BELGRADE – The leading German language dictionary ‘Duden’ is whitewashing the genocide of 1 million Serbs, Jews and Roma during WW2, according to Filip Filipi, president of “28. Jun”, the largest Serbian diaspora organization.

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“The ‘Ustase’ were/are a Croatian fascist, ultranationalist and terrorist organization. Its members murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist or dissident Croats in Yugoslavia during World War II, and Duden defines them as a movement which fought against ‘Serbian centralism'” Filipi said.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Filipi said that “We need to stop the promotion of Nazism in Germany and make Duden re-define these terrorist killers,” and called everyone to sign the petition [link].

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The Ustase, also known as “Ustashe”, “Ustashas”, and “Ustashi”, were members of the Ustasa – Croatian Revolutionary Movement, a Croatian fascist, ultranationalist and terrorist organization, active, in its original form, between 1929 and 1945. Its members murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma (Gypsies) and anti-fascist or dissident Croats in Yugoslavia during World War II.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Roman Catholicism and Croatian nationalism. The Ustase supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span the River Drina and extend to the border of Belgrade (Serbia). The movement emphasized the need for a racially “pure” Croatia and promoted genocide against Serbs, Jews and Romani people, and persecution of anti-fascist or dissident Croatians.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The Ustase were fiercely Catholic, identifying it with Croatian nationalism. They declared that the Catholic and Muslim faiths were the religions of the Croatian people. They claimed the Islam of the Bosniaks was a religion which “keeps true the blood of Croats”.

The srbosjek ("Serb cutter"), a special knife worn over the hand that was used by the Ustaše for the quick slaughter of inmates, notably in the Jasenovac concentration camp in the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia.
The srbosjek (“Serb cutter”), a special knife worn over the hand that was used by the Ustaše for the quick slaughter of inmates, notably in the Jasenovac concentration camp in the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia.

When it was founded in 1930, as Ustasa – Croatian Revolutionary Organization (Croatian: Ustaša – Hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija) it was a nationalist organization that sought to create an independent Croatian state. When the Ustase came to power in the NDH, a quasi-protectorate established by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during World War II, its military wings became the Army of the Independent State of Croatia and the Ustase militia.

The bodies of prisoners executed by the Ustasa in Jasenovac.
The bodies of prisoners executed by the Ustasa in Jasenovac.

The movement functioned as a terrorist organization before World War II but in April 1941, they were appointed to rule a part of Axis-occupied Yugoslavia as the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which has been described as both an Italian-German quasi-protectorate, and as a puppet state of Nazi Germany.

Ustasa militia execute prisoners near the Jasenovac concentration camp.
Ustasa militia execute prisoners near the Jasenovac concentration camp.

The Duden is a dictionary of the German language, first published by Konrad Duden in 1880. The Duden is updated regularly, with new editions appearing every four or five years. As of August 2013 it is in its 26th edition and in 12 volumes, each covering different aspects such as loanwords, etymology, pronunciation, synonyms, etc.

The first of these volumes, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung (English: German Orthography), has long been the prescriptive source for the spelling of German. The Duden has become the bible of the German language, being the definitive set of rules regarding grammar, spelling and use of German language.