Interview With General Zeljko Glasnovic

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Independent Member of Croatian Parliament for the Croatian Diaspora


Interview by Dario Holenda/Fenix Magazin

(Translated to English by Ina Vukic, with permission from Fenix Magazine)

“For positive and effective change in Croatia’s public administration – nationally conscious people are needed, not lizards that change colours as needed and whose mental set has remained on the other side of the Berlin Wall”

General, 28 years have passed since the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Croatia and the collapse of the Communist regime. Is Croatia today a free and democratic country?

Croatia has not yet emerged from a single-party system. Croatia and Slovenia are the only post-communist countries in the EU that have not implemented a lustration law. Croatia continues to be a deep-seated UDBa state (UDBa/Communist Yugoslavia Secret Police) in which the old communist elites have taken over not only the political but also the cultural space. The mainstream media permanently blocks this truth. That failed experiment was based on the abolition of state, of private property, of faith (mostly Christian) and what is most destructive – on the abolition of the family. Wherever this single-party system ruled, it left behind a terrible legacy of economic and ecological destruction. More than 30% of the global population today still lives under communist regimes. Since the Bolshevik Revolution that “red plague” is responsible for the death of at least 110 million souls. The true image of Bolshevik Satanism is hidden within those statistics. Out of these 110 million victims, 102 million were members of ones own people. A further 100 million people were tortured and imprisoned. Snitching has become a virtue in those regimes. Although the crimes of socialist nationalism are well known, the largest criminal organisation in history – the communist international – has never been brought before the International Court of Justice for class genocide, aristocide (killing of social and intellectual elites), violent seizures of property and systemic memoricide (deletion of collective memory of nations). That is why everyone has heard about Auschwitz today, but no one can name any of the death camps in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s rule, during which one-third of that country’s population was annihilated. More than 100 camps were in operation in the Soviet Union until the fall of the Berlin Wall. More than 18 million prisoners passed through that network of camps known as the Gulags. An averagely informed person cannot name any of those torture places in which people died from cold, undernourishment and exploitation to death. Did you know that the largest communist camp of forced labour was established in Romania after 1945. About 300,000 Romanians were killed by the communist terror in that country.

The first Croatian President, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, based his policy on the idea of reconciliation. Did reconciliation give results?

Unfortunately not! Without truth and justice reconciliation is impossible and remains an illusion. The (Josip) Perkovic – (Zdravko) Mustac case confirms that the old structures to this day prevent the discovery of the historical truth. Croatians outside the Homeland must be aware of the fact that UDBa informers had infiltrated all their patriotic organisations. In the former system, snitching had become a virtue and a proof of criminal single-party dictatorship. It further destroyed the moral-ethical code of people in SFRY. Communism can be described as the “terror of every one against everybody at any time” and you can see yourself that this country is just a continuation of the UDBa communist caliphate. The same mindset, the same cadres and their heirs are in all the levels of Croatian society. Partisan disease and Kozara hysteria belong to non-curable pathology. One dies twice from this mental illness, spiritual death and physical death. It would only mention that in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus commanded his apostles to “cast out demons.” The Croatian social elite suffers from owning and taking possession of entire legions of unclean spirits that still oppress us through various non-governmental organisations, media and individuals in public life. We have countless examples like the anal alpinist Danijel Majic and the rectal climber Drago Pilsel who would make gaming dice out of their mother’s joints just to earn a Kuna or a Euro. If they don’t convert such Judas will be buried in Loncar’s field as their not so famous predecessor. Such characters, i.e. CULTURAL MARXISM, are the greatest threat to Christian Europe.

Was it necessary to implement lustration in Croatia and when was the best time for it?

It’s never too late for lustration! The optimal moment for the implementation of personnel lustration was in March 1994, when the former UDBA structures tried to execute a coup d’etat in the Croatian Parliament. Tudjman made a mistake when he thought these people could change. It is an anthropological problem because the mindset of the Yugozomboids is of a pathological nature. Tuđman was the product of the same system. He set up (Josip) Manolic as secretary, who de facto led the personnel policy. He put (Josip) Boljkovac to run the Ministry of Internal Affairs and (Josip) Perkovic to manage the secret services. Lustration is based on three levels:

  • Facing the historical truth
  • Opening all archives and returning archive material from Belgrade
  • Personnel lustration

We must be aware that the dossiers on present judges, faculty professors, politicians and others are still in Belgrade. The UDBA also infiltrated all religious communities. Individuals with dossiers are living in fear of being exposed because UDBA agents who have kept them connected are blackmailing them today and, with that, pose a threat to national security.

There has been talk in the past that Tuđman created 200 wealthy families that would rule Croatia. Many citizens today are dissatisfied with conversion and privatisation. How do you think the process of transition from the planned economy and state ownership to the free market, private property and capitalism should have looked like?

