Croatian nazi criminal Sakic dies

This video says about itself:

Jasenovac, the largest concentration and extermination camp in Croatia; seven hundred thousand people were murdered at Jasenovac, mostly Serbs but Jews and Gypsies as well, and opponents of the Croatian Ustasa regime.

From British daily The Independent:

Dinko Sakic: Concentration camp commander

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Dinko Sakic was only 22 years old when, in 1944, he was appointed commander of Jasenovac, the most notorious of the wartime concentration camps established by Croatia‘s pro-Nazi ruling party, the Ustashe. Although thousands of inmates were killed during his brief tenure in charge of the camp, Sakic appeared destined to evade justice once he escaped – along with many other war criminals – to Argentina after the war. There he lived in comparative obscurity for over 50 years, until he appeared in a television interview in which he admitted the role he had played at Jasenovac, while denying that any atrocities had been committed at the camp. …

Dinko Sakic was born in 1921 and became a committed member of the nationalist organisation Ustasha from a very young age. Following the German-led invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the new Independent State of Croatia (NDH), established under Third Reich and Italian tutelage, set up detention facilities for Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croats. The Ustasha regime of the Poglavnik, or leader, Ante Pavelic, was determined to eliminate minority groups and political opponents – in the case of the Serbs, by expulsions, killings and forcible conversions to Roman Catholicism.

Sakic joined the concentration camp administration in 1941. A year later he was appointed as an assistant commandant of Jasenovac, south-east of Zagreb, the biggest of the 20-odd camps set up by the Ustasha regime. …

Sakic led a relatively quiet life, running a textile factory and engaging in Ustasha émigré politics. He was largely forgotten and already living in quiet retirement when he unintentionally catapulted himself into the limelight in an Argentinian television interview, shown in April 1998, by admitting that he had been a commandant at Jasenovac.

The Sakic case posed a dilemma for President Tudjman’s nationalist administration which had led Croatia to independence in 1991. Tudjman had courted the Croatian émigré community, including the far right, in a bid to strengthen national unity during the war of independence from Yugoslavia and the conflict with Croatia’s separatist Serbs which lasted until 1995. In his historical writings in the 1980s he had already sought to play down the number of victims at Jasenovac; and as president in the mid-1990s, he had provoked outrage by proposing that the Ustasha victims of post-war retribution by the Communists should be buried alongside those whom the Ustashe had killed at Jasenovac, as a gesture of national reconciliation.

On the other hand, with Croatia’s war and the intense phase of nationalism associated with it now over, Tudjman was eager to demonstrate the country’s pro-Western, democratic credentials in the hope of securing eventual accession to the European Union and better relations with the United States.

50 Years ago: Croatian fascist leader Pavelic dies in Spain: here.

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13 thoughts on “Croatian nazi criminal Sakic dies

  1. This song is actually a historical one– it talks about a Croatian hero from the 6th century, not the Holocaust or Nazis. Don’t criticize something you know nothing about. You really shouldn’t be criticizing a singer when you don’t understand the language or the beautiful culture he comes from.

    [Update October 1910 by Administrator: the original Thompson music video to which this comment refers is no longer on YouTube. I have replaced it with the Jasenovac video.]


  2. Hi Jenny, you should not criticize a blog post when you apparently do not know that the band Thompson does have a song, “positive” about the deathly concentration camps Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška on their repertoire. You might have found out with this simple Google search.

    And, like there were no English (only Celtic Britons vs. Saxons), no US Americans, etc. etc. in the 6th century, neither were there Croats then.

    Nationalism, Croatian or otherwise, apparently may blind people.


  3. Nazi name for giant Dutch ship draws outcry
    Man says he wants to honor late father; critic says choice is ‘tasteless’

    Pieter Schelte Heerema, a renowned post-WWII maritime engineer, is seen here wearing a SS uniform.
    View related photos

    updated 4:31 p.m. ET Nov. 7, 2008

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – It ought to be a proud milestone in the Dutch seafaring heritage — the construction of a new ship its owner claims will be the world’s largest. But there’s one problem: its name.

    Edwin Heerema, founder of the company that has commissioned the $1.7 billion vessel, wants to name it the Pieter Schelte after his late father, Pieter Schelte Heerema, who was renowned as a maritime engineer but was condemned for his service in the murderous Nazi Waffen SS.

    The choice of name has provoked outcry and has revived painful questions about Dutch collaboration with the country’s World War II occupiers.

    “For people who know his pitch-black history, this ship should not be named for him. Not now, not ever,” said Ronny Naftaniel, director of CIDI, which monitors anti-Semitism in the Netherlands. He said Edwin Heerema’s desire to honor his father was understandable up to a point, but the choice of name was “tasteless and unethical.”

    Edwin Heerema’s company, Swiss-based Allseas Group SA, rejected the criticism.

    “Pieter Schelte Heerema was widely appreciated in the industry during his life and the companies that came from his heritage have an excellent name in the offshore industry,” spokesman Jeroen Hagelstein e-mailed in response to questions.

