Jews among Nazi Ustashas in the Independent State of Croatia – from Joshua Franc to Mladen Schvartz

Posted on March 14, 2014 by


Many national and international media recently published a statement of Efraim Zuroff , Israeli historian and director of the ” Simon Wiesenthal Center ” on the occasion of the Mass in memory of the Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic , that was for the umpteenth time served in Zagreb and Split . Zuroff then said that the Mass is ” an insult to the memory of his ( Pavelic ) victims and mocking at the horrific consequences of the Ustasha crimes .”

Efraim Zuroff , member of the International Commission for the Truth on Jasenovac, knows the history of the so-called Independent State of Croatia and many facts about the Ustasha crimes . However Dr Zuroff as an historian , the Jewish community member has never addressed the role the Jews played in the creation of the ISC (Independent State of Croatia) and crimes the monster state committed against Serbs . Efraim Zuroff will tell you that Ante Pavelic was the Nazi,  and the Jews were, like  Serbs, also victims of his regime.

Recruiting poster

Let’ s start from the presumption that Pavelic was a Nazi . Nazism – or National Socialism – is the ideology of the German Workers ‘Party (later the National Socialist German Workers’ Party ), founded on 5 January in 1919. The National Socialism is represented in the policies adopted and implemented by the German government in 1933. – 1945, –  the period known as the Third Reich . Neither Ante Pavelic was a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party , nor his ideology was National Socialism .

Pavelic was a high school student when he joined the Party of Rights , whose ideology served as basis for the formation of the Ustasha movement . The Right party has been founded in 1861. by Ante Starcevic , a Croat from around Gospic , and Eugen Kvaternik, converted Jew from Zagreb. The basic principle of the Party of Rights was, ” Neither under Vienna nor the Pest, but for a free and independent Croatia “. However , since its inception, one of the main characteristics of the Rights Party ideology was the hatred for Serbs. For Starcevic, who is now in Croatia praised as the “father of the nation” , the Serbs are ” garbage people” , ” spawn “, which stinks, eats feces , good only as servants to Croats ” that should be exterminated from the Earth .” However , in other occasions, Starcevic states that Serbs do not exist, that they are ” Orthodox Croats ” . According to him , the greatest Serbs in history were actually ” Hervat ” (Croats) while ordinary Serbs were ” slavoserbske breed .” But we have to be aware of the fact that Ante Starcevic was at least partially of Serbian origin. His mother, Milica Bogdan was Serbian , and his father was of Serbs from Herzegovina. However , just as many Ustasha were of Serbian origin, it didn’t prevent them from conducting horrific crimes against Serbian children, nor his background prevented him from creating the slogans ” Serbs (to be hanged) on the willows ,” and “Serbian heads  go under  ax .”


Neither Eugen Kvaternik didn contribute less in establishment of that gruesome ideology .

In 1868. he published one his most important writings – The East issue and Croats , where he states that Croats has an exclusive right on Bosnia and Herzegovina . He assured the Croatian public that ” Yugoslavism ” /South Slavic version of panslavism/ is actually the same as ” Serbism” ” and ultimately the same as “Russianism”.


However, the writer of the first real political program of the Prava party was one financial expert from Osijek , Jew , Joshua – Joseph Frank . After the death of Ante Starcevic (1896 ) , Frank takes over the leadreship of the party , but , regardless of their affiliation to independent Croatia , in 1898. he was a member of the Committee on Financial Affairs of the Kingdom of Hungary. Under Frank’s leadership , ” HSP ” further enhance Serbophobia in its ideology. Hence, the members and supporters of the Ustasha movement initially called themselves ” Frankists ” .
Another one Osijek  Jew and ” Frankist ” , who joined the Ustasha movement in 1935. was Dr. Ivo Korski . He is still considered one of the most influential ideologue of the Ustasha movement .

Thus , the ideology of the Party of Rights, later represented  and implemented by the Pavelic regime , there was nothing that could be described  as German National Socialism . The main objectives of the Party of Rights and subsequent Ustasha movement were:

1 ) the creation of the Croatian state , which would cover a good part of the Balkan Peninsula, and

2) the destruction of the Serbs in the territory of such a Greater Croatian state .

The ‘Ustashism’ was  heir and continuation of the ” Party of Rights .” Unlike fascism and national socialism , the  Yugoslav  communists (under – surprise! –  the Croat Tito leadership)  movement didn’t see the Ustasha as an enemy , but a welcome ally in the ” breaking the spine of Orthodoxy and Serbdom,” as literally stated in the second point of agreement between the Ustasha movement and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia signed in Sremska Mitrovica, 1935 .  by the Ustasha leader Mile Budak and Tito’s  emissary Mosa/ Mose Pijade.

