New Film: US Airmen POW’s And Humane Glory Of Independent State Of Croatia 1941 to 1945

Not only should we all watch this thoroughly well-made and fact-based film about the events of the Independent State of Croatia that underpinned the Croatian spirit for independence, but we should secure a copy of this film by purchasing it and gifting it to our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren born in the Croatian diaspora after World War Two as well as those born in Croatia.

The film covers moving stories of the kind and considerate treatment in Croatia of US Airmen shot down over Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Second World War and held as POWs by the Croatian forces and it also tells of the terror and suffering of Croats by the Serbian Monarchy dictatorship in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that gave Croats no choice but to fight for independence and dear life.

Nikola Knez, Croatian American film maker, director of documentaries on the Croatian Operation Storm (from August 1995) and the Bleiburg Tragedy (from May 1945), has directed and together with Damir O. Rados produced a new film titled:

The “American POW’s in Croatia 1941 – 1945”.

I asked Nikola a couple of days ago what prompted him to direct and produce this documentary film:

Considering that I am a part of the generation born during the communist Yugoslavia, for many years I was exposed to the educational and propaganda intellectual-psychological treatment of Tito’s ideological criminal one-mindedness. Lies and deceptions, turning good into evil were everyday tools aimed at hiding and obscuring the truth, depriving those who want to build the world, especially the Croatian Statehood, of common sense and historically correct facts. When I received materials about American pilots who resided, lived, and survived as prisoners of war in the Independent State of Croatia, I knew that this was not only a great story but also part of the light of truth that would dispel some of the dark deceptions to which the Croatian people were exposed for decades.

The truth, which is revealed in this film, not only means exposing the communist-Yugoslav lies to which we have been exposed for 75 years, but it also makes us realise how just our people were, which is yet another foundation for a free and independent Croatian state through the centuries to come. With this film, I also wanted to point out that during the Second World War, the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) found itself under the influence of foreign powers. In the conditions of the struggle for survival, defence, and preservation of its natural territorial territory, it became an incredible host and protector of almost a hundred American pilots who crashed over Croatian territory and were captured by members of the NDH armed forces.

Through the personal testimonies of several prisoners of war and a young American priest who was put at the centre of all these events by faith and war, the film testifies first-hand to the events and gives us an insight into the true state of historical facts. The film relies on the research of Charles Michael McAdams, a historian, US Marine and friend of the Croatian people.

The American pilots survived, not by accident, but thanks to the intervention and protection offered by the political and military leadership of the Independent State of Croatia, as well as religious leaders and the citizens of Croatia themselves. Although all American pilots returned home safely at the end of the war, this was not the case with a large number of Croats who were massacred by Tito’s partisans. Croatian Air Lieutenant Dubai (Dubac), who tried to negotiate with the partisans on the transfer of American pilots to a safe zone, was shot on the spot by the partisans,” replied Knez.

What do you think are the main messages of this film, I also asked Nikola Knez:

 “The main message of this film is a testimony of the truth that breaks the false deceptions about the Independent State of Croatia. At the same time, the film itself is an invitation to people not to give up in search of the truth, to educate themselves about their history, to think for themselves and to reject as ready solutions the worldview ideological postulates to which we are exposed through media services, educational institutions, and political activism.

Although all American pilots were returned home after the war, their story was kept aside in America itself, i.e., it was not used in positive examples that would indicate the human and humane character of Croats and the Independent State of Croatia. Instead, the narrative of the British puppet state of Yugoslavia was accepted, which, although created and founded on crimes, gained legitimacy while its maintenance was possible only with the help of intellectual lobotomy, production of fear, terror and lies. Although this artificial political creation began with the terrible sacrifice of Bleiburg and ended its existence with the sacrifice of Vukovar, its Yugoslav like-minded people are still fighting to prevent the truth from seeing the light of day.

Hence, this unique testimony given in the film is a great example of breaking the cult of communist-Yugoslav structures. Why is this important? Because history is repeating itself again. Today, we are living witnesses of how media-political propaganda are trying to turn the honourable and defensive Homeland War from a just war into the opposite. A media campaign has been intensified in which the victim is found guilty, and the crime committed by the Serb aggressor is placed on the level of a justified act. The right of the Croatian people to freedom and statehood is denied. The same process prevailed during Yugoslavia. We must all be aware that military victory in the Homeland War is a big part of achieving our statehood, but the overall struggle in all fields for the survival of our nation is a present and future determinant whose course we must constantly follow in the light of freedom, unity and building richer, happier, better and a stronger Croatian society.

The right to life, liberty and homeland are postulates shared by all peoples of the civilised world. We Croats have been fighting for the same high ideals for centuries. It is important to keep that awareness alive and not allow other people’s interests to rule with deceit our right to our sovereignty. We should strive to set, speak, and bear witness to the truth about our great people and honourable history with positive examples. As American citizens and as Croats throughout the diaspora, we acknowledge and thank Croatian political, military, and religious participants as well as individual citizens of the time for their determination, courage, and humanity, a full 75 years later,” replied Knez.

