Jake Allex Mandusich & Draza.... In Memory....
Going through some saved American SRBOBRANS, I found this interesting piece republished on July 17, 1996, p. 9: In Memory of General Draza Mihailovich, by Jake Allex Mandusich, Congressional Medal of Honor Awardee......
Chicago, July 20, 1946
TO: Col. E. C. Lapping, Managing Editor of the Chicago Herald-American, Chicago, Illinois
This is a letter of thanks to your great publisher, Hon. William Randolph Hearst, to you and your great newspaper, The Chicago Herald-American, for the stand taken in behalf of Yugoslavia's new martyr, General Draza Mihailovich.
He was lynched (Wednesday) July 17, (1946) by Tito and his Communist followers, as your paper indicated on its editorial page Saturday, July 20. This editorial, defending the rights of Gneral Mihailovich and showing how our government failed in saving him, will be a historic document in the eyes of all freedom loving Yugoslavs, who are still fighting and praying to oust the Communist aggressors from their homeland.
I am writing this letter as a citizen of the United States and for which I fought in WWI as a sergeant in the United States Army. For my services, my country of adoption bestowed on me the Congressional Medal of Honor. I also received all the allied decorations of the last war.
But I am writing this letter also because of the death of Gen. Mihailovich reached me right at home and in my heart.
Here's the reason. My brother, Dushan, fought side-by-side with Gen. Mihailovich, and my blood-brother was killed as a Chetnik when he was tossing hand grenades at Nazi tanks invading my beloved former homeland.
Also, my two nephews died fighting against the Nazis. And because of this, and because my relatives in Yugoslavia refused to recognize the Communist rule, Tito took away their rights of citizenship.
I felt that when Tito sentenced Gen. Mihailovich, he also sentenced my brother, Dushan, who lost his life fighting all the Nazis. Was my brother guilty and all the American boys who fought the Nazis across the sea?
The day General Mihilovich was executed by Tito's forces will go down in Yugoslavia's history as a day of ignominy, a day that will never be forgotten by those who are fighting for freedom in Yugoslavia.
It's too bad that our government did not listen to Mr. Hearst's warnings. Perhaps if our government had insisted and had warned Tito to give Gen. Mihailovich a fair trial, Gen. Mihailovich would have been living today.
All we Serbs--we Americans of Serbian ancestry-- beg now, after Mihailovich's death, to at least give the people of Yugoslavia a fair chance to choose their own government under the provisions of the Atlantic Charter and the San Francisco Charter.
And we also wish to know why doesn't our government find out why Tito's forces are not persecuting and punishing (as they did General Mihailovich), the Ustashi and their leader, Ante Pavelic, who killed thousands of innocent people in Yugoslavia and were backed by Hitler and Mussolini?
Keep up the good fight for freedom and justice to all peoples of the world, Mr. Hearst!
Jake Allex Mandusich
This photo is from the site of the Home of Heroes.
Click on the above site to read more.
In his report to the Christian Science Monitor on April 21, 1941, R. H. Markham wrote:
“The Serbs are the kind of people who succumb fighting and not fawning. They first met the invading Turk in the fourteenth century. They first defied Sultanic masters in the nineteenth century. They, first of all southeast European people-except the Greeks-refused supinely to place their heads in Nazi yokes. As the centuries pass, the Serbs will sing of this defiance. All succeeding generations will rejoice that their fathers in 1941 dared defy oppressors. And men who love freedom, during all the coming ages, will think of the Serbs as they do of the Spartans at Thermopylae. Let him who knows whether Socrates was wise in not running away, say whether the Serbs were wise in refusing to say ‘Heil Hitler.’”
If you like codes, you'll find a great one here to help stump your friends! It's a fun learning experience! I liked venturing into the Photography "Dark Room" and listening to WWII questions on the "Radio."
From Aleksandra Rebic, who got the info from Mirko Blesich, who found the article in Major Borislav J. Todorovich's book called "A Forgotten Army."
Here is the Hearst Newspapers Editorial of March 29, 1946
"A shameful betrayal. If the United States Government does less than its utmost to prevent the planned murder of Gen. Draja (Draza) Mihailovich by Tito's Communists, it will have committed an act of betrayal that the American people will have to remember with shame forever..... General Mihailovich was our firend and ally....Mihailovich's only offense is that he resisted communist Russia in defense of our country's freedom."
Click to read more about William Randolph Hearst, to whom Jake Allex Mandusich wrote on the Wikipedia site below:
"Hold to your cause with God, and the people will hold to that cause because it means freedom, and without freedom a man is better dead."
Hitler called the spontaneous uprising of the Serbs against the Germans “primitive simplicity of their minds.” Leigh White, author of The Long Balkan Night (1946) spoke in New York in Freedom House, October 23, 1942:
“Hitler was right, but not in quite the sense he intended. They still retain the primitive virtues and the simple dignity which many of the more sophisticated peoples have lost; people who were not too civilized to quibble over the price of their national honor, who were not too civilized to have fought against the German and Italian aggressors even though they knew they could never win. At one time, I wondered if Yugoslavia’s national honor, if any country’s honor, could possibly be worth the price the Yugoslavs so willingly paid. Like most people, I’ve done a lot of thinking in the last year or two. And it’s taken me a year to understand what the peasants of Yugoslavia understood instinctively; that national honor has no price; that it cannot be measured in terms of any currency, even the currency of blood. The lesson of Yugoslavia is simply this: that there are many things worse than death; that many times it is preferable to die; and that it is always preferable to die than compromise the national honor.”
Quoting David Martin: “At one stroke the revolution of March 27 disrupted Germany’s economic hinterland, invalidated her dispositions, disorganized her timetable and destroyed the myth of the Nazi New Order. And, what is perhaps most important, the example of this small nation defying the might of the unconquered Wehrmacht---preferring all of the horrors of war and subjugation to the loss of its spiritual freedom—did more than anything else up until that time to inspire the conquered peoples of Europe to resist.
“Instead of incorporating Yugoslavia peacefully into the New Order, Nazis were compelled to deal with it as an enemy nation. Instead of adding to their reserves of available manpower, they were compelled to divert thirty-three divisions for the conquest of Yugoslavia and to maintain an army of occupation that included eight or nine German divisions and a somewhat larger number of satellite divisions. Instead of launching their attack on Russia in mid-May, as soon as the roads had hardened, they were compelled to postpone it for almost five whole weeks of the strategically priceless dry weather season.”
“The Germans were able to overcome the Yugoslav army in twelve days,” he continued. “But the revolution of March 27 may have cost them the war.”
Read the tribute Alexandra Rebic wrote in Sloboda's LIBERTY magazine (the Official Publication of the Serbian National Defense Council in America) in their July 25, 2000 edition, in memory of the famed General.
Read what HistoryNet-supposedly the World's Largest History Magazine publisher-said about the Rescue Behind Enemy Lines here:
Arthur Jibilian, the OSS radioman who helped rescue 513 U.S. Airman saved by the Serbs, remembers sitting around the campfires at night with the Chetniks and Draza Mihailovich and the U.S. airmen singing this song before they got picked up from behind German-occupied enemy lines.
Jibby said he never did learn what it meant, but always enjoyed singing it. Milan Opacich translated this for us:
OKO NAS SU ZGARISTA PUSTA
( Around us are the burned and forsaken)
I ZIDOVI CRNI I SIVI
(With walls that are black and gray)
Chorus: OVU PESMU IZ NASIH USTA
(This song out of our mouths)
PEVAJU MRTVI NE ZIVI
(Sing the dead not the living)
A SAD BRACO PUNIMO CASE
(And now brothers we fill up the glasses)
DA U BLAZIMO SMRTI GORCINU
(So that we can spite death's bitterness)
Chorus: URA ZA CETNIKE NASE
(Hooray for our Chetniks)
KOJI CE SUTRA DA GINU
(Who tomorrow will die)
U BOJ POLAZIMO SMELO
(Into the battle we go daringly)
DA OSVETIMO BRACU SVOJU
(To get revenge for our brothers)
Chorus: JER KOD KUCE OSTAJU ONI
(Because those left at home are only)
KOJI SE SMRTI BOJE
(Those who are afraid of death)
Dorothy Paunovich of St. Sava's in Merrillville, wrote: "My father-in-law, Mihailo Paunovich, was a Chetnik involved in the rescue efforts. He became close friends with a Charlie Davis and a Donald Smith, but after they said their good-byes, he never knew what happened to them, until he was listening to a radio advertisement for an upcoming Vidovdan program in Chicago in the early 1970's. He heard that a General Donald F. Smith was going to be the main speaker and that caught his attention. He didn't think it could be the one he had taken care of, but asked his daughter to call to O'Hare and ask if this Donald Smith was shot down and taken care of, and saved by Serbian Chetniks. When the secretary responded with a "Yes," Mihailo said, "Put that S.O.B. on the phone!" as he grabbed the phone from his daughter. They both cried tears of joy and found out that they lived only about 60 miles from each other. Maj. Gen. Donald Smith lived in Arlighton Heights, IL, and Mihailo lived in Crown Point, IN. The very next Sunday, we enjoyed a Serbian feast at my father-in-law's home. Gen. Smith was stationed at O'Hare, in charge of the Illinois Air National Guard, and Mihailo was a successful business man, owning a Shell Gas Station in Gary. The two kept in close touch, enjoyed many meals together, Slavas, weddings, etc. until illness set in.