John (Ivan) Prcela Writes To US State Department

John (Ivan) Prcela
Photo credit: croexpress.eu

 

Emerging from concerning and distressing content in the recent US State Department Report on Human Rights in Croatia I am especially grateful and honoured to have obtained Mr John (Ivan) Prcela’s personal permission to publish here his letter to the US State Department, dated 20th August 2017.

John (Ivan) Prcela, Ohio, US based historian, born in 1922, in Kosute-Trilj, Croatia. He graduated from the 8-year Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Sinj, Croatia in 1944, completed one year of theology in Makarska, Croatia, and two additional years in Rome, Italy.

In 1949, he emigrated to the United States, graduated from John Carroll University in 1954 and in 1957 obtained his Master of Arts Degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He was a high school teacher from 1954 to 1988, got married in 1963; he is a father of four and grandfather of eight. He became a widower in 2002. After 70 years of reflections, in February 2012 Friesen Press published his UNIQUE, BOLD and CHALLENGING theological masterpiece, St. Joseph the Virginal Father of Jesus.

He spent most of his adult life in dedication to research and writing about the sufferings of the Croatian people. From 1957 he studies and researches facts to do with the “Croatian Holocaust” and publishes works about the sufferings of Croatian people. He is the author of a great number of articles, memorandums, brochures and books on Croatian sufferings during and after WWII. He is a worldwide authority in this field. To name notable works he was co-author of the well known book “Operation Slaughterhouse – Eyewitness accounts of postwar massacres in Yugoslavia” (1970/Croatian edition; 1995/English edition); Archbishop Stepinac in His Country’s Church State Relations Paper/book (1990);co-author editor of “Croatian Holocaust” (2001/Croatian edition), author editor “Croatian Holocaust II” (2005/Croatian editions); translator of Joseph Hecimovic “In Tito’s Death Marches” (2011). (Ina Vukic)

John Prcela’s letter to the US State Department:

Cleveland, Ohio, August 20, 2017

My Fellow Americans in the U S State Department!

The recent US State Department’s Report on Human Rights in Croatia reminds me of the Reports written in the gone-by fifties and sixties. Then, and also much later, the United States staunchly defended the Yugoslav territorial integrity. That is an equivalent of defending a Serbian heavy yoke on the shoulders of the Croatian People and also on those of other non-Serbian nationalities within the then existing Evil Empire of Yugoslavia.

That Report, filled with lies about my Croatian generation, reminds me also of how, 60 years ago, the US State Department’s and the American news media’s lies catapulted me into the Croatian Public Arena. Out of this engagement, in 1960 the seeds were sewn of my life’s historical opus, Operation Slaughterhouse. I worked so assiduously on that book that in the first week of November 1963 I brought it to the attention of the US State Department.

In the month of October and the first week of November 1963, the US State Department was feverishly preparing a red-carpet welcome for Marshal Tito in the White House, then occupied by President John F. Kennedy. The US State Department’s zeal for Tito’s safety prompted it to send its two agents to Charles F. Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. They pulled me out of teaching my French class and questioned me about “a Croatian plan to assassinate Tito during his visit to the United States.” I told them that I cannot assassinate Tito from my classroom, but I can and I will organize a special day of thanksgiving if someone kills that infamous Dictator of Yugoslavia. This highly heated questioning also inspired me to inform them of the above mentioned historical work – seven years ahead of its publication in 1970!

On November 5, 1963, the highlights of that book were distributed by the Croatian protesters in front of the White House – a deserved “welcome” to the murderer of many legions of the Croatian Freedom Fighters!

