In reference to the banner the girl below is holding, there is apparently a similarly titled old Ustasha song called “Spustila se Gusta Magla” ( “A Dense Fog Descended”). Herewith, a loose translation, courtesy of Nebojsa Malic:

A dense fog descended on Zagreb,
It was no dense fog above Zagreb,
It was the brave army of the Poglavnik (the “Fuehrer”, Croatian President Ante Pavelic).

Poglavnik, gather up the army,
And lead it to bloody battle to Drina (border between Bosnia and Serbia).

Poglavnik gave them the name, brave Ustashe,
That is the army defending our homes.

A dense fog descended on Kupres (majority-Serb Herzegovina town which the Black Legion terrorized in the ’40s),
It was no dense fog above Kupres.

Their leader was knightly Boban, a real Ustasha (Black Legion commander Rafael Boban).
Under the mosque he shouts, a brave Ustasha. (Probably a reference to the Bosnian Muslims who served in the Black Legion.)

Poglavnik named them the Black Legion.
It was a brave army, the Black Legion.

Meanwhile, a letter from a Croatian gentleman today, named Kresimir:

Julia i don’t understand your hate towards Croatia and Croatians. i will tell you this YOU WILL NEVER SPLIT US APART AND JUGOSLAVIJA WILL NEVER BE AGAIN AND IF IT EVER COMES BACK AS JUGOSLAVIJA I WILL BE THERE TO DESTROY IT….worry about your JEWS killing innocent palastinians and causing the wars in Iraq and Lebenon and soon Iran…

Bog I Hrvati (”God and Croatians”)

This is almost too easy.

I’m not sure whom he thinks I’m trying to split apart, but it’s funny he used the word “split”. Because Split, Croatia, is where a new acquaintance of mine was vacationing and found — displayed casually amid a bunch of travel books for sale — a copy of Mein Kampf:

It was summer 2002, and I was in Split, Croatia, a pretty and popular European vacation destination, and I passed by a small book stand selling many books that seemed geared toward the tourists all around, but unlike similar stores on Khao San Road (backpacker street in Bangkok), the proprietors of this Croat travel bookstand felt their customers should want to read Mein Kampf.

Similarly, in a September 1999 article titled “Nazi Nostalgia in Croatia,” Balkans expert Diana Johnstone wrote:

When I visited Croatia three years ago, the book most prominently displayed in the leading bookstores of the capital city Zagreb was a new edition of the notorious anti-Semitic classic, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Next came the memoires of the World War II Croatian fascist Ustashe dictator Ante Pavelic, responsible for the organized genocide of Serbs, Jews and Romany (gypsies) that began in 1941, that is, even before the German Nazi “final solution”.

However, if the Croatian fascists actually led, rather than followed, the German Nazis down the path of genocide, that doesn’t mean they have forgotten their World War II benefactors. After all, it was thanks to Hitler’s invasion of Yugoslavia that the “Independent State of Croatia” was set up in April 1941, with Bosnia-Herzegovina (whose population was mostly Serb at the time) as part of its territory. And the hit song of 1991, when Croatia once again declared its independence from Yugoslavia and began driving out Serbs, was “Danke Deutschland” in gratitude to Germany’s strong diplomatic support for Zagreb’s unnegotiated secession.

In the West, of course, one will quickly object that the Germany of today is not the Germany of 1941. True enough. But in Zagreb, with a longer historical view, they are so much the same that visiting Germans are sometimes embarrassed when Croats enthusiastically welcome them with a raised arm and a Nazi “Heil!” greeting.

So it should be no surprise that this year’s best seller in Croatia is none other than a new edition of “Mein Kampf”. This is not a critical edition, mind you, but a reverently faithful reproduction of the original text by that great European leader, benefactor of Croatian nationalism and leader of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler.

The magazine “Globus” reported that “Mein Kampf” is selling like hotcakes in all segments of Croatian society. For those who want to read more, there is a new book entitled “The Protocols of Zion, the Jews and Adolf Hitler” by Mladen Schwartz, leader of the Croatian neo-Nazi party New Right, and “Talks with Hitler” by the Fuhrer’s aide Herman Rauschning, as well as various other memoires celebrating the Ustashe state whose violent massacres of Serbs shocked the Italian fascist allies and even German diplomatic observers at the time.

I was pondering what it is about Croatia that allows it to get away with — sometimes literally — murder (but in this case a 60,000-person concert full of people Sieg Heil’ing). Had this happened anywhere else, the mainstream presses would have picked it up and disseminated the information far and wide, and there would be a public outcry. So what is it that keeps Croatia’s crimes off the radar, I wondered. The obvious answer came to me in short order. This is all part of the “Balkan blowback” phenomenon. Meaning, if a light were shone on what the Serbs’ enemies have been up to, it could bring the called-for reexamination of 1990s events, but too many of those same presses have too much blood on their hands to allow that kind of reexamination to happen.

So if you are an enemy of the Serbs, it doesn’t matter what you do; you are immune to public scrutiny.