Serbia Participated in the Holocaust of Jews, Helsinki Report

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Serbia Participated in the Holocaust of Jews, Helsinki Report


Saturday, 13 June 2009 23:21 .A Nazi-backed puppet government in
Serbia participated in the Holocaust of Jews during World War II.
Serbian Chetniks collaborated with Nazi fascists and committed
horrendous genocide against Jews and Bosnian Muslims. Here is a full
report about Serbia's fascist legacy published by the Helsinki
Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. Will Serbia ever acknowledge its
involvement in the extermination of Jews and Bosnian Muslims? Will the
Government of Serbia ever apologize?

Anti-Semitism

Ouster of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000 did not lead to a
complete break with the legacy of his regime. Aside from a continuing
formal-legal framework and mechanism of power, the persisting legacy
is mirrored in non-relinquishment of the (defeated) Greater Serbia
Project, nationalism, denial of recent crimes and atrocities, and
reluctance to face up to recent wartime responsibility. Absence of
repression, as the last defence line of the former regime (it was
practically the only important change on the domestic plane)
encouraged far-right organisations (notably still unidentified
"Orao"), groups and individuals to step up their public activities.
Ideological profile of current authorities, self-styled "democratic
nationalism" is just a cover for makeover of ethnic nationalism and
slide of society into clericalism, traditionalism, anti-globalisation,
xenophobia. In the political and social arena, which failed to
articulate options and forces bent on fundamental reformation of
society and re-definition of general social goals in direction of
modernisation and acceptance of existing European and international
civilisational standards, criteria, old ideas are again gaining an
upper hand. In such a general context, escalating anti-Semitism is
more than an accompanying phenomenon, and merits special attention.

Pre-WW1 period

In his book "Yugoslavia and the Jewish Problem" (1938) E.B. Gajic
maintained that in Yugoslavia there was no formal or genuine
discrimination of Jews. He furthermore argued that all forms of anti-
Semitism are "alien to the Yugoslav, and notably Serb mind-set and
people." Historical sources maintain otherwise.

When in 1806-1807 Belgrade was liberated from Turks many Jews were
killed and vilified, and even outlawed. Majority of surviving Jews was
killed in 1813 on the eve of the new Turkish conquest of Belgrade
because of economic competition and plundering. Until the 1878 Berlin
Congress Jews had reasons to regret the fact that they were no longer
under the Turkish occupation, for the Empire was religiously
tolerant.

Primitive milieu of the Dukedom of Serbia was hostile towards
foreigners, including domestic Jews. In a series of discriminating
actions the authorities as early as in 1845 banned Jews to settle in
the interior. That is why about 2,000 Jews moved to Belgrade 1,
although the nature of their professions and crafts linked them to
villages/ hamlets and small towns.

During the reign of Duke Mihailo in 1860 the authorities issued a
decree on banishment of 60 families from the interior of the dukedom,
but under pressure of big powers repealed it. The British sources in
the second half of the 19th century spoke about stringent measures
taken against the Jews in Serbia.

1 Laslo Sekelj, Vreme 31 August 1992

A month after publication of a series of stridently anti-Jewish
articles in paper "Svetovod," in 1865, in Sabac two Jews were killed,
and in a local church a forcible conversion of a 11-year old Jewish
girl was effected. Those events caused outrage and resistance of the
Jewish community, whose prominent members wrote a series of protest
letters. But publishing of those letters was banned by the government.
In 1867, in a response to the appeal of Sabac Jews, the British MPs
discussed the status of Jews in Serbia. They told the Belgrade
government to comply with obligations stemming from the 1856 Paris
Agreement, under which the big powers guaranteed autonomy of Serbia,
if it "shows respect for full freedom of exercise of religion." But
the British MPs assessed that "the Orthodox Serbs understood as
freedom of religion only the exercise of religion by the majority
people." Hence they demanded a permanent diplomatic pressure on
Belgrade, in order to compel Serbia to comply with its international
obligations. Despite that pressure and parliamentary interpellations
in 187O, anti-Semitic laws from 1856 and 1861 remained in force.
Because of those laws a large number of Jews left Serbia. From Sabac,
Smederevo and Pozarevac Jews were expelled. Only three years later, in
1876, 11 Jewish families were driven out of Smederevo.

The Berlin Treaty set as a condition for independence of Serbia:
repeal of anti-Semitic decrees from the 1869 Constitution. Only the
1888 Constitution provisions in full met with obligations of the
Treaty. As a consequence the legal status of Jews was improved, but
they still represented "an alien body" in society. They were sidelined
in the social sphere until early 20th century, when 6 Jews became
members of government.

According to the 1890 census 3,600 Jews ( 2,600 in Belgrade) lived in
Serbia. In 1884 the Serb-Jewish Association of Singers was founded in
1884.

Period between the two wars and the WW2

In the territory of the newly-emerged Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and
Slovenes there were several hundred Jewish communities, while in 1919
the Alliance of Religious Communities was set up. Those Jewish
communities are still operational.

According to the 1939 census there were 71,000 Jews in the Kingdom of
Yugoslavia and they were registered ad members of the Jewish religious
denomination. Before the outbreak of the WW1 many Jewish refugees from
Germany, Austria and other Nazi-ruled countries found refuge in
Yugoslavia. According to the data of the Federation of Jewish
Communities in 1939-1941 period 55,000 emigrants came to Yugoslavia.
And part of them shared the fate of domestic Jewish population.

Lazar Prokic writes that "among Serbs an autochthonous anti-Semitic
movement emerged, which Jews, before 6 April 1941, sometimes by
diplomatic and sometimes by forcible means repressed, as thanks to the
their financial might they were able to influence governments as much
as they wanted. That anti-Semitism was not related to the German
occupation. Jews were guilty of that original Serb anti-Semitism.
Serbs do not want to feel solidarity for Jews, for the latter declined
to show solidarity for the former in 1804, 1862 and 1875."

Anti-Semitism as the official policy of Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Yugoslav Foreign Secretary, Anton Korosec, stated in September 1938,
that "Jewish issue did not exist in Yugoslavia…. Jewish refugees from
the Nazi Germany are not welcome here." Three months later, the only
Jewish member of government, Rabbi Isaac Alkalai was dismissed from
the government at the express request of Prime Minister Milan
Stojadinovic. The peak of anti-Semitism, elevated to the level of the
official policy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, were anti-Semitic acts
of Cvetkovic-Macek government, enforced as of 5 October 1940. Decree
on Registration of Persons of Jewish Descent introduced a numerus
clausus of 0.5%, which meant that the number of Jews admitted to
secondary school and universities could not be superior to their %
share in total population. Under the second anti-Semitic law Jews were
banned from performing certain professions (wholesale trade in
foodstuffs), and under the third one they were excluded from some
military branches, could not pass officers' exams and could not be
promoted.

