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Unsung World War Two Hero

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    Удружење Краљевина Србија
    July 18, 2017
    By Урош Парезановић


    Поводом 71. годишњице стрељања генерала Драгољуба Драже Михаиловића, 17. јула 2017. године, служен je парастос у београдској цркви Светог Саве на Врачару. Организатори парастоса били су Удружење припадника Југословенске војске у Отаџбини 1941-1945, Републичка асоцијација за неговање тековина Равногорског покрета и Удружење Краљевина Србија – Градски одбор Београд.

    Поштоваоци армијског генерала Драже Михаиловића, начелника штаба Врховне команде Југословенске војске у Отаџбини и министра војске, морнарице и ваздухопловства Краљевине Југославије, окупили су се да одају пошту вођи првог герилског антифашистичког покрета у Европи.

    Парастос су служили отац Радивоје Панић и јереј Далибор Стојадиновић из цркве Светог Саве.

    Окупљене је писмом поздравио Њ.К.В. Престолонаследник Александар, које је прочитао господин Гаврило Дошен, изасланик Његовог Височанства. У својој поруци престолонаследник је захвалио организаторима на труду и залагању да се сачува сећање на херојство генерала Михаиловића и његових сабораца.

    Присутнима се обратио и др Душан Ђукић, председник Удружења припадника ЈВуО, учесник Другог светског рата и син генерала Светомира Ђукића, оснивача и првог председника Српског олимпијског комитета.

    Парастосу је присуствовало више угледних јавних личности, међу којима проф. др Момир Милојевић, пензионисани професор Правног факултета Универзитета у Београду, народни посланик мр Иван Костић, г. Александар Цветковић, директор Српског покрета обнове, историчар г. Предраг Остојић, г. Љубомир Симић, копредседник Српске монархистичке странке Српска слога, као и неколико ветерана Другог светског рата, који су упркост својим позним годинама дошли да одају почаст свом команданту.

    Такође, присутан је био и господин Миро Микетић, преживели учесник „босанске голготе“ током Другог светског рата и аутор књиге „Кроз пакао и натраг“.

    Подсећамо, генерал Михаиловић био је вођа Покрета отпора у Другом светском рату који је одбио да призна капитулацију и повео је борбу против окупатора. Вишеструко је одликован од Савезника: француски генерал Шарл де Гол доделио му је Ратни крст (1943), а амерички председник Хари Труман постхумно га је одликовао Легијом за заглуге (1948).

    На послератном процесу који је био политички мотивисан, организован од стране комунистичких власти, систематски су кршена процесна и људска права оптужених и генерал Михаиловић је осуђен на смрт. Стрељан је 17. јула 1946. године. Виши суд у Београду 14. маја 2015. године донео је одлуку о рехабилитацији генерала Драже Михаиловића.







    http://kraljevinasrbija.rs/aktuelnosti/parastos-djeneralu-dragoljubu-mihailovicu-beograd/


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

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    Final Abandonment of the Balkans
    to the Communists

    Episodes 13-18

    Mr. Miloslav Samardzic
     
    Episode 13: The Savage Revolution (Part one)

    At the end of September 1944, 414,000 Soviet troops entered Serbia. In the wake of their tanks, the Partisans begin to establish their authority. Their first action was to ‘mobilize’ 250,000 young men, many of whom were still minors. In this episode, some of them testify that they were thrown into locked cattle wagons and then taken under heavy guard to the front line at Srem to face a phalanx of German machine guns.

    Episode 14: The Savage Revolution (Part two)

    The harrowing testimony of 12 witnesses who survived the end of 1944 and beginning of 1945 in communist prisons, where they were tortured and witnessed many murders. Displaying the original documents that ordered executions by shooting, a form whose only requirement was to enter the name of the victim. The harrowing story of the liquidation of over 100,000 people and the confiscation of hundreds of thousands of houses, apartments, factories, shops, craft workshops...of which 90 percent were never returned.

    Episode 15: The Bosnian Golgotha (1)

    After invasion by the Red Army, the remaining units of the Yugoslav army, the Chetniks, retreated into Bosnia without shelter and without winter equipment. Therefore, the first objective was: to win over the urban areas so as to survive the harsh Bosnian winter. This was followed by attacks on garrisons held by the Partisans or Ustasha.

    Episode 16: Bosnian Golgotha (2)

    Spring 1945. The last area of territory located in northern Bosnia that was free of Partisan control. now came under attack from Partisans equipped  with heavy weaponry. General Mihailovich ordered his forces in the west to make a sudden turn towards Serbia, in order to out maneuver his enemies. With eye-witness testimonies and recorded footage of the territory on which some of the key events were played out.

    Episode 17: Krajina, Slovenia and Montenegro 1944-45

    Spring 1945 units from Montenegro, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Pavle Djurisic, separated from the main body of General Draza Mihailovic’s forces in an attempt to reach Slovenia. In Slovenia there were already significant elements of the Chetnik Supreme Command headed by General Miodrag Damjanovic, the largest force was the Dinara Chetnik Division led by Vojvoda ‘Duke’ Momcilo Djuic. In this episode the attack on the Dinara Chetnik division by a Partisan encirclement on 4 December 1944 is recounted and the unsuccessful maneuvers of  Lieutenant Colonel Djurisic.

    Episode 18: After the War

    End of the Second World War. Units under the command of General Damjanovic withdraw to Italy into the hands of the Western Allies. The Allies disarm them and place them in camps in Italy and then in Germany. Life in the camps, the establishment of the first émigré  associations, going into exile across the world, the memory of General Draza Mihailovic, the descendants of emigrants today...


    https://vimeo.com/ondemand/kingdomofyuinwwii1318


    http://kingdom-of-yugoslavia-in-ww2.com/about-us/


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****
     

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    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017

    Aleksandra's Note: The following presentation was made on July 26, 2017 by U.S. Congressman Ted Poe from Texas. Following the text is a video presentation  published online three years ago reflecting the same theme. On both occasions, the remarks of Congressman Ted Poe were made publicly and therefore saved for posterity.

    So nice to see an American politician who recognizes the debt this great country owes to the Serbians.

    Today, August 10, 2017, marks the 73rd anniversary of the great Halyard Mission Rescue Operation, later to be called the Ranger Mission, an event that began on August 9 and continued until the end of December 1944. It was during this highly classified event of World War II that Serbia's General Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks risked everything to save the lives of over 500 American airmen along with fallen airmen of other Allied countries. All of these airmen could have easily become permanent casualties of the Nazis in enemy occupied Yugoslavia, but instead, all were saved and returned home safely to live out their lives and be living witnesses to the legacy of General Mihailovich and the Serbians loyal to him.

    To this day, a proper debt of gratitude remains to be paid.

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    August 10, 2017

    *****

    Congressman Poe
    July 26, 2017:

    "Mr. Speaker, during the long, dark, lamentable days of World War II, Serbians and Americans forged a bond in a secret mission that remained classified for almost 60 years. What was known as Operation Halyard became the largest rescue operation of American airmen in history.

    "It would not have been possible without the courage of the Serbian people. In 1944, as the Allies advanced into fortress Europe, American bombers based in southern Italy began to strike Germany's vital oil supplies in Romania.

    "The 15th Air Force launched nearly 20,000 sorties into Eastern Europe to degrade Hitler's war machine. To do this, they had to fly over Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.

    "As many as 1,500 pilots and airmen were shot down during these dangerous flights. Serbians who had been resisting German forces since 1941 risked their own lives to rescue American aircrews and hide them from patrolling Nazis.

    "One of them was Serbian George Dudich, the father of Elaine Dudich, my chief of staff when I was a judge in Texas. For months, George Dudich and the other Serbians aided downed Americans, caring for and protecting the pilots, and then smuggling the aircrews back to Allied lines.

    "By August 1944, hundreds of other downed aircrews were being sheltered by the Serbian guerillas. The OSS, the predecessor to the CIA, devised a plan to evacuate the Allied pilots in a daring mission coordinated with the Serbian resistance.

    "On August 10, unarmed American C-47s flew numerous sorties deep into enemy territory and landed at an improvised airfield built and protected by local Serbians near the village of Pranjani. By the 18th, more than 500 Allied airmen had been secretly rescued and flown back to Italy.

    "Here on this poster you see the Serbian resistance, along with American aircrews that had been downed, moving them to hiding from the Nazis that were patrolling the areas. For over 60 years, this bold, unbelievable secret operation was kept classified.

    "Our alliance with Serbia and the Serbian people goes back even further to the First World War. One hundred years ago, Serbia stood up to the aggression from the larger Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

    "We should admire such defiance against overwhelming odds. Serbia's stand against tyranny also set events in motion that would lead the U.S. to take up the cause of freedom in Europe in World War I.

    "That common devotion to liberty and the spirit of the Halyard mission still lives today with the close ties between the United States and Serbia. As was the case in both World Wars, Serbia and the United States still face shared threats. We work together now to preserve each other security.

    "Serbian soldiers serve along with U.S. forces in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, and Serbia is a partner in keeping terrorism from spreading in Serbia and in Europe. However, Russian propaganda efforts in the country are particularly strong and anti-Western.

    "We must be vigilant to thwart the Kremlin's efforts to poison our relationship with Serbia. Fortunately, Serbia's integration into the West has continued to move in spite of Russian disinformation.

    "In 2006, Serbia joined NATO's Partnership for Peace and, in 2015, signed an Individual Partnership Action Plan with the alliance to strengthen cooperation. Serbia has no stronger supporter for increased integration with the EuroAtlantic community than the United States.

    "So for more than 100 years, we have been friends with the Serbian people. And as co-chair of the Serbian Caucus, along with the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Cleaver), I want to welcome Serbian Ambassador Matkovic and his staff to the House Chamber today.

    "With our shared events in Operation Halyard, our combined history, and our fight for freedom, the American people are forever grateful for those Serbs who came to America's rescue during those bleak days of World War II.

    "And that is just the way it is."


    U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas)
    July 26, 2017


    https://youtu.be/q8cd3ZiqP8s


    https://poe.house.gov/2017/7/the-secret-serbian-rescue-mission-of-world-war-ii


    *****

    VIDEO: "U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX2) calls Serbs "one of the most important allies" of USA 6.11.2014"

    Posted on You Tube by: "chauncey bill"
    Published on Jun 13, 2014

    "Congressman (Judge) Ted Poe (R-Texas 2) gave speech on the House floor to "commemorate one of the most important allies [of The United States]: the PEOPLE OF SERBIA!"
     
