Nazi Crimes Hunter’s Deplorable Interference With Croatian WWII Pensions

Croatian Regular Army Formed 1941 as Kingdom Of Yugoslavia Folded Home Guards/Domobrani march in Gospic 1941

Croatian Regular Army Formed 1941 as
Kingdom Of Yugoslavia Folded
Home Guards/Domobrani march in Gospic 1941


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)


  1. Youtube link DELETED

    • Sorry, Esther, but a video made for Serbia + propaganda cannot pass on this website, if the video contained the extermination of Jews and other nationalities in Serbia by way of say fair reporting balance that would prpbably pass here. Thank you on comment though

  2. Trust that hopeless politician Zuroff to wedge in “guilt by association” – shameful. I used to respect his work on bringing individual Nazi criminals to trial, hunting them down but his job has gone to his head and more and mora I think that he thinks that no other victims excepts those of the Holocaust, existed in WWII. How very crass to say the least.

    • Yes. Viva, Zuroff seems to have little if any sensitivity towards victims (other than Holocaust ones), I do so not tolerate well that greatest of human injustices that comes under the umbrella of collective guilt or guilt by association.

  3. Wilkinson says:

    Collective guilt punishes those who were not guilty of wrongdoing, and who may even have tried to prevent or oppose such crimes. Pursuing collective guilt is immoral, since the innocent suffer retribution along with the guilty.

    The man, Zuroff, should hide in shame

  4. I don’t know much about this, but I can smell a politician from a long way off. It sounds like he wants to keep his name out there. Anyway, there’s enough “original sin” to go around with out picking on young men who were conscripted and did what was not just asked, but required of them by the times.

    • Exactly, Robert, if men did not turn up for the army when conscripted penalties were very swift and merciless just as they are today in any country that has conscription.

  5. A very interesting post about something of which I was unaware. I get the impression that Zuroff has outlived his usefulness and is seeking a way to make himself important again by doing this. I’m just waiting for some one or some group to do the same to our soldiers.

    • Good point, Noelle. As far as I’m concerned Zuroff can stay on if he wants; there are certainly not many individuals alive to be brought to court for Holocaust crimes,I, for one though, do not take kindly to such awful moves in collective guilt political fodder.

  6. David B says:

    From Facebook: Efraim Zuroff’s attempt to place collective guilt upon the entire nation is insupportable by the facts. There was and always has been considerable resistance to fascism in Croatia whether that fascism wore a swastika or a red star. The world wide brutality by those who wore the red star against that resistance provides ample evidence of the presence of that resistance. The Communist officials and their families continued to benefit from property confiscated by the NDH from Jews in Croatia and their descendants still enjoy those benefits today. In effect, the Serb nationalist led Communist overlords continued the cultural genocide of Jews in Croatia until the opening days of the 1990s. This is the matter where Zuroff should spend his efforts which would likely lead to the discrediting and dismantling of the entire SDP. Jews who wished to emigrate to Israel under the Communists had to sign their property over to the state the same as under the Nazis. There were no Rabbis in Croatia until the mid 1990s after the downfall of the Serbo-Communist regime. There was no instruction in Hebrew in Jewish schools up until the collapse of Communism. The revival of Jewish Centers in Croatia awaited liberation from both forms of fascism and did not take place until the 1980s when our Franjo Tuđman of blessed memory was President. If we are going to take away the pensions of those who served in the Domobran, then let us do a thorough job of it and remove the pensions of everyone who served in any capacity in the government prior to the elections of 1990. Let us return all the property stolen by the NDH and the Serbo-communist regime to their rightful owners or their descendants beginning perhaps with the apartments occupied by our immediate past President. Do you want me to scream at you a little more Mr Zurhoff and Mr Milanovic? I could go on for several hours on this topic if you will listen. Or would all the details about who did what to who and when they did it be just too embarrassing?

    • Franjo Tudjman started the process in 1990’s under a law passed when he was president that allowed Jewish people from all over the world whose properties were nationalised – stolen – by Tito’s communists in Yugoslavia – could apply to the court for the return of the property or for compensation for it. Of course, after Tudjman’s death in 1999 not much was done on this and could say many filed cases of demands ended up in desk drawers gathering dust. So shameful!

