Open Letter To Pope Francis On Canonisation Of Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije Stepinac

25 September 2020

Dear Pope Francis, Servant of the Servants of God,

It is with a heavy heart that I must write to Your Holiness that your ongoing pursuit of dialogue regarding the canonisation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac with the Serbian Orthodox Church and former communists of former Yugoslavia is causing moral chaos within the Croatian congregation of the Roman Catholic Church and wider.

From Australia, I learn from various media sources across the world that you have placed the canonisation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac on hold because, according to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Holy See State Secretary, your trusted and close associate who visited Croatia last week,  you claim that “the canonisation of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac must be a moment of togetherness for the entire Church, and not a reason for conflict or opposition…”. Furthermore, Cardinal Parolin said that in the matter of Stepinac canonisation you have chosen a methodology of trying to get closer to the Serbian Orthodox Church’s point of view on the matter, that dialogue with that Church is crucial for Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac to be canonised.  

The fact remains that you have completed one phase of that dialogue and did not achieve any particular result because the views did not converge between the Catholic and the Serbian Orthodox churches. This, of course is not surprising when it comes to the views of Serbian Orthodox Church, which I believe will never ever back down from its persistent lies and historical fabrications against WWII Croatia and Blessed Alojzije Stepinac. It is without any doubt in my mind that the Serbian Orthodox Church had armed itself with input of people like Predrag Ilic, who wrote the book of historical discussions (Stepinac and the Holocaust in NDH/WWII Croatia), a book of utter historical tripe and cosmetically filtered or adjusted interpretations of historic documentation. I also have no doubt that, should misfortune continue and a second round of talks with the Orthodox Church is held on Stepinac, the Serbian Church will arm itself with the likes of Gideon Greif, a historian evidently on Serbia’s payroll who also wrote books on WWII Croatia (e.g. Jasenovac – Auschwitz of the Balkans) filled with twisting the history against Croats by overwhelmingly avoiding pursuit of facts as they actually were and obviously giving a credence to politically fabricated numbers of victims since WWII.

I would like to think that among other factual historical evidence on Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, you have made yourself aware of the independent research of WWII Croatia conducted by Esther Gitman and her books that have been published in the past two decades (e.g. “When Courage Prevailed – the Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941 – 1945” or “Alojzije Stepinac – Pillar of Human Rights”). Esther Gitman’s findings on Cardinal Stepinac require no historical discussions, they require no interpretations because they are represented as facts found; as the truth. Esther Gitman’s factual discoveries about Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac’s work during WWII are indeed an ample demonstration of the Servant of God that he was. Same may be said for Robin Harris’s book “Stepinac – His Life and Times”. Our Catholic Church needs nothing more and nothing else to take a look at the Servant of God that Stepinac was, although there are ample other books and research papers that corroborate Stepinac’s existence, sacrifice and courage of a true Servant of God that our Catholic Church has for centuries listed among its saints.

I strongly believe that I am not the only person in the world, far from it, who considers that your pursuit of dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church regarding the canonisation is fundamentally wrong on many fronts as far as the Roman Catholic congregation is concerned and as far as justice is concerned, including:

Firstly, it is wrong to place Pope John Paul II beatification in 1998 of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac on such degraded ground. Pope John Paul II, now Saint John Paul II, did not need to justify to any other than the Catholic Church his and Roman Catholic Church’s convictions at the time as to deserved merits for Cardinal Stepinac within his and our Church and faith! The “history”  Your Holiness pointed out existed at times of John Paul II only he was not as wealthy in the knowledge of facts as you are today; Pope John Paul II did not have the benefit of facts discovered about Blessed Alojzije Stepinac only after the communist Yugoslavia ceased to be and historical archives opened up and still knew the fact that Stepinac was truly a Servant of God.

Secondly, it is utterly wrong and cruel towards the Croatian people who fought for freedom and independence from the scourge of and aggression by Greater Serbia politics, always deeply rooted within the Serbian Orthdox Church, to decide upon the Sainthood of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac under a condition that Serbs might agree with that decision. No, Your Holiness, Croatians did not exchange moral or cultural values with the Serbian Orthodox Church – ever. Whenever Serbs invaded or attacked Croatia (whether by military or politically diplomatic manoeuvres) they destroyed parts of our culture, shook our faith in God, falsified our history, stole our lands…and the Serbian Orthodox Church stood right behind them, encouraging their aggression. It is far from even an inkling of possibility that a dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church will result in any consensus on matters where a member of the Croatian people, such as Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, will result in pointing a shining light upon Croats and to the benefit of Croatian people.

