Croatian Academy HAZUDD To Jerusalem Post

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your editorial from August 22 and the reactions of Dejan Ristic and Ivo Goldstein and Efraim Zuroff to the article by David Goldman, which you in the meantime withdrew from your website but left the above articles, prompted us to this reaction, hoping for at least some balance, which in fact represents the reality on the world stage of opinions and historical facts discovered to date, on this topic in your newspaper.

There is no need to fear that the Holocaust, as a unique form of collective persecution of the Jewish people, will fall into oblivion, as long as children are taught about it in school history classes. Anyone with a modest knowledge of foreign languages ​​and history today can access information about the results of the census in Central and Eastern Europe and be convinced that during Nazi rule, Jews disappeared in large numbers as well as their religious and cultural objects (synagogues, schools, etc.). If not killed or destroyed, any reasonable person would wonder where millions of people and their places of worship could have gone?

This applies both to both the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which existed in 1941-45 and included the territory of today’s Croatia (for the most part) and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia. The fact that many more Jews survived the Holocaust in Croatia, in both number and percentage of the Jewish population, than in Serbia, is the result of continuous, extensive rescue operations by the domicile Croatian population and the Catholic Church led by Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb. While for Archbishop Stepinac, saving Jews was a daily task of caring, the heads of the Serbian Orthodox Church praised Hitler and openly sided with the Nazis against the Jews. If it wasn’t for the works of Esther Gitman, a Fulbright Scholar, (sources: “When Courage Prevailed – rescue and survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945” 2011 and “Alojzije Stepinac: Pillar of Human Rights” 2019), which are hardly mentioned in the press, the significant actions of rescuing Jews in the NDH would remain almost completely silenced. The efforts of many Jews to achieve the proclamation of Archbishop Stepinac as Righteous Among the Nations have so far been futile, thus creating a large stain on the reputation of the state of Israel among Croats. There were not many individuals in the enslaved Europe who, like Archbishop Stepinac, dared during the war of 1942 to declare publicly that there was only one race: the race of God (Esther Gitman research).

Despite the facts, the Serbian side on one hand expands the term Holocaust without foundation and thus dilutes it to the suffering of Serbs (Croats), and on the other hand narrows it to the Jasenovac camp, which is thus given mystical properties. An uninformed reader of the Serbian press could conclude that World War II took place mainly in the Jasenovac camp, where Croats killed 800,000 to a million Serbs, and that the Holocaust was a minor side event.

For many years, the number of 5 million non-Jewish Holocaust victims has been bandied around worldwide, and Israeli Gideon Greif, in his work entitled “Jasenovac, Auschwitz of the Balkans”, published by Knjiga komerc Serbia in 2018, claims by pure speculation of other speculators of history, and without exact evidence, that one million, if not more, Serbs lost their lives as victims of the Holocaust in Croatia! So, in such dark alleys along which Greif evidently also moves, a fifth of all non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Europe were Serbs! This is the number of victims without scientific basis, and the well-known Nazi and their collaborators hunter, the late Simon Wiesenthal, once said that this number of non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust was “intended to increase sympathy for Jewish suffering but is now more used to obscure it.” Sure, there were many non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but inventing the magnitude of that number, as has been done for decades for Serb victims, evidently seeks to diminish or dilute the severity of the tragedy experienced by the Jewish people in the Holocaust.

The bigger tragedy in this prevailing modern world ping pong game about which Holocaust victim was a bigger victim, Jew or non-Jew, lies in the fact that Serbs, with the help of people like Efraim Zuroff and Gideon Greif, seem to have managed to cleanse Serbian hands as the culprits for the extermination of 94% of Serbian Jews in World War II and by August 1942 achieving the status of one of the first countries in Europe to be “Judenfrei” (Jew-free). It is clear to all but Serbs and their political friends that the Serbs and their government of Milan Nedic, not the German Nazis, attached the “Star of David” to Jewish chests and painted it on the facades of Jewish homes, thus marking Jews for extermination.

