Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 08:36:48 -0500 (CDT)
From: Greek Helsinki Monitor <>
Article: 80535
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Redesigning Croatian history

By Ivica Ðikic, AIM, Zabreb, 17 October 1999

For eight years already Croatian necrophilic units, armed with spades, and an aim to dig up—as many as possible—pits with Croatian bones, have been crusading over the territory of Republic of Croatia, but neighbor Bosnia and Herzegovina as well. They are equipped with another, even more dangerous, weapon—the famous File-records for war-postwar victims of the Second World War which are filled by meek Croatian citizens with, mostly, plain stupidities. In the most schizophrenic column of these records, named Cause of death and executor, thousands of anonymous people across Croatia write sentences of the following type: Killed in the fight with Bolshevik renegades and bandits, Bolshevik causes and executors, together with S.S-men and Chetniks, Nazi S.S. hate, Bolshevik threat and chaos, criminal nature of both of them, because of which this martyr was killed and burned...

In the later stage of processing, the records filled up with these types of constructions, will be taken to Zagreb, to Opaticka street, to the headquarters of the Committee for Identification of War and Postwar Victims, the so called Vukojevic's Committee. There they will be used as a resource for the redesigning of the Croatian past. The whole operation, however, is not of an amateur-hitoricizing character. It has been initiated by the central Zagreb cabinet—in Pantovcak's palace. The work of the Committee involves 25 parliamentary members and 40 academic and other respectable public figures. Furthermore, this plain Ustasha's propaganda is richly sponsored by Croatian tax-payers.

Every year Croatian citizens invest over two million kunas in the production of a better past. The total investment so far, taking into account eight years of the Committee acting, has amounted to 16 million kunas. However, the story about financing necrophilic activities of Vukojevic's Committee does not stop here: the Committee has a network of regional centers; digging up of pits and marking of mass and less mass graves is additionally financed by authorities in local municipalities.

According to the Report of the Committee for Identification of War and Postwar Victims—which is from beginning to end permeated with a spirit of Ustasha nostalgia, and whose authorship is ascribed to an alleged historian of undoubtedly Pavelic's orientation, Mladen Ivezic—153 thousand and 700 victims were recorded in the past eight years in Croatia. In the same period, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 99 thousand and 228 victims were filed, while 8.486 additional victims were noted on other territories. The total number of victims amounts to more than 260 thousand. Carefully numbering the war and postwar victims, Vukojevic's Committee found out that, during the Second World War on the territory of today's Croatia, 293 Jews—according to a nationality criterion, and 331 Jews—according to a confession criterion, had been killed. Furthermore, it established that in the same period and on the same territory exactly 726 Orthodox believers and 18.410 of people of Serbian nationality had been killed. The number of Catholics killed or died is 68.932, and a number of Croats 79.318.

Out of killed or died Catholics, 31.430 were the members of the Armed Forces of Independent State of Croatia of unknown rank, or of Ustasha's Army or Croatian Domobrans. The number of Croats from the same armed forces is a few thousand bigger. In total, 41.855 soldiers from the armed forces of Croatia were killed by the enemy- the opponent domestic armed forces, while at the same time 38.732 Partisans were killed. The number of Muslims who died in the Second World War, according to the research of Vukojevic's Committee, is 6, while in the concentration working camp Jasenovac only 2.238 people were killed.

Out of 65 Committee members, only Slavko Goldstein protested against the scandalous data published in the Report. Some of the members—which are not entirely filled up with an Ustasha spirit—during the voting on accepting its content, suddenly had to go to the washroom. Few members, like Djurdja Adlesic, from HSLS party, and Mato Arlovic, from SD party, did not attend the Committee session at all.

Separating his opinion from the Committee's Report findings, Slavko Goldstein wrote a protest letter to the Parliament President Vlatko Pavletic. I think that the Report is mostly based on one-sided political prejudices, and is full of tendentious manipulations and distortion of facts—he says in the letter. The Report as a whole hides already established historical truths, and some of its pseudo-historical evaluations are a direct historical forgery. In the Report, Goldstein writes, there is no a word about criminal characteristics of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), while a great part of it is used to prove that Partisans, Serbs and Communist authorities were the only killers on this territory, while Tito and ZAVNOH were the authors and decision-makers of a planned genocide over Croats. With these intentions in mind, the Report falsifies some of the known postwar opinions of famous figures, like Miroslav Krleza, who used a phrase ‘Minister of culture with a machine-gun’ to denote Mile Budak and not Radovan Zogovic, as it is stated in the Report. Regarding ZAVNOH, the spirit of the Report is in a direct contradiction with the preamble of the Constitution of Republic of Croatia, so I hold that these parts of the Report can be characterized not only as a forgery, but as a violation of the text of the Constitution.

The Committee so far has gathered knowledge about the existence of 990 mass graves, 7 hundred of them being in Croatia, two hundred in Slovenia and 90 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Besides digging up mass graves, the Committee has also been involved in organizing ceremonial underground reconciliations: few years ago, at Omis cemetery, bones of 112 Domobrans and 4 made-up Partisans were buried together in a common grave, in a ceremony organized under the auspices of the top state establishment—in order to establish an all-Croat reconciliation under the ground. The Omis case probably was to serve as an introduction to an even more spectacular Ustasha-Partisan reconciliation in Jasenovac, whose realization, because of a pressure from abroad, has been postponed for some better times.

There is more of this story, as the Committee for Identification of War and Postwar Victims—beside necrophilia - was involved in some cultural activities. While the Committee had—and probably still has—some pseudo-intelligence competencies, the craft workshop of Vice Vukojevic produced a documentary film about the assassination of Bruno Busic, whose body has been recently moved from Paris to Zagreb, by the initiative of Vukojevic's Committee, and with an unprecendent state pomp. The film was aired by the Croatian Television, as a prime-time program. In this film Ivan Cesar and Ivan Cerovac were pictured as UDBA collaborators. The first Croatian spy of the time Josip Manolic said that Vukojevic's first film was designed and realized in accordance with the President. Vukojevic himself said that the film gives highest possibilities as it most strongly comes to the public consciousness.

The Committee has also spent a considerable part of its budget on printing books about sufferings of Croatian soldiers during the Second World War. It is as well involved in keeping up the memory of Bleiburg massacre, by organizing lectures and round table discussions on this event, and an yearly celebration in the Bleiburg filed. When reproached for neglecting the research of crimes committed by Ustashas, the Committee answers that this topic has been covered enough during the past 50 years.

I have to say that if we join Europe, our Committee will not be able to work in this way any more, as the German law provides that one who celebrates Hitler's rule or decreases or softens the number of its victims will be punished by up to five years of prison sentence—said at a recent Committee session its secretary Florijan Boras. All of us here, except for Mr. Goldstein, could be sentenced, so you see what will wait us if we join such like Europe. Taking into account this kind of view, it seem that there is no need for any additional proof that Tudjman's regime is very well aware of what it is involved in. But in spite of everything, it goes on, pushing this unfortunate country into even deeper fascist darkness.