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The History of the Balkan states is a complex affair. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, evidence has emerged that portrays the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and its leader Josip Broz Tito in a totally different light. His regime now seems to be much more Stalinist [1][2][3][4] than the image that was portrayed to the people of Yugoslavia and to the West during the Cold War. Josip Broz Tito Commander of all Partisans and Communists during WWII oversaw some of the worst crimes know to mankind. There are Goverment Reports (including the European Union's Commission)[5], books, articles (written by professionals) as well as TV documentaries (some were aired on BBC 4) in which people testified to the truth of these historical events.

The notorious Bleiburg, Way of the Cross [6] and Foibe massacres [7] were three of these. Additionally there is the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans, Hungarians and Italians of the former Yugoslavia. [8]

  • Evolution in Europe; Piles of Bones in Yugoslavia Point to Partisan Massacres: New York Times
  • Italy-Croatia WWII Massacre Spat: BBC News

Wikipedia Articles Concerning Former Yugoslavia

The articles that appear in Wikipedia (as of 2009) do not reflect this modern view of the former Yugoslavia. They still adhere to and reflect the propaganda of the former Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

The article about the Dictator Josip Broz Tito is written in a child-like manner, similar to a Yugoslav primary school textbook from the 1970s. From the late 1960’s to the 1970’s, economic decisions that were made by Josip Broz and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, put the country in a disastrous political situation (none of this is mentioned). Ironically the article on Tito does not even mention the fact that he was a Dictator or his Cult of Personality [9][10] None of this information is presented in a professional encyclopedic fashion. Why is this the case?

Since the early 90’s information concerning historical events surrounding Croatia are turning out to be similar to the history of the Soviet Union (massacres, ethnic cleansing, power struggles, political propaganda for cover ups of the truth). They are a sharp contrast to what the public of the West was feed (media wise) and taught during the Cold War. There is very little mention of Tito's notorious KGB police style organisations (UDBA[11] & OZNA). Because the articles about these subjects are controlled by Croatian or Slovenian nationalist editors, Wikipedia does not present this information in a way that reflects modern scholarly research. The University of Zagreb’s Ivo Goldstein, and other professional historians from Croatia, are already tackling these issues. The Croatian government is even paying compensation to former victims of the Communist regime.

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia created "Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia" in 2005. In October 2009 they issued their report to the Government of Slovenia. Significant factual statements have come to light, concerning the Communist Commander (Croatian Partisan) Josip Broz Tito. The period in question is post WW2, 1945-46. The Jutarnji newspaper reported on the 01/10/2009 commissions find, in all it is estimated that there are 100 000 victims In 581 mass graves.

In Mr Dizdar's Scientific Journal he stated that Tito asked the "Croatian Home Guard" to surrender or face the consequences of not surrendering. After the war ended POWs who did not surrender were slaughter on mass, estimates are about 100 000 victims in total.

European Public Hearing on Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes on Yugoslavia

Reports and proceedings of the 8 April European public hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes”, organised by the Slovenian Presidency (Slovenia a former republic of Yugoslavia) of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission:

(a) Totalitarian machines

Let us mention briefly Fascism, National Socialism and Titoism in Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Three Christian nations, with nationalist tendencies, were infected with totalitarianism. The descent into barbarism has comparable structural elements:

  • Abuse of national sentiment to carry out racial and class revolutionary projects;
  • Cult of a great leader, who permits his fanatics to murder, steal and lie;
  • Dictatorship of one party;
  • Militarisation of society, police state – almighty secret political police;
  • Collectivism, subjection of the citizen to the totalitarian state;
  • State terrorism with systematic abuses of basic human rights;
  • Aggressive assumption of power and struggle for territory.

Ref: Joze Dezman CRIMES COMMITTED BY TOTALITARIAN REGIMES page 197 Slovenian Presidency of the European Union 2008

(b) Mass killings without court trials

The Main Headquarters of the Yugoslav Army had already called attention to respecting the Geneva Convention on 3 May in its order on the treatment of prisoners of war. However, despite this injunction, both prisoners of war and civilians were killed massively at the end of May and in the first half of June 1945 in Slovenia. Tito’s telegram on respecting the Geneva Convention was later revoked; however, it could only be revoked by the person who issued it in the first place, i.e. Tito himself.

