EXCERPTS from the book: "Wastelands -- Historical Truth ",
By: Franjo Tudjman
Original title: Bespu'ca -- povjesne zbiljnosti,
Nakladni zavod Matice Hrvatske,
FRANJO TUDJMAN ON THE JEWS
1. The term holocaust has been used for the terrible hardships and extermination of Jews in Nazi Europe. The Jewish writer and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel introduced this term from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Biblical word 'shoah' which means a burnt offering (#1). This very term reminds us that it is a question of victims similar to those in Biblical times as well as to the burning and to the self-immolation of Jews in medieval and more recent history. How present this ancient tradition was with reference to survival is also indicated by the example of the Jews in the Netherlands where on the day the Hitlerites arrived (May 15, 1940) they rather committed suicide than to be latter on killed by the Nazis (#2). An explanation for such, especially group cases of suicide, can of course be explained more by the cult of the victim rather than by cowardice or desperation.
(#1) In the Bible we find the motif of burnt offering among pagan peoples and the chosen Jewish people. The victims offered to God were both living beings and plants: food, animals and human beings. Gradually in Temple offerings to God, human sacrifices were rejected while the animal offerings continued, but in the New Testament also "The servant of God will offer his own death as a sacrifice of conciliation " (53). The highest expression of continuity of the Old and New Testment understanding of the victim is to be found when Jesus offers himself as a victim on the cross which is at the same time burnt offering, a repentance and a victim of whole the nation (see comp. RBT, p.1571-9). Among the ancient Greeks holocaust (holos -- the whole + kaustos -- burnt) burnt offering during which ceremony a whole animal was burned. (B. Klaic, Rjecnik stranih rijeci, 1980, 551). On Wiesel's revival of the term see GK, XXVI, 36(691). 06.09.1987,1,4.
(#2) N. Levin, The Holocaust, The Destruction of European Jewry 1933--1945, 1973, text with the photography between 158-9.
2. If we disregard the medieval racial theories particularly those from 15th century Spain, then the subsequent ones originated first on the French and on the English soil (J.A. Gobineau, Lapouge, Ammon, H.S. Chamberlain) probably as part of the need to justify imperialist colonial conquests and domination but the fullest development will be reached in Germany and be made finally obvious in Rosenberg's racist doctrine and Hitler's Pan-Germanic program. The idea of the world mission of the German Herrenvolk, as the highest race, was based also on the assumption for a "Final solution " of the Jewish issue, in the sense that they would be definitely excluded from German and European history. An explanation for this should probably be sought, in addition to historical layers, in the fact that German imperialism for geo-political reasons was oriented primarily to the attainment of domination over Europe. For this reason the establishment of Hitler's new European order could be justified by the need both to remove the Jews (undesirable more or less in all European countries) and to correct the French-British sin of the Versailles order.
3. As the idea to settle the Jews in Madagascar could not be realized because of opposition to this by other powers, the Hitlerite leadership after dividing Poland end seizing the bulk of European Jews, adopted a basis for territorial solutions by setting up the Lublin Jewish Autonomous Region. It was here that bout 1,400,000 Polish Jews and about 600,000 from Germany and elsewhere were to be collected. However, already in May 1940 this plan was abandoned. The reason was the unsurpassable difficulties in piling up such a huge population in an inappropriate area without sufficient settlements although melioration works and labor camps were envisaged. Later on this territorial solution was abandoned in this area that was to become a part of the German ethnic corridor from the Baltic to the Carpathians. However, the very idea of a Jewish autonomous area ( "reservation ") in this region continued to exist during wartime. The German Government would use it to justify its demands for Jews from other countries to be sent to the East. Among the Jews of Poland and others, the idea was fairly widespread that the Germans wanted to establish a Jewish area in eastern Poland. An echo of this can be found also in the draft that Zygmunt Kaczynski presented on behalf of the Polish emigre government in 1942 in the USA, referring to the post-war solution of the Jewish question by settling them in eastern Poland or in Bessarabia. Judging by this, this proposal was also supported by the Polish resistance movement in Warsaw.
