There are horrific realities of history that must not be questioned, distorted or denied by anyone with even the slightest integrity or sense of decency.
The slaughter of millions of Jews in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Chelmno and Sobibor during the Holocaust of World War II falls squarely in this category.
So does the fundamental fact that this ultimate crime against humanity was perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its multinational fascist accomplices.
Any attempt to deny or to attempt to trivialise or minimise the enormity of this genocide, or to rehabilitate its perpetrators in any way whatsoever, is, simply put, morally obscene.
This is why denying the Holocaust is a criminal offence in Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Austria, Romania, and numerous other countries. Pope Francis has denounced Holocaust denial as “madness”, and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, called it “intolerable”.
It is also important to bear in mind that the Germans were not the only mass killers of Jews, Roma, and others during the Holocaust.
In the Transnistria region, part of Romania at the time, the Hitlerite ally Ion Antonescu’s Iron Guard enthusiastically took part in the slaughter of between 150,000 and 250,000 Jews. And in the Independent State of Croatia, the fascist Ustasa, led by Ante Pavelic, perpetrated a brutal genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Roma.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Croatian authorities murdered between 320,000 to 340,000 ethnic Serb residents of Croatia and Bosnia during the period of Ustasa rule, and more than 30,000 Croatian Jews were killed either in Croatia or at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In order to carry out their genocidal scheme, the Ustasa established a network of home-grown concentration camps infamous for their brutality and comparable to the barbarity of the German death and concentration camps.
The most notorious of these was a group of five camps collectively named Jasenovac, near Zagreb, often referred to as the “Auschwitz of the Balkans”.
Again, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, somewhere between 77,000 and 104,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma, and Croat opponents of the Ustasa regime were brutally murdered there. The Jasenovac Memorial Site has identified by name 83,145 Serbs, Jews, Roma, and anti-fascists who perished in these camps.
For years, extremist elements in Croatia have sought to rehabilitate the Ustasa and downplay the atrocities perpetrated at Jasenovac.
The most recent example of this trend is a column by Milan Ivkosic, “Jasenovac cleansed of ideology, bias and communist forgery”, which was published on August 17 in Croatia’s most-read daily, Vecernji list.
Ivkosic writes admiringly and seemingly unashamedly about a book entitled Labour Camp Jasenovac by Igor Vukic, which, according to Ivkosic, “is in fundamental opposition to the decades-long myth of Jasenovac”.
While acknowledging that conditions there were severe, Ivkosic grotesquely declares that “there was fun in the camp. There were sporting matches, especially football, concerts, theatrical performances, among which were pieces that were created by the inmates themselves.”
Fun? At Jasenovac? Ivkosic’s attempt to cleanse Jasenovac and the Ustasa of their evil essence is reprehensible. So is his contemptuous reference to a “myth of Jasenovac”.
The brutal murder of tens of thousands of human beings at Jasenovac is not a myth, Mr. Ivkosic.
“Jasenovac was an unheard death camp, no similar in the whole world existed,” former prisoner Milo Despot said in an oral history interview taken by and maintained at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“The Germans liquidated the inmates in a modern way, while in Jasenovac the killing was most cruel – by mallets, hammers and knifes, the least by bullets,” he said.
“There were no gas chambers, but there was also no shortage of barbarity. Many prisoners had their throats slit or their skulls smashed; others were shot or hanged from the trees that lined the Sava,” reporter Nicholas Wood wrote about Jasenovac in the New York Times in 2006.
I wonder whether Ivkosic considers any of the following four examples of the Ustasa’s behavior at Jasenovac to have been “fun” for the camp’s inmates.
In his oral history interview, Milo Despot described witnessing how a Ustasa unit took more than 100 Serb girls on a barge, ordered them to take off their clothes and then grabbed them by their hair, cut their throats, and threw their corpses into the river.
In another interview, Mara Vejnovic said that she saw the Ustasa kill a group of children with poisonous gas in a barracks at Jasenovac.