It is precisely for the removal of this systematic, long-standing blurring of facts, mentioned by David Goldman, that a thorough, multidisciplinary investigation of the events in the Jasenovac camp is necessary as this in itself is indicated by very diverse findings:

1. According to Ivo Goldstein and others, the Jasenovac camp did not cease operating on April 22, 1945, but served as a camp for internment of opponents of Tito’s Yugoslav communist regime to at least May 1951.The Bjelovar Divisional military court findings on 8/28/1946 regarding detainee escape from the camp on 28.08.1946 (source: Croatian State Archives), as well as a 1951 CIA report, serve as evidence of that fact. It is not known that, to date, anyone has systematically deal with research of the victims of the Jasenovac camp after April 22, 1945. Perhaps there were Jews among them also?

2. Analysis of the official list of victims of the Jasenovac camp, managed by the state institution JUSP Jasenovac, using Data Science methods, showed that the list is for the most part (89% of entries) unreliable. The current census, for example, lists victims born in 1969 and 1975, respectively.

3. Contrary to the testimonies of the alleged mass executions in the Jasenovac camp in the period 1941-45, there are also testimonies of men who were boys of that time, who attended trade classes in the camp, that there were no such events.

4. When Bosnian Serbs had to leave the conquered territories around Sarajevo in 1996 as a result of the Dayton Accords, they exhumed the remains of their loved ones in front of TV cameras and took them to their new places of residence. With these acts they strongly showed their stand that remains of their loved ones should not remain in enemy territory. It is interesting that no such request for exhumation of post mortal remains was requested for the Jasenovac camp, which is located on the territory of Croatia.

5. Prompted by the above facts, forensic experts (e.g. letter from prof. dr. sc. Simun Krizanac published in “Hrvatski tjednik” weekly magazine on 12.07.2018 ) already contacted authorities and requested the search and exhumation of the human remains in Jasenovac, believing that firm conclusions about such a camp must be based on forensic medicine research methods.

6. The general progress of science has led to the fact that reconstruction and identification can be carried out for centuries-old human remains.

7. World War II archives are gradually opening up and, hence, opening up space for new insights and new interpretations.

It is clear from the abovesaid that the actual Holocaust on the territory of the then Independent State of Croatia, for which the NDH authorities are co-responsible, is clouded and confused by Serbia’s attempts to portray the course of World War II in Croatia primarily as genocide against the Serbian people. They are wholeheartedly helped by the descendants of the Yugoslav communist rulers (the so-called Red Nobility), who still rule Croatia today, who in this way want to cover up the crimes of their ancestors perpetrated immediately after World War II and during the 45-year reign of fear over Croats until 1990. If it is shown that Croats committed collective genocide during World War II, then by that same logic it would be correct for the Yugoslav Communists to commit comprehensive and protracted revenge and re-education, right?

Let’s finish with Croatia. In the very centre of Zagreb, in Praška Street, there is a parking lot on the site where the synagogue demolished in 1941-42was. This is the simplest proof that the Holocaust took place in Croatia as well. Tito’s Yugoslav communist government, hostile to Jews and Israel, not only did not rebuild it, but demolished the remaining synagogues and many Jewish cemeteries, and built a department store on the site of the Zagreb synagogue, which burned to the ground in a mysterious fire in 1980.

From President Tudjman onwards, the Croatian authorities proposed to the two Jewish communities the reconstruction of the synagogue, which has not happened so far, because the Jewish communities could not agree on the basic parameters. Ivo Goldstein, who never declared himself publicly as a Jew or a believer during Yugoslavia, also plays a not insignificant role in that community. At that time, neither his late father Slavko nor he condemned the demolition of synagogues, for example in Rijeka in 1948, or the anti-Semitic attitude of Tito’s regime, and such dishonourable conduct is not mentioned even today. In addition, the so-called scientist opposes both questioning and further research on the topic of the Jasenovac camp, thus violating the foundations of scientific methodology, to which, as a university professor, he should be deeply loyal.

In Croatia, and especially in Zagreb, there are many valuable real estates, which were taken from the Jews during the Second World War and were never returned to them. They are now inhabited by members of the “red nobility”, who, like Ivo Goldstein and Ognjen Kraus, invent fascism in Croatia, and have never advocated for the correction of injustice against Jews by returning stolen Jewish property.

