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

 

Unearthing Hidden Truth About Croatian Jasenovac Camp – An Interview with Igor Vukic

Igor Vukic
Photo: Screenshot

The month of April and early May are always very difficult and painful times for people who pursue the truth. Lies about the WWII Jasenovac Camp in Croatia has been the staple food of Yugoslav communists, headed by Serbs in whose interests it was to bury the truth of Serbia as one of the first “Jew Free” countries in WWII Europe. They buried that truth by ganging-up with various unsavoury characters, dubious and conniving historians and politicians with view to throwing all the blame and more for the Holocaust crimes in the region of Yugoslavia upon Croats and Croatia! They made up ludicrous numbers of victims and regardless of the fact their lies had been exposed they continue on their course and continue labelling anyone trying to research and bring up the real history, things that actually occurred as opposed to things fabricated by Serbs and communists and their friends – revisionists!

So, I was glad to have come up with a new interview with Igor Vukic. Igor Vukic is a Croatian historian, journalist, political scientist, publicist and researcher who has made it a particular mission of him to research archives and truth about the notorious Jasenovac Camp. It is notorious because of the lies and made-up numbers of victims that did not exists, hence truly insulting all victims who perished there. Igor Vukic is the president of the Jasenovac Triple Camp Research Society in Croatia. He also published several books, such as “Jasenovac Labor Camp” and “Jasenovac Day by Day,” which somehow destroyed the dark myth of Jasenovac. Otherwise, he says for his books that they are for those who are not afraid (of the truth);  because obviously everyone in Croatia still cannot speak publicly about their scientific research findings without being sanctioned in some way.

This interview with Igor Vukic  by Mladen Pavkovic

Translated with permission into English by Ina Vukic

First published on Brantieljski Portal (War Veteran’s Portal) 

 

Why is the Ustasha Jasenovac Camp still a “myth”, a taboo topic, why does all research into it encounter problems, even disapproval?

The Jasenovac Camp is a sensitive topic because in socialist Yugoslavia it served as an ideological bat for anyone who wanted to explore and realistically depict the events of World War II. A different Jasenovac history will strongly influence the evaluation of the history of the whole war and of post war period. Tito’s regime knew this well, so anyone who dared to touch the taboo was a hit target: Bruno Busic was killed, Dr. Franjo Tudjman imprisoned, Belgrade journalist Vladimir Markovic was sent to a mental hospital in 1979 when he agreed with part of Tudjman’s claims text  about Jasenovac … There was a vigilant and careful observation over what was written about Jasenovac in textbooks, encyclopaedias and doctoral dissertations. Unfortunately, this ideological monitoring has survived to this day in some form.

Serbs continue to tell their stories, especially about the 700 or more thousand killed in that camp, but they do not substantiate this claim with facts or documents…

The documents themselves say something else, but this does not interest those who talk about hundreds of thousands of victims. Thus, in Serbia and the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina run by Milorad Dodik, they are merely repeating the story weaved by old Yugo-communist and Greater Serbian story. Even though there are people out there who are clear about how nebulous the numbers are, and how impossible it is for so many people to get there at all, let alone be killed. But politicians often become ill with this syndrome of separation from reality. It seems to be the case here, too, when it comes to Jasenovac. For anyone with little interest in this subject of my research shows that it is impossible for Jasenovac to have 83,000 victims, which is the official number claimed in Croatia. This is also shown by the work of researchers such as Roman Leljak, Dr. Nikola Banic and Dr. Mladen Koic, and others. But our people here, too, tell the same old story, in a somewhat autistic manner. They do not really want to face the past, though they often repeat that phrase. Too complicated for them to incorporate into their policymaking.

You are the author of a very noticed book about this camp, and you publish your research results relatively often. Well, you seem to be increasingly challenged, even with those challenges that bear no connection to the “brain”?

There will always be disputes. No one serious can say that he handled something perfectly and that it did not reveal a certain mistake in his historical work. But that is why there is dialogue, discussion of results, re-examination of sources, archives, published material and memoirs. I am always ready for this and have sent numerous messages, for example to Hrvoje Klasic, but he simply does not have the strength to sit down and face my arguments. A similar fear of confronting arguments can be felt with other historians on the political spectrum. But when they are alone, they are very brave with gossiping and writing against us.

Why does the Croatian state not care to finally close the pages of this book?

Although I try hard, I cannot understand it. Almost every day around the world Jasenovac is mentioned in an extremely negative context. Through it, almost the entire Croatian people are accused of fictitious crimes. This coronavirus did little to help prevent the premiere of a new Jasenovac film (Dara from Jasenovac) in Serbia, which will repeat these worst accusations and portray them in the film for maximum propaganda effect. When that movie comes out, our politicians will be asked for comment. They will also have to explain and protest, as was the case two or three years ago when Serbs at the United Nations staged an exhibition about Jasenovac and Cardinal Stepinac. It looks like they have not learned anything from that lesson. It would be expected that for this very reason they organizs thorough research of Jasenovac and enable historians to show the Croatian and world public a realistic picture of Jasenovac.

It is little known that some of your family loved ones were in this camp…

My father and that part of my family lived in the village of Donja Gradina, opposite the Jasenovac camp. They lived there, although everyone in the village was of Orthodox faith without anyone touching them even after the camp across the Sava was established in August 1941. My father was born in 1938. In December 1941, partisans came to Gradina and attacked the camp by firing across the river. The whole village then, in fear of retaliation, had to retreat south to Mount Kozara. So, after June 15, 1942, they found themselves surrounded by German and Croatian forces who had taken action against a partisan group on that mountain. With many other civilians and my relatives surrendering to the oncoming army, they came out with white flags from the woods. They were then taken the same way, but in a different direction, north, towards Jasenovac. They were there briefly, without entering the camp itself, and were transported by train to western Slavonia, to Lipik. Together with at least 15,000 other refugees and prisoners from Kozara. My grandfather was not with them, because he was a partisan commander, first of a platoon and then of a company. He was captured and, according to some sources, shot dead in a cemetery near Bosanska Dubica, along with other prominent captured partisans. At the conclusion of the Battle of Kozara, German forces formed courts of war that assessed who was to be shot. Several thousand captured partisans were sent to work in Germany, while about 300 prominent commanders, commissioners, etc., were sentenced to death. The rest of the family: my father, grandmother and great-grandmother arrived in Pakrac Poljana via Lipik. Like other refugees and prisoners, they were distributed and allocated housing, food and assistance. After the war, my grandparents stayed in Poljana. My father married into the neighbouring village of Medric: my mother is of Croatian-Czech descent. I went to school in Pakrac Poljana from the first to the eighth grade.

And what is your opinion about the work done by the Jasenovac Memorial Area?

I learned water skiing on the Sava River just outside the Memorial area. We used to visit my dad’s relatives in Gradin, and we had one plastic boat with 28 horsepower Yamaha and that was great for enjoying the water. We also visited this museum very often. That is why I have always kept a close eye on what is written about Jasenovac, whether new information and memoirs of former detainees are emerging. I read a lot of what was published at the time. I was always interested in history as an excellent student and later a political science student at the Zagreb Faculty of Political Science, so I asked my family members how come they were not killed in the camp when they were Serbs. That is how it was believed then. I was told that they were rescued by an Ustasha who knew my grandfather before the war and did him a favour. Only later, through my own research, I found that passing through Jasenovac, but without entering the camp, was no exception in those days. As I said, at least 15,000 refugees from Kozara were sent to Slavonia. Thousands were taken to Germany for work – and many captured partisans and civilians. Some by train from Sisak, some by boat from Sava to Zemun, and from there by boat up the Danube to the Third Reich. When I recently confronted their relatives with research results, they confirmed it and added a wealth of valuable data. And that speaks to how taboo-topic Jasenovac was.

