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]

ISBN0-312-07111-6 [hardcover] ISBN 0-312-09407-8 [paperback]

page 83-87

....senior American officers certainly passed the 'Hands Off' decision down their chain of command. From all the available evidence, however, it seems probable that the original decision was taken by British intelligence officers, who were the fugitive's real sponsors.

The American motive for quietly going along with London's decision to allow Pavelic's escape was really very simple. Senior US officials were then developing their own network of ex-Nazis, and were beginning to co-ordinate activities with both the Vatican and London.

The 'Hands Off' policy came into effect just eight days after Gowen completed his report on wanted Hungarian war criminal Ferenc Vajta and the Vatican connection. Gowen recommended on 6 July that American intelligence should take over Intermarium, passing his views up to 'higher commands so that its full international importance [can] be evaluated'.55

Gowen had certainly worked out which way the wind was blowing. No one cared about Nazis as long as they were anti Communist. Nearly two months after the 'Hands Off' policy was decided, Gowen and another officer submitted a lengthy report on the Pavelic case. They noted, with a great deal of charity, that though 'fanatically anti-Serb and to a lesser degree anti-Orthodox, Pavelic is a cultured person and a social liberal'. They had to admit, though, that

For the reasons given above he is receiving the protection of the Vatican whose view of the entire 'Pavelic Question' is that, since the Croat State does not exist and, since the Tito regime cannot be expected to give anybody a fair trial, [Pavelic] should not be turned over to the present Yugoslav regime with the excuse of bringing him to justice. The extradition of Pavelic would only weaken the forces fighting atheism and aid Communism in its fight against the Church.56

The CIC agents were still a little uncomfortable with the Holy See's approach, so they went to some lengths to explain fully the Vatican's justification for its immoral policy:

84 ....Pavelic's crimes of the past cannot be forgotten, but he can only be tried by Croats representing a Christian and Democratic Government, the Vatican maintains. While Pavelic is allegedly responsible for the deaths of 150,000 persons, Tito is the agent of Stalin, who is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of persons in the Ukraine, White Russia, Poland, the Baltic and the Balkan States over a period of twenty-five [25] years.57

Gowen and his colleague were also certain that Pavelic 'is today being supported and exploited by some power' other than the Vatican. As Pavelic had been 'protected by the British in British-guarded and requisitioned quarters' when he first arrived in Austria in May 1945, and knowing 'something of the British Intelligence system', the CIC officers were sure that this power was the United Kingdom.

They further pointed out that even Pavelic's arch enemies, the pro-Royalist Serbian Cetniks, believed that 'he ought not to be turned over to Tito at the present time since his trial would be used as a basis for more anti-American and pro-Communist propaganda'. So the CIC officers recommended

...that the Vatican and Chetnik views of Pavelic be appreciated and that no direct police action be taken against him on the part of the American Military Authorities. Such action would force his extradition to Tito and would bolster the present British anti-American campaign be [sic] waged among the political emigres in Western Europe.58

The US intelligence officers were referring here to the long standing British campaign to denigrate America in the eyes of the Nazi emigres. They hoped to exclude the Americans from all aspects of the clandestine intelligence and military operations they had organised over the previous two years.

The CIC officers were aware that the British campaign included the claim that the Americans had returned many innocent anti-Communists to Yugoslavia. They commented that in 'the case of the Croats the British state that while they have only extradited seven [7] Croats from Italy the United States had extradited ninety-eight [98] from Austria'.

It was completely false, but nonetheless a very effective propaganda tool in Britain's anti-American campaign. US intelligence was by then fully aware that SIS were recruiting ex-Nazis for their anti-Communist crusade.59

A 'post facto' rationale was found to justify the 'Hands Off' policy. Neither the British nor the Americans were serious about apprehending Pavelic and sending him back to Tito's 'justice'.


The bureaucrats in London and Washington formally favoured this course, while turning a blind eye to the activities of their intelligence services. SIS was then mounting major political, intelligence and military operations against Tito. Using Pavelic's followers, they wanted to overthrow the Communist government in Belgrade. Some sympathetic Americans were already working on these operations without official sanction. They, too, saw the Ustashi as useful weapons in the anti-Communist struggle.

Clearly, if the Americans handed over the head of the movement to the enemy, it would be impossible to expect loyalty from the Ustashi rank and file. The solution was clear: Britain must 'be forced to arrest and extradite him themselves. The ultimate disposal of Pavelic is necessary if the Croat democratic and resistance forces are to ever be recognized by the United States.'60

'Disposal', of course, meant escape, and the Holy See was the perfect 'fall guy' to shoulder the blame for smuggling Pavelic. The Vatican had the most to lose if he was handed over to the Communists. Soon after he helped Vajta to leave Rome, Gowen wrote a final report:

Ante Pavelic was once again allowed to disappear into thin air. The names of his high level contacts inside the Holy See's bureaucracy are still highly classified. As seen earlier, at least one US intelligence source believed that it was Monsignor Giovanni Montini, the Pope's Under Secretary of State for Ordinary Affairs, and later Pope Paul VI. This is dismissed by present day senior Vatican bureaucrat, Monsignor Milan Simcic, who was Father Draganovic's close colleague in Rome at that time.

