From Yugo Kovach
Sir, - Before Pope Francis urged Turkey to recognise the Ottoman
genocide of Armenians (News, 17
April), he should have apologised for Pope Pius XII's silence
regarding events across the Adriatic in wartime Greater
Hundreds of thousands of civilian Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia
were slaughtered by the Croatian Ustasha regime. Their only
political ambition was to lie low, given that Serbia proper was
under brutal German occupation; and their only crime was their
national and religious identity.
Some of the Croatian clergy were accomplices of the Ustasha.
There was also the forcible conversion en masse of many
surviving Serbs to Catholicism. As for intent, Dr Mile Budak, the
deputy leader of the Ustasha regime, decreed that a third of Serbs
were to be killed, a third expelled, and the rest converted.
There are unanswered questions concerning the end-of-war escape
of the Ustasha leadership and collaborationist clergy to Argentina
via European monasteries.
Fifty years later, the Krajina Serbs baulked at being railroaded
as second-class citizens into a Croatian secessionist state led by
Franjo Tudjman, who was unrepentant about the misdeeds of the
Ustasha. These Serbs were accused of dredging up the past. If the
West had not given Tudjman the benefit of the doubt, the break-up
of Yugoslavia might have been far less bloody.
The "final solution" that eluded the Nazi-backed Ustasha was
achieved by Tudjman in August 1995, when, with American help, he
murderously expelled the Krajina Serbs from their "UN-protected"
Old School House
Dorset DT11 0PD