Croatia: Distancing From Communist Yugoslavia Still Like Having Teeth Pulled Out Without Anaesthetics

Upper left image – removed mural dedicated to victims of Serb aggression/Vukovar, with inscription “People will never forget”

If there is a living example of a miserably painful transition from communism into democracy it is Croatia. At times the moves that those in power make which degrade and offend those who fought or participated by other means in the war for Croatia’s independence during the 1990’s feels to such patriots like having one’s teeth pulled out one by one – without the anaesthetics or pain-numbers!

During the past couple of weeks, the newly elected President of the Supreme Court, Judge Radovan Dobronic, wasted no time to publicly declare that the age-old greeting for Croatian patriots “For Homeland Ready” (“Za dom spremni”) has no place anywhere, must not exist, and that people were killed under that greeting during WWII in Croatia!  Of course, he did not do the same for the communist greeting “Brotherhood and Unity”, or its red star symbol or that many more innocent people were killed under “Brotherhood and Unity” greeting during WWII and after it than under any greeting known to Croatian history!  What Dobronic said was just what the former communists and Yugoslav nostalgics wanted to hear. He omitted completely to say that in 1990’s the people that formed HOS units (Croatian Defence Forces) whose official symbol and greeting was “For Homeland Ready” are owed utter respect as they contributed significantly to today’s freedom and independence. For over a decade there have been cruel attempts to make the greeting “For Homeland Ready” illegal in Croatia in all instances of life and having a Supreme Court head judge whose one of the first public declarations that touches upon national morality undertones certainly signifies that communists and pro-Communists now have a new friend in Croatia that will continue targeting the values fought for during Croatia’s Homeland War in 1990’s.

A few days after Judge Dobronic stated that the Croatian patriotic greeting “For Homeland Ready”, on 27 October 2021, wall murals on the walls of electric power station in the capital city of Zagreb dedicated to Croatia’s Homeland War, Vukovar and Victims of Serb Aggression during that war were painted over; disappeared. Public revolt and protest, against these acts, occurred in some media, not mainstream that is government controlled, and especially in social media. Protest by members of former HOS units occurred as did from politicians from the right side of political spectrum.  

Mural in Zagreb Erased or painted over
Erased Mural in Zagreb dedicated to General Slobodan Praljak and suffering of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This depraved act of erasing the patriotic murals can also be compared to the pain of having teeth pulled out without anaesthetics. It signifies pure hatred for the glorious victory Croats had over communist Yugoslavia in 1990. These acts were done by the City of Zagreb administration (via HEP/Croatian Electricity) whose new Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic brought in a leftist administration riddled with communist Yugoslavia nostalgia. Coupled with the fact that on the state level the HDZ government is kept alive by its coalition with Serbs in Croatia who sided with the Serb aggressor against Croatia during the Homeland War there is no doubt in many minds that this act also forms an ongoing plan to keep wearing down Croatian patriotism and the values fought for during separation from communist Yugoslavia. Within a day or two Mayor Tomasevic came out saying that the painting over the murals dedicated to Vukovar, victims of aggression, war, Homeland war was a mistake that the only mural that was meant to be painted over was the one that had the late General Slobodan Praljak’s face on it (Slobodan Praljak was a General in the Croatian Defence Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s who committed suicide (29 November 2017) in the Hague courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal insisting he was innocent of war crimes charged with and convicted of.)

Of course, it was only a matter of a day or so after the murals were removed or painted over that new mural on the same walls appeared – thanks to patriotic citizens who were among those abhorred by the act of murals dedicated to Vukovar and Croatian Homeland War being removed.  

New mural dedicated to Vukovar and victims of Serb aggression in Croatia being painted again on same wall by protesting patriots

Often we hear that the sadness of attacks on Croatian patriotism will turn into defiance against current political leadership and into political assertion of values fought for during 1990’s for a free and independent Croatia. This though is proving to be a task of gigantic proportions as former communists or their offspring hold onto their family’s past during which most profited – they still reside in properties stolen from Jews or wealthy pro-Croatian citizens after WWII, they still know that nepotism and corruption is their only ticket to success in life … 

Forty-one years after the death of Josip Broz Tito. The one and only president of former communist Yugoslavia ever. All other presidents were presidents of the Presidency set-up in accordance with his wishes after his death in 1980 so that no other living person could become a lifelong president of Yugoslavia ever.  This Presidency ensured that seeds are planted after Tito’s death among people that would not tolerate, that would hate with a vengeance any expression of national pride or independence from it by any of its republics.