Josip Broz Tito reportedly visited Jasenovac twice but never talked about it. Is this important?

Dusan Dragosavac, a senior official of the League of Communists, claimed that Tito was in Jasenovac for the first time immediately after the war and then for the second time in the mid-1970s. He was supposedly with him that second time. But they were non-public, almost private tours. Tito never attended official commemorations. He did not need to be there. His propaganda machinery did his job for him. Jasenovac was a motive with which any movement for Croatian independence was threatened, for example. At the same time, Serbs were being spooked they would suffer again from a reoccurrence of the camp. Now we are slowly finding out that there was no such massive casualties. Tito laid the groundwork. In the spring of 1942, he wrote to local partisans to consider attacking the Jasenovac camp, “in which our 10,000 best comrades had already disappeared.” By that time, only about 2,000 prisoners had arrived at that camp. The promotional machine has begun building beyond the basic 10 thousand.

Where is most of the archive related to this camp?

There are quite enough documents that can clearly show its nature that can be found in Zagreb. They are available to anyone at the Croatian State Archives in Marulic Square. It sounds paradoxical, but an important part of the archive, from which one can see what the camp was like, is actually located in Zagreb. Now it is easy for me to say, but before 2012 I was not aware of this. About a year or two before that I had decided to explore Jasenovac as deeply as possible. I first started reading all the books published about the camp, from 1945. I was surprised that in many of the books published before 1990 there was much that coincided with the results of my present findings. But as mentioned before, that was something that one should not emphasise. Then, the Internet was already available as a tool for searching information about Jasenovac. One time, Google search accidentally showed that there was one letter from Jasenovac in the Croatian National Archives, in this and that fund. I asked them if I, as an ordinary citizen, as a journalist, could view archival documents, because I thought openly that only graduate historians, college professors, or employees of state institutes could do so. Seriously! They told me I could come, but I needed to know the fund number, boxes, documents … I started looking through the seven boxes first, one small fund left over from the Ustasha Surveillance Service. It was a real revelation: so much is written there! And these are original documents, not retold in a book. Then I would pick up a book by a historian and look at the footnotes at the bottom of the page. I would order a box with the document listed in the note, but then I would also take a few boxes before and after that first box. And gradually, the multidimensional world of the past began to unfold before me. I was thinking of staying in the National Archives for a week, so I bought a weekly pass. Here I have already collected nine annual cards and countless hours spent in the archive reading room.

Have you seen the movie “Diary of Diana Budisavljevic”, which I believe has little to do with the truth …?

Of course, I went to watch it at the first opportunity I got. Just as I read some new text related to Jasenovac as soon as I get my hands on it, no matter who wrote it. The movie “Diary of Diana Budisavljevic” is quite boring to say the least. Then, it is manipulative because it plays to the impression. That is legitimate in a movie, but here marketing presents that movie as if it depicts real events. Although even documentaries are not a literal account of reality, they tend to place events in a realistic context, especially the better ones. Everything is subordinate to the impression here, using deliberate pranks and movie tricks. Although this film presents itself as the result of 10 years of research, it is actually a few scenes written based on selectively chosen portions of Diana Budisavljevic’s diary. Distorted picture, but I believe more and more people in Croatia are realising this.

You also founded an association that deals with the problems surrounding the Jasenovac camp. Do you have government support, or is everything done relying on enthusiasm?

We were successful two years in a row to win a relatively modest amount of HRK 40,000 each year, in a tender for state finances for our project.  That is very modest compared to what some other associations receive. The project consisted of an examination of the records of the Communist World Commission for the Determination of War Crimes (ZKRZ), stored in the Croatian State Archives. In 1945, investigators from the ZKRZ questioned former detainees from the Jasenovac and Stari Grad camps. Most of the testimony clearly did not appeal to the propagandists of the time, because former detainees mostly spoke about their work in Jasenovac in one of the production facilities and did not see any mass killings. The fund holds 700 boxes, each with 700 to 1000 sheets of documents. My two colleagues and I were searching through, leaf by leaf, looking for statements relating to Jasenovac. Two years later, when we passed the 250 boxes, and started publishing our works and books, criticism was raised against the Government and the Ministry of Croatian Veterans Affairs, which carried the funding competition or tender for grants.  We were rejected for the third year, on the grounds that such research should be conducted by historical institutions and departments of history, and not by a civic association like ours. As if it is our fault that institutes and historical departments do not deal with this! There are also several historians in our society by education, we have war veterans and their children, we meet all the criteria! But it was enough that criticism was made by the Novosti weekly (newspaper Milorad Pupovac and the Serbian National Council publish), by the US Ambassador and Croatia’s Ombudsman Lora Vidovic. Prime Minister Plenkovic easily bowed to this “terrible pressure”. And with him, Minister Tomo Medved, who was not afraid of tanks during the war. But with them you never know where you stand, and you never know what the people’s  Ombudsman is setting up for you.

How do you think the truth about Jasenovac and other World War II camps will come out?

Researching archives first and foremost. I said that an important part of the information can be found in Zagreb, and there are many documents about Jasenovac in the regional archives – in Sisak, Pozega, Bjelovar, Slavonski Brod … Of course, there are many things in the Belgrade archives. Then, in Banja Luka, in Sarajevo, in Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria… It is little known (and little used) that there is a rich collection of microfilms in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb, which contain copies of original documents from various bodies of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). So, the archive of original documents from this or that NDH ministry is are located in Belgrade, but here, at our fingertips, in Zagreb, we have films and recordings of them and are able to review them and write about them. For example, you have an uprising against the NDH in July, August, and September 1941. These are accounts and reports from the field that flow into the General Staff of the Ministry of Homeland Security. You see cities and places in flames, in the environment, you see a state that is making extreme efforts to protect its population. That sends planes with food and ammunition to surrounded crews, counts the dead … Sounds familiar? It is like watching a war game, or the best documentary on History. It is all there! Why have Croatian historians used their documents (their recordings) so rarely? Here we go back to the beginning of our conversation. But it seems that there are more and more historians willing to address these taboos.

What do you know about the first Ustasha camp Danica (Koprivnica)?

I have not gone much into it but I came across an excellent book about Danica, published by historian Zdravko Dizdar after many years of research. As far as I could see, he found that three detainees had lost their lives in that camp. And many earlier texts talk about there being 2000 to 4000 prisoners killed in there. Then, that 30,000 people were interned, and in fact, about 4300 were imprisoned. These were exaggerations, like those about Jasenovac. That is why it is important to thoroughly cover all these neuralgic points of Croatian recent history.

Do you know that this camp is not of interest to various Pupovacs and the like, that no one from the state bodies has officially visited it so far, and that after all, this Memorial Area is in a place where camps did not exist !?

There is no need to spend too many words on minority representatives and their relationship with history. They are pursuing their interests and are not interested in some serious, realistic approach. That is why they are focusing on Jasenovac and several other places, because they can get away with that for now.

And what do you think of your fellow historians? Don’t you think there is a “cheer” among them as in football?

The social sciences are not exactly mathematics or physics where something can be accurately measured with the help of some technical devices, though I see that there are some controversies among mathematicians, physicists and, say, epidemiologists. Contributions about history are often more or less marked by the character and heritage of its author, his social position, and even his personal courage. But all this can normally be remedied by dialogue, serious and well-grounded criticism, comparison with other research, and similar techniques.

The Serbs, we hear, are also making a feature film about Jasenovac. Why don’t Croats do the same?

