Dr. Andrija Artukovic was a Croatian nationalist falsely accused of being a monstrous Holocaust war criminal. Much of his life was spent fleeing the Communists, because he resisted their dictatorship, and he was detained by the Nazis as well.
Although he treated the Jewish people quite fairly, and the Croatian nationalists counted many Jews in their ranks, as well as assisted Jewish people with escaping the Nazis, Dr. Artukovic was personally smeared and he and his family were constantly targeted and threatened.
An extensively researched white paper (dated 1975) by Professor C. Michael McAdams debunks the many lies that would eventually see Dr. Artukovic deported from the United States, and he died in a prison hospital with his reputation defamed and destroyed.
This document has been condensed from the original by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal, who attempted to keep as much of the original language from Professor McAdams intact as possible.
Opinions are always the author's own. Citations may be viewed in the full white paper, which is available on the Internet in multiple locations (see document or click below).
Full white paper:
Dr. Blumenthal releases this summary to the public domain. It is cut and pasted below for ease of sharing.
Arcadia: Croatina Information Service, 1975
This document has been condensed from the original by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal.
On May 20th 1974, a member of the United States Congress announced that she would seek the deportation of “accused war criminal” Andrija Artukovic.
This Whitepaper has been prepared to provide documented answers to those questions most frequently asked concerning Artukovic.
Like many Croatians, Artukovic felt that the Yugoslav State established as a result of the First World War deprived Croatia of independence and placed the Croatian people under Serbian domination. This, and his defense of Croations accused of political crimes, led him to be listed by the Yugoslav government as an “anti-state element” early in his career.
1899 – Born in Hercegovina, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on
1925 – Graduated University of Zagreb with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence; practiced law briefly; conscripted into Royal Yugoslav Army as a member of the staff of the Military Supreme Court.
1932 – Fled Yugoslavia to avoid arrest after a rebellion by Croation peasants in the Lika province led to an order for the arrest of all Croation leaders in the area.
1934 – While in exile in England, learned of the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia. Extradited by Yugoslavia despite lack of proof. Held without charge for 19 months, then learned he was to be assassinated upon his return to Croatia. Fled again to save his life.
1936 – While living in Berlin, arrested by Gestapo with all other Croatian leaders in Germany. Held without charge for 2 years. Told that Croatian nationalists in Germany were a hindrance to warming Yugoslav-German relations and that he would be held under house arrest. Escaped to Belgium.
1941 – Upon declaration of independence by Croation State on April 10, serves as cabinet member in new government.
1945 – Croatia falls to Marshal Tito and becomes part of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Artukovic is declared a “war criminal.” Flees again to Austria, where British authorities detain him. They cannot find any validity in the charges against him and release him with a diplomatic passport. The Swiss government learns that Yugoslavia intends to murder him and gives him the name “Alois Anich” to protect him. He flees to Ireland and then the United States, where he applies for an extension of his visa.
1951 – American authorities arrest Artukovic again for extradition, on behalf of the Tito government. The courts refuse to extradite him.
1959 – A quiet man who spends most of the day reading and playing piano, Artukovic and his family are targeted with death threats, shotgun attack and firebombing. He withdraws from public or media contact.
1985 – Yugoslavia convicts Artukovic in absentia of murder and war crimes and sentences him to death. He is deported less than a year later.
1988 – Artukovic dies in a prison hospital in Croatia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Was Artukovic a Nazi?
A: No. Artukovic had nothing to do with the Nazis. He was a member of the movement that sought Croatian independence, commonly known as the Ustasa Movement.
Q: Was Artukovic a Terrorist?
A: No. Artukovic was a lawyer. He opposed the social inequality forced upon the people by the Treaty of Versailles. The electoral system was rife with fraud, and as a result, 41% of the Yugoslav population took 90% of all governmental and military officer roles. He advocated for reverting to an independent or semi-autonomous Croatia as had existed for some one thousand years prior to the multi-national state forced upon them in 1918.
Q: Was Artukovic Aligned with Extremists?
A: No. The leader of the independence movement was Dr. Ante Pavelic, who founded it in 1929. Pavelic was a well-known and respected lawyer in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital and largest city; a member of the Parliament; and the vice-President of the Bar Association. Pavelic announced that he would fight the dictatorship from abroad and serve the Croatian people as he had been elected to do. King Alexander sentenced Pavelic to death as an “anti-State element” on July 17,1929.
