Pogledaj Full Version : Krunoslav Draganovic - From Pavelic-Papers.com

Željko Zidarić
13th-June-2012, 02:59 PM
Background Material on Krunoslav Draganovic

In this report from the Rome Detatchment of the US Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps, Agents Caniglia and Ragonetti spell out what was known to their office in October of 1946: That Ante Pavelic was being protected by Father Krunoslav Draganovic, quite possibly with Vatican approval. The agents note that Draganovic "is considered the most important person" among the clique of Croatian Catholic priests in Rome, including his nominal superior, Dominic Mandic. It also mentions a report that Draganovic tipped off Ljubo Milos, a former high official at the Jasenovac concentration camp, before he could be arrested. Milos later became one of the primary commanders in a secret anti-Tito army called the Krizari, or "Crusaders," until his arrest, trial, and execution by the Yugoslav authorities.


10 October 1946

Case No. B-4240


RE: Preliminary Background Material.

1. Pursuant to instructions from the Supervising Agent, this office and at the request of CIC, A-HQ, the following information concerning Subject is on record in the files of this office.
2. Subject is presently located at Borgo Santo Spirito, No. 41, Rome, telephone -561076.

3. Subject is secretary of "Confraternita Croata", Church of San Girolamo, Rome, and is considered the most important person in the fraternity. This organization is known to have issued false identity cards to war criminals of USTASCIA background enabling them to escape Allied authorities.

4. This organization has a priest named Dominic MANDIC as a representative from the Vatican.

5. Subject was former secretary of Bishop SARIC. He keeps well informed as to Allied plans to apprehend USTASCIA activists. At one time Subject advised a Ljubo MILOS to escape from "Camp Fermo" as he was a wanted person. Subject is reported to be in communication with Ante PAVELIC former dictator of Croatia and leader of USTASCIA.

6. Subject possesses good documents and travels quite frequently.

AGENTS' RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that this report be sent to CIC, HQ, AFH, for their information and disposition.

Special Agent, CIC
Special Agent, CIC

document count: 28
b. 1903, Brcko
d. 1983, Sarajevo

The "Scarlet Pimpernel" of numerous fugitive war criminals and arguably the most important Ustase leader after 1945. From Rome, he supervised the "Ratline" which rescued most Ustase political leaders from arrest and transported them to countries which offered fascists a safe haven.

Studied theology after a higher education in Sarajevo and Vienna, later becoming professor of the subject at Zagreb University. Also studied at the Papal Oriental Institute in Rome. After working at Vatican Archives, became secretary to Archbishop of Sarajevo Ivan Saric, a virulent Croat nationalist and early supporter of the Ustase. After formation of the Independent State of Croatia, became an officer in the Ustase as well as a priest, and participated in brutal cleansing operations against Serbs in the Kozara region. As a high official in the Ministry for Internal Colonization, responsible for seizing assets of murdered or expelled Serbs, Jews and Roma and reallocating land among Croat and Muslim settlers in Bosnia as well as Slovene settlers purged from the enlarged German Reich.

Sent to Rome as representative of the Croatian Red Cross in 1943, probably to hedge against the fall of the NDH. Provided additional introductions to senior Vatican contacts by Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, including Pope Pius XII. In 1945 was secretary of the Croatian Institute at the College of San Girolamo degli Illrici in Rome. With protection of college head Monsignor Juraj Magjerec and Pope Pius XII, turned San Girolamo into waystation and hiding place for fugitive Ustase, including Ante Pavelic and other members of the Ustase inner-circle (one document, so far uncorroborated, alludes to several officials of the Serbian, Montenegrin and Albanian puppet regimes granted sanctuary there as well). Kept Pavelic in Italy for two years before the latter's flight to Argentina. In the Summer of 1947, Draganovic was approached by agents of the Counter Intelligence Corp's Austrian branch to perform the same duties for American assets, including former Gestapo Chief of Lyon Klaus Barbie. Funded and organized former Ustase as "Krizari" (Crusaders), making terrorist raids into Yugoslavia until 1947. Believed to have participated in the shepherding away the Ustase treasury of gold looted from their victims, which has never been found.

Askect to leave San Girolamo in October of 1958, several months later Draganovic was approached again by US intelligence with an offer of employment. Was on payroll of US Army until 1962, and alleged to also be employed as an agent by British intelligence, the KGB and possibly Communist Yugoslavia as well.

Dropped as Army agent in 1962 "with prejudice, for security reasons and lack of control." On November 15, 1967, appeared at a press conference in Belgrade denouncing the Ustase and praising Tito and Yugoslavia. Ustase groups alleged he was kidnapped, but Draganovic indicated he crossed the border of his own free will in one of the most puzzling enigmas of the Ustase's history. Lived quietly and free of persecution at a monastery near Sarajevo until his death in 1983.

Background Report on Krunoslav Draganovic
This is a follow-up report to Counter-Intelligence Corps Agent Robert Clayton Mudd's earlier report in which he indicated that the Monastery of San Girolamo was acting as a haven for Ustase fugitives, and that he had run an agent into the network smuggling accused Ustase war criminals out of Croatia. Mudd appeared earlier to be suspicious that Ustase agents had infiltrated legitimate networks to help refugees, rather than that these networks themselves had been set up in order to smuggle out hunted Ustase officials. His conclusions in Paragraph 15 remain unchallenged to this day. This is an improved copy of the document originally published here, found among the CIA papers on Krunoslav Draganovic.

APO 512

February 12, 1947


RE: PAST Background and PRESENT Activity.

1. Fr. Krunoslav DRAGANOVIC is a Croatian Catholic priest in the Monastery of San Geronimo [sic - here and below], 132 Via Tomacelli. ROME. This man has for some time now been associated with Ustashi elements in Italy and, while in many instances it is hard to distinguish the activity of the Church from the activity of one man whose personal convictions might lie along a certain line, it is fairly evident in the case of Fr. DRAGANOVIC that his sponsorship of the Ustashi cause stems from a deep-rooted conviction that the ideas espoused by this arch-nationalist organization, half logical, half lunatic, are basically sound concepts.
2. Fr. DRAGANOVIC is a native of TRAVNIK where he finished his elementary and secondary school. Shortly after this he went to SARAJEVO to study theology and philosophy. Here he fell under the personal magnetism of Dr. Ivan SARIC, archbishop of SARAJEVO, whose particular interest he soon became and after graduation he was sent to ROME under the auspices of Dr. SARIC who had some good connections in the Vatican.

3. Having completed his studies at ROME where he majored in ethnology and Balkan affairs he returned to SARAJEVO where he held various political offices, all of a minor importance. Shortly after the formation of the Independent State of Croatia under Ante PAVELIC in April 1941 DRAGANOVIC became one of the leading figures in the Bureau of Colonization. In the middle of 1943 however he became involved in a disagreement over the relative merits of the younger Eugen KVATERNIK, whom he called a "madman and a lunatic", and he left Croatia and returned to ROME.

4. According to a reliable informant it is believed that this departure of DRAGANOVIC from Croatia to Italy is a classic example of "kicking a man upstairs" inasmuch as it is fairly well established that the leaders of the Independent State of Croatia expected the prelate, through his good connections in the Vatican, to be instrumental in working out the orientation of Croatia towards the West rather than the East. These same leaders, being occidental-minded and knowing full well that Croatia's militant Catholocism [sic] made her a "natural" in such a deal, relied on DRAGANOVIC to assist them in their aims. He was eminently unsuccessful.

5. DRAGANOVIC has a brother still in ZAGREB who is a member of the Napredak Co., who recently was ignored in the elections to determine the members of the Board of Directors. He has another brother, whereabouts unknown, who was a member of the Croatian Embassy in BERLIN. He is in touch with his brother, ZVONKO, in ZAGREB but not with KRESO, whsoe [sic] whereabouts are not definetly [sic] known although he has been reported in the British zone in Germany.

6. About a year ago DRAGANOVIC is alleged in some circles to have somewhat denounced his now ardent pro-Ustashi sentiments during a conference of Croats in ROME. Having been accused by a certain Dr. KLJAKOVIC (apparently a member of the Croat Peasant Party) of being in very close contact with only Ustashi emogrees [sic] DRAGANOVIC is said to have replied that if working for an independent Croatia meant being an Ustasha then "I am an Ustasha". "However," he added, "I disassociate myself from all other attributes of the Ustashi."

7. With this aim in view DRAGANOVIC is working with the Ustashi and also with some leftovers of the Croat Peasant Party in exile. When Milan PRIBANIC, erstwhile Commandant of the Guard of Vlado MACEK, appeared in ROME, he immediately contacted him and thus made his aims and purposes clear to MACEK.

8. Many of the more prominent Ustashi war criminals and Quislings are living in ROME illegally, many of them under false names. Their cells are still maintained, their papers still published, and their intelligence agencies still in operation. All this activity seems to stem from the Vatican, through the Monastary of San Geronimo to Fermo, the chief Croat Camp in Italy. Chief among the intelligence operatives in the Monastery of San Geronimo appear to be Dr. DRAGANOVIC and Monsignor MADJARAC.

9. The main messenger between the Vatican, the Monastary and Fermo is an Ustasha student by the name of BRISKI. BRISKI was interned in the 209 POW Camp at AFRAGOLA and was with the Ustashi Cabinet members when their escape was organized from there. His physical description is as follows: 25 years old, medium height, black hair, seen mostly without a hat. Has very bad teeth in upper and lower jaw. Appears to be very wise.

10. This Agent managed to run a counter-operative into this Monastary to find out if possible if the internal setup of the place was as had been alleged, namely that it was honeycombed with cells of Ustashi operatives. This was established and several things more but operations were stopped abruptly when it became too dangerous for the counter-intelligence agent in the Monastary. The following facts were ascertained:

11. In order to enter this Monastary one must submit to a personal search for weapons and identification documents, must answer questions as to where he is from, who he is, whom he knows, what is purpose is in the visit, and how he heard about the fact that there were Croats in the Monastary. All doors from one room to another are locked and those that are not have an armed guard in front of them and a pass-word is necessary to go from one room to another. The whole area is guarded by armed Ustashi youths in civilian clothes and the Ustashi salute is exchanged continually.

12. It was further established that the following prominent ex-Ustashi Ministers are either living in the monastery, or living in the Vatican and attending meetings several times a week at San Girolamo:

1. Ivan DEVCIC, Lt. Colonel
2. VRANCIC, Dr. Vjekoslav, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
3. TOTH, Dr. Dragutin, Minister of Croat State Treasury.
4. SUSIC, Lovro, Minister of Corporations in Croatian Quisling Government
5. STARCEVIC, Dr. Mile, Croat Minister of Education.
6. RUPCIC, General Dragutin, General of Ustashi Air Force.
7. PERIC, Djordje, Serbian Minster of Propaganda under NEDIC.
8. PECNIKAR, Vilko - Ustasha General and CO of Ustashi Gendarmerie
9. MARKOVIC, Josip, Minister of Transport in Pavelic Government.
10. KREN, Vladimir - Commander-in-Chief of the Croat Air Force.

