Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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Feb. 27, 1991

A Book by Boris Karapandzic

Kocevje: Tito's Bloodiest Crime

An Old Book Speaks Volumes about British Treachery; Also, a 1985 Interview by the Late Serb Patriarch German



1. Foreword (By Bob Djurdjevic)

2. "Kocevje: Tito's Bloodiest Crime" (A Book by Boris Karapandzic)

3. "Rape of Serbia" (A Book by Michael Lees)

4. "A Prison of Nations: Yugoslavia Is Too Big a Meadow for the Serbs" (A 1985 Interview with        the Late Serb Patriarch German)


1. Foreword (By Bob Djurdjevic)

PHOENIX, Feb. 27, 1991 - Enclosed below are my translations of some excerpts from important Serbian language historical texts:

(a) A review of the book, "KOCEVJE: TITO's BLOODIEST CRIME;"

(b) A brief review of the new book, "THE RAPE OF SERBIA;"

(c) A translation of a NIN (Belgrade magazine) article, "I AND THE COMMUNISTS;" a 1985 interview with the late Serb Patriarch German.

The point of this translation work was to help the West learn more about the true character of the Serbian people, through the words of the former head of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Patriarch German's thoughts will help one understand the contradictions inherent in the continued existence of Yugoslavia -- an artificial state, created in 1918, which has earned the reputation during the last 73 years as a "prison of nations."

The second point of this translation is to bring to light some old crimes which have only surfaced recently. Prior to 1991, I had never heard of any of these Communist atrocities, although I grew up in Yugoslavia. I've heard of, mind you, and I can prove others, similarly heinous crimes which they committed which one of these days may find their way into other books of atrocities such as "KOCEVJE." But, I never knew of the degree to which the Western allies, particularly the British, betrayed their Serbian allies. We are dealing here with numbers of victims which probably significantly exceed the total of all non-Iraqi losses in the Gulf War -- put together!

In view of our contemporary concerns about the treatment of the American/coalition POWs by Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War, for example; in view of the U.S. government's decades-long support for Tito as a "progressive" Communist leader, who toward the end of his life even had the audacity of (unsuccessfully) lobbying that he be given the Nobel prize for peace (?!); in view of the tens of thousands of Serbian lives which were lost thanks to this apparent Western intelligence blunder -- one would think that, not just the British, but also the American government, if they were truly concerned with a needless loss of life, would go out of their way to make up with the Serbian people... to rectify the injustices and the loss of life which their carelessness had caused.

Unfortunately, there has been no evidence of it. Is it because, unlike Kuwait, Serbia has no oil wells to speak of? Is it because its people are neither Catholics, nor Protestants, nor Moslems, but are Christians who practice God's commandments within the Orthodox faith? Is it because, Winston Churchill, who abruptly interrupted a Canadian officer who dared question the wisdom of the British support for Tito's Communists, with a question, "after the war is over, are you planning to live in Yugoslavia?" Who knows...

It is perhaps ironic that these lines are being written on the day that Kuwait City was liberated by the U.S. and the other coalition forces. A time of great joy, yet also a time of great disenchantment... As Charles Dickens wisely noted two centuries ago in his "Tale of Two Cities," "it was the best of times; it was the worst of times..."

Having learned of the two disparate truths some 46 years apart, yet almost at the same time, I, a proud American, a registered Republican, cannot help but wonder about the possible (unintended) duplicity of President Bush's words that this was "a just war," aimed to liberate the Kuwaiti people from a brutal dictator's tyranny. And what, do you suppose, was a person like Tito, who raped, plundered the country, and murdered the Yugoslav people while the West looked the other way, or worse, at times, applauded the relative "progressiveness" of his regime? Was this not "brutal tyranny" even on a higher scale than Saddam's? Yet, no Western/American coalition forces rushed to the aid of the Yugoslav people, especially the Serbians, their allies from World War I.

In other words, no matter how many times we hear President Bush or other politicians say that the Gulf War was about the welfare of the people of Kuwait, the "Battle of Kuwait" was a battle for oil. It was just, it was necessary, it was well fought, and the Kuwaiti people did benefit. But, it also proved that the lives of people who live near the assets of strategic interest to the United States and its Western allies are worth more than those who don't. Conversely, one can conclude that, notwithstanding past friendships, the Serbian/Yugoslav lives are cheaper than the Kuwaitis'!.

