From- 'UNHOLY TRINITY: The Vatican,The Nazis, and Soviet Intelligence By John Loftus and Mark Aarons - Pub by St.Martins Press [1991] Available from Barnes &Noble [1-800-242-6657] or [1-800-843-2665] ISBN 0-312-07111-6 [hardcover] ISBN 0-312-09407-8 [paperback]

page 75-78

'thorough search' of the area 'without result' and finally decided that the fugitive must be in Soviet hands. They wrote to Foreign Minister Vyshinski, but received a negative reply.16

The Yugoslavs launched a vitriolic press campaign, claiming they had given the British 'precise information regarding the town and street' where Pavelic was living 'in complete freedom'. The Foreign Office decided that it was time for 'a little counter-battery work' and wrote to the Yugoslav Ambassador insisting that the Yugoslav press campaign 'was entirely without foundation'.17

The Yugoslav Ambassador persisted, telling the British in early January 1946 that Pavelic 'was disguised as a monk'. He asked if the British 'had no influence with the Vatican', Tito was obviously convinced that the British were conniving with the Holy See to protect the Ustashi leader. The Foreign Office reacted with complete innocence, pointing everywhere else. They even asked their American ally if they perhaps had captured Pavelic, receiving yet another negative answer.18

Throughout 1946 the claims and denials went back and forth.

The Yugoslav Communists sent diplomatic notes and directed their press to launch ever more hysterical campaigns. The message was always the same: the West could find Pavelic if they really wanted to, but refused because he and his supporters were being used in an anti-Tito crusade.19

The British response also became repetitive; 'especial efforts' have been made to trace Pavelic, who 'has at no time been in British custody, nor has his whereabouts ever been known to any British authority'. The Americans joined in these emphatic denials, stating that authorities 'in U.S. and British zones have searched diligently' for Pavelic 'without success'.20

As 1946 drew to a close, it had been eighteen months since Pavelic crossed the Austrian frontier and apparently disappeared into thin air. In examining the Official files it is striking that they assume a significantly different tone in late November. Suddenly the Pavelic mystery was solved. A senior British Political Adviser reported that it was 'becoming increasingly clear that many of the more important quislings are taking refuge under the wing of the [Roman Catholic] Church', pessimistically forecasting that little could be done 'unless the Vatican can be persuaded into active co-operation'.21

The British had found that five wanted Yugoslavs were 'at present in the Oriental Institution in Rome'. This was the Pope's

76 institute specialising in Eastern European affairs, and enjoyed complete extraterritoriality. The Foreign Office feared that 'it would create a most unfortunate impression if the British authorities decided to arrest these men on Vatican property without any prior notice to the Vatican authorities'. They proposed to the Americans that they jointly tell Tito that 'since these traitors are resident on Vatican property, they are outside our jurisdiction, and that the Yugoslav Government should apply to the Vatican, to whom they have an accredited diplomatic representative'. The Americans were happy to go along with this cynical proposal.22

At last the British bureaucrats had someone to blame for Pavelic's disappearance. They noted on 18 December that it seemed 'more and more likely that Pavelic is in Italy and that his whereabouts may be known to Dr Draganovic ..... and to no-one else'. The British had gathered detailed intelligence showing that Father Krunoslav Draganovic, Secretary of the Croatian Institute of San Girolamo, was the main organiser of the Ratlines used by known war criminals to escape the Western dragnet. The Foreign Office believed the British Army's claim that it was 'unlikely that Pavelic has been in Austria since the British occupation, except possibly in transit'. They were certain that Draganovic held the answer to the Poglavnik's disappearance.23

If Draganovic's own version of his relationship with Pavelic can be believed, he thought the dictator was a brutal mass murderer, one of the 'most dangerous men' he had met in his whole life. Years later, Draganovic maintained that he had repeatedly intervened with the Ustashi leadership during the war, begging for the lives of Jews, Serbs and even Communists.24 The priest claimed that he had followed the commandments of Christian love, regardless of religion, politics or nationality. He bragged that this had endangered his own life, because the Ustashi strongly disapproved of his charitable work and forceful interventions. Draganovic insisted that he took up his complaints with Pavelic himself.25

There is no independent corroboration of Draganovic's account. If it is correct, it throws fascinating light on his post-war decision to aid this mass murderer, whom he rightly blamed for the extermination of innocent Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and others. Yet Western intelligence was certain that the two men were extremely close after the war, and that Pavelic could never have slipped through their dragnet without Draganovic's charitable assistance.