My life’s work, Operation Slaughterhouse, is well known to the US State Department, because it was always kept on its Yugoslav Desk. The late Richard Holbrook once informed me that the book is highly regarded by him and the US State Department personnel. Unfortunately, the spirit of that historical work was ignored in Dayton, Ohio, the place of Dayton Agreements of 1995. Those Agreements, instead of condemning the murderous Bosnian Serbs, rewarded them by establishing Republika Srpska (The Serbian Republic) within the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The historical works, Operation Slaughterhouse of 1970 and 1995 and Hrvatski Holokaust (The Croatian Holocaust) of 2001 and 2009, although they were followed by an avalanche of works on the subject in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are completely ignored by the US State Department’s Report of August 15, 2017, in which the US State Department sheds crocodile tears over the defunct Yugoslavia. That is why it is against the Republic of Croatia’s declaring Blessed Cardinal Stepinac innocent of all charges piled up on this saintly man in the rigged trial of 1946.

Furthermore, the US State Department shows its ire against the Croatian historians who published many well documented studies against the puffed up astronomical numbers of “victims” of the Ustasha Jasenovac Work Camp. Those historians, including the one who will soon publish his encyclopedic work on the subject, come out with revealing proofs that in the postwar years Jasenovac was Yugoslavia’s Death Camp! The US State Department is NOT interested in the historical facts, but it is interested of heaping insults on the Independent State of Croatia and its Freedom Fighters, especially the intrepid Ustashe. The US State Department, if interested in the modern history of Croatia, should know that the Ustasha Movement sprang up from the innocent blood of the Croatian Representatives murdered in 1928 by the Serbian assassins in the Belgrade Parliament itself! That innocent blood and the Croatian millennial aspirations to have a free and sovereign Croatia are the foundations of the Ustasha Movement. That is why it is despicable to call those Croatian revolutionaries Nazi-type Fascist Ustashe!

Dr. Ante Pavelic, inspired by the Will of the Croatian people and by the innocent blood of the Croatian national martyrs, in January 1929 was forced to go into exile in Italy. The Revolutionary Ustasha Movement was founded then and the official name, The Independent State of Croatia, was adopted for the future sovereign Croatia. Exactly under that name, the Croatian People broke their ties with the murderous Kingdom of Yugoslavia on April 10, 1941, and dealt a mortal blow to the Serbian Yugoslav dynasty forever!

The most glorious chapter of the Independent State of Croatia is its Armed Forces. They were the only ones who defended the Will of the Croatian people. Yugoslav Partisans and Serbian Chetniks fought against that Will. They were abundantly helped by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and, of course, by the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, the United States and France. All of them were for the preservation of Yugoslavia and against the Will of the Croatian People.

Even in the year 2017, the US State Department is opposed to the Will of the Croatian people, wanting Wiesenthal Center, the Yugoslav Partisans and Serbian Chetniks to define the Croatian history. They accuse the Croatian Ustashe of killing in Jasenovac 720,000 Serbs and Jews. These accusations are the most despicable lies and travesty of history!

On May 15, 1945, the Croatian Ustashe and other defenders of Croatia surrendered to the British Forces at Bleiburg, Austria. Then, those POWs and 500,000 Croatian civilians were driven in Death Marches or transported by train – NOT to Italy, as they had been deceived, but to Tito’s Yugoslavia. Here, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a multitude of civilians and POWs were summarily murdered and thrown into a long chain of underground pits. I call that tragedy “Operation Slaughterhouse” and even “The Croatian Holocaust.” Nikola Knez, a film producer in Corpus Christi, Texas, calls those POSTWAR massacres – “Tito’s License for Genocide!”

I highly recommend to you that 36-minute historical documentary. Soon you will see other documentaries of historical importance. Exactly this way, I informed the US State Department’s agents in November 1963 and, years later, two FBI agents that sooner or later the Croatian People will break their ties with the murderous Yugoslavia forever. The Croatian flag, which is adorning the US State Department Building, is a visible proof that I was right in my predictions.

In conclusion, I ask you that the US State Department’s next Report about Blessed Aloysius Victor Stepinac’s and my native Croatia be a truthful Report. Only truth will set us free!
John Prcela
Survivor of the Croatian Holocaust

Croatia: Bleiburg Massacres Victims Still Hostages Of Communist Ideology

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic At Bleiburg Massacres monument 13 May 2015 Photo: Office of the President, Croatia

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
At Bleiburg Massacres monument 13 May 2015
Photo: Office of the President, Croatia

Croatian media sources say some 30,000 and Austrian sources say some 50,000 people gathered at the Bleiburg field in Austria on Saturday 16 May 2015 to bow and pay respects to the post-WWII victims of heinous communist crimes.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the terrible deaths suffered at the hands of the communists who still hide their crimes by rubbing shoulders with the allies and the allied efforts to bring freedom and democracy to nations of Europe.