Q: Did Artukovic Advocate Violence?
A: No. For example, on June 20th 1928, a Serbian government official assassinated the leaders of the Croatian Peasant Party, Croatia s largest and most powerful party at that time, and avowed pacifists. A third Croatian Deputy, Dr. Djuro Basaricek was also killed and two others were gravely wounded. The official was not arrested. The Croatian Deputies left the room rather than retaliate.
Q: How Were The Croats Oppressed?
A: On January 6, 1929, King Alexander suspended Constitution, and with it the Parliament, and declared a royal dictatorship. All political parties and meetings were banned; Croatian political leaders were jailed; special courts “for the defense of the State” were set up and the press was silenced. As Serbian Troops moved into Croatia to maintain order, leaders of all political parties went into exile.
Q: How did the Croats Regain Power?
A: Living under dictatorship fueled Croatian nationalism. By an agreement of August 26th 1939, Croatia became a semi-autonomous Banovina or province, as it had been in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A failed pro-Serbian coup on March 27, 1940 led to the invasion of Yugoslavia by German, Italian, and Hungarian forces. On April 10, the Ustasa leader Slavko Kvaternik announced the “Independent State of Croatia” with Pavelic as head of the government.
Q: What was Artukovic’s position in the New Government?
A: He served variously as Minister of the Interior (April 1941-October 1942), Minister of Justice (October 1942-mid-1943), and State Legal Archivist (mid-1943 through the end of the war on May 8, 1945).
Q: Did Artukovic Control Concentration Camps and/or Police Camps?
A: No. General Slavko Kvaternik, Commander of the Armed Forces and Minister of Croatian Defense, controlled these. He delegated administration of the camps to Colonel Vjekoslav Luburic.
Q: Were The Individuals Responsible Punished For Their Crimes?
A: Slavko Kvaternik was executed in 1947. Luburic escaped to Spain, but was savagely bludgeoned to death on April 10, 1968.
Q: Of What Crimes Has Artukovic been accused?
A: Artukovic was charged on August 29, 1951, by the Yugoslav Consul General with 22 counts of “participation in murder.” Less than 2 months later, the government amended the charge to 1,293 counts of murder and “participation in murder.”
Q: How Do You Know There Was A Lack Of Evidence?
A: Dr. Artukovic was an enemy of the Yugoslavian state who had been held against his will by the Nazis, and the court stated: “Absolutely no evidence was presented that the defendant himself committed murder.” In addition:
- The dates of the crimes quoted in the original document did not match the dates in the amended complaint for most of the original twenty-two counts. Some varied as much as a year.
- The extradition request and resulting arrest of Artukovic was effected and then an “indictment” was created by the Yugoslav government in order to justify those actions. In fact, no charge had been made in a court of law or warrant issued in Yugoslavia when the consul swore that such was the case on August 29,1951. The indictment presented to the court was dated well after the original date.
- All charges brought against Artukovic concern the period of April 16, 1941 through October 10, 1942 when he served as the Minister of the Interior of Croatia. He had no role in the confinement of prisoners.
- In 1952, only one year after the first charges were made, a pamphlet printed by the Serbian National Defense Council of America charged, without documentation, that 800,000 Serbs alone had been killed by the Ustasa regime. In December 1973, a major American Magazine with worldwide circulation charged Artukovic with .”.the systematic massacre of nearly one million Jews and Serbians. And…, he also approved orders that sent dozens of captured American pilots to firing squads.” The magazine then admitted to California State Assemblyman Doug Carter on March 25,1974 that the charges were ..”.claims and allegations, not necessarily fully documented facts..” but refused to correct or withdraw the charge.
Q: But Isn’t It True The Croats Targeted The Jews?
A: No. Like all areas occupied by the Germans, the Gestapo and SD units of the SS were active in Croatia. As a result, a heavy toll on Jews, as well as Croatian Catholics and Moslems, was surely taken.
Q: Did The Croats Do Anything To Resist The Nazis?
A. Although the Croatian government posted the racial laws required of them by Germans, Jews specifically were on many occasions assisted by the Croatian people and Croatian laws.
- The Croats redefined the German racial laws in such a way as to allow hundreds of Jews and children of mixed marriages to escape the Nazis.
