Good Grief!


Hat-tip to Incendiary for this quote he found in a Turlock, California newspaper.

Ms. Kristina Hacker, wanting to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday, compiled a list of fun Christmas facts. You know: when was the first eggnog made, how did poinsettias get their name and so on. Among other things, she tried to explain the Orthodox:

“Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.”

Source: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Was Stalin A Believer?


Some Russians — Christians and Communists — Venerate Icon of Stalin

Vienna, November 27 – An Orthodox priest in a town near St. Petersburg has sparked controversy by putting up an icon showing the figure of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, with some believers and Communists viewing this as simple justice and others as an indication that many Russians have lost any sense of proportion or truth.

One of the most widely covered stories in the Russian Federation this week concerns not the actions of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or even the impact of the economic crisis but rather the decision of a priest to put up an icon portraying Stalin and the efforts of some to canonize him.

The priest of St. Olga’s Church in Strel’na, Father Yevstafiy, recently put up an icon there to the Blessed Matrona of Moscow, on which Stalin was portrayed, without any of the attributes of sainthood but simply standing next to her. Thus, technically, it was not an icon of Stalin at all.

But that distinction was quickly lost. Yevstafiy’s own parishioners demanded he put the icon with Stalin in a less prominent place and stop referring to the late Soviet dictator in prayers – even though the Strel’na priest has a long history of provocative actions, including putting up another icon portraying a Russian soldier who died in Chechnya as a “new martyr.”

His superiors in the Russian Orthodox Church denounced this action as “inappropriate.” And story after story on Russian television, the print media and the Russian blogosphere played up the debate.

In comments to “Novyye izvestiya,” Father Yevstafiy stood his ground. “The feeling that Stalin is the father of the peoples, that he is thus in part my high father has never left me in the course of my life. I thus have two fathers, besides the Heavenly Father: one is my father in the flesh and the other is the father of the peoples who was strict” and may “have made mistakes.”

Any attacks on him are wrong and inappropriate the dissident priest continued, and he said that he “remembers Iosif Vissarionovich in all services where this is appropriate, especially on those days when he died, was born and when he celebrated the common Victory of our people.” And he insisted that Stalin was “a believer.”

But at the same time, Yevstafiy was careful to specify that “this is not an icon glorifying Stalin. This is an image of. Matrona of Moscow. And Iosif Vissarionovich is one of those people whom she blessed. She blessed many people,” the priest said, including “a well-known architect and a well- known composer of those times. And Stalin too.”

Spokesmen for the Moscow Patriarchate denounced this action but have taken no action against it, at least so far. The sharpest criticism of Yevstafiy’s pretentions came from the pastor of Moscow’s Church of the Tsar Martyr Nicholas, who said that the appearance of icons showing Stalin was “a terrible sign, an indication that people have completely lost a sense of truth.”

The appearance of the icon showing the late Soviet dictator comes as some Russians are seeking his canonization by the Church. Among them are believers who agree with Yevstafiy and also some communists, who although themselves atheists, believe that the Soviet leader deserves this mark of respect.

Sergey Malinkovich, the leader of the Communists of Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, said that he would not deny that “the majority of the members of our organization are atheists, but there are believers and Orthodox too, [and] we try to respect their attitudes” in the work of the party.

“Those priests with whom we have spoken say that the figure of Stalin enjoys great respect among their parishioners. Therefore we too have begun now to speak about his canonization and about the creation of icons on which he is portrayed.” He added that in short order, 10,000 of them would be printed to give to those who already see Stalin as “holy.”

“For the Church, Lenin was a communist,” he continued, “but Stalin was a genuine national leader.” And “for us, he is approximately the same as Napoleon is for France.” Thus, he has already for a long time been “canonized in the popular consciousness.” Now all that needs to be done is to take care of “the formalities.”

Source: Georgian Daily

Again and Again (Or, Let me Reintroduce Myself)


For us on the Old Calendar today is the first day of the Christmas Fast. It is also a personal milestone for me as it marks one year since my first post. One year of Again and Again.