If this sounds like a harsh assessment, a cynical viewpoint, an emotional reaction, a cruel indictment -- it is all of that! But, it is also the naked truth based on newly-discovered historical facts! Nevertheless, as long as these facts remain hidden behind the Serbian language barriers, not to mention their being buried in the cyrillic alphabet, the English-speaking people of the world can rightfully claim that they had not heard of these crimes, just like I had not until recently. I hope that these translations, therefore, will help spread the awareness in the West of the harm which its leaders have done -- directly or indirectly, intentionally or otherwise -- to the Yugoslav people.

In the end, I realize, of course, that one cannot and should not lay the curse of history (in which they did not figure) on the living U.S. presidents or other current Western leaders. That was not my intention. My intention was to help inform, help educate, so that we, in the West, may never again make the same mistakes. For, the souls of the murdered Serbian and other Yugoslav soldiers who were sent to their deaths by the Allies' incompetence or betrayal (take your pick) are still crying out for justice. Now their cries can also be heard in English... Which may bring them more respect, if not justice...

Bob Djurdjevic, Phoenix, Arizona, Feb. 27, 1991


2. "Kocevje: Tito's Bloodiest Crime" (A Book by Boris Karapandzic)

PHOENIX, Feb. 27, 1991 - Borivoje ("Boris") Karapandzic of Cleveland, Ohio, wrote the kocev-bk.gif (101760 bytes)book, "KOCEVJE - TITO's BLOODIEST CRIME," in 1958.  For years afterward, the author struggled trying to get the truth about this crime out to the influential people in the world today. He wrote letters to the President of the United States, the British Prime Minister, the Pope, and a number of other officials... Ronald Reagan thanked him in a letter personally. As for the Yugoslav addressees, Karapandzic' book could only arrive in secrecy and with great personal risks for the carrier or the reader.

When the ideological barriers were toppled, the conspiracy of silence was also broken about the terrible events orchestrated in 1945 by the victorious new government of Yugoslavia. The columns of the Yugoslav press started unfolding bone-chilling stories about a mass murder of the Yugoslav POWs which the British army returned from Austria. The place of death is called Kocevje (in the western Yugoslav state of Slovenia - see the map below).

The NIN story now also reveals a testimony by Milos Kovac, of Sacramento, CA, one of the very few survivors of the Communist mass murders.

What's an English Gentleman's "Word of Honor" Worth?

According to Karapandzic, who researched the various sources, and listened to the many stories of those who managed to escape the "slaughter house," this is how the story of the British betrayal and the communist murder unfolded:

May 23, 1945. The British military command orders the commanders of the Serbian POW troops stationed in (southern) Austria (see the map on the next page), that their soldiers get ready for transportation the following day. The Serbian commanders/ soldiers are told that they would be transported to the High Yugoslav Army Military Command posts in Italy. Everybody, among the Serbian troops, rejoices over the news...

May 24, 1945. The Serbian volunteers take down their tents, pack their back-packs, line-up for a morning prayer. They are the first to leave for Italy, they think. The British military trucks arrive. The Second Battalion of the Serbian Volunteer Forces, along with the Operations Staff under the lieutenant colonel Tatalovic, board the trucks.

The (Serbian) lieutenant colonel approaches the senior British officer and asks him once again:

"Mr. Major, Sir, where are we headed for?"

"To join your own troops in Italy."

"On your word of honor, Mr. Major?"

"On my word of honor!"

The trucks leave... they reach Villach (see the map). They turn to the left from the main road. They park in the vicinity of the railroad station. The search... Lieutenant Tatalovic protests. A British officer assures him: "that's only a formality..."

The convoy enters the "Maria Elend" station (still on the Austrian side). There is no locomotive attached to the railroad cars. Around the train, there are military vehicles from which the British jump out of with the bayonettes affixed to their rifles...

According to Karapandzic, "once again, the Serbs believe that these are still the Allied security forces. After all, an officer of His Majesty, George the VI, gave his word of honor that they would be transported to Italy.

