Not Only Croatia Suffers From Serbian Deception

Serb Chetniks in Australia – continue deceiving with pretence Serbia was with Allied forces in WWII
Photo: Facebook

The persistent coverup of Serbia’s horrid and active role in the WWII Holocaust and the fact that in May 1942 Serbia was one of the first European countries to declare itself Jew-free (Judenfrei) had prostituted factual history to the point of yet another criminal blow to the many victims of the Holocaust in Serbia. The coverup was hatched by Yugoslav communists with headquarters in Belgrade towards the end of WWII and viciously pursued with the single aim of vilifying Croatia and Croatian people, lumbering against them distressing lies and recklessly tossing out wildly fabricated numbers of those killed in the Holocaust. There’s no doubt that some “leading” people of Jewish ancestry, such as Efraim Zuroff of Simon Weisenthal Center and Gideon Greif, an Israeli historian, have been going out of their way to coverup Serbia’s and its Chetniks’ role in the Holocaust in Serbia. One can only wonder why this is so and why these men pursue the path of this same filthy work of coverup, but one cannot avoid the thought that rewards from official Serbia for them must be large! The sickening thing is that Serbia has raised a monument to the victims of the Holocaust there, but, guess what, Germans and not Serbs are the culprits of that WWII depravity! The fact that official Serbia was a willing partner in these crimes is totally ignored and underplayed in this wicked propaganda program.

While those that seek to research facts of WWII history in Croatia and Serbia are persistently and with apparent malice labelled as revisionists, the same people who pursue with the Serbian coverup of the role of Serbs in the Holocaust on its own soil continue to work tirelessly, it seems, in attempting to discredit and stop such research! Truth has always had a difficult path to the surface, and that is a sad fact of humanity.

For the sake of justice to all the victims of crime and for the sake of demonstration how Serbs have succeeded in fooling and deceiving the world, I shall continue this post with a transfer of David Goldman’s recent article in the Independent Australia portal on the Serbian collaboration with the Nazi’s (the collaboration Serbia and its “friends” are persistently trying to coverup with the aim of vilifying WWII Croatia). David Goldman’s article from January 2020 is this:

 

Betrayal: RSL backs Nazi-aligned Serbian Chetniks

Australia’s Returned and Services League (RSL) is allowing a Nazi-aligned group from WWII and their supporters to march in Anzac Day parades.

Meanwhile, the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Department pays their entitlements out of the public purse at a time when Australian soldiers suffering physical injuries and issues like PTSD find their health benefits being slashed.

The Nazis in question are a WWII Serbian military formation called ‘Chetniks’, that according to most widely-available histories, including all the various official histories of WWII, were listed at worst as being active Axis collaborators or at the least, a nationalist-chauvinist militia responsible for numerous bestial war crimes.

According to Winston Churchill’s liaison officer in wartime Yugoslavia, Major-General Sir Fitzroy Maclean:

The reason why we have ceased to supply Draza Mihajlovic [Supreme Chetnik commander] with weapons and support, is a simple one: He has not been fighting the enemy and moreover some of his subordinates have been making accommodations with the enemy.

Maclean further wrote in his book Eastern Approaches:

‘Some Chetnik Commanders were openly living at German and Italian headquarters. The Chetniks were either not fighting at all or fighting with the Germans against their own countrymen … [the Chetnik’s were] impeding rather than furthering the allied war effort.’

Because of his collaboration and other war crimes, Draza Mihajlovic was executed by Yugoslavia in March 1946.  In fact, Chetnik collaboration became so widespread that after the Tehran Conference of 1943, the Allies finally broke off all ties with the Chetniks, eventually even forcing their own political head, King Peter II Karadordjevic to publicly disown them by September 1944 and throw his lot in with Tito’s Communist Partisans.

The Australian government has been well aware of this for decades. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in a letter to an enquiry to a retired New Zealand veteran way back in May 1993 wrote: ‘Serbia was not an ally’ and that ‘it is true that the Chetniks were collaborators’. Despite this, these units march in our major cities every April 25th.

After a follow-up enquiry by the same retired Kiwi Army Sergeant on whether anyone who served in the Chetniks during WWII was ‘eligible’ to receive Veteran’s Affairs entitlements, the response from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) also from 1993, was crystal clear:

The Chetniks were discredited on 12 September 1944, because of widespread collaboration with the Nazis and Fascists, and because they were fighting on the German and Italian side since 1941.’

Then in a twist that would have made Kafka proud, the same letter went on to say:

‘The DVA has assessed your specific concern under Section 35 of the Veteran’s Entitlements Act 1986. Due to restrictions under the Privacy Act 1988, DVA cannot inform you of the outcome.’

This despite the fact that the VA was only asked if these units ‘were eligible to receive VA entitlements’, and not whether (or not) any living individual was actually receiving them.

Postage stamps in WWII Serbia
Antisemitic – violently!
Photo: Screenshots

During WWII, Chetnik units operating across Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro found collaboration with Hitler natural as they were already part of Mussolini’s fascist army, the so-called, ‘Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia, a component of the 5th, 6th and 17th Corps of the army of fascist Italy, who according to historians were responsible for the murder of over 50,000 people, mainly innocent civilians.