From all of the above said it follows that the state of Israel, the Jewish people and their reputable media such as the Jerusalem Post, should devote themselves to a detailed investigation of all potential execution sites of Jews during the Holocaust. But if researching the execution sites of Jews during the Holocaust is an area that newspapers like the Jerusalem Post cannot deal with, because such an activity is not on their list of activities for which they are legally licensed, then those same newspapers should contribute to the research of truth and facts by also publishing written articles in relation to all research on the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust in Croatia (eg Esther Gitman) and on Jasenovac after the Second World War (eg Blanka Matković, Stipo Pilić, Igor Vukić, etc.). It is unworthy of the oldest nation in history to be represented in any part of the world by individuals like Ivo Goldstein, ready at any moment for an anti-scientific invention like the notorious bone crusher. This achieves the exact opposite effect, which Goldman rightly observes. Namely, the suspicion that Israel and Serbia have a joint propaganda venture of exaggerating the victims of World War II is completely unnecessarily fuelled. While Serbia abuses victims tenfold (and more) as a justification for hegemonic action in its neighbourhood, it is unclear why the state of Israel clearly does not distance itself from such dishonourable actions.

And even if Ivo Goldstein is completely right with his claim about the bone crusher, which the Ustashas would use just before the end of the war to remove the remains of their victims, (and it cannot be, because neither he nor anyone else mentions it in his and other authors’ numerous books!), then it would be a huge challenge for scientists in the field of forensics and forensic medicine to use the territory of Jasenovac as a testbed for methods of identifying post mortal remains originating in particularly difficult conditions. Judging by his publications and public appearances, Ivo Goldstein has never met a forensic expert or does not know that such a profession exists at all.

A scientist who, in today’s age of reliable analytical and diagnostic methods, claims that everything has been researched and should no longer be researched, recalls into memory the embarrassment of Thomas Watson, the former head of IBM, and thus disqualifies himself in scientific and professional circles.

The diametrically different attitudes towards the smouldering Israeli-Arab conflict, which escalates every now and then, in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia clearly shows which nations, states and political currents are turned to Jews with fraternal respect and understanding, and which with intolerance prone to totalitarian movements and parties. It would be nice if the Jerusalem Post devoted more space to such differences and reflections, instead of history innovator Ivo Goldstein or Dejan Ristic and their collaborator Efraim Zuroff, who present themselves as Holocaust investigators while denying the genocide in Srebrenica, which the Serbian army perpetrated 26 years ago literally in front of TV cameras.

With regards

Dr. sc. Josip Stjepandic, President, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the Diaspora and Homeland / HAZUDD

 Mr. sc. Ina Vukic, Vice President, HAZUDD

Auschwitz Of The Balkans Was In Serbia, Not Croatia!

Jews rounded up in Belgrade, Serbia 1941 Photo: National Archives Germany

Serbia continues playing a victim of WWII killings, it now shows a depraved desire to add Serbs killed in WWII to the Holocaust victim numbers even though it itself implemented the worst possible degree of the Holocaust – a state free of Jews!  It mass murdered others during WWII, it perpetrated genocide and ethnic cleansing in 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina! It still has “friends” around the world that will help it promote lies and half-truths in order to conceal its own crimes against humanity both historical and 20th century ones.

Serbian Nazi fascists worked closely with German Nazi officials in making Belgrade the first ‘Judenfrei’ city of Europe by mid-1942. Serbian leader Milan Nedic made an official visit to Adolf Hitler on 19 September 1943, advancing the idea that Serbia is no place for Jews and thanking ‘Führer’ for his decision to exterminate Jewish people in Europe. And they did – between 90 and 94% of Serbia’s Jews were exterminated in various concentration camps across Serbia.

Adolf Hitler demanded of Ante Pavelic of Independent State of Croatia to make Croatia Jew-Free (Judenfrei) – Pavelic rejected and Croatia was never on the Jew-Free path even if it did have racial laws, as did almost every country in Europe then and beyond.

Gideon Greif, the author of the book “Jasenovac – the Auschwitz of the Balkans” evidently commissioned by Serbia’s government is just another link to the anti-Croatian propaganda chain coming out of Serbia, spreading around the world like a foul stench of hatred padded with Serbian nationalistic platform of Greater Serbia (examples from recent past of such propaganda include the Serbian exhibition January 2018 in New York ‘The Right Not to Forget’, then January 2021 the movies ‘Dara of Jasenovac’…)

It is yet another notch in the Serbian chain of attempts to include Serbs killed in WWII into the Holocaust numbers, into the very heart of the Holocaust, the extermination of Jews in which, by the way, Serbs participated to the point of achieving a Jew-Free Serbia by mid-1942! Like no other state of former Yugoslavia or indeed Eastern Europe!

