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BEFORE WE START A RELEVANT DOCUMENT FROM: https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/Law‐ Reports_Vol‐8.pdf    

(xii) The Legal Status of the "Croatian Government." (pp. 72-74)


LAW REPORTS

TRIAO~S

~rt:J

OF WAR CRIMINALS Selected and prepared by THE UNITED NATIONS WAR CRIMES COMMISSION

VOLUME VIII

LONDON PUBLISHED FOR

THE UNITED NATIONS WAR CRIMES COMMISSION

BY HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE

1949

Price 5S. od. net


LAW REPORTS OF TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS SELECTED AND PREPARED BY THE UNITED NATIONS WAR CRIMES COMMISSION

One of the aims of this series of Reports is to relate in summary form the course of the most important of the proceedings taken against persons accused of committing war crimes during the Second World War, apart from the major war criminals tried by the Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals, but including those tried by United States Military Tribunals at Nuremberg. Of" necessity, the trials reported in these volumes "are examples only, since the trials conducted before the various Allied Courts number well over a thousand. The trials selected for reporting, however, are those which are thought to be of the greatest interest legally and in which important points of municipal and international law arose and were settled. Each report, however, contains not only the outline of the proceedings in the trial under review, but also, in a separate section headed" Notes on the Case ", such comments of an explanatory nature on the legal matters arising in that trial as it has been thought useful to include. These notes provide also, at suitable points, general summaries and analyses of the decisions of the courts on specific points of law derived primarily from a study of relevant trials already reported upon in the series. Furthermore, the volumes include, where necessary, Annexes on municipal war crimes laws, their aim being to explain the law on such matters as the legal basis and jurisdiction, composition and rules of procedure on the war crime courts of those countries before whose courts the trials reported upon in the various volumes were held. Finally, each volume includes a Foreword by Lord Wright of Durley, Chairman of the United Nations War Crimes Comlnission. continued inside back cover


72

WILHELM LIST AND OTHERS

about ipso facto the surrender of the Bergamo Div.jsion in Split and that elements of this division by continuing to resist the German troops became francs titeurs and thereby subject to the death penalty upon capture. An analysis of the situation is required for clarification.... " It must be observed that Italy was not at war with Germany, at least in so far as the Italian commanders were informed, and that the Germans were the aggressors in seeking the disarmament and surrender of the Italian forces. The Italian forces which continued to resist met all the requirements of the Hague Regulations as' to belligerent status. They were not francs tireurs in any sense of the word. Assuming the correctness of the position taken by the defendant that they became prisoners of war of the Germans upon the signing of the surrender terms, then the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929, regulating the treatment of prisoners of war were violated. No' representative neutral power was notified nor was a three months period allowed to elapse before the execution of the death sentences. Other provisions of the Geneva Convention were also violated. The coercion employed in securing the surrender, the unsettled status of the Italians after their unconditional surrender to the Allied forces and the lack of a declara足 tion of war by Germany upon Italy creates grave doubts whether the members of the Bergamo Division became prisoners of war by virtue of the surrender negotiated by General D'Almazzo. Adopting either view advanced by the Defence, the execution of the Italian officers of the Bergamo Division was unlawful and wholly unjustified. It repre足 sents another instance of the German practice of killing as the exclusive remedy or redress for alleged wrongs. The execution of these Italian officers after the tense military situation had righted itself and the danger had passed cannot be described as anything but an act of vengeance. " (xii) The Legal Status of the" Croatian Government." In dealing with the case against the accused von Leyser, formerly com足 mander of the XXIst German Mountain CotpS,(l) the Tribunal made the following remarks concerning the so-called independent state of Croatia: " The reprisal practice as carried out in this corps area and the alleged deportation of inhabitants for slave labour is so interwoven with the powers of the alleged independent state of Croatia that its status and relationship to the German Armed Forces must be examined. Prior to the invasion of Yugoslavia by Germany on 6th April, 1941, Croatia was a part of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia and recognised as such by the nations of the world. Immediately after the occupation and on 10th April, 1941, Croatia was proclaimed an independent state and formally recognised as such by Germany on 15th April, 1941. In setting up the Croatian government, the Germans, instead of employing the services of the Farmers' Party, which was predominant in the country, established an administration with Dr. Ante Pavelitch at its head. Dr. Pavelitch was brought in from Italy along with others (1) See p. 46.


WILHELM LIST AND OTHERS

73

of his group and established as the governmental head of the state of Croatia even though his group represented only an estimated five per cent of the population of the country. This government, on 15th June, 1941, joined the Three Power Pact and, on 25th November, 1941, joined the Anti-Comintern Pact. On 2nd July, 1941, Croatia entered the war actively against the Soviet Union and on 14th December, 194], against the Allies. The Military Attache became the German Pleni­ potentiary General in Croatia and was subordinated as such to the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces. The territorial boundaries of the new Croatia were arbitrarily established and included areas that were occupied by Serbians who were confirmed enemies of the Cro~ts. " The Croatian government, thus established, proceeded to organise a national army, the troops of which are referred to in the record as Domobrans. Certain Ustasha units were also trained and used. The Ustasha in Croatia was a political party similar to the Nazi party of Germany. Similar to the Waffen SS Divisions of the general Ustasha were trained and used. In addition, by an alleged agreement between Germany and Croatia, the Croatian government conscripted men from its population for compulsory labour and military service. Many of these men were used in German organised Croat Divisions and became a part of the Wehrmacht under the command of German officers. " It is further shown by the evidence that all matters of liaison were handled through the German Plenipotentiary General. It is evident that requests of the Germans were invariably acceded to by the Croatian government. It is quite evident that the answers to such requests were dictated by· the Geqnan Plenipotentiary General. Whatever the form or the name given, the Croatian government "during the German war­ time occupation was a satellite under the control of the occupying power. It dissolved as quickly after the withdrawal of the Germans as it had arisen upon their occupation. Under such circumstances, the acts of the Croatian government were the acts of the occupation power. Logic and reason dictate that the occupant could not lawfully do indirectly that which it could not- do directly. The true facts must control ir,respective of the form with which they may have been camou­ flaged. Even International Law will cut through form to find the facts to which its rules will be applied. The conclusion reached is in accord with previous pronouncements of International Law that an occupying power is not the sovereign power although it is entitled to perform some acts of sovereignty. The Croatian government could exist only at the sufferance of the occupant. During the occupation, the German Military qovernment was supreme or its status as a military occupant of a belligerent enemy nation did not exist. Other than the rights of occupation conferred by International Law, no lawful authority could be exercised by the Germans. Hence, they had no legal right to create an independent sovereign state during the progress of the war. They could set up such a provisional government as was necessary to accom­ plish the purposes of the occupation but further than that they could not legally go. We are of the view that Croatia was at all times here


74

WILHELM LIST AND OTHERS

involved an occupied country and that an the acts performed by it were those for which the occupying power was responsible.(l)" Of the accused's claim that the disposition of the men captured as a result of" Operation Panther "(2) was a matter for the" Croatian Govern足 ment and not his concern," the Tribunal-ruled as follows: " We point out that the Croatian government was a satellite govern足 ment and whatever was done by them was done for the Germans. The captured men fit for military service were turned over to the Croat administration and were undoubtedly conscripted into the Domobrans, the Waffen Ustasha, the Croat units of the Wehrmacht or shipped to Germany for compulsory labour just as the defendant well knew that they would be. The occupation forces have no authority to conscript military forces from the inhabitants of occupied territory. They cannot do it directly, nor can they do it indirectly. When the defendant as commanding general of the corps area participated in such an activity, he did so in violation of International Law. The result is identical if these captured inhabitants were sent to Germany for com足 pulsory labour service. Such action is also plainly prohibited by Inter足 national Law as the evidence shows. See Articles 6, 23, 46, Hague Regulations. We find the defendant von Leyser guilty on this charge. "(3) (xiii) General Remarks on the Mitigation ofPunishment Towards the end of its Judgment, the Tribunal made the following remark regarding the circumstances which might be considered in mitigation of punishment: " Throughout the course of this opinion we have had occasion to refer to matters properly to be considered in mitigation of punishment. The degree of mitigation depends upon many factors including the nature of the crime, the age and experience of the person to whom it applies, the motives for the criminal act, the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the provocation, if any, that contributed to its commission. It must be observed, however, that mitigation of punishment does not in any sense of the word reduce the degree of the crime. It is more a matter of grace than of defence. In other words, the punishment assessed is not a proper criterion to be considered in evaluating the findings of the Court with Teference to the degree of magnitude of the crime. " In dealing with the evidence against Dehner, the Tribunal said: " There is much that can be said, however, in mitigation of the punishment to be assessed from the standpoint of the defendant. Superior orders existed which directed the policy to be pursued in dealing with the killing of hostages and reprisal prisoners. Such (1) Compare a similar attitude adopted by the Tribunal which conducted the Milch Trial, towards the Vichy Government. See Vol. VII, pp. 38 and 46. (2) See p. 46. (8) The charge referred to was defined by the Tribunal as " pertaining to the evacuation of large areas within the corps command for the purpose of conscripting the physically fit into the Croatian military units and of conscripting others for compulsory labour service."


THE SPREADING OF GENOCIDAL POLICIES FROM NAZI GERMANY TO POLAND (SINCE 1939) AND CROATIA (SINCE 1941) – AND THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF EXEMPTIONS FROM THE ANTI-JEWISH MEASURES Željko Uvanović Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek Summary This paper deals with the process of transmissions of Nazi racist mechanisms of identifying, isolating, marking, deporting and annihilating Jews from the Reich to Austria, Poland and Croatia. Almost identical patterns of hatred propaganda against Jews could be found in every part of the Nazi dominated Europe, which was a consequence of activities of the same institutions (foreign branches of the NSDAP, Gestapo, the SS, and the Sicherheitsdienst) in all conquered countries – along with ethnic Germans as willing auxiliaries. Jewish departments of police institutions were responsible for identification, surveillance and deportation of Jews. Vilko Kühnel – allegedly an ambivalent half-Croat and half-Volksdeutscher – was the Croatian Eichmann who abused the cooperation with Jews for genocidal purposes. Unlike some countries in Hitler’s Europe, Croatia had the legal instruments for exemption of Jews from anti-Jewish measures. Similar to the situation in Italy and France, conversion to Catholicism could change the status of Jews as well the intermarriage with non-Jews. Mixed marriages were firmly defended by the Archbishop Stepinac who also tried to help ‘full’ Jews. Jewish physicians (along with their parents and children) could in some cases acquire the protection if they were proclaimed vital for strategic and public health policy. The paper tries also to estimate the role of the Ustaša movement during the Nazi rule in Croatia and to stress the turning point of massive opposition against the Ustaša puppet regime and its anti-Jewish policy. Contrary to some opinions, many Croatia’s Jews considered themselves Croatian patriots and were willing to be fully assimilated in the Croatian identity. Key words: Jewish markings in Germany, Poland and Croatia, deportations to work and extermination camps, Nuremberg Laws, Holocaust, rescue of Jews, honorary Aryans, Vilko Kühnel, ethnic Germans in Croatia during the WWII, Ustaša movement, Ante Pavelić, Croatian State Archives, Jewish Department of Ustaša Police in Zagreb, petitions for Jews, Jewish physicians in Croatia 19411945, conversion of Jews to Catholicism.

