We hear today about the necessity of reconciliation among the Croats, that it is necessary to turn towards the future and not the past. But the precondition of reconciliation is the admission of guilt and repentance for it. In the Second World War crimes were committed by both belligerents in Croatia, and all those crimes should be condemned. But while the crimes committed by the „ustashas“ have been revealed,condemned and the culprits punished, the crimes of the communists in Tito's Yugoslavia are concealed or minimized, and the offenders remain unpunished. Even today in democratic Croatia there is no effective condemnation of communist crimes and no punishment for those crimes whose prosecution has no time-bar. The Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Resolution of 2006 for the need of international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes points out that the totalitarian communist regimes which ruled in central and eastern Europe in the 20th century have been, without exception, characterised by massive violations of human rights which included individual and collective assassinations and executions, death in concentration camps, starvation, deportations, torture, slave labour and other forms of mass physical terror, persecution on ethnic or religious grounds, violation of freedom of conscience, thought and expression, of freedom of the press, and lack of political pluralism (art.2.). The Resolution stresses that the fall of totalitarian communist regimes in central and eastern Europe has not been followed in all cases by an international investigation of the crimes committed by them, that the authors of these crimes have not been brought to trial by the international community, as was the case with the horrible crimes committed by National Socialism (Nazism) (art.5.). The Assembly of the Council of Europe is convinced that the awareness of these crimes is one of the preconditions for avoiding similar crimes in the future, and that moral assessment and condemnation of them play an important role in the education of young generations (art.7.). The Resolution calls on all post-communist parties to reassess the history of communism and their own past, to distance themselves from the crimes committed by totalitarian communist regimes and to condemn them without any ambiguity (art.13). However, the Croatian Parliament („Sabor“) passed an anaemic, vapid condemnation of these crimes, a condemnation worded in general phrases, without pointing out and condemning concrete communist crimes committed in Croatia. In the following we shall indicate just a part of the atrocities which Tito's communist committed to Croatian population , soldiers and civilians, immediately after the end of the Second World War. .
I. CRIMES COMMITTED BY COMMUNIST PARTISANS AGAINST CROATIAN SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS IN 1945 AFTER THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
The Bleiburg tragedy of the Croatian people, the surrender by treachery and compulsion of the Croatian soldiers and civilians there, and the subsequent indiscriminate slaughter of them by communists at the field of Bleiburg have been presented elsewhere. Here we shall mention only two of the many cases of barbarity which awaited the Croats, soldiers, women, children and old persons on their death marches all over the former Yugoslavia after their extradition to Tito's communist at Bleiburg. These death marches are collectively called the Croatian Way of the Cross .
According to the testimony given before witnesses in Rome on the 14th of August 1953 by Ivan Gugić, former sub-lieutenant of a school for reserve officers, and at the time of the killing a common soldier in the 11th Dalmatian partisan brigade, an order came from the headquarters of the 26th division to the commanding officers of his brigade, that most trusted communists should be selected from the entire brigade (it had four battalions) for the killing of the Croatian, Slovenian and German war prisoners.His 3rd company was directed to accompany and protect this newly formed unit which numbered 60-70 men. The commander of his company was captain Nikola Maršić,the political commissar Ivan Bokež from Montenegro, and the head commander mayor Simo Dubajić, a Serb from the small village of Kistanje near Šibenik, chief of the headquarters of operational section of the 4th army. According to the statement of this eyewitness the above mentioned killer company was brought by vehicles on the 25th or 26th of May 1945 in front of the camp Šent Vid near Ljubljana where a multitude of imprisoned soldiers, civilians, women and entire families was present. The members of the killer company entered the camp and looted wrist-watches, fountain-pens, rings , golden ornaments etc.The witness saw groups, consisting of approximately 50 prisoners each, being stripped naked and their hands tied by wire, standing two in a row. The doomed persons were ordered to sing „ Hay, straw, our house is a pit“. Approximately every hour one round of prisoners was brough by a lorry, in one day about 40 lorries. They were killed above a pit mostly with a bullet in the nape, and in order that the shooting sound was not too loud, silencers were mounted on the 20-bullet English machine-guns Some of these victims jumped alive into the pit which was at least 50 meters deep. Many of them did not immediately die, and they frightfully wailed in the pit, which prompted the partisans to throw from time to time English bombs into the pit. In the evening the executioners boasted that they had killed that day 800 to 1000 people. Then an order came from mayor Simo Dubajić that the killing should no longer be carried out near the city in order to prevent that the inhabitants should discover the secret. During the killing the blood stains round the pit were strewn with quicklime, in order that flies did not gather and blood stink.
