THE IDEOLOGY OF GREATER SERBIA

ILIJA GARASANIN (1812-1874)

Ilija Garasanin was one of the most active Serbian politicians in the 19th century. He was a minister in several ministries of the Obrenovic dynasty and the Karadjordjevic dynasty, thus just this fact shows his political ingenuity. He became famous for his "Nacertanije" which originated in 1844, but was published at a much later date. In his "Nacertanije" he outlined a plan for the creation of Greater Serbia which was to include not only the territories that once belonged to Serbia, but also the lands he thought should belong to Serbia. Garasanin knew that Serbia would need the aid of neighbouring countries for the realization of these plans and he counted on the weakening of the Balkan states by the fall of the Turkish Empire, thus enabling Serbia to grab certain territories more easily.


VUK STEFANOVIC KARADZIC (1787-1864)

Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic

Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic was a linguist and writer who traveled throughout the Balkan lands studying and collecting folk songs. He wrote widely on linguistic subjects and problems, and published a grammar book and dictionary of what he considered to be the Serbian language. The Serbs consider him to be the founder of the Serbian language reform and Serbian culture in general. One of the main themes of his work is that all those speaking the Stokavian dialect are Serbian (even though most Croatians speak a form of this dialect as well). This line of thinking is evident quite frequently in Karadzic's work, and it influenced Serbian attitudes toward other Balkan nations.

Karadzic's article "Serbs All and Everywhere" was published for the first time in the book "Treasure Box for the History, Language and Customs of Serbians of All Three Faiths" in 1849. This work is a typical example of Karadzic's views on the language and ethnicity of Serbia's neighbours. He also attempted to negate the existence of any significant number of Croatians, distorting historic and linguistic facts to prove his theories.

While Garasanin in his "Nacertanije" from 1844 outlines ideas how to Serbianize other nations, Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic had already in 1836 integrated all neighbouring nations into the Serbian nation. This can be concluded from his text written in 1836.:

"It is known for certain that Serbs now live in present-day Serbia (between the Drina and Timok rivers, and between the Danube and Sar mountains), in Metohija (from Kosovo over the Sar mountains, where Dusan's capital Prizren, the Serbian patriarchate of Pec, and the Decani monastery are located), in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Zeta, Montenegro, Banat, Backa, Srijem, the western Danube region from Osijek to Sentandrija, Slavonia, Croatia (Turkish and Austrian), Dalmatia, and in the entire Adriatic littoral from Trieste to Bojana. I said at the start that it is known for certain that Serbs live in these regions, while it is still not known how many Serbs are Albania and Macedonia. Along the Cetina river (in Montenegro) I was talking with two men from Dibra, who were telling me that in those places there are many Serbian villages, in which Serbian is spoken the way they speak it, that is, a cross between Serbian and Bulgarian, but always closer to Serbian than Bulgarian. In the aforementioned places there are at least five million people who speak the same language, but by religion they can be split into three groups: it can be estimated roughly that about three million are Greek Orthodox, and of this one million in Serbia (with Metohija), one million in the Austrian provinces (Banat, Backa, Srijem, western Danube, Slavonia, Croatia, Dalmatia and Boka), and one million in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Zeta and Montenegro; of the remaining two million it can be said that about two-thirds are Muslim (in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Zeta etc.) and one-third are Roman Catholic (in the Austrian provinces, and in Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Bar nahija). Only the first three million call themselves Serbs, the rest will not accept the name. Those of the Islam faith think that they are real Turks, and call themselves that, although only one in a hundred can even speak Turkish. Those of the Catholic faith use the name of the place in which they live: for example Slavonian, Bosnian (or Bosniak), Dalmatian, Dubrovnian, etc., or, as is common among writers they use ancient names such as Illyrian or Illyrianist. However, in Backa they are called Bunjevacs, in Srijem, Slavonia and Croatia they are called Sokacs, and around Dubrovnik and in Boka they are called Latins. Bunjevacs possibly get their name from the Herzegovinian river Buna, from where these people, as it is told, migrated some time ago..."

"All of the wiser people among the Orthodox and Catholic Serbs recognize that they are one people and strive to totally uproot or at least lessen the hatred because of different religions as much as they can. Even so, those of the Catholic faith still have a hard time calling themselves Serbians, but they will adjust to this in their own time, because if they do not want to be Serbs, then they have no national name at all. To say that one is Slavonian, another Dalmatian, still another Dubrovnian is useless, because all these are place names and do not describe any nation. To say that they are Slavs is too general, as Russians, Poles, Czechs and all other Slavic peoples fall under that name. To say that they are Croats, I would say that in truth only the Cakavian speakers could use this name. They are the descendants of Constantine Porfirogenitus? Croats whose language is a little different from Serbian, but still closer to Serbian than any other Slavic dialect. Today's Croatians in the Zagreb, Varazdin and Krizevci districts, whose land was called Croatia after the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 (and was until then called upper Slavonia), speak a language which is a cross-over from Slovenian into Serbian. I do not know how the name Croatian can be used for our Catholic brothers who live in Banat, Backa, Srijem, Slavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina or in Dubrovnik, who speak the same language as the Serbs."


NIKOLA STOJANOVIC (1880-1964)

Nikola Stojanovic, a lawyer and politician, was born in Mostar. Before World War I, he was a prominent opponent of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the founder of an opposition paper called "Narod" (Nation). During the World War I he was a member of the Yugoslav Committee, which worked on the unification of the South Slavs. He was considered an expert on Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was an adviser for that region during the Peace Conference of 1918-1919.

He wrote an article that was first published in "Srbobran" (a Serbian periodical based in Zagreb), number 168/169, in 1902. In the article titled "To Extermination: Ours or Yours", he judges the Serbians and the Croatians as though it were merely a matter of two different parties, and not as if it were a matter of different nations, one of which had to win and eliminate the other (Croatia, in reality).

He said the following:

"... Serbs and Croats are, according to some, two tribes of the same nation; the others, two separate nations (nationalities); still to others, one nation, one tribe."

"A tribe originates in the time before the formation of a state, a nation emerges in a state at the initiative of one tribe. In our history, this role was filled by the tribe of Stevan Nemanja, but after this we have many examples showing that Serbian leaders did not want or did not comprehend the union of interests of all religions, without which there can be no talk of a political union. The Serbs were politically united during the defense of Kosovo and by the subsequent shared fate of slavery under the same authority. Cultural unity, founded by Saint Sava, was at its best in this magnificent defense and in the later amalgamation of the Serbian aristocracy with democracy into one indivisible, wonderful whole-democracy with aristocratic pride. In this lies the importance of the Battle of Kosovo, in this sense the Serbian defeat in Kosovo meant one great victory."

It is a fact that the Serbs turned many defeats in history into victory. He continued to say:

"The Croatians have neither a separate language, nor unified customs, nor a firmly unified lifestyle, nor, most importantly, a sense of mutual affiliation, and because of this cannot be a distinct or separate nation."

"The Croatians are thus neither a tribe nor a separate nationality. They are now something between a tribe and a nationality, but without hope of ever becoming a separate nationality."

"Their wandering in the 19th century from Gaj's Illyrianism to Strossmayer's Yugoslavism to Starcevic's Croatianism proves this quite well. Their leaders, who wanted to create a nationality to fit the needs of others, forgot that a nation as a product of history is not created overnight, and that various myths cannot destroy the Serbian pride in their past, expressed in the epic poetry, and be replaced by pride in the 'shining Croatian past?'"

"Croatians often assert that they have some sort of cultural advantage over the Serbians. Those who do not have a distinct view of the world (in religion, customs, education etc.), no national art nor literature, dare to speak of Croatian culture."

"Croatians, therefore, are not and cannot be a separate nationality, but they are on the way of becoming part of the Serbian nationality. Taking on Serbian as their literaty language."

"The process of blending is unstoppable, as these are masses speaking the same language, and by the same token we must reject without any declamation of unity a battle between the intelligentsia and the middle class; as the Serbs and Croats in today's form are two political parties. The struggle going on between liberalism and ultramontane cosmopolitanism is personified in the struggle between the Serbs and the Croats. The contrast between the historical state right, which serves as the basis for the programmes of all Croatian parties, not one of which is liberal (certainly unique in Europe), and the natural rights expressed in the Serbian national thought, which is the basis for Serbian political party programmes, none of which show any trace of clericalism or conservatism, is the best proof of this."

"The proud people of Dubrovnik decided on Serbianism, although the other Dalmatian cities, which were under the influence of the same Italian culture, decided on Croatianism. Dubrovnik was a free republic, but the remaining cities were under the domination of the Republic of Saint Mark (Venice). The liberated people decided to go with the liberated and progressive Serbian nation, the subjugated people chose subservient and regressive Croatia. This is the best proof that only concepts of freedom separate us, that we are simply two political parties. In the struggle between these parties there can be no talk of unity, as their principles come from a separate foundation, and because the Croatians are somebody else's avant-garde, whereas the Serbians represent the principle of 'the Balkans for the Balkan people'. On the basis of this principle the Serbs must unite with other Balkan nations, leaving internal Balkan questions for another time. Croatians, as the representatives of foreign expansionist desires, are totally excluded from this, not because of their national characteristics, but rather because this nation allowed its fate to be managed by a few cliques who were obviously serving the interests of foreign governments. This struggle must lead to an extermination of 'ours or yours'. One side must submit. That this will be the Croats is assured by their small size, geographic location, surroundings (as they are mixed in with Serbs everywhere) and the general process of evolution, where the Serbian ideal means progress. Through the education of the masses and their participation in politics, the reactionary clericalist idea will finally subside. The fall of clericalism in our nation means the fall of Croatianism."


JOVAN CVIJIC (1865-1927)

Jovan Cvijic is an eminent ideologist of the Greater Serbian idea. He is considered the founder of modern geographic science in Serbia. He researched and wrote extensively about Balkan geography. He had a great knowledge not only of the geography of Serbia and the surrounding regions but also of the history and current events in those areas. He was also interested in Serbia's political advancement and because of this he often lost his scientific impartiality when writing about Serbia or the Balkans in a geographic context. Much of his work was and is used as a 'scientific justification' for Greater Serbian politics. All of these statements reflect the assertions of present Greater Serbian ideologists, and it is evident that Cvijic's work, since he was a reputable geographer, is used as 'scientific proof' of their territorial claims:

"The Serbian problem must be resolved through violent means. Both Serbian states must chiefly prepare themselves militarily and educationally, sustain their national energy in the military portions of the Serbian population, and use the first possible opportunity to debate Serbian questions with Austro-Hungary."

"Outside of the Morava-Vardar depression (South Serbia and Macedonia) there are no territories in the western half of the Balkan Peninsula suitable for forming a permanent state able to live an economic and political life."

He goes on to say:

"The economic and trading interests of certain Dinaric regions (the following are listed by name: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia and the 'Dinaric' Croatia) even now aim for the Morava-Vardar depression; these lands cannot acquire life and importance unless they join with the Morava-Vardar state..."

"... it is widely known that Bosnia and Herzegovina are lands settled entirely by people who are purely Serbian in race..."

"... as an unassailable minimum for the principle of nationality it must stand that one cannot relinquish that central dominion and the heartland of the nation to another country, a foreign state; this is what Bosnia and Herzegovina represent to the Serbian people."

"... for economic independence, Serbia must acquire access to the Adriatic Sea and one part of the Albanian coastline: through the occupation of the territory or by acquiring economic and transportation rights to this region. Therefore, this implies occupying an ethnographically foreign territory, but one that must be occupied due to particularly important economic interests and vital needs. Such occupation might be called an anti-ethnographic necessity and in such a form it is not against the principle of nationality. In this case it is all the more justified because the Albanians of northern Albania came about through a merging of the Albanians and Serbs."

This is what Cvijic says about Dubrovnik and Dubrovnians:

"It seems that the Slavs who settled in these lands in the 6th and 7th centuries first settled on the steep cliffs above where the town is located today, on the cliffs that used to be wooded with an oak forest, known then as 'dubrava'. This, then, is the origin of the Serbian name for the city of Dubrovnik which replaced the earlier Greek-Roman name (Ragusa)."


STEVAN MOLJEVIC (1888-1946)

Stefan Moljevic was the chief advisers to the chetnik leader, Draza Mihajlovic. The ideas advocated by him and the kind of Greater Serbia he hoped for, are best shown in his memorandum called "The Homgenous Serbia" which was released in Niksic on 30th June 1941. He wrote the following in this manifesto:

"The sense and love of nation and independence can only be reached in a homogeneous Serbia."

"In this regard, the Serbs today have a primary and basic duty to create and organize a homogeneous Serbia which must consist of the entire ethnic territory on which Serbs live, and to ensure the necessary strategic and transportation lines and centres, as well a economic areas which would enable and secure free economic, political and cultural life and development for all times."

The continuation of the manifesto Stevan Moljevic elaborated the question of the borders of GREATER SERBIA, and he wrote the following:

"The basic mistake of our state administration was that in 1918 the boundaries of Serbia were not firmly set up. This mistake must be corrected immediately, for tomorrow it will be too late. These borders must be struck now, and they must include the entire ethnic territory on which Serbs live with unhindered access to the sea for all Serbian districts that are in the vicinity of the coast.

1) In the east and southeast (Serbia and South Serbia), the Serbian borders are the result of wars of liberation, and it is only necessary to reinforce them by adding Vidin and Custendil. In the south (Montenegro and Herzegovina), the Southwest Serbian province should include not only the Zeta Banovina (Royal Province) but:

a) all of eastern Herzegovina with a railroad tie from Konjic to Ploce, including a land belt that would protect this line, so that in this area the entire Konjic district would be included; from the Mostar district the following municipalities: Mostar, Bijelo Polje, Blagaj and Zitomislici; the entire Stolac district; from the Metkovic district Ploce and all the areas south of Ploce, as well as Dubrovnik, which would have a special status

b) the northern part of Albania, that is in case Albania does not acquire autonomy.

3) In the west, the Western Serbian province should include, apart from the Vrbas Banovina, Northern Dalmatia, the Serbian part of Lika, Kordun and Banija and a part of Slavonia, so that the railroad from Plaski to Sibenik and the northern rail connection from Okucani over Sunja to Kostajnica belong to this region. This province would include one part of the Bugojno district except for Gornji Vakuf, and from the Livno district: Livno and Donje Polje, and on the other side from the Sibenik district: the municipalities of Sibenik and Skradin; from the Knin district: the city of Knin and the Serbian part of the Drnis municipality with its territory through which the Knin-Sibenik railroad passes, and eventually the Serbian part of Vrlika in the Sinj district; the entire Benkovac district; the entire Biograd district; the entire Preko district; so that the borders of the Western Serbian province go along the Velebit Channel and include Zadar with all the islands around it; from the Gospic district: Gospic, Licki Osik and Medak; the eastern part of the Perusic district through which the railroad passes; from the Otocac district: Dabar, Skare and Vrhovine; from the Ogulin district: Dreznica, Gomirje, Gornja Dubrava and Plaski; the Vojnic district except the municipality of Barilovic; the entire Vrginmost district; the Glina district except the municipalities of Bucice and Stankovac; from the Petrinja district: the municipalities of Blinja, Gradusa, Jabukovac and Sunja; the Kostajnica district without Bobovac; from the Novska district: Jasenovac and Vanjska Novska, but these places should be abolished so that the railroad stays on the territory of these two municipalities; the entire Okucani district; the Pakrac district without: Antunovac, Gaj and Poljana; Velic Selo from the Pozega district; the districts of Daruvar, Grubisno Polje and Slatina; then the Bosnian districts of Derventa and Gradacac. It is understood that all other districts within these borders will be included in this region. For this Western Serbian province, which would have 46 districts and nearly 1.5 million inhabitants, on which the entire Sipad enterprise falls, as well as the iron mine at Ljubija, and over which the Adriatic railway Valjevo-Banja Luka-Sibenik runs, it will be necessary to secure the Zadar area and the surrounding islands to ensure its outlet to the sea.