It has been thirty years since in 1991 Croatia severed all its ties with communist Yugoslavia, bravely forging its independence through a brutal was of Yugoslav Army and Serb aggression. The later twenty years of those thirty, i.e., from year 2000, after President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman passed away in December 1999, Croatia has proven to be a continuance of the same hunting ground that it was under communist Yugoslavia for any and every sign or display of Croatian patriotism taking hold among the public. More and more people from the communist Yugoslavia “family” breed crept into the power echelons of Croatia, not having spilled a drop of blood for her freedom, not wanting her free and independent in the first place, not having deserved to have power by merit but placed there through communist-bred corruption and nepotism.

If most offspring of former Yugoslav communists did not hold such a commitment to their families’ past, then every public debate about Tito would not still create unrest among Croats and push them into antagonistic opposing sides and conflicts as it occurs even forty years after his death. On the one hand there is an ideologically blinded and noisy group of Croats of Yugoslav orientation, who persistently claim that Tito saved the Croatian people and laid the foundations for the establishment of today’s state of Croatia, and on the other hand, there Croats who reject that and, rightfully so, claim that the 1990’s Homeland War was and is the foundations of today’s modern and independent Croatia.

The absolute truth about Josip Broz Tito and his communist Partisans is that they committed horrendous crimes and genocide against the Croatian people who fought for an independent Croatia, not Yugoslavia, not within Yugoslavia. The absolute truth is that Josip Broz Tito is today counted among top ten mass murderers of the Twentieth century as his state ordered purges ordered many hundreds of thousands of anti-communist citizens (more than 500,000). Thankfully, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, with the appearance of new facts as more than a thousand of mass graves of victims of communist crimes were unearthed, as state archives of historical records were opened, merits and positive opinions about Tito began to decline and today, more than ever, people in Croatia and the world consider him a dictator and a criminal of suspicious ethnic or national origins. But this “more than ever” is not enough to it seems to place communism far far behind those who live in a supposedly democratic Croatia.

Tito used all possible means and methods in the destruction of Croatia and the Croatian people. Unfortunately, along with the Belgrade authorities, Croatian Yugoslavs, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian national minority in Croatia helped him a great deal. The consequences of his long-term policy towards the Serbian minority and bribery of certain members of that minority, whose ancestors in the time of Ante Starcevic were considered Croats of the Orthodox faith, were well felt by the Croatian people in the 1990s in the Greater Serbia aggression.

Today’s Croatia and Croats who wish Croatia well cannot legally or morally deny civil rights to members of minorities living in Croatia, but at the same time the Croatian people rightly expect members of all national minorities to act in accordance with Croatian law, without being required and enjoying special privileges and serving foreign masters. Above all it is expected that minorities in Croatia adhere to and respect the values and significance of the Croatian Homeland War of Independence. But they do not do this, and one would be completely correct in saying that it’s because the governments have not developed the mechanisms that would police and monitor matters of that importance for the nation.

It needs to be kept in mind that with the establishment of communist Yugoslavia, Tito created the conditions for the killing and persecution of Croats and devised a system whose purpose was the biological destruction of the Croatian people. For the killing, imprisonment, and persecution of Croats in Tito’s Yugoslavia, it was enough to declare someone an enemy of the people. So too, it needs to be kept in mind that the victims of Serb aggression against Vukovar, against Croatia bother Mayor of Zagreb Tomasevic and they bother the leftist political parties, including those in power since year 2000. They do not like the fact that Croats fought for and risked their lives for Croatian patriotism and democracy while most of them hid away while the war of aggression against Croatia raged. All of them should have long ago banned the Red star symbol of communism and torn down all monuments to the criminal dicator Tito and his communist Yugoslavia regime. But they did not, they continue hounding Croatian patriots, throwing their dearest symbols into the waters of worthlessness and criminal connotation.