After WWII ended, in May 1945, several hundreds of thousands of Croats – unarmed soldiers of the WWII Independent State of Croatia and civilians – made their way out of Croatia wanting to surrender to the allies but were murdered after the British army refused to accept the surrender and turned them over to Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslav army. A large number were slaughtered in the Bleiburg field itself and many died in the following months on marches across Croatia and Yugoslavia – known as the Way of the Cross.

While none of Croatia’s government top-ranking figures were present in Bleiburg on Saturday, as for instance they were at Jasenovac in April, the leader of the parliamentary opposition – Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ, Tomislav Karamarko, was and so were many political and church leaders, including Cardinal Josip Bozanic, the Archbishop of Zagreb.

Centre: Cardinal JOsip Bozanic at Bleiburg 16 May 2015 Photo: Zarko Basic/Pixsell

Centre: Cardinal Josip Bozanic
at Bleiburg 16 May 2015
Photo: Zarko Basic/Pixsell

Seventy years ago, a large part of Europe and the world celebrated liberation from totalitarian ideologies of evil, and what Croatia remembers about May 1945 are horrible massacres, crimes against humanity committed under the symbol of the five-pointed star,” said Bozanic at Bleiburg.

The cardinal recalled that in 1945, unlike Western Europe, in Croatia and some other central and east European countries one totalitarian regime was replaced by another totalitarian regime and that Nazi-fascism was replaced by communism.

For us, the establishment of the communist totalitarian system meant the beginning of new persecutions, imprisonment and killing of innocent people; pits and foibas (sinkholes) and mass graves that have not been located and investigated yet testify to that,” said Bozanic.

It’s finally the time that those responsible for these terrible victims are named…Croatian social-democracy will never be a true social-democracy until it distances itself from the crimes of Josip Broz Tito, only when they do that will the Croatian Left be born,” said Tomislav Karamarko at Bleiburg.

Front: Tomislav Karamarko,  Leader of the Opposition/HDZ At Bleiburg 16 May 2015 Photo: hrt.hr

Front: Tomislav Karamarko,
Leader of the Opposition/HDZ
At Bleiburg 16 May 2015
Photo: hrt.hr

 

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović travelled alone to Bleiburg, to Macelj and to Tezno (all a handful from hundreds of mass graves or communist mass murder sites) on Wednesday 13 May, to pay her respects away from the media attention. She laid wreaths and bouquets of flowers, with the following words on her mind and her lips:
The end of the Second world war and the victory over Nazism, to which the Croatian people significantly contributed, also marked the beginning of one of the most tragic chapters in Croatian history. In just a few post-war months multitudes of captured soldiers and civilians were either murdered or perished from torture and exhaustion…While showing respect to the victims of the Way of the Cross at Bleiburg, in Tezno and Macelj, I have a moral duty to condemn the regime that persecuted and murdered people. A crime is a crime and it cannot be justified by any ideology.”

 

President Grabar-KItarovic at Macelj massacre site 13 May 2015 Photo: Office of the President, Croatia

President Grabar-KItarovic
at Macelj massacre site 13 May 2015
Photo: Office of the President, Croatia

 

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, Parliament Speaker Josip Leko said and Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic paid their respects to the victims of the Way of the Cross marches on Friday 15 May in Tezno. Crimes committed by Communists at the end of World War II have stained “a just fight” and Croatia today condemns all crimes committed in the name of any ideology, Milanovic and Leko said.

The past cannot be changed, but for the sake of new generations, crimes committed in the name of any ideology must be condemned, Parliament Speaker Leko said.