Gideon Greif has no problems whatsoever publishing numbers of victims in WWII Jasenovac Camp in Croatia that not only have no foundation in truth, in factual research (he also may belong to those who will call any such research “revisionism” because such research would prove them as liars!), that are exaggerated to ludicrous and physically impossible numbers, that obviously serve only the Serb and communist Yugoslavia agenda, which was to place the blame of the Holocaust in former Yugoslavia upon Croatia so that the Yugoslav communists largely led by Serbs could say they “liberated” Croatia in 1945, even though he holds some positions of a University Professor around the world! Gideon Greif in his decision to call Jasenovac the “Auschwitz of the Balkans” does not concern himself with a thorough comparison of the numbers or percentages of Jews and others who actually perished in Jasenovac with the numbers or percentages of Jews and others who actually perished in the concentration camps of WWII Serbia or, if you like, concentration camps across Yugoslavia. Perhaps because he would have to conclude that Serbia, not Croatia, would take the lead in Jew-Free pursuits and the percentage of native Jews exterminated. Had Greif studied the entire Yugoslavia, without giving the fabricated numbers of victims any importance, he would realise that the “Auschwitz of the Balkans” was actually in Serbia and not Croatia. After all, Serbia with its numerous concentration camps was “proudly” Jew-Free and Croatia was not, nor did it want to be.

In this, Greif constantly refers to the WWII “so-called Independent State of Croatia” to presumably give himself some sort of justification (not that he appears as a person who seeks justification in these matters) for not addressing WWII Yugoslavia as a whole in his writings. However, the fact is that Croatia did declare itself independent in April 1941, but it was not fully internationally recognised as an independent or sovereign state. The reality was that a section of Croatian people fought for Croatian independence during WWII (and did not succeed) and a section of Croatian people, joined by the Serbs, fought to keep Croatia within the Yugoslav federation (and succeeded). Hence, when addressing the Holocaust in Croatia one must also address the Holocaust in Yugoslavia and all its States in order to give the history a deserved place in truth and facts.

Gideon Greif in this book panders to the Serbian pursuit of depravity whereby the Serbs constantly lie to the world that 500,000, or more, Serbs were murdered in WWII Jasenovac and pursue forcefully pinning Serbs to the Holocaust victims! There is no need to ask for verification or validation of those figures because there are none. None that are based on facts, just political imagination and political pursuits. The numbers of victims published via the Jasenovac Memorial Centre records is that 47627 Serbs perished there and 11,116 Jews perished etc. Nowhere near the numbers Greif is trying to push. Current research at hand and recent research into historical documents is beginning to show much lower numbers of victims at Jasenovac than above and much of that current work should see the light of day in publications within the coming couple of years, I believe.

Gideon Greif tells the world that from the information he received regarding numbers of victims in Jasenovac/Croatia during WWII the numbers climb around 1 million; he says about 800,000 Serbs, about 40,000 Jews…He does not say that the information he received is information from persons who used guesswork, estimates and exaggeration for political reasons, no facts that are verifiable in any objective shape or form for such numbers. He continues to recycle the numbers of Serbs reportedly killed in WWII Croatia, which have absolutely no foundation in facts and truth but have been put out there for decades by Serbs and Yugoslav communists who would put WWII Nazi Joseph Goebbels’ and his PR approach to shame: ““tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it…”.

So, the world and the truth about the Holocaust simply cannot afford to rely on Gideon Greif writings because his writings are selective when it comes to WWII Yugoslavia, use fabricated or estimated numbers of victims and are, therefore, politically charged.

Here is an excerpt of Holocaust survivor truth regarding Serbia and its attempts over past few years to rehabilitate the butcher of Serbian Jews during WWII – Prime Minister of WWII Serbia Milan Nedic.

Yahalom Kashny, 4 September 2010 “As a survivor of the Holocaust, I am increasingly agitated by Serbian revisionist propaganda on the internet.

The crimes of the Croatian Ustashas were terrible, but the Serbian Chetniks also collaborated with German Nazis in World War II. Serbia was a Nazi puppet state in World War II led by Milan Nedic, Serbian fascist collaborator.

