*** DEBUG END ***

Wartime atrocities in Greater Croatia

08 May 2015


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 Croatia.

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" ancestral lands.

Old School House
Winterborne Houghton
Dorset DT11 0PD

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)