C R O W N
The Baltimore Sun
Tim Franklin, Editor and Senior Vice President
Robert Blau, Vice President and Managing Editor
Dianne Donovan, Vice President and Editorial Page Editor
The Baltimore Sun Company
501 N. Calvert Street
P.0. Box 1377
Baltimore, Maryland 21278
The Baltimore Sun
Letters to the Editor
Re: commentary by Julia Gorin "When will the world confront the undead of
Why would a respectable newspaper as yours even consider publishing such a virulent, malicious diatribe against Croatia and its people, calling Croatians "Nazis"? If this were published before the 1991 wars in former Yugoslavia, one could possibly excuse it as ignorance, as not knowing the actual historic facts regarding Serbia's domination of Croatia since Yugoslavia was formed in 1918, since all the media and diplomatic information was issued strictly from Serbia's Belgrade. But after the start of the Serbian/ Yugoslav army's aggression against the seceding Republics of Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia in 1991, and many journalists on locations truthfully reporting what was occurring, only diehard Serbophiles would refuse to see who is the aggressor and who is the victim. They reported the atrocities committed by the Serbs, their mass killings, the looting and burning of entire Croatian villages, the total destruction of the city of Vukovar and the repeated shelling of many towns, among them Dubrovnik, a World Heritage site. Serbs originated the word "ethnic cleansing" by forcing out several hundred thousand Croatians from their homes to become refugees in their own homeland.
The ignorance of Ms. Gorin is overwhelming as she writes about Croatia's borders "being restored to its Hitler-defined borders". Obviously she has no idea that Croatia existed for over one thousand years largely within its present borders and was actually larger until Tito gave part of it in the East to the Serbs and to the Montenegrins on the Adriatic coast. The "Nazi state" she writes about, was a puppet state of WWII that lasted exactly four years. The Germans occupied inland Croatia and the Italians the coastal area. Croatians were never known to be antisemitic, nor had they a Nazi/fascist orientation. All they ever wanted was independence. The Jasenovac concentration camp in WWII was established on orders of the German High Command and was openly opposed by the late Croatian Cardinal Stepinac. Ms. Gorin' penchant for exaggerating numbers only rivals those of the Serbs, when counting concentration camps and victims. In Croatia there were two camps not 40 - though even one is one too many. This begs the question why Ms. Gorin never mentions the Serb Nazi regime of WWII and the Serb concentration camps of Sajmiste and others, where their Jewish population was killed, proudly declaring Belgrade "the first Jew-free city" and issuing antisemitic stamps. One thing is certain, Croatia has publicly honored the victims of Jasenovac, while Serbs are hiding the truth of their camps by having them paved over years ago.
Regarding the return of the rebel Croatian Serbs who fled Croatia on orders of their own leadership, - not chased out by General Gotovina's Croatian army, as Mr. Gorin writes, - has been progressing, but many of them have been those "willing executioners", a title she likes to apply to Croats, so they are not in a hurry to return, as they know of the crimes they have committed. As regards today's Croatian government, no matter what they call themselves now, is still run by "former communists", which includes its President Mesic.
Hilda M. Foley
13272 Orange Knoll
North Tustin, CA 92705
Editor Franz Schneiderman
The article (When will world confront the undead of Croatia? January
16.) is more worthy of supermarket tabloid reporting than that of a
respected newspaper.Two wrongs do not make one right; however,
reporting a one-sided story is not only bad journalism, but also
playing with the truth. Without going into historical realities and the
well known, researched and documented verifications of WW II, one might
only wonder why the honour of Righteous Among the Nations, a title
given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews, was granted to
so many Croats at Yad Vashem, if 'we were all Nazi sympathisers'?