Thirdly, in May of 2019 Your Holiness stated that “the canonisation of Stepinac is a historic case. He is a virtuous man for this Church, which has proclaimed him Blessed. But at a certain moment of the canonisation process there are unclear points, historic points, and I should sign the canonisation, it is my responsibility, I prayed, I reflected, I asked advice, and I saw that I should ask Irinej, a great patriarch (of Serbian Orthodox Church), for help…” and I would like to remind you, if you already are not aware that this “great” patriarch, like all of his predecessors in living memory, is a politician as much as he is a priest, most likely a politician more than a priest. Known for his nationalist statements justifying Serbian imperialism—a transgenerational project which underlies every 20th-century war on the territory of former Yugoslavia – Irinej’s wicked observations about Stepinac, that he “did not want to hear the children’s cry” in concentration camps, are a first-class manipulation and evil fabrication directed at the Croatian Roman Catholic congregation.

Fourthly, it may be a prudent pursuit by Your Holiness to pursue dialogue with non-Catholic Christian communities, to pursue and invigorate relations with the Russian Orthodox Church via the Serbian Orthodox Church as a link, but it is far from acceptable to judge the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, as a prerequisite for canonisation, with the information supplied by the Serbian Orthodox Church headed by Irinej, or any other Greater Serbia bandit.  

Fifthly, regarding any talks held with those that since year 2000 may have held or currently hold government power in Croatia or Serbia regarding the canonisation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, please know this: you have more likely than not spoken with former communist party of Yugoslavia members (or their children) who persecuted Croatian practicing Catholics during the life of Former Yugoslavia either by degrading their value to society or taking away their human right to religion, they mass murdered Croatian Catholic priests during and after WWII as well as hundreds of thousands of innocent freedom loving civilians and disarmed soldiers … In short, know this please Your Holiness: these former communists or their offspring, brought up in the communist mindset, are of no value whatsoever when it comes to presenting the truth of Stepinac’s life and deeds, especially those of extraordinary courage and sacrifice in saving thousands of persecuted people of different races and ethnicity during WWII.

Sixthly, if it is true that you are seeking a moment of “togetherness” within the Catholic Church regarding the canonisation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac and in that togetherness you count on those who have started attending Holy Mass after Croatia was victorious in its secession from Communist Yugoslavia, for personal gain in political careers, please abandon that trail to Stepinac’s Sainthood. These men and women will abandon the Church at a drop of a hat should political winds in their country so dictate, just like they did during the life of Former Yugoslavia, just like their fathers and mothers had as followers of the Communist Party. Your Holiness, these people or their parents persecuted Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in 1946 with trumped up charges, not alleging but stamping him falsely as a Nazi collaborator, when the truth was that at the threat to his own life he saved thousands. Do you truly believe that these people will now confess this horrid sin of theirs?

And so, it is with a Christian fortitude and knowledge of forces, particularly those belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church congregation, which have purposefully pursued the destruction of Blessed Stepinac’s good reputation that I write this Open Letter to Your Holiness today, 25th September, on St. Sergius of Radonezh’s Feast Day, the Patron Saint of Russia who worked not only to spread monasticism and the sanctity of monastic life, but also to become a messenger of Christian values in a country then threatened by various internal divisions and external tensions.

God’s commandments are a most welcome help for conscience to get to know the truth and hence to judge verily. God’s commandments are the expression of the truth about our good, about our very being, disclosing something crucial about how to live life well and to bear false witness against our neighbour is a grave sin committed against Blessed Alojzije Stepinac by the Serbian Orthodox Church including Patriarch Irinej.

Your Holiness, Blessed Alojzije Stepinac deserves to bask in the glory of the truth and his name to not endure false witness for a moment longer.

Please announce his canonisation!

So please, Your Holiness, find the courage to stop this impasse in faith and this moral chaos your pursuit of dialogue on the canonisation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac is causing. As the supreme authority of the Catholic Church, it would be one of most important, courageous and Christian act of your entire mandate because it would represent standing firmly on truth and rejecting historical fabrications and falsehoods that have been devastatingly promoted for decades. While we all are desirous of and pray for peace and unity, the Croatian and multitudes of other Roman Catholics will thank you and so would the great soul of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac who perished from torture and false witness against him, saying: “When they take everything from you, you will be left with two hands; put them together in prayer and then you will be the strongest.”

