Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

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Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:15 pm

By popular demand, because I know that the Independent State of Croatia and the fate of the Croatian Jews are favorite topics in this subforum, here are some thoughts on German involvement in the genocide of Croatian Jews, particularly beginning summer 1942. I am focusing on this aspect of the mass murder of Croatian Jews with an eye toward future possible discussion of the formation and escalation of Nazi Jewish policy. This focus makes these notes a bit one sided; it is important to bear in mind that before the direct German involvement and guidance of the genocide, the Ustasha had proven themselves aggressive and vicious mass murderers, genocidal zealots in their own right and able to act against the Jews on their own initiative - but always as a junior partner to Berlin. Ustasha mass murder initiatives targeted Jews, Serbs, Roma, and Croats seen as disloyal to the ISC.

Background: early phases of the extermination of Croatian Jews

In the Wannsee Protocol, relying on Eichmann’s figures, Heydrich stated that in Croatia there were 40,000 Jews (Goldstein & Goldstein, The Holocaust in Croatia, give 38,000-39,000). In reviewing the situation in allied and occupied countries, Heydrich grouped Croatia with Slovakia as a country in which the Germans expected the Final Solution to go smoothly. Indeed, Heydrich is noted to have said that “In Slovakia and Croatia the matter is no longer so difficult, since the most substantial problems in this respect have already been brought near a solution.”

By the time of the Wannsee Conference, in fact, the extermination of the Jews in the Independent State of Croatia was underway; it had begun very shortly after the destruction of Yugoslavia and German installation of the Ustasha in power in Croatia (Hitler’s Directive 25) - in spring 1941. 1000s of Jews were murdered by means of especially cruel and violent methods. This mass murder of Croatian Jews began in June 1941 at the Gospić camps (Gospić-Velbit-Pag Island), jointly administered by the Ustasha central police organization RAVISGUR and the Gospić Country police. During June, July, and August about 2,500 Jews disappeared into the Gospić camps. The number of survivors of these camps was minimal - some 100 being transferred in late August but most of these individuals subsequently died, many in Jasenovac. Fifteen survivors are known. A common method of extermination was throwing victims into pits in the area. Besides 2,500 Jews, the Gospić camps claimed approximately another 26,000+ victims.

Killing of Jews - and others - continued in fall 1941 at Jasenovac, a new network of camps which the Ustasha opened in mid-September. The head of these camps, Luburić, had visited Sachsenhausen early in September to familiarize himself with the way in which the Nazis administered their camps. Modeled on the KLs in Germany, the plans for Jasenovac included slave labor in a number of industrial facilities; these plans foundered due to poor planning - the industrial plants were not readied in a timely way. The first mass killings in the Jasenovac camps occurred in October or early November 1941. Among other means of murder, hacking prisoners to death and drowning them were ways of killing victims; many victims at Jasenovac perished in mass shootings. The Ustasha camp commanders instituted a selection process in early 1942 as they managed to open a number of worksites.

The Germans viewed the administration of Jasenovac unfavorably, complaining to the Ustasha leaders especially about the chaotic liquidation of Serbs, which provoked partisan rebellion and complicated German security tasks in the ISC. By the end of 1942 the commander of the ISC police, Dido Kvaternik, took the fall and was forced under German pressure to resign.

By the end of 1942 there were few Jews left in Jasenovac, the last major Jewish transports arriving to the camp in August 1942. In all, about 4,500 Jews were murdered by the Ustasha in Jasenovac.

As a result of deportations and mass murder in the various Ustasha camps, 1000s of Jews fled to areas of Croatia under Italian military administration. There, the Italian military offered forms of protection to the refugees. The situation was not unlike that in southern Vichy, where the Italians protected Jews and stalled in the face of German demands to surrender the refugee Jews. The ISC sought the return of these refugees. Supporting the ISC in this, the Germans leaned on the Italians to force the Jewish refugees back across the border into the ISC. These efforts were detailed by Luther in the German Foreign Office in his memorandum of 21 August 1942. Luther wrote that the ISC supported to policy of ridding Croatia of Jews, (sending them somewhere unspecified, in Luther’s verbiage) but that the Italians stood in the way of completing the job:
7. The Croat Government is likewise fundamentally agreeable to the removal of the Jews from Croatia. It especially considers the deportation of the four to five thousand Jews from the Italian occupied Second zone (centered around Dubrovnik and Mostar) to be important, as they represent a political burden and their elimination would serve the general pacification. The removal can of course take place only with German aid, as difficulties are to be expected from the Italian side. There have been practical examples of resistance to the Croat measures by Italian officials on behalf of well-to-do Jews [this is how Luther characterized the policy of the Italian military!]. Furthermore, the Italian Chief of Staff in Mostar has said that he cannot approve the removal since all the people living in Mostar have been assured of the same treatment. Since meanwhile according to a telephone communication from Zagreb, the Croat Government has given its written approval of the proposed measure, Minister Kasche thinks it right to begin with the removal, and in fact to begin for the whole country. One could therefore take the risk of having difficulties develop in the course of the action, so far as concerns the zone occupied by Italians. A report for the Reich Foreign Minister to this effect (D III 562 Secret) has been held up by State Secretary von Weizsäcker since he considered an inquiry should first be made at the Embassy in Rome. The answer has not been received.
Luther likened the situation to that with the Italians in southern France. His memorandum also noted that, in the context of the Führer’s order for the “evacuation of the Jews,” deportations of Jews from Germany were underway; to support this effort, the “RSHA accordingly made an inquiry of the Foreign Office. For reasons of courtesy, inquiry was made by way of the German legations in Bratislava [Slovakia], Zagreb [Croatia], and Bucharest [Romania] to the Governments there as to whether they wanted to recall their Jews from Germany in due time or to agree to their deportation to the ghettos in the East.” Here Luther gave a general destination for the Croatian Jews to be deported from Germany, which was only partly accurate: “the ghettos in the East.”

From the German point of view, the “Italian problem” was just one impediment in implementing the Final Solution in Croatia.

German direct involvement in the deportations of Jews from Croatia in August 1942

A few months earlier, in the spring of 1942, the Germans had already brought to the leadership of the Ustasha their concern about the conduct of the Final Solution (my phrase) in the ISC. For one thing, “the Germans expressed their dissatisfaction with what they considered to be the large number of Jews still alive in the ISC,” even after the brutal murders of 1941 and the first part of 1942. Amt IV B 4 of the RSHA began at this time to include the ISC in its efforts. In May 1942 the Gestapo office in Zagreb issued a report on the “status of Jews in the ISC.” This report described the mass murders carried out by the Ustasha but added another element of criticism: “the report . . . accused the Ustasha authorities of senseless cruelty” and wanton murder without regard to labor needs. Although, according to the report, the Jewish question was virtually solved in the area, “the Nazis found that the Ustasha authorities had nevertheless not been thorough enough.” Corruption, favoritism, personal ties, and sloppy procedures within the ISC that enabled individual and small groups of Jews to escape and continue living within the ISC were detailed. In addition, the Catholic church’s intercessions were raised. For the first time, the Germans would thus take a direct hand in the execution of Jewish policy within the ISC.

