Serbia Made Itself Jew-Free, Croatia Did Not!

Antisemitic postage stamps in Serbia 1941-1945

Simone Weil (French philosopher and political activist) said in her book The Need for Roots: prelude towards a declaration of duties towards mankind (Routledge and Paul, 1952) that truth is “a need of the soul”. She went on to say: “The need for truth is a need more sacred than any other need. Yet it is never mentioned. One feels afraid to read once one has realised the quantity and monstrousness of the material falsehoods paraded in even the books of the most reputable authors. Thereafter one reads as though one were drinking from a contaminated well.” The days Weil lived in are those we live in and have lived for decades, where politics get in the way of the truth, of facts and the duties to humanity often take a back seat.

Serbia has with Efraim Zuroff’s (head of Jerusalem branch of Simon Wiesenthal Center) conspicuous help managed to exculpate itself and Serbs from the horrendous crimes committed by WWII Milan Nedic government and Draza Mihajlovic’s Chetniks, said recently Dr Esther Gitman, a USA and Israel based historian.

Two things have prompted me to write this article. The first is Efraim Zuroff’s recent tantrum published in Serbia’s Kurir that the plaque dedicated to Blessed Alojzije Stepinac fixed along the Sorrowful Way (Via Dolorosa) in Jerusalem should be torn down because according to Zuroff Stepinac’s plaque belongs nowhere in the world and that he would act in getting it removed (despite the very truth and fact that research since year 2000 by Dr Esther Gitman has yielded copious amount of historical documentation that shows beyond reasonable doubt that Stepinac in fact played a leading role in rescuing Jews and other ethnic groups during WWII Croatia).

Antisemitic poster in Serbia 1941-1942
“Who will be heaviest? No one!
Because the Jew holds the scale ” !

On publicly commenting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip to Ukraine last week, taken to be a yet another opportunity to assess Israel’s relations with the post-Communist new democracies of Eastern Europe, and especially those with a Holocaust past of participation in the systematic mass murder of Jews, Zuroff took the opportunity to say that Ukraine in recent years has been one of the worst offenders in terms of distorting the history of the Holocaust, and glorifying individuals who collaborated with the Nazis in implementing the Final Solution.

This would be fine were it not true that Zuroff takes it upon himself to help Serbia distort the history of the Holocaust. We read in the news that Serbia is planning to adopt a law to create a memorial centre in Belgrade for tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma killed by Nazis in World War II, preventing plans to redevelop two concentration camp sites in the capital city into commercial space. Draft legislation will be sent to parliament in November with the “active involvement of the Jewish community in Serbia,” Efraim Zuroff told reporters after meeting with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic this week. He said he got assurances from the Serb leader that the bill will be adopted and the government will provide funds for the memorial. The fact that it was the Serbs and not the Germans that brought masses of Jews to slaughter in WWII Serbia does not appear to deter Zuroff from towing Serbia’s line of covering up its role in the Holocaust.

All crimes should be talked about openly but not using fabrications and opinions as facts, which is exactly what Zuroff is evidently doing.

The second reason for writing this article is last week’s utterly deplorable comparison of today’s Croatia with the WWII Independent State of Croatia by Milorad Pupovac, member of Croatian Parliament representing a part of Serb minority in Croatia.  “I would not want this country to come up with the same experience, which was an attempt in the 20th century, to create a Croatian state and to collaborate (with the Nazis) … How things are now, the way many people in this country, including those who sit with us in Parliament are relating to that idea, such possibility is not unrealistic…”, Pupovac said.

While the Croatian government leadership has responded to Pupovac’s deplorable behaviour as unacceptable the mind boggles why there are no stronger moves to commence proceedings that would remove Pupovac from the Croatian Parliament. Croatian Parliament was instituted amidst the bloody Serb aggression against Croatia’s independence struggle and members of Pupovac’s immediate family were active in that aggression and ethnic cleansing of Croats from their homes. Pupovac has for years been on a rampage against Croatian independence and on the path of spreading lies about WWII Croatia just like Zuroff does, covering up and justifying communist crimes, to name only a few of his public activities that actually vilify the very country in whose parliament he sits.