The oppression of Jews in Serbia started before the arrival of Hitler’s occupying forces. Six months before the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, Serbia voluntarily passed the legislation restricting Jewish participation in the economy, education and employment. One year later, on 22 October 1941, anti-Semitic ‘Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibit’ was funded by Serbia’s capital city, Belgrade.

Serbian Nazi collaborators WWII with German soldiers in 1944 Photo: thegoldmanreport.org

Serbian Nazi fascists worked closely with German Nazi officials in making Belgrade the first “Judenfrei” city of Europe. Serbian leader Milan Nedic made an official visit to Adolf Hitler on 19 September 1943, advancing the idea that Serbia is no place for Jews and thanking ‘Führer’ for his decision to exterminate our people in Europe.

Throughout the War, the Serbian Chetnik movement remained almost completely inactive against the occupation forces, and increasingly collaborated with the Axis, losing its international recognition as the Yugoslav resistance force.

On 20 December 1941, the Serbian Chetnik army supreme commander, Draza Mihailovic, issued the ‘instructions’ to his units, outlining his mission to create ethnically pure Serbia and commit genocide against the non-Serbs, particularly Bosnian Muslims who in large numbers joined anti-fascist Partisans. According to Mihailovic’s instructions, Chetnik army’s objective is:

‘The creation of Greater Yugoslavia, and within it Greater Serbia, ethnically clean within the borders of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Syrmia, Banat, and Bačka; The cleansing of all national minorities [including Jews] and anti-state elements from state territory; The creation of direct common borders between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Serbia and Slovenia by cleansing the Bosniak population from Sandžak, and the Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] and Croat populations from Bosnia and Herzegovina; The settlement of the areas cleansed of national minorities and anti-state elements by Serbs and Montenegrins (to be considered are poor, nationally patriotic, and honest families).’

With Adolf Hitler’s blessing, Serbian Nazi collaborators established the Serbian State Guard which comprised of around 20,000 Serb fascists, compared to the the 3,400 German police in Serbia. Their mission was to hunt down and kill Jews, Gypsies and other non-Serbs.

Milan Nedic’s second in command was Dimitrije Ljotic. Ljotic founded the Serbian Fascist Party and organized the Serbian SS Volunteers Corps which hunted down and killed Jews, Gypsies and Muslims. Serbian citizens received cash bounties for capturing or killing Jews.

Banjica concentration camp was primarily operated by Serb Nazis who took sadistic pleasure in killing Jews. The camp was created by converting barracks of the Serbian SS 18th infantry division. The funding for this conversion came not from Germans, but from the municipal budget of Belgrade.

Operation Halyard has often been cited as ‘evidence’ of the Chetniks’ continuing strong pro-Allied sympathies for rescuing as many as 500 downed Allied airmen. However, they did so because they were paid in gold for each rescue. Partisans and Ustashas also rescued Allied airmen, and they were also paid in gold. Having lost all Allied support to the Partisans (along with the recognition of the King Peter II), and with the Axis defeat in Europe a certainty, Serbian Nazi collaborator Draza Mihailović went to great lengths to regain Allied support and to portray himself in a favourable light. However, the Allies were aware that Mihailović’s troops were rescuing German and Ustaše aviators from the Partisans (as indicated in a Nedić government report of February 1944) and, on other occasions, even hunted down Allied aviators on behalf of the Axis occupation.

Serbian collaborationist forces during this period, sanctioned by the Serbian fascist government, also included the ZBOR party and Serbian Volunteer Corps led by Dimitrije Ljotić and the rogue Chetnik faction of Kosta Pećanac. Serbian Gestapo, officially known as the 1st Belgrade Special Combat detachment, was a special Serbian SS police unit which was established in World War II Serbia.

It was only after the withdrawal of the Germans and the overthrow of the Nedic regime in October 1944 that the Serbs in Serbia began to join the anti-fascist Partisans in large numbers. These new Partisans included tens of thousands of former Serbian Nazi collaborators responding to Tito’s promises of amnesty…

Instead of poisoning the internet with half-truths and outright lies, it is time for Serbia and the Serbs to face reality and acknowledge they collaborated with Nazis and committed a genocide over Jewish and Bosnian Muslim population in World War II. May your God forgive you, but Jewish people won’t.”

Haris Deutsch, a member of the Jewish Community of Belgrade said in October 2016 that the organisation would call witnesses to testify about Nedic’s active participation in the Holocaust at the ongoing rehabilitation hearings.