Then, a locomotive arrives. To the astonishment of the POWs, it hooks up to the end of the train which points toward Yugoslavia!

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The train begins to move... More troops pour out of the railroad station, armed to the tooth, and carrying automatic weapons. They jump on the pedals of the moving railroad cars. Only then do the prisoners realize they had been tricked. The soldiers boarding the train are the Yugoslav "partisans," (i.e., the Communists). The train speeds off into Yugoslavia...

This procedure was carried out in all Yugoslav POW camps. A certain British major, by the name of William Johnson, gave his word of honor to every group of Yugoslav POWs before they boarded the railroad cars which were to take them to their deaths in Yugoslavia.

Role of Slobodan Penezic

May 27, 1945. The Communists proceed to tease and denigrate the prisoners on board the train. A certain woman-partisan named "Ela" stood out particularly in this respect. Repeatedly, she hit Zika Krupezevic, a Serbian clergyman, with a "billy-club" yelling: "why don't you pray to your Jesus now and ask him to help you!"

The repatriated prisoners arrive at "Shentvid," a concentration camp. Once again, search, interrogation... Then, a (Communist) committee arrives led by Slobodan Penezic "Krcun." Penezic orders that the children ought to be separated. He orders his own people that, "preserve these children like the apples of your eyes... They will be our best soldiers .

 "As for these older ones, we'll take care of them easily enough..." And he is laughing as he says this. A skinny, gangly man, Penezic was also carrying a "billy-stick."

He walks around, asks some people a few questions, keeps swearing. "What are you doing here?" he asks a high school teacher. "I have been fighting for my idea just as you had for yours," the teacher replies. Penezic strikes him with the "billy-club" calling him a fascist, a traitor and a mercenary. He beats another prisoner not because of his ideology but because he was not with his brother, a Communist. "And even you are here?! And your brother is a captain in our army! Here is one for you from Penezic."

And so on...

May 28, 1945. We are ordered to pick up our things and line up. The prisoners keep asking for water, but nobody pays any attention. Surrounded by sub-machine guns, they enter the railroad cars. The train speeds off toward Kocevje.

May 29, 1945. Again, prisoners are searched. They are told to take off all their clothes. Completely naked, they are tied together with wire and ordered to march through this little town. The town is deserted as if struck with a curse.

The columns pauses in front of a building surrounded with bunkers and barbed wire. "Turn over all of your gold," the prisoners are ordered. Once again, they are retied with wire -- the left arm of one prisoner to the right arm of another.

The clergyman, Zika Krupezevic, sensing that this is their final trip, begins a death prayer for the souls of the still living prisoners.

The End...

The trucks arrive and the prisoners are told to board them. They are taken into the forest outside of Kocevje. They approach the execution site, already overflowing with dead corpses. And the business of killing commences... "Through the forests of Kocevje echoed a terrible symphony of death," writes Karapandzic.

How many POWs were turned back by the British? Karapandzic writes that there were 12,000 Slovenian "home guards," 3,000 Serbian volunteer troops, 1,000 Montenegrin "chetniks," and 2,500 Croatian "home guards."

Why did the British do that? Karapandzic says that there were about 600,000 soldiers and other refugees of various nationalities who converged on Austria. They were a great burden on the British army in terms of food and accommodation. "It seems that the British weren't able to look after them all, and were happy to get rid of some of them," Karapandzic told NIN.

Karapandzic claims that Tito personally gave a verbal order to execute the POWs: "Liquidate all members of the Yugoslav army which the British return!"

The Survivors...

Very few people managed to survive Kocevje. Of the 3,000 Serbian volunteers, for example, only 24 survived. One of the survivors was Milos Kovac. Here is his story:

"After we managed to escape to Austria, the British told us, 'lay down your arms; for you the war is over; we'll send you to join your other units in Italy,'" Kovac recalls.

He then describes to NIN how the British deceived them using almost the same language as Karapandzic.

"The British sold us down the river," he laments. "To this day, I don't know if Churchill or someone else decided our fate. In any event, we ended up in Yugoslavia on a train taking us to our deaths."