    "He praised Serbian struggle in both WW1 and WW2 and Serbian General & American hero Draza Mihailovich."





    https://youtu.be/Bwo7C03ZArM


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

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    General Draza Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Heroes Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on Orthodox Easter, May 1, 2016.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic.

    Aleksandra's Note:With all the focus on monuments and statues in America recently forced upon us by people with a political agenda, none of us should be surprised that monuments dedicated to General Draza Mihailovich have become a target. It was inevitable, especially considering the way that the Left has been conducting itself in American culture, society, and political and civic life.

    I am posting this "Initiative" by the "Bosnian Americans" on Facebook to make people aware of how vigilant we much be. We cannot be apathetic or take anything for granted. This "Initiative" to "remove" the General Mihailovich Monument at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville should be taken seriously by both Serbian patriots AND Americans, and any others among us who recognize and understand just how ironic this initiative is, considering who General Mihailovich and his Chetniks really were and what they did for the Americans in World War II in the war AGAINST the Nazis and Fascists.

    It's also quite ironic that both of the photographs the "Bosnian Americans" chose to use in publicizing their initiative were taken by me.

    Please take this seriously and do not take anything for granted. These days in America, black is white and white is black.

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    August 20, 2017

    *****

    THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVE WAS POSTED ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF "BOSNIAN AMERICANS" on August 17, 2017:


    "ACTION: Help us remove the Draža - Četnik Statue from Illinois...we need some 3-4 volunteers to help us "read" and "research" the Municipal Ordinances in town of Libertyville, IL... Seeking legitimate reasons for its removal via "LEGAL" means using city, state and federal laws; separation of church and state, tax exemptions - no political involvement/liabilities, hate speech, discrimination, glorifying war criminals, genocide denial... find things like the following:

    Sec. 2-346. - Duties and powers.
    The human relations commission shall have and exercise the following duties and powers:


    (2)
    To act to assure to persons living, working or desiring to live in this village opportunity to purchase, lease or occupy real property in this village WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION because of race, color, religion or national origin."


    https://library.municode.com/il/libertyville/codes/code_of_ordinances

    "Bosnian Americans" on Facebook
    August 17, 2017

    *****

    "As U.S. Mayors and Governors are removing Confederate Statues... Our Illinois community should push for removal of this Cetnik and Nazi equivalent monument of Dražo Mihajlović in Chicago. "Leader of the Third Serbian Uprising"... predecessor of Bosnian Genocide, a Nazi Collaborator. This needs to GO!!!"

    "Bosnian Americans" on Facebook
    August 17, 2017




    *****

    "Another 50 Četnik/Genocide deniers banned today from this group, as well as their propaganda... as form on deny, deffer, deflect and distract strategy. However their hatred is real and disturbing (do not let them provoke you, just sit tight). It is paramount that we emphasize that there is huge distinction between Serbs (in general), and right-wing extremists such as "Četniks", and members of "Ravnogorski Pokret" which should be declared terrorist organisations. We will never fall for that self-serving trap! On the other end, we made more progress on the (12 page) Letter/Case file to the respected IL representatives... and should be ready in coming few days. If you want to pitch in for printing/delivery... message us."

    "Bosnian Americans" on Facebook
    August 19/20, 2017


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

     

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    Novosti
    V. C. S.
    21. avgust 2017.

    Bošnjaci u Americi ruše obeležja Draži

    Fejsbuk-grupa "Bosanski Amerikanci" traži uklanjanje biste u Libertivilu. Žele da iskoriste talas "brisanja" lidera Konfederacije u SAD. Na nišanu i spomenici na trećem jezeru i kod Saborne crkve u Milvokiju.

    Foto: Aleksandra Rebic April 1, 2012
    Manastir Svetog Save, Libertyville, IL
     
    FEJSBUK-grupa "Bosanski Amerikanci" pozvala je dobrovoljce da im pomognu u organizaciji rušenja američkih spomenika generalu Dragoljubu Draži Mihailoviću, komandantu Jugoslovenske vojske u otadžbini.
     
    Prvi na udaru je njegov spomenik pored Hrama Svetog Save u Libertivilu, u Ilinoisu, pored kog se tradicionalno obeležava Dražindan, 17. jula, kada se veruje da je Mihailović ubijen, 1946. Kod ovog manastira episkop kanadski dr Mitrofan Kodić držao je parastos i ovog 17. jula.
     
    Američki muslimani sa teritorije bivše Jugoslavije rešili su da iskoriste euforiju oko rušenja spomenika pripadnicima Konfederacije u Američkom građanskom ratu, koji je počeo nemirima u Šarlotsvilu. Krajnja desnica usprotivila se uklanjanju spomenika generalu Liju, vođi snaga Konfederacije, posle čega je, 15. avgusta, srušen spomenik Konfederacije u Daramu, u Severnoj Karolini.
     
    "S obzirom da gradonačelnici i guverneri američkih gradova sklanjaju spomen-obeležja Konfederaciji, naša zajednica u Ilinoisu predlaže da se isto tako tretiraju i spomenici Draži, vođi tzv. Trećeg srpskog ustanka", piše na fejsbuk-stranici ove grupe. Oni lidera JuVO nazivaju "prethodnikom bosanskog genocida" i više puta poručuju - "Ovo mora da bude urađeno!"
     
    Zato traže pomoć dobrovoljaca da spomenik bude "legalno srušen" tako što će biti "pročešljani" lokalni, državni i federalni propisi i nađene pravne mogućnosti, od pozivanja na to da je Draža ratni zločinac, do činjenice da su crkva i država u SAD odvojene... Ovaj poziv pretvorio se u poziv na linč, jer su neki odmah zatražili adresu gde se spomenik nalazi, ne bi li ga sami srušili. Istovremeno, izbio je pravi verbalni rat na društvenim mrežama, u koji su se uključili ne samo žitelji bivše Jugoslavije, već i Amerikanci.

    Saopštenjem se odmah oglasila i Organizacija srpskih četnika "Ravna Gora" iz Čikaga, koja je navela da "izgleda da bošnjačka zajednica nišani na spomenike đenerala Draže Mihailovića kod manastira Sv. Save u Libertivilu, manastira Nove Gračanice na Trećem jezeru i kod Saborne crkve Sv. Save u Milvokiju".

    Inače, ovaj manastir godinama je bio poznat kao večna kuća pesnika Jovana Dučića, čiji su posmrtni ostaci preneti 2000. u Trebinje. Tu je 14. novembra 1970. sahranjen i kralj Petar Drugi Karađorđević, a do 1991. tu je počivao i vladika Nikolaj Velimirović.
     
     
    GROBOVI VOJVODA I MINISTARA
     
    NA manastirskom groblju u Libertivilu nalaze se i grobovi jednog broja ministara Vlade Kraljevine Jugoslavije. Pored spomenika generalu Mihailoviću, tu su i spomenici vojvodi Momčilu Đujiću i Pavlu Đurišiću.
     
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

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    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017 (3)

    Aleksandra's Note:With all the focus on monuments and statues in America recently forced upon us by people with a political agenda, none of us should be surprised that monuments dedicated to General Draza Mihailovich have become a target. It was inevitable.

    We cannot be apathetic or take anything for granted. "Initiatives" to "remove" the General Mihailovich Monument at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL and other locations such as New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL and at St. Sava Cathedral in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and undoubtedly others, should be taken seriously by both Serbian patriots AND Americans, and any others among us who recognize and understand just how ironic these initiatives are, considering who General Mihailovich and his Chetniks really were and what they did for the Americans and Allies in World War II in the war AGAINST the Nazis and Fascists.

    So much false history and outright lies have been institutionalized by the Yugoslav Communists and those who shared their agenda for the former Yugoslavia. Once false history and lies are institutionalized, it becomes a monumental battle to reverse the damage and break through to the light of Truth.

    Fortunately, more material has been issued in the ENGLISH language, which is of critical importance, that testifies to the true nature and actions of General Draza Mihailovich, his Chetniks, and the Serbian people loyal to them. We have a long way to go, but we will get there. This is not "revisionist history" I'm talking about. This is correcting the historical record to reflect the Truth.

    Following his execution by the Yugoslav Communists in Belgrade on July 17, 1946, his mortal remains have to this date never been found. These monuments to his legacy that have been erected here in the United States of America are one way of ensuring that the legacy of General Mihailovich will never die - that no group, person, initiative, or movement will prevail in destroying either that legacy or the monuments that represent it. They will continue to stand as a reminder of the great and noble things great men are capable of in the worst possible circumstances.

    Learn from these monuments, these reminders and reflections of our history. Cherish them.


    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    August 27, 2017

    *****

    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017 (2)
     
    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017 (3)

    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017 (4)
     
    The Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on a beautiful Summer evening in Chicagoland. Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 22, 2017 (1)
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

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    Pogledi
    Стефан Каргановић
    August 28, 2017

    Како се у Америци поткивају жабе?

    General Draza Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Heroes Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on Orthodox Easter, May 1, 2016.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic.

    Епизода са спомеником генералу Михаиловићу још једна је озбиљна опомена на морални данак који Срби непрекидно плаћају за безумно слеђење Чаробног Фрулаша из Кумровца. Може ли се јадним „Босанским Американцима“ стварно замерити ако присвајају етикете и покушавају да исцеде политичку корист из изопачених мерила које су, пре њих, многи Срби одушевљено усвојили и поунутрашњили?

    Пише: Стефан Каргановић
     
    Видела „босанска“ жаба у Америци да се у Шарлотсвилу коњ поткива, па и она дигла ногу. Амерички Срби, и њихови сународници широм света, пре неки дан су сазнали — захваљујући циркуларном писму вредне српско-америчке активисткиње, госпође Александра Ребић — да су 17. августа ове године неке бошњачке организације у САД, очигледно надахнуте недавним уклањањем статуе у Вирџинији, намислиле да моментум тих контроверзних догађаја искористе и претворе политички ћар за себе. Наиме, ти кругови, који се не одликују нарочитом бистрином или креативношћу, одлучили су да покрену иницијативу за уклањање у градићу Либертивил, недалеко од Чикага, држава Илиној, споменика подигнутог пре више деценија у част генералу Драгољубу Михаиловићу.
     
