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Efraim Zuroff is a typical victim of his own rationalized hatred. He is a political and religious fanatic who in Catholic countries sees enemies and disguised Nazis. Without new Sakics his life has no purpose
by Zoran Vukman
Slobodna Dalmacija, Split, Croatia, October 11
When it is necessary to turn Dinko Sakic into a metaphor for the whole Croatian nation then a trial is turned into an international media show and spectacle as if it were an event of global importance, while Jewish representatives hold press conferences in which they praise Croatia, although their praises sound grotesque and cynical after all the accusations, pressures and blackmail. But when there is evidence that Stepinac used to save Jews, then under no circumstances can he be proclaimed a Righteous Among the Nations since in that case the whole Croatian nation would squeeze in under his name with the medal from Yad Yashem in a positive context. All accusations about genocidal nature and Nazism of Croats would not make sense, there would be no basis for accusations against us, and it would be impossible to unbelievably persistently, systematically and fanatically torture us with dark sides of our history.
Wiesenthal's Storm Trooper
However when Stepinac is accused of a dubious role in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) then his name can be used as synonymous with all Croats and Catholics because the worst sort of manipulation is used to imply that the Catholic church does not have clear conscience with the respect to its actions during Nazism. There are attempts to find a proof for the in advance prepared theory which should forever establish suspicion among Jews and especially in Israel with respect to Catholics and the Catholic church, to make any possibility of rapprochement impossible and deepen existing mistrust and prejudice. In that respect Simon Wiesenthal outdid himself and never hid his aversion toward Catholic countries. Efraim Zuroff is a typical Wiesenthal's fanatical storm trooper, who is now, after Croatia, preparing for similar campaigns against Austria and Latvia. He has lectured us and with characteristic crude and rigid rhetoric announced that he would not leave us alone. For such representatives, conditionally speaking, of the Jewish religious and political right, Catholics are enemies, a potential danger, and even a certain type of a competition.
With their arrogant and intolerant behavior, persecutors and interrogators of Zuroff's kind are creating an atmosphere of enmity with respect to the Catholic church and are destroying the basis for Jewish-Catholic dialogue because of their own uncompromising ideology with respect to Catholicism; at the same time they produce anti-Semitism while at the same time using its appearance as another argument of their prejudice against non-Jews. That is a vicious circle without an exit both in anti-Jewish feelings and Jewish radicalism. It should not be forgotten that Zuroff even had intolerant reaction when Pope John Paul II last year beatified a Jew and a Catholic nun Edith Stein who was murdered in 1942 in Auschwitz. Zuroff sees that as a provocation which means that he reacts as a political and religious fanatic, for whom it is even offensive that a Jew can be proclaimed a Catholic saint!?
One has to wonder how come Zuroff has so much influence that he can, as a president of the Simon Wiesenthal center in Jerusalem set conditions to a state, execute pressure on its government and lecture a whole nation? Why is that man, who considers the President of Croatia unworthy of a conversation, received by the ministers of that very same President about whom Zuroff speaks with disdain? Where does his power come from and who does he actually represent? Who is he persecuting? Nazism has been defeated longtime ago, all worst Nazi criminals have been found and sentenced. Who then is Efraim Zuroff looking for? Some elderly clerks of former pro-Nazi regimes? What is the purpose of his campaign? Many questions, too few answers.
Zuroff claims that their goal is to make the world a better place for living. History teaches us that one should be wary of people who want to "better" the world, especially those who divide the world according to their own criteria on good and bad guys. That type usually soon begins to control what you are reading, why you read what you read, what you are talking about, and why; they follow everything you write, how you react to the mention of Sakic's name, do you perhaps agree with Hitler's ideology since you're reading Mein kampf... You sir, you've committed a crime, you are reading a banned book and we have to be concerned about your and our mental health; we are concerned that a hidden Nazi may be lurking inside you; thus you reach an absurd, of an Orwellian kind. When Zuroff's rhetoric is pushed to its limit and stripped of disguise it remains naked in all of its systematic paranoia, intellectual and moral narrowness. Zuroff is a typical victim of his own rationalized hatred. Without new Sakics his life has no purpose.
Translated on February 10 2000