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Tito and Yougoslavian Partisans

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Skipper, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    IMO both of you should be commended not only for the content that you have provide in this thread but for the thought and effort you have put into choosing words that promote understanding vs posturing. It's not easy especially in an area as complex as this. PLS keep up the good work.
     
  2. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    For me, it is easy to discuss this subject with TOS because we both have own critical views, unbiased by propaganda, "loyalty" to the nation, false national pride etc. We both prefer own view on truth, to look into the facts and to deduce own conclusions. And in the very core of this subject there is something everyone should know in the first place: just like others in this conflict, Italians were victims too. Victims of false greatness of the Duce, victims of bad selection of allies (especially Croat Quisling formations Ustashe) and victims of their arrogant neighbors who used opportunity to do "justice".

    TOS is from Split/Aspalato and was expulsed or fled from unjust revenge. I lived in that town for two years and I understand his sorrow for the lost homeland. The town was a pearl of ancient roman architecture, situated at the Adriatic coast, with picturesque background.

    Some of my compatriots would say that I am a traitor but in my view, Croatia and Slovenia owe at least an apology to Italian nation for injustices that have been done against Italian minority in Istria and Dalmatia. They haven't deserved such harsh treatment at all because they were victims too.
     
  3. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    I have spoken about this subject with two my friends and they both would agree but Italian nation has never appologized for injustices they did as aggressors. They should have appologized in first place. Fair. I agree with that. There is lack of courage on both sides to end his unfortunate episode in our common history.

    Jugoslav Liberation Army had various opponents. In my next post I intend to address role of major aggressor - the Third Reich and 500.000 Ethnic Germans who supported aggression of a country and took part in numerous attrocities, in our country and elsewhere across the continent. They were harsh agressors and executioners of Nazi racial policy.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    One site I looked at stated that there were ~500K ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia before the war. I find it difficult to believe that they all not only supported but took part in the atrocities. Indeed I would be surprised if even a majority of them did so.
     
  5. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    That's entirely true. Even in military formations just a fraction is directly involved in direct combat. In this particular case 40.000 Ethnic Germans of age 18-22 have voluntarily joined SS during 1941/42. Until the end of the war aditional 40.000 were recruited. Just a small fraction has joined resistance.

    According to estimates, about 100,000 members of the German minority of Kingdom of Yugoslavia died during the war: 40,000 died in combat , others have disappeared, were killed in attempt of flight from custody, executed or died of disease, starvation and exhaustion. Many fled from their homeland in 1944. Officially, in 1953, there were 62,000 ethnic Germans in Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia.

    In 1981, 8.712 citizens of the former Yugoslavia were Germans and 1402 were declared as Austrians.

    What a decay of once great ethnic group.
     
  6. vathra

    vathra Member

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    There were 4 American airmen who were shot down during operation Tidal wave, and managed to evade capture. They spent some 320 days in Serbia, and were evacuated by American mission.

    According to data of MAAF, some 2362 american airmen were evacuated from Yugoslavia. Of that number, 350 by chetniks and others by Tito's partisans.
    Rescue by chetniks during Halyard mission gets lot of attention, since there were several hundreds American airmen with chetniks, and Allies have previously cut all support and communications with them, because of alleged collaboration with Germans.

    After doing research on individual Escape statements, I found lot of details on these events, and got more detailed numbers.
    There was some few hundreds more airmen evacuated from Yugoslavia than in previous document, and some 150 British airmen as well.
    Given total numbers, and fact that lot of crews were evacuated very quickly and returned to duty, this rescue operation is definitely largest of its kind.
     
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  7. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

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    BUMP

    I was looking for a youtube channel about history and I found a cool one named British Pathe. I watched a few videos until I saw this one that can fit in this thread.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Gxqb9s6BI
     
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  8. davidsladek

    davidsladek New Member

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    hello guys,
    I am just finishing a book about survivors of genocide in the Independent State of Croatia which is what brought me to the WW2 forums
    My plan is to continue with a book about descendants of survivors