“About 90 percent of the Jewish population in Serbia was murdered while Nedic was in power and Belgrade was the first city in Europe to be declared free of Jews.

Rehabilitation would represent a devaluation of indisputable historical facts, and an insult to all the victims and survivors of the Holocaust,” Deutsch said.

Serbia and Yugoslav communists have been lying to the world since 1945 regarding the true facts of victims in WWII in Croatia and Serbia, ensuring that Croatia gets the bulk of the blame as a matter of their official “state” position. And they fabricated numbers of victims in Croatia to the level that would surely shock the world! Today, Croatia is experiencing an appalling lack of political and government will that would correct these wrongs perpetrated against WWII Croatia, against Croatian people. That sad reality is because former Yugoslav communists, former 1990’s Serb aggressor against Croatia sympathisers, are in positions of power and government. And then Croatia has some loud Jews such as Ognjen Kraus, president of Jewish community Zagreb, a former communist and today’s mental communist, who appears to be a special breed of Jew (perhaps even a pretend Jew), something like Greif may be – don’t touch Yugoslavia/Serbia just bash against Croatia! One thing is crystal clear: Ognjen Kraus to my knowledge, and it is quite large, has never ever publicly commented on or disputed the wild exaggerations of victims in Jasenovac, nor has he requested that the truth be established for all concentration camps in former WWII Yugoslavia. This would, I hold, be an absolute necessity were one truly concerned about all victims of the Holocaust. Ognjen Kraus, like many other Jewish public personalities, appear to use the Holocaust as a political tool for their personal advancement and not for asserting historical truth. It suits the communist political agenda to defend the murderous communist Yugoslavia and Serbia not to address WWII Yugoslavia as a whole but just focus on Croatia and keep churning scandalous lies and wild estimates rather than factual numbers of victims. Ognjen Kraus has been and is in that company. To see that Gideon Greif is evidently tugging this line of deceit with them, just as Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center does, is quite an eye-opener and, I trust, a motivational boost for those who seek and demand the truth via research of historical facts. Ina Vukic  

Tito’s Pioneers Keep Sharpening Their Axes Of Hate Against Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije Stepinac

A communist narrative in Marie-Janine Calic interview about Croatia’s Blessed Alojzije Stepinac

On 8 December 2020 the widely read Catholic portal from Germany (Katolische.de) published an interview with German historian Marie-Janine Calic, daughter of Croatian-born Eduard Calic (1910-2003) – historian and Yugoslav (read communist) journalist who was a Berlin-based correspondent for a Yugoslav newspaper during WWII, when Croatia itself fought for independence away from Yugoslavia. This fact alone can throw a spotlight on the mental aura Marie-Janine Calic was, more likely than not, brought up with and that would include a profound intolerance and bias against any patriotic feelings away from the failed experiment of Yogoslavia (e.g. of Croatian patriotism). The interview was published under the title “Figure of hate: a historian warns of Cardinal Stepinac’s canonisation” ( Hassfigur: Historikerin warnt vor Heiligsprechung Kardinal Stepinacs” ). Blessed Alojzije Stepinac’s canonisation by the Vatican (Pope Francis) has been thwarted by political twists, lies and biases of the Serbian Orthodox Church and former communists. My recent open letter to Pope Francis delves into some of the issues pertaining to this.

This is the same Marie-Janine Calic who in her 2014 book “A History of Yugoslavia” strongly rejects the fact that Yugoslavia was an artificial state and still attempts to present the ludicrous idea that a common Yugoslavia made of the states was conceived in the mid-19th century as an attempt by elites to overcome underdevelopment in that region, secure progress and assert the right to self-determination for their people! Facts of history have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Serb domination and oppression, whether in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (that disintegrated at dawn of WWII) or the post-WWII Yugoslavia (that disintegrated in 1990/1991), suffocated the self-determination of their peoples Calic is shamelessly bandying around in this interview. The only self-determination right during the hundred years Calic is talking about was usurped by Serbs and Serbs alone, oppressing all other nations (Croat, Slovene, Bosnian, Macedonian) within that forced concoction of united Yugoslavia, which saw or represented not even the “u” in the true meaning unity; it was a forced union maintained either by the Serb Monarchy’s dictatorship or the Tito communist one.  

