Depravity of Serbian Propaganda Against Croatia

It is a breath of fresh air to know that the Serbian movie „Dara of Jasenovac“ has not made it to the short list for Oscars 2021. Serbian attempt with this movie to receive international credibility for their lies and vicious anti-Croatian propaganda while at the same stroke of „pen“ burying further their own WWII Jew-free state – did not succeed. It is a breath of fresh air and another bright feather in the cap of humanity that this occurred. I am personally proud to have been one of several writers in the world who had the courage to publicly point to this film as Serbian nationalistic propaganda based largely on fabrications against Croatia and Serbia’s shameless, depraved and miserable push to include Serbs killed during WWII into the Holocaust numbers and Holocaust sufferings.

Instead, „Quo Vadis, Aida“ that addresses Serbian genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, did make it to the Oscars 2021 short list! Bosnia, July 1995. Aida is a translator for the UN in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the town, her family is among the thousands of citizens looking for shelter in the UN camp. As an insider to the negotiations Aida has access to crucial information that she needs to interpret. What is at the horizon for her family and people-rescue or death? Which move should she take? Jasna Đuričić is utterly convincing as Aida, a translator working at a UN base near Srebrenica, who sees first-hand the failure of peacemakers to prevent an unfolding catastrophe. “Will anyone in the world witness this tragedy, this unprecedented crime?” pleads a voice on a radio. Yet it’s clear that, despite being an alleged “safe zone”, nobody is ready or willing to protect this area. Instead, thousands are forced to flee to the UN encampment, where the Dutch authorities promptly close the gates on thousands more…the massacre or genocide by Serbs of some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys followed…a fact of recent history that Serb leaders deny as genocide to this day.

Serbia has been on a constant roll with accusing Croatia of antisemitism, of implementing the Holocaust during WWII and all the while, as I have written many a time on this blog before – hiding its own depravity and mass crimes against Croats, against the Jews, against the Muslims all over the former Yugoslavia terrain. Here, is a letter written by Philip J. Cohen, an American publicist of Jewish origin who authored notable books such as “Serbia’s Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History” (1996), “The World War II and contemporary Chetniks: Their historico-political continuity and implications for stability in the Balkans” (1997) and “Serbian Anti-Semitism and exploitation of the Holocaust as Propaganda” (1992), who was former advisor to the UN in Bosnia and Hercegovina, addressed to rabbi Abraham Cooper at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on February 27th 1992. In his letter, re-published by the Croatian Cultural Council (HKV) portal on 27 February 2019, Cohen successfully unmasks the propaganda of ‘Greater Serbia’, which at the start of the nineties accused Croatia of fascism and antisemitism. Cohen points out that antisemitism is deeply ingrained into Serb history.

A pdf version of the complete letter by Philip J Cohen to rabbi Abraham Cooper can be read by clicking here. Here are some excerpts:

Dear rabbi Cooper,

A campaign is taking place that aims to convince the American Jewish community of the Serb love of Jews. It also aims to propagate the idea that there is growing fascism and antisemitism in Croatia. The purpose of this letter is to recognize it for what it is, a propaganda campaign. I furnish proof that: 1. Serbia has a history of deeply ingrained antisemitism, which still operates undiminished, today in 1992; 

2. The Serb love for the Jews is politically motivated – their aim is to win the support and backing of the Jews for Serb terrorist ambitions;

3. The Serbs abuse the victims of the Holocaust in neighbouring Croatia and Bosnia for propaganda purposes, but do not offer an honest account of the Holocaust that took place in Serbia.

———

Nenad Porges is the president of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, where 1,200 of the 2,000 Croatian Jews live. Darko Fischer is the president of the Jewish community of the Town of Osijek, where the Centre of Jewish Community was bombed by the Yugoslav army governed by Serbs. When doctor Klara Mandić was asked to comment on the bombing of the synagogue in Dubrovnik, she said that the local synagogue was not damaged at all. However, Jewish witnesses disagree. Therefore, it is difficult not to get the impression that doctor Mandić may be more interested in Serb propaganda interests than the wellbeing of the Jews. In truth, her North American tour of February 1992 was not promoted by any American or Canadian Jewish organisation, or the Jewish community of Belgrade. This tour was promoted by the firm Wise Communications with headquarters in Washington, who deal in public relations and represent the Serb oil company Jugopetrol, which is a mask under which the communist government in Belgrade is represented. The American Jewish-Serb Friendship Society, the Belgrade sister organisation, uses the Holocaust in a most dishonourable manner. This Californian branch tried and is still trying very hard to make both Serbs and Jews appear as Croatian victims during WWII. Their bulletin is full of stories about (Croatian) Ustasa atrocities. However, such selective display of the past contains serious shortcomings, namely: the Serb collaboration in the Holocaust or the Serb genocide over Croats and Slavic Muslims is never mentioned. It is worthwhile to consider the Bosnian Muslims, who for 500 years lived peacefully with the Jewish Sephardic community. During WWII the Serb Chetniks, under the explicit orders of their chief Draža Mihajlović, attempted to uproot all non-Serbs from Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia, and in this mission slaughtered between 86,000 and 103,000 Slavic Muslims. Today many Serbs proudly point out that the Chetniks were their defensive force in WWII, but that is simply historical revisionism. In reality, the Chetniks primarily wanted to restore the Serb crown and the territorial expansion of the Serb state. In terms of morality, they were a version or the Croatian Ustashe, both were totally guilty of genocide. Furthermore, the Chetniks also collaborated with the Nazis and fascists, which is why Jewish soldiers decided to abandon the Chetniks and join Tito’s partisans. 

In August 1991, after I discovered the aftermentioned bulletin of the American Jewish-Serb Friendship Society, I telephoned the editor Mr. Grujić. He first denied that the Holocaust ever happened in Serbia. When I mentioned several concentration camps, he said that the Croats came to Serbia and governed those camps, which is too ridiculous to warrant further comment. With such deceptive revisionism of history, it is hard to believe that some Serbs have learnt a lesson from the Holocaust. Today, Croats in parts of Croatia under Serb rule are forced to wear red-white ribbons on their sleeves, which is a ghastly reminder of the yellow ribbons that the Jews had to wear in Serbia during the Holocaust. Doctor Mandić is the main patron of the view that antisemitism is on the rise in Croatia, and her accusations are centred around Dr. Tudjman. However, the Jewish leaders in Croatia and those Jews who visit Croatia, witness that there is no proof of any State antisemitism…

As we know, Truth is the first victim of war and communism. Regretfully, in Yugoslavia in which the Serbs governed, both war and communism were present. We have to be aware that the Jewish community is the propaganda’s favourite target. Belgrade particularly abuses the Jewish sensitivity to the Holocaust in the attempt to win Jewish sympathy towards the Serbs, who present themselves as victims while hiding their role as criminals and anti-Semites. In view of the aforementioned evidence, one has to investigate the true nature and meaning in the newly forged love of the Serbs toward the Jewish people.

Cordially, Philip J. Cohen”

———

Home to Croatia’s biggest river port, Vukovar was the scene of one of the darkest chapters of the 1990s wars of Yugoslav/Serb aggression against Croatia. It was virtually razed to the ground and suffered a huge massacre when war broke out after Belgrade-backed rebel Serbs opposed Croatia’s declaration of independence.

In November 1991, after a harrowing three-month siege, ethnically mixed Vukovar fell to Serb forces and some 22,000 non-Serbs were expelled, ethnically cleansed. About 350 people from the region are still reported missing. Serbs know where their bodies lie but they will not tell.

The Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ-led minority government of Croatia does nothing to defend Croatian people and nation from vicious Serb lies. It is up to individual citizens and foreign persons to do the work the government should be doing or at least supporting. The HDZ government permits smears and vicious lies against its own people and permits Serbia to “reign” freely with its anti-Croatian propaganda. This is undoubtedly because the minority government has decided to govern in coalition with minority parties, especially Serb one in Croatia, who promote the politics of Serbia rather than Croatia. It is a situation that is unbearable for a nation such as Croatia. The former Yugoslav communists and Serbs, the aggressors against Croatia, will not win this current war Serbia is waging against Croatia with its depraved propaganda of lies just as they did not win the war of 1990’s. Croatia has been and is blessed with multitudes of people around the world and within Croatia who stand firm on foundations of truth and justice. Ina Vukic  

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  

„Dara of Jesenovac“ – Another Serbian Movie To Obscure Jew-Free Serbia And Its Holocaust Implementation

You may notice how on the topic of WWII Holocaust, Serbia systematically insists that the extermination of Jews (abt 94%) in WWII Serbia was not done by Serbs but by the German occupier. They will tell you that Serbia was occupied by the Nazis (Germany) then – you will not hear them saying that Germany had occupied the entire Yugoslavia (the then Serb-led dictatorship of the crumbled Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which included Croatia) in April 1941. They will tell you that only Serbia was occupied and that the German Nazis exterminated Serbia’s Jews!