4) The Northern Serbian province should get, in addition to the territory of the Danube Banovina, the dispossessed Serbian districts of Vukovar, Sid and Ilok, and from the Vinkovci district: the municipalities of Vinkovci, Laze, Mirkovci and Novi Jankovci; the entire district and city of Osijek. This district should be secured with Baranja with Pecuj and eastern Banat with Temisvar and Resice.

5) The Central Serbian province - the Drina Banovina - should have the following dispossessed Bosnian districts returned to it: Brcko, Travnik and Fojnica. Dalmatia, which would include the Adriatic coast from Ploce up to Sibenik, as well as the Bosnian-Herzegovinian districts: Prozor, Ljubuski, Duvno; the western parts of the Mostar and Livno districts, and the northern parts of the Knin and Sibenik districts, must become part of Serbia but has to be granted a special autonomous position. The Roman Catholic church in Dalmatia will be recognized and receive state aid, but the work of the church and the Catholic clergy among the people must be favourable to the state and under its control."

In chapter II "Relations with other Yugoslav and Balkan States", Moljevic wrote:

"With the conviction of its past and its mission in the Balkans, Serbia must also in the future be the bearer of the Yugoslav idea as well as the first defender of Balkan solidarity and Gladstone's principle of 'the Balkans for the Balkan people'. Time demands that smaller states must combine in larger communities, unions and blocks, and Serbia's friends will expect this of her. Serbia will gladly respond to these expectations, for this is at the heart of her historical mission in the Balkans. The Serbs already started on this path when they created Yugoslavia, and they will continue on this path. However, the first step on this path was taken incorrectly in that the Serbs and the Montenegrins allowed themselves to be immediately melted into Yugoslavia, while the Croatians, Slovenes and Muslims took a different course and take all they can from Yugoslavia without giving anything in return. This mistake must be corrected and it can only be done if the Serbs, with the resurrected Yugoslavia, immediately and unhesitatingly create a homogeneous Serbia within the borders previously outlined. Only after this has been achieved will we approach all other questions relating to the Slovenes and Croats. Yugoslavia would thus be arranged on a federal basis with three federal units: the Serbian, Croatian and Slovene units (Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, my own remark). Only when this state of affairs is settled, when all Serbian regions are united in a homogeneous Serbia, can a limited rapprochement with Bulgaria be conceived... The Serbs must exercise hegemony in the Balkans, therefore they must previously gain hegemony in Yugoslavia."



PERSECUTION AND LIQUIDATION OF CROATS ON CROATIAN TERRITORY FROM 1903 TO 1941

FOREWORD

When the Serbian-Yugoslav Army launched an attack on Slovenia in 1991, the state of war on the former Yugoslavian territories, subsequently led to an aggressive war against Croatia. In 1992, with the aid of the Bosnian Serbs, the Yugoslavian Army attempted as well to conquer Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a Serbian and Montenegrin war against the three former separate and independent republicsstill in effect today. This aggressive war was another attempt to preserve Yugoslavia in which Serbia with the help of Montenegro would retain its domination over the other republics and people. This is the final act; the finale of Greater Serbia politics which has been executed by all possible means for almost two complete centuries in an extremely organized form since 1903.


TWO CENTURIES OF GREATER SERBIAN EXPANSION TOWARDS THE WEST

The first Serbian state originated in the Turkish whirlpool in 1459. The new second Serbia began to take shape from the First and Second Rebellions against Turkey in 1804 and 1815. However, the Serbian Orthodox Church preserved the idea of the revival of the Serbian State (a re-establishment of a Greater Serbia from the 14th century during Emperor Dusan's era with its expansion towards the West asfar as the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchal jurisdiction stretched with its centre in Pec in Kosovo). Hence, it is not surprising that the thesis stating, that all nations who speak similar languages as the Serbian language are Serbian, was proposed primarily by leaders of the Serbian church. For example, The Monk writer Dositej Obradovic in 1783 and Monah and historian Jovan Rajic in 1794, counted Bosnia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, thus parts of Croatia, as Serbian land.

In 1806, the first map, published by Sava Tekelija (Popovic), of expanded Serbia consisted of Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatian lands of Dalmatia and Dubrovnik. In 1806, Montenegrins with the aid of the Russians, who sailed into the Adriatic Sea in a battle against France, violently attacked and looted Konavle, a part of the Croatian-Dubrovnik Republic. This was repeated in 1991 by their great grandchildren from Montenegro with the help of the Serbian Army which at the time was called the Yugoslavian Army. Along with the looting and the tyranny, they violently bombed the museum city of Dubrovnik which they have long wanted to Serbianize or destroy for well over a century and a half.

One of the characteristics of the Eastern or Orthodox Church is religious exclusivism. These distinctions relate to the Serbian Orthodox Church. From the 12th century, since the founder St. Sava, its first and last ideologist, persecutes and endeavors to destroy other faiths, principally the Catholic faith and Islam from the 19th century. The fundamental characteristics of the teachings of St. Sava, include: equalization and a narrow tie between the Serbian State and Church, national and religious exclusivism, destruction of all members of other nations and faiths, the stealing of pocessions and conquering of territories all resulting in religious, national, and political exclusivism and intolerance. The Serbian Orthodox Church utilized such politics by transferring Catholic Montenegro into Orthodoxism and by settling Bosnia, Herzegovina and part of Croatia with Orthodox Vlachs (cattle-ranchers with non Slavic roots or Roman or Illyrian origin and later transforming them into Serbians as a nation in the 19th and 20th centuries).

The Vlachs, as servants to the Turkish Ottomans, aided in conquering Bosnia, Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, and southern Hungary. When the Turks grew weaker at the end of the 15th century, they crossed over to serve Austria demanding special rights, religious freedom, land, and the right to loot and persecute surrounding nations. Thus, it is mentioned already in 1630 that the Orthodox Vlachs took advantage of the privileges of the Austrian authority in Croatia and began to banish native Catholics, claiming that the King gave land only to the Vlachs. This was the first example of what today we callethnic cleansing. In this manner, Serbians ethnically and religiously cleansed territory which they captured in 1878, then in the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, and similarly again, somewhat calmer and calculating after 1918 and 1945. At the sametime, they occupied territories in Kosovo, Macedonia, Sandzak, Bosnia and bordering territories in Croatia through the colonization of Serbians.

Quickly, Serbian politicians, journalists, and scholars joined the battle to Serbianize other neighboring Slavic nations. In respect to this, even in 1818, one hundred years before the foundation of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croats and Slovenes, Serbians announced in a Serbian newspaper from Vienna that even the people of Zagreb were Serbians. While Croatians during the Croatian national rennaissance, struggled to win over all Southern Slav people over a neutral Ilyrian name, Serbian scholar V.S. Karadzic, wrote how all Catholics (meaning Croatians) and Muslims were Serbians in spite of their faith. The Croatian Assembly in 1861, and throughout the 19th century, endeavored by the supernational Yugoslavian name to assemble all Southern Slavs, had a Serbian-Orthodox patriarch, Josif Rajacic, stress how Croatians and Serbians were two different nations with their own separate history, church, script and culture. Serbians, he says will not renounce their Serbian name "neither for love of Illyrianism,Yugoslavianism or Croatism".




SYSTEMATIC GREATER-SERBIAN POLITICS TOWARDS THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY AND AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE 20th CENTURY


In the second half of the 19th century, there existed the calculated and organized politics of the Serbian government and Orthodox Church to transform the non-Slav, Orthodox Vlachs into aggressive, national, conscious Serbs. The Vlachs were peaceful peasant cattle-farmers who had considered Croatia their homeland and called themselves Orthodox Croatians. In Pakrac, in Slavonia, an area settled by a great number of Vlachs, called "Little Vlaska", in 1876 there existed a Serbian conspiracy to liquidate all Croatian Catholics.

When Serbia and Montenegro gained independence at the Berlin Congress in 1878, they were forced to disclaim Bosnia and Herzegovina which was occupied by Austria-Hungary. The territory of the former Croatian Military Border, part of Croatia until Austria occupied it with Vlachs, was returned to Croatia in 1881. Given that quite a number of Vlachs resided in these lands and began to consider themselves Serbians, Serbia began a specific task of Serbianizing the surrounding non-Serbian lands and then by joining the lands with the expanded Serbian state. The orientation of Serbia towards the West and the South began in 1885 when Serbia was defeated in a provoked war against Bulgaria.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Greater Serbian political ideologies and cultural-educational preparations began in Serbia and in neighbouring lands. Books were written in which the Serbian past is mythologized, the cult of St. Sava is exaggerated, the Kosovo battle of 1389 is celebrated, the needs in creating a Great Dusan Empire is stresssed, and is requested access to the sea. It is systematically written about the expansion of Serbia and its transformation to a Greater Serbia which would be hegemonic on the Balkans and with the help of Slavic Russia, would liberate South or Old Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia from the Turks and so prevent the Austro-Hungarian empire of taking Turkish positions in that terriitory.10 In Zagreb in 1884, with the help of Serbia, a newsletter called Srbobran, spread Greater Serbian propagand. Zastava also did this in Novi Sad and other pro-Serbian newsletters in Sarajevo, Zadar, and elsewhere.

The first anti-Croatian demonstration took place in Belgrade in 1892. The following year in Knin, once a city of Croatian kings, in which, at that time, the Serbians did not make up the majority, Croatian scholars who had opened a Croatian Archeological Museum, were beaten up. Serbian state flags were systematically raised in Croatia even though they were distinctly forbidden in 1895 when the Habsburg Emperor Franjo Josip I, then the King of Croatia, visited Zagreb. Intentional provocation was achieved by the Greater Serbian newsletter in Zagreb, Srbobran, which conveyed Nikola Stojanovic's article. It stated Croatians are directly informed of the battle of destruction in which the Croatian nation, language, history and culture are denied and proclaimed Serbian. The response were massive anti-Serbian demonstrations in Zagreb in 1902. When officers of the Serbian Army and members of secret conspiracy organizations liquidated the last Serbian King in the Obrenovic Dynasty and brought Peter from the Karadjordjevic Dynasty to the throne in 1903, propaganda was organized and paid by the government using all means to create a Greater Serbia.

To prevent foreign countries from accusing the Kingdom of Serbia as being a subversive state, with war preparations and revolutions among Southern Slavs, King Peter and his government organized several groups, associations, and organizations to spread GreaterSerbian propaganda on Austro-Hungarian and Turkish territories, in particular the Southern Slav territories of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Vojvodina, but without renouncing Bulgaria nor Slovenia. A secret officers organization was founded called the "Black Hand" in May 1903 (causing unrest, rebellions, and assassinations and consisting of secret agents and propagandists).

Because the organization acted illegally, its political and public work proceeded through the club "Slovenian South" which was led by people close to King Peter.16 In Kosovo and particularly in Macedonia, in the second half of the 19th century, a volunteer Serbian terrorist organization called Chetniks was in operation. They fought and rebelled against supporters of Bulgaria and those who supported Greece and a liberated Macedonia. Also in 1903, in Belgrade, a main council for the Chetnik actions were chosen and in 1905 an association Serbian Defense was founded with the goal to strengthen the battle "for Serbian interests"

From 1908, the National Defense was working on the same task that directly prepared political and sabotage actions in Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia. All these organizations and associations were supporters and trainers of the terrorists who assassinated the heir to the Habsburg throne, Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, provoking the First World War. They planned (with Peter Karadjordjevic's knowledge) the liquidation of his grandfather, the Prince and King of Montenegro Nikola Petrovic (the bomb and the Kolasin affairs of 1907/8).18 Members of these terrorist organizations stood behind a number of actions and liquidations in Croatia. Some Serbians from Croatia were volunteers in Chetnik units in Macedonia and their leaders often travelled as informers in Croatia and Bosnia.

At the same time, while these revolutionary-terrorist organizations in Belgrade were being formed, at the end of 1903, a weekly newspaper Slovenski Jug which had the task of "popularizing the idea of South Slavs" and work for "its establishment" was being circulated. Periodically, until 1912, the newsletter had as its contributors Bulgarians, Croatians, Slovenians, and naturally Serbians. The newsletter Pijemont which was named after the small Italian state that unified Italy, had a similar task. The message stated as the Piedmontese unified Italy, Serbia and Belgrade will unify Southern Slavs. However, the difference was that Pedmont unified Italy and embodied itself and "drowned" itself in it; but Serbia under Karadjordjevic wished to create a Greater or at least an expanded Serbia transforming all Southern Slavs into Serbians.20 In this question lies the reason for the Serbian-Bulgarian animosity as well as the conflict between Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia, Serbians and Macedonians, and Serbians and Albanians.

The former Montenegrin Minister Sekula Drljevic wrote about this: "All conflicts we speak about, in which there are conflicts between the lands of Southern Slavs, are provoked by Serbia (...) It is necessary to look at the moral, ethnical and political shape of Belgrade in order to comprehend why Yugoslavia became what it became, lived as it did and disappeared as it did."

At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuryes in Serbia and with the Serbians in Croatia, the idea began to spread about the so called Serbian lands. All three Croatian province-lands were included (Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia) and so were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, parts of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and in some political maps, Slovenia as well. At the same time school textbooks extol Serbian history, language, and culture while Croatian and Montenegrian literary works were being passed as Serbian.

The Serbs particularly usure Dubrovnik, its culture and literature, and all the language excluzively Serbian. All Serbian schools and even the religious Orthodox schools in Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Vojvodina and elsewhere had distinct nationalistic programs in the style of Karadzic's message-motto: Serbians all and everywhere!

Mythologisized Serbian histories were announced in which they were the greatest and most significant nation in the world with roots from Alexander of Macedonia. Thus, it was a general mythology of Serbians and their past.

All these became the ideal preparations for the wars which Serbia was intensely planning with the help of Russia that also had its interests in the Balkans. Serbia also had close relations with France that mainly educated Serbian officers since King Peter's time. The first goal for Serbia, with the aid of the above-mentioned superrowers, was to destroy Turkey and Austro-Hungary and to drive them from this territory and to prevent German-Austrian Advance to the east. It was only with the signing and the breakdown of the Turkish and Austrian empires that the Serbs could realise their greater Serbian pland and occupation or as they called it "liberation" of "Serbian lands".

The first of the Serbian raids towards the west, east and south were directed toward the Bulgarians and the Croatians, was had their own integrational national program. For example, Croatians wanted to unify all Croatian lands: Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Istria, Rijeka, Medjimurje, Boka Kotorska, and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Croatians resided (Western Bosnia called Turkish Croatia at the time).




SERBIAN LAND REFORM AND COLONIZATION IN 1918


It is a rare occurrence in the world that in the last 150 years one nation should succeed in expanding its state territory and in banishing all non-Serbian peoples. This has been achieved by Serbia. It is interesting to note that their success is not based on their victories in the field, but rather at the negotiating table, achieved with the support of their war allies.