Anti-Jewish poster issued in Serbia in autumn of 1941 for the Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition in Belgrade from October 22, 1941, to January 19, 1942. The exhibit focused on the alleged Jewish-Communist-Masonic conspiracy to achieve world domination with the intent to increase hatred against outsider groups that opposed Nazi Germany.

The truly distressing matter in Zuroff’s and Pupovac’s claims regarding the preposterously impossible numbers they say were killed by Croatia’s Ustasha regime is that they talk of these fabricated numbers as fact in order to make their vilification against Croatia even larger. I am astonished at the fact that no one in any national authority that protects the public from such terrible falsehoods has yet called these two men (and others in this category of disturbing undermining and promoting of false history and today) to account and compelled them to prove beyond reasonable doubt the numbers of victims they claim are true, are a verifiable fact.

A thing about the Holocaust in Serbia that bothers multitudes across the world is that Serbs themselves have put the whole blame for the exterminations upon the Germans who occupied Serbia! On the other hand, the Serbs will not do the same when it comes to the Holocaust related crimes perpetrated on WWII Croatian soil under German occupation! The Serbs will keep on vilifying Croatia by calling it a Nazi Germany puppet state and yet they will not do the same for Serbia that was, actually, more of a Nazi Germany puppet state than Croatia (Croatia’s WWII goal for independence, for self-determination, appears to have been much stronger than Serbia’s).

While it appears that Israeli Efraim Zuroff, and Croatian Serb Milorad Pupovac, will stop at nothing to cover up or at least dilute to a kind of insignificance the horrors of the extermination of Jews in WWII Serbia, it is incumbent upon us all that the truth, the real truth that can be verified, is told. One thing is for sure, Serbia itself and Serbs were the exterminators od Jews in WWII Serbia and not Serbia’s occupiers, the Germans as Zuroff and Pupovac would like the world to believe. Serbs were most willing partners in getting Serbia to the Jew-free status among European nations; they did it swiftly, they did it by May 1942!

Dr Esther Gitman

Dr Esther Gitman, a leading historian specialising in the rescue and survival of Jews during WWII especially in the region of former Yugoslavia (mainly Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia) has on several occasions in recent times commented strongly in criticism of Efraim Zuroff’s ludicrous claims about the enormity of Holocaust crime related matters in WWII Croatia and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac in particular that do not stack up to any verifiable findings and about their pursuits in attempts to cover up or minimise Holocaust related crimes in WWII Serbia. She has often reminded her public that research findings confirm the fact that WWII Serbia was one of the first European countries to declare itself Jew-free (May 1942) – with pride, to boot! On speaking recently to Dr Esther Gitman, I asked about where her research has led her to as far as WWII Serbia was concerned.

“The essence of it is that Serbia was not an occupied state, Milan Nedic was the military prime minister. They had their freedoms provided they fought the communists and killed Jews. They did a very good job in concealing the truth from the world.  My preliminary research and summary are here only to demonstrate how many armies they had in Serbia and what was expected of them.  Serbia to a certain extent was controlled by Nazi Germany and at time by Bulgaria but in essence they were free to print their own stamps and with their own name. For so many years most of us believed that Serbia was an occupied country and that it was the Nazis who killed Jews, Roma, Croats and others. The Nazi regime had no time to run after the so-called Serbian enemies, the Serbs themselves did it. It is highly recommended to send some students to the USA, (DGFP,  Department of State. Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945. Series D, Vols. 11-13, Washington D.C., 1960-1964.  See also, United States” National Archives. Microcopy,– Roll—Frame, and  United States, National Archives. Record Group).