I came here for the people who were killed at the end of a war. This is a tragic, horrible event, which puts a stain on a just fight and one should not run from it, nor do I run from it. I am here as Croatia’s prime minister and statesman,” Croatia’s Prime Minister said before laying a wreath at the site.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic at mass grave Tezno 15 May 2015 Photo: Cropix

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic
at mass grave Tezno
15 May 2015
Photo: Cropix

What a shame Milanovic did not bother to make as lengthgy a speech at Tezno as he did less than a month ago at Jasenovac! But then again, if he were ready to make a speech at Tezno or any other communist crimes mass grave site he would have to condemn his beloved communist regime as loudly as he condemned the pro-Nazi regime at Jasenovac. That of course, is not yet to be – sadly – but perhaps these words spoken at Tezno suggest former communists and today’s followers of the communist Yugoslavia leading criminal Josip Broz Tito, such as Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, are making small steps towards full condemnation of horrific crimes committed in the name of communism? It’s difficult to say because all of that red gang stays away from Bleiburg – most likely because it has become a worldwide, reciognisable, symbol of communist Yugoslavia and Tito terror and murderous rampage against humanity and human rights.

 

The topic of Bleiburg massacres and those along “the Way of the Cross”, where communist death camps grew like mushrooms after rain, was a taboo in communist Yugoslavia. Exact records of numbers that perished have not surfaced as yet, not even the number of civilians, and one is well justified in saying Tito’s communists buried them. However, if one considers the fact that towards the end of WWII the government of Ante Pavelic’s Independent Croatia united or blended into one army the Ustashi (Nazi-collaborating forces) and the Home Guard forces (defenders of Croatian territory from internal and external enemies), thus reaching the number of over 100,000 soldiers, that sources say at least 80% of them had followed the order to retreat, it’s likely that those retreating unarmed soldiers took at least 60,000 civilians with them as they reached Bleiburg. It’s important to note that, towards the end of WWII, while many Home Guards were united into the state army with the Ustashi, quite a number of them defected into the communist Partisan forces and there were also many who wanted nothing to do with either Ustashi or the Partisans, and if captured by either were executed. Further hundreds of thousands more were murdered along the years of Tito’s communist purges and Bleiburg symbolises these deaths as well.

These heinous crimes committed at Bleiburg and along “the Way of the Cross” at the end of WWII and after it, had taken away every right from Tito’s communists to call themselves antifascists. Unlike with other antifascist movements in Europe, these crimes committed by the “antifascist” communists removed any chance of democracy Croatia might have had after WWII. Using the legitimacy of antifascist fight (“the good fight”) Yugoslav communists had established a murderous totalitarian regime and a dictatorship.

The Bleiburg tragedy especially serves as a political jumping-board because it has not been closed, it has left many questions unanswered, especially those to do with murder and extermination of innocent people and why Tito’s communists decided to treat the Home Guards the same as they treated the Ustashi, those responsible for the running of the Holocaust concentration camps. Most Ustashi leaders had fled to South America after WWII, were not among the masses of civilians and soldiers murdered at Bleiburg – who, in this terrible way, were made to carry the full burden and pay for all the crimes committed by the Ustashi regime. The victims of Bleiburg paid with their lives without knowing what it was that they had done!

This injustice continues to this day and it’s a problem of ideological dispute in the daily politics of Croatia; this problem is a much bigger problem than the actual murderous event of Bleiburg 1945. The innocent victims of communist crimes have still not received the full recognition and afforded the full piety they deserve because today’s government and left-winged political elites have monumental difficulties in separating innocent victims from the political ideology others pin them to or the murders from the political ideology that sees communism as force for freedom.

 

 

Bleiburg massacres were not revenge killings by communist or antifascists against “fascist” regime of WWII – they were murder of innocent Croatian people.