– Croats could make several great films with themes from the Homeland War, but they still do not. When they make a movie about World War II you get the Diary of Diana Budisavljevic. I hope that the time will come when good films will be made about Jasenovac, which will have both cinematic and artistic value and will not distort what was really going on there. First, the results of a serious investigation into the Jasenovac camp must be given public rights, and then interested filmmakers may indeed emerge.

What is scarier to you: the Srebrenica massacre or all that was happening in Jasenovac?

There were no mass, serial killings in Jasenovac. There are no remains of victims, no documents, no credible witness statements. If we take only the segment of treatment of prisoners of war, we will see that in 1943 the Independent State of Croatia acceded to the Geneva Convention and applied its provisions even to the captured partisans. Although this type of illegal fighters was not covered by the convention. Even the partisans captured in Sutjeska were brought to Jasenovac. Imagine this situation, taking prisoners across the country, providing food, medical treatment if needed. Partisan spy Jaroslav Cherni, discovered in Sarajevo, was the head of a construction group in Jasenovac and was paid a salary. A young partisan, Bogdan Petkovic, was captured at Oborov and wounded in the arm and leg. He was transported to Zagreb, cured in hospital and imprisoned in a camp in Jasenovac. In February 1945 he was sent from the camp to work in Germany with a large transport of prisoners. And almost everyone returned home after the war. And the prisoners of Srebrenica?

How do you look at the “For Home Ready” greeting? Specifically, this greeting was used in World War II, but also in the Homeland War!

First of all, I think it is important that no one be prosecuted or punished for using this greeting in Croatia. As I believe no one should be punished for pointing out a red star and other symbols of communism. I believe that Croatian society is democratically mature enough to bear it. “For Home ready” is undoubtedly an Ustasha greeting, conceived by the leader of that movement, Ante Pavelic, and did not exist in that form before him. The ZDS is undoubtedly one of the symbols of the Independent State of Croatia, both of what was good and what was not valid. I am interested to refer to the book by the renowned historian Dr. Jere Jareb, “Half a Century of Croatian Politics”, which describes how well it prevailed. Regarding the use of greetings in the Homeland War, it is even easier and clearer to see how the positive things prevailed. The vast majority of people in Croatia know this, too, and these attacks on the HOS and its sign are doomed.

Mr. Vukic, what are your future plans?

There are three main plans: research, research and – research. There is much more archival material to review in order to complete the historical picture of the events in the war-time Jasenovac. It would be nice to visit the archives in Serbia and BiH and see what they all have on Jasenovac. An arrangement should be made with friends who live abroad (Germany, Italy, Hungary, Finland, etc.) to go through the archives in the countries where they live, because of they have good knowledge of the local language. We have already done some of this and it has produced great results. It would be good to make a documentary film. I would like to write a history of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia. At the same time book presentations should be organised, fundraising for the work of our society on Jasenvac should be raised. Then, answer the questions of those who are interested, participate in discussions on social networks (since we cannot yet on national televisions). There are many tasks, but for those interested in these topics, this job is also a real pleasure – said Igor Vukic.

 

 

 

Rebuttal to Seb Starcevic’s Rant Claiming Croatian Celebration of Fascism in Australia

 

Seb Starcevic’s article is an example that evidences the fact that we still do not live in a post-truth world and never have. On the contrary, we live in a pre-truth world where truth is yet to arrive.

Seb Starcevic’s article “In Australia, some Croats openly celebrate fascism,” published  on Balkaninsight portal on 10th September 2019 presents to the public a point on the continuum of vicious Serb anti-Croat propaganda, often weaved with tangents of malicious historical lies and allegations of some sort of terrorism and fascism being alive and kicking within the Australian Croatian community.  Apart from the evidently calculated intention to inflict damage to the reputation of the Croatian people in Australia, even though he uses the phrase “some Australian Croats”, it does seem that the article was also written in order to throw the truth-seeking scent off the current historical research in Croatia that has the capacity of debunking the Serb-led propaganda about WWII Jasenovac camp in Croatia. Sonja Biserko a Serbian campaigner for human rights, the founder and president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia stated in recent years that the Serbian history is based on lies and myths and so it is of no surprise that the maintenance of such history has been transported into Australia by those of Serb extraction.

Starcevic opens his article saying that in Sydney’s western suburbs a Croatian club flies two flags: Australian and the flag of the WWII Independent State of Croatia/NDH. Contrary to innuendo in Starcevic’s article suggesting some criminal activity he attempts to associate with this flag, Australian law does not prohibit the NDH flag on its soil and it is not unlawful to fly similar flags of legitimate historical states or states who fought for independence but did not succeed in their fight. Starcevic would perhaps like the public to think that by flying the NDH flag some sort of soft fascism, if not fully blown fascism in practice is at the core of it! Nothing could be further from the truth. While in his article Starcevic calls WWII Croatia a Nazi puppet state he omits to say that Serbia was one also and that WWII flag of Serbia is also raised at some Serbian clubs and Chetnik organisations in the diaspora (and that flag represents Milan Nedic’s and Serb Chetnik’s fight against communists in collaboration with the Nazis, responsible for the first Jew-free country in WWII Europe). The important thing about the NDH flag raised at the club Starcevic writes about is that it is the flag that represents Croatia’s struggle for independence and, given the horrific times of the 20th century that struggle occurred in, one can with regret say that there were crimes committed by members on all sides, but the truth is also  that  majority of members of the independence movements did not commit crimes. And that is a historical fact.

Then, in a malicious attempt to paint the Australian Croats as terrorists, his article goes into telling the public about Dr Kristy Campion’s historical terrorism research that also delves into Croatian Ustasha activities in Australia in the 1960’s and the 1970’s.  He conveniently omits to also refer to modern day facts as found after the release to the public of relevant Commonwealth of Australia Archives a few years back that are said to have revealed a collaboration between secret services – parts of Australian ASIO and Yugoslav (read Serb) UDBA – which can be associated with the framing of Croatian immigrants for planning terrorist activities. Starcevic further omits to mention that in Campion’s bibliography there is a significant reference to “Alleged Croatian Terrorist Organisation” and NOT “Croatian Terrorist Organisation” (PDF).  It would seem too much to expect that Starcevic would even consider the truth or a possible truth about Australian Croats given that such truth shows up his writings as nothing more than blatant hate speech.

After referring to a former Croatian Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor as having said that no one should dismiss the crimes of the WWII Ustashe regime Starcevic goes on to say: “…But that didn’t stop Australia’s Croatian community from hosting an assortment of far-right figures in 2018, including journalist Igor Vukic and Croatian politician Zeljko Glasnovic, who have downplayed the crimes of the Ustasa regime. In a speaking tour called ‘Croatia Uncensored’, Vukic, Glasnovic and others visited Croatian clubs around Australia to discuss a variety of controversial topics, including the ‘the myth and lies of Jasenovac’, a concentration camp established by the Ustasa in WWII. The number of those who perished in the camp is regularly disputed by right-wing politicians and commentators in Croatia.” The fact is that the claimed and estimated numbers of those perished in Jasenovac range from the ludicrous and physically impossible 1 million, to some 40,000, and these numbers do not come from right-wing politicians so why wouldn’t the right-wing politicians, or any politician for that matter, go about disputing the numbers! In fact, and for the truth’s sake, it is desirable to dispute them and delve into research to come to the truth.

While Starcevic omits to corroborate with verifiable references his generalised claims that Vukic, Glasnovic etc “have downplayed the crimes of Ustasa,” one would expect from a journalist making such claims to provide in the same article some evidence or corroboration for his claims that during the “Croatia Uncensored” speaking tour in Australia there was “downplaying of the crimes of the Ustasha regime” as well as to the claim that research into Jasenovac camp constitutes a controversial topic! Since when do attempts to find the truth through historical research constitute a controversy? Or are we dealing here with possible fear in Starcevic and those like him that Serb propaganda will eventually be proven a lie, scientifically and factually?