By not searching for truth Croatia has been duped by Serbia for more than seven decades. They taught you and your children how you murdered 1,700,000 or 700,000 and you believed them even though it makes no sense. In Croatia, in total, there were approximately 2,500,000 and Serbs about 750,000, the whole story that the world and the Vatican are accepting makes no sense. Please go and make sense of what has happened to you from 1918-1941 and from 1941-1945,” Dr Gitman emphasised.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1945:
“his weapons: democracy, masonry, capitalism and communism leads to death”

“In April 1941, the commander in chief of the German army issued a proclamation defining the conditions of German rule in occupied areas of Serbia…and on 30 May 1941 the first puppet government was established. That is a Commissioner Administration headed by Milan Acimovic…  But the above were temporary figures and the German authorities had sound reasons for choosing General Milan Nedić to head the puppet (in name only) government. He was well known among Serbs as an elite General Staff officer of the pre-1918 Serbian and interwar Yugoslav armies, and he had held the two highest military positions in the country. He was regarded as a man of great personal authority, not simply because of his high professional standing, but also because of his commanding behaviour in official positions.

On August 27, 1941, Nedic informed Heinrich  Danckelmann by letter that after consulting with the commissioners and leading representatives of the Serbian people, he (Nedic) would be willing to become prime minister if the military commander would agree to specific operating conditions,” Dr Gitman continued.

Dr Gitman’s research concludes that the conditions sought by Nedic were as follows:

  • First, a Serbian government would be formed that would manage the affairs of the Serbian people under the supervision of the military commander, to conform to German military, political, and economic interests.
  • Second, the Serbian government would be allowed to develop an armed force (without which it could not assure peace and order in the country), consisting of a gendarmerie of up to 10,000 men and auxiliary armed forces according to need, and, with the permission of the military commander, both of them would be equipped with the Yugoslav weapons captured by the Germans.
  • Third, Serbian prisoners of war in Germany who were ill, all prisoners over the age of 55, and those prisoners needed for the reconstruction of the country would be released to their homes, and the Serbian government would be allowed to send food supplies to improve the rations of prisoners remaining in Germany.
  • Fourth, the “economic and administrative boundaries” of Serbia would be improved by having German troops occupy certain areas (meaning, apparently, northeast Bosnia).
  • And finally, the impoverishment, persecution, and murder of Serbs in Croatia and in Bulgarian and in Hungarian-occupied areas would cease.

In addition to these major conditions, Nedic also wanted a number of other concessions. He asked for a political council to promulgate the new political arrangements. The struggle against Communism was to be considered primarily the concern of the Serbian people and its government, with the German army helping only insofar as the means used by the Serbian government proved insufficient. In cases of sabotage, reprisals were to be applied only against those who were guilty and never against the innocent, and they were not to be undertaken until complete information had been obtained from the Serbian government. And the use of Serbian national and state emblems was to be allowed.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1942
“be on the lookout/you will not know or be aware”

“From Jozo Tomasevich we learn that there is no written record of Danckelmann specifically accepting these conditions, but in Nedic’s speech on the occasion of his installation, he thanked Danckelmann “for the full power of authority [Vollmacht] which it pleased it would seem that a real understanding existed between the two men, though only in oral form. Other documentary evidence, including a circular sent by Turner to all German area and district commands in Serbia, dated August 2.9.1941, shows that Danckelmann did promise Nedic that the Serbian authorities, under German supervision, would have a large degree of independence. Turner wrote (For Turner’s circular, see Micr, No-T-50, Roll 246, Frs. 190-9 I):

A promise was given to the government that, under German supervision, it will be given the highest possible degree of independence in administration, please, therefore, limit the activity of the administrative groups to purely supervisory functions.” A note from Minister of Interior Acirnovic to Turner, dated September 16,1941, protesting against the interference of German authorities in the operations of the Serbian gendarmerie and other government armed forces, is further proof that the Nedic’s administration understood that it would be largely free in using these forces.  Order No. I of September 5, I941, to all government employees and all armed formations under Nedic’s command encouraged government officials, the armed forces, and the public at large to resist the spreading rebellion. It stressed the need for discipline, hard work, honesty, and devotion to the good of the people, point 6 said: ‘All national forces, both of the state gendarmerie and police and of loyal Serbian men at large, can have at this time only one objective, that is, to save the Serbian people from new bloodshed and sacrifices, removing without compromise all those elements in their midst that would want to push the nation into total ruin. Under these circumstances, my orders, directed through the appropriate state organs, must be carried out by all people without hesitation,’ ” Dr Esther Gitman articulated the findings of her research and conclusions they command.

