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

Croatia: Government attempting to belittle WWII Communist Crimes

Section of Tezno mass grave - 15,000 victims - Photo: Ben Freeman

While the Croatian Social Democrat led government has declined to continue sponsoring the WWII Bleiburg Tragedy commemorations, its leaders have decided to pay respects to victims at the Tezno mass grave (about 15,000 murdered there).

The only problem is that Tezno mass grave is only one of many places of WWII, and after, where communist crimes against innocent people occurred and commemoration at Bleiburg honours all the victims, everywhere along the locations of the so-called Way of the Cross (death marches), after World War II ended.

It would seem clear that the government’s move to pinpoint Tezno as THE place to pay respects is a move to belittle and degrade the symbol that Bleiburg has become and to ensure that Jasenovac is seen as the place of terrible and widespread WWII war crimes in former Yugoslavia.

This way, they attempt to reduced in importance and severity of the communist crimes committed at Bleiburg and along the Way of the Cross.

Even though the government will not sponsor the Bleiburg Tragedy commemoration it is still to be held on Saturday 12 May. Its sponsors include Western Herzegovina county, Osijek-Baranja county and émigrés from California. It is announced that Tomislav Karamarko, candidate for president of Croatian Democratic Union (largest political party in Opposition) elections to be held in May, will deliver a keynote speech at Bleiburg.

In an interview by Croatian HRT TV News (28 April 2012) Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that he would not attend the commemoration of the World War II tragedy (massacres) but that instead, he, Boris Sprem the Speaker of the Parliament and President Ivo Josipovic will attend a commemoration at Tezno, Slovenia, on May 15. Milanovic said that “the real victims of the execution” fell there and not at Bleiburg. Tezno was where the scaffold was, not Bleiburg, he added.

Well that is not the truth and Milanovic knows it. Real victims fell in many places.

His use of the word “scaffold” – the platform from which victims are executed – should not have been used for Tezno only as mass graves of innocent thousands of Croatians antifascist Partisans murdered in 1945, after World War II, have been discovered in multitudes.

As the prime minister of Croatia, I feel the obligation to pay my respects to the people who were killed there in their thousands. We are going to Tezno because the execution site there carries both actual and symbolic weight. Bleiburg may carry symbolic weight for some people, I can accept that, but that’s not the place to commemorate the victims”, Milanovic said for Croatian TV.

Mile Prpa, Portal HR.Svijet, in his article 22 April Bleiburg Tragedy – the Hypocrisy of Politics: “Imagine, to date there have been more than 1,600 mass graves (in some there are several tens of thousands of victims) strewn across Slovenia, Croatia (equally in parts where there were and where there were no Ustadshi), then across Bosnia and Herzegovina, but numerous also across Serbia to Macedonia. Out of the multitude of victims the names of the majority were not known, there was killings of people that were not acceptable to the government, among them about 80% Croatian”.

Bleiburg is the concept covering the destruction of almost the whole of the Croatian youth of the time, among whom there was a very, very high percentage of innocent or not even couple of percent of guilty, it’s also the concept for mass destruction of the large part of Croatian intelligence of all possible professions from journalists to priests. Bleiburg symbolizes an attack against entire people, everything that was vital had to be destroyed, when it was armed and unarmed and when they posed not even a minute threat. Rarely have people in the newer era, mainly during peace era, experienced so much and such tragedy. And those who have experienced it, have done so under the communist authorities”.

If Milanovic, Sprem and Josipovic are serious about paying respects to places where the “scaffolds” were then they must visit every pit, every mass grave of innocent lives taken by their antifascist predecessors, not just Tezno. Milanovic has been to Tezno as leader of the Opposition (Social Democratic Party) in 2009, he could have chosen another mass grave this year if he doesn’t want to go to Bleiburg. Saying that Tezno is the places where actual executions took place is wrong because Tezno is only one among many.

That is why Bleiburg commemoration is so very important – it is the place where all victims of the WWII and post-WWII communist purges are remembered. Death marches back to communist Yugoslavia started at Bleiburg. In “Bleiburg Massacres” by Count Nikolai Tolstoy one can see the very significance of Bleiburg and why that is the place to commemorate the victims without politics that Croatian current government is playing upon this terrible, sad, sad chapter of Croatian history. Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

VIDEOS: WW2 Massacre Made by Partisans in Bleiburg:

PART 1:

PART 2:

PART 3:

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic: will his metaphoric Ustashi snake divert attention from post-WWII Communist crimes

Cartoon: Ivo Josipovic and the Snake

When a Head of a country – a President – starts evoking a terrible long-gone past and resurrecting it, pinning it, maliciously, as active inclinations of today’s decent freedom loving citizens then we know that country is in danger of long-lasting disarray and disenchantment. This can no longer be seen as political rhetoric to win votes or political backing, but it must be seen as a blatant, vilifying attack on the decency of that whole country and a profound insult to fellow citizens at whom such resurrections of the past are directed.

