Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #766 Bob Dylan vs. The Ustachi

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

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Side 1  Side 2 

Ustachi with victim

Introduction: For decades, we’ve been researching the Croatian fascists known as Ustachi. (There are various spellings–one will see “Ustashe,” and other variants.) Holding sway in Croatia after the German invasion of Yugoslavia, they were supported by the Vatican and incorporated into the GOP ethnic outreach organization after the war.

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, “neo-Ustachi” elements returned to power in Croatia. A Croatian football (soccier) player recently stirred up those revanchist sentiments following Croatia’s defeat of Iceland in a World Cup qualifying match. Joe Šimunić led the crowd in the “Za Dom Spremni” Ustachi World War II political cheeer.

Bob Dylan made a reference to the Ustachi slaughter of Serbs (as well as Jews and gypsies) by the Ustachi. Subsequently, Dylan was charged with a hate crime by France/EU!

Note that:

  • Bob Dylan is an American citizen–NOT a citizen of an EU country.
  • Rolling Stone is an American periodical–NOT one based in an EU country.
  • What Dylan said is NOT illegal under American law.
  • This has profound implications for international law.

Program Highlights Include: Germany’s profound role in precipitating the breakup of Yugoslavia; pro-Ustachi sentiments of Marko Perkovic–a popular Croatian rock star; pro-Ustachi chant led by a Croatian soccer player following that country’s World Cup qualifying victory over Iceland; support of the Vatican for Croatian secession; Croatian ethnic cleansing of Serbs; the blessing of neo-Ustachi cadre that were undertaking the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Serbs during the Balkan wars of the 1990’s; American Croatian celebration of the April 10 Ustachi holiday (it celebrates the German invasion of Yugoslavia in World War II).

1. In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, Bob Dylan made a reference to the Ustachi slaughter of Serbs (as well as Jews and gypsies) by the Ustachi. Subsequently, Dylan was charged with a hate crime by France/EU!

Note that Dylan is not a resident of an EU country, Rolling Stone is not based in an EU country and what Dylan said violates no American laws.


Ustachi preparing to saw off a prisoner's head

“Bob Dylan Charged With ‘Incit­ing Hate’ Under French Law” by Allan Kozinn; New York Times [blogs]; 12/03/2013.

To peo­ple who fol­low the pro­nounce­ments of Bob Dylan, his com­ment in a Rolling Stone inter­view in Sep­tem­ber 2012 sug­gest­ing that Amer­i­can blacks could sense whether whites had slave-master blood “just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croa­t­ian blood” may have seemed just the sort of vaporously impres­sion­is­tic, emo­tion­ally pointed kind of thing that Mr. Dylan has been known to say for decades.

But to the Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil of the Croa­t­ian Com­mu­nity and Insti­tu­tions in France, an orga­ni­za­tion that looks after the inter­ests of France’s 30,000 Croa­t­ians, those were fight­ing words. Now they have led to Mr. Dylan, who built his early career singing songs that denounced racism, being charged under a French law pro­hibit­ing “pub­lic insult and incit­ing hate.”

On Tues­day, Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokes­woman for the prosecutor’s office in Paris, told The Asso­ci­ated Press that the French gov­ern­ment had filed pre­lim­i­nary charges. Mr. Dylan’s last encounter with the French gov­ern­ment was just over two weeks ago, when he was awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s high­est prize.

The French gov­ern­ment must have known that the charges were brew­ing when they gave Mr. Dylan the award: Vlatko Maric, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the coun­cil, announced in Novem­ber 2012 that his group had filed a com­plaint with the French gov­ern­ment. That com­plaint led to the cur­rent charges. . . .

Ustachi preparing to slit the throat of a prisoner

2. Next, the program excerpts FTR #48, setting forth the brutal substance of the Ustachi regime during World War II. The text excerpted is Wanted: The Search for Nazis in America by Howard Blum.

