Logic behind post Bleiburg Repatriation massacres

Apr 2018
328
India
#1
Okay I'm somewhat confused. It seems that near the end of the war the Partisans issued multiple appeals for surrender to elements associared with NDH. A whole bunch of the Croat and some Slovene Home Guards complied. Ustasha units never really surrendered. Then the Croat Home Guards were merged with Ustasha. In May '45 came the great exodus towards Carinthia followed by the repatriations and subsequent "homecoming treats" by the Partisans. But even before this bloobath was over, a general amnesty was announced and about 41000 were spared.

I don't clearly understand the logic behind this wholesale slaughter. At first glance it appears to be retribution for all the 'exceptionally humanitarian' work by NDH. But the whole thing seems to be carried out in a rather............'isolated' manner and a tad bit too secretly. Also Tito didn't postpone the amnesty announcement so that field units could finish the job. The high command was like - "Finish off as many as possible before we let them go." That's not vengence.

Neither is it preventive justice. I get the idea that the Holocaust was somewhat a taboo in Yugoslavia (Dunno for sure, just see such statements on the internet). Was the society (especially Croat and Bosniak) ever properly denazified like Germany? I guess never.

To me, it seems more like a display of absolute power. "Now we're the bosses, you live and die at our whims." Or "The gravity of your crimes matters less than the fact that you denied our calls for surrender, hence we'll smoke you."

So my questions are,
1) What do you think?
2) How do people see this whole thing today?

PS: My source of knowledge on the subject is only the English Wiki. The rest of the internet isn't really helpful. Don't have any book.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,807
Sydney
#2
there was a lot of bad blood around , not only Croats/bosniak versus Serbs but also Serbs versus Chechniks
Tito wasn't a Serb and took the long view , for quite a lot of Serb commander it was pay back
can't blame them either ,
a weird case is the 369th Wehrmacht regiment , manned by Croats who fought at Stalingrad
they were remarkable for their excellent fighting record and rather objectionable discipline
they succeeded in having their regimental prostitutes evacuated as "nurses " but 900 were captured when the city fell

they were eventually resuscitated as the "first Yugoslav volunteer brigade" under their ex-commander colonel Mesik
the death rate in the prisoner of war camps was a powerful reason to reconsider one's politics
they fought hard for the soviet army at the battle of Belgrade much to the amazement of old Yugoslav communists
the survivors were then largely purged by Tito as either soviet spies or Croat fascists
 
Apr 2018
328
India
#3
Right. But I am actually talking about those who remained loyal to the fascist regime till the end. Maybe Tito did a straitforward calculation whereby those surrendering to the Partisans themselves were counted as 'trustworthy enough to let live' whereas anyone trying to escape or reconciling with the Soviets were considered as enemies at worst and probable traitors at best. Hence they were purge-able.

They amnesty was probably a gesture to constitute himself a worthy and acceptable leader of all Yugoslavs in the eyes of the larger populace. The 41000 that escaped with their lives were like the portion of the business target that could not be met.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,807
Sydney
#4
Tito power problem was typical of Yugoslavia , it rested mostly on Serb support
but any one legged man will tell you having more support is better
anyone who bend the knee is to be given a chance more or less
submission is in itself a reasonable act
the hard cases , or maybe those afraid of being called to account , obviously were beyond the line

very quickly Tito / Stalin relations went from a "favorite son" to "a renegade revisionist " in typical filial progression
Tito was no angel , anyone suspected of being pro Moscow was discarded in some way
as for the Croat emigres , I had a drinking buddy whose journalist Ustasha father answered the door to get his head split with an axe
 
Apr 2018
328
India
#5
Tito power problem was typical of Yugoslavia , it rested mostly on Serb support
but any one legged man will tell you having more support is better
anyone who bend the knee is to be given a chance more or less
submission is in itself a reasonable act
the hard cases , or maybe those afraid of being called to account , obviously were beyond the line
And the actual degree of complicity with the crimes of the NDH mattered little. Makes sense. Even though things like sealing thousands inside a tunnel to rot looks like an act of netherworldly brutality but it was merely an efficient disposal method for Tito's ilk. But at the end of the day one can't really be 100% sympathetic to the victims given their allegiance.

as for the Croat emigres , I had a drinking buddy whose journalist Ustasha father answered the door to get his head split with an axe
I have a special kind of abhorrence for anything associated with the word but this is for first time I can't say I liked what I read. Guess for some it was just a hobson's choice of fate between Tito and Pavelic (and probably Mihailovic). Btw where and when exactly did this happen?
 
Likes: Futurist