13. While this "Croat", directed by this Agent to try to penetrate the Croat intelligence network, was inside the Monastary he personally heard a conversation ensue between this Monsignor MADJERAC and Dr. SUSIC, who, at the time of the conversation, was in the Vatican library. He also heard a conversation between two of the Ustashi in the monastary which established the fact that a brother of Dr. PERIC runs a hotel in ROME, and that often this hotel is visited at night for the purpose of holding important Ustahi [sic] conferences. The money for the purchase of the hotel was given this man by his brother, Dr. PERIC.

14. It was further established that these Croats travel back and forth from the Vatican several times a week in a car with a chauffeur whose license plate bears the two initials CD, "Corpo Diplomatico". It issues forth from the Vatican and discharges its passengers inside the Monastary of San Geronimo. Subject to diplomatic immunity it is impossible to stop the car and discover who are its passengers.

15. DRAGANOVIC's sponsorship of these Croat Qusilings definetly [sic] links him up with the plan of the Vatican to shield these ex-Ustashi nationalists until such time as they are able to procure for them the proper documents to enable them to go to South America. The Vatican, undoubtedly banking on the strong anti-Communist feelings of these men, is endeavoring to infiltrate them into South America in any way possible to counteract the spread of Red doctrine. It has been reliably reported, for example that Dr. VRANCIC has already gone to South America and that Ante PAVELIC and General KREN are scheduled for an early departure to South America through Spain. All these operations are said to have been negotiated by DRAGANOVIC because of his influence in the Vatican.

16. This agent will continue to make an effort to keep abreast of the situation in this area and also to advise G-2 of any new plans or changes of operations on the part of DRAGANOVIC and his satellites.

AC of S, G-2, AFHQ (2)
Chief, CIC, AFHQ (1)
File (1)

Documentary Evidence of Krunoslav Draganovic's Ustase Activity

Father Krunoslav Draganovic, one of the main operatives on the Ratline, kept detailed lists of the "refugees" granted hospitality and a place of refuge at the monastery of San Girolamo, Rome. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps Agent William Gowen obtained these lists, which included the Ustase suspects' real names as well as their aliases. After making copies, Gowen wrote up a lengthy memorandum and sent four copies to his superiors. None have ever been found, but one of the agents who received a copy of the list was Naples CIC Agent Robert Clayton Mudd. The following document summarizes Gowen's memorandum and draws attention to several Ustase war criminals wanted by the Allied authorities on Draganovic's lists. Coming as it does after the famous instructions from Gowen's superiors to keep his "hands off" of Pavelic and other Ustase leaders in Rome, it is possible to speculate that this report represented the last attempt by CIC agents still "in the dark" of the American plans to rescue Pavelic and Co. to inform their superiors of the vast extent of the Nazi and Ustase smuggling network that Father Draganovic - and, unknown to Mudd and Gowen, those same superiors - had put into operation.


5 September 1947

RE: Documentary Evidence Involving SUBJECT with Ustasha Activity at the San Girolamo Monastery, Rome.

1. Attached photostats of personal files and documents of the Croat Nationalist priest DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav procured in Rome indicate clearly his involvement in aiding and abetting the Ustashi to escape into South America. The documents also indicate his connections with Ustasha personnel, a fact which DRAGANOVIC has formally denied personally to this Agent. (Photostats to G 2 TRUST only).

2. The first list includes the nominal role of all Croats who are fed, clothed, housed and otherwise provided for by the Monastery of San Girolamo, but it also includes the names of several long sought after Jugoslav War Criminals whose presence in the Monastery and whose sponsorship by the Vatican DRAGANOVIC has consistently denied.

3. The names of the following Ustashi War Criminals are to be noted on this list:

DEVCIC, Ivan Serial 351
DOSEN, Drago " 389
IMPER, Dragutin " 639
JURKOVIC, Blaz " 705
MARKOVIC, Josip " 1018, 1019, and 1020
MAVREK, Stanko " 1062
ORSANIC, Ante " 1176
PAVICIC, Ante " 1208
RUKAVINA, Ante " 1407
SEKULIC, Ivan " 1444
SRNAK, Rudolph " 1484
SREDL, Josip " 1627
VLAHOVIC, Ante " 1773
[illegible], Dusan " 1841
BELOBRAJDIC, Leopold " 109
DJAK, Jakob " 370 (believed to be alias of DJAL, Jakov)
BIOSIC, Josip " 136
DOBRENIC, Stjepan " 376
BARANOVIC, Ante " 70
MATAJA, Milan " 1047

4. The second series of photostats indicates that DRAGANOVIC and the Monastery were doing their utmost to get immigration visas for Croat sailors in answer to the offers of several Central and South American countries to accept certain specified amounts of qualified sailors and maritime men. However, on this list are known names of compromised people.
5. The Third List written in Spanish contains the names of 115 Croats with all their personal particulars. These 115 people have all expressed a desire to emigrate to ARGENTINA. It is very possible that this list of individuals have already shipped to the Argentine and it must be assumed that in the majority they are compromised Ustashi personalities with aliases. It seems only reasonable to assume that the more important personages will be, or would have been shipped out first.

6. Enclosed herewith also are the photographs of documents containing the pertinent data on such Ustasha personalities as BARIC, Vice, Kren, Vladimir, alias KRENMIR, Vladimir, BABIC, Ivan, HIBL, Josip alias HUBL, Josip, KAMBER, Dragutin alias KAMBER, Blaz, PAVICIC, Ante alias PAVICIC, Anton, SARIC, Ivan, SUSIC, Lovro alias SUSIC, Marijan, VRANCIC, Vjekoslav alias VRANIC, Petar.

7. Ref para 3 identification and background of personalities mentioned here are contained in CIC TRUST SOI y-3097 dtd 22 August 1947.

8. Photostats attached were obtained by Special Agent WILLIAM GOWEN of the Rome CIC Detachment and passed on to this Agent for use and evaluation.

Special Agent, CIC
G-2 Trust (2)
G-2 MTOUSA (2)
Rome CIC (1)
Chief CIC (1)
File (1)

Irregular Activities of Krunoslav Draganovic

A summary of information from a source, zealously blacked out by censors upon this document's declassification. This source alleges that Krunoslav Draganovic has been accepting bribes from "Jugoslav refugees," who we can presume did not have the good fortune of being high-ranking members of the Ustase. From context, it is possible that the "source" was a leaked or surreptitiously obtained internal report. Unlike most of the CIA files in our possession, this one retains the additional classification: "SECURITY INFORMATION."

From: [censored]
No. of Pages: 1

Report Made By: [censored]

copy to:
Washington (3)

Source Cryptonym: [censored]

Date: 1 Oct. 1953
Report No.: [censored]
Local File No:
No. of Enclosures: 1

Approved by: [censored]

Jugs in Italy
Files (1)


Source, Operational Data, and Comments:
Irregular Activity of Krunoslav DRAGANOVIC

1. [censored] is a report indicating that the NCWC in Rome (directed by the American (Mons.) Andrew LUNDI) has been aware for some time that Subject has realized about 25,000 lire each from Jugoslav refugees fon the promise that he would arrange for their emigration. The report further states that DRAGANOVIC has lost face in political, civilian and ecclesiastical circles, including the Vatican Secretariat of State.

2. No copy is retained.

Date of Info: [censored] Aug. 1953
Date Received: 28 Aug. 1953

Željko Zidarić
13th-June-2012, 03:01 PM
The Dismissal of Krunoslav Draganovic from San Girolamo

This intelligence report indicates that Krunoslav Draganovic has been "fired" from his position at the College of San Girolamo, largely on account of his activities of ten years previous. Within six months, however, he was back working with American intelligence. The report on the first of his renewed contacts is here.

November 19, 1958

SUBJECT- The priest KRUNOSLAV DRAGANOVIC being asked to leave the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici.

About the second week of October-1958, Mons. Djuro Koksa, the vice director of the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici, by orders from the Secretary of State of the Vatican, asked the priest Draganovic to leave the college. Draganovic who has always boarded at the college, he was also asked not to assist anyone, the Yugoslav refugees in general and particularly the Croatian refugees.

The request for this priest being asked to leave the college was actually directed from the archdiocese of Zagrab [sic - here and below]. Mons. Franjo SEPER informed the Holy See that Draganovic had transformed the college into a refuge for propaganda purposes.

It has been revealed that, following the inquest made by the bishop of Zagrab Mons. Josip LAH who came to Rome 4 months ago, that the actions of Draganovic came to light, and also that he received great compensation from these Yugoslav refugees who did not belong to his political group. He received the compensation so as to solicit the authorities for emigration of these refugees. It has been known that the priests Giovanni TOMAS and Antonio MATACIN who were collaborators of Draganovic also have been asked to leave the college.

The Re-Recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic
Despite what was known about his past - and we have proof that the agents had copies of documents alleging the subject's involvement in the sheltering of Ante Pavelic and other Ustase figures - in 1959, US Army intelligence renewed their relationship with Father Krunoslav Draganovic. The past relationship between the agents and the priest had either been allowed to lapse at some point in the mid-1950s, or these were a whole new group of agents unaware of Draganovic's pre-existing contacts. Under the new arrangement, Draganovic was given the code-names DYNAMO and FABIANO, and now claimed to have an entire organization inside Yugoslavia at his disposal. We suspect that the identity of FRANCO is one Bruno Francazi of CIC-Verona. The reason why FRANCO didn't find Draganovic at the Collegio San Girolamo is that he had been fired several months before, though from FRANCO's contact with Draganovic's former colleagues, it appears to have been a much more amicable split than we have been led to believe.