The removal or the painting over the patriotic murals in its capital city of Zagreb may continue to remain politically significant and encourage the right-wing patriotic parties and movements to unite into a force that may change Croatia’s political and moral future into that what it should have become after 1998 when the last occupied areas were reintegrated into Croatia. Let’s hope that the protests against this incident of trying to erase the victims of Homeland War from those city walls will not constitute a yet another short-lived protest and become just a point of street-talk for a while, until it dies out with a shrug of the patriotic shoulder. Perhaps we will see much more action that will result in a new Croatia after the next general elections; a new political landscape that cemented the Croatian resolve to defend itself from communist Yugoslavia and Greater Serbia onslaughts.

Retired General and former Member of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Glasnovic

The reactions to the erasing of the patriotic murals were many and one so well and succinctly put (that also demonstrates the political landscape in Croatia at present as related to transitioning from communism) on a Facebook profile was that by retired General and former Member of Croatian Parliament Zeljko Glasnovic on 29 October 2021 and it was as follows:

“Mausoleum of Vukašin Šoškočanin in the middle of Borovo selo – permitted, monuments to partisans all over Croatia – permitted, hundreds of pits full of Croatian bones – permitted, streets and squares named after the biggest mass murderers – permitted, five-pointed stars on buildings and flags – permitted, graffiti of the unrepentant Yugoslavia, bloody locksmiths and communism – permitted, marching through the cities to the beats of ‘White Violet’ (song about Tito) – permitted.

Murals dedicated to Vukovar, the 204th Guards Brigade, General Praljak and Dinamo – not permitted. They made criminals out of heroes and made heroes out of criminals. They made an aggressor out of a victim; they made a victim out of an aggressor. It only exists in Croslavia. To celebrate the executioners and the anniversaries of their monstrous crimes committed against their own people and to humiliate, belittle and degrade their liberators. To live in Croatia and to hate and despise everything that is Croatian. Fight for independence and freedom and sell that same freedom for a couple of silver coins. Frightening. The selective memory of the Croatian people has reached its peak. Apathy, amnesia, and indifference are just some of the characteristics of the average Croat who still sits passive in his home hiding behind his keyboard. And while he is virtually fighting for his country, with popcorn in his hands, he is waiting for the solution and the continuation of his carefree future, which he will not fight for alone. Why would he? He brought these people to power with his indifference. Good night Croatia.” Ina Vukic

A Croatian Reprimands EU’s Impudence For Supremacy Over National Laws Of Member States          

Earlier this month of October 2021 Poland’s constitutional court ruled that parts of EU law are not compatible with the Polish constitution, which Poland evidently and, as far as many are concerned, rightfully places above the EU constitutional charters. This has developed in a dramatic escalation of a battle between Warsaw and Brussels. The EU disagrees with the Polish court rule and this disagreement has sparked questions about Poland’s long-term future in the EU, with the government’s critics at home and abroad accusing it of setting the country on course for “Polexit” while the government at the same time enjoys enormous support and agreement with the constitutional court rule at home and internationally.

The battle and disagreements between the EU and Poland overshadowed the EU summit of the 27 member states in Brussels this week. The summit opening day media spotlights flickered between Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, president of the European Commission Von der Leyen, Germany’s exiting Chancellor Angela Merkel, prime minister of Hungary Victor Orban and several others, giving a clear picture that not all is well with the union and harmony regarding embracing the “Union” that would homogenise member nations into a concoction similar to former federation of communist Yugoslavia as opposed to retaining national identity and sovereignty of each member state. The political pull for the EU to be a federation of sovereign states has certainly gained momentum this week largely due to the ruling of the Polish constitutional court, placing Poland above the EU in certain matters of law.   

Whether money will talk is a matter of Poland’s response to Brussels’ moves that look terribly like blackmail:  EU officials have said that the Polish court ruling constitutes breaches of EU values and has now commenced withholding approval of Warsaw’s application for €36bn in Covid-19 recovery funds. The European Commission is also under increasing pressure to deploy powers that would allow it to hold back Poland’s regional development funds worth up to €121bn over the next six years.

European Union officials have late this week left us with a clear impression that the EU is facing an unprecedented situation in which a member (Poland) is directly challenging a founding principle of the bloc (EU): the primacy of EU law over national legislation. Some analysts also argue that Poland’s refusal to change its views may pose a bigger threat than Brexit.

