By Sir Vojislav Milosevic
Director, Center for Counter-terrorism
The existence of iron curtain, political equations of the Cold War, and the everlasting involvement of powers that be in the strategic hub of Eurasia, have prevented the world to hear about the most ruthless part of the Holocaust, which was additionally fueled by the flame of religious fundamentalism from past times.
Owing to thousend-years-old agreed territorial division between Eastern Othodox and Western Catholic Church and the discrepancy of religious distribution along the demarcation line, the Catholic Church decided to seize the opportunity for its own Final Solution in the drive to the East.
Croatian fascist leader Ante Pavelic makes his first state visit to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler (Herman Gering, right)
The opportunity came with Adolf Hitler. It resulted in Catholic clergy providing logistics and ideological foundation to the quisling Nazi state in the Balkans.
In Nazi Croatia established by Hitler, Nazi idelogy went hand in hand with Catholic fundamentalism, starting the most brutal extarmination of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies.
The savagery of the worst religious massacre of the 20th century managed to horrify even the German Nazis and Italian fascists, with severalhigh German officials asking Hitler to remove the vicious ustashe regime.
To the misfortune of 700.000-800.000 victims, this never happened.
In 1945, the Ironic twist of history brings communists lead by Tito (a Croatian Catholic) on power in former Yugoslavia, placing Croatia on the winning side.
Tito oreders all death camp facilities to be dismantled and removed, and proclaims a new state ideology of „brotherhood and unity“. The ustashe genocide remains under the veil of silence.
The silence continued to this day, for the most of the world.
Bodies of prisoners killed upon arrival to Jasenovac, Croatian concentration camp
The vicitms were never acknowledged, NO APOLOGY was ever made. The extent of this tragedy has people in disbelief.
That is why the author of the following documentary gathered testimonies along with references from foreign sources and publications, trying to pay respect to victims’ sufferng by saving them from oblivion.
Croatian Catholic Monks and Nazi salute
Jonathan Steinberg, Professor of Modern European History, Harvard&Cambridge University, stated: „ The omission of Croatia from the conventional Holocaust studies is like a book whose first chapter is torn out“.
„Ante Starcevic, father of Croatian nation and founder of the genocidal policy against the Orthodox population, has created the slogan :„God and Croatians“ in the 19th century. In the 20th century, usatshe will take that sloganwhile creating „Greater Croatia“. Ante Pavelic, ustashe leader, becomes a fuhrer of „Independent state of Croatia“.
As soon as he arrived to Zagreb from Rome, Italy, Archbishop Alojzie Stepinac welcomed Pavelic, and gave him God’s blessing. Pavelic subsequently replied, that he will not be tolerant towards Serbian Orthodox Church. Archbishop Stepinac ivites Pavelic and ustashe emigrants to solemn lunch, upon their return from abroad.
Ante Pavelic and Archbishop Stepinac, Zagreb 1941.
Pavelic oath to Almighty God:“ I, Ante Pavelic, fuhrer of Independent State of Croatia, swear to almighty God, that I will be faithful to Croatian people and do everything for its benefit, that I will protect independence of the Independent State of Croatia, and that I will uphold the ustashe principles in my work, so help me God.“ And, after the oath ceremony, he promissed to the crowd:“I can tell you that the issue of the rest of Croatian frontiers, will soon be resolved, and the front of Croatia will be set, to the great satisfaction of entire Croatian people. Independent state of Croatia, as of today, is greater then ever in its history!“
The epistle of Archbishop Stepinac, from April 28, 1941:“Honorable brothers, since we are familiar with the men who are in charge of the fate of Croatian people, we are deeply convinced that our mission will have great understanding and support. Therefore, respond to my appeal for holy work in order to protect and improve the Independent State of Croatia. In relation to that, solemn Te Deum (anthem of praise)is to be held on Sunday, 4th of May, in every parish church.“
The motto of „Independent State of Croatia“ was „God and Croatians“. The state ideology taught about „Croatian race“ and „Croatian blood“. Archbishop Stepinac and almost entire lower Catholic clergy were selflessly helping the ustashe. Their mystical enthusiasm is shown in Sarajevo newspapers „Catholic weekly“, 11th of May, 1941:“The image of holy Virgin Mary appeared as an omen across the skies of our new, young and free Croatia under her veil, to mark exactly 1000 years of Catholicism of Croats. She is coming to us again, to take her old place on our freedom flag. Croatian God and Mary of old times rose again. Christ and ustashe, Christ and Croatians, are marching side by side again, through history.“
Archbishop Stepinac (first right)
From the pulpits, it was demanded from Catholics to persecute Serbs. The harshest followers in the extermination were the sons of St. Francisco Assyrian whose monasteries were used by the ustashe as warehouses even before the war.
German writer Karl Hans Genscher, in his book „With God and fascists“ wrote:
„The provincial of Zagreb, fra ModestoMartincic says: Almost every better monastery outside the capital is built as a military stronghold. Catacombs of Kaptol (Croatian church HQ) become place of the first conspiracy. First ustashe camp is fonded there…(from ustashe gazette „Ustasha“, issue 3, 1941).
The place Široki brijeg, was an criminal ustashe center in Herzegovina. It has recruited not only many creators of ustasha ideology, but many ustasha cutthroats as well. Many Franciscans took an ustasha oath before the cross, knife, hand-grenade and gun, even prior to the war. Dido Kvaternik, the son of military commander Slavko Kvaternik, is organizing the police.Without any selection, he is recruiting and arming even the people with most notorious criminal past.
Karl Hans Genscher wrote:“ Every office, trolley car, in every bus and restaurant, had a sign saying: NO SERBS, JEWS, GYPSIES AND DOGS !
Walter Hagen wrote:“ A truly lethal hatred was directed against Jews and Serbs who were declared „VOGELFREI“. That means that anyone can kill them…