Pakistanis Stuck in ASEAN Labor Trafficking Scams

Pakistan_MalaysiaIn current scenario, the cases of sex trafficking get a lot of global attention and media coverage, whereas labor trafficking gets sidelined. Needless to say, labor trafficking is a huge phenomenon faced by the world.  While labor trafficking is not exactly a secret, it is very difficult to identify the persons who become the victims of labor trafficking scams.

But if we look around, this is something we see “everywhere.”

Recently on a Dubai-Kuala Lumpur transit a group of closely attached young Pakistani men were seen at the airport lounge. The group constituted 12 men and it was apparent that it was their first ever time to sit on a plane. The most interesting thing to be noted was they were barely able to speak in Pakistan’s national language Urdu, and barely managed few liners in English. However they were all on their way to Malaysia holding valid work permits.

Local investigations  find that a quarter of all workers in Malaysia in forced labor include large number of young men from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Most South Asian youth arrive to Malaysia via employment recruiting agencies. This trend has been criticized within Pakistan by several leading politicians who argue that Pakistani workers sign agreements with lucrative wages and wonderful terms in Pakistan, but when they actually land inside Malaysia, the outsourcing companies substitute those contracts for more exploitative ones.

Speaking with a Pakistani labor who has recently returned back into the country was an eye opener. For maintaining privacy, we will call this twenty-six year old man Zahir Murad originally from Faislabad district. Zahir spent five years in Johor, Malaysia where he worked as a window cleaner on the tourist Hotels.

In his own words, “I spend my days hundreds of feet high to work overtime all the time, day in day out, sickness or not. I don’t think I will ever think of going abroad again.” Zahir Murad was offered a lucrative contractual job by a recruiting agency of a construction company but upon arrival to Malaysia, he turned into cleaner overnight and spent almost all those years cleaning only despite his educational credentials. More ever, he lived in a small room with other four men.

Zahir watches me but his expression tells me he is reliving those times, and suddenly he blurts out, “I feel like such a failure, what I got after spending five years aboard to show it at home. On top of that, the recruiting agencies told such wonderful stories of Malaysia, a great destination for Muslim migrants.” 

The humiliation Zahir suffered won’t fade away so easily and like many others, this trauma has scarred him for life. After speaking with him, my mind immediately thought of those eager looking faces at the Dubai airport terminal. But I will probably never know what happened to them, one can just hope that their fate wasn’t like that of Zahir’s.

For past two years, another Pakistani Junaid Mohammad is working as a security guard in Kuala Lumpur with a Malaysian security company. He is one of the hundreds of young Pakistanis and Afghans who came to Malaysia seeking better career prospects and larger earnings. His recruiters provided documents that on paper seemed like a Golden Dream come true and even instigated that the company car would pick him at the airport. But upon arrival, Junaid spent four days at the departure terminal to understand that nobody was coming. Finally, the recruiting agency man came making excuses of a family emergency. He took Junaid to the new work premises, but went away with his passport citing official documentation motives.

Junaid’s contract stated his monthly salary at 3000 Malaysian Ringgits (approximately US$900).In reality, he’s actually only managed to less than half of the promised amount and cannot move freely to seek help due to his vulnerable status of being a foreigner without his passport. During this time, he fell sick and needed medical attention. As he braved the roads, he was arrested and labelled as an illegal immigrant. The local police let him go; it seems bribes work well in Malaysia just like Pakistan.

Junaid complains of being abused both by his recruiters and the authorities in Malaysia who don’t want to deal with the problems of migrants workers. But he knows, any open retaliation means he will be fired and without his passport he is stranded into nowhere.

Some of his colleagues were able to contact the embassy but that too didn’t help change their situation. Junaid says, “The embassy staff in Kuala Lumpur don’t help us at all, they are immoral and unkind. They are enjoying good salaries but when it comes for serving Pakistanis, they really do nothing.”

