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For The Record  

FTR #293 Retrospective on the Balkan Wars

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With tensions flaring anew in the Balkans, this program reviews and supplements previous programs on the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, with particular emphasis on the pivotal role of Germany and what Mr. Emory calls “the Underground Reich” in the breakup of that country.

1. The program begins with discussion of renewed Croatian nationalism and unrest in Bosnia/Herzegovina. The Croatian population in Bosnia has been agitating for independence from the newly created state. “The international administration in Bosnia, which with 20,000 peacekeepers has spent five years trying to resurrect this damaged and bitterly divided town, is now itself under attack . . . .The situation, already tense, turned explosive nine days ago, when the international administration, which was put in place after the 1995 peace accord that ended the war, ordered raids on Herzegovacka Bank here and nine of its branches. The move was aimed at breaking the hold of increasingly uncooperative Bosnian Croat nationalists and at smashing their monopoly on economic and political power by cutting off a lifeline through the banks. But the international administration appears to have underestimated the response to the raid, which ended in riots that forced [U.N. administrator Colin] Munro and his staff to abandon their offices and leave under jeers and curses from an angry mob.” (“Nationalist Fires, Fanned by Croats, Singe Sarajevo Again” by Carlotta Gall; New York Times; 4/16/2001; p. A3.)

2. Much of the first side consists of an excerpt from FTR-154, detailing the decisive influence of Germany in precipitating the dissolution of the Yugoslavian nation. That broadcast, in turn, refers to a white paper presented at a symposium on the Balkans war that was held in Chicago on August 31 and September 1, 1995. Authored by T.W. “Bill” Carr, the paper is entitled “German and US Involvement in the Balkans: A Careful Coincidence of National Policies?” The excerpts highlight Germany’s shepherding of the secession of Slovenia and Croatia from Yugoslavia. It was the secession of those states that dissolved Yugoslavia.

3. The Carr paper analyzes the German role in the Balkans during World War II, with particular emphasis on the Third Reich puppet state of Croatia. The Croatian Ustachi were allied with Hitler and closely supported by the Vatican. The Ustachi regime brutally persecuted Serbs, killing more than 500,000. Croatian president Franjo Tudjman visited Germany in 1987, apparently making clandestine arrangements for the secession of Croatia from the Yugoslav federation. (Idem.)

4. It should be noted that Croatia received a $2 billion, interest-free loan from the Knights of Malta, while still part of Yugoslavia. (The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is an elite order of Vatican knights with strong connections to the centers of power in the U.S. and Germany.( (Idem.)

5. The German and Vatican assistance helped fan the flames of Croatian nationalism, which culminated in the secession of Croatia (along with Slovenia) from Yugoslavia. The secessionist Croat regime began immediately recapitulating key aspects of the Ustachi terror. The banners, anthems and ideology of the Ustachi were recreated. More importantly, Serbs were required to carry documentation that permitted Croat security forces to identify them as Serbs. Croatian Catholic Bishops blessed the Croatian security forces as they marched out into the countryside to conduct ethnic cleansing. (More than 200,000 Serbs were “ethnically cleansed” in Croatia in 1991 alone.) (Idem.)

6. In addition to its vital diplomatic support, Germany equipped the fledgling Croatian army with sophisticated Soviet-manufactured weaponry that the Federal Republic had inherited from the former East Germany. (Idem.)

7. Germany took the lead in pressuring the EU to recognize the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Initially, the EU voted 11 to 1 to maintain the integrity of Yugoslavia. Germany, however, pressured the EU to accede to its viewpoint and eventually the EU agreed to recognize the independence of the breakaway republics. In effect, the Maastricht Treaty and European unity were held hostage to German desires to fragment Yugoslavia. Germany was the first European nation to recognize Croatian and Slovenian independence, followed soon after by Vatican diplomatic recognition. (Idem.)

8. Among the most vociferous advocates for Croatian and Slovenian independence was Otto von Hapsburg, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (Created after World War I, Yugoslavia had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.) Hapsburg, himself, has overt fascist sympathies. “The final escalation was reserved for Otto von Hapsburg, a CSU delegate to the European parliament and the son of the last Austrian emperor; since 1973 he has also been president of the ultra-right Pan-Europa Union and a member of the Freedom for Rudolf Hess Committee.” (The New Reich: Violent Extremism in Unified Germany and Beyond; Michael Schmidt; Copyright 1993 [HC]; Pantheon Books; ISBN 0-679-42578-0; p. 137.)

9. Otto’s son Karl von Hapsburg married Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, the daughter of Heinrich Thyssen Bornemisza. (available at a genealogical web site http://members.aol.com/eurostamm/thysen.html.)

10. Heinrich Thyssen Bornemisza is an heir to the Thyssen interests, in turn, a principal element of the Bormann organization. The economic and political component of a Third Reich gone underground, the Bormann organization controls corporate Germany and much of the rest of the world. Created and run by Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the “the power behind the throne” in Nazi Germany, the Bormann group is a primary element of the analysis presented in the For the Record programs.

11. “Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza runs his private Dutch-based investment group from Lugano, Switzerland, and his cousin Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen, grandson of old Fritz Thyssen, exercises control over Thyssen A.G. from his base in Buenos Aires.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; P. 237.)

12. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly), the Hapsburg/Thyssen-Bornemisza wedding took place in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia. The significance of the Hapsburg/Thyssen is not one to be underestimated.

