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October 28, 1994 - Image 118

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-10-28

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Toronto (JTA) — Marking the
Mr. Grujicic was the fourth
fourth unsuccessful bid to convict man tried in Canada for Nazi war
a Canadian for wartime atroci- crimes since the country's Crim-
ties, an Ontario court has inal Code was amended in 1987
dropped charges against an al- to allow for the prosecution of war
leged Nazi war criminal because crimes committed outside Cana-
of his failing health.
dian jurisdiction against non-
Radislav Grujicic, an 83-year- Canadians.
old retired bookseller, had a leg
None of the men have been
amputated in August after gan- successfully prosecuted.
grene set in following complica-
tions from diabetes. He is
reportedly not lucid and unfit to
stand trial.
Though technically the charges
against the Windsor, Ontario,
man could be reactivated within
a year, it is unlikely that will oc-
cur, according to Ivan Whitehall, Bonn (JTA) — The full story of
the Justice Department's most the Sarajevo Jewish communi-
ty's central role in aiding its
neighbors has yet to be told, but
a new photographic exhibit at the
Mr. Grujicic
Jewish Museum of Vienna helps
reportedly was
make a start.
The exhibition, "Survival in
employed by the CIA. Sarajevo
— How a Jewish Corn-
munity Came to the Aid of its
senior prosecutor, who had been City," is the work of American
assigned to the case. photojournalist Edward Serotta.
Mr. Grujicic, 83, was charged It documents how the local Jew-
in December 1992 with 10 counts ish community, through the hor-
of premeditated murder and one rors of the Bosnian war, has
count each of conspiracy to mur- provided shelter to its neighbors
der and kidnap. of all ethnic and religious groups
His indictment stated that as and taught them the ancient
a senior official of a special sec- Jewish skill of survival.
tion of the Belgrade police in The exhibit, which continues
wartime Serbia from June 22, through Nov. 20, avoids the im-
1941, to Oct. 1, 1944, he conspired ages of battlefronts to focus on
with civil authorities and the Ger- the lives of individuals struggling
man occupying forces in the ar- to maintain their lives in the bat-
rest and interrogation of tle-torn Bosnisn capital.
suspected Communists.
Only 500 Jews still remain in
As a result of his activities, his
victims were deported to Nazi Sarajevo, with the rest of the
Germany and elsewhere for community having left for Israel,
forced labor. Also resulting from the United States and Europe.
As a community not directly
his activities, 10 people are al-
leged to have been shot in Bel- involved in the ongoing conflict
between Serbs, Croats and Mus-
grade on May 25, 1943.
Mr. Grujicic reportedly was lims, the Jews of Sarajevo worked
employed by the CIA and for a within the framework of the Jew-
very short time by the Royal ish humanitarian organization
Canadian Mounted Police, for La Benevolencija to convert the
whom he used his intelligence premises of the Jewish commu-
skills to ferret out Communists nity building into an aid center
among Yugoslav immigrants to i where members of all ethnic and
the United States and Canada. 4 religious groups were supplied
Sol Litmann of the Simon with food, medicines and first aid.
Wiesenthal Center's Canadian The community center also
office, commended the Justice De- housed a post office and radio sta-
partment for dropping the case tion, which often provided the
against the terminally ill man. only link with the outside world.
In a statement, Mr. Litmann, Earlier this year, La Benevo-
who had first brought Mr. Gruji- lencija, working in tandem with
cic to the attention of Canadian the American Jewish Joint Dis-
authorities in 1985, reiterated his tribution Committee, organized
earlier opposition to the trial. 11 refugee convoys, providing
"No matter how eager we are safety for 2,300 people, including
to see war criminals punished, 1,000 members of the Jewish
our own sense of justice militates community.
against subjection of a man who
Mr. Serotta, 45, was born in
may be near death to the rigors the United States and now lives
of a trial," he wrote.
in Berlin.

Sarajevo Jews
In Photo Exhibit

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