Detachment "B"
APO 168 US Army

XOR: 0/0214
2 May 1959

XOR: 0-0149

1. Circumstances of Contact:
a. Reason for meeting: To attempt to determine SUBJECT's potential and his willingness to cooperate with this unit in the collection of military intelligence information.

b. Date, time and place of meeting: 28 April 1959; 1900-2130 hours, in FRANCO's room at the Pensione Santa Caterina, via Po 2, Rome, Italy.

c. Transportation utilized: FRANCO travelled by commercial rail to and from Rome.

d. Language spoken: Italian

e. Unusual occurrences: FRANCO met a priest [censored] the details relative this meeting are reported under Operational Data of this report.

f. Additional security precautions: None

2. Finance: Not applicable

3. Logistics: Not applicable

4. Operational Data:

a. FRANCO departed from Verona, Italy, via commercial rail, at 2155 hours, 27 April 1959, arrived in Rome, Italy at 0730 hours, 28 April 1959. FRANCO registered under his true identity at the Pensione Santa Caterina, via Po 2, where personnel of this Pensione are under the impression that FRANCO is an American businessman from Munich, Germany. Upon completion of the mission, FRANCO departed from Rome at 2220 hours, 1 May 1959, and arrived in Verona at 0530 hours, 2 May 1959. No difficulty was experienced while at the Pensione or while in Rome.

b. During the early morning hours of 28 April 1959, FRANCO (as reported in XOR: 0-0213) had met with [censored] and during this meeting ORVAL again highly recommended DRAGANOVIC and stated that FRANCO proceeded to the Collegio San Girolamo, via Tomacelli 132, Rome, which is a religious institute dedicated to processing documents pertaining to Yugoslav refugees and is also the office of Father DRAGANOVIC. FRANCO did not find DRAGANOVIC at the College but was confronted by a priest who identified himself as [censored] and who asked FRANCO to identify himself. FRANCO told [censored] that he desired to meet DRAGANOVIC and asked [censored] if he knew where DRAGANOVIC could be located. [censored] after being convinced that FRANCO was an American and not a Tito agent, stated that he would attempt to contact DRAGANOVIC telephonically. He proceeded to a wall telephone and dialed a number but obtained no answer. It was obvious to FRANCO that [censored] did not want FRANCO to observe the number he had dialed. [censored] and FRANCO then engaged in a long conversation with [censored] doing most of the talking. FRANCO noted that [censored] began to be more cordial and finally [censored] wrote an address and telephone number where DRAGANOVIC could be reached. [censored] is a young looking priest of approximately 40 years of age, was very bitter at what he called the high pressure or high powered politics of the "Anglo-Saxons" concerning the country of Yugoslavia. [censored] stated that the United States and England were responsible for the Tito regime in Yugoslavia and that the United States and England had betrayed the "real people" of Yugoslavia. He preached on this subject at length and finding FRANCO an attentive listener, invited FRANCO to take a short walk with him. FRANCO and [censored] walked near the Tiber River for a short while and during this walk [censored] stated that he greatly admired DRAGANOVIC and that he felt that FRANCO would feel the same way when he met and talked to DRAGANOVIC. [censored] stated that DRAGANOVIC travelled considerably and that he was a person who "knew what he was doing". [censored] then stated that he had to leave and told FRANCO that he would attempt to get in contact with DRAGANOVIC and to tell him where FRANCO was staying. By this time [censored] was completely cordial and stated that he had been happy to meet FRANCO and hoped someday to meet him again.

c. At 1400 hours, DRAGANOVIC called FRANCO at the Pensione and stated he would like to meet with FRANCO that evening. FRANCO informed DRAGANOVIC that he would be pleased to meet with him anyplace he selected but DRAGANOVIC stated that he knew where the Pensione was and that he had to go by the Pensione to get to his home, therefore, he preferred to meet at the Pensione. DRAGANOVIC appeared at 1900 hours. In the room, he immediately asked to see FRANCO's identification document and when shown same stated that he was satisfied. FRANCO asked DRAGANOVIC if he knew who FRANCO was and what he was engaged in and DRAGANOVIC replied that he had talked to [censored] and that [censored] had told him that FRANCO was employed with United States Intelligence and that FRANCO had been known to him for 15 years. DRAGANOVIC stated that [censored] had highly recommended FRANCO to him and that was the reason he was in FRANCO's room, otherwise he would not have been there.

d. DRAGANOVIC stated that he had known a William GOWEN (formerly with CIC in Italy) years ago and also a certain [censored] (believed to have been working with a United States visa program in Italy) and that he had assisted them in their work and had always had pleasant relations with them. He spoke at length on cases of Tito brutality [sic] against the people of Yugoslavia and also discussed the murder of 35,000 people by an execution squad composed of Tito's partisans during World War II. He stated that these people had all been murdered and then buried in a deep ravine not too far from Basovizza. DRAGANOVIC had personally conducted an investigation relative these atrocities and had succeeded in obtaining statements from members of the execution squads. He stated that he had conclusive proof that entire families had been exterminated. He also recounted that approximately over one year ago the port of Rijeka had been sealed off for a few days and that an entire shipload of arms and ammunition given to the country of Yugoslavia by the United States had been loaded onto a ship which had no markings but which was obviously either Soviet or of a satellite nation. He stated that he had conclusive proof of this as some of "his men" were involved in unloading and loading crates of rifles. His men wanted to smuggle out a case of rifles in order to obtain the serial numbers and therefore prove that they were of United States manufacture. DRAGANOVIC stated that he "reported" this plan and got nowhere as he could not find anybody that was even interested. DRAGANOVIC stated that he also has proof that Tito has been delivering arms to the rebel forces in Algeria.

e. DRAGANOVIC and FRANCO then discussed the reason for the meeting. FRANCO asked DRAGANOVIC if he would be willing to assist FRANCO in obtaining information relative Yugoslavia. DRAGANOVIC stated that he would be willing as long as FRANCO demonstrated sincerity with him in all of his dealings but at the first sign of insincerity, he, DRAGANOVIC, would cut off the relationship. He stated that he had too much to lose and would not tolerate anyone playing any games with him. He also added that because of [censored] recommendation of FRANCO, he was sure that he would never have any trouble with FRANCO in this respect. DRAGANOVIC stated that he had many excellent sources in almost every part of Yugoslavia, some of these sources had been personally recruited by him when he was in that country, and some that had been cultivated over the years since his departure. He stated that he has been engaged in intelligence activities since 1943 and that in the past 12 years he has never lost a source. DRAGANOVIC stated that he has been written up at least 200 times in the Yugoslav press as an enemy of the State and that the UDB has arrested persons and accused them of working for him but he was emphatic in stating that all these accusations were unfounded and that the persons arrested not only had not worked for him but were unknown to him. DRAGANOVIC stated that he is in contact with persons in Yugoslavia who keep him abreast of the political, economic situation and also on opposition groups. He stated that it would not be difficult to obtain military type information.

f. DRAGANOVIC added that he had excellent channels of communication into and out of Yugoslavia, that these channels were not as "speedy" as he would probably like them to be but that they were very secure. He stated that he was satisfied with them but would be willing to work out any plan that FRANCO might suggest relative making them faster. He stressed the security of these channels but did not go into any detail. He also kept away from the subject of identifying the level of his sources and this was obvious to FRANCO. FRANCO made no attempt to press DRAGANOVIC on these two points. DRAGANOVIC was asked about finances in the event he desired to collaborate. He stated that he expected expenses to be paid to any individual who was sent in on a mission or who was asked to come out of the country. He stated that these expenses should include hotel, food, and travel. DRAGANOVIC was asked about his expectations relative payment and he replied that he would never accept one cent for his collaboration as he did not desire any personal gain for his fight against the Tito regime. He stated however, that we could and that he would accept money which would be used by him to continue his fight against Tito. DRAGANOVIC stated that he often published anti-Tito material for distribution in Yugoslavia and that he would probably use any money given him to defray printing expenses.

g. DRAGANOVIC stated that he often changes his residence in Rome because he knows Tito is after him. He stated that Tito has attempted to infiltrate Catholic priests sympathetic to Tito into the Collegio San Girolamo but that he has always unmasked them and gotten rid of them before they could do any harm. DRAGANOVIC stated that he has dedicated his life in the fight against Tito and when asked by FRANCO how he, a priest, could spend so much of his time in the fight against a regime, DRAGANOVIC replied that he placed his country before his church. FRANCO explained to DRAGANOVIC that this meeting had been held in order to learn DRAGANOVIC's views relative collaboration with FRANCO's unit and that FRANCO was to report all details of the meeting to his superiors for a final decision. FRANCO also explained that if his superiors decided to go ahead with this collaboration, another person, an expert of Yugoslav activities, would probably be introduced to DRAGANOVIC at the next meeting for the purpose of working in the future with him. DRAGANOVIC stated that he understood this perfectly and that he was agreeable to this plan. He again stressed sincerity and added that he did not want to deal with an immature person as well. DRAGANOVIC stated that he would also like to think over FRANCO's proposition but that he was sure that he desired to work with FRANCO's unit. He stated that he would give serious consideration to what he could do and that he would do everything possible to supply the type of information desired.

h. During the meeting DRAGANOVIC asked where FRANCO was located. FRANCO told him that he resided in Verona but that he travelled considerably and gave DRAGANOVIC the impression that maybe FRANCO's office was not actually in Verona but that FRANCO merely maintained a residence in that city. DRAGANOVIC stated that he also travelled considerably to Germany and France and that these trips sometimes kept him away from Rome for 10 days at a time. He explained that there were a lot of refugees in Germany and France who needed his help and that was the reason for his travels. DRAGANOVIC stated that he would be willing to travel anyplace in order to meet with FRANCO or with his colleague when it was decided to start working. DRAGANOVIC stated that he would like to have FRANCO write to him within 10 days indicating the decision taken by his superiors. He stated that he is presently living with a very reliable family and that FRANCO could address a letter to that address to him. This family is [censored]. The telephone number of [censored] is 814584. FRANCO promised to write to him as soon as a decision was made and also stated that he would probably be seeing DRAGANOVIC shortly.

5. Leads: None

6. Instructions to Agent: Not applicable at this time.

7. Agent Handler's Comments and Recommendations:
a. Comments: During the meeting, FRANCO learned that DRAGANOVIC was born on 30 October 1903. He does not smoke and when invited to dine with FRANCO, stated that he prefers to dine at home as he only eats one soft boiled egg which he really enjoys. DRAGANOVIC is approximately 72 inches tall, weighs approximately 185 pounds, as light brown hair and a sallow complexion. He speaks Italian with a Yugoslav accent and stated that he is very fluent in German. He also speaks Croat and stated that he will speak Serbian only when necessary. DRAGANOVIC impressed FRANCO as being very astute, very intelligent, sincere and straightforward. He is blunt in his speech and does not mince words. He has an immense hatred of Tito and the Communist regime in Yugoslavia. He is writing a book or series of documents which he hopes someday to publish or to turn over to a United States commission or committee charged with the decision of giving aid to Tito. He stated that these documents will convince anyone, without a doubt, that Tito is not to be trusted and that he will never fight on the side of the West. He indicated that we can expect him to ask us for favors relative his refugee work. He gave all indications that he has excellent coverage of Yugoslav activities and that he is an able organizer. FRANCO was impressed with his knowledge of security and his security precautions. He is a mature person and realizes that he is not engaged in child's play when working against Tito. He can be rightfully called shrewd and as being experienced in intelligence work. He appears to be happy in his work as a priest.

b. FRANCO recommends that permission be given to him to write to DRAGANOVIC as soon as a decision is reached relative him. FRANCO is of the opinion that DRAGANOVIC will prove to be of extreme value to this unit. He can give us extensive coverage in Yugoslavia. There is no doubt that this operation will proceed [rest illegible] DRAGANOVIC gave FRANCO the impression that he hates Italian Intelligence with a passion so there is no fear that he is working for the Italian authorities. The person selected to work with DRAGANOVIC should be mature and should have a good knowledge of Yugoslavia. DRAGANOVIC will not prove difficult to work with but FRANCO would again like to point out his emphasis on sincerity. He indicated that he is willing to work with us but never once did he attempt to ask the designation of FRANCO's unit or the level of same. He appeared to be happy and satisfied when FRANCO told him that he was working for the United States Government. FRANCO feels that we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by going ahead with the next meeting, introducing the Agent Handler selected, and working out all final arrangements.


