Communist authorities were happy enough to declare the Ustasha enemies of the state, but made every effort to suppress the exact extent of their atrocities, for the sake of "brotherhood and unity" in the new Yugoslavia. Yet there is no question that a genocide happened. There was clear intent, manifested in speeches, official proclamations and laws of the "Independent State of Croatia" (NDH) There were the countless pits in Herzegovina and Dalmatia, where butchered Serb civilians were disposed of until Italian outrage put a stop to it. By then, the Jasenovac complex had become operational, with death camps not just for men, but for women and even children. German sources suggest anywhere between 750,000 and one million dead, between the pits and the camps.
In 1941, there were 2 million Serbs in territories claimed by the NDH. In 1991, there were almost as many in the same territories - now claimed by Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yet the overall population of Yugoslavia had grown from just over 15 million in 1948 (after the war and genocide) to 23.5 million in 1991. You do the math.
Today the Croatian leadership - President Josipović, Prime Minister Milanović and speaker of the parliament Šprem - visited the Jasenovac memorial and swore that "fascist, Nazi and Ustasha ideas will never again" hold sway in Croatia. Well, why should they, having served their purpose?
The few Serbs remaining in Croatia live in fear and face constant abuse and discrimination. Yet when they tried to rebel against Franjo Tuđman's Ustasha revival in 1990, they were branded "aggressors" and the Empire funded, trained and supported their destruction - specifically, "Operation Storm," the mass ethnic cleansing campaign of August 1995. Since the anniversary of "Storm" is a national holiday in Croatia ("Homeland Thanksgiving Day"), the very same officials who were in Jasenovac today will see nothing wrong in celebrating come August.
It brings to mind the words of Josipović's predecessor, Stjepan Mesić, who once said:
"in the Second World War, the Croats won twice and we have no reason to apologize to anyone... We won on 10 April  when the Axis Powers recognized Croatia as a state, and we won because we sat after the war, again with the winners, at the winning table." (BBC Monitoring; December 10, 2006)
Sure enough, in 1945, the Communist leader Tito "punished" Croatian atrocities by creating a large Croatian republic in the federated Yugoslavia. In 1991, with the backing of Berlin, Vienna and the Vatican, Franjo Tuđman declared this republic an independent state. Croatia was admitted to NATO in 2009. Next year it will be joining the European Union. American weapons, propaganda and diplomacy served the same Croatian agenda in 1991-95 as Hitler's had half a century prior.
Lest there be any doubt as to the character of that "Croatia as a state," here are just three wartime posters (more can be found here) testifying to the relationship between Zagreb and Berlin:
|"United Europe fights in the East", poster for the 1942 exhibit in Zagreb. Nazi eagle, center; Croatian checkerboard over to the right|
|"Great Leaders Adolf Hitler and poglavnik Dr. Ante Pavelić call on you to defend your homes - join the volunteer Croatian SS!" And yes, that's a mosque over on the right, and one of the SS is wearing a fez.|
|"A German victory is a victory for Europe: the German-Croatian brotherhood in arms"|
All this ought to make you wonder who really won WW2.