“Israel’s Wild Beasts” And Political Persecution Of Croatia’s Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic

Zlatko Hasanbegovic: “I have never in any way whatsoever been an apologist for any criminal regime, whether Ustashe or Communist regime. Indeed, in all my public appearances and works I have always clearly emphasised that the Ustashe crimes (WWII) have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat but represent the biggest moral stumbling in the history of Croatian people..." Photo: Patrick Macek/Pixsell

Zlatko Hasanbegovic: “I have never in any way whatsoever
been an apologist for any criminal regime,
whether Ustashe or Communist regime.
Indeed, in all my public appearances
and works I have always clearly emphasised
that the Ustashe crimes (WWII)
have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat
but represent the biggest moral stumbling
in the history of Croatian people…”
Photo: Patrick Macek/Pixsell

 

How much the Jewish and communist lobby coming in the form of increased false accusations against Croatia’s culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic as Holocaust denier or anti-Semitic during the past three/four days, calling for his sacking, has to do with the fact that Istrael’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words calling people of the neighbouring states “wild beasts” (and therefore needs lobby to raise the Holocaust tragedy up a notch or two in order to soften the blow of his atrocious words) is anyone’s guess. Whatever one’s conclusion here may be, one thing is for sure: Israel’s media (Jerusalem Times, Arutz Sheva…) and often pro-WWII and pro-post-WWII communist media outlet US Huffington Post and others have with terrible bias and discrimination against the truth jumped onto the bandwagon of Croatia’s pro-communists and anti-lustration communist crimes deniers to crucify an innocent man: Zlatko Hasanbegovic.

 

 

US Huffington Post and Israel’s national news portal Arutz Sheva have passed onto the world’s public most biased and politically suspect writings by The Adriatic Institute in Croatia, led by married couple Natasha Srdoc and her husband Joel Anand Samy against Hasanbegovic. What terrifies is not that these people along with Efraim Zuroff of Simon Wiesenthal Centre promote untruths and outright lies – that is to be expected in political battles and political scuffles for power – but the fact that these foreign media outlets such as Huffington Post and Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva have done nothing to seek balance and present the full picture of truth. The evidently politically conniving Arutz Sheva have even decided to pin a “far right” tag onto conservative centre-right HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union party in government when there is absolutely no evidence for that, and it’s very far from the truth. It calls Adriatic Institute “a leading Croatian think tank” when in fact it’s very far from that also. A small group of people with seemingly the “right” links around the world working to bring down conservative side of political orientation in Croatia, or perhaps, paying media outlets for the articles it writes (?) much in pursuit of amassing wealth perhaps.

I find it utterly insulting when I come across a completely vitriolic, filled with untruths and politically evil words designed to vilify the whole of the Croatian nation, reported statement by Adriatic Institute’s Joel Anand Samy that “the rise of anti-Semitism in Croatia and efforts of those connected to the HDZ political party to apply a revision of history with attempts to remove the facts on the Holocaust which killed six million Jews should be denounced by strong rule of law nations and Western diplomats based in Zagreb. The world cannot remain silent or look the other way”. Of course, Samy goes on to accuse Croatia’s government leaders of encouraging anti-Semitism!

Even the fact that Croatia’s minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic has stated that the WWII Ustashi movement was the biggest moral stumbling of Croatians in history, thus in no uncertain terms condemning anti-Semitism or pro-Nazi movements during that time and any that may be lurking around, is not good enough for communist crimes deniers and obstructers of justice for their victims such as Samy and Srdoc seem to be. It’s not good enough for mentioned Israel’s media outlets, either!

I have never in any way whatsoever been an apologist for any criminal regime, whether Ustashe or Communist regime. Indeed, in all my public appearances and works I have always clearly emphasised that the Ustashe crimes (WWII) have not only burdened with a mortgage of defeat but represent the biggest moral stumbling in the history of Croatian people, whose evil shadow hovers over the Croatian people to today. I am against all totalitarianism, fascist and communist, I belong to the government and political party that firmly stand behind plantings of democratic antifascism, anti-communism and anti-totalitarianism and which is dedicated to the values of democracy and parliamentary government. This is my view as a human being, as citizen, as politician and my moral and if you like my scientific view,” stated minister Hasanbegovic in one of his responses to false accusations and persecution against him.

 

One does not need to look too far to see why in the same article that quoted Samy from Adriatic Institute the Israel national news portal or Huffington Post evidently made no effort in seeking responses from Croatia to Samy’s allegations! It would seem in their interest especially now when Israel’s Prime Minister is engaging in “Hitler talk” against Arabs to keep regurgitating stuff about the Holocaust or anti-Semitism even if that stuff has no basis in truth of today.