3. Further developing the political underpinnings of the Post-World War II Ustachi revival, the program excerpts more of FTR #48, highlighting the significant role of the Ustachi in the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization. The text excerpts are from The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus and Mark Aarons.

4. Underscoring the extent to which Ustachi elements took root in the U.S. the broadcast excerpts FTR #49. The excerpt includes a pro-Ustachi activist promoting the April 10 Ustachi holiday on a progressive radio station in the Bay Area. Eventually, Ante (Jackovcevic) went to work for the Croatian cultural ministry in the “new” Croatia.

5. Excerpting FTR #532, the program takes stock of the profound Vatican support for the Ustachi. Eventually, the Vatican escape networks (“ratlines”) helped Ustachi leader Ante Pavelic escape to Argentina, where his storm troopers became personal bodyguards for Juan and Evita Peron.

6. Profound support for neo-Ustachi elements came from Croatia’s World War II ally and protector, Germany. Following the end of the Cold War, Germany was instrumental in supporting Croatian independence and arming the armed forces of that nation. Excerpting FTR #154, the program accesses an essay by T.W. “Bill” Carr titled German and U.S. Involvement in the Balkans: A Careful Coincidence of National Policies.

Marko Perkovic fans at a Thompson concert

7. A popular Croatian rock singer–Marko Perkovic–embodies Ustachi political themes.

“A Croatian Rock Star Flirts with the Nazi Past” by Nicolas Wood; The New York Times; 7/1/2007.

For the Croatian rock star Marko Perkovic, it is a routine part of his performance: He shouts a well-known Croatian slogan from World War II and his fans respond with the Nazi salute.

On a hot Sunday evening last month, thousands did just that in a packed soccer stadium here in the Croatian capital. Photographs from the concert show youths wearing the black caps of the Nazi-backed Ustasha regime that ruled Croatia, and which was responsible for sending tens of thousands of Serbs, gypsies and Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. [This total is drastically understated–D.E.]. . . .

8. Lyrics of Perkovic’s band Thompson underscore the neo-Ustachi nature of his act, a very popular one in the “new” Croatia. Note the glowing references to the Ustachi Jasenovac and to Ante Pavelic.

“Thompson (Band)”; Wikipedia.

. . . In 2003, a recording of Perković performing a modified version of the song “Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara” was made public by journalist Matija Babić.

The lyrics included:
Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara, to je kuća Maksovih mesara
U Čapljini klaonica bila, puno Srba Neretva nosila
Sjajna zvijezdo iznad Metkovića, pozdravi nam Antu Pavelića

Which roughly translates to:
Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška, that’s the house of Maks’ butchers
A slaughterhouse in Čapljina once there was, many Serbs floated in the Neretva (river)
Shining star above Metković, send our greetings to Ante Pavelić.

There’s also a controversy with a song called “Evo zore, evo dana!”

The lyrics included:
Oj Ustaše braćo mila, duboka je voda Drina.
Drinu treba pregaziti, i Srbiju zapaliti.
Which roughly translates to:
Hey, Ustashas, my dear brothers, Drina river (a natural border) is deep.
We should cross it, and burn Serbia!

Croatian football fans at a recent match

9. Exemplifying the resilience of Ustachi political sentiments in the “new” Croatia, we note an Australian-born Croatian soccer player’s leading of the “Za dom spremni” Ustachi chant from World War II.

Joe Simunic was suspended by FIFA for doing this.

“Croatian Player and Fans Celebrate World Cup Birth with Pro-Nazi Chant” by Barry Petchesky; deadspin.com; 11/20/2013.

This is video of Australian-born Croatia defender Joe Šimunić leading fans in a chant after Croatia beat Iceland to qualify for the world cup. “For the homeland,” Šimunić calls, and the crowd responds, “Ready!” But it’s more complicated than that.

