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).