Krunoslav Draganovic's Pay Records from US Intelligence, 1959-1960

In late May, 1959, seven months after being dismissed from his monastery post at San Girolamo, Father Krunoslav Draganovic once again entered into the employ of US intelligence. The information in the following table was culled from nine months of expense sheets for Draganovic logged under one of his codenames, DYNAMO. During this period, Draganovic collected 830,000 in Italian lire, plus $25 in hard cash from US intelligence. On average, Draganovic received approximately 100,000 lire/month for reports and information. To put this into perspective, the mean salary for an Italian in 1960 was 47,000 lire per month. Thus from his first months on the job, Draganovic was making more than twice the average salary, just in money listed in these official reports. Clicking on the link for the first entry of each month pulls up a scan of the monthly expense sheet.

Month Italian lire US $
May 28, 1959 10,000 [1] 0
June, 1959 0 [2] 0
July 7, 1959 35,000 15.00
July 23, 1959 100,000 10.00
August 2, 1959 0 0
August 3, 1959 75,000 0
August 13, 1959 0 0
August 14, 1959 0 0
September 1, 1959 0 0
September 2, 1959 60,000 0
September 5, 1959 0 0
September 16, 1959 0 0
September 21, 1959 0 0
September 22, 1959 40,000 0
September 26, 1959 415
830 [3] 0
October 1, 1959 0 0
October 2, 1959 95,000
400 0
October 15, 1959 1790,
910 0
October 21, 1959 60,000
800 0
November, 1959 N/A [4] N/A
December 22, 1959 115,000
270 3.34 [5]
January 1960 N/A N/A
February 1960 N/A N/A
March 1960 N/A N/A
April 1960 60,000 [6]
400 0
May 1960 60,000
100 0
June 1960 30,000
750 0
July 1960 60,000 0

1. $16.00 indicated on expense sheet, but the report for this meeting (published here) indicates that this is a conversion for accounting expenses of 10,000 lire.
2. "No contact." Draganovic was conferring with his "organization" in June and did not properly begin working with US intelligence until July 1959.

3. Items in Italics represent expenses in connection with the agents' meetings with Draganovic: small amounts of money listed separately from the lump sum cash payments.

4. No records are extant for months marked "N/A". One should not assume there was no contact between the agents and Draganovic for these months, as the existence of June 1959's "No Contact" expense sheet indicates.

5. "Xmas Present (Parker pen and pencil set)"

6. From April 1960, Draganovic was no longer paid for information, but as the records indicate, collected a "salary" fixed at 60,000 lire per month.

SETAF 41 Bona Fides for Krunoslav Draganovic

This curious document - very cloak and dagger - was found among a collection of handwriting specimens and signature samples belonging to Father Krunoslav Draganovic and kept by the CIC in Italy at the time of Draganovic's second round of employment with them in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Originally withheld for reasons of national security, this file was obtained only after a lawsuit was filed by Attorney Jonathan Levy against the CIA to release all documents pertaining to Draganovic and the Ratline. The scan of this document contains a reproduction of the halved nine of diamonds playing card the agents were to match against Draganovic's half to prove each side's legitimacy.


DYNAMO is in possession of one-half of the nine-of-diamonds playing card which has been cut diagonally across. Agent Handler will present himself and say to DYNAMO "VINCIT QUI SE VINCIT" (He conquers who conquers himself). DYNAMO will answer "VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI" (A word is enough for a wise man." Agent Handler will then ask DYNAMO for his half of the bona fides which will match with the half in possession of the Agent Handler.


Note: Bona fides with instructions were established on 2 September 1959 while DYNAMO was in Verona.

Termination Files of Krunoslav Draganovic

These three files - each representing one of Father Krunoslav Draganovic's three known codenames in the CIA - were composed two weeks after Draganovic's termination from US intelligence. Context makes the various numbered entries easy to discern: (1) Draganovic's date and place of birth; (2) his full name; (3) current address and phone; (4) profession and title; (5) nationality; (6) sex; (7) height; (8) weight; (9) hair color; (10) eye color; (11) distinguishing features; (12) unknown; (13) termination classification ("with prejudice") and date; (14) unknown; (15) reasons for termination - by far the most interesting part of these documents. Senior Agent "SARDI" noted after his first meeting with Draganovic in May 1959 that the Croat priest was venal, a liar, and demanded, essentially, that the United States back his neo-Ustase organization to the hilt. Not only was SARDI proven to be absolutely correct, but Draganovic is now "too knowledgeable of unit personnel and activity." Four years after this, in September 1967, Draganovic defected to Yugoslavia, thus ending with a coup de grace what may have been one of the most disastrous chapters in the history of US intelligence.

6. M
7. 72
8. 185
10. GREY
12. NONE
14. NO
16. NO
[censored] 07 FEB 62

6. M
7. 72
8. 185
10. GREY
12. NONE
14. NO
16. NO
[censored] 07 FEB 62

6. M
7. 72
8. 185
10. GREY
12. NONE
14. NO
16. NO
17. NOFORN [censored] 07 FEB 62

Željko Zidarić
13th-June-2012, 03:04 PM
News: Priest, Termed War Criminal, Back in Yugoslavia
On or around September 16, 1967, Father Krunoslav Draganovic - chief operative of the Ratline - vanished from Trieste. On November 14th, he appeared at a press conference. What follows is a report from the interim, when Draganovic was in Yugoslav custody but not yet speaking with the media. The reason for the Austrian government's concern was due to Draganovic taking Austrian citizenship after the war. The motives behind his defection - or kidnapping - have never been explained. (For more on Draganovic's post-Ratline career and defection, see Return of the Golden Priest.)


Special to The New York Times

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, Nov. 10 - The Yugoslav Government announced today that a 64-year-old priest whom it had branded as a war criminal returned voluntarily to Yugoslavia eight weeks ago to face possible trial.

The announcement, at a news conference, that the Rev. Krunoslav Draganovic, who was a leading member of the emigre opposition, was now in Sarajevo ended the mystery over his disappearance from Trieste on Sept. 16, while he was en route from Rome to Vienna.

Rumors that Father Dragonovic had been kidnapped by Yugoslav officials have appeared recently in Austrian and Italian newspapers. The Austrian Government, deeply concerned about the case, was reported to have been awaiting a report from the Italian authorities before making formal inquiries here.

Avdo Humo, the Yugoslav spokesman, indicated that the growing international speculation about the case had led the Government to reply in detail to questions about it. The main part of his presentation was a photocopy of a seven-page handwritten letter, which he said had been written by Father Dragonovic and which describes the priest's reasons for returning.

Case Under Investigation

The federal prosecutor, Vladimir Djukic, who answered most of the questions at the news conference, said that Father Dragonovic's case was under investigation but that he was not being detained and had not been formally charged.

Tanyug, the official press agency, said that charges might not be brought.

Mr. Humo said that before his return Father Draganovic had been in touch with Yugoslav officials to ask what would be done if he were to return. Mr. Humo did not disclose the reply.

Was Professor of Theology

According to some reports, these contacts took place in Rome an there is speculation that the Vatican, which has been seeking to improve relations with Yugoslavia, may have encouraged them.

It was not possible today to reach the priest, whose whereabouts in Sarajevo has not been disclosed by the Government although it invited the press to see him.

Father Dragonovic, who is a Croat and comes from Bosnia, a region inhabited both by Croats and Serbs, was a professor of theology in Sarajevo before World War II. An ardent Croatian nationalist, he joined the Government of the German-dominated Republic of Croatia, in which extreme nationalism shaded into outright Nazism.

According to his letter, he has, in recent years, withdrawn from political activities and concentrated on historical studies. At this time, the letter says, he became increasingly aware of the dilemma of reconciling his views about Yogoslavia [sic] with what he learned of reforms here.

State Department Report on Krunoslav Draganovic

On September 10, 1967, Father Krunoslav Draganovic, one of the lead agents and architects of the Nazi smuggling Ratline, crossed to the Yugoslav side of the Italian border beyond the city of Trieste. Croatian organizations - including Pavelic's Croatian Liberation Movement - alleged that the "Golden Priest" had been kidnapped, but it appears today that Draganovic surrendered to the Yugoslav authorities of his own volition. The state of confusion in the Croatian diaspora was nothing compared to the panic in the American intelligence community, which regarded Draganovic as a highly valuable, if flawed, asset, with a tremendous knowledge of American espionage in and around Yugoslavia. Draganovic's surrender to Yugoslavia was equivalent to the defection of a bureau chief to the Soviet Union. This report was submitted approximately four months after Draganovic's defection to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Security, and contains a summary of what was known of Draganovic's "public" persona. The second paragraph is largely illegible, but appears to be a brief overview of his early life and education in Croatia from earlier documents.

[handwritten: "summary complete to 68"]

[stamp: "9 JAN 1968"]

MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security
Department of State
FROM: Deputy Director for Plans

SUBJECT: Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan DRAGANOVIC

1. Per verbal request of Mr. Ora Wilson of the Department of State, the following biographic information on Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganovic has been prepared based on the information contained in the files of this agency. This information is provided for your internal use only.

A. Activities Prior to April 1941:

Krunoslav Stjepan DRAGANOVIC, aka Father DRAGANOVIC, aka Dr. Fabiano, one of four children of Petar DRAGANOVIC (the others being [illegible]), was born in Brcko, Bosnia [the rest of this paragraph is largely illegible]

Following the graduation from the seminary he was ordained a priest and served in Sarajevo from 1930 to 1932. During this period he came in direct contact with Dr. Ivan SARIC, the Catholic Archbishop of Bosnia, perhaps the most rabid opponent of the Orthodox Serbs and the Yugoslav Royal family (the KARADJORDJEVIC Family), which is of Serbian origin, and a vociferous champion of the Independent State of Greater Croatia (which would include all of Croatia, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina to the Drina River in the East, and also Slavonia and Srem, i.e., the lands North of the Sava River and South of the Danube River right up to the confluence of the Sava with the Danube at Belgrade). It was under the auspices of Archbishop SARIC that he was sent to Rome in 1932 to attend the Instituto Orientale Ponteficio where he majored in [illegible] and Balkan affairs. He obtained his Doctorate in 1935 and returned to Sarajevo, where he acted as secretary to Archbishop SARIC from 1935 through 1940. In February 1941 he was appointed teacher of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Zagreb, Croatia.

