From the Trail of Communist Crimes Against Croatian Patriots

Đuro Zagajski (Djuro Zagajski) Murdered in Germany as part of Yugoslav communist purges 26/27 March 1983

Former Yugoslavia was the most aggressive among socialist countries in using assassinations, murders, as a means of protecting the communist state and the communist party from its opponents. Over its 45-year existence, the UDBA, the Yugoslav State Security Service, murdered several dozens of its political enemies, mostly Croats, abroad. These do not include mass murders of hundreds of thousands of Croats immediately after World War Two whose remains lie in 1,000 pits and mass graves so far uncovered. To know that children or grandchildren of these murderers still enjoy the perks their ancestors received from the communist regime for participating in these murderous sprees sends shivers down the spines of all who hold justice dear.  To know that some of the descendants of these communist murderers may be holding powerful positions in today’s Croatia is unthinkably cruel. We know, nothing has really been done in systematic processing of communist crimes committed against Croats in Croatia during the existence of former Yugoslavia. This tragedy, for sure, is one of the fundamental reasons why Croatia has not made progress with democracy in which the rule of law and justice are paramount.  

Djuro Zagajski is just one of many Croatian emigrants, Croatian patriots, who fled communist Yugoslavia, who were closely monitored by the Yugoslav Intelligence Services UDBa even after they left Yugoslavia, with the goal of organising assassinations of Croats monitored. According to a report by the Council for the Identification of Post-War Victims of the Communist System Killed Abroad, which operated within the 1991-1999 Commission for the Identification of War and Post-War Victims, the Yugoslav Communist Service murdered 63 Croats abroad, however this number has risen to 74 by research completed in June 2020 (Tomislav Djurasovic). In addition, 25 Croats survived assassination attempts in the diaspora, 5 still considered missing and 5 kidnapped. Djuro Zagajski is one of about 30 Croats assassinated by Yugoslav communist secret services within the borders of Germany and to date nobody has been held responsible for his murder 39 years ago, this weekend.

Croatian patriots murdered by Yugoslav Secret Services UDBA by country in which they lived and by year (Source: Tomislav Djurasovic)
Top left: Croats missing in diaspora, Top right Croats kidnapped in diaspora in communist purges, Bottom columns: Croats who survived communist purges’ assassination attempts in the diaspora (Source: Tomislav Djurasovic)

After the quashing of the “Croatian Spring” in late 1971, which was a mass movement that lobbied for greater autonomy of Croatia within communist Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav communist Party headed by Josip Broz Tito admitted that even after hundreds of arrests and imprisonments much still remained to be done “to liquidate all the remaining chauvinist hotbeds in the society.” According to Tanjug, the official Yugoslav press agency, Croatia’s Communist party leaders made an appeal on 15 December 1971 to all organisations and members to join the fight against “nationalist aberrations.” Hence, the communist murderous hands extended to the Croatian patriots living outside Croatia and Yugoslavia with greater frequency and depraved viciousness.

The Croats made up 22 per cent of Yugoslavia’s 20 million inhabitants and had contributed the most towards Yugoslavia’s government revenue. The enormous economic problems of Yugoslavia that evolved had contributed toward reviving Croatian antagonism toward the central Government, which has diverted some of the revenues of Croatia’s highly developed industry for investments in more backward republics. Croatian Spring movement was to bring a better balance, but it caused an acceleration of assassinations, murders, and purges of Croatian patriots.  

Djuro Zagajski, born on October 2, 1939, in Zagreb, attempted to escape from Yugoslavia several times as a minor. Political persecution and oppression by the communist Yugoslavia regime often resulted in murder or assassination of patriotic Croats within Croatia and within the diaspora to where multitudes fled. Djuro once succeeded to flee across the border, but was returned to Yugoslavia by the Austrian authorities, where he first spent two months in prison and was later sent to serve in the compulsory military service. Returning from the obligated service in the Yugoslav People’s Army to Zagreb, he was arrested again and sentenced to two years in prison for “enemy propaganda”. Finally, in July 1967, Zagajski again decided to flee Yugoslavia and went to Germany, where he was granted political asylum. In the following period, he took part in many demonstrations and public rallies against Yugoslavia and followed emigrant publications.

On 22nd January 1982, the State Security Services (SDS) Operational Centre Zagreb initiated and began “Operational processing” of Djuro Zagajski.

The operational treatment of him was proposed by Zdravko Mustač, head of the SDS Zagreb Centre, and Josip Perkovic, head of the Second Department of the SDS Headquarters of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, and was approved by Vinko Bilic, the head of the SDS Socialist Republic of Croatia, while the operational processing had since been led by Milan Munjas, an operational worker of the SDS Zagreb Centre. (As a reminder both above mentioned Zdravko Mustac and Josip Perkovic were in 2016 both sentenced to life imprisonment by the German Court for abetting the murder of Croatian emigrant in Germany, Stjepan Djurekovic, as part of their role in the Yugoslav State Security Services/SDS, which was about purges of Croatian patriots and political opponents of communism.) The SDS Operational Processing of Zagajski as with all similar cases meant the drawing of pathways and information about the movements of the target with the aim of his assassination.