One of their most revered military leaders, indicted war criminal and Serbian Orthodox priest Momčilo Đujić, who, despite being dead for 20 years, is still the central figurehead under whose symbols many Chetniks in the Anzac Day celebration march and who has from his long-cold grave given inspiration to a new generation of fanatical Nazis, including the likes of alleged NZ mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant and Norwegian mass murderer and neo-Nazi Anders Breivik among others.

Đujić also became the spiritual godfather of convicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Vojislav Seselj, whose role in financing Serb war criminals living here was documented by The Australian in 2019.

As both a loyal German as well as an Italian ally, in December 1944, Đujić sent an emissary to General Gustav Fehn of the German 264th Infantry Division with the following message:

The Chetnik Command with all of its armed forces has collaborated sincerely and loyally with the German Army in these areas from September last year. This collaboration has continued to the present day. The Chetnik Command wishes to share the destiny of the German Army in the future.

In response, General Fehn organised the safe transport of Đujić’s wounded Chetniks to the Third Reich, where after the war, he and his followers were employed by the CIA and eventually relocated to the U.S. where Đujić lived out his days.

The Washington PostIsrael’s Yad Vashem and the U.S.-based Shoah Resource Centre admitted that:

By the end of 1943, the break between the West and the Chetniks was complete. The Chetniks became collaborators and joined the forces fighting the Partisans. There were many instances of Chetniks murdering Jews or handing them over to the Germans.

Fast forward to 2019 and some high-ranking Serbian RSL members have gone on to form alliances with neo-Nazi groups such as Golden Dawn, which was implicated in the Srebrenica Massacre, nationalist Russian Cossacks on ASIO watchlists such as Simeon Boikov and various local far-right extremists like Jim Saleam and Kim Vuga.

Moreover, the leader of the Chetnik Anzac Committee for NSW, Milan Brkljac, along with his brother Draz, a serving NSW policeman, march under the banner of Serbia for Anzac Day, in clear breach of RSL protocols and by-laws, as the RSL does not even have a marching schedule for a country called Serbia, rather only one for Yugoslavia.

As mentioned, this situation has led directly to Chetnik units forming triad-like alliances with groups like the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and pro-Putin Russian Cossacks, all aided and abetted by well-known figures in the Australian extreme Right, and coordinated by modern-day followers of the Italian and German quisling Momčilo Đujić and their fellow Anzac Day marchers.

Others in this clique have posted pictures of themselves on social media holding ‘Remove Kebab’ signs – a clear reference to, and support of the likes of Tarrant and Breivik, while more disturbing is the fact that some of their supporters have trained and fought alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine in breach of Australia’s Foreign Incursions Act 1978.

Of course this circus would be incomplete without the involvement of clueless politicians like NSW Opposition leader Jodie McKay, who allowed herself to be photographed with some of these individuals a few years ago.

Just how the RSL can ignore Nazi collaborators and units from Mussolini’s fascist army tied to local neo-Nazi groups openly marching in Anzac Day parades alongside legitimate veterans, in spite of the overwhelming evidence provided to the heads of the RSL over many years is simply mind-boggling.

Even though their inclusion breaches numerous RSL and Veteran’s Affairs (VA) codes, by-laws and protocols such as provisions of Section 5(c) of the Veterans Entitlements Act which states that an ‘allied veteran’ does not include a person who was ‘at any time’ in a force which was assisting the enemy forces of Australia, the RSL has stayed mute on the subject.

On April 25 2019, in a rare act of common sense, an attempt was made to ban the Chetniks from all Anzac Day activities by the Victorian RSL, however, the branch’s leadership lost its nerve and quickly reversed this decision, allegedly due to legal threats.

Going further, by giving VA entitlements to Chetniks, Australia’s Government is also inadvertently helping fund the war in eastern Ukraine while Australian soldiers suffer constant ATO checks or entitlement cut-backs and Australian Afghan war veterans endure cuts to their medical benefits and VA entitlements.

While the bureaucratic heads of the VA department and the Veteran’s Affairs Minister Darren Chester should resign over this outrage, for its part, the RSL should consider rewording its ‘Lest We Forget’ slogan to ‘Lest We Remember’.

After all, that would be a far more accurate description of their attitude towards both WWII history and the fate of Australia’s servicemen and women.”

Ina Vukic

 

Serbia Made Itself Jew-Free, Croatia Did Not!

Antisemitic postage stamps in Serbia 1941-1945

Simone Weil (French philosopher and political activist) said in her book The Need for Roots: prelude towards a declaration of duties towards mankind (Routledge and Paul, 1952) that truth is “a need of the soul”. She went on to say: “The need for truth is a need more sacred than any other need. Yet it is never mentioned. One feels afraid to read once one has realised the quantity and monstrousness of the material falsehoods paraded in even the books of the most reputable authors. Thereafter one reads as though one were drinking from a contaminated well.” The days Weil lived in are those we live in and have lived for decades, where politics get in the way of the truth, of facts and the duties to humanity often take a back seat.