After that, Gugić continues, they went by train to the village of Kočevlje, where the killing went on in a wood called Kočevski Rog. About 5 to 6 kilos of gold were amassed from the victims, and for the jewelry was responsible the political commissar of the 3rd company Ljubo Barbarić from the island of Hvar.The commander of the company to which was entrusted the looted property of the victims was Ivo Franković from the peninsula of Pelješac. According to the statement of the witness Gugić, during his stay of 8 days at Kočevlje, altogether 30.000 to 40.000 persons were killed over two pits. The killers boasted at a dance party in the lake resort of Bled, to which they were sent to rest and recuperate after accomplishing their arduous task, that they „liquidated“ 30.000 to 40.000 enemies in 8 days. As regards the women, they did not strip them naked at once, but only later near the pits, where before killing they raped them, of which – according to the testimony of Gugić – boasted especially a certain Božo Kačić from the island of Hvar, by rank Tito's ensign.These women were separated from their husbands, Croatian officers,who were killed near Kočevlje. The witness saw also up to 200 boys 14-16 years old who wore the uniform of the „ustasha“ youth. Except for one boy who was saved by a Slovenian captain they were all killed, althogh the boys protested that they were innocent, that they had not done anything wrong, and many of them cried. The witness stated that there was no interrogation, separation or trial of the victims, and that all of those who were brought to Kočevlje had to die. According to the testimony of Gugić , among the most decorated executioners was certain Ante Čepić from the Croation coastal resort of Makarska, courier of the brigade headquarters, head of the communist youth, at that time 21-22 years old.
In May 1945 the communist partisans forcibly pushed 4.000 „ustashas“, home guard members and civilians into the air-raid shelter of the „Impol“ factory at Slovenska Bistrica (about 20 km from Maribor) , and then mined its entrance. The victims died in horrible pains by suffocation. The communist regime excavated in 1948 their bones and burned them in the furnaces of the „Impol“ factory. The excavation and incineration were performed by prisoners sentenced to death, who were liquidated after they had fulfilled their task. The prisoner Srećko Bolčić from Žeževica escaped to Canada thanks to a chain of favourable circumstances and there he related to his brother-in-law Marko Trogrlić this horror story. After Bolčić's death the Croato-Canadian weekly „the Croatian Voice“ („Hrvatski Glas“) published on 13th of February 1976 the report of this savagery.
These are only two episodes of the horrible slaughter which happened at Bleiburg and the following Way of the Cross, where it is estimated to have been killed without trial between 160 and 190 thousand Croatian soldiers and civilians.The victims of these Tito's death columns, tottering and falling dead of hunger, thirst and shooting along the way from Bleiburg to the Bulgarian and Romanian border, remind one of Stalin's death marches. They represent a flagrant breach of the 1927 Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war which was then in force, which was signed by the Allies, and to which the Independent State of Croatia acceded in January 1943 through the Allied Council of Switzerland which was empowered for such later accessions. Those states which accepted the Convention were bound to take care of the safety of war prisoners , to protect them from violent acts and to settle them in areas sufficiently distant from war operations to be outside of life danger.The Indipendent State of Croatia, as a state which acceded to the Convention, had the right of capitulation. Tito's columns of death, in which the captured soldiers and the surrendered civilians were exposed to humiliation and death by hunger and killing , represent a glaring breach of international convention law and international customary law. These atrocities cannot be played down as allegedly spontaneous and uncontrollable acts of revenge committed by the victors.