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The post factum significance of the Holocaust lies in part in the fact that there were all kinds of people – in eastern Europe unfortunately mostly hostile or indifferent in an unfriendly way, but still there were small minorities who behaved differently, and there were indeed nations where the majority tried to help as best they could, or at least were not hostile to the Jews. Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Denmark, Belgium, Norway are obvious examples. Holland and France are more problematic, but still do not conform to the politicians’ dictum. (YEHUDA BAUER, 1994, p. 305) Historians of the Holocaust have a duty not only to research and commemorate the lives of those who are lost, but also to make known the stories and identities of those who acted as rescuers, even when they only signed their name on a petition on behalf of their Jewish fellow citizens. The Croatian peasants, along with many others, formed a link in a long chain of rescuers […] The oral histories of the Croatians I interviewed provided the impetus for my treading into the uncharted territory of the rescue of Jews in NDH as a contribution to Holocaust history. In the hostile circumstances prevailing in the collaborationist NDH, it was the Italians and their army, the Croatian Partisans, and the national and international humanitarian organizations who assisted in the rescue of Jews. However, the actual rescuers were the individuals of all ages and walks of life: government officials, Catholic prelates, and ordinary citizens of all faiths who put their own lives and those of their families in harm’s way. Thanks to their courage and perseverance, nine thousand and five hundred Jews were rescued and survived. (ESTHER GITMAN, 2011, p. 194)

Figures 1 and 2: Nazis and their collaborators are said to have had very reliable lists with all information about Jews in Hitler’s Germany and its satellites. A precondition for the identification of Jews were censuses conducted in the Reich and the states under its influence as well as church record books revealing Jewish ancestry of converts. All data were then processed by the computers of those days. After the identification, the next phases followed when the rulers considered it appropriate: confiscation, ghettoization, deportation and extermination. Thus, to rescue Jews from their persecutors very often meant to save them from the lethal punch card machine system, too. The numbers on their Jewish markings were their individual identification numbers in the system. In my opinion, any life rescue method or pretext, any exemption from the anti-Jewish measures of those times seems to be therefore fully morally justified.

(photo source: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/gypibm.html )

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1. Introduction Some historians would gladly add the Finnish people1 and their government on Yehuda Bauer’s list of inherent Jewish friends; some would question why there is possibly one Christian Orthodox nation on his pro-Jewish list which did not resist the German occupier’s genocidal policy against Jews as efficiently as the Orthodox Bulgarians did and consequently became the first almost completely judenfrei country in Europe; some would 1

Besides the Danes, the Finnish and the Japanese (as German allies or occupied nations) also refused to introduce any form of the racist Nuremberg laws, Portugal and Spain as well. ALFRED POSSELT (1992, pp. 80-82) deals with all the countries who had to implement German racist laws with or without any modifications. Serbia, Greece, and Norway seem to have not made any modifications. According to POSSELT, the following countries introduced German laws as part of occupation policy: Austria, Czech Republic, Luxemburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Since 1943, the German racist laws were introduced in the whole of Slovenia, in South Tyrol and in the formerly Italian zone of Pavelić’s puppet state (“Adriatisches Küstenland”). Poland seems to have been the worst case because there even Jewish ‘half-breeds’ were automatically considered full Jews, and this kind of anti-Jewish policy was implemented in the Baltic states and the occupied parts of the USSR as well. Italy introduced a milder variant of antiJewish laws already in 1938, but according to POSSELT only religious Jews were considered Jews, and there were many exceptions to the law. (However see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto_of_Race for some more details. This Wikipedia text is based on John Morley’s Vatican diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust, 1939-1943.) France introduced a similar law on in 1940, and according to POSSELT halfJews were considered Jews, but with many exemptions from the law. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutes_on_Jews.) And now we approach the then Croatia. According to POSSELT, the Ustaša racist laws were modeled after the Italian blueprint, with numerous ‘honorary Aryans’, exemption cases, and measures taken primarily against Communist Jews (see POSSELT, p. 67; including Serbs as ‘old enemy’ and Gypsies). Even CARL BETHKE (2013, pp. 351-352) stresses the fact that Pavelić’s antiJewish laws were milder then the German ones. The Ustaša state did not follow the Nazi racist criteria, but allowed that christened Jews be treated as ‘Aryans’. However, BARTULIN (2013, p. 86) adds that “there was a great deal of arbitrariness in how the Ustashe defined and treated individual Jews. […] The ambiguities of racial policy applied only to a small minority of Jews […].” BARTULIN underlines the assimilation intentions of the Ustašas through acculturation and interbreeding of Jews with Croats as ‘Nordic-Dinaric race’. Further, KOOP (2014, pp. 280-297) summarizes the Jew-friendly policy of Hitler’s allies Italy, Croatia and Hungary and defines the Ustaša policy as “generous Honorary Aryan regime” (ibid., pp. 288-292). However, the stories about Croatian Righteous among Nations in STEINER-AVIEZER (2008) suggest that no christening could possibly help Jews. Therefore it can be concluded that in the Ustaša state three approaches were simultaneously or in mutual conflict applied: Nazi racism, Ustaša Nordic-Dinaric racism and the laws of the Catholic Church which considered converts full members of Christ’s body. 69


tend to accuse Esther Gitman for her revisionist estimations of the Croatian contribution to the rescue of Jews during the (direct and indirect) Nazi occupation of the territories emerged through the destruction of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in April 1941. The periods of Nazi rule even in Italy since 1943 and in Hungary in since 1944 were characterized by the occupier’s command to identify, concentrate and deport Jews to the concentration and death camps in the East. Even those Jews who managed to escape from other countries under Hitler’s brutal surveillance to Italy and Hungary could then become victims of the Nazi policy of extermination the Holocaust. The turning point in the Nazi anti-Jewish policy seems to have been the Poland campaign in 1939. In Poland, the first Jewish markings with the Star of David were introduced and the first massive scale deportations and killings (very efficiently, with modern weapons, not with primitive, improvised tools) in the Second World War were conducted. The command to eliminate Jews came from the Nazis, the instructions how to do the dirty job without pangs of conscience came from the Nazis, and in some cases even the payment for the all too willing auxiliaries and murderous mercenaries came (directly or indirectly) from the Nazis. Without the Nazi occupation of Europe and without the Nazi concentration camp system that started growing immediately after the Nazi seizure of power, the Holocaust could not have been possible. Therefore it seems that the primarily responsibility for the Holocaust consequences should bear those who issued the commands and instructions and controlled the whole process of annihilation on the conveyor-belts of genocide. However, the secondary responsibility of all those who did not offer resistance to Hitler’s order of death and anti-Semitism in individual and collective situations cannot be ignored. But also the cases in which the resistance was offered and human lives were saved should be remembered as instances of exemplary behavior for the generations to come. We could cut a fast-forward flash movie having the following historical sequences in the period from 1933 to 1945: Hitler’s seizure of power through legal elections in 1933, the mutual boycott measures between Germany and the Jews abroad, persecution of German Jews (especially of Polish descent) 70


and everyday terror, the German Zionists’ Faustian compromise with the Nazi devil in the form of the Transfer Agreement2, apartheid racist Nuremberg laws in 1935 with additional regulations in the next years, the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938, the acceleration of all measures against Jews after Austria’s annexation, Hitler’s attack on Poland in 1939 with further intensification and brutalization of all anti-Jewish actions3, gradual occupation of almost the whole of Europe, plans for the Final Solution of the Jewish question in Europe between October 1941 and January 1942, the war against the Soviet Union, the defeat at Stalingrad in 1943, acceleration of mass killings of German enemies and acceleration of the Holocaust, the July 20, 1944 attempt of resistance against Hitler, and eventually the gradual defeat and unconditional surrender of all Nazi Germany’s forces and their allies in May 1945. Somewhere in the period between 1933 and 1945 there was a turning point which signaled that Nazis would not tolerate the emigration of Jews (especially those of Polish descent) overseas any more, to be more precise on October 23, 1941. HANS REICHMANN (1998, p. 264) expressed his experience after being interned in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen from 1937 to 1939 (here translated into English) as follows: Whoever stays here, sacrifices his years, possibly his own life for a lost thing. Unfortunately, not all Jews left Hitler’s macabre zone. Or better to say: very few of them understood that they had to flee. But those who managed to leave Germany used many routes and options. In GILBERT (1995, pp. 19, 20, 75) we can see some of those escape routes on the selected maps (Jewish refugees find 2

See WEISS (1998). BREITMAN (1994, p. 75 and 81) emphasizes the relevance of this brutality for the fatal developments up to the Final Solution as follows: “[…] the SS’s plans before the Second World War to murder German Jews who would not leave the country and killings by the Einsatzgruppen in Poland during and after the autumn 1939 campaign are more than adequate indicators of lethal ideological motives behind the regime’s Jewish policy.” He also stresses that the “general framework of the Final Solution was conceived not later than January 1941, in connection with Hitler’s plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union.” Finally, “the general scheme for the elimination of the Jewish ‘race’ was not produced after the early Nazi victories in the summer of 1941, let alone after the military difficulties in the winter of 1941-2, but in the period from December 1940 to March 1941.” (p.81) See also BROWNING (2004) on the evolution of the Nazi Jewish policy from September 1939 to March 1942. 3

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heavens in Europe, 1933-1938; World-wide reception of German Jewish refugees, 1933-1938; and Eastern escape routes of Polish Jews, May 1940 May 1941).

Figures 3 and 4. The first steps on the way to annihilation are always social animosity, exclusion and isolation.

Figure 5 Massive boycott movement against Jewish business in Nazi Germany

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Figure 6 Populist hatred propaganda: The Jews are our misfortune / disaster!

Figure 7 Spontaneous Jewish markings drawn by Nazis on Jewish shops.

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Figure 8 Indeed, some Germans laughed after the Reichskristallnacht on November 8, 1938.

