Posts Tagged ‘Jasenovac concentration camp’

The Vatican and CIA continue to suppress information about past operations, information that, if widely known, might have helped provide another perspective on the unfortunate fate of modern Yugoslavia.

Unlike the Germans whose major criminals faced a war crimes tribunal at Nuremburg, virtually the entire Ustashe hierarchy including their leader or Poglavnik, Ante Pavelic, escaped justice. And even more surprisingly they took with them into exile the monetary proceeds of the extermination of 750,000 Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

Pavelic, known as the “butcher of the Balkans”, was an honored guest at the Vatican between 1945 and 1947 while other war criminals swing from a noose.

Artukovic, the Himmler of Croatia, the man responsible for death camps where hundreds of thousands of Serbs were shot, burned alive, or bludgeoned to death with special hammers, lived openly in Southern California for over thirty years, while private Congressional bills assured his safety from deportation.

Other Ustashe, such as the sadist Luburic, purchased villas in Spain or started new lives as businessman in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. But, unlike other ex-Nazis, the Ustashe did not lose their fascist ideology, instead they openly reestablished their Nazi party in Buenos Aires and by 1956 were beginning a new campaign of terror which ultimately reached the United States in the 1970s and 1980s resulting in hijackings, bombings, and murders. –Jonathan Levy, “Vatican Sued for Looting Nazi Gold Under CIA, MI Permission, The Lawsuit Against the Vatican and the CIA”

For more information, see News Insider, 17 January 2001 at http://www.newsinsider.org/editorials/Vatican_CIA.html 

The Vatican’s tolerance of the Ustasha during the war was no secret. It is a matter of historical record that the Croatian Roman Catholic Church was closely entangled with the Ustashas.

In the early years of World War II, Catholic priests oversaw forced conversions of Orthodox Serbs under the aegis of the Ustasha state; Franciscan friars distributed Ustasha propaganda.

Several high Catholic officials in Yugoslavia were later indicted for war crimes. They included Father Dragutin Kamber, who ordered the killing of nearly 300 Orthodox Serbs; Bishop Ivan Saric of Sarajevo, known as the “hangman of the Serbs”; and Bishop Gregory Rozman of Slovenia, a wanted Nazi collaborator.

A trial held by the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission in 1946 resulted in the conviction of a half-dozen Ustasha priests, among them former Franciscan Miroslav Filipovic-Majistorovic, a commandant of the Jasenovac concentration camp where the Ustashas tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands with a brutality that shocked even the Nazis.

The Rev. Krunoslav Draganovic, a Franciscan, had been a senior official of the Ustasha committee that handled the forced conversion of Orthodox Serbs.

In 1943, the Ustasha arranged with the Croatian Roman Catholic Church to send Father Draganovic to Rome. There he served as secretary of the Istituto San Girolamo, a seminary for Croatian monks that was in fact a center of clandestine Ustasha activity.

Draganovic also became Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic’s unofficial emissary to the Vatican, and de facto liaison to the Pontifical Relief Commission, a Vatican organization that aided refugees during and after the war.

On the recommendation of Zagreb Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac—who had blessed Pavelic at the opening of the Croatian parliament—the pope established informal diplomatic relations with the independent state of Croatia, and his envoy made regular rounds of Ustasha headquarters.

In 1941 and in 1943, at a time when his excesses were known, Pavelic was granted two private audiences with Pius XII. The pope explained that he received the Ustasha leader simply as a Catholic, not as head of the Croatian state.

The pontiff’s decision was widely reported—and widely deplored—at the time. In July 1941, Francis D’Arcy Osborne, the British ambassador to the Vatican, wrote: “[Pius’s] reception of Pavelic … has done more to damage his reputation in this country than any other act since the war began.” — Susan Headden, Dana Hawkins, and Jason Vest, “A vow of silence, Did gold stolen by Croatian fascists reach the Vatican?

For more information, see U.S. News and World Report, Monday, March 30, 1998   at http://www.reformation.org/usnews.html 


I.M. Kane

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