Serbian proper, which encompassed the Belgrade pasha jurisdiction, expanded territorially to include Kosovo, a part of Sandzak and the so called Yugoslavian Macedonia, after the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913. During the first Balkan War, Serbian forces began to execute crimes of genocide against Albanians, Bosniacs and Macedonians in these territories. They set entire villages on fire, killing civilians in the most barbaric fashion using knives, axes and dull wooden mallets. Such crimes have never been recorded in Europe since the times of the Great Migrations.

The persecution of non-Serbian citizens continued after Serbians gained power and led to massive exile, causing a change in the demographic structure and making Serbian colonization possible on the confiscated properties of those banished. The above mentioned expansion of Serbian territory, on which colonization was implemented, marks the beginning of the actualization of the political program, defined in Ilija Garasanin's "Nacertanije" from 1844.

THE SERBIAN CONQUERING IDEOLOGY

The Serbian national program outlined in "Nacertanije" of 1844, originated from the re-establishment of Dusan's Empire in the XIV century, with certain changes which were a consequence of political events from the middle of the previous century. In effect, "Nacertanije" became a synonym for Greater Serbian hegemony with respect to the neighboring nations. This national program sets forth the fact that Serbians cannot be satisfied with their gains from the First and Second Serbian Rebellions and that they will continue their battle to gain power on the Balkans. "Nacertanije" defines the territories in which Serbia must organize propaganda and intelligence activities, as preparation for the annexation of these territories to their state. For this reason, the program was not published until 1906. The national program foresees that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, northern Albania, Srijem, Banat and Backa join Serbia. For the first time, the territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Vojvodina, which were not encompassed by Dusan's Empire, are included as Serbian national territory. Later "Nacertanije" was to become the Serbian ideology for the Obrenovic and Karadjordjevic dynasties, and all Greater Serbian programs including Stevan Moljevic's and Draza Mihailovic's genocidal Chetnik programs and the SANU Memorandum of 1986.

In this respect, Greater Serbian hegemonistic politics in the last 150 years, has, in essence, not changed because its basic aims have been the conquering of territory, penetration towards the West over the Drina River, persecution and destruction of non-Serbian nations to create a Greater Serbia and ensuring that "all Serbians live in one state". For this reason, the ethnic structure was altered through colonization of conquered territory. Wars were waged in order to set the program's politics into motion, and land reform on the conquered territories was conducted due to the colonization of Serbian population.


CHANGES IN LAND OWNERSHIP IN 1918

In order to gain a better insight into the situation concerning land ownership before the agrarian reform in 1918 and 1919 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it was most drastically performed, we will make use of the final census of land ownership and population according to religious affiliation, conducted in 1910 in Austro-Hungary. According to that census, Bosnian - Muslims owned 91.1%, Orthodox Serbians owned 6.0% , Croatian Catholics owned 2.6% and others, 0.3% of the property. Following the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes, the Bosniac nation was in an inferior position, because it gained the status of a religious minority, so it lost its political and cultural autonomy. With the first agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919, genocide against Bosniacs was deceitfully performed, by the taking away of property with only symbolic reimbursement which was never paid in its entirety. Many wealthy families and landowners became homeless overnight, without any means of survival. Some families even had their farm buildings and private lots taken away from them. The process to massively impoverish the Bosniac nation and their exodus to Turkey had begun. Serbian families from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Krajina, Serbia and Montenegro were given the lands taken away from the Bosniac families. They were recorded in land registers as owners who did not pay a cent for the properties they had received. This was their reward for belonging to the privileged nation. The main goal was to forcefully alter the demographic structure, using Serbian colonization, in accordance with the "Nacertanije" program. That is to say, Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be considered Serbian land which was to join Greater Serbia at the right moment in history, at any expense. The degree of genocide against Bosniacs can be illustrated in indexes regarding the change of the structure of ownership of land, which was taken away in the first agrarian reform in 1918 and 1919. Bosnian Muslims had a total of 1,175,305 hectares of agricultural and forest land taken away from them. 110,922 hectares of land were taken away from stock corporations, banks and other institutions. Thus, a total of 1,286,227 hectares of agricultural and forest land was seized. The total amount of land taken away by the first agrarian reform in 1918 and 1919 was divided among 249,518 Serbian families, among whom were settlers, colonists outside Bosnia and Herzegovina and especially volunteers of the Salonika front. If we consider that every family, on average had four members, we can infer that almost one million Serbian inhabitants became land owners and so became significantly wealthy. The agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919 was primarily aimed against members of the Islamic faith, due to the revival of the St. Sava ideology "One nation, one religion in one state." For this reason, the agrarian reform was conducted in a genocidal manner against Muslim land owners in Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohija, Sandzak and Montenegro. A total of 231,098 hectares of land was taken away from them and divided amongst 48,267 Serbian families. If we apply the above methodology that the average family had four members, it can be deduced that almost 200 thousand members of Serbian families received land. In this way, the proprietary and ethnic structure of the population was significantly altered. The process of emigration of citizens from this territory and immigration into Turkey was parallel with the colonization of Serbian citizens from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Lika, Banija and Kordun.

Within the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes, the agrarian reform in 1918 and 1919 in Croatia and Slovenia, was performed in a notably milder manner, compared to Bosnia. The agrarian reform was practiced on owners of large estates and relatively less land was taken away, which according to statistical indexes represented 1/4 of the total land taken away in the state. This came to 406,981 hectares of land, which was divided among 316,762 Serbian families who were primarily colonized from passive areas. In this way, almost 1,200,000 family members received land and property. The agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919 was in effect carried out everywhere except for Serbia, within the borders of the former Belgrade pasha jurisdiction up to 1912. This proves that the Serbian owners of large estates were privileged among those in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes. In the above mentioned analysis, we can see that 1,924,307 hectares of land were taken away from former land owners in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes and divided amongst 614, 603 families, primarily Serbian. If we apply the adopted methodology, that every family consists of an average of four members, we can infer that approximately 2,450,000 family members received possession and ownership of land, without paying anything for it. From a historical perspective, the agrarian reform resulted in the largest colonization of the Serbian people onto territory across the Drina River in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians, and Slovenes. This was a political conceived plan for Serbian territorial expansion under post war conditions. Those who were most afflicted were Bosnian members of the Islamic faith, Albanians and Macedonians because 3/4 of the entire land confiscated in the agrarian reform belonged to them.


HISTORICALLY, BANJA LUKA IS NOT A SERBIAN CITY

Towards the end of the agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919, when land was taken away from Bosniacs, based on a discriminatory law, terrorist methods were implemented such as the infamous "death march" in 1919 on Bosniacs from Lijevce polje near Banjaluka. 50,000 Bosniacs resided on the fertile plains of the Lijevce polje, of whom over a thousand land owners were killed by Serbian terrorists during the "death march" and the remaining civilian inhabitants were banished from their centuries-old home. A long colony of victims walked to numerous camps in Kosovo and Sandzak, where they were transported to Turkey and settled in Anatolia. At that point, Bosniacs lost their properties in the Banjaluka municipality in the most brutal manner, through genocide. Serbian families, those without land and Salonika volunteers settled in the houses and occupied the properties which had belonged to the banished Bosniacs. Drastic changes in the demographic and proprietary structure in the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes, occurred. To illustrate this, statistical indexes show that until 1878 not one Serbian family owned property in Lijevce polje by Banjaluka. It was not until after the agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919 that the settlement and colonization of Serbians into the municipality of Banjaluka intensified. According to the first population census in 1879 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bosnian Muslims made up the absolute majority in Banja Luka according to religious affiliation and comprised 67.71% of the population. From 1895 until 1991, this percentage constantly decreased and today it comes to 19.35%. In 1879, Catholic Croats totaled 10.52% of the population. This number gradually grew and in 1931 they made up 29.9% of the population. This remained so until 1953 at which time Catholic Croats represented 28.34% of the population. Afterwards, the number of Croats in the total population rapidly decreased to 10.97% in 1991. The Orthodox population, including Serbians and Montenegrins, represented 19.80% in the population census of 1879. From then on, their proportion increased to 30.53% in 1931 and continued to intensively increase until 1948 when this percentage reached 34.78%. Finally in 1991, the percentage totaled 49.3% . From the provided indexes, it can be concluded that Banjaluka is not historically a Serbian city, as the war criminal Radovan Karadzic claims, because the Serbian population in that city began to settle there in the XIX century. The rapid increase of the Serbian population began after the realization of the agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919, when Serbians occupied Bosniac properties and after the catastrophic earthquake of 1969, when they comprised the majority of those who gained employment and received newly built residences. In addition to this, the JNA corps, comprised of 25 thousand soldiers and 700 officers, from lieutenants to generals, who were primarily from Serbia and Montenegro, contributed to the increase in Serbian population. In a way, history repeats itself. During the Serbian aggression, from 1992 until today, the Serbian aggressor performed genocide against Croatians and Bosniacs in the city of Banjaluka. The population census of 1991 statistically provides us with the information that 12 villages in the Banjaluka area consisted of an ethnically pure majority of Croatians. However, the Serbian aggressor has banished almost all Croatians, and Serbian families have moved into their homes and taken their lands. The process of forced changes in the demographic structure and ownership has been performed systematically since the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes and has lasted for almost 80 years. Up until 1992, however, Serbians did not make up the absolute majority of the population in Banjaluka.

Considering that Banjaluka is historically a Bosnian city, which is now occupied by the Serbian aggressor, the legal government in Sarajevo is justly requesting its demilitarization and that it be placed under the control of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, using peaceful means. For this reason, the international community has accepted the proposition for the suspension of military activity and by way of negotiations, the peaceful solution to the status of the city of Banjaluka.


TOKEN REWARDS FOR SEIZED PROPERTIES

Dr. Stjepan Radic, a member of parliament - of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes, in his speeches and articles opposing hegemony, criticized, among other things, the manner in which the agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919 was conducted, in which Muslim properties were seized by force (from agas to beys). Because of this, the radical representative, Punisa Racic, shot at the Croatian members of parliament, killing Pavle Radic and Djuro Basaricek and wounding Stjepan Radic, Ivan Pernar and Ivan Grandja. On August 6, 1928, Stjepan Radic died due to the severity of his injuries. It was decided, afterwards, that the Bosnian Muslims be compensated for the properties taken away from them, and the state admitted that there had been "irregularities" in the realization of the agrarian reform. Laws regarding the financial settlements for the compensation for territory seized after 1928 were passed, by which the payment of the properties was to be regulated. The value of the land was appraised at 60% less than market value, and payment was conducted in cash and bonds in a 50 year period including 4% interest per annum. The payments were made twice annually, beginning in 1923 and were to continue until 1971. Bosnian Muslims were reimbursed for land which had belonged to agas (under serfs contract) and for land which had belonging to beys (under leasehold). Until the beginning of the Second World War, the former owners were paid 49%, that is, 125 million dinars in cash and 36% in bonds, amounting to 46.8 million dinars, for agas lands.. The total amount paid was 171 million dinars or 67.4%. 83.2 million dinars or 32.6% remained unpaid. As opposed to the compensation to the owners of the agas land, the reimbursements for the land taken away from the beys was planned exclusively in bonds, with a 50 year payment period. From the total foreseen 650 million dinar reimbursement in 36 semi-annual installments, only four installments amounting to 139.5 million dinars were paid, or 1/4, that is 21.5%. Therefore, 510.5 million dinars or 78.5% remained unpaid. The above indexes clearly illustrate that the seized property of the former owners (agas and beys) was never fully paid for, and thus could never have become the property of Serbians, nor could it justly or appropriately be given to their descendants. According to the opinions of legal experts, there is no date limit in regards to unpaid for land and realty documents with respect to the agrarian reform have been preserved in the archives in Sarajevo and Vienna.


SUMMARY

Following the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, the "Nacertanije" national program of Greater Serbian dominance began to take effect in the colonization of the Serbian population onto the captured territories of Kosovo, parts of Sandzak and the so-called Yugoslav Macedonia. This process of colonization of the Serbian populace onto the other side of the Drina River intensified after World War I, when the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes was created in 1918. The Agrarian reform of 1918 was among the first legal actions of the new state, for the purpose of colonization and the alteration of the demographic and proprietary structure of the population. It was most drastically enforced in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon the Bosnian Muslim land owners, from whom 1,286,227 hectares of agricultural and forest land were taken and later divided amongst 249,518 Serbian families. This was similarly executed upon Muslim land owners in the remaining parts of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes as well as those who resided in Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohija, Sandzak and Montenegro. 3/4 of the land belonged to members of the Islamic faith and this was confiscated during the agrarian reform of 1918 and 1919. The difficult economic situation this placed them in, forced them to move to Turkey. Our presented discussion illustrates that the agrarian reform affected larger estates in Croatia (Dalmatia and Slavonia) Vojvodina and Slovenia, where 406,981 hectares of land amounting to less than a 1/4 of the total land was seized and distributed to 316,762 Serbian families. In total, the agrarian reform resulted in 1,924,307 hectares of land being taken away and divided amongst 614,603 families, primarily Serbian. According to the methodology employed in our analysis, nearly 2,450,000 family members became owners of agricultural and forest land. In so doing, the first colonization of Serbian populace was completed, by which the demographic and proprietary structure of land in the first Yugoslavia was altered.




MASSIVE AND SYSTEMATICAL LIQUIDATION OF CROATIANS IN MONARCHIST YUGOSLAVIA (1918.-1939.)


Miroslav Krleza, a Croatian writer of European format, wrote about Croatian history and politics from 1914 in a book called Ten Bloody Years. We will call the era of the State of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes up to 1929 and the Monarchy in Yugoslavia. As it was renamed in 1929 until 1939 the period of twenty truly bloody years in which the lives of non-Serbian people had no value; the spilled blood of Croatians, Albanians, Macedonians, Bosniaks, and the opposition Montenegrins could not even receive employment promotions.

The establishment of a new state in 1918 was made possible by Croatian politician, Ante Pavelic (the dentist) with his speach in Belgrade in 1941. He was overthrown by another younger Ante Pavelic (the advocate), the President of the Independent State of Croatia. The state was being created in 1918 and 1919 through blood and violence and in the same way disappeared in 1941.

Everything began with the massacres on December 5, 1918, four days after the proclamation of the unified Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (1.12.1918) on Jelacic Square in Zagreb - the December victims. The Croatian soldiers from the former Austro-Hungarian army came here and cheered the Croatian Republic. They were awaited by the military and the police who opened fire with machine guns from the windows surrounding the houses, immediately, killing 13 people, nine were soldiers and 17 additional innocent citizens and soldiers were wounded.45 This was the official report but many old citizens of Zagreb claimed that about a hundred people were wounded and killed. In this way the new government, illustrated the means it would use to maintain its power. It had remained faithful to this for almost twenty years of its existence. The Serbian army that entered into Croatia acted as if it were on enemy territo With every protest, resistance, and demonstration, they reacted with force.

In 1920, a rebellion broke out against the Serbian tradition of branding of livestock.46 Around Cazma, Bjelovar, Kriz, Dugo Selo, Zelina, and Kutina, ten Croatian peasants were killed and more than ten beaten and arrested. In Kriz alone, beside Ivanic-Grad in the so called Krz Republic ten peasants were killed or wounded. Similar events occurred in Petrijevci (Slavonia) and elsewhere.

Banishment and murders of Croatian members of Radic's Croatian Peasant Party were a usual occurrence. The imprisonment of highly respected politicians (Radic, Macek, Suflay, Predavec and others) were common. Persecution of Croatians was organized by ORJUNA (Organization of Yugoslavian nationalists) which was aided and protected by the Ministry of Internal Affairs led by Svetozar Pribicevic.