Serbia has with Efraim Zuroff’s (head of Jerusalem branch of Simon Wiesenthal Center) conspicuous help managed to exculpate itself and Serbs from the horrendous crimes committed by WWII Milan Nedic government and Draza Mihajlovic’s Chetniks, said recently Dr Esther Gitman, a USA and Israel based historian.

Two things have prompted me to write this article. The first is Efraim Zuroff’s recent tantrum published in Serbia’s Kurir that the plaque dedicated to Blessed Alojzije Stepinac fixed along the Sorrowful Way (Via Dolorosa) in Jerusalem should be torn down because according to Zuroff Stepinac’s plaque belongs nowhere in the world and that he would act in getting it removed (despite the very truth and fact that research since year 2000 by Dr Esther Gitman has yielded copious amount of historical documentation that shows beyond reasonable doubt that Stepinac in fact played a leading role in rescuing Jews and other ethnic groups during WWII Croatia).

Antisemitic poster in Serbia 1941-1942
“Who will be heaviest? No one!
Because the Jew holds the scale ” !

On publicly commenting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip to Ukraine last week, taken to be a yet another opportunity to assess Israel’s relations with the post-Communist new democracies of Eastern Europe, and especially those with a Holocaust past of participation in the systematic mass murder of Jews, Zuroff took the opportunity to say that Ukraine in recent years has been one of the worst offenders in terms of distorting the history of the Holocaust, and glorifying individuals who collaborated with the Nazis in implementing the Final Solution.

This would be fine were it not true that Zuroff takes it upon himself to help Serbia distort the history of the Holocaust. We read in the news that Serbia is planning to adopt a law to create a memorial centre in Belgrade for tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma killed by Nazis in World War II, preventing plans to redevelop two concentration camp sites in the capital city into commercial space. Draft legislation will be sent to parliament in November with the “active involvement of the Jewish community in Serbia,” Efraim Zuroff told reporters after meeting with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic this week. He said he got assurances from the Serb leader that the bill will be adopted and the government will provide funds for the memorial. The fact that it was the Serbs and not the Germans that brought masses of Jews to slaughter in WWII Serbia does not appear to deter Zuroff from towing Serbia’s line of covering up its role in the Holocaust.

All crimes should be talked about openly but not using fabrications and opinions as facts, which is exactly what Zuroff is evidently doing.

The second reason for writing this article is last week’s utterly deplorable comparison of today’s Croatia with the WWII Independent State of Croatia by Milorad Pupovac, member of Croatian Parliament representing a part of Serb minority in Croatia.  “I would not want this country to come up with the same experience, which was an attempt in the 20th century, to create a Croatian state and to collaborate (with the Nazis) … How things are now, the way many people in this country, including those who sit with us in Parliament are relating to that idea, such possibility is not unrealistic…”, Pupovac said.

While the Croatian government leadership has responded to Pupovac’s deplorable behaviour as unacceptable the mind boggles why there are no stronger moves to commence proceedings that would remove Pupovac from the Croatian Parliament. Croatian Parliament was instituted amidst the bloody Serb aggression against Croatia’s independence struggle and members of Pupovac’s immediate family were active in that aggression and ethnic cleansing of Croats from their homes. Pupovac has for years been on a rampage against Croatian independence and on the path of spreading lies about WWII Croatia just like Zuroff does, covering up and justifying communist crimes, to name only a few of his public activities that actually vilify the very country in whose parliament he sits.

Anti-Jewish poster issued in Serbia in autumn of 1941 for the Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition in Belgrade from October 22, 1941, to January 19, 1942. The exhibit focused on the alleged Jewish-Communist-Masonic conspiracy to achieve world domination with the intent to increase hatred against outsider groups that opposed Nazi Germany.

The truly distressing matter in Zuroff’s and Pupovac’s claims regarding the preposterously impossible numbers they say were killed by Croatia’s Ustasha regime is that they talk of these fabricated numbers as fact in order to make their vilification against Croatia even larger. I am astonished at the fact that no one in any national authority that protects the public from such terrible falsehoods has yet called these two men (and others in this category of disturbing undermining and promoting of false history and today) to account and compelled them to prove beyond reasonable doubt the numbers of victims they claim are true, are a verifiable fact.

A thing about the Holocaust in Serbia that bothers multitudes across the world is that Serbs themselves have put the whole blame for the exterminations upon the Germans who occupied Serbia! On the other hand, the Serbs will not do the same when it comes to the Holocaust related crimes perpetrated on WWII Croatian soil under German occupation! The Serbs will keep on vilifying Croatia by calling it a Nazi Germany puppet state and yet they will not do the same for Serbia that was, actually, more of a Nazi Germany puppet state than Croatia (Croatia’s WWII goal for independence, for self-determination, appears to have been much stronger than Serbia’s).