The cause and solution of privatisation is at the source! The whole product and failed social experiment, called the SFRY, came to a total collapse during the eighties. At that time, only two countries had a higher hyperinflation, namely Brazil and Zimbabwe. Privatisation did not begin in 1990. Red executives knew best the value of state-owned companies in the open market. Those who led the SFRY to bankruptcy continued the practice after 1990. Croatia today suffers the consequences of this plunder that has been carried out since 1945 through the abomination known as confiscation and nationalisation. Today, only 5% of land registers are properly registered, and the cadastre is the same one as the one from the Austro-Hungarian times. Despite possible war damages from the nineties, Croatia, in accordance with the international succession treaty, is paying almost 33% of the debt of former Yugoslavia, which amounted to about 20 billion US Dollars before the breakup of the state. It is important to note that Serbia, led by Slobodan Milosevic, in May 1990 usurped $ 5 billion that belonged to all republics. Milosevic also exchanged another $ 5 billion of Russia’s and Iraq’s debt for gas and oil. The SFRY tragedy lies in the fact that all the money that has been received from German compensation, loans from the West, and emigrants’ money were frittered away through corruption, robbery and catastrophic management. The solutions for this problem are retroactive laws, investigations of asset sources and mobile courts that will enforce the law on the ground. In some countries, hands are cut of for theft. In Croatia, every second parliamentary deputy would raise an arm stump when it was time to vote because the hands would no longer there. If naked thieves were pasted with tar and feathers and paraded from Ban Jelacic Square to the Upper Town, through a crowd of people armed with canes and spoiled vegetables, there would be much less Sanaders and Vidosevics. In Croatia, the question of what happened to the property that belonged to SKH (League of Communists of Croatia), SKOJ (League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia), Unions, SUBNOR (League of United Fighters of The People’s Liberation War) and other socialist organisations was never put when national ownership was transferred into state ownership.

Who rules today over Croatia?

Former SKH (League of Communists of Croatia) and CKJ (Central Committee of Yugoslavia) personnel and their descendants, who have entered into an alliance with careerists, rectal climbers, cultural Marxists and covert neoliberals reign over Croatia. This Trojan horse, under the guise of multiculturalism, humanism and cosmopolitanism advocates mass emigration, disrupts European identity, and carries out the brainwashing with political correctness as its excuse. Croatia is specific in that up to 30% of the population is programmed from childhood to hate the Croatian state pathologically because they started in Yugoslavia. In the former communist countries, Bolshevik Satanism was imposed externally, while in Croatia unfortunately the same domestic product sprung from within. Those cadres have replaced one doctrine for the other. They have traversed the path from Marx to the backside (gender ideology).

In your speeches in the Parliament, you often mention the Croatian emigration. Croatian emigrants have played an important role in the independence of Croatia. On the other hand, we know that a large number of our people left the former state due to political persecution. Why has no significant return to democratic Croatia been recorded?

A systematic sabotage program has been implemented against the Croatian diaspora! The remains of socialist bureaucracy, inefficient public administration and ubiquitous corruption are just symptoms of deliberate and organised sabotage that prevents the return of Croatian emigration. The old Yugo-structures fear the knowledge, money power, and above all, the patriotism that Croatians living outside of Croatia possess. While other countries like Israel have integrated their diaspora into its legal and economic order Croats outside the homeland must fly for hours to even vote when elections are on. Without the contribution of the Croatian diaspora, the outcome of the Homeland War would have been questionable. Croatian emigration not only armed Croatian forces (HV & HVO) but gave six Croatian generals plus a host of other soldiers. Today, a minimum of 16.5 billion kunas per year comes to Croatia via bank accounts. But, surely, just as much comes through direct visits to Croatia, which cash flow is not recorded through the European Central Bank or Croatian National Bank. A new citizenship law is being drafted, which should go to the parliamentary procedure by October 2019. I know it’s late but better late than never.

Why are there no significant investments into the Croatian economy by Croatian emigrants?

Every investment seeks economic and political stability, but above all legal safety. Legal and military doctrines cannot be mixed. We cannot expect people from the former system to change their mindset and the way of doing business when that’s mostly based on thievery. Let’s remember one of the mantras of the failed self-managing anarchy: “If we can not do otherwise we will be honest” or “Bribe into car boot long live Tito.” This was not bad either: “We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us”. Every investor who has made his capital in a real economy somewhere in the world, in the first steps of establishing his company in Croatia, will notice that Croatia is far from Real economy.

Do you have a plan that would encourage the migrants to return and invest?

Yes, coup d’etat to save people – a little joke, our biggest problems are internal, not external! First, we must create an efficient system and professionalise staff in public administration. For that, nationally conscious people are needed, not lizards that change colours as needed and whose mental set has remained on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Another precondition is the reform of the legal system and speedy implementation of the law. That’s where there is a big problem because majority of staff in Croatian institutions come from the former system. If you’re inclined to respecting the legislation you must first respect the legislator. It’s difficult to have respect for a judge who sentenced someone to two years in prison just because that someone told jokes about a locksmith’s assistant (Tito) or about Milka Planinc.

Croatia is an EU member. Are you satisfied with the status of Croatia in the EU and what is your view of the future of the EU?