 

 

These murdered victims are held hostage before our very own 21st century eyes by the former communists or the so-called antifascists who keep saying murder of innocent people was justified because “fascism was bad and antifascism was the good fight”. Today’s “antifascists” of Croatia derive their reasoning from the former totalitarian communist regime and are in some ways marked or branded by the same totalitarian regime (that is the case with all who subscribe to or are affected by any totalitarian regime). Their daily political discourse is essentially an ideological conflict that makes them enemies of Croatian national interests, not merely members of political parties that make up what is supposed to be a healthy political discourse that will move the nation closer to fairness and full democracy. The innocent victims of the Holocaust, of camp Jasenovac… have never been treated in such horrid ways as victims of communist crimes have been and the only way to justice is that the political elites subscribing to the glorification of Tito’s antifascists make a radical shift in their thinking and turn towards actual human justice – not appalling and meritless political justification. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

About Celebrating Croatia’s Independence

 

"We have asked Ina Vukic, our worldwide reputable analyst of the Croatian reality and the work of the young Croatian state to provide an answer to the few questions we had on the matter of celebrations of 10 April 1941 anniversary," Boka Cropress, 16 April 2014, Page 12. Title article under photo - Ina Vukic:  I do not celebrate 10 April, I celebrate 25 June  as symbol of Croatian independence

“We have asked Ina Vukic,
our worldwide reputable analyst of the
Croatian reality and the work of the
young Croatian state to provide an
answer to the few questions we had
on the matter of celebrations of 10 April 1941
anniversary,” Boka Cropress, 16 April 2014, Page 12.
Title of article under photo – Ina Vukic:
I do not celebrate 10 April, I celebrate 25 June
as symbol of Croatian independence

The Independent State of Croatia, often referred to simply by the abbreviation NDH, under Ante Pavelic, was a World War II puppet state of Nazi Germany and Italy established in part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia. So too was Serbia under Milan Nedic.  However it needs to be pointed out that the NDH Pavelic’s regime was not a product of democratic election or referendum but rather an installation of government, which was not supported by all of the Croatian people and, hence there existed three opposing sides: pro Ustashe, pro-communists and those who wanted neither one or the other, were politically neutral, but did want independence. Since WWII there have been and there are Croats who celebrate 10 April (1941) as a celebration of Croatian independence, but there are and have been many more who do not and did not celebrate this date. I belong to the latter. The regretful fact is that the anti-Croatian propaganda throughout the world chooses to promote more the former than the latter! I feel privileged to have been asked about my thoughts on 10 April and its meaning for Croatian independence. I have translated the short interview with me published in the Australian “Boka Cropress” newspaper.

Boka Cropress: What does celebrating 10th April mean to you?

Ina Vukic:  Personally I do not nor have I ever celebrated the 10th of April but I do regard it as a historical symbol from 1941 which has a large meaning in a victory, however minor by some comparisons. of the Croatian people over the Greater Serbian-hegemonic Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the oppression of the Croatian people inside its legitimate and historical territory. Sadly, that meaning of the 10th of April has been lost and it has, I would say, sold itself to an eternal “conviction or biased judgment” with the mere moment of decision as to the date of the declaration of NDH (Independent State of Croatia); for choosing to use the power of Nazi Germany as the vessel that would enable an “easy” proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (as there were many against it at the time).

While the NDH was not founded on the wish to “kill”, the decision to declare or establish the NDH under the protection or alliance with Nazi powers that had at that time entered Croatian territory, in my eyes, represents a very bad moral and political decision made by the NDH leaders. The truth is that during NDH there were a large number of crimes committed and they were committed within the context of historical facts – from Pavelic’s alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to the Yugoslav communist-antifascist movement, Serb Chetnik intrusions and the support of the Allied forces including communist Russia. It is clear that these crimes were not committed by one side only – NDH, and it is clear why NDH is falsely accused of them all.

It’s necessary to understand that despite all the Serb-communist or antifascist thrust filled with lies that equates NDH with WWII Nazism (and not with the pure and just plights for freedom) 10th of April has an important meaning to many of those wanting a Croatian statehood independence, especially many living in the free “West” before the establishment of today’s free Croatia. That was the day of Croatian gatherings and thanksgiving to those who had throughout the history (not only since 1941 but also before) advocated and sacrificed for the Croatian freedom and state independence, a day of remembrance of the 1941 proclamation of Independent State of Croatia, remembrance of the heroic battles fought by its defenders and a day of prayer for all the Croats who were murdered by the Serb Chetniks and Yugoslav communists during and after WWII just because they wanted a Croatian state.

