August 1, 2008
Israel’s ambassador to Croatia, Shmuel Meirom, harshly criticized on Thursday 31 July 2008 the funeral given to a head of a World War Two concentration camp in Zagreb, saying also that it insulted the memory of those killed in the camp run by Croatia’s Nazi-allied Ustasha regime. Sakic died aged 87 on July 20 while serving 20 years in prison for war crimes he committed as head of the notorious Jasenovac camp, the worst of about 40 camps run by the then Nazi puppet regime of Croatia. According to Croatia’s Vecernji List daily, Sakic was buried in the Ustasha uniform and described by the priest at the funeral as “a person Croats must be proud of”‘.
“I’m convinced that the majority of the Croatian people are shocked by the way the funeral of the Jasenovac commander and murderer, dressed in an Ustasha uniform, was conducted,” ambassador Meirom said in a written statement to the state news agency Hina. “At the same time, I strongly condemn the inappropriate words of the priest who served at the funeral and said that Sakic was a model for all Croats”Meirom said.
Dinko Sakic’s funeral was an “outrageous display of unrepentant racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israeli branch director, Efraim Zuroff, said in a letter on July 30 addressed to President Stipe Mesic. Sakic fled Croatia when the pro-Nazi state was crushed in 1945. He was extradited from Argentina in 1998 to face trial in Croatia, where he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Ustasha’s Independent State of Croatia (abbreviated as NDH) was proclaimed on April 10, 1941; territories besides those which were traditionally settled by the Croats were grafted into this state, including all of Bosnia- Herzegovina and parts of Serbia. There were more than two million Serbs living in the newly created puppet state, who made up one third of the entire population of the NDH. There were also significant numbers of Jews, Romanies and members of other national groups. As soon as the NDH was proclaimed, the leader of this Italo-German fabrication, the head of the Ustasha named Ante Paveli?, began to carry out the Ustasha’s program of the creation of a “purely Croatian area for living” and a “pure Croat nation”.
A very small number of Gypsies was filed, only a few hundred, while it is known that all 25,000-35,000 of them from the NDH were killed in Jasenovac. The Jewish community in Yugoslavia has established the number of 20,000 Jews that were killed in Jasenovac. The numbers of killed Serbs are truly varied. The sources from abroad mention numbers from 300,000 to 700,000. Anyway most of the people killed in Jasenovac were Serbs.
Ante Pavelic was the original Butcher of the Balkans. He was the leader of the Nazi puppet government of the “Independent State of Croatia” who died peacefully in Madrid in 1959. The mass murderer survived the Second World War and never faced a war crimes tribunal unlike Slobodan Milosevic whose alleged crimes pale in comparison. Instead Pavelic was offered sanctuary by the Vatican and became a security advisor to Juan and Eva Person before retiring to fascist Spain.
Tudjman, the late blood stained ruler of Croatia, was a proponent of returning Pavelic to Croatia and indeed Pavelic would be pleased to find many new public monuments to his loyal Ustashe springing up like toadstools after a spring rain in democratic Croatia.
At the end of September 1991 (beggining of civil wars in Tito’s Yugoslavia, ed. n.), the Croatian Army entered the Jasenovac memorial park by force. According to the Hague Convention on the protection of historical and cultural monuments, the Croatian Army severely broke the agreement by entering the protected area. Although the international public informed about desecration of the memorial park. there was not much of a response. The Serbian forces liberated Jasenovac Memorial Park on October 8, 1991. During the withdrawal the Croatian Army placed explosives (and) blew up the bridge on the Sava River which connected the two parts of the Memorial Park; they also blew up the graves, destroyed the Museum artifacts and stole the Museum equipment. Due to the courage and enthusiasm of individuals who worked at the Memorial Park, some historical materials and objects were saved.
As sources of this article I ave used following links/portals:
- www.vaticanbankclaims.com (Alperin v. Vatican Bank was originally filed in Federal Court in San Francisco in November 1999. The plaintiffs are concentration camp survivors of Serb, Jewish, and Ukrainian background and their relatives as well as organizations representing over 300,000 Holocaust victims and their heirs.The plaintiffs seek an accounting and restitution of the Ustasha Treasury that according to the US State Department was illicitly transferred to the Vatican, the Franciscan Order and other banks after the end of the war)
- www.jasenovac.org (The Jasenovac Research Institute is a non-profit human rights organization and research institute committed to establishing the truth about the Holocaust in Yugoslavia and dedicated to the search for justice for its victims. The JRI promotes research and activities designed to enlighten the world to the crimes of genocide committed at Jasenovac and wartime Yugoslavia against Serbs, Jews and Romas and provides assistance to all groups and individuals who likewise seek justice for these victims.)
- www.jasenovac-info.com (Jasenovac Committee of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church)