Antisemitic poster Serbia 1941-1945:
“New York Times: the press in the USA is 97% in Jewish hands”

It is difficult to know how long the Holocaust and other victims of WWII Serbia will have to wait for justice, but one thing is crystal clear: it was Milan Nedic and his government’s operatives and loyal followers and the Serbian Chetniks (loyal to the deposed Serbian Monarchy) that actively brought WWII Serbia to be one of the first European states  to become “Judenfrei” (Jew-Free); the Nazis did not bring the victims to slaughter, the Serbs did it in the name of Greater Serbia.  During the Second World War, the Serbs were ethnically cleaning Jews out of their homes in Serbia, just as they ethnically cleansed the 1990s Croats in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina out of theirs, and the role of Serbs in communist crimes committed during and after World War II was so great that its disclosure could shock the entire humanity of the world. This is not hate speech, this is the documented and verifiable truth! Ina Vukic

 

 

 

Nazi Crimes Hunter’s Deplorable Interference With Croatian WWII Pensions

Croatian Regular Army Formed 1941 as Kingdom Of Yugoslavia Folded Home Guards/Domobrani march in Gospic 1941

Croatian Regular Army Formed 1941 as
Kingdom Of Yugoslavia Folded
Home Guards/Domobrani march in Gospic 1941

 

Efraim Zuroff, Nazi war crimes headhunter, head of Israel based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, has according to the media revealed that he wrote a letter, in May, to the Croatian Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, calling for Croatia to withdraw pensions given to members of WWII Independent State of Croatia armed forces (Ustashi as well as soldiers of the Home Guard Army – Domobran). Efraim Zuroff said last week that such pensions are an embarrassment to Croatia and an “insult to their victims”!

In view of the horrendous war crimes committed in the so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH)… such a policy is inherently mistaken,” the centre’s chief Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said in a letter to Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

I find it deeply disturbing that due criticism and condemnation from Croatia has not, to my knowledge, been adequately directed at Zuroff for this letter and its reported contents. I find it incredulous that not enough teeth have been bared at Zuroff for even contemplating, let alone going ahead with labeling every single WWII Croatian soldier with war crimes. Zuroff, a man who has hunted and hunts individuals, individual persons for WWII war crimes of the Holocaust, has now it seems moved his reach beyond the scope of his ‘job description’ and is on a rampage that inflicts collective guilt upon innocent individuals.

 

 

Deplorable!

 

 

He has almost run out of individuals to hunt and is evidently now on a road of placing “plaques” of collective guilt wherever he wants to!
It means nothing to him that not a single person in receipt of the Croatian pension who had served in WWII Croatian Armed Forces has ever been charged with, let alone convicted of any war crimes!

 

 

This move by Zuroff is deplorable in many ways, but let’s just name two! First – his depraved finger pointing goes at innocent men in Croatia conscripted into the regular army (Home Guards/Domobrani) once the Royal Army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia dissolved in 1941 and honourably defended Croatia from external and internal enemies. Second – his attack on these pensions in 2015 have come 22 years after their introduction in 1993, when Croatian legislation provided for pensions to all armed forces of WWII, and it is blatantly obvious that with this move Zuroff may hope to add to the defence of indefensible communism, i.e. obstruct the battles currently being waged in Eastern Europe in particular to bring communist crimes to justice.

Of course, if one were to pay closer attention to the media then one would come across a long raft of articles coming out of Serbia supporting Zuroff’s call of collective guilt for Croats! And isn’t that interesting: all this at the time when Serbia rehabilitates the Nazi collaborator and executed WWII criminal Draza Mihailovic and keeps silent about the fact that it – Serbia – was among the first WWII countries, after exterminating 94% of its Jews and blaming others for it – to declare itself “Jew free” in May 1942. Mind you, the Serbs and Zuroff will easily tell us that it was the occupying Germans that did all the extermination in Serbia, conveniently hiding the historically long-standing antisemitism in Serbia, the anti-Semitic Milan Nedic’s government of WWII Serbia and its supporters, who were – after all – the real killers of Jews. The Nazi crimes headhunting website “Operation Last Chance”, in which Zuroff is seen as very involved, does not even bother listing the Jews in WWII Serbia and one must see dirty politics rather than justice behind even that! How sad for the victims of that part of the Holocaust.

