Serbia Made Itself Jew-Free, Croatia Did Not! // Croatia, the War, and the Future

Antisemitic postage stamps in Serbia 1941-1945

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Esther Gitman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: // Croatia, the War, and the Future

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