Junaid and his colleagues demand that Governments of Pakistan and Malaysia respectively look into the matter, because migrant labor rights are getting abused as we so speak. Such cases are a tip on the iceberg of the complexity that faces Asian migrant laborer rights and need immediate attention. The regional network CARAM Asia works on migration and health issues says that Pakistanis makes up the majority of  more than half of foreigner workers in Malaysia. The organization also says that over two-thirds of migrant workers don’t get their wages on time and many get physically and sexually harassed.

Its time to stand up against Labor trafficking which is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.

First published on Sept.16 2015 

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#caram-asia, #economic-rights, #government-of-pakistan, #health-rights, #human-rights-violations, #human-traffickers, #labor-rights, #malaysia, #migrant-rights

” Apology tour II “

In 2009 Mr. Barack Hussein Obama to his famous tour to the Middle-East to accuse  America for being arrogant..But the democrat reject the fact that this clueless man bowed to Saudi King Abdullah.B.H.O. (Barack Hussein Obama)won the Nobel Peace prize  for being a man of peace refusing to  call the Islamic terrorism by its name .
This Nobel Prize is haunting him ,the red line ,the scandals,Ukraine ,,Russia’s aggression, ISIS, he shows unbelievable weakness .This administration gained one thing it  proved that B.H.O is the worst politician ever.Now After Hilary’s email scandal exploded  in her face ,she is in a tour to appear on every liberal  channel to apologize for LYING and for her DECEPTION.
Her lies are bigger than BIG BEAR .Hilary has an illusion  to be the women’s champion .ONE CLINTON PRESIDENT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.Monica was the victim .Who will be the victim this time.  What did she achieve as First lady,secretary of state ,New York senate? NOTHING 

#hilary-clinton

Apartheid: Then And Now !

Apartheid a concept from the past…..a form of segregation, if you will…..Think South Africa……if the concept seems foreign to you.

Apartheid.……..a rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non white population…………any system or practice that separates people according to colour, ethnicity, caste, etc.

We Americans became acutely aware of this concept with South Africa……where the black and white populations were separate, but not equal.

After many years, more like decades, the black population rose up and began a campaign of bringing the world’s attention to what was happening in South Africa……the world responded by sanctions and total international isolation and after a while both sides came to an agreement and a more democratic form of government was born with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

Once South Africa dismantled their policies all was right in the world, right?

Where do I go from here?  How about a wall in the Middle East?

Israel is building a wall to separate the West Bank from Israel proper in an attempt to isolate Palestinians……Noam Chomsky has an observation……

“In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid,” Chomsky says, according to Days of Palestine. “To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid.

“What is happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse. There is a crucial difference. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce…

“The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just do not want them. They want them out, or at least in prison.”

He described listening to the American mainstream media, such as CBS, like listening directly to the Israeli propaganda agencies. “It is a shameful moment for US media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state [Israel],”

My problem with the whole separation thing is that Israel still wants the Palestinians isolated but builds settlements within the West Bank……

You will ever see a report along these lines from the MSM…..they report only positive things from Israel never any negativity…….but thank God for other organizations that will write the unthinkable…..like Israel’s Haaretz…..written by Bradley Burston……

What does apartheid mean, in Israeli terms?

Apartheid means fundamentalist clergy spearheading the deepening of segregation, inequality, suprematism, and subjugation.

Apartheid means Likud lawmaker and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter calling Sunday for separate, segregated roads and highways for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Apartheid means hundreds of attacks by settlers targeting Palestinian property, livelihoods, and lives, without convictions, charges, or even suspects. Apartheid means uncounted Palestinians jailed without trial, shot dead without trial, shot dead in the back while fleeing and without just cause.

Apartheid means Israeli officials using the army, police, military courts, and draconian administrative detentions, not only to head off terrorism, but to curtail nearly every avenue of non-violent protest available to Palestinians.

Only in Israel would a law be passed that would make a non-violent protest like a hunger strike an act of terrorism.

No matter how one cuts the facts…..Israel is practicing apartheid…..in case you have forgotten what the policy is here is the definition one more time…..

Apartheid.……..a rigid policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non white population…………any system or practice that separates people according to colour, ethnicity, caste, etc.