In the entire Yugoslavia, especially in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, Chetnik organizations were at work. Without any sanctions, the Chetniks killed people, beat them, threatened them, and burned their houses.

Terror, threats, and pressure in Lika were usual actions during the elections. In Stajnica in 1925, five Croatian peasants were killed; many murderers were never uncovered. Nevertheless, the greatest murder of a well-respected Croatian occurred at the Parliament of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs in Belgrade in June, 1928. These were the so called June victims which illustrated that the Greater-Serbian regime flinched at nothing.

Punisa Racic, a Serbian representative and Chetnik leader who practiced shooting at live targets in Southern Serbia, killed Stjepan's nephew Pavao Radic and Djuro Basaracek and wounded Stjepan Radic, Ivan Pernar and Ivan Grandja, all representatives of the Croatian Peasant Party. Shortly afterwards, the wounded Stjepan Radic died in Zagreb and his burial was transformed into a nation-wide demonstration against Greater Serbian politics in Croatia and Yugoslavia. This action, which was condemned by the entire world, was a turning-point in the history of the first Yugoslavia. From that day, Croatians wished to exit the state and grew increasingly to organize themselves and to establish an opposition to the crude forces of Belgrade. The consequences of these crimes was the announcement of the King's dictatorship in 1929, the prohibition of all political parties, especially non-Serbian, and the renaming of the state to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1931, a great trial was led against Croatian nationalists (Stipe Javor, Matija Soldin, Marko Hranilovic and others).

The same year, a notable Croatian historian, Dr. Milan Sufflay was killed and numerous other Croatian youths were liquidated or succumbed to tortures in jails.

During 1932, Serbian Chetniks, gendarmes, and police killed forty people in Croatia from Zagorje to Dalmatia. For example, in Benkovac, Nin, Polaca, Lisani, and in Brusani in Lika, a so called Licki Rebellion broke out and was not successful. The punishment against the Croatians was drastic fifty Croatian houses on Velebit were burned).

In 1933, Ivo Pilar, pseudonym Sudland, who wrote a book in German about the southslav question and revealed all Greater Serbian intentions until 1917, was killed under strange circumstances.

That same year, scores of Croatian peasants from Srijem to Lika were killed. Those individuals who liquidated them received no punishment or investigation. For example Milivoj Cumic killed two Croatians near Nin and in return received Eminence in the Order of St. Sava. A Serbian gendarme killed a postman in the centre of Zagreb simply because he was apparently singing Croatian songs.

Hundreds of Croatians were imprisoned, tortured, and beaten, using the excuse that they were Ustashas. For Greater-Serbians, every Croatian is an Ustasa, and every song which talks about Croatia including the Croatian National Anthem is an Ustasha song.

In 1934, more Croatians are killed, several legal proceedings are led against Croatians, and hundreds of people are imprisoned. There was an increasing number of protests, explosions, displays of the Croatian flag, and attacks on gendarmes.

In October 1934, as an act of revenge, the creator of dictatorship, Serbian King Alexandar, Karadjordjevic, was killed in Marseilles. The people considered this justice because Stjepan Radic and his notable party associates were killed with the King's knowledge.

Considering that Croatians were under brigandage in many places and in February of 1925, the so called Sibinja victims "fell" besides Slavonski Brod and immediately afterwards, the Ruscic victims at the same place, 13 peasant Croatians were killed.55 Murders were occurring like an assembly line in all areas of Croatia. Peasants decided to extend opposition by gathering people in a so-called national defence.

Relative to this, after the murder of the well-known Croatian, Karlo Brkljacic in Lika (April 1936), exasperation became predominant. When one Chetnik gang left Zagreb for a mission in Kerestinec (April 16), they were awaited by peasants who killed six chetniks in a battle around the castle. And then three more in a house which had the inscription "Chetnik association Samobor". This was one of the few responses to numerous violent acts and massive killings of Croatians.

That same year in 1936, the Croatian martyr Stipe Javor died in prison in Mitrovica because of a hunger strike in protest of the Serbian torture's in prison.

Death found Svetozar Pribicevc in Prag, one of the greatest criminals to the Croatian nation, who until he was rejected by the King in 1927, systematically destroyed everything that was Croatian for almost thirty years. Only in the past ten years changed his position and wrote a book "The Dictatorship of King Aleksandar", and a letter to the Serbs in which he condemns the monarchy, the King, and Serbians for violence against Croatians.

Finally, among the great crimes against the Croatians were the so-called Senj victims of May 9,1937. Singers from the Croatian singing society of "Trebevic" from Sarajevo and Croatian citizens from Gospic were guests in Senj. They were awaited by 25 gendarmes, who as if crazy, began to shoot at the Gospic truck only because a Croatian flag was waving from it. They were shooting with illegal bullets (dumdum) and killed six men and one girl (no one was older than 24). The funeral in Gospic became a Croatian-wide mourning but there was no investigation nor punishment. The majority of Croatian Serbians approved these crimes. At the same time of the June Victims, numerous new-born children were named Punisa in Belgrade, Serbia, after Punisa Racic - the killer of Stjepan Radic.

During 1938 and 1939, political conditions in Yugoslavia and the world changed. The Croatian Peasant Party grew stronger and even the Serbian side realized that with violence nothing could be achieved except hate, so they began to yield. Due to this, the number of Croatian victims were less. In a short time, negotiations for the renewal of Croatian political autonomy began and the union of Croatian historical territories which meant transforming the Sava and Primorje Dominions and some other territories in central and northern Bosnian around Dubrovnik into the Dominion of Croatia. This was the renewal of Croatian statehood and the assembly of Croatian historical territories which the authority of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia intentionally shattered in 1918. Again, Zagreb became a national centre for all Croatians and the Croatian Peasant Party became the national party for the entire Croatian nation.

However, in Europe the Second World War began which in 1941 caught hold of Yugoslavia and rendered impossible Croatian aspirations for a national state. The proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia, after the overthrow of the Greater Serbian, Yugoslavian army in April 1941, was awaited by the Serbians in Croatia and Bosnia literally "with knives." In Herzegovina, Dalmatian Zagora, Lika, and elsewhere real revolts and the Chetniks executed liquidations a great number of Croatians before the new Croatian state gained control. Greater Serbians with Chetniks as their leaders displayed that they were against any kind of Croatia no matter what internal order it had. After all, it was similar to 1990 and 1991 when they began to rebel and become very aggressive, well before the consolidation of the Croatian state.

Terror and liquidation did not begin in 1941 and was not first started by the Croatians in the Second World War. Rather, it was the Serbians and forty years earlier. Croatians acted, in all of this, a defensive role which is shown by the fact that the Chetniks began an organized extermination of Croatians and other non-Serbian nations in 1903. They founded the Black Hand and Chetnikism while the Ustasha Organization did not begin until 1929 after the murder of Stjepan Radic and other Croatians at the Belgrade National Assembly.

Croatians were victims on their own land from 1903 to 1941. They were victims of grandomania and mythologized Serbian consciousness of creating a Greater-Serbia on Croatian, Bosnian-Herzegovian, Montenegrin, and Hungarian territory. Serbians were in fact the "Trojan horse" in these lands through the conquering politics that manipulated them. Because of this, as in the war from 1941 to 1945, in the homeland war of 1991 to 1995, they had to pay a high price.




GREATER-SERBIAN ACTIONS ON THE TERRITORY OF CROATIA AND SLAVONIA (1903.-1918.)


In the framework of Austria-Hungary, Croatian lands were divided in two parts according to the Austrian-Hungarian agreements of 1867 and 1868. It said Croatia and Slavonia were an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary and that Dalmatia, Istria, and Boka Kotorska were a part of the Austrian Empire. The greatest Croatian port Rijeka was directly in Hungary as was Croatian Medjimurje and Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1987 was shared between Austrian-Hungary. Serbians as minorities lived in Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia. Most of them resided in the former Croatian Military Border and also in the hinterland of Dalmatia especially around Knin which was never a composing part of Croatian Military Border.

According to the population census of 1880, which was completed according to language and religious affiliation, and not according to nationality, one can nevertheless indirectly conclude that the civil or Ban's Croatia had a population of 1,194,415 inhabitants and Croatian Military Border had 698,084. From this, 1,214,607 were Croatian, 497,764 Orthodox Serbians, 83,139 Germans, 41,417 Hungarians, and 13,488 Jews. In percentages, 71.11% Croatians and 26.30% Serbians.27 Although Serbian politicians claimed that the territory of the former Croatian Military Border was "Serbian land", there was less than 47% Orthodox Serbians living there in 1881 during its unification with Croatia. That number was consistently falling in spite of the planned settlements of Serbians from Serbia and Bosnia after 1918. The number of Serbians in 1991 was only 12.2%.

At the Croatian Parliament in 1861, Serbians requested equality for their language, a separate script- Cyrillic, and separate religious schools through cultural autonomy. They were granted all of this 1887. However, at the end of the century, when the process of transforming the Orthodox Vlachs into nationally conscious Serbians, more and more demands for political autonomy and the separation of territory for the emigrated Serbians were emphasized.

At the beginning of the 20th century, more work was done to destroy the existing states of Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Montenegro, and Croatia in order to create a Greater Serbia. The leader all these organized actions was the Kingdom of Serbia, particularly following 1903 when the Karadjordjevic dynasty came to the throne and intentionally provoked conflicts with neighboring states. The Serbian Independent Party, which received financial and other aid from the Serbian state and the Serbian Orthodox church, was working in Croatia. Serbians supported the pro-Hungarian regime of Ban Hedervary in Croatia. They opposed requests of greater autonomy for Croatia and Slavonia in Hungary, and similarily opposed the union of Dalmatia and Istria with Croatia. In civil Croatia, Serbians supported the pro-Hungarians and in Dalmatia or they collaborated with the Italians who were fighting for Dalmatia autonomy. Of twenty Serbian representatives in the Croatian Parliament, about 18 had support the government of Ban Hedervary which worked towards making any Croatian autonomy impossible.

In 1903, political circumstances were also changing in Croatia. Croatians led the second anti-Hungarian movement (the first was in 1883). They burned the Hungarian flag again and organized demonstrations and diversions in the manner that illustrated that the Croatian problem was not solved in Austria-Hungary 32. Ban Khuen Hedervary who protected and assisted the Serbians was forced to withdraw. In this movement, Croatians from civil Croatia was assisted by Croatians in Dalmatia and Istria. The leadership in national politics was taken over by Croats of Dalmatia, in particular Frano Supilo and Ante Trumbic. They turned the existing Croatian politics in a new direction, the so called "new course". This meant co-operating with the Serbian and Hungarian oppositions. The result of the "new course" politics was the Croatian-Serbian coalition which won the elections of 1906 in Croatia and took over the leadership. The strongest person in the coalition was the Croatian Serbian Svetozar Pribicevic who was engaged in strengthening and organising the Serbs in Croatia and in persuading the Croats to consent to an alliance and union with Serbia.

Pribicevic and his three brothers were in a direct service to create a Greater Serbia as well as the mentioned Prefect Budisavljevic and a great majority of Serbian representatives in the Croatian Parliament. The Serbian Independent Party was working on this as well as the Serbian club in the Parliament, numerous Serbian clubs in Croatia, various societies, the separate Serbian Bank, etc. The politics of the Croatian-Serbian Coalition especially in 1906 directly aided the spreading of the Greater-Serbian idea when it took over the leadership and Pribicevic increasingly pushed Supilo back.

After the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria-Hungary in 1908, the Greater-Serbian politics was beginning to be led even more intensely. Serbians had expected to acquire Bosnia and Herzegovina and then eastern parts of Croatia, the territories of the former Croatian Military Border. The loss of Bosnia provoked the annexation crisis which threatened war. Russia was barely able to stop Serbia from beginning a war with Austria-Hungary.

In Croatia and Dalmatia, the political heat was felt. A supreme-treason process in 1903 was led against 53 Serbians from Croatia due to direct Greater-Serbian politics. At the supreme court trial in Zagreb, statistics were gathered that proved the massive Greater-Serbian action. These documents displayed that from 1906, when the Croatian-Serbian coalition came to power, Croatians were persecuted, mistreated, wounded and even killed in their own Croatian state by aggressive Serbians who were expelling them from their own homes similar to the attacks of 1991.

Similarly, Croatian properties were destroyed along with their livestock. Catholic churches were desecrated and the Croatian flag was rejected. Serbians threatened Croatians in western Slavonia, in Banija, to Kordun and Lika, that they would be forced to cross the Kupa and Sava rivers to the West because the regions they were in now were part of Greater-Serbia. This was happening in the same territory where Serbians perfomed genocide and culturocide upon Croatians and everything Croatian in 1991 and 1992. They always proclaimed that Bosnia, Herzegovina, and former Croatian Military Border would become Greater Serbia or it would all be transformed into a great grave which in fact took place but not until 1991.

The principle ideologist at the time was Svetozar Pribicevic who at his political gatherings, spoke to Serbian peasants in Croatia about the same topics that Slobodan Milosevic announced in Kosovo Polje - peacefully or forcefully, Greater Serbia would be formed. From 1906 to 1909, Croatians were forced to endure fear in all villages which they resided together with Serbians. Their houses were burned and crops destroyed. There were numerous cases of beatings along with wounding both Croatians and Serbians who did not accept the aggressive Greater-Serbian politics.

There were a number of Croatian political leaders who were murdered. The criminals were never found. According to a statement by a Serbian witness at the mentioned trial in Zagreb, several Croatian peasants were killed in Jasenovac. Nearby the outlet of the river Una into Sava near Jasenovac, there was a concentration camp from 1941. Croatians were killed thirty years before then. For example, Croatian Stanko Dragic was killed only because he complained to Serbian Lazo Bacic about the hanging of a Serbian flag representing the Kingdom of Serbia which was officially forbidden in Croatia.

In Jasenovac and surrounding areas, five Croatian peasants were killed and their murderers were not found, although it was known that an organized Serbian gang who terrorized and killed Croatians were responsible. When any Serbian was accused of a crime, ten Serbians would be found to go to the District office and testify to the innocence of the accused. It is necessary to emphasize that usually the most influential agitators in the persecution of Croatians were Orthodox priests (Serbian). For example, Parish rector Joco Jovanovic publicly preached hatred towards Croatians even in Church. He claimed that all Croatians, Slavonians should be banished because the entire territory must be Serbian territory, that is, Greater Serbia. There was no end to anti-Croatian slogans by those emigrated Serbians to Croatia. It was stated that Croatians, that is, Slavonians, must be driven away over the Kupa or Sutla, that Bartholomew's night should be prepared for them, that is, they should be slaughtered. It was discovered that a Greater-Serbian agitators were arriving from Serbia. For example in Okucani, when one of them was departing he would be escorted to the station, and asked by a domestic Serbian: "Sir, when are we going to slaughter these Slavonians?"

In 1907 at the time of the elections, Orthodox Serbians threatened that they would destroy the Croatian town Spanovica by Pakrac. They did not do so then. However, this was accomplished by their grandchildren -partisans- during World War II. The town was completely destroyed and was not renewed until after the war and all Croatians were chased away. In the town, until 1995, stood a Serbian name, Novo Selo, which after the operation "Bljesak" secured its old name, Spanovica. This was not the only such case. The same occurred in numerous Croatian towns surrounded by Serbians including Boricevac in Lika, Zrno in Banovina, and Donja Moticina by Nasice.