It seems to me that with this interview for the Catholics of Germany portal Calic is working in concert with those from the Serbian Orthodox Church and with former communist “dignitaries” to hammer in yet another nail into Blessed Alojzije Stepinac (who died at the brutal hands of Yugoslav communist regime) canonisation coffin. Why else would she in the interview call him a “figure of hate” and call his beatification by Pope John Paull II in 1998 controversial! It seems to me that if she has never been a Communist Party operative, a Yugoslav thug, she certainly demonstrates its modus operandi on quests of assassinating characters of decent people, with omitted and/or twisted details and half-truths. She fails to clarify in her interview that the only people who “hate” Stepinac are and were the former Yugoslav communists and the Serbian Orthodox Church, to multitudes of others he was a figure of human compassion and love, a saviour and rescuer to the endangered in WWII. We have the historical facts on that presented in research of New York based dr Esther Gitman and the writings of British dr Robin Harris, among others, as irrefutable evidence of that, not the claptrap promulgated by Calic, an evident stalwart of Serbia’s eternal lies and fabrications against Blessed Stepinac and WWII Croatia.

In the above interview Calic is asked: “In a biography published in 2017, lawyer Claudia Stahl writes that Stepinac supported those in need and persecuted?” Calic responded: “He occasionally led a campaign to save Jews, baptised as Catholics, especially children. But he never raised his voice against the planned extermination of Jews and other ethnic groups. He also never publicly distanced himself from the Ustasha regime.”

“Would that do any good?”, the question followed. Calic replied: “Stepinac was the Archbishop of Zagreb, chairman of the Bishops’ Conference and was in charge of the entire Catholic military pastoral care. As the highest representative of the Church in Croatia, he could at least stop the systematic persecution of Serbs by members of the Catholic Church.”

I find it sickening that Calic in this interview generally talks about persecution of Serbs and Jews in Croatia during WWII and fails to mention, in the same breath, that Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbia’s WWII Milan Nedic government were utter persecutors and exterminators of the Jews – historical facts are that by May 1942 Serbia had exterminated 94% of its Jews and boasted of becoming one of the first European states to be “Free of Jews” (Judenfrei)!  

How twisted and full of hate against Croats would one need to be to come up with such a reply as Calic did above! She completely ignores the realities of WWII and especially the fact that Serbs persecuted and murdered Croatians by thousands upon thousands and Stepinac still did all in his power to save as many Serbs as possible, even though most deserved persecution for their previous crimes and oppression, if we’re to be frank on a human motives’ levels. She completely ignores the historical findings of past twenty years that show and demonstrate the good deeds of Cardinal Stepinac towards Jews, Serbs, Roma – towards anyone faced with life-danger amidst the WWII political brutal divisions and animosities from all sides. Calic completely bypasses and ignores or underplays the public truth about Blessed Stepinac, published by historians and I will only present a small part here.

In 1934, Pius XI named Stepinac as coadjutor to Bauer. Not long after being made a bishop, as early as 1936, Stepinac knew of the threat facing the Jewish people in Europe and sought to raise funds to help those who were fleeing Nazi Germany and Austria.

He appealed to wealthy Croatian Catholics for their help: “Dear Sir, due to violent and inhumane persecution, a large number of people have had to leave their homeland. Left without means for a normal life, they wander throughout the world…Every day, a large number of emigrants contact us asking for intervention…It is our Christian duty to help them…I am free to address you, as a member of our Church, to ask for support for our fund in favour of emigrants. I ask you to write your free monthly allotment on the enclosed leaflet,” he wrote to them.

In an address to students in 1938, Stepinac condemned the racist ideologies of the Third Reich: “Love toward one’s nation cannot turn a man into a wild animal, which destroys everything and calls for reprisal, but it must ennoble him, so that his own nation secures respect and love of other nations.”

In 1939, he launched another fundraising campaign to help Jews and other persecuted migrants fleeing their countries because of the war, again emphasizing the Christian’s duty to help those in need regardless of their race or creed.

War officially came to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (which was comprised of modern-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia) on April 6, 1941, when German forces invaded the region.

Stepinac, as head of the Catholic Church in the majority-Catholic Croatia that had declared itself an independent state in April 1941 as the Serb-led Kingdom of Yugoslavia fell apart, had the difficult task of opposing the racial laws that were brought into practice in Croatia (as they were brought about in Serbia also).

