US, Britain, Let Pavelic Escape, CIA Letter Says

A letter dating November 1947 by Lt Col G F Blunda, of the US Army, to Col Carl F Fritzsche, assistant deputy director of intelligence in the CIA, says the British and Americans had dumped plans to arrest Ante Pavelic, although they knew his whereabouts in the Vatican and had a prepared plan to lure him out.

Document from the US National Archives that has been declassified in 2001, but not presented in the media before confirms that the two allied countries turned a blind eye to the Vatican's concealment of the ex-leader of a Nazi-allied statelet, the Independent State of Croatia, NDH.

From 1941 to 1944, the NDH waged a murderous war against Serbs, Jews and Roma, virtually wiping out once significant Jewish communities in Croatia and Bosnia and exterminating large numbers of Serbs - the exact figure remains disputed.

However, as the Cold War began, US and British intelligence wound down the drive to arrest and try war-time Fascists and in some cases began using them in the fight against world Communism.

The document states that Pavelic was last seen outside Vatican grounds in July 1947 dressed as a monk, walking down the streets of Rome with a bodyguard.

Pavelic fled Croatia in Spring 1945 ahead of Josip Tito's Communist-led Yugoslav National Army. He entered Italy in 1946 dressed as a priest with a Peruvian passport under the name Don Pedro Gonner.

Ante Pavelic in Agentine hospital in Lomas del Palomar in 1957 after the failed assassination attempt.

The letter shows that when the British searched the Italian city of Genoa in 1947, Pavelic was there, and although officers knew that, he was not arrested.

After, he went to Rome and the Vatican. Although there was a plan to arrest him in a joint allied operation of...

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