Not only did the Western media carefully avoid presenting historical perspective of the recent Balkan conflict - they purposely lied about HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY and everything else... This rare article published in British Independent and reprinted in Sydney's Morning Herald is the only article we are aware of that points to the true roots of the term ETHNIC CLEANSING.
Is it a surprise that this term, repeated thousands of times by the Western press and shamelessly pinned to the Serbs was never again given a true origin? The Western press got a task to bash the Serbian people in order to prepare their ethnic cleansing. Having that task in mind, the Western press did not want to point to the true -- immense and horrible -- ethnic cleansing the Serbs suffered at hands of Nazi Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians only fifty years ago. The Western reader was not to be "confused" with that fact.
Yes - it was the Serbs who suffered not just "Ethnic Cleansing" but a true GENOCIDE at hands of Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians in 1941-1945. Not the other way around! Nazi Germany helped.
Yes - it was the Serbs who suffered not just "Ethnic Cleansing" but a true GENOCIDE at hands of Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians in 1991 - ????. Not the other way arround! "Democratic" Germany and "super-moral" America helped this time around.
Check the facts. In order to refer you to supporting literature we added "yellow stickers" to the original article.
THE KILLING FIELDS OF BOSNIA
Subtitle: Seven hundred thousand [700,000] people were slaughtered in a concentration camp called Jasenovac. Most were Serbs, their oppressors Croats and Nazis. ROBERT FISK puts events in Bosnia in historical perspective.
For fair use only
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Fifty years ago, the Croats took Branko Jungic from his Bosnian village and forced him to kneel on the bare earth at a place called Jasenovac. Then they cut off the Serb's head with a saw. They did it openly. They even took photographs, one showing Jungic on his knees, his left arm extended to keep his balance in the initial moments of agony, mouth open in horror as his uniformed tormentors posed around him, the saw already cutting into his flesh. In the neighbouring town of Banja Luka, they still keep the saw.
They display other implements on the site of the Jasenovac concentration camp: axes that were used to slice off the heads of women and children, a mass gallows, arm sheaths with knives attached - a German-made contraption - that allowed the Croation Ustasha to cut the throats of their captives with the least physical effort.
The Croats... who joined their Nazi puppet State in World War II slaughtered their victims in hundreds of thousands at Jasenovac, Stara Gradiska, Prijedor and Banja Luka. The names are familiar again now. A second civil war is consuming the [Serb] survivors of the earlier holocaust and their children on the same hectares that Nazis turned into killing fields.
Shortly before Yugoslavia fell apart again, Lubomir Ivanic, director of the Bosanske-Krajine archives in Banja Luka, let me read some of the 50,000 German and Ustasha files abandoned in 1945. Among the archives - housed in a former Austro-Hungarian army barracks that served as a Wehrmacht intelligence office in 1942 - I found hundreds of Croatian military orders appropriating the homes and property of Serbs. "CLEANSING" was the word used in the files which were written by the man [by Ustasha] who INVENTED that dreadful expression [in WW2].
It was a brutally racist phrase, which is why James Baker deliberately adopted it this year when he condemned the Serbs and why journalists should take more care before they repeat this Nazi epithet so blithely.
The horrors that took place in Bosnia between 1941 and 1945 are almost too bestial for historical comprehension. The concetration camps set up by the Nazis and the Croatians were on a much more terrible scale that camps now being uncovered in Bosnia. Jasenovac is not a familiar name in the West, but its individual acts of savagery might SURPASS EVEN AUSCHWITZ.
Jasenovac was modelled on the concentration camp system in operation in Nazi Europe. It was the centre of a series of satellite camps along the banks of the Sava and the Una as well as Viliki, Strug and Trebez rivers, all designed in incarcerate and destroy the enemies of Ante Pavelic's regime.
In all, 700,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in Jasenovac, almost all of them civilians, 70,000 of them Jews. Because the Nazis had started a civil war in Yugoslavia - between Serbs and Croats, but with many Muslims and left-wing Croats on the Serbian side - the murderers of Jasenovac worked with unchecked savagery.
Hundreds of men were beheaded with saws and axes or thrown into the Sava river in their thousands with concrete tied to their waists. Girls were gang raped, hundreds at a time. Lieutenant Artur Hefner, of the Wehrmacht transport corps, visited Jasenovac in February 1942, and described it in a letter to the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin as a camp "of the worst kind, equal to Dante's inferno". Photographs in the camp archives show mutilated women, one with her heart cut out. Many women were hacked to death by trained butchers.