B. Activities from April 1941 to mid-1945:

There are conflicting reports regarding Subject's activities during the period from April 1941 to August 1943. According to some reports, shortly after the Independent State of Croatia was established in April 1941 by the late Ante PAVELIC, the leader of the Ustasha (a Croatian political organization), via the support and approval of Nazi Germany, Subject became a leading figure in the Office for Colonization, an office engaged in engaging the property of the Orthodox Serbs living in Bosnia, Hercegovina, the Lika area of Croatia (in which lived the majority of the Serbian minority of Croatia), Slavonia and Srem, and distributing said property to the Ustashas. Subject reportedly was in the habit of travelling in the above listed areas in the uniform of an Ustasha Colonel. He was also said to have been armed while in uniform. Other reports identify Subject as a member of a Committee that forcibly converted thousands of Serbians from the Serbian Orthodox to the Roman Catholic Church. (As a result of their opposition to such forcible conversions, several hundred thousand Serbs living on the territory of the Independent Croatian State reportedly died at the hands of the Ustasha and Domobran military forces during World War II, or more specifically, while the Independent Croatian State was in existence. This resulted in many Serbs, and even many Croats who were opposed to such inhuman methods, joining the Partisan guerrilla units to fight both the Germans and the Croat State, even though they were not in favor of Communism.) Since the end of World War II, many Serbs living outside Yugoslavia have accused Subject of being personally responsible for the deaths of over 10,000 Serbs from Croatia, killed by the Ustashas as a part of their drive to exterminate the Serbs living in Croatia. Subject has denied these charges, as well as the charge that he was Military Chaplain of the Domobran and Ustasha military units. (The Ustasha military units were elite unites, while the Domobran were the actual Armed Forces of the Croatian State.) According to his own statements, Subject was instrumental in setting up a Croat-Slovene Committee for the Relief of Slovene Refugees in Zagreb in the fall of 1941, and became President of the Committee.

Subject evidently became involved in mid-1943 in a feud with Eugen (aka [illegible]) KVATERNIK, a major figure in the Government of Croatia and a close associate of Poglavnik (leader) Ante PAVELIC, the head of the Croatian State. He called KVATERNIK "a madman and a lunatic." This resulted in his "being kicked upstairs," which is to say, in August 1943 he went to Italy to represent the Croatian Red Cross on a mission to secure the release from camps or otherwise help Yugoslav internees. His sponsor was Alojzije STEPINAC, the Archbishop of Zagreb. He returned to Zagreb at the end of 1943, but returned to Rome again in January 1944, and was still in Italy when the Croatian State collapsed in mid-1945 at about the same time as the war ended in Europe.

He continued to represent the Croatian Red Cross, but was also regarded as an unofficial Charge d'Affairs of the Croatian State at the Vatican. Thus when the Croatian State collapsed, he was in the ideal position to help the many Ustashas who fled Yugoslavia, and as Secretary of an organization known as the Confraternite Croata in Italy he issued Identity Documents with false names to many Croats, primarily Ustashas who were considered war criminals, and is the individual most responsible for making it possible for the Ustashas to emigrate oversees, primarily to Argentina, but also to Chile, Venezuela, Australia, Canada and even the United States. He is alleged to have provided even some German Nazi war criminals with false Identity Cards with false Croatian names, thus enabling them to emigrate from Europe and avoid standing trial in Germany for their war-time activities. Subject and his Croatian supporters claim that Subject assisted Serbs, Slovenes and other Yugoslavs as well as Croats, and deny that he had been motivated by any but charitable and compassionate reasons in this activity.

C. Activities from Mid-1945 to Date:

Subject's activities in Rome were conducted from the Ecclesiastical College of San Girolamo degli Illirici, 132 Via Tomacelli, Rome. The college is sponsored by the Vatican and was used by young Croatian Catholic priests as their home in Rome while pursuing various courses of study. It also become the sponsor of the San Girolamo Asylum for the Ustasha and other Croat emigres in Rome. Rector of the College of San Girolamo degli Illirici at the time was Monsignor Dr. Juraj MADJEREC, a close collaborator of Subject's in his activities on behalf of the Croats.

In 1946, Subject defended himself on the charges that he was an Ustasha by stating that if working for an Independent Croatia meant being an Ustasha, then "I am an Ustasha. However," he added, "I disassociate myself from all other attributes of the Ustashas." He is also known to have defended the late Ante PAVELIC on the grounds that PAVELIC organized the Ustasha Movement in 1929 (this is after the assassination of Stjepan RADIC, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, in the Yugoslav Parliament by a Montengrin, i.e. Serbian deputy), as a Croat answer to the Serbian Chetnik Movement, which Subject claims had been an instrument of Serbian oppression of the Croats. He also admits that he is a proponent of an Independent Greater Croatian State and that he supports the Pan-Danubian Federation composed of Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland (sometimes referred to as a "Cordon Sanitaire" between Western Europe and the Soviet Union, or even as the Catholic Outpost confronting the Godless Communists and the heretic Orthodox States.) And finally, Subject has claimed credit for helping in the release of over 10,000 Yugoslav internees in Italy during 1943, 1944 and early 1945.

In 1949, Subject went to Argentina in the company of the late Ante PAVELIC, but he returned to Rome shortly thereafter. In 1950 he was known to be using a Diplomatic Passport, issued to him by the Vatican. In August 1951 he went to Beirut, Lebanon on orders of Ante PAVELIC in an effort to convince Djafer KULENOVIC to accept the post of President of the Ustasha Government-in-Exile, which was constituted in Buenos Aires on 10 April 1951 (the tenth anniversary of the forming of the Independent Greater Croatian State in Zagreb on 10 April 1941.) Sometime in the 1950's he had a falling out with PAVELIC, and attempted to establish [illegible] relations with the late Vlatko MACEK, who inherited the leadership of the Croatian Peasant Party after the assassination of Stjepan RADIC, but was rebuffed by MACEK. Subject then organized a movement called the Croatian Independence Movement, which was intended to assemble all Croats outside Yugoslavia. Being in opposition both to the followers of the PAVELIC Ustasha Movement and the Croatian Peasant Party of Vlatko MACEK, this new movement appealed to only a fraction of the Croats but, as an individual, Subject nevertheless continues to enjoy a position of some importance among the Croats outside Yugoslavia.

Finally, in 1952 Subject became Secretary of the "Bratovatina Relief Association" with Headquarters in Rome. His close associate, Monsignor Dr. Juraj MADJEREC, with whom he organized the Association, became president.

Subject's political activities eventually became an embarrassment to the Vatican, and in October 1958, Monsignor Djuro KOKSA, Vice-Director of the College of San Girolamo, asked him to leave the College, on order of the Secretary of State of the Vatican. He then moved to an apartment at 28 Via Oslaria, Rome. In time he moved from Italy to Vienna, Austria, and became an Austrian citizen, and it was while living in Austria that he visited Trieste, from where he disappeared around mid-September 1967, leading the Croats to conclude that he had been kidnapped by the Yugoslavs and forcibly taken back to Yugoslavia. Throughout the post-war period the Yugoslav government had labeled Subject a war-criminal and has repeatedly requested the Italian and Austrian authorities that Subject be extradited to Yugoslavia so that he could be tried for his "war crime activities."

D. Intelligence Activities:

Subject has been accused of working for the Soviet Intelligence Service. He and his friends have disclaimed such activity, and claim that he is being slandered by the Serbs and by the Communist Regime in Yugoslavia, in order to discredit him and hamper his humanitarian work. There is no proof that he has ever worked for the Soviets or any Communist intelligence Service. There are, however, indications that he had worked for [censored] Intelligence Service. Whether or not he still works for [censored] is not known.

Subject also had contact with the United States Military Intelligence during the 1950's and early 1960's, but this association was terminated by the Military "with prejudice" in January 1962. (If you require additional details of this association, please address your inquiry to the Department of the Army.)

2. It may be of interest to note that while the Yugoslav Government has officially stated that Subject voluntarily requested in writing that he be permitted to return to Yugoslavia, and that such a letter has been read over the Yugoslav Radio and TV news programs, Subject himself has not been put on display by the Yugoslav authorities, even though they claim that he is living in Sarajevo and is free to move around awaiting an official decision on whether or not he will be tried by the Yugoslav Court for his war-time activities. Subject's brother Zvonimir is or was a bank clerk in Zagreb, and his sister Danica was a teacher in Sarajevo, while his other brother, Kresimir, was reported to have been living in the British Zone of Germany in 1947. Our files contain no information which could help resolve the question of whether Subject was kidnapped by the Yugoslavs or if he returned to Yugoslavia of his own accord.

Orig & 1 Addressee
1 - [censored]
1 - [censored]
1 - [censored]
1 - [censored]
1 - [censored]


Article: The Final Redoubt of Nazism

Krunoslav Draganovic's proteges in Argentina: excerpt from "Peron's Nazi Ties," Time magazine, 1998.

...At issue here is not merely a matter of diplomatic taste. Throughout the war, Argentina was regarded by U.S. diplomats and the U.S. media as the regional headquarters for Nazi espionage. After 1945, reports kept cropping up in the U.S. press that Argentina was the final redoubt of important Nazis and their European collaborators, a point dramatically brought home as late as 1960 by the capture and forcible removal to Israeli justice of Adolf Eichmann, principal director of the "final solution"...
As late as 1944, the Argentine military thought the Nazis were going to win the war, and during the first months of 1945 tried to act as if they had. Having bet on the wrong horse, Peron and his associates - far from reproaching themselves for their bad judgment, or at least striving to correct it - closed ranks and came to the rescue of some of the most unsavory figures to escape Allied justice in liberated Europe.

After 1945, the Argentine consulate in Barcelona became a distribution point for false passports, which enabled literally hundreds if not thousands of Nazi functionaries to escape to Argentina, including the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele. Eventually Argentina provided safe haven for such sinister personalities as Belgian Nazi collaborator Pierre Daye; Reinhard Spitzy, the Austrian representative of Skoda in Spain; Charles Lescat, former Vichy functionary and onetime editor of the scurrilous magazine Je Suis Partout; SS functionary Ludwig Lienhardt; German industrialist Ludwig Freude; SS functionary (for a time) Klaus Barbie, "the Butcher of Lyons"; Eichmann; and Eichmann's adjutant Franz Stangl. Argentina also became home to dozens of Croats, veterans of the bloodthirsty Ustashe, as well as the wartime Prime Minister of occupied Yugoslavia, Milan Stojadinovich.