It’s blatantly clear that Minister Hasanbegovic’s persecutors’ are not interested in the truth as things are panning out at the moment. If they were interested in the truth they would have nothing to say against the man on the score of Holocaust or anti-Semitism. But they must say something because they are fighting to retain the portrayal of the criminal Yugoslav communists as some kind of morally righteous movement that committed no crimes! And any killings they may have done, they would say – were justified and necessary! How utterly deranged!

 

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel: “In the environment we live in, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.”

Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel:
“In the environment we live in,
we need to protect ourselves from
wild beasts.”

It is, of course, also to Netanyahu’s advantage at this time that at least some of the world’s attention is taken by issues of alleged today’s pro-Nazi fascists in any government, let alone Croatia, part of which had played its terrible part in the Holocaust – his terrible words against the Arabs or people of countries around Israel, calling them “wild beasts”, might then get buried without too much condemnation.

In the environment we live in, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts,” he said.

 

During the late 1930s, Adolf Hitler had referred to the Jews of Austria and Germany as “blood sucking beasts”. He then set about committing one of the most heinous crimes against them and elsewhere in Europe where his troops occupied territory, referred to as the ‘Holocaust’. Loosely defined, it is the systematic and willful slaughter or destruction of a people on a mass scale, to the point of extermination. But, at the same time and after World War II another holocaust had transpired on a much greater scale: mass murders, slaughters and extermination of innocent people opponents of communist regime. Every time I write about this I feel like a broken record, repeating ever more painfully this awful truth that communists have not paid for their crimes nor even condemned strongly enough where such strength brings about rejection of that totalitarian regime as being antifascist and positive even minutely. Perhaps once the communist crimes are brought on par with the Holocaust, which they in all the tragic reality were, the world won’t tolerate so easily anyone calling another human being a “wild beast” (?).
Netanyahu’s “wild beasts” comments  serve “well” those who argue that there has been a Holocaust going on against Palestinians in past decades and do not appear much different from what Hitler had said so many decades back about Jews. Have Netanyahu’s awful words sparked conclusions that Nazism and Zionism have thus merged into one? One could not but answer – having some aspects in mind it seems so, yes. But, there are no analyses or criticism of these words uttered by Netanyahu in Istrael’s media outlets that I could find. Yet, so much on the terror of the Holocaust, so much on victimisation and vilifying Croatia’s culture minister and centre-right government for anti-Semitism that does not exist – unless, of course, one went so far and evilly connected the minister Hasanbegovic’s and government’s intent to achieve justice for hundreds of thousands innocent victims of communist crimes to anti-Semitism?

Truly awful days for the Croatian government that needs to ride out the storm of communist wrath, however that wrath may be inhuman, and move ahead into the future where justice means the same for all. Wishing minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic a most fruitful career as minister in Croatia’s government that must show leadership in resisting and shrugging off false allegations for what they truly are: garbage. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

RELATED POST

Victims Of Communism On Island Of Korcula Croatia

Victims of Communism on Korcula Croatia

If you’re not with us then you are against us, and, therefore, you must be liquidated – that was the motto Yugoslav communist Partisans lived by during and after WWII.

I did not even dare write about all the horrendous torment victims of Partisans on Korcula endured – Partisans in the village of Zrnovo were particularly cruel,” reports the Croatian Cultural Council (Hrvatsko Kulturno Vijece) portal as Franko Burmas having said.

The launching in Zagreb on Friday 29 January 2016 of Franko Burmas’ new book “Victims of communism on Korcula – searching for truth“, published by the Croatian Victimology Society and Biblioteca Documenta Croatica, brought back with live disquiet the horror stories I remember hearing throughout my childhood. The imagery of merciless brutality created by those stories in which hundreds upon hundreds of individuals from the relatively sparsely populated island who did not subscribe to Josip Broz Tito’s communist plans perished – murdered or thrown into pits alive – hit me with deep distress.

Franko Burmas (left) Zvonimir Separovic (right) Zagreb, Croatia 29 January 2016 Photo credit: www.news.korcula.net

Franko Burmas (left)
Zvonimir Separovic (right)
Zagreb, Croatia 29 January 2016
Photo credit: http://www.news.korcula.net

Narod.hr reports that Zvonimir Separovic, president of Croatian Victimology Society, Rade Kastorpil, president of Croatian matica in Blato/Korcula and the author himself, Franko Burmas, spoke extensively about the book, which serves as a testament of evidence of the brutality of Communist crimes on the Island of Korcula. It was just as well that an entertainment segment was included with this launch – thus making the revelation of this ugly truth of WWII and Post-WWII Island of Korcula bearable. The doyenne of the Croatian National Opera, Dubravka Separovic Musovic, accompanied by Eva Kirchmayer-Bilic on the piano offered a most welcome moment at this launch of evidence of crimes no person should ever be faced with, let alone endure.

