Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy Horror Book Review
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Tudjman is the president of the Republic of Croatia and a former dissident of the communist regime that ruled Yugoslavia. In this book he sets out to debunk the former communist propaganda that would assert that Croatia’s war crimes would delegitimize it as an independent country.
This book is about World War 2, and not about philosophy, as the title could be mislead someone into believing. Most of the book’s 500 pages is about war crimes and anti-fascism in Yugoslavia during World War 2. Tudjman’s main points are that Croatia did not do worse than others (in his opinion) and that its anti-fascist movement was one of the strongest one. All this goes contrary to the established ideas that came from the post-war communist propaganda, as Tudjman explains, and used to make of him a political dissident.
I am in no way well read about the subject of Yugoslavia during Word War 2 and the crimes of the Ustasha regime, and having not read a detailed book arguing for the “authorized” version, I can’t say whether Tudjman is right, even though he seems convincing. My main critic is his double standard about historical revisionism. For Mr. Tudjman entirely follows the “authorized” version of the war and post-war propaganda of demonizing the Germans so to clean the many war crimes of the Allies. Even a Jewish professor like Alfred Lindemann (in his book Esau’s Tears) never lowers himself to the cheap propaganda of Hitler’s regime “diabolical”, but on the contrary gives quite a different image. Now I expect Tudjman to have known that the Nuremberg Trial was a farce, that its regulations required no proof, that the movie about Dachau gazing’s chamber was produced by the CIA, that the many Jewish witness about gazing were proven false when it turned out there were no gas chambers in camps in Western Germany, that Gerstein was tortured, etc. This was all well known before the first edition of the book in 1989. And then after the Glasnot, the research access was granted to Auschwitz, where people could see that the famous, gas chamber was a fake built after the war by the Russian and the Russians opened up their archives : from the countless photographs of Auschwitz there is no trace of a gazing building ; and three independent sources showed that there had been only 74 000 dead at Auschwitz (the Auschwitz holocaust museum replaced the plate showing up the numbers of 4 millions, revising it with a plate showing 1,5 millions, still much higher than 74 000.) And there are so many more myths concerning World War 2 and the Third Reich. My point is that I can’t find Tudjman very credible as a revisionist historian, when he applies this double standard of allowing revisionism for Croatia, but not for the rest, where he sticks to political correctness and even of low-level bashing. Probably this is politically motivated, as after the opening of Auschwitz and of the Russian archives to researchers , and the discovery that the major World War 2 myths could be so easily disproved by hard evidence, the governments of Western continental Europe were pressurized by a certain lobby to hastily pass laws forbidding free speech and fee research in these areas. With the translation of Tudjman’s book in German (1993) and in English (1996), Tudjman chooses the easy way of not infringing Western Europe’s laws censoring free history, nor enraging the powerful US lobby that might have be offended. But then his books looks mainly like a piece of propaganda aimed at justifying the existence of Croatia in a way that is as pleasing as possible to the Western establishment, and this raises serious doubts about his objectivity. I would have preferred him to either follow entirely the line of free history and revisionism or the line of political correctness, but not the dubious path he followed for this apology of Croatia.