The Ministry of Regional Development and European Funds has announced that since the entry into the EU in 2013, Croatia is about HRK 14.5 billion in the plus, and we have already mentioned that more than double of that sum arrives from the Croatian Emigration direction. As you know, every foreign investor expects more than he invested after the investment, and the Croatian emigration invests money without such expectations and thus de facto contributes to the Croatian budget. It is precisely in this statistic that a total failure of Croatian economic policy is seen. It is also obvious that Croatia is actively implementing Brussels legislative regulations and ignores resolutions, such as Resolution 1481, which advocates decommunisation (lustration). After all, the EU is primarily a financial union that is now in the middle of a trade war between China and the United States. The next global financial crisis can shake the foundation of the EU more than the current BREXIT. With the exit of Great Britain from EU, Germany takes on the highest proportion of costs for incoming migrants, let us not forget that the German economy is based on car industry – what if the car industry known to us today undergoes restructuring and change? And we see that the German government itself is undermining its largest industrial branch so that by force and with the help of neoliberal structures and parties (Greens, Social Democratic Party SPD, Christian Democratic Union CDU, Friday for Future, mainstream media and the like) it attempts the impossible – overnight swap internal combustion car engines with battery run cars. Due to BREXIT, some countries will also lose a large part of incentives for agriculture, including Romania and Bulgaria. Most of the burden will be borne by Germany. How long can Germany resist this pressure from uncontrolled imports of unregistered migrants on the one hand and the economic burden through the EU on the other? Only Turkey receives 3.5 billion euros a year for the management of refugees, whom it uses as a lever to enforce diplomatic pressure upon the EU. The EU can survive as a financial union but if it interferes with the internal politics of a member state or attempts to impose its ideology and worldview – it will not survive as a loose federation of unequal states. I ask you what are the universal values that Brussels imposes upon us in the form of gender ideology, false multiculturalism and cultural Marxism? You can answer this question, yourself.

The Andrej Plenkovic government is advocating for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, ie Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). How do you look upon this plan for further expansion?

We are far from EU enlargement! When it comes to Serbia, we must first resolve border issues, war compensation and above all the return of our missing. True catharsis also requires the protection of the Croatian minority in Vojvodina and Serbia. Today, we pay tens of thousands of pensions to those who had occupied Croatia and committed aggression against the Croatian people. Has anyone asked what is the pension of an average Croat in Subotica? How many Croats are there in the Belgrade Assembly? It is necessary to seek reciprocity (equalisation) when it comes to minority rights. Croatia must be fully engaged to protect the constitutional rights of the Croatian people in BiH. I have repeatedly said that without the four HVO (Croatian Defence Council) operational zones there would be neither Federation of BIH nor Croatian state within the present borders, as we know them today. Croatia is today in a plus 100m euros when it comes to trading of goods between Croats of Herceg Bosna and the Croatian homeland – as the song by Mark Perkovic Thompson says “One soul, and two of us”. All is said in that sentence.

The Croatian people in BiH are constituent, but we see Bosniaks electing political representatives of the Croatian people. How to solve this problem?

After all that our brothers in BiH went through, it is shameful that they are still victims of political engineering supported by the international community. (Zeljko)Komsic is a personification of political perversion. He was and remains mentally – a Yugoslav. A mere amendment to the electoral law will not ensure the survival of Croats in BiH. A layered plan and program that involves lobbying on a geostrategic level, the development of macroeconomic policies and the stimulation of Croatian cultural institutions is needed. All of the above is hampered by political instability, corruption and lack of functional institutions at all levels. We cannot predict what will happen in the near future, but it is important that Croats do not sell their land and resolve property-legal relations. Over the next 10 years, water and fertile land will become the most important strategic resource. We need to understand that BiH is on the windy side of geopolitical interests that often diverge from the Croatian ones. To solve the problem of BiH, Solomon’s wisdom and unlimited financial resources are needed.

Do you think that Croatia should have stronger ties to the Visegrad group?

From the cultural perspective our place is in Central Europe with Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia etc. and even Italy is trying to join the Visegrad group and even if it is geographically far away from Central Europa, our place is definitely not on the Balkan gorges with the Cincaric tribes where renaissance lights never broke through. We have another trump card in this group; in comparison to other countries in the Visegrad group our geostrategic position is more favourable when it comes to energy and trade policy. We have to use it as a sovereign state. I would also emphasise that the peoples of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland share common values about the family, God, sovereignty and opposition to immigration, and that they can interpret Europe from a “common dictionary”. There is a great potential for cooperation between the Visegrad Group countries, particularly in the traffic sector. Visegrad group countries represent a market that brings together 64 million people. They represent a great potential for the Croatian economy. Croatia’s geopolitical position, as a link between South East Europe and the Adriatic, makes Croatia attractive to these countries and I stress out that even three European corridors pass through Croatia. The total trade of Croatia and the Visegrad group countries last year amounted to 3.6 billion euros or 12 percent of Croatia’s total foreign trade. Croatia exported to Visegrad group countries – Hungary, Slovakia, Czech and Poland, 917 million euros worth of goods and services and imported 2.7 billion euros worth of goods from these countries. From 1993 to the end of 2015, investors from these countries invested EUR 2.7 billion in Croatia, which is 9 percent of total foreign direct investment in Croatia, while at the same time Croatia invested EUR 204 million in those countries. As a significant link to the V4 group, tourism was highlighted, pointing out that 17% of the total number of tourists visiting Croatia came from Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Croatia as the most recent member of the EU can learn much from the states of the Visegrad Group on the use of money from EU funds and that, apart from large infrastructure projects, there is a great interest of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs for cooperation. We must not ignore all the above, but we must strengthen cooperation at all levels.

Do you think our tourism this year will be more successful than last year’s?