    При том, није згорег споменути и то да се споменик генералу Михаиловићу у Либертивилу налази на територији српског манастира Светог Саве, на земљишту које је приватна својина српске православне епархије.
     
    Бизарно образложење за ову иницијативу заслужује да буде наведено у целости, онако како се може прочитати на Фејсбук страни покретача ове акције, такозваних „Босанских Американаца“:
     
    „АКЦИЈА: Помозите нам да уклонимо Дражину четничку статуу у Илиноју… потребно нам је три или четири добровољца (волонтера) да нам помогну да исчитамо и претражимо општинске уредбе у граду Либертивил, у држави Илиној… Потребни су нам легитимни разлози, коришћењем легалних средстава и ослањајући се на градске, државне и савезне законе, позивајући се на одвојеност цркве од државе, пореске олакшице чије уживање искључује политичку делатност, говор мржње, дискриминацију, величање ратних злочинаца, порицање геноцида…“
     
    „Босански Американци“ се затим, примерице, позивају на Члан 2-346. неког кодекса (не именујући тачно извор али имплицитно ради се о некој уредби града Либерттивил). Ту се, између осталих овлашћења „комисије за људске односе,“ наводи њена дужност да „обезбеди право особа које живе, раде или намеравају да се настане у овом насељу да могу да купују, изнајмљују или користе некретнине без да буду изложене дискриминацији због расе, боје коже, вероисповести или порекла.“
     
    Па затим, да би усмерили потенцијалне волонтере, наводе интернет упутницу на кодекс општинских уредби одакле би се, хипотетички, могли напабирчити правни аргументи за постизање задатог циља, да се уклони споменик Дражи Михаиловићу:
     
     
    На крају, аутори иницијативе излажу свој стратегијски план:
     
    „Као што Конференција председника општина и гувернера САД уклања споменике који су везани за Конфедерацију … и наша заједница у држави Илиној треба да се заложи за уклањање овог четничког и нацистичког споменика Дражи Михаиловића у Чикагу, који се ни по чему од оних првих не разликује. Он је ‘вођа Трећег српског устанка’, претходник босанског геноцида и нацистички колаборатер. То мора бити уклоњено!“ [1]
     
    Навели смо in extenso образложење „Босанских Американаца“ за иницијативу коју покрећу да би се скептични читаоци уверили колико је — као што би се на колоквијалном српском језику рекло — „смути па проспи.“ Међутим, та очигледна чињеница уопште није разлог да се преко овога пређе, као да се ради о не више од још једног балканског куриозитета. Сви који буду мало напрегли своје памћење присетиће се да је пре само неколико недеља било сасвим непојмљиво да би једној банди хулигана пошло за руком да усред Америке насилно уклони споменик не неком страном великану, него домаћем угледнику. И да ће гувернер државе Вирџинија и председник општине Шарлотсвил изричитим наређењем полицију држати на узди док силеџије раде свој вандалски посао. [2]И не само то, него и да ће  власти у суседним државама (попут Мериленда), још издалека престрашене од уличне руље — или можда на нечији невидљиви миг — почети самоиницијативно да уклањају све „увредљиве“ споменике са своје територије.
     
    Зато је госпођа Ребић потпуно у праву када у свом писму америчке Србе најозбиљније упозорава:
     
    „Износим ову ‘Иницијативу Босанских Американаца’  на Фејсбуку да би нашу јавност подстакла да размисли о томе колико морамо бити будни. Не смемо остати равнодушни нити било шта примати здраво за готово. Ову ‘иницијативу’ да се из српског православног манастира Свети Сава у Либертивилу уклони споменик генералу Дражи  Михаиловићу треба да узму озбиљно не само српски родољуби него и Американци. Заправо сви који  схватају иронију овог покушаја када се има у виду ко су генерал Михаиловић и четници заправо били и шта су они учинили за Америку током Другог светског рата, у борби против нациста и фашиста. Молим вас узмите ово озбиљно и немојте се опуштати. Данас у Америци, црно је бело а бело — црно.“
     
    Тешко би се ишта могло приговорити на ово благовремено упозорење, а поред тога и беспрекорну дијагнозу, што дугујемо госпођи Ребић. Само месец дана пре рушења у Шарлотсвилу, за ту успешну операцију Sturmabteilung-а — да им је као хипотетичка могућност била предочена — скоро сви би безбрижно одвратили да од тога нема ништа и да је и то „смути па проспи.“ Па ипак, у Америци која убрзано клизи у масовно лудило, са већ видљивим обрасцима понашања и елементима Маове „културне револуције“ из шездесетих година, таква ноншалантна претпоставка на наше очи, пре неки дан, показала се у потпуности емпирички неутемељеном.
     
    Госпођа Ребић то трагично стање у које је утонула једна некада велика држава можда превише дипломатски описује као „црно је бело а бело — црно,“ јер уствари ситуација је много гора од тога. У питању није просто огрешење о Конфучијев налог да у здравој држави ствари треба називати правим именом (мада је и на том пољу клиничка слика данашње Америке озбиљно мањкава).
     
    Стварност у коју гледамо — а то је и контекст у коме треба сагледавати овај намеравани насртај на колективну свест и светиње прекоморских Срба и њихових сународника у матици и свуда у свету — је пуни распад система. То је процес који се, између осталог, огледа у све већем потискивању формално још увек важећих институционалних норми у прилог неписаних правила непознатог порекла, која у растућој мери преовлађују у свим областима не само јавног него и приватног понашања и живота. Као у позној фази римског царства, нико се више и не гњави да „превазиђене“ старинске институте попут устава и законских начела — укида. Они се једноставно игноришу, и ретко се ко више на њих обазире.
     
    У таквој аномичној атмосфери, где неписана правила „политичке коректности“ редовно поништавају писане одредбе устава и закона, довољно је да неко устврди да је нечим „увређен“ да би бескичмењачке власти похитале да изађу у сусрет чак и најапсурднијим захтевима. Зато постоји барем теоретска могућност да би иницијатива бестидних потомака Ханџар дивизије за уклањање споменика генералу Михаиловићу — постхумно одликованом од стране председника Трумана за допринос антинацистичкој коалицији орденом Легије за заслуге (Order of Merit), највећим признањем које САД додељују странцима — споменика који су му подигли амерички грађани српског порекла, на приватном земљишту своје верске заједнице, могла да успе.
     
    Колико је та доскора незамислива теоретска могућност — реална, то зависи у првом реду од моралне снаге и јединства српске заједнице у Сједињеним Државама, и шире у расејању. Бестидници су објавили свој план; времена за организовано и ефикасно противдејство има на претек. Први неопходни корак је надоградња сјајне акције госпође Александре Ребић да се обавесте сви сегменти српске јавности и мобилишу сви расположиви ресурси. Упоредо са тиме је будно праћење потеза супротне стране и аргументовано и енергично сасецање у корену сваке њихове нечасне иницијативе, пред било каквим форумом где би покушали да је покрену.
     
    Пакосна реторика којом се служе „Босански Американци“ зрачи отровним наслеђем Титоизма. Они нису творци опаке измишљотине да је први антиосовински герилац у Европи био нацистички сарадник, него су само њени узгредни и бедни, лешинарски корисници. Епизода са спомеником генералу Михаиловићу још једна је озбиљна опомена на морални данак који Срби непрекидно плаћају за безумно слеђење Чаробног Фрулаша из Кумровца. Може ли се јадним „Босанским Американцима“ стварно замерити ако присвајају етикете и покушавају да исцеде политичку корист из изопачених мерила које су, пре њих, многи Срби одушевљено усвојили и поунутрашњили?
     
    Упутнице:


     
     
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

    0 0


    Aleksandra's Note:The noble Mihailovich monument that is the subject of this petition on www.change.org by the "Bosnian Americans" group on Facebook was dedicated in Libertyville, IL in 1975. I am posting the text of the petition exactly as presented by the "Bosnian Americans".

    The only comments I will make here regarding the tremendous irony of this "initiative" are the following:

    The "Bosnian Americans" need to educate themselves about the Bosnian Muslims who willingly joined Hitler's Nazi Waffen SS division in the former Yugoslavia during WWII under the name of "HANDZAR". They not only "worked" hand in hand WITH the German Nazis, but with the Croatian Ustashe, even more notorious for their crimes against humanity than the Nazis were in Yugoslavia.

    Also, the "Bosnian Americans" need to educate themselves about the Bosnian Muslims who willingly joined the Mihailovich Chetnik forces to fight AGAINST the Nazis during WWII in the former Yugoslavia.

    These two factors make the "Bosnian American" initiative to have the Mihailovich monument "removed" from the grounds of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL (as well as other locations in the U.S.) for the reasons that they give to do so, laughable at best and supremely hypocritical at worst. Such is the nature of Irony in this day and age.

    Still, initiatives such as this need to be taken seriously, because nothing can be taken for granted, and nothing, as has been proven in this day and age, is sacred.

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    September 2017

    *****

    REMOVAL OF THE MONUMENT TO “ČETNIK” DRAŽA MIHAJLOVIĆ IN CHICAGO


    General Draza Mihailovich Monument in Chetnik Heroes Memorial Park at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, IL on Orthodox Easter, May 1, 2016.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic.
     

    On behalf of the Bosnian Americans FB group (its 6000 members), Bosnian Organisations in the U.S.A. (signatories below), supporters of this petition, us as American citizens, we are reaching out to you seeking support, guidance, help, and action in removal of the monument of Draža Mihajlović in Libertyville, IL - symbol of hate, ethnic cleansing & genocide.

    We are pleading to the Libertyville’s own Mr. Terry L. Weppler (Mayor), Village Board Members (Johnson, Moras, Justice, Adams, Garity, Carey), IL Governor Mr. Bruce Rauner, honorable Congressman Bradley Scott Schneider (Illinois's 10th congressional district), honorable Senator Mr. Dick Durbin and honorable Senator Mrs. Duckworth, and any government authority compelled to help us take action for the immediate removal of the monument, the symbol of hate, reminiscent of recent Bosnian aggression, ethnic cleansing, and Genocide.