After the cancellation of the emigration policy, Jewish sections and departments (Judenreferate, e. g. the infamous IV B4) in various SD (Sicherheitsdienst), Gestapo and Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) branches, abusing the cooperation of Jewish councils4 in most fatal way, changed their activity purpose from Jewish emigration to deportation, mass killings, forced labor, genocide, mass gas chamber executions, eliminations of corpses in crematoria and the complete eradication of the evidence of all Holocaust procedures.5 And what makes the German mass genocide against Jews so unique is technical efficiency without any emotional involvement. 4

See BEATE MEYER’s paper “The fine line between responsible action and collaboration.” (2009). 5 BREITMAN (1994, p. 76) draws our attention to the fact that the SS statistician Richard Korherr was supposed “to write that the Jews were passed through the camps” without using the term ‘special treatment’ and without calculating the victims of gas chambers and crematoria. EDWIN BLACK (2009, p. 372) summarizes the Holocaust tragedy in the shadow of the Dehomag Hollerith machines which were used in the whole process from identification of Jews until their transportation to death camps as follows: “Nor were any death records transmitted. It was enough to inform Zentral Institut that the people had boarded a train. Hence, the machines only tabulated the evacuations. […] At this point, the Jews were no longer worth a bullet, nor the price of a single punch card.” ‘Departure’ would be a euphemistic code word for death? See also BEATE MEYER (2009, p. 329) on the Jewish Community index files at the Gestapo with white, blue and yellow cards. A strange combination of criminality and bureaucratic precision in categorization! 74


After comparing the Ustaša and Nazi crimes, STEINBERG (1994, p. 191) arrives at the following conclusion: By the standards of Wannsee, the SS was overly direct but even in this case where there is no concealment, there is no passion either. The Jews to be shot are units in a murder machine. Disagreeable duty, perhaps, but one which will be carried out with that terrifying thoroughness and rage for perfection which is the only rage that such killers allow themselves. It is the absence of hatred which makes Nazi genocide stand out in the long annals of human bestiality; it is cold, calculated and efficient murder. According to SAUL FRIEDLÄNDER (1989, p. 65), “the singularity of the Nazi project seems to lie not only in the act, but, incidentally of course, in the language and the self-perception of the perpetrators. […] it represents an amorality beyond all categories of evil. Human beings are no longer instruments; they have entirely lost their humanness.” The notion of the Nazi banality of evil relates to “human beings of the most ordinary kind approaching the state of automata, by eliminating any feelings of humaneness and of moral sense in relation to groups other than their own.” (p. 68) Finally, the banal Nazi murderers could mystically join the geniality of their Leader through the pride in number of victims: “The elation created by the staggering number of victims ties in with the mystical Führer-Bond: the greater the number of the Jews exterminated, the better the Führer’s will has been fulfilled.” (ibid.) Was then the Nazi state-run project of the Holocaust a pathological religion of technically perfected, cold-blooded mass murder and genocide without precedent in human history? In comparison, Ustaša methods were too primitive to be able to fully compete with the Nazi masters’ brilliance. ***

Now, if it was not possible to emigrate any more from a point in time, how was it possible to survive the Nazi rule in the occupied nations as a Jew? What could prevent or cancel deportations of Jews, at least temporary? Besides joining the partisans and other anti-Nazi formations, there was the 75


possibility of hiding – and there were possibilities to legally cancel or at least postpone the deportations by acquiring the status of Honorary Aryans. Which instances of Nazi and collaborationist power were included in these procedures of exempting from the sure death penalty? In Nazi Germany, Hitler was the only instance which could finalize the temporary decision of giving Jews the rights to which only ‘Aryans’ are entitled. In the Nazi puppet state of Croatia, there seems to have been a chain of instances including the Poglavnik Pavelić himself (Croatian Hitler?), Marshall Kvaternik (‘head’ of Croatian Wehrmacht until the autumn 1942), the head of Ustaša Security Office Eugen Kvaternik (Croatian Himmler or Heinrich Müller? – but only until the fall of 1942), the Ministry of the Interior, and the head of the Jewish Department in the Direction of the Ustaša Police Vilko Kühnel (Croatian Eichmann with ethnic German roots?), who separately or jointly were parts of the decision making process in the issue of Honorary ‘Aryans’ in Croatia. By contrast, only Hitler could make a final decision considering the same issue, after pre-selections of petitions at lower levels, after studying even photos of the applicants to verify that they do not possess Jewish racial traits. (See STEINER / CORNBERG 1998, p. 177)

First Jewish markings CARL BETHKE (p. 402) denies the worth of the exemption procedures for Jews desiring for the sake of saving life of their family and their own to be declared Honorary Aryans in Croatia and blames the Ustaša regime that it regulated by law (on June 4, 1941) and implemented Jewish markings6 several months before the Nazis themselves did it in the Reich (on Septem6

At the same time, already in May 1941, the Ustaša regime issued exemptions from wearing Jewish markings. See Additional Video and Image Materials in the CD-edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – Additional Materials – 3. Croatian State Archives – List of persons exempted from Jewish markings – a selection of cases. On the other hand, there are many archive materials proving that Croats’ accusations of the Jews were also frequent – and lethal, which means that they led to forced deportations. There were both petitions with signatures demanding deportations of Jews and petitions with signatures demanding the protection of Jews. See Additional Video and Image Materials in the CD-edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – Additional Materials – 2. Croatian State Archives – Accusations against Jews. 76


ber 1, 1941) and thus joined those historians who claim that the Ustašas were much worse than the Nazis in this respect. But were they worse than the Nazi forces in Poland in 1939? It is true that some local Ustaša authorities started introducing Jewish markings already after they had been installed in power by the Germans in April 1941. The Ustaša authorities in Zagreb, Jewish Department, demanded on May 22, 1941 that all Jews (even children and babies!) wear both on the left side of the chest and the left side of the back a piece of cloth with the Star of David and the letter “Ž” below it.7

Figure 9 The Snapshot (00:37:40) from Jakov Sedlar’s film Pavelić bez maske8 (2009) – but is the video material from Croatia? If so, then the Jewish markings here are not according to what was normally seen in the then Croatia. If not, then it should have been stated that the video material comes e. g. from Poland and that it was embedded into the rest of materials originating from Croatia.

7

See MATAUŠIĆ (2008, p. 80) on this issue. Antun Miletić used the photo of Jewish children in Zagreb wearing this type of Jewish markings in his book Koncentracioni logor Jasenovac (1987, vol. 1, p. 195), to falsely suggest that Jewish children in the concentration camp Jasenovac (which was opened in October 1941) were branded in such a way. Though, the photo could also be from the Loborgrad concentration camp. 8 Available on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luosuaTTu_A . 77


Figure 10 However, similar Jewish markings are found on this photo from Poland, taken by Hugo Jaeger titled as Jewish women and children bearing the Star of David after the German invasion of Poland, Gostynin, Poland, October 1939. Source: http://legrandcirque.tumblr.com/post/16401897385/hugo-jaeger-jewish-women-and-childrenbearing-the

Figure 11 Screenshot from Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s list (1993) as an example of a good historical reconstruction of Jewish markings “in the East”, with identification numbers.

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Figure 12 Screenshot from Jakov Sedlar’s documentary Pavelić bez maske (2009). However, it is very probable that no such Jewish markings were used in the then Croatia, but in Eastern Europe.

Figure 13 Jews of Ternopil (Eastern Galicia, in September 1941) (source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/105905028708904634 )

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Figure 14 A horrifying picture, but from Kovna (Lithuania). (source: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/resource_center/item.asp?GATE=Z&list_ty pe=4-2&TYPE_ID=2&TOTAL=N&pn=35&title=Photographs )

Figure 15 The citizens of Zagreb found the Jewish markings absurd. According to GOLDSTEIN (2001, p. 128), the double, two-sided Ž was mocked as “Žanićeva žena” (minister Milovan Žanić’s wife Alma née Stöger was a full Jew) or interpreted as “The Star of David – long live! (Davidova zvijezda – živila!)” In STEINER-AVIEZER (2008, p. 161) this type of Jewish marking is described as “marking for the back”, and the Jewish marking typical of the measures in Poland and Eastern Europe is described as “marking for the chest”. However, on the photos we see identical markings on the chest and on the back.

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Figure 16 The explanation below the photo clearly says: “in line with regulations similar to those adopted in Poland”. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9679871@N04/8349849725

Figures 17 and 18 The Jewish boy from Croatia wore the marking only until the beginning of June 1941. Afterwards, a small metal badge with the letter “Ž” became legal. However, it cannot be excluded that Jewish markings from May 1941 were used even longer. The Jewish boy from Rhodes (to the right) could have worn the Jewish star of that type much longer during the war.

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Figures 19 and 20 The marking to the left was used in May and the beginning of June 1941, and the metal badge with the letter “Ž” was officially introduced in June 1941 (source for the metal badge with the “Ž” letter: http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn521537 )

Figures 21 and 22 Jewish children allegedly in the Loborgrad concentration camp in Croatia. (source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/55591376625314910 and http://www.pinterest.com/pin/420594052673136063 )

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Figure 23 The Jewish armband marking in Hitler’s Serbia of almost the same design like in Hitler’s Croatia (a screenshot from Jakov Sedlar's documentary Pavelić bez maske), with the German and Serbian word for ‘Jew’.

Figure 24 Armband marking for Jews in Croatia (source: http://serbianna.com/analysis/archives/1806 )

Two week later, on June 4, 1941, the Ustaša central authorities unified the Jewish markings for the whole state so that the Jewish insignia in NDH was represented by a 2x39 cm round badge with the letter “Ž” on it. The badge was obligatory for all Jews older than 14 years.