We do not have a crystal ball to predict the future, but all the indications point to the fact that the competitive countries have been doing much more in the field of marketing, promotion and different deals than Croatia. The tourist season this year will not be as successful as in a couple of previous seasons. In fact, the past season has already shown a decline when Turkey initiated its state intervention measures for tourism by subsidising whole arrangements by up to 50%, which caused the prices to fall. Given that this information was fairly accessible, the Minister for tourism and his associates must have known it and should have responded adequately to it. This year the situation is even worse since Turkey, panicking for inflation, has decided upon an ambitious move to subsidise flights to Antalya, which will affect a range of tourists visiting their most famous seaside resort. Croatians in the diaspora (mostly in Germany) watch television spots from Turkey, Greece, Spain and other tourist communities on all television, cinema and video platforms in the break between movie blockbusters, starting with New Year’s Eve. Why? These countries analysed the German market and found that German tourists with school age children had to decide upon their annual leave days in advance and so they adjusted their marketing campaigns to this target group. Croatia has opted for a shorter promotional period, but even in that narrower manoeuvring space it is in a subordinate position – the ambitious video ‘Croatia Full Of Life’ is broadcast after promotional videos of its direct competition, with less frequency. It is as if someone wants one of the last Croatian economic branches that brings fresh capital into the economic system to be brought to its knees for the long haul? Such an outdated system is threatened with a collapse. Croatia has in such a way lost even the little amount of global competitiveness it had, and the systems fall like card towers – in the end, not even fifty tiers will help our pension system, and every worker will find happiness in some other more stable and less corrupt surroundings. Another important question is how such investments are worthwhile for the Turks? The city of Antalya consists of greenhouses that in over 40% of the city’s surface are used for growing all types of food, thus finding the shortest path to the end consumer – in this case a satisfied guest sunbathing on its beaches. There is no imported garbage from the EU, no customs duty, and the Turkish peasant lives and prospers from his own job – employs his fellow countrymen who are no longer dependent upon the state, and the state in turn invests a huge freed-up budget for the promotion of Turkish tourism. Another reason why, in a wider economic calculation, it pays off for Turkey to subsidise entire arrangements and flights. The German Croat engages in tourism in Croatia and is struggling with the mystery why a large part of the market with 85 million people in Germany rushes to Turkey. He finds the answer in the aforementioned subsidies and now he is interested in where the profitability of Erdogan’s (non) profitable move is. He decides upon the best option to choose – a personally checked out, and a two-week luxury package with the All Inclusive tag for 1800 euros. The route includes – a train from Stuttgart to Düsseldorf, a return flight from Düsseldorf to Turkey, day-long possibility for consumption of local domestic food, beverages including freshly squeezed juices, unlimited alcohol consumption, exclusive daily events in the festival crowd with accompanying content, sports offer (gym, sauna, horseback riding, spinning, Aqua-Gym, aerobics at various locations, archery, yoga, boxing, tennis, beach volleyball, soccer…) etc. and all that in one tourist resort . The luggage was a handheld handbag for hygiene – everything else including a large bag for his return was purchased in Turkey at a cheaper price and superior product quality. In the end he spent an additional 1900 euros. Maybe it looks a lot for Croatian opportunities, but for the German, for the above amount, he got three suits, a leather and season jacket, several pairs of jeans, shorts and t-shirts, underwear, socks, suitcase… Practically the attire for all the seasons. With a “Made In Turkey” label. These are only two reasons why and how Erdogan can give out such subsidies. Long-term thinking, smart state intervention and strategic closure of the economic circle within our own economic system to our “experts” seem like unthinkable science fiction.

How do you look upon the situation when a part of the Croatian youth listens to the so-called Turbofolk?

All our evils came from the east, from Mongolia to the Turbofolk. This noise pollution throws us back to the gorges of the Balkans. Turbofolk is the music of what Trabant Warburg was to the car industry. I personally, and many others, when hearing that nasty screaming, would rather pull on an AK-47. If you want to interrogate prisoners of war, just play a Mile Kitic, and all the secrets of their armed forces will immediately pour out. I do not know why young people in puberty subject themselves to this masochism but the combination of Turbofolk and alcohol leads to a state of active psychosis. You do not need cocaine or ecstasy to become a living legend in your own mind and to your own self. The young drunken fool becomes an old drunken fool.

Can you describe to us your arrival in ‘91 from the diaspora to defend the Croatian Homeland, it will be interesting for everyone and especially young people to hear something privately personal about one of our heroes.