Eduard Sajer was assigned to dig a mass grave in one of the Jasenovac camps. He described how Ustasa guards killed inmates by hitting them on the head with mallets, including Eduard’s younger brother, and how he and his fellow grave diggers had to drag the corpses into the mass grave. All Eduard could do for his brother was to take him in his arms and put him gently to rest.
In his memoir, 44 Months in Jasenovac, Egon Berger described the Croatian Franciscan friar Tomislav Filipovic Majstorovic, also known as Fra Sotona (‘Brother Satan’), the notorious commandant of Jasenovac:
“Friar Majstorovic, his face all made-up and powdered and dressed in an elegant suit and a green hunting hat, watched his victims with delight. He approached the children, even stroked their heads. He was accompanied by Ljubo Milos and Ivica Matkovic.
Friar Majstorovic told the mothers that their children would be baptized and took them from the mothers, the child whom Friar Majstorovic had in his arms, innocently touched his killer’s made-up face. The mothers, distraught, recognized the situation. They offered their lives in exchange for mercy for the children. Two children were placed on the ground, while the third was thrown like a ball into the air. Friar Majstorovic, pointing a dagger up, missed three times, but the fourth time with a joke and a laugh, the child was impaled on the dagger.
The mothers threw themselves on the ground, pulling their hair, and began to shout dreadfully. The Ustasa guards of the 14th Division from Osijek took them away and killed them. Once all three children had been so brutally killed, these three two-legged beasts exchanged money, because they seemed to have a bet who would be the first to stick a dagger in a child.”
By distorting the gruesome reality of Jasenovac, Milan Ivkosic has desecrated the memory of the thousands upon thousands of innocent men, women, and children who were murdered there.
And by publishing Ivkosic’s shameful column, Vecernji list has become complicit in the impermissible campaign to rehabilitate the Ustasa and whitewash its crimes. Both Ivkosic and Vecernji list must now be held to account.
Originally published on 2018-08-27
About the author: Menachem Z. Rosensaft is General Counsel of the World Jewish Congress. He teaches about the law of genocide at the law schools of Columbia and Cornell Universities in the United States.
Source: Balkan Insight
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
With the pounding of 59 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles on Shayrat airbase in Syria the Empire has widened its aggression in the strategically crucial country. The sounds of destruction announce imperialism’s and aggression, interference and intervention. This is the sound of “peace” imperialism likes to impose on peoples of other countries.
Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Donald Trump, the US president, branded Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, a “dictator”, and called on “all civilized nations to join” the US “in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and ...
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahideen (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy.A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Party Committee (RPC), while intent upon smearing President Bill Clinton, nonetheless sheds light on the Clinton administration’s insidious role in recruiting and training jihadist mercenaries with a view to transforming Bosnia into a “Militant Islamic Base”.In many regards, Bosnia and Kosovo (1998-1999) were “dress rehearsals” for the destabilization of the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen).With regard to Syria, the recruitment of jihadists (according to Israeli intelligence ...
Never has US intentions in Asia been so obvious. Attempts to portray America’s role in the region as constructive or necessary have been ongoing since the end of World War II, however, recently, with Asia able to begin determining its own destiny for itself, the tone from Washington has become increasingly curt and direct.US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s remarks during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore were all but a proclamation of US hegemony over Asia – a region of the planet quite literally an ocean away from Washington.In Reuters’ article, “U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China ...
US-backed forces overthrow Goulart in Brazil (1964) Left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the democratically elected president of Brazil in September 1961, setting alarm bells clattering in the liberal Kennedy administration. Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the massive resource-rich South American country, that would help integrate the general population into society. (1) The United States was loathe to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere”, as President John F. Kennedy described it. Goulart, also known as “Jango”, was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers.Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, ...