Actually, I feel like the blog only started a few months ago. I was sort of talked into the whole idea of the blog. In the beginning I followed no real routine in my posts.  Every so often I’d write something or find something interesting and post it on the blog. That was that.

In August I seriously considered deleting the thing altogether. If you go, for instance, in the archives to June, July and beginning of August there’s hardly anything there.  I wanted to delete it because, even though I did nothing with it, it was always on my mind. I’d think of posting this or that but, in the end, did nothing. It was quite frustrating.

Then I remembered the paper. You see, soon after being assigned here I met a good man, a parishioner, who did newspapers for different organizations. Seeing how I thought that was a pretty neat thing he asked me if I’d like to do the parish bulletin as a newspaper. It only cost something like $250 and they’d print over a 1,000 copies (that was the minimum, maybe it was 2,000, I can’t remember). I used to mail a hundred or so copies to neighboring parishes. I’d give them out to friends and so on. This went on for about a year and a half and then I stopped. I got tired of it. People liked it and in the beginning they complimented me on it but after awhile, well, it just got old.

I remember how months after I had stopped doing the paper I’d have people from other parishes (people who I’d never suspect even to care for such a thing) start asking me about it. They’d ask if I still put it out and how much they enjoyed it and so on.  Actually, there are people I see at picnics, diocesan meetings and such who still ask me about it.

And so, as I was thinking of doing away with the blog completely I was reminded of this and thought to myself, maybe there is someone out there reading. I decided to give it another shot.  Since the end of August I’ve been very active on the blog: posting sermons, quotes from books and other thoughts. In addition I’m not only teaching others but learning new things from people who take the time to make comments and I thank them for that. In the meantime my stats have risen significantly. I’ve also noticed Again and Again on more and more blogrolls.

Thank you for reading.  I suppose I can stay on for a little longer. Or at least until you stop reading.

Thanksgiving and American Mythology


Jennie Augusta Brownscombe’s   (1850 – 1936)  – “The First Thanksgiving”

Of all the American holidays, the only one I take part in is Thanksgiving. Isn’t it food that makes the holiday? If not, I’m sure it has a lot to do with it. As Orthodox Christians, we certainly know what Christmas and Pascha each commemorate but what would those feasts be, at least in the local family tradition, without the roasted pig or BBQ lamb respectively, or, would they be a festive if we simply had peanut butter and jelly after church? Therefore, being  on the Old Calendar, the 4th of July, for example, is always during the Apostles’ Fast. We go and watch fireworks, so I suppose we ‘celebrate’ it in some way, but the fact there is no cookout, no real culinary aspect to the festivities, leaves it somewhat unmemorable.

Moreover, the very idea of ‘thanksgiving’ is easy to accept and celebrate. It is, after all, a Christian concept – to thank God for all that He has given us. My commemoration (if you can even call it that) of Thanksgiving is based solely on this one aspect and I do indeed look forward to it: the meal, the family coming together, being thankful, etc.

Was there a ‘first’ Thanksgiving or not I’m not too sure, nor am I qualified enough to negate it completely. There probably was something that took place in the early autumn of 1621. Then again, there are those that argue that the first Thanksgiving took place in 1598….in Texas. Whatever the case, Thanksgiving for me has always been something that belongs to the mythology of America, together with George Washington chopping down the cherry tree. They are childlike myths told with an essential truth (e.g. do not tell a lie, thank God for all that blessings He has given you).  We have spiritualized, if you will, the holiday and made it into something which is certainly more worthy of celebrating. To bring history into it I think would ruin the mood. After all, not all Americans, the Native Americans in particular, have the same understanding of Thanksgiving. For if Thanksgiving is about Puritans then it is also has something to do with Indians as well. Howard Zinn in his ‘People’s History of the United States’ writes about Columbus’ discovery of America:

“To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to deemphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves-unwittingly-to justify what was done.

My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism….)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth.”

I doubt, therefore, that I am actually celebrating Thanksgiving by merely eating turkey with family. It would be like saying someone can celebrate Christmas just by going home for the holidays. But what I do think (and here I might be completely wrong) is that I join most Americans in celebration. In other words, I think Thanksgiving has been accepted as an American myth while actual historical events have been glanced over.