13. The second half of the program begins with discussion of renewed tensions between the ethnic Albanian minority in Macedonia and that country’s Slavic majority. Fighting between the rebels and government forces has threatened the region’s stability. “Ethnic Albanians fighting in Macedonia are a motley group representing diverging interests. Thought to number no more than 1,000, they can cause havoc and have the potential to destabilize the republic . . . . The funding, control and arming of the rebels remains unclear. In Switzerland, home to more than 100,000 Kosovo Albanians and with Germany a center of the ethnic Albanian diaspora, officials said they were monitoring fundraising by Albanian groups . . . . From Pristina, the Kosovo capital, it is not clear what kind of relationship the new armed Macedonian Albanians might have with other radical armed Albanian organizations operating in Kosovo and Presevo valley in southern Serbia . . . . There is little doubt that the GSZ has been used by smugglers. Intelligence sources say they have no doubt weapons and money are being channeled to the KLA from ethnic Albanian groups in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.” (“Motley Band of Rebels and Smugglers” by Judy Dempsey; Financial Times; 3/22/2001; p. 3.)

14. In order to provide historical background to the ethnic Albanian unrest, the broadcast sets forth institutional and operational links between two Muslim Waffen SS divisions created during World War II and Muslim and Albanian combatants in the Balkans today.

15. Excerpting FTR#161, the program highlights the 13th Waffen SS (Hanjar) Division. Composed of Balkan Muslims, the unit wore fezzes with the traditional Waffen SS uniforms. This division was assembled with the assistance of Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the so-called Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. A major in the SS, Al-Husseini was a key German spy during World War II, as well as a major operative on behalf of what Mr. Emory calls “the Underground Reich.” As a young man, Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic was a member of and recruiter for the Hanjar Division! (From a letter to David Binder of The New York Times, written by Milan Bulajic, a Serbian expert on war crimes committed in the Balkans by Axis forces during World War II. Bulajic could be thought of as the Serbian Simon Weisenthal. The letter quotes verbatim from the transcript of Izetbegovic’s trial.)

16. Izetbegovic did not deny the charges of having worked for Husseini and the Hanjar Division, but merely excused his actions on the basis of having been very young at the time. He was sentenced to three years in prison. (Ibid.)

17. It is important to note in that context that after Izetbegovic became head of the newly independent state of Bosnia, he established an elite division named Hanjar, and patterned after the 13th Waffen SS. (Some Call It Peace: Waiting for War in the Balkans; by Joseph Bodansky; Copyright 1996 [HC]; The International Media Corporation.)

18. The unit functioned as the personal guard unit of the Bosnian political leadership and also as a “special forces” unit that was deployed in support of other military formations. (Idem.)

19. Composed primarily of non-Bosnian Balkans (including ethnic Albanians), the unit was trained and led by Arab and Pakistani veterans of the Afghan conflict. (Idem.)

20. In 1993, U.N. observers noted that the re-created Hanjar was engaged in force projection into Kosovo and Macedonia and they forecast that conflict would break out in those areas. (Idem.) Their prediction proved to be accurate.

21. Next, the program recapitulates another segment of FTR#161. In addition to the 13th Waffen SS, there was another Balkan Waffen SS division, the 21st or Skanderbeg Division. (The name is mispronounced “Skanderberg” in the program.) The 21st Waffen SS Division was composed primarily of Kosovar Albanians, and the bulk of the fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army are the sons and grandsons of men who had fought in the pro-Axis Albanian military formations in World War II – especially the Skanderbeg Division. (“Kosovo’s Next Masters” by Chris Hedges; Foreign Affairs; May-June/ 1999 [Volume 78, #3].)

22. The broadcast also reviews information about military support for the KLA rendered by German intelligence. (Germany Alert; 11/9/98.)

23. Weapons were channeled to the Albanian military and, through them, to the KLA. (Idem.)

24. Next, the broadcast recapitulates an excerpt of FTR-184. The commander of the international peace keeping force in Kosovo was German General Klaus Reinhardt, the son of Fritz Reinhardt, the Deputy Minister of Finance during the Third Reich. (“Genocide and the Terrible Nazi Secret of the German Who Leads British Troops” by Christopher Evans; The Daily Mail; 10/2/99.)

25. The elder Reinhardt had functioned as the primary official in the Finance Ministry under Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk, whose duties were largely perfunctory. (Idem.) (For more about von Krosigk, see RFA-1.)

26. The plundering of Polish Jewry (prior to their extermination) was named “Operation Reinhardt” after Fritz. (Idem.)

27. The program underscores the fact that, as the principal official of the Nazi Finance Ministry until the end of the war, the elder Reinhardt must have worked closely with Martin Bormann in the flight capital program. In addition (as noted in FTR-155), the leaders of the Bormann organization are the sons (and in some cases, daughters) of key Third Reich officials and military officers. It seems probable, under the circumstances, that the younger Reinhardt works for the Bormann group.

28. The broadcast concludes with speculation by Mr. Emory that, if the tensions in Macedonia continue, Germany will fill the military vacuum that appears certain to result from the Bush administration’s stated intent to distance the United States from further military involvement in the region. (FTRs 273 and 278 set forth information indicating that the Bush administration may be an extension of the Bormann organization.) Germany has beefed up its military commitment in Kosovo in response to the fighting in Macedonia. “Germany said it was sending paratroopers to Kosovo to add to its peacekeeping contingent, which patrols the Kosovo’s southern border with Macedonia around the Tetovo region. It also has 1,000 troops in Macedonia providing backup for the peacekeepers in Kosovo, some of whom are based in Tetovo, right next to a Macedonian Army base.” (“Macedonia Uses Helicopters against Rebels for First Time” by Carlotta Gall; New York Times; 3/25/2001; p. 8.)

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