Three years earlier ( 1932) , the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia issued a proclamation in which  they” welcome the Ustasha movement and keeps  entirely on his side .” Dr. Serge Trifkovic in his book The Ustashe : Balkan Heart of Darkness on the European political scene , writes: According to the pre-WWII Ustasha were treated as separatists and pro (Yugoslav) communist movement in Hitler’s Germany even,  therefore they were often arrested and imprisoned . Later, the apparent similarity of the Ustasha movement with fascism and National Socialism were solely a mean of gaining support from Italians and Germans , who were then – masters of the Balkans.

At the end of the 1930-ies  Ante Pavelic founded a terrorist organization ” Ustaša – Croatian Revolutionary Organization ” ( UHRO ) in Italy.  Pavelic’s closest associates at the time were Ivan Ivic Frank , son of Joseph Frank , and Slavko Kvaternik . Moreover he himself came from a family of converted Jews;  Kvaternik married Olga Frank , daughter of Joseph Frank. In camps for military training , founded in Italy by Pavelic, Hungary and Austria , the Jews were trained as well. In Janka Pusta, Hungary , not far from present-day Novi Knezevac , was the main Ustasha training center for diversants and assassins .

Commander and one of the butchers of death camp Jasenovac,  Vjekoslav Max Luburić   testified about the Jews who were trained there, and who were  at the top of the early Ustasha movement : ”  At Janka Pusta there were , what a coincidence , Vlado Singer , and Srecko Kremzir , both Jews  … the spiritual leader of the Jewish emigration was John Frank , the son of the rightist leader Dr. Joseph Frank. It was no secret to anyone that the wife of Pavelic,  Mara , was from a Jewish family . Also the most famous persons among the Ustasha diaspora and the entire younger teams, Eugen- Dido Kvaternik was of Jewish blood , as well as the pre-eminent figure in his homeland and later Colonel Slavko Kvaternik. “

“What can we say about the elite of the Homeland (satelite ISC) who married Jews. And the state leadership , and the military and political leadership , even in the Ustasha movement  – we all had ‘our Jews ‘ . Nobody never occurred to look for Jewish ancestors among  the Croatized middle class in the Croatia. “

Ivan Mužić, Croatian historian and Roman Catholic journalist , in his essay ”On  statehood of the Dinarian Croats”  explains ” Pavelic was not antijudaist . It was only in his memorandum about the ‘ Croatian Question’ ( 1936 , written in German for the German political leadership in order to gain their support ) that he treated Judaism t as an enemy of the Croats. The text is clearly inspired by political pragmatism so it is understandable that there is no anti-Judaism in his other inter-war writings . Also at the top of the Ustasha movement were numerous persons of Jewish origin. “
As soon as the Independent State of Croatia was declared , 10 April 1941 , the establishment of state apparatus, civil service ,  army ,  police , and all other supporting civil authorities started . There were numerous high positioned Jews in all of these structures;  significant number of the top government , military and police positions were occupied by Jews.
Jew Vlado Singer was Chief Commissioner Ustasha , the supreme organ of the Ustasha movement , and the head of the Ustasha supervisory services . The Supreme Ustasha and doglavnici ( deputies) of  Ante Pavelic were, among others,  Jews Slavko Kvaternik  and Andrija Bethlehem . Jew was and Ivo Heinrich , one of the managers of the Jasenovac  death camp and  close friend of Ante Pavelic. The head of the Ustasha secret police was Otto Krezimir , also a Jew . Member of the Croatian Parliament , prof . Dr. David Karlovic was a Jew , just like Dr. Stipe Mösner , Plenipotentiary Representative to Bulgarian government . In the cultural life of the ISC/ NDH the  important role was played by Jewish prof . Mirko Breyer and Dr. Zdenko Vinsky . The official governmental printing house in the Independent State of Croatia was owned by the family Schulhoff, who were Jews from Zagreb.