9

In Bulgaria it is said that the Jewish markings (a tiny Star of David!) were also very small. (See ARENDT, p. 292) By the way, on the Bulgarian view on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Ustaša regime in Croatia, 1941-1945, see KRIVOŠIEVA OGNJANOVA (2014) who claims that the Church was sympathetic to the Ustaša movement between the two World Wars, but after a short time of the existence of Pavelić’s state realized that it should dissociate itself from the genocidal Nazi puppets. 83


Figure 25 The ex-Chief Rabbi Dr. Maks Engel and his wife made a plea to be freed from the duty to wear Jewish armband for health reasons (walking in parks), which was denied.10

10

All photos of HDA (Hrvatski državni arhiv, Croatian State Archives) documents are my property and they were made with permission of HDA authorities for research purposes in the summer months of 2013. Here, I must express my deepest gratitude for the permission to copy the material and for the cooperation with the staff. In this paper, I do not give reference of the source of the photos used in this paper with registry number and inventory number in the archive boxes. However, for those who want to know this data, every detail could be traced in the researchable PDF file in Additional Video and Image Materials in the CD-edition of this collection of papers, Paper Željko Uvanović – 8. MIRJANA JURIĆ, Analytic inventory of the Jewish Department of the Ustaša police, 1941-1942. Zagreb: Croatian State Archives, 2005 – which should be available online free of charge. 84


Figure 26 Indeed, in Croatia there were very specific Jewish markings, which should have been shown in Jakov Sedlar’s documentary Pavelić bez maske. On the opposition of Croatian non-Jewish citizens against the Jewish markings of Jews see GOLDSTEIN (2011, p. 61). (source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/551198441865155138 )

In contrast to this, the Nazis demanded the yellow Star of David with the black inscription “Jude” on it for all Jews in the Old Reich older than 6 years. BETHKE forgets that the ‘butcher of Poland’ Hans Frank demanded the wearing of Jewish signs already in Poland (the General Government and the Warthegau) in 1939 (cf. MAZOWER 2009, p. 370). KULKA / JÄCKEL (2010) define this terrible issue in their “Historical Glossary” in the entry “Marking of the Jews” as follows: Marking of the Jews (and their possessions) The demand to mark Jewish property and possessions, and later to mark the Jews themselves, was voiced repeatedly immediately after the Nazi seizure of power. In numerous individual actions, the Star of David (Jews’ Star), or graffiti such as “Jew” or “Jewish store” were scrawled on Jewish shop display windows and houses. Nonetheless, marking was only introduced officially step-by-step from 85


1938. It began on 14 June 1938 with the Order for the Marking of Commercial Enterprises (…). Finally, on 1 September 1941, a badge was introduced for all Jews in Germany from the age of six and above to mark the person, right before the beginning of the mass deportations and the Final Solution (…). This was called Jews’ Star (Judenstern) and is also known as the Yellow Star (because of its traditional color), or the Yellow Badge (gelber Fleck). During the deportations, Heydrich on 13 March 1942 issued a further order on the marking of Jewish homes and dwellings (…) in order to prevent Jews from concealing their places of residence. Marking of the Jews themselves as persons was experienced in a powerful way as the most visible sign of their social exclusion and humiliation. The obligation for Jews to be distinguished by visible marking was valid law in all areas of the Great German Reich (including Austria and the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia) and later on in all European countries that were occupied by Germany. That obligation had first been introduced in 1939 in the German-occupied areas in Poland.11

Why did not Hitler want to introduce the obligation that Jewish insignia be attached to the clothing of the Jews being in public already since the very beginning of the Nazi era? MEIRER (2009, p. 94) believes that he had some other priorities in this respect – because he intended to use the jellow star with the word “Jude” on it only as a final anathema mark for all those sentenced to deportation and extermination. Here is MEIRER’s view of the situation: Leading Nazis had long pushed for the introduction of a distinguishing mark for Jews. This return to a medieval practice was born of a paranoid anti-Semitic logic, according to which the population had to be divided into Volk and Volksfeinde (enemies of the German people) – into Artgleiche and Artfremde. In the framework of modern, racial anti-Semitism the marking out of the “pest to the people” (Volksschädling) who sought to creep “unrecognized” into the “body of the people” (Volkskörper) now became the precursor and preparation for the physical extermination of the Jews. Throughout the 1930s Hitler had often been presented with proposals and concrete drafts for introducing a Jewish symbol but had delayed approving such a 11

Even the Wikipedia community seems to know better than BETHKE on this issue. See e. g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_badge where it says: 1939, September and October: A number of local German occupational commanders ordered Jewish Poles in their areas to wear an identifying mark under the threat of death. There were no consistent requirements as to its color and shape: it varies from a white armband to a yellow Star of David badge. 1939, 23 November: Hans Frank ordered all Jewish Poles above the age of 11 years in German-occupied Poland to wear white armbands with a blue Magen David on. On the Ustaša regulations cf. the following: http://www.juspjasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=7457. 86


measure. Marking out the Jews had lower priority than implementing other antiJewish policy measures. These included emigration, “Aryanization,” ghettoization, and exploitation through forced labor. Furthermore, various modes of marking out Jews – the identity cards and ration cards marked with a “J,” for example – were already part of particular bureaucratic processes.

Figures 27 and 28 Jewish markings on the passports and a ghetto house for Jews in Weimar

Figures 29 and 30 City ghettos and deportations to camps by train.

Figure 31 The death camp Auschwitz – Work liberates, but also kills. Not as quick as the Prussian acid. Nevertheless, the only exit for the captives was in the chimneys of the crematoria.

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Deportations What about deportation intentions of the Nazis and the Ustašas? Nazis started with deportations already in March 1933 with the destinations Dachau and Oranienburg where they confined many Jews along with other convicts. The Nazis had a legal basis for such actions in the “Decree by the Reich President on Preventing Treacherous Attacks against the Government of the National Revolution”. In April 1933, Heinrich Himmler was given responsibility for the concentration camp system and on June 30, 1934, the concentration camps were placed under his command.12 In 1939, to make here a flash forward, Himmler started ruling in his SS-imperium as chief of all security services and chief defender of the interests of ethnic Germans among their Slavic and Jewish neighbors. The next legal basis for plunder and deportations was the Law on the Confiscation of Property Used for Purposes Inimical to the People and State. It became legal to confiscate the possessions of individual Jews and Jewish organizations and to evacuate them to work(-to-death) camps. KULKA / JÄCKEL (2010) define the entry “Deportation of Jews” in the “Historical Glossary” in the appendix of their book as follows: Deportation of Jews The first phase in the “dejudification” (“Entjudung”) of Germany declared by the regime was marked by a mass emigration of Jews under the growing pressures of National Socialist policy on the Jews, extending from the seizure of power on 30 January 1933 until the official ban on emigration in late October 1941. The first mass deportation took place in October 1938, when 15–17,000 Jews of Polish nationality were expelled across the German-Polish frontier (…). Between the beginning of the war and the onset of systematic mass deportations from 15 October 1941 (… ), there were three great deportation waves in which some 18,000 Jews were removed: in February 1940, 2,500 Jews from Stettin and Schneidemühl were deported to the area around Lublin; in October 1940, 7,500 Jews from Baden and the Saar-Palatinate were sent to the French internment camp Gurs (Aktion Bürckel); and in October 1941, some 8,000 Jews were deported from various parts of the Reich “to the East” (in the main sent to the Lodz ghetto). From October 1941 on, a total of some 120,500 Jews were deported to ghettos and extermination camps (Final Solution). From mid-1943, after the end of the mass deportations, there were sporadic deportations involving smaller groups and individuals, and 12

Himmler remained the ruler of the concentration camp system until the very end the Nazi Reich. See e. g. the relatively reliable list of all Nazi concentration camps here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nazi_concentration_camps. 88


these continued almost to the end of the war. Since their inception in 1940, a constant accompanying phenomenon along with the deportations were the suicides of several thousand Jews (…). From the start of the war, a total of 137,000 Jews were deported directly from Germany. To that figure must be added an estimated further 65,000 deportees who had emigrated to various countries in Europe and were seized and later deported from there. These figures were calculated based on the data of the Reich Association of November 1941, which defines the Jews in terms of the Aryan legislation (SKH 3997–3999).

HOUSDEN (2003, p. 132) presents the Nazi deportation plans in 1939 as follows: More immediately, Heydrich’s order of 21 September showed a definite intent to pave the way for population deportations. During October 1939, Himmler established an immigration centre headed by Heydrich’s security police to deal with resettlement. Soon Adolf Eichmann began preparing extensive deportation plans. On the afternoon of 17 October, Himmler reported to Hitler, most likely about the status of these plans. At the end of October, Himmler issued guidelines for the cleansing of Jews from the Polish territories now to be incorporated into the Reich (i.e. Danzig-West Prussia, Warthland and East Upper Silesia).

What was the existence of Jews in Poland occupied by Germans in 1939? DAVID ENGEL (2011) gives us the following account: During the first months of occupation, members of the Einsatzgruppen (Special Task Forces) often engaged in gratuitous acts of cruelty against Jews, spreading terror throughout the occupation zone. Between December 1939 and March 1940, 200,000 of the 600,000 Jews in the incorporated territories were deported to the Generalgouvernement, often in the most brutal fashion. They were concentrated around Nisko (Lublin province) in the southeastern corner of the Generalgouvernement, where the Germans initially planned to establish a “reservation” for Jews from regions throughout Europe. With the abandonment of these plans in the spring of 1940, many deportees were viciously expelled across the new Soviet border. Meanwhile, the lives of the approximately 1.5 million Jews already living in the Generalgouvernement were unsettled by a series of harsh decrees. In November 1939, Jewish bank accounts were blocked and the right to withdraw funds was severely restricted. A month later, Jews over the age of 10 were ordered to wear an armband bearing a Star of David, and boys and men aged 14 through 60 were compelled to register for forced labor. Registration procedures notwithstanding, German press-gangs began to kidnap Jews at random for labor details. In January 1940, Jews were forbidden to travel by train. Much Jewish property was confiscated, and Jewish schools were closed. Beginning in October 1939, increasing numbers of Jews were forced to live in ghettos, where food rations were minimal, living space overtaxed, and sanitary 89


conditions inadequate. Jews from smaller towns and villages were often deported to ghettos in nearby cities. In some ghettos, factories producing goods for German consumption provided employment to a small percentage of residents; most Jews, however, were gradually forced to sell off their possessions in order to procure food and pay rent.