The salute—”Za dom spremni”—dates back to the 19th century, giving Šimunić plausible deniability. But it only became famous, and notorious, during the Second World War as a symbol of the Ustaše, a fascist and ultranationalist group that ruled Croatia as a Nazi puppet state and advocated and undertook genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Romani.

Think of it as the equivalent of “Sieg Heil”. The Croatian Constitution does, banning it in certain instances. So do FIFA and UEFA, who have previously fined the Croatian Football Federation for the chant’s use by fans, often accompanied by the Nazi salute. (As in many Eastern and Southeastern European countries, soccer and ultranationalism have a cozy, complicated relationship.) . . . .

. . . . . Damnit, we could have had adorable little Iceland in the World Cup instead. Now we just get fascism.


3 comments for “FTR #766 Bob Dylan vs. The Ustachi”

  1. let’s see what kind of support Mr Dylan gets from Pacifica Radio. Not much I am sure.

    Posted by Davd | December 25, 2013, 10:30 am
  2. Croatian helping some of that ‘Hard Rain’ to fall in Syria


    Intelligence Online: Croatian arms baron is settled in Azerbaijan from where it will deliver weapon to Syria

    18:30 07/02/2014 » Society
    Intelligence Online: Croatian arms baron is settled in Azerbaijan from where it will deliver weapon to Syria

    Croatian businessman, leader in Balkans’ arms trade Hrvoje Petrac is looking for a new business opportunities in Syria. As the French edition of Intelligence Online reports, he now works in Baku.

    According to the newspaper, Petrac has previously been in prison for kidnapping the son of the Director of the Croatian arms exporting agency “Agensija Alan”.

    “He will supply weapons to Syria via Jordan from Baku. It operates under the auspices and the funding of the security services of the Middle East countries, that are supporting the Syrian rebels,” the article reads.

    Intelligence Online notes that Petrac is not the only arms dealer, who is making money on the Syrian conflict. Syrian insurgents also get weapons from Albanian and Serb arsenals.

    Posted by Vanfield | February 21, 2014, 11:42 am
  3. http://www.timesofisrael.com/french-court-drops-incitement-case-against-dylan/#ixzz2zAQFBASi

    Bob Dylan incitement case fails
    Judge rules musician did not give his consent for remark comparing Croats to Nazis to be published
    By AFP April 15, 2014, 10:15 pm

    A Paris court on Tuesday dismissed a case against singer Bob Dylan on charges of incitement to hatred filed after he was quoted allegedly comparing Croats to Nazis, his lawyer said.

    The legendary American musician was preliminarily charged with the offence in November after comments made to Rolling Stone magazine in a 2012 interview sparked a complaint from the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF).

    “If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood,” Dylan was quoted as saying in answer to a question about race relations in the United States.

    The judge ruled the 72-year-old musician had not given his consent for his comments to be published in the French-language edition of Rolling Stone, which was the basis of CRICCF’s complaint.

    But she ordered the director of the magazine’s French edition to stand trial over the charges.

    “I’m very happy the justice system understood that Bob Dylan never intended to hurt or defame anyone,” his lawyer Thierry Marembert told AFP.

    The charge against him carried a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to 45,000 euros ($62,000), although in practice penalties are usually far smaller.

    The comment in the Rolling Stone interview had Dylan, a veteran supporter of the US civil rights movement, describing race relations in the United States as fraught.

    He was informed of the hate charges in November while he was in Paris for three concerts — a visit during which the French government also awarded him its prestigious Legion d’Honneur.

    Ethnic Croats and Serbs fought viciously in the 1991-1995 war that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. Some 20,000 people died.

    Today, Croatians remain highly sensitive when mentioned in a Nazi-related context.

    Their previous stab at statehood came during World War II with the so-called Independent State of Croatia.

    The Nazi-allied Ustasha regime killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians in their death camps.

    Since Croatia declared independence in 1991, some groups have attempted to rehabilitate aspects of the Ustasha regime.

    Posted by Vanfield | April 17, 2014, 9:53 am

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