In the Nazi Croatia military forces there were  28  Jews senior officers, such as: : Nikola Steinfel , admiral and the last minister of the armed forces of NDH,  general Ladislav Aleman , assistant chief of the administrative staff and deputy commander of the garrison in Zagreb, Richard Kubin , NDH navy admiral ; Edgar Angeli , Navy Rear Admiral,  NDH general Julius Fritz, commander of the Tenth Defense Division , general Milan Praunsperger , commander of the legal department of the NDH armed forces general staff , Colonel Ferdinand Hall ,  Colonel Dragutin Helbis , Colonel Julio Res, commander of the garrison in Koprivnica , later commander of Pag brigade based in Karlobag ; Emanuel Balei , Colonel of Homeguard the first infantry  division ; engineer Hinko Alabanda ,Ustasha Army colonel , Oton Ćush , Ustasha Homeguard Colonel , Colonel Ivan Sharnbek , commander of the Sixth Infantry Division ; Colonel Joseph Scholz , deputy commander of the First Croatian Impact Division , Colonel Rudolf Vaner , head of the Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Armed Forces, NDH ; Colonel Juraj – Djuro Iser , commander of the Second Homeguard corps , Colonel Joseph  Metzger , commander of the fourth Croat Association , Colonel Julio Sash commander of the Second National area protection ; Colonel Mirko Zgaga , commander of the First infantry Division  ; Colonel Bozidar Zorn , first commander of the Second Mountain Brigade , and later of Ninth Mountain Brigade , and finally commander of the Second Division of the Croatian striking , Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gamberger , motorized battalion commander based in Slavonski Brod , Lieutenant Colonel Dragutin Rubler , liaison officer  with Italian army , general Milan Miczler , commander of Constabulary ( gendarmerie NDH ) . No verifiable information about the features that are in the military NDH performed the following Jewish Croatian officers: general Ivo Snur , Colonel Kvintijan Tartaglia , Oskar Kirshbaum , Rudolf Kraus  Tudić and Julio Simovic. The names of the Jews and Croats of Jewish origin who were the Croatian Ustasha members  are  published on the official site of Roman Catholic church of St . Jelena Krizarica of Kastav near Rijeka.

According to the Yugoslav National Commission for the Investigation of the Crimes of the Occupiers and their supporters , the list of those who should be held accountable for the terrible misdeeds committed in Jasenovac , are also the Jews: the  Ustasha lieutenant Ante Altarac, well known for the brutality of the liquidation of Serbs, then Bruno Dijamantstajn , Herman Spiler , Vladimir Bornemisza and certain person called Viner, – all of them  Ustasha trustees or members of the internal administration of the Jasenovac concentration camp.

The veracity of the  4547-1945 document of National Commission for the Investigation of the Crimes of the Occupiers and their supporters from 15 December 1945 , confirmed the data later revealed by Ante Ciliga , then –  member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Ciliga was the author of the book Sam kroz Europu u ratu 1939 – 1945, and in the chapter  ” Jasenovac : ljudi pred licem smrti  – Jasenocav – people in the face of death ”  he described the period he spent as an inmate at death camp Jasenovac  (more than one year,  from 14 December 1941 – 31 December 1941); he was released on the intervention of Rome , as he was an Italian citizen as well.

Vice Vukojevic, a former judge of the Croatian Constitutional Court , recently stated that ” Jews controlled  the Jasenovac camp , the Croats  only provided the security, and that there is an agreement between the Government of the monstrous Independent State of Croatia  and the Jewish community in Zagreb on Financing Administration of the Jasenovac death camp ” . The president of the Jewish community in Zagreb , Ivo Goldstein replied that Jewish community in Zagreb only tried to help their members who were imprisoned in Jasenovac , but they helped almost nobody.” Vukojevic in turn accused Goldstein for plot and hiding  the “documents and evidences about the Jewish finacing of  Jasenovac.

What was really the attitude of the Ustasha regime towards the Jewish population in the genocidal Independent state of Croatia? As we can see , the Jews took up some of the most important positions in the Ustasha government. One of the greatest Serbian intellectuals in exile , Dr Laza M . Kostic , in his famous sermon on Vidovdan  1958. in Ontario (Canada ) said : ” We should not forget that most of the leading Ustasha were of Jewish origin, or has been married to Jewish women , and they all reluctantly took measures to exterminate the Jews , just to curry favor with the Germans or at the German explicit order. Meanwhile the measures of  extermination of Serbs they took all the means to exterminate them, sometimes even against the will of the Germans and Italians. The whole of the Croatian people are the most responsible for the genocide “

This has been confirmed by the last words of Slavko Kvaternik : ” The persecution of the Jews began in Osijek. For me there is no doubt that the initiators were Germans , aggressive German Volksgroup. … These persecutions were resumed in various places in Srem and Slavonia in which they were settled , or where they lived among Jews and Germans . These persecutions surprised everyone, including Pavelic. They were rushed to donašanju Jewish law . In government, no one thought the persecution of the Jews , because it was built thinking on the solution of the Jewish problem … I know for sure that Germans were not happy , as I was told by the captain Kojentinski from the German embassy, who says that there is a general opinion that the Croats were too soft and judehcrig . I was even called judenprotektor because of hiding Jews in the Ministry of the armed forces , hospitals and units, and even issued certificate that they cannot be touched (distrubed).”

