| New York Times
May 6, 1931
Yugoslavian Rulers in Savant's Murder
the Slaying of Sufflay, Noted Croatian Leader, Was Inspired by Government.
Links King to Terrorism.
Increase In Cruelty Seen.
League for Rights of Man is Urged to Take Action
Against "Horrible Brutality" of Belgrade Regime.
Special cable to The New York Times.
Berlin, May 5. Accusing the Yugoslav Government of the murder of a Croatian
Professor Milan Sufflay, who was struck down in the streets of Agram [Zagreb]
on Feb 18, Professor Albert Einstein and the novelist Heinrich Mann, brother
of Thomas Mann, have sent a joint letter to the international headquarters
of the League for the Rights of Man in Paris urging a protest against
the "horrible brutality which is being practiced upon the Croatian people."
The letter also was signed by the German headquarters of the league. The
Paris headquarters, upon receipt of the communication, immediately undertook
steps toward an effective protest in Belgrade.
"As the professor was walking home on the fatal day he was attacked from
behind with an iron rod, according to our information and felled." the
letter of protest reads "On the next day he died and he was buried on
the twenty-second beside other Croatians."
Noted for Scientific Works.
Professor Sufflay was noted for a long list of scientific books, the letter
"Yet Agram [-> Zagreb] newspapers were not allowed to report his activities
and the news of his death was suppressed." the protest reads on. Condolence
telegrams were not delivered. The time of the funeral was not allowed
to be made public and the raising of a mourning flag on the university
was forbidden. The authorities went so far as to expel those school children
who took part in the funeral and to remove wreaths which were bound with
the Croatian national colors fom the grave.
"The name of the murderer was known. It was Nikola Jukitsch [-> in fact,
Branko Zwerger, see below]. His organization (Young
Yugoslavia) likewise is known. It was even known that arrangements for
the murder had been worked out on the night of the eleventh in the home
of the military commandant of the city, General Beli Markowitsch, at a
session in which members of the Young Yugoslavia organization, Brkitsch,
Godler, Marischetz and the murderer Jukitsch [-> in fact the real name
is Branko Zwerger] took part. Yet the Agram [->
Zagreb] police officially stated the next day that the name of the murderer
was not known.
Charges Threats to the Croats.
Turning to the events leading to the murder, Professor Einstein and the
other signers charged that when the King visited the Croatian capital in
January, numerous leading Croats received letters signed "For King and
Country." in which their lives and those of their families were threatened
if they uttered any protest while the King was there. Professor Sufflay
received one of the letters, it is charged.
"The name of this terrorist organization was Young Yugoslavia," the protest
continued. "The King, in an address to the organization, told how the
Croatian representatives to parliament had been put out of the way at
his request. An example of this was the shooting of a Croatian leader
[-> Stjepan Radic] on the floor of the house
on June 20, 1928."
Following the King's visit, the murder of political and intellectual
leaders of the Croatians was openly demanded in the government press,
says the letter.
"The official organ Nascha Sloga in Suschak, on Feb. 18 wrote, `Skulls
will be split.' The same evening Professor Sufflay was struck down," the
In January the delegates to the Croatian National Assembly sent a memorandum
to Geneva calling attention to the situation in Croatia.
"The facts show that the cruelty and brutality practiced upon the Croatians
only increase," Professor Einstein's letter says. "In view of this frightful
situation, we urge the International League for the Rights of Man to do
everything possible to press this unrestrained rule of might which prevails
"Murder as a political weapon must not be tolerated and political murderers
must not be made national heroes. The League should muster all possible
aid to protect this small, peaceful and highly civilized people."
Sufflay a Histoy Professor.
Professor Milan Sufflay, who was murdered in Agram [Zagreb] on Feb. 18,
had been professor of History at Zagreb University for ten years. He had
written many books on the history of Albania. In 1920 because of his connection
with Croat extremists, he was sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment
for lese-majeste and high treason. On his release he resumed his political
Protests against the Yugoslav dictatorship of King Alexander have been frequent
since the murder of Professor Sufflay and the many "suicides" of Croats
and Macedonians in the prisons of Belgrade and Zagreb.
Three Serbs were arrested in Vienna recently who were alleged to have
been sent there on a murder mission with the knowledge of the Zagreb Chief
The bitter feeling in Yugoslavia has resulted in numerous bombings and
When King Alexander proclaimed the dicatorship two years ago his chief
problem was the deadlock caused by the refusal of Croatia to be dominated
by a parliamentary government recruited largely from extreme Serbian sources.
A similar article appeared in the San Francisco Examiner
on Sunday May 31, 1931 saying pretty much the same thing. Many thanks
to BACHNenad's tribune, in particular to Marko.
Remark: From archival material held
in Zagreb we know that the name of assassin was not Nikola Jukich (Jukitsch),
but BRANKO ZWERGER (hanged in 1943 in Jasenovac). It seems that Einstein
and Mann have changed the name to Jukitsch since they lived in Germany,
in Berlin, from where they wrote their appeal to Paris. The name of Zwerger
sounds German or Jewish, which they may have found unpleasant (and unimportant)
for the purpose of this appeal. We are not in possession of the original
text, which is written most probably in German. It seems that the original
text is in Moscow archives. Namely, during the WW2 the Russians came in
possession of all archives of the Ligue de Droits de l'Homme (League
of Human Rights in Paris), concerning documents dating before 1945.
Back to Croatia - an overview of its
History, Culture and Science
Albert Einstein and Heinrich Mann: Appeal
on the occasion of killing of Professor Milan Sufflay in Zagreb (full
text, in Croatian)
- New York Times: Raditch left tale of Yugoslav plot, article published in August 23, 1931 [pdf]
- A Letter of Protest sent by
American intellectuals organized by Roger N. Baldwin, Chairman of the International
Committee for Political Prisoners, to the Yugoslav representative
in Washington on November 24, 1933.
- Josip Pecaric: Serbian Myth about Jasenovac, Naklada Stih,
ISBN 953-6959-00-3 (494 pages), summary