But also in the Reich there were lethal deportations of Jews to the East from the fall of 1939 until the spring of 1941. ANDREA LÖW (2010) describes the deportations from Vienna in October 1939, from Pomerania in February 1940, and again from Vienna in February 1941 with the consequences like homelessness, overcrowding, impoverishment, illness, death from starvation, and suicides. At that phase of the Holocaust, no direct executions were taking place, but procedures of letting the Jews die through imposed circumstances. By contrast, in the regions of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia occupied by the Nazis and ruled by collaborationists, there were cases of even very cruel and primitive (mass) executions of Jews. Before we go to the next step of discussion, let me comment here on the phenomenon of acceleration of all Nazi Germany anti-Jewish measures in all annexed and occupied countries. It is not understandable to me why there are still arguments that the countries occupied (directly or indirectly) by Nazi Germany should have had the same period of time from the Fascist seizure of power until the first deportations and killings of Jews and other undesirables defined as such by their allegedly alien race, foreign nation, distinct religion or ‘dangerous’ political orientation. It took Nazis some five years until the first massive and lethal deportation in Germany started, and it took them more than six years to start with mass killings and deportation of Jews and Poles in Poland, which was the decisive foreplay for the ‘Final Solution’. So the ‘good’ Germans resisted to racism so many years and on the other hand the Nazi collaborators from Austria to Poland, Croatia, Serbia and the rest of the Axis powers were too willing to follow and implement the Nazi invaders’ racist legislation. However, it seems that after the annexations and military conquests in almost the whole of Europe the Nazi rule with its net of SS and Gestapo forces, Sicherheitsdienst, secret services, the Wehrmacht and ethnic Germans as Himmler’s auxiliaries – and after the Nazi policy of emigration was stopped and replaced by the policy of deportation and extermination – simply could not give the collaboration90


ist governments and administrative rulers the same five years to develop the same amount of anti-Semitism and readiness for mass killings. The tsunami of genocidal intentions had been accelerating from its epicenter to the periphery and the trains eventually transported the majority of victims to the death factory of Auschwitz from all parts of Europe, even from those countries which initially opposed Nazi racist legislation and anti-Jewish measures (e. g. Hungary). All opposition to the Nazi Germany genocidal plans to reach the “New Order” had to be mercilessly crushed. (Un)fortunately, the Ustaša collaborationists were not the first ones in the history of the Holocaust who acted too expeditiously and too willingly to please the Gestapo, SS, the Wehrmacht and Nazi diplomacy (e. g. Edmund Veesenmayer) in terrorizing and forcing Jews to move out of their houses and apartments and confiscating their complete property. Besides from Poland, the Ustašas could copy/paste the model from Austria, too. HEIM / MEYER / NICOSIA (2010, p. 8) summarize the events in Austria in March 1938 as follows: Nachdem NS-Deutschland im März 1938 Österreich annektiert hatte, drangen zudem von dort alarmierende Nachrichten zu ihnen: Juden wurden gejagt, öffentlich misshandelt, willkürlich inhaftiert, ihre Wohnungen und Vermögen in rasantem Tempo “arisiert”. Hatte sich der Ausgrenzungsprozess in Deutschland bisher über fünf Jahre erstreckt, so entwickelte sich in Österreich eine wesentlich radikalere Variante der antijüdischen Politik in nur wenigen Monaten, deren Rückwirkungen die deutschen Juden sofort spürten.

Questionnaire and punch card units of various Nazi agencies were very busy in all annexed and occupied territories, too. The task of definite isolating and manipulating racial Jews on the way to the annihilation could not wait for five years like in the Reich, because the Nazi propaganda in many countries had already been successful. EDWIN BLACK (2009, p. 174) points the following fact out: While Berlin was igniting anti-Jewish campaigns everywhere, NSDAP forces were quietly gathering population details on Jews throughout the Continent and preparing for the day when Nazi-inspired coups or outright invasion would permit the instant liquidation of one Jewish community after another. Nazi race and population scientists utilizing punch card systems were a crucial component of this effort. 91


Besides the NSDAP forces, Hitler and Himmler could count on ethnic Germans as the fifth column and a communication bridge to the local community: “Wherever those of German ancestry or ultra-nationalists existed, the Reich sought to use them as advance troops organized around strict Aryan principles. The Auslandsorganisation of the NSDAP, an association of German Nazis living abroad, was the backbone of this movement.” (ibid., p. 173) But the backbone of the Holocaust was also the railway network – no mass deportations could have been possible without train transportation of Jews. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Deutsche Reichsbahn representatives were glad to participate in the bridge reopening ceremony on the river Sava in Croatia.13

The role of ethnic Germans in the Poland campaign and in Croatia BERND MARTIN (2009) presents us his excellent synthetic conclusions and judgments on the German aggression on Poland and the occupation in the following way: Der „volksdeutsche Selbstschutz" ging gegen sog. „polnische Verräter" schonungslos vor. Vor allem in den ehemals ethnisch gemischten Gebieten Westpreußens tobten sich die niederen Instinkte der zwei Jahrzehnte gedemütigten Volksdeutschen an ihren polnischen Nachbarn aus und diskreditierten von Kriegsbeginn alle in Polen lebenden Deutschen als Speerspitze und Handlanger des deutschen Terrorapparates. Allein im neu gegründeten Reichgau Danzig-Westpreußen wurden im ersten halben Jahr der Besetzung etwa 60.000 Polen von diesen Sonderformationen, häufig mit Unterstützung der SS oder flankierenden Hilfeleistungen der Wehrmacht ermordet. (p. 174) Am 25. Oktober 1939 fand die Militärherrschaft ihr Ende. Die Bilanz der ersten 8 Wochen deutscher Herrschaft in Polen schloss mit ca. 20.000 Toten, darunter die ersten Opfer der Euthanasie-Aktion und von Juden-Pogromen. (ibid.) Nach wilden Austreibungen auf dem Lande in Westpreußen fand die erste Massendeportation bereits Anfang Dezember 1939 statt. Knapp 90.000 Polen und Juden wurden unter Hinterlassung ihrer gesamten Habe nach Osten deportiert, wo man für die Aufnahme nicht vorbereitet war. Insgesamt wurden bis zum Beginn des Russlandfeldzuges 365.000 Einwohner der eingegliederten Gebiete in das Generalgouvernement abgeschoben. (p. 176) Noch eine Stufe radikaler war das Vorgehen gegen die Juden, die in Gettos überführt, völlig ent13

See Additional Video and Image Materials in the CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – additional video materials – 03. Bridge reopening ceremony with German elite in Croatia and Deutsche Bahn representatives. 92


rechtet und ihres gesamten Besitzes beraubt waren. Sie wurden unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen zu Zwangsarbeit für deutsche Betriebe und die neue deutsche Zivilverwaltung gedungen. Ihre Erfassung war meist mit Hilfe ortsansässiger Volksdeutscher, aber auch unter Mitarbeit der einheimischen polnischen Bevölkerung erfolgt. Die Ausgrenzung, Zwangsgettoisierung und schließlich Deportation zur Vernichtung vollzog sich – im Gegensatz zum Altreich und Westeuropa – vor aller Augen, meist mit tatkräftiger Unterstützung aller, Deutscher wie Polen. Die Anfänge der „Endlösung" lassen sich daher auch im „Mustergau Wartheland" festmachen, da die deutsche Zivilverwaltung unter Gauleiter Greiser alles daran setzte, dem „Führer" das Gebiet als erstes ,judenfreies‘ Territorium zu melden. Mit der Konzentration der Juden – insgesamt waren es im Warthegau 400.000 Personen – in großstädtischen Gettos, hier vorab Lodz, setzte der Vernichtungsprozess ein. (p. 177) Im Schatten des deutschen Sieges über Frankreich und in Verfolgung von Himmlers Volkstumspolitik kam es dann zu ersten Befriedungsaktionen. Himmler befahl die vorsorgliche Verhaftung von 20.000 „gefährlichen“ Polen und ihre Einweisung in Konzentrationslager. Der Umbau der Auschwitzer Kasernen in ein solches Lager erfolgte bereits 1940. (p. 180) Schon 1939 hatten bei Luftangriffen ca. 20.000 Einwohner den Tod gefunden, 32.000 wurden in offenen oder geheimen Exekutionen erschossen, 45.000 starben in Konzentrationslagern. (p. 182) Der deutsche Verwaltungs- und Sicherheitsapparat war daher mit Kleinkriminellen und Schiebern durchsetzt, die in großem Maße eine Besatzungspolitik persönlicher Bereicherung betrieben. Den Vortrupp stellten die Volksdeutschen, die Ortskenntnisse besaßen und ohne deren aktive Mithilfe (Sprachkenntnisse) der Repressionsapparat nicht hätte funktionieren können. Das Sozialprofil der deutschen Besatzungsbehörden in Polen unterschied sich daher grundlegend von dem der in Westeuropa eingesetzten deutschen Kräfte. (p. 182)

Himmler and his criminal SS-apparatus abused the ethnic Germans in Poland to support the genocidal operations against Jews and Poles. They became an instrument of everyday terror and oppression, an instrument of espionage and registration of the Slavic and Jewish enemy for deportation and work-to-death procedures. Ethnic Germans could function as interpreters in the occupied country but also as all kind of brutal forces for executions, as the fifth column in the occupied territories. Whereas the German Army showed its civilized face in the French campaign, it seems that its units deployed in the East (and Southeast) were quite the opposite, and the ethnic Germans seem to have been part of the violence scenario there. Further, the following descriptions of ethnic Germans’ behavior in Poland by CHRISTOPHER R. BROWNING (2004) could resemble the behavior of Ustaša members against Serbians and Jews in Pavelić’s state (but also the behavior of the Serbian Chetnik forces against Croats and Bosnian Muslims):

93


The descent upon Poland thus offered party radicals their second great chance for ‘‘National Socialist self-realization.’’ In Poland, furthermore, they encountered ethnic German minorities (Volksdeutsche) who had lived under Polish rule for twenty years and experienced a harrowing ordeal in the period of growing tension before the invasion and in the week immediately following. Now suddenly thrust into the position of masters and intoxicated by the opportunity to brutalize, plunder, drive off, or murder their Polish and Jewish neighbors with impunity, the Volksdeutsche became another ‘‘grassroots’’ source of radicalization behind Nazi racial policy in Poland. (pp. 13-14) The early German atrocities in Poland were perpetuated by three different groups: vigilante bands of ethnic Germans; military personnel, mostly but not exclusively in Waffen-SS units; and of course the Einsatzgruppen. If the Volksdeutsche vigilantes acted in areas remote from the center of military attention, and the various massacres by Waffen-SS men could be dismissed as regrettable but understandable lapses of discipline, the behavior of the Einsatzgruppen presented military leaders with a challenge to their authority that could not lightly be ignored. (p. 17) The Nazi terror in Bydgoszcz may have been more intense than elsewhere in West Prussia, but the general outlines were the same everywhere. Polish intelligentsia, nationalists, Catholic priests, Jews, ‘‘Gypsies,’’ and even Catholic Germans, ethnic Germans married to Poles, and anyone else denounced by at least two Volksdeutsche for whatever personal reasons were gathered in the camps that sprang up in West Prussia. (p. 32) The Poles were frequently forewarned, indeed all too often by greedy Volksdeutsche who tried to use the impending deportations to extort the sale of livestock and equipment at bargain prices. (p. 94)

We see that even before the Wannsee conference and the decision to solve the Jewish question by mass extermination in gas chambers and crematoria there were examples of deportations and executions in Eastern Europe that were committed by various representatives of German presence and their collaborators. One could conclude that the Ustašas were no originals monsters of the Holocaust; they had many models of brutality in their neighborhood. To the victims of ethnic Germans (and other German forces and Nazi units) and Ustašas, the question who was worse is not relevant – they were all either killed or expelled.