The killings without a trial were most massive in the first months after the war in 1945 and continued until the beginning of 1946. How extensive these killings were is illustrated by the fact that 581 hidden graves of victims of post-war killings without a court trial have thus far been found in the territory of Slovenia.

Ref: Milko Mikola CRIMES COMMITTED BY TOTALITARIAN REGIMES page 163 Slovenian Presidency of the European Union 2008 [12]

Draza Mihailovic

Draza Mihailovic was one of the organisers the royalist Chetniks in Yugoslavia during WW2. He has been portrayed by the Former Yugoslav State (& the Western Allies) as being allied with the Germans. The truth is turning out to be much more complex (Mihailovic was awarded the Legion of Merit, based on General Dwight D. Eisenhower recommendations).

Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article begins Dragoljub "Draza" Mihailovic (Cyrillic script: Драгољуб "Дража" Михаиловић; also known as "Чича Дража" or "Čiča Draža", meaning "Uncle Draza"; April 27, 1893 - July 17, 1946) was a Yugoslav Serbian general, now primarily remembered as a World War II collaborator.

Britannica

Having fought in the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and World War I, Mihailovic, a colonel at the time of Germany’s invasion of Yugoslavia (April 1941), refused to acquiesce in the capitulation of the Yugoslav army. He organised the royalist Chetniks, who operated mainly in Serbia. He was appointed general in 1941 and minister of war that same year by King Peter’s Yugoslav government-in-exile.
Both the Chetniks under Mihailovic and the communist-dominated Partisans, who were led by Josip Broz Tito, resisted the occupying German forces, but political differences led to distrust and eventual armed conflict between them. Reports of Chetnik resistance in the early stages of occupation buoyed the Allies and made of Mihailović a heroic figure. Fearful, however, of brutal reprisals against Serbians, Mihailovic came to favour a restrained policy of resistance until the Allies could provide more assistance; the Partisans supported a more aggressive policy against the Germans. Favouring the latter policy and confronted with reports of Chetnik collaboration (particularly in Italian-held areas) directed against the Partisans, the Allies switched their support from Mihailović to Tito in 1944.
After the war Mihailovic went into hiding. He was captured by the Partisans on March 13, 1946, and charged by the Yugoslav government with treason and collaboration with the Germans. Mihailovic was sentenced to death and was executed in Belgrade in 1946. Although a U.S. commission of inquiry cleared Mihailovic and those under his immediate command of the charge of collaboration, the issue is still disputed by some historians. Following the break-up of communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, his former refuge in the Ravna Gora region came to be a focus of royalist sentiment.

Chambers' Biographical

Article Tito:

He contrived to discredit utterly the rival partisan leader, Draza Mihailovic, in Anglo-American eyes and win support and arms and material solely for himself

Dictator Josip Broz Tito

Josip Broz a Croatian born in Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Croatia was the Commander of all Partisans and Communists during WWII. He then later became Yugoslavia's political leader and was the main decision maker in military and political matters. He was President for Life of Yugoslavia and played crucial if not the main role in historical events of that country. He was considered to be by many, one of the prominent Eastern European Balkan Dictators of the Cold War Era.

The Wikipedia article

Some of the major Eastern European historical events that are related to Tito and that are controversial, are not encyclopaedically covered at all (or simply didn't get a mentioned). The Wikipedia article needs more information on the first two decades of Tito's reign. From 1945/46 onwards his style of leadership was similar to that of Stalin's. Tito was a member of the Soviet Communist Party and the notorious Soviet Police NKVD (this is mentioned only briefly in the Wikipedia article) The NKVD executed the rule of terror and political repression, on a grand scale (NKVD executed tens of thousands of Polish political prisoners in 1939-1941/ Katyn massacre). Tito and his comrades set up KGB/NKVD style police units (UDBA & OZNA) in former Yugoslavia and also ran Partisan Death Squads towards the end and after Word War Two:

Further Readding:

BBC UK/History (by Tim Judah)

Tito's Yugoslavia also gained enormous prestige as a founder of the non-aligned movement, which aimed to find a place in world politics for countries that did not want to stand foursquare behind either of the two superpowers.

