Skip to comments.Time for Serbia to right an historic wrong
Posted on 09/11/2012 4:08:32 PM PDT by Ravnagora
Aleksandra's Note: A great job by Nick Tintor in summarizing an often polarizing issue that is in need of resolution after all these years. I wanted to extend a special note of gratitude to The Jerusalem Post for publishing this important piece, and keeping it online despite the hostility it has evoked in some of the Post's readers. The Post is to be commended for this. Anyone who refers to Serbian "anti-Semitism" during WWII or General Mihailovich's alleged "collaboration with the Nazis" clearly is repeating the usual communist propaganda that has so infiltrated the historical record regarding the Chetnik movement and its heroic leader.
One would only need to go to the source itself, the Nazis, to learn just how "cooperative" they felt General Mihailovich and his Serbs were in fulfilling Hitler's agenda in the former Yugoslavia.
And one would only need to investigate the record of the other former Yugoslav republics such as Croatia to get a better perspective on Serbia's record toward the Jews.
Thank you, Jerusalem Post, for having the guts to publish this fine piece by Nick Tintor and to keep it online without caving in to the bullies.
The Jerusalem Post
September 8, 2012
On the 66th anniversary of his death this year, its time the Serbian people complete their break from their Communist Yugoslav past and rehabilitate Draza Mihailovich to his proper and rightful place in history.
Photo: Reuters Statue of Tito in Belgrade, Serbia
As Serbia continues on its path to joining the European Union and breaking from its Yugoslav Communist past, it is also embarking on one final and controversial process in that transformation.
In Belgrade, the government has appointed a Commission for the Rehabilitation of Gen. Draza Mihailovich, the World War II Serbian guerrilla leader who was executed by the Communists in 1946 for treason and collaboration with the enemy.
For more than 60 years, the Tito-led Yugoslav Communist regime wrote its own version of Yugoslavias complex WII past which cast Mihailovich and his Chetnik guerrillas as little more than Nazi collaborators who murdered their own people.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What the regime Communists and their numerous supporters throughout all the new republics in former Yugoslavia and around the world fail to mention in their narrative of that terrible war is the following version, much of which was carefully edited and concealed from the people of Yugoslavia by the Communist Party.
In March 1941 when the Yugoslavias then-Regent Prince Paul agreed to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitlers Germany, the Serbian people expressed their outrage by protesting in the thousands on the streets of Belgrade shouting, Better a grave than a slave. Better war than the pact.
They were soon to get their wish.
Two days later, Serbian staff officers mounted a bloodless coup and replaced Regent Prince Paul with the young King Peter and immediately renounced the pact.
Germany and its Axis allies invaded Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, and within two weeks had quickly overwhelmed the thin Yugoslav defenses.
During those early days of Yugoslavias fall, a few staff officers with the army refused to accept and recognize the capitulation and regrouped in the hills of Ravna Gora, 80 km. southwest of Belgrade, and raised the first banner of large-scale resistance in all of Europe. Their leader was then-Staff Col. Dragoljub (Draza) Mihailovich, a career officer who embarked on his ultimately tragic mission to protect and defend his people.
In those early days of May 1941, Titos Communist partisans were still not active, only organizing months later after Germanys invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
Mihailovichs Chetniks soon began small-scale attacks against German forces in Serbia that quickly increased in scope and scale. British and American liaison officers who were parachuted into enemy territory to work with and support Mihailovichs Chetniks sent back thousands of radio transmissions, many now declassified after more than 60 years of secrecy, which document the scale of the Serb guerrilla campaign.
Hitler ordered Mihailovichs capture and posters offering 100,000 Reichsmarks for Mihailovich, dead or alive, were posted across Serbia. Those same posters showed pictures of both Mihailovich and the Communist leader Tito. But following the Communist victory, only the Tito portion of that poster was ever reproduced for the Yugoslav history books.
By 1944 the British, who had influence over the Balkans, made the decision to stop all support to Mihailovich and to support Titos partisans on the premise that he was killing more Germans.
Despite losing British military aid, Mihailovichs actions continued to serve the Allied cause in Europe, organizing rescues of downed American and British air crew who had been shot down over Yugoslavia during bombing runs over the Ploesti oil fields in Romania.
By 1944, the Serbian Chetniks were harboring hundreds of downed pilots all over Serbia, providing shelter and succour under incredibly difficult conditions.
American officers working with the OSS, the precursor to todays CIA, organized with Mihailovichs support Operation Halyard, which today stands as the largest rescue in United States Air Force history of downed airmen from behind enemy lines. In the summer of 1944, from a makeshift airfield in Pranjane, Serbia, Mihailovichs Chetniks helped almost 500 airmen return back to safety so that they could fight another day.
