CROATIA COMMEMORATES THE CREATOR OF
THE AUSCHWITZ OF THE BALKANS
By Efraim Zuroff
January 1, 2015
Croatia's Ante Pavelic, founder of Ustasha movement, was personally responsible for group's genocidal policies.
Croatia's WWII leader Ante Pavelic received by Hitler in Berchtesgaden
for a two-hour conference on June 6, 1941.
But its Croatian equivalent took place only two days ago in Zagreb, where several hundred people attended a memorial mass in memory of Ante Pavelic, the head of state of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), established by the Germans and Italians after the occupation of Yugoslavia in April 1941, and one of the biggest mass murderers in the
After the war, Pavelic was able to escape to Argentina via the infamous "ratlines," the escape network established by Austrian bishop Alois Hudal with the help of Croatian priest Krunoslav Draganovic, to assist Nazi war criminals to reach safe havens in South America and the Middle East. He was tracked down to Buenos Aires by Yugoslav intelligence and was wounded in an assassination attempt, the results of which he subsequently
In that respect, the fact that two senior priests led the ceremony is also cause for concern. One of the them, the Dominican Vjekoslac Lasic is notorious for initiating this mass, as well as for his eulogy at the funeral of former Jasenovac commander Dinko Sakic, in which he noted that although Sakic did not observe all
As of the writing of this op-ed, not a single Croatian political or religious leader or public figure has condemned Sunday's ceremony, which is another indication of the failure of the country's leadership to help eradicate the vestiges of fascism and intolerance. It might be possible to attribute their silence to the current presidential elections, the first round of which ended without a
Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office. His most recent book is "Operation Last Chance; One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice." His website is: www.operationlastchance.org and he can be followed on Twitter @EZuroff
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