John (Ivan) Prcela Writes To US State Department

John (Ivan) Prcela
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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

Bleiburg Massacres: the Shame of the British Army and Yugoslav communists

Tomislav Karamarko - candidate for president of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)

To call the Bleiburg Massacres commemoration a “happening” is awful, and utterly disrespectful of the dead.

That’s what Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic did this week when he commented on the decision by the parliamentary presidency to stop sponsoring the annual commemoration at Bleiburg (Austria).

Josipovic said this week that the Parliament presidency’s decision was good and that financing of that “happening” should be stopped…”after all, the members of parliament were often whistled (booed) at there…”

Well, booing and whistling at parliamentary representatives is no crime – it’s a human expression of democratic opinion. Beside’s had justice been delivered for these communist crimes then there would be no booing or whistling at MP’s in Bleiburg. But maybe Croatia is looking down a dark road once again where whistling and booing at political “leaders” will be banned and only bowing and curtseying to MP’s shall be the order of the day, just like during the days of communist commanders and comrades.

The Croatian parliamentary Presidency decided on Tuesday 17 April that the commemoration at Bleiburg, Austria will no longer be held under parliament’s auspices but that this year it will still finance the commemoration of the innocent victims of the Way of the Cross. However, there was no consensus on the ruling parties’ position, the strongest opposition party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), was against it.

Croatian news agency HINA reports Thursday 19 April that the Speaker of parliament Boris Sprem said that this decision was made “so as to lessen divisions in society and help it homogenise by commemorating victims of death marches, known as the Way of the Cross, along the route of those marches …”

The commemoration of Bleiburg massacres pays respect to the many tens of thousands of Croatians who fled from the communists in May 1945, only to be turned back from Austria to Tito’s Yugoslavia by the British military administration – to walk the Way of the Cross to their brutal death by the hand of the communists or antifascists.

The Speaker of the parliament Boris Spremsaid the ruling coalition felt that the Bleiburg field was the site of ‘the final and legitimate battles between the National Liberation Army and (Ustasha leader Ante) Pavelic’s then almost defeated forcesand that soldiers were killed there on both sides, but not innocent victims killed without a trial. There were innocent victims on the Way of the Cross execution sites and graves. We feel that those victims should be honoured’, he added.


Croatia’s ruling coalition (former communists mainly) has just moved the date of the end of World War II forward by weeks and months! They’re saying now that for the fleeing Croatians (soldiers and civilians) the war wasn’t ended when it ended, their murders as they fled or were forced to return to Croatia by Western Allies are really the result of legitimate battles!

There’s nothing legitimate about hunting down those who did not want to live in a communist Yugoslavia once the War was declared ended and murdering them.

It’s sickening to even imagine such excuses for mass murder, let alone utter them.

Indeed the Croatian society would be much more “homogenous” (Sprem’s word) if antifascists took care of justice for the crimes communists committed just after the end of WWII.

Tomislav Karamarko, candidate for May elections for leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has said that “it’s unfathomable that in today’s Croatia, at the doorstep of European Union which has made a number of declarations since 2010 on condemnation of communist regimes, there’s renewed reality of open communist exclusion and re-ideation of society.

It’s a matter of the practice of the single-mindedness, which one thought had been shut in the drawers of history. This is returning to the time before Croatia’s Homeland War in which we paid a high price for the creation of a free and democratic country, defense from aggression that was fuelled by the same totalitarian politics and ideology”.

Karamarko added: “initiatives such as these represent the humiliation and cynical tormenting of the people who are not allowed to respect one of the most sensitive symbols of victims in Croatian history.

Bleiburg, as a symbol of the Way of the Cross, as a symbol of all the killing places of imprisoned soldiers and innocent civilians, the elderly, women, children – was created and maintained by Croatian people. Neither the government nor the parliament gifted that place of remembrance, and it will not be taken away from the people by withdrawal of sponsorship or pulling away future funding”.

Indeed the people of Croatia will not and cannot forget the Bleiburg massacres. The people (like the ruling coalition and followers) who want everyone to forget cannot achieve such a goal simply because they support and idolise the communist totalitarian system whose sins against humanity were too big and too distressing to fall into forgetfulness.