But sadly, the world still lags far behind in condemning communist crimes than where it is and has been for decades with view to the crimes of the Holocaust. It is books like this one written by Franko Burmas that hold a candle for a brighter future where all crimes regardless of which political persuasion they hide behind are equally condemned and equally smothered with outrage and unforgiving wrath.

Victims of communism on Korcula – searching for truth” by Franko Burmas is a witness to communist Partisan crimes committed during and after WWII on the Island of Korcula. Numerous pits in the ground and locations where executions of innocent people occurred – e.g. Vranina, Sibal’s feet, Paklenica, Butina, St Luke’s cemetery in Town of Korcula, St Cross cemetery in Blato on Korcula … all give witness to the “hatred and killing, trampling upon freedom, to the terrifying and unbelievable crimes, to the times when people did not know what awaits them tomorrow, where they are going, what to do,” says Franko Oreb in his Foreword to the book.

Section inside Butina Pit, post-WWII communist crimes mass grave on Island of Korcula - Butina Pit mass grave Photo taken October 2012

Section inside Butina Pit,
post-WWII communist crimes mass grave
on Island of Korcula –
Butina Pit mass grave
Photo taken October 2012

Franko Oreb says further in his Foreword that the truth of which this book speaks is horrific and painful and that it constitutes evidence of the terrible crimes committed by the communist regime in which people were swiftly punished, imprisoned, abused and murdered guided only by their suspicions, without bothering to provide for court trials or proof of guilt. It happened often that their death was not revealed and so even the official government office “Register of Deaths” did not include their names.

Oreb says that the book reveals a perfidious and a repressive face of government authorities connected to well-organised network of political and Party structures with the goal of keeping that regime alive and their status within it. The regime of those times successfully hid its crimes for a very long time causing a public veil of silence to cover them so that much dust and forgetting fell over the victims.

Old town Korcula, Croatia

Old town Korcula, Croatia

The book itself is also a kind of Korcula’s martyrdom record in which the names of the victims of WWII and Post-WWII period Korcula are written and recorded. It’s a record of 85 grim and ghastly  murders, some persons among them were from Dubrovnik brought to Korcula by Partisans as prisoners and liquidated there. Franko Burmas is a university trained and graduated lawyer with many years of experience and collection of data, including interviews with some people directly associated with the events, which have formed the foundations and factual body of his book. There were priests and intellectuals among the mass murder victims against whom the communist regime operators directed terrible lies and defamation saying they were enemies of the nation. And yet, all they did in life was dedicate their lives to the service of their people, to defending the faith, morality and the national sanctities. A list of more than several hundred of liquidated victims, thrown into pits, needs to be added to the ones named in the book as communist left no trace of names or the number of people they threw into pits such as Butina.

Blato, Island of Korcula, Croatia August 16 2012 funeral for earthly remains of communist crimes victims 1943 (including brother of dr Zvonimir Separovic) Photo: Ika/HRSvijet

Blato, Island of Korcula, Croatia
August 16 2012
funeral for earthly remains
of communist crimes victims 1943
(including brother of dr Zvonimir Separovic)
Photo: Ika/HRSvijet

Alena Fazinic asserted: “searching for the truth brought the books author to conclude that liquidations were really an ingrained part of the communists managers’ system (who later to become authority holders – from those at the country’s top to those in the small communities such as Korcula) – if you are not with us you are against us, our enemy, and, therefore, you must be liquidated.”

That is how the communists of Yugoslavia kept people in fear and that means obedience and submission.