Stepinac organised hiding places for an unknown number of Jews using Croatian Catholic connections he had throughout the country or raised funds to help them escape to a safer place. When Stepinac’s own life was in danger, he warned all those that he had helped hide, and told them to find a different hiding place so that they would not be found out.

Stepinac also told his priests in no uncertain terms that they were to accept any requests from people who wanted to convert to the Catholic Church in order to try to save their lives – whether they were Jewish, Serbian, Gypsies, or other persecuted groups.

Based on dr Esther Gitman’s research into historical documents she found that Stepinac had a policy he passed on as instruction to all priests in Croatia: when a priest is approached by a Jew or a Serb whose life is in danger and they wished to convert, convert them, because the Christian duty is in the first place to save lives.

“When you are visited by people of the Jewish or Eastern Orthodox faith, whose lives are in danger and who express the wish to convert to Catholicism, accept them in order to save human lives. Do not require any special religious knowledge from them, because the Eastern Orthodox are Christians like us, and the Jewish faith is the faith from which Christianity draws its roots. The role and duty of Christians is in the first place to save people. When this time of madness and savagery has passed, those who would convert out of conviction will remain in our church, while others, after the danger passes, will return to their church,” read a note from Alojzije Stepinac distributed to parishes in Croatia during the war.

In the interview Calic claims that 250,000 Orthodox Serbs were converted to Catholicism in WWII Croatia! She provides no verifiable source for her claim, and journalist interviewing her does not ask for one (!) and we are tempted with good reason to conclude that she made it up, just like communists and Serbs have been making up stories and numbers of others’ victims for decades! This communist Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia lover, Calic, does not even bother in this interview mentioning that Tito mounted a persecutory court process (a show trial) against Stepinac in 1946, charging him with Nazi-collaboration and denying him any right of defence, conveying of life sentence by house arrest where he died a harsh death in 1960. It was only after Stepinac rejected Tito’s proposal and insistence to take the Catholic Church in Croatia away from Rome, to abandon Roman Catholic Church and establish Croatian Catholic Church that Stepinac was charged, tried and convicted of treason by Tito’s communist Yugoslavia! Calic in her above interview even tries to justify the staged process against Stepinac by saying that the process “also involved dealing with mass crimes in which the representatives of the Catholic Church took part.” What an appalling and tendentious claim by Calic! Reading it one could easily conclude that the Catholic bishops in Croatia carried out mass murders of people and that Cardinal Stepinac was their leader.

Outrageous!

Calic’s presentation of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac in this interview as a “figure of hate” goes in the same direction as similar bashings against Stepinac by the Serbian Orthodox Church that have persisted since WWII. This is evidently another attempt to damage a representative of the Croatian Church, which was so strongly persecuted by the Communists in the media. Furthermore, with this interview, Calic appears to have hopped onto the Serbian wagon of continued persecution of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac to perhaps remind the German nation of its own dark WWII past and thus get them on the side like hers, which hates Stepinac. If they didn’t hate him they would need to take a look at themselves and admit to Serbia’s sins and genocidal past!

How dare she call Stepinac a Nazi sympathiser in a country that is still trying to forget its Nazi past! Furthermore, why is the German Catholic portal (Katolische.de) publishing such defamation and persecution of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac when other worldly renowned Catholic newspapers and portals such as the Catholic Weekly (Australia and USA), Catholic News Agency, etc. have been publishing research findings about Stepinac’s deeds of numerous rescues of Jews and other endangered groups during and before WWII for at least a decade!

If you want to remind yourself of, or learn about communist narratives simply visit the katolische.de interview with Marie-Janine Calic dated 8 December 2020 and all will be crystal clear to you.

And if you want to visit a place of absolute truth about the works and good deeds of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac during WWII, in particular, read the book by the American author, a Holocaust survivor from Sarajevo, dr. Esther Gitman, “Stepinac: A Pillar of Human Rights” or “When Courage Prevailed: The Rescue and Survival of Jews in the Independent State of Croatia 1941–1945” or the book by British author dr Robin Harris: “Stepinac: His Life and Times”, or Zvonimir Gavranovic’s books “In Search of Cardinal Stepinac”, among multitudes of other most credible works about Stepinac. Ina Vukic

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