Some of these people had an important afterlife in Peron's Argentina. Vichyite Frenchman Jacques de Mahieu drafted the doctrinal texts of Peron's movement and became an important ideological mentor to Roman Catholic nationalist youth groups in the 1960s. Daye became the editor of one of the official Peronist magazines; Freude's business ventures prospered, and his son Rodolfo was the chief of presidential intelligence during Peron's first presidency. In 1951 Stojadinovich founded one of Argentina's main business dailies, El Economista, which still carries his name on its masthead.

Many of these people also benefited from the clandestine assistance of the Vatican in making their escape from Europe to Argentina. The one question Goni's book cannot answer is why either the Catholic Church or the Peron regime felt so strongly about the need to provide succor and assistance to partisans of a lost (and, one would have thought, thoroughly discredited) cause. Money did have something to do with it. Argentine officials in Europe were known to sell passports for large sums.

But there appears to have been a vague, confusing and still unexplained overlap between defeated Central European fascism, preconciliar Catholicism and nascent Peronism. A case in point is the career of a Croatian priest based in Rome, the Rev. Krunoslav Draganovic, who was deputed by Peron to facilitate the escape of hundreds of Nazis and their collaborators to South America, including the infamous Barbie. When the Butcher of Lyons asked the clergyman why he was going out of his way to help him, Draganovic merely replied, "We have to maintain a sort of moral reserve on which we can draw in the future." Thus the European fascist sensibility, if not precisely the fascist system, found new roots and new life in the South Atlantic region.

US Army File: Dr. DRAGANOVIC' Krunoslav

The following document was declassified in the aftermath of the Klaus Barbie scandal. It appears to have originated - like nearly all other documentation from the US government uncovered in 1983 - from the US Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps, but there is no indication as to when it was authored, nor by whom.

Dr. DRAGANOVIC' Krunoslav

Dr. DRAGANOVIC' has close contacts in Austrian political circles, especially with the Catholic clergy and with men of the ex-chancellor Dr. SCHUSCHNIG. Dr. SCHUSCHNIG lives with his family in the monastery of Dr. DRAGANOVIC' at Bergo Santo Spirito (in extraterritorial territory).
Three days ago, Dr. SCHUSCHNIG left for Austria under a false name. He carries with him a letter from Dr. DRAGANOVIC' which he has to deliver to the Croat Archbishop Dr. SARIC for a high ranking Ustasha official and ex-councillor of PAVELIC, IVANKOVIC.

Through the bishop STEINBACH in Salsburg and British chaplain, Capt. Dr. HAMAN, Dr. DRAGANOVIC received every information and Dr. HAMAN and the secretary of Bishop STEINBACH use him as courier between Austria and Italy.

Dr. DRAGANOVIC has contacts with Ustasha Headquarters in Austria and receives instructions and directives for political activity in Italy. Where Dr. PAVELIC Ante is hidden in Italy is known to ex-minister Dr. FARKOVIC', Mate, Dr. DRAGANOVIC' and priest WURSTER (WURSTER is now in Madrid, Spain, but according to reliable information, he comes to Rome from time to time in a plane with members of the Spanish Embassy). WURSTER has left hidden in "castelo dei angeli" (castel of the angels: reference probably made to Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome), a receiving and transmitting radio set with sufficiently powerful emissions.

The courier of PAVELIC', Ustasha Captain KRILIC works as his private secretary in the office of Dr. DRAGANOVIC. KRILIC also works for the information services of DRAGANOVIC'.

Recently, DRAGANOVIC was entrusted with the task of sending to Yugoslavia, via Austria, clandestinely of course, small groups of 3 persons (TROJKE) to carry out acts of sabotage. For this purpose has arrived from Austria a certain VRBAN (or URBAN) Drago, who will act as guide for the crosssing of the Italo-Austrian border.

Last year when PAVELIC was in Florence, DRAGANOVIC knew this and was together with PAVELIC.

Information is available to the effect that Dr. STAMBUK (intimate collaborator of Dr. DRAGANOVIC) has received from the FSS in Rome SOPREK, copies of reports which mention the activity of Yugoslav emigration in Italy (Rome) and that these reports have come into the hands of Dr. DRAGANOVIC.

Dr. DUGONJIC Zvonko who was recently arrested by the FSS in Rome, during an interrogation, stole from Major SIMCOCK, a document which he later passed to Dr. DRAGANOVIC.

War criminals wanted by the British Authorities were hidden by DRAGANOVIC and later many were sent to South America. Thus DRAGANOVIC hid in Borgo S. Spirito 4, General PECNIKAR Vilko, in Via Concilla 15 KVATERNIK Eugen and in a monastery near the Colosseum, Minister FAKOVIC Mate.

All the documents from which it can be seen that Dr. DRAGANOVIC helped war criminals are ready. In other reports, the activity and contacts of Dr. DRAGANOVIC will be mentioned.

Željko Zidarić
13th-June-2012, 03:05 PM
What is not written doesn't exist; it's past and gone.
- Mesa Selimovic


In early October 1958, the Vatican Secretary of State ordered Father Krunoslav Draganovic to vacate the Catholic College of San Girolamo, the base from which the man dubbed the "Golden Priest" had overseen an intense and far-ranging Nazi-smuggling operation in the decade following World War II. [1.]

Nine years later, Draganovic appeared at a press conference in Yugoslavia itself. The defection (often referred to as a "kidnapping" by Draganovic's former supporters) was a bombshell. In a coup for the communist regime, Draganovic praised his Communist hosts and denounced those he had given (and taken) so much to help - the Ustase. [2.]

The nine years between Draganovic's dismissal and his defection to Yugoslavia have often been considered lost. Information that could be gleaned from declassified government documents, released in the aftermath of the Klaus Barbie scandal [3.] was scarce and elliptical after 1950. There was evidence that Draganovic's employment as an intelligence asset had been terminated as late as 1962, but no way to discern the extent of the priest's involvement through the late 1950s and '60s.

However, in 2001, lawyers for the Central Intelligence Agency settled Levy vs. CIA, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Attorney Jonathan Levy seeking the declassification of US Army and CIA files relating to Krunoslav Draganovic. As a result, a dossier of new documents was approved for release, most of them dating from 1959 and 1960. [4.]

The reason why these documents were not released earlier, and why it took a lawsuit to secure them, may be inferred from their content. A series of reports by US intelligence agents in Verona reveal that within months of his termination from San Girolamo by the Vatican, Draganovic was "re-recruited" by a new generation of American agents in Italy. This is shocking; it is also verifiably true.

The first recruitment of Draganovic in 1947 as "one of the prime movers" in the "disposal rat-line" [5.] was indicative of the depths of immorality to which US intelligence had sunk to in the post-war years. Draganovic was an Ustase official as well as a priest; in the peculiar phrasing of the man responsible for his first recruitment, a "Fascist, war criminal, etc." [6.] The existence of the Ratline and Draganovic's part in it was confirmed by the United States government in 1983. [7.] But until the "Verona Reports" were declassified, little was known of the attempt by US intelligence agents in 1959 to bring their chief operative in that program back into the fold.


The Americans happened upon Draganovic in the Spring of 1959, six months following his eviction from the College of San Girolamo. At first glance, the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic appears to be senseless. The Verona Reports reveal that Americans were interested "primarily in OB [Order of Battle, or military] information, then secondary economic and political," [8.] later specified as concerning:

a. arms dispersal within Yugoslavia;
b. the organization of the army;
c. the location of radar sites;
d. ciphers used by the Yugoslav army;
e. Yugo-Soviet relations, and Yugoslavia's relations with Romania, Bulgaria, and other neighbouring countries; and
f. the political posture of senior Yugoslav officials. [9.]

The agents were flirtatious in their courtship of Draganovic, entertaining his most fanciful notions and demands that, in the words of one, would have the Americans "working for Draganovic and his organization rather than they working for us." [10.] The agents considered themselves at liberty to look beyond the priest's past and his connections with the Ustase in order to obtain this sensitive information on a target country. Yet Draganovic had not seen the territory of Yugoslavia since the Summer of 1943, and his activities in the interim were not likely to put him into touch with the competent authorities, to say the least.
The Verona Reports indicate that Draganovic managed to convince the Americans that he controlled a vast Croatian intelligence-gathering network which he could place at their disposal to gather this type of information. The credulousness of the Americans would almost be laughable, until one concludes (as one agent eventually did) that the only "network" of this scale that Draganovic could be connected with was the Ustase.


Draganovic had come highly recommended to the Americans at Verona by an informant (identified only by a codename, "Orval") in the Spring of 1959. Orval mentioned Draganovic's value as a potential informant more than once to his American chief, which prompted the Verona office to check into the priest's background. [11.]

After a cursory search of files on hand, on April 13th the Verona office wired the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) branch in Bad Cannstatt, Germany with a request for "any info [in] your files, or negative reply, concerning subject first name Krunoslav, last name Draganovic." The request gives Draganovic's residence as the College of San Girolamo. [12.]

Three days later, CIC-Bad Cannstatt replied with an extensive biography of Draganovic culled from files on hand. [13.] Verona was informed that Draganovic was "one of the leading figures in the Bureau of Colonization," [14.] a reference to the priest's post in the Independent State of Croatia in which he was responsible for the confiscation of Serbian and Jewish property and its reallocation to Croatian and Slovene deportees from the German Reich.

The reply further mentioned that "Draganovic's sponsorship of Croat quislings and war crim[inals] reportedly linked him with Vatican plans to shield these ex-Ustashi nationalists until such time as they acquired proper documents to enable them to go to South America." [15.]

CIC-Bad Cannstatt's reply was declassified in 1983, but, importantly, Verona's initial inquiry was not released until Levy vs. CIA in 2001. On the basis of the restored inquiry and reply, we are now able to establish that the agents in Verona responsible for the "re-recruitment" of Draganovic knew precisely who they were dealing with, his notorious background, and the crowd that he ran with: the Ustase. There is no further acknowledgment in the Verona Reports of the information contained in the CIC-Bad Cannstatt reply.


On April 28, Orval's handler, an American agent identified by the codename "Franco," [16.] departed from Verona for Rome to meet his target. From his initial destination - the College of San Girolamo - it appears that word had not yet reached the Verona office that Draganovic had been evicted from San Girolamo, though US intelligence received word of Draganovic's dismissal about a month after his departure. [17.] The reply from CIC-Bad Cannstatt had not contained the information.