While it appears that Israeli Efraim Zuroff, and Croatian Serb Milorad Pupovac, will stop at nothing to cover up or at least dilute to a kind of insignificance the horrors of the extermination of Jews in WWII Serbia, it is incumbent upon us all that the truth, the real truth that can be verified, is told. One thing is for sure, Serbia itself and Serbs were the exterminators od Jews in WWII Serbia and not Serbia’s occupiers, the Germans as Zuroff and Pupovac would like the world to believe. Serbs were most willing partners in getting Serbia to the Jew-free status among European nations; they did it swiftly, they did it by May 1942!

Dr Esther Gitman

Dr Esther Gitman, a leading historian specialising in the rescue and survival of Jews during WWII especially in the region of former Yugoslavia (mainly Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia) has on several occasions in recent times commented strongly in criticism of Efraim Zuroff’s ludicrous claims about the enormity of Holocaust crime related matters in WWII Croatia and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac in particular that do not stack up to any verifiable findings and about their pursuits in attempts to cover up or minimise Holocaust related crimes in WWII Serbia. She has often reminded her public that research findings confirm the fact that WWII Serbia was one of the first European countries to declare itself Jew-free (May 1942) – with pride, to boot! On speaking recently to Dr Esther Gitman, I asked about where her research has led her to as far as WWII Serbia was concerned.

“The essence of it is that Serbia was not an occupied state, Milan Nedic was the military prime minister. They had their freedoms provided they fought the communists and killed Jews. They did a very good job in concealing the truth from the world.  My preliminary research and summary are here only to demonstrate how many armies they had in Serbia and what was expected of them.  Serbia to a certain extent was controlled by Nazi Germany and at time by Bulgaria but in essence they were free to print their own stamps and with their own name. For so many years most of us believed that Serbia was an occupied country and that it was the Nazis who killed Jews, Roma, Croats and others. The Nazi regime had no time to run after the so-called Serbian enemies, the Serbs themselves did it. It is highly recommended to send some students to the USA, (DGFP,  Department of State. Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945. Series D, Vols. 11-13, Washington D.C., 1960-1964.  See also, United States” National Archives. Microcopy,– Roll—Frame, and  United States, National Archives. Record Group).

By not searching for truth Croatia has been duped by Serbia for more than seven decades. They taught you and your children how you murdered 1,700,000 or 700,000 and you believed them even though it makes no sense. In Croatia, in total, there were approximately 2,500,000 and Serbs about 750,000, the whole story that the world and the Vatican are accepting makes no sense. Please go and make sense of what has happened to you from 1918-1941 and from 1941-1945,” Dr Gitman emphasised.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1945:
“his weapons: democracy, masonry, capitalism and communism leads to death”

“In April 1941, the commander in chief of the German army issued a proclamation defining the conditions of German rule in occupied areas of Serbia…and on 30 May 1941 the first puppet government was established. That is a Commissioner Administration headed by Milan Acimovic…  But the above were temporary figures and the German authorities had sound reasons for choosing General Milan Nedić to head the puppet (in name only) government. He was well known among Serbs as an elite General Staff officer of the pre-1918 Serbian and interwar Yugoslav armies, and he had held the two highest military positions in the country. He was regarded as a man of great personal authority, not simply because of his high professional standing, but also because of his commanding behaviour in official positions.

On August 27, 1941, Nedic informed Heinrich  Danckelmann by letter that after consulting with the commissioners and leading representatives of the Serbian people, he (Nedic) would be willing to become prime minister if the military commander would agree to specific operating conditions,” Dr Gitman continued.

Dr Gitman’s research concludes that the conditions sought by Nedic were as follows:

  • First, a Serbian government would be formed that would manage the affairs of the Serbian people under the supervision of the military commander, to conform to German military, political, and economic interests.
  • Second, the Serbian government would be allowed to develop an armed force (without which it could not assure peace and order in the country), consisting of a gendarmerie of up to 10,000 men and auxiliary armed forces according to need, and, with the permission of the military commander, both of them would be equipped with the Yugoslav weapons captured by the Germans.
  • Third, Serbian prisoners of war in Germany who were ill, all prisoners over the age of 55, and those prisoners needed for the reconstruction of the country would be released to their homes, and the Serbian government would be allowed to send food supplies to improve the rations of prisoners remaining in Germany.
  • Fourth, the “economic and administrative boundaries” of Serbia would be improved by having German troops occupy certain areas (meaning, apparently, northeast Bosnia).
  • And finally, the impoverishment, persecution, and murder of Serbs in Croatia and in Bulgarian and in Hungarian-occupied areas would cease.

In addition to these major conditions, Nedic also wanted a number of other concessions. He asked for a political council to promulgate the new political arrangements. The struggle against Communism was to be considered primarily the concern of the Serbian people and its government, with the German army helping only insofar as the means used by the Serbian government proved insufficient. In cases of sabotage, reprisals were to be applied only against those who were guilty and never against the innocent, and they were not to be undertaken until complete information had been obtained from the Serbian government. And the use of Serbian national and state emblems was to be allowed.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1942
“be on the lookout/you will not know or be aware”

