by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud/Belgium)
Croatia is a nation that has been bathed in blood during numerous conflicts, as the victim of the odious Serbian aggression during the recent civil war, and for its football team proudly wearing the red and white checkered reproduction of the national flag. Happily, it is nowadays chiefly known as a tourist destination.
O P I N I O N
The following is the original English text, received today from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office in Jerusalem, of its director Efraim Zuroff’s public letter to Croatian authorities, published in Croatian translation on 6 February, and referred to in a press release from SWC earlier today.
JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today urged the Croatian authorities to expedite the prosecution of Auschwitz guard Jakob Dencinger, who was discovered living in Osijek by the Croatian daily Jutarnji List late last week.
In an op-ed published on 6 Feb. in Jutarnji List by the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the importance of bringing Dencinger to justice was emphasized. The original 2 Feb. English text of Dr. Zuroff’s article appears here.
According to Zuroff:
I N T E R V I E W
Efraim Zuroff is interviewed in Belgrade by Aleksandar Roknić. Translation from Danas, 28 December 2013, by Vesna Milosevic.
Efraim Zuroff: World War II History is Being Rewritten
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office
Even if I were Superman I wouldn’t be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis. Of course not. It is impossible. Nobody can do it. But if you ask me what is better — a bit of justice or injustice, I would always say — a bit of justice. You know, to me it is clear that even when the last Nazi dies, a battle is not over, because it begins over and over again.
And it is a battle with history which is more important than people may think and understand. Facing the history with sincerity is the best way to build a better future, says Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, while answering a question on whether he thinks that he would be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis.
O P I N I O N
by Michael Shafir (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
1. Approximately when did the drive to equate the Holocaust and the sufferings endured by people under Communist regimes start?
It is very difficult to pinpoint an exact date. In the West, a number of Sovietologists have long driven attention to the fact that the horrible crimes perpetuated by Stalin and his henchmen in East Central Europe deserved the attention and the opprobrium that Nazism met with after the Second World War. Due to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s famous book Gulag, these crimes soon began to be referred to under the synthetic name of that book. The collapse of the Communist regimes in the region in 1989 and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991 intensified that drive, which also found an impulse in the once popular (but later criticized) “totalitarian model.” That model was now revived, finding support particularly in the eastern part of Europe that had suffered under Soviet domination. Western historians were (and still are) quite divided over this issue. For example, Robert Conquest, who produced several important books on Stalinist crimes, was reluctant to place the Holocaust and the Gulag on the same footing. On the other hand, Stéphane Courtois, who edited and contributed to the Black Book of Communism, not only embraced the comparison, but insisted on
Posted in Croatia, Double Genocide, History, Michael Shafir, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Nations
Tagged Double Genocide, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation, Michael Shafir, Nazi and Soviet crimes, Prague Declaration (2008)
JERUSALEM―The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called for the immediate dismissal of Dr. Stjepan Razum, director of the Episcopal Archives of the Croatian State Archives in the wake of his August 10 interview to www.hrsvijet.net in which he claimed that the figures of victims in the notorious Croatian concentration camp Jasenovac were exaggerated and a product of Serb propaganda.
In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted that such attempts to rewrite the history of World War II in Croatia by whitewashing the horrific crimes committed by the Ustasha cannot be tolerated and are inexcusable when asserted by prominent Church officials.
According to Zuroff:
O P I N I O N
by Tomas Venclova
This authorized translation of the Lithuania original which appeared today in Bernardinai.lt was prepared by Geoff Vasil for Defending History and appears here with the author’s approval.
The section of the essay on current Lithuanian Jewish issues starts here.
423 years before Christ’s birth, Aristophanes’ comedy The Clouds was performed in Athens during the festival at the Great Dionysia. It only won third place, Cratinus’ comedy The Bottle (about the dramatist’s own battle with alcohol) taking first place, and Ameipsias’ play, about which we know almost nothing, placing second. These other comedies haven’t survived, but we are still reading The Clouds today. In terms of literature, this is probably Aristophanes’ greatest work, with a superb poetic chorus—and it’s undeniably funny.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Croatia, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Tomas Venclova
Tagged Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Lithuanian Provisional Government of 1941, Tomas Venclova
Dr Efraim Zuroff, founding director of the Israel Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has been awarded the Order of Prince Trpimir with Ribbon and Star, by Croatian president Stjepan Mesić. The president’s signed certificate cites Dr Zuroff’s ‘outstanding contribution to the fight against historical revisionism and reassertion of the anti-fascist foundation of the modern-day Republic of Croatia and to establishment of good relations between the Republic of Croatia and the State of Israel’. The award was presented at midday on Monday 1 February 2010 in the palace of the president of Croatia in Zagreb. Sonja Biserko, president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, was also honored by the Croatian president. Associated Press report here. FULL TEXTof Dr Zuroff’s acceptance speech here. Photo: At the presidential palace in Zagreb on 1 February 2010.
Dr Zuroff is also celebrating the publication of his new book, Operation Last Chance: One Man’s Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice. Order here.