On the grounds of San Girolamo, Franco was intercepted by a resident priest, one of Draganovic's confidants. The priest "greatly admired" Draganovic and offered to put Franco into contact with him, though not before upbraiding the "Anglo-Saxons" who were "responsible for the Tito regime in Yugoslavia" - a reference to the American aid package sent in 1948 after the Tito-Stalin confrontation and Yugoslavia's subsequent withdrawal from the Soviet Bloc. [18.]

Draganovic paid the agent a visit at his room later that evening. He began by mentioning his "pleasant relations" with William Gowen, a Special Agent of the Rome CIC branch in 1947 charged with investigating and arresting Ustase leader Ante Pavelic - and, in pursuit of his target, Krunoslav Draganovic as well. Considering that Draganovic must have been apprised of Gowen's intention to arrest him [19.], the priest was probably trying to find out how much Franco knew about his past relations with the Americans - there is no mention in Franco's report of Paul Lyon or any of the other personalities from the Vienna CIC branch that Draganovic knew much more intimately than Gowen from his work on the Ratline. Draganovic then launched a passionate condemnation of Tito and the persecution of Croats inside Yugoslavia. He also echoed the priest who had led Franco to him by claiming to possess inside information about Yugoslav misappropriation of American military aid.

Draganovic was carefully baiting his hook. He claimed to have been engaged in intelligence activities since 1943 and that "in the past 12 years he has never lost a source." He had "excellent sources in almost every part of Yugoslavia," though he avoided going into any detail as to how high-profile they were. Draganovic was willing to put this extensive network to use by the Americans but "at the first sign of insincerity, he, Draganovic, would cut off the relationship."

The price for this gift? Draganovic would "never accept one cent for his collaboration." However, if the Americans wanted to pay him, he would use these funds to "defray printing expenses" of leaflets that his network smuggled into Yugoslavia. This from the man later terminated, among other reasons, for "demand[ing] outrageous monetary tribute." [20.] The subject of payment was not the only issue on which Draganovic would soon change his tune.

But the American ate this swill eagerly. "Draganovic impressed Franco as being very astute, very intelligent, sincere and straightforward," with an "emphasis on sincerity." He urged his supervisors to make haste; Draganovic "will prove to be of extreme value" to the Verona unit. In an attitude which permeates from all of the Verona Reports, Franco felt that the United States had "nothing to lose" by employing a man he knew to be heavily involved with fugitive Nazi and Ustase war criminals.


A second meeting with Draganovic was approved. On May 28, 1959, Draganovic made the trip to Verona to Franco's private residence, though the agent would discretely excuse himself so that the priest could talk privately with one of the Verona office's senior agents, codenamed in the report as "Sardi." [21.]

Sardi's contribution to the Verona Reports is by far the most interesting. It is an antidote to the optimistic, credulous report filed by Franco after the April 28th meeting. He catches Draganovic in several misstatements, and is skeptical as to what use the priest is for gathering intelligence on Yugoslavia. He also suggested that Draganovic's "network" was in fact the Croatian Liberation Movement, the Ustase successor organization led by the highest-ranking official to benefit from Draganovic's Nazi-smuggling program, Ante Pavelic. But Sardi did not believe that Draganovic was too unsavoury to use as an agent; he simply doubted the priest could deliver all that he promised.

Draganovic, perhaps gauging the man across from him no less shrewdly than he had Franco, began to backtrack on his earlier statements as to the extent of his "network" inside Yugoslavia. The priest claimed he did not "control the men," but that they were part of his organization. They would need training if they were to obtain the sort of military information Sardi was interested in obtaining from Yugoslavia. Perhaps Draganovic's mind was alight with thoughts of the Krizari operation - guerrilla raids by former Ustase soldiers into Yugoslavia from Austria which was overseen by the British and Americans between 1945 and 1948.

Draganovic, however, interrupted this discussion and launched into a monologue on Tito and the persecution of Croats, as he had with Franco. He and his organization, he said, had three objectives: a free Yugoslavia, to defend the needs of the people, and to see to the self-determination for all of the Yugoslav republics. In a revealing rebuttal, Sardi asked him, point-blank, why these (rather inaccurate) goals should be of interest to him. The Americans were merely "utilizing the services of Draganovic or his organization in obtaining information" - they didn't care what he believed in. He may have added that if they were at all concerned with Draganovic's beliefs, they wouldn't have been talking to him.

According to Sardi's report, Draganovic made two extremely unusual requests during their meeting which, as the agent noted, cast serious doubt on his claims of the wide-ranging and vast extent of his "network." But there's more: the answers to these questions would seem not be of particular use to Draganovic or the neo-Ustase around Pavelic, but they would be of great value to the Yugoslavs secret police.

Draganovic states, first, that "he knows we have Agents operating in Yugoslavia, traveling from and into Yugoslavia." He asks that these covert operatives mail items for him from inside the country, ostensibly to put Draganovic into contact with individuals under watch by the secret police.

He described an example that we may have a man going to Belgrade, Sardi would inform Draganovic that we do have a man going, thereupon, Draganovic would give Sardi several letters to be given to this traveller to be mailed upon his arrival in Yugoslavia.

These letters, needless to say, would be a virtual red flag to UDBA, the Yugoslav secret police, who could use them to unmask and then track the agent's activities inside the country.
Even more suspicious is Draganovic's second request. The priest demands that the Americans put him in touch with their consulates throughout Europe. Whenever a Yugoslav citizen would try to emigrate to the United States, Draganovic would be notified "and would inform the Consultae [sic] whether the individual was qualified to emmigrate [sic - here and below] or not." Too many of the emigres, Draganovic explained, were "no good" and "all the good ones" were being left inside the country. As Sardi noted, "In other words he would be the one to pass judgement as to which or what Yugoslav refugee would emmigrate to the United States." Knowledge of which citizens were deciding to emigrate - including defectors - would be as important for UDBA to know as the identity of CIA agents in the country.

Finally, in reaction to a statement Draganovic made to the effect that his "network" was based outside of Italy, Sardi reveals an attitude sadly characteristic of the Americans in the Verona Reports. Draganovic had also mentioned that there are several parallel heads of his organization, and that he had recently returned from a trip to South America. These three facts, taken together, led Sardi to believe "that the organization with which Draganovic is connected is the Anton Pavelic Croation [sic] Liberation Movement."

Pavelic is the ex-Ustashi quissling leader of Yugoslavia. He is wanted as a war criminal by the Yugoslav government.

The American's reaction to this is curiously muted. If Draganovic's "network" existed at all, Sardi was probably correct in believing it was the reborn Ustase, led in Europe by Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburic, one of the most vicious and sadistic Ustase leaders during the war. Yet this is the degree of debasement that US intelligence had fallen to: neither Sardi nor Franco question the advisability of working hand-in-glove with some of the century's greatest mass-murderers.
Sardi was on the whole pessimistic regarding the prospects of any future cooperation. Yet it had little to do with Draganovic's past or his current associations, but rather whether the Americans could use him, and if they would adhere to his strange demands. If not, then "we shake hands and depart [as] friends."

The operational comments attached to this report by Sardi's superior in Verona note that the agent has pointed out some of the "various ramifications" of cooperating with Draganovic. In fact, the greatest danger, at least as far as the Americans were concerned, was that they were wasting their time.


Within two months of this meeting, in spite of Senior Agent Sardi's caution, Draganovic was fully employed by US intelligence under a codename which perhaps signifies the importance they assigned to him: "Dynamo." Records obtained via the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Draganovic was paid, on average, approximately 100,000 Italian lire per month. To put this into perspective, the average Italian salary in the same period was 47,000 lire per month. [22.]

Only one report is extant from this period, and one or more pages of the document are missing. On July 8, Draganovic and Franco met to discuss the terms of the priest's cooperation. Franco's mood is decidedly less ebullient than it was in their first meeting; he is considerably less impressed by Draganovic's sincerity than his no-nonsense approach. "He does not act like a priest when engaged in intelligence conversations," Franco notes, "but assumes the attitude of a business man who has a product to sell and who is talking to a potential buyer." The American, perhaps as a result of Sardi's influence, began to revise his earlier opinions. Draganovic insists on traveling first-class by train carriage and the two joke about buying the priest a new pair of shoes. Franco is "convinced that [Draganovic] is in this business not only for his conviction but also because of the personal comforts an extra income can provide him with." [23.]

At this meeting, Franco and Draganovic agreed that all future payments would be signed for by Draganovic, referred to in the first two reports by his true name and herein as "Dynamo," under yet another codename, "Dottore Fabiano." [24.] On September 2, 1959, Franco and Draganovic decided on the priest's "bona fides," the method by which he could establish the legitimacy of American agents. Draganovic

is in possession of one-half of the nine-of-diamonds playing card which has been cut diagonally across. Agent Handler will present himself and say to DYNAMO "VINCIT QUI SE VINCIT" (He conquers who conquers himself). DYNAMO will answer "VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI" (A word is enough for a wise man). Agent Handler will then ask DYNAMO for his half of the bona fides which will match with the half in possession of the Agent Handler. [25.]

According to the pay records, reports from Draganovic began arriving shortly thereafter. By April 1960, he was no longer being paid on the basis of his output but at a fixed "salary" of some 60,000 lire per month. He was now a fully-established American operative, once again.


The fall-out from the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic was potentially enormous. It is plausible that Draganovic intended to exploit his relationship with the Americans to re-establish links between America and the Ustase, reborn under the guidance of Ante Pavelic as a neo-Fascist political movement in Buenos Aires by the same concentration camp guards, cut-throats and ideologists who escaped through the good priest's offices on the Ratline ten years before. As Sardi noted, if the Americans acceded to the priest's demands, it was the Americans that "would be working for Draganovic and his organization rather than they working for us." As for secrecy, the Yugoslavs knew everything about the renewed collaboration within a year. [26.]

Only five years before he was approached by Franco, the Army had obtained information that Draganovic was attempting to infiltrate US Guard Companies (squads of foreign nationals, usually Polish or German, which guarded American installations in Central Europe) with "Croatian refugees from Italy" whose visas he would obtain from Rome. [27.] Given his background, there's good reason to believe these were still more members of the Ustase he wanted to sneak in through the back door into sensitive positions. From the information contained in the Verona Reports, it appears that he merely had to wait long enough for an invitation.

The possibility of infiltrating American intelligence operations with still more Nazis and Ustase was not the only risk, however. There were persistent allegations throughout the 1950s and '60s that Draganovic had begun to cooperate with the Soviets or even his bete noir - the Yugoslav UDBA.