Anti-Semitism in the publishing activity

Prime movers of anti-Semitism between the two World Wars were
publishers. Protocols of the Zion Elders were for the first time
translated and published in 1929, in Split, under title Real Basis or
Protocols of Zion Elders, signed M. Tomic. The next edition, titled,
Protocols of Assembly of Zion Elders was published in 1934 in Belgrade
by certain Patriciousus. The Public Prosecutor in March 1935 banned
distribution of both editions. Despite the ban the second edition was
published again in 1936. In 1933-40 more than 10 anti-Semitic
brochures were published. On the eve of the war more than 10 anti-
Semitic brochures came out and 6 as a response to anti-Semitic
attacks. Ljotic's Zbor published most editions with anti-Semitic
contents. Intense anti-Semitic campaign was conducted by newspapers
like Obnova, Novo Vreme, Srpski narod and Nasa Borba 3, promoters of
the Fascist ideology, several years before the Nazi invasion of
Yugoslavia. Those papers urged retributive actions against Jews 4,
vilified Jews as ancient enemies of Serbs 5, and stressed that "the
final settlement of the Jewish issue" could be effected without
Germany. Zbor published a brochure titled Serb People in Claws of
Jews, penned

2 Lazar Prokic, "Our problems: Jews in Serbia," Obnova, 15 November
1941

3 Founder of Nasa Borba is Dimitrije Ljotic. The paper was modelled on
Mein Campf.

4 In line with principles of conspiracy theory.

5 Obnova and Nasa Borba

... by Milorad Mojic. He advocated "a swift and energetic liquidation
of Jewry unless we want to witness destruction of the Christian
civilisation." 6 In 1941-45 period 51 anti-Semitic brochure were
published.

Zbor

A leading Yugoslav exponent of Nazi ideology, Dimitrije Ljotic,
founded Zbor, a pan-Serbian, pro-Nazi and Fascist party in 1935. It
was a small but very active organisation which published a large
number of papers, books and brochures, including most extreme anti-
Semitic literature. In Vojvodina, an ethnically mixed milieu, boasting
a community of about 500,000 volskdeutchers, Zbor published newspapers
in German language Die Erwache (Awakening), and in Serbian language,
Nas put. Both publications instigated war against Jews. Association of
Jewish Communities in 1936 filed a libel lawsuit against publisher of
the paper, but the court dropped the charges.

Serb Orthodox Church

Patriarch (Petar Rosic) Varnava in 1937 showed "live interest in
Hitler and his policy which serves the whole mankind." In May 1937 the
SOC in its official publication indicated that "Jews are a force
hiding behind the Free Masonry, Capitalism and Communism, the three
biggest evils of the world."7

Jews, representatives of Free Masonry, Jews, representatives of
capitalism, and Jews, representatives of proletariat revolution have
all similar view on the world. They are just Jews and nothing else…
Therefore enemy is as sly as a snake and appears in several shapes.
That is why it is dangerous."8

Anti-Masonic Exhibition

On 22 November 1941 a major anti-Masonic exhibition was opened. It was
widely promoted by the media. Exhibition was funded by city
authorities, at proposal of DJordje Peric, Head of Nesic's state
propaganda, while its directors, Lazar Prokic and Lazar Kljujic, also
members of the state propaganda department, were firebrands of Zbor.
Representatives of German authorities attended the opening ceremony.
According to first information exhibit was seen by 10,000 Serbs and
General Nedic. The press hyped up the message of the exhibit: "Jews
deserved their fate, for interests of the Jewish internationalists
never coincided with those of Serbs." 9 In early 1942 a series of
stamps ...

6 Milorad Mojic, Secretary of Zbor, 1941, page 40

7 Foreign Review; "Patriarch Varnava urges fight against Communism,"
Gazette of the SOC Patriarchy, Belgrade, 1 and 2 February 1937.

8 Through the church press; Three spectres, Gazette of the SOC, 12 May
1937

9 Major anti-Masonic exhibit. Obnova, 27 November 1941

... promoted that exhibit.

World War 2

Serbia was the first area in Europe which according to proud German
claims in summer 1942, was "Judenrein" (cleansed of Jews) Milan Nedic
and his national salvation army10, Ljotic Movement members,
gendermerie, and special police helped Germans and volksdeutchers
effect that cleansing. 11 But some Jews were killed by the Chetnik
Movement of Draza Mihajlovic.

First repressive measures against Jews were implemented in Serbia and
Banat: arrests, looting, harassment, passing of anti-Semitic decrees,
forcible contributions, desecration and demolition of cemeteries,
sinagogues and other Jewish institutions. On 19 April 1941 all Jews
were ordered to wear a yellow armband and to register. Several
hostages had been shot down before October 1941 when mass liquidations
of Jews began.12 Jews were taken to Toposka suma detention centre in
Belgrade, and kept as hostages there. Imprisoned Jews (and Romany)
were used to fill up quotas for the German policy of retaliation, that
is, killing of 100 persons for one assassinated German soldier. By the
end of 1941 most male Jews were shot down by Vermacht firing squads.
In November 1941 German authorities ordered construction of a
detention centre Sajmiste (Fair grounds) for remaining Jewish women
and children. Over 5,000 Jews were transported to Sajmiste in December
1941 and in the following months most of them died of hunger and
cold.

In the WW2 four fifths of Jews in Yugoslavia were killed. Among the
survivors were those who had fled to the Italian-occupied territory,
those who had joined the Partisan units, or had gone into hiding. Of
59 Jewish municipalities in the pre-war period, only 15 with small
memberships resumed their activities after 1945.

10 Nedic's contribution to elimination of Jews was historically
confirmed. Milan Nedic and his government of national salvation took
on the task of "cleansing Serbia of Jews, renegades, and Gypsies."
Nedic personally used anti-Semitic rhetoric to discredit partisans,
whom he labelled "Criminal Jewish-Communist gang."

11 According to historical sources even a military part of Zbor
renowned as the Serbian Voluntary Guard acted as a reliable ally of
Gestapo in elimination of Jews. They searched flats, kept in custody
detained communists and Jews and fought against partisans.

12 On 27 July 1941 in retaliation for attempted torching of a German
vehicle by a Jewish boy, 122 persons were shot down by firing squads.

The post-WW2 period

In the post-WW2 period new wave of assimilation of Jews began. 13 The
number of Jews declaring themselves as members of that nation and
participating in the work of Jewish communities dwindled.

Creation of the state of Israel created a new dilemma of the stay- or-
emigrate kind for many Jews. Under a decree of the Yugoslav
authorities Jews who opted for emigration were allowed to take with
them only movable possessions, while they had to renounce their real
estate to the benefit of the state. Property of big Jewish landowners
and capitalists (owners of plants) was nationalised or impounded
through agrarian reform. In 1948-1951 period about 9,000, almost half
of survivors, emigrated.

In the pre-WW2 period Jews fostered their identity and traditions
within the family fold. Membership of the Jewish community played a
central role in their life too. Large communities had a sinagogue, and
rabbi, other priests and a teacher were involved in religious
education classes imparted in sinagogues and Jewish communities. In
the post -WW2 period that role was taken on by municipalities, which
also organised cultural activities. Jewish communities also kept in
touch with Israel and international Jewish organisations.

