“Amazing how they can re-write the history of the 2nd World War to turn the Serbs into the Nazis they fought against and get away with it, when it was obvious to EVERYONE during the war that the Serbs sided with the Allies.”
UNPRECEDENTED: First Time that Someone in U.S. Officialdom Puts Brakes on WWII-unrepentant Croatia’s EU Entry
Unfortunately, it’s a bit late. This former Under Secretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat, might have spoken up when Croatia was put on the fast-track in the mid-2000s, or even as late as last year, when the final stage of accession began; Croatia will be an EU member by mid next year.
Still, one is grateful for the following item from Thursday’s Haaretz (and please don’t be fooled by the paper’s — likely not Eizenstat’s — clumsy efforts at moral equivalence where there is none, via the strained insertion of Serbia):
EU should hold Croatia and Serbia accountable for Holocaust roles, says U.S. diplomat (June 21)
Former Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat tells Haaretz in a wide-ranging interview that if Croatia wants to join the democratic body, it must follow rule of law and come to terms with its past.
By Mordechai I. Twersky
A leading U.S. diplomat and former ambassador to the European Union is calling on the EU to encourage Croatia and Serbia to take responsibility for their roles in the Holocaust before granting them EU membership.
“Now is the time for the European Union to exact the maximum amount of leverage,” said Stuart E. Eizenstat, a former U.S. under secretary of state, who served as the Clinton administration’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues. “Once they’re in, the leverage is lost.”
Eizenstat, who gave a wide-ranging interview to Haaretz while attending the President’s Conference in Jerusalem yesterday, noted that Croatia’s president, Ivo Josipovic, was also in attendance. He said Josipovic must go beyond his apology, issued last February, for his country’s role in the crimes committed against the Jews during the Second World War. He called on him to commence with a restitution program and the formation of an independent commission of international scholars to examine the country’s wartime past.
“Neither one of those is being done right now with respect to Croatia,” said Eizenstat, who has negotiated agreements with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and other European countries with regard to restitution of property, compensation for slavery, recovery of looted art and bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies for Holocaust victims.
According to the Yad Vashem’s website, 30,000 of Croatia’s Jews died during the Holocaust – 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population.
Croatia is expected to gain EU membership next year.
Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009 and may be granted entry as early as 2014. Yad Vashem estimates that 14,500 Jews were exterminated in Serbia during the Holocaust.
“This is a time to say, ‘Look, if you’re going to get into a democratic organization with rules of law, you have to demonstrate that the rule of law applies to you as well, and that you’re going to find ways to deal with your past,’” said Eizenstat, America’s ambassador to the EU from 1993-1996, who accused the EU of not holding Central and Eastern European countries accountable.
“It’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” said the 69-year-old diplomat, a native of Atlanta, Georgia. “They need to take the lead, and they simply haven’t.”
Haaretz attempted to reach the Croatian delegation attending the Jerusalem Conference but did not receive a response before press time. […]
Perhaps “it’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” Mr. Eizenstat, because the EU was, after all, conceived by “former” Nazis in 1957, and modeled on a less malevolent version of Hitler’s vision.
The stats mentioned by Haaretz — 30,000 Jews killed by WWII Croatia — naturally neglect to mention the 750,000 Serbs that Croatia killed, many of them alongside Jews at the notorious but unknown-to-Westerners concentration complex of Jasenovac, WWII’s third-most efficient death camp and in fact its first, laying the blueprint for the rest.