My brother and I were born in Zagreb, our family has been in Zagreb since 1928. My grandfather had finished classical grammar school and was always politically engaged. After WWII all our property was taken away for political reasons. Our grandfather got 10 years in prison in Zenica and after leaving the prison he was given 5 years of civil rights denial, which meant he could not work or build, with him, the whole family was excluded from social life. My father fled in 1954 because the authorities wanted to conscript him into the Yugoslav Army, which was definitely not his army and that was when my twin brother and I were 6 months old. He graduated from the Music Academy in Rome. Grandfather managed to flee in his third attempt in 1958 and after two years in a refugee camp in Italy he arrived in Canada. He brought us over in 1962. I worked with the Court Justice in Canada. After a trip, I and my friend, who was with me in the Canadian Army, joined the Foreign Legion for a bet. Having completed the training and after the return of our unit from the Gulf War in April 1991 the war in Slovenia began. I knew what would happen because the tyrannies do not improve but, unfortunately, are torn down with the force of arms. I came to Croatia in the second month after returning to France and joined the ZNG (Bojna Zrinski) (Croatian National Guard/Zrinski battalion). I was on the Lika battlefield and the southern battlefield until the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia, I spent the rest of my military career in BiH, literally from the first to the last bullet. In our family there was a very pronounced affiliation to Croatian identity and the Croatian people. In Canada, a cross, the verses of the Croatian hymn and the image of a consistent charge by Nikola Zrinski against the enemy conqueror hung on the walls. After our mother’s death, we found her letter addressed to my brother and me in which she emphasised that she was proud of us for continuing in the tradition of our family in defending Croatia’s Homeland and for participating in the centuries-old dream of the Croatian people, which is the creation of the Croatian Homeland. People live in the world of false perception in which porn pessimists prevail in mainstream media; they hold people in political and historical darkness so that we get a distorted picture of the present. Living has never been better or longer in human history, but sadly, man is now reduced to the level of an animal in which everything is evaluated on the basis of materialism. The West has lost the moral compass and today it is in a spiritual and moral crisis. If I have learned anything in life, it is to never give up on life’s struggle no matter how hard that struggle may be. Unfortunately, children suffering from terminal illness have more moral courage and spirituality than most people who go through life complaining about their destiny, like not having the newest intelligent cell phone that intelligently captures and binds them. I would like to leave a message for the young people to keep to their family and to the Homeland if they are in a position to do so, because they will always find strength in them in moments of sadness and suffering.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Komsic affair – restored!

Zeljko Komsic

Balkan history is replete with examples of how disingenuous political tactics used to establish an ethnic hegemony lead to tragedy. Unfortunately, people who refuse to recognize history’s mistakes are prone to repeating them.

By Gordon N. Bardos/ transcoflict 

Some six years ago, the present author did a mathematical analysis of Bosnia’s 2010 electoral results which showed that the ostensible Croat candidate for the Bosnian state presidency, Zeljko Komsic, had in fact received some 70-80 percent of his votes from Bosniac voters. Two months ago, in a replay of the 2006 and 2010 elections, Komsic again won election to the Bosnian presidency by effectively disenfranchising the vast majority of Croat voters, heralding what is likely to be yet another period of political instability in the country.

To anyone familiar with the history and fate of the two Yugoslavia’s in the 20th century, historical precedent suggests that Komsic’s election under these conditions should be of considerable concern. The disingenuous political manipulation involved in Komsic’s election is nothing new—and unfortunately we have considerable evidence of the consequences such tactics have had in the past. As this year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the first Yugoslav state, it is worth reviewing Komsic’s election from the perspective of how previous such attempts have fared.

Probably unavoidably, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929) that emerged in 1918 from the breakup of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires started out as an administrative extension of the independent pre-war Kingdom of Serbia. This pre-war Serbian kingdom had the moral authority of being on the victorious Allied side, and the organizational advantage of having a fully-developed governmental bureaucracy and military force. Unfortunately, what this pre-war Serbian bureaucracy lacked was the political experience needed to understand that governing a diverse, multiethnic and multi-religious population would be significantly different than governing a largely mono-ethnic and mono-religious Serbian national state.

Thus, almost by default, the post-World War I Yugoslav state simply tried to expand and impose Serbia’s pre-war unitary political system upon the whole of the new South Slavic state. Yet the problem with this strategy, as Ivo Banac noted in his study of the first Yugoslavia’s formation, was that

unitarism was plainly opposed to the reality of Serb, Croat, and Slovene national individuality and moreover in contradiction to the empirically observable fact that these peoples were fully formed national entities of long standing…to ignore the fact that the South Slavs were not one nation, one culture, and one loyalty, or to insist that they could acquire these unitary characteristics in due course, only weakened the already fragile state and diminished the prospects for good-neighborliness based on the rejection of all forms of assimilationism and on respect of Yugoslavia’s multinational character, the only policy that could strengthen the Yugoslav polity…Cooperation was not the aim of political leaders, nor could it be as long as the centralist bloc refused to respect a principle of concurrent majority in each national community…A pretense was made that such parties as the Democratic Party were ‘multitribal,’ though in fact the Croat and Slovene Democrats had no stable support in their communities. Yugoslavia was indeed a highly diversified multinational state, but multinationalism could not promote consociationalism while the national ideologies of the principal group encouraged the notion that domination through assimilation was imminent.

Given these ideological blinders, in the first Yugoslavia neither multi-party democracy nor royal dictatorship could develop a framework for a united state which at the same time satisfied the legitimate interests of Yugoslavia’s various ethnic groups to autonomy and self-governance. After some two decades of chronic instability, the outbreak of World War II provided the final nail in the first Yugoslavia’s coffin.

Tragically, during World War II these problems came back to haunt the South Slavs in the form of the fratricidal civil war which afflicted Yugoslavia from 1941-45. Josip Broz Tito’s communist movement emerged victorious from the bloodbath, due in no small part to the fact that it was perhaps alone in formulating a political platform able to attract at least a modicum of support from amongst Yugoslavia’s various peoples.

