Another Antisemitism Splotch By Ivo Goldstein Against Croats

If it wasn’t for Croatian historian Ivo Goldstein’s past and perpetual fabrications and malicious lies against the World War Two Independent State of Croatia, such as alleged “bone-crushing machines” to hide the number of killed at Jasenovac camp or that Ante Pavelic’s Ustashe regime towards Serbs (whose enormous toll in exterminating Serbia’s 94% of Jews by mid-May 1942 is perpetually hidden by Goldstein himself) had a policy, even though Goldstein admits and states that such a policy had never been published or printed (!), that translated into “one third of Serbs to be killed, one third to be expelled and one third to be forcibly converted to Catholicism”, for Goldstein’s malicious and tragically categorising of Antisemitism into perpetrating ethnic groups rather than political or religious pursuits directed from authorities above, his new 640-page book on antisemitism in Croatia over the centuries may be taken as a crucial piece of encyclopaedic work. He fails miserably and I would say purposefully to note that while Croatian people had lived on the territory, he writes about for centuries they were, in reality, ruled and dictated to by foreign powers not their own until some thirty years ago.  Then again, it may be encyclopaedic only if one is to look at the hatred against Croats, undeserved imputations against Croats of others’ deeds, that emanate from the pages of Ivo Goldstein’s new book.  All in all, Ivo Goldstein’s as his late father Slavko historical work has always evidently existed to justify and protect Yugoslav communists and their crimes and to rub smears after smears at the fight for independence Croats had engaged in after decades and centuries of oppression.

When in 1918, resulting from World War One, the “Western Allies” tossed Croatia from the Habsburg Monarchy to the rule of cruel Serbian Monarch, creating forcefully the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, this is what Croats picked up as a matter of force as far as antisemitism is concerned but Ivo Goldstein would make you believe it was the Croats that held these views against Jews because they were transferred upon Croatian soil by the ruling Serbian Monarchy regime: “The story of the Jews of today in the Balkan States is chiefly concerned with Rumania, for their numbers in Bulgaria (76,000) and in Serbia (15,780) are but few, and their influence small amid the general population. To grasp at all the intricacies of the Jewish question, and the extent of the prejudice against them, it is needful briefly to review the condition, economic, political, and social … the real control lies in the hands of one class. These are the nobles… King Petar seems outwardly friendly to the Jews, and they enjoy some equality of civil and religious liberty. Yet this freedom does not, in Serbia, extend itself to social intercourse. As yet, the Jews have no share in public life or government. A few are successful in law and medicine…”, “The Conquering Jew”, John Foster Fraser, 1915, pp 232-234.

Immediately after World War Two communist Yugoslavia authorities placed in all key educational, cultural, economic, and political positions its own people including uneducated or barely educated individuals who fought in the war as partisans under the pretence of being antifascists but in fact were murderous communists or covering up those murders.  And so, the stage was set for fake academics, for fake school directors, for fake university professors…the stage was set that gave licence and free hand to writing Croatia’s history regarding its independence fight under the Ustashe regime as it pleased the political goals of mega murderer Josip Broz Tito. Of course, this political appointment trend to key positions in Yugoslav society saw the rise of communist Slavko Goldstein and his son Ivo as some credible historians and, to eternal grief of Croats, they made up wild lies and inserted gruesome fabrications in order to paint the Croatian patriots who fought from freedom from Yugoslavia the darkest of the dark. Ivo Goldstein is still at it, seemingly changing his tactics from publishing wild lies or fabrications to stealthily imputing hateful thins against patriotic Croats! All that was possible during the totalitarian regime of communist Yugoslavia and it left awful stains on innocent Croatian people.

Last couple of weeks have seen in Croatia several launches of the latest book by historian Ivo Goldstein ‘Antisemitism in Croatia – from the Middle Ages to the Present’ published by Fraktura from Zapresic.

“Antisemitism has historically become a paradigm of hatred of the other and the different and paradigms – the ‘ancestor’ of all nationalisms and chauvinisms. But in terms of consequences, it is the most terrible of all because it culminated in the most terrible crime of all time – the Holocaust,” recently said the book’s editor Vuk Perisic. He added that the book describes the process of creating hatred in Croatia, with an extremely rich presentation of archival material, newspaper articles and political speeches. Well, if the severity of a crime is defined by the number of victims and brutality and depravity in the manner of murders then surely communist crimes take the top position! But no use of telling that to either Goldstein or Perisic as both are in the business of denying justice to victims of communist crimes. Weren’t all revolutions in human history, weren’t all wars in history of mankind the result of insufferable oppression, pressure, dictatorships etc!?   

Thankfully, political scientist from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb, Dr Mirjana Kasapovic, in her review of the Ivo Goldstein new book, emphasised that it is “embarrassing to read only bad books”, and she put Goldstein’s work in that category.

“Antisemitism in Croatia from the Middle Ages to the Present” by Ivo Goldstein, as Kasapovic states in her review, is a thematically, theoretically and methodologically demanding work.