The sensational victory over France opened up visions of final victory and also the possibility for a "final ", "territorial " solution of the Jews in one of the African or American colonies, most likely in Madagascar. It is interesting to note that this solution was favored also by all of Hitler's associates including Goering, Ribbertrop, Goebbels, Himmler, Rosenberg, Frank and Heydrich. In speaking about the division of the French colonies (June l8, 1940), Hitler told Mussolini that "in Madagascar a Jewish state could be formed " and this was also heard by Ciano from Ribbertrop. Dr. F. Rademacher was given the task to elaborate this plan from the view point of international law. According to his memorandum approved by Ribbertrop, Petain's France was to relinquish Madagascar to Germany and resettle 25,00 Frenchmen from the island in order to create conditions for the solution of the Jewish question. All the Jews would be settled in Madagascar and would enjoy full autonomy which would ensure "a good attitude " of the American Jews towards Germany. All preparations for this were made in Germany under the supervision of Eichmann and Rademacher for the transport by sea of 4 million Jews to Madagascar as well as for settlement conditions on the island itself in cooperation with the French ministry for Colonies. Of course, the transport could not begin until the end of the war.
After Hitler's armies became stuck in the USSR vastness, and the failure of the German myth of invincibility in the Blitzkrieg, the German possibility for the territorial solution of the Jewish question outside Europe also fell through.
(Pages 152, 153)
4. Thus in the War's third year (1942) the leadership of the Third Reich adopted the plan to exclude the Jews from the life of German and other European peoples by exterminating them gradually. But as such a goal could not be announced publicly, but was secretly told only to a narrow circle of Nazi intimates, it remained concealed also for the majority of the Germans who understood the deportations of Jews to the East as being their re-settlement to Polish and Russian areas and therefore accepted the concentration camps as a labor camps and not death camps.
5. That the estimated loss of up to 6 million dead is founded too much on both emotional biased testimonies and on exaggerated data in the post-war reckonings of ar crimes and squaring of accounts with the defeated perpetrators of war crimes, can be concluded among other things by the fact that even in serious books (such as N. Levin's unquestionably is) is evidenced, for example, a highly Multiplied data on Jasenovac with the assertion that of the allegedly 770,000 killed there, 20,000 Jews were killed even though it is stated that the Jews from Croatia under German orders were deported to the East and partly that they found salvation in the Italian zone. And when the Jasenovac mythic figure seemed to be realistic, than it is no surprise that even Malaparte's invented basket of eyes becomes duplicated probably for the sake of greater authenticity of such data and testimonies.
6. In the mid-Eighties, world Jewry still has the need to recall its "holocaust " even by trying to prevent the election of the former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim as President of Austria! And for this there was certainly no reasonable excuse because he in the Second World War (in a minor officer's rank of the German Army) was neither a war criminal nor could he make any decisions on the execution of such orders. And as at the same time one can be deaf and blind to every thing that is happening in front of ones face on orders of the Israeli generals and Government, demonstrates the inviolable domination of historical unreasonableness and narrowness in which Jewry certainly is no exception.
And precisely for this reason the example of the Jewish people has remained historically instructive in many ways. After everything they suffered in history, particularly the hardships in World War Two, the Jewish people soon afterwards became so brutal and conducted a genocidal policy towards the Palestinians that they can rightly be defined as Judeo-Nazis. And this was stated not by a hardcore anti-Semite but by Israeli professor J. Leibowitz, one of the rare Jews who advocates the recognition of the rights of Palestinians. The general revolt of the Palestinians on the occupied Western Bank and in Gaza, areas which the Jews call according to the Old Testament Judea and Samaria, revealed at the end of 1987 to the world and to Israel itself that the problem does not lie only in the expulsion of the Palestinians or in Arafat's PLO, but in the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. The fact that 20-year olds, that is, men born after the "Six Day War " occupation in which Israel seized a three times bigger territory than its own, that these young people have appeared on the historical scene indicates how intolerable is the "Judeo-Nazi " policy and the irreconcilability of the subjected people to be deprived of their homeland. The essential policy of the erection of the new Jewish settlements in the place of destroyed Palestinian homes is not only a political, economic and cultural discrimination but also the harsh persecution of the Palestinians that has brought about an even bigger rift between the two peoples. During the past 20 years 350,000 Palestinians from the Occupied Territories have passed through Israeli prisons which means more than 50 per cent of the adult population. And in Israeli universities the Arabs are not allowed to study aeronautics and electrical engineering nor geography and archaeology because these sciences are connected to frontiers and to history. And this, of course, is not the only form of spiritual genocide alongside what has already been done through the mass expulsion and brutal wartime reprisals.