It was in October 1993 that the Croatian Parliament passed the amendment to its ‘social security’ legislation by which it made it possible for individuals who were members of the WWII “Croatian Homeland Army” to claim a pension for their service where every one year in service was worth two years for the purposes of working-life sum required for all pensions.

It’s blatantly obvious that all victims are not equal to Zuroff – the victims of the Holocaust are more valuable to him than the victims of communist crimes even if both groups of victims arose from sheer and mad crimes! Indeed, it seems that to him WWII Croatian Ustashi forces and the Home Guards were/are one and the same thing, presumably because they both loathed communism and fought for an independent Croatia, as opposed to Yugoslavia!

A great turning point came in the last decade of the 20th century, when former communist countries in Eastern Europe began digging deeper into and unravel the real truth of World War II, emerging with the sad and true story of ‘two equal genocides,’ Nazi and Soviet (Communist) – the Holocaust had since then started disappearing as a unique event with the discoveries of many more mass graves dug by the communists, many more exterminations of innocent people than what the Holocaust had seen. Some call this process a “new history”, “revisionism” – but whatever it’s called it is the right path – the path of real truth.

In the West’s fight against the scourge of Islamic terror and Judeophobia we must be careful and mindful to act in a way that respects the rule of law. That means we must be forceful against any sort of terror act carried out by anyone, no matter his or her ethnic or religious origin. This is what distinguishes us from the barbarians who indiscriminately target civilians. We could say that our condemnation of all terror no matter from which quarter is a direct contrast from those whose school textbooks, religious and political leaders, media and followers preach hate against Jews, Christians and infidels. But then, we perhaps cannot say the same for people like Efraim Zuroff, who for political reasons or not, go for collective guilt; go for the jugular of a whole army of conscripted soldiers that defended their own country, such as the Croatian Home Guards were; who go for the jugular of the so-called fascist regime and not for the communist one when, in fact, terrible crimes were committed in the name of both.

Efraim Zuroff has stated on more than one occasion that no matter how long it takes we must hunt down and bring to justice all those who committed war crimes during the Nazi years. It’s a shame he does not seem to think the same of communist crimes perpetrators.
It would seem that Zuroff failed to mention in his letter to the Croatian Prime Minister that in his suggestion for a review (removal) of pensions given to the members of WWII Croatian armed forces a review of pensions given to the Partisans since WWII must also include an analysis of the crimes communist forces committed against innocent people – and pensions withdrawn!

So, if Croatia were at all mobilised by this letter Zuroff wrote (and it should not be) and started touching these pensions, paid from the Croatian taxpayers’ money (Many of whom are direct descendants of members of WWII Croatian Armed Forces) not Zuroff’s purse, then, given the horrendous magnitude of the number of victims of communist crimes all Partisan pensions must also be reviewed and taken away, for the Paritsans belonged to the communist forces that led the movement of mass murders and liquidations of innocent people rivaling those of the Jewish Holocaust. Obviously, Zuroff has nothing to offer in the justice for victims of communist crimes – let’s keep that in mind and the victims will see justice done in their name in the end. Democracy and truth demand nothing less! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Imminent Canonisation Of Croatia’s Aloysius Stepinac Sends Serbs Into Wanton Frenzy

 

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac Oil painting Croatian Church Chicago

Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac
Oil painting Croatian Church Chicago

It was in February 2014 when the relatively young organisation that calls itself “Third Serbia”, in Serbia, urged Serbia’s government and the Serbian Orthodox Church and all Serbs to write to the Vatican and protest against the imminent canonisation of Croatia’s WWII Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac.

This politically charged organisation, rehashing the WWII concentration camp at Jasenovac in Croatia said at the time: “After seven decades we now have the opportunity to stop the silence, prevent a new path of oblivion for the victims, new whitewashing of crimes, and stop a new international recognition of genocide… This is an opportunity for Pope Francis to do that which Stepinac did not do – condemn the Ustashi genocide…”.