EU President Ursula Von der Leyen described the Polish tribunal’s ruling as “a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order”.

“E.U. legitimacy is at stake: if there’s no primacy of European law over national laws, what’s the point of having a union?” said Sophie Pornschlegel, a senior policy analyst at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre.

Didier Reynders, the EU’s justice commissioner, said after the ruling that Brussels would act to protect the primacy of EU law over national law and the binding nature of the European Court of Justice’s rulings on national governments.

“We are very firm on the different principles, and we will use all the tools at our disposal to be sure that it is possible to protect them,” Reynders added.

As far as Croatia’s input or opinions with view to this escalating battle for supremacy of EU laws one does not expect to hear much from the official government at this stage. That is evidently because the ruling HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) is a member of the European People’s Party/EPP bloc that is said to have pioneered the EU project and whose current president is none other than Poland’s former prime minister Donald Tusk, also ex-president of European Council, whose political party now represents one of the strongest oppositions to the ruling PiS party in Poland. We have seen protests in Poland recently and we are sure to see more as Tusk calls those who will listen to rise and help save Poland (against Morawiecki of course). In his day of power Tusk fumbled through European Council’s corridors like a man who has grown too big for his boots, and he continues stirring fear among the Polish people. Thankfully those that listen to him are fewer and fewer by the day. In people’s mind, surely, there is nothing wrong with fighting to retain one’s sovereignty. Tusk is a “Yes” man for EU, while Morawiecki is evidently not. With this battle to retain superiority over EU laws having arisen in Poland so strongly next general elections due late 2023 will show for certain where most Poles stand on this if matters don’t progress to a resolution.        

It was very interesting and confidence-boosting to see that Croatian members of the European Parliament did have a say on the topic of Poland and its insistence on the supremacy of its national laws over the EU. The independent Member of the European Parliament Mislav Kolakusic called out, loud and clear, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her administration at a European Parliament session this week on October 19 for constant baseless attacks on sovereign EU member states: ” Poland has always been in the heart of Croatian citizens and we have always shared the same sense of law and justice. The fact is that those who govern the European Union today want to impose their ideologies on all sovereign states behind that illegitimate goal. The only goal of this Kafkaesque process is to overthrow the legally elected sovereign government and bring in a puppet government. Do not forget that the Polish people fought against every oppression, both against Nazism and against communism, and they will certainly not bow their heads now against these new forms of committing (oppression). The European Union must become an equal community of sovereign states, or its future is more than questionable. Stop dishing out lessons to the proud Polish people with no real arguments. Thank you,” said Kolakusic and his speech can be followed in this video record from EU Parliament:

EU Parliament 19 October 2021

EU’s insistence that its laws have supremacy over national laws of its member states has existed always but this time the issue is catapulted into the public arena with escalated vigour, leaving multitudes in various EU member states perhaps more than ever inclined to consider who and what they are, where are they going as a distinct nation – into strength or oblivion. Certainly this whole issues brings back bitter memories for nations made subservient to communist regimes of former Yugoslavia and USSR where individual nations and states had to conform to a federal ideology and practice that did not recognise or uphold their individual values and worth. During the time for former Yugoslavia the regime came up with a nationality called Yugoslav that people were expected to embrace and abandon Croatian, Serb, Montenegrin, Slovene, Macedonian…nationality. It was individual national pride and protection that eventually made Yugoslavia a failed experiment in unity. Similar in USSR/Soviet Union where all members of the union had to comply with what Moscow says and does and collapse was imminent as was for communism that bases its ideology on equality of people but riddled with rotten human ego that builds terrible inequality instead of equality.