The Serbs and the Yugoslavs and the communists did not rise in 1941 against NDH because of “Ante Pavelic’s regime” but because they did not accept any form, not even the most democratic form of a Croatian state. Although these same opponents of NDH to this very day hide and try to circumvent the fact of the political WWII state regimes the truth is that by May 1942 Serbia had been one of the first European countries to declare itself officially and with sinister pride as “Judenfrei” (Jew free) and had by then under Milan Nedic’s regime exterminated some 94% of its Jewish population!

I hold that with the establishment in 1991 of today’s independent Croatia the Day of Croatian Statehood that is celebrated on 25 June is the symbol of absolute victory of the Croatian people for a lasting and democratic freedom than what 10 April symbolizes because in 1990’s Croatian people had without anybody’s help and in unity defended their right to self-determination and freedom.

And hence, celebrating 10 April (1941) represents a marking of a historical fact that is placed only as one of many attempts in history to achieve freedom for Croatian people and not as important as 25 June (1991) is. At the end of the day, why should Croatian people be different in this to any other people of the democratic and free world? Why should the Croatian people as a whole permit that their honourable intents for freedom via NDH remain muddied by the events in WWII that have more to do with individual criminal pursuits during WWII and with certain policies and laws brought about during those rapturous and politically explosive times for political power in Europe rather than uplifting the history with the real idea for freedom for Croatian people if we do not expect that from other nations who have, for example, branded their history of colonization and imperialism with equal if not greater criminal undertakings via their state establishments?

I do not celebrate 10 April; I celebrate 25 June as the symbol of free and independent Croatia.

There have been and there always will be those in the “West” and in Croatia who will criticize those who celebrate 10 April; regardless of that, whoever wishes or whoever wants to celebrate 10 April as a symbol of independence as far as I am concerned – let them be – just as I hold no judgments against, for instance, a British person when he/she remembers with fondness the history of British nation despite its devastating murderous sprees across colonised foreign lands in history for power and harnessing of riches from the colonies, from indigenous lands, resources and people, or against a Belgian when he/she celebrates his/her national day, which is soaked in dark colours of genocide in its African colonies, or some Russian his/her Victory Day – soaked in blood of some 30 million innocent victims of Stalinism … At the end, among those nations that were similar to NDH in WWII, NDH was not a greater murderer than what they were, and Croatians have never, like Americans, celebrated the dropping of any atomic bombs nor can they be compared to Israelis, who after the Holocaust tragedy to today are seen by many as hangmen of the Palestinians – and so, who has the right to judge those who celebrate 10 April in the name of independence and self-determination?

Boka CroPress: When we talk about or mention the WWII Independent State of Croatia, how do we place ourselves in relation to the crimes that were perpetrated then?

Ina Vukic: Personally I hate and condemn all crimes in the world, which have always and which are occurring to this day. In accordance with the measures of humanity there is no justification for crime; not in today’s world even though, to regret, we still find attempts to justify crimes from history – even genocide. Evidently, numerous crimes of extermination of various peoples in history (except the Holocaust) have become a political tool to which punishment does not belong! And hence, the world has been brought into a contemptible reality in which differing standards of tolerance for enormous historical crimes exist. The Communists will say, for example, that the crimes against innocent people were necessary for “freedom”! Members of nations who had in centuries past engaged in brutal extermination of indigenous people in the countries they colonised, might shrug and say something like: “yes, it was horrible but necessary in those times of promoting and creating prosperity for the people of our country and for the enlightenment of the indigenous people in those wild lands!”

In such political wilderness of the world, where the innocent victim of crime often represents a negligible value, it is important to fight for justice for victims. Because, there is nor has there ever been a lasting or real reconciliation without the real, the true justice in the eyes of humanity, regardless of how much politicians try to convince us that it’s not like that, that the horrors of certain crimes can be overcome without condemnation, without justice. That kind of reconciliation without justice for the victim is very dangerous because it implies forgiveness and/or forgetfulness, which in reality feed the possibility of the same crimes being perpetrated in the future.

