ZAGREB/BERLIN | | kroatien

ZAGREB/BERLIN (Own report) - The Croatian nationalism, currently causing an uproar at the FIFA World Cup has been supported by the German government for decades. During the World Cup, members of the Croatian national team also sang a song with well-known fascist lyrics - originally a song from a singer glorifying Ustaša fascism and praising the mass murder of Serbs in World War II. Virulent nationalism has been prevailing for years throughout the Croatian society. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recently confirmed that fascist tendencies are gaining strength in that country. Following World War II, old Ustaša structures had been able to hibernate in the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn also had supported the growing Croatian separatism in the 1970s and established links to the exile Croatian nationalist groups. In the early 1990s, Germany promoted Croatia's secession - and thus its nationalism - for geostrategic reasons. more…

ZAGREB/BERLIN | | kroatien

ZAGREB/BERLIN (Own report) - The participation of government members at commemorations honoring Nazi collaborators has provoked controversy in Croatia. Several Croat ministers, including the minister of culture, are expected to attend tomorrow's commemoration ceremonies for Ustasha combatants killed by Yugoslav partisans in May 1945. Croatia's Minister of Culture promotes Ustasha commemorations - heavily frequented, since years, by Croatia's rightwing extremist organizations - while spreading doubts about the Nazi collaborators' crimes. There is growing approbation among Croats for a film downplaying the slaughter committed in Croatia's Jasenovac extermination camp. The foundations for the growing prominence of Croat revisionism, accompanied by a manifestly rightwing development, were laid - with German support - at the beginning of the 1990s. Franjo Tudjman, leading politician of secessionist Croatia, at the time, had not only played down the crimes at Jasenovac, but even glorified the Ustasha. Bonn helped to impose international acceptance of Croatia's secession under Tudjman's leadership, thereby paving the way for the rise to power of Croatia's extreme right. more…

BERLIN/NEW YORK | | ungarnukrainelettlandkroatienitalien

BERLIN/NEW YORK (Own report) - The Federal Republic of Germany has refused to vote in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the glorification of National Socialism and Nazi collaboration. Last week, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution strongly criticizing the edification of memorials to Nazi functionaries and the stylization of Nazi collaborators as "freedom fighters." Germany and the other EU nations abstained, the USA, Canada, and Ukraine voted against the document, with 115 nations voting in favor. Berlin and Brussels use the excuse of not wanting to support a resolution initiated by Russia. In fact, a vote in favor of the document would have caused hefty disputes within the EU, and between the EU and important allies. With growing frequency, notorious Nazi collaborators are being publicly honored in such EU countries as Hungary or the Baltic countries and in Ukraine, in some cases by officials of the respective governments. more…

Lying in Wait

VIENNA/ZAGREB/BERLIN | | oesterreichjugoslawienkroatien

VIENNA/ZAGREB/BERLIN (Own report) - The Austrian government is pushing the government of Croatia to compensate the Nazi profiteers resettled in the aftermath of the Second World War. This was reported by an association of resettled persons in Vienna. According to a letter written by the Austrian President to the Danube Swabian Working Group, Austria's foreign minister will "raise the issue of restitution time and again" with the Croatian government. The president himself is strongly supporting the ratification of an accord negotiated in 2005. The accord provides for restitution or compensation of Danube Swabians, who, after the war, had had their property confiscated and had been resettled because of their collaboration with the Nazi occupying power, or at least had profited from the German occupation. Its ratification was halted in the last minute by the Croatian Parliament. Already years ago, Berlin had declared its wish to have Germans benefit from these restitution regulations, which currently apply only to Austrian citizens. This operation also pertains to Serbia and serves as precedence for demands posed by resettled Germans to the Czech Republic and Poland. more…

Colonialist

ZAGREB/ATHENS/BONN | | kroatiengriechenland

ZAGREB/ATHENS/BONN (Own report) - The Deutsche Telekom's expansion is being met with heavy protests in several south European countries. Fearing mass layoffs, wage cuts and deteriorating standards in working conditions, employees of the Greek Telecom OTE are resisting the takeover of their enterprise by the German company. In March, Croatian trade-unionists had already staged a demonstration in front of Telekom's headquarters in Bonn - because of the decrease in real-income and degenerating structural conditions at Hrvatski Telekom. The Croatian enterprise has been under the control of Deutsche Telekom for years. Berlin is hoping to profit from Croatia's imminent entry into the EU by attaining shares through the privatization of previously state owned Croatian companies. German President Horst Koehler will participate in a German-Croatian economic forum in Zagreb on Tuesday. After their protest in Bonn went unheard, Hrvatski Telekom employees characterized the parent company's methods as "colonialist". more…

ZAGREB/ROME/BERLIN | | italiengriechenlandkroatien

ZAGREB/ROME/BERLIN (Own Report) - After the failure of a claim for compensation for victims of German war crimes, compensation claims have been launched on behalf of war criminals. "Damages" and "Restitution of property" are demanded in a Europe-wide appeal by so-called expellees' organisations. In the Second World War they belonged to the camp followers of the Nazi occupiers and their allies or provided the culprits with the facilities in which mass crimes were committed. Their successors want to found a "European Union of Refugees and Expellees" at the end of March. The organisers announce that the proposed association, (which is under strong German influence) intends to register with the European Court of Human Rights in order to be able "to intervene at international level". A "Right of return" to the "EU states formerly in the Eastern Bloc" is also a demand. The campaign will come to full development at the end of March. Simultaneously, the Italian government began public attacks on Croatia. Rome is demanding money and repentance from the successor regime of former Yugoslavia. Croatia was occupied by Italian troops amongst others. The country which was attacked is being pursued by the attacker for damages because of the circumstances of their eventual defeat - under EU rules. more…