    Libertyville is located in south central Lake County, approximately 37 miles from Chicago and seven miles west of Lake Michigan. A community of about 22,000 inhabitants, enjoying the rich U.S. history and  traditions since 1830’s with the modern (music and arts) community and old town feel. Early settlers of Libertyville will certainly understand first Bosnian immigrants to Illinois... came with nothing, and build their livelihoods through hard work and determination. And it turned into a flourishing suburb of Chicago, where all ethnicities come together to build the fabric of American values.

    We feel that with the erection of the monument in 2009, that Libertyville tranquility is disturbed. It is out of place, and does not reflect Libertyville’s values. U.S.A. never was and will never be a country which encourages or celebrates hatred, fascism and nazism. Case of Draža Mihailović, as the founder and leader of the Četnik movement from Serbia, exemplifies that disturbing definition.

    “Četnik” (pronounced Chetnik) organisation he founded is a movement which should be named a terrorist organization, on grounds of committing Genocide & Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia as 100 International Court cases have established; Milošević [3], Karadžić [4], Mladić [5], Plavšić [6], Hodžić [7], Lukić [8], and 103 other Serb convicted sentences. [9]

    In last two decades the Serbian government, who endorses and supports Četniks (since their inception), has their lobbyists deeply entrenched in U.S. politics, manipulating history and facts (uncontested by politicians, who do not know any better). Facts about WWI, WWII and recent Bosnian aggression from Serbia is established by U.S., E.U, and International courts of justices. Not only Bosnia experienced the worse of Četniks (paramilitary, far-right extremist of Serbian government), but all former Yugoslav republics; Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Only way they have been able to do it in middle of Europe, is their significant geo-political ally in their back... Russia. Russia is doing their betting in international affairs using their Veto powers at the U.N., in their own geopolitical military self-interest, and against all American assets, interests, and investments. Therefore this neo-fascist movement shall not exist.

    Serbian Government (as well as the Četnik movement) is still deeply denying the Srebrenica Genocide (despite numerous International court decisions), where 8000 Bosniak man, woman, children and elderly were killed based on their ethnicity. Systematic ethnic cleansing effort via State aggression was conducted throughout Bosnia, not just Srebrenica. “In April 1992 and under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." - U.S. Central Intelligence Agency [10].

    Since then hundred Serb generals and Serb politicians are either serving their sentences, or find themselves in Hague Tribunal today. All of them were part of the Četnik movement started by Draže Mihajlović, and to this day those War Criminals are still seen as heroes by Četniks. Mentality and moral equivalent only seen by Taliban and ISIS today.

    Unbeknownst to the local population of Libertyville, on September 7th 2009 their neighbourhood was chosen (under false pretenses) to display and glorify this European War Criminal, in turn his movement, which is responsible for deaths of 100,000, people in former Yugoslavia.

    On May 25th 1995 Serbs took U.N. Peacekeepers hostage, for which actions U.S. and 19 NATO allies retaliated with bombing for 3 months of the Serbian capital Belgrade. Now those videos serve as propaganda videos for Serb radicals on YouTube [11]. As President Clinton then announced in this video broadcast from the White House; “we have seen (in Bosnia) worse inhumanities of our lifetime.“ [12]

    Before today’s “ISIL” in the middle east, there was someone else known for chopping heads in Europe, in 1941 and ‘91 known as Četniks, as admitted by Aleksandar-Željko Knjeginjić just last week [43]. With this historical background, this monument is an embarrassment and humiliation to humanity, specifically Bosnian community who suffered enough through Genocide, and is still recovering from its losses, tragic and haunting events. This shall not stand, nor should it be acceptable in a country based on justice, freedom, and well-being of all citizens.

    The effort to remove them is about more than symbolism. It’s about starting a conversation about the values and beliefs shared by a community. It’s about understanding our history as a nation. And it’s about acknowledging the injustices of the past as we address those of today.“- Southern Poverty Law Center. [13]

    Please, support our cause by signing this petition and raise your voice by contacting YOUR representatives (Congressman, Senators...). Don’t know who your representatives are?

    Click HERE.

    Also, advise your community leaders, political and prominent figures in your country, to support this effort, raise awareness, and demand the immediate removal of the statue of Draža Mihailović anywhere. A monster who is responsible for 100,000 deaths in Yugoslavia during the period between 1941 and 1945 (which includes U.S. allies), and demand to label his Četnik and “Ravnogorski Pokret” as Terrorist organisations. They are responsible for Bosniak Genocide and ethnic cleansing that resulted in displacement of over 1,300,000 people, deaths of 63,000 civilians just little over 2 decades ago, and proved to be guilty of Genocide by International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

    Giving Draža Mihajlović “Merit of Honor” award is like honoring Hitler with “Liberal Arts degree”, for his interest in painting… omitting the fact that he killed million Jews.

    This hate shall not stand!

    FULL Petition Document here: http://bit.ly/RemoveDraza (Google Docs)
     (Bosnian translation: http://bit.ly/UkloniDrazu)

    Sincerely,
    Bosnian Americans (FB group)[57]
    Signatories;
    • Association of Srebrenica Genocide Survivors [47] (Udruženje Preživjelih Srebreničkog Genocida)
    • Woman Victim of War [48] (Žena Žrtva Rata)
    • Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada [49] (Institut za Istraživanje Genocida, Kanada)
    • CNAB - Congress of North American Bosniaks [50] (KBSA - Kongres Bošnjaka Sjeverne Amerike)
    • Bosnian North American Woman’s Association [51] (Bosansko Sjeverno Američko Udruženje Žena)
    • Bosnian American Association Milwaukee [52] (Bosansko Američko Udruženje Milwaukee)
    • Children’s Movement for Peace, Love, Friendship “Children of Sarajevo” - NGO [53]
    • (Dječiji Pokret; Mira, Ljubavi, Prijateljstva “Djeca Sarajeva” - NVO)
    • Media:
    •  + Web: www.Bosniaks.net
    •  + TV: BHTVNY - www.batv.tv
    •  + Radio: Radio Naša Rijeć - Chicago - www.radionasarijec.com
    • BAPA - Bosnian-American Professionals Association [54] (BAUP - Bosansko-Američko Udruženje Profesionalaca)
    • Bosnian Professionals (second largest Bosnian LinkedIn Group)[56](Bosanski Profesionalci)

    Sources - References:

    [1]  https://www.guidestar.org/profile/91-2106528
    [2]  https://www.melissadata.com/lookups/np.asp?zip=363260126
    [3]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/ind/en/mil-ii011122e.htm
    [4]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/ind/en/kar-ai000428e.pdf
    [5]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/ind/en/kar-ii950724e.pdf
    [6]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/plavsic/tjug/en/030227_Plavsic_summary_en.pdf
    [7]  http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/ind/en/110722.pdf
    [8]http://www.icty.org/x/cases/milan_lukic_sredoje_lukic/cis/en/cis_lukic_lukic_en.pdf
    [9] http://www.icty.org/en/action/cases/4
    [10] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/print_ri.html
    [11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6fq7DjMsqU
    [12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXPdY1zXXfA
    [13] https://www.splcenter.org/20160421/whose-heritage-public-symbols-confederacy
    [47] http://www.stlbosnians.com/businesses-2/307/association-of-survivors-of-the-srebrenica-genocide/
    [48] https://web.archive.org/web/20100715192706/http://www.zena-zrtva-rata.ba:80/o_nama
    [49] http://instituteforgenocide.org
    [50] http://www.bosniak.org
    [51] https://bosnawa.com
    [52] http://www.nonprofitfacts.com/WI/Bosnian-American-Association-Inc-Baa.html
    [53] http://www.sarajevotimes.com/the-anniversary-of-ngo-childrens-movement-for-peace-children-of-sarajevo-today/
    [56] https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1772660
    [57] https://www.facebook.com/BosnianAmericans/

    This petition will be delivered to:
    • Representative
      Bradley Schneider
    • Senator
      Tammy Duckworth
    • Senator
      Dick Durbin
    • Governor
      Bruce Rauner
    • Chicago, IL Mayor
      Rahm Emanuel
    • Vibertyville, IL Mayor
      Terry Weppler
    https://www.change.org/p/bradley-schneider-removal-of-the-monument-to-%C4%8Detnik-dra%C5%BEa-mihajlovi%C4%87-in-chicago?recruiter=38947336&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition



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    A YEARLY SPECIAL EVENT HONORING THE CHETNIK LEGACY
    AND THE LEADER OF THE THIRD SERBIAN UPRISING,
    GENERAL DRAZA MIHAILOVICH
     
     
     
    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    PLEASE CONTACT REUNION CHAIRWOMAN
    JELENA STEVANOVIC JOVOVIC
    AT:
     
     
     
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    Dragoljub Draža Mihailović was born in Ivanjica, in western Serbia, on April 27th, 1893. Of all the buildings from that era, in modern day Ivanjica only one still exists – the church in which Draža was baptized.



    Our research starts at this church.

    After the death of his parents, Draža and his sisters were adopted by their uncle in Belgrade.

    In Belgrade, Draža completed grammar school with excellent grades. It was the Third Male Grammar School in the center of the capital city. That building still exists today.

    Draža graduated from Military Academy with excellent grades. He was a decorated war hero from the First and the Second Balkan Wars, and the First World War.

    He also graduated from the Military Academy  College and became a professor of Strategy and tactics at the Military Academy in Belgrade.

    Draža specialised in diplomacy and intelligence whilst in France. On the eve of the Second World War he was the leading expert on guerrilla warfare in the Yugoslav Army. At that time, guerrilla warfare was considered localized and limited, and guerrilla formations were only company sized. But according to Draža’s theory, guerrilla formations could be large and are engaged in total war. He was soon to put this theory into practice.

    On April 6th, 1941, the Axis powers attacked the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and all resistance was crushed after 12 days. Mihailović, then a Colonel, started rebuilding an Army. In the summer 1941 he had 100 Chetnik units which were engaged in fighting the Germans.

    The Yugoslav government, which was exiled in London, as all governments of occupied countries were, promoted Mihailović to the rank of General and made him Minister of Defence as he managed to create the largest guerrilla force in Europe.

    In December 1941 the Germans put a price on Mihailović’s head for the first time, and free French radio broadcast the first news about his achievements. That news was then transmitted by other Western media, and a world wide media campaign started.