Anti-Semitic incidents have gradually increased since 1967, after
severance of diplomatic ties between the SFRY and Israel. But then
they were only a marginal phenomenon 14, for the state decried them.
"Anti-Israeli publications bore all the hallmarks of the Communist,
political authoritarianism, but in a stark contrast to similar
incidents Europe-wide, anti-Semitism was consciously avoided. Very
small number of anti-Semitic texts and critical reactions to them,
attests to the aforementioned. 15

In the Seventies anti-Semitic texts came out occasionally. Their
linchpin was the book Protocols of Zion Elders. In 1971 a Titograd-
based literary magazine Ovjde ran a text by Aleksandar Loncar which
inter alia16 alleged a high documentary value of facts presented in
the Protocols of Zion Elders. In a literary magazine Delo, Dragos
Kalajic made a similar claim, that is, maintained that Protocols was
an authentic, documentary source for making judgement about the
character of the Jewish religion. 17 Milo Glavurtic paraphrased
Protocols in his private edition Satan in 1978. Alliance of Jewish
Communities filed a lawsuit against Glavurtic, but did not win the
case. Ilustrovana Politika ran a feature of Mihailo Popovski Secret
World of Masonry which included excerpts from Protocol. After several
political interventions the magazine stopped running the feature. The
book with the same title was published in 1984 by Nova Knjiga.

13 In that period the party membership and not national descent
counted most. Religion was not an important factor. A larger number of
war veterans were not demobilised after the war. Mixed marriages were
commonplace.

14 Laslo Sekelj, Vreme bescasca, Belgrade, 1995

15 Idem, page 76

16 The same author wrote in the same text about "power of Jews" as a
cause of "a sad fate of two major authors, Celine and Ezra Pound."

17 Dragos Kalajic, Delo, 1970, page 677

Despite the ban the Macedonian version came out in 1985, and in the
late Eighties it again appeared in Belgrade bookstores.

Beginning of the SFRY disintegration

According to the data of the Jewish community of Belgrade, 177 Jews,
mostly from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia emigrated since
the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis. "The figures speak of a small-
scale emigration," said Jasa Almuli, the then President of the
Belgrade Jewish Community. 18 But according to the official data,
1,800 Jews left Yugoslavia, from 1991-1998. Those data can be
considered controversial, unless one takes into account the fact that
many Jews declared themselves as members of other ethnic nations.
Hence it is difficult to establish the exact number of emigrants.

Jewish organisations in Croatia and Slovenia followed in the footsteps
of their 'domicile' countries. Vice President of the Jewish Community
in Croatia, Srdjan Matic, thus commented their move: "We obviously
regret our breakaway move, but it was imposed by clashing realities in
Yugoslavia….We are disappointed by conduct of national (Jewish)
Federation in Belgrade…It has not condemned the bombing of Dubrovnik
during which the old sinagogue was also damaged. Furthermore it also
declined to take part in the meeting of religious communities in
Sarajevo several months ago, which compelled us to stay away from the
meeting too"19 Matic also criticised the Jewish Federation in Belgrade
for a mild response to a bomb-planting in downtown area and in the
Jewish cemetery in Zagreb, on 19 August 1992.

David Albahari, writer and President of the Jewish Community in
Belgrade, who tried to save the Jewish Federation, regrets the rift,
but admits its inevitability: "Before the joint meeting in Sarajevo,
Jewish communities in Slovenia and Croatia declared unilateral
secession. We thought that it was done under the pressure of their
governments." Albahari rejected allegations that the Belgrade seat of
the Jewish Federation did not condemn the bombing of Dubrovnik
sinagogue. "Sinanogue was not shelled. One shell fell in its
proximity, and several windows were broken. Under such circumstances
one could easily condemn the Serb government, as our brothers in
Croatia demanded."20.

In a bid to explain different stands of Jewish communities on
developments in the former Yugoslavia and underscore manipulation of
Jews by political actions, David Albahari says: "Initially Jewish
communities reacted as they were told, by accepting incoming
information at face-value. Despite our demands that the Jewish
communities should stay away from the conflict, some moves were made
without considering objective picture of developments. It took us
almost a year to persuade them that our best ...

18 Almuli, Intervju, 7 February 1992

19 Vecernje Novosti, 19 April 1992

20 Idem

position as an organised grouping was to continue to sit on the fence,
in political terms. 21

Jews in Serbia

3,000 strong Jewish community, composed mostly of Sephardic Jews lives
in Serbia (first Sephardic Jews fled from the Spanish Inquisition and
settled in the Ottoman Empire countries, including Serbia.)

The principal generator of anti-Semitism in Serbia is the new Serbian
Right, made of so-called left-wing and right wing parties in the
political scene of Serbia, parts of the Serbian Orthodox Church and
intellectual elite, or all those who advocate the idea of the
international conspiracy against Serbia and oppose the new world
order. Misa Levi, President of the Jewish Community in Belgrade draws
attention to escalating anti-Semitism and ties between Serbia and
Russia, both on the state and church level. Added to that quite a
number of public media and prominent public figures constantly
espouses the thesis of existence of the unique Jewish opinion in the
world, decisive influence of Jews on creation of the US policy, and
anti-Serb stance of the international Jewish institutions and renowned
Jewish intellectuals. Publicist and analyst of religion Mirko
DJordjevic says that the current wave of anti-Semitism is not caused
by Jews: "It is a very belated historical response of certain circles
to all things foreign and different."

Anti-Semitism Monitoring Commission of the FJCY, in qualifying anti-
Semitism, often resorts to euphemisms: "it is a contained, low-level
anti-Semitism. Hence we did not suggest special measures to the
Executive Board of the FJCY, barring our complaints and protests in
writing to certain religious and political factors." 23 The Jewish
community stressed that it was always sensitive to equalisation of
religion and nation, and even more so to identification between the
majority nation and the state. The FJCY communique stresses: "It is
not disputable that Jews in Serbia are under the law equal to other
nations. But is it so in practice? Does this state, in every public
discussion observe the fact that all its nationals are equal,
irrespective of nationality, religion and other features of
identity?"

At the same time ambivalent position on Jews is expressed through
another extreme-equalisation of tragic fates of the two peoples.

For example, writer Vuk Draskovic, in 1985 described Serbs as Jews of
the late Twentieth Century: "Each inch of Kosovo is Jerusalem for
Serbs: there is no difference between suffering of Serbs and Jews.
Serbs are the thirteenth lost and most unfortunate tribe of Israel."
In the first years of war, Jews were not seen as opponents. On the
contrary the authorities tried to win them over for the "Serb cause."
Frequent were comparisons between "identical, tragic fates of Jews and
Serbs as heavenly and innocent peoples, victims of genocide." In that
period Serbian authorities were "inclined" to Jews-...

21 Borba, 8 December 1993

22 Radio B92, 20 February 2001

23 Jewish Review, Bulletin of Federation of the Jewish Communities of
Yugoslavia (FJCY), January 2000

... the media ran information about their activities, texts and
features on friendly relations between Serbs and Jews, and evenings of
Jewish poetry were organised.24 Federation of Jewish Municipalities
was promised that it would be given back one of the most beautiful
sinagogues in Serbia, the one in Nis (but that promise has never been
fulfilled). At the same time the media increasingly reported on
desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Serbia, notably in Zemun and
Pancevo, 25 and decried those incidents.