Many anti-Croatian announcements were being made in Pakrac and surrounding areas in 1908. One Serbian peasant announced in a bar: "Hello brother Serbian, drink wine, it is free, Serbia and our King Peter Karadjordjevic is paying for it (this was true!) This is Serbian land - not Croatian...Hit the Croatian wherever you can!" Similar statements could be heard from western Slavonia to southern Lika, all the same words, slogans and patterns.

It is not surprising that Serbian Chetniks destroyed almost all Catholic Churches they came across in 1991 through 1995. They desecrated sacral objects and graves because their ancestors had done the same in the beginning of the century. This is supported by a testimony from a witness I. Mrnjavcic at a trial in Korenica in Lika from 1909.:

"In Korenica, the life of a Catholic is so endangered, that they cannot even live there. Everything that is Catholic is detested. On Catholic holiday's, Orthodox people always work. On greater Catholic celebrations, when there are great masses, rocks are thrown, only to disrupt the Catholics. The teacher, Uzic (Serbian) washes her clothes and puts it out to dry provokingly when there is any type of Catholic holiday (...) The Catholic cemeterery is desecrated and vandalized in a shameful manner. Wooden crosses are broken, stolen, burned and metal crosses are also broken. On my deceased wife's marble grave, there is a statue of the Mother of God, which they broke into small pieces (...); barbarically destroying everything. The Orthodox people allow their cows to graze on the Catholic cemetery. I even saw the Orthodox priest's cow graze on our grave. They put a pot on the big cross which is in the centre of the Catholic cemeterey and throw rocks into it. In November 1905, they dirtied and filled the cemetery with Cath. church human and animal excrements..."

From these statements, it can be seen that Serbians had beaten, mistreated, and killed Croatians in the Dominion of Croatia under Austria-Hungary when Croatia had its own government, parliament, and Ban. This was enacted without any punishment because of the support given by the Hungarian side, by the protection local Serbians received from Serbian politicians from the Croatian-Serbian Coalition, by encouragements from the Orthodox Church, and finally moral and material aid from the Kingdom.




SERBIANISM IN THE DANUBE REGION AND ETHNIC CHANGES IN BARANJA (1918.-1995.)


The Serbian penetration of the central European territory over the Danube must be discussed as the issue here is the exaggerated desire of the Byzantine-Orthodox groups from Belgrade to place themselves on the soil of the native western and central European community.

We are not talking about the Orthodox group which took refuge in Podunavlje areas in 1690, under the leadership of the religious head, patriarch Arsenije Crnojevic (Carnojevic) with the permission of the Viennese court. Descendants of the settlers remained inhabitants of Backa, Baranja, Srijem, and parts of Banat were referred to as "native Srblji".

When considering the social , economic and cultural Serbian tyranny since 1918, in Backa, Baranja and Srijem, and Podunavlje, it is necessary to differentiate the older population from the population which was abruptly "thrown in" after the First World War. The native inhabitants referred to these new settlers as "newcomers", "carpet baggers," and "volunteers" because they were arriving from various regions as rewarded Serbian volunteers. The newcomers acted like privileged individuals in the Podunavlje territory to whom other people were to be obedient. Nonetheless, it is necessary to follow these general observations in the developments of Podunavlje from 1918 and onwards.

Until the Turkish advance at the commencement of the 16th century, Croatians and Hungarians resided in Baranja. Nevertheless, with the Turkish advances during the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a growing number of refugees from Serbia and Bosnia, Catholics and the Orthodox (Croatians, Serbians, Vlachs, Montenegrins and others) entering Baranja. During the Turkish Wars, many castles, churches and villages that had been built in the Middle Ages were destroyed and the migrations mixed the population of diverse national groups.

Orthodox settlers, especially Serbians, remained in the villages. Two landed estates in the 18th century gave Baranja its characteristics: the Belje Estate, first owned by Prince Eugen of Savoy and afterwards by the Archducal House of Habsburg and the Darda Estate, first owned by General Veterani and afterwards by Esterhazi, Palfi and Schaumburg Lippe, western European aristocrats. Through cultural, economic, and social developments in the 18th century, Baranja rapidly attained western European standards. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches were constructed. Many citizens took to work and found prosperity on the fertile land. Religious life was organized by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant parishes, civil life by the Baranja county, while estate owners managed commercial affairs and, until 1848, administrative-judicial affairs of the first stage.

Baranja was situated in Hungary, although the borders between Croatia and Hungary were not as strictly specified as they were following 1918, namely, properties, church territories, ethnic mixture and cultural ties were so strong that free communication always existed in the Croatian-Hungarian community. Throughout history until 1918, it has been stated that the inter-ethnic relations in Baranja were good. It was understood that the people were to be respectful and loyal subjects on the land they resided upon respecting her laws and working towards the welfare of the state and one's own home. It is known from documents, old maps, and censuses that the border with Serbia until 1918 were the Danube and Sava Rivers. Thus, Vojvodina and Baranja had always situated in the composition of Croatian-Hungarian state.

In the schematism (official list of people belonging to the church administration) of the Pecs Diocese for 1855, printed in Pecs in Latin, there exists data and authentic sources for the population of Baranja. The Pecs Diocese included the deaneries of Branjin Vrh and Darda in Croatian Baranja. When the Greek separate ceremony is listed in the schematism as religious affiliation, it is then in general understood that these are people of Serbian nationality, although some other nationalities which were represented by religious affiliation to the Orthodox faith (Vlachs, Romanians, Macedonians, Bosnians, Greeks, and such) should also be taken into consideration.

According to Revai Lexicon (Volume II, p. 587) 1900, in the district of Branjin Vrh (southern Baranja, Croatian Baranja) there were 47, 470 inhabitants. They include:

Hungarians 17,325 (35.0%),
Croatians 11,198 (23.6%),
Germans 12,324 (26.0%),
Serbians 5,873 (12.4%),
Others 750 ( 1.5%)

Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, in her former southeastern territories, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was established. On December 1, 1918, however, Serbian diplomacy and politics, with the aid of the army, realised the unification of all territories into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenes, later to become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This is when Serbia began to actualize the idea of one great state on territory where Serbs (people of the Orthodox faith) lived or settled on. Thus, the territory of Vojvodina and Baranja came under the authority of a separate Serbian administration. Croatia protested against the administrative annexation of Baranja and Vojvodina since Baranja had never belonged to Serbia, neither constitutionally, culturally nor ethnically, but had always gravitated towards Croatia and Hungary. This was the work of the Serbian occupation of Baranja, since prior to 1919, only some 12% of the population of Baranja were Serbian who were the fourth largest national group following the Hungarians, Germans and Croatians. Nevertheless, after 1918, the Belgrade regime began to settle Baranja with Serbian volunteers from the Salonika Front and placed its people on the rich Belje Estate. Once the richest estate, it soon became poor, since theft and the loss of funds to Belgrade contributed to turning Baranja into a Serbian colony.

According to official statistics in 1921, there was a population of 49, 694 in Croatian Baranja of which:

Croatians 9,965 (20.0%),
Hungarians 16,639 (33.5%),
Germans 15,955 (32.1%),
Serbians 6,782 (13.6%),
Other 363 (0.7%)

By religious affiliation:

Catholics 35,343 (71.22%),
Evangelicals and Calvinists 6,856 (13.8%),
Orthodox 6,782 (13.6%),
Jewish 363 ( 0.7%)

Major ethnic changes occur in Baranja towards the end of 1944 when Germans were forced to flee ahead of the advancing anti-fascist army. This was a real exodus of the German population who had lived in Baranja for centuries. Subsequently, Serbs from passive areas, who knew less about farming than about politics and protecting the new socialist (Greater Serbian) state, moved into the wealthy houses.

After 1945, the ethnic make-up of Baranja shows how it was populated by a majority of Croatian and not Serbian inhabitants. Thus, according to data from the Federal Institution for Statistics in Belgrade in 1961, the situation in Baranja was the following from the total of 56.087 inhabitants.

Given that life in Baranja after 1945, was being suffocated by the unproductive, communist system, with no private enterprise and progressive economic management, it is understandable that the new democratic wave and demands for progress moved towards the path of freedom, the multi-party system and the free market in Croatia in 1990. A group of privileged Serbians, however, aided by the former Yugoslavian National Army, and inspired by the idea of a Greater Serbia, with the use of weapons, cast off the legal Croatian authority in Baranja and occupied it. A great number of non-Serbian inhabitants were forced to leave due to Serbian terrorism and tyranny, thus ethnic cleansing of all the non-Serbian populace, primarily Croatians and Hungarians was accomplished.

Through violent ethnic cleansing in 1991 and 1992, the Serbs altered the ethnic composition of Baranja and for the first time "jumped" to first place. The ethnic make -up is seen by comparing the official population census of March 31, 1991 and the one carried out on the occupied territory of Baranja during the period of January 27 through March 5, 1992, after the ethnic cleansing of the entire non-Serbian population. If we compare the Hungarian census from the schematism of the Pecs Diocese from 1855 as well, we may observe how the ethnic picture in Baranja changed as a result of Serbian politics and tyranny to the benefit of the Serbs and to the disadvantage of the Croatians, Hungarians and Germans. The Serbian occupiers within only a year (from 1991- 1992) completely altered the ethnic picture of the population in Baranja by the forceful method of ethnic cleansing. The facts show that there was no question of any type of oppression of the Serbs; it was rather the forceful actualization of the idea of a Greater Serbia; the capture of Croatian territory and the violent alteration of the ethnic make-up of the population.

The reason is the same: the advance of Serbia and Serbians onto Croatian state territory with the goal of creating a Greater Serbia.

There are three fundamental differences in the population of Baranja during the period up to 1918, from 1918 to 1991 and from 1992 onwards. Up to 1918, Croatians made up 1/5 (20%) of the population, Serbians 1/8 (12.5%), Hungarians 1/3 (33.3%), (which is understandable, because Baranja was in the Croatian-Hungarian union), Germans over 1/4 (27%) and others 7.2%. From 1918 to 1991, Croatians made up 2/5 (43%) of the population, Serbians 1/4 (25%), Hungarians 1/5 (22%), and others 1/10 (10%). After the Serbian aggression and the occupation of Baranja in 1991, and the expulsion of the non-Serbian populace, according to the Serbian census of 1991, only 1/5 (20%) of the remaining population was Croatian while the Serbian populace "grew" to 3/5 (60%), with Hungarians making up less than 1/6 (16%) and others 4%.

The enormous ethnic changes stated above are the result of Serbian ethnic cleansing following the Serbian occupation of Croatian Baranja.




STATUS OF CROATIANS IN BOKA KOTORSKA FROM 1918. UNTIL TODAY


From the beginning of the Serbian aggression against Croatia in 1991 until today, the status of Croatians in Boka Kotorska has been characterized by various kinds of pressure. The most respected Croatian families in Tivat have received threatening letters in which the following, among other things, are written: "If you do not leave on time, the night will swallow your children and family. Hurry to the summons of Mr. Tudjman to Croatia, because there are more Serbian centuries-old homes there than there are of you." (The letter was published by independent Montenegrin media.) For this reason, Croatians of Boka have been moving to Croatia, while from Tivat alone, there have been over 300 Croatians (7 medical specialists among them) who have moved to Croatia. In effect, what has happened is a continuation, if not a completion, of the ethnic cleansing of Boka Kotorska since the existence of Yugoslavia.

The census of 1910 (the last census carried out during the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and the census of 1991 (the last census in Yugoslavia) reveal that ethnic cleansing is truly in effect. The total population almost doubled from 33,400 in 1910 to 61,440 in 1991, while at the same time the number of Croatians has decreased three times (from 13,500 in 1910 to 4,910 in 1991. However, only one part of the population emigrated. The other half was subjected to constant pressure to change nationality (to Yugoslavian). Only Croatians in Montenegro had reasons to declare themselves as such in the census of 1991. According to data of the Catholic Church of Boka, today there are approximately 12,000 Catholics. Thus, we have a paradoxical situation with more Catholic-Yugoslavians in Boka than Croatians.

The demographic picture of Boka Kotorska, however, has changed dramatically since 1991, not only because of the exodus of Croatians, but also because of the great influx of Serbians, namely, the Yugoslav Navy has made Boka its naval base and Serbians from eastern Herzegovina and Croatia have settled there - SERBIANIZATION is in full effect in Boka. It is not surprising that of the 1,000 refugees who departed from Croatia after the liberating 'Storm' operation, 200 settled in Tivat. For this purpose, an initiative for a "census of empty houses" was set in motion by the Podgorica "Pobjeda" at the beginning of August so as to "take care of the people of "Krajina" in Montenegro". Thanks to the Montenegrin independent media, as well as the attitude of the municipal organizations of the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Union, the attempt at the so-called "humane confiscation" of empty Croatian houses was somewhat thwarted but not completely stopped.

When we say Boka Kotorska, we understand this to be the Boka Kotorska Bay. The coastal belt of Boka Kotorska-Budva-Spic was, however, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire administratively included into one district with its center in Kotor. The censuses carried out convey religious rather than ethnic affiliation. While it is clear that the Catholics are essentially Croatian people, it is difficult to distinguish the Montenegrin and Serbian people among the Orthodox inhabitants. It is not difficult to note certain regularities in the displacement of the population in 1910. The Orthodox majority in the entire district was the result of colonization in higher mountainous regions, as for example, the Boka Kotorska hinterland and the region of Pastrovici, in which the people of the Orthodox faith are practically the only inhabitants. They also make up the majority on the Lustica Peninsula and in the agricultural Grbalj parish. In larger towns, the Orthodox population in 1910 and earlier was only noted in Risan. The remaining town settlements : Kotor, Perast, Tivat, Dobrota, Prcanj, Herceg-Novi and Budva had a Catholic, that is, Croatian majority. Distinct Catholic regions were the Vrmac Peninsula in Boka Kotorska and the southern part of Spic from Sutomor to the border towards Montenegro.

We may justifiably calculate that the situation was similar at the time of the creation of the first Yugoslavia and from that moment, the influence of Greater Serbian politics was of crucial significance to the demographic changes in Boka. The annexation of Boka to Montenegro did not follow until 1945 when federal units of the new Yugoslavia were established (during the war the terms used were: Montenegro and Boka Kotorska, that is, Montenegrins and the people of Boka). The census of 1948 was characterized by great pressure on the population to declare themselves Montenegrin.

Boka Kotorska was the first of all Croatian lands to be inflicted by Greater-Serbian politics. Objective and subjective reasons exist. Objective reasons lie in the fact that Boka Kotorska is the most southern of all Croatian lands. Subjective reasons lie in two great Serbian complexes.

1. The sea is a generally known Serbian complex. From the time of the Nemanjic Dynasty until today, whenever they were in a position to do so, Serbians have executed genocide upon the people who were obstacles to their access to the sea.