In the first place, as noted above, Kvaternik was removed as the top ISC police official. Also, Poglavnik Pavelic (head of the ISC) had to ease up somewhat on persecution and genocide of the Serbs. Last,
Hans Helm, the German police attaché in Zagreb, informed the ISC government that the Nazi forces wanted to organize the “relocation” or “evacuation” of the remaining Jews in the ISC to eastern parts of the Reich.

We shall see the meaning of this formulation shortly. Hauptsturmführer Franz Abromeit from Eichmann’s office was sent to Zagreb to facilitate communication, planning, and execution. The Germans began issuing direct instructions to the competent ISC authorities, for the most part the ISC police and intelligence organization, concerning the complete removal of Jews from Croatia: Goldstein & Goldstein note that at this time Ustasha terminology changed so that no longer was it said that Jews were sent to camps but rather the Nazi term evacuation was used.

Beginning 8 August 1942 arrests and deportations of Croatian Jews began under the new effort - with 1,200 Zagreb Jews seized by Zagreb city and Prigorje county police at that time. The arrested Jews were taken to a transit camp at Križanićeva Street. The Jewish Section in the ISC arranged with the Croatian State Railways Department for 6 transports from the transit camp, beginning 13 August and concluding 30 August (the final transport was cancelled because “the evacuation of the Jews from ISC territory has already been completed”). In addition, Eichmann’s office, in the person of the ubiquitous Rolf Günther, confirmed the next phase of the deportation transportation, namely, “freight trains . . . starting on August 13, for transporting Jews from Croatia via Maribor to Auschwitz. . . .” The division of labor was such that the ISC via the State Railways supplied rail transport, and the German police provided guards and other support for the transports, the ISC Treasury paid the “freight” bills. The departures from the Križanićeva Street camp took place in full view of the public in Zagreb. Whilst the deportations were underway, on 22 August, “the Italian Ambassador in Zagreb sent a report to Rome saying that the Jews were being deported to “an unknown destination in the East”; the report described how local residents were “unfavorable” toward the deportations and brought food to the Jewish internees at the transit camp. Jews were also removed from Ustasha camps and added to the transports.

G&G state that testimony from later deportees to Auschwitz (May 1943) was that there were no survivors of the August 1942 transports to the camp. G&G say that most of the Croatian Jews deported to Auschwitz in August 1942 were murdered in September and October. G&G include a list of names of victims. Back in Zagreb, rumors about what had happened to the Jews deported during August spread: one rumor mentioned a work camp in Silesia; Hungary was also a rumored destination, perhaps because some of the train routes went through Hungary to Auschwitz. G&G cite Korherr’s data of 23 March 1943 giving 4,972 as the number of Jews deported from Croatia (during August 1942). The Poglavnik would inform Hitler, when the two leaders met in September 1942, that the “Jewish question is practically solved in a large part of Croatia.” It was mostly in Zagreb, due to continuing corruption and interventions, that a significant number of Jews remained in Croatia at this time.

Following the August deportation action, in October 1942, the ISC agreed, via German ambassador Siegfried Kasche, to payment of 30RM for each Jews deported from the ISC “as a contribution to German efforts in the final solution of the Jewish question.”

(Goldstein & Goldstein, pp 362-370, 381, 513, 564-565, see also Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, pp 222, 224, 225, 227, 230)

German direct involvement in the final large deportations of Jews from Croatia, May 1943

According to G&G,
At the beginning of 1943, the Germans very carefully and thoroughly began to plan the last deportation of the Croatian Jews. All the activities were coordinated with the Ustasha authorities and directed through the German Ambassador to the ISC . . .
To move planning ahead, there was a joint ISC-German meeting as early as 19 January 1943. The meeting participants, including Abromeit from IV B 4, agreed, according to a relevant document, “to undertake action to finally cleanse Croatia of all Jewish elements, regardless of age, sex, and confession.” Arrested Jews were to be taken directly to “Germany” as Jasenovac was not considered “suitable.” (About 9,000 Jews are estimated to have perished at Jasenovac.) ISC Director of Public Order and Security Filip Crvenković, viewed as a capable administrator and organizer, was placed in charge of the action on the Croatian side; Crvenković was instructed not to allow continued intercessions and exemptions. A Jewish census was also ordered - and Jews previously granted exemptions, “Aryan rights,” or in mixed marriages were to be included in the count. By February the Germans foresaw removing about 2,000 Jews who remained in Croatia in small groups.

The planned start date of March 1943 would slip to May. As a result of the delay, word of the action got out, in part because posters put up by the authorities in March summoned Jews to report to the police, and the Catholic church was active in attempting to intercede on behalf of individual Jews. The arrests began 3 May 1943. During this action, the arrests were mostly made during night time, and the Gestapo, relying this time on precise lists of Jews, was directly involved to a much greater degree than the previous summer. Abromeit directed the operations. Estimates were that 1,700 Jews were seized in Zagreb and about 300 in outlying towns. Arrested Jews “were hand over the Germans and immediately transported to Auschwitz.” A number of old people’s homes, which also served as refugee centers for Croatian Jews, were emptied during the action (a single such home was not emptied, due to intervention by Archbishop Stepinac); hospitals were also combed for malingerers, etc. The arrested Jews were taken to a prison located on Sava Road and transported from there by way of classic transport cattle cars to Auschwitz. Survivors reported on the high death toll in the cattle cars. Himmler visited Zagreb two days after the arrests had begun.

An effort was also made at this time to seize Jews who’d fled to the Italian occupied zones, estimated to be 5,000 in number by then. This was to make up for the intent to deport these Jews in August 1942 which had been blocked by the Italian military (the commander in Mostar had declared such an action “contrary to the honor of the Italian army”). The Italians were as adept at procrastination and extended negotiation, concocted confusion, stalling, and being unavailable in Croatia as they were in France. General Roatta interpreted an order from Mussolini to turn the Jewish refugees over to mean the opposite and continued the dilatory tactics. Eventually camps (some in hotels) for the Jewish refugees were set up by the Italians in their occupation zones. In 1943, to keep the refugees out of Ustasha and German hands, about 3,500 Jews were moved to Rab and interned in the Kampor Camp on the island. (Later, in September, when the fascist government capitulated, the Jewish prisoners revolted, escaped, and formed partisan units. Gestapo units would hunt for escaped Jews on Rab during 1944.)

News of the May 1943 deportations reached the Yugoslav ambassador to Turkey, who in turn informed London. Not aware that the action had been completed, therefore, German officials in July instructed Germans and Ustasha official “to make every effort to evacuate these Jews to the east quickly” and named certain Jewish Community officials who were to be arrested and sent away. Some news, including a postcard from Nada Weiss, came back to Zagreb concerning the transports to Auschwitz. By far most of the Jews in the May 1943 roundups were taken to Auschwitz, where all but 40-50 were killed, but some were also sent to KLs in Germany.

“In his report to Berlin in December 1943, German Ambassador Siegfried Kaschke could, without any fear of being wrong, say that the ‘Jews and Freemasons have already been removed from Croatia.” A 1943 German document described the deportations at this time as taking Jews from Croatia “to Germany.”

