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.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2 


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.


“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. . . .

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.

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!

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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