2. The Croatian cultural heritage is a Serbian complex which was best manifested in the war when they systematically destroyed all cultural monuments of the Croatian people. The symbol of this both here and in the world is Dubrovnik. The culturocide, however, which is being carried out against the Croatian people holds one more component which may be seen in the attempt to usurp the cultural heritage of the Croats of Boka Kotorska, namely, it is the Boka Kotorska coastal settlements which were primarily inhabited by Croatians and which were the hub of maritime affairs. For centuries, this promoted strong development of the territory and the inhabitants were the bearers of a culture which attained an enviable level. This culture was particularly important to the Croatian people. Let us emphasize that the oldest Croatian Cathedral dating back to 1166, is St. Tripun's Cathedral in Kotor or Our Lady of Skrpelja, the magnificent church, the shrine to the Holy Virgin erected on an artificial island across from Perast which was built by the inhabitants of that town. The church houses the life's work of the greatest Croatian baroque painter who was born in Perast - Tripo Kokolja. Of six Croatian Saints and canons, three are from Boka (St. Leopold Bogdan Mandic, sainted Ozana of Kotor and sainted Gracija of Mula). The only Croatian Pope, Siksto V, is also from Boka. Testimony to the greatness of the Croatian people's heritage may found in official Montenegrin sources, which state that 40% of the republic's immovable heritage and 66% of the republic's movable heritage is located in Boka Kotorska. Clearly, one may conclude that today over 50% of Montenegro's cultural wealth belongs to the Croatian people. More precisely, the Croatian people of Boka are heirs to this wealth.

Nacional stucture in Montenegro (1991) After his visit to the Catholic parishes in Boka and Montenegro, Monsignor Ratko Peric, the Bishop of the Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkanj dioceses, said: "It takes more courage to be Croatian there than it does to be Catholic". In effect, his comment is indirectly talking about the goal of Greater Serbian politics in respect to the Serbian usurpation of the Croatian cultural heritage of Boka. Serbians need non-Croatian Catholics to ensure the painless seizure of the heritage which is primarily situated in Catholic churches.

Eventually, with the completion of ethnic cleansing in Boka and the disappearance of Croatian Catholics, the Kotor Diocese would no longer be a part of the Church for Croatians. Yugoslav Catholics would rapidly become, first, Montenegrin Catholics and then Serbian Catholics. In other words, Montenegro would first swallow Boka and then Serbia would swallow Montenegro. Moreover, while Montenegrins are, for Croatians, those who are taking away their land and their cultural heritage (something which is truly being witnessed by our people), the reality is that Montenegrins are also victims of Greater Serbian politics. Namely, they are doing the dirty work for Serbians in the same way they were drawn into the attack on Dubrovnik with the same scenario. They are not aware that they are working against themselves because by unjustly claiming the so-called Nemanjici Bay, they are giving an added motive to their own Serbianization.

By taking over Boka, Greater-Serbian politics is working in three basic directions:

1. the elimination of national consciousness of Croatians in Boka;

2. memoricide upon the Croatian people as a whole, that is, erasing Boka and the Croatian people in Boka from the minds of Croatians in Croatia. 3. territorial separation of Boka from Croatia. The elimination of national consciousness was first carried out by the so-called "Bokism" and then by " Yugoslavianism". In the previous century, Serbians spoke to Croatians in Boka about "togetherness:" We are all "Bokans" and nothing else", they would say. Then they proceeded to divide them into Serbians and Catholics! Thus, Croatians were denied their Croatianism, whereas Serbianism was not touched because their faith is Serbian! At that time they were successful, especially in the creation of the first and second Yugoslavias when some Croatians found salvation by declaring themselves to be "Bokan" (and later Yugoslav) rather than Serb or Montenegrin! But in both circumstances, the Serbians achieved what they had wanted: for the Croatians to cease to exist because, severed from their people, they are condemned to become that which the Serbs want them to become, condemned to give the Serbs the great cultural heritage of the Croatian people of Boka as dowry.

There are many examples that display how successfully memoricide was carried out upon the Croatian people as a whole with respect to Boka, the Croatian people and the great Croatian cultural heritage in Boka. The effect of this memoricide can still be felt in Croatia although I believe that many more people today know about Boka and its meaning to the Croatian people than they did several years ago.

From the very beginning, the territorial separation of Boka from Croatia has been a major goal. This can be seen in the Vidovdan Constitution of 1921 in which the division of states into administrative regions was proposed. The division would be carried out by a parliamentary decision at the government's suggestion. If this is not accomplished, a shortened legal procedure is predicted and should this not succeed the King would pass a statute in which the district of Boka Kotorska would fall under the Zeta administrative region. One can see how such crucial decisions were determined in advance and it is immediately clear that neither the first nor the second circumstance occurred, rather the third, which ensured the separation of Boka Kotorska from her mother country.

In all future changes, including the Banovina (Ban's dominion) of Croatia, Boka remained outside Croatian borders. When the HSS (Croatian Peasant Party) gained the most votes in seven Boka municipalities at the elections of 1939, Croatians in Boka expected that the Boka Kotorska Bay would enter the Banovina. Since the Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement did not define the borders, representatives of Boka Croats went to the HSS headquarters in Zagreb asking for the border to be on Trojica, behind Kotor. A correction of the border, however, was never accomplished due to the war and the arrangement of the first Yugoslavia.

Boka did not enter into the Independent State of Croatia in 1941. It was after the fall of Italy in 1943 when Boka formally entered into this structure, but it was, however, the German army which entered Boka rather than Croatian armed forces. In Boka, people believe that the reason for this was that Don Ivo Stijepcevic, a well-known Croatian historian, requested this. It is ironic that Don Ivo was imprisoned after the war by those whom he had aided by this act. On the other hand, the "Boka " syndrome was in effect turning those Croatians in Boka into partisans.

During the war, the term Montenegro and Boka Kotorska was used, whereas at the second meeting of "ZAVNOCG i Boka" (Territorial Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation for Montenegro and Boka), which took place on June 14, 1944, the name was changed to "CASNO" (Montenegrin Anti-Fascist Assembly for National Liberation). By the end of the year the term "and Boka" was erased from the title of the republic as well, although many organizations kept to the original name even several years after the war. This was clearly a simple consequence of the fact that Boka had been wrenched from its mother country. This enabled great pressure to be placed upon the Croatians of Boka. In this way, many well-respected Croatians in Boka were killed, among them priests: Don Ivo Brajnovic, Don Gracija Sablic and Don Djuro Perusina.

There were 17 Croatian culture clubs in Boka in the first Yugoslavia and the Croatians joined their mother country in joy (the thousandth anniversary of King Tomislav was celebrated magnificently in Boka and a stone plaque was placed on the Cathedral in Kotor commemorating the event) and in sorrow (a Boka navy unit took part in Stjepan Radic's funeral). In the second Yugoslavia, however, all of this was destroyed in the two years following the war.

In 1948, Croatians were faced with great pressure to declare themselves Montenegrin. Those among them who were in the Communist Party received party orders to do so. Not even three years had passed since the erasing of the term "and Boka". In those three years, many well-respected Croatians were imprisoned, with or without trial, and loss of employment was a standard occurrence. This was usually accompanied by the label "clericalist".

Pressure continued during the entire existence of the second Yugoslavia resulting in the demographic changes we have mentioned. The confiscation of Croatian houses, threatening letters and a case of arson in Donja Lastva by Tivat (the owner of the house in question was a Croatian Dejan Brkan), have made the situation in Tivat very explosive.

It is clear why the Montenegrin opposition did this and why they are supporting Croatians in Boka: by fighting for the Croatians, they are fighting for themselves and for the independence of Montenegro and its European orientation. To the Croatians of Boka, its Serbianization means losing their homeland, but to the Montenegrins it is a battle TO BE OR NOT TO BE . They are fighting for the survival of their nation. Unfortunately, the Montenegrin opposition is not powerful enough to significantly alter the situation. This is why the question of what the Croatian nation can do is extremely important.

Clearly, it is Croatia's duty, according to its Constitution, to report on the current situation in Tivat and the entire Boka region to all relevant factors to the world. However, that is not enough. In its political program, Croatia must begin with the fact that Boka Kotorska is one of Croatia's most important interests. That this is truly so we may conclude from the following three facts:

1. The overwhelming Croatian cultural heritage in Boka. In fact, by destroying our heritage, the Serbs have raised the level of awareness of Croats with respect to the significance of their cultural heritage.

2. Boka is the Bay of Croatian Saints. Is it necessary, particularly now after the visit of the Holy Father to Zagreb, to emphasize what Catholicism and the Bay of Croatian Saints means to the Croatian people and the Croatian nation.

3. According to the Croatian Constitution, Croatia is obliged to take care of all Croatians outside Croatia, therefore the Croatians of Boka Kotorska. Thus, because Boka Kotorska is one of Croatia's significant interests, Croatia cannot accept that it be a part of a state such as today's SR Yugoslavia - a state in which Croatians and other peoples are subjected to culturocide and genocide.

Naturally, the Croatian army will not cross Croatian borders (unless Croatia is attacked), regardless of the fact that demographic movements in Knin and Boka have been very similar in this century and that with the completion of ethnic cleansing in Boka, they would be entirely the same. All these reasons show how it is of vital interest to Croatia that Montenegro become an independent state, as are the other republics of the former Yugoslavia. We are hopeful that Croatia will succeed in convincing its allies of this fact and that they will become more active in aiding the Montenegrin opposition in its battle for freedom and the independence of Montenegro. Montenegro, separated from Serbia, would surely turn towards Europe, and in this way Boka Kotorska, this Bay of Croatian Saints, would, together with Montenegro, be where it belongs - in Europe. European Montenegro is a guarantee for everything Croatian in Boka Kotorska and it is the Croatian part of Montenegro which is exactly the ticket to affiliation to the Western world.

Today's situation, i.e. Serbian Montenegro, represents the feeding of the Greater Serbian appetite and ensures the continuation of Greater Serbian politics, which alone is a constant threat to vital Croatian interests.




SERBIAN GENOCIDAL CRIMES AGAINST CROATIANS DURING WORLD WAR II (1941-1945)


The Chetniks not only intended to perform genocide, they carried out several forms of genocidal crimes against Croatians during World War II from 1941 - 1945. Until recently, however, this topic was considered taboo and was not allowed to be written about in the former SFRJ (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). It was either kept a secret or incidentally mentioned without any concrete facts or numerical indexes. Contrary to this, the sufferings of the Serbians and the crimes and genocide committed against them in Bosnia by the Ustasa Regime in 1941, were basically the only topics written and spoken about during this time. This served a political purpose with incorrect and malicious claims against the alleged genocidal Croatian people. Until now, a more orderly and complete investigation of this problem has been absent. In 1989, with the democratic changes implemented, the genocide against the Croatians began being written about along with the correct statistics concerning human casualties in the former Yugoslavian territory from 1941-1945.3 A scientifically based study is required in order to entirely investigate the problem. With this opportunity, I hope to present some of the most significant elements of Chetnik plans and activities during World War II which, according to all characteristics represent the crime of genocide against Croatians.

Since its establishment, the Chetnik organization has almost exclusively served as an instrument of nationalistic and expansionist Serbian politics. This was also the case in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1941). Through force and terror, the Chetnik organization, together with the army and the police represented a means of getting even with their political rivals and preserving the centralist, Greater Serbian political system headed by the King. For this reason, by the beginning of the war in 1941, some 300 Chetnik and similar organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and about 200 in Croatia were established which were recognized for their terror and barbarity along with the murders of a great number of Croatians. Through these organizations, the Greater Serbian political goal attempted to be realized. They battled against and suffocated every Croatian aspiration for recognition of their own national values and at the same time, Serbian national values were often emphasized and there were attempts to spread Serbian national consciousness among some Croatians. After the unification in 1918, with the abolition of the parliament and government, the Croatian guardsmen and police, along with the division of territory into six banovinas (Ban's dominions) (guaranteeing Serbians power within these provinces), Croatia lost its historical identity and statehood which it had preserved for centuries. Bosnia and Herzegovina was also divided into four banovinas through administrative means but in such a manner that the Serbs were guaranteed predominance in three of the banovinas. All of this resulted in corresponding counter-actions from the Croatian side. One way was the establishment of the illegal Ustasa movement (1929) whose goal was to create an autonomous and independent Croatian state outside Yugoslavia..

There were also the elections of 1938 which demonstrated the unstoppable strengthening of the Croatian national movement led by the Croatian Peasant Party. The party demanded a solution with respect to Croatia in the framework of Yugoslavia which the Greater Serbian monarchist regime needed to take into consideration due to the intensification of international conditions in Europe where war was drawing close and to save the nation from collapse. Consequently, an agreement on August 26, 1939 allowed the establishment of a separate Croatian Banovina within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with its own government, parliament, legislative, administrative and judicial autonomy, which could not be taken away or decreased without the permission of the Banovina itself. Thirteen districts from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the district of Sid in Vojvodina in which the Croatian population was the majority, were annexed to the Banovina but without the Croatian historical territories of eastern Srijem, Boka Kotorska, Budva and Spic. The Banovina had an area of 65,456 km, with a population of 4,025,601 (according to the 1931 census): 70.1% were Croatians, 19.1% were Serbians and 10.8% were listed as "others".

There were many who were against the agreement: on the Croatian side these were the supporters of the Ustasa movement who claimed that the agreement did not solve the Croatian problem, nor did it create a Croatian independent state; on the Muslim side, the majority of the Muslim political leadership wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a separate autonomous political territorial unit within its historical borders. Serbian counter measures followed, so that all Serbian parties, except the SDS, all nationalist and Greater Serbian organizations and associations, as well as the army and the Orthodox Church, opposed the establishment of the Croatian Banovina because they perceived it to be dangerous for Serbianism and the existence of the state. They often reacted as chauvinists (who hated Croatians and everything that was Croatian) and as advocates of their Greater Serbianism. The movement "Srbi na okup" was developed with the express purpose of joining the other six banovinas (Vrbaska, Drinska, Dunavska, Moravska, Vardarska and Zetska) into one administrative entity under the title "Serbian lands".

All the parts of the Croatian Banovina in which Serbians were the majority, as well as those which Serbians considered of geostrategic and political importance, for resistance preparations (Knin, for example), were to be annexed to the "Serbian lands", all of which intensified international relations. The program to create a "Greater Serbia" at the expense of Croatian historical territories (and others) was to remain a constant orientation of the Greater Serbian and Chetnik political expansionist circle since that time, during the Second World War, up to today and was to remain the principle motive for their genocidal actions against Croatians and other non-Serbians. For this reason we cannot ignore this pre-war period and the events during the war on the former Yugoslavian territory.

THE BASIS OF THE PROGRAM OF THE CHETNIK MOVEMENT SERVED AS THE BASIS OF THE CRIMES AGAINST CROATIANS WITH CHETNIK UNITS SERVING AS EXECUTORS OF THE CRIMES

The bloody events of the war on the territory of the shattered Kingdom of Yugoslavia during 1941 - 1945 were to a great extent the result and consequence of pre-war conditions and political relations in the new situation on the terrain. The events were expressed in conflicting concepts for the renewal of Yugoslavia on the one hand and the efforts of non-Serbian people, especially Croatians, on the other hand, to preserve the already existing state or endeavor to establish independent national states outside Yugoslavia. This was mainly displayed on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Chetniks emphasized that the twelve-day war, their military defeat, as well as the occupation and breaking of Yugoslavia by the Axis had lost the Serbians their "state and freedom" (since they considered the Kingdom of Yugoslavia to be merely an extended version of Greater Serbia and often acted as if it was). They blamed all other non-Serbian nations primarily the Croatians. They were particularly displeased with the formation of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) which included Bosnia and Herzegovina, eastern Srijem, but not Dalmatia from Zadar to Split, the eastern part of Konavle and Boka Kotorska, then almost all of the Adriatic islands, except Hvar, Brac and Pag and a considerable part of the coast of the Bay of Kvarner and Gorski Kotar which were all annexed by the Italians (zone I.). Medjimurje and Baranja were annexed by the Hungarians. The NDH encompassed an area of 102,725 km2, included a population of 6,640,000 and was administratively divided into 22 large counties with 141 districts, 19 district offices, 31 towns, 1, 005 municipalities, and the city of Zagreb as a separate administrative headquarters. Serbians made up 30% of the entire population. The NDH was divided by a demarcation line to the south of Samobor, Glina, Dvor, Jajce, Fojnica and Visegrad. To the north of this line was German and to the south Italian-occupied territory. The occupied Italian territory in the NDH was divided into zones II and III. Civilian, police and military state authorities were established on NDH territory. The only political organizations allowed to operate in the NDH were Ustasa organizations and separate Ustasa units were formed as well.

