My new friend Jerry Gordon, a senior editor at New English Review, in March posted a blurb about Professor Raphael Israeli’s new book:

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Death Camps of Croatia Visions and Revisions 1941-1945

by Raphael Israeli

Transactions Publishers
ISBN :978-1-4128-4975-3
New Brunswick (U.S.A.) and London (U.K.)
201 p.

Blurb for Book Jacket

The Death Camps of Croatia — Visions and Revisions, 1941-1945 chronicles the virtually unknown Genocide committed in unspeakable ways by the Ustashi fascists, Catholic priests and Bosnian Muslims of 700,000 Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies and dissident Croatians in the Jadovno and Jasenovac death camps during the period from 1941 to 1945 in wartime Yugoslavia in the Nazi-supported [Independent State of Croatia]. Using recent archival research unveiled at the Jadovno Conference in 2011, the author reveals the catastrophic and grisly testimonies of how these atrocities were committed and the evidence destroyed. It is a masterful and scholarly expose of the hitherto revisionist history of the Holocaust committed in wartime Yugoslavia.

Review

…That genocide is now considered the worst per capita in Europe surpassing those of the SS death factories of Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Treblinka. The slaughter was even found to be despicable by the Nazis…Over 80 percent of Yugoslavia’s [sic: Croatia’s] pre-war Jewish population of over 86,000…lost their lives in the death camps…Marshal Josip Broz Tito, wartime Partisan leader immured knowledge of these Croatian Death Camps in postwar Yugoslavia. The book defeats the revisionist history of the genocide perpet[u]ated by contemporary Croatian leaders aimed at covering up what occurred…The author pays special attention to the insidious role of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Haj Amin al Husseini, and Hitler’s guest in Berlin during WWII. The author connects the Grand Mufti to the Muslim Brotherhood, his intervention in pogroms against Jews in Iraq, recruitment of Bosnian Muslim SS Waffen troops and scuttling of Jewish Children transports to Palestine…

Jerome B. Gordon, author of The West Speaks and a senior editor of The New English Review.

One sentence in the review which I did not include has the book revealing a “hitherto unknown genocide by nationalist Serbs and Cetniks who during the Nazi occupation relentlessly tracked down and killed Jews.” This caused me to raise my eyebrows, and I supposed that perhaps Israeli — like every other journalist, scholar and historian who’s worried about making the Serbs look too much better than their enemies — felt compelled to include such a section in order to morally equalize WWII Serbs with WWII Croatians. While I’d be surprised if some tracking-down and turning-in of Jews didn’t go on in Serbia, as it did in almost every European country, it certainly wasn’t the case with the most famous Chetnik fighters — those of Draza Mihailovich — who had 2,000 Bulgarian Jews fighting alongside them.

It’s possible the moral equivalence came from Communist sources that the author may have used. Or perhaps from the notorious, paid-for screed by Philip Cohen Serbia’s Secret War. Mihailovich did specifically address anti-Semitism as unacceptable, which implies there was at least some of it among his forces. But that’s a very long way from “relentlessly tracked down and killed,” much less “genocide.” It’s possible also that Israeli is conflating Mihailovich’s men with the collaborationist Nedic government, which did help hunt down Jews for the Gestapo. (Mihailovich had moles within the Nedic regime, funneling money, food and supplies to the resistance.) Even in that case, though, it would be a bit like comparing Vichy France to the SS itself. (Worse, since it took a lot more Serb blood than French before collaborating.)