The fatal flaw of EU’s idealism within a “Parliament of Nations” that would work towards lasting peace within and among nations was and is its false assumption that national identities and nationalism are toxic, in need of institutional guard rails to check their dangerous rivalries. Perhaps and as planned by some by giving up some national sovereignty to the bureaus and agencies of the E.U., a more efficient and just political order could be achieved. But it hasn’t worked out that way. First, even though the EU boasts that it has values to which all member states should adhere, it has not been clear what the core beliefs are that could unite such diverse and various cultures, histories, folklore, national interests, and customs tightly enough to ensure efficient functioning and cohesive loyalty. Europe was created in the first place by the Greco-Roman and Christian civilisation. With religion fading in much of Europe, and patriotism looked down upon, the love for one’s own people, language, and culture demonised as incipient fascism, what’s left to unite the peoples under the E.U. banner into a cohesive people who are willing to fight together and die for their European identity? Nothing much! When the member states filled with people that are patriotic to their individual nations experience being labelled as nationalistic fascists because they are a patriot you have a big problem! People will rise in one way or another, sooner or later, to defend their personal honour of belonging to a particular nation.

Hence, in many ways the issues developing along the question of EU supremacy over individual member state’s ability to bring decisions and make laws that suit its own local (national) needs without regard to compliance to EU laws will more likely than not provide a fertile ground for decisions and contemplation about EU membership in several countries. As Croatian government intends introducing the EU Zone common currency – euro – soon, the enormous adjustment costs in this process will highlight the bad side of the EU concept and create greater poverty than what there is now. In former communist Yugoslavia the “big pot” of money into which each member state of the federation contributed reminds one of the EU “big pot” of money and the flaws and resentments that arose in relation to the “big pot” operational undercurrents in former Yugoslavia are surfacing in the EU. The EU is starting to blackmail or threaten its members states with cut or withdrawal or redistribution of funds if a member state misbehaves or does not comply. The member countries that contribute more to that “big pot” than other member countries are already behaving as having a political or decision power advantage over others. Such union that creates politically elitist echelons is already on life supports – unless of course the sovereignty of each member states is respected and upheld particularly in dealing with local welfare, laws and economic development. Ina Vukic   

Croatian Academy HAZUDD To Jerusalem Post

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your editorial from August 22 and the reactions of Dejan Ristic and Ivo Goldstein and Efraim Zuroff to the article by David Goldman, which you in the meantime withdrew from your website but left the above articles, prompted us to this reaction, hoping for at least some balance, which in fact represents the reality on the world stage of opinions and historical facts discovered to date, on this topic in your newspaper.

There is no need to fear that the Holocaust, as a unique form of collective persecution of the Jewish people, will fall into oblivion, as long as children are taught about it in school history classes. Anyone with a modest knowledge of foreign languages ​​and history today can access information about the results of the census in Central and Eastern Europe and be convinced that during Nazi rule, Jews disappeared in large numbers as well as their religious and cultural objects (synagogues, schools, etc.). If not killed or destroyed, any reasonable person would wonder where millions of people and their places of worship could have gone?

This applies both to both the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which existed in 1941-45 and included the territory of today’s Croatia (for the most part) and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia. The fact that many more Jews survived the Holocaust in Croatia, in both number and percentage of the Jewish population, than in Serbia, is the result of continuous, extensive rescue operations by the domicile Croatian population and the Catholic Church led by Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb. While for Archbishop Stepinac, saving Jews was a daily task of caring, the heads of the Serbian Orthodox Church praised Hitler and openly sided with the Nazis against the Jews. If it wasn’t for the works of Esther Gitman, a Fulbright Scholar, (sources: “When Courage Prevailed – rescue and survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945” 2011 and “Alojzije Stepinac: Pillar of Human Rights” 2019), which are hardly mentioned in the press, the significant actions of rescuing Jews in the NDH would remain almost completely silenced. The efforts of many Jews to achieve the proclamation of Archbishop Stepinac as Righteous Among the Nations have so far been futile, thus creating a large stain on the reputation of the state of Israel among Croats. There were not many individuals in the enslaved Europe who, like Archbishop Stepinac, dared during the war of 1942 to declare publicly that there was only one race: the race of God (Esther Gitman research).

Despite the facts, the Serbian side on one hand expands the term Holocaust without foundation and thus dilutes it to the suffering of Serbs (Croats), and on the other hand narrows it to the Jasenovac camp, which is thus given mystical properties. An uninformed reader of the Serbian press could conclude that World War II took place mainly in the Jasenovac camp, where Croats killed 800,000 to a million Serbs, and that the Holocaust was a minor side event.