What does this small historical step from Nazi-Fascism to Judeo-Nazism indicate?
When a movement or a people, a state or an alliance, a religion or ideology is confronted with an enemy it considers fatal to its survival or barrier to its domination, it will do everything possible and use all available means to conquer and even destroy it if it has no other way to subject it to his will. This intention will be abandoned only by the possible danger of being itself destroyed in such a plan.
(Pp. 160, 161)
7. Of all original mythological concepts, up to all latter religious end ideological essences or else philosophical and scientific outlooks on the world, the human brain has moved in an equally accursed labyrinth of contradictions on the sense and nonsense of violence in historical existence. Because in man's and people's historical march violence has been a constant accompanying phenomenon, cause and supposition of its survival or disappearance. We are confronted with its inevitable presence and eternal wrestling and changes of all those phenomena of destiny that make for a historical fate, both human and national. Which means: life and death, good and evil, love and hate, harmony and conflict, peace and war, or the beatitude of all beauties and a horror of all horrors...
As we have already been able to conclude from the aforegoing, it is in all the Judean origins that all our latter western civilizations in ancient times at the peak of the philosophical thought as expressed by the Biblical God Jehovah -- genocidal violence is a natural phenomenon, in keeping with the human-social and mythological-divine nature. It is not only allowed, but even recommended. Moreover, it is advised in the words of the Almighty Jehovah whenever it is useful for survival or the renewed establishment of the kingdom of the chosen people, or for the maintenance and spread of His only genuine faith.
Understandably with such thinking human historical thought from the very outset found itself in contradiction to itself. Aware of the depth of the gap and the inter-conditionality of life's efforts and destructive impulses and being impotent to remove them in the historical reality, it certainly will not be able to overcome even its own cowardly desperation and whenever it tried to rise above good and evil, historical movements and durations, it lost the ground under its feet, escaping from earthly historical reality into heavenly bliss or into other worlds, or into peaceable shining future which constantly remains on an unreachable horizon.
Every violence is the fruit of hatred which is barrier to love but so close to it that it can be called its inseparable side. Although according to Biblical teaching God created the brotherhood of men to live in love, hatred is born out of jealousy by destroying ones rival and murder ensues in already the first generation. Since then the world has remained victim of hatred and violence. And just as Cain raises against Abel, Esau against Jacob and Jacob's sons against Joseph, so also will the Egyptians rise against Israel, the aliens against Jerusalem. The enemies of the chosen people are also God's enemies, they are identified with criminals, which justifies hatred and the holy war of Israel against its hateful enemies. The commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy " confirmed in the lesson that in every national enemy (Israel's) one also sees God's enemy, necessarily led to the justification of even the most outrageous violence. In this way the God of love is described ambiguously as a God of hatred who hates his enemies, aggressors and all sinners, either as individuals (who often signifies a whole community, as for example Jacob means Israel and Essu mean Edom), or else whole nations. In order to preserve its identity and attain an independent state the Jewish Biblical idea made Israel into a chosen tribe and even a holy nation which in the name of Jehovah assumes special rights in relation to all other peoples, with the tendency through religion to include them organically into its own, God' people, so that David's son is king over all other peoples and Jerusalem becomes the hub of the whole world. And, of course, in order to achieve this consecrated goal, all means are allowed. And why should they not be when even the Almighty Jehovah is not only identified with the Jewish people but even placed in its service: "I shall be the enemy of your enemies ". For this reason Israel's national wars will be "Jehovah's wars " with the purpose of exterminating the enemy. Conditioned by the status of its people, the Biblical Jewish thought made God into an awesome warrior who for the sake of Israel kills the first born Egyptians, demands anathema, that is, the total destruction of the enemy -- of living beings and the acquisition of material booty. The massacre of the enemy becomes one of the religious principles of the holy war, which must not be infringed upon because if the enemy is not destroyed there will follow defeat as a punishment. For the sake of total hatred the enemy is identified with the devil and the dangerous beasts. God himself will make use of the threat of the wild beasts in cursing Egypt and every infidel nation. And the frightening picture of devastated towns and settlements abandoned to the wild beasts intimates pogrom over the whole human community and whole nations.