    Switched sides
    But it’s an awkward matter for the government. It gave Allseas’ Netherlands subsidiary a $1 million tax break for its part in designing the ship, and now acknowledges it didn’t notice the name until a Dutch journalist, Ton Biesemaat, raised the issue.

    Hagelstein said Heerema joined the Nazis out of opposition to communism rather than enthusiasm for national socialism. He said he then switched sides and joined the resistance in 1943 “as he could no longer associate himself with the ideas of the Nazis.”

    He noted that Heerema was tried and released shortly after the war, which shows he “cannot have been seriously delinquent.”

    The respected Netherlands Institute for War Documentation said that’s technically accurate. Heerema was sentenced by a Dutch court to three years in prison but quickly released, the courts having recognized his unspecified but “very important” services to the resistance between August 1943 and March 1944.

    “You have many different kinds of collaborators: some are passive and some are active. This man was prominent, a leader,” said NIOD spokesman Fred Reurs.

    Truus Menger, who was a prominent member of the Dutch resistance, called the naming of the ship “an open display of disdain and aggression.”

    In an interview with The Associated Press, she acknowledged that Heerema ended up aiding the resistance, but said: “Oh, I know how that goes — he had a change of heart. But in the end, he wore the suit and he served Hitler.”

    The Jewish question
    Heerema’s file at the NIOD contains a report of a speech he gave in 1941 in which he was quoted as saying “The German race is model. The Jewish race, by comparison, is parasitic … therefore the Jewish question must be resolved in every Aryan country.”

    Some 70 percent of the Netherlands’ 140,000 Jews perished in the Holocaust.

    After winning promotions within the Waffen SS, Heerema became assistant director of an organization that rounded up unemployed Dutch workers and resettled them in Nazi-occupied areas of Eastern Europe, where hundreds died.

    After a falling-out with his German superiors in August 1943, Heerema disappeared until his arrest in Switzerland in March 1944.

    After his release in November, 1946, he headed to Venezuela where he began a new company and rapidly achieved success.

    As a postwar industrialist he was credited with such important innovations as the semi-submersible crane vessel for work in rough seas.

    He became a multimillionaire and member of the Dutch elite, but questions about his past resurfaced periodically until his death in 1981.

    Towering dimensions
    The new ship, to be used for laying oil pipes and decommissioning North Sea oil rigs, will be 1,253 feet long and 384 feet wide, making it the world’s largest in area, and the heaviest at 210,000 tons, Allseas says.

    It said on Oct. 24 the financial crisis would not prevent the ship’s completion in 2012. It said it has reached agreement on around $250 million worth of contracts and is reviewing bids from shipyards in Southeast Asia to build the hull.

    The tax break prompted Sharon Gesthuizen, a lawmaker of the opposition Socialist Party, to put formal questions to the Economic Affairs Ministry on Oct. 28.

    “Do you see it as your responsibility to protest the naming of this ship, given the extreme sensitivity of the historical events that are connected to that name?” She asked.

    The ministry has two weeks to respond.


  4. Jasenovac Gradska Stara is not Thompson’s song. It is an old song, written during the second world war, during a horrible, bloody time in many nations’ histories, not just Croatia’a. It was not written by Thompson or anyone in his band. You also could have found that out by doing a simple google search. Was it poor choice to sing it at a concert? Sure, but again, it doesn’t define him as a person or artist, any more than that period of history defines the Croatian nation or people.


  5. Hi Jenny, it does not really matter whether the Thompson band wrote this pro nazi death camp song themselves (which I did not claim in comment #2) or not. They have it on their repertoire, that is what matters. Jointly with the context of the nazi salutes, Ustashe symbols etc. at their concerts, it does define Thompson. “Poor choice” is a bit of an understatement. Eg, when German neo nazis sing the Horst Wessel song, they have not written it themselves, as it is from the 1920s. Still, German police considers that it defines them, and will arrest the neo nazis for singing it.


  6. Doctor ‘refused to treat ethnic Serb’

    Croatia: The UN refugee agency has urged the government to investigate an incident in which a doctor reportedly refused to treat a man because he was an ethnic Serb.

    Local media reported that Serb Bosko Radic suffered a stroke on Sunday but was denied medical treatment by Dr Esad Mujkanovic in Otocac.

    UNHCR representative in Croatia Wilfried Buchhorn expressed “strong concern” about the incident and urged the government to investigate.


  7. “And, like there were no English (only Celtic Britons vs. Saxons), no US Americans, etc. etc. in the 6th century…” Right, there were no English people in the 6th century (and of course no US wasps) but you should know that some other nations are much older than yours. Please try to do some research by yourself.


  8. Hi Michael, in the sixth century, what is now Croatia was inhabited by Romanized Illyrians (no one knows what language was Illyrian … Albanian nationalists claim it was ancestral to Albanian … but historians really doubt that; it was also very probably not a Slav language).


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