The existence and activities of the NDH government were dependent on the concrete situation on a given territory, especially Partisan activities, the activities of Chetnik forces on some territories following the rebellion in 1941, as well as the interests and will of the occupier. The so called "Muslim question" in Bosnia and Herzegovina (i.e. NDH) did not pose a problem to the Ustasa leadership with Ante Pavelic at its head as it adopted Dr. Ante Starcevic's theory of "Muslims as the purest part of the Croatian people", in which "religious differences do not and should not matter".

Serbian nationalists and expansionists of which the Chetniks, as a military and political organization, were the most well-known and prominent, could never resign themselves to the creation of any kind of Croatian state (NDH included). The reason is fairly simple, namely, they believed that almost 90% of NDH territory (in its maximum program) represented the territory of the so-called "Serbian lands" (including the entire territory of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina and most of the territory belonging to today's Republic of Croatia), regardless of the fact that these territories had never been a part of the Serbian state, and that Croatians and Muslims represented a majority in them. For this reason they believed that the territories of the NDH could only enter into the so-called "Homogeneous or Greater Serbia", as referred to in documents.

The principle prerequisite for this was the destruction of the NDH and cleansing of the Croatian and non-Serbian population from these territories in order to annex them to Greater Serbia. This is one of the reasons why immediately following the proclamation of the NDH, we come upon the first massive killings of Croatian citizens by Chetniks and also the burning of a great number of houses and entire villages in some regions of the NDH. In this way, Chetnik units, which were part of the regular army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and were designated for "special actions", and individual Chetnik commanders, during the Derventa retreat, killed 17 Croatian civilians, five women among them on April 11-13, 1941; killed three Croatian women, a young girl among them on April 11 in Siveric; on April 9, 28-29, killed three Croatian civilians and wounded one near Bjelovar; from April 13-15, killed 25 Croatians and burned 40 houses near Capljina; on April 15, killed 5 Croatian civilians, one woman among them near Mostar, and burned down the Croatian villages of Cim and Ilici.

Such murders occurred in other places indicating what was to soon follow.6 After the first shock, as a consequence of the occupation and break down of Yugoslavia, as well as the creation of the NDH, Chetniks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, often in co-operation with the communists, began to organize a Serbian armed rebellion against the Croatian State, in this case, the Ustasa NDH, calling on past Serbian traditions. At the same time, they worked on establishing ties with other Chetnik and nationalistic forces on the territory of former Yugoslavia (primarily with those in Serbia). Similarly, they worked towards creating a basis for the movement program in which the genocidal intentions against Croatians were clearly emphasized. With respect to this, on June 30, 1941, Stevan Moljevic, one of the main Chetnik ideologists and national leaders, formed the project, "Homogeneous Serbia", in which the Chetnik program regarding borders, the social system and foreign policy of Greater Serbia in the re-established Yugoslavia were outlined months before the establishment of the Jasenovac camp.

The project proposes that "... today the first and fundamental responsibility is imposed upon Serbians: to create and organize a homogeneous Serbia which will encompass the entire ethnic territory in which Serbians live...." This meant annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina and a greater part of Croatia to Serbia through "migration and transfer of inhabitants" and cleansing. All this was expressed cartographically in a special propaganda leaflet together with a corresponding text.

At the same time, a group of Serbian nationalists who had escaped from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia into the annexed part of Dalmatia and linked itself with the Italian government, sent the Italian government in Rome a petition asking for the Italian army to occupy and annex Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, and Banija, and to overthrow the NDH government in those territories.

The Italian government used this for its expansionist pretensions and pressures on NDH in negotiations upon the outbreak of the rebellion, as well as for negotiations, cooperation and organization of Chetniks on its annexed and occupied territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. In July and the beginning of August 1941, a general Serbian rebellion occurred in almost all of the Croatian territory where the population was predominantly Serbian. The chief initiators and leaders of the rebellion were leaders of the Communist Party, and this the CK KP (Central Committee of the Communist Party) in Croatia and the Regional Committee of the KPJ (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) for Bosnia and Herzegovina as parts of the CK KPJ, even though there were places where the rebellion occurred spontaneously, and some places where Chetniks themselves headed the rebellion.

At that time and in those regions, it was the Serbian population which almost exclusively participated in the rebellion. There were only some individuals and smaller groups of other nationalities, primarily members of KPJ and SKOJ (League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia), who were involved in the rebellion. The crimes of the Ustasa Regime against the Serbian people were stressed as the main reasons for the rebellion with the goal of overthrowing the NDH and the re-establishment of Yugoslavia. While the communists endeavored to give the rebellion an anti-fascist and national liberational character, including all peoples and national minorities on Yugoslavian territories and to establish their communist power during the war, the Chetniks gave the rebellion a principally nationalist and expansionist character, including almost exclusively Serbians and endeavoring to uphold the old pre-war Greater Serbian system of government with the King at its head.

This soon resulted in a division into two movements, one headed by the communists in NOP (National Liberation Movement) and the other by the Chetniks. This soon led to armed battles which lasted until the end of the war. From the beginning until the end of the war, members of the Chetnik movement intentionally equated the entire Croatian people with the Ustasa Regime by accusing them of the Ustasa crimes against Serbians in the NDH with an attempt to justify their own crimes using these formal reasons. In fact, throughout the war, the Chetnik movement had distinct genocidal, anti-Croatian characteristics.

In Chetnik documents, it is suggested that the reasons they began the rebellion in the NDH were only formal while the real reasons lie in the aspiration for the establishment of an ethnically cleansed Greater Serbia at the expense of historical and national territories of Croats, Muslims and others. This was to be the basic motive for Chetnik terror and genocidal crimes against Croatians. The Chetnik movement was comprised of armed and political organizations which appeared on NDH territory shortly after the capitulation of Yugoslavia and the proclamation of the NDH and was active until the end of the war. By the end of 1941, the entire Chetnik movement was under the command of Draza Mihailovic.

It is necessary to stress that the USA and Great Britain accepted the exiled government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as a legitimate government in June 1941. In July, the other great force of the anti-fascist coalition, the USSR did the same. Since the Atlantic Charter of August 14, 1941 stipulated the war aims of the anti-fascist coalition, including the re-establishment of all occupied states after the war, including Yugoslavia, its re-establishment was assured. It was precisely at that time, on Yugoslavian territory, especially on the NDH territory, that the civil war began between the Communist and the Chetnik movements to decide what the re-established Yugoslavia would be like. Throughout the entire war, the Chetnik movement was assisted by the government in exile and King Peter II situated in London.

At the same time, the Chetnik movement received support and assistance from Western allies, especially Great Britain until 1944, and afterwards the USA. In the program of the Chetnik movement during and after the war, which was delivered by its leader, Draza Mihailovic, to the Yugoslavian King's government on September 1941 and accepted, Moljevic's plan was supplemented and the following was stated:

"... prepare yourself so that in the days of the collapse, the following actions may be executed....
b) define the "defakto" Serbian lands and allow only Serbian populace to remain in them.
v) especially plan the rapid and radical cleansing of cities and fill them with fresh Serbian elements.
g) develop a plan for cleansing or displacing the peasant population with the goal of a homogeneous Serbian national community.
d) consider the Muslim question in the Serbian unit as an especially difficult problem and possibly solve it in this phase...."

In the "Instructions" of December 20, 1941, regarding the organization, goals and employment of the Chetnik units, Draza Mihailovic, who was promoted to General and soon became the minister for the army in the emigrant government, removed all doubts. According to him, the goal of the battle of the Chetnik movement under the leadership of King Peter was:

"... To create a Great Yugoslavia and in it a Greater Serbia, ethnically cleansed, within the borders of pre-war Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Srem, Banat and Backa..."

"... To cleanse the state territory of all national minorities and national elements..."

"... To immediately create mutual borders between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as between Serbia and Slovenia, cleansing Sandzak of Muslim inhabitants, and Bosnia and Herzegovina of Muslim and Catholic inhabitants..."

"...All Catholics who sinned against our people in our tragic days, as well as all intellectuals and those well off, will be destroyed without mercy. We will spare the peasant people as well as the low working class and make real Serbians of them. We will convert them into Orthodox by hook or by crook. There, those are the goals of our great battle and when the crucial moment arrives, they will be achieved. We have already achieved them in some parts of our homeland...."

This document directly shows the sources of Chetnik genocidal crimes against Croatians and Muslims which originated from the creation of the Serbian national state and its expansionist politics. Draza went further than Moljevic regarding territory, asking for more than 90% of NDH territory for Greater Serbia in which more than 2,500,000 Catholics and over 800,000 Muslims lived, making up 70% of the entire population on that territory, while Serbians comprised almost 30% of the population. From Draza's "Instructions", all Croatians, Muslims, and other non-Serbians would have to disappear from this territory, either during the war or immediately after it. Croatians were given only about 10% of their territory at that time from Karlovac across Zagreb to Varazdin and approximately 1/5 of the NDH population.

Accusations and allegations against Croatians for all the evil and sufferings caused to the Serbians during the war existed for the purpose of constantly motivating Chetniks to execute punishments, that is, crimes of genocide against them. This is clearly stated in Draza's "Instructions". With respect to this, and with the same goal, is the exaggeration of Serbian victims caused by the Ustasa or, according to the Chetniks, by the "Croatians" i.e. the entire Croatian and Muslim peoples, starting with the number of 382,000 at the end of 1941, coming to over 518,000 at the end of February 1942, then 600,000 in October 1942, with 800,000 at the end of 1943 and finally, at the end of the war, arriving at the number of one million Serbians killed on NDH territory.

This is absurd to any objective researcher and is shown in the work of the Serb, Dr. B Kocovic. Draza's threats of revenge against Croats as a prerequisite for life and rights in a future state had the same aim. Also, in other program documents of individual Chetnik leaders and units similar arguments and goals are expressed. The "Elaborat" of the Dinara Chetnik division of March 1942, which was established precisely at that time and encompassed northern Dalmatia, Lika, and the southwestern part of Bosanska Krajina, also presented its aims and arguments. The principle goal was the creation of a "Serbian national state" where "Serbians lived and which Serbians aspire to...", that is, a "Greater Serbia" which would include Bosnia and Herzegovina, a part of Dalmatia, Lika, and other territories with a pure national system and "King Peter at the head" in which "exclusively the Orthodox populace would live" The rest was to disappear so that on March 25, 1943, the Dinara division gave an order to its units to "cleanse the Croatians" from their territory. At the same time, "the establishment of a national corridor along the Dinara Mountain to link Herzegovina with northern Dalmatia and Lika", was assigned as one of the primary tasks of this division and the Chetnik movement, which they attempted to achieve, particularly in 1942 and 1943, through the cleansing of the local Croatian and Muslim population. Vukasin Marcetic, the commander of the Chetnik unit "Manjaca", stated the following at a conference of the Chetnik units on June 7, 1942: "I believe that Bosnia and Serbia are one nation and I hope that everything that is not Serbian will be cleansed from Bosnia."

Milan Santic, a Chetnik leader, was even more direct. In his speech, in Trebinje at the end of July 1942, he stated that the goal of the Chetnik movement was to "establish a Greater Serbia" as stipulated by Draza and then said: "Serbian lands must be cleansed of Catholics and Muslims. Only Serbians will live in those lands. The cleansing will be thoroughly executed. We will drive out and destroy them all, without exception and without compassion. This will be the starting point of our liberation". He further stresses that all of this "must be executed quickly and in one revolutionary momentum" and because of this Chetniks will "never formally recognize" the NDH. All of these documents illustrate that Chetnik crimes of genocide against Croatians were deliberate and planned.

The Chetnik military units were founded on NDH territory (south of the Sava River extending to the Adriatic Sea) with direct support from Italian occupying forces. On the basis of contracts, these forces provided Chetnik military units not only with weapons, ammunition, provisions, and salaries but were also often initiators and protectors of a great number of mass Chetnik crimes against Croatians. According to Chetnik documents on their military formations during the war years from 1941 to 1945, there were 14 corps, 76 brigades and 2 regiments on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina while on Croatian territory, there were 4 corps, 1 division, 32 brigades and 2 regiments. Apart from the military formations there existed numerous authorities on the territories under Chetnik control. The exact number of Chetniks has not yet been established, but according to some indexes, some 100,000 individuals in the army and in the field passed through their ranks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia of whom 98% were Serbian. At this point, it is necessary to stress the assistance the Chetnik leadership directed to these regions from Serbia and Montenegro.

All Chetnik units committed crimes, special units, however, existed to whom this was the main task. These ranged from Chetnik three-man groups to troops and brigades. Program documents, undoubtedly, suggest that Chetnik genocidal crimes were directed against the Croatian people as a whole on the territory of their imaginary "Greater Serbia." Nevertheless, it must be stated that Chetnik terror and crimes were also directed towards the participants of the anti-fascist movement or NOP, as it was called, and against their families, regardless of nationality, although the Chetniks endeavored occasionally to spare the lives of individual captured partisans and members of NOP who happened to be Serbian.

Crimes were also directed against the Serbians who displayed various forms of loyalty towards the NDH leadership. There were two main methods of Chetnik genocidal crimes against Croatians. The first was the direct, physical destruction of people. The second method was indirect, using various threats, physical and psychological violence, the rape of women and young girls, and robbery. Physical destruction took the form of massacres, hangings, decapitation, burning, throwing victims into pits and killing them with various objects. Victims were in most cases tortured before being killed.

Indirect methods included Chetnik threats of massacring Croatians in pamphlets, songs, or speeches; various forms of physical violence ranging from stoning, beating, mutilation to rape of Croatian women and girls so as to nationally degrade them. There were two especially significant forms of indirect Chetnik crimes. These were robbery and forced conversion of Catholics into the Serbian Orthodox faith. Robbery and plundering were carried out on an enormous scale and were often the main motives for setting Chetniks into action. They were practiced mostly during military operations but were also carried out whenever possible. This caused hunger and death in territories through which the Chetniks passed and the massive exodus of the population which was in fact the main Chetnik goal. The forced conversion to the Serbian Orthodox faith aimed at further degrading the victims and destroying that deepest of ties to the Croatian nationality.

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHETNIK CRIMES OF GENOCIDE AGAINST CROATIANS FROM 1941 TO 1945

The actualization of genocidal crimes against Croatians, according to the proposed plan by the Chetnik leaders and commanders, began immediately after the plans were drawn up and lasted to the end of the war. Their scope depended primarily on their military capabilities, their deployment and the strength of their opponents. From the documents we notice three periods which, according to the number of victims of genocide, were the most massive. The first was the commencement of the rebellion, from the end of July 1941 to February 1942. The second was from August to October 1942 and the third was from January to March 1943. These were the strongest military periods for the Chetnik movement. It was also the time when the movement had the most intensive support of Chetniks from Serbia and Montenegro and the support of the Italian occupiers.