Born out of the lunacy of oppression, extermination, persecution, devastation and destruction, Biblical thought does not recognize any other way of salvation for the oppressed and the threatened except in a powerful counter-attack: "May evil strike the tyrant, may every blow be answered by a blow ". And of course all such actions and all forms of the holy war are not considered aggressive but only means of extirpating evil from the world. Of course, it is easy to overstep the boundary line between just and unjust violence. By branding on the one hand all crimes in the name of justice and allowing, on the other hand, all violence in order to curb them, Biblical thought realizes that it is involved in the trap of contradictions and double meanings. That is why instead of approving the devastating power of revenge it speaks against crimes that signify unjustified violence and specifically states : the resettlement of the population, ripping open pregnant women, burnings, crushing infants against rocks, oppressing strangers.
Biblical reflections arrive at the knowledge that every aggressive war and even the holy Israeli war, leads to new conflicts. And also to the fact that the enemy whom the oppressed just nation was not able to defeat, finally perishes as a victim of his own doing, that is because of his own madness. War and violence provoke moral discomfort and spiritual hesitation from which, however, there is no way out. Because although peace is the purpose of God's idea, experience tells us that every people can attain it only on the assumption that victory is won through conflict and violence.
(Pp. 172, 173)
8. All this indicates the need to investigate in an objective way all the "collection " and "labor camps " and Jasenovac above all. The crimes of the Ustashi as well as those of the Chetniks or any other actors in other places and at other times, will not lose the "enormity " of the brutalities if they are depicted exactly as they were. It is precisely by monstrously multiplying them that an opposite effect is obtained: on the one hand due to the fact that they are unconvincing and on the other hand because they foment even more irrational hatred. The promoters of the Jasenovac myth have since the very outset to the present day been insisting on the fact that the Jasenovac camp was organized with the express purpose of liquidating all the inmates so that there were daily massacres of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and Communists. The truth is that the camp was organized as a "labor camp " with many field and factory units. To the camp individually and mostly in small groups of tens or one hundred persons, tens of thousands of unfortunate persons were brought but also released and shipped to labor camps in Germany. The inmates during their stay in the camp were worked hard end maltreated under exceptionally difficult and unhygienic conditions at work and they were also tortured and killed for the least disobedience especially the aged and the feeble, and from time to time on the pretext of reprisals for killed Ustashi or attempted escape they were brutally killed in smaller or bigger groups (in tens end even hundreds). In this way in the Jasenovac camp probably 3--4 tens of thousands of inmates were killed in this way. Most of these were Gypsies, Jews and Serbs and even Croats. I am convinced that this figure can also be exactly established -- except perhaps for the Gypsies -- through further detailed investigation.