Ladislav Grinbaum, a Jew from Osijek, was one of the few men to survive a camp execution. "One day, 10 of us internees and 16 Ustasha guards went to Jablanac to put up an electric cable. While we were working, we noticed that the Ustasha had brought a lot of women and children and we could see what was happening. The Ustasha guards who had brought them ordered them to sit on the ground. A little later, the killers came. With knives, iron bars and mallets they attacked that helpless crowd... I do not know how many there might have been. Many women held their children tightly in their arms and were killed like that. From the post I was working on I saw with my own eyes the slaughter of my wife and children. I would have fallen off the post with horror if I had not been tied to it. I could not talk and I had difficulty talking later".
Another survivor was Vladimir Cvija from Zagreb. "The most terrible scene I witnessed was when Ustasha took a group of internees from Camp IIIc. They looked more like skeletons in a state of almost total collapse, with swollen legs, complete physical and psychological wrecks after life behind barbed wire, under the open sky, in mud, with no food or water. They had been told they were going to pick plums. They passed before us with smiles on their faces, in which pity for us could be seen, because there would be plums where they were going, and that meant food. Evening came and the gentle southern breeze brought desperate screams. The killers had started 'picking plums'".
In 1942 the Wehrmacht mounted a campaign around the Kozara mountain - across terrain which is the scene of massacre and "ethnic cleansing" today - to smash Tito's guerilla army. More than 70,000 troops from the Wehrmacht's Army Group E rounded up every man, woman and child and transported them to Jasenovac and its satellite camps.
Most of these civilians were SERBS. Thousands of young men were hanged from gallows erected at the roadside between Banja Luka and Prijedor. Photographs taken by the Germans and Ustasha - for the latter administered most of the roadside executions - show corpses hanging like trushes from wooden gallows. Thousands of men, women and children were herded into the brickyards at Jasenovac and beaten to death with clubs and axes. Croatian Ustasha girls mercilessly beat many of the women. A photograph exists of two pretty women, Nada Tanic-Luburic and Maja Slomic-Buzdon, in Ustasha uniforms with the Croatian crest on their hats, posing for a photographer during their reign of terror at Stara Gradiska camp.
The partisans, mostly Serbs... fought back. Politicians and soldiers contemplating operations against Serbs might do well to read this account by Kurt Neher, a Wehrmacht officer, of the 1942 guerilla attacks on the German army. "Then came the most haunting part of all that made everyone's blood curdle. A woman started screaming hard and long and hundreds took up her call. Then women and children threw themselves with animal-like intensity against our lines. It seemed to us as if we were present at the instant of forming of a primeval human horde with men running at us in human waves, intent on their own destruction and mindless of fear".
In the Kozara campaign, the toll of those killed in action, executed or deported reached 60,000. Most tragic of all the tales of horror must be that of the children of Kozara. They were separated from their parents and marched to railheads by Ustasha: 23,000 children in all, 11,000 of whom were to be murdered. In July 1942, hundreds of children died in railway cattle wagons between Stara Gradiska and Zagreb. The rail journey took 24 hours and older survivors recalled how the Croatian footplate crews wept for the infants dying of typhoid in the wagons.
To remember these horrors is not to excuse the cruelty of Serb [sic!] or Croat today. But it provides a framework to see the civil war in a historical context. When Germany supported the new Croatian State in December last year , was it any surprise that Serbs remembered German support for an earlier Croatian State? Can the Croats, after losing so much territory to the Serbs, [sic! Serbs lived as majority population in Krajina since times before Pilgrims settled in the New World] forget how Tito's partisans, made up mainly of Serbs, massacred their Croatian [Ustasha] prisoners at the end of WWII?
It is tempting to suggest that the UN does have one important historical source at its disposal, a man who was an expert on the 1941-45 Yugoslav civil war and who saw it from the side opposed to the Serbs. He was a German intelligence officer attached to Army Group E, based in Banja Luka - billeted in the building that houses the Bosanske Krajine archives - and worked in an office 30 kilometers from Jasenovac. He witnessed the Kozara campaign and was decorated by Ante Pavelic with the Silver Medal of the Crown of King Zvonimir with Oak Leaves. This man referred in his Wehrmacht reports on Bosnia to "cleansing", although, four years ago, he called the operation "humanitarian resettlement". He was once the UN SECRETARY GENERAL[!] His name is Kurt Waldheim. But that is another story.
(End of quote).
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Reprinted from [British] Independent.
The truth belongs to us all.
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Last revised: August 6, 2003