During the remainder of 1943 and 1944 Ustasha units and German police continued tracking down small numbers of Jews who’d escaped the earlier sweeps, arresting about 400, including patients at a psychiatric hospital that had been overlooked in earlier operations.

By this time, with the partisans winning the war against the Nazis and Ustasha, the Ustasha, cognizant of public revulsion against the anti-Jewish actions, seems to have grown somewhat less zealous in hunting down and killing Jews than they’d been in the early years of the war. German reports remarked on the less than competent, less than committed attitude and approach of their Ustasha subordinates; the Germans continued their complaints about favors, connections, and protection of Jews by some Ustasha officials. Goldstein & Goldstein conclude that the Ustasha were neither as derelict nor as recalcitrant at this time as German reports make them out to be. E.g., they note that the single largest and most egregious action - the removal of patients from the psychiatric hospital - was an action of the Ustasha. Also, Ustasha anti-Jewish propaganda campaigns continued. Zealous German efforts continued through 1944, with actions to hunt down and remove small groups of Jews (Russian Jews supposedly meeting at a Zagreb coffee house, Jews said to have infiltrated the ISC state, Jews trying to get to Palestine, converted Jews, etc).

(Goldstein & Goldstein, pp 392-402, 429-437, 457, 460-464, 468, 571, see also Czech, pp 392, 396)

edits: fixed typos
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Denying-History » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:42 am

Great work SM. I may post some extra input here down the road about Jasenovac or more specifically Stara Gradiška.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:37 am

Great!

For those not familiar with the ISC and its camps, "Jasenovac" was a complex of five camps in the vicinity of the town of Jasenovac, located about 100 km southeast of Zagreb on the banks of the Sava River, which during heavy rains in fall 1941 experienced major flooding, thus the drownings of inmates. There were five camps in the group numbered I-V. The largest became Jasenovac III, which had a brickyard into which prisoners were shoved; sometimes the name Jasenovac is used to refer to III. By 1942 Jasenovac III received the prisoners (males) from I and II. Women and children were eventually brought to Jasenovac III but remained in the minority there. Serbs outnumbered Jews in the camps. Jasenovac V is also called Stara Gradiška; it was opened last, in early 1942, in a former prison. Stara Gradiška, officially Jasenovac V, held more women and children than the other Jasenovac camps as well as a higher proportion of Serbs and Croats; many of those held in Stara Gradiška were political prisoners.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:07 am

Thanks, Stat Mech.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:11 pm

I'm most interested in Mary Q Contrary's help understanding the fate of the Jews of Croatia including how the Gospić camps, Jasenovac, and Auschwitz figured into this. I am hoping Mary will use for her demolition of the claims of Goldstein & Goldstein (over 3/4 of Croatian Jews exterminated) the key text that is Butz's THOTTC. Mary has already touted Butz as the guide to hoaxing: "I recommend the Butz book. It gives a good overview."

The illustrious Butz, of course, didn't provide any help with our Chełmno case, but Butz explains one of his goals in THOTTC as follows: "our objective here is to form a reasonably accurate picture of what happened to the Jews of Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary." So we should be good to go with Butz on Croatia.

I'm hoping for Butz, but anything from Mary will do.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Denying-History » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:14 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I'm most interested in Mary Q Contrary's help understanding the fate of the Jews of Croatia including how the Gospić camps, Jasenovac, and Auschwitz figured into this.
In all honesty, the English speaking revisionist community has done little to look at the Croatian camps. You will really only find a few Codoh posts here and there proclaiming that the Croatians apparently gassed people in an open yard. * And from the majority of the time the deniers I speak to about Jasenovac seem to hold the opinion that it was a Serbian genocide which was started by the Jewish Ustashe.


*If they understood where gassing's in the "yard" were taking place, aka in a prison it would make sense that they didn't throw them in an open field. And maybe they should quote the entire testimony unlike what happened here.

Against the deniers claim of a gassing in an open yard being used we can read the following at the memorial website:
«Concerning the liquidation of children...The camp supervisor Mile Orešković ordered me and Grubišić to carry out the liquidation of the selected children. Janko Grubišić proposed that we strangle the children, but when he walked among the children, he was disgusted, so then we ordered the children to be liquidated using gas. On that occasion, all 63 children were liquidated in one room.»

Statement made by Ante Vrban, Ustasha major and member of the authorities of Stara Gradiška camp, at the trial of Ljubo Miloš and a group of Ustasha , 14 July 1948.

«Borba», 15 July 1948.
Ownership: Jasenovac Memorial Site
http://www.jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=7265
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:31 pm

Denying-History wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I'm most interested in Mary Q Contrary's help understanding the fate of the Jews of Croatia including how the Gospić camps, Jasenovac, and Auschwitz figured into this.
In all honesty, the English speaking revisionist community has done little to look at the Croatian camps. You will really only find a few Codoh posts here and there proclaiming that the Croatians apparently gassed people in an open yard. * And from the majority of the time the deniers I speak to about Jasenovac seem to hold the opinion that it was a Serbian genocide which was started by the Jewish Ustashe.
At the same time, Butz wrote, "our objective here is to form a reasonably accurate picture of what happened to the Jews of Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary." And also: "Our emphasis, in fact, is on the Jews of Slovakia (Eastern Czechoslovakia), Croatia (Northern Yugoslavia) and Hungary." So let's have Mary Q tell us what Butz has got.
Denying-History wrote:*If they understood where gassing's in the "yard" were taking place, aka in a prison it would make sense that they didn't throw them in an open field. And maybe they should quote the entire testimony unlike what happened here.

Against the deniers claim of a gassing in an open yard being used we can read the following at the memorial website:
«Concerning the liquidation of children...The camp supervisor Mile Orešković ordered me and Grubišić to carry out the liquidation of the selected children. Janko Grubišić proposed that we strangle the children, but when he walked among the children, he was disgusted, so then we ordered the children to be liquidated using gas. On that occasion, all 63 children were liquidated in one room.»
As noted, in their long, meticulously researched and documented study on the genocide of Jews in the ISC, Goldstein & Goldstein do not, as far as I could tell, so much as mention gassing murders. That doesn't mean that gas was never used; rather it strongly suggests that if gas were used, it was not a major method of murdering Jews in Croatia.