    From what I have heard first hand the situation in ISC (NDH) was extremely messy. The worst crime perpetrators were clearly Ustashe (there were black and yellow Ustashe) who often used Gestapo to capture civilians but also Cerkezi - killers working for Ustashe to save their lives (I do not know whether they were actual Cerkezi nation or simply a group of people called like that). Then there was the regular Croatian army. And then there was the secondary war between Partisans and Chetnics. Some groups of Chetnics working with Germans, some not. Each killing the others.
    Tito apparently wasn't overly keen in liberating Jasenovac etc. After the war, brotherhood and unity meant that speaking about the genocide was unofficially forbidden... or that's how the survivors feel

    I am not sure if posting links to Kickstarter is allowed here, but you can search the project on Kickstarter by Unspoken Genocide.
    I'd be interested in your input
    Happy to answer any questions
    Thank you
     
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  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Hi David, I wish you luck with that, the subject is incredibly complex, and I believe there were multiple ethnic cleansings in the ISC area in successive periods by different actors and with different victims, so defining the boundaries of the story will be challenging.
    In Italy it was "policy" to end history classes in schools after WW1 to avoid tackling a vey touchy subject until vey recently, not sure if the "forbidding talk" wasn't something like that. It does avoid teachers having to deal with the occasional "small scale civil war" in the schoolroom. Doing that allows some very one sided interpretation to take root unchallenged but is probably the lesser evil, you would need a teacher with extremely high charisma to tackle that subject, as he/she will be in conflict with some of the more extreme "beliefs" the kids have, and while that might be enough with open minded young people you still might run into some very close minded parents with disastrous results.
     
  10. davidsladek

    davidsladek New Member

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    Hello and thank you very much for this insight. Yes, it is definitely very complex. And I didn't know about the Italian school policy. I guess the 'dealing with parents' would be the main reason there. On the other hand, revisionism of the last few decades is probably fueling the emotions much further. I mean, five minutes after I posted the book campaign on Twitter, I got spammed by some Croatian account that I am fascist and people from my book are fascists... the people who survived Ustashe by sheer luch and he called them fascists... that's how skewed some people are...
     
  11. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

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    Hello David!

    You have chosen a really interesting yet a very complex subject to write about. Being a descendant of survivors of NDH's regime I've heard many stories from the first hand. Revisionism is very strong and it is indeed fueling the emotions of descendants from both sides.

    Croatian Home Guard was regular Croatian army and it was formed mostly from mobilised men. Home Guard units were given the chance to join the partisan movement if they were captured by the Partisans. Most of them accepted but officers of those who refused were shot and regular soldiers were sent to their homes but for the punishment had to take their clothes off and walk home in their underwear.

    Ustashas on the other hand were mostly volunteers and most of them were bloodthirsty psychos and they were shot immediately if they were captured by the Partisans.

    Chetniks were considered the true anti fascists by the western allies in the beginning of the war. They were also allies with Partisans in the beginning of the war in Yugoslavia but then they turned their back on Partisans and became an enemies. It is true that there were some Chetnik groups that were fighting against Germans as well as some groups which fought with them. Both of the groups were atrocious against the Partisans and their families as well as other civilians. When the tide of war was turned after Stalingrad and the Soviets were closer and closer to Yugoslavia a huge amount of Chetniks joined the Partisans. I'm not sure what to think about that since a lot of them were war criminals.

    15th SS Cavalry Corps was made out of Kuban Cossacks. In Yugoslavia they were know as "Čerkezi" and I have absolutely no idea why. They arrived in Yugoslavia to fight the Partisans in September 1943. My grandma who's still alive (75 now) was very little when she encountered one of them with her older brother. She still remembers a man with Cossack Kubanka (Cossack hat) riding a big horse. When he approached her and her older brother he took his whip, whipped them and left them with bruises. That answers your question about "Čerkezi".

    I think Tito didn't try to liberate Jasenovac because it would have probably resulted with more killings and reprisals against the civilians. Plus there were over 10 other death camps. Not to forget more German and Italian operated camps. Plus if Partisans liberated Jasenovac they wouldn't hold it on for long without heavy casualties because of the bad position (kilometers of plain land). On the other hand if they liberated it and left, it would soon be back in action.

    I hope this brief description will help you with your book!


    P.S.
    And about that Croatian account that said you are a fascist...please don't bother. There are a lot of idiots here (Croatia) who have no knowledge or arguments about the matter and their only attack/defense are labels like "you're a communist/fascist" depends on which side they support. Also note that there are a lot of us who know what we are talking about and can support it with evidence and hundreds of history book pages read.
     