"Filosemitism"

Society of the Serb-Jewish Friendship was registered on 21 November
1988, while the founding assembly was held on 4 March 1989. According
to the proclamation the society was tasked with bringing together the
two peoples, "frequently accused of being different."26 Soon the
Society's branch office was set up in Kosovo, and later another thirty
branch offices emerged Serbia-wide. Abortive attempts to set up such a
society were registered even in the former Yugoslavia, during the one-
party system. 27

Founding of the said Society, obviously tasked with abusing Jews for
political purposes, was criticised and disapproved of by many Jewish
intellectuals. Writer Filip David stated that at the founding meeting
he notice "many wise heads, members of the Serbian Academy of
Sciences, several prominent Serbian nationalists, and several elderly
Jews, self-styled 'Serbs of Moses faith.' The idea of the founders was
to help Serbia by enlisting our Jews to shore up support for the
Serbian cause in the United States, through their, allegedly important
connections. Early on I tried to say that the story about a
conspiratorial world Jewish centre, dictating the entire world policy,
was a sheer nonsense, and that the idea originated from the notorious
Protocols of Zion Elders." David went on to note: "This type of
association was nonsensical, for there was not need for Jews, as
Serbian citizens, to set up the Society of the Serb-Jewish
Friendship."28 Filip David realised that behind the project were
indeed "nationalistic hot-heads" after his meeting with Ljubomir
Tadic. Namely David, after the founding meeting, in his letter to
Tadic, requested a meeting with him and expressed his negative opinion
of the very Society.

At the first convention of the Society, in May 1990, the SJSF
Secretary Klara Mandic stated that "the Society must persist in making
public the names of all Serbs, victims of genocide, for their names
are absent from the genocide-related books. Another ...

24 Politika, 7 July 1991

25 Vecernje Novosti, 25 April 1991

26 Politika, 3 July 1990

27 Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia was against
formation of the said Society on the following grounds: "There is no
need to establish any association resting on close national or
nationalities ties, in the SFRY territory." Later Jews also opposed
the existence of such a society, and maintained that it was legitimate
to forge closer ties only between Serbia and Israel."

28 Interview with Filip David.

... important task of the society was "sending of pertinent
publications to 15,000 influential people and politicians in Europe,
America and Canada."29 FJCY repeatedly protested against some
communiques of the Society and distanced itself from the latter's
actions.

But the leading Serbian politicians started emulating the society by
propagating identical historical fate of Jews and Serbs, and
preservation of friendly relations between the two peoples ( according
to the Society, Serbs stood more to gain from the latter). Author
Brana Crncevic said that "only friendship with Jews can save
Serbhood," 30 while Enriko Josif argued that "Serbs and Jews are very
old friends, and shall remain friends, for they have not betrayed the
most glorious pillars of their history-Kosovo and Jerusalem." Dobrica
Cosic stressed "the historical fate, which made Serbs and Jews very
similar" and " Jews are European people from whom Serbs can learn
most."

In 1991 Captain Dragan, later a leader of the Serb paramilitary units,
wore the Star of David around his neck during a Studio B interview. At
the same time members of the Serb-Jewish society, including the
leading Serb nationalists, reiterated "Our fate is similar to the fate
of Jews."

In 1993 the Federation of Jewish Communities set up an Anti-Semitism
Monitoring Committee, and its President Aca Singer warned: "Whenever
and wherever there are turmoils in the world Jews are affected by
them." 31 An ever-increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents were
condemned by a narrow circle of liberal public figures, and also by
the regime's satellites. The authorities tried to minimise the effects
of anti-Semitic incidents by not responding to protests and complaints
lodged by the Jewish Municipality of Belgrade and the Jewish
Federation. But those incidents increased the fear or feeling of
insecurity among the Jews and non-Serbs. On the other hand they were
adroitly used by the authorities as a form of "soft ethnic-
cleansing."

The world was outraged by wars in the territories of former
Yugoslavia, and condemned actions of Bosnian Serbs. Those
condemnations became increasingly sharp and both "domestic" and
foreign Jews joined in the chorus of international protests. This
placed domestic Jews in a very delicate position. Hence the following
statement of Jasa Almuli: "anyone may exercise his democratic right to
criticise the regime in place, but such criticism should be voiced as
a purely personal opinion. Jewish community would appreciate very much
if some individuals stopped using its name in political showdowns, and
stopped making up stories about emigration." It was a response to
objections of official Belgrade that Jews were siding with "the Serb
enemies", namely criticism of international Jews who condemned
aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Anti-Semitic Incidents

There are no precise data on the kind and number of anti-Semitic
incidents in Serbia. In the past decade many were glossed over by the
authorities, and even the Jewish ...

29 Politika, 3 April 1992

30 Politika, 25 May 1990

31 Politika, 12 August 1994, page 13

... community. State bodies have by and large failed to react to
protests and complaints of the Jewish Federation. Even when the latter
sporadically reacted, 32, there was no follow-up, that is, criminal
investigations were not launched.

Media-bashing

The Jewish Federation filed a lawsuit against statements made by
President of the Serbian Royalist Movement, Sinisa Vucic, in a radio
B92 program Intervju dana. It considered that his words ("we shall
seize property of rich Jews and Communists to help alleviate the
suffering of our people,") were tantamount to "instigation of
religious and national hatred." Although hard evidence was submitted,
namely the tape of interview, the Republican Public Prosecutor's
office transferred the case to the District Public Prosecutor's Office
(after repeated interventions of the Jewish Community), which, however
failed to act on the case. That interview marked the start of a series
of similar statements of Vucinic made to the most influential print
media 33, ran under the following headlines: Serbian Hawks Become
Terrorists, We Threaten UNPROFOR, We Shall Seize Property of Rich Jews
and Communists to Help our Long-Suffering People. Jewish Community
again reacted to Vucinic's hate speech on 27 May 1993 by inquiring
about the course of investigation. After a new anti-Semitic statement
of Vucinic on 13 June 1993, 34 the Federation on 24 August 1993 again
inquired about the course of investigation by the District Public
Prosecutor's Office. The Federation filed new charges after an anti-
Semitic interview with Sinisa Vucinic was ran by magazine Svet.

In June 1994, the Prijepolje Bulletin of the Serbian Popular Renewal
(a party closely affiliated with the Belgrade regime) ran a text
headlined The Jewish Ball of Vampires (by-line was -Luka Sarkotic). In
the text Jews were accused of crimes against the Holy Church of
Christ, that is, the SOC and practising Christians, murder of God, the
French Bourgeoisie Revolution, uprisings in Russia, the 1917 October
Revolution, assassination of the two Russian Tzars, poisoning of
Stalin, creation and implementation of the "Perestroika" project,
destruction of the Soviet and Russian "empires", the Chernobil nuclear
plant catastrophe, future war between Kiev and Moscow (over Krimea),
collusion and alliances with Muslims and Protestants, arming of "Green
Berets" in B&H, causing the plague epidemics in the world, poisoning
of wells, ritual slaughter of children, creation of Jasenovac
concentration camp through the Croatian state leadership, and
production of AIDS virus. The Jewish Federation immediately informed
of the said publication Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic, the SOC
Patriarch Pavle, the Montenegrin Mitropolite Amfilohije, Backa
Episcope Irinej Bulovic, Federal Human Rights Minister, Margit Savovic
and Federal Information Minister Slobodan Ignjatovic. Their response
would later serve as a model for all future reactions to anti-Semitic
incidents: protests were acknowledged, incidents were verbally
condemned, but not a single concrete action against perpetrators was
taken. The Serbian Popular Renewal then ...