One of the most important pillars of this platform was the creation of an ethno-federal system, and an implicit acceptance of the political equality of Yugoslavia’s constituent peoples, regardless of size (the implicit acceptance would become more explicit as time went on). For many academic specialists of Tito’s Yugoslavia, this was in fact the key reason for the Partisan movement’s successes; Susan Woodward, for instance, has claimed that “the commitment to recognize the separate existence of Yugoslav nations and their sovereign rights was critical to the communist victory after 1943.”

Nowhere was this more critical than in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH), where the famous 1943 declaration of the Anti-Fascist Resistance Council of BiH (local acronym: ZAVNOBiH) claimed that Bosnia was “neither Serbian nor Croatian nor Muslim…but Serbian and Muslim and Croatian,” thereby explicitly endorsing the concept that all three ethnic groups were equal constituent peoples in BiH.

Yet even though the Yugoslav communists were more astute politically when it came to dealing with Yugoslavia’s national question, they too failed to find a formula to resolve it, just as the Habsburgs and the Royal Yugoslav government had failed before them. By the 1960s, for instance, Dennison Rusinow would claim that

the tendency to subsume all other questions and conflicts to the national one and to interpret and simplify every issue in national terms, reminiscent of old Yugoslavia and of the Habsburg monarchy before it, was again becoming nearly universal.

Indeed, as time went on, the main Marxist theoretician in the Yugoslav communist leadership, Eduard Kardelj, became more and more pessimistic about resolving the problem. By the 1960s Kardelj would claim

We have up until now tried everything possible to maintain Yugoslavia; first it was a unitary state, then it became a federation, and now we are moving towards a confederation. If even that does not succeed, then it only remains for us to admit that the Comintern was right when it claimed that Yugoslavia was an artificial creation and that we—Yugoslav communists—had made a mistake.

With Tito’s death in 1980, the terminal stage of Yugoslavia’s disintegration began. Although the country’s collapse was caused by multiple phenomenon (both domestic and international), one of these most certainly was Slobodan Milošević attempt in the latter half of the decade to impose his own designated leaders in Kosovo, Montenegro and Vojvodina, all in an attempt to build an artificial majority coalition for his chosen vision of a more centralized, unitary Yugoslav future. Predictably, the leaders of Yugoslavia’s other republics/ethnic groups objected. As Slovenian president Milan Kučan argued, “Can the imposition of majority decisionmaking in a multinational community by those who are the most numerous be anything else but the violation of the principle of the equality of nations, the negation of its sovereignty and therefore the right to autonomous decisionmaking…? “ The rest, as they say, is history.

Just as it had in the two Yugoslavia’s, disagreements over the principle of the equality of nations in a multi-ethnic state plagued Bosnia & Herzegovina from its beginnings as well. In 1991-1992 Bosnia’s Serbs justified their rebellion in part on the argument that their equal rights as a constituent nation in BiH were being violated by the outvoting of the Croat-Muslim coalition in Bosnia.

Resolving this issue would plague peace negotiators for the duration of the war; indeed, one of the prerequisites for ending the Bosnian war was for international negotiators to reconcile themselves to the necessity of applying federal and consociational principles to any post-war settlement. As the late Richard Holbrooke once noted,

Bosnia is a federal state. It has to be structured as a federal state. You cannot have a unitary government, because then the country would go back into fighting. And that’s the reason that the Dayton agreement has been probably the most successful peace agreement in the world in the last generation, because it recognized the reality.

Somewhere over the past few years, however, a new concept has crept into Bosnian politics, which Ivan Lovrenovic has described as an “epochal precedent”: a renunciation of the ZAVNOHBiH idea that Bosnia & Herzegovina was “Serbian and Muslim and Croatian, which excluded the idea the criteria of majority and minorities in governing, in claiming to have greater rights,” in favor of the notion that there is now a political majority and political minorities in BiH. Entirely predictably, the unilateral abandonment of the ZAVNOHBiH principles has thrown Bosnian politics into chaos.

Numerous motivations are driving this policy. Islamist elements in the country have for decades wanted an unchallengeable unitarist order in the country. As Alija Izetbegovic demanded some forty years ago

There exists one order, one dynamic, one well-being, one progress which can be built on this land and in this region, but that is not the order, progress and well-being of Europe and America…the Islamic movement can and must move towards taking power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough so that it can not only destroy the existing non-Islamic [order], but build a new Islamic power.

While Bosnia’s secular unitarists have a different metaphysical inspiration, the end result is largely the same. Unfortunately, few international observers have been keen enough to recognize this. Among the rare few has been Sumantra Bose, who once correctly noted that many of “the strongest opponents of diffusion of political authority and sharing of power [manifested in the Dayton Peace Accords] are very often deeply illiberal elements—ethnic majoritarian nationalists . . . who sometimes try to obscure their real agenda, centralization and domination, by invoking the principle of equality of all citizens regardless of ethnicity or nationality.” Bose would also note,

The shrill protests of many (not all) Bosnian and foreign integrationist revisionists against the Dayton settlement are inspired, in fact, not by a value-based commitment to a multi-national, civic, society but by a desire for a less decentralized, more unitary state which will put the disobedient and disloyal Bosnian Serbs (and to a lesser extent, the intransigent BiH Croats) in their place. The underlying motive is to settle accounts from the war, rather than build a forward-looking vision and strategy for the reconstruction of Bosnia & Herzegovina in the overall context of the Yugoslav region.