Whatever the case may be I look forward to turkey. I am thankful for many things but reminded more so of  J.F.K’s thanksgiving words: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

Just How Exactly Does One Perform a Sacrifice?


Photo: Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Damian, one time abbot of Ascension Monastery

Years ago, when I was a parish priest in Atlanta, the Ascension Monastery in Resaca, Georgia was under the Russian Church Abroad. Actually, I think when we first moved down there they were still OCA, then they switched to ROCOR. Today I think they are under the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

Anyway, they used to put out a publication called The Harvest with the blessing of Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan (ROCOR). I am posting an excerpt from a continuing piece they had included in this publication entitled The Apostolic Origins of the Orthodox Church. I do not know, nor does it indicate who authored the article. This is taken from the December 1999 issue:

“The Epistle of James supplies us with further Scriptural evidence for the Jewish roots of Christian worship. For the word in James 2:2 referring to a Christian occasion or place of worship, usually translated as “assembly”, in Greek is actually “synagogue.”  That Greek term means both Synagogue and the Synagogue-type Service of worship. James here indirectly indicates that the early Christians thought of their place of worship as a Synagogue, where they celebrated Christianized Synagogue Service of worship.

The word “Synagogue” is found forty-four times in the New Testament; but, ironically, the word Synagogue, which today we customarily associate exclusively with Judaism and the Old Testament, is not to be found anywhere in the Old Testament. For the Synagogue was a development in Judaism that postdated the writing of most of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The word “Synagogue” is from the Greek, meaning “to gather together.” The Jewish Synagogue has its origin in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity. In 597 and again in 586 BC, the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar deported the most prominent Jews from Israel to his capital city, where they and their children remained in exile for approximately 100 years. During that time, it became customary for the Jews to gather on the Sabbath to hear the Scriptures read, to sing Psalms, and to receive instruction. This practice developed into an orderly pattern of liturgical worship. The Jews, of course, were already quite accustomed to liturgical worship in the Temple, so it was only natural for them to develop liturgical forms of worship in their Synagogue Services.

By the time of Christ, the common order of Service in the Synagogue was as follows: the Service began with several readings from the Scriptures, followed by preaching from various individuals who would be invited by the Synagogue leader to comment on the day’s readings; finally, Psalms were sung and appropriate Benedictions were recited. At the end of the service, men who were of priestly families would be invited to recite Aaron’s Blessing (Numbers 6:26).

The typical Synagogue in the first century was an open hall, with no seats for the congregation. At one end (facing Jerusalem if possible) there was a “bema” or high place, which was an elevated stage-like platform. In the center of the wall behind the bema was the seat of the ruling elder, with seats for his council on either side. In the center of the bema itself stood a table upon which sat both the “Menorah” (a seven-branched candlestick) and the Ark, a decorated cabinet containing the Scrolls of the Scriptures.

After the return from the Babylonian Captivity and the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews brought the custom of Synagogue worship to Judea. But not all the Jews returned to the Holy Land. Those who remained behind in Babylon continued to worship in their Synagogues. By the beginning of the first century, the custom of Synagogue worship had gradually spread throughout the Jewish Diaspora. Jews from all around the ancient world were able to participate in and benefit from Temple worship only if they made a pilgrimage to the Temple in the Holy City. Back home it was the Synagogue which naturally was the center of Jewish life and worship.

Temple worship centered on the offering of sacrifices. Synagogue worship centered on reading, preaching the Word, singing the Psalms, and the offering of Benedictions. Worship, both in the Temple and in the Synagogues, was understood to be fundamentally an act of praise to God, and focused only secondarily on seeking His blessings. The emphasis, in other words, was on giving, not receiving. The benefits one derived from both Temple and Synagogue worship were the by-product of one’s participation in the acts of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to the God of Israel.

The only detailed instructions in the Bible for Services of worship are the elaborate rules for the sacrificial rites set forth in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. But even there, we find no directions on how exactly to offer a sacrifice. Some contemporary traditionalist Jews, dreaming of restoring Temple worship, have found this fact truly a stumbling block. For if they were to reconstuct the Temple, how exactly would a sacrifice be performed? No one today knows.