Eugen Dido Kvaternik supplemented his father’s statement: “As for the Jews , the court in Jerusalem at the hearing against Eichmann, established  that the persecution of Jews in Croatia was led by the Germans , as well as that it started on 11.04.1941 . Back then I was still in Italy . A rabbi of Zagreb after describing the persecution and suffering of Jews in the area of ​​NDH openly admitted that if a considerable number of Jews was saved from Croatia, then it was thanks to corruption of the Ustasha officials and “close family ties between Kvaternik and the Jews” . Only apolitical brain can from personal – sectarian motive for the persecution of Croats blame the Jews , instead of pointing out what was done by the Croatian side to save the Jews . And very much was done. “

Hannah Arendt, German political theorist and philosopher of Jewish descent , in her book on trial of Adolf Eichmann stated that the government of Ante Pavelic,  three weeks after its establishment-  passed the anti-Jewish laws . However , the Germans observed ” an interesting paragraph” in 1943. where all the ustasha Jews were given the title of  ’ honorary Aryans ‘  – all the Jews who contributed to ‘ Croatian thing’ . Of course , the number of the ‘honured’ Jews meantime greatly increased . ” Arendt continues: ” Even more interesting was the fact  revealed by SS intelligence ( … ) , that almost all the members of the rulling clique, the Prime Minister and the Ustasha leaders were married to Jews ” . 6

The pro-Ustasha  author, Croat Mladen Ivezić on its website claims that he was ” the first in the world who has found and published the two letters (previously hidden by anti-fascists the archives ), both sent during 1943. from Zagreb by Grand Rabbi Frajberger to Kaptolu and Croatian authorities , asking to set up camps for those Jews who are not citizens of the puppet state Independent state of Croatia but have no place  to go. The Croatian Jews would have feed them,  according to the letter . ” Ivezić adds : ” Since the Jews were under severe pressure from the German regime in Germany and the war zone , many have apparently brought the good news about the NDH , so they came here , having neither our nationality nor belonging to the Independent State of Croatia. They were coming  from Hungary and Italy trusting in the indulgence of their regimes.”

The Ustasha regime was quite protective to the members of Freemasonry . Specifically an SS noncommissioned officer , in his report of 2 December 1942 , wrote that the top of then – Croatian regime  ” are – almost all – Freemasons “

The report states that the anti-Masonic propaganda of the Ustasha regime is very light ,  and that the Nazi Independent state of Croatia was hostile to Freemasonry . This member of the SS particulary accused Slavko Kvaternik that ” in the interest of ‘ higher purpose ‘ Ustasha carried out  protection of Freemasonry at the expense of the German Reich ,” and that before the war in Zagreb a Masonic Lodge ” Libertas ” was founded; Libertas is connected with the Jewish lodge Nobbe ( Independent Order of Bnai Brit ) , and that the  numerous leaders of the Ustasha movement were members of the Longe Libertas: Eugen Kvaternik , Dr. Budak , Dr. Puk , Benak , general Bale , SABLJAK Colonel ,  Košak Tot .

The connection between Jews and the Ustasha movement is not just a thing of the past , but is alive even today the example of Mladen Schwartz , a Jew who led the ” New Croatian Right” organization confirmes.  Schwartz is one of the loudest Ustasha, Serb hater in Croatia today . In an interview published on their website , Schwartz says : ” If Ivo Goldstein acknowledges the fact that the whole Ustasha families were closely related to Judaism , impregnated with Judaism , by renowned historian inadvertently admits that the Independent State of Croatia was not anti-Semitic country , since Poglavnik (Pavelic)  had a Jewish wife, Mary, born Lovrenčević; and Pavelić neither killed her nor put her  in a  camp . Imagine you are in a country where the official policy is anti -Semitism of racist type; but still the entire top leadership has strong family and other ties with Jews. Moreover , there has always been the Jews who felt themselves  Croatian patriots . It’s an old tradition of HSP (Croatian Right) , which pulls the strings of the converted Jew from Osijek,  Josip Frank . In the old Party of Rights was baptized many Jews , but there were mojsijevaca , who were Jewish believers . “

1 General Drinjanin, „Legije i Legionari“, у Drina XVII, Madrid, 1967, стр. 328–329


3 Povratak Vice Vukojevića: ‘Židovi su upravljali Jasenovcem’, Nacional – dnevno online izdanje, 22.04.2009.

4 Nada Kisić Kolanović, Vojskovođa i politika: Sjećanja Slavka Kvaternika, Zagreb, 1997, стр. 204

5 Eugen Dido Kvaternik, Sjećanja i zapažanja 1925–1945: prilozi za hrvatsku povijest, Zagreb, 1995, стр. 255

6 Hannah Arendt, Eichmann u Jerusalimu: izveštaj o banalnosti zla, Beograd, 2000, стр. 166

7 Поједини аутори наводе да је овај документ пронађен у Архиву Југославије, под ознаком Ф100, 29, 115, бр.2 979492-979500.

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