Somewhat ironically, although the advocates of this policy claim to be civic non-nationalists who reject “constructed” ethnic categories, they either do not understand or do not care about the intellectual contradiction at the heart of their own argument—that dividing ethnic groups into permanent political majorities and minorities does not break down ethnic identities and allegiances, it reifies and reinforces them.

Moreover, given the realities of contemporary Bosnia, what the unitarists are actually trying to impose is not a civic, non-national state and society, but a form of internal colonialism in which one group of people in one part of the country is allowed to establish political domination over other groups of people in other parts of the country.

While Komsic claims he has the understanding of the American ambassador in Sarajevo and the High Representative, most reasonable people agree that in a complex multiethnic country such policies are detrimental. As far back as September 2006, for instance, Haris Silajdzic explained the obvious to Komsic,

I believe that if we live in a system of ethnic representation and if the Bosniacs choose the Bosniac representative, and the Serbs the Serb representative, that it is not just towards the Croats that someone chooses their representative on their behalf. I believe that that is dangerous for BiH…and that will cause citizens of Croat nationality to feel revulsion towards BiH. And that could lead the Croats to ask for a third entity.

Other prominent public figures in Bosnia have voiced similar concerns. Senad Hadzifejzovic once noted that Sarajevo’s imposition of Komsic on the Croats was akin to the HDZ trying to impose the rebel leader Fikret Abdic on the Bosniac electorate, while Muhamed Filipovic has said that if Komsic had any morals he never would have even presented himself as a candidate. Meanwhile, scholars such as Mile Lasić and Sacir Filandra have argued that the unitarist nationalism Komsic represents was as dangerous to Bosnia & Herzegovina as Croat and Serb separatist nationalism.

Even individuals whose political opinions on most things are diametrically opposed have expressed similar views on this issue. On the eve of BiH’s October elections the leader of the Islamic Community of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Husein Kavazovic, explicitly stated that “I do not consider it good that the members of one people choose the representatives of another people,” while Milorad Dodik, for his part, warned that others should not make the same mistake the Serbs made in Yugoslavia. The prominent Sarajevo commentator Nedzad Latic has perhaps been most dire of all, warning that the political games Komsic and his followers are playing were “leading Bosnia to hell.”

To conclude, it is worth going back to the quote by Ivo Banac cited at the beginning of this piece. Banac’s description on the problems facing the first Yugoslavia was written in 1980s to describe what had taken place some six decades earlier. An interesting thought experiment, however, is to take what Banac wrote in the 1980s, and, by changing tenses and a few nouns and adjectives, see how his words apply today, some forty years later. What we get is the following:

…unitarism is plainly opposed to the reality of Bosniac, Croat, and Serb national individuality and moreover in contradiction to the empirically observable fact that these peoples are fully formed national entities of long standing…To act as if this is not the case, to ignore the fact that the peoples of Bosnia & Herzegovina are not one nation, one culture, and one loyalty, or to insist that they can acquire these unitary characteristics in due course, only weakens the already fragile state and diminishes the prospects for good-neighborliness based on the rejection of all forms of assimilationism and on respect of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s multinational character, the only policy that can strengthen the Bosnian polity…Cooperation is not the aim of political leaders, nor can it be as long as the centralist bloc refuses to respect a principle of concurrent majority in each national community. Instead, the centralists seek to impose a patchwork majority, consisting of Bosniac parties and their tactical allies, onto the parties that represent most of the non-Bosniac groups. A pretense is made that such parties as the Democratic Front are “multitribal,” though in fact the Croat and Serb Democrats have no stable support in their communities. Bosnia & Herzegovina is indeed a highly diversified multinational state, but multinationalism cannot promote consociationalism while the national ideology of the principal group encourages the notion that domination through assimilation is imminent.”

As the French might put it, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Balkan history is replete with examples of how disingenuous political tactics used to establish an ethnic hegemony lead to tragedy. Unfortunately, people who refuse to recognize history’s mistakes are prone to repeating them.

(Gordon N. Bardos is president of SEERECON, a political risk and strategic consultancy specializing in Southeastern Europe)

How “miscalculations” may have made a “prostak” out of Mr Holocaust

Efraim Zuroff
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Photo: Yossi Zamut/F;ash 90


By Branko Miletic
(First published in Independent Australia 14 January 2018)

The Weisenthal Centre’s “Mr Holocaust” would seem to be undermining the very Holocaust history he claims to support, writes Branko Miletic.

In Yiddish, the term “prostak” denotes a wilfully ignorant person, while in the various interconnected Slavic languages, the word takes on a wider meaning of being uncouth or rude.

Historically, going back to the Ninth Century, Yiddish as a language was all but annihilated by the unmitigated evil that was the Holocaust.

And for almost as long as there has been the Holocaust, there has been Holocaust denial.

No-one is more aware of this than the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Yiddish-speaking and Jerusalem-based director Efraim Zuroff — a man who has given himself the nickname of “Mr Holocaust”.

Since taking up his post in 1998, “Mr Holocaust” has guided the Wiesenthal Centre into a growing list of controversies, ranging from victim-shaming in the Balkans, to alienating his allies across the world, and now to threatening the very Holocaust history he claims to support.

Denial, it seems, can be a two-way street.

Take, for example, his repeated comments on the July 1995 massacre of 8,372 Bosnians by Serb forces in Srebrenica.