Had Tito knowledge of these crimes?
Let's begin with this statement of the commander of the killer company Simo Dubajić. He said for the first time publicly in July 1990 to the newspaper magazine „Svet“ :“I was the commander at Kočevski Rog. I participated there in the liquidation of people according to orders which I had received. When on 25th of May 1945 I came to Ljubljana I reported to Tito about the capture of „ustashas“, of German general von Löhr and about the confiscation of gold. Before that I had received from Tito on 13th of May a dispatch that nobody should touch any prisoner. We did not know at that time that these prisoners would be killed. It was rumoured that the prisoners should be returned to Slovenia to be tried in accordance with international conventions…Then suddenly I received an order that 30.000 of those domestic traitors should be killed at Kočevski Rog. The order was issued by Ivan Matija Maček, Maks Baće and Jovo Kapičić, all of them assistants of (the minister of the Interior) Ranković.Such a decision nobody could have brought except Tito. Only he could have revoked his earlier dispatch (Quoted by Marko Lopušina in his book „Ubij bližnjega svoga 1. Jugoslovenska tajna policija od 1945 do 1997“ (engl.„Kill Your Neighbour 1. Yugoslav Secret Police from 1945 to 1997“),2.edition, printed by Narodna knjiga Alfa, Belgrade 1997, p.122-123).
There is also the following admission of Zdenko Zavadlav, former deputy head of OZNA for the Maribor region. „We from the Slovenian OZNA and KNOJ (names of two branches of the communist intelligence service) killed only members of the Slovenian Home Guard, and when we captured Croats we would hand them over to the 3rd Army. At that time ( May 1945) in the castle Borl (near Maribor) was the headquarters of the 3rd Yugoslav Army which came there after the liberation. In the trenches round the castle the soldiers were killing members of the Croatian Home Guard, „ustashas“ and civilians –women, children, the elderly people.“ Asked how it was possible that the army was killing people without trial when the war was over Zavadlav replied:“The order came from the top, and it is known where the top was.We were told that the enemy should be killed without trial because the revolution was still going on, that the war was the first stage, and the time after the war the second stage .“ (Quoted from the weekly „Nedjeljni jutarnji“ 25.5.2003).
Let us quote here also a statement of Milovan Đilas, who was until 1954
the vice-president of Yugoslavia, the president of the Yugoslav National Assembly and a member of the Politbureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. He gave this statement in December of 1979 to the newspaper „Encounter“. When asked by the reporter George Urban about the victims repatriated to Yugoslavia against their will Đilas replied:“Yes, the British were entirely wrong in returning those people back across the border, and we were also entirely wrong in killing all of them. In my book „Wartime“ I do not conceal my opinion that those killings were senseless acts of angry revenge.“ To the remark of the reporter that the mass executions of thousands of victims could not have taken place without Tito's direct orders Đilas replied:“Nobody knows whether Tito gave orders for those killings, but it is certain that he was in favour of a radical solution because of pragmatic reasons, as the British had pragmatic reasons for the repatriation of the refugees. At that time Yugoslavia was in a chaotic state and in disintegration…There were no properly established courts…The simplest solution was to kill them all and so to solve the problem.“
That same Milovan Đilas , an intimate friend and long-time collaborator of Tito will later say this about the communist dictator: „Josip Broz supported Stalin and Stalin's monolithic policies…long before his arrival in the U.S.S.R. early in 1935.Moreover, he was a prototype…of the new monolithic and monopolistic spirit within the party.Stalin and Stalinism were compatible with Tito's mentality and with the extent of his ideological development.He himself energetically purged his own party.“ (Milovan Đilas, „Tito, the Story from Inside“,London 2000,p.28).
And finally here are two Tito's statements about the liquidations.
First here is the order he sent to all party committees and political commissars of military units in March 1945. “These days the Communist Party of Yugoslavia will have a chance to seize power over the entire state territory. This opportunity will last only a few days, and perhaps only a few hours. If during that time we do not liquidate all our enemies, that chance will be lost forever.“ (Quoted in „Politički zatvorenik (engl. „The Political Prisoner“) , May 2007,No.182).