(the list can be found at: http://www.croatianhistory.net/etf/prav.html
Regarding the 'civil war' on the territory of Croatia and Bosnia
(1991-1995), as many liked to call it, it was actually, and
non-controversially, an aggression and a 'land grab' by the Serbian
nationals and nationalists. That this was so is also attested by NATO's
bombing (with approval of the USA) of strategic points in Belgrade, the
Serbian capital, which finally brought that madness to a close. The
'expulsion' of ethnic minorities (i.e. Serbs) from Croatia is well
acknowledged as having had in it also the hands of Serbian president
Slobodan Milosevic and Krajina's self proclaimed leader Milan Babic
(who commited suicide while incarcerated for crimes against humanity in
Den Haag), for precisely the reasons this reporter utilized it: a smear
campaign against the Republic of Croatia. And to exploit a small group
of rabid and narrow-minded soccer fans as an indication of how all
Croats feel is, to say the least, unfair, even because it can have more
subtle interpretations (could it have been a reference to Italy's mixed
past?). This correlation is comparable to slandering all of the
American people for the incident at Abu Ghraib. The latter, justifiably
we hope, was characterised as an 'isolated incident.' We, the
Croats, at least expect the same courtesy and expect a writen appology.
Srebrenka Bogovic, PhD
York University, Toronto
The Internet is full of both information and misinformation and
requires a careful approach, but we suggest the following for starters:
The Editor, Baltimore Sun,
On 16 Jan. 2007, Julia Gorin asks when the world will confront the 'undead' of Croatia. The article begins by introducing issues relating to the recent war crimes trials, human rights, and Croatia's EU membership, but Gorin merely uses these issues as a platform to link her unsubstantiated WWII propaganda with Croatia today, instead of to current events and facts. Rather than adopting a logical factual approach to the issues she introduced, Gorin's deliberate use of sensationalist language and 'untruths' speak only about her pro-Serbian bias. Gorin's failure to inform readers with facts relevant to the nominated issues illustrates blatant propaganda designed to fuel hatred against Croatian victims of injustice.
Jean Lunt Marinovic, Melbourne, Australia
The world has been in a turmoil almost every day of my adult life. I've
been living in ,what I consider, safety of this country, but wish for
peace and justice everywhere. We are all in position to advance these in
steps, big or small. globally or locally, but probably few are in
better position than a newspaper editor.After reading the above article,
I asked myself, what was the editor thinking? The purpose of the article
does not come through: Is it to improve the welfare of someone? Is it to
prevent future war and terror? To bring a resolution to a very long and
painful conflict? Reflection on some facts? Maybe the purpose was
disguised to fit in any of those. However, an attempt of discrediting a
nation through a series of distorted anecdotes linked with so much hate
is all I could gather. Now , the writer is who she is and for whatever
reason and there are and will be all kinds of people in the world. But
publishing in The Sun should be only for those who have facts
complemented with journalistic vision and horizons. And with the
blessing of the editor who must possess same qualities and can make a
decision that a blank in the page is much better than some texts.
Dr. V. Bach, Bronx, NY.
To the Editor:
Julia Gorin has a well-known history of drudging out bits and pieces of Croatia's past to paint it as a newly resurrected Nazi state. Gorin's cherry-picking, however, cannot hide the fact that ethnic Croats made up one of the largest group of guerrilla and anti-fascist forces in Europe during World War II. Indeed, Croat Partisans saved over a thousand American airmen forced to bail out over occupied Yugoslavia during the War.While there were Croats who collaborated with the Nazis, dispassionate scholarly observers have consistently noted that those numbers were small. The indiscriminate use of this Nazi-past by propagandists like Gorin unfairly denigrates what Croatia is all about today. This is most clearly seen in the friendly relations between Croatia and Israel. More than 100,000 Israeli tourists visit Croatia annually while Croatia's President Mesic, who has made hundreds of statements condemning fascism and Croatia's role in the Holocaust.
Very truly yours,
John P. Kraljic , Esq
NB: I am the former President of the National Federation of Croatian Americans. This letter may be edited for publication purposes.
Re: When will world confront the undead of Croatia? By
Julia Gorin 16 January.
Julia Gorin's article on Croatia, to put it mildly,
was rather inaccurate. Gorin's speaks of the Croatian
role in World War 2. Yet she fails to mention that the
Serbian Chetniks were dumped by none other than
Winston Churchill for their collusion with the Nazi's
in favour of Tito's multi-national partisans, in which
the Croats played a disproportionately large role.
