Chapter 16


THE CROATIAN HOLOCAUST—INVENTION OR REALITY? THE AMBASSADOR AND THE CARDINAL—THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY'S FIT OF TEMPER

The antecedents of Dr. Sekulich were somewhat suspicious, to say the least. He had many photos, some of which were later proved to have been authentic, of Croatian atrocities. This was at the beginning of the war in 1942. The horrors of the concentration camps had not been as yet revealed. In fact, it was not generally believed that they existed at all; or if they did, they had been only the inconveniences of detention.

The Croatian photos, therefore, were seen as a crude propaganda device and accepted by most as such. When, after months of doubts, the present author finally suggested to Mr. Hulton of the Hulton Press, a Fleet Street magnate, to have an article about it all in his magazine World Review, Mr. Hulton refused, on the grounds that it was all enemy propaganda. It is interesting to note that Mr. Hulton was a Catholic. Catholics, he had implied, could not do such things.

One of his secretaries, a Russian princess, however, insisted that they were genuine. She was a member of the Orthodox Church and cared for the fate of Orthodox believers. During her campaign Hulton fell for the princess, and married her. Dr. Sekulich meanwhile had been lobbying the many allied governments, then resident in London, with some success. When additional proof was given, by additional material brought to London by people who had escaped from Yugoslavia, finally the present author accepted the evidence as authentic, as did many others, including Mr. Hulton himself.

Soon after the war, the present author had made friends with the representative of the Pope in England, Mgr. Godfrey, the Papal Legate. He had met him casually while walking in Wimbledon Commons where they both went regularly for afternoon strolls. Mgr. Godfrey had discussed with the present author the book which he was then writing, The Vatican in World Politics. Mgr. Godfrey was most interested in the book and, having a very open mind, even suggested amendments.

From left to right: Terzic S. Budislav, the Rev. V. Maluckov, and the author. Mr. Terzic Budislav fought the Germans, the Communists and the Ustashi from 1941 to 1945. He was the eyewitness of horrifying atrocities by the latter.

In June 1941 the Catholic Ustashi arrived at the small Orthodox villages of Stikada and Guduru, in the district of Gracac. They ordered all the villagers to assemble inside the tiny church of St. Peter, where a Catholic padre would come to baptize them. Once the villagers were inside, the Ustashi closed the door and then tossed petrol bombs through the windows.

The whole congregation, i.e. the entire Orthodox population of the two villages, six hundred men, women and children, were burned alive. Amongst them relatives of Terzic Budislav, e.g. Milan, aged 50, Mile, 30, Peter, 30, Dane, 30, Lazo, 22, Mile, 60, Mile, 75, Jeka, 22, Vas, 2, Rade, 22 and several young children whose names and ages he cannot remember. The total of his relatives thus massacred, thirty-two.

In the town of Gracac the Ustashi butchered their Orthodox victims in the local butchers shop. This was discovered by the local authorities owing to the rivulets of human blood flowing into the gutter.

When, however, the Croatian massacres were mentioned, he flatly refused to believe they had occurred. Mgr. Godfrey was basically a very honest and devout man. But he was the official representative of the Vatican. Eventually he was made an Archbishop and later became the Cardinal Primate of all England.

Whether Mgr. Godfrey put the reputation of the Vatican before his conscience, or whether he could not accept that his church had connived with the Croatian massacre, was never clear. His, however, had been a reaction which the present author was to meet again and again with Catholics and others.

With that in view, he went to meetings to encounter many of those who had escaped death in Croatia. Some were badly mutilated, deformed, or had horrific burns all over their bodies.A young man, about 17, had escaped being burnt alive simply because, upon seeing a group of Ustashi coming surreptitiously into his village, he had hidden himself in a nearby ditch. He witnessed a horrific deed. The Ustashi rounded up all his family, shut all the members in a barn full of hay, and then set it alight. Everybody in it was burnt alive.

These were some of the many tales related viva-voce by many of the survivors. Eventually a book concerning the Croatian horrors was compiled by the present author. The British Press ignored it. Catholic pressure worked against any acceptance of the work. Many book shops, including Protestant ones, refused to sell the book. Fear of offending the Catholic interest had already become that great.

The Yugoslav government finally decided to break such a widespread boycott. They bought 2000 copies of the book and gave a copy free to almost every member of the House of Lords, to every member of the House of Commons, and to members of the British government. The book was called Terror Over Yugoslavia. Lord Alexander of Hillborough, leader of the opposition in the House of Lords, was horrified. Notwithstanding his advocacy for the Croat cause, he was boycotted by his colleagues, many of whom feared the powerful Catholic and Jewish lobbies.

Cover of the controversial book about the Croatian atrocities, banned by the Yugoslavian Ambassador to London, the same evening the Special Envoy of the Pope was at a reception at the Communist Embassy. The book had previously been distributed by the same Embassy to members of the House of Commons, and the House of Lords, as well as to members of the British Government. The appearance of the Papal Nuncio there initiated a new policy of cooperation between Communist Yugoslavia and the Vatican.