Franko Burmas’ book also points to the fact that after WWII the communist practice continued: through fear, persecution, imprisonment, torture, even by murder stop every attempt at freedom of thought and living. Burmas has documented his book well, with many photographs and documents and is to be congratulated for joining those heroes of today who have no fear in speaking out about the crimes of former Yugoslav communists. Now, all Croatia truly needs is a proper and just condemnation of these crimes and lustration from its important social points and public and justice administration all those who are or were associated with the operatives of communist Yugoslavia. Croatia needs names not just a reference to the system and the more names of those criminals brought out into the public the better for the murderous system did not exist on its own – individual people kept it going. And the most awful truth of this trail of horrid communist crimes is that “Korcula” from this book was replicated multitudes of thousands of time throughout Croatia of the former Yugoslavia, but also the other states there. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Zgb)

Last Battle Of World War II In Europe Fought In Odzak/Croatia

Odzak, Croatia, May 1945 Last Battle of World War II in Europe Croatian soldiers and volunteer defenders assemle

Odzak, Croatia, May 1945
Last Battle of World War II in Europe
Croatian soldiers and volunteer defenders assemle

May 2015 has been the month during which the world remembered the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) – World War II victories, defeats, victims and heroes. It was on 8 May 1945 that the Allied forces accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, marking the end of the war in Europe. But it was not the end of WWII – not in Europe. It would also take another three months before Japan surrendered to end WWII elsewhere.
In Europe, World War II ended days later than what the world widely believes – i.e. that it was 8 May 1945. It’s generally considered that the last big battle of WWII in Europe was the so-called Georgian uprising on the Netherlands’ island of Texel, which ended in enormous losses for both sides to finally came to a complete end on 20 May 1945 with the arrival there of the Canadian troops.
Less known is the fact that the very last WWII battle in Europe actually occurred within the territory of WWII Independent State of Croatia – the Battle for Odzak. These days and post-WWII the town of Odzak is situated in Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
When commemorating 70th anniversaries of notable WWII events, whether they bring tears of joy or those of sadness to our eyes, it would be remiss not to pay tribute and remembrance to the actual very last battle of WWII in Europe and its heroes who were also its victims – slaughtered Croats.
The Battle for Odzak lasted sixteen days and ended on 25 May 1945.
Besides using the tactics of exhausting the Croatian defenders the “Yugoslav’ army Partisans brought in airplanes. The psychological effects of using powerful and destructive weapons had a significant effect of the morale of Croatian defenders and on the civilians. Tanks were introduced. Bombing ensued all day long, incessantly on 24 May 1945. On the other side of Bosna River the civilians were asking the Croatian soldiers to surrender, that nothing would happen to them. After surrender they were placed in stables at nearby Garevac, which were prepared for such an eventuality in advance. Garevac had already become a centre of horrendous Serb brutality against Croats: given that by end of 1944 they did not manage to take Tuzla, Serb Chetniks on Draza Mihajlovic order attacked Modrica and Garevac. They were severely defeated and then decided to no longer attack the Croatian military positions but instead attack whole Croatian villages in the area, including civilians in them. Murder and rape of Croatian women and children ran rampant. Many Serbs were members of Tito’s Partisans who attacked Odzak.
In late hours of the night of 24 May 1945 the centre of Odzak was attacked, bombed severely and captured by Partisans within two hours.

 

Slaughter and liquidation of Croats (soldiers and civilians) followed swiftly including all the Croatian soldiers who had surrendered prior to the bombing and were placed at Garevac (as mentioned above). The Battle for Odzak and its murderous aftermath was fiercely guarded as a secret by Tito’s Partisans and indeed during the entire time of the existence of communist Yugoslavia. It was only when in 1990’s Croatia’s plight for independence and secession from Yugoslavia picked up on steam that details of the Battle for Odzak and the terrible sufferings and slaughter of Croats gradually became to be known. Yugoslav state archives were finally opening doors for research.

 

In 2012 Stipo Pilic and Blanka Matkovic wrote an extensive research based essay “The Battle for Odzak: The War Ended Twenty Days Later” (PDF) and I have sourced information for this post from it. The article analyses the military operations in the area of Podvucjak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the Battle for Odzak at the end of May 1945, which represents the end of World War II in Europe. The first section presents the geographic and demographic characteristics of the area, while the second one describes military operations carried out between 1941 and 1944 with the emphasis on the organisation of defense, but also relations between Partisans and Chetniks. The third part analyses the situation in Podvucjak in 1945, and the fourth one battle for Odzak, which ended with the fall of that town on 27th or 28th May. In the last section the authors tried to identify locations of the POW camps and gravesites, but also the identities of those who committed war and post-war crimes against Croatian population in this area in May 1945.

 

 

There are still details that need to be uncovered as researchers and historians keep working at it and, for now, we owe those who perished so brutally after the Battle for Odzak in May 1945 without a trial, without a crime to their name, our deep respect for they were the last and brave WWII defenders of Croatia from Yugoslavia and even though they lost the war their bravery during those last 16 days of battles stands high among the bravest of the brave. For that and for their terrible deaths we owe them that the full truth of their brutal deaths be investigated and those guilty – condemned. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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