32 In an indirect way, through statements of some influential, public
figures

33 Borba, 13 May 1993

34 Svet, 13 June 1993

... issued a communique: "there is too much unnecessary buzz about the
text. We are very surprised by reaction of the Federation of the
Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia to a desperate cry of a Serbian
patriot, abandoned by the whole world. We wonder how would the Jewish
people react if all 48 Jewish Senators in the US Senate voted against
the Serb people." But after condemnatory reactions of the liberal
public strata in Serbia and Montenegro, Slavko Fustic, editor of the
Bulletin, wrote an apologetic letter because of "publishing a
scandalous text, with a very low- quality contents." He moreover
stated: "I would like to give to you and the entire Jewish people my
assurances that we don't hate the Jewish people…"Independent media,
who have followed the whole case, also reacted: journalist of weekly
Vreme wondered about the prosecutor's real intentions, as the latter
first had told the weekly's journalist that he was still undecided
about his next investigating action, and then -went on holiday. Klara
Mandic, secretary of the Society of Jewish-Serb Friendship, also
protested against the text run by Bulletin in Politika. Vreme
commented her protest in the following way: "the problem with the Jew-
bashing pamphlet is that it was designed in the circles in which
Mandic has an influential role."

New edition of Ljotic's paper Nova Iskra (October 1994), titled U ime
istine carried a text penned by S. Hadzic Hilendarski in which
prominent domestic and foreign public figures of Jewish descent were
criticised for their stands on the Bosnian war, namely: Elie Wiesel,
Madeleine Albright, Daniel Schieffer, Klara Mandic, Israel Kellman,
Enriko Josif, David Albahari, George Soros, Simon Viesenthal, Cheslav
Milos, Warren Zimmerman, Zbiegnev Brezhinski, Bernard Henri- Levy,
Allen Finkelcraut, Henri Glucksman, Loraine Fabius, Slobodanka Gruden,
Jasa Almuli, Predrag Finci, Ladoslav Kadelburg. David Kalef, etc.

In July 1994 Glas Srpski 35 carried an interview with Dr. Radmilo
Marojevic, professor of Philological Faculty in Belgrade. In the
interview headlined, Cultural Treason is National Treason, Marojevic
pointed out that: "in the Serbian culture and science very active is
the fifth column of the Judeo-Masonic Project." In another interview
carried by the Belgrade magazine Duga under the headline Dream about
New Hazar Land, Marojevic repeated his thesis about the Judeo-Masonic
conspiracy in -Russia.

Serb Orthodox Church

A publicist and analyst of religion Mirko DJordjevic in a host of
studies indicates that anti-Semitism is not related to Orthodox
religion, but rather to ethnicfiletism very influential among the SOC.
Some SOC circles, notably those under the influence of Priest Nikolaj
Velimirovic, joined in the anti-Semitic campaign. Velimirovic suddenly
became a martyr. Mitropolite Montenegrin banned any kind of criticism
or re-appraisal of work and ideas of Priest Nikolaj, although he has
never been canonised.

"That legendary martyrdom is used for glossing over unpleasant pages
of a repressed history-during the Nazi occupation some members of the
SOC episcopate joined Nedic, and took strident anti-Semitic
positions," writes DJordjevic. He adds: " Priest ...

35 Glas srpski from Republika Srpska is distributed in Serbia too.

... Nikolaj was close to Nedic and Ljotic, he did not oppose
totalitarian political systems, but in fact favoured them. Therefore
it is not clear how his body of work can be a treasure trove of
spiritual inspiration and a veritable golden mine of spirituality and
Orthodox faith, as Radovan Bigovic qualified it in his doctoral thesis
(his mentor was Amfilohije Radovic.)"

Book of Priest Artemije New Golden-Mouth, published in Belgrade in
1986, is one of many books which glorified Priest Nikolaj: "he is the
only Serb who can be considered an intellectual and spiritual peer of
St. John the Golden-Mouth, hence his nickname-the Serbian Golden-
Mouth. Mirko DJordjevic writes that "the Serbian contemporary
historians failed to notice a conspicuous similarity between St. John
the Golden Mouth and the Zica orator, Priest Nikolaj: namely St.
John's body of work also contains 8 holimies "against Judea."

Logos 36, a magazine of students of Theological Faculty in Belgrade in
1994 ran a text Jewish Games behind the International Stage, penned by
Predrag Milosevic and Boban Milenkovic. That text abounds in
accusations against Jews, for example, " there is a planetary Jewish
conspiracy against the Christian Orthodox faith, and notably against
the Serb people and Russia," corroborated by citations from old
documents of Priest Nikolaj Velimirovic related to his defence of
Protocols of Zion Elders." "All modern phenomena in Europe were
masterminded by Jews, who crucified Jesus, that is,: democracy,
strikes, socialism, atheism, tolerance of all denominations, universal
revolution, capitalism and communism. They were all inventions of
Jews, that is, of their father, the Devil." 37

In July 1994 magazine Kruna carried two texts headlined How to Read
Protocols of Zion Elders, and Book of Notions. The first text praised
the said book, while the second, vilified Jews, as people, through
criticism of Mosa Pijade, the pre-war communist, Partisan, and member
of the post-war establishment.

Publishing activities

Publishing activity played a major role in anti-Semitic campaign.
Publishing companies, Velvet and Ihtus-Hriscanske knjige published
several reprints of books of Dimitrije Ljotic, Milan Nedic, Priest
Nikolaj Velimirovic, and some other books dealing with alleged Masonic-
Jewish conspiracies. According to sociologist Laslo Sekelj, in 1990-95
12 different editions of Protocols of Zion Elders were published, and
in 1995-2001 another-eight. 38 Vladimir Maksimovic, one of publishers
of Protocols of Zion Elders, part of distribution of which was
impounded in 1994, in defending himself from accusations of anti-
Semitism, says that "the only problem with this book is the fact that
the publishing activity was taken over by the Soros Foundation, whose
founder is a Jew. The Federation of Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia
on 22 March 1994 condemned publication of Protocols of Zion Elders,
and filed charges against Publishing House

36 Logos, 1-4/1994

37 Priest Nikolaj Velimirovic in his documents written in defence of
Protocols of Zion Elders.

38 NIN 2640, 2 August 2001, Zabrana i krivica, page 32

Velvet and responsible editor Vladimir Maksimovic. Three days later
the FJCY got a letter from owner and director of the publishing house
Sfairos in which he decried the appeal to ban publishing and
distributing the book, and termed it "an undemocratic demand." He
suggested to the Federation joint publishing of the book with "an
expert commentary," and future collaboration involving publishing of
works dedicated to study of literary, historical and linguistic
heritage of the Jewish people and its identity." In response to
accusations by the Jewish Federation, newspaper issued by the Serbian
Radical Party, Velika Srbija, in May 1994, ran a text, "Who burns down
books, shall burn down people too," along with a commentary " let
readers, Serbs, assess what is true and what is false in Protocols of
Zion Elders."