As to the "Jewish Ustasha," Jesus wept, but, yes, there were rumors and charges and innuendo, which Goldstein and Goldstein meticulously debunk, about Jewish members of the Ustasha (the claim of a "Jewish Ustasha" expects us to believe that Hitler installed a Jewish regime in Croatia! - as the ISC was created by Hitler's action and was a client state of Germany and Italy during the war); they also discuss (and debunk) Croatian revisionists' claims that Jews were main perpetrators of the mass murder of Serbs in Croatia.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Denying-History » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:31 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I'm most interested in Mary Q Contrary's help understanding the fate of the Jews of Croatia including how the Gospić camps, Jasenovac, and Auschwitz figured into this.
In all honesty, the English speaking revisionist community has done little to look at the Croatian camps. You will really only find a few Codoh posts here and there proclaiming that the Croatians apparently gassed people in an open yard. * And from the majority of the time the deniers I speak to about Jasenovac seem to hold the opinion that it was a Serbian genocide which was started by the Jewish Ustashe.
At the same time, Butz wrote, "our objective here is to form a reasonably accurate picture of what happened to the Jews of Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary." And also: "Our emphasis, in fact, is on the Jews of Slovakia (Eastern Czechoslovakia), Croatia (Northern Yugoslavia) and Hungary." So let's have Mary Q tell us what Butz has got.
Butz wrote this back in 1975, and can easily be dealt with. If she goes as far to running to this book then I honestly fear for her critical thinking. To my memory though the section you are talking about doesn't mention Jasenovac or the Ustaše.
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:*If they understood where gassing's in the "yard" were taking place, aka in a prison it would make sense that they didn't throw them in an open field. And maybe they should quote the entire testimony unlike what happened here.

Against the deniers claim of a gassing in an open yard being used we can read the following at the memorial website:
«Concerning the liquidation of children...The camp supervisor Mile Orešković ordered me and Grubišić to carry out the liquidation of the selected children. Janko Grubišić proposed that we strangle the children, but when he walked among the children, he was disgusted, so then we ordered the children to be liquidated using gas. On that occasion, all 63 children were liquidated in one room.»
As noted, in their long, meticulously researched and documented study on the genocide of Jews in the ISC, Goldstein & Goldstein do not, as far as I could tell, so much as mention gassing murders. That doesn't mean that gas was never used; rather it strongly suggests that if gas were used, it was not a major method of murdering Jews in Croatia.
Murder by gas was a rear occurrence to my current understanding. So I wouldn't be that shocked. The largest murder by gas that comes to mind is the liquidation of the prisoners of the Djakovo camp during the summer of 1942. This murder happened in Stara Gradiska in two gas vans that were ether disguised or converted from Police vans. According to the estimates that I have around 1,500 people were murdered via this method, but this number derives from the press, so it doesn't exactly hold much ground. The Number of people to die by gassing is most likely lower then one thousand.
Statistical Mechanic wrote:As to the "Jewish Ustasha," Jesus wept, but, yes, there were rumors and charges and innuendo, which Goldstein and Goldstein meticulously debunk, about Jewish members of the Ustasha (the claim of a "Jewish Ustasha" expects us to believe that Hitler installed a Jewish regime in Croatia! - as the ISC was created by Hitler's action and was a client state of Germany and Italy during the war); they also discuss (and debunk) Croatian revisionists' claims that Jews were main perpetrators of the mass murder of Serbs in Croatia.
The Right will always hold onto such claims. Though this is an accurate assessment that the idea is pure insanity.
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:51 pm

Denying-History wrote:Butz wrote this back in 1975, and can easily be dealt with. If she goes as far to running to this book then I honestly fear for her critical thinking. To my memory though the section you are talking about doesn't mention Jasenovac or the Ustaše.
I just know what Mary said about Butz and what Butz said about Croatia :)
Denying-History wrote:Murder by gas was a rear occurrence to my current understanding. So I wouldn't be that shocked. The largest murder by gas that comes to mind is the liquidation of the prisoners of the Djakovo camp during the summer of 1942. This murder happened in Stara Gradiska in two gas vans that were ether disguised or converted from Police vans. According to the estimates that I have around 1,500 people were murdered via this method, but this number derives from the press, so it doesn't exactly hold much ground. The Number of people to die by gassing is most likely lower then one thousand.
Gas is such an irrelevant issue. There's evidence for it - but the way in which the Ustasha murdered their victims was so heinous, so atrocious that deniers' fixating on gas chambers/vans in Ustasha camps is really ludicrous and quite bad for them.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Denying-History » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:17 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:Butz wrote this back in 1975, and can easily be dealt with. If she goes as far to running to this book then I honestly fear for her critical thinking. To my memory though the section you are talking about doesn't mention Jasenovac or the Ustaše.
I just know what Mary said about Butz and what Butz said about Croatia :)
Lol alright. I do remember it being very fixated around the red cross.
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:Murder by gas was a rear occurrence to my current understanding. So I wouldn't be that shocked. The largest murder by gas that comes to mind is the liquidation of the prisoners of the Djakovo camp during the summer of 1942. This murder happened in Stara Gradiska in two gas vans that were ether disguised or converted from Police vans. According to the estimates that I have around 1,500 people were murdered via this method, but this number derives from the press, so it doesn't exactly hold much ground. The Number of people to die by gassing is most likely lower then one thousand.
Gas is such an irrelevant issue. There's evidence for it - but the way in which the Ustasha murdered their victims was so heinous, so atrocious that deniers' fixating on gas chambers/vans in Ustasha camps is really ludicrous and quite bad for them.
Gas is very irrelevant, and its one of the more humane methods of murder employed by the Ustaše. Not that its a very pleasant thing to say. But compared to the furnaces in the factories, murder by gas was nothing.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:36 pm

Denying-History wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:Butz wrote this back in 1975, and can easily be dealt with. If she goes as far to running to this book then I honestly fear for her critical thinking. To my memory though the section you are talking about doesn't mention Jasenovac or the Ustaše.
I just know what Mary said about Butz and what Butz said about Croatia :)
Lol alright. I do remember it being very fixated around the red cross.
Let's just say there were neither an abundance of sources . . . Mary Q can explain it all for us LOL
Denying-History wrote:But compared to the furnaces in the factories, murder by gas was nothing.
Not to mention the knives, the pits in the Gospić camps, the butchery. G&G offer some explanations for why the Ustasha were that way. I will post on that later.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Denying-History » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:35 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:Butz wrote this back in 1975, and can easily be dealt with. If she goes as far to running to this book then I honestly fear for her critical thinking. To my memory though the section you are talking about doesn't mention Jasenovac or the Ustaše.
I just know what Mary said about Butz and what Butz said about Croatia :)
Lol alright. I do remember it being very fixated around the red cross.
Let's just say there were neither an abundance of sources . . . Mary Q can explain it all for us LOL
I can't wait!
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:But compared to the furnaces in the factories, murder by gas was nothing.
Not to mention the knives, the pits in the Gospić camps, the butchery. G&G offer some explanations for why the Ustasha were that way. I will post on that later.
The Wrist Knife is for sure a nightmare of a creation. Large Hammers... Its quite awful, though I am sure I don't need to tell you that.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:40 am

The Ustasha, from before they took power, glorified the use of knives in political action. Here is a Jasenovac prisoner's drawing of the characteristic knife used by the the Ustasha in the camp, worn at the wrist as D-H said:

Image

And a photo of same:

Image

A photo of a large hammer of the sort which D-H referred to and which was used for killing at Jasenovac:

Image
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:01 pm

Note how on 16 December 1941, Italian foreign minister Ciano heard Kvaternik, nephew of the Croatian war minister, describe the Ustasha slaughter of Jews as - ha-ha - "emigration":
The most urgent problems are being dealt with: chief amongst these that of the Jews. The latter, who when the Ustachis' took power numbered 35,000, are now reduced to not more than 12,000. (Young Kvaternik explains this decrease with the word 'emigration', accompanied by a smile which does not leave any room for doubt).
"Knowledge of the Final Solution in Nazi Satellite States: 2) Italy and Croatia" (thanks to Jon Harrison)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:01 pm

In his book on Ustasha and Chetnik ethnic policy, atrocities, and mass murder in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Utopias of Nation), Tomislav Dulic has a long section on the notorious Ustasha camp complex in northwestern Bosnia, Jasenovac (pp 254-281).

