Dr John Meinhold: The forgotten memory of the victims of Jasenovac

As I write, it is the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day of 2018. I have a glimmer of hope that the world is finally going to start learning about the most “monstrous death camp” from WWII — Jasenovac.

Rabbi Jozef Atijas, who lost 153 family members during the Holocaust cries out: “The word Jasenovac, which chills the blood and turns one’s mouth to stone .. is the most painful, the most shameful, the saddest and most morbid place that humankind and history can remember ever.”

On Jan. 25 a Serbian-Jewish exhibition “Jasenovac – the Right Not to Forget.” officially opened at the United Nations building in New York City. News reports from Serbia said, “The exhibition is the first staged at the UN by the GH7 international expert group of historians from seven countries, 72 years after the end of the Second World War.”

Other than a few news reports from the Balkans the rest of the world reported nothing about this. I am not surprised.

Even historical experts have very little knowledge about the Jasenovac concentration camps and the horrific Holocaust that happened in Croatia during WWII. Dr. Gideon Greif, a Holocaust expert from Israel, recently said, “Jasenovac remains quite unknown internationally, despite the enormous importance it has not only for the regional but also for the European and Holocaust history.”

Everyone should have heard of the infamous Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Dachau.and the enormity of 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Many, many also have heard of the Nazi war criminals — Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Mengele and Herman Goring. But, who has heard of the Nazi-allied fascist regime for the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) called the Ustasha ?

The NDH wanted a “pure” Croatian state. Their primary “enemy” was Serbian Orthodox Christians. The Serbs were hated for their faith and for their ethnicity. Jews and Roma were also targeted, as well as anti-fascists Croats.

But, do you know that there were hundreds of thousands of innocent Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews and Roma (Gypsies) brutally and atavistically slaughtered in the NDH?

Jasenovac complex of concentration camps did not have the notorious industrial Nazi gas chambers. At Jasenovac “inmates” were killed by sadistic tortures. Hundreds and hundreds faced mass slitting of their throats; heads were bashed in with mallets and axes; bodies mutilated, .hangings, burnings, and starvation.

Dr. Rory Yeomans describes how the madness spread acroos the NDH: “Ustasha militias and death squads swept through the countryside, burning down whole villages and indiscriminately killing thousands of ordinary Serbs in a variety of sadistic ways. Armed with axes, knives, scythes and mallets, as well as guns, they slaughtered men, women and children, who were hacked to death, thrown alive into pits and down ravines, or locked into churches that were then set on fire.”

Who has heard of the Ustasha war criminals such as Fuhrer (Poglavnik) Ante Pavelic and the Ustasha second-in-command Mile Budak? Who knows that the Chief Guard of Jasenovac concentration camps was Miroslav Filipovic, a Franciscan monk?

Yes, you read right — Miroslav Filipovic, a Catholic Christian monk, that shockingly is cited as participating in a February 7 1942 massacre of “roughly 2730 Serbs, including some 500 children.”

Yes, Filipovic who was nicknamed by fellow Croats as “Father Satan.” As if this is not shocking enough, Wikipedia states, “The vast majority of the Catholic clergy in Croatia supported the Ustaše, some priests, mostly Franciscans, particularly in, but not limited to, Herzegovina and Bosnia, took part in the atrocities themselves”

Does anyone know that during the Holocaust it was only in the NDH that there were concentration camps just for children and babies? Yes, this is what happened there…

ncredibly, in Croatia today, a member of the EU, there is a resurgence of neo-Ustasha.

Serbian FM Ivica Dacic called it a “lie” when Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarevic remarked last year that there was no Ustashism and fascim in Croatia. Dacic said, “What is it other than Ustashism and fascism when many streets in Croatia are named after Mile Budak, (NDH leader Ante) Pavelic’s minister, known for his doctrine that ‘the Serb question’ should be solved by killing one third them, converting another third to Catholicism, and expelling one third?”

I did a current google map search and Dacic is correct. I found 7 towns in Croatia honoring Mile Budak: Dubrovnik, Pag, Lake Vrana, Pakostane, Slavonski Brod, Pleterica and Sveti Rok. In the Croat section in the city of Mostar,.in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is a network of streets named for Mile Budak too.

Mile Budak acted as the Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Propaganda Minister) for the Ustasha. What would happen if Germany would name a street called “Joseph Goebbels Strasse”?

It is an international outrage that 72 years after the Holocaust we have an EU member state that has streets named honoring a WWII fascist war criminal.

Dr. Greif profoundly states: “The voices of hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of Jasenovac and all the death camps in Croatia, who were brutally and most bestially executed, are coming to us from the womb of the earth, asking not to let them be erased and forgotten.”

Greif says, “We who have survived must keep their echo. We must raise our voice with all our might to spread the truth of their suffering all over the world. This voice, in fact, must be a scream as [some Croats] are increasingly trying to erase the traces of crime, to rewrite history and to present lies as facts and bring them to the fore.”

There has never been a Pope who has prayed at the Jasenovac Concentration Camp Memorial in Croatia. Pope Francis has prayed silently at Auschwitz.

I am praying Pope Francis will go and pray at the Jasenovac Camp Memorial.
I am praying he will say to the world: “Never Again!”
I am praying those words will echo around the world.

Dr. John Meinhold

Veteran of the US Air Force

(InSerbia News, 28.01.2018)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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