(Deputy District Prosecutor Milija Milovanovic in July 2001 dropped
charges against publishers of Protocol due to "the lack of evidence
for further legal proceedings.")

In December 1994 Club of National Books Velvet in its catalogue listed
its new anti-Semitic books: Protocols of Politart Seers or Counter-
initiation (Isidora Bjelica and Nebojsa Pajkic write about 'plagues'
of modern society, including Judaism and advise how to fight against
them); Drama of Contemporary Mankind, Dimitrije Ljotic, -On the
Semitic danger and breaking of the Serbian backbone in WW2; Jews in
Serbia, Dr. Lazar Prokic; Why have Jews always been against Serbs? Who
are they-an anti-Semitic guide, Dr. Lazar Prokic; Jewish Conspiracy,
Marcus Elie Ravadge; Serb People in Claws of Jews, Milorad Mojic; The
Jewish Issue, F.M. Dostoevsky; Under the Star of David-Judaism and
Free Masonry in the Past and Present, Georgije Pavolovic; Religious
and legal study of Talmud or an essay on Jewish honesty, Vasa Pelagic.
The aforementioned catalogue listed also other titles: Jews in mirror
of the Bible by theologian Zivojin Savic; Evil and Damned: Torturers
of Contemporary Mankind, translation of Charles Weismann book.

Valjevo-based Glas crkve in 1996 published a book Selected Works of
Priest Nikolaj in Ten Volumes. Book VII- Through a Prison Window
includes a series of negative commentaries on life, customs and role
of Jews.

On 16 December in one of premises of the Philosophical Faculty in
Belgrade an anti-Semitic pamphlet titled A complete report-Jews and
Jewry was found. An unidentified person distributed it to students.
Teaching council of the faculty in its communique, issued in the paper
Protest-Three Uprisings in 1996, qualified the pamphlet as anti-
Semitic, and condemned its author and the like-minded intellectuals.

Publisher Ratibor DJurdjevic spearheaded the anti-Semitic campaign
through reprints and new editions. Promotions of his books usually
started with a blessing and prayer of retired priest and notorious
anti-Semite Zarko Gavrilovic. Whenever he uttered the word "Jews," the
audience booed. In the study Syndrome of Fear of Judeans in America
DJurdjevic says that behind-the-scenes masters of the US policy
intentionally nominate week presidential candidates to control them
easily. According to him "such candidates are aplenty, as the US
public and private morals are weak and lax. A man of integrity and
strong sense of morals, namely Pat Buchanan, a Christian and renowned
anti-Semite, could not succeed in unprincipled US "democracy." 39 In
the book Zionism,

Communism and the "New" World Order, DJurdjevic stated: "it is very
important that Christians understand that Communism-that major ill of
Western societies-was spawned by Jewish institutions and circles…it
was guided, channelled and evolved by official Israeli secret
councils." 40

After DJurdjevic's book Lies and Shortcomings of US Democracy came out
(publisher was Ihtus-Hriscanks knjiga, Beograd), the Jewish Federation
on 16 October sent a protest letter, describing the nature and
contents of the book, to Information Minister Ratomir Vico, Human
Rights Minister, Margit Savovic, Mayor of Belgrade, Nebojsa Covic,
Minister Zoran Bingulac, Minister of Religions Dragan Dragojlovic, the
SOC Patriarchate, Irinej Bulovic, members of the Society of Serb-
Jewish Friendship, and the media. It moreover informed the Serbian
Justice Minister that charges were filed against Publishing House
Ihtus and its editor Zarko Gavrilovic. The media responded differently
to the Jewish Federation's protest. Daily Politika on 18 October ran a
text Who Fuels Anti-Semitism penned by Rade Rankovic, and later an
interview with Aca Singer President of the Federation of Jewish
Communities in Serbia (Anti-Semitic Incidents Should Not Be Glossed
Over) about dire effects of anti-Semitism both on those who propagate
it and those who close a blind eye to it. Nasa Borba on 18 October
1995 carried a text State Bodies Keep Silent, which focused on "non-
reactions of the state bodies to anti-Semitic incidents."

Contrary to Politika and Nasa Borba, Politika Ekspres on 7 October
1995 ran a text Conspiracy against Christianity in which the author
Visnja Vukotic quoted excerpts from Lies and Shortcomings of US
Democracy, and backed all allegations and ideas contained therein. The
same paper on 8 October carried a text headlined A man who knew too
much ends in a lunatic asylum, full of quotations from the
aforementioned book. On 23 October 1995 Vecernje Novosti carried an
article by Dejan Lucic, Who are instigators of hatred? in which Lucic
tried to justify positions espoused by DJurdjevic in Lies and
Shortcomings of US Democracy. Politika Ekspres on 23 October 1995 ran
a reaction of President of the Society of Serb-Jewish Friendship,
Ljubomir Tadic, to DJurdjevic's book. Namely Tadic challenged and
criticised some of positions disclosed in the book.

Holy Synod of SOC on 24 October 1995 informed the Jewish Federation
that it "regrets publication of the anti-Semitic book" and "shall do
its utmost to prevent publishing of similar books." Saint Sava Youth
and Students' Movement followed suit by condemning activities of
Ratibor DJurdjevic, one of its principal 'donors' and Zarko
Gavrilovic, assessing them as "retirees who only acted as counsellors
to the Movement" and stressing that "Anti-Semitism has always been
contrary to the spirit of Saint Sava Movement." Despite the SOC
condemnation of DJurdjevic's book and assurances that its circles did
not disseminate anti-Semitism, in April 1997 the very book appeared in
the ...

39 Dr. Ratibor DJurdjevic, Five bloody revolutions of Jewish bankers
and of their Judeo-Masonry, Ihtus, Belgrade

40 Idem, page 196

... SOC's bookstore Zadruga pravoslavnog svestenstva. In its 11 April
1997 letter to the



SOC Patriarchy the Jewish Federation expressed its concern over
appearance of DJurdjevic's book in the said bookstore. In their
replies the official SOC spokesman and the Patriarchy Cabinet
regretted the event, and informed that the bookstore's manage was
instructed to immediately stop selling the book. .

At the promotion of the book Kuril Manuscripts by author Hugo
Karamata, held in the Association of Writers of Serbia on 25 January
1996, DJurdjevic stated: "Judeans are the worst world evil….they
bankroll all national and international Masonic activities and pull
the strings of the world conspiracy." 41

In autumn 1996 DJurdjevic's new book, On Absurdity of Anti-Semitism
(publisher was again Ihtus-Hriscanska knjiga) came out. Federation of
the Jewish Communities on 30 October 1996 inquired with the District
Prosecutor's Office about actions taken regarding its complaint of 16
December 1995, and simultaneously informed it that the same author
published a new book. In its reply of 22 November 1996 the Public
Prosecutor's office quoted all criminal proceedings taken against
Sinisa Vucinic, Publishing House Velvet from Belgrade, editor Vladimir
Maksimovic, and publishing house Ihtus and Zarko Gavrilovic.

