Lowenthal-Crimes of Fascist Occupants Against Jews of Yugoslavia(1957)
This is Zdenko Lowenthal's shocking book The Crimes of Fascist Occupants and Their Collaborators Against the Jews of Yugoslavia (1957) which is the definitive work concerning the nazi-orchestrated elimination of Yugoslav Jews during the 2nd World war. Originally compiled by a former Yugoslav army captain and concentration camp survivor and published by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia in 1952, this detailed account of war crimes against Jews during the Second World War has always been attacked by Croat and other former Nazi collaborators as nothing more than Tito's Communist propaganda. However, very few copies were printed and when in the early 1960’s a newspaper editor wanted to republish it, he quickly received a sharp rebuke and strict orders from government authorities not to publish a second edition under any circumstances, because it would open old wounds and it would have a negative impact on brotherhood and unity. Thus the "Black Book" as it was dubbed was known mostly by reputation only, for just 1000 copies were published, and therefore few people ever had a chance to read it. It is divided into six major sections, covering crimes against the Jews committed in each of the Yugoslav republics. In part one, covering Serbia, the subjects of the deportation of the Banat Jews, internment and shooting of Jews in Belgrade, murder of Jews in the hospitals of Belgrade and Kovin are covered, as are the seizure of Jewish property and the destruction of signs of Jewish culture. Part two, which covers Croatia and Bosnia, discusses the concentration camps of Sanica, Jadovno, Jasenovac, Stara Gradiska and more. Anti-Jewish activities in Bosnia are also discussed, as well as seizure of property, destruction of Jewish cultural and religious objects and anti-Jewish laws. The third part, on Slovenia, recaptures the main facts that of 1000 Slovenian Jews less than one hundred survived. Part four covers the parts of Yugoslavia under Italian control - chiefly, Montenegro and Kosovo, though there is mention of Italian concentration camps in Croatia. Following the capitulation of Italy, Germany moved in to Kosovo, which is when the bulk of crimes against Jews were committed. Part five covers the German and Hungarian mass murder of the Jews in Backa and Vojvodina. This, along with the second chapter, shows unbelievable barbarity and delight in torture that most people could not have expected outside of the more "famous" areas of German occupation in northern Europe. The final part covers Macedonia and the efforts of its German and Bulgarian occupiers to eliminate the Jews there. Of over 7,000 Jews living in Macedonia then, only 6 remain there today. The english section is just a summary of the Serbian original but does provide very detailed statistics and survivor testimony, sadly the bulk of the book was printed in original Serbian language. Since most of the world is unaware of the scale of the Balkan holocaust this amazing book is an indispensable resource anyone interested. Crimes of Fascist Occupants hopes to increase world awareness of the magnitude of war crimes committed by Yugoslavia’s Nazi collaborators, especially against the 60000 Jews of the country, 83 percent of whom lost their lives during the war. 300 pages, many pictures. A must read for everyone.