How deplorable it is for a journalist to write about two historical researchers (Kristy Campion and Igor Vukic) in the same article and in that same article label one of the researchers (the one who researched Croatian Ustashe of late 1960’s and 1970’s/Campion) with credibility and the other (researching historical documentation and archives on WWII Jasenovac) as being controversial! It would seem that Starcevic would ignore the integrity of fact-based historical research on WWII Croatia if it bit him on the back side.

From Left: Zeljko Glasnovic, Josip Jurcevic, Tom Sunic, Igor Vukic
Croatia Uncensored tour 2018

Furthermore, as one of the organisers of the 2018 “Croatia Uncensored” talking tour in Australia I can confirm that the tour was organised in order to raise Croatian public discussion on existing barriers in Croatia preventing the development of a fully functional democracy and to give support to the various scientific historical research endeavours, such as Vukic’s, that aim to present verifiable historical facts on the victims of Jasenvac camp. If Vukic is to be called by derogatory names and insulted as Starcevic does in his article, for attempting to break the myth and lies about Jasenovac then that name-calling talks about Starcevic more than what it does about Vukic. Vukic’s research (and research of others on the same issue) is particularly relevant given the rampant and wild estimates of victims that allegedly perished in WWII Jasenovac camp at the hands of Ustashe that keep the world ill-informed and Croats generally vilified. The historical fact in pursuits of the truth is that Jasenovac remained open until 1953 and that it was used for post-WWII communist purges. Surely to reach a post-truth existence one needs to confirm by documentary and testimonial research what was what! It is a fact that research into Jasenovac camp has been alarmingly non-existent, scarce or inadequate during the decades of communist Yugoslavia regime. Why would anyone want to stop or thwart any research into history – regardless of the outcome of such research!?

Starcevic goes further in his attempt to vilify Australian Croatians by saying that several clubs pay tribute to convicted war criminals such as Slobodan Praljak and Dario Kordic but fails miserably to tell his readers that the conviction in the Hague rested upon some political support or “chain of command responsibility” and no evidence was presented to the court that, for instance, Kordic ever ordered any killings. Hearsay evidence and political constructs reportedly played a significant part in court judgments and Praljak committed suicide in the Hague courtroom as judgment against him was pronounced – maintaining his innocence of crimes the court had convicted him of. Given that fact, and given the professionally reported political weight weaved into the very indictments and judgments that saw these two Croats convicted of war crimes in the Hague, who personally committed no crimes, one would think that if someone decides to hail as heroes these two men then that someone is not guided by some Croatian nationalistic creed but by the very perceptions that justifiably enter a human mind upon such occasions and circumstances. The democracy we live in cherishes personal opinions as a given right but frowns upon opinions designed to vilify entire communities as Starcevic appears to be doing.

Starcevic says further in his article: “In recent years, this rhetoric has escalated to anti-Serb vandalism and death threats. In 2016, a Serbian Orthodox church in Geelong was vandalised with the Ustasa logo, swastikas and fascist slogans such as ‘the only good Serb is a dead Serb’…” For the first time, ever, through this article written by Starcevic the Australian Croats are associated with the said vandalism! Unless Seb Starcevic knows the facts as to who the perpetrator/s of this criminal vandalism was/were but failed to publish the details in his article, then only one conclusion is possible: Seb Starcevic is on the bandwagon of the propaganda whose only aim is to vilify Croats; to spread hatred and hate speech. That is absolutely unacceptable and utterly un-Australian! Besides, how can anyone tell that it may not have been an Australian Serb who committed that vandalism on the Orthodox church in Geelong? Why write about this act of vandalism in this article about Australian Croats? Certainly, to my knowledge, no one had been arrested for or charged with that crime, Croat or otherwise. The idea that it could have been a Serb who vandalised the church with Ustasha logo is not far-fetched when we know that the Australian Serb Vitomir Misimovic infiltrated in the 1970’s the Australian Croatian community pretending to be a Croat named Vico Virkez only to frame and falsify his court testimony against the so-called Croatian Six for terrorism. We know that those Croats were convicted of attempted terrorism, we know they served jail sentences for it, but we also now know that they were framed by no other than Australian Serbs, Yugoslav (Serb) Secret Police UDBA.

Starcevic’s viciously malicious intent to vilify Croats through innuendo is also palpable in the following paragraph of his said article: “On Tuesday, a Sydney resident named Ivan – who is Croatian – tweeted about seeing a man on a train with an Ustasa tattoo on his leg. Ivan told BIRN the man looked to be in his early twenties and was wearing shorts that exposed the Ustasa logo on the back of one of his calves,” writes Starcevic. Well Mr Starcevic can you or BIRN please ask that “Sydney resident Ivan” whether the man on the train with Ustasa tattoo on his leg is actually of Croatian extraction! Guess what Mr Starcevic – Prince Harry wore a Swastika on his sleeve in public only a few years ago!  Ina Vukic

 

Croatia: Revisionism As Correction Of Recorded History

This first-ever report rating individual European Union countries on how they face up their Holocaust pasts was published on January 25, 2019 to coincide with UN Holocaust Remembrance Day. Researchers from Yale and Grinnell Colleges travelled throughout Europe to conduct the research. Representatives from the European Union of Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) have endorsed their work.

The fact that this Report omits to present any research on the topic relating to the candidate countries on the path to becoming EU member countries, such as Serbia, is quite a concern. One would expect that Serbia, which was among the first to declare itself “Judenfrei” (Jew-free) in Europe early 1942, would feature in this Report. But expectation for justice for all Holocaust victims in Europe is one thing and reality – another. Sadly.

The Key findings in the Report are as follows:

● Many European Union governments are rehabilitating World War II collaborators and war criminals while minimising their own guilt in the attempted extermination of Jews.

● Revisionism is worst in new Central European members – Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Lithuania.

● But not all Central Europeans are moving in the wrong direction: two exemplary countries living up to their tragic histories are the Czech Republic and Romania. The Romanian model of appointing an independent commission to study the Holocaust should be duplicated.

● West European countries are not free from infection – Italy, in particular, needs to improve.

● In the west, Austria has made a remarkable turn-around while France stands out for its progress in accepting responsibility for the Vichy collaborationist government.

● Instead of protesting revisionist excesses, Israel supports many of the nationalist and revisionist governments.

As the world marks the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, European governments are rehabilitating World War II collaborators and war criminals while minimising their own guilt in the attempted extermination of Jews.

This Holocaust Remembrance Project finds that Hungary, Poland, Croatia, and the Baltics are the worst offenders. Driven by feelings of victimhood and fears of accepting refugees, and often run by nationalist autocratic governments, these countries have received red cards for revisionism…

Revisionism is often accompanied by a revival of Nazi-inspired hate speech. Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban has described the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe as ‘a poison’, saying his country did not want or need ‘a single migrant’. Jaroslaw Kaczyński, head of Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party, has warned that migrants are ‘parasites’ that carry ‘very dangerous diseases long absent from Europe’. In the same vein, French right-wing extremist Marine Le Pen called for the ‘eradication of bacterial immigration’, proclaiming that immigration was causing an ‘alarming presence of contagious diseases’ in France. In his Mein Kampf, Hitler repeatedly refers to Jews as parasites,” 
says the Report.

Comparing today’s politicians’ views regarding mass migration into Europe to Adolf Hitler’s views, as this Report does, is in my view utterly irresponsible and wickedly conniving.