In its letter of 28 November 2000 to the Holy Synod of the Serbian
Orthodox Church, the Jewish Federation indicated growing anti-
Semitism: "Among those who spread hate of Jews excels Dr. Ratibor
Rajko DJurdjevic, founder of Ihtus-Hriscanska knjiga and author of the
bulk of 50 books published by that house. Since his return from
emigration in 1992 DJurdjevic launched an anti-Semitic campaign. He
remained undeterred in his intentions even in the face of an express
condemnation of his activities by the Holy Synod of SOC, of 24 October
1995. The very name of his publishing house (Ichtus-Christian Books)
suggests his links to the Orthodox Christian faith and church.
Moreover all the books bear the symbol of cross on the covers."

Reprint editions

In the Serbian Academy of Sciences bookstore in October 1995 the book
New World Order and Free Masonry (reprint of the Belgrade edition from
1939) appeared. The book accused Jews of an anti-global conspiracy. On
27 November the Jewish Federation informed the District Public
Prosecutor in Belgrade of the aforementioned.

Reprint of the 1943 anti-Semitic book Under the Star of David and Free
Masonry in the Past and Present by Georgije Pavlovic came out in 1995.
Author of introduction was Dimitrije Ljotic, and publishers were
Koloseum Beograd, Velvet Beograd, Sloga Novo Sarajevo and Slobodna
knjiga Beograd. In 1995 Planeta Beograd published a reprint of anti-
Semitic book Jews and the Serbian Issue by Jasa Tomic. Some recent
reprints with markedly anti-Semitic contents had been published first
during the Nazi occupation: Serbian People in Claws of Jews by Milorad
Mojic, Secretary General of pre-war "Zbor," Legal and Religious
Teachings about Talmud or an Essay on Jewish Honesty by Vasa Pelagic.
Reprint of Pro-Ljotic paper Nova iskra was also published.

41 Documentation of the Jewish Federation

Patriotic Movement "Obraz"

The far-right organisation, Patriotic Movement "Obraz", founded in
1993 to back and disseminate ideas espoused by the name-sake magazine,
in late 2000 and early 2001 became very active and evolved into a
political organisation. Graffiti with symbols of this organisation,
cross, alpha and beta, with slogans "Only unity can save Serbs,"
"Let's fight with dignity for Serbhood," "Let's defend our dignity,"
are drawn on many private and public buildings.

Public at large first learnt about existence of that organisation
after the incident at the Assembly of Association of Writers of
Serbia, in November 2000. Namely then a group of writers clashed with
management, demanded its dismissal and establishment of new,
democratic, relations within the association. 42 Security agents,
members of "Obraz" reportedly removed the 'disobedient' from the
conference hall.

"Obraz" is not registered as a political party for its followers
"don't believe in pluralism of interest of the Serbian people, but
they believe in their ability to gather together and to accept a
unique set of values and fate for all Serbs." They also think that "no
Serb victim was useless, as our existence proves…We are Serbs of these
evil times." They are convinced that efforts of "Obraz" and all other
honourable Serb contemporaries shall be a lasting mainstay for future
generations of Serbs who "shall fully complete the oath." "Let us make
concerted efforts to more successfully and easily, with God's
assistance, attain our patriotic goals and carry out our statehood-
making tasks," is the principal message of the movement. Web-site of
"Obraz" is rife with texts denying democratic achievements, espousing
a strident anti-Americanism, and glorifying Serbhood. After the NATO
intervention, the following communique was placed on the web-site:
"During the last war waged by NATO Satanists against the Serb people
from 24 March to 10 June 1999, "Obraz" was the only organisation which
indicated "black magic, and occult nature of that war." During the
bombardment "Obraz" issued two communiques, "Why are Serbs
Invincible?" and "NATO-Satanism in the Name of Democracy," which the
media refused to run. 43 Nebojsa Krstic, President of "Obraz"
maintained that "the Serb people are most threatened now,"44 and urged
a national state, a society of sound Serbs, an economically rich and
strong Serbia, instead of a state of citizens and an open society."
Wording of texts indicates that at work is a Neo-Ljotic group, whose
size cannot be easily estimated. "Obraz" stated that it had stepped up
its activities in late 2000 for "then the time was ripe for advent of
Serbian nationalism. Then the Serb people were most threatened." The
following statement coincided with the political changeover in Serbia:
"We are nationalists, and not fascists. Our slogan is: Loyal to God
and to Serb people." When asked if he backed Ljotic's policy, Krstic
responded: "We appreciate and love all Serb nationalists, Priest
Nikolaj Velimirovic, and Serb martyrs Draza Mihajlovic, Milan Nedic,
and Dimitrije Ljotic. We fight against everything ...

42 Republika, 16-31 December 2000

43 Knjizevne novine, "Obraz", 28 November 2000

44 Glas javnosti, 12 February 2002 "Nationalists, and not
Chauvinists"

... that separates us from the Serb tradition, that is, against
globalisation, atheism, secularism and abuses of human rights and
liberties." He added that the organisation was several thousand
strong, and that branch offices were set up in Vrsac, Odzaci. Novi
Sad, Jagodina, Velika Plana, and in America, Canada, and Europe."
According to Krstic the organisation has about 30.000 members.
According to some sources active, but secret followers of "Obraz" are
Dragos Kalajic and Dragoslav Bokan,45 former contributors to magazine
"Nasa ideja," and magazine Duga.

March 2001 incident is linked to "Obraz." Graffiti "Korac-Jewish
Conspiracy-"Otpor" and "Kostunica-DJindjic Cheated Us," were painted
on the building of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. According to
Korac, Vice Prime Minister of Serbia, and the faculty's professor,
those scandalous messages "are very similar to ones placed on the
"Obraz" web-site." Students of the faculty confirmed that "Obraz" was
behind the incident. Police did not issue any communique, but the
media reported that several policemen visited the building. 46 Ratibor
Trivunac, member of the Students' Union of Faculty of Philosophy,
stated: "We are no longer a spawning ground of liberal ideas, but
rather the one of conservative and fascist ideas." He added: "Majority
of our students believe that a group of History Department students
and professors, who even at lectures propagate far-right,
nationalistic ideas, are behind the graffiti incident." Trivunac also
said that majority of students saw the similarity between the graffiti
messages and the web-site ones."

Electronic media

TV Palma and its owner Miki Vujovic, aired a large number of political
programs focusing on the international Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. This
largely contributed to spreading of anti-Semitism in early months of
2001.

Jews were accused of being "murderers and criminals," "the biggest
evil of the world history," and "instigators of all failures of modern
history, starting from the October Revolution, WW1 and WW2, to
bombardment of Yugoslavia. According to TV Palma Jews should apologise
for actions taken by US Administration against Yugoslavia. Many guests
and Vujovic himself frequently mentioned "Jewish conspiracy" against
Serbs or entire mankind, negative character traits and mind-set of
Jews, and their hate of Serbs. Such messages were intended for Jews
living abroad, notably in the US. 'Domestic' Jews were criticised for
not having persuaded their fellow-nationals to change their stance on
Serbs, for not having done anything to eliminate negative image of
Serbs. Unfortunately other TVs also disseminated similar, Jew-bashing
propaganda. Similar messages were voiced on other channels, notably
Radio Television Serbia, which occasionally re-broadcast the old,
wartime, programs about the international, and Jewish world conspiracy
against Serbs.

