Thursday, October 28, 2010

The FBI's Ustasha Stand Down Order

In January 1951, C.E. Hennrich, of the FBI, sent a memorandum to A.H. Belmont, of the FBI in which he argued that the FBI should “undertake no active investigation of Yugoslav immigrants and displaced persons who have been members of or associated with the Fascist Ustashi elements in World War II unless their activities after arriving in the United States appear to be inimical to the internal security.” Hennrich instead proposed that all “such allegations” be referred to INS for such action as is deemed advisable with the comment that the Bureau contemplates no investigation unless subsequent information indicates the subject's activities after arriving in the United Sates appear to be inimical to the internal security.” Hennrich stated that because of “the hatred between the Serbs and Croats,” which was “well-known,” and based on “political and religious difference which antecede World War II by many years.” and “the historical desire of the Croats for a separate state,” not all Ustashi were fascists. Hennrich also believed it was “expedient” for Croatians to support the German occupation and the Ustashi due to the former's occupation and the other's alliance with the Nazis.1 No formal response to this memorandum can be found in the FBI records at the National Archives or amongst the records I have had declassified. However, the cases of Janko Tortic and Andrija
Artukovic reveals a pattern of FBI behavior that indicates that this proposal was implemented. I will blog about this case in a forthcoming post.  
Ustasha Stand Down Order                                                            

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