“From Jozo Tomasevich we learn that there is no written record of Danckelmann specifically accepting these conditions, but in Nedic’s speech on the occasion of his installation, he thanked Danckelmann “for the full power of authority [Vollmacht] which it pleased it would seem that a real understanding existed between the two men, though only in oral form. Other documentary evidence, including a circular sent by Turner to all German area and district commands in Serbia, dated August 2.9.1941, shows that Danckelmann did promise Nedic that the Serbian authorities, under German supervision, would have a large degree of independence. Turner wrote (For Turner’s circular, see Micr, No-T-50, Roll 246, Frs. 190-9 I):

A promise was given to the government that, under German supervision, it will be given the highest possible degree of independence in administration, please, therefore, limit the activity of the administrative groups to purely supervisory functions.” A note from Minister of Interior Acirnovic to Turner, dated September 16,1941, protesting against the interference of German authorities in the operations of the Serbian gendarmerie and other government armed forces, is further proof that the Nedic’s administration understood that it would be largely free in using these forces.  Order No. I of September 5, I941, to all government employees and all armed formations under Nedic’s command encouraged government officials, the armed forces, and the public at large to resist the spreading rebellion. It stressed the need for discipline, hard work, honesty, and devotion to the good of the people, point 6 said: ‘All national forces, both of the state gendarmerie and police and of loyal Serbian men at large, can have at this time only one objective, that is, to save the Serbian people from new bloodshed and sacrifices, removing without compromise all those elements in their midst that would want to push the nation into total ruin. Under these circumstances, my orders, directed through the appropriate state organs, must be carried out by all people without hesitation,’ ” Dr Esther Gitman articulated the findings of her research and conclusions they command.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1945:
“New York Times: the press in the USA is 97% in Jewish hands”

It is difficult to know how long the Holocaust and other victims of WWII Serbia will have to wait for justice, but one thing is crystal clear: it was Milan Nedic and his government’s operatives and loyal followers and the Serbian Chetniks (loyal to the deposed Serbian Monarchy) that actively brought WWII Serbia to be one of the first European states  to become “Judenfrei” (Jew-Free); the Nazis did not bring the victims to slaughter, the Serbs did it in the name of Greater Serbia.  During the Second World War, the Serbs were ethnically cleaning Jews out of their homes in Serbia, just as they ethnically cleansed the 1990s Croats in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina out of theirs, and the role of Serbs in communist crimes committed during and after World War II was so great that its disclosure could shock the entire humanity of the world. This is not hate speech, this is the documented and verifiable truth! Ina Vukic

 

 

 

Open Letter to Mr. Efraim Zuroff (In Pursuit of Truth)

Prof. Emer. Matko Marusic, MD, PhD

(Translated from Croatian into English)

Prof. Emer. Matko Marušić, MD, PhD SPLIT, CROATIA

to Efraim Zuroff 1 Mendele Street Jerusalem 92147 ISRAEL

January 18, 2019

Esteemed Mr. Zuroff,

I read an article on January 10, 2019, posted on the Croatian portal Index.hr, of your demand that the Croatian Government ban the book Razotkrivena Jasenovačka laž [translates to: The Jasenovac Lie Disclosed]. To this end and for the sake of the accuracy of the claim, I quote excerpts from the article on Index.hr:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, International Jewish Human Rights Organization, led by the famous Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, harshly condemned the Croatian Government for their tolerance of works that negate Ustasha crimes during WWII. In a statement signed by the Center’s Director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, and posted on their website, he forewarns of the promotion of the book Razotkrivena Jasenovačka Laž to be held January 16, 2019 in a church in Zagreb – a work which negates the systematic and mass execution of Serbs, Roma, Jews and Croatian anti-Fascists. The Jasenovac Triple Camp Research Society, sponsor of the event, was established to conceal the horrific crimes committed by the Ustasha, which are acts beyond compare in the Balkans. Crimes confirmed in historical documents, witness testimonies, and scientific findings of many prominent historians. Works such as the book Razotkrivena Jasenovačka laž would immediately be banned in Germany and Austria, and justifiably so, says Zuroff.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Croatia to ban publications that negate and distort the role played by the NDH in the Holocaust. “As a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Croatia should take every pertinent step to prevent all those who negate the Holocaust and misrepresent historical facts. Continued positive focus is placed on efforts to misconstrue and twist Croatian history, contrary to international commitments accepted by Croatia upon joining the IHRA,” said Mark Weitzman, the Center’s Political Director and former Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Not going into deliberations over historical events of which I am not qualified, allow me to express my cordial but very serious objections to the above comments. It is very important that I do so, as I am a proven and sworn friend of the state of Israel, devotee of the Jewish people, and a Croat who is ashamed of the wrong deeds committed by a certain group of my people, known as the Ustasha and Ustasha regime, during WWII. I also believe that we Croats owe the Jewish people much in this regard, both as a nation and culture, but above all, sincere respect and regard. Also important is the fact that I am a devout Catholic, and thus have even more respect for the Jewish people, for the Lord my God was born unto them. I pray that you never underestimate this, regardless of how you feel about any religion, or lack thereof.