77 Special Agent William Gowen and his colleagues in the Rome detachment of the US Army's Counter Intelligence Corps found out that their British ally had been lying all along: they knew a great deal about Pavelic's whereabouts. This emerged in early 1947 when American intelligence launched its own intensive operation in early 1947 to find Pavelic.26 By the time the CIC investigations were concluded, it was established that Yugoslav intelligence had been right all along. According to 'reliable sources', Pavelic had indeed made it across the Austrian frontier and reached British lines, where he

......was protected by the British in British-guarded and requisitioned quarters for a two [2] week period. Due to the insecurity of his position and due to the inevitable embarrassment of the British Command, he then left these quarters but remained in the British Occupation Zone for at least two [2] or three [3] months more still in contact with the British I[ntelligence] S[ervice].27

This confirmed what Ferenc Vajta had told Gowen about SIS's recruitment of the Ustashi immediately after hostilities had ceased. Gowen's colleague, Special CIC Agent Robert Mudd, was also working on the case, reporting on 30 January 1947 that the former Poglavnik had fled from Yugoslavia and taken refuge at Klagenfurt, where he 'had an apartment and a villa', just as the Cetniks and Communists had previously claimed. This report provided further evidence of the Catholic Church's involvement.

In 'April of 1946 Pavelic left Austria and came to Rome accompanied only by an Ustashi lieutenant named Dochsen. Both men were dressed as Roman Catholic priests. They took refuge in a college there in Via Giacomo Belli, 3.' Pavelic's travelling companion was in fact Dragutin Dosen, a former senior officer in the Poglavnik's Personal Body Guard. The British discovered that Dosen was 'a leading light of San Girolamo [Draganovic's HQ]'.28

Mudd's informant believed that Pavelic had taken refuge in a Vatican-protected college in Rome, although the authors could not verify this claim. The informant also reported that Pavelic had obtained a Spanish passport 'under the name of Don Pedro Gonner', in preparation for his eventual escape, probably to Spain or South America. However, in mid-1946 Pavelic was afraid that he was too closely monitored and instead of leaving Europe, he returned to Austria.

78 Mudd directed his informant 'to penetrate the Ustashi intelligence network', and report on their escape routes:

...... the network runs from Grumo-Rome-Venice-Trieste-Ljubljana- Zagreb. The whole affair is run under the cover of the Roman Catholic clergy whose priests in these monasteries are nearly all of Croatian extraction ..... The Ustashi organization in Italy is at present a tightly knit group still maintaining its 'cell' organization, still publishing its papers, and still interested in the same aims that they professed before and during the war ....... the focal point of all intelligence and activity is the Monastery of Saint Jerome [sic], Via Tomacelli, 132, Rome.29

From a very confidential source, American intelligence had discovered in May 1946 that the Poglavnik was living 'close to Rome in a building which is under the jurisdiction of the Vatican'.30 This was soon after Pavelic had first arrived in Rome from Austria, and it is now known that the Poglavnik, like Ferenc Vajta, actually took refuge at Castelgandolfo, where the Pope's summer residence is located. It seems that many Nazis gravitated to Castelgandolfo, for Pavelic was housed with a former Minister in the Nazi Romanian government.31

US intelligence received even more sensational information from their confidential source, who claimed that 'Pavelic holds frequent secret meetings with Monsignor Montini, the Under Secretary of State of the Holy See'.32 Gowen was just then starting to piece together the Intermarium jigsaw puzzle. From what he had learned from Vajta, he was convinced that the Vatican was deeply implicated in some very unsavoury business. Information received by the US Embassy in Rome in early January 1947 claimed that Pavelic had been in San Girolamo the previous month, and was travelling under several aliases.33 Suddenly Gowen was on to a major case. By late January, the American intelligence officer had collected enough evidence from 'reliable informants' to report that Pavelic at the present time in the extra-territorial walled-in compound on the left bank of the Tiber, at Lungo Tevere Aventino, Rome. This compound has within its walls five Catholic organizations .... 1] The Monastery of St. Sabina of the Dominican Order; 2] The St. Alessio School for Roman Studies; 3] The Cavaliers of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; 4] The Benedictine Monastery of St. Anselmo; 5] A children's school run by Nuns. The compound is situated on top of the Aventine Hill which ....... is reputedly honeycombed with subterranean tunnels which link the individual buildings.34

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