The U.S. public loves fascists; they elect them, constantly. Donald Trump, who “says he would raise the minimum wage and stop the endless efforts at regime change,” is called a fascist by some. But Hillary Clinton “is happy to bomb Libya or Syria or any other country,” and played a major role in mass Black incarceration. Barack Obama is the war-maker and deporter-in-chief. “All of the major party candidates fit the F word description in some way.”“No one comes into office with any intention of undoing America’s leadership as the world’s worst jailer.”Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless ...
When considering United States President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we learn many things about him:+ He is desperate to hold onto his base, which includes so-called Christian fundamentalists, who unquestioningly support Israel;+ His interest in ‘the ultimate deal’ between Palestine and Israel is non-existent;+ He has no regard for the opinions of the U.S.’s closest allies;+ His knowledge of international law is limited, at best;+ He holds the safety of U.S. personnel abroad in disdain;+ His understanding of the complexities of the Middle East are far beyond his interest or ability to ...
Yada…yada…yada. The discussion on the unprovoked and planned aggression by Georgia on South Ossetia is futile and moot because Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced last week that the Russian Government would recognize the independence and freedom of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 25, 2008, both houses of the Russian Parliament or Duma voted unanimously to recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On August 26, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that the government of the Russian Federation officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Save your rhetoric. Georgia has lost those areas permanently. Ossetians and ...
On November 11, distinguished scholar, political economist, media analyst/critic, peace champion Ed Herman passed away at age 92.It was fittingly on the 99th anniversary of WW I’s end. Endless wars followed “the war to end all wars” – a legacy of mass slaughter and destruction Herman deplored, championing elusive world peace.Along with his friends and family, I mourn his passing, a valued friend and colleague, a contributor to my 2014 book, titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III.”He and other distinguished contributors made the book successful, published in Russia and France.Ed Herman’s writing ...
Is it a coincidence?
In recent history, from the Vietnam war to the present, the month of March has been chosen by Pentagon and NATO military planners as the “best month” to go to war.
With the exception of the War on Afghanistan (October 2001) and the 1990-91 Gulf War, all major US-NATO and allied led military operations over a period of more than half a century –since the invasion of Vietnam by US ground forces on March 8, 1965– have been initiated in the month of March.
The Ides of March (Idus Martiae) is a day in the Roman calendar which broadly ...
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.
America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
A report on August 15th from Russian Television alleged that the Ukrainian government that the U.S. installed in February of this year was resorting to internationally banned white phosphorous firebombs in order to help destroy the million people who lived in the now Ukrainian separatist capital of Donetsk. It lands super-hot and starts fires and burns to death almost anyone it touches.
The Ukrainian separatists are the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, where Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian President, was elected overwhelmingly by the votes of the people in this region in 2010. They reject the government that Obama installed, and are therefore seeking independence from it. ...
According to a number of global mainstream media sources, the Pentagon is covering up a disturbing video that was never made public with the rest of the recent torture report.According to various well respected journalists, including Seymour Hersh, the appalling video was recorded at Abu Ghraib, the notorious US torture dungeon in Iraq that made headlines roughly a decade ago, when the inhumane tactics being used at the prison were exposed.Sadly, it seems that the evidence released years ago was only scratching the surface.While the video has remained under wraps thus far, Hersh says it is only a matter of time before it ...
The foreign policy of the United States in the post-Cold War era, driven by a doctrine of Exceptionalism and managed by a neoconservative strategy, has been responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Nato’s war on Libya in 2011 and the covert war waged in Syria using Islamist proxies. It was also at the root of its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014. But the geopolitical advantage intended in each enterprise has brought the proverbial blowback.The results are plain to see. Libya is now certifiably a failed state. Accompanying the destruction of ...
Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda in his new book, “The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance.”The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In ...
My work documenting how the law was lost began about a quarter of a century ago. A close friend and distinguished attorney, Dean Booth, first brought to my attention the erosion of the legal principles on which rests the rule of law in the United States. My columns on the subject got the attention of an educational institution that invited me to give a lecture on the subject. Subsequently, I was invited to give a lecture on “How The Law Was Lost” at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
The work coalesced into a book, The Tyranny Of ...
