The Serbian Nazi collaborators of WW2
It is time for Serbia to acknowledge the dark of its past and move on.
By Yahalom Kashny on Friday, September 3rd, 2010 - 967 words.
As a survivor of the Holocaust, I am increasingly agitated by Serbian revisionist propaganda on the internet.
The crimes of the Croatian Ustashas were terrible, but the Serbian Chetniks also collaborated with German Nazis in World War II. Serbia was a Nazi puppet state in World War II led by Milan Nedic, Serbian fascist collaborator.
The oppression of Jews in Serbia started before the arrival of Hitler’s occupying forces. Six months before the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, Serbia voluntarily passed the legislation restricting Jewish participation in the economy, education and employment. One year later, on 22 October 1941, anti-Semitic “Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibit” was funded by Serbia’s capital city, Belgrade.
Serbian Nazi fascists worked closely with German Nazi officials in making Belgrade the first “Judenfrei” city of Europe. Serbian leader Milan Nedic made an official visit to Adolf Hitler on 19 September 1943, advancing the idea that Serbia is no place for Jews and thanking ‘Führer’ for his decision to exterminate our people in Europe.
Throughout the War, the Serbian Chetnik movement remained almost completely inactive against the occupation forces, and increasingly collaborated with the Axis, losing its international recognition as the Yugoslav resistance force.
On 20 December 1941, the Serbian Chetnik army supreme commander, Draza Mihailovic, issued the “instructions” to his units, outlining his mission to create ethnically pure Serbia and commit genocide against the non-Serbs, particularly Bosnian Muslims who in large numbers joined anti-fascist Partisans. According to Mihailovic’s instructions, Chetnik army’s objective is:
“The creation of Greater Yugoslavia, and within it Greater Serbia, ethnically clean within the borders of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Srem, Banat, and Bačka; The cleansing of all national minorities [including Jews] and anti-state elements from state territory; The creation of direct common borders between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Serbia and Slovenia by cleansing the Bosniak population from Sandžak, and the Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] and Croat populations from Bosnia and Herzegovina; 7.The settlement of the areas cleansed of national minorities and anti-state elements by Serbs and Montenegrins (to be considered are poor, nationally patriotic, and honest families).”
With Adolf Hitler’s blessing, Serbian Nazi collaborators established the Serbian State Guard which comprised of around 20,000 Serb fascists, compared to the the 3,400 German police in Serbia. Their mission was to hunt down and kill Jews, Gypsies and other non-Serbs.
Milan Nedic’s second in command was Dimitrije Ljotic. Ljotic founded the Serbian Fascist Party and organized the Serbian SS Volunteers Corps which hunted down and killed Jews, Gypsies and Muslims. Serbian citizens received cash bounties for capturing or killing Jews.
Banjica concentration camp was primarily operated by Serb Nazis who took sadistic pleasure in killing Jews. The camp was created by converting barracks of the Serbian SS 18th infantry division. The funding for this conversion came not from Germans, but from the municipal budget of Belgrade.
Operation Halyard has often been cited as “evidence” of the Chetniks’ continuing strong pro-Allied sympathies for rescuing as many as 500 downed Allied airmen. However, they did so because they were paid in gold for each rescue. Partisans and Ustashas also rescued Allied airmen, and they were also paid in gold. Having lost all Allied support to the Partisans (along with the recognition of the King Peter II), and with the Axis defeat in Europe a certainty, Serbian Nazi collaborator Draza Mihailović went to great lengths to regain Allied support and to portray himself in a favourable light. However, the Allies were aware that Mihailović’s troops were rescuing German and Ustaše aviators from the Partisans (as indicated in a Nedić government report of February 1944) and, on other occasions, even hunted down Allied aviators on behalf of the Axis occupation.
Serbian collaborationist forces during this period, sanctioned by the Serbian fascist government, also included the ZBOR party and Serbian Volunteer Corps led by Dimitrije Ljotić and the rogue Chetnik faction of Kosta Pećanac. Serbian Gestapo, officially known as the 1st Belgrade Special Combat detachment, was a special Serbian SS police unit which was established in World War II Serbia.
It was only after the withdrawal of the Germans and the overthrow of the Nedic regime in October 1944 that the Serbs in Serbia began to join the anti-fascist Partisans in large numbers. These new Partisans included tens of thousands of former Serbian Nazi collaborators responding to Tito’s promises of amnesty.
Serbs and Serbia were no different than Croats and Croatia in World War II. They collaborated with Nazis and murdered Jews and Bosnian Muslims en masse. Some 94 percent of Serbia’s 16,000 Jews were exterminated, with the considerable cooperation of the Serbian government, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian State Guard, the Serbian police and the Serbian public. Some 60,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serbian Chetniks. In February of 1944, Serbian Nazi collaborators slaughtered – by their own admission – 9,000 Bosnian Muslim civilians. In a report sent from Serbian Chetnik commander Pavle Djurisic reporting to General Draza Mihailovic, wrote:
“All Muslim villages in three mentioned locations [municipalities of Pljevlje, Cajnice, and Foca] were burned down, and not even one home remained intact…. During military operations, we engaged in total destruction of Moslem population without regard to their sex or age. Our victims include 22 dead, of which 2 by accident, and 32 wounded. We killed about 1,200 Muslim soldiers and about 8,000 of their women, elderly and children.”
Instead of poisoning the internet with half-truths and outright lies, it is time for Serbia and the Serbs to face reality and acknowledge they collaborated with Nazis and committed a genocide over Jewish and Bosnian Muslim population in World War II. May your God forgive you, but Jewish people won’t.
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