I am a scientist, biomedical researcher and university professor emeritus. Although I do not know much on the history or methodology of historical research, I do know the rules of scientific studies, methodology, publication, communication, and all that must go in stride with scientific analysis, whatever the field of research. I firmly call upon human common sense, goodwill, tolerance of diversity, and upholding the truth, wherever the absolute truth may lie, and how ever near or far it is to us as mere mortals. Allow me to illustrate with some very simple arguments, and present my deep and unsettling dissatisfaction with your reaction (in the belief that Index.hr quoted your statement accurately).

1. The lie on the number of victims in the Jasenovac Ustasha Concentration Camp existed and is proven

In communist Yugoslavia, all school children in every school were taught that 700,000 civilians, mostly Serbs, were killed in Jasenovac. This was written in our textbooks, encyclopedias, and very often in newspapers as well. The figure was not to be questioned, at the cost of severe consequences. For instance, the late Dr. Franjo Tuđman, first President of the free and democratic Republic of Croatia, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in the former regime for claiming in one of his books that the number of victims in Jasenovac ranged from 60,000 – 80,000. Neither Tuđman nor the Ustasha countered the claim of 700,000 deaths, not even Mr. Igor Vukić nor myself. The one to counter it, at the time of the same communist regime, was Mr. Vladimir Žerjavić – a Croatian economist, demographer and UN expert, who estimated the number of Jasenovac victims at roughly 50,000, which was then generally accepted. (It is impossible for me to state all the estimates and differences here, as I do not wish to burden you. I will stand by Mr. Žerjavić’s claim, for it was also accepted by Tito and his regime.)

The Jasenovac Memorial Site is a public institution in Croatia that lists each individual victim by name, and this figure amounts to approximately 84,000.

The issue has not been resolved to this day, but it suffices to state it in my message to you. Namely, if the lie that was officially taught in schools in the former regime shows a discrepancy ranging between 700,000 and 84,000, I urge you to be just as taken aback as I am, albeit I have all the more reason, for the atrocious lie was ascribed to my very own people (to whom I proudly and wholeheartedly belong). If it was objectively and indisputably proven to be a horrific, deliberate and malignant lie (to darken and disparage my beloved nation), then how, and based on what, can anyone, including yourself, have the audacity to believe this new figure (84,000), without the need for further investigation?

In short: The above example shows that every honest and educated man must persevere in research – not only for the sake of truth, but also to overcome lies as something unacceptable to Man, but especially because of what I am writing to you: to avoid any further disputes, tensions, and disruption of peace among the people.

2. Croatian society is torn apart by controversies over the number of Jasenovac victims, and a consensus of prominent experts has recommended the intensification of research and inquiry

I am referring to a document issued by the (Croatian) Council for Dealing with Consequences of the Rule of Non-Democratic Regimes:

The Council was established by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, aware of the fact that such controversies disrupt relations in Croatian society. Council members were selected from a number of different political groups, and one such member who signed the Document of Dialogue was Mr. Ivo Goldstein, whom I presume is quite well known to you.

I quote an applicable passage from the said Document:

Without going into the question of historical revisionism, one must note that where history is already revisionist, a new revisionism may emerge as a need for the revision of revisionism. A good practice of dealing with the past would be beneficial to historiographic research and others, with scientific exploration of sources, critical inquiry, non-selective choice and publishing of materials. This includes the availability of archival materials and new research to reveal the death toll of undemocratic regimes, as well as providing a dignified commemoration at the place of death and sacrifice. The former manipulation and discrepancies in the number of victims from any undemocratic regime continues to be an impediment in viewing the historical truth, whereas the same goes for facing the culture of dialogue and unfalsified historical remembrance. Here we are not at all referring to conscientious critical and scientific attestation of the actual number of victims, especially in cases where it is confirmed to be exponentially multiplied for political or other reasons.”

I do not know if you are aware of the existence of this document, but I would like to take this opportunity to kindly request that you take the time to look it over, as it is a document issued by the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and co-signed by Mr. Ivo Goldstein, which I believe undeniably proves its democratic character and consensus within Croatian society regarding the question of Croatian historical truth.

Igor Vukić

 

3. A few words on Mr. Igor Vukić

At this point I do not know the content of the book you are requesting the ban of, but I know Mr. Igor Vukić, Head of the “Jasenovac Triple Camp Research Society” and his works on Jasenovac. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Vukić myself and reading his works. I do not wish to be his “witness” here, but instead to express my personal and scientific opinion on him and his activities, of which I believe, I am entitled to as a proven scientist and professor of research methodology.

To begin, I apologize to Mr. Vukić (but he publicized this himself) – he is of Serb, Croat and Czech mixed origin, with a predominance of Serbian heredity. Second, he is from a village in the vicinity of the town of Jasenovac. Third, his father was in Jasenovac as a child. Fourth, Mr. Vukić is a very serious, educated and well-mannered man, and anyone who insults him also insults all other educated and well-mannered individuals – including myself. And I am not the least bit pleased with this (insulting). Mr. Vukić is not an Ustashe, nor is he a nationalist or revisionist. He is an intellectual, and one to be desired as a member of the most distinguished and civilized circles. (If you do not have confidence in my words, you should meet him yourself.)