"Having realized what was about to happen, I jumped out of the moving train near a small station along with five of my men," says Kovac. "Did they shoot at you?" asked NIN. "Of course! They opened fire, but failed to hit any of us."

"We headed on foot across (the 7,200-foot mountain) Triglav toward Italy. We stopped at a house and asked for some food. Soon, there was a man in civilian clothes who started to ask us some questions: who we were? what we were doing? They gave us some food and we continued walking."

"Soon, we were ambushed by the 'partisans.' They knew we were coming and waited for us in the hills. We were unarmed, and so they took us to Tolmin (see the map). That's where they were celebrating Tito's birthday. They spit and threw stones at us. Then they took us to a jail."

"The following day, interrogation started. They asked me who I was. I told them the truth."

"At 3 a.m., the guards show up and call out my name, the name of Jovan Samardzic, my deputy, and that of one other Slovenian. They tie us together with wire. I ask them where they are taking us. They say to another interrogation. 'Aha,' I say to myself. 'I know all about such 'interrogations...'"

"Outside, the dawn is starting. On the outskirts of the town, close to where I thought they would execute us, I noticed a huge ditch about half filled with water. I say to the leader of the Communist patrol, no older than maybe 25, 'you are going to kill us this morning, yet you have no idea why. Why do it? Don't do it! You are only children!"

"I feel a tremendous urge for a cigarette smoke. I ask for one. They give me one of those Italian ones. I only take one puff. They grab my cigarette and give it to my deputy Samardzic. Then the patrol leader says, "Okay, that's enough!" And they open up a burst of machine-gun fire. They missed me, but I fell along with the other two, wondering if I am dead. Moments later, I see I am still alive. "

"They approach us, start to untie us. 'These are the 'chetniks,' says one of them. 'Maybe they have gold. We should search them thoroughly.' They proceed to undress us..."

"The patrol takes out his revolver and fires a round into Samardzic's forehead to finish him off. They throw the body into the ditch. Then they come toward me. The patrol leader steps on my back as he gets ready to finish off the second prisoner. At that moment, I have no choice. I jump up and grab the two armed Communist guards with both of my arms and push them away. I start running in the rain with just my underwear on. They open fire but are not lucky enough to hit me."

"...And so I got away. For four days and four nights I wandered through the forests without food or anything else. One Slovenian gave me some food and showed me where I could cross (the river) Socha into Italy. And so, somehow I managed to get to Udine. Which is where I turned myself in to the Americans."


TiM Ed. (July 23, 1999): God always seems to save some survivors of atrocities so the world would eventually learn the truth. Wonder why the chief WW II violence pornographer, Stephen "Spoofberg," didn't care to make a movie about this war atrocity? Because the Kocevje crimes were committed by the "reds," thanks to the treachery by the "war hero" Winston Churchill? Or because it doesn't pay as well to tell the whole truth about the WW II?


3. "Rape of Serbia" (A Book by Michael Lees)

PHOENIX, Feb. 27, 1991 - "THE RAPE OF SERBIA" is a book by Mlees-bk.gif (212334 bytes)ichael Lees (1990, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). The author, who died after his book was published, was one of the British liaison officers dropped by the special forces into the Axis-occupied Yugoslavia in 1943. His job was to prepare the local resistance movements for sabotage -- particularly the blowing up of bridges, railroads, and communications lines.

In a story driven by the power of first-person immediacy, he recounts a year spent among the Serbian resistance fighters of General Draza Mihailovic, minister of defense of the exiled Yugoslav government, which until 1943 had not only official Allied recognition, but also their endorsement.

From his unique position inside the war-torn country, Lees witnessed an inexplicable change in the character of Allied support which eventually completely abandoned Mihailovic and his troops in favor of the Tito-led Communist-resistance forces. This about-face was followed by an order from Special Operations Executive from Cairo instructing Lees to scurry out of the resistance camps and head for Italy. Why?

The full explanation for this betrayal lay hidden, however, until the mid-1980s, when Lees was led to a cache of secret-service files mistakenly declassified. These files, along with his own war-time experience, allowed him to complete this tale of perfidy. Lees now believes that Winston Churchill's decision to abandon Mihailovic and throw support to Tito was largely the result of disinformation spread by British Communists, and sympathizers in the secret services and other agencies which endorsed the reports, and an enthusiastic recommendation of British officers who had been duped by Tito.