You know kinda like the “reservation” system the US cam up with to control and destroy the Native American population.  After a century of degradation the country has reduced the Native American population into a subservient race, lack of education, infrastructure, adequate health care, etc…..Israel has learned their lessons well from their “Big Brother”.…..

Most of the world is looking the other way to avoid any confrontation with Israel.  It is as if they are afraid of the consequences of such an action…..even Christians, who say they represent a calmer more compassionate world is aiding in the apartheid against Palestinians…….Christian charities are supporting the building of settlements with funds to the tune of millions….

The only way to defeat this racist policy is the same way the apartheid was defeated in South Africa…….sanctions, isolation and divestment of Israel.

Source: BDSmovement.net | The Palestinian BDS National Committee website

The world can force Israel to behave like a civilized member of the international community….the question is will they act like humans or cowards?  My guess is the later!

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#apartheid, #nelson-mandela, #noam-chomsky, #palestinians, #south-africa

Croatia: Justice Against Corruption Still In Claws Of Baptism Of Fire

Ivo Sanader, former prime minister of Croatia Photo: Marko Lukunic

Ivo Sanader, former prime minister of Croatia Photo: Marko Lukunic

Justice in ridding Croatia of paralysing corrupt practices inherited from the communist power-bases of former Yugoslavia, or at least reducing them so that corruption ceases to stifle democratic progress including the economy, has indeed been a long-suffering entity in Croatia. Croatia that is free from corruption is the new bright position people want Croatia to be in. Frank Serpico, New Yorks’s retired police department office who became famous for blowing the whistle on corruption within the police department in late 1960’s and early 1970’s said: “The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.”

For years Croatia had been unable or unwilling, or both, to deal decisively with thieves and troublemakers that define the deep-rooted corruption. When in 2014 Zagreb’s District Court delivered a guilty verdict in the first and biggest to date corruption case involving the former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and Hypo and INA-MOL (Croatian gas and petrol energy company with Hungarian MOL clout) there was a breath of relief in Croatia and abroad. Finally – the breath of fresh air and hope for justice showed optimistic promise that Croatia was well on its way in getting rid of paralysing and omnipresent corruption it inherited from communist Yugoslavia days. Sanader was sentenced to eight and a half years and I thought: justice against corruption has been baptised and it will grow from now on.

Zsolt Hernádi, CEO MOL Photo: Budapest Business Journal

Zsolt Hernádi, CEO MOL Photo: Budapest Business Journal

Sanader was arrested in Austria as he fled Croatia in an attempt to avoid facing criminal charges, and was extradited to Croatia in July 2011. Series of trials for a string of serious charges of corruption, bribery and war profiteering offences commenced late 2011. In December 2011 criminal charges were laid against Sanader, which stipulated that for a 10 Million euro bribe he negotiated with president of Hungary’s petrol/energy company MOL, Zsolt Hernádi, that MOL receive majority ownership in Croatia’s INA company. These charges were attached to previous one for war profiteering in which Sanader is alleged to have taken a provision of 3.6 Million kuna (475,000 euro) from Hypo Bank while holding the office of deputy foreign minister of Croatia. As far as bribery from MOL, Hungarian Zsolt Hernádi has continuously denied any wrongdoing although he has refused to attend the Croatian court.
After the 2014 verdicts against Sanader, Croatian Supreme court confirmed those Zagreb District Court guilty verdicts.

But, in July 2015 Croatia’s Constitutional court overturned those guilty verdicts, citing procedural errors (not facts of evidence for the criminal acts) and ordered a retrial. The Constitutional court said that in its decision it did not go into whether Ivo Sanader was guilty of war profiteering and criminal acts of receiving bribes for which he was found guilty because it, the Constitutional court, did not have jurisdiction. The Constitutional court had overturned the guilty verdict because it found that all guarantees for a fair trial and all mechanisms of judicial protection provided through the legislation were not secured for him. http://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/390689/Ukinuta-presuda-Ivi-Sanaderu-za-Hypo-i-INA-MOL.html (Click this link for PDF in Croatian/ Summary of Constitutional Court decision 24 July 2015)

The Constitutional court findings say that there had been a breach of rules of a milder law in relation to the constitutional guarantee for a milder sentence. Article 31, clause 1 of the Constitution of Croatia provides that ” No one may be punished for an act which, prior to its commission, was not defined as a punishable offence by domestic or international law, nor may such individual be sentenced to a penalty which was not then defined by law. If a less severe penalty is determined by law after the commission of said act, such penalty shall be imposed.”