In May 1945 in his speech at a meeting in Ljubljana Tito said:“We have liquidated two hundred thousand bandits, and still so many have we captured.Our hand of justice has reached them.“
Because of over the one million victims whom Tito ordered to be killed after the end of the Second World War, the German sociologist Klaus Jacobi in his book „My Diary“ puts Tito in the 10th place of the list of the 20th-century „megakillers“.
II. THESE CRIMES OF COMMUNISM ARE A LOGICAL CONSEQUENCE OF COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY AND NOT A DEVIATION FROM IT
A. SAYINGS OF MARXIST „FOUNDING FATHERS“
Was Marx a peacemaker?
Psycologically it is very difficult for a believer in marxism to admit that he supports a criminal ideology which killed more than 100 million people all over the world, that he adheres to „the bloodiest utopia in history“ (Zbigniew Brzezinsky). It is easier in such circumstances to create the legend of an ethical, upright and noble-minded Marx, Lenin or Tito who were betrayed by bad individual communists. But how then explain the fact, that already Marx defended and advocated terror?
Here are some of his assertions. Sending a message to the Prussian Government in 1849 Marx threatened:“ We are merciless and we do not ask mercy from you. When our time comes we shall not hide our terrorism“ (quoted in Paul Johnson, „Intellectuals“, London 2000, p.71). According to Marx, it is not only members of the ruling class who must tremble before the communist revolution, but also the small nations who oppose the „historical progress“, e.g. the peoples of the Balkans, Poles,Czechs, Basques,Bretons,Mexicans (who in Marx's time did not allow USA to annex Mexico and California). Marx demanded that these „stubborn nations“ be brought to reason either by cannon balls, or, if that is impossible, by destroying them even to „the obliteration of their names“.Marx said:“These remnants , as Hegel put it, of nations mercilessly trodden down by the march of history, this garbage of peoples („Völkerabfälle“), will always be and remain until their total extermination or denationalization fanatic proponents of counter-revolution, so that their very existence is a protest against the great historical revolution“ (german edition of Marx's Collected Works MEW 4/391, 6/176 and 6/172, quoted in Klaus Motschmann, „Die Legende von der Entartung des Sozialismus durch Stalin“, in „Deutsche Tagespost“ 18.2.1995).
Was Lenin a humanist?
As early as 1922 Lenin justified his terror which killed during his life about 40.000 priests, monks and nuns, and about 160.000 intellectuals, in addition to 4,5 millions killed in the civil war, and 6 millions dead because of intentional starvation from 1921 to 1923. On 26th of June 1918 Lenin writes to Zinovyev: „When we pass on to deeds, it is necessary to strike decisively with mass violence even on the soviet representatives.“ On 31st of August 1918 the head of CEKA (the Soviet secret police) Dzierzynski orders deportation of „every individual who dared to voice even the least criticism of the Soviet regime.“ In 1921 in Soviet Russia were seven concentration camps, in which were imprisoned mainly women and the elderly. In the year 1925 there were already 25 of them , when 1.8 million opponents of the regime were killed. (Quoted from Alain de Benoist,“Komunizam i nacizam“ (engl.“Communism and Nazism“), Zagreb 2005, p.42-43). In marxist communism terror appears already at the very beginning, and it is preached by marxist „founding fathers“. If a tree is known by its fruits, then marxist communism is indeed the bloodiest utopia in history. Nazism has killed about 27 million people, and communism more than 100 million. Besides, nazism has killed less nazis, than communism its own communists. In the nazi concentration camps only a minority of the prisoners were Germans, while between 1934 and 1947 15 million Russians were sent to the Soviet „Gulag“.