Notwithstanding, or rather because of the British boycott, the present author and the Leader of the Protestants of Northern Ireland, the Rev. Ian Paisley, then decided to launch the book in Northern Ireland. Curiously enough the Northern Protestants supported the Croatian crusade with enthusiasm. They identified themselves with the Orthodox Serbs who had been exterminated by the Catholic Croats. Because the civil war which was to engulf Northern Ireland had just started, the Irish Republican Army, better known as the IRA, had just started a reign of terror, with bombings and killings, on a scale unprecedented for years.

The Rev. Paisley, the present author, and Dr. Sekulich who also had been invited, had to be protected by armed guards. The meeting took place in the Ulster Hall, the largest hall of Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. It was packed to capacity, holding over 2,600 people. Almost two thousand copies of the books were sold. Although the hall was packed to capacity and the meeting was supported unanimously with a motion, not one single British newspaper dared to mention the purpose of the gathering, and even less the name of the book. This was another typical example of the corruption of the British media which was under the Catholic influence then, as it has remained ever since.

The most striking and sensational events concerning the vicissitudes of the book was when it was offered to the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. That occurred during the evening of January 2, 1969. The date was a historical one, it being the first time that a Roman Catholic Cardinal had been invited to enter and preach in St. Paul Cathedral since the Reformation. A veritable triumph for the Catholic Church and an additional blow to the disintegrating Protestantism at large.

That evening the Archbishop of Canterbury was solemnly heading a procession to meet Cardinal Heenan, Catholic Primate of England (who had succeeded Cardinal Godfrey whom we mentioned before) inside St. Paul's Cathedral. Although the main Protestant church of England, it now had been filled with Catholic priests and Catholic nuns for the occasion, when the procession came suddenly to a halt half way from the Cathedral's main portals.

The Book Catholic Terror Today hurled across St. Paul's Cathedral by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The evening of January 2, 1969 was an historical one, it being the first time that a Roman Catholic Cardinal had been invited to enter and preach in St. Paul's since the Reformation. A veritable triumph for the Catholic Church and a further blow to disintegrating Protestantism at large. That evening the Archbishop of Canterbury was solemnly heading a procession to meet Cardinal Heenan, Primate of England, inside St. Paul's Cathedral, which though the main Protestant Church of England, was nevertheless packed with Catholic priests and nuns, when he came suddenly to a halt. A Londoner, Miss Amy Phillips (above with the author), having stepped from her pew, courteously handed a copy of the present book to the Archbishop. The Archbishop smiled, took the book, graciously thanked the lady, then read the title Catholic Terror Today. At such sight "his heavy jaw cracked as if he had masticated an early Christian." Thereupon in a most unecumenical and unepiscopal fit of anger, he hurled the book across the Cathedral, almost hitting a Catholic nun. A few days before a Catholic student, upon noticing the same book in the hands of a fellow student at Queen's University, Belfast, had thrown the book to the ground, jumped upon it and kicked it with uncontrollable rage. An additional demonstration of the intelligent objectivity of the Catholic intelligentsia.

A Londoner, Miss Amy Phillips, having stepped from her pew, courteously handed a copy of the book to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop smiled, took the book, graciously thanked the lady and then, holding his mitre, read the title. After reading the book's title "his heavy jaw cracked as if he had masticated an early Christian." Thereupon, after a moment of stupefaction, in a most unecumenical fit of anger, he hurled the book across the Cathedral. The book hit a couple of Catholic nuns, who made several signs of the cross.

The reactions of the Archbishop of Canterbury and that of the two Catholic nuns were not exceptions. Copies of the book, which some Protestants had managed to have in the library in Scotland, were handed back with most of the pages and the pictures of the Croatian atrocities heavily burned.

A Catholic student, after the Ulster Hall meeting, upon noticing a copy of the book in the hands of a fellow student at Queen's University, Belfast, had seized the book, thrown the book to the ground, jumped upon it and kicked it with uncontrollable rage. An additional demonstration of the intelligent objective of the Catholic Intelligantia, in Ireland, Britain or, for that matter, in the USA.

The evidence of the Croatian atrocities, in short, had become unacceptable. The Catholic Church could not have connived to their happening. That was also the natural reaction of many non-Catholics as well. Yet, the atrocities occurred. The Catholics were shocked more than anybody else because, having associated their church with peace, prayers and forgiveness, they could not associate the same church with horrendous political and racialist attitudes. This occurred also in Ireland where Catholics and Protestants had been murdering each other for decades, before, during and after the Second World War; and where the war between the two factions, Northern Irish Protestants and Northern and Southern Catholics, is still raging as ferociously as ever.

From left to right: Sava Durbaba, the author, and Toma Stojsavljevich. The 12 April of 1941, the uncle of Toma Stojsavljelich, Mile Stoisavljelich, who was a Serb Orthodox Member of the Yugoslav Parliament of Belgrade, was arrested by the Ustashi together with two of his Orthodox friends, the Reverend Milosh Mandie, an Orthodox priest, and Dr. Turleica. They massacred all three, without even the excuse of a formal accusation.

On 13 June 1942, the Ustashi executed the father of Sava, Rade Durbaba, in his native village of Bralovci. After which they amused themselves by torturing Suvu's thirteen year old sister. This they did by choking her, at ever longer intervals, until she was finally strangled. Not content with it, they crushed all her bones to such an extent that most of the girl's members were reduced to almost pulp.

They then cut the tongue of another young woman of the same village, cutting holes in both her cheeks. She was eventfully stabbed to death.


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