The organisation Third Serbia is not about reconciling Serbian history as it says it is. On the contrary, it keeps on doing what Serbia and most Serbs have always done when it comes to WWII and crimes of genocide/Holocaust – focus on WWII Croatia rather than WWII Serbia in order to continue concealment of Serbia’s atrocious record as Nazi-collaborators and exterminators of the Jews.

Indeed, the research and fact finding mission about the Blessed Aloysius Stepinac undertaken by US based dr Esther Gitman during the past fifteen years, which absolutely exonerated Stepinac of crimes of the Holocaust and revealed him as WWII rescuer of the Jews, the Serbs and the Roma people, as righteous, is a real threat to a continued concealment of Serbia’s part in the Holocaust. No wonder the “Third Serbia” has mobilised or has attempted to mobilise protests to the Vatican against the canonisation of Aloysius Stepinac!

At the International Symposium Southeastern Europe 1918-1995 Prof. Ljubica Stefan (A Righteous Among Nations), speaking on anti-Semitism in WWII Serbia, summarized the truth as follows: “Until today, Serbia has worn a hero’s halo in a land of martyrs as a member of the anti-Hitler coalition and an alleged contributor to the victory in the Second World War. This is completely untrue. Serbia was not an unfortunate occupied land subjected to German terror. During the entire war, Serbia was the most faithful ally to the Third Reich on European territory under its domination. As opposed to all the other countries of the former Yugoslavia, there was no organized, and an even less massive, armed anti-Hitler movement. When England finally ceased supporting and exalting Draza Mihajlovic, even Radio London, according to the Serbian press, had Mr. Harrison direct the following warning: ‘It is up to the Serbs to brighten their reputation and cleanse their blemishes. Serbs, remember! The Greater Serbian hegemony will never return. The other nations in Yugoslavia have been exploited enough by the Serbs. You are being given one more opportunity to save yourselves. There has been enough dawdling and enjoyment on the part of the Serbs while other nations have been fighting’.

Until now, the Holocaust in Serbia has been an unspoken topic, a taboo. Jewish and Serbian sources offer relatively little data, mostly fragmented. What really happened, nevertheless, may be seen…
The physical liquidation of Serbian Jews began immediately in the spring of 1941. Almost all the men were killed by the autumn and the women and children and the remaining men were liquidated at the end of April and the beginning of May, 1942…It was not only the Germans who captured and killed the Jews in Serbia, rather it was the Serbian Police, Nedic’s volunteers and Chetniks. Most were killed in the Sajmiste and Banjica concentration camps. Not a single Jew managed to escape from the camps…
The majority of Serbian Jews were killed in the Sajmiste camp… The camp was formed on the left bank of the Sava by the railway bridge at the entrance into Belgrade where the pre-war trade fair was located. This is where the name Sajmiste originated. This territory which was, at that time, deserted, uninhabited and marshy, was several kilometers from Zemun and formed a part of NDH (Independent State of Croatia) territory, so the Germans asked for it to be given to them. It is, however, completely untrue that this was an (Croatian) Ustasha camp which Serbian propaganda claims even today. Not one Ustasha ever entered the camp…
As camp inmates starved and froze to death, they were transferred over the frozen Sava to Belgrade where they were buried. Many (the number is unknown) were led away to be shot by firing squads in Belgrade. They were killed in the same manner, in the same place and by the same people as were the Banjica prisoners. Some were killed by the Germans in a special gas truck on their way to Belgrade and buried in Jajinci but their number is not known. A Serbian company ‘Obnova’ purchased the clothes of those. Some were led away to camps in other countries (numbers and destination are unknown). When the number of imprisoned Jews began to decrease, Serbian prisoners and others began to arrive. One of these prisoners recalls: ‘The criminals were the same as those in Banjica. The commanders were also the same – Germans, Nedic’s men and other Serbian fascists’. According to some data, all Jews in that camp were liquidated before May 9, 1942. Belgrade had become ‘Judenfrei’…