Stalin's epochal deception with communist „antifascism“
As could be seen, communists have never been peaceloving, but have feigned love of peace for their purposes, in order to conceal their basic ideological tenet, terror of the dictatorship of the proletariate. The same aim had Stalin's epochal deceit called „communist antifascism“. By this transparent varnish of antifascism, which Stalin introduced in the middle of the '30-ies of the last century, he tried to avert the eyes of other nations from his genocidal „purges“, and to concentrate them on Hitler's Berlin. From the time of this great swindle communism is not defined by what it is in itself, but by what it is against, by its opposition to Hitler and to fascism. Antifascism is a term which defines an enemy, not a regime which has that enemy. To be antifascist does not inevitably mean to be antitotalitarian. Stalin and Roosevelt were both antifascist, but there was a huge difference between them. Political regimes are not divided into fascist and antifascist, but into liberal, democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian. From this epochal bolshevik deception , in the eyes of the naives in the West antifascism has become incompatible with anticommunism. Those who citicize Stalin support Hitler, so went the reasoning of the gullible. This communist varnish was especially attractive to some western intellectuals (e.g. Andre Gide, Louis Aragon) before the Second World War. So, for example, after his visit to the U.S.S.R. in 1931 Bernard Shaw declared:“I would like that we in England had forcible labour, so we would not have 2 million people unemployed. Stalin is a model of domesticity, virtue and innocence.“(François Furet,“Prošlost jedne iluzije“ (engl.“The Past of an Illusion“), Zagreb 1997,p.367). Communist antifascism had, therefore, the role of ideology whose aim was to legitimize the communist repression and one-party system. In order for the present-day communist „neo-antifascism“ to prosper it is necessary that fascists constantly crop up, that they permanently reappeaar. Therefore today's communist „neo-antifascism“ is in fact a demonology which resembles more and more fascism which it combats. While antifascism is a thing of the past in the West, in Croatia it has constantly been rehashed for the sake of those who today dare not say that they are communists, and who behind that mask try to cover up the crimes of communism in which many of them participated. As Cardinal Juraj Bozanić said in a sermon held on the occasion of the 6oth anniversary of the slaughter at Macelj, where Tito's partisans in May and June 1945 massacred without trial 13.000 – 30.000 Croats who walked in the death columns of the Way of the Cross:“Historical Croatian antifascism without historical Croatian anticommunism, shuts itself in an ideological cocoon of class hatred and terror.“
B. NAZISM AND COMMUNISM ARE IDEOLOGIES OF THE „PURGES“
The basic reason of marxist-communist terror is its ideology. The marxist utopia of a classless society, like the nazi utopia of a pure race, have this in common, that both of them are the ideologies of „purges“; both wanted to liquidate those people who stood in the way of an ideal class or racial society, not because those people did something wrong, but because they were born on the „wrong“ side of the social fence. For Lenin it was the „bourgeoisie“, for Hitler Jews. When we consider the crimes of communism, over 100 million people killed, then we become aware that the so-called communist humanity does not relate to the concrete human being, but to the abstract, ideal human being who will be created. Communism kills man, in order allegedly to help mankind. Therefore the compatibility of marxism with human rights is illusory, because the single-party dictatorship is the mark of all past and present communist regimes. This,however, does not prevent the present-day Croatian society to have former zealous communists as members of organisations for the defence of hunan rights. That is the same as if a former street prostitute would become the mother superior of a convent of nuns.
