By saying "No!"
- straight to Hitler's face the Serbs made a decisive contribution to the
defeat of Nazis in World War II.
Hitler's most catastrophic mistake
Excerpts from: "The Rise and Fall of
the Third Reich"
A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer
Simon and Schuster, New York, 1960
NOTE: Mr. Shirer, a distinguished foreign
correspondent, news commentator and historian, reported
on the rise of the Nazis from Berlin for the Universal News Service
and for CBS.
...Yugoslavs were not so accommodating.
But their stubbornness only spurred on the Germans to bring them into camp
too. On March 4-5 , the Regent, Prince Paul
[of Yugoslavia], was summoned in great secrecy to the Berghof by the Fuehrer,
given the usual threats and, in addition, offered the bribe of Salonika
[Greece]. On March 25, the Yugoslav Premier, Dragisha Cvetkovic,
and Foreign Minister Aleksander Cincer-Markovic, having slipped surreptitiously
out of Belgrade the night before to avoid hostile demonstrations or even
kidnapping, arrived in Vienna, where in the presence of Hitler and Ribbentrop
they signed up Yugoslavia to the Tripartite Pact... The Yugoslav leaders
were given two letters from Ribbentrop confirming Germany's "determination"
to respect "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia
at all times" and promising that the Axis would not demand transit
rights for its troops across Yugoslavia "during this war".
The Yugoslav ministers had no sooner returned
to Belgrade than they, the government and the Prince Regent were overthrown
on the night of March 26-27, by a popular uprising... [...]
...During the delirious celebrations in
Belgrade, in which a crowd spat on the German minister's car, the Serbs
had shown where their sympathies lay.
coup in Belgrade threw Adolf Hitler into one of the wildest rages of his
entire life. He took it as a personal affront and in
his fury made sudden decisions which would prove utterly dissastrous to
the fortunes of the Third Reich.
He hurriedly summoned his military chieftans
to the Chancellery in the Berlin on March 27 - the meeting was so hastly
called that Brauchitsch, Halder and Ribbentrop arrived late - and raged
about the revenge he would take on Yugoslavs... He was therefore determined,...
"to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a nation. No diplomatic inquiries
will be made," he ordered, "and no ultimatums presented."
Yugoslavia, he added, would be crushed with "unmerciful
harshness." He ordered Goering then and there to "destroy
Belgrade in attacks by waves," with bombers operating from Hungarian
air bases. He issued Directive No. 25 for the immediate invasion of Yugoslavia
and told Keitel and Jodl to work out that very evening the military plans.
He instructed Ribentrop to advise [the German allies] Hungary, Rumania
and Italy that they would all get a slice of Yugoslavia, which would be
divided up among them, except for a Croatian state.
And then, according to an underlined passage
in the top-secret OKW notes of the meeting (1), Hitler
announced the most fateful decision of all.
of the Barbarossa opreration [attack on Russia]," he told his generals,
"will have to be postponed up to four weeks." (It
had originally been set for May 15 in the directive of December 18, 1940).
This postponment of
the attack on Russia in order that the Nazi warlord might vent his personal
spite against a small Balkan country which had dared to defy him was probably
the most catastrophic single decision in Hitler's
career. It is hardly too much to say that by making it that
March afternoon in the Chancellery in Berlin during a moment of convulsive
rage he tossed away his last golden opportunity to
win the war and to make of the Third Reich, which he had created
with such stunning if barbarous genius, the greatest empire in German history
and himself the master of Europe. Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, the Commander
in Chief of the German Army, and General Halder, the gifted Chief of the
General Staff, were to recall it with deep bitterness but also with more
understanding of its consequences than they showed at the moment of its
making, when later the deep snow and subzero temperatures
of Russia hit them three of four weeks short of what they thought they
needed for final victory. For ever afterward they and their fellow
generals would blame that hastly, ill-advised decision of vain and infuriated
man for all the disasters that ensued.
...At dawn on April 6, [Hitler's] armies
in overwhelming strength fell on Yugoslavia and Greece, smashing across
the frontiers of Bulgaria, Hungary and Germany itself with all their armor
and advancing rapidly against poorly armed defenders dazed by the usual
preliminary bombing from the Luftwaffe.
Belgrade itself, as
Hitler ordered, was razed to the ground. For
three days and nights Goering's bombers ranged
over the little capital at rooftop level - for the city had no antiaircraft
guns - killing 17,000 civilians, wounding many more and reducing
the place to a mass of smoldering rubble. "Operation
Punishment," Hitler called it, and he obviously was
satisfied that his commands had been so effectively carried out...
(1) OKW minutes of the meeting, "Nazi
Conspiracy and Aggression"; part of the Nuremberg Documents, VI, pp.
275-278 (Nuremberg Documents 1746-PS, Part II).
of sources on the reaction of the world leaders
What did Churchill,
Hitler say about the Serbian bravery? The reaction of the Serbian spiritual
leader - Patriarch
Ruth Mitchell "The Serbs chose war" (New York, 1943).
"In a war aimed just as much at America as at
Europe, The Serbs gave us without price the three most vital months in
the annals of civilization. Serbia at the end would present no bill - that
I knew - because the Serbs are like that..."
Today, the fueheres of the Newest "New
World Order", Imperial America and their German helpers, show the
same fury toward the disobedient Serb people. In 1991, just like in 1941,
the Serbs dare challenge Mighty Fascist Rullers of the Universe. Because,
if it was not clear from the above text who were the "Yugoslavs";
who dared say "No!" to Hitler - it is crystal clear from all
literature. It were the Serbs! The Croats (and their Muslim helpers)
eagerly awaited the "liberating" troops of the New World Order.
Germans did not forget or forgive the Serbs
for their role in destroying the beloved Third Reich. The price of more
than one million lives that the small but brave Serbian nation have payed
was not enough for the blood thirsty Germans. They rage for more today.
It is shocking to what detail the history
repeat itself. Once again, Croats and Muslims are servants of a "World
Order", once again Serbs are labelled "thugs, criminals and bandits"
just like in 1941.
The difference is that the Americans (the
new Masters of the Planet) "forgot" that during the last gigantic
struggle the Serbs sacrificed their own lifes in order to rescue
more than 500 American Airmen. This was the largest rescue of American
lives from behind enemy lines in American history.
[ Yugoslavia during WWII ]
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Last revised: March 25, 1997