We will mention several distinguishing examples from these periods.

1.) The first period (the end of July 1941 - February 1942.)

This period consists of two parts: the first, from the eruption of the rebellion until the autumn of 1941, when Chetniks and guerrillas participated in the rebellion together; and the second, which began at the same time as the division of the Chetnik and national liberation movement, namely, the division of the military into Chetniks and Partisans and crimes of Chetnik units may be observed. In the first part, after the eruption of the revolt, in actions carried out jointly by the Chetniks and communists, the first massive crimes against Croatians and Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia were carried out. In this way, on July 27, 1941 and several days afterwards, in Bosansko Grahovo and the surrounding area, 62 Croatians, among whom were five women, nine children, and parish rector Ante Gospodnetic were killed by the rebels while their houses and five villages were burned after being looted. On July 2, in Krenjus and its surrounds, as well as in Vrtoci, several hundred Croatians, the majority being older individuals, women and children and the parish rector Kresimir Baric were massacred. They looted and burned houses and the Roman Catholic Church. Then followed the arrival of 2,500 Croatians from Boricevac and the surrounding area into Bihac. Boricevac itself was looted and completely burned and never rebuilt after the war. As a result, 19 Roman Catholic parishes on the right side of the Una River and ten on the left shore ceased to exist since there was no congregation left. Subsequently, on September 5, 1941, in Kulen Vakuf, 3,000 Muslims and a hundred Croatians were slaughtered and the area was looted and burnt. Also, 44 Muslims and 12 Croatians were killed in Varcar Vakuf and the surrounding areas. In Glamoc and its surrounds, 45 Muslims and two Croatians were killed. In Sanski Most the rebels "killed Muslims and Croatian peasants and even their families"

It was the same in other areas. In this way, the "liberated territories" were soon liberated from Croatians who were forced to leave so as not be slaughtered and killed. Their houses and villages were looted and burned. Soon, a river of 50,000 refugees began to flow into Bihac, Jajce, Knin, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Livno, and other towns. The share the Chetniks and their supporters took in executing these crimes was dominant. In eastern Herzegovina, massacres of civilians were carried by out rebels with assistance from Montenegro. According to the documents of NDH authorities, the number is considerably greater. Some Croatians were killed, while from the entire eastern Herzegovina region, colonies of refugees, flowed into neighbouring towns, predominantly Capce the beginning of the revolt, that the first massacres of Muslims were recorded and this in Medjedja and Koraj in October and November 1941. Several hundred people were slaughtered.

After being looted, many houses and villages were burned. It was in eastern Bosnia, where Chetnik units, established and assisted by Chetniks in Serbia, and active sints spreading, Italian and German occupying forces intervened. The Italians occupied Zones I and II and the Germans brought in new forces. The Italians enabled the organization and supplies for the Chetnik units and their close links from Serbia to Slovenia, who in turn organized, planned, and commenced the genocidal crimes against Croatians and Muslims. In this way, Chetniks around Knin and at the three border point started the terror against the Croatian population. On October 7 and 8, 1941, they slaughtered seven Croatians in Donji Ervenik. On July 3, 1941, they ordered "that all Catholics in the village of Stikova be converted to the Orthodox faith." In an attack 16 days later, 11 local Croatians and 1 gendarme were killed. On December 11, in the village of Velika Plana, by Lovinac, six Croatians were massacred and before that, on September 29, 1941, 44 Croatians of Brotinja by D. Lapac were captured and then slaughtered. The majority were women and children. This resulted in a new wave of Croatian refugees. The arrival of Partisans in this territory temporarily hindered further Chetnik crimes, but made possible the transition of many Chetniks into Partisans, without punishment for the crimes committed.

2.) The second period (August - October 1941).

In this period, the majority of Chetnik crimes were again carried out in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Chetniks captured Foca on August 19,1942 in which 8,000 Muslims, both native inhabitants and some refugees, lived. Approximately 5,000 Muslims succeeded in escaping towards Sarajevo. Some smaller groups of Muslims went into hiding while the others were captured and killed. One of the survivors stated:"... As soon as the Chetniks occupied Foca, they captured and killed all the Muslim men, as well as a great number of women and children, whilst almost all the girls and young women were raped. Altogether, 11 men in hiding survived. Shops and houses were completely looted and some of them were burned". The same source also claimed that there had been "about 2,000 innocent victims." On September 5, 1942, P. Bacovic reported to D. Mihailovic that in Foca: "...1,200 Ustasa in uniforms and approximately 1,000 Muslims who had compromised themselves have been killed, while we had four dead and five wounded.... We had an enormous booty. Our goal was to secure links with Serbia and this we achieved."

From August 29 until September 4, 1942, during the Italian military operation "Albia" against the Partisans on Biokovo, a group of 1,000 Chetniks from eastern Herzegovia carried out massive looting, arson, and crimes against the local Croatian civilian population. It was on the territory of the Cetina parish alone (in Rascani, Zupa biokovska, Kozica, and Dragljani) that 160 Croatians were slaughtered, shot, or burned. Among them were three priests, Ivan Condic, Josip Braenovic who was decapitated, and Ladislav Ivankovic. On September 5, 1942, Bacovic reported on the "punitive expedition" to D. Mihailovic, stating that the Chetniks had killed over "1,000 Ustasa", and that they themselves had "not one dead or wounded". He went on to state that en route from Ljubuski to Vrgorac, they had "skinned three Catholic priests alive", killed "all the men 15 years of age and older" and that "17 villages had been completely destroyed", after which, with songs and the Serbian flag, they "came to the shores of our Adriatic" to the south of Makarska "and positioned our flag". From May until September 1942, on the basis of an agreement with the Italians, the Chetniks took over power in eastern Herzegovina with the exception of the towns. Subsequently, they killed several hundred Croatians and a massive exodus of the Croatian population from the left shores of the Neretva River followed. During this period, the exodus was primarily from the Stolac region, in which "from approximately 28,000 Catholics and Muslims" (with the exception of a few families in Stolac itself) not a single Croatian or Muslim remained according to Chetnik documents. During the Italian military operation against Partisans on the territory of Prozor in October 1942, the Chetniks first killed around 200 Croatians and Muslims in the Mostar area and then in the Prozor area, they killed, slaughtered, and threw into pits or water 1,716 people (340 Muslims and the rest Croatian civilians). Upon their return, they killed twenty Croatians, in the Konjic district, looted their homes and villages, and burned many of them as well. Bacovic sent the following telegram to D. Mihailovic on October 23, 1942: "In the Prozor operations, over 2,000 Croats and Muslims slaughtered. Soldiers returned."

Meanwhile, in northern and central Dalmatia, Chetniks carried out more genocidal crimes against Croatians under directions from the Italians and under their auspices. In this way, at the beginning of October 1942, on the territory of the Cetina parish, Chetniks, under the command of commander M. Rokvic, killed 200 Croatians, looted and burned down houses in the villages of Gata, Naglice, Cisla, Ostrvica, Zvecanji, Dugopolje, Kolenice, Srijani and Dolac Gornji.

The Italians reported: "Most of the people killed were the elderly, women and children, who had no ties with the Partisans". Every one was slaughtered when captured. During the killings, the Chetniks would sing: " Petar from London writes us, Oh Croatians, you are no more". On October 21, 1942, in Bitelic, near Sinj, Djujic's Chetniks, under directions from the Italians, killed 29 Croats and 6 more in Otisic and then burned down 220 Croatian houses. According to the report of the Italian General Berardi from Knin, "every Catholic was tortured and slaughtered and afterwards most of the corpses were mutilated in the most horrible manner", but he did not react. Djujic sent a telegram to D. Mihailovic reporting: "My people killed all those we came upon" On October 3, 1942, Chetniks from Medak killed five Croatians from Ribnik. All documents illustrate that the victims in these massacres were civilians which may be seen by the number of Chetnik casualties. The consequence was a new wave of Croatian refugees from these territories towards the sea and deeper into NDH territories.

3.) The third period (January - March 1943)

Chetnik genocidal crimes against Croatians and Muslims in this period correspond with German and Italian operations against NOP forces which began on January 20, 1943, throughout the NDH territory (headquarters in Bihac). Chetniks from the NDH territory, Montenegro and Serbia participated in these operations. They used this for the pre-planned cleansing of the Croatian and Muslim population. According to German verified data from the territory within their zone, in six east Bosnian and four central Bosnian districts, 8,400 Croatians and 24,400 Muslims were killed, making a total of 32,800 people. The small remaining groups of Muslims were forced by the Chetniks to convert from the Islamic to the Serbian Orthodox faith as was the case in the villages of Potpece and Vikoc near Foca.26 At the same time, at the end of January 1943, the Chetniks in Dalmatia, taking advantage of the absence of stronger Partisan forces, engaged in an action, killing over 100 Croatians in the villages of Kijevo, Kosori, Maovice, Vrlika, Ruzic, Otavice, Gradac and Kricke, and raping women and girls, all under the slogan, "burn and slaughter everything Catholic".

At that time, they impaled 68 year-old Niko Blazevic and roasted until he died. In Otavice, they threw 86 year-old Ilija Mestrovic, the uncle of the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, into his burning house. Already on February 1, 1943, D. Mihailovic was informed: "In Kijevo and Vrlica, Bacovic shot 55 Ustasa and in Maovice and Otavice, Djujic killed 48 Ustasa".

Afterwards, on February 3 and 4, 1943, Herzegovinian Chetniks, in the Imotski region, slaughtered and killed 32 Croatians, looted and destroyed their property, set their houses on fire and raped the young girls and women. In these actions, the only victims were Croatian civilians, who were all considered Ustasa by the Chetniks. Not one victim was Serbian and not one Serbian village was destroyed. Again, the consequence was the departure of 3,000 Croatians from Sinj alone. Outside of these periods and until the end of the war, the Chetniks continued to loot, violate and kill Croatians and Muslims, whenever they had the opportunity. We will only mention a few of these crimes. In February 1944, Dalmatian Chetniks, in the villages of Dubrava, Danilo, Radonici and Goris killed 30 Croats. On April 4, they killed 10 in the Promin village of Necmen, 27 in the Skradin region on September 12, 1944, and 32 in December 1944 in Bribir, Grizani, and Tribalje near Crikvenica, burning 70 houses and the Bribir Church. In May 1944, Chetniks in Gorazde slaughtered about 50 Muslims, burning 2 mosques. In northeastern Bosnia, on October 8, 1944, the Trebavska Chetniks killed 25 Croatians in the villages of Tramosnica, Turic, Liporasce and Srednja Slatina. On January 3, 1945, Chetniks "captured, raped, and shot 27 women and children" (Croatians) in the villages of Kladari and Carevac, and ten days later massacred Croatians in the village Pecnik. On December 21, 1944, the Chetniks of Rogatic killed 23 Muslims in the village of Vinograd. Up to June 1944, on the territory of the Rogatic district alone, 3,677 homes were burned and 4,635 were Muslims killed (among whom were a small number of Croatians) by the Chetniks.30 At the end of the war, the Chetniks were militarily defeated but many of them were given the opportunity during the war, most often after being imprisoned, to "voluntarily" join the Partisans. More than 80% took advantage of this opportunity and, almost as a rule, gained legal amnesty from their crimes. Only a few were convicted for their crimes. In this way, they were given the opportunity to plan the revenge which they had constantly stressed during the war, most frequently in the song: "Oh Croatians, are we ever going to slaughter you, when Pero returns from London", even though their King did not return. This was especially revealed during the final operations after the surrender at Bleiburg, with murders and firing squads during "Death Marches", in camps and in places of execution for members of the Croatian defense forces and NDH authorities, as well as civilians throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia, namely Croatians and Muslims. The number of Chetnik victims of genocide among Croatians and Muslims during the war from 1941 to 1945 has not yet been confirmed. The newest demographic research suggests that the possible exact number of casualties on NDH territory is 200,000 Croats and 100,000 Muslims. These numbers refer to those killed. According to V. Zerjavic, of this number, 32,000 Croatians (20,000 in Croatia and 12,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and 33,000 Muslims were victims of the Chetniks.31 To many, Zerjavic's number appears too small, especially due to larger estimates in some sources and literature. I believe that this is possible, until future research, which is now being conducted, establishes concrete numerical data for these Chetnik genocidal crimes.


CONCLUSION

Chetnik crimes of genocide against Croatians during the Second World War (1941-1945) were not incidental, rather they were planned and an integral component of the military and political goals of the Chetnik movement. Their origins are in the comprehension of Greater Serbian nationalists and expansionists, of which the Chetnik movement was the most extreme, most organized and most operative part during the war. According to this comprehension, national and historical territories outside of Serbia are also Serbian because Serbians live there, regardless of their number. Areas in which there are no Serbians may also be considered Serbian if geostrategic or other reasons exist. In this respect, they considered Bosnia and Herzegovina and the greater part of today's Republic of Croatia to be Serbian and endeavored to "cleanse" them, through crimes of genocide, of Croatians who formed the majority of the population and then annex them to the ethnically pure "Greater Serbia". It is precisely this constant effort of the Chetnik movement to establish this "Greater Serbia," on the mentioned territories, which is the real reason for the Chetnik terror and genocidal crimes and not religious and national differences, nor terror or counter-terror, as some would have us believe. The Chetniks displayed their genocidal comprehension at all opportunities in numerous documents, maps, speeches, statements and actions before, during and unfortunately even after the Second World War. During this war, they attempted to achieve their genocidal plans with the support of and under the protection of first the Italian occupiers and then the German occupiers, as well as the support of the exiled government of Yugoslavia, Great Britain, and the United States. This is why, along with the Chetniks, the above mentioned participants carry their share of the responsibility for these crimes. In this respect, as we have partially shown, Muslims and Croatians in many territories in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Serbia, Montenegro to Slovenia were "cleansed".

Wherever Chetnik units arrived, horrific crimes were committed, depending only on the relation of forces and the circumstances in a given territory and throughout NDH, Europe, and the world. 52 Catholic priests, and several nuns of whom the most well-known are the so called Drina martyrs, five nuns who were taken by the Chetniks just before Christmas 1941 from the Pale convent to Gorazde where they were tortured, slaughtered, and thrown into the Drina River. The Chetnik movement did not fulfill its genocidal intentions because it did not possess enough military units. Yet the main reason was the self-organized defense and armed opposition of the Croatian and Muslim people, which protected them from even more tragic Chetnik crimes in many places and brought about their military defeat.

Following the war in 1945, all Chetnik criminals were given the opportunity to answer for their crimes of genocide against the Croatians and their historical, sacred and cultural monuments in court. Many were even given the chance to continue with these crimes under a different symbol (the communist red star?) For this reason, it is not coincidental that such genocidal crimes of greater Serbian nationalists and Chetniks occurred in even more appalling forms, with respect to the number of those killed, the number of refugees, and the destruction, against the Croatians in the greater Serbian aggression upon the Republic of Croatia in 1991, and then, against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina until today.

Historical experience shows that the military defeat of the Chetniks renders possible the return of the majority of the surviving Croatian population to their homes, but that is not sufficient. It is necessary to punish all the criminals, because until this is done, there will be no peace on these territories, and the threat of danger, new conflicts and new Chetnik crimes will always exist, which is something all international factors must be conscious of, if they truly want peace and if they do not wish to bear their share of the responsibility for Chetnik genocidal crimes.


Source: An International Symposium "Southeastern Europe 1918-1995"

Source: The Vidovdan Hydra