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Himmler's Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945.

George Lepre

Published in 1997

A few years before 9/11 and a couple of years after the War in Bosnia. This book is not a book trying to
demonize Islam by pointing out the short alliance Nazi Germany may have had with the Muslim world.
Books of these sort became popular after 9/11 because this fit the narrative of the neo-con narrative to
invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

George Lepre , in my opinion was objective and focused primarily on the historical events surround the
Handzar Division. This book is one of the only books in English available that is focused on the SS
Handzar.

What I want to do in this video is just point out some interesting information that flies under the radar
or I think its important that Lepre has provided.

Chapter 1

Introduction to the Maelstrom (Mail-strom)

Lepre immediately gets into the political situation of Bosnia’s Muslim population within the Kingdom of
Yugoslavia which would cease to exist after the Nazi invasion. The Germans were well aware of a
particular fondness that existed in Bosnia for Germans and Germany. Immediate after the Invasion
Bosnia is incorporated in the new Independent Croatia which was established out of the old Yugoslavia.

Eventually Muslims, equal on paper with Croatian Catholics, never held any important posts in the
Croatian Ustasa government. Croatians would later accuse the Muslims of being communist
sympathizers and the Serb Chetnik forces associated them with the crimes committed by the Ustasa
government.
The Catholic Bishop of Sarajevo sounds a lot like the rest of Ustasa government who expressed a similar
plan for Serbs within the NDH. NDH is the acronym for the Ustasa led Croatian state during world war 2.
This was a state initially for Catholics and Muslims of Croatian faith (aka Bosniaks or Bosnians) but in
reality it was Catholic state with unofficial ties to the Vatican

The stats regarding the death toll of Muslims is usually never mentioned anywhere. This is usually
overshadowed by the number of Serbs who perished during WW2. 100,000 by 1943 is actually very high
in comparison to groups in other European nations. It is estimated that Yugoslavia lost anywhere
between 1 to 2 million people.

Bosnia’s Muslims seem to have preferred Austrian , or German rule over Serbian or Croatian. Initially
they wanted autonomy with Nazi Germany. They were incorporated into the NDH instead. In 1942
Muslim leaders asked for autonomy and German protection directly.
Hitler didn’t seem to care about the Balkans, he just wanted that area to be out of his way and not
impede on his goals for Europe. Bosnia was Croatia’s issue and it seemed like they could control the
issue. He had with Ante Pavelic, Croatia’s president, somebody who was going to run a loyal satellite
state and serve as an ally.
Dangling Bosnia infront of neutral Turkey would have been a powerful bargaining chip and could’ve
been of great help to contain the Balkans and the Middle East. This just further shows Hitler disinterest
in the Balkans.

Himmler admired religious traditions in the east that put emphasis on Holy warriors. He saw Bosnians as
Aryans and inheritance of the Islamic faith. There is no doubt he was going to use this to persuade
msulims worldwide to fight the Great Britain and the Soviet Union, who Muslims saw as oppressive and
a threat to their self determination and faith.

Look at footnote:24: The Bosnian regiments of the Austro-Hungarian empire was not solely Muslim. In
1910 only 1/3 of Bosnia was Muslim.

Also, the end game is not protection of the Muslims. It’s the security of ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia.