Croatians Remember The Suffering and Victims of Communist Crimes

When the Associated Press publishes an article regarding WWII Croatia and other world mainstream media such as New York Times shares it, you can safely bet your bottom dollar an evidently anti-Croatian independence biased journalist of Serbian extraction wrote the article. And so, on 17 May 2019, the world’s public has been served an article written by Dusan Stojanovic, “Croatia’s WWII Divisions in the Open as Merkel Visits”, not because of the need to acknowledge and respect WWII and post-WWII victims, no matter which side they were on during the war. The article is obviously served in order to prop-up anti-Croatian propaganda regarding victims without even blinking an eye at even the thought that the numbers of victims pinned to Croatian independence fight during WWII and blown out of every proportion, are in fact wrong and made up to no other end but to vilify the Croatian people who wanted Croatia’s independence as opposed to a communist Yugoslavia.

“The (Ustasha) regime was responsible for sending hundreds of thousand Serbs, Jews, Roma and Croatian anti-fascists to death camps,” writes Stojanovic! He gives no source for this statement in his article. Of course, he gives no credible or factual source because there is none! The fact that there are sources based on research that give an entirely different picture, overwhelmingly discrediting the atrociously concocted estimates he helps spread does not seem to interest him.

Expectedly so, Stojanovic, goes on to quote communist Yugoslavia’s last president and president of Croatia between 2000 and 2010, Stjepan Mesic, as if wanting to justify the horrendous communist crimes against Croats: “Innocent people died in the (WWII) concentration camps, in Bleiburg, the Ustasha army capitulated and they were not innocent victims.” By using this Mesic quote one cannot but conclude that Stojanovic obviously subscribes to the communist depraved thinking that an unarmed, white-flag-waving enemy soldier needs no court ruling to be proven guilty of any crimes, need not be afforded the due treatment as POW, let alone the fact that those murdered at Bleiburg were murdered after WWII had ended! Let alone the fact that both Mesic and Stojanovic and multitudes of pro-communists fail to emphasise that civilians (women, children, elderly) as well as ex-Croatian soldiers were slaughtered in masses, dumped into mass graves and pits, at Bleiburg and along the Way of the Cross, throughout Slovenia and Croatia.

Communist purges by Yugoslav communists occurred because of power-hungry intolerance towards differing political opinions or orientation. All anti-communists were murdered, incarcerated or tortured, forced to flee the country to avoid persecution and ostracising or simply existed as socially inferior citizens of communist Yugoslavia. And Stojanovic has the gall to write about the Ustashe regime as being murderous and fascist. One would expect a fairly balanced article from a source such as Associated Press or New York Times, but no – all we get as a token gesture of balance in this article is this:

“During her pre-election campaign, the leader of the small Independents for Croatia far-right party, Bruna Esih, said Bleiburg represents a ‘symbol of sacrifice, suffering and freedom’”. But then, it’s a poor token gesture of balance because immediately after those words Stojanovic lets the readers know that “many in Croatia disagree.” Forgets conveniently to inform the public that those disagreeing with Bruna Esih’s words are in fact former communists who still hold power in Croatia and in whose interest it is to keep communist crimes under the carpet or to justify them, using fascism as excuse, but in that, proving to us the horrible truth that the communist regime had no tolerance for human rights to varying political allegiances or opinions.

Bruna Esih, President pf Independents for Croatia Party
(Neovisni za Hrvatsku)
Photo: narod.hr

Stojanovic goes on to write and says: “The memorial in Bleiburg, sponsored by Croatia’s parliament, has developed into a festival of right-wing extremism. Anti-fascist groups from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria have requested the event be banned and plan to protest on Saturday. Since last year, Austrian authorities have banned Ustasha flags, their black uniforms and insignia with letter ‘U’ at the gathering, and the local Austrian Catholic Church refused to take part in prayers held in the vast field surrounded by mountains.” He ends his article with this: “Anyone has the right to mourn their loved ones, regardless of who they were or how they ended up,” said Franjo Habulin, head of the Association of Antifascist Fighters of Croatia. “However, no civilised European country has the right to participate in commemorating the fall of fascism.”

Again, Stojanovic fails to mention that the same Franjo Habulin continues to lead events celebrating communist Yugoslavia, which as far as civilised Europe he refers to is concerned, has placed communism at the same level as fascism when it comes to condemnation of totalitarian regimes. Stojanovic does not even bother to tell the public that WWII Croatia was not a country ruled by Fascism in the full sense of its definition; it appears the innuendo that it was fascist suits many a communist regime apologetics where the victims of communist crimes are concerned. While facts tell us that Ustasha regime in WWII (whose prime goal was Independent Croatia) made profound mistakes, both on political and human life level, and imposed terror over groups of people, it was a time of war in which all sides (including the communist whose prime goal was to retain Croatia within Yugoslavia) made similarly profound mistakes and imposed terror over groups of people. Just because one side won the war, and the other didn’t, justifies nothing and especially not the crimes that brought about so many victims.

This weekend is a weekend of large significance for Croatians who have fought for, supported and cherished the independence of Croatia throughout time. It is the weekend that commemorates communist genocide against Croatians, the hundreds of thousands of innocent Croatian victims murdered by the communist Yugoslav partisans and authorities particularly from 14 May 1945 at Bleiburg, dumped tortured or murdered into mass graves along the so-called “Way of the Cross” through Slovenia and Croatia (so far some 1700 mass graves unearthed). While Stojanovic’s numbers of victims of Croatia’s WWII Ustasha regime are politically mounted estimates by communists and are increasingly proven to be wrong through research, the numbers of communist crimes victims are not estimates – the already unearthed hundreds upon hundreds of mass graves of Croatian victims speak loudly for themselves even though their voice is cruelly subdued by communist operatives or their apologetics. Lest we forget Bleiburg! Ina Vukic

Tito’s Crimes Should Never Be Forgotten

Robin Harris
Photo: http://www.unicath.hr/

The leaders of Croatia’s antifascist movement repeatedly identified themselves with Tito. They offered no apologies for Tito’s methods and the Communist Party’s crimes.

Tito, in fact, behaved as Communists do, promoting revolution by the mass liquidation of potential opponents, by subverting every independent institution, and by bringing all power within the Party’s control.

By Robin Harris,

(source:  standpoint.co.uk )

Progressive opinion affects to take symbols lightly. Thus public acceptance of blasphemous plays and obscene exhibitions, the burning of a national flag, and insults to heads of state are all supposed to be evidence of intellectual liberation. Particularly in former Communist countries, where symbolism has altered in ways that disorientate the new as well as the old Left, the cry quickly goes up that any concern for symbols is an “obsession” or a “distraction”.

In Eastern and Central Europe, though, the Left’s indifference to symbols is an affectation. The modern leftist turns in a flash into a snarling neo-Communist — lacking only a Party membership card and Kalashnikov to revert to the older variety — when his own myths are challenged. Moreover, his assumed indifference to tradition quickly becomes intolerance of “extremism”, if any unwholesome, or ambiguous, symbol emerges from shadows on the Right.

On Friday September 1, Zagreb City Council voted to change the name of one of the most prominent squares from “Marshal Tito Square” to the “Square of the Republic of Croatia”. The decision was greeted by some solemn shaking of heads in the Western media, where it was depicted as an assertion of reactionary nationalism. Credibility was lent to this by the fact that the campaign to change the name was spearheaded by Dr Zlatko Hasanbegović, the former Croatian culture minister, who fell foul, when in office, of agitation from George Soros-backed NGOs, whose tax-financed budgets he was minded to cut. Hasanbegović is a nationalist historian with a taste for controversy and what, for politicians in Croatia, is an unnerving willingness to argue intellectual positions. He is not, however, a fascist, anti-Semite, or racist (he is a Muslim, and so has received his fair share of Islamophobic abuse). In any case, the majority for the change was provided by the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the centre-left party grouping attached to Zagreb’s mayor, Milan Bandić.

The square’s name change was historically significant. It clearly symbolised a break with the country’s past. But it became involved with another dispute about symbols, which has, despite the sound and fury, no historical significance at all. Near the Jasenovac concentration camp, where a large number of Serbs, Jews and political opponents of the quisling Independent State of Croatia (NDH) were killed by the Ustasha authorities, a private memorial was raised a year ago to members of the HOS (Croatian Defence Forces — a rightist paramilitary force) who died fighting in the war for Croatian independence in the early 1990s. On the memorial was inscribed the Ustasha salute “Za Dom Spremni” (“Ready for the Homeland”). The salute was apparently used by many HOS fighters — though who knows with what understanding of its true significance? The memorial plaque has since been moved a few miles away. What to do generally about totalitarian symbols — including the Communist five-pointed Red Star (“Petokraka”) positioned near the sites of mass graves of Communist Party victims — is now the thankless task of a government-appointed commission. Meanwhile, a well-funded, internationally-supported “antifascist” movement currently seeks to link cases of real or imagined nostalgia for the Ustasha regime — which collapsed 70 years ago — with the movement to cleanse Croatia of the remains of the Communist regime — which have a disconcerting degree of life in them still.

But what is this “antifascism”? There the historical evidence is clear. Antifascism is not a catch-all category of democrats. It is a Communist construct. It is, indeed, meaningless without reference to Communist ideology. Its exponents quickly manifest this even today by their willing defence of the record of Communism, their espousal of a recognisable (anti-Western) Communist world view, and their unshakeable conviction that the only threat to civilisation comes from the Right, not the Left.

Until the recent upsurge of leftist anarchism in America, there was, significantly, no antifascism in the US or Britain. Yet these countries were the key components of the Western alliance against the Axis powers in the Second World War. The absence of any antifascist movement in the US and the UK is not just because there was no significant indigenous Anglo-Saxon fascism (Mosley quickly fizzled out); more importantly, it is because there was no significant indigenous Communism — whose creation antifascism is.

Antifascism was a propagandist device to broaden support for Communist Party aims among non-Communists. It was a tactic to gain power, at which point power would be wielded exclusively by the Party itself. The intermittent emergence of antifascism was just a sign of the Communist Party’s temporary weakness. Between the two world wars the promotion of antifascist “Popular Fronts”, most successfully in France, encompassing the democratic Left but serving the Party, was authorised by Moscow. In 1939, however, Stalin opted for the alternative strategy — alliance with Hitler — and antifascism was immediately discarded.

Yugoslavia’s leader Josip Broz Tito in 1960
(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The Yugoslav Party under Tito, like other European Communist parties, obediently followed the new line. The much-trumpeted “rising” of the Communist partisans was not in response to Ustasha atrocities — the NDH had been formed on April 10, 1941. It was an authorised response to Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union — on June 22. With energetic prompting from Moscow, the Yugoslav Party now took up antifascism as a device to rally opposition to the Axis occupiers and the quisling regimes in Zagreb and Belgrade, but with a view to imposing a classic Marxist-Leninist revolution. The term “antifascist” was meanwhile used to legitimise what were presented as non-Party institutions of an alternative government — as with AVNOJ, the Antifascist Council of the People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia. Once the Communists attained power and squeezed out or liquidated non-Communist elements, under way by 1944, antifascism was relegated from its prominence in the Party’s ideological arsenal. Only in 1990, when the Communists knew that they were facing a reckoning with real democracy, did the Party revive antifascism. So, for example, while the Party changed its name from the League of Communists of Croatia (SKH) to the less threatening Party of Democratic Change, and then the Social Democratic Party, the Communist veterans’ organisation, SUBNOR (Alliance of Associations of Fighters in the People’s Liberation War), was retitled the Alliance of Antifascist Fighters. In short, antifascism never existed independently of the Communist Party, and though millions of genuine democrats have fought oppressors who may, at a pinch, be described as “fascist”, those freedom fighters had nothing in common with the ideological artefact of antifascism, except occasionally as useful dupes.

This, then, answers the question: what is antifascism? And what is its link with Communism? But the further question is: What is Tito’s role in it?

The old plaque on Tito Square, now intended for the Zagreb historical museum, makes a large claim. It reads: “Marshal Tito Square. Josip Broz Tito, politician, leader of the antifascist movement, President of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, 1945-1980, 1892-1980.” (Emphasis added.) An array of campaign groups turned out — in only modest numbers, despite the media attention — to protest against dethroning their hero from his square. The television pictures told the story of their identity and their marginalisation. Everywhere big red flags bearing the hammer and sickle were waved. The only Croatian flags present were those of the old socialist “People’s Republic”. Some protesters wore items of Yugoslav army uniform — the same worn by the Serbian/Yugoslav army forces which in 1991 attacked Croatia.

The leaders of Croatia’s antifascist movement repeatedly identified themselves with Tito. They offered no apologies for Tito’s methods and the Communist Party’s crimes.

But a glance at the list of groups supporting the protest suggests that some very special apologies were in order. Were the “Women’s Network” aware, one wonders, that Tito initiated sexual relations with his first wife when she was just 14? That he later denounced her, and his second wife — and a host of other Party “comrades” — to the NKVD when he was in Moscow in the 1930s? Did the homosexual activists know — as a forthcoming book by a Croatian historian will shortly detail — that at the Goli Otok concentration camp, to which Tito despatched his political enemies, the authorities publicly humiliated and beat  homosexuals, whom they considered “bourgeois decadents”?

The Jewish community, represented at the protest, has, of course, reason to detest the behaviour towards them of the wartime Ustasha, who fully collaborated in the Holocaust decreed by the Reich. But should Croatian Jews be grateful to Tito and the Party? In 1945 well-known Jewish businessmen were killed and their businesses seized by the Communists. When the Communists arrived, Jewish properties confiscated by the Ustasha were not returned, but were again seized and enjoyed — and are often still enjoyed — by the Communist elite and their privileged, cosseted progeny — the so-called “red bourgeoisie” who provide the bulk of the ruling class of  “post-Communist” Croatia.

As for the Croatian Serbs, whose leaders were prominent in the protests — whatever privileged positions they disproportionately occupied under the Party, notably in the repressive apparatus, they would be well advised to reflect on the long-term cost of those benefits. That cynical Communist policy of divide and rule meant that in 1990, when democracy arrived in Croatia, Serbs were both distrustful and distrusted and as such automatically seen as hostile to the new state — which the Serb rebellion prompted by Belgrade (still then led by Communists) confirmed. If Tito’s Yugoslavia left hatreds so raw and wounds so deep, who can seriously conclude that Communism offered a cure or even a palliative for atavistic nationalism, as its apologists still claim?

Tito’s persona still, however, evidently holds a certain attraction. It is of more than historical interest to understand why. The answer seems to be that Tito, though an orthodox Communist — his quarrel with Stalin was caused by ambition, not doctrine — was also something else, and this “something else” turns out to be that he was a heroic “antifascist”.

Tito, in fact, behaved as Communists do, promoting revolution by the mass liquidation of potential opponents, by subverting every independent institution, and by bringing all power within the Party’s control. He authorised the killing of tens of thousands of people, many without trial, others with staged trials — soldiers, conscripted Home Guard members, unpolitical civilians, Catholic priests, monks and nuns, doctors, nurses, teachers, journalists, businessmen, women and children. The mass graves, where people were thrown in alive to be slowly suffocated by the weight of those who followed, are still gradually being excavated. For fear of annoying influential Communist cadres, who had joined anti-Communists to create the fledgling Croatian state in 1991, these horrible crimes were for many years left unmentioned. Until recently, most Party and secret police archives were similarly inaccessible. There was no lustration of Party members. Not a single trial within Croatia has been held of a Communist official: only in Munich, after Germany managed to secure their extradition, were two high-ranking Yugoslav secret police officials given life sentences for a politically authorised murder on German soil in 1983.

The new Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman, apparently admired Tito; but Tudjman never dreamed of imitating Tito’s personality cult, whose effects must still be remembered when assessing the Marshal’s reputation. Leafing through the snapshots portraying Tito’s gaudy, greedy, self-indulgent, spendthrift, pointless political life, it requires an exercise of imagination to take the performance seriously. Yugoslavia solved nothing internally. It achieved nothing externally. But heroic myths, imposed by expert media control over 35 years, so brainwashed its population that they became a heaving, wailing, neurotic, human wreck when the dictator’s death was finally announced. Only a system in which all hold on reality had been lost could have solemnly announced as its watchword for the country’s future that lapidary slogan: “After Tito — Tito!”

Tito’s achievements, such as they were, have largely been forgotten, along with most of his crimes; only his antifascist credentials are still burnished. Yet antifascism, like the smile on the Cheshire Cat, reminds us, in a disembodied form, of what Communism was, what the Communists did, and what their successors would like to do, if they had the chance. It should go the way of Tito’s plaque

 

John (Ivan) Prcela Writes To US State Department

John (Ivan) Prcela
Photo credit: croexpress.eu

 

Emerging from concerning and distressing content in the recent US State Department Report on Human Rights in Croatia I am especially grateful and honoured to have obtained Mr John (Ivan) Prcela’s personal permission to publish here his letter to the US State Department, dated 20th August 2017.

John (Ivan) Prcela, Ohio, US based historian, born in 1922, in Kosute-Trilj, Croatia. He graduated from the 8-year Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Sinj, Croatia in 1944, completed one year of theology in Makarska, Croatia, and two additional years in Rome, Italy.

In 1949, he emigrated to the United States, graduated from John Carroll University in 1954 and in 1957 obtained his Master of Arts Degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He was a high school teacher from 1954 to 1988, got married in 1963; he is a father of four and grandfather of eight. He became a widower in 2002. After 70 years of reflections, in February 2012 Friesen Press published his UNIQUE, BOLD and CHALLENGING theological masterpiece, St. Joseph the Virginal Father of Jesus.

He spent most of his adult life in dedication to research and writing about the sufferings of the Croatian people. From 1957 he studies and researches facts to do with the “Croatian Holocaust” and publishes works about the sufferings of Croatian people. He is the author of a great number of articles, memorandums, brochures and books on Croatian sufferings during and after WWII. He is a worldwide authority in this field. To name notable works he was co-author of the well known book “Operation Slaughterhouse – Eyewitness accounts of postwar massacres in Yugoslavia” (1970/Croatian edition; 1995/English edition); Archbishop Stepinac in His Country’s Church State Relations Paper/book (1990);co-author editor of “Croatian Holocaust” (2001/Croatian edition), author editor “Croatian Holocaust II” (2005/Croatian editions); translator of Joseph Hecimovic “In Tito’s Death Marches” (2011). (Ina Vukic)

John Prcela’s letter to the US State Department:

Cleveland, Ohio, August 20, 2017

My Fellow Americans in the U S State Department!

The recent US State Department’s Report on Human Rights in Croatia reminds me of the Reports written in the gone-by fifties and sixties. Then, and also much later, the United States staunchly defended the Yugoslav territorial integrity. That is an equivalent of defending a Serbian heavy yoke on the shoulders of the Croatian People and also on those of other non-Serbian nationalities within the then existing Evil Empire of Yugoslavia.

That Report, filled with lies about my Croatian generation, reminds me also of how, 60 years ago, the US State Department’s and the American news media’s lies catapulted me into the Croatian Public Arena. Out of this engagement, in 1960 the seeds were sewn of my life’s historical opus, Operation Slaughterhouse. I worked so assiduously on that book that in the first week of November 1963 I brought it to the attention of the US State Department.

In the month of October and the first week of November 1963, the US State Department was feverishly preparing a red-carpet welcome for Marshal Tito in the White House, then occupied by President John F. Kennedy. The US State Department’s zeal for Tito’s safety prompted it to send its two agents to Charles F. Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. They pulled me out of teaching my French class and questioned me about “a Croatian plan to assassinate Tito during his visit to the United States.” I told them that I cannot assassinate Tito from my classroom, but I can and I will organize a special day of thanksgiving if someone kills that infamous Dictator of Yugoslavia. This highly heated questioning also inspired me to inform them of the above mentioned historical work – seven years ahead of its publication in 1970!

On November 5, 1963, the highlights of that book were distributed by the Croatian protesters in front of the White House – a deserved “welcome” to the murderer of many legions of the Croatian Freedom Fighters!