In describing how prisoners died at Jasenovac, Dulic discusses both attritive labor and inhuman conditions of confinement (insufficient food, unhealthy accommodations, effects of repeated torture, lack of medical care) likely to (and designed to) result in widespread deaths and the liquidation actions ("immediate death") meant both to kill off excess prisoners (over the threshold of 3,000 inmates) and to help destroy Serbs, Jews, and Roma. With regard to liquidation actions, Dulic covers the following although not in great detail and not systematically:

- "various cold weapons" (axes, knives, clubs, etc - as shown above)
- beatings
- torture including hacking bodies apart
- some shootings

Dulic also discussed the transport of Jewish prisoners to Auschwitz for liquidation. Dulic discounts at least one testimony about lethal injections as a murder method in Jasenovac - and says that political prisoners (those held for specific charges rather than as members of targeted ethnic groups) were sometimes murdered in their cells.

The overall impression, which aligns with other accounts I've read of Jasenovac, is of brutal, hands-on, bloody mass murders with a great deal of sadistic violence involved. However, in assessing the psychological impact of such violence, Dulic refers to (p 272) camp guard Ante Vrban's testimony on the murder of 63 children, which even hardened members of the camp's killing elite found difficult. Commenting on his accomplice in this action, Vrban testified that "one of the children moved him, and then together we arranged for the children to be liquidated by gas." Dulic notes that Vrban used the words "zyklon" and "gas" in his testimony and that it is unclear exactly what he meant. It was this testimony of Vrban which Denying-History quoted above, in a variant translation.

There is no extended discussion - in fact, no discussion beyond this - of gas chambers at Jasenovac in Dulic's coverage of Jasenovac in this section of his book. According to Dulic, the death toll in Jasenovac was about 100,000. About 60,000 of the deaths were among "Yugoslav prisoners" (out of about 68,000 "Yugoslav prisoners" taken to Jasenovac, by far most of these being Serbs but also Roma as well as ethnic Croats and Muslims who opposed the Ustasha); IIRC about 15-20,000 Jews perished in the Jasenovac complex.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:28 pm

As to transport of Jews from Jasenovac, Dulic quotes from notes on a meeting which German ambassador to the NDH (Independent State of Croatia), Siegfried Kasche, had with Anté Pavelic, the Croatian Poglavnik (head of state, Fürher) during the Kozara Operation on 10 July 1942:
The Poglavnik asks to make certain that General Bader understands that space cannot be made in Jasenovac for bringing the refugees. I agree, since this [camp] is needed for transportation of Jews to the east. Minister Turina can send Jews to camp Jasenovac . . .
I believe that Oskar Turina was in the German Interior Ministry and was responsible for the deportations of Jews from Croatia. Jews were transported from Jasenovac during this period northwards to Auschwitz, not (unless deniers can find this place) some chimerical settlement somewhere in a land called "the east."
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:17 pm

Interesting tidbit from a negotiation, as the Ustashas reexamined their Serbian policy, between a Chetnik leader, Dobroslav Jevdević, and a Ustasha representative, Poljak, taped by Italian General Vittorio Ambrosio:
Jevdević: The starting point for [negotiatons] would be equal rights for religious expression. . . .
Poljak: I think that would be possible, because in regards to the issue of religion we are only against the Jews.
So nice for these men to have found something they can agree on . . . Dulic, p 287
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:00 pm

Dulic says that mallets (and notes some discrepancies between testimonies and photos of such) and knives were widely used in Ustasha murder actions.

(I do realize that this topic is not the most popular in SSF history . . . )
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:02 pm

I don’t know enough about it to comment but keep the info flowing.
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Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:30 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Dulic says that mallets (and notes some discrepancies between testimonies and photos of such) and knives were widely used in Ustasha murder actions.

(I do realize that this topic is not the most popular in SSF history . . . )
Something I read in Mann's book made me think of this: whilst the use of mallets and knives was both widespread amongst Ustasha killers and symbolic of Ustasha genocidal actions, many of the Ustasha's victims were killed by being pushed into pits, ravines, and crevices.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:50 pm

Here is one account of how a Croatian Jew took Hitler's prophecy speech. It concerns the strange decision made by Filip Reiner, husband of Ružica, in autumn 1943. At that time, the Reiners, having fled the NDH for the protection offered in Split, which lay in the Italian zone, saw the Italians withdraw. However, the arrival of Tito's

Image
Image
Image

Goldstein, 1941: The Year That Keeps Returning, pp 194-195

Similar responses to Hitler's prophecy were recorded by Warsaw Jews in diaries.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Goody67 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:46 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:50 pm
Similar responses to Hitler's prophecy were recorded by Warsaw Jews in diaries.
Do you know the titles of any of those diaries off the top of your head?

Many thanks.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:49 pm

IIRC Ringelblum, Kaplan, Lewin

I will check later and grab page nos.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:44 pm

Sort of related, the Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac complained in November of 1941 about “the inhuman and cruel treatment of non-Aryans” and forbade those in his parish from participating in the killing of Jews and Roma. He also provided work permits, baptismal certificates and hid them in Catholic buildings.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:12 pm

Lewin, A Cup of Tears, p. 205
Ringelblum, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto, p. 291 (general about Hitler's extermination promises)
Kaplan, Scroll of Agony, p. 351
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:45 pm

Both Goldstein (1941) and Tomasevich (War and Revolution in Yugoslavia) decisively reinforce the thesis propounded in Adriano & Cingolani in Nationalism and Terror: Ante Pavelić and Ustasha Terrorism from Fascism to the Cold War, which focuses on the utter dependence of the Ustasha on their foreign sponsors (Italy, then Germany), to the point of the Ustashas' prioritizing advancement of the interests and goals of their sponsors; the argument is that within Croatia the Ustasha was a small fringe group without deep or broad support whereas Maček's Croatian Peasant Party had an extensive, strong popular foundation and more faithfully represented Croatian nationalism. In contrast to other countries (Germany, Italy) where fascists gained power, in Croatia the fascists did not succeed in building a mass movement prior to taking power even if they eventually succeeded, despite their domestic weakness, in forming a fascist state (and movement) due to foreign intrigue and intervention.

Oddly, the fascist movements treated by Mann (Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania) does not include the Croatian Ustasha.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:46 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:54 pm
. . . how German observers were horrified by Ustasha genocide of the Serbs even as they egged on mass murder of the Jews -. . .
There are German documents attesting to the above point concerning Ustasha actions against the Serbs in the NDH.

OTOH Tomasevich shows that the observations, goals, and reactions of German officials were not uniform - and that it is simplistic to subsume German thinking under this umbrella.

SS-Obergruppenführer August Meyszner, HSSPF in Serbia, was so fond of saying, "I like a dead Serb better than a live one," that his slogan became a kind of calling card for him. Indeed, in late May 1941 Hitler accepted the Ustasha's offer to accept nearly a quarter million Slovenes into the NDH to facilitate German plans for denationalization and demographic reordering in the northern zone of former Yugoslavia occupied by the Germans - for which the Ustashas would be permitted to expel an equal number of Serbs from the NDH to Serbia.

The actual numbers resettled turned out to be far smaller as the program ran into a number of problems, not least of which was the resistance it stirred up among Slovenes (of whom about 80,000 were eventually deported and resettled). The Croatian expulsions of Serbs were chaotic and violent; the deported Serbs were dispossessed, as the Slovenes were, without compensation; and the action helped create widespread anti-Ustasha sentiment and recruits for the partisans. (pp 78, 87-89)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:02 pm

The Poglavnik, according to Goldstein, as early as February 1932 in Ustasha - The Journal of Croatian Revolutionaries, under the heading "Fed Up with Slavery," exhorted his followers, "KNIFE, BOMB AND TIME BOMB, these are the idols, the clarions that will announce the dawn of a new day and the RESURRECTION OF THE INDEPENDENT CROATIAN STATE." In a later issue of the same journal, Pavelić again rhapsodized, "every Ustasha is waiting to be called . . . to throw his body and soul at the enemy and crush him," adding that it was "the dedication, revolvers, bombs, and razor-sharp daggers of the Croatian Ustasha [that] will cut all the rotten flesh from the body of the Croatian nation and will have the final word." (p 106) These calls came two years before the Ustasha assassinated King Alexander in Marseille.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:15 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:45 pm
Both Goldstein (1941) and Tomasevich (War and Revolution in Yugoslavia) decisively reinforce the thesis propounded in Adriano & Cingolani in Nationalism and Terror: Ante Pavelić and Ustasha Terrorism from Fascism to the Cold War, which focuses on the utter dependence of the Ustasha on their foreign sponsors (Italy, then Germany), to the point of the Ustashas' prioritizing advancement of the interests and goals of their sponsors; the argument is that within Croatia the Ustasha was a small fringe group without deep or broad support whereas Maček's Croatian Peasant Party had an extensive, strong popular foundation and more faithfully represented Croatian nationalism. In contrast to other countries (Germany, Italy) where fascists gained power, in Croatia the fascists did not succeed in building a mass movement prior to taking power even if they eventually succeeded, despite their domestic weakness, in forming a fascist state (and movement) due to foreign intrigue and intervention.
Tomasevich says more about this, charting the "rise" of the Ustashas. At the time of the creation of the Independent State of Croatia, under German tutelage and German/Italian protection (and chicanery), the Ustashas returning from abroad numbered 200-300; another 500-600 Croatian men living abroad returned a month later but these men were deemed unreliable by the Ustashas. (p 336) As the small size of the party suggests, most Croatian nationalists even into 1941 looked elsewhere for leadership - namely, the Croatian Peasant Party. Tomasevich assumes that the Ustashas never stated their organization's membership because doing so "would have shown how small the group was, and how hollow its claim to represent the Croatian nation." Contemporary sources put the number of "sworn" Ustashas in April 1941 at 900. The Ustashas believed that they had about 40,000 sympathizers within Croatia (population: approximately 4m). (p 337)

Tomasevich concludes that the Ustashas "did not have a large following among the Croatian population" even at their strongest, when they were in power. (p 337) After reviewing German occupation policy and actions, Tomasevich also says that
had it not been for the conquest of Yugoslavia by the Axis powers and the ensuing dismemberment and occupation of the country, the Ustashas would have remained only a small group on the outer fringe of the Croatian body politic. Our principal interest in the Ustasha movement is not in its roots or in what the Ustashas and their supporters claimed it was, but in its character and activity as a collaborationist regime, that is, a special form of foreign occupation of part of Yugoslavia.
(p 340) Tomasevich also shows that, from the pov of both Croatians and of course Yugoslavia, Pavelic made agreements with Italy and Germany (concerning borders, raw materials and the economy, and the powers of the so-called Independent State) that could be considered treasonous.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:23 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:02 pm
The Poglavnik, according to Goldstein, as early as February 1932 in Ustasha - The Journal of Croatian Revolutionaries, under the heading "Fed Up with Slavery," exhorted his followers, "KNIFE, BOMB AND TIME BOMB, these are the idols, the clarions that will announce the dawn of a new day and the RESURRECTION OF THE INDEPENDENT CROATIAN STATE." In a later issue of the same journal, Pavelić again rhapsodized, "every Ustasha is waiting to be called . . . to throw his body and soul at the enemy and crush him," adding that it was "the dedication, revolvers, bombs, and razor-sharp daggers of the Croatian Ustasha [that] will cut all the rotten flesh from the body of the Croatian nation and will have the final word." (p 106) These calls came two years before the Ustasha assassinated King Alexander in Marseille.
As members of a terrorist organization, the Ustashas fetishized the implements of violence which they used in their campaigns. In a propaganda pamphlet ("The Life and Work of the Ustasha Poglavnik - The Briefest Outline," n.d.), extolling the idea of charismatic leadership along with Croatia's supreme leader Pavelić, it was asserted that
In the struggle the Poglavnik selects the most suitable and most effective means: arms. His activity is permeated with revolutionary spirit. In his publications he writes and says "Knife, revolver, bomb and the infernal machine, these are the means that are going to return to the peasant the fruits of his land, give to the worker his bread, and to Croatia its freedom."
Tomasevich notes too that the party's symbol was a U "with a bursting bomb in the middle. . . . Members of the Ustasha movement also took their oath in front of a crucifix, a knife, and a revolver."

Attached to such lurid, violent symbols, Ustashas searched for historical precedents in Croatia history, distorting some important historical events and perverting the nature, according to Tomasevich, of the Croatian past. (pp 347-348)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:12 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:44 pm
Sort of related, the Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac complained in November of 1941 about “the inhuman and cruel treatment of non-Aryans” and forbade those in his parish from participating in the killing of Jews and Roma. He also provided work permits, baptismal certificates and hid them in Catholic buildings.
An older book (Edmond Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 1941-1945: A Record of Racial and Religious Persecutions and Massacres) reads like an anti-Catholic propaganda tract at times; it roundly indicts Stepinac for his support of the Ustasha regime, positioning his sometimes retreats and distancing moves as forced to a degree by events and taking place within a context of continued explicit and implicit support for the regime. There are scholars who strongly disagree; yet, much as I found problematic in Paris' book, some of the evidence he relies on is hard to get around.

Tomasevich, in a far more measured manner, is sharply critical of Stepinac, along with the Franciscans and others in the church, who lent support, in various ways, to the Ustashas. He quotes from one communication Stepinac sent to the Vatican (May 1943) in which the archbishop excused Ustasha terrorism and mass murder as excesses of "irresponsible" elements, unknown to the party and government leadership, and committed in justified retaliation for what the Serbs had done to Croatians during the interwar period; Stepinac also extolled the pro-Church measures of the NDH and deemed the regime as showing good will, Tomasevich's phrase, toward the Church. Despite some criticisms of Ustasha terror and violence against civilians, the "Catholic hierarchy," according to Tomasevich, "maintained its support of the Ustashas and the Independent State of Croatia to the end of the war." (Tomasevich pp 370-372)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:16 pm

Tomasevich argues that a point of convergence for the Ustashas and their allies in the Catholic church was their agreement on common "enemies" - Serbs, Jews, Freemasons, and Communists. Once the Ustashas had "removed [Jews] from Croatian life" and eliminated the influence of Freemasons, "the propagandists united the Serbs and the Communists to form their most cherished pejorative terms, 'Serbocommunists,' to identify the archenemy of the Croatian nation and state." (pp 370-371)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:55 pm

I found interesting, in terms of Holocaust denial, in Tomasevich's narrative how he describes the evidence for Ustasha "physical annihilation" of the Serbs in Croatia during WWII:

- "numerous implied or open threats against the Serbs in speeches and statements of the high Ustasha government and party officials"
- laws regarding protection of the NDH and the honor of Croatians "under which almost anybody could be indicted"
- laws and decrees that "outlawed the entire Serbian population"
- reports from Italians and Germans in Croatia (I would add reports from Croatian observers and from Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- letters written during the war by Catholic clergy (Croatian priests - these letters were only published after the war)
- testimony of survivors of Ustasha atrocities against the Serbs and of Ustasha camps given in postwar trials and before postwar commissions

(A side note: reports from Italians mentioned mass graves – in ravines and crevices, for example – in which victims’ bodies were found by Italian occupation forces after their reoccupation of western areas of Croatia in late 1941; Tomasevich doesn’t mention this point.)

(p 397)

Tomasevich has a long chapter on the destruction of Croatian Jews, which I will post about when I read it :)
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:57 pm

As early as October 1941, the Ustashas requested that the Germans deport Jews from the NDH to eastern Europe; as would be expected, the Germans refused this request, which had been made after the Ustashas had begun interning and murdering Jews, especially young men, in May 1941 shortly after the establishment of the NDH (this arrest-murder campaign lasted for about a year).

A second Ustasha deportation request, made in May 1942 was, however, acceptable to the Germans, again as one would expect. The organization of the removal of Jews then surviving in the NDH took months, until August 1942 when about 5,000 Croatian Jews were taken to extermination camps operated by the Germans, leaving an estimated 2,000 Jews in Ustasha camps in Croatia.

A final removal action came in spring 1943, this deportation at the instigation of the Germans. At this time the Germans conveyed about 2,000 Croatian Jews in small batches by railway to German death camps in the east. During the action the last surviving leaders of Zagreb’s Jewish community were arrested and never heard from again.

With this action, the German occupation authorities deemed the Jewish problem in Croatia to have been solved. However, some 100s of Jews, granted exemptions for a variety of reasons by the Ustashas, still lived in the NDH. It is also likely that 100s of Jews also remained in Ustasha camps.

OTOH the case of the Jews in the Italy-occupied areas of Croatia is illuminating. 1000s of Jews lived in the western and coastal areas of the NDH occupied by the Italians. The numbers of Jews living there had increased with the flight of Jewish refugees from elsewhere in the NDH as persecution measures and extermination actions had unfolded.

The Germans sought to have the Jews living under Italian jurisdiction, and protection, removed to the extermination camps. Coincidental with the August 1942 deportation, “German representatives in Zagreb, under orders from Berlin, took up this matter with their Italian counterparts.” Much as in France, the Italians did not see expulsion of the Jews from their zone to be in their strategic interest and, through a series of stalling measures, obfuscatory communications, and bureaucratic confusion, the Italians did not surrender “their” Jews to the Croatians for subsequent dispatch to eastern Europe.

In fact, General Roatta, commander of the Italian 2nd Army occupying the western parts of Croatia, estimated that over 3,000 Croatian Jews were in the Italian area. In Roatta’s view, their deportation would create fear among the Serbs and work against pacification of the region. Roatta communicated his views to the Italian Comando Supremo in late September 1942 and “also noted that the delivery of Jews to the Croatian authorities meant sentencing them to death.”

By October German occupation authorities understood that the Italians did not intend to comply with their requests for surrender of the Jews in the zones they occupied. German ambassador Kasche complained in a report (20 October) that ongoing discussions between the Italians and Ustashas exploring the idea of granting the Croatian Jews in Italy’s zones Italian citizenship while giving their property to the NDH would, in Kasche’s words, “mean sabotaging the entire European Jewish policy promoted by the Germans.”

Eventually, in spring 1943, under continued German pressure, the Italians confined the Jews in their Zone II in a camp on the island of Rab and then added Jews from Zone I, along the coast. The Italians issued orders in advance of their withdrawal from the area in August 1943 for continued protection of the imprisoned Jews; most of the nearly 3,400 prisoners were freed from the camp when the Partisans entered the former Italian zone, with 100s of old and sick inmates left behind and later falling into German hands (the Germans sent these people to Auschwitz in spring 1944).

I will post later on Jews in the Partisan resistance, noting here only that the liquidation of the Jewish communities of Croatia from spring 1941 through spring 1943 failed to prevent the strengthening of the Partisans in the second half of 1943 and 1944 and their eventual triumph in 1945.

Tomasevich, pp 594-603
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:53 am

Brief note on Jews and Tito’s Partisans:

In shorthand, the early ranks of the Yugoslav Partisans were predominantly Serbian; as the war progressed, the composition of the Partisan forces changed, becoming increasingly multi-ethnic.

There must have been well over 1 million individuals who served in the Partisan forces during the war (over 800,000 were serving at the time the war ended). Tomasevich relies on Romano in stating that 4,572 Jews were members of the Partisan forces (1,318 died); many of these joined after the liberation of the camp at Rab (mentioned above) in fall 1943.

Also, many Jews served as medical personnel.

One of Tito’s key associates was Jewish. It is important to recall that, outside Croatia, the Germans slaughtered Jews in the areas they held, notoriously, for example, in Serbia, where many Jews perished in reprisal shootings and later in gas vans. The Partisans offered Jews protection.
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:09 am

Jewish losses in Croatia:

Data on the Jewish population of Yugoslavia is not clear-cut. Tomasevich uses an estimate of 82,242 for the Jewish population at the onset of the war. He further estimates that about 39,000 Jews lived in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. (Tomasevich’s estimate is about 8,000 higher than that of Kočović.) In this territory, Jewish deaths amounted to about 30,000 (76%).

In all of Yugoslavia, Jewish losses were about 67,000 (82%) - and for the non-Croatian parts of Yugoslavia 37,000 (86%). The reasons for the somewhat elevated % outside Croatia have to do, first, with the efficiency of the German occupation in some of these areas, the ruthlessness of the Bulgarian actions in the territory annexed to Bulgaria, and the force of the Hungary action in Bačka, etc. On the other hand, the %s in Croatia were somewhat lower on account of the Italian occupation and protection offered to Jews in their zones, Ustasha preoccupation with the anti-Serb actions and the Ustashas' somewhat contradictory Jewish policies, the time Croatian Jews had to escape and find protection including by fleeing either to the Italian areas or to the Partisans, and the role played by the Catholic church in Croatia.

Tomasevich, pp 592-607
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:16 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:12 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:44 pm
Sort of related, the Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac complained in November of 1941 about “the inhuman and cruel treatment of non-Aryans” and forbade those in his parish from participating in the killing of Jews and Roma. He also provided work permits, baptismal certificates and hid them in Catholic buildings.
An older book (Edmond Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 1941-1945: A Record of Racial and Religious Persecutions and Massacres) reads like an anti-Catholic propaganda tract at times; it roundly indicts Stepinac for his support of the Ustasha regime, positioning his sometimes retreats and distancing moves as forced to a degree by events and taking place within a context of continued explicit and implicit support for the regime. There are scholars who strongly disagree; yet, much as I found problematic in Paris' book, some of the evidence he relies on is hard to get around.

Tomasevich, in a far more measured manner, is sharply critical of Stepinac, along with the Franciscans and others in the church, who lent support, in various ways, to the Ustashas. He quotes from one communication Stepinac sent to the Vatican (May 1943) in which the archbishop excused Ustasha terrorism and mass murder as excesses of "irresponsible" elements, unknown to the party and government leadership, and committed in justified retaliation for what the Serbs had done to Croatians during the interwar period; Stepinac also extolled the pro-Church measures of the NDH and deemed the regime as showing good will, Tomasevich's phrase, toward the Church. Despite some criticisms of Ustasha terror and violence against civilians, the "Catholic hierarchy," according to Tomasevich, "maintained its support of the Ustashas and the Independent State of Croatia to the end of the war." (Tomasevich pp 370-372)
Tomasevich has a second, this time long discussion of Stepinac. He says that Stepinac was critical of the slaughter of the Jews and communicated his criticism to Pavelić directly - but privately. Where he faults Stepinac on this is the archbishop's decision (which seems to have been made eyes wide open) not to go public. On the Ustashas' Serbian policies (expel, exterminate, convert), Tomasevich is still more critical. Stepinac didn't like the forced, mass, bloody nature of the conversion campaigns and issued guidelines reinforcing church dogma on conversions. But he liked conversions - and he and Croatian priests abetted the campaign, many of the latter being up to their eye-teeth in it. Stepinac, despite his disapproval of Nazism and Fascism, continued publicly supporting the NDH throughout. And Stepinac lied about his views on conversions during his postwar trial.

On the whole, Tomasevich - his book was published in 2001 - says that he is unable to draw a sharp portrait of Stepinac for a number of reasons: the Vatican has not made Stepinac's correspondence available to researchers; not enough is known about Stepinac's true feelings about the Ustasha regime and his relationship with Pavelić (whom he seems to have detested); it isn't known whether during his imprisonment and house arrest after the war Stepinac wrote a memoir or other pieces on his wartime actions and convictions; and, finally, whether Stepinac was aware that his brother and sister-in-law supported the Partisan's would be useful information (his brother was executed for Partisan activity).
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:32 pm

In War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945 Tomasevich concludes that the many-sided war in former Yugoslavia, led to staggering loss of life on the scale experienced only in the occupied USSR and Poland. Wartime deaths in what had been interwar Yugoslavia totaled about 1 million.

In the first place, Tomasevich finds that fighting under conditions outside international law led to an especially high number of military-related deaths. “Battle casualties,” he writes, “were increased because the insurgents were not treated according to international rules of war, but as franc-tireurs who were generally shot when caught.” In short, rules of war make, according to Tomasevich’s research, a difference in the level of violence. He details other aspects of his finding such as reprisals, hostage shooting, terrorism, and destruction of whole villages, which all sides - but especially the Italians, Germans, and Ustashas - practiced during the war.

Second - and related to the above - the Germans abetted the Ustashas in their destruction of the Serbs - fighting “with a spirit of special vengeance against the Serbs. The Serbs were considered Untermenschen because they were Slavs . . .” Germany’s bombing of Belgrade at the start of the invasion of Yugoslavia was carried out in this spirit.

Third, as noted, a variety of kinds of reprisal actions was perpetrated. In the shooting of hostages, the Germans were most responsible, particularly in Serbia. Also, the Germans employed the tactic of punitive, destructive military operations against villages and towns more than the other forces; the Italians and the Ustashas also made widespread use of this tactic. All sides executed those civilians whom they suspected of possibly assisting their enemies or even of possibly being give such assistance.

Fourth, genocide caused great loss of life in Croatia. Tomasevich describes genocide as “the systematic extermination of large numbers of people for political, ideological, religious, or racial reasons.” Genocide was perpetrated in former Yugoslavia, according to Tomasevich’s criteria and research, by the Ustashas against the Serbs, Jews, and Roma and by the Chetniks against Croats and Muslims as well as by the Ustasha against Croats and the Chetniks against Serbs, in the latter two cases for political reasons. The Italians abetted the Chetniks in their mass murder actions against Croats; the Germans assisted the Ustasha genocides. Tomasevich doesn't estimate the number of deaths from genocide but a quick guess, extracting from his narrative and tables, would be more than one half the 1 million wartime deaths (over half of the victims of genocide being Serbs; I have had Rummel's numbers in my head - Tomasevich doesn't mention Rummel but would find Rummel's estimates far too high, falling actually into the range Tomasevich categorizes as biased; he explicitly disagrees with the estimate Rummel uses for murders committed by Tito's forces); I will look at this again to see if I can extract an estimate.

Fifth, the cataclysmic devastation of agriculture during the war, and the prioritization of the food needs to the German occupier as well as the Volksdeutsche led to starvation and widespread disease outbreaks in food-deficit areas related to poor nutrition.

Sixth, Tomasevich singles out Allied bombing the last two years of the war as a factor in causing great loss of life. Raids on transportation networks and hubs, to thwart Axis troops movements and economic activity, caused destruction in a number of towns and cities, with concomitant civilian casualties. (In this regard, Tomasevich maintains that Partisan military operations were the most effective Allied tactic for disrupting supply lines and transport of the Axis powers in the region.) Also, Tomasevich says, Allied pilots, under orders not to return to their bases with unused bombs, often dropped remaining explosives in the Zadar area.

Last, reduced natality and emigration during and immediately after the war, while not causing deaths, reduced the population of former Yugoslavia greatly.

Tomasevich, pp 729-750
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:26 am

OK I am finished with Tomasevich and leaving Croatia for now . . .
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Re: Nazi Germany and the Independent State of Croatia

Post by Goody67 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:26 pm

Were the Croatians classified as Aryans (German or related blood) and eligible to be Reich citizens?

I know that all non-Jewish Europeans were “officially” classified as being of “German or related blood”, but the Nazis passed laws to prevent Poles and others who were technically clsssified as “Aryans” from Reich citizenship. What was the case for the Croatians?
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