Despite the U.N., EU, U.S. and most governments around the world declaring it an “act of a genocide”, Zuroff claimed it could not have been so “as only men were killed”.

His remarks earned sharp rebukes from many quarters, including from Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

While Menachem Rosensaft, general counsel of the World Jewish Congress, who teaches the law of genocide at Columbia and Cornell universities, called Zuroffs opinion, “wrong from a legal point of view”.

Nor was his the first time Zuroffs’ miscalculations have caused mayhem, however the attempt to downplay the gravity of the Srebrenica massacre also goes to the heart of the issue here.

As Marko Attila Hoare, associate professor of economics, politics, and history at Kingston University, said in 2011 about the denial of the genocide at Srebrenica in July 1995:

It tends to go hand-in-hand with the denial of the genocidal crimes carried out by Serbian Nazi quislings and collaborators during World War II.”

As if to underline that he is an equal-opportunity offender, in 2011, Zuroff’s carelessness led to the acquittal of a suspected Nazi war criminal in Hungary, causing much consternation for both Holocaust survivors and their families.

In the ensuing aftermath, László Karsai, the central European country’s leading Holocaust historian and himself the son of a Holocaust survivor, labelled him an “hysterical, narcissistic Nazi-hunter, working only to earn a good living”. He went on to say the Wiesenthal Centre used publicity in order to “justify its own existence before its sponsors”.

Moving his attention back to the former Yugoslavia, Zuroff’s downplaying of Serbia’s World War Two “Judenfrei” history has assisted for now in keeping this fact out of the media spotlight.

Then there is his silence over the former Yugoslav State erecting statues to Nazi collaborators and the rehabilitation of its own collaborationist history — a process that goes on to this day unabated.

Any attempt to publicly challenge Zuroff over such anomalies to his public pronouncements in relation to World War Two Balkan history elicits instant condemnation from the man himself, his organisation and his fellow travellers in the media — most of whose idea of journalism often more closely resembles bullying rather than objective reporting.

Even when simple arithmetics highlights the unexplained holes in the “accepted” conclusions, those that have dared to cross this apparent verboten Rubicon find themselves in the crosshairs of a well-oiled and, apparently, well-funded media campaign of character assassination.

In 1996, American historian Dr Philip Cohen discovered this the hard way after publishing his book: Serbia’s Secret War, which used Yugoslav, U.S., British, German and Russian archives to disprove many of Yugoslavia’s inflated World War Two death tolls.

Cohen’s work demolished the “victimology” that for decades has characterised just about everything that has been written about Yugoslavia’s role in World War Two.

Despite being lauded by former British PM Margaret Thatcher for his extensive research and despite being Jewish himself, Cohen discovered what happens when you challenge the status quo, courtesy of a tsunami of vilification, threats of physical violence — even being labelled a “Nazi sympathiser” by both the global Left and the Wiesenthal Centre.

But in many ways, Philip Cohen was a trailblazer, as one of the first historians to actually use simple, primary school arithmetic on decades-old publicly available data to pry open the floodgates of truth in relation to parts of Balkan World War Two history.

For example, between 1931 and 1948, according to Dr. Cohen (and the Holocaust Encyclopaedia), Europe’s Jewish population fell from 9.5 million in 1931 to 3.5 million in 1948 — meaning a net loss of some 6 million people, mostly courtesy of the Nazi death camps.

Over the exact same period of time, according to Belgrade’s official and publicly available population statistics, the number of people in Yugoslavia increased by over 1.3 million people, with 700,000 of those newly born citizens being Serbs, according to the same figures.

Delving further into the statistics, as Cohen and others found, the population of Yugoslavia, according to its published last census just prior to the outbreak of War in 1939, was almost 15.4 million.

In 1948, in the country’s first post-World War Two census, which was published by its new Communist government and then republished by the United Nations, showed a population of over 15.8 million — a growth of some 400,000 people. This made Yugoslavia the only European country actively militarily involved in World War Two to have its population increase during the period of the war.

Although these figures have been publicly available for at least 70 years, Zuroff and other commentators have consistently claimed that the decrease of 6 million people during the Holocaust is somehow comparable to the increase of Yugoslavia’s wartime population by some 400,000 people.

This odd analogy has been repeated by historians far and wide – including prominent Australian ones, such as self-styled “Nazi-hunter” Mark Aarons – as somehow being equal in “monstrosity”.

While Yugoslavia’s role in World War Two is a typical Balkan mix of myth, propaganda and bravado, the fact that such obvious errors, most of which contravene even the basic rules of addition and subtraction, can enter the annals of standard and accepted history, and go unchallenged for decades simply beggars belief.

One excuse for this mathematical incongruity is the consistent failure to check simple raw data, such as publicly-available population figures, while at the same time blindly republishing and rehashing numbers that were little more than Communist propaganda.

The other reason is a fear of public abuse from those that wish to keep their “crimes of miscalculation” covered up.

Were they to become common knowledge, they could potentially provide a massive shot in the arm to those that crave for even a whiff of “scientific credibility” to disprove the Holocaust and who wish to wipe the history of this awful event from the collective memory of mankind.

Perhaps the Yiddish term prostak is applicable to a few more people, including all those so-called “historians”, for whom the use of a calculator stretches their already seemingly limited skill set.



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