It was February 2012 when Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic began using the word “snake” in talking about those members of the World War II Croatian society who participated in the Nazi/fascist driven extermination of Jews.

Of course, and in simple words but true, World War II Croatia was divided in the political loyalties’ sense just as a dysfunctional family might be today. There were those that joined the Ustashi/pro-Nazis, there were those who joined the Partisans/pro-Communists (pro-Yugoslavia) and there were those who joined neither.

Regardless of this, the world seemed to see mainly the Ustashi side of Croatia since WWII. This was undoubtedly due to the worldwide intense hunt for those who participated in the Holocaust exterminations and due to the task the Communist Yugoslavia placed upon itself: to destroy and vilify the Croatian name.

In February, when in Israel, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic requested forgiveness from Holocaust survivors in his address to the Knesset. “Some members of my nation worked to systematically destroy parts of humanity [in World War II],” Josipovic said. “We must look in our hearts, at the darkest stain in our history. We must know: The snake is weak, but it is still there.

And since we are at Jasenovac camp killings, I am truly and deeply disappointed (although not surprised) that Josipovic had not mentioned that Jasenovac camp remained open and operational well into 1948, under the Yugoslav communist rule. How many innocent, but anti-communist or anti-Yugoslav Croatians were murdered there between 1945 and 1948? That, I trust, despite the antifascist kicking and screaming, will be widely revealed and it will not constitute any revision of history but a correction of history to march the truth.

An extract from article on the Truth about Jasenovac in Fokus, 27 May 2005: “When Partisans took over Jasenovac, a large number of prisoners from the Way of the Cross ended up in there…at Gradina, in Partisan Jasenovac Croatians were killed! The largest cemetery is there! …the Partisans carried out mass slaughters there in 1945…

The very idea that in his speech in Israel Josipovic suggested that in Croatia today the political movement or program that resulted in the extermination of Jews during WWII is still active, albeit weak, is something that outraged me, and many, many people in Croatia. Simply because it is not true.

Then, in April 2012, expressing his gladness when the Government banned the International ultra-nationalist conference in Zagreb, Josipovic said: “And I, myself, was attacked when I concluded that the Ustashi snake exists, the snake is not widely accepted nor a part of our dominant culture and tradition, but we need to know that it exists and we need to be ready to react to it in an appropriate manner”.

He did not however move a finger to stop the antifascist rally in Zagreb at the same time, which basically ran amuck, ranting and raving about fascism that does not exist. But antifascists have a burning need to keep the idea of fascism alive, so that their heinous crimes against humanity of the era gone by get pushed into the background.

The open, public rhetoric such as the above from Josipovic should neither be accepted nor tolerated in Croatia. But, alarmingly, it is becoming more and more prevalent from the mouths of the governing coalition (former communists/antifascists) as well as the president.

It seems to have become a loud and brazenly insulting weapon the governing coalition and the president use in order to maintain divisions in society, in order to strengthen their power over people, in order to divert the population from the critical underperformance of economy they don’t seem to know how to move forward (apart from borrowing more money) and, I strongly believe, in order to put-up a fight against the trends in the condemnation and the processing of World War II Communist crimes.

Then on Sunday 22 April at the Jasenovac camp commemoration, after mentioning that the camp was run by the Ustashi, he said: “Often nothing is learned from tragic events because new movements emerge all the time that would want to trample on humanity, freedom and democracy. Often we can hear in the media those programs in which revisionists change history, wanting to change our future as well. But, our future will not change because Croatia has enough clever and honest people. Never again will Fascist, Nazi or Ustashi ideas pass in Croatia...”

Now, if I were a naïve bystander I would just move on and not think twice about what Josipovic said here. But I’m not naïve; I know too well that Josipovic and the Croatian governing coalition work from the platform built by communists who committed crimes against humanity in Croatia and Yugoslavia. The injustice is that the Ustashi were condemned and convicted for their crimes and the communists weren’t.

The cartoon of Ivo Josipovic and the Snake signifies the fact that the snake he says is still present in Croatia is a myth of his own creation,  just as snake-charming is.

Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

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