    Press all over the free world began writing about him; he was depicted in comics and even became the hero of a Hollywood movie (“Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas”, 1943)

    Allied liaison officers were present in Draža's HQ throughout almost the entire war.

    After  Germany attacked the USSR on June 22nd, 1941, Yugoslav Communists created their own armed formations called the Partisans. The Communist party of Yugoslavia was outlawed in 1921, for terrorism, when they failed in their attempt to conduct a revolution with Soviet backing.

    However, the Communists used the chaos of war to try and storm to power. So, Mihailović was forced to fight a civil war as well as to fight against the Axis powers. The Communists were led by Josip Broz Tito.

    The Communist International (the Comintern), based in Moscow, began its anti-Mihailović campaign in August 1942 in the Communist party of Sweden's Gazzette. That campaign echoed in Comintern medias around the world. As the Red Army gained momentum on the Eastern front, the campaign spread into other medias, including the BBC. The greatest media twist in WWII was around the corner.

    The media twist was followed by the political about-face. In so far insufficiently explained circumstances, the Western allies abandoned Mihailović and transferred their support to the Yugoslav Communists.

    In the film, that topic is covered by: Professor Dr. Kirk Ford, America's greatest authority on the Balkans in World War II; Gregory Freeman, author of the book “The Forgotten 500“; and former Green Beret officer; and Dr. Miloš Kostić, who was a Chetnik courier during the war.

    People who knew Draža, like Dr. Dušan Đukić, son of General Đukić and Captain Uroš Šušterič from Ljubljana, who was in Serbia during the war talk about Mihailović as a person.

    Aleksandar Ajzenberg, a a Jewish survivor, testifies how Mihailović saved Jews from the Nazis.

    The film “General Draža Mihailović“ shows clips from dozens of sites where crucial events took place.

    The sites were filmed during different seasons.

    All footage is in HD resolution.

    The film “General Draža Mihailović“  is the first Serbian movie showing digitised archive footage from previous wars in Full HD resolution.

    American OSS (later: CIA) tried to change the course of the events, i.e. to stop the Sovietisation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. So they sent Colonel Dr. Robert McDowell into Mihailović's HQ.

    In the autumn of 1944, General Mihailović and Colonel McDowell were having a hard time. Dramatic change was captured by the cameras. In the photo taken in September, they are optimists. In the photo taken in October, they are disappointed.

    This is the first movie that throws some light on how General Mihailović was captured in March 1946.

    Also, the film demystifies the trial of General Mihailović in summer of that year. The original transcripts, which are still not easily accessible to researchers, as well as audio and video recordings from the trial, are used in the film.

    Witnesses who never before spoke about this reveal the secret: How and where was General Mihailović murdered?

    The film will show the murder scene, for the first time in public.

    The film also shows where General Mihailović is buried.


    Trailer:

    https://vimeo.com/222254678

    About the movie:


    http://kingdom-of-yugoslavia-in-ww2.com/documentary-general-draza-mihailovic/



    Donate now:



    http://kingdom-of-yugoslavia-in-ww2.com/donations/

    For Questions or Comments, please contact:

    pogledikg@gmail.com


     


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    Halyard Mission
    Commemoration Schedule of Events
    Saturday September 16, 2017
    SERBIA
     
    Courtesy of the Halyard Mission Foundation
     

    Point 1. Galovica Field


    (SRB MoD/SAF, US Embassy/USAFE, Halyard Mission Foundation, GM Mayor/Municipality, Pranjani community)


    1100 - 1110 USAFE band performs national anthems


    1110-40 Wreath laying (Embassy Representatives, SRB MoD Representatives, Halyard Mission Foundation Representatives, GM municipality)


    1140 - 1200 Photo session, media


    Point 2. Church 


    (SRB MoD/SAF, US Embassy/USAFE, Halyard Mission Foundation, GM Mayor/Municipality, Pranjani community)


    1215 - 1240 Church service for Halyard Mission participants and wooden church tour


    Point 3. School - Proclamations Ceremony


    (SRB MoD/SAF, US Embassy/USAFE, Halyard Mission Foundation, UK Embassy, GM Municipality, Pranjani community)


    1245 - 1320 Presentation of proclamations to families who assisted airmen


    -Ambassador and Gen. Agustin present
     certificates.


    -Welcome cocktail and interaction with the
      community at the sports hall


    -USAFE band performs music from 1930s and
      1940s


    Comment: USAFE band shall stay longer at the school, skip point 4 and proceed to point 5.


    Point 4. Health Care Centre John Kingsbury


    (SRB MoD/SAF, Halyard Mission Foundation,  US Embassy/USAFE, UK Embassy, GM Municipality delegation)


    1330 - 1345 Tour of medical center 


    Point 5.  Leusici/Jevtovic ranch tour and lunch


    (SRB MoD/SAF delegation head, US Embassy/USAFE, Halyard Mission Foundation, GM mayor)
     
    1400 - 1410 Visit Jevtovica ranch

                - Charles Davis (15th Air Force veteran)
                  Jevtovic family story


    1415 - 1600 Lunch


    *******

     

     

     

    *******

     

     

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    Aleksandra,

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    Tanjug
    September 16, 2017

    Kajl Skot u Pranjanima: Pravi junaci su Srbi koji su spasavali pilote

    U Pranjanima je danas obeležena godišnjica misije Halijard tokom koje je u Drugom svetskom ratu spaseno više od 500 američkih vazduhoplovaca.



    GORNJI MILANOVAC, PRANJANI- U Pranjanima je danas obeležena godišnjica misije Halijard tokom koje je u Drugom svetskom ratu spaseno više od 500 američkih vazduhoplovaca.

    Vence na Galovića polju položili su američki ambasador u Srbiji Kajl Skot, predstavnici ministarstva odbrane, predstavnici Fondacije Halijard kao i predsednik opštine Gornji Milanovac Dejan Kovačević.

    Kompletan sadržaj vesti dostupan je korisnicima Tanjugovih servisa

    Foto: KAJL SKAT
     
    Foto: DEJAN KOVACEVIC
     
    Foto: KAJL SKAT
     
    Foto: KAJL SKAT
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    PTC
    [Tanjug]
    September 16, 2017

    Скот у Прањанима: Прави јунаци су Срби који су спасавали пилоте

    У Прањанима је обележена годишњица мисије Халијард током које је у Другом светском рату спасено више од 500 америчких ваздухопловаца.

    Венце на Галовића пољу положили су амерички амбасадор у Србији Кајл Скот, представници министарства одбране, представници Фондације Халијард као и председник општине Горњи Милановац Дејан Ковачевић.

    Кајл Скот (архивска фотографија)

    Амерички амбасадор у Србији Кајл Скотпосебно је захвалио Фондацији Халијард на ономе што раде сваке године, као и председнику општине Горњи Милановац.

    "Стојим иза споменика, а иза мене је поље, тако изгледа, али није обично, то је поље јунака и јунаштва. Авијатичари који су се борили заједно против фашиста били су из Енглеске, Америке, Пољске, Чешке, Француске, Русије и веома ми је драго да су и аташеи из неких од ових земаља данас овде са нама, јер су они били прави хероји. Половина од њих се није вратила, а 500 који су били погођени успели су да скоче на познату територију Србије, где су били срећни", рекао је амбасадор Скот.

    Додао је да је и ћерка америчког војника српског порекла Џорџа Војиновића, који је и осмислио мисију Халијард, Ксенија Вилкинсон, присутна данас.

    Према његовим речима, јунаци су били и они који су организовали спасавања 500 људи, јер је то било веома опасно.

    "Прави јунаци су Срби који су спасавали пилоте, обични сељаци који су их чували, лечили и давали задње мрвице свог хлеба да би хранили ове непознате људе, чак иако су њихова деца била гладна. Који су испред носа Немцима чистили терен како би ту била писта за авионе. Знајући да ће, када се спасавање заврши и авиони оду, њихов живот и даље бити у опасности. То су за мене прави јунаци", поручио је амбасадор.

    Председник општине Горњи Милановац Дејан Ковачевић захвалио је присутнима и испричао колико је Мисија Халијард значила тада Југословенској војсци и војсци САД.

    "Мисија Халијард је једна од највећих таквих мисија изведених у Другом светском рату и она само показује способност тадашње наше војске да се ухвати у коштац са знатно бројнијим непријатељем и са својим савезницима у њој успе", рекао је Ковачевић.

    Додао је да као и тада и сада је српска војска спремна да се носи са новим изазовима.

    "То смо показали и пре неколико дана са пријатељском армијом САД у заједничкој вежби под називом 'Сајбер Тесла 2017'. Поред тога што смо показали да можемо равноправно да учествујемо у освајању нових технологија, такође смо још једном показали наше пријатељство са САД", указао је Ковачевић.

    Представник фондације Мисије Халијард Џон Капело рекао је да овде нису дошли само да би прославили годишњицу, већ и да би одали признање појединцима који су учествовали у мисији спашавања.


    http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/ci/story/124/drustvo/2872292/skot-u-pranjanima-pravi-junaci-su-srbi-koji-su-spasavali-pilote.html


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    Lifeline Humanitarian Organization

    2nd Annual Charity Golf Event

    Friday September 22, 2017

    River Pointe Country Club

    6700 Country Club Rd

    Hobart, IN 46342

    Join Lifeline Humanitarian Organization on Friday, September 22, 2017 for a day of golf and charity in northwest Indiana. The 2nd Annual Charity Golf Event will be held at the River Pointe Country Club and will feature:

    Scramble Format

    Putting Contest

    Longest Drive (Men and Women)

    Closest to the Pin Contest

    1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes

    Lunch served prior to 1pm shotgun start

    Post golf activities at the St Sava Pavillion include:

    6pm Dinner and Cash Bar

    Live entertainment at dinner

    Call or email for more information:

    Rade Savich (317)225-0106

    rsavich@indy.rr.com

    To register for a day of golf, dinner only or to purchase sponsorships, please click REGISTER FOR GOLF.

     
    We hope to see you there!

    https://www.lifelinechicago.org/


    *****




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    Aleksandra's Note:There are those among us who live a legacy. Dr. Ljubo Vujovic of the Tesla Memorial Society of New York is one such gentleman. Along with his dedication to teaching others about the role the great Serbian genius Nikola Tesla has played in so many essential areas of our lives, he has also dedicated his life to promoting the legacy of the WWII Halyard Mission Rescue Operation.