45 Interview with Helsinki Committee

46 "Borba", "Obraz" Manipulated by Remote Control, 20 March 2001

47 "Politika," "Obraz" Fights 'Enemies of Serbhood", 22 March 2001

In a program of Radio Yugoslav Airlines on 17 May 2000 Dejan Lucic
accused Jews of having staged a military and state coup on 27 March
1941, when the Trilateral Pact was rejected, and later a military
uprising in Montenegro. Lucic also held them accountable for attacks
on Belgrade and attempts to revive civil war. According to Lucic "they
are assisted in their endeavours by the British and US intelligence
services." He divided Jews into "two subversive groups, Jews and
Khazars…they are quite similar, but still different: Jews shall do
their utmost to help Israel, and Khazars to amass -money."

Graffiti

Anti-Semitic slogan Death to Jews with Nazi swastikas was drawn twice
on the central building of Belgrade University in September 1995. The
same slogan was written on the wall of the hall of the Jewish
Municipality building in Belgrade on 22 October 1995.

On 27 October 1995 the Jewish Community sent a memo on incident to the
Stari Grad police and requested it to launch a pertinent
investigation. Three days later, on 30 October a police patrol scouted
the building, and later slogans were removed.

On 24 October 1995 the Assembly of Belgrade sharply condemned the
graffiti on the building of the Philological Faculty. Only after
repeated interventions of the Jewish Federation, the Republican Public
Prosecutor on 19 December 1995 informed the Federation that the
graffiti case would be handled by the District Public Prosecutor in
Belgrade.

On the fence of the Jewish Cemetery on 21 and 22 January three
graffiti appeared: Out with Masonic-Jewish Serb-Haters, We don't want
the Dayton Pax Judaica. Jews, You are a Minority in Serbia. The Jewish
Federation on 25 January informed Slobodan Pavlovic, Vice President of
the Belgrade Assembly and the police of the incident and asked them to
intervene. It also filed charges against unknown perpetrators on 16
February 1996.

Graffiti Death to Filthy Jews, Skinheads, White Power, the Racist
Movement of Belgrade, crosses and slogan Serbia to Serbs were drawn in
the hall of the building housing the Jewish Federation, the Jewish
Community of Belgrade and the Jewish Historical Museum on 11 February
1997.

On 26 September 1996 leaflets with the scull and slogan "Jewish lethal
vaccine kills Muslim children" were distributed in Novi Pazar. In the
text parents were told to boycott vaccine against children's
paralysis…."for it aims to impair health of Muslim children…"

On two occasions, in December 2000 and January 2001 Nazi swastikas and
anti-Semitic slogans in English, notably "Jews Hate Your Freedom of
Speech," were drawn on all Jewish institutions in Belgrade, the
sinagogue, Jewish cemetery, the Jewish Municipality building.

Desecration of monuments and religious institutions

Plaque with inscription was removed from the monument "Menorah in
Flames" by Nandor Glid in the 15th -21st May week . Glid's monument in
Belgrade has been on repeated occasions the target of vandals (several
days after wreaths had been laid on the monument in 1999 they were
torn and thrown around). Police never found perpetrators of that
vandal act, nor the ones who drew graffiti on Jewish institutions and
cemetery and threw Molotov cocktails into the yard of sinagogues in
Belgrade and Novi Sad.

In recent years singagogues have been frequently targeted by anti-
Semites. The Zemun sinagogue, a protected municipal institution, was
converted into a restaurant by the Radical Party-led municipal
authorities in the face of the city authorities ban and protests of
the Jewish Community. The then President of the Municipal Assembly and
the Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj and director of the Business
Space Tomislav Nikolic met with the Federation's delegation on 7 March
1997 and promised not to lease that institution. Just a months later,
on 30 March, the sinagogue was leased and converted into a
restaurant.

"That sinagogue is very important for us, but we did not want to hype
up the case and make a too vocal demand," said Aca Singer. He added:
"It is very important for Jews as in that sinagogue Rabbi Alkalai was
the first to mention the return of Jews to their Holy Land. He had
done it before Theodore Herzl, who is considered the founder of a
modern Zionist Movement." Singer then went on to explain the long
history of the embattled Zemun sinagogue: "Until 1962 the Jewish
Community was compelled to lease the sinagogue due to lack of upkeep
funds and an ever-dwindling number of Jews. After that the sinagogue
was forcibly sold to the then authorities for a negligible amount of
money. The money we got from the lease was given to socially
vulnerable categories of Jews. We had a deal with the previous
Socialist authorities. Namely the sinagogue was to be used for
cultural purposes only. But when the Radical Party took the municipal
reins in 1997 the deal fell through. That sinagogue had been built in
1850 on foundations of the old, Eightieth Century sinagagoue, which
was badly ruined after the WW2. It bears stressing that it has served
many purposes, but was never used as restaurant. It is very important
institution for us, because it was saved by miracle from destructive
hands of Ustashi in the WW2."

Subotica sinagogue met with a different fate. Story about Subotica
Jews is a specific one, and it marked Subotica history from the mid
18th century. Before the opening of central sinagogue rites were
officiated in the Sremska street sinagogue. But when the Subotica Jews
became economically strong 48 they decided to erect "the temple of
temples." New sinagogue had a tent-like dome. It was possessed of a
unique beauty in terms of design and construction. "It is owned by the
city and under the World Heritage Fund document it is protected as one
of the 100 key world sinagogues." 49 In Mid-Eighties theatre director
Ljubisa Ristic 50 came to work in Subotica in order to "shake up a
sleepy milieu." In late Eighties Ristic staged big spectacles with his
numerous ensemble in the singagoue. In a play a horse and a horseman
both peed in the sinagogue. Restored ...

48 30 Jews counted among 184 richest residents of Subotica in early
20th century.

49 Jozef Kasa, Mayor of Subotica

50 In Milosevic era Ristic was one of the most influential leaders of
the AYL, the SPS coalition partner.

... dome was also again badly impaired by fumes from stoves, while the
lawn around the sinagogue was trampled upon by buses ferrying
spectators to performances.

Although the Jewish Community in Serbia is very small, anti-Semitism
tenaciously persists as a part of a specific social phenomenology.
Under the current circumstances it relies on ideological roots of the
Serbian conservative, right-wing factions (Priest Nikolaj Velimirovic,
Dimitrije Ljotic) and feeds itself on social and economic frustration
stemming from a defeated Greater Serbia idea. Anti-Semitism in Serbia
also draws on belief that the influential, international Jewish
community, notably (its prominent representatives Madeleine Albright,
Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark and Robert Gelbrand) has contributed
to misfortune of Serbs, notably after the NATO air strikes. In
parallel many intellectuals espoused the idea of identical fates of
Serbs and Jews in the past decade. Within the context of the syndrome
of victim, cherished in Serbia, Serbs are equalised with Jews (Vuk
Draskovic: Kosovo is our Jerusalem). One should take into
consideration that ambivalent position on the Jewish ethnic community
in any future (and necessary) public debate on Anti-Semitism.



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