Although Simcic rejected the claim that Montini was involved with the Poglavnik, he was absolutely certain that Pavelic was in close contact with Draganovic. Simcic insisted that Draganovic and Montini were also extremely close, suggesting the strong possibility that Montini, the future Pope, may have known of Pavelic's escape.62

A few months after Gowen's suggestion for the 'ultimate disposal' of Pavelic, the fugitive re-emerged in Argentina, where dictator Juan Peron employed him as a 'security adviser'.


There is considerable debate about exactly how the Poglavnik made good his final escape. What is known is that he departed Italy on 13 September 1947, arriving in Buenos Aires on 6 November aboard the Italian ship SS 'Sestriere', travelling under the name of Pablo Aranyos.

In the early 1950s, Avro Manhattan, a bitter critic of the Vatican and Catholicism, claimed that Father Draganovic not only provided the Red Cross passport Pavelic used and arranged the shipping details, but actually accompanied the fugitive war criminal to Buenos Aires and stayed with him for twelve months. Despite Manhattan's religious bigotry, he was very well informed, having worked for British intelligence during the war.63

As late as 1986, this was still the 'semi-official' story peddled by the Yugoslav secret police, UDBA, in a series of articles in the Sarajevo based 'Svijet' magazine.64 However, new evidence has recently emerged which suggests a different version. In early 1990 a secret Communist intelligence file was smuggled out of Eastern Europe to the authors. Although the identity of the Communists' source was not disclosed, whoever it was had intimate contact with the Poglavnik, his family and closest associates, as minute details of events and conversations were provided.65

The document confirms that Pavelic and Draganovic met on numerous occasions, and the priest did in fact procure the Red Cross passport in the name of Pablo Aranyos, supposedly a Hungarian refugee. But according to this source, the two men had some kind of falling out. Draganovic proposed that Pavelic leave Rome by air, and as this was thought too dangerous by the fugitive's closest advisers, the priest was cut out of the final preparations.

There is absolutely no mention in the Communist police file of Draganovic accompanying the Poglavnik to Argentina. According to the source, the man who allegedly made the final arrangements was also a Croatian priest, by the name of Father Jole. His real identity is Father Josip Bujanovic, another wanted war criminal now living peacefully in Australia.

This version of events is basically confirmed by Draganovic's close colleague, Monsignor Simcic. In a taped interview, he freely admitted that Pavelic had asked Draganovic to assist his escape. Simcic insisted that Draganovic was working on smuggling the wanted man out of Italy. He was certain, though, that Pavelic eventually made other arrangements.


This would seem to be the case, as the evidence points to Pavelic using his extremely influential contacts in the Italian secret service to make his escape. Whatever method Pavelic used, there is no doubt about Draganovic's role in arranging the Vatican's protection prior to his embarkation, and providing him with the necessary travel documents.66

Further, Draganovic had gone to considerable trouble to arrange to have Pavelic met when he reached Argentina. The ground had been very carefully prepared. According to US intelligence, one Daniel Crljen had been flown to Buenos Aires with Vatican assistance to 'confer with Gen[eral] Peron on the organization of an Ustasha "Elite" movement in the Argentine'.67 Crljen was one of the movement's senior ideologues and propagandists, having played a key role in instigating the slaughter of Serbs during the war.

Crljen's mission had certainly been successful; PAvelic's arrival merely completed the transfer of almost his entire government to Argentina. Those veterans waiting to greet him included nearly every surviving cabinet minister, as well as many municipal officers, military and police commanders. Most were wanted war criminals, yet they too had evaded justice, using the same method as their Poglavnik.

Draganovic's Ratline was a sophisticated and professional operation. It was extremely well organised and could handle hundreds of fugitives at one time. One of Draganovic's key operatives estimates that as many as 30,000 people were funnelled from Austria to Rome, on to Genoa and new homes in North and South America and Australia.68 Most of those running the Ratline had very shady pasts of their own. They were not part of some exotic SS 'brotherhood'. In fact, nearly all the personnel running the smuggling network were Croatian [Roman] Catholic priests.

-end page 87-

BTW- During and after WWII, Roman Catholic William ["Wild Bill"] Donovan headed the OSS [American forerunner of the CIA]. Donovan was decorated in July 1944 by Pope Pius XII with the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester, "the Vatican's highest award, for a lifetime of public and secret service to the [Roman] Catholic Church".

[from picture caption in 'Wild Bill Donovan- The Last Hero'.

By Anthony Cave Brown. Times Books,


from pg 173 of 'American Democracy & the Vatican'

By Stephen D. Mumford. Pub. by Humanist Press]

Roman Catholic, "Knight of Malta" William Casey, who became head of CIA under Reagan, was one of Donovans OSS subordinates.

Allen Dulles was another Donovan OSS subordinate who later headed the CIA. Mr. Dulles son is now a prominent Jesuit priest.

Roman Catholic Helms and Colby were also Donovan OSS subordinates who later headed the CIA.