Most allegations of Draganovic's cooperation with the UDBA were made after the fact, in an attempt to comprehend the enigma of his inexplicable defection to Yugoslavia. In Unholy Trinity, investigative reporter Mark Aarons and former Department of Justice investigator John Loftus quote a "former British intelligence officer" speaking on condition of anonymity that "If [the Yugoslavs] didn't kill him, it means he was a double agent. There's no two ways about it." Yet this source's words are somewhat unconvincing, despite the emphatic tone. [28.] In the aftermath of Draganovic's defection, the US State Department ordered an investigation of the priest's background and while the resulting memorandum alluded to allegations that "subject has been accused of working for the Soviet Intelligence Service," the author also stresses that there is "no proof that he ever worked for the Soviets or any Communist intelligence Service." [29.]

The Verona Reports indicate that the agents were often frustrated by Draganovic's refusal to name his sources, or even the name of his "network." This doesn't necessarily mean his information was in fact disinformation from the KGB or UDBA. As stated, Draganovic could have been stringing the agents along about an organization that was a complete fabrication, or feared naming his organization as Pavelic's neo-Ustase Croatian Liberation Movement or Luburic's sister organization, the Croatian National Resistance. But none of these (more likely) possibilities were explored by the Americans, either.


The Verona Reports obtained as a result of Levy vs. CIA present yet another twist in an already shocking story. It is, on the whole, a rather depressing sequel. In July of 1947, as William Gowen and other agents of the Rome branch of the CIC made their final preparations to arrest Ante Pavelic as well as Krunoslav Draganovic, a mysterious intervention on behalf of the leader of the Independent State of Croatia canceled the entire operation. The source of the order was ambiguous; the order itself ("Hands off") was not. [30.] Twelve years later, Draganovic was orphaned by the Vatican, and once again the Americans came to his rescue.

Draganovic was not the only ghost of the Ratline on the Army's mind in the 1960s, however. His old charge, Klaus Barbie, Gestapo chief of Lyon, was considered for reactivation in 1965. [31.] In Barbie's case, after several lengthy discussions the Army decided against it; the "potential gain" of re-recruiting the Butcher of Lyon in his new home in Bolivia far "outweighed the manifest risks." [32.] The lost soul was untouchable; the boatman who led him across the River Styx, by some leap in logic, was not.

Franco and Sardi were not "rogue" agents, and the notion that they brought Draganovic back under the wing of the Americans on their own initiative is dismissed by the "Operations Comments" appended to the bottom of two of the Verona Reports. For the July 8 meeting, the comments, presumably by an agent senior to Sardi and Franco, warn them not to "make any commitments that we can't break away from," but adds that the entire operation "looks promising." [33.] Either an entire office had gone rogue, or the second recruitment of Krunoslav Draganovic was acknowledged at a higher level. As long as the Ratline remained a secret, the ramifications of Draganovic's renewed employment were minuscule - certainly not the public relations disaster of the recruitment of Klaus Barbie.

Security, of course, was another matter. The puzzle of Draganovic's ultimate allegiance in the 1950s and '60s, in light of his eventual defection to Yugoslavia, remains unsolved. How could the man who threw a lifeline to the bitterest enemies of the communist regime willingly return and live at peace until his death in 1983, as appears to be the case? Barring any future revelations from future Freedom of Information Act suits, only the files of the UDBA, presently gathering dust in the state archives in Belgrade, can shed light on the issue. But with the Verona Reports, the window of Draganovic's "lost years" has grown much smaller.


I am indebted, first and foremost, to Jonathan Levy for his tenacity in pursuing the Verona Reports and for making them available to this site. Writing on this subject would not be conceivable without the efforts of Allan A. Ryan, Jr, John Loftus and Mark Aarons, and of William Gowen.


1. "The priest Krunoslav Draganovic being asked to leave the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici," declassified CIA document, November 19, 1958. [back]

2. "Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganovic," State Department Memorandum for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Department of State from the Deputy Director for Plans, c. January 8, 1968; Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity, pp. 143-150. Aarons and Loftus state that at the time of his press conference, November 15, 1967, Draganovic had been "in Yugoslav hands" for "over two months." "His previously bitter denunciations of Serbian and Communist domination of Croatia had completely disappeared, replaced with glowing praise for the 'democratisation and humanising of life.'" Ibid, p 143. There has never been any evidence presented that he was kidnapped. At most, Draganovic's former collaborators on the Ratline alleged that he was tricked by a UDBA agent that infiltrated San Girolamo named Miroslav Varos; the scenario is unconvincing. Ibid, p. 145. [back]

3. Former Gestapo chief of Lyon, Klaus Barbie, known to the French Resistance as the "Butcher of Lyon," was exposed at a press conference in La Paz by French Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld in 1972 as the true identity of a Bolivian businessman going by the name of Klaus Altmann. Barbie managed to fend of his extradition until February 4, 1983, when he was expelled and brought to France for trial. Barbie had worked for the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps and was handed over by the Americans to Draganovic to secure his transport to South America.

The ensuing firestorm led Allan A. Ryan, Jr., director of the US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, to reveal the existence of the Ratline and Draganovic's role as the Ratline's "prime mover." See "DOJ/OSI Investigation of Klaus Barbie," declassified CIA document, 1983. This was the first explicit acknowledgment by the United States government of the Ratline and their employment of Draganovic, thirty-six years after the fact. [back]

4. The epithet "Verona Reports" refer to the documents written by the agents of SETAF Verona, not those written by Draganovic. [back]

5. "DOJ/OSI Investigation of Klaus Barbie." [back]

6. "History of the Italian Rat Line," declassified report by Special Agent Paul E. Lyon of the 430th Detachment of the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (Austria), April 10, 1950. [back]

7. Klaus Barbie and the United States Government: A Report to the Attorney General of the United States by Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General Allan A. Ryan, Jr., August 1983. [back]

8. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. [back]

9. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. "Dynamo" is a codename for Draganovic; see editor's introduction to ibid. [back]

10. Field report by Senior Agent "Sardi"; see Note 8 above. [back]

11. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Agent "Franco" dated May 2, 1959, XOR: 0-0214. [back]

12. Untitled cable from CG SETAF VERONA to 66th CIC Group and five other recipients, received April 13, 1959. [back]

13. CIC-Bad Cannstatt was the informal name for the 66th CIC Detachment - the same organization responsible for shielding the Gestapo Chief of Lyon, Klaus Barbie, from extradition by the French in 1950. Agents from the 66th then contacted the 430th CIC Detachment based in Vienna, who agreed to ship Barbie down the Nazi-smuggling network they had established with Draganovic. Ryan, Klaus Barbie and the United States Government, pp. 151-160. Lyon, "History of the Italian Rat Line." No mention of Draganovic's work for the 430th CIC or, indirectly, the 66th CIC is mentioned in the CIC-Bad Cannstatt reply. The CIC's files had been removed from Europe to be microfilmed in the United States and the information on Barbie was still highly classified; it is unlikely that Draganovic's role in the Barbie Affair would be discernable from the information on hand. [back]

14. Untitled cable from 66th CIC Group to CG SETAF Verona by Edward E. Costello, April 16, 1959. [back]

15. Ibid. [back]
16. "Franco" signs his name alongside Draganovic's in a contract as "Bruno Francazi" or "Francozi." See the "Doctor Fabiano Statement" (untitled contract), July 8, 1959. According to a subsequent report, Draganovic suggests that the American use the "common name Franco" in their correspondence. However, one previous letter and two which were written by Draganovic to Franco subsequent to that meeting all address the recipient as "Bruno." Partial report of July 8, 1959; and "SETAF 41: Handwriting Specimens and Signatures and Bona Fides," declassified CIA document. [back]

17. "The priest Krunoslav Draganovic being asked to leave the College of St. Jerome of the Illirici." See Note 1 above. [back]

18. This and subsequent information concerning the initial meeting comes from "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Agent "Franco" dated May 2, 1959. [back]

19. "Declaration of William E. W. Gowen," obtained from the court record in San Francisco in Case No. C99-4941 MMC (EDL), dated January 16, 2003. [back]

20. Untitled database files for Krunoslav Draganovic, declassified CIA files. It had been thought, before the release of the Verona Reports, that the reasons for Draganovic's termination related to his charging exhorbitant fees for moving fugitive Nazis like Barbie on behalf of the Americans back in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But the files state that Draganovic was terminated "with prejudice/23 Jan 62" for reasons of "security and lack of control; too knowledgable of unit personnel and activity; demands outrageous monetary tribute and US support of Croat Orgs. as partial payment for cooperation." The date must refer to Draganovic's second tenure, and Draganovic made his demand for "US support of Croat Orgs. as partial payment for cooperation" to Senior Agent Sardi. "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. With the release of the Verona Reports, we can now state that the specific reasons given in the termination files for the Draganovic's firing date from his second tenure - even though the record had been carefully shorn of any reference to it when the termination files were declassified in 1983. [back]

21. This and subsequent information concerning the May 28, 1959 meeting comes from "DRAGANOVIC, Krunoslav," field report by Senior Agent "Sardi" dated May 29, 1959, XOR: 0-0271. [back]

22. "SETAF 41 Source Accounting Sheets," declassified CIA file. [back]

23. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. [back]

24. The "Doctor Fabiano Statement," a contract between Franco and Draganovic signed on July 8. Draganovic's termination files indicate he was known by yet another codename, "The Professor." [back]

25. "SETAF 41: Handwriting Specimens and Signatures and Bona Fides," declassified CIA document. [back]

26. Denunciations of Draganovic in the Yugoslav press began again in 1960 after several years, along with several "show trials" in which the accused implicated the priest as an American agent. Unholy Trinity, p. 147. [back]

27. Carded index file titled "DRAGANOVIC, Fnu, Professor," Ref: D-281026, Ops Memo dtd 29 Jun 54, File: IV-0926. The original report has not been found. There is no reference to this incident in CIC-Bad Canstatt's reply. [back]

28. Unholy Trinity, p 145. The quotation of the source begins with the statement that "I think he was very much a realist, and I'm not certain to this day whether he was not a double agent," and yet concludes with the seemingly emphatic statement that he was, with "no two ways about it." [back]

29. "Dr. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganovic," State Department Memorandum for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Department of State from the Deputy Director for Plans, c. January 8, 1968. However, this document neglects to mention a good deal of what US intelligence knew about Draganovic, and flatly denies that the Yugoslavs had put Draganovic "on display," which we know to be true. [back]

30. Handwritten notation by CIC Agent Gono Morena on the same page as "Pavelic, Anton," memorandum by Special Agent Bernard J. Grennan, July 14, 1947. [back]

31. Klaus Barbie and the United States Government, p 168. [back]

32. Ibid, p 177. [back]

33. Partial field report signed by Agent "Franco," dated to c. July 8, 1959. [back]