The "RAPE OF SERBIA," sharpens one's view of what really happened in Yugoslavia in the middle of World War II. Michael Lees has revised history to show the background of a fatal blunder by Churchill -- which the "Great Man" himself later acknowledged privately.


4. "A Prison of Nations: Yugoslavia Is Too Big a Meadow for the Serbs" (A 1985 Interview with the Late Serb Patriarch German)

PHOENIX, Feb. 27, 1991 - "In May 1982, (the Belgrade weekly magazine, NIN) published my first interview with His Holiness (the Serbian Patriarch German)," wrote Svetislav Spasojevic, a Belgrade reporter.  "He was, as he had told me, very satisfied with our collaboration. And, so we started growing closer together until, at some point in late 1985, after my prolonged prodding, he suddenly decided to accept my idea for a joint 'book of conversations'."

Here are some excerpts from the rest of Spasojevic's article, published by NIN in January 1991:

"Then, just as he suddenly agreed to work on the book after my prolonged prodding, he also abruptly abandoned the idea (in 1987[?]). I never asked him for the reason. Asked if he would wish to authenticate the text of the conversations we had had to-date, he replied, "what the Serbian Patriarch says out loud, is authentic."

And so, this article is only a part of the confessions by a person who has for more than 30 years occupied the throne of Saint Sava, as the spiritual father of Serbia and the Serbian people. Already in his mature years when he became "the first among the equals" in the Serbian Orthodox Church's Holy Synod, the time when many people start thinking about retirement, Mr. Hranislav Djoric (Patriarch's native name) started the most active part of his life.

In his time, Alexander Rankovic said about Hranislav Djoric that he was the most talented diplomat he had ever met. My impression, was however, that this cunning "Moravian," an anti-Communist by his beliefs, had been playing a masterful chess game with the Communists for over 30 years. In this exhausting play, he had no assistants. But, he was a thoughtful, lucid, distrustful and a cautious-to-high-heavens lonely old man.

Who won this long, "real life" chess game? You should look for the answer in the text of "I and the Communists..."

P.S. Returning home in June 1989, following the 600-year anniversary celebration of the Battle of Kosovo, Patriarch fell in his office and broke his hip. Now, almost 92, he has been in a coma ever since at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. Unable to perform his duties, he was recently succeeded by Patriarch Paul as the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

According to the Serbian Orthodox Church Constitution, which was newly (and wisely) modified at Patriarch German's urging so as to prevent the Communists' meddling in the selection of the Patriarch, the new Patriarch Paul was selected by drawing a piece of paper out of a hat. As Patriarch German put it, the Church selects three candidates it thinks are qualified for the top spot. But, God makes the final choice...

- § -

 Translated Excerpts

Re. General wisdom/philosophy

Patriarch German: I have already quoted St. Paul. He had spoken words of great wisdom: "I am allowed to do anything, but not everything (I am allowed to do) is useful to me." I have followed this principle my whole life. And I can say today, in my 83rd year, I have kept my head between my shoulders after all these years in part because of this wisdom.

Conversation is like a flooding river. You never know what it will drag along. Silence is sometimes more painful that talking. The people who have survived a cataclysm have the greatest feel for the future.

Re. Josip Broz Tito and Serbia

Patriarch German: You know what the Serbian nation thought of the Austro-hungarian Emperor, Franz Josef, ever since his annexation of Bosnia and Hercegovina (in the 1800s), through World War I, and all the way till present times. You see, whatever (harm) which this powerful ruler wished upon the Serbian people but could not effect it, Josip Broz managed to do...

.All of us have been asking ourselves after his death (in May 1980) how is it possible that this Broz had ruled our lives for so long?! Yet, I hurt more because of the fact that he had so many loyal followers among the Serbian people. Just look at the Serbs who have held high or even lower positions in government after the war (World War II). Considering the circumstances, whether I wanted this or not, I have met the majority of these people. As "the first among the equals" in the Church, I have even had to work with some of them. I hope that God will forgive me for saying this, but they were nothing but chaff...