    He has recently published two special picture books dedicated to Halyard that are now available to the public - "Operation Halyard"and "Operation Halyard Photo Collection" Lots of photographs highlight the text describing the many different aspects of this highly classified rescue operation that resulted in over 500 American Airmen and a number of other Allied Airmen being rescued by the Chetnik forces of General Draza Mihailovich, Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland. These Americans and other Allies were taken care of, kept safe from the German enemy, and ultimately returned back home without a single loss of life.

    The two books are full of valuable information and will provide great insight into an episode in 20th Century history that every American should be made aware of. There has been a severe lack of education in the United States about this epic WWII chapter and Dr. Vujovic's contributions go a long way towards rectifying that injustice.

    The Americans and other Allied Airmen were sent to bomb the Ploesti oil fields in Romania in 1944, a primary source of fuel for Hitler's war machine. The airmen were subjected to horrific German anti-aircraft fire. Planes were shot down over Nazi-occupied territory in Yugoslavia and a number of airmen didn't make it. Those who did were very fortunate to have ended up on territory under the command of General Draza Mihailovich. General Mihailovich and his Chetnik forces by that time had already been abandoned and betrayed by the Allies, their support having moved entirely to Marshal Tito and the Yugoslav Partisans, the communists. Despite that, General Mihailovich and his Chetnik forces, and the Serbian people loyal to them, would remain people of honor - they would do the right thing, regardless of the sacrifices they had to make and the ever-present danger to their homes and their very lives.

    It was common understanding that any "enemy" military personnel finding themselves in Nazi-occupied territory must immediately seek the closest German unit and surrender to it. If they did not, they would be considered "spies" and if captured, they would be executed. Also, it's my understanding that the Germans were offering 5,000 marks for every Allied military personnel delivered to them.

    The fallen American Airmen who had survived the air assault of the Germans remained on Serbian territory for extended periods of time without surrendering to the Germans. It was not only a huge risk they took, but it also risked the lives of their rescuers. The Nazis were brutal and ruthless with their reprisals, especially against the civilian population.

    While the Americans and other Allies were recovering from their wounds and being taken care of by the Mihailovich Serbs, preparations were being made thanks to the Halyard team commanded by Lieutenant George Musulin, Master Sergeant Michael Rajacich, and Radio Operator Arthur Jibilian.

    A provisional airfield was literally constructed specifically for the rescue operation in the village of Pranjani in the Gornji Milanovac municipality in western Serbia. It was at this airfield that the C-47 cargo planes had to descend, load, and lift off quickly so as to be able to safely evacuate their human cargo without falling prey to the sizable German garrison only about 25 miles from the air strip. The Germans had tanks and "Stuka" fighter planes. General Mihailovich had thousands of his men form a defense line around the airfield and in the sky above were the American Red Tail fighter units, manned by the Tuskegee Airmen that would provide protective air cover for the C-47's.

    It was a very risky operation. All of the Americans and others could have been lost, but not a single one became a casualty during the evacuations. Not a single one. They all returned home safely. Many had families after the war and today there are many who walk among us who owe their lives to the Serbian General in the far off land who at great risk to himself and his people and without asking for any compensation for his services, did the right thing.

    Though there was no reward and the Halyard operation remained classified for many years, and still remains shrouded in secrecy, people like Dr. Ljubo Vujovic have taken it upon themselves to rectify this injustice by investing their time, energy, and resources to bringing light to this epic episode in  20th century history. These two Halyard Mission tribute books should find their way into every Serbian home and into the homes of Americans who remain ignorant of what was done for their fellow Americans by strangers in a foreign land who risked everything.

    If you are interested in these two picture books ("Operation Halyard" and "Operation Halyard Photo Collection"), please contact Dr. Ljubo Vujovic at teslasociety@aol.com.

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    September 2017



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    The Times of Israel
    Lajla Veselica
    September 12, 2017

    Croatia government under fire for failing to tackle pro-Nazis

    Far-right group put up a memorial plaque to its members at former extermination camp of Jasenovac.

    Marko Skejo, the president of the Croatian paramilitary veterans group HOS, speaks during a press conference in Zagreb, after a memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER
     
    ZAGREB, Croatia (AFP) — With his Hitler-style toothbrush moustache, ex-fighter Marko Skejo leaves no doubt about his politics: the now-disbanded paramilitary unit he fought for displays open nostalgia for a pro-Nazi past that Croatia is struggling to tackle.
     
    The unit, the Croatian Defense Forces (HOS), last week said it would continue to display a memorial plaque for its comrades killed in Croatia’s 1990s independence war which bears the pro-Nazi slogan “Za dom spremni” (“For the Homeland, ready”).
     
    It was the official motto of the fighting group — which disbanded in the early stages of the war — and appears on their coat of arms.
     
    The phrase was used by the country’s World War II Ustasha regime, which persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascist Croats.
     
    Ex-paramilitaries had put up the plaque last November by the site of the former Jasenovac camp, known as “Croatia’s Auschwitz,” sparking outrage from the country’s ethnic minorities, rights groups and centre-left opposition.

    A memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan is pictured after it was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

    After days of negotiations with authorities, HOS agreed to remove the plaque from the camp’s immediate vicinity — only to display it in another location around 10 kilometres (six miles) away.

    “No one can touch this… We achieved our goal,” an HOS leader, Ivan Friscic, told a press conference as his comrades chanted their controversial slogan.

    Skejo said authorities had failed to remove the slogan from the plaque — “we would be the biggest good-for-nothings if we ceded that.”

    Many Croatians were indignant about Conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s handling of the episode.

    “Plenkovic caved in to glorifiers” of the slogan, said a comment piece in the Jutarnji List newspaper, while Davor Bernardic, leader of the opposition Social Democrats, said the authorities were “inciting fascism.”

    ‘A different view’

    Although the Ustasha’s so-called Independent State of Croatia was a Nazi puppet state, their modern sympathizers such as Friscic and Skejo see the regime’s leaders as the nation’s founding fathers.

    After the country declared independence from Yugoslavia, sparking the 1991-1995 conflict, a number of political emigres who were linked to or sympathized with the Ustasha regime returned to Croatia.

    Local priest Zlatko Koren (Rear L) delivers a sermon in front of memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan, after it was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

    “They had a view of World War II which was completely different from the one taught not only in the former Yugoslavia but in the whole world,” historian Hrvoje Klasic told AFP.
    Some were given important political or economic positions or joined the country’s defense forces, enabling them to establish their narrative in society, Klasic said.

    In the 1990s numerous monuments to anti-fascists were destroyed and street signs were renamed after Ustasha officials.

    Although extreme Ustasha sympathizers are today a tiny minority, they face little resistance from those in power.

    In January, a Croatian school refused to display an exhibition on Jewish diarist Anne Frank because it included panels detailing the former regime’s crimes.

    The following month, dozens of far-right activists marched through downtown Zagreb chanting a pro-Nazi salute.

    Their leader was eventually arrested, but earlier this month he and his supporters publicly burned a weekly Serb publication in front of its premises.

    The leader of Croatia’s ethnic Serbs Milorad Pupovac said the Ustasha revival had not been dealt with “in an adequate way.”

    (From Right) Vian Friscic, Borislav Barisic, Marko Skejo the president of the Croatian paramilitary veterans group HOS, and Anto Dapic speak during a press conference in Zagreb, after a memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)
    Zagreb recently stripped the name of former Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito from a prominent square, an initiative led by the right-wing politician Zlatko Hasanbegovic, a former culture minister accused of revisionism.

    Masses are regularly held for Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic in Croatian cities.

    ‘Inciting fascism’

    The “Za dom spremni” slogan, regularly chanted by football fans, was recently downplayed by Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who called it an “old Croatian salute” — a claim denied by historians.

    However, over the weekend she appeared to shift her position and described the slogan as “unacceptable,” echoing the words of the prime minister.

    A memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan (Rear R) is pictured next to a house demolished in the indepence war, after the plaque was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

    Plenkovic, who came to power nearly a year ago, said that moving the plaque was a “first step” and he has promised a law against symbols of “all totalitarian regimes” — referring to both the Ustasha and communism.
     
    But his detractors say he has failed to act on his promise to move away from a climate of intolerance that developed under the previous government, marked by hate speech against ethnic minorities and pressure on independent media.
    “Instead of governing the country the government is dealing with how to maintain its majority,” he said.
     
    Political analyst Zarko Puhovski said the premier was more focused on how to stay in power, faced with a thin majority and his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party torn between its centrist and nationalist wings.


    https://www.timesofisrael.com/croatia-government-under-fire-for-failing-to-tackle-pro-nazis/


    *****

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    The Times of Israel
    [AFP]
    September 29, 2017

    US court rejects Croatia WWII victims suit that sought $3.5 billion damages.

    Nazi-allied Ustasha regime persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.

    A man looks at the World War II Jasenovac memorial camp model on April 26, 2015, during a ceremony to remember the tens of thousands who were killed by Croatia's pro-Nazi regime. (AFP/Stringer)

    ZAGREB, Croatia — A US court has rejected a suit filed by victims of Croatia’s pro-Nazi WWII regime and their relatives who were seeking $3.5 billion (2.9 billion euros) in damages, Croatian authorities said Friday.

    The group wanted compensation from the Croatian government for property seized from ethnic Serbs, Roma and Jews during the war.

    A Chicago court rejected Thursday the suit launched in 2016 after four hearings held to “discuss formal prerequisites to conduct the proceedings,” a Croatian foreign ministry statement read.

    A memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan is pictured after it was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Janesovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)
     
     Croatia is not the legal heir to the wartime Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and as such cannot be held responsible for its crimes, it added.

    Croatia’s wartime Nazi-allied Ustasha regime persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.

    After World War II and the collapse of the pro-Nazi regime, Croatia became part of the communist Yugoslavia.