Despite all this, and although there was much substance to Tito's Yugoslavia, much was illusion too. The economy was built on the shaky foundations of massive western loans. Even liberal communism had its limits, as did the very nature of the federation. Stirrings of nationalist dissent in Croatia and Kosovo were crushed. The federation worked because in reality the voice of only one man counted - that of Tito himself.

Encyclopaedia Britannica: Josip Broz Tito

He knew that the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and others could not be integrated within some new supranation, nor would they willingly accept the hegemony of any of their number; yet his supranational Yugoslavism frequently smacked of unitarism. He promoted self-management but never gave up on the party’s monopoly of power. He permitted broad freedoms in science, art, and culture that were unheard of in the Soviet bloc, but he kept excoriating the West. He preached peaceful coexistence but built an army that, in 1991, delivered the coup de grace to the dying Yugoslav state. At his death, the state treasury was empty and political opportunists unchecked. He died too late for constructive change, too early to prevent chaos.

Bleiburg massacre

Wikipedia's article Bleiburg massacre, is an article that reads as if it was written by the former Communist Part of Yugoslavia. It has a dated writing approach that is reminiscent of the propaganda of the former Communist Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav regime was desperate to keep the massacre a secret however this all changed after the break up of Yugoslavia. These events happened after the end of World War Two. It has been written that the massacre was a revenge against the war crimes that were committed by the Nazi element of the retreating Axis Forces. This is true, but it is only part of the picture. The large scale execution of people were guilt by association only and no trials. They were very similar to the Soviet Purges and the massacre of Polish troops by the Soviets.

The article had this one dubious sentence:

The vast majority of the refugees were returned to Yugoslavia and were repatriated as Yugoslav citizens via forced marches under inhumane conditions over long distances.

The key word is repatriated.

The European Public Hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" stated:

(Please read: Titoism and Totalitarianism for information on the European Commission)

  • The victims of these events were estimate to be 100 000.
  • There were a large number of civilians.
  • Many of the victims were also women.
  • There were a large number of regular POW army units.
  • Concentration and labour camps were established in Slovenia under Communist rule after the end of the war in Slovenia.

It seems that the word repatriated does reflect the truth of the matter.