Re. Serbian people/Yugoslavian state:

Patriarch German: These Serbs (see the above paragraph) were the sons or the grandsons of those Serbs who in World War I confronted Franz Josef at (the river) Drina. I could never explain to myself how something like that (i.e. such a deformation of character) was possible after just one or two generations! A similar thought had also haunted Mr. Pimen, the Patriarch of Moscow and of the all-Russian Orthodox Church. Many people of note were interested in this subject and had secretly discussed with me this great Serbian delusion.

Spasojevic: Are we, the Serbs, one of the "great" nations?

Patriarch German: Don't talk like that! Believing in things like that got us to where we are (i.e., in trouble). We are a small nation, and everything we own, can be pulled along in an ox cart. We could become a great nation, and we have had many opportunities to become one. But, we have not cashed in on any of them. Others have been forming statehoods in the Balkans -- with our help. We are a very generous people. We almost lost even our own state, despite all the sacrifices we had made. Did you see the inscription above the Velika Drena fountain?

Spasojevic: Yes I have -- countless times. I do not recall it verbatim, but I know that the basic message was that Serbia was always winning in war time, and losing in peace time.

Spasojevic: Your Holiness, you and I are "Moravians." Is it true, as some people say, that we, as the center of "Serbianhood" do not care enough about the fate of our own people in Yugoslavia?

Patriarch German: This (question) stems from a flawed thesis that we are a great nation. We are a nation which is surrounded by smaller nations, and so we have lulled ourselves into believing that we are something "big." We are so sure of ourselves and our greatness that we waste ourselves without hesitation. That's a life, my dear Moravian, without a national goal. And life without a national goal is doomed to wandering aimlessly (just as Moses did in the desert?).

Yugoslavia is too big a meadow for the Serbs. Since we don't have the time to work all of it, some of it is covered with weeds. Every day our neighbors who walk by these weedy fields, they scheme of grabbing them and taking them over from us; and of working them themselves. A farmer must know what his strength is, so as to match the size of the meadow to it. It is equally bad having too much land as not enough.

It is the same with nations and states. A small nation is happy in a small state; it is unhappy in a big one. In a big one, a small nation feels diluted, worried about preserving its national being. But, it is the same type of a sin grabbing and destroying other peoples' national beings. Perhaps I am sinning myself talking like this, but I would say that the Serbs today have not chosen the meadow which matches their strength.

.In the end, everything, I believe, will find its proper place. It won't happen by itself, but I think that the Serbs will quite quickly find the strength and the wisdom to choose their real meadow, one whose size God had intended for them. And so, every wandering, including our own, will come to an end.

.The Serbian question (within Yugoslavia) can only be solved in a Serbian sovereign state. We must build a state which is oriented toward the world, and not one which is constantly consumed with internal squabbles.

I have said enough things which a Serbian Patriarch should not have. But, these are the times when silence about the truths is equal to crime. We've had enough of silence, my brother! Who today, isn't haunted by the question whether the Serbs and the Croatians can live in the same state? You and I, and all of us on one side and or other; even if we were shouting from the top of our lungs that it is possible, nobody would believe us, not even those of us who were shouting.

Spasojevic: How come there is so much fear and hatred within almost all of our neighbors?

Patriarch German: Many years ago, I posed a similar question to Patriarch Pimen. I will quote to you his answer, because my answer to you would be similar. "We, the Russians, are the most numerous nation in the Soviet Union," Mr. Pimen said, "but the discrepancy in size isn't such that others would hide their hatred. The 'number one' is always subject to envy, and there is but a small step between envy and hatred.

Re. Serbian "National Traits"

The love of freedom is the soul of the Serbian people. Many are mistaken who believe that our most important national trait is courage. I think that the main characteristic of the Serbs is the endurance in suffering. There is no nation on Earth with such an innate capability to overcome its suffering. Just consider the times (we've endured) under the Turkish or the Communist regimes. But, our nation has an innate ability to recognize the limits of its suffering capability.

The Serbian people had, in a way, betrayed their national traits during Josip Broz's reign. But their national being had not changed much in substance. Many realized that the Communists are nothing to kid about: they arrested people, beat them up unconscious, sent them to lunatic asylums... That is why the majority of the nation fled into silence. The minority were the ones who heartily applauded Broz.