  7. Deplorable is an understatement.

  8. Do you want to have the wrath of Israel on your back? You are a brave soul… I admire you..

    • Well, Juan, perhaps there are more that keep that immortal declaration by Thomas Jefferson “All men are created equal” close to hear and mind has been called an “immortal declaration”, and “perhaps [the] single phrase” of the American Revolutionary period with the greatest “continuing importance”. Thomas Jefferson first used the phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.God said all “men” are created equal so too should be the victims of all crimes. Thank you

  9. This was a shameful thing and I am so saddened at any WWII veterans not getting their pay and extra bonuses. The military were solving a major situation of hate crime. Thanks for letting me and all of us, become better informed!

  10. This man, this hunter of Nazi war criminals, seems to have gone mad. It is quite possible he has lost all his senses because as you look into the abyss of evil, the evil looks back. Dealing with all that horror day in and day out has created within him a brokenness that restricts his vision and thought processes to focus on the evil in the world. He needs to be stopped, obviously. as his mind is seeing demons where none exist. It is heartbreaking and inexcusable to put WWII vets, who fought to restrain the evil, through such an ordeal as they near the end of the journey. I pray this man is stopped and that vets are honored as they should be.

    • Thanks Tina, yes it’s easy to see how his boundaries became blurred in time for his role was/is to catch those that did horrible crimes in the Holocaust of WWII but he has no right to label everyone a criminal just because some were. I agree but whether it’s pathological madness or political madness he employs it’s hard to say, it’s more political madness I think and thank you

  11. Michael Silovic says:

    The Croatian goverment would be a fool to listen to such non sense. This is not even about the so called Nazi hunting. What this is is pure propaganda against Croatia and supported by the Israeli goverment. This is actually the beginning of a psyop operation used to assign guilt to our country for manipulation by Israel using the center as a front. WE have seen this played out in many countries before. The attempted softening of our country by the Israelis is a precursor to coming into our country to control and manipulate the people and markets for their own gain and control as they have done in america.The Croatian goverment needs to be very careful in dealing with any Israeli.I wouldn’t even have ties with Israel since they appear as criminal goverment. As I mentioned many times that Croatia has a tremendous amount of wealth and there are many people and countries who will do what they can to steal from us and the Israeli goverment is no different as we can see by using the center as a front . Don’t think I am kidding as none of what he is suggesting is even realistic. When this fails they will start screaming to teach the holocaust in our schools and the poor me complex to assign guilt and shame but personally I will have none of it.

    • The thing that really, really bothers me and many out there, Michael, is Zuroff’s organisation’s lack of compassion for any other victims, so if for nothing else then for the victims of communist crimes, I cherish the fact that Berlin Wall fell, giving freedom of speech that reveals the horrors of communist totalitarian regime. Today’s generations do not deserve to be made feel guilty for something done 2 generations ago and that is exactly to my view too what Zuroff is doing here. Why shouldn’t members of WWII Croatian armed forces who defended their country at times of war receive credits towards their pension.

      • Because defending one’s country is one thing and attempt to exterminate whole ethnic groups within that country is another. Let’s not pretend that Ustashas were not doing that. Magnitude and horror of those crimes simply cannot be denied, they are well documented and witnesses are still alive. It is not about collective guilt. It is just about the guilt of those Croats who willingly stood by Hitler till the end and beyond. By 1945 Hitler had proven even to the most ignorant what he was about and whoever stood by him and what he represented cannot be excused and plead innocence. It was wrong and I’m not saying that these people should be executed but at least they should be denied state aid while so many honest people are struggling to make ends meet. And one last thing: today’s Croatian Constitution clearly implies that Ustashes were the enemies of the state.

      • You are certainly entitled to your view regarding how “state” money is to be used, but “they” and their families who have been and are taxpayers, out of whose pockets the state draws its state money have every right to benefit from it if they personally never committed a crime, if they were conscripted for instance into army and not joining the forces risked their lives etc… I am first to show up and condemn everyone who committed any crimes but I am not to cause suffering to someone who had not committed any crime as such.