And lastly, Mr. Vukić (and his co-workers) never concealed their findings, nor did they circulate them in secret. They published them as all qualified scientists do. These findings are, just as all other scientific insights, available to the global scientific community for verification and criticism.

I do not know, Mr. Zuroff, whether you or your associates have examined the works before demanding their ban – if you haven’t – I must warn that this is an inappropriate procedure, similar to the manner of Stalin (and Tito) with works that did not suit them. This must not be the practice of civilized and educated individuals in the 21st century, who ought to feel equal shame when others do the same. If, on the other hand, you took the time to study the works, no one is more delighted than I! We eagerly await your objective arguments countering them. I am not cheering on Mr. Vukić – we are not playing a soccer game. I am merely applauding the scientific truth. It is something of great importance to me, as I still distress over the claim of 700,000 Jasenovac victims – the reciting of which I received excellent grades in the primary and secondary schools, albeit oblivious to what was actually taking place.

At this point, if you do not know, I must inform you that some of Mr. Vukić’s findings were even accepted by his fervent opponents (forgive me again – by your like-minded contemporaries) Dr. Ivo Goldstein and Dr. Mirjana Kasapović. Upon examination of Mr. Vukić’s evidence, it was no longer disputable to them that Jasenovac was in fact a labor camp, that some prisoners and workers earned wages for their work, that the camp received aid packages from the outside (especially from the Croatian Jewish community) – and I apologize once again, but it was stated publicly – that different performances with singing were held there (we are not sure the names of all), including soccer tournaments.

Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Kasapović criticize Mr. Vukić for not providing evidence of countless executions in the camp, but they do not disparage my claim. I do believe, though, that the number of victims will ultimately be determined through consensus. For now, regarding the figures 700,000 and 84,000, the one that stands out most is the claim of Slovenian researcher Mr. Roman Leljak, who asserts that documents in Belgrade attest to roughly 1,600 victims in Jasenovac, half of which died of disease. I assume that you will also not take Mr. Leljak’s findings as true, and so I kindly ask you to verify this information yourself the next time you are in Belgrade.

(Permit me to suggest that in Belgrade you check the following Serbian newspaper articles published in Belgrade, during WWII (Cyrillic titles transcribed to Latin letters; roman numerals are months) Collated by Esther Gitman:

Dr. Esther Gitman, PhD

 

 

(PLEASE click on photos below to read contents of Table of World War Two Serbian newspaper articles on Jews, researched and collated by Dr Esther Gitman)

Page 1, WWII newspaper articles – Serbia

 

Page 2, WWII newspaper articles – Serbia

 

Page 3, WWII newspaper articles – Serbia

Page 4, WWII newspaper articles – Serbia

 

4. Documents

You may not like what you hear, but I must warn you that to date (in freedom from communist undemocratic terror), multitudes of documents have been published in Croatia, which attest to the fact that Mr. Vukić and his associates are right. If you succeed in prohibiting any evidence, you will be compelled to prohibit many other sources as well.

Speaking of documents, allow me the following. Complete documentation on the operations of the Ustasha camp in Jasenovac was kept (in Tito’s time) in Jasenovac.

During the Serbian aggression against Croatia from 1990-1995, Serb forces occupied Jasenovac very early on in 1991, confiscating all documentation and taking it to – Belgrade. The decision to submit all documents to Belgrade is indicative it itself, for Serbia claims it was initiated by a revolt of Serbs in Croatia (and that neither Serbia nor its army had anything to do with it). However, rebel Serbs in Croatia declared Knin as their capital, and thus it makes no sense to transfer the documents to Belgrade, does it? Furthermore, one wonders why Belgrade did not react in saying something like: “What are we to do with this? It is a matter between you and Croatia. Keep it in Knin, it is unfair to take away documents that do not belong to us, and by force, to boot.

I am led to believe that such discrete and sly action perfectly illustrates the fact that the aggression against Croatia in 1991 was committed by Serbia itself, and not Knin Serbs. This, however, is a whole other topic I do not wish to burden you with at this time.

But the saga on the Jasenovac documents is not over! Today, Serbia still refuses to return the documentation to Croatia, allegedly “fearing the Croats would use it to spread further lies about the Jasenovac camp.” I simply cannot comprehend this! First of all, if we are in fact dealing with the original documentation, then one cannot lie. Secondly, Serbia could easily leave copies for themselves (e.g. microfilm) or even the originals, and give copies to Croatia (microfilm). This would prevent Croatia from fabricating the truth – and I trust that you would find this quite acceptable.

5. Forensic research

As far as the number of Jasenovac victims is concerned, concrete and full-fledged research has been organized on three occasions in Tito’s time, through commissions and experts as appointed by the then regime. Digging and expert forensic excavations were conducted three times, at the sites of the “most massive and gruesome burial pits”, yielding a total of just under 500 skeletons. I feel it is logical that you (together with Mr. Vukić and myself) propose that excavations be resumed once again. I would be greatly pleased if you and your organization agree to take part in monitoring the said digging activities.