Re. Albanians in Kosovo

Patriarch German: I often think that the Albanians (in Kosovo) became greater victims of the Communist ideology than were we, the Serbs. The Communists were taking from us and giving to the Albanians. The Albanians were receiving these gifts not realizing that the Communists were "Indian givers." Today, the Albanians are finding it hard to part with the gifts.

 Re. Serbian clergy and the Communists

Patriarch German: Do you have any idea, Mr. Spasojevic, how many Serbian priests were killed by the post-War Communist government?

Spasojevic: No, Your Holiness.

Patriarch German: That was a mass murder worse than that committed by the "ustashe" or the Muslims. That's right, that's right... Worse... Pray to God that it should never happen again. The fear which this instilled in the Serbian Orthodox clergy was so powerful that even when the Church was in the right it did not dare raise its voice.

Just think about how much land the (Communist) government had confiscated from the Church. Our relations with the government will be good when the State meets its obligations toward the Church -- which means when it returns all that it owes it.

Re. Orthodox Church's democracy

Patriarch German: Within the Church, we do not look favorably upon extremes which result from one-mindedness. In order to go forward to a better future, the Serbian nation must be led by the people who tend to listen to others.

The Church respects and practices a collective wisdom. For that reason, for example, at Hillendar monastery (the original seat of the Orthodox Church), every decision becomes effective only when the official stamp is put together. Namely, the stamp is broken up into four pieces, and each piece is given to a different monk. Only when all four agree, can their decisions become effective.

Democracy was not invented, as is widely believed, by the various regimes and their ideologies. Democracy is an integral part of the Orthodox faith. That is why we are not the slaves, at any price, of even of our own traditions. The change in the Church's Constitution, vis-a-vis the election of the Patriarch, for example, is, at the same time, its democratization, its adaptation to the contemporary world.

Re. Church's relationship with the Serbian people

Patriarch German: The Serbian Church is the spiritual mother of the people. When everybody was deserting them, she was the only one which stayed with her people. Only a mother could have done a thing like that.

Re. Serbs in the West

Patriarch German: The Orthodox faith is the maker of its own history. Its humanism, culture, and art were spread originally throughout the Byzantine and the Russian empires. The October (Russian Communist) revolution had dealt a terrible blow to the Orthodoxy, but at the same time it did it a favor. It helped spread it from the East to the West. The Russian people lost their theologians and spiritual leaders who continued to spread the Orthodox faith throughout the West. That's why today, there are Orthodox churches and parishes in Japan, Africa, America and Australia.

- § -



Partial translation of the caption under the NIN photo:

The summer of 1936: The priest, Hranislav Djoric is posing with his first-born son, Mihailo (Michael). Nine years later, his son, Mike, was executed in Zagreb, Croatia. He was a member of the Serbian Voluntary Corps, the second battalion, which was officially dissolved at the end of WW II on May 9, 1945. At Kocevje, however, along with the hundreds of the Serbian youth (who were betrayed by the British -- see APPENDIX B), he was taken out of the lines destined for execution. But, all of that was only a temporary reprieve. He disappeared only days after that in Zagreb, Croatia. Hranislav Djoric, who had for years been expecting his son to return home, was to find out later on, that his son Mike, along with a group of some 20 or so youngsters were shot to death (by the Communists)in Zagreb on June 16, 1945. He was not even 20 years old...

Much later, after he had apparently accepted the loss of his first-born son, Patriarch German held a liturgy in the honor of the Nazi/"ustashe" WW II victims (at Jasenovac, where the Croatians' murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs), during which he spoke the now famous words: "The Serbian children were doomed then... I do not know if I can forgive them (the mass murderers), but I will not forget; never..."

His speech was subsequently attacked by the Vatican as well as by the many other anti-Serbian spokespersons in Yugoslavia.

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Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on the Kosovo War, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up""Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street""Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan""What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Serb WW II General Exhonerated by British Archives," "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques", "Kocevje: Tito's Greatest Crime?", "Perfidious Albion Strikes Again, Aided by Uncle Sam"

Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN magazine columns: "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "A New Iron Curtain Over Europe"