In estimating the situation in the camp in view of its purpose and the crimes committed, we should bear in mind its internal management which was based on the inmates themselves running the camp. In this connection I have long ago arrived at a conclusion that in exaggerating Ustashi crimes some individuals who had some special, hidden reasons, became particularly prominent in this effort. In this context the report made by Vojislav Prnjatovic, an inmate from Sarajevo, on March 11, 1942, after being released from Jasenovac, to the Commissariat for Refugees of Nedic's Government in Belgrade, contained fairly true picture of Jasenovac. The inmates were used for work on several large farming estates between Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska whose owners were Serbs and who were "partly voluntarily and partly forcibly deported ". And as in this area there was a "factory owned by the firm of Bacic and Co., which was confiscated by the Croat state, because Bacic emigrated to Serbia ", it was the intention of the Ustashi "to make of Jasenovac not only a collection camp but also an industrial camp seeing that on that land good factory workshops had already been built for the production of iron mongery, tin-plates, upholstery, riffles, automobile parts, carpentry, electrical appliances, bricks, a steam saw-mill, an electric power house, which supplied electricity for the town of Jasenovac itself ". The inmates were placed into three groups: the free men, the partially free and the simple inmates. And next to the camp command there was also an inmates management. The Ustashi management consists of a supervisory body while the "self-management of the inmates meant that the inmates themselves ran their lives and work in the camp according to the orders and intentions of the Ustashi. In this way the inmates ran their own food supplies, accommodation, order and cleanliness in the camp ". The inmates who were free could not only move freely about the camp and in the town of Jasenovac, but they could also go without guards on official trips to procure goods throughout Croatia. The partially free inmates could move about in the camp and the town of Jasenovac "where they usually went in order to procure goods or take over merchandize ". "The ordinary inmates could move about in the camp in daytime on condition that they did not approach the wired fence from nearer than 5 meters ". Heading this hierarchy of inmates was the camp foreman who had a deputy, head of the food department and clerk's office. He was followed by the barracks commanders and heads of the working groups. All these people in the inmates management were free and all these posts were held by Jews and only three out of twenty five barracks commanders and working groups were Serbs. Every individual barrack had its superintendent and four orderlies. "All the inmates ...were employed mainly according to their profession in civilian life and it was easiest for tradesmen end skilled worker because they were sent to work in the workshops ", and for field work only if the professional jobs were filled.
"The free inmates do not live inside the camp but in the village of Jasenovac in private homes and they could also bring their families with them. Therefore, they could live freely with their families in Jasenovac. Unfortunately this refers only to Jew ".
"Inmates in groups have special group food which is good and tasty and they receive one whole loaf of bread of 900 grams per day ". This refers to those in the work groups. While "ordinary inmates receive simple food " which is just as the food for the sick "below all standards ". Poor food, heavy work and unsanitary conditions were the reasons why the inmates lost weight and fell ill, "which led them directly into death because once ill and exhausted they are usually liquidated ". It was only in January 1942 before the arrival of the International Commission that a hospital was put up. But the inmates went there only in dire need because the Ustashi would break into the hospital every two to three weeks and drag the sick out and liquidate them in front of the hospital building or at a cemetery. All the inmates except the sick in the hospital had to work and if they violated the discipline the Ustashi were "entitled without any responsibility to kill the inmate " and "not a day went by without the Ustashi making use of this right ". In addition to individual killings, there were also "mass killing "s when new transports arrived or when the numerical status in the camp "exceeded one thousand " and then the Ustashi would order "a selection to be made among the inmates for liquidation ". As to the figures, Prnjatovic states that from December 1941 to January 1942 about "3--4 thousand newly arrived inmates were killed ". In the camp there were 5--8 times more Jews than Serbs. As they arrived earlier and "succeeded in the inmates hierarchy to grab the better positions " in order to retain their privileges "they constantly intrigued against the Serbs " and "as the Ustashi had more confidence in the Jews ", the Serbs "in addition to suffering from the Ustashi, suffered also from the Jews ": "a Jew remains a Jew in the Jasenovac camp as well. In the camp they retained their defects which became more visible now. Selfishness, craftiness, unreliability, miserliness, underhandedness and secrecy are their main characteristics ". Prnjatovic's Judgment is exaggerated and we might say even anti-Semitic. But similar statements were made by other witnesses. Some of the Jewish camp officials were armed and even took part in the killings. Moreover, they held in their hands a good many of the "selection jobs " that is the selection of inmates for liquidation and partly also for their execution.