The decision also refers to a breach of Constitutional right to explanations of the part of judgement dealing with the rule of the milder law.

And so, on Monday 7 September 2015, Croatia began a retrial of former prime minister Ivo Sanader on corruption charges, including a case of a bribe allegedly taken from Hungarian oil firm MOL to allow it acquire a dominant stake in Croatia’s biggest utility (INA).

Judge Ivan Turudic Photo: Slavko Midzor

Judge Ivan Turudic Photo: Slavko Midzor

As the retrial got under way, Sanader’s lawyers requested the judge (Ivan Turudic) be changed as he had overseen the previous trial and they submit that he may be biased against Sanader in the second-trial. According to media reports Sanader’s lawyers will seek not only that Turudic be disqualified from hearing the case or presiding over the hearing but that he also be removed from his position as president of the Zagreb District Court. Judge Ivan Turudic, on the other hand, says that he can see no reason why he could not preside over the retrial. Any disqualification of a judge from presiding over the trial or hearing the case will need to be decided by a higher court (in this case Supreme Court of Croatia).

Well, well, it seems Sanader and his lawyers don’t worry about the independent facts revealed during the first trial against him, which facts point to guilt of actual corruption, bribery and war profiteering. Procedural matters are the hot coals in the baptism of fire of justice in this case. While Sanader and everyone should have the benefit of due process – which includes access to all rights under the law and procedural fairness – one cannot but think of Frank Serpico at this time: the fight for justice is never easy! Baptism of fire for many good things is an inevitable albeit regretful path to the good; we all want justice and want it now! Especially given that Croatia has been suffocated by corruption for a whole lifetime. Time to speed up the fight against corruption in Croatia and I hope that agenda will be included in someone’s election campaign platform! It’s election year with general elections likely to occur in a couple of month’s times. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A.;M.A.Ps. (Syd)

First published on Sept.09 2015

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#baptism-of-fire, #corruption, #corruption-in-croatia, #croatia, #former-yugoslavia, #frank-serpico, #ivan-turudic, #ivo-sanader, #war-profiteering, #zsolt-hernadi

BRITTIUS REPORT: ‘ Imbeciles misusing firearms: Try that in the Marines, and see what happens to them ?

My high school gym teachers were Golden Glove Champions and one, was US Navy Overall Heavyweight Champion 1945. They taught us to fight. Out school required us to carry pocket knives for shop classes, and never was there a knife incident.

If anything, we fought like men, and we took our lumps, while training. God bless those teachers (all teachers, one and all). We were taught to be men, before we graduated high school. Bring the physical training back, complete with medicine ball, logs for line lifting. All the stuff that builds up strength of a farmer. Then work on the brain, training it in Good Citizenship. I do not like this 21st century, at all. Why God put me into this century, I have no clue, because what I read, watch, or listen to, of news, only saddens me.

Imbeciles misusing firearms. Try that in the Marines, and see what happens to them. (…Yep, that’s what will happen to them.)

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#crime, #guns, #knifes, #pugilistic

The Games Nations Play

Jade Helm 15 is a training exercise or basically a “war game”…..(how is the fight against martial law going in Texas?)……..nations are always playing some sort of war game to exercise their military and to demonstrate their capabilities to their neighbours…..in essence it is an intimidation technique…..a flexing of muscle, if you will.

The US teams up with their allies and play like an invasion is occurring…..Russia will do the same…….China pretty much flexes its own muscle without the need for too many allies…….

I bring all this up because of the situation in Ukraine.  The US/NATO has teamed up with Poland, the Baltic countries and other minor players in the region in a massive war game recently……..but are these exercises truly needed ?  Are they a deterrent?

We have been doing these almost non-stop of several years……are we preparing for war?  The old saying…..”an unused weapon is a useless weapon” comes to mind…….

