USTAŠA

This weblog is an online protest of Croatian patriots against the current Croatian government under the leadership of Dr. Ivo Sanader and Stipe Mesic who, in the name of democracy, wage a fruitless war against Croatian “fascists” by using the same fascist methods: police repression, destruction of monuments (Budak & Francetic), glorifying Tito’s butchers and curtailing the freedom of media.

subota, listopada 02, 2004

Report by General Vladimir Laxa on crimes of the "so called ustase" in Hercegovina

Title: General Laxa's Report on Unrest in Hercegovina
Source: Archive of the NDH.
Translated by Sinisa Djuric.
Date: c. July 5, 1941

The popular idea that the Poglavnik Ante Pavelic did nothing to
protect Serbs agains the rampage of some units of the Ustashe Army
is disputed in this report by the Croatia's Regular Army (Domobran) General Vladimir Laxa.

Acting as a "special representative of the poglavnik" for part of Hercegovina, the General Laxa protested rigorously against attrocities commited by the rogue elements of Ustashe Army.

Croatian General Laxa also admits that thanks to Pavelic's orders (state of siege and courts martial) they were able to save many Serbian lives.


1/ I am deeply convinced and it is confirmed from many places that if the state of siege and court martial weren't executed in the spirit of Poglavnik's order, there would have been a general bloodletting on Vidovdan 28/VI [June 28], which would have had the most unpleasant consequences.

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
OF THE POGLAVNIK
V.I. Number 40
5. June 1941. [sic - July 5, 1941]
Mostar

DIRECTED TO THE COMMANDER OF LAND ARMY COLONEL LULIC


Consistent with my previous oral and written reports I communicate the following:

Several days after I took over the military administration given to me by the Poglavnik in the greater regions of Hum and Dubrava, by common sense deductions and apart from any foreign influence I was able to gain the following impression of recent events.

Unrest in Herzegovina, the anger and desperation of the population was, according to statements from all sectors of the population, mostly a result of the savage and inhuman actions of the "SO CALLED USTASE".

During the organization of Ustase army units men were assigned without any diligence. Communists, chronic alcoholics et cetera were made into Ustase overnight, so we shouldn't be surprised that such things have occurred.

As a result, in the first few days I ordered that these men /Ustase/ must be disarmed, and that their weapons should be given to them only when they are on duty.

These "SO CALLED USTASE" crushed the noble ideals of Ustase movement, undermined its reputation and brought the hatred of the population against it.

Under this "Ustase regime" not one clerk, not one officer, not one woman nor child was safe, day or night. These Ustase ravaged everything wherever they went. Many of these Ustase-men [ljudi-ustasa-hvalili] bragged about how many people they killed, how many people they have beaten and tortured to death. Men and women were without appeal dragged to prisons, even though the least offense could not be attributed to them. "SO CALLED USTASE" arrogantly claim that they "cleansed the area" of Gacko-Avtovac-Bileca-Nevesinje and that in this way did a great favor to Independent State of Croatia. They believed they accomplished this task by bloodshed, but they didn't realize that they only removed just one part of the people, and that on the contrary the largest part of the Serbian population fled out of fear with their weapons to rocky terrain, to the mountains and the forests, determined to die a death worthy of a man, than to be tortured and beaten without mercy at home.

The Ustase bear the greatest part of the blame for the current unrest, which has had to be suppressed by a young Croatian army, which has required many sacrifices and will require many more.

State officials and other authorities, members of the police and others were pushed aside by the Ustase, scared and thus discouraged from resisting the murder of these people.

The Ustase claim that they do everything according to orders coming from the organization from Zagreb and that everything must be subjected to them. State officials and others were so morally discouraged by their fear of the Ustase that they didn't dare send any reports about these events. In an appropriate and tactful manner I made these representatives acknowledge their unworthy and unmanly attitude as chiefs, and with great effort I managed to convince them that instead of a regime of force we live under a regime of laws and rights, and that if they in the future do not take special measures and steps to prevent tyranny and anarchy I would act even against them in the spirit of my declaration and by the laws of war. /appendix number 1/

Respectable citizens, priests, clerks, even serious Ustase complain about the actions and attitude of these "SO CALLED USTASE", who are completely undisciplined. The real Ustase say that there is no discipline among them and that they will accordingly disarm and discharge these hastily recruited men.

I believe I must also emphasize that these actions by the Ustase also made a trying and burdensome impression on our young army. In the basement of one building in Nevesinje people were beaten until they were unconscious and then shot by a machine gun in prison by Ustase /lieutenant Franjo Sudar/. It wasn't easy to convince our young soldiers not to use force themselves against these bloodthirsty people.

With the declaration of the state of siege and court martial things got better, though during the night 30/VI [June 30] and the daytime of 1/VII [July 1] there was a sad event in Ljubuski when a large number of people were murdered again /as it can be seen from the transcript of a letter appendix number 2/. One butcher named Osmic from Ljubuski was arrested and the case was handed over to an investigative judge.

Consistent with everything expressed here may I be allowed to state the following:

1/ I am deeply convinced and it is confirmed from many places that if the state of siege and court martial weren't executed in the spirit of Poglavnik's order, there would have been a general bloodletting on Vidovdan 28/VI [June 28], which would have had the most unpleasant consequences.

2/ It is necessary to further reinforce the Adriatic division area with: 2 battalions of infantry, several batteries of artillery, companies with heavy machine guns and mortar canons. Batteries and mortar canons can easily cleanse the nests of rebels and suppress their resistance.

3/ All actions against the rebels must be executed in a slow and methodical manner, to reduce losses to the least possible number.

Our Domobrans who come from plains, after their brief training, not knowing the difficulty of the local terrain nor the guerrilla way of warfare against organized troops, can succumb to panic by even the slightest of surprises.

4/ It is in the interest of the state to leave the military administration set up for a longer period of time in the Adriatic division area because of reasons I already mentioned, but also because the army enjoys the trust of the population there.

In the interest of popularizing the regime and the state authorities, a military administration should be established across the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

5/ To establish a complete peace in these parts the present ad hoc organization of the Ustase should be disbanded and organized all over again, by people who are worthy of the ideals of the Ustase movement in every aspect.



SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
OF THE POGLAVNIK
DEPUTY MARSHAL
Laxa



DELIVERED TO:
Military office of the Poglavnik,
Commander of land army, and to
Military office of the headquarters
directly to Brigadier Babic Ivan


Read more about Vladimir Laxa:

Laxa, Vladimir (1870-1946). A highly decorated veteran of the First World War (in which he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army on the Italian front), Vladimir Laxa eventually enlisted in the Royal Yugoslav Army at the war's conclusion. After the German invasion and the declaration of the Independent State of Croatia, Laxa was given the title podmarsal (roughly, "deputy marshal") and was charged by Field Marshal Slavko Kvaternik with organizing the Domobrans (literally "Home Defenders," the Croatian regular army) in April 1941. Dispatched as "Special Representative of the Poglavnik" to Hercegovina in June of 1941, he authored several scathing reports denouncing the murderous rampages of the Ustase Army (the NDH's equivalent of Hitler's SS), in one of which he called for the entire Ustase Army's dissolution. Transferred to Army HQ, he later resigned his commission in protest against the refusal by Ante Pavelic and other Ustase political leaders to rein in the Ustase Army. Laxa was captured by the Communist-led Partizans after the British turned over a large group of Croatian refugees at the Austrian city of Bleiburg, and was shot the following year.











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