Ante Ciliga, onetime member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, on the basis of his personal experience in an Ustashi camp and latter on in the Jasenovac camp for more than one year, from December 14, 1941 to December 31, 1942, fills in the above account and other similar testimonies. He could also follow what was happening during his soldiering in Zagreb up to the summer of 1944. In his recollections he compared this most notorious Pavelic camp and the Stalin camps in Siberia through which he also passed. But from his Marxist standpoint he was particularly concerned with the problem of the behavior of Jews in camps. Although the Jasenovac camp was organized according to German models, the barracks having even been brought from Germany, its main "originality " was precisely in the position and role of the Jews. "In the Jasenovac camp the management was in the hands of the Jews, that is, they were the internal camp management ". The Ustashi camp commander appointed only the camp supervisor of the inmates and the latter chose his own associates and these down the line their "group chiefs for other groups of tens or hundreds of inmates ". All of them from the highest to the lowest were Jews, "except in rare instances ". This system was against the official anti-Semitism of the Pavelic regime as required by Hitler. And this happened because "in its origins Pavelic's party was philo-Semitic, precisely the Jewish Party among the Croats ", because the Jews were "in Croatia the least important or dangerous enemy ". Because "the enemy number one were the Serbs and the enemy number two were the Communists ". This conclusion was arrived at by the Germans themselves as is seen in the above mentioned report to the effect that the Jewish question had finally been solved according to the German guidelines only in Serbia but not also in the NDH because there they had the protection of the Catholic church and the Government.
The participation of Jews in the Jasenovac liquidation of Gypsies became apparent particularly in the so-called affair of the Gypsy gold (1942). "The liquidation command in Gradina -- writes Ciliga -- was also entrusted to a Jewish group " and as the Jews were in charge of the storehouses where the goods of those liquidated were placed they obtained large quantity of gold coins that had been sown into the cloths of those killed. In order to conceal the coins outside the camp ( "for better times "), the Jews "interested " a lieutenant among the Ustashi who was a brother of the camp commander. As one of the members involved in the management informed Luburic about this undertaking, the Ustashi lieutenant and 5 Jews were executed in front of all the inmate and the new internal camp official who had revealed this theft was appointed to that post. On another occasion four men were killed for selling camp merchandize including two Ustashi guards who helped the Jewish warehouse attendant to send the stolen goods outside the camp. These cases point to the links between the camp and the Ustashi management which had to undertake drastic measures in order to preserve the "purity " of its ranks. But in the camp and especially among the Jews the "general norm was to report such activities to the Ustashi if this could be useful ". After the liquidation of the Jewish group (D) because of the gold, "the Gypsies were then formed into groups of killers in Gradina ". "They were given special food with wine ", until their turn came.
(Pp. 316 - 319)
9. The explanation for the Jewish behavior who "jealously kept the monopoly of the management inside the camp and took the initiative in provoking not only individual but also mass slaughters of the non-Jews, Communists, partisans and Serbs ", was made by Ciliga in view of the specific features of the Jewish religion and mentality. "The Old Testament hardness and unreasonableness, Moses' double yardstick, two kinds of regulations on the same matter and act, according to whether it referred to Jews or non-Jews and finally Moses' Commandments...: God orders you to exterminate others and take their place because you are the chosen people ", all these principles in one way or another "govern the whole group " and lead to their ruthless dominant self-confidence and relentlessness: "You kill others... to save yourself and your group ". More intelligent and educated on the average than the others "the Jews carried out this mutual extermination more intelligently and farsightedly to their own benefit ". From their point of view this was "justified and moral ". Moses' monotheism and the principle of the chosen people led to the Jews being at the same time the most "closed " and "most universal " nation among mankind. Universalism and internationalism is only one of Moses' aspects of Jewish nationalism. In Jasenovac also "it was not the non-Jews who separated themselves from the Jews but exactly the opposite, the Jews proclaimed themselves to be a chosen people ". They think that "as a chosen people they could do what others could not do...imagining that in this way they were more intelligent than all the others and that they would be able to outwit all the other peoples in the world ". And due to this the "Jasenovac -- mutatis mutandis is the world history of Jewry for over two thousand years ". The Jews provoke envy and hatred but actually they are "the unhappiest nation in the world ", always victims of "their own and others' ambitions ", and whoever tries to show that they are themselves their own source of tragedy is ranked among the anti-Semites and the object of hatred of the Jews.
It transpires from Ciliga's account that the Jews held in their hands the inmates management of the camp up to 1944 by which time there were three Jewish camp officials (Diamantstein, Spiller and Wiener), and they were followed by two Croat Communists (R. Vlah and V. Bornemisa). These changes allegedly came about because of changes in the Ustashi policy under new conditions of way.