Mr. Sc. Ivan Kozlica responded to Prof. Dr. Veljko Djurić Mišina’s article Stoking Up the Fire with Balderdash - Mr. Ivan Kozlica Versus the Museum of Genocide Victims, published at www.ferata.hr on 27 November 2017.

ivan kozlica

You can read Mr. Kozlica’s response at http://www.muzejgenocida.rs/images/2017/decembar/Za-Feratu-odgovor-Mi%C5%A1ini-1.12.2017..pdf

Following Mr. Kozlica’s response, Veljko Djurić Mišina had this to say for www.ferata.hr on 7 December 2017.

veljko djuric

What I and Mr. Kozlica are Disagreeing About

I hope that Mr. Kozlica and I agree about one thing at least: Yugoslavian (communist) political regime never allowed for a scientific research into the number of war victims as it would show the enormity of the victims murdered by the Partisan units. To uncover that number would mean the beginning of the end of the communist revolution.

What Mr. Kozlica and I will never agree on is that, had the research taken place, it would have shown that the majority of victims were Serbs and the majority of felons were Croats. Had that been proclaimed, it would have been the beginning of the end of the Brotherhood and Unity. Josip Broz Tito was, after all, a Croat and a Roman-Catholic.

The majority of war crimes in the Second World War were committed in the territory of the Independent State of Croatia. However, this internet polemic is not an appropriate setting or platform to discuss that. What we should do is correct some inaccuracies concerning the Cetina region and get as close to the exact number of victims as possible. We should strive for the truth, irrespective of how painful it may be.

Mr. Kozlica threw in a few more topics, which only served to disrupt the flow of our polemic, the one focused on two or three debatable and historically relevant facts. He had some misgivings about Miloš Crnomarković's book "The Suffering of the Serbs in Vrlička Krajina 1941-1945", which I, in the capacity of the editor-in-chief, approved for publishing. I admit that I was aware the book had certain flaws, but I still thought it was necessary to publish it as it represents a decent contribution to the determination of the number of war victims. Mr. Kozlica corrected some errors in the book, which I welcomed and I would like to use this opportunity to thank him for that. A few of his objections, though, are faulty as it is well known that history, as a science, recognises that there is seldom one final, irreproachable truth and that events are open to different interpretations. Mr. Kozlica’s objections indicate his ignorance of the basic principles of historiography. For example, having said that Mr. Crnomarković had "asembled" his book from "a few testimonies and a bunch of false information", he went on to try and revise a part of the statement given by an anonymous refugee from Vrlička Krajina. On 22 July 1943, the refugee told the Commissariat for Refugees that seven Serbian houses were burned and three Serbs were killed in the village of Ugljan. Had Mr. Kozlica mastered some of the most basic historiography lessons (concerning when and if it is pertinent to criticise the source of information and his/her testimony), he would have shown much more dignity and respect towards that particular document, would have paid attention to the types and number of crimes and would have ultimately refrained from trying to correct it with such preposterous arrogance.

I do not know if and to which extent Mr. Kozlica is familiar with the methodology that is used to research and/or revise the war victims database. However, I have little choice but to conclude he knows next to nothing about it, judging by his determination to dispute any change or revision of the database.

Mr. Kozlica is very naive in his efforts to divert the attention from our disagreement by throwing in little remarks and objections, such as the use of the word Musliminstead of Musliman (Musliman is correct in Serbian) in the 1991 computerised version of the 1964 census. I now emphasise the fact that not one current employee of the Museum of Genocide Victims had anything to do with the publication of the said computerised version. Some words appeared in abbreviated forms due to the computer programs at the time. It just so happened that the word Musliman appeared in its shorter form – Muslim. I guess I could now lecture Mr. Kozlica about the crimes committed by the Muslim members of the SS Handschar division, or maybe about the members of the SS Prince Eugen division, who masked themselves as Chetniks and massacred a few tiny villages inhabited mostly by Croats (as described by Special Envoy of the German Reich in the Independent State of Croatia, Edmund Glees von Horstenau, in his memoirs). I will, however, refrain from doing so, as it would open up new topics for debate.

Given how impassioned Mr. Kozlica is in correcting other people’s mistakes, I offer him an opportunity to select a region, his village for instance, and make a precise and thorough account of the suffering of its people. He should include verifiable information (name, father's name, surname, place and date of birth, manner, place and time of the suffering, data source, etc...) and I will be happy to publish it in the Yearbook for Genocide Research, in Latin script and in Croatian language.

His objections and "objections" lead me to deduce that any further public debate with him is a waste of time. Therefore, I promise not to react publicly to anything he may have to say on this matter.

PS: I offered help in copying the survey sheets from the 1964/1965 list of war victims. Mr. Kozlica does not seem to know that the procurement of several thousand sheets is a very long and very expensive job. Therefore, I repeat: let it be only for his village.

I am sincerely grateful to the editor and the readers for their patience.

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