- Another law granted full citizenship to those who had excelled in their “service to the Croatian State.” The reason for this law became apparent when noting the number of Jews who were counted among Croatia s leaders and statesmen.
- Marsal Kvaternik, married the daughter of Josip (Joshua) Frank, the Jewish successor to Dr. Ante Starcevic as the leader of Pavelic s party. Therefore, not only was the wife of Ante Pavelic, the Ustasi Chief-of-State, Jewish, but the wife of the vice-president and Chief of the Armed Forces, police forces, and gendarmes was also a Jew.
- Slavko Kvaternik’s son, Col. Eugen Kvaternik, Ustasa commissioner for Public Order and Security was, according to both German and Judaic law, a Jew.
- Other prominent Jews in the Ustasa leadership included the Ustasa Representative to Hungary Alexander Klein, Vlado Singer of the Ustasa Police, and Pavelic s personal physician.
- In addition to the families of Dr. Pavelic and Marshal Kvaternik, the wife of Minister Zanic was also a Jew.
- Hundreds of other Jewish leaders and officials were made “honorary Aryans,” a practice that the Germans looked upon as quite serious. W. H. Allen, in his book, The Destruction of the European Jews, noted that: (German Police Attache- SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer) “Helm added that the problem of honorary Aryans was admittedly unsolved; some of them were still holding office.” Helm remarked that quite a few Croat leaders had strong family ties with Jews and that “some cabinet members had Jewish wives.”
- Croatia’s most vocal opponent of the Nazi s racial policies was Archbishop, later Cardinal, Stepinac of Zagreb.
- The Croatian Peasant leader Vladko Macek, (himself so anti-Nazi and anti-Ustasa that he spent most of the war in prison or under house arrest), spoke of the Archbishop s attitude: “His sermons against racial discrimination and Nazism, delivered during the occupation of Hitler s troops in the Cathedral of Zagreb were famous.”
- The British Broadcasting Corporation gained the text of his speeches through Vatican channels and rebroadcast his sermons as a symbol of anti-Nazi resistance in the occupied countries.
- Nazi authorities threatened to imprison him, but fear of an open revolt by the Croatian people caused them to reconsider.
- What the Germans could not do in four years- silence Stepinac, Tito did immediately. The Cardinal was rewarded for his anti-Nazi posture with arrest as an “anti-State element,” as were all church leaders. Stepinac spent his last days in Communist prisons or under house arrest.
- Stories of Croatians secreting Jews in their homes; of the underground which took Jews from German to the Italian occupation zone of Croatia, (the Italians also refused to obey Nazi racial laws); and of officials altering papers for Jews are numerous.
- Among those who assisted the Jews most, were the District officials (kotarski predstojnici) in the Italian occupied zone (Seconda Armata). These officials were active in receiving Jews fleeing from the German occupation zone and providing them with new documents in order to avoid persecution.
- The officials of districts included Kraljevica, Crkvenica, Senj, Otocac, Karlobag, Knin, Omis, Mostar, and Dubrovnik. In these districts under the protection of Croatian authorities, Jews were free and without stigma.
- A sizable essay could be written concerning the many government and non-government links in Croatia s ‘‘underground railroad.”
- One such link involved sailors of the ‘‘Croatian Legion” on the Black Sea.
- Although this “KTB” (military diary) entry is in terse military style, it is a story of Croatian sailors who risked their lives to assist Jewish refugees in escaping German occupied Rumania and insuring their safe arrival in neutral Turkey:
Q: What Did Dr. Artukovic Do To Assist The Jews?
- While he was in charge, all of the district officials were appointed by the province and reappointed without any reservation by Artukovic regardless of their political affiliation and only on the basis of their academic accomplishments and merit.
- All held doctorates in law and used their positions to give active assistance to the Jews escaping from German Zone.
- Although Artukovic was subjected to a great deal of abuse from the Nazis for these appointments and the obvious fact that he knew of the aid that they were giving Jews, he stood by them. Not only did he refuse to fire any of them but many were promoted.
- After Artukovic was removed from his post as Minister of the Interior many of his appointees were replaced. In order to avoid German persecution, many Artukovic appointees fled the country aided by the very Jews that they had helped in years past.
Q: Where Can I Go To Read The Full White Paper?
Q: Where Can I Go To Find The Official Citation?
Q: Where Can I Go To Find Out More About Professor McAdams? Did He Write Other Books?
Another book by this author:
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.