For many years, the number of 5 million non-Jewish Holocaust victims has been bandied around worldwide, and Israeli Gideon Greif, in his work entitled “Jasenovac, Auschwitz of the Balkans”, published by Knjiga komerc Serbia in 2018, claims by pure speculation of other speculators of history, and without exact evidence, that one million, if not more, Serbs lost their lives as victims of the Holocaust in Croatia! So, in such dark alleys along which Greif evidently also moves, a fifth of all non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Europe were Serbs! This is the number of victims without scientific basis, and the well-known Nazi and their collaborators hunter, the late Simon Wiesenthal, once said that this number of non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust was “intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but is now more used to obscure it.” Sure, there were many non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but inventing the magnitude of that number, as has been done for decades for Serb victims, evidently seeks to diminish or dilute the severity of the tragedy experienced by the Jewish people in the Holocaust.

The bigger tragedy in this prevailing modern world ping pong game about which Holocaust victim was a bigger victim, Jew or non-Jew, lies in the fact that Serbs, with the help of people like Efraim Zuroff and Gideon Greif, seem to have managed to cleanse Serbian hands as the culprits for the extermination of 94% of Serbian Jews in World War II and by August 1942 achieving the status of one of the first countries in Europe to be “Judenfrei” (Jew-free). It is clear to all but Serbs and their political friends that the Serbs and their government of Milan Nedic, not the German Nazis, attached the “Star of David” to Jewish chests and painted it on the facades of Jewish homes, thus marking Jews for extermination.

It is precisely for the removal of this systematic, long-standing blurring of facts, mentioned by David Goldman, that a thorough, multidisciplinary investigation of the events in the Jasenovac camp is necessary as this in itself is indicated by very diverse findings:

1. According to Ivo Goldstein and others, the Jasenovac camp did not cease operating on April 22, 1945, but served as a camp for internment of opponents of Tito’s Yugoslav communist regime to at least May 1951.The Bjelovar Divisional military court findings on 8/28/1946 regarding detainee escape from the camp on 28.08.1946 (source: Croatian State Archives), as well as a 1951 CIA report, serve as evidence of that fact. It is not known that, to date, anyone has systematically deal with research of the victims of the Jasenovac camp after April 22, 1945. Perhaps there were Jews among them also?

2. Analysis of the official list of victims of the Jasenovac camp, managed by the state institution JUSP Jasenovac, using Data Science methods, showed that the list is for the most part (89% of entries) unreliable. The current census, for example, lists victims born in 1969 and 1975, respectively.

3. Contrary to the testimonies of the alleged mass executions in the Jasenovac camp in the period 1941-45, there are also testimonies of men who were boys of that time, who attended trade classes in the camp, that there were no such events.

4. When Bosnian Serbs had to leave the conquered territories around Sarajevo in 1996 as a result of the Dayton Accords, they exhumed the remains of their loved ones in front of TV cameras and took them to their new places of residence. With these acts they strongly showed their stand that remains of their loved ones should not remain in enemy territory. It is interesting that no such request for exhumation of post mortal remains was requested for the Jasenovac camp, which is located on the territory of Croatia.

5. Prompted by the above facts, forensic experts (e.g. letter from prof. dr. sc. Simun Krizanac published in “Hrvatski tjednik” weekly magazine on 12.07.2018 ) already contacted authorities and requested the search and exhumation of the human remains in Jasenovac, believing that firm conclusions about such a camp must be based on forensic medicine research methods.

6. The general progress of science has led to the fact that reconstruction and identification can be carried out for centuries-old human remains.

7. World War II archives are gradually opening up and, hence, opening up space for new insights and new interpretations.

It is clear from the abovesaid that the actual Holocaust on the territory of the then Independent State of Croatia, for which the NDH authorities are co-responsible, is clouded and confused by Serbia’s attempts to portray the course of World War II in Croatia primarily as genocide against the Serbian people. They are wholeheartedly helped by the descendants of the Yugoslav communist rulers (the so-called Red Nobility), who still rule Croatia today, who in this way want to cover up the crimes of their ancestors perpetrated immediately after World War II and during the 45-year reign of fear over Croats until 1990. If it is shown that Croats committed collective genocide during World War II, then by that same logic it would be correct for the Yugoslav Communists to commit comprehensive and protracted revenge and re-education, right?