Situation in Croatia in 1941 Let us now return to the situation in Hitler’s Croatia. CARL BETHKE (2013, p. 404) expresses his deep sorrow at the fact that in December 1941 in some parts of North Croatia and the city of Sarajevo complete deportations 94


of Jews to the extermination camps under the Ustaša control could be possible. But he forgets that these deportations could not have been achievable without the encouragement and commands of (ethnic) Germans, which will be shown in this paper both using Bethkes materials and materials from the Croatian State Archives. Additionally, he mentions the circumstance that Ustaša monsters used to torture their victims to death with very primitive pieces of weapon like in the case of slaughter of Jews in Brčko on December 16/17, 1942. Unlike Auschwitz, the notorious Ustaša concentration camp Jasenovac had no gas chambers, no crematoria and no adequate accommodation facilities which could not make the number of the killed victims anything like in Auschwitz. However, one should not examine who was worse (Nazis or Ustašas), but one should rather condemn them both, including the Chetnik forces, for all brutal crimes against innocent victims, Jews and non-Jews. Besides, there were Bosnian Muslims in Ustaša units in the whole period of war, although in 1943 the Bosnian Muslims preferred the SS formations and toward the end of the WWII joined the partisans like the majority of the nations in Yugoslavia. The following document illustrates the fate of a Jew who converted to Islam and who helped the Muslim displaced persons from the regions attacked by Serbian Chetniks in the Eastern Bosnia in 194114 here begging that his son Sead Šmukler be released from Jasenovac:

14

On the Chetnik genocide against Bosnian Muslims see e. g. ČEKIĆ (1996) and IMAMOVIĆ (1997, p. 529-546). There were almost Srebrenica-like massacres which, among other factors, forced the Bosnian Muslims to join many Ustaša units, including the notorious Black Legion (see e. g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Black_Legion_%28Usta%C5%A1e_militia%29 ), for revenge and not so much as victims of the Ustaša propaganda. 95


Figure 32 Voluntary assimilation and Bosnian patriotism of the ex-Jew Jusuf Ĺ mukler

96


Figure 33 A good argument: he helped the Muslim refugees and gave them medicines free of charge.

97


Who was Vilko Kühnel? BETHKE (2013, p. 245) describes Vilko Kühnel as the person responsible for the persecution of Jews in the Ustaša state since he was the head of the Jewish Section of the Ustaša police: “Für die Judenverfolgung ‘zuständig’ war die “Jüdische Abteilung” innerhalb der Ustaša-Polizei, die von dem jungen Rechtsanwalt Vilko Kühnel aus Bjelovar geleitet wurde. Dieser war vor 1941 angeblich sowohl in der Kulturbund-Jugend als auch in kroatischnationalistischen Organisationen tätig.” Since 1941, Vilko Kühnel was part of the Nazi network including leaders of ethnic Germans, the Gestapo, the German Embassy, the German Wehrmacht, the German police attaché Hans Helm, the SS-Hauptsturmführer Franz Abromeit and Rolf Günther, and RSHA-leader Kaltenbrunner – the real éminence grise power behind the Ustaša ‘independency’ façade. Did Vilko Kühnel use the new situation and decided to be only part of the German power hierarchy considering the possibility of profiting from the cadre needs of the Thousand-year Reich?15 Vilko Kühnel seems to have been a useful bilingual German spy in the Ustaša establishment (see KOVAČIĆ 2007, p. 568) as well, called “Inda”, supplying secret intelligence information to Konrad Klaser (real name: Kurt Koppel), the Gestapo specialist for anti-Communist activities and supporter of most extremist Ustaša elites, himself subordinated to the police attaché Hans Helm who started his activities in Croatia in the spring of 1942. Both the Gestapo and the SS forces trained and instructed various segments of the Ustaša police (see KOVAČIĆ 2007, p. 560). Moreover, the Gestapo seems to have had its own intelligence network to control the activities of the Croatian police forces as well of all other government structures (see ibid.). After the Gestapo model, the Ustaša surveillance service 15

Strangely for me, CARL BETHKE (p. 402) claims that German-Croat ‘mixed breeds’ in the Ustaša elite acted primarily as Croats: “Hervorzuheben ist, dass es innerhalb der Ustaša einen Kreis von besonders aktiven Tätern gab, die den Nachnamen nach vermutlich deutscher Herkunft waren (Kühnel, Seiler, Wein, Appelt u. a.), aber ausdrücklich nicht als Volksdeutsche handelten; sondern als (seit mehr oder weniger längerem assimilierte) Kroaten.” So, Kühnel spoke Croatian with his German superiors in the matter of the anti-Jewish measures and defended the Catholic principle of baptism against the Nazi materialistic concept of (unconvertible) race? Although being ‘half-breeds’, Kühnel and others would like to be primarily Croats in the eternal Nazi Reich? 98


(Ustaška nadzorna služba, UNS) was established in 1941. It lasted until the beginning of 1943 when it merged with the Ustaša RAVSIGUR institution into GRAVSIGUR (Central direction for public order and security). However, Vilko Kühnel managed to move his unique Jewish department from the Direction of the Ustaša police (1941-1942) to other Ustaša state institutions emerging in the course of time.

Figure 34 Vilko or Vilim Kühnel? In September 1941, he still was not sure which first name to use. In money affairs, he presumably preferred to call himself Vilim? Was it a ploy or a conscious, indirect disclaimer?

KORB (2011, p. 298) reports about Kühnel’s first deportation of Jews from Sarajevo as follows: For example, in the end of October 1941, the Ustaša Inspectorate sent the head of their Jewish division, Vilko Kühnel, to Sarajevo to carry out the “measures to solve the Jewish question.” A few weeks later, two deportation trains with almost 700 people left the city. At the end of November 1941, the great majority of Sarajevo’s Jews were finally deported. The poor organization of the deportations ended in a humanitarian catastrophe. The city administration also recognized that the 99


path that they had embarked on would lead to the annihilation of Sarajevo Jews, and tried unsuccessfully to reduce the extent and consequences of the deportations. The Ustaša police apparently accepted the physical destruction of the deportees.

Vilko Kühnel’s Jewish Department functioned as central decision making and information processing institution for all Jewish issues in Croatia, and was directly or indirectly (as adviser of Ustaša institutions on all Jewish matters) issuer of final decisions on many individual cases.16 All institutions of the Ustaša state contacted him and explained the status of some Jews whom they needed for a certain period of time. Institutions in charge of deporting Jews and Communists to the concentration camps provided him regularly with all feed-back data. Vilko Kühnel’s was responsible for determining the “expiry date” of many temporary certificates enabling false hopes of survival in the midst of the extermination process. The following cases from the Croatian State Archives (Jewish Department of the Direction of the Ustaša Police) can further illustrate the bureaucratic nature of his personality:

16

ESTHER GITMAN (2011, pp. 44-47) deals with Vilko Kühnel in the matter of two thousand exit visas for the Jews of Zagreb, but arrives at the following conclusion: “Kühnel, unlike other officials, vacillated between universal values of humanity and decency, on the one hand, and the desire for power and greed on the other. His fear of punishment from those in more powerful positions apparently drove him to commit heinous crimes, while some second nature of learned values led him to extend humanitarian help.” 100


Figure 35 After a due investigation, Kühnel disagrees with the proposal to free the Jewish engineer Mirko Lovrić from Jasenovac using Nazi racism arguments of “non-privileged” mixed marriage status and absence of exemption recommendations.

101


Figure 36 In case that the Ustaša Surveillance Service, Bureau I, could not wait for the Jewish Department’s decision to free a Jew from a concentration camp in regular procedure, it could send its director Kühnel a red urgency reminder.

Figure 37 Deutsche Sicherheitspolizei recommends no releasing from the concentration camp. Therefore, in this case, Kühnel does not react to the urgency reminder from the Ustaša Surveillance Service.

102


Figure 38 Kühnel is dissatisfied with the ignorance of his instruction on deportations of Jews (considering exemptions) in Slavonski Brod and therefore shows no readiness to accept petitions for release signed by dignitaries and societies there after the “wild” deportations had already been conducted.

103


Figure 39 Permission not to wear the Jewish markings for the full Jews Kaufmanns, who were recognized as Croatian nationals (Staatsangehörige) by the Ministry of the Interior

Figure 40 Was Vilko Kühnel more powerful than the Ustaša Ministry of the Interior and the Ustaša Surveillance Service? He denied the issued permission and declined the prospect of the release from the concentration camp.

104


Figure 41 Permits of the Ministry of the Interior could not help against deportations to concentration camps

Jews essential for the economy – and Vilko Kühnel The mass robbery activities called ‘Aryanizations’ were also in Croatia copy/paste, déjà vu procedures after the Nazi Germany model. Moreover, Reich Germans and ethnic Germans took part in them as well. CARL BETHKE (p. 269) reveals us the following: In Osijek wurden die Kommissare über jüdisches Vermögen anfangs von der Wehrmacht bestimmt, zu den ersten Unternehmen gehörte die Druckerei Szekler, der Lederhandel Mavro Deutsch, die Firma Horn und Co. von Antun Rissmann, außerdem die Sanatorien Weissmann-Bathory und Herlinger. Im Sommer 1941 waren auf diese Weise bereits 600 Deutsche als Kommissare eingesetzt.

Who would expect that the German Wehrmacht would initiate robberies of Jewish property and support the new company commissioners in ‘inde105


pendent’ countries which were part of the Axis power pact? The loot was normally distributed among Reich German institutions, Croatian collaborationist institutions and individuals, and ethnic Germans members and institutions. After mass deportations of Jews in the late summer of 1942, the ethnic German organizations put on their wish list the following items: saving books, insurance papers, gold, silver, carpets, pieces of art (see BETHKE, p. 285). Ethnic German politicians, e. g. Stefan Kraft, could defend their interests in the ‘Aryanization’ through new positions in the Ustaša government as state secretaries in the Ministry of the Economy. (See ibid., p. 287) The German minority in Croatia converted to a state within a state, which could have been predicted from their representatives’ meeting with Pavelić in 1941: they appeared not in traditional German costumes, but in Swastika uniforms demonstrating their superiority.17 Well, new owners of the ‘Aryanized’ Jewish businesses should have used one-year period to acquire all knowledge of running the companies taken from the Jews.18 Vilko Kühnel was very strict about it, which is documented in the following cases:

17

See Additonal Video and Image Materials in the CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – Additional Video Materials – 02: Privileges for ethnic Germans in Pavelić’s state. The ethnic Germans were in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia more proYugoslav then pro-Croatian, therefore this meeting with the destroyers of Yugoslavia is rather strange. BETHKE confirms this in the following way: “Tatsächlich stellte die prokroatische Orientierung der ‘Volksgruppe’, verglichen mit der Stojadinović-Zeit, fast ein Novum dar.” (p. 259) 18 See Additonal Video and Image Materials in the CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – 7. Nationalized companies in NDH and the fate of Jewish owners. 106


Figure 42 The petition is refused because one-year period should have been sufficient to find a proper replacement for Jewish work force.