Like a game of Risk, Russia and NATO have not only been suspiciously eyeing each other in recent months, but also conducting military exercises in border areas that the Washington Post says are making Europe “a region of high military drama.” Now a UK-based think tank is warning that these war games could lead to real conflict if they don’t start communicating and scaling down their activities, the Guardian reports. The European Leadership Network says that although reps from both sides may insist these training exercises—including a flurry of activity in March for Russia and in June for NATO, per the Post—are against hypothetical opponents, it’s clear there are definite foes in mind, and that alleviate measures need to take place ASAP to stave off a possible confrontation.

“Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia,” the report asserts, adding that even though this doesn’t make a real conflict unavoidable, it helps perpetuate tension in the region—especially thick since the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The organization’s recommendation: Tamp down the size and scale of said exercises, start hammering out a new treaty on limiting the types of weapons used along the borders, and publicly announce beforehand when exercises are being held (Russia is pointed out as a prime offender in this regard). But a NATO rep told Bloomberg that the ELN report “misleadingly puts NATO and Russian exercises on par” and that “the scale and scope of Russia’s exercises are far beyond anything the alliance is doing. Russia is deliberately avoiding military transparency and predictability.”

To me this is just the roll up for a more real confrontation..….Ukraine is as unstable as a country can get……Russia is as aggressive as a country can get……..and the US/NATO is as persistent as a country can get……

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Exonerate ! / True Patriotism ! / Lincoln ! / Obama !!

President Abraham Lincoln’s timeless legacy Is.”Emancipating the African-American .”

He is the greatest emancipator in the history of mankind.

Mr.Barack Hussein Obama’s legacy ,”he won the prestigious Nobel peace prize,

And he emancipated the gays and the lesbians .

He also illuminated the people’s White House,

With the colours of the gays and lesbians flag.

India ,Russia and the conservative 3rd.world countries including 57 Muslim Countries,

Need emancipator to do what the Ultra liberals and progressives did in the USA.

Nigeria ,the largest Muslim African country outlawed gays and lesbians and will be ,

Jailed for 14 years if they are caught  in the act.

Most Muslim countries  will flog and execute the gays and lesbians according to Shari’s laws.

(( Mr.Nobel peace prize winner ,you are in Alaska today talking about Climate Change ,wasting your time and the Tax payers money.  Mother Nature been taking care of herself for billions of years.Its a phenomena no scientist can comprehend.Except hypocrites who live in 20 room mansions and complain about global warming.

Why don’t your  senior administration’s adviser talk about crimes exploding  in our cities,exploding of hate and racism,exploding of division.Why don’t you talk about Iran scandal.(Iran is holding 4 American captive in it’s torture chambers.)Cuba scandal,IRS scandal,NSA scandal, Clinton’s foundation scandals,email scandals .Your unwillingness to confronting  the murderous ISIS is a mystery?

,,,,etc,etc,etc.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First published on Sept.01 2015

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#emancipating-the-african-american, #emancipation, #exonerate, #lincoln, #obama, #true-patriotism

BRITTIUS REPORT: ‘ Thoughts on G4s & Debtors Prisons ‘

In America, G4S prisons are called “Debtor Prisons”, as when I did the coverage on the original version of my blog (this is the 5th ed., all previous attacked and destroyed), businesses get judges to give those owing debts, to sign prison terms.

If incarcerated, many, have their debt increased as they are charged money to keep them in a cell, clothe, feed, lighting, guard/service, homes are forfeited or seized and sold for money. Big mess. From what I understand, the federal government authorizes such, to hold down tax burden of states but, of course, lobbyists bribe congressional members, because congress made lobbying (BRIBING), lawful.

I knew one or two of their employees when their bus broke down, and they had prisoners on-board, so we sat behind them with our roof lights flashing while their repair truck showed up.

The personnel appeared to know what they were doing.