C. COMMUNISM AS „ANTIFASCISM“ TODAY IN CROATIA
We are witnessing in today's Croatia the attempt to rehabilitate Tito and communism in an „antifascist“ edition. Historical facts are falsified, or are one-sidedly presented, which prevents knowledge of the historical truth. Hence it is necessary to present historical happenings objectively and without an ideological slant, Until the political left frees itself from this diffuse crypto-communism, until it renounces the communist legacy and accepts authentic social democracy, until it admits that the communists in Yugoslavia already during the Second World War killed all those whom they thought could later be their enemies, that Tito at the time of Bleiburg, and the subsequent death marches of the Croatian military and civilian prisoners, wanted to set up a Soviet Yugoslavia, and not a democratic Yugoslavia, that after the war he applied Soviet terror in Yugoslavia, that he and his communists are responsible for destroying the Croatian state and renewing Yugoslavia, now not as a monarcho-fascist, but as a communist prison of its peoples, until, therefore, the leaders of the present Croatian political left recognize and admit this, the Croatian political scene shall not become healthy. They must become aware, that there is today neither fascism, nazism, nor communism in their authentic ideological form. The first two have been destroyed by weapons, and the third, communism, has decayed because of its own entropy. Therefore their posthumous antifascism is outdated. Alain de Benoist is right when he says, that during the time of real fascism, antifascism could have led someone into a concentration camp or in front of a firing squad, while the modern antifascism is only a means of opening the media doors or TV houses. The modern „antifascists“ reveal intellectual laziness, because it is easier to recognize the forms of evil in the past, than the forms of evil in the present. And in the present there looms on the horizon a new global totalitarianism, which will manipulate with mankind not only banking and finances, but also with bioengineering, and which could be more terrible than fascist, nazi and communist totalitarianism (see Alain de Benoist,“Komunizam i nacizam“ (eng. „Communism and Nazism“), Zagreb 2005,p. 153-156).
Summing up we can,therefore, say, that the crimes of communism during the Second World War and after the War were not mere „digressions“ from an otherwise humane ideological core of communism, but that they were the logical consequence of that ideology. Those crimes were neither isolated , nor were they arbitrary excesses; they were systematic, planned in advance and mercilessly carried out. They could be legally qualified as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Moreover, some of them were crimes of genocide, because in some of them the genocidal intent was evident, namely to destroy innocent soldiers and civilians because of their nationality.
III. CONCLUDING REMARKS
Until the full truth about the suffering of Croats during and after the Second World War is revealed and known, we cannot hope that the wounds of the Croatian people would heal. Only then, when after the full truth comes admission of guilt, are possible foregivenness and reconciliation. And forgivenness and reconciliation are necessary to preserve the unity of the Croats, and thereby the Croatian state. For there are not two Croatias, one left and the other right. The left and the right political option of the Croatian society make up one and indivisible Croatia, which must be democratic on the left and on the right side. For this reason it is necessary that the Croatian political left rids itself of nostalgia for the criminal communist ideology and transforms itself into an authentic social democracy. Therefore, as the „ustasha“ emblems and symbols are rightly forbidden, the same prohibition should apply to the communist symbols and emblems. Unfortunately in the democratic Croatia this is not the case, so we still have streets, squares and associations which bear the name of the communist criminals.
The Nobel laureate Albert Einstein once said, that it is easier to change the structure of the atom than the prejudices in people's heads. Over many decades the monarcho-fascist dictatorship of the Yugoslav king Alexander and the communist dictatorship of marshall Tito have built a negative image of the Croats, and have kindled hatred towards the Catholic church and the Croatian national state. Now in more recent times is systematically undermined the dignity of the Croatian people, the reputation of the Croatian state, the honour of the Croatian defenders who fought in the recent war of aggression against Croatia, and the dignity of the first Croatian president Dr. Franjo Tuđman. Loyalty to the Croatian homeland is called nationalism, or even chauvinism, the defence of the sovereign and internationally recognised Croatian state against its rebels who wanted to split off by force a part of the Croatian state territory is called a „criminal undertaking“. The Croatian public must know the truth about the crimes of the three military and political movements from the time of the Second World War, the „chetnik“ movement which fought for the monarcho-unitarist kingdom of Yugoslavia, the communist movement which fought for the bolshevik-communist Yugoslavia, and the „ustasha“ („insurgent“) movement which fought for an independent Croatian state. And while the „ustasha“ crimes are publicly condemned and their culprits punished, it is not the case with the communist crimes and their perpetrators. Mutual reconciliation of the Croats could be effected on the basis of truth and justice. Such reconciliation is the essential precondition for the preservation of an independent, sovereign and democratic Croatian state, without which state the Croatian people would be an object, and not a subject of history.