    It declared its independence in 1991 at the start of the federation’s bloody break-up.



    https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-court-rejects-croatia-wwii-victims-suit-that-sought-3-5-billion-damages/


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    Portal Novosti
    Piše Sven Milekić
    August 27, 2017

    D’Amatomska bomba

    Prvo ročište u bizarnoj parnici potomaka ustaških žrtava protiv Hrvatske održano je u Chicagu 8. kolovoza, a sljedeće je zakazano za 31. kolovoza. Tužitelj D’Amato prijeti uništenjem hrvatskog turizma i traži da odštetu od 3,5 milijardi dolara plati hrvatska turistička industrija.

    Zapisknik s prvog rocista od 8 kolovoza [August] 2017
     
    Hitler i Pavelić - Hrvatska negira vezu s Pavelićevom NDH
     
    Jedna od bizarnijih parnica protiv Republike Hrvatske nastavlja se i dalje pred okružnim sudom u Chicagu. Dokumenti o tom procesu koje posjeduju Novosti pokazuju kako je senzacionalna služba američkih potomaka žrtava ustaških zločina zapravo ridikulozan način prevare i pokušaj kriminalne izvansudske nagodbe.
     
    Večernji list izvijestio je još u ožujku kako je Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova zaprimilo skupnu tužbu u predmetu ‘Lalich et al’, u kojem potomci židovskih, srpskih i romskih žrtava ustaškog režima tuže Hrvatsku tražeći 3,5 milijardi dolara za materijalne i nematerijalne štete počinjene tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata. Tada je Ministarstvo ponosno odbilo tvrdnju iz tužbe da je Hrvatska slijednica NDH, pozivajući se na izvorišne osnove Ustava ‘u kojima se izrijekom navodi da Hrvatska počiva na temeljima suverenosti izraženima u odlukama ZAVNOH-a, nasuprot proglašenju NDH’. Međutim, samo tri dana kasnije saznalo se kako je tužba koju je pokrenuo AnthonyD’Amato, iskusni američki odvjetnik i umirovljeni sveučilišni profesor prava, vrlo vjerojatno prevara. D’Amato je u svojoj karijeri branio Milana Kovačevića u Haagu, koji je kao dio srpskog kriznog stožera u Prijedoru optužen za genocid i koji je umro u pritvoru 1998. godine.
     
    Drugi američki odvjetnik, JonathanLevy, javio se medijima, iznenađen što je kao pravni zastupnik LisabethLalich, BogdanaKljajica i Daniela Pyevicha– potomaka žrtava – vidio njihova imena u D’Amatovoj tužbi. Levy već godinama pokušava potomcima ustaških žrtava u SAD-u osigurati odštetu za počinjene zločine, između ostalog inicijativom protiv Vatikana i njegove banke koja je navodno odigrala ulogu u čuvanju i prebacivanju ustaškog blaga otetog od Srba, Roma i Židova. Levy tvrdi da je D’Amato izveo krađu identiteta Lalich, Kljajica i Pyevicha, kao i ostalih osoba (od kojih su neke navodno preminule) i o tome je izvijestio i sud i Hrvatsku. Sam Kljajic dao je izjavu za medije u izričito tvrdeći kako je D’Amatova tužba dignuta bez njegovog znanja i dodajući kako je bio pod paljbom čitatelja portala Dnevno.hr, koji je objavio njegove kontakte u svojoj vijesti. Ministarstvo je čak potvrdilo kako je zaprimilo Kljajicevo pismo, u kojem on piše da ne stoji iza tužbe, i reklo kako je obavijestilo sud i DORH o svemu.
     
    Usprkos svima naporima Levya te pismima koje su Lalich i Kljajic poslali sucu u Čikago, objašnjavajući kako je došlo do krađe identiteta, postupak se nastavio te je 8. kolovoza održano prvo ročište. D’Amato je pristupio sudu putem telefona i nakon kratkog vremena prekinuo poziv, a sud ga je pokušao kontaktirati natrag bez uspjeha. U prisustvu američkog odvjetnika koji zastupa Hrvatsku, sud je ubrzo završio ročište i zakazao novo za 31. kolovoza.
     

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    Balkan Transitional Justice
    [BIRN]
    Sven Milekic
    Zagreb
    October 2, 2017

    US Court Dismisses Croatian WWII Victims’ Lawsuit

    A court in Chicago dismissed WWII victims’ relatives’ lawsuit against Croatia, a case marred by allegations of identity theft, after the plaintiffs’ lawyer failed to appear in court.

    [Croatian] Ustasa taking Serbs to execution in 1942. Photo-Wikimedia Commons

    The district court in Chicago has dismissed the case of Lisabeth Lalich et al. against Croatia after their US lawyer, Anthony D’Amato, failed to appear in court.

    Presiding judge Jorge L. Alonso dismissed the case on Thursday because D’Amato failed to make contact “to arrange to be present for the status hearing by telephone” by September 25 – the deadline given by the judge at the last hearing on August 31.

    The plaintiffs were demanding 3.2 billion euros in compensation from Croatia for seized property, as well as for the suffering of their relatives inflicted during World War II by the Nazi-aligned puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, NDH, which was led by the fascist Ustasa movement, Croatian newspaper Vecernji list reported in March.

    The suit was filed in May 2016 by descendants of Croatian Serbs, Jews and Roma - Lizabeth Lalich, Mladen Djuricich, Robert Predrag Gakovich, Veljko Miljus, Bogdan Kljaic, David Levy and Daniel Pyevich - according to the newspaper.

    However, another US lawyer, Jonathan Levy, representing Lalich, Kljajic and Pyevich, has alleged that the lawsuit was filed without their consent, implying that their identities were stolen.

    Levy told BIRN that despite the court’s dismissal of the case, he will pursue his own case against D’Amato until the New York City Bar Association disbars the lawyer for launching an allegedly fraudulent lawsuit and for identity theft.

    D’Amato issued a similar lawsuit against Hungary last year, in the name of the Hungarian Jewish victims of the Holocaust.


    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/chicago-court-dismisses-croatian-wwii-victims-lawsuit-10-02-2017

    3 Related Links expanding on the content in this article:

    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bizarre-ustasa-victims-lawsuit-continues-in-chicago-09-01-2017


    https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/od-hrvatske-traze-35-milijardi-dolara-odstete-za-srbe-rome-i-zidove-zrtve-ndh-1155625


    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/us-lawyer-claims-wwii-lawsuit-against-croatia-invalid--03-16-2017



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    Tablet Magazine
    By Menachem Z. Rosensaft
    October 9, 2017

    Croatia Is Brazenly Attempting to Rewrite its Holocaust Crimes Out of History

    An alarming and expanding wave of revisionism in Eastern Europe

    A memorial plaque with an Ustasha pro-Nazi slogan is pictured after it was moved from the vicinity of the WWII extermination camp of Jasenovac, to a Croatian memorial site near Novska on September 7, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

    The leadership of the small Jewish community in Croatia, along with representatives of the country’s Serb minority, has boycotted the last two government-sponsored Holocaust commemorations in 2016 and 2017. Demonstrating impressive moral courage and integrity, they refuse to condone a historical revisionism with echoes of Holocaust denial that aims to rehabilitate the Ustasha, a Croatian fascist movement led by the nationalist dictator Ante Pavelić that aggressively and ardently murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews during World War II.

    The present stand-off between the Croatian Jewish community and the Croatian government (celebrating Croatian independence yesterday) over the manner in which the Holocaust is commemorated—or not commemorated—and the effective rehabilitation and glorification of the Ustasha came to a head after a March 2016 Israel-Croatia soccer match, where Croatian spectators shouted the notorious Ustasha slogan “Za dom spremni,” or “Ready for the Homeland,” in the presence of the Croatian prime minister, who apparently sat by without reacting.

    Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic subsequently issued a statement in which he said “the Croatian government, and I personally, condemn the crimes of the Ustasha regime.” However, “revitalization of the Ustasha regime is only exceptionally condemned,” Dr. Ognjen Kraus, president of the Coordinating Committee of the Jewish Communities of Croatia, said at that time. “It is an avalanche that reminds us of what was happening in the so-called independent state of Croatia.”

    It is true that Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had similarly condemned the Ustasha’s role during the Holocaust during a 2015 visit to Israel. “I express my deepest regrets to all the victims of the Holocaust in Croatia, killed at the hands of the collaborationist Ustasha regime during World War II,” she said at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. On a subsequent trip to Canada, however, President Grabar-Kitarovic sent a far different message when she posed with a group of Croatian émigrés holding a flag bearing the Ustasha symbol. She also raised eyebrows when she said in a radio interview that “I adore listening to” a popular Croatian singer-songwriter who regularly glorifies the Ustasha.

    Even President Grabar-Kitarovic’s reference to the Ustasha as a collaborationist regime falls far short of the mark. The Ustasha initiated the brutality and mass killing of Serbs, Jews and Roma on their own initiative, for their own perverse ideological reasons. As Saul Friedländer wrote in his Nazi Germany and the Jews 1939-1945, The Years of Extermination:

    "In Croatia, no sooner did Pavelić return from Italian exile and establish his new regime—a mixture of fascism and devout Catholicism—then, as the German envoy to Zagreb, Edmund von Glaise Horstenau, reported “the Ustasha went raging mad.” The poglavnik (“leader,” in Serbo-Croat) launched a genocidal crusade against the 2.2 million Christian Orthodox Serbs (out of a total population of 6.7 million) living on Croatian territory, and against the country’s 45,000 Jews, particularly in ethnically mixed Bosnia. The Catholic Ustasha did not mind the continuous presence of Muslims or Protestants, but Serbs and Jews had to convert, leave or to die. According to historian Jonathan Steinberg, “Serbian and Jewish men, women and children were literally hacked to death. Whole villages were razed to the ground and the people driven to barns, to which the Ustasha set fire. There is in the Italian Foreign Ministry archive a collection of photographs of the butcher knives, hooks, and axes used to chop up Serbian victims. There are photographs of Serb women with breasts hacked off by pocket knives, men with eyes gouged out, emasculated, and mutilated.” "

    Other factors contributed to the Jewish community’s decision not to participate in the April 2016 commemoration at Jasenovac. Earlier that month, extreme-nationalist Croatian Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegović attended the widely-publicized Croatian premiere of a documentary film titled Jasenovac—The Truth, by the Croatian filmmaker Jakov Sedlar. This film contended that Jasenovac had not been a concentration camp where the Ustasha had committed genocide, but rather a far more benign labor camp and that the number of victims of Jasenovac had been greatly exaggerated. Hasanbegović publicly praised the film, saying, “This is the best way to finally shed light on a number of controversial places in Croatian history.”