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#debtors-prisons, #g4s

Croatia’s Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, WWII Rescue Of Jews and Dr Esther Gitman’s Fact Finding Captivate Pages Of Prestigious US Catholic Historical Review

 

Blessed Aloysius Stepinac Front Cover Catholic Histoprical Review Summer 2015 Edition Catholic University of America Press

Blessed Aloysius Stepinac Front Cover Catholic Historical Review Summer 2015 Edition Catholic University of America Press

Dr Esther Gitman

In 1942, during the mass deportations of Jews to concentration camps, some Jews managed to escape to the Italian Zones of Occupation on the Adriatic. When the Italian authorities realized that so many Jews were flocking to their zone they aimed to deport them back to he Independent State of Croatia ruled by the Ustashe regime controlled by Nazi Germany. When the news reached Archbishop Stepinac of the intention of the Governor of Dalmatia, he wrote to the Holy See requesting to allow the Jewish refugees to remain under the Italian occupation. The Italians did not murder Jewish refugees they protected them. Thus, in fact, Stepinac, was instrumental in saving my mother’s and my life and thousands other lives. I owe him an eternal gratitude because by his conduct, he gave me an opportunity to live and get to know my husband, daughter and my grandchildren. Archbishop Stepinac was honored by the Catholic Historical Review by having his picture posted on the cover. This picture commemorates the time he spent as a prisoner in Communist Yugoslavia. The article is found on pp. 488-529. Thank you!” Said Dr. Esther Gitman,  a few days ago

And so, I took delight and pride in translating the posting from the Catholic University of Croatia website that announces Dr. Esther Gitman’s very important achievement  – the publication of her article on the work of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac and the rescue and the saving of Jews during WWII Croatia in such a world-renowned and prestigious scholarly journal published in the US. I hope many of you will access the article via the Catholic University of America Press website.

____

Information for the Media

Catholic University of Croatia
Zagreb
Contact: pr@unicath.hr
http://www.unicath.hr

Zagreb 29 August 2015

The American historian of Jewish descent, Dr. Esther Gitman Ph.D., has published in the Summer Edition of the scientific journal The Catholic Historical Review (CHR), third this year (pp. 488-529, vol. 101. n. 3), an article about the blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, titled “Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac of Zagreb and the Rescue of Jews, 1941-45”.

In the article, the author shows how the Archbishop of Zagreb undertook the action of rescuing several hundred of individuals associated with the Croatian Jewish community, how he saved more than a thousand Jews who were in mixed marriages, as well as many others for whom the Nazi regime posed a danger.

Using evidence from various archives, testimonies of surviving family members and other documents, the author discusses how Stepinac responded to the politics of the Ustasha regime under the Nazi and Fascist patronage, and how he used his position in the Church to promote the rescue of Jews. In the same article, the author talks about the collaboration between Archbishop Stepinac and Msgr. Giuseppe Ramiro Marcone, Pope Pius XII’s apostolic visitor, and how they demanded from the Vatican that the Jews who had arrived into the Italian zone not be deported back to NDH (Independent State of Croatia).

Excerpt from the article by Dr Esther Gitman published in The Catholic Historical Review Summer 2015

Excerpt from the article by Dr Esther Gitman published in The Catholic Historical Review Summer 2015

The scientific journal, The Catholic Historical Review, had decided to publish Dr. Gitman’s article only after the article had been subjected to double-verification by two of our professional associates who did not know who the author of the article they were verifying was. The verifying associates were four scientists of high international reputation from Croatia and abroad. Dr. Gitman was able to provide adequate answers to all criticisms and complaints put by the versifier/s and substantiate her claims with evidence from the archives. Some complaints were irrelevant to the subject of the article and, hence, we did not seek any clarification for them. Dr. Gitman’s article contributes significantly to discussions regarding the role of Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac of Zagreb during the difficult years of World War II. The Catholic Historical Review is, therefore, very happy to be in the position of making that article available to the scholarly world. By placing the image of Archbishop Stepinac in prison on the cover of the summer issue we wanted to draw attention to this important person in the history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century – said Professor Nelson H. Minnich, editor of The Catholic Historical Review and a professor at the Department of History, the American Catholic University.
This article is yet another in the list of articles that, based on facts, show how much Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac was engaged in the defense of the dignity of every person during the difficult times of the Second World War.
About the author:

