Andrija Hebrang


The Ustasha as Witnesses


The big problem with the "investigation" was the lack of evidence

from NDH archives about Andrija's "traitorous" conduct at the

Ustasha prison and camp. Not one OZN or Udba leader in Croatia who

combed through the NDH archive saw even one document which would

charge Andrija Hebrang, claimed one of their insiders, Zvonko


Andrija's Ustasha investigator Tibor Vasko (Vaško), while serving time in

Srijemska Mitrovica, told Milovan Djilas in 1956 that in 1948 he had

been forced to confirm that Andrija had agreed to collaborate with

the Ustasha: "My conscience did not allow me to do it. Moreover, I

knew nothing about any such thing".

Milatovic and the comrades found inspiration in the Dachau rigged

political trials which were held in Ljubljana in 1948, when old

communists and Dachau inmates were forced to confess that they had

been Gestapo agents and worked for western secret services after

the war. (The verdicts were quashed in 1976, those innocently

killed, accused and convicted were rehabilitated.)

Police services also interrogated Drago Jilek, an Ustasha

Surveillance Service (UNS) commander who had other duties as well,

Miroslav Fulanovic (Fulanović), aide to UNS commander Eugen Kvaternik,

intelligence chief Erih Lisak, Stjepan Damic, who was intelligence

chief for the entire NDH, investigator Kresimir Suklje (Šuklje), political

police chiefs Mirko Vutuc and Aleksandar Benak, and others. To find

some they went abroad, kidnapping or killing them. There were

attempted kidnapings of their wives for blackmail as well.

Paradoxically, the Ustasha at Glavnjaca were more moral than

Milatovic and the comrades. They could not be bought, whole those

whose testimonies were extorted by torture later denied them or the

testimonies proved unconvincing for other reasons.

Here is what Dr Ante Ciliga wrote in the June 1982 issue of the "Na

pragu sutrasnjice" quarterly in an open letter to "investigator"

Milatovic, in response to claims Milatovic made in Belgrade-based

print media about a statement by two Ustasha officials who

confirmed that Andrija had "collaborated" with the Ustasha:

"It is immediately evident that you failed to give the names of

those two... What you failed to do, I shall not: the two Ustasha

officials in question are - Drago Jilek and Branko Rukavina. They

are both dead, which makes your silence about their names all the

more suspicious.

You write that one of them "happened to be" in Yugoslavia. You do not

say how he "happened to be" in Yugoslavia, so I shall do it: he had

been captured by Yugoslav partisan agents in Rome... That was Drago

Jilek. You know very well the worth of statements by a captured and

tortured man, which is why you keep quiet about his name and his end,

that he was killed by Yugoslav authorities.

One circumstance indicates that Drago Jilek refused to give the

Yugoslav police statements and "evidence" they asked of him for an

accusation against Hebrang for a long time. Namely, for some time

after Jilek's capture, Yugoslav agents tried to capture his wife as

well. Evidently, her capture and transfer to Yugoslavia were

intended to break Jilek's resistance. This attempt is all the more

important given that Jilek's wife was in South America, in

Paraguay, where she worked in a drugstore, which is where her

kidnapping was attempted. Due to the woman's energetic resistance

and her desperate cries, which attracted the attention of those in

the neighbourhood, the Yugoslav agents retreated and ran away.

Jilek's capture in Rome and the attempted kidnapping in Paraguay

received a lot of press coverage at the time.

The statements and "evidence" given by Branko Rukavina are equally

worthless, because they were bought and paid for with 300,000 lire,

which today corresponds to ten million lire... Later, when some

Croatian emigrants reproached him for his actions, Branko would

say: 'Let the communists eat one another, they will all die


(According to Branko Salaj, "Belgrade's Persistent Lies About

Hebrang", "Free Croatia's Message", March 1983.)