A person of special trust of Đuro Zagajski was Stjepan Mesek, who was an agent of the SDS Zagreb Centre under the code names “Karlo” and “Dubravko”. He was kept in communication pathways from November 1981 to March 1983 by Miso Deveric and Milan Munjas – employees of the Second Department of the SDS Centre Zagreb.

The associate that was known under the code name “Emin” was kept in the loop and operations by the employees of the SDS Varazdin Centre, Milan Tesla and Ilija Dodik, and as instructed by Josip Perkovic.

Dušan Sime Peris was hired on June 12, 1981, and his code name was “Dukat”.

Zlabnik Damir and Roguljic Mladen, employee of the Second Department of the SDS Zagreb Centre at the time when the head of the Centre was Franjo Vugrinec.

The statement of the associate “Jerko” dated December 2, 1982, signed by him says the following: “I, Branko Sklepic, born on January 7, 1947, temporarily working in the Federal Republic of Germany, Munich, voluntarily and without coercion, declare that I will undertake on a voluntary basis, to loyally provide data to Security Services. Since I am moving in the company of extreme emigrants in Munich, such as Zagajski Djuro, etc., I will share all the information, either in writing or in direct contact with the SDS service. ” “Jerko” was led by the employee of the Second Department of the SDS Zagreb Centre Damir Zlabnik, at the time when the head of the Centre was Franjo Vugrinec.

The collaborator “Pjesnik” was Miro Skrinjaric, led by employee of the Second Department of the SDS Zagreb Centre Miso Deveric, at the time when the head of the Centre was Franjo Vugrinec.

In addition to them, a certain Milan Doric also played a big role – under the code names of “Hanzi”, “Milan”, “Flora” and “Pagan”.

In the night between Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, 1983, emigrant Djuro Zagajski, a native of Zagreb, was killed.

The dead body of Đuro Zagajski was found in the morning in an open field in the Pheasant Garden Park in Munich. Zagajski was a friend and collaborator of Stanko Nizic (killed on August 23, 1981, in Zurich), Stjepan Đurekovic (killed on July 28, 1983 in Wolfratshausen near Munich) and Luka Kraljevic (survived several assassinations).

Months before Zagajski’s murder, an associate of the Zagreb UDBa under the pseudonym “Karlo” submitted reports on the activities of Croatian emigrants in Germany and Switzerland. The main person in these reports was Djuro Zagajski.

Associate of the Varazdin UDBa under the pseudonym “Emin” in a statement dated February 25, 1983, a month before the murder, he claims that Djuro Zagajski has gained complete trust in him and that lately he has been able to mostly come to his apartment and stay longer, while he previously avoided going anywhere outside public places together. Now he is ready to drive alone with “Emina” in his car… preparing patriotic Croats for slaughter was the modus operandi leading to murder… the grotesque character of the communist Yugoslavia still haunts. Ina Vukic

Croatia: The Treason In Kreso Beljak

Today many countries’ laws forbid acts that are called treason, including insurrection and attempted coups (internal treason) and cooperating with foreign powers and enemies abroad. More loosely, people use the word to mean any serious betrayal of trust. Dictionaries define a traitor as a person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle.

It is incredulous, gut-wrenching and above all improper that the Croatian Parliament has not, even after more than a week, found a way to suspend (pending inquiries) its Member Kreso Beljak from sitting in Parliament; from speaking in Parliament! Had a member of parliament of a truly democratic and statehood conscious parliament come out with such vitriol, blatant lies and hate speech against own people, against own country, as Kreso Beljak has in the past nine days, that member of parliament would be suspended immediately and investigations/discussions about the intent and effects of his/her statements undertaken with view to considering appropriate measures against that member of parliament.

Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) president and member in the Croatian Parliament, Kreso Beljak’s treasonous, shocking, depraved, reprehensible recent Tweet is not, by a long shot, a Tweet that is clumsy and unfortunate as he, in his unconvincing and cold apology Monday last, called it. His Tweet was yet another demonstration of the psychological violence and communist taunting against Croatians who rejected communism during and after World War II in Croatia and after WWII. This psychological violence continues to this day and is part and parcel of communist terror methods in their efforts to devalue and vilify, indeed, make life difficult in what the victorious Croatian Homeland War of 1990’s brought to the Croatian nation – independence and democracy.

What is equally reprehensible is the fact that “official Croatia” appears to have settled for Beljak’s apology for the Tweet and gives no indication of any plan to take Beljak down, suspend or remove him from Parliament pending investigation into the damage and inflicted offence his words have upon Croatian people.