Convicted in a Communist trial, Mihailovich was executed by firing squad on July 17, 1946. Unlike the Communist Serbs in Belgrade who tried to erase his legacy and dishonored his name, the free world never forgot just who Mihailovich was after he was condemned.
Today, Mihailovichs picture hangs in the British Special Forces Club in London alongside Frances great patriot, Gen. Charles DeGaulle, who was one of Mihailovichs great supporters.
In 1948, president Harry Truman awarded Mihailovich the Legion of Merit Medal. The citation states, General Mihailovich and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied victory.
President Ronald Reagan was evocative in his admiration of Mihailovich, writing in 1979 that the tragedy of Draza Mihailovich cannot erase the memory of his heroic and often lonely struggle against the twin tyrannies that afflicted his people, Nazism and Communism.
On the 66th anniversary of his death this year, its time the Serbian people complete their break from their Communist Yugoslav past and rehabilitate Mihailovich to his proper and rightful place in history as a man who gave his life for the Allied cause against tyranny in Europe during WWII.
The writer, Nick Tintor, is a mining industry executive in Toronto and past president of the Canadian Serbian Council.
I think the Poles got there much earlier.
Convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk was a Serb.
No, he was a Ukrainian. "Demjanjuk" is not a Serbian name.
it really pissed me off what the clintoon did to the serbs over kosovo in the degenerate’s presidency.
we were on the wrong side of that fiasco. we sure get alot of support from the islamafascists, don’t we?
One of the first books on Mikhailovich and the Chetniks is the late David Martin’s “Ally Betrayed”, published about 1947. Dave was also one of the creators of the committee that put up a statue to Mik in Wash. D.C. and to honor his and his forces for rescuing and repatriating over 400 Allied downed fliers, mainly Americans.
Time to correct the record.
Court records from both the US and Israel say he was a Serb national, regardless of last name.
Heck, “Hitler” is a Bohemian/Czech last name, for that matter.
The Serbs gave us Slobodon Milosevic and Dennis Kucinich, they’re no saints, either....but they always make themselves out to be such heroes.
Wrong on all counts. Bizarre history. "Demjanjuk" is Ukrainian. "Hitler" is German. "Kucinich" is Croatian.
Hitler was born in Austria, where he was wildly greeted during the Angschluss. My late friend saw it first hand and said that even the churches has greeting banners out for him.
Schicklgruber was German, when daddy nmade an honest woman out of mommy he took his BOHEMIAN last name of “Hiedler”, which was Germanicized by the Austro-Hungarian government to “Hitler”
Dennis Kucinich himself has claimed Serb nationality.
Get over yourself. All those piss-ant little Balkan countries have been troublemakers for centuries. Its like the Hatfields and McCoys over there.
I'm not an expert on Demjanjuk, but from what I've read, he was born in Ukraine i n 1920. At the time, Serbia didn't exist as an independent nation, but was part of Yugoslavia. Perhaps he somehow got Serbian citizenship after Serbia re-emerged in the 1990's.
Heck, Hitler is a Bohemian/Czech last name, for that matter.
No, Hitler is a German name. It may be related to Hütte (shack) or hüten (to guard).
The Serbs gave us Slobodan Milosevic and Dennis Kucinich, theyre no saints, either....but they always make themselves out to be such heroes.
The Serbs also gave us Pljeskavica (Serbian ground beef) What's your beef against the Serbs?
For me, Serbia is the best modern example of a freedom loving people betrayed by those they sacrificed to support in the war on human liberty by the Socialist (Marxist, Communist, Fascist, DemoRat, all the same).
Always brought down with False Witness demonization by Socialist stooge "journalists" of the Main Stream Media, these courageous people and peoples, are then stabbed in the back by the ignorant at the behest of the Socialist.
Curse the Communist DemoRat liars and their schemes.
"Hiedler" does not sound at all like a Slavic name, but it sounds very German.
David Martin was a tireless defender of Draa Mihailović for many years. George Putnam, an early conservative talk radio host, had him on his show in the late 1970's.
MadMax, unfortunately the statue honoring General Mihailovich, that the American airmen yearned for, never came to fruition. Due to pressure from various "groups" - the usual suspects - the final "approval" was never granted. I still hold out hope that the effort can be revived, even though most of the airmen are now gone, and that their descendants will see that dream become a reality.
Hitler grew up in Braunau am Inn (Braunau on the Inn river), Austria. However, there’s also a Braunau in Böhmen (Braunau in Bohemia), in the Czech Republic, which the Czechs call Brounov. Many mistakenly thought that Hitler hailed from the Braunau in Bohemia, including German President Paul von Hindenburg, who dubbed Hitler “the Bohemian corporal.”
In that case I stand corrected.
I was actually going off of Trevor-Roper’s biography of Schicklgruber, which I’ve found out has been pretty much discredited over the years.
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