Letting that question alone for now and turning our attention to the term of “historical revisionism” we so frequently find in today’s world, we should all know that history is, in fact, never fixed or objective, but always a living document — one written by those who have or had power, who have access to the telling because the powers that be allow them that access.

Reading between the lines of the text, and the lines of the text, it would seem the authors of this Report fall among traditionalists of this world who believe that history is objective and once anyone seeks to better understand a person or the narratives of the past, those traditionalists shout “revisionism,” as if that new understanding (even new factual finding that contradicts recorded history) is something to be shunned.

Indeed, when it comes to Croatia and its WWII history regarding the numbers of victims of the Holocaust, all attempts at researching the truth, the facts via accessible archival materials, have sadly been branded revisionism. Needless to say, representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Centres such as Efraim Zuroff, have and still hold the banner for such branding.

That any history written by the elite or powerful ones is objective and apolitical is a naïve but dangerous position; dangerous because it denies all victims justice and due recognition.

Controversy swirls over the wartime role of the Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Zagreb Aloysius Stepinac has been accused of failing to condemn the Ustaša, yet at the same time credited with thousands of Serbs and Jews. The Church beatified him in 1998. Recent research by historians Robin Harris and Esther Gitman Stepinac show Stepinac as anti-Ustaša, a vocal critic of Ustaša racial theories, and a thorn at Pavelic’s side… Much of the issues in the media (in Croatia) revolve around Jasenovac and often reflect problematic revisionist thinking. After film director Jakov Sedlar created a revisionist documentary on Jasenovac in April 4,2016, Croatian state television HRT hosted Sedlar and did not challenge his claims,” says the Report.

Whether the Report omits to mention research on Jasenovac camp deaths of Igor Vukic and Roman Leljak, who use archival documentary evidence that significantly refutes the numbers of victims at WWII Jasenovac camp, on purpose in order to provide yet another lifeline to the unjust term of “revisionism” is a matter for each Report reader’s consideration. Notwithstanding, one cannot remain blind to facts; one can mar them for political gain, though.

One is compelled to conclude that such recent research and findings are labelled in this Report as “extreme sensitivity” rather than pinning the findings of such research as credible and worth pursuing (for historical truth) to the body of this Report. “Extreme sensitivity continues around the numbers of those murdered at the Jasenovac Concentration Camp. Serbs estimate 700,000 victims. More recent and objective findings, however, such as those of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, puts the number between 77,000 and 100,000. The numbers remain unclear and the subject of a genuine detect story. An independent commission, similar to Romania’s Weisel Commission, would help clarify,” says the Report.

Since the Report goes on to give some kind of credibility to what Serbs claim as estimates it is all the more incredulous and tendentious that the Report fails to address those claims further (as being utterly false or unfounded on facts). Indeed, the Report fails to address the Holocaust in WWII Serbia, which saw 94% of Serbia’s Jews exterminated by May 1942 at this time when Serbia is on the path to the EU membership and the authors of this Report obviously consider important for the EU as to which country in Europe is doing what regarding WWII Holocaust.

This kind of reporting or writing perfectly captures the reality of all history.

The great irony of slurring history with “revisionism” is that history as a living document should be a constant act of retelling history in an effort to make the story clearer, more accurate; revisionism is  not an erasing of history but a correction of the wrong presented in “officially” recorded history. A revised view of history allows us to acknowledge what is not debatable  ― many with power over Croatia in the past (Communists and their subscribers), were racists  ― and is essential for helping us resolve what is debatable (and the numbers of the so-called WWII Ustashe victims  have been the subject of painful debates, mere estimates dubbed as facts, and politically-driven intolerance),  whether or not we correct the victim figures, rename buildings/institutions or dismantle monuments.

There’s an old saying that time is the enemy of memory and ignorance is the enemy of knowledge. When the established knowledge based on estimates and other charades that misrepresent the truth are challenged by new findings then ignorance thrives and memories of victims often become banal or fade. It would seem that the usage of the negatively connoted concept of revisionism to characterise fact-finding attempts when it comes to history that includes the Holocaust contributes significantly to the views we come across throughout the world that the world is forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust. One could argue that if attempts to untangle the truth from the lies when it comes to the number of Jews that perished in the Holocaust are labelled as unwelcome revisionism – i.e. denial of the Holocaust – then indeed memory for even the recorded history must suffer; because doubt in the truthfulness of that recorded memory inevitably develops with every new factual finding or every attempt to correct historical records written by those in power.

We can remember those who perished and were murdered without talking about numbers! We can remember the Holocaust human catastrophe and pay respect to those who suffered without trying to embellish it with numbers that are subject to vigorous debates and rows. A human catastrophe is a catastrophe regardless of the number of victims it takes or took with it.

Memory is central to a nation’s historical and moral self-understanding. When unsafe historical records written by Yugoslav communists in the case of Croatia shape memory, then it is the duty of every Croat to ensure that history is corrected, otherwise the nation staggers on false and illusory ground which gives little if any justice to the actual victims of past totalitarian regimes. 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

Interview With Zeljko Glasnovic – Croatian Diaspora MP

Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of Croatian Parliament
representing the Croatian Diaspora
Photo: SBS Radio and Television Australia

 

By Stjepan Ivan Mandic, Fenix Magazine

Translation into English: Ina Vukic

Croatians In the diaspora carry Croatia in their hearts.  Croatia must professionalise its administration and its public governance. It must have functional institutions that would implement laws. Independent judiciary that would guarantee safety in the administration of law must exist, Zeljko Glasnovic said.

Member of Croatian Parliament for Croatians living outside Croatia, retired Croatian Army (HV) and Croatian Defence Council (HVO) general Zeljko Glasnovic had recently spent two weeks visiting Australian Croatians. He led the tour of Australia, organised by Croatian Diasporan Voice Association, accompanied by other delegates from Croatia and was guest speaker at forums held in Melbourne, Geelong, Perth, Canberra and Sydney.

This interview was carried out with him after his return from Australia and in it General Glasnovic speaks about his meetings with Australian Croatians and about the impressions he brought back from there.

– Croatians in Australia are in a complete information blockade there. They are isolated because the Croatian media is constantly creating a perception of a situation that is not real, but false. Forums were organised and as part of these Jakov Sedlar’s film “Hundred years of Serbian terror in Croatia” was shown. Other guests were historian Igor Vukic who is systematically disassembling the myths about Jasenovac, publicist Josip Jurcevic and our best culturologist prof. Tomislav Sunic.

What did you speak about?

– I spoke about the state Croatia is in and the need to modernise the Croatian State, which is going very slowly. Given that the topic was “Croatia Uncensored” I too spoke without censure. And so, I also spoke about the Croatian diplomacy, which has so far been mostly inert. There has been no diplomacy for the economy nor have real conditions for people to return to Croatia been created. Unfortunately, it’s now coming to light that some of our diplomats were involved in criminal activities, and that was covered up and is still being covered up. It has to do with people who are anational, who have no feeling for the nation (state), who want to live a life of Monte Carlo style even though they have Balkan work habits. Nevertheless, the clearing away of such Yugoslav cadres is slowly progressing. I’ve heard that a lawsuit against an Ambassador for money expenditure is on the way and that lawsuits against the one who visited “public houses” and against the one who stole the furniture from the Sydney consulate and shipped it to his home in Croatia are also being prepared.

Which meeting had the most people attending?

– More or less all meetings were well attended. But, Sydney had the biggest number people. I gave a considerable number of statements and interviews, one of which was in English, for those who do not possess enough knowledge of the Croatian language to understand why we came there.

In the reports that came through there was a mention that you were the first member of the Croatian Parliament to officially visit the Australian War Memorial in Canberra?

