„Dara of Jesenovac“ – Another Serbian Movie To Obscure Jew-Free Serbia And Its Holocaust Implementation

You may notice how on the topic of WWII Holocaust, Serbia systematically insists that the extermination of Jews (abt 94%) in WWII Serbia was not done by Serbs but by the German occupier. They will tell you that Serbia was occupied by the Nazis (Germany) then – you will not hear them saying that Germany had occupied the entire Yugoslavia (the then Serb-led dictatorship of the crumbled Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which included Croatia) in April 1941. They will tell you that only Serbia was occupied and that the German Nazis exterminated Serbia’s Jews!

Yet as a matter of historical fact, Serbia’s Milan Nedic government had with all its might implemented the Holocaust and made sure that by June 1942 Serbia was one of the first countries in Europe to become „Judenfrei“ (Clean-of-Jews/ Jew-Free). Croatia or rather its Ante Pavelic government at the time never pursued a „Judenfrei“ status, even if it was, as most countries in one form or another, guilty of racial laws that saw many perish or be ostracised, but overwhelmingly less than what Yugoslav communists with Serbs have been fabricating since 1945, and overwhelmingly less than what „Jedenfrei“ status required. Not that such reality justifies any victims of WWII racial laws, but it certainly places into perspective the intrinsic need of Serbia to hide its miserable WWII truth by pointing fingers at others, including Croatia, in order to throw attention away from itself. In that, Serbia and communist Yugoslavia, not only set themselves on the path for blaming Croatia for the WWII Holocaust within Yugoslavia’s borders but also fabricated to the unimaginable the numbers of Serbs allegedly killed by Croats in that war together with the Jews.

On 25 January 2018, in its relentless propaganda pursuits of hiding its own WWII „Judenfrei“ state, Serbia opened at the UN building in New York an exhibition called „Jasenovac – The Right Not To Forget.“  

In January 2021 it released a Serbian state-funded movie „Dara of Jasenovac“ and it has the audacity to even submit the movie as a nomination for 2021 Oscars! It did not, for example, produce a movie by a name such as „Hannah from Cannon Sheds“ (Topovske Šupe concentration camp at outskirts of Belgrade). Of course it did not, if it did it would have to produce a film about the extermination of Jews in Serbia and not pair Serbs as victims alongside the Jews as it is doing in the movie „Dara of Jasenovac“.

Here below are excerpts from the article „Dara of Jasenovac Review: A Holocaust Movie With Questionable Intentions“ written by Jay Weissberg and published by the renowned Variety Magazine portal on 25 January 2021:  

Serbia’s Oscar submission is thinly disguised propaganda, cynically using the Holocaust to push a troubling nativist agenda.

Isn’t it long past time that there was an honest discussion about why there are so many Holocaust films? Unquestionably some meet the challenge posed by the injunction “never forget” but too many others exist because the market has proven that the Holocaust sells. The movies falling into this latter category trivialize and they sensationalize, fiddling on heart strings with a facile bow whose chords jump between lurid and saccharine. A subset within this group folds more troubling objectives into their cynical understanding of the market, using the Shoah to push agendas that have little to do with comprehending the unfathomable.

It’s a testament to the cravenness of the Holocaust industry that an undisguised piece of Serbian nationalist propaganda like Peter (Predrag) Antonijević’s “Dara of Jasenovac” dressed up in concentration camp clothing, can find distribution outside its native land. Less surprising is that it’s been submitted for Oscar consideration…

The makers of “Dara of Jasenovac” emphasize that the screenplay comes from witness testimony, using that tried-and-true statement to shield themselves from criticism: It happened; therefore we are above reproach. The problems with the film however are twofold: Its unconcealed anti-Croatian, anti-Catholic nativism is badly designed as incendiary fodder for current rifts between Serbia and its neighbors, while its delight in visualizing the sadism, contrasted with childhood innocence, pushes aside any reflection on the dagers of nationalism, murderous racism and genocide, replacing them with cheap sensation and sentiment…

Were there no contemporary context to “Dara of Jaenovac,” it would be just another unmodulated Holocaust drama using violence in the same way as any number of serial killer movies. But background is inescapable, and in this case, Serbian nationalists’ use of Jasenovac as a rallying cry for Serb victimhood through the centuries turns the film into propaganda. Scholar Jovan Byford has cogently detailed how linking Serbian suffering to the Shoah has long been a play to garner international sympathy and legitimize territorial expansion together with racist policies, and that’s exactly what “Dara” plays into. In addition, situating the Ilić family’s home in Mirkovci is tossing red meat to the anti-Croatian brigades given that the town remains a bitter site of contention after the genocidal breakup if Yugoslavia. A Holocaust movie designed to stoke animosity against Germany today would be roundly condemned; to not recognize the same problems here is wilful blindness…”. Ina Vukic

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)

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