Finally, how did the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) act during World War II? Not one word of condemnation of the genocide, the yellow bands, the concentration camps or the racism was ever heard from them. Immediately upon the arrival of the Germans, representatives of the Holy Synod paid homage to the German military commander and stated, first in print and then in person: ‘The Holy Orthodox Synod will loyally carry out the laws and commands of the occupying and territorial authorities and will, through its organs, endeavour to effect the complete abidance of order, peace and obedience.’ The synod remained loyal to their promise until the end and it never violated its promise given to the ‘father of Serbia’ General Milan Nedic that ‘the Serbian Orthodox Church will, in the spirit of St. Sava’s Orthodox tradition, continue to fight on his side’. There are no known cases of any Serbian Orthodox priest saving the life or attempting to save the life of one Jew, although some of them often openly expressed anti-Semitic attitudes in their sermons, instigating their congregation against Jews. Metropolitan Josif, as the head of the Serbian church during wartime, signed orders that Jews be forbidden to transfer to the Orthodox faith, even though this would have saved them. Three episcopates were the first to sign the ‘Appeal to the Serbian people’ of August 1941, in which over 500 of the intellectual elite of Serbia publicly expressed their support of the occupiers and quislings, which was a unique case in war-affected Europe…”

While the Serbian Orthodox Church signed orders that Jews be forbidden to transfer to the Orthodox faith, even though this would have saved them, Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac, as evidenced from Dr Esther Gitman’s factual research, sent memos to the parish priests in Croatia:
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 ourselves, 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 of savagery passes, those who would convert out of conviction will remain in our church, while the others, after the danger passes, will return to their church.”

Indeed, the canonisation of Croatia’s Aloysius Stepinac will serve justice to humanity for, among celebrating the good in people that existed despite the horrible adversities of WWII, it will also undoubtedly open up a new window into the WWII truth of Serbia – something that is desperately needed if reconciliation of history is to be fully achieved. The organisation Third Serbia has a great deal to fear, indeed. No wonder they protest Stepinac’s canonisation!

On 22 November 1941 a major anti-Masonic exhibition was opened in Belgrade, Serbia. It was widely promoted by the media. Exhibition was funded by city authorities, at proposal of Djordje Peric, Head of Serbian state propaganda. The Serbian press hyped up the message of the exhibit: “Jews deserved their fate, for interests of the Jewish internationalists never coincided with those of Serbs.”

Anti-Semitic Poster Serbia 1941 "Come and see  the anti-masonic exhibition.   The Jewish dream of being  the power of the world  is now disappearing  under the attack from  finally awakened nationalism."

Anti-Semitic Poster Serbia 1941
“Come and see
the anti-masonic exhibition.
The Jewish dream of being
the power of the world
is now disappearing
under the attack from
finally awakened nationalism.”

 

Anti-Semitic poster from WWII Serbia: "The Jew is holding the strings."   The anti-masonic exhibit - Belgrade 1941

Anti-Semitic poster from WWII Serbia:
“The Jew is holding the strings.”
The anti-masonic exhibit – Belgrade 1941

The WWII anti-Semitic exhibition in the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade had breathed a new life in 2012, albeit under the banner of “The Holocaust in Serbia” for the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The eerie atmosphere emanating from Serbs attending the exhibition cut a loathsome, painful repulsion in an observer: a sense of hovering derangement in which the Serbs looked upon these exhibits as if they were someone else’s work, not theirs! And still, the loudest of Serbian  population continues to blame Germany for the horrors of the Holocaust in WWII Serbia. Just like with today’s organisation “Third Serbia” that selective memory, which attempts to erase the responsibility of Serbs loyal to Nazism, is palpable almost everywhere one looks or happens to stumble upon. Instead of truly reconciling history “Third Serbia” has, like all other like-organisations of Serbs, taken the well-worn route of anti-Croatian propaganda by rehashing WWII events in Croatia without any regard to the truth as far as Aloysius Stepinac is concerned, in this case!  I hope that if letters of protest against Stepinac’s canonisation do arrive in Vatican from Serb sources they will bounce back to where they originated from with “Return To Sender” written in bold black ink on the envelope. Truth wins hands down every time, even if that does take a long time in many instances. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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