– Yes, I took part in the Last Post Ceremony there and solemnly laid a wreath as sign of respect and remembrance for the members of the Croatian and Australian armed forces who participated in past wars and today’s conflicts across the world. On that occasion I handed over a gift of the commemorative plaque of the HVO First Brigade Ante Bruno Busic, which attracted significant attention and respect as expressed by one of the Australian War Memorial heads. In my statement for the media I said that the fact that we have no central memorial for all Croatian war victims who have fallen, from the Carpathian Mountains to the Austrian and Italian borders, is a tragedy for Croatia. I think that it’s a historical disgrace that, unlike other civilised countries that respect their dead and make the effort of burying their remains with the greatest of military honours, not one single Croatian government has even attempted to compile an official list of fallen Croatian soldiers from the First and the Second World Wars.

Zeljko Glasnovic at
the Australian War Memorial, September 2018
standing in front the War Memorial’s exhibit
of Tom Starcevich, Australian Victoria Cross recipient of Croatian descent

What do you think are the main deficiencies in the non-functioning of the Croatian state apparatus?

– Croatia must professionalise its administration and its public governance. It must have functional institutions that would implement laws. Independent judiciary that would guarantee safety in the administration of law must exist. There is nothing without safety in the administration of law. And that is where we must start. Unfortunately, the old Balkan brigand saying, which says ‘work little steal hard’, has remained in the Croatian blood. They take pleasure from deceiving the country. However, the biggest barrier for Croatia as a country is the communist mental heritage. It has completely demolished the moral and ethical values of the Croatian society, as does the Croatian media that systematically blocks all critical news. There is no democratically Christian and truly conservative media in Croatia. We do not have a truly Croatian television or something that would connect Croatians from the diaspora to the homeland. Recently, the state television has commenced broadcasting the so-called Fifth channel for Croatians outside the homeland. And all one can see there are repeats of old opuses and series but there are no concrete things to address the questions for the Croatian emigration such as postal voting, getting rid of double taxation etc.

Why is it so?

– Because the left and the right UDBA wing doesn’t want that. Because they want to remain endangered by the Croatian émigrés, they’re scared of their monetary power and the knowledge they have accumulated while living abroad, in the world. And these people (living abroad) carry Croatia in their hearts. The Croatian diaspora is the largest business branch that invests into Croatia every year more that the whole lot of the foreign investments. It was like that during the 1970’s and it is so today. Croatians from the diaspora are as undesirable in the homeland just as, I often say, a Pork steak is at a Jewish wedding. But, it can’t go on like this for much longer. Croatians in the diaspora need not despair but fight for Croatia and for their own people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because, if it wasn’t for Croatians from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the four Croatian Defence Council (HVO) assembly regions we would not have a Croatian state today.

Vampire Stake For The Khmer Rouge In Croatia

Croatia Uncensored tour in Australia – Melbourne:
From Left: John Ovcaric, Darko Orec, General Zeljko Glasnovic,
Dr Josip Jurcevic, Dr Tom Sunic, Igor Vukic.
13 September 2018

 

The eagerly awaited tour of Australia organised by Croatian Diasporan Voice, named “Croatia Uncensored” with the very strong politician, scientists and historians who have spent decades in battling for a communist heritage free Croatia made a strong start in Geelong and Melbourne this past weekend. General Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora, Dr Tomislav Sunic, author and political commentator, Dr Josip Jurcevic, author and historian as well as Igor Vukic, political scientist and researcher into the truth of WWII Jasenovac camp started their patriotic tour of Australia during which main issues thwarting real progress toward a fully functional state of Croatia arouse and were openly and strongly discussed in front of and with many Austraian Croatians taking part in these events.

The main points strongly marking this Croatia Uncensured tour of Australia are summarised as follows:

  • The biggest problem in Croatia is the left-right wing of UDBA (Yugoslav Secret Service) that has penetrated the entire State;
  • Croatia is paying tens of thousands pensions into Serbia and yet it has not yet solved the question of Croatian Defence Council status;
  • Lustration has not been carried out;
  • Out of 32 Constitutional court judges 27 were operatives in in former communist Yugoslavia system;
  • It’s easier to create a State than to keep it – all former communist operatives need to be knocked out of the State system;
  • The current Croatian State has disappointed us all;
  • It is a shame that in 1991 Croats didn’t go for the ousting of Yugoslavs and communists;
  • The young need to know that if we don’t understand our past we do not have a chance for a functional democratic future;
  • We need to look for the truth and stick to our identity;
  • Croatia must rid itself of lies and communist legends and myths;
  • The real traitors in Croatia are those who collaborate with former communists such as Milorad Pupovac (a Serb minority parliamentary representative);
  • Representatives in the Croatian Parliament have concocted the so-called joint criminal enterprise, which to them is the independent state of Croatia;
  • This is not a tour of desperation but a call to hope and action for a better, functional democratic Croatia.Ina Vukic

     

    General Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora

 

Dr Josip Jurcevic (R)

 

Igor Vukic

Top from L: Igor Vukic, Josip Jurcevic, Darko Orec, Tom Sunic
Centre row from L: Ina Vukic and Zlata Busic Valet
Front row middle from L: Zeljko Glasnovic, Mary Sumiga

 

 

Dr Tom Sunic (R)

Remember The Month of September – For Croatia!

 

While Australian Croatians eagerly await in September the visit from Croatia of several outstanding people in the long-drawn and painful battles for free and democratic Croatia it is to be noted, with profound sadness but also with pride for the courage of Croatian people, that the month of September is marked by fierce battles against the Serb and Yugoslav Army aggressors for freedom and democracy. The aptly named tour of Australia “Croatia Uncensored” is organised by the Association “Croatian Diasporan Voice” and with the collaboration of various Croatian Community Organisations across Australia the tour has all the hallmarks of leaving a decisive footprint on the stage of toilsome efforts still in need of unwavering Croatian people’s dedication, both in Croatia and in the diaspora, if Croatia is to become a just, successful and free of communist heritage country for which rivers of Croatian blood were spilled during the 1990’s war.

Visiting Australia from Croatia in September will be Croatia and worldwide acclaimed Croatian patriots and tireless advocates for a free and truly democratic Croatia from the word “go”. They are retired Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council general Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of the Croatian Parliament for the Croatian Diaspora, Dr. Tomislav Sunic, author, political commentator, former California State University professor and former diplomat of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Josip Jurcevic, acclaimed historian, University Professor in Croatia and author, Igor Vukic, political scientist and scientific researcher into the factual truth of WWII Jasenovac camp and Jakov Sedlar, acclaimed film director who will, during this visit to Australia, hold a World Pre-premiere of his new movie “1918-2018: Hundred Years of Serbian Terror in Croatia (From Karadjordjevic and Pribcevic to Vucic and Pupovac)”.

As significant for the life of progress in achieving a truly functional, free of communist mindset, democracy in Croatia this Australian tour is, it is also a moment that calls upon us all who are of Croatian heritage, especially, to remember the month of September that was when Croatia was burning, ethnically cleansed of Croats and non-Serbs, pillaged and raped – was being murdered and massacred!

It is important to remember the aggressor’s bloody threats and deeds but especially it is important to remember the extraordinary courage and dedication to freedom demonstrated by Croats in the Homeland and in the Diaspora at the time. Here are some of the events that ensued during the month of September as the war of aggression forced Croats into self-preservation captivity.

On 14th September 1991 Marko Babic destroyed 5 Yugoslav Army tanks on Trpinjska Street in Vukovar. During that same month this Croatian veteran lost his parents, who were taken from Vukovar by the Serb aggressor to Bobota village and murdered.