It should be noted that in the scientific literature, antisemitism is studied “as a political ideology, political and social movement and state policy, either within one state or comparatively in several states.” However, as Kasapovic herself observes, Goldstein writes about only one country in his work. This of course is yet another example of his anti-Croatian and pro-Serbian bias when it comes to World War Two and the Jewish question in both; Serbia not Croatia was the one who declared itself “Jew Free”, having exterminated about 94% of its Jews by mid-1942 and Croatia had never pursued such a goal. 

“I write deliberately about the country, not the state, because most of Croatia’s history since the Middle Ages was not an independent state, but Croatian lands were included in various state formations – the Habsburg Monarchy, the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman Empire, the Dubrovnik Republic, France, Italy, Hungary, Yugoslavia – in which there were more or less recognisable geographical, ethnic, cultural and political entities. One can speak of the state only from 1941 to 1945 (NDH) and after 1991 (Republic of Croatia).

Goldstein solved this problem by tacitly ‘writing’ the modern Republic of Croatia into history and treated Croatian countries that were part of various state formations in the Middle Ages and the New Age, and today are part of the Republic of Croatia, as areas of Croatia,” explains Kasapovic.

This means that, for example, “antisemitism in Austro-Hungarian towns and cities of Varazdin, Sisak and Zagreb was treated as antisemitism in Croatia. Such an approach is pragmatic, but not unproblematic. As antisemitism was and remains state policy, the question is to whom state-produced or sponsored antisemitism in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy should be attributed.

Isn’t that Austrian and Hungarian, not Croatian antisemitism? The opposite is also true: aren’t non-discriminatory state legal acts against Jews, such as the Edict of Tolerance of Emperor Joseph II, Austrian, not Croatian documents? The problem is even more complicated if we keep in mind that state and non-state antisemitism were intertwined: non-state antisemitism was often caused or encouraged by the state, but the state government often banned and suppressed antisemitic incidents in society and punished their perpetrators.

Therefore, Kasapovic believes that “Goldstein did not consistently adhere to this methodological approach, so he included antisemitism in Croatia as phenomena in areas that in the indicated part of history were not, and are not today, parts of Croatia.”

With some caricature, it could be said that only the 17th century Croatian noble families Zrinski and Frankopani are missing in the gallery of characters Ivo Goldstein puts out in his book, especially since it is suggested in one place that the Hungarian-Croatian King Andrew II, who ruled in the 13th century, was an anti-Semite.

Worst of all, to Ivo Goldstein, they all appear to be the forerunners of the Holocaust. For many great European thinkers and artists – from St. Augustine to Luther, from Kant to Voltaire, from Balzac to T. S. Eliot – binds some form of antisemitism, but it is difficult if not evil to claim that they prepared the Holocaust. When it comes to unfairly portraying Croats rather than their rulers over the centuries as antisemitic Ivo Goldstein does not appear truthful or fair or ethical for that matter. Ivo Goldstein’s bias against the Croatian people who fought against any form of Yugoslavia during World War Two and those who fought against communist Yugoslavia in 1990’s is an enormous burden for history to cleanse in the service of justice and truth. To talk of antisemitism as the only precursor to the concept of Holocaust as defined in its Greek origins “sacrifice by fire” would also appear for many as blasphemous. What of the much larger “sacrifice by fire” entailed in communist purges and mass murders whose body counts are much, much, higher than those of the World War Two Holocaust. Ivo Goldstein should abstain from writing about either if for nothing else then because of the portrait of communist Yugoslavia mega murderer Josip Broz Tito whose portrait still to this day reportedly hangs in prominent places in Goldstein’s home and visibly in the public offices he had until recently occupied. Ina Vukic

Comments

  1. So anitisemitic were NDH leaders that many of them took Jewish wives.

    • To the point, Brankec! And when one adds military leaders/ generals/ state administration officers in World War Two Independent State of Croatia the point is even more evident. Some like Goldstein may call this revisionism and I say bring it on – for truths’s sake!

  2. Stevie10703 says:

    Not only did they take wives but people like Ivo Korski (Jewish) had high positions in the NDH. What is interesting is the fact that during that time there was a large menorah on top of one of the buildings in Ban Jelacic Square that was never taken down until Tito and the Partizans started the Yugoslav occupation of Croatia and once he got in control that menorah came down. But there’s more, studies have show that between 1941 and 1945 there were just over 1 million people in “Yugoslavia” that died of all causes, whether it be casualties of war, sickness, old age, etc. so you’re telling me that Croatia was responsible for 75% of the deaths? You can understand more people dying in Croatia as a result of the war since most of the war was fought on Croatian soil but that’s it. Also, what those historians forget to say is that during that time, Croatia was fighting the Partizans and the Cetniks who invaded the countryand yet having to fight a war against two enemies we were able to do everything they are accusing us of doing. If that’s the case then Croatia was the most efficient killing machine in history. What’s also interesting is how before the war Started, the population of Croatia and Serbia was roughly the same and yet after the war ended, the Serbian population stayed roughly the same while Croatia’s population significantly declined. What’s the old saying? If you want to know what people like Goldstein and his ilk are doing then all you have to look at are what they accuse Croatia of doing. From the first Yugo to the second Yugo Croatians were always looked upon as enemies because the occupiers know that we had an independence streak and that we were a threat to the Yugoslav State. What was the mantra of the time? “In order for Yugoslavia to live, Croatia must die.”

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