Your otherwise excellent editorial "Imagining peace in the Balkans" (December 27, 1992) was marred by some glaring discrepancies and omissions of certain facts, which were vital for your readers to arrive at an understanding.
Unquestionably, Serbia "suffered" in World War One, but it was a war they triggered after the "Black Hand" organization (comprised of Serbian officers) assassinated the Austrian Arch Duke in Sarajevo.
When the King renamed the country Yugoslavia it was not to "restore order and reintegrate the Croatians", rather it was to dissolve the Old Kingdom and strengthen Serbian domination. The Croatians attempt to integrate was cut short after their delegates were assassinated in Belgrade's Parliament by a Serb of the same "Black Hand" organization. Instead of punishing those responsible, the king established a dictatorship. Extreme draconian measures produced an opposition that assassinated the king in Marseille--not Paris as your editorial stated.
The editorial stated the Nazi invasion meant different things were true, but for the wrong reasons. The Ustashe, an ultra right small minority of exiles were installed as a Nazi puppet government in the same league as Quisling Norway and Vichy France. The Ustashe never represented the Croatians at large and experienced far less popularity then the Vichy had with the French.
However, Serbia had a legitimate government headed by the former minister of war, General Milan Nedic, who collaborated with the Nazis to an extent that Serbia was able to retain significant civilian authority.
The Serbian Orthodox Church also openly supported Nazi policy and theologically justified persecution of Jews. These elements, working together, caused the chief Nazi civil administrator to proudly proclaim Serbia the only country where the 'Jewish question' was solved, and Belgrade, the first European city to become 'judenfrei'.
The Chetniks were strongly allied with the Nazis against the resistance. Your stating, "Serb resistance was undeniably quicker and stronger" is not correct. It was decidedly rare to find a Serb from Serbia in the resistance. The resistance was comprised mostly of Croatians, Croatian Serbs, and Slovenes.
Your editorial said Tito redrew the map of Yugoslavia to show an "expanded" Croatia is also incorrect. The new borders where redrawn as a joint effort of Tito, a half Croat and Slovene; Alexander Rankovic, a Serb; Mosa Pijade, a Jew; and Milovan Djilas, a Montenegrin. Comparing the pre war World War II borders, which had been approved by the Serbian King, with a post war map, Croatia had lost territory.
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