Dr Esther Gitman Delivering a talk on her work at NSW State Library (Mitchell Library) Sydney, Australia February 2014 Photo: Ina Vukic

Dr Esther Gitman Delivering a talk on her work at NSW State Library (Mitchell Library) Sydney, Australia February 2014 Photo: Ina Vukic

Dr Esther Gitman earned her doctorate at the City University, New York and the findings of her research are summarized in her book “When Courage Prevailed,” translated into the Croatian language and published by Christian Actuality in 2011. The book deals with the topic of the rescue and survival of Jews in NDH (Independent State of Croatia) and one of its chapters is devoted to the role played at the time by the Archbishop of Zagreb, Alojzije Stepinac. The author deals with issues related to Jews in Croatia during World War II and, using scientific evidence and historical facts, she points to the uniqueness and the greatness of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac in all those events.

She was a visiting professor at the Croatian Catholic University during the 2013/2014 academic year 2013/2014. and held a course on rescuing Jews in NDH (Independent State of Croatia).

About the Journal:
The Scientific Journal The Catholic Historical Review, founded by the Catholic University of America, has been published since 1915. That is the only university journal under the Catholic Church’s auspices in the English-speaking world dedicated to the history of the Catholic Church. The journal publishes articles, peer-reviewed articles, as well as review articles, book reviews, and lists of current periodical literature received in all areas of church history. The Journal and the article can be obtained at the following address: The Catholic University of America Press http://cuapress.cua.edu/journals/chr.cfm

Summary of Dr. Gitman’s article:
During World War II, Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, Archbishop and later Cardinal of Zagreb (1898 – 1960), took action to rescue several hundred individuals associated with Croatia’s Jewish community, more than 1000 Jews in mixed marriages, and a number of others in danger from the Nazis. Using archival evidence, survivor testimonies, and other documentation, the author discusses how Stepinac reacted to the policies of the Nazi-and-fascist-sponsored Ustase regime and used his position in the Church to promote the rescue of Jews, supported by his moral convictions and Giuseppe Ramiro Marcone, Benedictine abbot and Pope Pius XII’s apostolic visitor to Croatia.

Prof. Minnich’s reply as to why he decided to publish Dr. Gitman’s article:

The CHR decided to publish Dr. Gitman’s article after it had gone through our double-blind refereeing process. The four referees are scholars of international standing, from within and outside Croatia. Where referees raised objection and criticisms, Dr. Gitman was able to provide appropriate responses and she backed up her claims with archival evidence. Some of the objections were irrelevant to the topic of the article and did not deserve a response. Her article makes a significant contribution to the debates concerning the role of Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac of Zagreb during the difficult years of World War II. The CHR is thus happy to make it available to the scholarly world. By putting the picture of Archbishop Stepinac in prison on the cover of the Summer issue, the journal wishes to draw attention to this important figure in the history of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century.
Translated from the Croatian language by Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

First published on 2nd September 2015

 

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#alojzije-stepinac, #aloysius-stepinac, #catholic-university-of-america-press, #catholic-university-of-croatia, #croatia, #esther-gitman, #holocaust, #independent-state-of-croatia-wwii, #nelson-h-minnich, #rescue-and-survival-of-jews-in-world-war-ii-croatia, #rescue-of-jews, #when-courage-prevailed

The Glory Of Croatian Martyrs

The Glory of Croatian Martyrs Sculpture relief by Kuzma Kovacic Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina Croatia

The Glory of Croatian Martyrs Sculpture relief by Kuzma Kovacic Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina Croatia (Click picture to enlarge)

In 2003, in the city of Rijeka, Pope John Paul II blessed the rough stone base for the future altar sculpture for the Church of Croatian Martyrs at Udbina, a relief of the impressions of the Battle of Krbava (1493 when Kingdom of Croatia forces fought the advance of the Ottoman with tragic consequences. While the Croatian army was heavily defeated on September 9th 1493 in the Battle of Krbava, a hundred years later, in the Battle of Sisak on June 22nd 1593 it won a glorious victory over the Turks. From that point onwards the power of the Turks in Europe began to decline continuously), Bleiburg and Way of the Cross (post-WWII mass murders of Croats by Yugoslav communists) and the sufferings and victims of Vukovar during Croatia’s Homeland War of 1990’s (mass murders and tortures perpetrated by Serb aggressor). As part of the marking of Croatian Martyrs Day this altar relief called “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs”, sculptured by artist Kuzma Kovacic, a three-part whole made up of 70 large stone tiles from the Island of Brac, was blessed on Saturday 29 August 2015 in the Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina. The relief’s author, Kuzma Kovacic, said that his work “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs” represents almost a thousand years of the connection between the Catholic faith and the Croatian history.