At the same time, as Babic was destroying the aggressor’s tanks and armoured vehicles 150,000 Croats from Vukovar were lined up on Trpinjska Street for forced deportation. In shock, the world watched this tragedy unfolding in the heart of Europe.

The 16th and the 23rd of September 1991 saw an eight-day battle (called the September War) for the town of Sibenik. This was an exceptionally important battle because had the aggressor taken the Sibenik bridge or any other spot along the Adriatic Highway, South Croatia would have ended up torn into several smaller or larger pockets. The public had already got to know the evil Serb leader Ratko Mladic (currently serving ICTY life sentence for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes…) who at that time led the 9th Yugoslav Army Corpus. The September War is particularly remembered by the downing of two Jugoslav Army aircraft, which was accompanied by the well-known cry from Croatian forces “Both, both, both have fallen!” (“Obadva, obadva, oba su pala!”). The courage of the Croatian defenders in Sibenik was so enormous and strong that the Serb aggressors were forced to withdraw after eight days of their aggression. This was the first of the great Croatian victories recorded in the Homeland War.

11 Croats killed and 50 wounded in Nova Gradiska in September 1991. The 21st of September 1991 was the saddest day of the war for people of Nova Gradiska. Yugoslav Army airplanes first attacked the toll booths at the highway and then destroyed the town, aiming at vital objects, attempting to break and intimidate all Croatian patriots, civilians and defenders but also to murder all the love and loyalty of the Croatian people for Croatia. They did not succeed.

End of September 1991 saw the evacuation of the hospital in Pakrac – threat to life was immense, Croatian efforts to save lives were remarkable, yet another tragedy – prevented; in the face of so much destruction and civilian lives that had already been lost in Pakrac.

September 1991 saw the beautiful town on Dubrovnik surrounded from the sea by enemy blockades that ended up in the siege of Dubrovnik and the later attempts to destroy it. The siege resulted in the deaths of 194 Croatian military personnel, as well as 88 Croatian civilians.

The town of Drnis and many other Croatian towns saw Croats leaving their towns and villages, being displaced and banished from their homes in September 1991. On 14th September 1991 Yugoslav Army attacked the town of Drnis. On the 16th the Croatian authorities released danger warnings to all Drnis and its surrounding villages and areas. Under that terrible attack and its consequent fear for life the Croatian people of Drnis – the elderly, women, children, the sick… left their homes in search for safer places that could be found in Croatia at that time. There weren’t many!

September 1991 also saw the so-called “Battle for Army Barracks” (Yugoslav Army barracks) when for the first time Croatian forces finally got their hands on some heavy weaponry.

Defending Croatia and its ideals and pursuits for democracy from the communist Yugoslavia might and mindset is far from over. Much work and dedication is still needed to complete the task set during the 1990’s Homeland War.

If you are in Australia between the 14th and the 24th of September 2018 you may wish to join the “Croatian Uncensored” tour and contribute to unity and support. Please visit the http://www.glashrvatske.com.au for tour details. Ina Vukic

Labor Camp Jasenovac

Igor Vukic, author “Labor Camp Jasenovac”

Wherever you look, whether in books, tourist or other flyers and brochures, newspapers, digital or online media, Jasenovac site for World War II victims is portrayed as Jasenovac Concentration Camp (at times it has been referred to as an extermination camp) – within the context of the Holocaust. This portrayal of Jasenovac camp was initiated and established by the communist Yugoslavia regime in which a great number of Serbs played important, decisive, roles. That is a historical fact! I myself, for the benefit of public attention focus, in my writings throughout many years, have referred to it under that title because that was the name by which the world’s public was trained to recognise it. That is so in spite of the fact that all of my writings delved into the issues of scandalously pumped-up victim numbers and the concealment (by communists and pro-communists) of historical truth which shows that Jasenovac camp remained opened for a number of years after WWII for the purposes of communist purges and murders.

The past few months, in Croatia and worldwide, have particularly been coloured by escalated accusations and malicious allegations of neo-fascism or neo-Nazism supposedly gaining more and more ground in Croatia. Media articles and television and radio sources have been riddled with such fabricated monstrosities. Needless to say that the historical and patriotic greeting/salute “For Home Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) used in Croatia for centuries has, to former communists and pro-Communists and left-leaning political echelons, just like Jasenovac camp, become (utterly undeservingly) a symbol of neo-fascism and neo-Nazism. With leading Croatian journalists, writers, activists… being bullied and sanctioned (losing their jobs and livelihood etc.) for even daring to utter the notion that the WWII and post-WWII recorded Croatian history needs to be properly researched and brought to light, the courage for truth becomes more and more perilous for its seeker. It has come to this: those that sow rejection of fascism actually practice it, hiding their pathetic regard for truth and human rights, under vicious “antifascist” skirts.

Yesterday, I came across a newspaper (Vecernji List, Croatia) article by Milan Ivkosic, who writes about a new book released “Labor Camp Jasenovac” (Radni Logor Jasenovac) by author Igor Vukic (no family relation to me) and it grabbed my attention particularly because, given the persecution of those that even dare offer acknowledgment of the likely possibility that Jasenovac was not exclusively and purposefully an extermination camp, the article represents sound courage and positive, objectively lined credo.

Milan Ivkosic writes (translated into Egnlish): “Almost not a day goes by that Jasenovac is not mentioned, either as part of accusations against Thompson (Croatian popular singer and songwriter Marko Perkovic Thompson), in relation to verdicts regarding ‘For Home Ready’ or in relation to various books and texts, often mutually opposing, contradictory, exclusive.

I have read a splendid book ‘Labor Camp Jasenovac’ (Published by P.I.P.), authored by Igor Vukic, an unusual author of Serb nationality whose family members were in the Jasenovac camp, but his texts are completely different from a great majority of those previously written on the same topic. Even the mere syntagma in the book’s title ‘labor camp’ suggests that the book is about very ‘sinful’ research. It is in significant contradiction to the decades of the imposed myth about Jasenovac. It is in essence contradictory to the decades long myth of Jasenovac in which the reasons for detention, the character of the camp, the number of victims … are completely different to Vukic’s.

The author is a calm researcher, completely devoted to facts, without any negative or positive passion, appropriation, or bias. And those facts are in multitudes of examples that fill the whole book, examples found in archives, mostly in the Croatian State Archives, and those obtained from other trusted sources.

If some content in the book is doubtful to the author, he alerts the reader to take caution. And these are, actually, the only author’s only ‘interventions’, everything else is told by people, their fates, transcripts from post-war court hearings, authentic documents, and information. Naturally, as he does not write about ‘Labor Camp Jasenovac’ as exclusively a place of extermination, as communist authors and propagandists do, Vukic does not deny crimes.

He only brings them out, describes them, and there were many, those with excuse, those with fabricated excuse, but there was also punishment of the Ustashas who committed some of them, and punishments included execution by shooting. Those who had committed some crime against the State were taken to the camp, but as time passed a frightening rule for Jews became valid – that they could be incarcerated only because they were Jews. The longest sentence was three years, after serving the sentence the detainees were released, some even before having served the full sentence, when they had good advocates or for other reasons. Food was generally very poor, except when it was sourced from outside, from Jewish communities or other sources, which was done completely freely and was permitted. There were a lot of illnesses and deaths, which were certified by a doctor and a local official.

“Labor Camp Jasenovac” front book cover

Breaches were most strictly punished, sometimes most cruelly – by imprisoning detainees in areas where they died of hunger and thirst. These were the strictest punishments causing escape. If a fugitive was not arrested or killed, a number of people from his group were killed. The book also mentions the attitude of Archbishop Stepinac about Jasenovac as ‘the shameful stain on NDH’ (Independent State of Croatia/WWII). There were plenty of workshops in the camp where detainees could demonstrate their creative abilities and abilities to create complicated products. Thus, in one workshop, parts for cars and aircraft were made. These workshops made into work camp, everyday life was marked by work. But in that life there was something which the promoters of the myth of criminal Jesenovac find hardest to accept. That is, there was entertainment in the camp. There were sporting matches, especially football, concerts, theatrical performances, among which performances were the works created by the detainees themselves.