Such suspension/removal would be, if for nothing else, justified for Beljak’s suggestion that the war in Croatia between 1991 and 1999 was waged and caused by Fascists in ex-Yugoslavia and those in other countries who escaped UDBa and Yugoslavia’s communist purges!

The truth is that the Yugoslav Army with Serbia and Croatian rebel Serbs attacked Croatia in 1990/1991(from Serbia and from within Croatia via rebel Serbs) when Croats showed intention to secede and then voted overwhelmingly in referendum to secede from communist Yugoslavia. The consequent war of aggression against Croatia (and Bosnia and Hercegovina) was indeed brutal, genocidal, bloody and merciless.

Beljak’s words are treasonous, against Croatia and its fight for sovereignty and democracy.

 

Photo: Twitter screenshot

On 10th of January 2020 a certain “Renato” published a Tweet that said: “My family was targeted as well but we lived in NY! Yugo-nostalgics fail to realize that there were over 100 political assassinations outside of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1990. The UDB-a was active in every Croatian immigrant community in the USA, Germany, Canada and Australia.”

Kreso Beljak on 11th January 2020 tweeted a reply: “Over 100?? Obviously not enough. We sow (saw) who did the shit and who made all of the wars from 91 to 99. Fascist in ex-YU and in other countries who unfortunately escaped UDBa.” (UDBa being communist Yugoslavia Secret Police)

On 14 January 2020 Beljak published an apology: “In relation to my clumsy and unfortunate tweet. That tweet is a part of a wider discussion, filled with insults and lies. But, not important. I am sorry if my tweet was construed as my support for political assassinations. That, of course, is not true. I am sorry If I insulted anybody. I made a mistake.”

Further proof of Beljak’s treasonous mind and action is evidenced in his statement in publicly televised Croatian Parliament session on 15 January 2020. When Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic reprimanded Kreso Beljak for his tweeted statement and called upon him to apologise more, Kreso Beljak replied: “…I understand the gravity of what I said (regarding UDB’s killings of Croats)… I wish that you had repeatedly asked for such an apology as you heard from me from those who supported terrorists who killed people for Croatia, instead of letting such people on your official site support your candidate… ” (meaning 2019 Presidential candidate Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic who was HDZs (Croatian Democratic Union’s candidate).

When and what terrorists killed people in the name of and for Croatia after the Second World War (the period to which Beljak’s words are related)!? The truth is that there were no terrorist killings from the Croatian side for Croatia and factual history has not recorded any. Indeed, the terrorist killings that did occur in relation to Croatia were the murders and assassinations of Croats by Serbs and UDBa (Yugoslavs), never the other way around!

When did terrorists after WWII kill people for Croatia? NEVER!

When did terrorists after WWII kill people to stop Croatia’s independence? ALWAYS!

Even if one looked into a number of court judgments from the West (e.g. Australia from late 1970’s to early 1980’s re the Croatian Six; in the USA 1970’s re Zvonko and Julienne Busic and others plane hijacking/aircraft piracy) etc. there were no convictions for terrorism, let alone for killing people! One may find in these judgments the words “attempted terrorist acts” (such as in the case of Croatian Six/ which attempts were a fabrication by Serbs) BUT, likewise, one will find that terrorist acts were not proven nor evidenced by any acts the accused had performed. Aircraft piracy was at the centre of Busic case in New York. In the case of Croatian Six there was no deaths in question and in the Zvonko and Julienne Busic case there was an incidental related death of a policeman, however that death was not brought about or caused by Busic’s hands nor had they intended for the death to occur (official US court judgments and documents show this). The death of the NY policeman was reportedly and evidently caused by the policeman’s failure to follow procedure in deactivating a bomb to which Zvonko Busic had alerted, in a timely manner, the NY police.

It is utterly unacceptable to permit a member of parliament to get away with such hateful, treasonous speech and profound lies about Croatia’s path to independence with a “please apologise” slap on the wrist as it is happening currently in Croatia. These statements by Beljak are treasonous and hateful. A government that fails to protect the honour and good name of the country it leads, like Croatian government and Parliament has done in the past week, is a government and Parliament that are not fit to lead a nation!  We must not forget that the very same Parliament was inaugurated on 30th May 1990 and that soon after, in August, the Log Revolution (Balvan revolucija), an aggressive insurrection by ethnic Serbs in Croatia had announced the bloody war of Serb aggression to come. Croatians, both those living in Croatia and abroad, defended Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia in the Homeland War of 1990’s. It is due to that very courage and suffering that Croatia is today a member state of the European Union; it is, thanks to the victorious Homeland War that Croatia currently presides over the Council of the European Union. It is the duty of Croatia to deal swiftly and decisively with those like Beljak who continue running the nation down, distressing its people with lies, psychological violence and political taunting.

What are you waiting for Croatian Parliament, Croatian Government!?

Your duty of care towards your people and your State is evident!

Ina Vukic

 

 

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