6. Jasenovac Research Institute

The story behind the Jasenovac Research Institute in New York is the same as the appalling (albeit proven, see above) lie on the 700,000 victims (JRI stands on 600,000), which I state here for the following reasons.

a) This figure, according to Tito’s expert, Mr. Žerjavić, and the list from the Jasenovac Memorial Site public institution (see above) is an outright lie and shame for humanity, history and all those who participate or uphold it. Even those who keep silent. Forgive me but I feel that you are among this last group as well! I never heard you state that the Jasenovac Research Institute cited inexcusable or erroneous figures (and names), and requested the correction thereof. Yet I am positive you are familiar with it, as it is not the small Jasenovac Memorial Site public institution in Croatia, but rather a major institute in the famous and illustrious city of New York!

b) At the trial of Croatian soccer player Joe Šimunić for cheering the ustashi salute “For the Homeland, Ready” (although he only shouted “For the Homeland”, but implicite it was clear what he was referring to), a testimony was given by Executive Director of the Jasenovac Research Institute, Mr. Barry M. Lituchy on the figure of 600,000 Jasenovac victims. His testimony was accepted, and Joe Šimunić was convicted with a sentence that ended his brilliant career as a professional soccer player. You are a world-renowned man, a specialist, and certainly an upright and benevolent human being, and I wonder why you did not intervene in this international affair, concerning a topic in your realm of expertise, and perhaps react by saying: “Honorable Magistrate, it is not 600,000, but 84,000, as is proven (and publicized) by experts from the Jasenovac Memorial Site public institution, who deal specifically and professionally with the issue at hand. I know them, they are honest and skilled people, colleagues of mine: call them to testify.”

c) I firmly believe you are aware that (even without a systematic analysis) thousands of people on the list compiled by the Jasenovac Research Institute as victims killed in Jasenovac actually died in other places. I will state an example closely related to me: In 1943, all the people (just over 100) killed during an allied bombing attack on the town of Kaštela (near the city of Split), when a bomb hit a church in Kaštela during Mass – are all listed as victims in the Jasenovac Research Institute, even though their graves, marked with their very names and bones, lie in the Kaštela cemetery.

7. A short but very important question

Mr. Zuroff, if you claim that 700,000 people were killed in Jasenovac, despite Mr. Žerjavić’s (50,000) and today’s official list in Jasenovac (about 84,000), I must express my deepest regret and frustration. I will deem that for some reason (unknown to me, I cannot even speculate) you may an enemy of my people and its state, regardless of what this means or does not mean to you. If that is the case, I would be very unhappy, but then I would not see that it is either sophisticated or democratic to address the Government which you perceive as an enemy. I feel uncomfortable even thinking about it, and only mentioned it you in the name of civilized and dignified behavior.

If, on the other hand, you say you do not know the number of Jasenovac victims, I beseech you to please speak to Mr. Igor Vukić and his associates, among all others, for he declares he has concrete documented data. This requires a scientific research method and ethics, as well as the most basic human earnestness and decency. It does not mean that Mr. Vukić (or Mr. Leljak) must be credited with the truth, but it certainly means that we ought to listen to his arguments and challenge them with better, stronger and more numerous arguments. Allow me to remind you that I, as a proven scientist, am also experienced in the methodology of assessing scientific arguments, their comparison and configuration, as well as the process of attaining human truth, no matter how far away or contrary it may be to that of the Lord’s.

8. A friendly opinion and counsel

I am saddened with your treatment of my people and my country. And to that of science and scientific truth, the consensus of well-intentioned and educated people, and the efforts of the Croatian Council for Dealing with Consequences of the Rule of Non-Democratic Regimes, which included the efforts of Mr. Ivo Goldstein (not to list the others). What you are doing is wrong. All people on earth today, including us Croats, are educated enough (free and mainly without prejudice of any sort) to look unfavorably on all bans or restrictions regarding any research topic that does not have full consensus. We see this as not only unfounded and unscientific, but also as something intended to hide the truth and promote lies, and both with dishonorable aims, for what other aims can stand behind hiding the truth and promoting lies? This, too, does not generate a good feeling.

The action you took, as related by Index.hr, brings no good to anyone – not for Croatia and the Croats, not for yourself, nor the honorable Jewish people from whom we have learned so much about wisdom, knowledge, science and respect for the truth – and all for the aim of a better, more peaceful and beautiful world. This is especially detrimental for the much-needed respect and remembrance of the tragedy suffered by the Jewish people during WWII, including all the misfortunes that came before and after. Forgive me for addressing you directly, but this is my honest belief, and I must say: The tragedy of WWII and its most horrific crime against the Jewish nation is so massive and atrocious that it cannot, and must not, be offended or disgraced by any trial or error, absolutely nothing at all! It is already too colossal to be exaggerated, and too dreadful to be seen as anything shy of respect and remorse.

In that name, allow me to personally apologize for all the foul and horrid things members of my people have done to yours in WWII, including everything that came before (Kingdom of Yugoslavia, before WW2) and after (Tito’s regime). May the Lord bless and keep both of us, together with our wonderful people, and let us pray that tragedies like this never happen again.

But we two also have the duty to contribute to this aim. Prof. Emer. Matko Marušić, MD, PhD, Split, Croatia

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