Ina Vukic, Prof. Psych. (ZGB); B.A., M.A.Ps, (SYD)

Open letter to Pope Francis in the Croatian language/Please click the picture below.

Otvoreno pismo papi Franji na hrvatskom jeziku/ Molim pritisnite na sliku dolje.

The Vomit Principle in Serbia’s Political Spin

 

The “Vomit Principle” in modern marketing trends hasn’t eluded Serbia’s politicians. The vomit principle is a political tactic that wilfully disgusts people in order to grab their attention. When it comes to Serbia’s denial of its horrendous crimes in its pursuits of a Greater Serbia, stretching into Croatian territory and the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990’s, then it has almost perfected the “art” of the “Vomit Principle”.  Serbia’s politicians, whether in Serbia (for example Aleksandar Vucic, Ana Brnabic, Ivica Dacic) or in Croatia (for example Milorad Pupovac, Boris Milosevic) or in Bosnia and Herzegovina (for example Milorad Dodik) are sticking to their marketing message, sprouting their their passively-aggressive slogans and genocide denials ad nauseam. You’d think they’d get sick of saying the same thing at every turn. And if by any chance, you are asking why I’m putting Serbs from Serbia, Serbs from Croatia and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same cauldron here it’s because both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had ethnic Serbs living there who emerged as rebel Serbs (rebelling against the states’ secession from communist Yugoslavia), mounted terror against non-Serbs in those two countries, and were joined in that fight by Serbia with its deadly viciousness. If Croatia’s minority government had the courage and prudence to side with the Croatian Serbs that fought with Croatians against Serb aggression (and there was a significant number of them) we would surely now be looking at a different political scenario, perhaps even at a good progress in reconciliation. But it didn’t and it doesn’t! It sides with Croatian rebel Serb camp that promotes Serbia’s politics in Croatia.

No matter how many times they repeat their spin based on fabrications, there will always be someone who has missed it.  So, repetition is essential to the point of making people feel sick. This is the “Vomit Principle” and it shows particularly at that time when you realise that the spin, the message, the slogan, has been said so many times that you feel that if you hear it or say it once more you are just going to throw up and that is the point at which people hear it. In other words, all marketing that achieves intended results relies on a message which resonates, repeated often enough until it penetrates the minds of your intended audience and gets them to take whatever action you want.

And Serbia wants the world to forget that its aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ever occurred! That the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, the mass rapes, the torture, the sheer wanton destruction it committed during 1990’s did not occur and if it did occur then it was justified to pursue such course of action because Serbs say in deceit that Croatia, for example, engaged in genocide during World War II. I will not go deeply here into the fact that WWII history regarding Croatia when it comes to, say, Jasenovac camp and the numbers of people who perished there, was largely fraudulently written by Serbs and other communists and, judging by relatively recent research into WWII, it does not represent the true picture, or actual facts. I will not go deeply here into the fact that, for example, Serbia (its leaders of the 1990’s aggression) were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague of genocide in Croatia, and Croatia was not.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic took part in a commemoration ceremony Tuesday, 4 August 2020 in Sremska Raca near the borders with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ceremony marked the day when, in 1995, the Croatian military’s Operation Storm, which marked the end of the war for Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia and was organised by official Serbia in remembrance of the Serbian victims and refugees.

We will not celebrate the tragedy of the Serbian people, the killing of Serb civilians, the killing of the Serb children. We will not be humiliated,” Vucic said at the commemoration in Sremska Raca. “Reconciliation, yes. Humiliation — no,” said Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic!

Knowing the fact that there are no known civilian victims during Croatia’s Operation Storm on 4th and 5th August 1995 and that the exodus of some 200,000 of Serbs from Croatia at the time was actually an ordered evacuation that was directed by Serbia itself puts a bitter taste and outrage to these words uttered by Vucic, yet another of many times!

Then, at around the same time, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, regurgitated Vucic’s vomit against Croatia.  “We want reconciliation, peace, we do not ask you to apologise, admit the genocide in Jasenovac, but we want you to let us mourn that day or those days. We want reconciliation, but not humiliation, which we will not agree to.”