Among the Croats were real or alleged members or collaborators of the fascist regime. Killings were done presumably with the full knowledge of their supreme commander Josip Broz Tito. The majority of the Croats were members or collaborators of the fascist regime, although there were many frightened innocent people, however, these two were inextricably mixed and the pursuing partisans appear to have unfortunately labelled them all as traitors since they were fleeing with the fascist units that were attempting to surrender to British forces in Austria. Apart from Croats, present in the fleeing military columns were remaining units of the Serbian Chetniks and the Slovenian Bela Garda, the vast majority of both were killed as well. The British forces refused to accept the Ustasa's surrender as per the Allied agreement and they were prevented from entering the British occupied areas.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse: Causes, Course and Consequences by Christopher Bennett. "A dispassionate, intelligent introduction to the civil war that has destroyed the former Yugoslavia. A useful first book by Bennett, a British journalist who has the good fortune to speak both Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian, a skill that has enabled him to draw heavily on literature of the region that would be unavailable to most American or British journalists".
  2. ^ Titoism in action: the reforms in Yugoslavia after 1948 by Fred Warner Neal. Page 214. Second chapter: "In a totalitarian state, personal freedom and human rights invariably most at the hands of unrestrianed police activity. That Yugoslavia was no exception was admitted by Rankovic, himself head of secret police or State Security Administration. This organization is known in Yugoslavia as UDBA."
  3. ^ Death by Government by R. J. Rummel: p354 "Frank Waddams, a British representative who had lived outside of Belgrade, said he knew first hand of ten “concentration camps” and had talked with inmates from nearly all of them. “ The tale is always the same, he said “ Starvation, overcrowding, brutality and death condition, which make Dachau and Buchenwald mild by comparison. Many Slovenes who were released from Dachau at the end of the war came home only to find themselves in a Slovene camp within a few days. It is from these people that the news has come that the camps are worse than Dachau.” Out of a Slovene population of 1,200,000, Waddams believes that 20,000 to 30,000 were imprisoned."
  4. ^ Great leaders, Great Tyrants Contemporary Views of World Rulers by Arnold Blumberg-"Biographical profiles of 52 major world leaders throughout history, written by subject specialists, feature pro/con essays reflecting contemporary views of the creative and tyrannical aspects of their record. They provide librarians, students, and researchers with critical insights into the figure's beliefs, a better understanding of his or her actions, and a more complete reflection on his or her place in history. Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to Fidel Castro, and spans history from the Egyptian king Akhenaton to Mikhail Gorbachev. Among the leaders profiled are Otto von Bismarck, Oliver Cromwell, Charles de Gaulle, Elizabeth I, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, Louis XIV, Mao Zedong, Napoleon I, Kwame Nkrumah, Juan Peron and Tito."
  5. ^ European Commission/Slovenian Presidency of the-EU 2008 Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes/ Milko Mikola: COMMUNIST CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND LABOUR CAMPS IN SLOVENIA:
    • "In his paper, the author deals with concentration and labour camps established in Slovenia under Communist rule after the end of the war in Slovenia in 1945. Concentration camps were established already in May 1945 and were filled with members of the German and Hungarian national minorities, captured members of the Slovenian Home-guard (“domobranstvo”) and members of military units from other Yugoslav regions who fought against the partisans."
    • "The treatment of internees in these camps was as cruel as in the Nazi concentration camps. In certain Communist concentration camps, for example, such as the camp in Teharje and at the Bishop’s institutes (Skofovi zavodi) in St. Vid nad Ljubljano, the great majority of internees were killed without any trial. In the autumn of 1945, concentration camps in Slovenia were abolished."
    • "Communist labour camps in Slovenia were established already in 1945. These were camps for forced labour and were called “penal camps”. In 1949, “correctional camps” and camps for socially beneficial labour called “working groups” were established. All these labour camps were abolished in the beginning of 1951, when new criminal legislation, free of the concept of forced, correctional and socially beneficial labour, was adopted."
  6. ^ Hrcak Portal of Scientific Journals of Croatia by Mr Dizdar's Scientific Journal - An Addition to the Research of the Problem of Bleiburg & Way of the Cross. "This paper dedicated to the 60th anniversary of these tragic events represents a small step towards the elaboration of known data and brings a list of yet unknown and unpublished original documents, mostly belonging to the Yugoslavian Military and Political Government 1945-1947. Amongst those documents are those mostly relating to Croatian territory although a majority of concentration camps and execution sites were outside of Croatia, in other parts of Yugoslavia. The author hopes that the readers will receive a complete picture about events related to Bleiburg and the Way of The Cross and the suffering of numerous Croats, which is confirmed directly in many documents and is related to the execution of a person or a whole group of people and sometimes non-stop for days."
  7. ^ Where The Balkans Begin (The Slovenes in Triest-The Foiba Story) by Bernard Meares-"During the early Communist occupation in Trieste, Gorizia and the Littoral, and the 40 days of Communist rule in Trieste city, some 6000 arrests were made and the prisoners carried off to Communist-controlled areas. When the Allies finally imposed their rule they found out about the Yugoslav execution squads. The more objective Italian historians and statisticians such as Galliano Fogar and Raoul Pupo point to between 1000 and 1800 Italian and Slovene victims. The Red Cross estimates that 2,250 failed to return , in rough agreement with Bogdan Novak who said in 1971 that 4200 Italians returned out of 6000 arrested."
  8. ^ Retaliation and Persecution on Yugoslav Territory During and After WWII by Dr. Ph. Michael Portmann-"The following article deals with repressive measures undertaken by communist-dominated Partisan forces during and especially after WWII in order to take revenge on former enemies, to punish collaborators, and “people’s enemies“ and to decimate and eliminate the potential of opponents to a new, socialist Yugoslavia. The text represents a summary of a master thesis referring to the above-mentioned topic written and accepted at Vienna University in 2002"
  9. ^ BBC 4Tito's Ghosts. Directed by Mira Erdevicki. Combining stunning archive with incisive interviews this documentary charts how every stage of Tito's life has left its mark on the former Yugoslavia
  10. ^ Death of the Father: An Anthropology of the end in Political Authority by Di John Borneman. "This international anthropological project is a study of the closure of political authority in the 20th century and consists of a Website, databases of research materials, an audio-visual essay, and a book. Six anthropologists, led by Cornell professor John Borneman, take up the end of an authority crisis that spanned most of this century, 1917-1991, and that crystallized around four state political forms: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the State Socialist regimes of East Germany, Yugoslavia, Romania, and the Soviet Union."
  11. ^ Australia's Four Corners:UDBA activities in Australia from the 1960's- The Framed Croatian Six in Australia. Croatians in Australia: Pioneers, Settlers and Their Descendants by Ilija Sutalo
  12. ^ CRIMES COMMITTED BY TOTALITARIAN REGIMES Crimes and other gross and large scale human rights violations committed during the reign of totalitarian regimes in Europe: cross- national survey of crimes committed and of their remembrance, recognition, redress, and reconciliation. Reports and proceedings of the 8 April European public hearing on“Crimes committed by totalitarian regimes”, organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission

References

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • BBC/UK-History by Tim Judah
  • Tim Judah is a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Judah’s first jobs were at the BBC African Service and BBC World Service. He writes most of the Balkan coverage for “The Economist” but also works for the “New York Review of Books”, “The Observer”, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and others. He is the author of two books on the region: “The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia” and “Kosovo: War and Revenge”.
  • BBC.UK/History Partisans: War in the Balkans 1941 - 1945 By Dr Stephen A Hart
  • BBC 4: Tito's Ghost
  • Australia's Four Corners: Tito's UDBA Activities in Australia from the 1960's
  • Great leaders, Great Tyrants Contemporary Views of World Rulers by Arnold Blumberg
  • Discontents: Post-modern and Post-communist by Paul Hollander
  • Death by Government by R. J. Rummel (Rudolph Joseph Rummel is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii).
  • Communist Retaliation and Persecution on Yugoslav Territory During and After WWII by Dr. ph. Michael Portmann (Fellow of the ZEIT Foundation in Hamburg, doctoral studies at the University of Vienna (Dr. phil.)
  • Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia (Government of the Republic of Slovenia)

Academics involved:

  • Joze Dezman: Slovenian Historian-Director of the National Museum of Contemporary History-Ljubljana (Slovenian) National Museum of Contemporary History-Slovenia
  • Mitja Ferenc: Slovenian Historian-University of Ljubljana
  • Croatian Medical Journal: Identification of Skeletal Remains of Communist Armed Forces Victims During and After World War II
  • Crimes Committed By Totalitarian Regimes Slovenian Presidency of the EU & European Commission 2008 - Europa's EU /European Commission
  • Croatian Government:Deputy PM and with Representatives of the Croatian society of Political Prisoners-Victims of Communism
  • Zdravko Dizdar: Scientific Journal-An Addition to the Research of the Problem of Bleiburg & Way of the Cross-Hrcak Portal of Scientific (Zdravko Dizdar a Croatian Historian/Croatian Institute for History in Zagreb)
  • Croatian Centre for Research of Crimes of Communism
  • Government Leaders, Military Rulers and Political Activists: An Encyclopaedia of People Who Changed the World (Lives & Legacies Series) by David W. Del Testa.
  • Death of the Father: An Anthropology of the end in Political Authority by Di John Borneman
  • Where The Balkans Begin (The Slovenes in Triest-The Foiba Story) by Bernard Meares
  • Keeping Tito Afloat by Lorraine M. Lees
  • Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman: Mission and Power in American Foreign Policy by Anne R. Pierce
  • Identity politics in the age of genocide: the Holocaust and historical by David B. MacDonald
  • Yalta and The Bleiburg Tragedy by C Michael McAdams
  • Croatia: A History Ivo Goldstein (Ivo Goldstein is a Professor at the University of Zagreb & former Director of the Institute for Croatian History of the University of Zagreb)
  • Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States - Oxford University Press, 2002 by Vjekoslav Perica (Vjekoslav Perica is a Croatian writer and Academic. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, USA)