107


Figure 43 K端hnel declines the petition to release the former owner of the company on the ground that the new owner should have had the specialist qualifications in the moment of the purchase of the company. It was a bad investment, too bad. The Jewish company could have been sold to somebody else and could have been prosperous!

108


Figure 44 Kßhnel’s decisive argument here is the necessity to exclude Jews from the economy in general.

109


Figure 45 Kßhnel’s argument here is that new managements of ex-Jewish companies are too negligent to find appropriate substitutes for Jewish workers, which hinders the employment of the native people.

110


Several confiscations

Figure 46 An ex-Jewish apartment assigned to an official of the German Embassy in Zagreb, with the recommendation of the police attachĂŠ (Hans Helm?)

111


Figure 47 The case of the “honest” Croat and ethnic German Josef Novak who writes his petition in completely naïve tone although his intention is to expel a Jew from his apartment and confiscate everything. It seems that the Nazi ideology brain washing completely annihilated basic principles of civilization in this man.

112


Figure 48 Confiscation of Jewish bank accounts like in Nazi Germany.

113


Figure 49 It is very unusual when a state leader (Pavelić) has a photo of a foreign state leader (Hitler) on the wall in his office. Was Hitler Pavelić’s supreme commander or tutor or idol? Did Pavelić have any secret pictures of other political leaders of the WWII in some secret drawers of his desk and in other rooms? However, only Hitler tried to buy his loyalty with a Mercedes car.19

Figure 50 Croatian Ministry of the Interior’s instruction on Sept. 8, 1942: there is no obligation to put non-Croatian flags on state office buildings! Figure 51 Unofficial bilingualism on an official document ending with the bilingual ZA DOM SPREMNI (For Homeland ready!) – HEIL HITLER!

19

See Additional Video and Image Materials in the CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – additional video materials – 01. Hitler’s present for Pavelić – a Mercedes and 04. State ruled by God and Croats or by Nazis? 114


Figure 52 German soldiers taking part in deportations20 to Jasenovac on October 27, 1941. Here is a telegram from Sarajevo to Zagreb.

Figure 53 The German military power led the deportation of Jews in (today Sremski) Karlovci in July 1942. 20

BETHKE (p. 324) reports about the case of Fritz Holzschuh, an ethnic German, who boasted with the imprisonment of 45 Jewish ‘millionaires’ and the deportation of 250 Jews from Nova Gradiška to the concentration camp – against the will of the Ministry in Zagreb. 115


Pro-Croatian Jews imprisoned by ethnic Germans? – One case:

Figure 54 Patriotic pro-Croatian arguments of the Jew Filko Stein

116


Figure 55 Filko Stein as Croatian patriot imprisoned by the German Kulturbund here demanding freedom.

117


The Turning Point in many aspects Demand for protection of pro-Croat Jews21

Figure 56 According to Josip Sladić, a retired railway clerk, it was necessary to change the anti-Jewish policy of the Ustaša regime in July 1941 – in order to protect the Croatian future among civilized nations. Besides Jews who were Communists or capitalists, he discerned a third category of poor or middle-class Jews who shared the difficulties of life with Croats – and who were no traitors like some Croats who received the Greater Serbian St. Sava medal and converted to Yugoslavism. He stressed those Jews’ attachment to the Church and showed concern over their social isolation and disturbance of their everyday life. Mr. Sladić recommended deeds of sympathy and support of pro-Croat Jews – who should replace Serbians in Bosnia [sic!]. 21

See other documents with the same message in the Additonal Video and Image Materials – Paper Željko Uvanović – Croatian State Archives – Petitions for Jews – a selection of cases. However, it must be stressed that petitons for Jews were not the Croatian exclusive phenomenon. BEATE MEYER (1999, p. 104) mentions such petitons in Germany as well: “Viele Petitionen nahmen allerdings nicht diesen vorgeschriebenen Weg, sondern erreichten ihr Ziel auf Umwegen über protegierende Personen wie Minister, hochrangige Parteiführer oder auch deren Ehefrauen.” STEINER / CORNBERG (p. 148) report about Hitler’s anger caused by too many German petitions for ‘decent Jews’. 118


Figure 57 In case of legal proceedings against the pro-Croatian Jews the people would start with rebellion. A case from Zlatar, in October 1941.

119


Special privileges for physicians in Croatia BETHKE (p. 417) describes the situation in Osijek after the mass deportations of Jews to Auschwitz in August 1942 as follows: Die “Endlösung”, also die Deportation der Juden aus Osijek und anderen Orten Slawoniens nach Auschwitz, erfolgte im August 1942. Sie lag weitgehend in den Händen des Reichssicherheitshauptamtes bzw. des deutschen Polizeiattachés Hans Helm sowie Franz Abromeits vom RSHA und der Ustaše. Nur wenige Juden blieben in Osijek, sei es aufgrund von Ausnahmegenehmigungen, die sie als Angehörige von Mischehen, als Getaufte oder als Ärzte besaßen. Intermarried Jews, converts to Catholicism and Jewish physicians had a certain degree of survival chances. The Ustaša regime allowed to save the lives of Jewish physicians (and of their parents and their children) sent to Bosnia in 1941 and 1942 to curb endemic syphilis.22 However, it protected physicians in the Croatian Home Guard, too. From the next case of Sabina Kraus, it is obvious that Christenings of Jews took place even after the proclamation of the so called Independent State of Croatia, and that the profession of physician, especially in the Croatian Army, could mean a rescue – if one was ready to apply for the exemption from the anti-Jewish measures, which in the case below included Jewish markings on the whole house in which the couple had an apartment and on the left side of the chest while being outside of the apartment.

22

See Additional Video and Image Materials int he CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – 6. Jewish physicians in the NDH service. There are three groups sent to Bosnia and one group of physicians in the Home Guard (domobranstvo). There is no mention of other physicians in the regular public and state service. 120


Figure 58 There was no chance of removing the Jewish markings without writing petitions with arguments why one would deserve the exemption from anti-Jewish measures. Here is the case of Dr. Oskar Kraus and his wife Sabina.

121


Figure 59 The lack of physicians in the public service generally in Croatia (outside the military sphere) forced the UstaĹĄa Surveillance Service to issue the circular no. 5721 (on March 20, 1942) demanding that both the Jewish physicians and their families be protected. Here is the case of Dr. Slavko Pollak from PopovaÄ?a who managed to obtain additional recommendations for his application and eventually the protection card.

122


Figures 60 and 61 The case of Dr. Franjo Bischitz, as an employee of the Neurological Hospital in VrapÄ?e (near Zagreb), who applied the petition demanding the release of his parents from prison.

123


Figures 62 and 63 Similar cases

Figures 64 and 65 Similar cases

124


Figure 66 Only physicians had the right of exemption – not pharmacists!

Christening of Jews in Croatia valid even after April 10, 1941? HANNAH ARENDT (2007, p. 291) reports that in Bulgaria Jews were allowed to be baptized without any temporal limits and were considered no Jews at all if they converted to Christianity: Etwas früher, im Januar 1941, hatte die Regierung sich auch bereit gefunden, einige antijüdische Gesetze zu erlassen, doch diese waren vom Gesichtspunkt der Nazis aus einfach lächerlich: etwa 6000 arbeitsfähige Männer wurden zum Arbeitsdienst eingezogen; getaufte Juden waren ohnehin ungeachtet des Zeitpunkts ihrer Konversion ausgenommen, was natürlich eine »Taufepidemie« zur Folge hatte; weitere 5000 Juden - etwa 10 Prozent der jüdischen Gesamtbevölkerung erhielten besondere Vergünstigungen; und für jüdische Ärzte und Geschäftsleute wurde ein sehr günstiger Numerus clausus eingeführt, der nach dem Prozentsatz der jüdischen Bevölkerung in den Städten und nicht nach dem Landesdurchschnitt berechnet war.

Could there have been similar tendencies in the Ustaša state as well? The following documents seem to partly support this claim:

125


Figure 67 The case of christening Artur Vojtic in Ivanec in November 1941

Figure 68 Recommendation for Artur Vojtic’s conversion to Roman Catholicism

126


Figure 69 Christening of Jews in the Varaždin region.

Figure 70 Ilija Švarc’s conversion to Catholicism in Zagreb in July 1941.

127


Figure 71 Mirko Schiffer’s conversion in March 1942.

In STEINER-AVIEZER (2008), some rescue cases are mentioned which are indirectly connected with Catholic priests (p. 38, Dragutin Jesih pp. 85-87, Stjepan Janković pp. 135-136), nuns (pp. 60-63, Amadeja Pavlović pp. 271-272) and certificates of baptism (p. 38). Ivo and Slavko Goldstein

128


claim in the afterword to the book that some 800 intermarried Jews survived the Holocaust in Zagreb thanks to the interventions of the Catholic Church and internal instructions of the Ustaša elite (p. 286). The latter fact corresponds with KORB’s (2011, p. 300) findings: From the German perspective, the Croatian parties appeared unreliable and unorganized. Moreover, the German police attaché and the head of his Jewish division expressed their frustrations with the fact that they were not allowed entry into the Croatian camp system, and they demanded access to the 2,000 Jewish prisoners who they suspected were still in the camps. They furthermore blamed Croatian politicians for denying them access to numerous Jews through their interventions.

However, conversions to Catholicism could not prevent the punch card machine systems of the Nazis from clearly pointing out that the brand-new Catholics had Jewish ancestry and had to be deported to the extermination camps in the East. Eventually, the German Nazi racism almost triumphed over the Croatian Catholic notion of becoming a full Christian through baptism. In many cases, there were courageous Croatian people who were determined to help the Jews, at least those in mixed marriages. The Zagreb Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac and the Catholic Church in Croatia accepted the policy of formal christening for the sake of saving Jewish lives. By contrast, the protestant bishop Popp instructed his priests to decline this kind of Jewish inquiry and thus reduced the spectrum of rescue options. He acted like the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church who refused the christening of Jews, at least at the formal level, to save life of the people in jeopardy.