A renowned musician, detainee and communist sympathiser Natko Devcic, who, after the war, wrote about the performances in the camp in an unpublished diary, led the camp’s orchestra. There were also sketches in which they participated and permitted even the highest officials at Jasenovac, such as Dinko Sakic, to be ironised. The detainees also occupied themselves with science, ad when Vuk Vernic, a detained professor of sociology and statistics, asked from the Ustashe leaders to obtain for him books from the University library in Zagreb – he got them! International inspectors also visited the camp, and one of these visits was recorded in the AVNOJ (Antifascist Council for the Liberation of Yugoslavia) 1942 publication, which states that in order to build new facilities faster the detainees received better food.

Vukic does not deal much with the number of victims, but only at the end he mentions an incredible example: although in 1941, according to documents and detainee testimonies, there were about 1,200 detainees in the camp, the official list of victims contains 10,700 killed there in that year! One could bring out a whole array of characteristics of Jasenovac from this book, which, given the data in it, is comprehensive and with its 330 pages is not a large book. Being as such, the book is an enormous contribution to the research of the truth of Jasenovac that is ideology-free, bias-free, affect-free and free of heritage entailed in the Greater Serbian and communist falsifications.” Ina Vukic

Croatia: New Fact-finding Research Into WWII Jasenovac Camp Absolutely Essential

(R) Ivo Goldstein (L) Aleksandar Stankovic
Photo: Screenshot

 

Lies loom large over some historian’s craft. Whether some accounts of history are outright lies or details which have not been proven with evidence presented as fact – they are all lies. And yet, to our dismay, deception hasn’t really figured as a category of historical analysis.

Attempts at new fact-finding research into historical events particularly those dealing with the Holocaust or WWII have been labelled “historical revisionism” with negative or undesirable connotations. This of course has been done on purpose, in Croatia by former Yugoslav communists, to thwart any possible revelation of truth, which does not agree with the myth about the WWII Independent State of Croatia they’ve been peddling since 1945. While doing that, they managed to keep horrendous communist crimes relatively hidden but definitely un-prosecuted and un-condemned.

The term historical revisionism refers to and identifies the re-interpretation of the historical record and, therefore, any investigation that leads to the finding of new facts that are not on record is simply not historical revisionism in that sense. It is correction of mistakes or misrepresentations found in historical records.

When you have a former Yugoslav communist and today’s Yugoslav communist sympathiser (who hangs on his office wall the portrait of Josip Broz Tito, former Yugoslavia’s leader and one classed among top ten mass murderers in history of the world) as a historian, as Ivo Goldstein is in Croatia, you get a deadly formula fighting against the surfacing historical truth.

On Sunday 17 June Ivo Goldstein appeared on a Croatian TV show “Sunday at 2” (Nedjeljom u 2) and the topic was WWII Jasenovac camp. While much of the show referred to a new book on Jasenovac Goldstein is reportedly preparing to publish later this year, one does not need to dig deep to find the real motive behind this TV show’s agenda. Generally it’s the increased efforts into scientific research into the WWII Jasenovac camp, both about its factual nature and numbers of victims (about which the communist Yugoslavia together with Serbian propagandist armada have perpetuated the myth of more than 700,000 victims even though 1960’s research had come up with some 83,000) that get the communist blood pumping. Specifically, the recently published book in Croatia “Jasenovac – Work Camp” by Igor Vukic, which brings forth new facts uncovered through research that seriously shake the very ground the communist myth built its historical deception about Croatia and Croats during WWII, has got the communist sympathisers, including Aleksandar Stankovic, “Sunday at 2” anchor, running for agendas that would keep the communist myth about Jasenovac camp afloat.

And so, Ivo Goldstein tells the TV audience that “the whole story of Ustashas, Bleiburg (mass communist crimes against Croats May 1945), and historical revisionism that flourishes around us has been imposed upon Croatia and Croatian society in order to deal with it, so that somewhere around the corner a backward, closed, conservative and anti-immigration ideology and its implementation politics could be promoted.”

It is a conflict between two Croatias – one is open, the other is closed, one is the ones that hates and the other is the one that wants communication,” Goldstein said, adding, “the public is bombarded with a series of lies”. Of course, he wasn’t referring to communist lies, which he himself has been peddling for quite some time. He kept pontificating about today’s historical revisionism associated with the WWII Ustasha regime in Croatia.

Since Goldstein considers himself to be a scientist, a historian, it is utterly telling of his unprofessional biases when he gave neither credence nor credibility to any new fact-finding research into WWII events or Jasenovac. In fact, he was adamant that new research and digging of grave sites around Jasenovac would not result into any new findings regarding the victims, because, he claims that the 1960’s research had found yellowish soil there that reminded of ash from burned bones! In fact, he called those who today dispute the historically recorded volume of suffering at WWII Jasenovac camp – stinkers!

While he said the 700,000 victims of WWII Jasenovac was a myth orchestrated and promoted by Serbs his efforts in no way go towards breaking that myth, a true and credible historian in that field of science should. When asked whether his new book will bring anything new he said no, nothing except psychological profiling of “Ustasha criminals” at WWII Jasenovac camp!

As I said at the beginning of this article: lies loom large over some historian’s craft.

In desperate attempts to maintain the communist myth about WWII Jasenovac camp, in a desperate attempt to mar and damage in people’s minds, at least, any new research findings that go towards breaking that myth, Goldstein is now steering into psychological profiling of people (Ustashas) who were at Jasenovac camp more than 70 years ago and are long dead and so are those who might have known them!

It is a scientific and practical fact that psychological profiling is still an inexact method of portraying perpetrators of crimes, even now. But the term has been used to amplify and give added credibility to criminal investigations. Goldstein is most likely quite aware that by using those catchwords – “psychological profiling” – the public will take notice even more than what they would if presented with bare numbers or facts. One could go even further and say that by introducing the concept of psychological profiling into historical accounts of events, that may lack necessary evidential material for profiling, it makes any lies contained in those psychological profiles even more palpable to those who choose to believe the lies in the first instance. This is simply because the idea of “psychological profiling” has caught on among the general (voting in elections) public especially since “The Silence of the Lambs” movie and TV shows like “The Profiler”. But in reality there’s more to a criminal than just his/her actions that go into his/her psychological profile.

Ivo Goldstein is not satisfied with just keeping the communist myth about Jasenovac camp unchallenged when it comes to the number of victims, he is now entering into a new domain, psychological profiling, with only one obvious intent: to keep the myth alive by building into it his concoctions of individual profiles of people who are long dead and for whom there is little if any living corroboration about the character and possible mind of that individual!

Lying, fraud and deception were a particular qualification of those who wrote the “official” history of WWII Croatia, concentrating their efforts into making the Jasenovac camp as the worst Holocaust ground in Europe. Their followers such as Aleksandar Stankovic and Ivo Goldstein deserve every bit of contempt one can muster.

Shadows from the past do hover over contemporary Croatia but not for the agenda Goldstein claims – to Ustashise Croatia. They hover because historical truth does not exist; it has been concealed, manipulated and filled with half-truths and misinformation to suit the communist agenda. For that reason, research into the facts of Jasenovac camp is absolutely essential and Goldstein’s psychological profiling can be dumped into the same trash-bin as his books and publications so far have been by all who seek and demand the truth. Ina Vukic

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