In 1991, Serbia invaded and occupied one third of
Croatia. Up to 20,000 Croats were killed. Who can
forget the horror of Vukovar, pounded into rubble by
Serb forces? The bombardment of defenceless Dubrovnik
- an assault against civilisation itself. Croatia did
not attack Serbia at all. The Serbs were the
aggressors; not the victims.
As for Gorin's claim that Serbia is 'actively' doing
something about it's crimes, I can only assume this
was a joke on her part. Serbian fugitives from
justice Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic must be
laughing themselves stupid at that one.
Subject: Julia Gorin story on Jan 16th 2007
CROATIA - Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but not to their facts.
Mr. Franz Schneiderman, editor
Dear Editor Schneiderman,
I just spoke with you over the phone when you in the begging of our conversation said that majority of Croatian people were Nazi allies. 2% is not majority, not to mention that the truth is exactly opposite. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, but not to their facts. As I mentioned, my father fought Fascism and so did majority of Croatians. And not just fought, organized it first. Such hatred letters are written for only one purpose. Political gain. Serbian oppression of all of the peoples of former Yugoslavia is known to us for a long time. (Torturing of intellectuals, concentration camps, genocide... etc read about Albert Einstein's protest against the murder of Milan Sufflay in Zagreb in 1931 ), Obviously not to you !?! Bottom line is money. Croatia is now making more money from tourism than all others countries combined. Include on that list Bulgaria and Romania. Not just more, but eight times more than all of them together. I guess it hurts that all of the money that went to Belgrade for 80 years is suddenly gone. We paid for our freedom in blood, and we will honor that gift with dignity. I hope that much more good will come out of this. We will try to educate you on Croatia www.croatianhistory.net and hopefully you can come and visit this Dream Land one day soon www.croatia.org. I believe that good things will come out of this mess that you created. Truth will rise.
cc: Michael Cross - Barnet , editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baltimore Sun Company
501 N. Calvert Street
P.0. Box 1377
Baltimore, Maryland 21278
Main number: 410-332-6000
Previous short letter:
Hitler didn't have more fierce enemies than Croatians. My father fought Hitter as a Croatian partisan. Who defeated Hitler in former Yugoslavia? Croatians. Who was Tito? Croatian. Such a hatred letter I didn't see in a long time. You want to be know for Serbian false propaganda? You are on a right track. As an editor, I wish you to know what was written in your newspapers. Check the page www.croatianhistory.net (Library of Congress use it) to educate yourself on the country people etc. We are no better or worse than anybody else, and we are very sensitive when someone is publishing pure lies about us.
All the best,
RE: Julia Gorin story on Jan 16th 2007
Mr. Franz Schneiderman, editor Montreux, January 17, 2007
Dear Editor Mr. Schneiderman,
At several Internet forums I have learned about this mess that you created in your journal
and as a Croat who lives in Switzerland I feel very upset that I have to write to the USA
(where as a physicist I often work) just to make sure that the Truth about Croatian
nation be respected.
I will not enter into a long discussion, yet I trust as a human who shares this Planet and
this Universe with you and your colleagues that you will do your best to publish THE Truth
about Croatia, as true facts are available from many web pages, as an example:
Many thanks in advance for your kind understanding and I trust that
you will join us all in spreading the truth about Croatia and our people
who were mostly victims in the course of history and who exist by miracle
or rather by the Grace of God.
God Bless You and your juornalists in spreading the Truth !
Prof. Dr. Davor Pavuna
Director, Laboratory for Physics of Functional Matter
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
IPMC - FSB, station 3, CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel (direct): + 41 21 693 3301
Tel (secr.): + 41 21 693 3374
Fax: + 41 21 693 4666
Web page: http://ipmc.epfl.ch/page31440.html
RE: MORE info on Julia Gorin story on Jan 16th 2007
Mr. Franz Schneiderman, editor
Montreux, January 17, 2007
Dear Mr. Schneiderman,
I am sorry to write to you again tonight from Switzerland but I just received
a rather detailed description about this lady
and given the fact that Mario proaca is an award winning INDEPENDENT
journalist, I trust that you will respect his findings and in future avoid
''writers'' like Julia Gorin ...
Many thanks in advance,
Formated for CROWN by Nenad Bach
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