In relation to the crimes perpetrated in NDH (and soon after WWII) Croatia has always been and remained a victim of discrimination against innocent victims. That is, the crimes of the Holocaust have been processed and perpetrators pursued but those – the communists or antifascists as they like to be called now – who perpetrated equally horrid crimes against innocent people and their crimes have persistently been swept under the carpet, hidden, or their crimes, if recognized, even justified as ‘necessary’! I believe that this is where the roots lie of the widespread plight for justice among Croats after WWII to this day and in this plight we can often see emotions of guilt, anger and pain.

The crimes that were perpetrated within NDH during WWII are an undeniable fact and this fact must be acknowledged with regret even though the Croats of today are not responsible for those crimes. However, it is essential to include in those crimes the crimes committed by the communists and the Partisans, who more and more like to refer to themselves as antifascists even though they fought for Yugoslavia and not the freedom of Croatian people. Therefore, it is essential to recognise and accept as fact all crimes – including those perpetrated in the NDH – as something that is repugnant and unnatural to humanity.

It is morally wrong to judge the crimes committed in the name of NDH without, in the same breath, judging the crimes committed by the communists of those times.

In the matter of crimes of WWII many automatically think only of the crime of the Holocaust, which is unacceptable in today’s world – absolutely unacceptable. If we are people that seek and pursue justice then we must confront, or place in the same basket of historical horror all of the crimes perpetrated against innocent people regardless of who the perpetrator was. It’s not without a reason that those who had in Croatia justified and defended communist crimes, or those who still do, had not welcomed with open arms the relatively recent unshakable research findings by dr Esther Gitman of the rescue and survival of Jews in NDH, including the enormous role Blessed Aloysius Stepinac played in the rescue of the Jews. The communists had hidden the truth about Stepinac’s goodness after WWII and falsely convicted him, as they did other Croatian rescuers of the Jews, as Nazi collaborator – and even today, despite these and other similar findings – they keep to their false convictions like cowards that deserve the harshest of punishment and ostracizing through processes such as Lustration would be!

How to place ourselves vis-à-vis the crimes committed during NDH? The only answer is – with the harshest of judgments! All crimes are a profound anomaly of humanity and only through judgment can we place them where they belong: into a sad history that still needs clearing and that still needs to be woven with the full truth! If I had governing power in Croatia of today I would demolish to the ground all the monuments raised to mark the so-called communist-antifascist battles during former Yugoslavia, I would leave Jasenovac and other monuments to the victims of the Holocaust and I would build equally large monuments to the victims of communist crimes.

Boka Cropress: What is the main message for the young generation in relation to the celebration of the historic 10 April?

Ina Vukic: I believe that I have laid out the main messages for the young in my answers to the above questions. Nevertheless, I think that the most important thing for the young is to separate that date from 1941 of NDH declaration from the intent to achieve an independent Croatia. If they manage to achieve this then 10 April will become less important because it is a strong reminder that NDH was a failed attempt at creating an independent state of Croatia.

The liberation process and the defensive (Homeland) war of the1990’s were successful because the majority of people believed in freedom and wanted freedom for centuries before 1941, just as they did after NDH, as best demonstrated by the 1970’s Croatian Spring uprisings, and also because of the efforts invested for freedom from the diaspora where there were more of those that did not than those that did celebrate 10 April – but none wanted to live as Yugoslavs.

And so, today’s Croatia’s independence is the act and achievement of a far greater section of the Croatian national body of people than what is represented by the followers of “Ante Pavelic’s” NDH and, since we are talking about celebrating Croatia’s independence, I think it fairer and more proud to accept that fact and celebrate 25 June because that date truly includes all who had in any way fought for Croatian independence without the defining and morally unacceptable reliance upon any foreign power and might – this independence and democracy of Croatia created in 1990’s is the product of the work of the Croats!

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: