Talk:Bleiburg repatriations

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lead section use of the term murder[edit]

In the lead paragraph, the term "murdered" is NPOV, and may actually detract from the point that some wish to make, namely, that there were killings conducted outside any legal framework. We are speaking, to a large extent, about fascists and captured Axis troops, not about somebody getting randomly mugged in the street. We can simply say "killed", or, if this seems insufficiently judgemental, "extrajudicially executed".

"Murder" is a term with precise legal definitions, some of which (e.g. [[1]]) simply do not fit the deeds at hand. That said, I am not implying that what happened did or did not constitute murder (let alone that it was lawful); it is just that we should use neutral terms whenever possible. Feketekave (talk) 07:35, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Essentially, the two elements of the offence of murder are a guilty mind and a guilty act or omission (causing death intentionally or through reckless indifference). I assume no-one is suggesting they weren't killed intentionally. In any case, we would be calling it what the reliable published sources call it. Can you provide some reliable published sources that refer to them as "extra-judicial killings"? Thanks, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 07:42, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The term "extrajudicial killing" is used in Wikipedia itself, in the Bleiburg article. The term "extrajudicial execution" is used in, for example, [[2]] to refer to similar and closely related events in Slovenia (which are clearly condemend in the source). No doubt it has been used for the specific event at hand as well; I am just providing what a quick google search provides immediately. Feketekave (talk) 07:56, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Using WP as a source is WP:CIRCULAR. If we look at a small sample of the academics, Ramet uses "slaughtered" and refers to them as "exterminations" and "massacres", Tomasevich uses "killings". My view is that Ramet's descriptions are unencyclopaedic, "killings" is NPOV and in accordance with WP policy. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 08:09, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Very well; let us keep "killings". Shall we keep "exta-judicial" or not? Feketekave (talk) 08:19, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, we'd need sources for that, Tomasevich doesn't call them "extra-judicial", it's a bit new-age and "weaselish" if you ask me. There is no rush, I think we should wait until Joy (and any other interested editors) chips in, to ensure we have a robust consensus. Regards, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 08:27, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
What is the point of this suggestion, other than to engage in whitewashing? What actual problem are you trying to solve? What actual English readers care about the intricacies of German law with respect to this article? This article describes mass, unlawful, intentional killing of people, and the subsequent controversy involving coverup by the perpetrators. That is called "mass murder" in plain English. Sidestepping such fairly simple and clear terms that unambiguously identify the topic of the article requires a modicum of reliable secondary sources expressly avoiding the use of such a term while explaining how they are doing so out of a desire for neutrality, not arbitrary assertions. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 12:52, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
BTW Tomasevich uses the terms massacred, destroyed, annihilation, mass terror, etc when describing these events. I'm not sure how any of these would be seen as more neutral than murder. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 13:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem is one of neutrality. If a source uses non-neutral language, then that is indeed a reason not to use the same language as it does. I agree with Peacemaker67's suggestion ("killing"), though I would have nothing against adding that this was an action undertaken outside a judicial procedure. We are not talking about the death of random people walking down the street, but about the killing of individuals who, in many cases, could have been indicted within a legal framework, and were not. Feketekave (talk) 10:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the appropriate course of action would be an RfC to build a reasonably robust consensus. Regards, Peacemaker67 (send... over) 05:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. Feketekave (talk) 10:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, there is talk in sources of summary trials being organized at this time, yet, executions carried out after such trials aren't the bulk of the topic of the article. Rather, it is the executions done in the death marches, with no attempt at putting anyone on any kind of a trial, as well as the subsequent coverup. The context is important, of course, and I'm sure the bulk of our readers will hardly shed a tear seeing that Ustaše militia was destroyed in these events, but the mass killing of likely thousands of other people whose status as war criminals was anything but certain - is still plain old mass murder. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 12:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
That's an opinion, and I share the view that the killing of Ustashas was not a great loss to humanity, however, the decision about what wording should be used would be best resolved by an RfC, which will hopefully give us a broader consensus than the three of us are likely to achieve. Given Feketekave raised the issue, I suggest that Feketekave should lodge it. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 12:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Joy in that the fact that there were deaths outside any sort of quasi-judicial framework is noteworthy - it is indeed what was very controversial for many; this is precisely what I was aiming at by "extra-judicial". Let us lodge an RfC, but perhaps we should first make sure that we actually disagree. Feketekave (talk) 08:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
So far as I am concerned they were "killings". If you have reliable sources for "extra-judicial", which is a weasel word IMO, and Joy and you agree. then fine. If you don't agree on wording, or there are not RS to support the proposed wording, then an RfC would be appropriate. Peacemaker67 (send... over) 08:54, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm fine with just "killings". Feketekave (talk) 11:39, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


Repatriations? What a pervously disgusting "euphemism" for slaughtering countless thousands of families. Still on war, eh? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

WP:FORUM HammerFilmFan (talk) 03:13, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Leinz and Graz[edit]

These Cossack "repatriations" really have nothing to do with the Bleiburg repatriations, except that they occurred relatively close in time and geography, and I suppose under the same overarching attempt to restore the millions of displaced people.

It is important that the reader understands that these people were handed over to the Russians, not the partisans.

The Lienz repatriation was 2,479 soldiers, mainly officers. The Graz repatriation was larger, 40,000 Cossacks, at least a significant number civilian.

It is therefore not sensible to call the Lienz repatriation the "main" repatriation. It may be that it was more brutal, and it may be that the outcome for those handed over was worse (though Beria was fond of genocides). The word "main", however, is not apposite.

The Lienz repatriation is sufficiently well documented not to need a citation, though one would do no harm.

There was a comment asking how "they" got from Blieberg to Lienz, to Graz. I removed that comment. There are no assertions that anyone was present at any two of these events, let alone all three.

I hope this explains my edit here.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough12:29, 31 January 2015 (UTC).

The Russians have nothing to do with the Bleiburg repatriations, except that they were also repatriations. They went from another country to another country (neither of which were Yugoslavia), and were subjected to entirely different arrangements when they were returned. I see no reason why WP should conflate the two, and it just serves to confuse and complicate an already complicated situation regarding Yugoslav repatriations. This just repeats the nonsense in Tolstoy's The Minister and the Massacres, which is utter nonsense, and has been widely reviewed as such. Tolstoy peddles nonsense that denies the reality that the leaders of these people chose their fate by allying themselves with Nazis in the forlorn hope that they could return to their homeland as victors. They committed horrendous atrocities as Nazi collaborators, and turned a blind eye to (or were complicit in) the atrocities committed by the Nazi's and their collaborators. They gambled and lost, and now they want pity? The real world doesn't work like that. Their treatment was genocidal, but their decisions and actions preceded the outcome. Their fantasies were forlorn. Very sad for many families, but their leaders made the decision to follow the Nazi's, and their families paid for it. No place in this article. Regards, Peacemaker67 (crack... thump) 13:00, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
So you propose we remove the entire "Related repatriations" section? Or just the Cossacks? If the latter should it be placed in the "See also"? section. All the best: Rich Farmbrough17:05, 31 January 2015 (UTC).
The Lienz confusion was because that other article used to say something different - never mind that. But, overall, it's important that the reader understands, and what we have here doesn't actually help with that. I'm guessing the fate of the Cossacks is mentioned here because they were part of the outgoing columns. If they weren't, then you need to say so in the article. If they were, it's reasonable to explain what happened there, and it's unreasonable to claim that information on how a huge number of people materialized in places so far away is not something worth fixing. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 20:04, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Operation Keelhaul in "terminology"[edit]

I didn't read Epstein's book but I don't understand why mentioning Keelhaul Operation, which happened in 1946 in Northern Italy...--Shivanarayana (talk) 11:57, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Let's tag it for verification. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 09:34, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Oh, it appears it was tagged {{failed verification}} in June 2012 - removed. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 09:35, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
Google Books preview indicates the book has a Bleiburg section pp. 73–98, and then a separate section on 'The American "Operation Keelhaul"'. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 09:38, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

'put the entire force at risk of death if captured'[edit], the referenced source is linked and available online. Why did you not consult it? It says:

Sumanutost i sljepoća ustaškog režima možda je najbolje vidljiva iz odluke od 13. siječnja 1945. godine koju je potpisao sam Ante Pavelić. Tom odlukom se do tada razdvojene komponente - Ustaška vojnica, Domobranstvo i Hrvatsko oružništvo (ukupno oko 280 000 vojnika67) spojene u jedinstvene Hrvatske oružane snage-HOS. Tragičnost te odluke leži u činjenici da je dobro poznata praksa na jugoslavenskoj strani bila da se zarobljeni ustaše strijeljaju po samom činu njihova zarobljavanja dok se sa zarobljenim domobranima koji ne bi htjeli pristupiti u partizanske redove postupalo tako da bi ih se skinulo u donje rublje u znak poniženja i poslalo njihovim kućama. Tom je odlukom Pavelićev režim zapravo većinu zarobljenih domobrana osudio na smrt i time značajno pridonio razmjerima bleiburške tragedije.

Google Translate says:

"Delusion and blindness Ustasha regime was perhaps most evident in the decision of 13 January 1945, signed by himself Ante Pavelic. This decision by then separated components - Ustasha soldiers, Domobranstvo and Croatian Constabulary (a total of about 280,000 vojnika67) merged into the Croatian armed forces-VOC. Tragedy of this decision lies in the fact that the well-known practice in the Yugoslav side was to be captured Ustasha and fro through the very act of their capture until the captured Home Guard who would like to join the ranks of partisan treated so that they stripped to their underwear as a sign humiliation and sent to their homes. This decision Pavelic regime in fact most of the captured domobrana sentenced to death and thus contributed significantly to the extent of the Bleiburg tragedy."

Even if you just depend on the raw machine translation you can tell that there is no improper synthesis here - our article merely tempers the claim than the source makes in a way that makes it less contentious (the source uses the language "sentenced them to death" which seemed overly emotional to me). Neither the referenced source, nor the text of the article, actually say that "280,000 collaborationists were executed". --Joy [shallot] (talk) 16:06, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Fake battle of Zagreb[edit]


"In early May, Zagreb was defended by parts of the 1st Division of the Army of NDH and the 41st and 181st German Divisions, deployed along the unfinished fortified "Zvonimir line" between Sveti Ivan Žabno and Ivanić-Grad. The fierce battle with the 1st Army (of Socialist Yugoslavia) lasted from 5 May to 8 May. The 7 May was the single bloodiest day in the 1,240-day long history of the 1st Proletarian Brigade, with 158 killed and 358 wounded in the fighting for Vrbovec"

No, Zagreb was left undefended. Ustashi propaganda. As well as article doesn‚t clearly stated this was the last Axis column NOT to surrender and continue WWII (Lohr couldnt give command to Pavelic since there was no command - Denitz capitulated) Also, it doesn‚t cleary state Ustashe took civilians as kind of "human shield" - they evacuated the city and no, it was not a civilian flee. "On 7 May, Zagreb was evacuated, on 9 May"

In fact, Ustashe column was lucky not to be immidiately killed by British, since it was Axis armed force AFTER the end of war. (talk) 08:07, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

recently removed content[edit]

A cursory Google search will allow readers to verify most of what User:Eldumpo and User:GiantSnowman had just removed. Just because someone happened to sprinkle inline citation tags over an article at some random point in time that doesn't actually mean anyone should follow up with an indiscriminate removal of information at some other random point in time, and then harp on it like a broken record, with no effort spent on actually improving the relevant aspects of the article.


The aftermath of the repatriations was a taboo topic in Yugoslavia, and the public and official commemoration of the victims, whose numbers remain unconfirmed and vary wildly depending on the ideology of the reviewer, would only begin several decades after the events.

This was an intro sentence. It's not contentious, and I have no idea why it would need a citation per WP:LEAD.

Petar Brajović, a Yugoslav general who participated in the battles around Bleiburg, claims in his book 'Konačno oslobođenje' ("Final Liberation") published in 1983, that the Ustaše did not suffer serious casualties during capture, adding that artillery was not used. The work affirms that a total of 16 Croatian soldiers were buried in the local cemetery.[dubious ] It has been estimated that 30,000 soldiers (including 6,000 Chetniks) and 20,000 civilians were also captured by the Partisan 3rd Army.
Franjo Tuđman, who subsequently became the first President of Croatia, in his controversial 1989 book Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy, estimated the total number of killed (Ustasha, Chetniks and Slovene collaborationists) at between 35,000 and 40,000.

Because these sentences are mainly about published books, there are clues to verifiability within the text, so any claim that all of this is so unverifiable to be topic of summary removal is moot at best. We needed citations there in order to be sure we're talking about the right ISBNs and whatnot, and to make it simpler to check that the sources were not being egregiously misrepresented, sure. The single dubious tag could very well be a phrasing issue - it's possible this could be fixed simply by replacing the word "affirms" with "claims".

Whoever posted these tags failed to explain them. (At least I can't find any mention of Brajović, Tuđman, or taboo topic on this Talk page.) The removal of this information is unexplained. I am at a loss at why we're not having an actual informed discussion about any of this text, as opposed to this bureaucratic nonsense. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 16:27, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

If information is not directly cited it has the potential to be challenged/ removed, and an editor does not need to state why they are doing that (obviously 'sun in the sky' type comments should not be queried, but the text in question does certainly not fall into that category). One of the tags had been in place for more than 6 years. Eldumpo (talk) 22:08, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
If it's that easy to verify, then please do so. Re-adding the unsourced content is not constructive. GiantSnowman 09:27, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Removing context because of some unexplained potential is not constructive.
Once again, the point of WP:V isn't to declare everything as "potentially challenged/removed", it's to declare everything unverifiable as such.
And what does 6 years really mean when we're talking about a book from 1983? The book was 27 years old at the time of tagging.
--Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:18, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Change article name to "Bleiburg Massacre"[edit]

The term "Bleiburg Massacre" has far more google results than "Bleiburg Repatrations" (about 14,000, compared to about 2,000). It is the term used most commonly in publications. As such there is no reason why the name should not be changed. (talk) 19:12, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

NO. Massacre is inherently a POV term, reserved for genuine massacres which are reliably sourced and don't range in number from 16 gunshots to 50,000 or more deaths, depending on bias of sources. Suggest IP editor ( read this entire talk page. Quis separabit? 21:39, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Oh please. "16 gunshots"? How much more disingenuous could you be? The sources agree that at very least, 10,000 were killed. This certainly qualifies as a massacre. When the term "massacre" is used to describe these events 7 times as often as "repatriations", perhaps you should consider the possibility that it is Wikipedia with the biased point of view? But I know how things are at Wikipedia, it is rare to see change, the ideological directive remains the same. And the pride of the editors who invest emotionally in their viewpoints and refuse to yield an inch of ground, is a huge problem. (talk) 15:11, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
"The sources agree that at very least, 10,000 were killed" -- uh, no, they don't. The reference to "16 gunshots" was a reference to what an Ustase "courier" claimed he heard, and which is included in the article, if you bothered to read the article. I was not claiming only 16 died as a result of the repatriations -- "from 16 gunshots to 50,000 or more deaths, depending on the bias of sources" is what I wrote. The number and makeup of fatalities (i.e. civilians v belligerent) remain wildly disparate and contested. Perhaps we should refer to the Nuremberg massacre as well. (@ –– interesting how you popped up with no other edits to your IP to make your first priority changing an article name, before making a other contributions.) It's legit, I guess, but a tad odd. Quis separabit? 15:45, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I have been involved in Wikipedia editing for years. My IP address changes on its own so that is why I have no edits. I've dealt with your kind enough to know that this argument goes nowhere. You know what you implied with your first comment, and now you are implying that these Croatian soldiers and their families are politically comparable to the upper Nazi hierarchy. I will waste no more time arguing with that kind of foolishness. (talk) 16:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I kinda sensed your bias. As far as "Croatian soldiers and their families are politically comparable to the upper Nazi hierarchy", any Croatian "soldier" who was not a Partisan or serving the Allied forces in some way was an Axis operative, and, in this theater of the war, certainly the equivalent of a Nazi. That's an historical fact and geopolitical reality. If you can prove I am wrong, I will apologize. Quis separabit? 18:03, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
This article's title is a bias parading as neutrality. Come on, now. What's the "cut-off" on counting as a massacre? Is anyone on Wikipedia going to edit the title of the Bangka Island massacre to something "NPOV" because it's 'only' about 80 deaths? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:01, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
See Talk:Bleiburg repatriations/Archive 3#Requested move for the background on the current title. If you want to move this article, I suggest you start a new RM. Cheers, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 01:07, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

NDH persecution of minorities[edit]

Why is it important to this event? Is it used as an excuse for this crime? Every country had nazi puppet goverment and persecuted minorities. Serb chetnics killed Croat and muslims in attempt to create Greater Serbia, and Partisans also committed crime during the war. So why are Croatians always depicted as monsters? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

@ Because the slaughter of between 300,000 and 700,000 people, in league with Nazi Germany, and with the support and/or assistance of the Roman Catholic church, should be seen for what it was. You may be ignorant of it or want to forget it but that's no matter. You should contribute (if you don't already) to Stormfront, which has a large Croatian contingent. I was just visiting (without the need to register) and came across a user calling himself "Ustasha No 1"). I think you'd be more comfortable and accepted there. Quis separabit? 14:48, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

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Tomasevich quote and others[edit]

Tomasevich's quote in the article is cherry picked. For example, Tomasevich also wrote in his later book "War and Revolution in Yugoslavia: 1941 - 1945" that "The annihilation of most quisling troops captured at the end of the war – which is a fact – was an act of mass terror and brutal political surgery, similar to that practiced by the Ustašas and the Chetniks earlier in the war." So which one should be in the article? One of them, both or none? I mostly tend to leave out such quotes from articles I edit. Tzowu (talk) 22:37, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

  • Support removal of the quote - I think that Tomasevich's works are not exemptional sources because they are often biased toward pro-communist Yugoslav position and because they were authored by a person whose main field of expertise was the economics not history. Surely there are much better sources to be used than his biased outdated works. In this case, Tomasevich quote may mislead readers to believe that communist killed Ustaše, Chetniks and other groups immediately after WWII mainly as an act of revenge, on behalf of the victims. Nothing is further from the truth. The communists were always extremely pragmatic. They killed them because they saw them as an obstacle in their efforts to seize the control over Yugoslavia. Only the last part of Tomasevich quote present real motive for this massacre: "...the Ustaša leadership wanted to put its troops at the disposal of the Western Allies for possible use against Yugoslav and other Communists". If it is necessary to present some quote which would summarize the point, I propose to find some better source which further elaborates the real motive. The current quote should be removed.User:Antidiskriminator/signing template--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:27, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of the quote, and support inclusion of additional quote it is not "cherry-picked", it reflects an academic view about the effective inevitability of these killings given the circumstances. Quotes such as this help the reader to understand the context in which these killings occurred. I would support the inclusion of the additional quotation as well. The second quote actually says that these killings were an act of "brutal political surgery" which is essentially what Antid is saying when he says that they were obstacles to communist control. T just compares these killings with other killings carried out by others, which were also brutal political surgery to get rid of opponents, whether they were Serbs living in the NDH or Muslims in eastern Bosnia and the Sandzak. Also, it is not an exceptional claim, so it doesn't need an exceptional source. Mind you, T is an exceptional source given the reviews of his work. Antid's views on Tomasevich aren't based on scholarly reviews (which are positive), they are based on his demonstrated personal biases, and should be dismissed. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:05, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
    • Failure to gain wikipedia consensus: Tomašević refers to the communsts' mass killing of prisoners of war as an understandable and inevitable act of mass terror. He uses the phrase 'easy to understand' and 'understandable'. (diff). Peacemaker67 failed to gain wikipedia consensus for this kind of (I think disguisting) justification of mass killings (diff) what makes any act of terror "understandable"? and to whom? too reliant on Tomasevich's opinions. Multiple editors object relying on Tomasevich's opinions.
    • Not an academic view: There is, of course, no prevailing academic view that mass murder of prisoners of war (and civilians that accompanied them) is easy to understand, understandable and inevitable. I am against misusing wikipedia in the 21st century to present this kind of disgusting justification of mass murders committed by communist as an academic view. The academic view is of course incorporated in international conventions. None of them justifies mass murders.
    • Personal biases: I think that it is quite clear whose personal biases are problem here. Not mine. Tomasevic's opinion based on his demonstrated personal biases should be indeed dismissed. His POV is refuted by consensus of mankind about the treatment of civilians and prisoners of war reached decades earlier in Hague and Geneva.
    • Exceptional: The notion that implies that communist mass murders of prisoners of war (and civilians that accompanied them) is understandable, inevitable and easy to understand is no doubt exceptional one and can not be cited by Tomasevic. I think that it requires not only multiple exceptional sources (I doubt there is any of such) but also a wider community consensus reached at wikipedia. Only then this quote of Tomasevic should be restored to the article. Until then it should be removed.
    • This is the last comment I will write in this discussion. I think I gave fairly clear explanation about my closing statement here and I don't have anything else to add to it. Everybody are of course free to disagree, but I don't think anybody can expect me to be now somehow obliged to keep discussing this as long as they are dissatisfied with my closing statement. All the best.User:Antidiskriminator/signing template 2/2 comments--Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:20, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
      • So now you present a "closing statement"? Sheesh. You have completely failed to read the meaning of Tomasevich's observation in its context. It may be that English not being your first language places you at a disadvantage with comprehending sources in English, because otherwise you just appear to be being obtuse. You are conflating Tomasevich's observations about the inevitability of the "brutal political surgery" of these massacres with him condoning or excusing them. Nowhere does he do that, or even imply it, and it is a complete misrepresentation of him to suggest it as you do above. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 01:29, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of the quote, and support inclusion of additional quote, nothing more to add on what Peacemaker67 already said. As written in a book I have read some years ago, there would be no Bleiburg if there was no Jasenovac, one is the reason or the cause to the other.--Tuvixer (talk) 17:51, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of the quote, and support inclusion of additional quote I agree with PM67 and Tuvixer. Nothing more to add. 23 editor (talk) 21:55, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Zerjavic and “demographic estimates” of Bleiburg[edit]

In "Manipulations with WW2 victims in Yugoslavia”, Zerjavic cites the following victim estimates for Bleiburg – 45.000-55.000 Croats/Bosniaks, 8.000 Slovenes and 1.500 – 2.000 Serbs. This adds up to 54.500 to 65.000 total, somewhat different than the 70,000 total victim number quoted by Tomasevich. Since Zerjavic adjusted his numbers over time, and since Manipulations is a later work than the source quoted by Tomasevich, I suggest these numbers be used.

This gets to a related issue. Zerjavic’s census-based estimates, are good for estimating totals (e.g. total number of Serbs or Croats killed), but the census data say nothing about subtotals - e.g. number of Croats killed after Bleiburg, vs. number of Croats killed by Nazis-fascists-Ustashe. So to get Bleiburg numbers he had to do some additional guesstimating. How far off these guesstimates can be is illustrated by fact that for 1990s Bosnian War, Zerjavic overestimated the number of Croat victims by 500% and Bosniak victims by 130%, over what human rights groups now estimate are the true totals

For Bosnian War estimates it looks like Zerjavic took what was then the generally-accepted total number of victims - 200.000 - and he increased it a bit to 220.000, then sought to guesstimate the ethnic composition by using other info – news reports, etc. In any case he greatly overestimated the number of Croat and Bosniak victims. For Bleiburg victims he did similar guesstimates, and his Croat-Bosniak totals (45,000 to 55.000) turn out to be more than 3 to 4 times the named victims list total (13.300) of the Croatian state Commission for the determination of war and post-war victims.

It should be noted the long-time, generally-accepted Bosnian War victim total (200.000) also turned out to be double the current 100.000 estimate, based on named victim lists, which is now accepted by human rights groups as the correct number. The original 200.000 estimate was made by a neutral source (the UN) at a time of much better communication and international media and UN observers on the ground. Since it still turned out to be twice the true number, one should be all the more cautious of Bleiburg estimates that come from more politically or nationally biased sources Thhhommmasss (talk) 01:34, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