Kosovo Albanian Muslims and their unthinking and duped supporters in the US are denying the Holocaust when they claim that Albanians rescued 100% of the Jews in Kosovo and in Albania. Albanian Muslims are Holocaust deniers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yet Albanians are not ostracized. Why? Why are Albanian Muslims and their lackeys and stooges in the US allowed to get away with denying the Holocaust, with falsifying their role in the destruction of European Jews?
The ignorance of the Albanian lobby is appalling. Albanian Muslims played a role in the Holocaust. Who claims this?
Raul Hilberg, the founder of Holocaust studies and ...
Croatia’s president, the former deputy NATO secretary general for public diplomacy Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, decided to pay homage to Nazis of the Ustasha Nazi puppet regime of Croatia shot by Yugoslav partisans at the end of World War II. Grabar-Kitarovic’s tone deafness in choosing Victory in Europe week to honor dead Nazis shocked the Balkans and the rest of Europe.
The Ustasha, along with their Slovenian and Serb loyalists to the Nazi puppet regime, were killed by the partisans under the command of anti-fascist guerrilla leader Josip Broz Tito. Most of the Ustasha were killed in the Austrian town of Bleiburg, as ...
As the Niksic (Montenegro) local elections approach, the situation is becoming more and more fascinating.
On one hand, the Montenegrin opposition, aiming at the transparency and integrity of the government, boycotted the plebiscite in the country's second largest city and turned it into a show – elections with no choice.
On the other is the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists which has been forming the conditions for its unlimited rule while violating the interests of the Montenegrin people. Exploiting its ultimate power, DPS withdrew the immunity of the opposition leaders and is set to win the elections with simply no rally.
The ruling ...
PrefaceA geopolitical issue of South-East Europe became of very importance for the scholars, policymakers, and researchers with the question of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire as one of the most crucial features of the beginning of the 20th century in European history. A graduate collapsing of the one-time great empire was accelerated and followed by competition and struggling by both, the European Great Powers and the Balkan national states, upon the territorial inheritance of it. While the European Great Powers have the aim to obtain the new spheres of political-economic influence in South-East Europe, followed by the task to ...
In a shocking display of relative independence from the post-Operation Mockingbird control of the media by the Central Intelligence Agency, a recent article in The New York Times broke with current conventional pack journalism and covered the long history of CIA meddling in foreign elections. A February 17, 2018, article, titled, "Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too," authored by Scott Shane – who covered the perestroika and glasnost for The Baltimore Sun in Moscow from 1988 to 1991 during the final few years of the Soviet Union – reported the US has interfered in foreign elections for decades. However, ...
Empire’s Aggression on Syria
Bill Clinton Worked Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda
US Declares Hegemony over Asia
Forgotten “Anniversaries” of U.S. Sponsored Military Coups against Democracy
Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: Who’s the Fascist?
Trump, Netanyahu and Israel’s Capital
Proxy Wars: Kosovo and South Ossetia
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
The Pentagon’s “Ides of March”: Best Month to Go to War
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
Ukraine Atrocities: The Illegal Use of White Phosphorous Fire Bombs Against Donetsk Civilians
Classified Evidence: US Soldiers Raped Boys in front of Their Mothers
Post-Maidan Ukrainian Anti-Semitism: Tragic “Blowback” Resulting from U.S. Interventionist Foreign Policy?
Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV
The Rule of Law no Longer Exists in Western Civilization
Croatian President Lauds Ustasha Nazis as the «Fourth Reich Lite» Rears its Ugly Head in Europe
Being the Only Candidate: DPS is Losing Elections in Niksic (Montenegro)
The Geopolitics of South-East Europe and the Importance of the Regional Geostrategic Position
US Meddling in Foreign Elections: A CIA Tradition since 1948