Thursday, January 31, 2008
Nazi-Supported Independent State of Croatia
An Orthodox blogger questioned the connection of my comment regarding the Serbian Holocaust in Croatia during World War II and his posting regarding the 75th anniversary of Adolf Hilter's rise to power.
I can sort of understand why the connection would appear to be tenuous, since the popular culture's idea of Hitlerian Big Events doesn't include atrocities in an obscure European corner.
Hilter permitted the Ustashe (a Croatian nationalist organization) to create the Independent State of Croatia, which proceeded to kill, deport, and forcibly convert to Roman Catholicism hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Serbs. The leading Latin prelate in Croatia, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Stepinac, supported the forced conversions. Interestingly, Stepinac was beatified by Pope John Paul II, who ironically was a keen advocate of Latin/Orthodox ecumenism. Many Latin priests and monks participated in the atrocities.
The US Holocaust Museum website has information about the third largest concentration camp in Europe, Jasenovac, whose sometime commander was a Franciscan priest. The Serbian Orthodox Church website has information about this unfortunate period.
"Because of your faith in God and God's justice,
ye have suffered earthly sorrow in the flesh;
yet ye saved your souls, as heaven rejoices and your ancestors sin our in Heaven,
greeting you at the gate of Paradise in son;
Your names are in the book of eternity,
enter into Paradise, ye children of immortality!
Therefore we on earth, your posterity, cry out in unison:
Holy New Martyrs, pray for us."
Troparion of the New Martyrs of Serbia, Tone 8
(Composed by St. Nikolai (Velimirovich))