia, conveniently hiding the historically long-standing antisemitism in Serbia, the anti-Semitic Milan Nedic’s government of WWII Serbia and its supporters, who were – after all – the real killers of Jews. The Nazi crimes headhunting website “Operation Last Chance”, in which Zuroff is seen as very involved, does not even bother listing the Jews in WWII Serbia and one must see dirty politics rather than justice behind even that! How sad for the victims of that part of the Holocaust.
It was in October 1993 that the Croatian Parliament passed the amendment to its ‘social security’ legislation by which it made it possible for individuals who were members of the WWII “Croatian Homeland Army” to claim a pension for their service where every one year in service was worth two years for the purposes of working-life sum required for all pensions.
It’s blatantly obvious that all victims are not equal to Zuroff – the victims of the Holocaust are more valuable to him than the victims of communist crimes even if both groups of victims arose from sheer and mad crimes! Indeed, it seems that to him WWII Croatian Ustashi forces and the Home Guards were/are one and the same thing, presumably because they both loathed communism and fought for an independent Croatia, as opposed to Yugoslavia!
A great turning point came in the last decade of the 20th century, when former communist countries in Eastern Europe began digging deeper into and unravel the real truth of World War II, emerging with the sad and true story of ‘two equal genocides,’ Nazi and Soviet (Communist) – the Holocaust had since then started disappearing as a unique event with the discoveries of many more mass graves dug by the communists, many more exterminations of innocent people than what the Holocaust had seen. Some call this process a “new history”, “revisionism” – but whatever it’s called it is the right path – the path of real truth.
In the West’s fight against the scourge of Islamic terror and Judeophobia we must be careful and mindful to act in a way that respects the rule of law. That means we must be forceful against any sort of terror act carried out by anyone, no matter his or her ethnic or religious origin. This is what distinguishes us from the barbarians who indiscriminately target civilians. We could say that our condemnation of all terror no matter from which quarter is a direct contrast from those whose school textbooks, religious and political leaders, media and followers preach hate against Jews, Christians and infidels. But then, we perhaps cannot say the same for people like Efraim Zuroff, who for political reasons or not, go for collective guilt; go for the jugular of a whole army of conscripted soldiers that defended their own country, such as the Croatian Home Guards were; who go for the jugular of the so-called fascist regime and not for the communist one when, in fact, terrible crimes were committed in the name of both.
Efraim Zuroff has stated on more than one occasion that no matter how long it takes we must hunt down and bring to justice all those who committed war crimes during the Nazi years. It’s a shame he does not seem to think the same of communist crimes perpetrators.
It would seem that Zuroff failed to mention in his letter to the Croatian Prime Minister that in his suggestion for a review (removal) of pensions given to the members of WWII Croatian armed forces a review of pensions given to the Partisans since WWII must also include an analysis of the crimes communist forces committed against innocent people – and pensions withdrawn!
So, if Croatia were at all mobilised by this letter Zuroff wrote (and it should not be) and started touching these pensions, paid from the Croatian taxpayers’ money (Many of whom are direct descendants of members of WWII Croatian Armed Forces) not Zuroff’s purse, then, given the horrendous magnitude of the number of victims of communist crimes all Partisan pensions must also be reviewed and taken away, for the Paritsans belonged to the communist forces that led the movement of mass murders and liquidations of innocent people rivaling those of the Jewish Holocaust. Obviously, Zuroff has nothing to offer in the justice for victims of communist crimes – let’s keep that in mind and the victims will see justice done in their name in the end. Democracy and truth demand nothing less! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)