Let’s finish with Croatia. In the very centre of Zagreb, in Praška Street, there is a parking lot on the site where the synagogue demolished in 1941-42was. This is the simplest proof that the Holocaust took place in Croatia as well. Tito’s Yugoslav communist government, hostile to Jews and Israel, not only did not rebuild it, but demolished the remaining synagogues and many Jewish cemeteries, and built a department store on the site of the Zagreb synagogue, which burned to the ground in a mysterious fire in 1980.

From President Tudjman onwards, the Croatian authorities proposed to the two Jewish communities the reconstruction of the synagogue, which has not happened so far, because the Jewish communities could not agree on the basic parameters. Ivo Goldstein, who never declared himself publicly as a Jew or a believer during Yugoslavia, also plays a not insignificant role in that community. At that time, neither his late father Slavko nor he condemned the demolition of synagogues, for example in Rijeka in 1948, or the anti-Semitic attitude of Tito’s regime, and such dishonourable conduct is not mentioned even today. In addition, the so-called scientist opposes both questioning and further research on the topic of the Jasenovac camp, thus violating the foundations of scientific methodology, to which, as a university professor, he should be deeply loyal.

In Croatia, and especially in Zagreb, there are many valuable real estates, which were taken from the Jews during the Second World War and were never returned to them. They are now inhabited by members of the “red nobility”, who, like Ivo Goldstein and Ognjen Kraus, invent fascism in Croatia, and have never advocated for the correction of injustice against Jews by returning stolen Jewish property.

From all of the above said it follows that the state of Israel, the Jewish people and their reputable media such as the Jerusalem Post, should devote themselves to a detailed investigation of all potential execution sites of Jews during the Holocaust. But if researching the execution sites of Jews during the Holocaust is an area that newspapers like the Jerusalem Post cannot deal with, because such an activity is not on their list of activities for which they are legally licensed, then those same newspapers should contribute to the research of truth and facts by also publishing written articles in relation to all research on the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust in Croatia (eg Esther Gitman) and on Jasenovac after the Second World War (eg Blanka Matković, Stipo Pilić, Igor Vukić, etc.). It is unworthy of the oldest nation in history to be represented in any part of the world by individuals like Ivo Goldstein, ready at any moment for an anti-scientific invention like the notorious bone crusher. This achieves the exact opposite effect, which Goldman rightly observes. Namely, the suspicion that Israel and Serbia have a joint propaganda venture of exaggerating the victims of World War II is completely unnecessarily fuelled. While Serbia abuses victims tenfold (and more) as a justification for hegemonic action in its neighbourhood, it is unclear why the state of Israel clearly does not distance itself from such dishonourable actions.

And even if Ivo Goldstein is completely right with his claim about the bone crusher, which the Ustashas would use just before the end of the war to remove the remains of their victims, (and it cannot be, because neither he nor anyone else mentions it in his and other authors’ numerous books!), then it would be a huge challenge for scientists in the field of forensics and forensic medicine to use the territory of Jasenovac as a testbed for methods of identifying post mortal remains originating in particularly difficult conditions. Judging by his publications and public appearances, Ivo Goldstein has never met a forensic expert or does not know that such a profession exists at all.

A scientist who, in today’s age of reliable analytical and diagnostic methods, claims that everything has been researched and should no longer be researched, recalls into memory the embarrassment of Thomas Watson, the former head of IBM, and thus disqualifies himself in scientific and professional circles.

The diametrically different attitudes towards the smouldering Israeli-Arab conflict, which escalates every now and then, in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia clearly shows which nations, states and political currents are turned to Jews with fraternal respect and understanding, and which with intolerance prone to totalitarian movements and parties. It would be nice if the Jerusalem Post devoted more space to such differences and reflections, instead of history innovator Ivo Goldstein or Dejan Ristic and their collaborator Efraim Zuroff, who present themselves as Holocaust investigators while denying the genocide in Srebrenica, which the Serbian army perpetrated 26 years ago literally in front of TV cameras.

With regards

Dr. sc. Josip Stjepandic, President, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the Diaspora and Homeland / HAZUDD

 Mr. sc. Ina Vukic, Vice President, HAZUDD

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