Serbia continues pressuring Croatia to admit to genocide it did not perpetrate in WWII against Serbs in order to continue denying the genocide it, itself, perpetrated in 1990’s in both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina! The gut-wrenching thing in all this is that pro-communist Yugoslavia political/government leadership of Croatia does nothing to alert the world not to succumb to the nausea infecting the world from Serbia. Even, if that leadership or government of Croatia is in coalition with the Serb activists in Croatia in order to sustain its minority government, it has no right to keep silent in the face of continued barrage of lies and denials of the 1990’s murderous aggression coming from Serbia!

Whether Serbia’s usage of the “Vomit Principle” strategy in its politics to wash away its 1990’s mortal sins against the Croatian people, as if they were never willfully committed, will force Croatian current leadership to further compromise the absolute need of Croatia to defend itself from the murderous Serb aggression is yet to be seen. According to some media sources Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Barnabic has even during the past week “told” Croatia to stop using the term “Serbo-Chetnik aggression” when it comes to Croatia’s Homeland War! Will Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” force a reconciliation founded on the cruel equalisation of the victim with the aggressor? It’s certainly heading that way it seems and it spells no blissful future that depends on truth; it spells a long painful future of unrest among the Croatian people, for certain.

Let’s take a look at what is evidently standing behind Serbia’s leadership’s words – behind what Vucic and Brnabic are saying. In terms of psychology Vucic’s and Brnabic’s, indeed of all Serbia’s leading politicians of decades past, telling lies and pointing fingers at others especially for unrelated acts (for example WWII) has evidently become a way not to admit that which makes them feel ashamed and they do not want to be judged for crimes Serbia has perpetrated. Serbia should be ashamed of its aggression against Croatian people who wanted out of communist Yugoslavia, which, by the way, Serbs controlled to a large extent. Then, of course, the relatively recent trends in historical research into facts of WWII Croatia have revealed several crucial facts regarding WWII Jasenovac and regarding Blessed Alojzije Stepinac that cause anxiety and panic among Serbs who had participated in writing the history of WWII Croatia, based on lies and cruel fabrications. There is the extensive research by American dr Esther Gitman on the rescue and survival of Jews in WWII Croatia which point to the fact that there were Croats, including Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, who made it their task to rescue Jews and others, but still, after WWII Serbs led the persecution against Blessed Alojzije Stepinac with trumped-up charges of Nazi collaboration. Then, British dr Robin Harris published also a biography of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, based on similar facts. But, wouldn’t you know it (!), Serbia has recently placed Israeli historian Gideon Greif on its payroll and Serbia’s lies get new reinforcement.

Historical archives being open after Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia in the 1990’s has enabled historians to delve into researching the history of Jasenovac camp. The results that are emerging from this research give a significantly different picture of WWII Jasenovac. This picture based on discovered documentation is definitely set to throw the false picture Serbs and their allies painted into garbage; onto the heap of human misery and deceit. Serbs and their allies have already maliciously dubbed this research as “Holocaust denial” and “Historical Revisionism”! Some notable researchers into WWII Jasenovac camp have been Blanka M. Matkovic, Igor Vukic, Vladimir Horvat and Stipo Pilic, to name just a few. They all point one to the fact that the myth about WWII Jasenovac camp was a cruel myth devised to prop-up the oppressive communist Yugoslavia regime and the Serb determination to cover up their own terrible participation in the WWII extermination of Jews and their hatred for any kind of independent Croatia.

And so, it has surfaced relatively recently that the myth of Croatian genocide against Serbs in WWII is based on lies and fabrication – and this feeds Serbia’s “Vomit Principle” with ammunition made up of lies. Associated with this principle are Croatian Serbs’, who were directly or sideways associated with the rebel Serb faction in 1990’s Croatia (Such as Milorad Pupovac and Boris Milosevic), constant attempts to characterise the “For Homeland Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) Croatian salute, used for centuries as a mark of patriotic love, as a salute that promotes a genocidal character of Croatian fight for independence! Serb aggression and the need for Croats to preserve their lives amidst the brutal aggression means nothing in their warped minds. They lived in Croatia as the 19990’s war of aggression arose, they live in Croatia today and yet they are activists for Serbia’s anti-Croatian politics!  And with this, they all call for a future that is threaded together by peace and reconciliation between Croatia and Serbia!

Surely, Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” cannot possibly succeed in achieving reconciliation because that would mean that Croatia has finally cowered to the pressure of liars and aggressors and that, in no small ways, spells out yet another myth Serbia has managed to forge and place on the world’s stage! To the detriment of humanity and truth! Ina Vukic

 

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

 

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