THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
Reading J. Bottum's The Usefulness of Daniel Goldhagen, it appears that there is no end to Goldhagen's outrageous lies and exaggerations. One case in point is his statement about the World War II Croatian Nazi puppet state's Jasenovac camp. He writes that 200,000 Jews, Serbs, and Gypsies were killed in that camp. While Bottum correctly presented the truth about the defrocked priest in charge of the killings, he neglected to mention that the actual number of victims was between 60,000 and 80,000--not 200,000. Every innocent victim is one too many, but such exaggerations, which are the result of Serbian propaganda, are outrageous. During the 1999 trial of the Jasenovac camp commander Zakic in Zagreb, Croatia, the correct numbers were undisputed even by the Zagreb Jewish community.
The actual list of victims dated back to 1964, issued by the communist Yugoslav authorities in Belgrade, who, being Serb-dominated, certainly had no wish to minimize Croatia's guilt. The list has been reprinted in a 1,170-page book by the Bosniac Institute in Zurich: "Jasenovac War Victims, According to the Yugoslav statistics Bureau." According to these data, there were approximately 59,000 victims.
For centuries, Croatia was not known as an ant-Semitic nation, yet its reputation suffers to this day because of four years under the Ustasha regime, which was established during World War II by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Croats, and especially their Cardinal Stepinac, saved hundreds of Jews and the Cardinal publicly spoke out against the camps and the killings of Jews and Serbs. Strangely, Goldhagen never mentions the virulent anti-Semitism of the Serb Orthodox Church or the large concentration camps run by Serbs in Serbia during World War II--such as Sajmiste and Manjica--in which many thousands of Jews were killed or handed over to the Germans. While Croatia established a memorial to the victims in Jasenovac, Serbia paved over their camps, so no one would ever see them.
--Hilda M. Foley, National Federation of Croatian Americans