Saturday 29 August 2015 at The Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina Photo: www.lika-online.com

With that relief the grand dedication sitting above the Krbava Field – the church with its altar relief sculpture – is completed. Several thousands of believers from all regions of Croatia, as well as state and church dignitaries, gathered in Udbina at the holy mass on Saturday, headed by Mile Bogovic, the Bishop of Lika-Senj county. Bishop Bogovic emphasised that besides having a great artistic value the relief sculpture also has a large patriotic and religious value. He reminded the pilgrims of the history of the region where the church stands, where the bishopric…. was established 730 years ago and where at the Krbava Field the geographic centre of Croatia had been wounded in 1493. “Krbava and the whole of Lika were under the Turks for 160 years, and after this there were not only Catholics here but also the Orthodox,” Bishop Bogovic said.

Bishop Mile Bogovic

He reminded that in 1942 the Croatian Catholics that remained there were forced to leave Udbina, where also their church was destroyed, their cemetery devastated, their houses destroyed and their land taken away from them. “Another law reigned that did not even spare the Orthodox Church in Udbina,” he emphasised (meaning the communist Partisan “law”).

Speaking about the WWII and post-WWII sufferings Bishop Bogovic accentuated Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac’s example. “Although we, like other nations, cannot say we have nothing to regret from our pasts, we can say with pride that there were great many greats of good and sacrifice for others in our history, and our church and worldly history have systematically been muddied,” concluded Bishopo Bogovic.

Bishop Bogovic gave an appraisal in saying that the Croatian past and its Greats “are still, to this day, covered with many fat layers of lies so that not even the most well-meaning persons cannot see the real picture”. “It is sad that the same people who fabricated those lies force themselves upon us as our teachers and receive funds and space for their schools and, so, it’s within these frames that the idea of the Church of Croatian Martyrs appeared and grew,” said Bishop Bogovic, emphasising the church project in Udbina “did not arise from the cult of a gun, a lie and aggression, as suggested by some even today, but that it arose out of the cult of the cross and veneration of those who had suffered the aggression from various guns and aggressors”.

Turning to the marking of anniversaries of sufferings, Bishop Bogovic emphasised how it’s human to value courage and resolve in the defence of people and homeland.

Children at mass in Udbina Croatian Martyrs Day 29 August 2015 Photo: www.lika-online.com

It’s been ten years since the foundation stone was laid and the building of this Shrine (The Church of Croatian Martyrs) to the Croatian martyrs in Udbina had begun. The road to its completion was hard and riddled with obstacles laid by those who did not want the Croatian martyrs remembered in such a grand, deserving manner. The same road, though, had been a joyous one for to pursue with the project also meant the expression of special gratitude to those who had throughout history sacrificed their lives for the human and Christian progress over the Croatian nation.

Church of Croatian Martyrs Udbina the altar and the Glory of Croatian Martyrs relief by Kuzma Kovacic

Many of the most prominent sons of Croatia who accepted death so that others could live, now live on Kuzma Kovacic’s relief sculpture in Udbina. They come from Krbava Field, from Bleiburg and Ways of the Cross, from Vukovar and all places of killings in Croatia and all its pits and mass graves; those for whom regimes said were defeated and beaten, those whom the aggressors considered as rubbish and tossed them into pits of torture and oblivion – are greeted by Christ as the victorious and our generation has retrieves their human dignity while Christ waits for them as the victorious. That is the message within the relief sculpture “The Glory of Croatian Martyrs”. Lest we forget! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

First published August 31 2015 by inavukic

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