      • Maybe I was not precise enough when I said “state aid”. All I meant is that they should not be financially honored for the shameful role they played in Croatian history during the WW2. Ustashas were not conscripted, and are responsible of arguably most horrible mass-crimes in WW2. If it wasn’t Ustashas who were responsible for all those civilian men, women and children butchered in Independent State of Croatia, please tell us who was?

      • Of course it was the Ustashas but it was not all of them – do not forget why Ustasha were formed in the first place – for Croatian independence – revolutionary movement and when it all went wrong with Nazi collaboration and crimes not all were aware nor participated in the crimes, camps etc – I did not dish out their pension you talk about I am confident the those in receipt were scrutinised as to their WWII record to receive pension while communists/Partisans received their pensions soon after WWII or as they came to age and I know that many many among them were mass murderers its just that they “won” the war. So to get to your initial comment: yes every crime must be punished and eveery individual, in Croatia it seems individuals don’t matter: if you belonged to one movement you’re no good, if you belonged to another you’re OK and yet you c=could be rotten, criminal, etc…So why don’t you also then get against pensions to Partisans given that hundreds of mass graves of innocent victims of their have so far been discovered.

  12. Historically, it appears that Zuroff has gone after specific criminals that have stood before a tribunal or court and judged. When anyone tries to create a general opinion without due course, I would question their motives. From what I understand the ustasha military fled to Canada, Argentina, Australia and Germany. Seems he needs to focus his efforts where there is truly a focus of war crimes.

    • Yes Helena, that seems to have been his “job description” and he did work in that also across North America. But the truth and reality is that there are no more individuals out there, and most Ustashas were innocent of these crimes anyway, whom he could bring to the courts as most are innocent of the crimes he “hunts” for. So, now that he is running out of people from Eastern Europe to hunt he seems to be turning to everyone, whole armies …just too nasty if you ask me

      • I quickly did the math – after the fact – and yes, you are right anyone left would be in their 90’s! Absurdity.

      • Thanks Helena

      • Sorry Inavukic, but to say that “most Ustashas were innocent of these crimes anyway” is a little too much. Ustashes were Croatian, more sadistic, equivalent of Nazi SS and it’s really outrageous by any ethic or humanistic standard that they receive pension based on their time spent in WW2.

      • Nenad, my research and lack of evidence of criminal to be pinned to individual names confirm my view rather than yours. You are about collective guilt which is wrong. So, unless a WWII Ustasha has been found guilty of a war crime etc he/she deserves a pension because he/she served in armed forces for the state at the time however wrong that state may have been politically, morally etc by someones standards

  13. Michael Silovic says:

    Ina, it never was or has been about compassion for anyone but for the Israelis. If you look at their history after ww2 it was always about Israel and how everything in the world is everyone else fault except Israel. What they are doing in Palestine is no different then what happened in ww2 but only on a smaller scale. The center has been used as a propaganda tool for quite some time now along with other NGO to serve their purpose. The truth of the matter is I wouldn’t believe anything any Israeli organization or goverment has to say.I only pray that they do not attempt to fan any flames in Croatia because it will back fire on them. We have no need for Israel at all and should not even talk to them until they meet all the UN mandates including the return of Palestinian land. If they want to go after war criminals they need to look no further then their own borders and go after those in the Israeli goverment who violated the arms embargo by supplying arms to the Serbs to kill us. Some may want to forget but I never will. WE should never forget either.

    • I know, Michael and that is why it is up to every single soul that feels wronged etc to defend the honour of mates and truth. It’s such a sadness when one group of people who have suffered do not recognise the suffering of others, it’s a shame that an organisation whose mandate it was to catch individuals criminals plays dirty politics so much so that their own work becomes less valued

  14. Why is it that Serbia gets away with murder in every instance…WWI, WWII, Communist crimes, Homeland war, Greater Serbia etc. What is it that makes Serb propaganda so effective, so pervasive and influencing? I am perplexed and disturbed by this and our impotence to sustain effective discredit of Serbia.

    • I’m perplexed too, Sunman and hope Croatia will learn lessons…and it looks to me that our veterans are the ones who have the greatest of courage to fight for what is right

  15. Deplorable, seems to be the only word that suits, Ina.

  16. Reblogged this on ' Ace History News ' and commented:
    Posted here as well Ina great post well researched

  17. Reblogged this on Brittius.

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