By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
Recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents confirm decades long suspicions that Holy See was hiding Ante Pavelic, head of so called Independent State of Croatia (NDH), Nazi puppet creation, after the end of Second World War. Croatian media revealed today CIA documents from 1947.
Zagreb “Jutarnji list” daily cited the document that suggests American and British agents have intended to arrest Pavelic, but plan was never conducted.
According to American intelligence agency, in May 1945 Pavelic and his family escaped to Austria from deliberated Yugoslavia with forged Peruvian documents named as Pedro Goner; Pavelic, disguised as a Roman-catholic priest, subsequently went to Italy and found his shelter in Vatican.
In Rome, CIA document stated, the group of priests from Saint Hieronymus Institute have established a network aimed to help members of Croatian Quisling regime to escape to Latin America. The commander of NDH air forces Vladimir Kren, deputy foreign minister Vjekoslav Vrancic as well as Djordje Peric, propaganda minister in Serbian Nazi puppet government were accommodated in the Institute.
The document also said that American agents did not want to arrest Pavelic without the engagement of British intelligence officers; unilateral action was perceived as contrary to “American interests” because “American intelligence agencies use number of Croats as informants”. Furthermore, “a number of those Croats are loyal to Pavelic anti-communist activities and Catholic fanaticism”.
According to unclassified documents, Pavelic was last seen in July 1947. Wearing clerical suit, he was walking in the center of Rome, outside of Vatican.
CIA paper also revealed that earlier that year British have helped Pavelic to escape from Genoa amid raid aimed for arresting Quislings which were trying to leave for Latin America from the local port.
The numbers of Serbs killed by Pavelic genocidal regime were very large, but estimates vary. Yad Vashem estimates over 500,000 murdered, 250,000 expelled and 200,000 forcibly converted to Catholicism. The estimate of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is that Croatian Nazi loyalists murdered between 320,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serb residents of Croatia and Bosnia during the World War Two, out of which between 45,000 and 52,000 were murdered in the Jasenovac concentration camp.
Approximately 32,000 Jews were killed, with 12.000 to 20.000 at the Jasenovac system of camps. At least 25,000 Roma were among the victims.