Recently released Michael Palaich short film about the Bleiburg massacres, in which come confessions of massacres from British sources, the Shame of the British Army, an untold story of deception, betrayal … provides insight into why it is so important never to forget the victims of Croatian Holocaust (Bleiburg massacres) and to pursue with ever increasing vigour the justice it deserves. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Related Post:

Croatian Antifascists deny the Victims of post-WWII “Croatian Holocaust” the dignity of remembrance

Saturday February 18 dawned cloaked in horribly and utterly immoral, inhumane, distressing colours for much of Croatia.

Ivan Fumic, the president of the association of Croatian World War II antifascists (Communists) announced that the association’s executive committee will put a motion to the Croatian Parliament to cease sponsoring the annual commemorative event that pays tribute to the victims of the May 1945 Bleiburg (Austria) massacres.

Transcript from Croatian TV newsreel above (2007): “celebrations of victory by the antifascist coalition of Yugoslavia in WWII also had its dark side. After the surrender of the armed forces of the Independent State of Croatia and a multitude of civilians at the Bleiburg field in Austria on 15th May 1945 bloody revenges followed against disarmed soldiers, civilians and even women and children. The actual number of victims has not to this day been confirmed. Some estimates say that the Partisans, in their revengeful madness murdered between 40 and 70 thousand Croatians. Others mention 200 thousand. Responsibility for the Bleiburg murders and victims goes all the way to the military and political leadership of the Communist Yugoslavia. Although the Third Reich surrendered on 8th May the agony of the Croatian army lasted another seven days. The Ustashi leadership had in the end of the war decided to withdraw into Austria and surrender to the West. According to the testimony of General Patrick Scott 200,000 Croatian soldiers and 500,000 refugees fled towards Bleiburg in the hope that the British would take them under protection. But instead of protecting them the British handed them over to Tito’s army. Croatian regular army surrendered itself in accordance with the war regulations, awaiting the enforcement of the Geneva Conventions. Instead of salvation in the West for many it meant going into death. Victims fell individually and in large groups in various places; near Maribor, at Kocevski Rog, in Maceljska forest and many pits along the path of prisoners’ way of the cross there remain many graves with tens of thousands of killed Croatians. Even today the bones of the murdered are being discovered. One day trials followed against the army and government officers, which regularly ended with a death sentence. During those painful days of cruel revenge only Zagreb’s Archbishop Stepinac openly protested against the bloody persecutions. The truth about Bleiburg as a symbol of Croatian victims and division was hidden for decades, only after the fall of the Communist regime the victims are afforded appropriate tribute and the greatest one is at the Bleiburg field.

J. Ivan Prcela (historian, survivor of the Croatian way of the cross associated with Bleiburg massacres, author of book “Operation Slaughterhouse) has from Cleveland USA, February 17, written an Open letter to the Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, asking him when he will apologise for the victims of Tito’s (antifascist/ Communist) mass murders. This letter followed soon after Josipovic visited Israel and apologised for the victims of Jasenovac concentration camp.

Prcela, as historian and witness/survivor of post WWII Communist crimes, says in that letter: “You, president, just like your predecessor Stipe Mesic, fall for the Serbian-Jewish lies and astronomical numbers about the so-called Holocaust in Jasenovac. As a historian and surviving victim of the only too horrible Croatian holocaust am abhorred at those lies and ceaselessly point my finger, showing that Jasenovac hides masses of murdered Croatian war prisoners. These murdered wretches were taken straight to Jasenovac on trucks from Slovenia and Croatian regions and buried around there – to ‘prove’ the crimes of the Croatian Ustashe. Those lies and astronomical numbers of Ustashi crimes are recorded in the Yad Yashem in Jerusalem! Without any fear, about a month ago, I have warned Jerusalem’s newspapers and dr Efraim Zuroff, the spreader of those and many other lies, all at the expense of the defenders of the Independent State of Croatia.” 

To apologise for crimes is to be human, normal and considerate. Numbers of victims of crimes are not important here for even a single murder is horrible and must be condemned and punished. It is a profound tragedy though, that no one has yet apologised for the mass murders of Croatians by the antifascists/Communists after WWII.

To rub salt into this wound the antifascist association of Croatia now wants to remove the significant part of dignity from the Bleiburg commemorations that its government had afforded them via parliamentary sponsorship for years. The cruelty that antifascists showed in the days after WWII has not, it seems, mellowed. If anything, it’s become more vicious.  Is it because it’s attempting to, in any-which-way, thwart the process of bringing the perpetrators of Communist crimes to justice? Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

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