  12. davidsladek

    davidsladek New Member

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    Hello YugoslavPartisan and thank you very much for explanation of the situation. This confirms the info I have obtained from my interviews with survivors. The only thing I didn't know was the true identity of 'Cerkezi'. That is now clear.
    My book will contain mostly stories of opression by the Ustashe, Germans but also one story where a Partisan family were murderred by Chetnics.
    What I am focusing on is the fact, that the survivors wouldn't or couldn't speak about their experience (personal reasons or Brotherhood and Unity)...
    So my next book will be about their descendants and how they felt when they found out their family 'secrets'.
    And I already have a topic for my third book: I am looking for children saved by Diana Budisavljevic and their struggle with new identities etc.
    I suspect my next few years will be firmly set on Balkans
    I will be most grateful for any help
    Kind Regards
    David
     
  13. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    "Cherkezi" was a "popular" name for 1st Cossack Cavalry Division (Wehrmacht 1. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division) which was dispatched to Croatia in April 1943. The name Cherkezi indicates similarity between the original Cherkezi and 1st Cossack Cavalry Division. They both wore similar fur hats and allegedly the both have been equally brutal. I have read several papers describing brutality of "Cherkezi" during the World War 2 but I take such testimonials with a bit of caution because different sources offer diametrically different stories ranging from saving people from certain death to the other extremes of utterly brutal behavior.

    Chrekezi were well known at Balkans at the beginning of 20th century; during the rule of Ottoman Empire 400.000 Cherkezi from Caucasus have been settled at the south of Balkans but have resettled to Turkey after 1912. The term Cherkezi has practically disappeared. Last time I've heard it in public a long time ago, in a cinema while watching a movie "Time Machine (1960)" during the scene with Morlocks someone has loudly commented "Cherkezi!".

    EDIT: Here is a link to a paper entitled "Ethnolinguistic Study of Hidden Minorities ... - Cherkezi in Kosovo". You might find someone to translate is. It is about the remnants of Cherkezi in the present day Kosovo.

    Figure 1. "Cherkezi" with their German master Helmuth von Pannwitz
    Figure 2. Time Machine (1960) - the scene with Morlocks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. davidsladek

    davidsladek New Member

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    Thank you, Tamino. Few of the survivors I interviewed have mentioned them. They definitely spread horror in Kozare
    As for diametrically different reports, I have testimonies where ordinary Croats were helping the prosecuted Serbs and Jews to survive. Even one testimony where a German soldier helped a little Serbian boy to survive while they shared a trench (and he was shooting into boy's friends). But such individual cases are probably common in any conflct.
     
  15. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    David,

    I sincerely commend your effort to investigate this very sad episode of World War 2 - Kozara. Many people suffered but, in my view, suffering of inhabitants of Kozara is unparalleled - so many brutes have concentrated to attack unprotected civilians: elderly, women, children even babies in cradle weren't spared. It is not just numbers but barbarity and cruelty of their executioners is such that human reason can not conceive what really happened there. May God have mercy upon their souls.
     
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  16. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

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    Thanks for correcting my mistakes Tamino!
     
  17. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    There were no mistakes. You nave made a reference to 15th SS Cavalry Corps whilst I have reffered to 1. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division. This has just pointed to an interesting detail: Cherkezi "changed their sides" even after deserting the Red Army. Initially they were intended to be a Waffen-SS unit, but in 1. Kosaken-Kavallerie-Division they became a Wehrmacht unit.
     
  18. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

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    Oh I see.
     
  19. davidsladek

    davidsladek New Member

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    Hello ladies and gentlemen, please, allow me to plug this into your thread.
    I am most interested in talking to a survivor of Ustashe camp or atrocity living in the UK. My book Unspoken Genocide is ready but I was asked by people who sponsor me with help and support that I should add a survivor into the storyline.
    This means that launch will be delayed till about March-April.
    My apologies
    Any advice appreciated.
    Thank you
    Kind Regards
    David
     
  20. TIRDAD

    TIRDAD Active Member

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    Marshal Josef Tito is very respectfull in Iran too.

    along other top leaders, A. Hitler, B. Montgomery, I. Stalin, and O. N. Bradley...

    some nordic generals are respected in iran like Finnish FM C. E. G. Mannerhiem .
     

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