Honorary Aryans in Croatia The topic of the so called ‘Honorary Aryans’ under the Nazi rule has been dealt with very thoroughly and convincingly by ALFRED POSSELT23 (1992), STEINER / CORNBERG (1998), BEATE MEYER (1999), NATHAN STOLTZFUS (2011) and VOLKER KOOP (2014). The leitmotif of all these authors is the condition of continuing insecurity and possible cancelling of the issued ex23

Posselt made some serious mistakes considering some personalities in the then Croatia, but information in the rest of the book might be a good basis for further research. 129


emptions from the anti-Jewish measures and of the declaration of equivalence with Aryans at any time when the protector changes his mind or when his political influence declines. The institution of racial status improvement or racial identification with the Aryans was primarily limited to the elite circles, individuals and their marriage partners and their families if they were essential for general social activities or if they were in any way close to the ruling elites and their ideology. Nazi criteria were racist materialistic, the criteria of Catholic nations rather in accordance with the teachings of the Church that the converts cannot be considered Jews as a rule, and this could cause collisions between the Nazis rulers and their collaborationist allies. Exemptions from anti-Jewish measures were legally on the level of temporary special protection, mercy or pardon certificates. But if Hitler had won the war, all those exempted from the anti-Jewish measures would have been killed in the next moment after the victory celebration. Since Hitler lost the war, he could only use his step-by-step tactics of gradual broadening the scope of his enemies, which is what NATHAN STOLTZFUS (2011, p. 379) detected in the Nazi racist laws from 1933 until the Nazi capitulation: “[…] in December 1938, Hitler decided to privilege the majority of Jews who were married to non-Jews, in order to reduce the size of the group that would complain in response to further persecution.” Further, he states that the “Nazi intention was not to give these persons a break, but to divide a difficult problem into parts, and to deal with each part one by one.” (ibid., p. 384) The history of exemption of Jews from the regular state-driven antiSemitism could be traced back to Habsburg definition of ‘Hofjuden’ or ‘hofbefreite’ Jews in the period from 1551 to 1580. POSSELT (1992, p. 56) mentions Hindenburg’s measure against Hitler’s Reichsberufsbeamtengesetz (1933) including criteria for exemption from the Nazi racist laws like military merits, marriage with non-Jews, christening, merits in arts, culture, science, sports etc. for Germany. Hindenburg’s criteria were until 1942 fully abandoned. Unfortunately, even some Nazi criminals were Honorary Aryans: Erhard Milch, F. W. Krüger, Anton Graf Arco, Kurt Koppel, Grete Kahane, Gabriel Ascher, Max Klatt and Joseph Szerinski (see ibid., p. 58). POSSELT (p. 126) lists countries where there was no honorary Aryan legislation: Serbia, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and the occupied territories of the 130


USSR. Exemptions from the anti-Jewish measures were part of the law in Nazi Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece and Romania. According to Posselt, Croatia had some 10.000 ‘honorary Aryans’ compared with some 5.000 such cases in Italy. Croatia and France had the same number of such cases, but France had some 200.000 cases of other kinds of exemptions.

Figure 72 Famous orchestra conductor Milan Sachs exempted from measures against Jews by Blaž Lorković’s recommendations and Eugen Kvaternik’s order. Here is the official notice for Kühnel’s Jewish Department. See Židovski Zagreb, p. 106, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Sachs.

131


Figure 73 Alexander Ehrmann as honorary Aryan and honorary consul of Portugal. See Židovski Zagreb, p. 58, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandar_Ehrmann.

132


Some exemptions from anti-Jewish measures in Bosnia

Figures 74 and 75 Exemption cases from Bosnia.

Figure 76 An exemption case from Bosnia.

133


What about the concentration camp Jasenovac? Jasenovac was a death camp, but also a work camp and a transit camp. Although it is hard to believe, there were also releases from the hell of Jasenovac.24 HOLM SUNDHAUSSEN (2001, p. 375) summarized the horrible issue of the Croatian ‘Auschwitz’ with the following set of questions which are considered relevant by the author of this paper as well: Um das Thema Jasenovac rankt sich eine Vielzahl von Fragen, Vermutungen und Ungereimtheiten: Warum haben die Tito-Einheiten das Lager erst in den letzten Kriegstagen eingenommen? Hätten sie die Insassen nicht früher befreien können? Wurde die Einnahme absichtlich verzögert? Warum haben die Alliierten nichts unternommen, um die Verbrechen zu stoppen? Wie viele Menschen sind in Jasenovac ums Leben gekommen? Wie verteilen sich die Opfer hinsichtlich ihrer nationalen und/oder konfessionellen Zugehörigkeit? Warum wurde nicht unmittelbar bei Kriegsende mit der Registrierung der Opfer begonnen, sondern bis 1964 gewartet? Und warum wurden die 1964 ermittelten Zahlen vor der Öffentlichkeit wie ein Staatsgeheimnis gehütet? […]

When it comes to the numbers of victims and the distribution of victims among nations, the following data are official ones25 in Croatia (Javna ustanova Spomen područje Jasenovac): Nationality SERBIAN ROMA JEWISH CROATIAN MUSLIM SLOVENIAN CZECH SLOVAK UKRAINIAN MONTENEGRIN HUNGARIAN

children

men

women

Total

12683

21738

13206

47627

5608

5688

4877

16173

1601

7762

3753

13116

140

2866

1249

4255

52

897

179

1128

6

195

65

266

2

96

16

114

1

92

13

106

4

52

8

64

33

11

44

20

6

27

1

24

See Additional Video and Image Materials int he CD-Edition – Paper Željko Uvanović – Additional Materials – 5. Croatian State Archives – Some (Temporary) Releases from Camps and Prisons, 1941-1942 – a selection of cases. 25 See http://www.jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=6711. 134


ITALIAN RUSSIAN RUSINI GERMAN POLISH ALBANIAN AUSTRIAN GEORGIAN ROMANIAN Unknown Total

1

18

1

19

12

6

18

8

1

10

4

6

10

5

4

9

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

80

73

155

20101

39570

23474

83145

Conclusion Considering the whole context of the Holocaust, one is inclined to believe that any method of saving lives is legitimate: formal christening, intermarriage, applications for the status of Honorary Aryan and petitions for exemption from anti-Jewish measures. Croats opposed the policy of Jewish markings, wrote petitions with their signatures demanding the protection of their Jewish marriage partners, friends and business partners considering them full Croatian citizens. There are also Righteous among Nations who risked much more to protect the Jews than the other helpers of the Jews. However, without the constant power increase of the Croatian Partisans in the WWII, the Croatian nation and the state itself would have been on the loser side of the history of the Second World War and thus in the camp of perpetrators of the Holocaust. On the other hand, there were many antiCommunists who combated the Nazi racism and mass killings from the Christian viewpoint and believed that their Jewish friends are at the same time Croatian patriots. Besides the Croatian Partisans’ positive image in the world community, there is one aspect of the Croatian resistance which still needs to be objectively researched: anti-Nazi opposition within the Catholic sphere.

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ŽeljkoUvanović DIE VERBREITUNG DER VÖLKERMORDPOLITIK AUS NAZIDEUTSCHLAND NACH POLEN (SEIT 1939) AND NACH KROATIEN (SEIT 1941) – UND DIE LEBENSWICHTIGE BEDEUTUNG DER AUSNAHMEN VON ANTIJÜDISCHEN MASSNAHMEN Zusammenfassung Diese vorliegende Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit dem Prozess der Übertragung von nazistischen rassistische Mechanismen der Identifizierung, Isolierung, Kennzeichnung, Deportation und Vernichtung der Juden aus dem Deutschen Reich nach Österreich, Polen und Kroatien. Fast identische Muster von HassPropaganda gegen Juden waren in allen Teilen von Nazi dominierten Europa zu finden, was als eine Folge der Tätigkeit der gleichen Institutionen (ausländischen Niederlassungen der NSDAP, der Gestapo, der SS und des Sicherheitsdienstes) in allen eroberten Ländern betrachtet werden kann – allerdings zusammen mit Volksdeutschen als willigen Hilfsmitteln der Nazi-Okkupation. Jüdische Abteilungen der Polizeiinstitutionen waren in allen Ländern für die Identifikation, Überwachung und Deportation der Juden verantwortlich. Vilko Kühnel - angeblich ein ambivalenter Halb-Kroate und Halbvolksdeutscher – war eine Art kroatischer Eichmann, der die Zusammenarbeit mit Juden in Kroatien für VölkermordZwecke missbrauchte. Im Gegensatz zu einigen Ländern in Hitlers Europa hatte Kroatien einige Rechtsakte für die Befreiung der Juden von antijüdischen Maßnahmen eingeführt. Ähnlich wie in Italien und Frankreich konnten Konversionen zum Katholizismus als auch die Mischehen mit Nichtjuden den Status der Juden ändern. Kroatisch-jüdische Mischehen waren entschlossen durch den Erzbischof Stepinac verteidigt, der auch versucht hatte, den Volljuden zu helfen. Jüdische Ärzte (zusammen mit ihren Eltern und Kinder) konnten in manchen Fällen den Schutz vor antijüdischen Maßnahmen erwerben, wenn ihre Leistungen als bedeutend und strategisch wichtig für die Gesundheitspolitik eingestuft wurden. Die vorliegende Papier versucht ebenfalls, die Rolle der Ustaša-Bewegung während der NS-Herrschaft in Kroatien einzuschätzen und den Wendepunkt zum Massenwiderstand gegen das Ustaša-Marionettenregime und seine antijüdische Politik zu betonen. Im Gegensatz zu einigen Meinungen in der Forschung, hielten sich viele kroatische Juden für kroatische Patrioten und waren bereit, in vollem Umfang in der kroatischen Identität assimiliert zu werden. Stichwörter: Jüdische Markierungen in Deutschland, Polen und Kroatien, Abschiebungen in die Arbeits- und Vernichtungslager, Nürnberger Gesetze, Holocaust, Rettung der Juden, Ehrenarier, Vilko Kühnel, Volksdeutsche in Kroatien während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, Ustaša-Bewegung, Ante Pavelić, das Kroatische Staatsarchiv in Zagreb, Jüdische Abteilung der Ustaša-Polizei in Zagreb, Petitionen für Juden, jüdische Ärzte in Kroatien 1941-1945, Konversion der Juden zum Katholizismus.

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Profile for Zeljko Uvanovic

The spreading of genocidal policies from nazi germany to poland (since 1939) and croatia (since 1941  

This paper deals with the process of transmissions of Nazi racist mechanisms of identifying, isolating, marking, deporting and annihilating...

The spreading of genocidal policies from nazi germany to poland (since 1939) and croatia (since 1941  

This paper deals with the process of transmissions of Nazi racist mechanisms of identifying, isolating, marking, deporting and annihilating...

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