    In sharp contrast, the Israeli ambassador to Zagreb, Zina Kalay Kleitman, who had also attended the premiere, denounced the film in no uncertain terms. “Since I am Israeli, and a descendant of a family that was hit by Holocaust, I wanted to see and look at the film, which, in my opinion, very selectively shows history, attempts to revise historical facts, and offends the feelings of people who have lost their loved ones in Jasenovac,” she wrote in an open letter, adding that, “I also noticed an attempt to downplay the terrible extent of the crimes committed, or at least an attempt to illustrate them with historical events that led to them.”

    In late 2016, far-right political figures and veterans of the 1990-era Croatian Defense Forces put up a plaque in the Croatian municipality of Jasenovac that featured the “Za dom spremni” slogan. The ostensible reason for putting up the plaque was to commemorate 11 fighters of the Croatian military who died during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Croatian journalist Vojislav Macoko placed the controversy squarely in historical and moral perspective. Setting the plaque in the town of Jasenovac was “unacceptable” for a number of reasons, he said. “The first is that it is unacceptable to erect a monument with such a greeting because it’s the Ustasha salute. This is public glorification of domestic Nazism. The other reason is because it is, of course, Jasenovac.”

    At the time, the Croatian government’s failure to take any action to remove the plaque, along with its general casting of the Ustasha as no worse (if not better) than the Communist-led anti-fascist partisans of WWII, caused the Jewish community to boycott the official state commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, 2017. “If the red star [the insignia of the Partisans] and the Ustasha’s ‘U’ [insignia] are the same, then there’s nothing more to talk about,” explained Dr. Kraus.

    In early September of this year [2017], the Associate Press reported that the plaque had at last been taken down in Jasenovac and that Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic had said that the salute was unacceptable to him because of its association with the WWII Ustasha regime. However, according to a spokesperson of a Croatian veterans group, the plaque was merely being moved to another location. “It will be placed elsewhere as it is,” Ivan Friscic declared. “With all the symbols and signs, and no one must touch it.”

    ***

    The overall history of the Holocaust in most of Nazi-occupied Europe is well known, thanks to a great extent to the works of historians such as Raul Hilberg, Saul Friedländer, Yehuda Bauer, and David Cesarani, and to major institutions dedicated to Holocaust remembrance and research, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris. The same, however, cannot be said for the perpetration of the Holocaust in the Balkans.

    The Balkan genocide during WWII has been more difficult to chronicle than the methodical annihilation of European Jewry at the hands of Nazi Germany elsewhere. In large part, this is due to the fact that, as David Cesarani noted in his monumental Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949, after Yugoslavia was dismembered in April 1941 following the invasion of that country by Axis forces, “around 40,000 Jews ended up in the German client-state of Croatia; 15,000 in Serbia, which was little more than an autonomous region under direct German rule; about 16,000 in Backa, a block of land annexed to Hungary; 8,000 in western Macedonia, occupied by Bulgaria; and several thousand in the coastal strip of Macedonia under Italian jurisdiction.”

    It must be noted that the Independent State of Croatia that was carved out of Yugoslavia in 1941 was geographically different from the present-day Republic of Croatia in that it included Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as parts of Serbia and Slovenia, but not Dalmatia, which had been given to Italy. Only 24,000 Jews lived in what is today the Republic of Croatia.

    Any study of the Holocaust in the Balkans requires separate analysis of each of the regions of what had been—and would resume to be after the war—Yugoslavia. In Serbia, for instance, German soldiers massacred 4,000 to 5,000 Jewish men in the autumn of 1941, and thousands more Jewish men, women, and children, as well as Roma, were subsequently murdered at the Nazi concentration camp of Sajmište (Semlin in German). In Macedonia, Jews were in due course handed over by the Bulgarian government to the Germans for deportation, resulting in the near decimation of that community. In Croatia, the gruesome course of events was different yet again.

    Also, while the Holocaust in most parts of Nazi-occupied or Nazi-dominated Europe was carried out predominantly by Nazi Germany, albeit with the assistance and often eager participation of nationals of the respective countries in question, Croatia is in a separate category, together with Ion Antonescu’s fascist regime in Romania. The genocide in the Independent State of Croatia, headed by the Ustasha leader and ideologue Ante Pavelić, was carried out not by Germans but by Croatians without direction or even the participation by the SS or other German genocidaires. When it comes to Croatia, incidentally, the plural “genocides”—rather than singular “genocide”—is appropriate because the Ustasha targeted primarily Serbs for annihilation, alongside Jews and Roma. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, “The Croat authorities murdered between 320,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serb residents of Croatia and Bosnia during the period of Ustasha rule; more than 30,000 Croatian Jews were killed either in Croatia or at Auschwitz-Birkenau.”

    The Ustasha established a network of home-grown concentration camps infamous for their brutality and comparable to the barbarity of the German death and concentration camps. The most notorious of these was a group of five camps collectively named Jasenovac, near Zagreb, often referred to as the “Auschwitz of the Balkans.” Again according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, somewhere between 77,000 and 99,000 Serbs, Jews and Roma were brutally murdered there. The Jasenovac Memorial Site has identified by name 83,145 Serbs, Jews, Roma, and anti-fascists who perished in these camps.

    “The Jasenovac camps were an execution site and grave for more than half the Jewish victims during the existence of the [independent state of Croatia] and for more than one-third of the Zagreb Jews who disappeared in the Holocaust in 1941-1945,” wrote historians Ivo Goldstein and Slavko Goldstein in their The Holocaust in Croatia. Yet for most of the post-WWII era, little public discussion or awareness was devoted to the Holocaust within the former Yugoslavia or elsewhere in the Balkans.

    Leaders of the Croatian Jewish community have expressed displeasure at the way the history of Jasenovac is being presented in the permanent exhibition at the site of the camp. “Jasenovac is shown there more as a collection and labor camp,” Judge Sanja Zoričić Tabaković, president of the Executive Board of the Jewish Community of Zagreb and representative of the Jewish National Minority in the City of Zagreb, told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. “According to what [is displayed] and how it’s presented in the exhibition, it doesn’t look like an execution site. In the exhibition, one can’t see photos of killed people, but only of those who saved themselves or were exchanged [in prisoner exchanges] or survived.”

    In effect, both the revisionist Sedlar film and the exhibit at Jasenovac affirmatively distorted and denied the fundamental truth that the Ustasha committed atrocities there that today would unquestionably be considered genocide as a matter of international law.

    ***

    One of the earliest controversies in this regard came after Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, and it became known that its first president, the hardline nationalist Franjo Tudjman, had maintained that the generally accepted number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated. Tudjman had also made numerous anti-Semitic slurs, including, notably: “A Jew is still a Jew. Even in the camps, they retained their bad characteristics: selfishness, perfidy, meanness, slyness, and treachery.” Tudjman eventually apologized—at least twice—first in 1992 in a letter to World Jewish Congress President Edgar M. Bronfman, and again the following year to Kent Schiner, the international president of B’nai B’rith.

    Tudjman effectively began the process of casting the Ustasha as Croatian patriots rather than criminals, maintaining that fascist and anti-fascist Croatians deserved equal recognition for their service to their country. As TheNew York Timesobserved in 1997, “Perhaps no other country has failed as openly as Croatia to come to terms with its fascist legacy. While the French celebrate a resistance movement that was often dwarfed by the widespread collaboration with the Vichy regime, and while the Austrians often act as if the war never happened, the Croats have rehabilitated the Croatian fascist collaborators, known as the Ustasha.”

    Despite having himself fought with Tito’s Communist partisans, Tudjman named former Ustasha officials to government positions. He also restored the kuna as the Croatian currency, using the name of the monetary unit that had been the national currency of Pavelić’s Ustasha government. “I, like other Croatian Jews, am personally offended by this decision, as well as by the government’s arguments, which are rubbish,” said Ivo Goldstein, a medieval historian at the University of Zagreb. “This is an insult and an offense to Serbs, to Jews, and to the Croats who fought against the Ustasha regime.”

    The Croatian president’s whitewashing of the Ustasha outraged many Croatians who had suffered under the fascist regime. “You cannot reconcile victims and butchers,” declared Ognjen Kraus, head of the Zagreb Jewish community. “No one has the right to carry out a reconciliation in the name of those who vanished.”

    The Ustasha made no secret of their desire and intent to kill Jews and Serbs because of their respective ethnic or national identities. British historian Rory Yeomans quotes Ustasha leader Victor Gutić stating at a rally on May 29, 1941, that he had “published drastic laws” for the Serb population’s “complete economic destruction, and new ones will follow for their complete extermination.” Yeomans also quotes Croatian Foreign Minister Mladen Lorković declaring on July 27, 1941, that Ustasha Croatia’s mission was to “cleanse itself of all those elements that are the misfortune of the nation, that drain healthy forces in our nation. These are our Serbs and Jews.” Along the same lines, Professor Aleksandar Seitz, referred to by Yeomans as one of the Ustasha’s “leading social theorists,” said in a June 1941 speech that “the Serbs and the Jews will not exist, and nor will those who served them because our Croatian army and the Croatian Ustashas are guaranteeing it.”

    Ivo and Slavko Goldstein have chronicled in detail the subsequent brutal annihilation of Croatian Jews by the Ustasha in numerous concentration and death camps, and especially at Jasenovac, calling their text appropriately the “Apogee of Terror.” The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum describes Jasenovac as follows: “Conditions in the Jasenovac camps were horrendous. Prisoners received minimal food. Shelter and sanitary facilities were totally inadequate. Worse still, the guards cruelly tortured, terrorized, and murdered prisoners at will.”

    Historians do not argue about conditions in Jasenovac—or about the purpose of the camp. Raul Hilberg referred to the Jasenovac camps as “death camps,” and Saul Friedländer called Jasenovac an “extermination camp.” Commenting on one of many incidents of Holocaust minimization and outright denial that now appear to be woven together in a comprehensive denial of historical reality, Judge Zoričić Tabaković said that: “I think that this is something so outrageous on an international level. This level of denial of everything that happened in Croatia in WWII is unbelievable.”

    ***


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