Czechoslovakia 1939-Yugoslavia 1999: THE PARALLELS

by Josef Haubelt

Chairperson of the Czech humanist oganisation Freethought

The Serbs, a generous people, are among the bravest of the Slav nations. For centuries they fought tirelessly against the Ottoman threat to European civilisation. But in our bleak 20th century, perhaps uniquely among the world's nations, they have been the target of genocidal violence three times.

* 1914

The first attempt came in 1914, after the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia on July 28. The Serbs fought back with extraordinary courage. They, much more than any other nation, can take the credit for the downfall of Hapsburg rule of the Danube and the ensuing emergence of a free Czechoslovakia.

* 1941

The prelude to the second genocide against the Serbs was their national protest against the rape of Czechoslovakia in September 1938, when 100,000 Serbs volunteered to come to our defence. The Nazis attacked Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941. Again the Serbs fought courageously. However, a fascist state was set up in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and, under the aegis of Germany and the Vatican, Greater Albania became a kind of Italian protectorate. Serbs, along with Romanies and Sinti, were murdered in the same way as Jews. Greater bestiality took place in the Croatian concentration camp at Jasenovac than at Auschwitz and Mauthausen.


Today we are witness to a third wave of genocide against the Serb nation. Its perpetrators are the same forces which Nazi Germany used. The mainstays of the policy are the descendants of the Croatian Ustashi fascists in Sarajevo and the Moslem terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija. The parallels between Czechoslovakia in 1939 and Yugoslavia in 1999 are indisputable.

*Fifth column

In both cases a fifth column was first inspired from abroad -- in Czechoslovakia the Sudetens, in Kosovo and Metohija the nationalist Albanians. The Sudetens produced leaders like Henlein and K.H.Frank, in Kosovo and Metohija there are Rugova, Demachi and the others. In Czechoslovakia, stormtrooper militias were formed and armed from Germany, in Yugoslavia, there are the units of the Kosovo terrorist army.


Then the emissaries came -- in our case, Britain's Lord Runciman, in Yugoslavia, Holbrook, Hill and others -- to negotiate against us here in Prague and against Belgrade in the Balkans. They demonised Edvard Benes in Prague and Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade. Military force was threatened. The main rabble-rouser against Prague was Marshal of the Luftwaffe Hermann Goring, a member of the National Socialist Workers' Party, and against Belgrade it is NATO general secretary Xavier Solana, a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

*Munich and Rambouillet

Prague was welcome in Munich only to capitulate, just like Belgrade in Rambouillet. Benes's presidential succesor Hacha could go to Berlin, and Milosevic to Brussels, solely for the purpose of putting the fate of their countries into the hands of Hitler, or NATO. The final goal was to be occupation and the creation of protectorates -- after military aggression had been «justified», as at Sarajevo in 1914, by the criminal provocations of the militias in the Sudetenland and the terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija. International law and the sovereignty of the attacked states were violated, while today the Security Council and the UN have also been «terminated».

* Czechs only in name

It is a matter of shame for the Czech nation that among the protagonists of this diabolical game are politicians who are Czech only in name. Vaclav Havel, for example, does not need to explain the kind of relationship some of his closest relatives had with the Nazi occupiers; this is only too clear fromhis repeated cries of «On to Belgrade!». He boasts that he has always been against the death penalty, but in the same breath calls for the use of weapons which can inflict destruction on a vast scale against the Serb nation, and against it only. As for the Czech-born Marie Korbelova (who now calls herself Madeleine Albright and who once lived in Belgrade), the less said the better.

* Russia

The Czech Republic has now joined NATO -- a decision taken without consulting us, the Czech people. We have become part of the self-same international political system which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia at Munich in 1938. Decent people can respond by turning to the kind of pacifism embraced by our Czech 1905 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Berta Suttnerova&ssharp; (Countess Kinska), who said that it was necessary to confront evil with strength. What kind of strength? In Europe's case, the strength of a democratic, confident and strong Russia. This could be the categorical imperative of humanism at the beginning of the third millenium.

* Translated from the Czech. Title and subheads by PP


Date: Mon, Wednesday 31 March 1999

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