Aptly, before the matters covered in the film it begins with reminding us of George Orwell’s renowned saying: “In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

And then the film contains these well articulated statements of facts pertaining to the history of Independent State of Croatia (NDH 1941-1945) that clearly delineate what occurred prior, during and after World War Two for freedom-loving Croatians and include the following quotations from the film:

In 1941 as Word War Two raged the city of Zagreb was the capital of the Independent State of Croatia. For centuries Croatia had sought unsuccessfully to realise its destiny as a fully independent nation embodying the fundamental principles of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Although Croatia had achieved independence World War Two was a complex time of domestic and foreign aggression, dubious allegiances, and conflicting interests. The Independent State of Croatia (NDH) found itself under the influence of both the German and the Italian military and police formations. The well-financed Serbian paramilitary Chetniks and Tito’s Stalin-backed communists the young Croatian state faced those challenges at the military, political and diplomatic levels. One could argue that no other nation drawn into World War Two experienced as many conflicts of competing interests within the confines of its borders as did the tiny nation of Croatia; that beautiful piece of real estate nestled along the Adriatic coast.  

Over the course if the War Croatia became the unlikely host and protector of nearly a hundred of US Airmen who had crash-landed there and had been taken prisoner by the Croatian Armed Forces. The fate of the American POW’s lay in the uncertainties of military and political drama that was unfolding. Through the personal accounts of the several of the POW’s as well as that of a young American priest fate and war placed in their midst, we follow the advance that transpired…”

… Under one name or another for 23 years the most brutal methods of the times were sanctioned, financed, and imposed on the Croatian people by the Serbian King Alexander and Peter II governments in Belgrade involving the dissolution of the centuries old Croatian Parliament and the abolition of municipalities, provinces, schools, and judicial systems. The arbitrary and capricious military imposition of taxes, the nationalisation of state properties including forests, mines, public buildings, and monetary fund.  Systematic denial of Croatian language and the arrogant theft of Croatian culture.  Sanctioned and financed the Serbian paramilitary terrorism on Croatian soil, violation of human rights, denial of free speech, due process, assembly, and suffrage. The list of grievances was long and real. By any definition this is genocide in progress…”

Proudly – on 10 April 1941 the birth of the Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed with Dr Ante Pavelic, the exiled revolutionary leader of the Croatian Uprisers (Ustashe), at its helm. The proclamation was received with enthusiasm by the Croatian people and was seen as a victory after 23 years of Serbian genocidal policies towards the Croatian people. The call for liberation was clear and seen as just.

After the proclamation of the Independent State o Croatia the loosely organised students, workers and intelligencia deposed the Yugoslav government with minimal casualties before the arrival of the first contingents of German and Italian armies, their political attaches and diplomatic core. Croatia was de facto and de jure recognised by 25 states and legations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas… 

Croatia wanted its independence, Italy wanted Croatia to become its colony, Germany accepted Croatia’s independence with the expectation that Croatia will be incorporated into the domain of the Reich to counteract Italian expansion. Croatia’s thirteen-hundred-year dream of independence was shattered.

Occupied and facing the domestic rise of Tito’s communists the country became a killing ground. With American entry into the war American planes joined the air war, bombing German sites. Many US bombers hit by German flag were suffering heavy damage in aerial combat with German air force flew over Croatia as they attempted to return to Italy from their bombing missions. American bombers crash-landed all across the Croatian territory. Those airmen who survived were picked up by the regular Croatian Army and treated as prisoners of war/POW’s.”

“… All of the American POW airmen remained safe and protected until the end of the war when they were safely repatriated to their units. Their protectors did not fare as well. The war and its aftermath were costly; Croatian population was decimated, their political system scarred deeply…”

Many of Croatian airmen were killed by Tito’s partisans after the war ended. Croatian air commander Vladimir Dubai who tried to negotiate with the partisans for the transfer of US airmen to a safe zone was shot on the spot. May he and other Croatians who gave our American pilots safe shelter during those harsh times forever be remembered for their bravery and their kindness.”   Ina Vukic

Click on the Red Button to watch the film or on the Yellow to purchase a copy.

 http://hfi.mobi/page-10.html

Click on this link for the film version with Croatian subtitles as well as to purchase a copy. http://hfi.mobi/page-3.html

Comments

  1. ..the Croats NDH were a very noble, honest militia ( not even a standing army!), which fought ONLY for rights of ALL citizens
    ( Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, orthodox ) to live as ordinary citizens,but NOT to live under anyone’s shadow!

Leave a Reply to Daily report Cancel reply

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: