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Wartime atrocities in Greater Croatia

by
08 May 2015

iStock

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.

YUGO KOVACH
Old School House
Winterborne Houghton
Dorset DT11 0PD

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