He did not just do demographic estimates, he compared the calculated demographic losses with various available sources, such as the state-wide 1946 victims lists, veteran publications, monographs... Here's what he wrote about it:
"The second part of my book gives a survey of actual losses published in other sources, i.e. monographs issued by people's committees in individual municipalities and districts, the Karlovac Historical Archives, the Federal Association of the Liberation War Fighters, and by some other authors. Registered, collected and classified data on the actual losses have been important for checking the statistically calculated results. Registered data for Croatia (available for all municipalities and districts), numbered 266,600 losses, while statistically calculated data showed 271,000 losses. For other republics and provinces 80-90% of the data was compiled, which denoted that the actual data could approximately match the statistically calculated data" p.10
That is how he made the detailed estimates of human losses, including Bleiburg, and Jasenovac too. His estimate for Jasenovac was 85,000 (upper link, p.11) and up to 100,000 at most ("Opsesije", p.69). 25 years later, the Jasenovac Memorial Site gives almost the exact numbers. Regarding Bleiburg, the Croatian "Commission on Establishment of Wartime and Post-war Victims" did not publish a complete list of Croats (and Bosniaks) that died in the Bleiburg events, only a list for Croatia of up to then (1999) collected data. Tzowu (talk) 19:39, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
As far as I know, Zerjavic had the extra data only for one side - i.e. victims of occupiers and collaborators, where there were named lists of victims, e.g. from questions asked about victims in 1960's censuses, which also included questions about Jasenovac victims. As Zerjavic states, these censuses did not collect data on victims on the other side. As far as I know, named victims lists for victims on the other side, including Bleiburg, were first published, after Zerjavic's death, by the state Commission for determining war and post-war victims, which claims to show 13.300 named victims of Bleiburg. As noted, these numbers are considerably below Zerjavic's estimate, even if we were to inflate the numbers further, for the 20-30% of those missing for various reasons from the list, like Zerjavic did with the other named lists.
Now the question is how complete is the list of 13.300 Bleiburg names? Sources state it was created working with Ustashe émigré organizations, including the Vatican ratlines priest, Krunoslav Draganovic, who spent 25 years documenting victims of what he called “partisan crimes”. Since he helped many Ustashe and Nazi leaders escape, he no doubt had excellent access to the entire Ustashe émigré community in compiling his lists. Additionally, sources say the Catholic Church across Croatia and Bosnia mobilized widely to assist the Commission in compiling names. The Church has registers of births and deaths, including info on when and how people died, in which the great majority of Croats were recorded at the time. All this would indicate that the list of 13.300 named Bleiburg victims may be pretty good, with an additional 20-30% missing, as is the case with some of the named list sources on the other sideThhhommmasss (talk) 22:15, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Btw, I find Croatian Wikipedia to be highly unprofessional and biased, but in their Bleiburg article “Krizni put (1945)”, they say this of Zerjavic’s estimate of 50.000 Croatian and Bosniak Bleiburg victims: “From the demographic calculations of the total number of victims and known data on victims of fascism, Vladimir Žerjavić in his book ‘Obsessions and Megalomania about Jasenovac and Bleiburg’ concludes that the total number of Croats and Muslims killed on the NDH side is 99,000 (70,000 Croats and 29,000 Muslims). In his words, it is difficult to estimate how many of these died in battles during the war; maybe half”. Thus while the total number of Croat victims on the NDH side, during the war and post-war (70.000) seems to have been reasonably deduced, Zerjavic himself states that the proportion of these killed post-war, i.e. as part of Bleiburg, is pretty much a total guess.
It should be noted that the named victims lists compiled by the Commission on war and post-war victims, shows much fewer than half of the NDH-side victims being killed as part of Bleiburg, thus further indicating that Zerjavic overestimated Bleiburg Croat victims, and possibly Bosniak. Also if we take Zerjavic's estimates of victims of fascism, based on named lists, and to this we add the named victims on the NDH side, from the 1990's Commission, they roughly add up to Zerjavic's total demographic estimate of all Croat victims, based on census data. Thus between these 2 named victim list sources, there do not appear to be any large numbers of missing Croat named victims, and thus it also appears there are no missing large numbers of victims on the 13.300 named Bleiburg victims listThhhommmasss (talk) 19:59, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
NOB veteran publications and wartime documents give information on the losses of the enemy side as well, and emigrant literature also published data on the losses of the NDH forces, so he didn't have to just guess. NDH documents were also available. Most recent studies (like Portmann, Geiger or Grahek Ravančić) show a higher number of victims than the Žerjavić estimate, not a lower one or the same number. The Slovenian Institute of Contemporary History of Ljubljana collects data on the losses of Slovenia in World War II and its aftermath. [3] Their most recent update of the victims list was in 2018, unlike the Croatian one which stopped working in 2000 and was dissolved in 2002. The 2008 Slovenian data showes that 14,274 Slovenians were killed after the war, and that is higher than the 8-10,000 estimate by Žerjavić. The Croatian Commision cited that 190,000 victims were in Slovenia alone, and they didn't say that the 13,000 number is final or close to the total number of Croat victims. Tzowu (talk) 22:37, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Also, according to Žerjavić, the total number of Serbs that died during the war in the NDH of all causes (combatants, civilians, died of typhus...) is 322,000 [4], which is in collision with the number given by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (which you cited in the article). The USHMM says that 320-340,000 Serbs were killed by the Ustaše between 1941 and 1942 alone [5], so the USHMM is incorrectly cited because the total number for 1941-1945 by their figures is much higher than that. Tzowu (talk) 22:58, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

If the Zerjavic quote on the hr.wikipedia "Krizni put (1945)" page is correct, he determined the total number of NDH-side victims. war and post-war (70.000) from demographic estimates of total Croatian losses (192.000), then subtracted estimates of Croatian victims of fascist-collaborators (based on named lists - it appears these equal to 122.000), and then further guesstimated that 50% of the 70.000 total NDH victims were killed as part of Bleiburg. Maybe someone can check the quoted source. Zerjavic specifically states that in Yugoslavia they only collected named lists of victims of fascists-collaborators. I have not seen him mention any victim lists on the other side. Can you provide a quote from Zerjavic where he states he had access to named lists of victims on the NDH side? Recent Croatian literature says that the 13.300 named Bleiburg victims of the 1990's Commission still represents the most comprehensive list of named Bleiburg victims.

The Slovene commission is interesting, since they now estimate some 96.000 total Slovene victims, much higher then Zerjavic's estimate of 42.000 Slovene victims. The vast majority of these victims, e.g. more than 70.000, were killed by fascists-collaborators, so this too is much higher than Zerjavics's estimate of total Slovene victims, also much higher than the number of named Slovene victims of fascism on Yugoslav named lists. Now they also say that of the 96.000 total victims, only some 52.000 have been confirmed. So its hard to say what is going on, since they have not published the details in a way that anyone can analyze. But if Zerjavic underestimated Bleiburg victims, then he could've also considerably underestimated Serb victims and victims of Nazi-collaborators in Croatia, just like according to the Slovene commission, he greatly underestimated Slovene victims of fascists-collaborators.

In any case the difficulty is that many of these lists have not been published, so other researchers can't verify them. The 1990's Croatian Commission was headed by a noted right-winger, Vice Vukojevic, who claimed that "the Jews in Jasenovac exterminated themselves", and found only 260 Jewish victims in all of Croatia, which represents Holocaust denial, since most other sources now estimate 30.000 Jewish victims, or nearly 80% of Jews in the NDH, with perhaps half or more from Croatia itself. Thus the Commission obviously had an interest to minimize victims of Ustasha and Nazi-fascists, while maximizing victims of the opposite side. Thus the validity of their 13.300 named Bleiburg victims can also be questioned. In any case, if for Croatia we add up the total named victims lists from both sides (using the Commission's data for the NDH side), the totals do not seem to indicate any large numbers of missing victims, compared to Zerjavic's demographic estimates of total Croatian victims

Btw, the Slovene Commission speculated there were 100.000 total Bleiburg-related victims, but later Mitja Ferenc, most responsible for uncovering post-war graves in Slovenia, said the figure is lower, perhaps "a few ten thousand", which includes all - Ustashe, chetniks, Slovene Home Guard Thhhommmasss (talk) 19:53, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

I didn't mention named victims lists for NDH losses at that time. I said that NOB reports and documents also reported losses of the enemy in various battles and operations. The reports of the NDH authorities did the same ([6]), and these were available to Žerjavić at the time he did his research, as well as various books written by emigrants. The only critique of Žerjavić's research that I found, regarding Bleiburg, was from people that claim that his estimates were far too low, like the one from Kazimir Katalinić ([7], this is Žerjavić's reply to Katalinić's criticism).
As for the Slovenian research, that number does not just include Slovenes. 53,473 deaths [8] were confirmed in registers of deaths, but for obvious reasons not everyone was registered there. The number of Slovene deaths is higher than the estimates of both Žerjavić and Kočović. The Slovenian research is the only thorough one of the former Yugoslav countries so we can't compare the results of Žerjavić and Kočović with other ones, though most authors that I've read give higher figures for both Serb deaths in NDH and post-war deaths. Anyway, all reliable estimates and surveys should be mentioned in the article. For example, both Mitja Ferenc's remark and that of the Slovenian Commission are in the article, without stating that one is more accurate than the other. Tzowu (talk) 19:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
I don’t know Katalinic, but if he's a Croat historian, then he may be like many Serb historians, who also agree that Zerjavic’s estimates are gross underestimates, but of course in their case, of Serb victims, and they provide their own estimates which are multiple times higher. Btw, there are also estimates considerably lower than Zerjavic’s - e.g. Tudjman’s estimate of 35.000 to 40.000, Djilas’s of 20.000 to 30.000, etc. Both these were well-informed sources, since at the time of Bleiburg, Tudjman was a Croatian representative at the Headquarters of the Yugoslav Army, and he also wrote of the “Bleiburg myth”, stating that estimates of hundreds of thousands of victims were much too big (Tudjman’s numbers are also consistent with Ferenc’s recent estimates of “a few ten thousands”)
On Google Books we can see a quote from Zerjavic’s “Obsession and megalomania with Jasenovac and Bleiburg”, where after figuring out total Croatian and Muslim victims on the NDH side, war and post-war, he says it is difficult to tell “what percent of them were killed during the war, but if we estimated this at 50%, that means that [Croat and Muslim] victims might amount to about 50.000”. Thus, he himself says this is entirely a guesstimate of what the numbers of Croat/Bosniak Bleiburg victims might be, and mentions no named Bleiburg victims lists in arriving at these numbers. Then others like Geiger, Grahek Ravančić, Portmann, etc, take Zerjavic’s guesstimate, turn this into a “minimum estimate”, and add guesstimates of their own on top, with few named victims on the Croat side to back them up. In fact, Grahek Ravančić writes that total Croat named victims that might be related to Bleiburg, amount to only some 5.000 names, and even these are dubious
So we have estimates of Croatian victims from 45.000 to 200.000, and even more, based on 5.000, or fewer named victims. This is very different from Zerjavic’s estimate of some 800.000 total victims of fascists-collaborators, which are 75% backed up by some 600.000 named victims from the 1964 census. Instead Zerjavic’s estimates of Croat/Bosniak Bleiburg victims resembles his estimates of 1990’s Bosnian War victims, where without named victim lists, he overestimated Croat victims by 500%, and Bosniak by 300%. It's also similar to other estimates of total Bosnian War victims, before named victims lists, that consistently overestimated total victims by 200%, 300% and more.
Slovene estimates of some 96.000 victims of WWII are only of Slovene residents. Their estimates of Slovene victims of fascists-collaborators is around 72.000, more than double Zerjavic’s estimates. Based on that, similar arguments can be made that Zerjavic also underestimated Serb victims of fascists-ustashe, then turn his estimate into a “minimum estimate”, then add other estimates of Serb victims in the NDH – 500.000, 700.000, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thhhommmasss (talkcontribs) 20:26, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
One other thing that has proved unreliable, are guesstimates of victims at individual sites, made before these were excavated and even during excavation. Thus in the 1990s some organizations stated there were 10.000 to 15.000 victims at Huda Jama, and even once they opened the tunnel and started excavating, they estimated 7.000 victims, based on the size of the remaining pit to be uncovered, etc. Both these turned out to be very large overestimates, and both are similar to other existing estimates of number of victims at Harmica, Gornji Hrašćan, Tezno, etc, where they similarly have not started or completed excavations. Thus such unproven estimates should be considered with caution. Thhhommmasss (talk) 22:42, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
We need to be steering away from making our own conclusions about estimates, or comparing them to other estimates made by a different method, and stick to what is in reliable sources. I suggest, where there are estimates, that it is made clear that unless the specific site has been excavated or a list of the killed is available, these estimates should be taken with a grain of salt. There are lots of axes to grind among people writing about these events, and lots of reasons to inflate or reduce estimates to suit different purposes. We should just stick to what the reliable sources say. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 01:10, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
To challenge Žerjavić's research you need a reliable source, most of this discusion is original research. There is a critique by Kazimir Katalinić who used the same method as Žerjavić, but he applied a higher growth rate of Croats and Bosniaks from 1931 to 1941 and thus got a much higher number of Croat-Bosniak deaths. Neither Tuđman nor Đilas made an indept research into the number of victims. I don't see how is that in line with Mitja Ferenc, Ferenc said that in Slovenia alone there were tens of thousands of victims, so that doesn't include graves in Croatia. See the question of the interviewer in the article, it reads "slovenskih tleh" (Slovenian soil).[9]
Žerjavić didn't publish only one book or scientific paper about Bleiburg and the war-time losses. The part you cited was his demographic assessment in Obsession and Megalomania of Jasenovac and Bleiburg, but he made another calculation in the same book based on the report by Kosta Nađ on the final operations, the number of captured troops and civilians, as well as those killed in battle. And also, the British report on the repatriations from the Viktring camp until 31 May. Based on that, he got a figure of 45-55,000 killed Croats and Bosniaks. In 1995, Žerjavić published another paper where he gave more specific figures on Croat-Bosniak WW2 and post-war casualties and the cause of death, which for Bleiburg was 45,000 Croats and 4,000 Bosniaks. [10] Even more detailed is the "Structure of actual losses of Croats and Muslims in the NDH" from 1994 ("Poginuli, ubijeni i umoreni 1941-1945 /u tisućama/"), there is a table from that in Geiger's paper.
Further on, Grahek Ravančić is referring to the "žrtvoslovi" (individual name lists, or victimologies) which are mostly privately published books containing the lists of dead by region or city/village. She said that those (the Croatian ones) contain more than 5,000 confirmed and named individuals killed during Bleiburg, while other "žrtvoslovi" (not the previously mentioned ones) often don't have the exact death location or year and cover the entire World War 2, so it's difficult to determine how many of the listed people fall under the Bleiburg events. And the cited figure doesn't include the research of the 1991 Commision. Taking that into account, about 30% (if everyone from Grahek Ravančić's figure are among the 1999 Commision's list) to 45% (if none of them are among the 1999 Commision's list) of Žerjavić's 45,000 estimate for Croats are individually named. Considering that the systematic research in Croatia stopped in 2000, and that it's been 74 years since the Bleiburg events, I don't see how this brings into question Žerjavić's estimates.
The figures of the Slovenian Institute of Contemporary History are Slovenian residents, yes, and those include Slovenes, Jews, and Germans, while you are comparing them to Žerjavić's estimates for Slovenes only.
There are very few massacre locations where all victims were excavated. Huda jama is an exception because all of the victims were located in an enclosed mine, so investigators were able to exhume all of them and give the exact figure. In most other cases the excavations are difficult due to the terain of the mass graves, like in Kočevski rog which is a mountainous area of 800 square kilometers of dense forests and any karst pit is a potential grave site. The Tezno trench is also in a forest, and the Yugoslav authorities put a lot of effort to conceal the graves. Tzowu (talk) 15:13, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Zerjavic, I think a direct quote is needed, to describe how he derived the numbers. Also we should avoid quoting unreliable sources, such as Dizdar's claim of 62,000 Croat named victims, when Geiger states that Dizdar gives absolutely no proof for these claims - no sources, nothing. Others state that the named victims lists total 5.000 to 10.000 names, the latter put together over 7 years, by a State commission that included participation from many Ustashe emigre sources, including a priest who helped leading Ustashe escape to South America, and spent 25 years collecting names of victims of partisans, plus participation from the Catholic Church throughout Croatia and Bosnia, etc.

Also the total number of NDH troops surrendered, does not provide an estimate of the proportion killed. Tudjman also quotes Kosta Nadj's numbers on surrendered NDH forces, and at the time of Bleiburg Tudjman was a Croat representative at Yugoslav Army Headquarters, from which all this was no doubt commanded. Tudjman gives a total estimate of 35 to 40 thousand for all Bleiburg-related victims (I added facts on Tudjman role at the time of Bleiburg, plus Croat sources on how 1990's Commission collected its data, so people can judge their credibility, but all this was erased)

The point about Huda Jama is that all estimates of victims made before and even during excavations proved to be many times higher than the true numbers. In general all estimates of people with agendas (Croat emigre sources, nationalist Croat and Serb historians, etc), should be taken with a grain of salt and need multiple, independent, convincing proofs. You say Katalinic increased Croat and Bosniak population growth rates compared to Zerjavic, to get much higher estimates of Croat/Bosniak deaths. Similar Serb sources increased Serb population growth estimates, to get much higher estimates of Serb victims in NDH, yet I would not call either reliable. As a comparable example, Sava Strbac claims some 1,300 Serbs were killed following Operation Storm, after the 1990's war in Croatia. Since he is a biased nationalistic source, I would not consider him reliable. There are independent, more reliable sources that seem to confirm some of his claims - e.g. field documentation of 677 named victims killed after Operation Storm (including fact majority appear to be civilians, many older people), made by the Croatian Helsinki Organization, plus Croat government reports of some 700 additional, confirmed, named Serbs missing, most reported missing after Operation Storm, etc. Thus, I would rather quote these sources, than Sava Strbac Thhhommmasss (talk) 20:54, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

All sources for Žerjavić are in the article, and are available for reading online. I can agree with removing Dizdar's number. I also think that it is unnecessary to list estimates on the numbers of killed in the Background section, since there is no reason to list only the estimates of people killed by the Ustaše, and not those of other units. That would require a whole section to cover it. The World War II in Yugoslavia article has a section about the casualties during the war, so a "main article" tag is enough in my opinion.
Tuđman didn't have a high position in the Headquarters (there was no "Croat representative at the Headquarters" position), and to say that he is a well-informed source is original research. That's why I removed that sentence. Regarding the Commission, it's members included people like Slavko Goldstein, so their intention was probably to include every notable person who dealt with the issue from "both sides". Krunoslav Draganović died in 1983 so they couldn't work with him. They did use the documentation he collected, but that was only one of many sources they listed in their report. The source you provided from writes positively of the Commission's work, and doesn't say anything negative about Draganović.
The estimates of the number of victims in the mine in Huda jama were initially 400, once the barricades were breached. [11] [12] Sometimes the initial estimates proved to be higher, and sometimes lower, there is no rule in that regard. Tzowu (talk) 21:00, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
I’ll try to track down Zerjavic’s quotes on how he derived his estimates, since I think this is much more useful than just throwing numbers around. Also many western sources indicate that the post-War killings were in large part vengeance for intra-War killings and genocides, thus quoting one set of numbers, without mentioning the others, is in my view not correct
Page 7 here states that before it was opened, Slovene groups claimed 10 to 15 thousand victims in Huda Jama. Here is another article, from immediately after the discovery of the first 120 remains, speculating about 7.000 victims. Others repeatedly claimed 3.000 to 5.000 remaining Huda Jama victims, even years after digging started, all based on estimates of pit size – i.e. similar method to what Ferenc used to estimate 15.000 victims at Tezno, based on 1175 actual recovered remains — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thhhommmasss (talkcontribs) 23:20, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
During WWII Tudjman rose to communist political commissar of the 32. Yugoslav Army Division, i.e. one of the top 2 leaders of the entire division, then during Bleiburg was at Yugoslav Army HQ, later became youngest Yugoslav general, and president of Belgrade Partisan football club, run by leading Yugoslav Army generals. He most likely personally knew Kosta Nadj and other top Yugoslav Army leaders, wrote extensively on Yugoslav military history during the 50s and 60s, later became head of a leading historical institute in Yugoslavia, and in 1990’s had Yugoslav Army and UDBA leaders join his Croatian government. Thus it would be very difficult to claim that Tudjman was anything other than a very knowledgeable insider (it would not surprise me to learn he participated in Bleiburg in some way)
Sources say the “Vatican ratlines” priest, Draganovic, spent 25 years extensively documenting "WWII and post-war victims", and that this documentation was included in the work of the 1990s Commission, along with information from other Ustashe émigré sources, who had been writing about Bleiburg and their victimologies since the 1950s, plus the participation of the Catholic Church throughout Croatia and Bosnia, with their books of births and deaths for the vast majority of Croats at the time
Regarding Slovene named victims lists, its authors state that the 14.000 includes some killed during the last battles of WWII, and also quite a few who died after the war in holding camps, particularly during the intense heatwave in the summer of 1945. Thus they state that not all the 14.000 were deliberately killed post-War. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thhhommmasss (talkcontribs) 02:21, 27 June 2019 (UTC)
As in the case of estimates of post-war killings, there are many different estimates of the numbers of deaths during the war. There are separate articles that deal with it. The background section should be a brief summary of what happened prior to the late stage of the war, and listing various modern-day estimates of deaths for persecuted nationalities is not a brief summary. For example, the Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950) article doesn't have statistical estimates of civilians killed by the Nazi Germany. Foibe massacres also doesn't have estimates on the numbers of civilians killed by the Italians. And it is debatable to what extent was revenge for war crimes a factor. The Slovene Home Guard did not operate camps or commit mass war crimes, yet their fate was even worse than that of the Ustaše.
Huda jama is not comparable to Tezno. In the case of Huda jama (a mine that was closed for about 60 years), investigators couldn't give an exact estimate for a long time due to its interior and the fact that the victims were located in two deep shafts. Tezno is a trench that is not nearly as deep and investigators were able to conduct probing of the entire length of the trench, and found human remains in its entirety. 1,179 corpses were exhumed only from 70 meters of the 940 meter long trench.
Tuđman did not state that his estimate is based on insider information he got during his time at the Yugoslav Army HQ. I agree that he can be included in the article, but to say that he is a well-informed source is original research, and not a neutral point of view. I also don't see a reason to mention Draganović when he is just one of many sources that were used by the commission, including the archives of the National Liberation Committees and the Communist Party.
The reference for the Slovenian victims list (Milko Mikola) says that "14,274 persons were killed without a trial in Slovenia after the war".[13] Tzowu (talk) 17:46, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

There is an entire Wikipedia article on WW2 Demographic Losses in Yugoslavia, discussing Zerjavic’s methodology in detail, although it does not address his Bleiburg methods. I think a 1 or 2 sentence direct quote from Zerjavic is needed on how he derived his Bleiburg estimates, since many others use his estimates, to add their estimates on top. And most people know the Nazis killed millions in Poland, whereas many fewer know about the extent of Ustashe genocides against Jews, Serbs and Roma, thus I think it's important to include this. Btw unlike this article, I’ve not found any separate article on the post-Operation Storm killings, after the Croatian War of the 1990s, even though as a percent of victims on the opposite side they are of the same order as Bleiburg (with relatively many more civilians killed), and there are also a series of separate articles on Serb massacres in Croatia in the 1990s, all of which, and perhaps even taken together, had fewer victims that the post Operation Storm killings.

I agree that actions against Slovene collaborators were particularly harsh, but as Tomasevich, Gregor Kranjc and others note, in WW2 the very survival of the Slovene nation was at stake, since the Nazi-fascists planned to wipe out the Slovene nation completely. Thus Slovene collaborators placed themselves on the side of ethnocide against their own nation, helped the occupiers kill more than 70.000 Slovenes, put up to 100.000 Slovenes in concentration camps, etc.

This is different from France where the Nazis did not try to wipe out the French. Wikipedia also says the Nazis, with collaborator help, killed 20.000 French Resistance fighters. From Orpheus’ documentary, The Sorrow and the Pity, on French collaboration, it is clear that the main reason for the extra-judicial killing of some 10.000 French collaborators at the end of the war, was their betrayal of French Resistance members to the Nazis. In Slovenia, out of a 30 times smaller population, Slovene collaborators helped the occupiers kill more Slovene partisans – some 32.000, for which 14.000 collaborators were killed post-War, similar ratios as in France

Btw I’ve not seen any evidence that French collaborators killed as many Frenchmen, as Slovene collaborators killed Slovenes. And Zerjavic estimates that the Ustashe exterminated some 120.000 Serb, Jewish and Roma civilians in concentration camps and pits, alone. Again. I've not seen any evidence that French collaborators killed even 1% as many French civilians. Given that, post-war killings of French collaborators appear proportionately harsher than many estimates of post-war killings of Ustasha and NDH collaborators

In Czechoslovakia, aside from the Holocaust, it looks like the Nazis killed some 60.000 Czechoslovaks, fewer than occupiers/collaborators killed Slovenes (out of a 10 times smaller Slovene population), and considerably less than just the Ustashe alone killed and exterminated. For that, Czechs under Benes, with Allied approval, expelled 3 million Sudeten Germans, killing at least 20.000 to 30.000 Germans, according to some as many as 200.000, again relatively harsher reprisals than against Slovene and Croat collaborators (there are Youtube videos showing, what they claim are lots of German civilians, killed post-War)

On Huda Jama, I'd think it’d be easier to estimate remaining victims in its much smaller space, than at Tezno, and you say the opposite – in any case the fact is that at Huda Jama, the estimates of victims both before and for years during excavations, turned out to be many times the true numbers.

What I mention on Tudjman's role can be found in his Croatian Wikipedia article - i.e that in WW2 he rose to division-level political-commissar, the co-equal of the military commander of the division, and that “in January 1945 he was sent to Belgrade, where he started to work as a representative of the People's Republic of Croatia at the Yugoslav Army Supreme Headquarters”, where he was also during Bleiburg. Those are facts - I will leave it up to others to decide if that makes him an insider or not, and what the Supreme Headquarters might have been preoccupied with in Spring-Summer 1945. Thhhommmasss (talk) 17:52, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Most of this is off topic, in addition to being very dubious calculations and comparisons. In some cases you calculate all war-related casualties, in some only military casualties, in some only civilian casualties, in some the Jews are included, in others they are not. For example, for France you used only the numbers of killed French resistance fighters. The French had many casualties during the Battle of France, on the Western Front in 1944-45, and many civilians were killed during the German occupation of France. In total around 210,000 combatants and 390,000 civilians died during the war, according to Gregory Frumkin (Population Changes in Europe Since 1939). Of the 9-10,000 people killed during and after the liberation of France, many were killed by the French communists, who were loudest in the calls for "vengeance" and "justice".
It should also be taken into account the fact that unlike in other countries, in Yugoslavia there was a civil war in which all main sides committed war crimes to a greater or lesser extent. As noted by Keith Lowe: "Yugoslavia was the site of some of the worst violence in Europe, both during and after the war. What makes the situation here unique is the many layers that made up the conflict. Yugoslav resistance groups fought not only against foreign aggressors in a war of national liberation, but also against troops of their own government in a war of revolution, against alternative resistance groups in a war of ideology, and against gangs of bandits in a battle to impose law and order. These different strands were so intertwined that they were often indistinguishable from one another. But there was one thread in this tapestry of violence that stood out amongst all the others: the issue of ethnic hatred. The power of this hatred was harnessed by all sides in the war, whatever their alternative agendas. Almost half a century before the civil war that would give the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ to the world, Yugoslavia was embroiled in the closing stages of one of the most vicious ethnic conflicts of the twentieth century." (Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, p. 250) So while the comparison with the extent of crimes in the aftermath of the war in other countries was not the topic, and is not covered in this article, I highly doubt that there are sources that would claim that the events in Yugoslavia were "not that harsh".
As for the Background section, if we make assumptions on what people reading the article know or don't know, we can also assume that most people that open this article already have a basic knowledge on what happened during the war. And for those that don't, a mess of numbers won't give any new information that the previous three sentences (about the racial laws and the systematic persecutions) don't. Furthermore, there is the issue of which persecutions to mention in the background, the inclusion of combatant deaths, and the issue of which numbers/estimates to use for those persecutions. I think that all of that is unnecessary and would require a complete separate section to cover. Tzowu (talk) 18:18, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
First, researchers like Gregor Kranjc and others make comparisons of post-War retributions in former Yugoslavia and countries like France. Second, I’m comparing only people killed directly by collaborators. French collaborators did not kill Frenchmen in the Battle of France, they did not even exist then, and unlike the Ustashe, they did not massively exterminate Jews and others in their own death camps. By far the main actions of French collaborators in France were against the Resistance. Wikipedia states there were altogether 20.000 Resistance members killed, and I have not seen any evidence that French collaborators on their own killed even 5.800 people, like Slovene collaborators on their own killed 5.800 Slovenes (adding joint military actions with Nazi-fascists, it looks like Slovene collaborators participated in killing some 24.000 Slovenes - i.e. more than all Resistance members killed in France, and most of these were no doubt killed just by Nazis).
As noted by Zerjavic, Ustashe directly, on their own, just in concentration camps and pits exterminated 120.000 mainly Serb, Jewish and Roma civilians. Can you show where French collaborators, acting entirely on their own, similarly exterminated 120.000 civilians, so we are talking apples to apples? (in fact this is not even the total number of civilians killed by Ustashe, since they also killed many additional Croats and other civilians outside of concentration camps and pits, and beyond civilians, Ustashe, solely or in joint actions with Nazi-fascists, killed many more partisans). Even the Nazis were only appalled by the Ustashe mass slaughter of civilians, women and children.
As clearly shown in the documentary, The Sorrow and the Pity, French collaborator actions against the Resistance and post-War retribution were closely connected – you cannot understand the latter without the former. Same holds for former Yugoslavia, and it holds for understanding numbers. Thus, if Ustashe killed and exterminated 30 or more times as many civilians as French collaborators, it is not surprising that the retributions against Ustashe were also larger, even though partisans did not kill nowhere near 30 times as many, or more, Ustashe, as the 10.000 French collaborators killed in post-War retributions. Btw, Zerjavic and Slovene researchers indicate that Nazi-fascists, together with collaborators, killed some 90% of intra-war victims in both Slovenia and Croatia, and among local forces, only the Ustashe committed 3 genocides. So while Yugoslavia was indeed engaged in a vicious conflict, only one side did 90% of the intra-war killing, and perpetrated all the genocides Thhhommmasss (talk) 04:12, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Gregor Kranjc comparison with France is something completely different. He wrote that the equivalent to the number of Slovenes killed after the war would be the killing of 350,000 citizens in France. He also wrote that violence was a means to ensure a successful communist revolution.:
"[...]unlike France and other Western states, where 'the majority of the most severe "punishments" meted out for wartime activities were completed before formal or official tribunals had been set up to pass judgment,' in Slovenia and Yugoslavia 'summary mass killings and convictions were unleashed by order of the new communist government.' The proportional size of the victims in relation to Slovenia's small population was also unique: in postwar France, it would have been the equivalent of the government executing over 350,000 French citizens. In addition, unlike most of Europe, in Slovenia as in the rest of Yugoslavia (and in the Soviet Union), the most severe form of punishment — death — was applied, almost as a rule, to membership in collaborating units. "
"Nor was the bloody postwar settling of accounts entirely unexpected. From the outset, Tito was convinced that a Yugoslav Communist revolution would be born out of a successful war of liberation. Violence was, in the final assessment, the means to ensure success." (To Walk with the Devil: Slovene Collaboration and Axis Occupation, 1941-1945, p. 225)
On the fate of Slovenes (mainly the Slovene Home Guard), Tomasevich wrote:
"They met this fate without any legal proceedings, simply because during the war they had been resolute foes of the Communist Partisans, who, desiring a clean slate, wanted to make it impossible for them, alone or with outside assistance, to endanger the new order in Yugoslavia. The chief reason for this brutal action was ideological and political, although the hatred and enmity that had accumulated over the four years of war and revolution undoubtedly played a large role." (War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, p. 774)
And more from Keith Lowe:
"It is only the involvement of the Yugoslav state that points the way to a new theme that I have not yet discussed in depth – the idea that much of the violence was politically motivated. Almost all of the events described up to now were brought about by individuals or groups acting outside state control, and who were eventually brought back into line by a combination of the Allied armies and traditional politicians. In Yugoslavia it was the state itself that conducted the violence, the Allies were absent, and traditional politicians had been replaced by revolutionaries." (Savage Continent, p. 264)
So all three of these sources stress out other reasons for the purges in Yugoslavia after the war, and not an alleged proportional reaction to crimes committed during the war. That was a pattern across eastern Europe, and obviously the Partisans or the new Yugoslav authorities committed most of their crimes at the end and after the war when only then did they achieve full control of the country. But still, this doesn't solve the issue of whether to include numerical estimates on war-related deaths, and whose estimates and how many of them, in the Background section. As I said, it would require an entire section to cover it, even if we agree to stick with Žerjavić's research (which we can't since most sources give much higher estimates than he or Kočović did). Tzowu (talk) 20:13, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

Kranjc also talks of the numbers killed by the collaborationist in Slovenia, as part of his discussion of post-War reprisals. The only thing he does not do, is take the estimate of some 24.000 collaborators killed by Slovene collaborators, and then also multiply it by the 30 times larger French population, to get the 720.000 Frenchmen that French collaborators would have had to kill to equal the “effectiveness” of Slovene collaborators – this is more than all the French killed in WWII (and the vast majority were killed by the Nazis). Had French collaborators on their own killed the same proportion as Slovene ones, i.e. 174.000 Frenchmen or 30% of all French WW2 deaths, do you think the postwar reprisals in France would have been different? Same question if jointly with the Germans they had killed 720.000 Frenchmen, i.e. 20% more Frenchman than died in all WW2, to equal the deeds of Slovene collaborators? Had French collaborators on their own in concentration camps and pits proportionately exterminated 840.000 French civilians, with hundreds of thousands of women and children, down to newborns, to equal the Ustashe, would the postwar reprisals have been different?

Also, as Kranjc, Tomasevich and others state, Slovene collaborators, participated in the Nazi-fascist ethnocide against the entire Slovene nation. The Ustashe killed dozens of times more people than French collaborators, while perpetrating genocides against Serbs, Jews and Roma. They make this the center of their discussion of the differences in both the scope and nature of Slovene-Croat vs. French collaboration. I will agree there were some differences in post-War retributions, if you agree to these differences in war-time crimes – ethnocide, genocide, etc. Or if you insist on just post-war differences, and since Lowe mentions the 90s, lets also discuss the fact that I know of no other case where winning soldiers slaughtered hundreds of old people (many in their 70s, 80s and 90s), as when Croat soldiers killed hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand, Serb civilians after the Croat War

Wikipedia states that some 10.500 French collaborators were killed in “epurations sauvages”, i.e. “wild purifications”, done without trials, compared to 14.000 Slovenes. This is same order of magnitude, while, as noted, I’ve not seen any evidence that French collaborators killed as many Frenchmen, as Slovene collaborators killed Slovenes. In subsequent “legal purifications”, some 130.000 French were convicted (6.700 sentenced to death, 770 executed), in trials which The Sorrow and the Pity indicates differed very little from Vichy “justice” (e.g. film shows a women, accused of betraying a Resistance leader to the Nazis, and after the war, the French police tortured her, sentenced her to 17 years in prison, while it’s not at all clear she betrayed the leader, who in any case survived)

It is true that in Yugoslavia all the reprisals were carried out by the state. In this regard they were more similar to the Allies-approved expulsion of 12 million Germans from central and eastern Europe. Thus with the approval of the Allies, the Czech state, after the return of the right-winger Benes, expelled 3 million Sudeten Germans, during which anywhere from 30.000 to 200.000 people were killed. The Benes decrees are still in effect today (Czechia refused to remove them when joining the EU), while Benes’s statue stands in front of the Foreign Ministry, making everything legal. Thus I assume Lowe has no problem with that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thhhommmasss (talkcontribs) 01:20, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Kranjc didn't do that because he probably didn't think that it is possible to compare numbers in such a way, and thought that the main reason for the crimes in the aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia/Slovenia was of political or ideological nature. Other sources, which were mentioned in my previous comment, also follow that line, especially in the case of the Slovene Home Guard. All of these sources mention crimes of the Axis forces too, but they don't point them out as the only or primary reason for the crimes after the war. As Michael Portmann writes:
"Nowhere else in Europe after WWII the link between legitimate and legal punishment of “real” (domestic and foreign) war criminals, collaborators and “people’s enemies”, retaliation upon war enemies and elimination of political opponents in order to consolidate power is closer than in Yugoslavia. These three elements have to be considered as the main motives and causes for all communist repressive measures between 1944 and 1950. It is often impossible to state which of these three motives in a specific case finally prevailed and each of them could have played a role already since the end of 1941." (Communist Retaliation and Persecution..., p. 73)
The only sources that make comparisons of Croatia or Slovenia and France in 1944/45 are those stating the obvious that the killings of collaborators and political enemies in Yugoslavia were of a much larger scale than in France, and even those sources are rare (which make comparisons with France). And on the topic of the civil war in Slovenia, for example, both Portmann and Tomasevich wrote about the revolutionary terror practiced by the Slovene communists during the war. Portmann writes:
"The communist-dominated, legitimate resistance against the occupying forces was from the beginning accompanied by revolutionary terror against any sort of political enemies." (Communist Retaliation and Persecution..., p. 71)
Similarly to Tomasevich:
"In Slovenia, where the population was nationally and confessionally homogeneous, the mutual terror that was practiced during the war by both the Partisans and the collaborating forces was based on the ideological and political opposition between the Communist revolutionaries on the one side and traditional Catholic Slovenes on the other." (War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, p. 774)
And no, I'm not going to discuss about Operation Storm here (there is a talk page for that if you see any issue in that article), or what goes on in the Czech Republic. Tzowu (talk) 20:48, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Tomasevich and most other Western writers also says that the Croat-nationalist Ustashe, supported by the vast majority of the Croatian Catholic Church, committed genocide, and most authors state they committed not one, not two, but 3 genocides - against Jews, Serbs and Roma. They say no such things of the Partisans. As for Slovenia, both Tomasevich and Kranjc state that the Catholic Church basically fanned a religious civil war, with the Slovene quislings fighting on the side of the Nazi and fascist forces who sought to wipe out the Slovenes entirely as a people, and estimates of war deaths by Tadeja Tominsek-Rihtar indicate that the Nazi-fascist and Slovene collaborators, killed approximately 90% of the Slovene victims during the war, thus committing 90% of the "mutual terror". As far as post-War retribution, at Potsdam the western allies agreed to the expulsion of 12 million Germans from eastern and central Europe, during which up to 500,000 Germans were killed. The right-wing Czech politician, Benes, ordered the state-led expulsion of 3 million Germans from Czechoslovakia, during which at least 20.000 to 30.000 were killed, while some others claim up to 200,000 Germans were killed (there are old videos on Youtube which claim to show piles of German civilians shot next to roads)Thhhommmasss (talk) 06:49, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

May 1945 picture[edit]

The picture of the Janovac victims shows the sole en heel of a German WW2 combat boot. who uploaded, certified this picture ? Why should someone of a NDH persecuted minority wear such an item ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geschiedenis Betweter (talkcontribs) 12:52, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

According to Nataša Mataušić, head of the Jasenovac Memorial Site, it is not known who are the victims and the perpetrators of the crime in the picture in question. The photograph is not from Jasenovac, but from Sisak in May 1945, and the Partisan press presented it as an Ustaše crime. Mataušić wrote in Jasenovac - fotomonografija, page 23:

"Na izvornoj fotografiji objavljenoj u Vjesniku, kao i na ostalima iz serije fotografija o navedenom zločinu ustaša, mogu se razaznati muškarci u odorama s vojničkim cokulama na nogama, ženske noge u cipelama visokih potpetica... - što je neke od istraživača navelo na zaključak da fotografije prikazuju ubijene (od strane partizana) vojnike i pristalice NDH nakon njihovog ulaska u Sisak. Državna krugovalna postaja Zagreb izvijestila je 6. svibnja 1945. godine da su prigodom ulaska u Sisak partizani ubili oko 400 građana. Zbog svega navedenog pri razmatranju ovoga događaja treba biti krajnje oprezan, a o krivnji ove ili one strane moći će se sa sigurnošću tvrditi tek u slučaju da se pronađu čvrsti dokazi o počiniteljima."

"In the original photograph published in Vjesnik, as well as in others of the series of photographs of the mentioned Ustaše crime, men can be discerned in uniforms with military boots on their feet, and women's legs in high heels shoes... - this led some researchers to conclude that the photographs depict soldiers and supporters of the NDH killed by the Partisans after they entered Sisak. The Zagreb State Radio Station reported on 6 May 1945 that at the time of entering Sisak, the Partisans killed about 400 citizens. Due to all of the above mentioned, extreme caution should be taken in the consideration of this event, and the guilty plea of this or that party will only be valid if there is strong evidence regarding the perpetrators." Tzowu (talk) 18:26, 30 June 2019 (UTC)

Chetniks or Montenegrin National Army?[edit]

My reference to Chetniks in the intro was erased, with the reason given that they’re included in the Montenegrin National Army (MNA). I checked, and the MNA was a marriage of convenience, created on March 22, 1945 between the Chetnik troops of Pavle Djurisic, and the Ustasha-supported Montenegrin separatist, Sekula Drljevic, whose sole purpose was to provide the Chetniks safe passage across the NDH, when they were fleeing the Partisans. How much of an “Army” this was, is indicated by the fact that only 2 weeks later, after initially allowing Djurisic’s Chetniks to cross the NDH, the Ustashe, with the help of the MNA commander, Sekula Drljevic, attacked the Montenegrin Chetniks, i.e. the “MNA” at Lijevce Field, executing 150 Chetnik commanders after the battle, and attaching the surviving Chetnik troops to Ustashe forces. The Wikipedia Lijevce Field article describes Djurisic’s forces as Chetniks. If instead they were MNA, why not go into the Lijevce Field article and replace all Chetnik references to MNA? Mitja Ferenc describes the Tezno victims as “Chetniks and Ustashe”, not MNA, Ivo Goldstein also writes of Chetniks at Bleiburg, not MNA members, etc. So when most authors refer to them as Chetniks, why the insistence on calling them MNA? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thhhommmasss (talkcontribs) 22:58, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

That was the official name of the unit of around 6,000 Montenegrins under Sekula Drljević at that time, which was present at the Bleiburg field and was retreating together with the NDH forces. They were opposed to the main force of the Chetniks, led by Draža Mihailović, who were then in Bosnia. Other Chetniks, such as those of Momčilo Đujić, were retreating towards Italy and were not repatriated, so they are not a part of this event. While we could refer to them as the Montenegrin Chetniks as some do, for other Axis units like the NDH army the official name is used as well (Croatian Armed Forces).
"Mimo navedenog broja u operativnom pogledu u sastavu V. sbora HOS-a NDH, sa sjedištem u Karlovcu, nalazila se i Crnogorska narodna vojska, ustrojena potkraj travnja 1945., pod zapovjedništvom Sekule Drljevića, razvrstana u šest divizija s nešto više od 6000 vojnika, koja će se s njime povlačiti prema Austriji." (Zdravko Dizdar, Prilog istraživanju problema Bleiburga i križnih putova, p. 126) Tzowu (talk) 21:11, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
The official name of the Chetniks was "The Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland". So according to your logic, I should now go and replace this for Chetniks in all English Wikipedia articles that mention Chetniks. Much better known historians than Dizdar - like Tomasevic, Ivo Goldstein, Mitja Ferenc and many others - describe the Serbs and Montengrins at Bleiburg as Chetniks, not the brief name invented to let them flee across the NDH. I know Croatian nationalistic historians may be reluctant to call the forces retreating with Ustashe as Chetniks, just as similar Serb nationalistic historians don't like to mention Chetniks fleeing together with their Ustashe brethern Thhhommmasss (talk) 22:44, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
While I agree with using the common name in this case, which is "Chetniks", they were hardly the "Yugoslav Army in the Homeland" at this point. Their leader had been dismissed from the government-in-exile in July 1944, and dismissed by the king as chief-of-staff the following month, and they had been told by the king to join the Partisans in September and refused. There is a very good reason "Chetniks" is the term used by the vast majority of sources, it doesn't buy into the propaganda aspect of the so-called "official" name. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 00:38, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm also for using Chetniks, and I wrote Chetniks in the article for the retreating Serb and Montenegrin forces, the same name used by all the historians mentioned above, but then it was deleted by Tzowu. As those authors mention, the MNA consisted mostly of the Chetniks commanded by Pavle Đurišić, a particularly vicious follower of Draza Mihailovic, who only split with him at the beginning of 1945, because he thought it would be better to flee West, instead of stay and fight. The name "Montenegrin National Army" was invented 6 weeks before the end of the war, to get these Chetniks across the NDH. But if Tzowu insists on using MNA here, then certainly at least in the article on Lijevce polje, all references to Chetniks should be deleted and replaced by MNA, since there too, as per Tzowu, they were officially the "MNA" Thhhommmasss (talk) 04:58, 13 October 2019 (UTC)