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to Jasenovac's Hell
by Ilija Ivanovic
To help people understand why, in 1991, Serbs living in
the Krajina section of Yugoslavia, which Croatia claimed, did not want
to be ruled by the Croatian secessionists, we are distributing the book
Witness to Jasenovac's Hell.
As a boy, author Ilija Ivanovic was imprisoned in Jasenovac, the death camp complex run by the Croatian Ustashe, for the capital offense of being an Orthodox Serb. Unlike hundreds of thousands of other people, the overwhelming majority of them Serbs, Mr. Ivanovic escaped and therefore lived to tell the tale. Witness to Jasenovac's Hell helps us understand the meaning of Ustasha clerical-fascism, which combines Nazi racism, hatred of Serbs and violent Catholicism. It is a riveting story.
The Ustashe's World War II plan: to kill one third of the Serbs, expel one third, and force one third to convert to Catholicism. At his war crimes trial, following the defeat of the Ustashe (who then regrouped in the Croatian Diaspora), Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac was asked about his role as head of the Catholic committee in charge of organizing the forced conversion of Serbs. On 12 October 1946, in the article "Stepinatz Refuses to Defend Himself; Admits Not Opposing Forcible Conversions but Insists Conscience Is Clear," the New York Times, whose coverage of the trial tended to be sympathetic to Stepinac, reported:
Indeed they were.
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