My life’s work, Operation Slaughterhouse, is well known to the US State Department, because it was always kept on its Yugoslav Desk. The late Richard Holbrook once informed me that the book is highly regarded by him and the US State Department personnel. Unfortunately, the spirit of that historical work was ignored in Dayton, Ohio, the place of Dayton Agreements of 1995. Those Agreements, instead of condemning the murderous Bosnian Serbs, rewarded them by establishing Republika Srpska (The Serbian Republic) within the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The historical works, Operation Slaughterhouse of 1970 and 1995 and Hrvatski Holokaust (The Croatian Holocaust) of 2001 and 2009, although they were followed by an avalanche of works on the subject in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are completely ignored by the US State Department’s Report of August 15, 2017, in which the US State Department sheds crocodile tears over the defunct Yugoslavia. That is why it is against the Republic of Croatia’s declaring Blessed Cardinal Stepinac innocent of all charges piled up on this saintly man in the rigged trial of 1946.

Furthermore, the US State Department shows its ire against the Croatian historians who published many well documented studies against the puffed up astronomical numbers of “victims” of the Ustasha Jasenovac Work Camp. Those historians, including the one who will soon publish his encyclopedic work on the subject, come out with revealing proofs that in the postwar years Jasenovac was Yugoslavia’s Death Camp! The US State Department is NOT interested in the historical facts, but it is interested of heaping insults on the Independent State of Croatia and its Freedom Fighters, especially the intrepid Ustashe. The US State Department, if interested in the modern history of Croatia, should know that the Ustasha Movement sprang up from the innocent blood of the Croatian Representatives murdered in 1928 by the Serbian assassins in the Belgrade Parliament itself! That innocent blood and the Croatian millennial aspirations to have a free and sovereign Croatia are the foundations of the Ustasha Movement. That is why it is despicable to call those Croatian revolutionaries Nazi-type Fascist Ustashe!

Dr. Ante Pavelic, inspired by the Will of the Croatian people and by the innocent blood of the Croatian national martyrs, in January 1929 was forced to go into exile in Italy. The Revolutionary Ustasha Movement was founded then and the official name, The Independent State of Croatia, was adopted for the future sovereign Croatia. Exactly under that name, the Croatian People broke their ties with the murderous Kingdom of Yugoslavia on April 10, 1941, and dealt a mortal blow to the Serbian Yugoslav dynasty forever!

The most glorious chapter of the Independent State of Croatia is its Armed Forces. They were the only ones who defended the Will of the Croatian people. Yugoslav Partisans and Serbian Chetniks fought against that Will. They were abundantly helped by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and, of course, by the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, the United States and France. All of them were for the preservation of Yugoslavia and against the Will of the Croatian People.

Even in the year 2017, the US State Department is opposed to the Will of the Croatian people, wanting Wiesenthal Center, the Yugoslav Partisans and Serbian Chetniks to define the Croatian history. They accuse the Croatian Ustashe of killing in Jasenovac 720,000 Serbs and Jews. These accusations are the most despicable lies and travesty of history!

On May 15, 1945, the Croatian Ustashe and other defenders of Croatia surrendered to the British Forces at Bleiburg, Austria. Then, those POWs and 500,000 Croatian civilians were driven in Death Marches or transported by train – NOT to Italy, as they had been deceived, but to Tito’s Yugoslavia. Here, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a multitude of civilians and POWs were summarily murdered and thrown into a long chain of underground pits. I call that tragedy “Operation Slaughterhouse” and even “The Croatian Holocaust.” Nikola Knez, a film producer in Corpus Christi, Texas, calls those POSTWAR massacres – “Tito’s License for Genocide!”

I highly recommend to you that 36-minute historical documentary. Soon you will see other documentaries of historical importance. Exactly this way, I informed the US State Department’s agents in November 1963 and, years later, two FBI agents that sooner or later the Croatian People will break their ties with the murderous Yugoslavia forever. The Croatian flag, which is adorning the US State Department Building, is a visible proof that I was right in my predictions.

In conclusion, I ask you that the US State Department’s next Report about Blessed Aloysius Victor Stepinac’s and my native Croatia be a truthful Report. Only truth will set us free!
John Prcela
Survivor of the Croatian Holocaust

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