Yet as a matter of historical fact, Serbia’s Milan Nedic government had with all its might implemented the Holocaust and made sure that by June 1942 Serbia was one of the first countries in Europe to become „Judenfrei“ (Clean-of-Jews/ Jew-Free). Croatia or rather its Ante Pavelic government at the time never pursued a „Judenfrei“ status, even if it was, as most countries in one form or another, guilty of racial laws that saw many perish or be ostracised, but overwhelmingly less than what Yugoslav communists with Serbs have been fabricating since 1945, and overwhelmingly less than what „Jedenfrei“ status required. Not that such reality justifies any victims of WWII racial laws, but it certainly places into perspective the intrinsic need of Serbia to hide its miserable WWII truth by pointing fingers at others, including Croatia, in order to throw attention away from itself. In that, Serbia and communist Yugoslavia, not only set themselves on the path for blaming Croatia for the WWII Holocaust within Yugoslavia’s borders but also fabricated to the unimaginable the numbers of Serbs allegedly killed by Croats in that war together with the Jews.

On 25 January 2018, in its relentless propaganda pursuits of hiding its own WWII „Judenfrei“ state, Serbia opened at the UN building in New York an exhibition called „Jasenovac – The Right Not To Forget.“  

In January 2021 it released a Serbian state-funded movie „Dara of Jasenovac“ and it has the audacity to even submit the movie as a nomination for 2021 Oscars! It did not, for example, produce a movie by a name such as „Hannah from Cannon Sheds“ (Topovske Šupe concentration camp at outskirts of Belgrade). Of course it did not, if it did it would have to produce a film about the extermination of Jews in Serbia and not pair Serbs as victims alongside the Jews as it is doing in the movie „Dara of Jasenovac“.

Here below are excerpts from the article „Dara of Jasenovac Review: A Holocaust Movie With Questionable Intentions“ written by Jay Weissberg and published by the renowned Variety Magazine portal on 25 January 2021:  

Serbia’s Oscar submission is thinly disguised propaganda, cynically using the Holocaust to push a troubling nativist agenda.

Isn’t it long past time that there was an honest discussion about why there are so many Holocaust films? Unquestionably some meet the challenge posed by the injunction “never forget” but too many others exist because the market has proven that the Holocaust sells. The movies falling into this latter category trivialize and they sensationalize, fiddling on heart strings with a facile bow whose chords jump between lurid and saccharine. A subset within this group folds more troubling objectives into their cynical understanding of the market, using the Shoah to push agendas that have little to do with comprehending the unfathomable.

It’s a testament to the cravenness of the Holocaust industry that an undisguised piece of Serbian nationalist propaganda like Peter (Predrag) Antonijević’s “Dara of Jasenovac” dressed up in concentration camp clothing, can find distribution outside its native land. Less surprising is that it’s been submitted for Oscar consideration…

The makers of “Dara of Jasenovac” emphasize that the screenplay comes from witness testimony, using that tried-and-true statement to shield themselves from criticism: It happened; therefore we are above reproach. The problems with the film however are twofold: Its unconcealed anti-Croatian, anti-Catholic nativism is badly designed as incendiary fodder for current rifts between Serbia and its neighbors, while its delight in visualizing the sadism, contrasted with childhood innocence, pushes aside any reflection on the dagers of nationalism, murderous racism and genocide, replacing them with cheap sensation and sentiment…

Were there no contemporary context to “Dara of Jaenovac,” it would be just another unmodulated Holocaust drama using violence in the same way as any number of serial killer movies. But background is inescapable, and in this case, Serbian nationalists’ use of Jasenovac as a rallying cry for Serb victimhood through the centuries turns the film into propaganda. Scholar Jovan Byford has cogently detailed how linking Serbian suffering to the Shoah has long been a play to garner international sympathy and legitimize territorial expansion together with racist policies, and that’s exactly what “Dara” plays into. In addition, situating the Ilić family’s home in Mirkovci is tossing red meat to the anti-Croatian brigades given that the town remains a bitter site of contention after the genocidal breakup if Yugoslavia. A Holocaust movie designed to stoke animosity against Germany today would be roundly condemned; to not recognize the same problems here is wilful blindness…”. Ina Vukic

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