Since we find no reference to the Synagogue in the Old Testament, obviously neither will we find any directions in the Old Testament on how to conduct a Synagogue Service. The manner of conducting worship in the Synagogue, like the instructions for offering sacrifice, was a part of Jewish tradition found outside of Scriptures. According to the Scriptural record, neither Jesus nor the Apostles had the slightest difficulty with this fact, for, as we have seen, they all participated in Synagogue worship on a regular basis. They had no reason even to expect the Bible to provide directions on how to conduct Synagogue worship.

We do have a very good idea today of how a Synagogue Service was done two thousand years ago, simply because the Jews have been conducting Synagogue worship all along, without break, even to this present time. Modern Jewish Synagogue worship, as well as Jewish home worship, is part of a living tradition. On the other hand, however, we do not know today the finer details of the sacrificial worship of the Temple, since the Jews were forced in AD 70 to cease offering the liturgical sacrifices ordered by the Law of Moses. In that year, the Imperial Legions of the Roman Emperor Titus destroyed the last Temple of the Jews.”

Something Smells Rotten in….Finland?


Sometimes you just don’t know what to believe on the internet. Okay, most of the time.

I received an email today with a link to a blog post about an apparent problem that the Orthodox Church in Finland has with homosexuals. No, not fighting them. Joining them in their fight for equality! The blog Theoprovlitos has some interesting posts about this, linking also to another blog in which is described how the situation is complicating relations between the Church in Finland and the Moscow Patriarchate.

As it seems this is not something that happened over night but has been a problem for awhile. Thought I’d post about, perhaps someone who is more familiar with the actual situation can fill me in.

Icon above: Saints Sergius and Bacchus. The following is from wikipedia:

Saints Sergius and Bacchus’s close relationship has led many modern commenters to believe they were lovers. The most popular evidence for this view is that the oldest text of their martyrology, in the Greek language, describes them as “erastai”, or lovers. Yale historian John Boswell considered their relationship to be an example of an early Christian same-sex union, reflecting his contested view of tolerant early Christians attitudes toward homosexuality.  The artist Robert Lentz (image above) advocated this view, portraying the men as a gay couple in his religious iconography painting.

In his study on “The Origin of the Cult of SS. Sergius and Bacchus” David Woods classified some of Boswell’s arguments as “superficial”. Other historians and Byzantine analysts [citation needed], along with the official stance of the Eastern Orthodox Church, argue that the ancient Eastern tradition of adelphopoiia, which was done to form a “brotherhood” in the name of God, and is traditionally associated with these two saints, had no sexual implications.

The Forgotten Heroes


Photo: George Vujnovich pictured far right.

93-year-old’s WWII feats are hidden no longer

Sunday, November 23, 2008
By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

South Side native George Vujnovich, 93, appeared at a ceremony in New York yesterday to accept an award as a hero in World War II’s Operation Halyard.

Never heard of it?

Few have, despite the release last year of “The Forgotten 500,” the first book about the daring mission to rescue 500 downed airmen in occupied Yugoslavia.

Mr. Vujnovich, a Pittsburgh boy who became head of the Office of Strategic Services in Bari, Italy, organized what has been called the greatest air rescue of the war.

In the summer of 1944, U.S. bombers targeted the Romanian oil fields in Ploesti that supplied the German war machine. They flew from Italy and across Yugoslavia to get there.

But Luftwaffe fighters and flak from anti-aircraft guns took a fearsome toll, and many shot-up planes never made it back.

Some 1,500 crewmen had to bail out over Serbia, trapped behind enemy lines and dependent on villagers to hide them from the Germans.

Mr. Vujnovich’s team of agents, including a former Pittsburgh Steeler from Johnstown and a crack radioman from Toledo, Ohio, worked with Yugoslav guerilla leader Gen. Draza Mihailovich to airlift 512 men from a makeshift runway carved on a mountaintop.

“We didn’t lose a single man,” Mr. Vujnovich said last week from his home in Jackson Heights, N.Y. “It’s an interesting history. Even in Serbia they don’t know much about it.”

The reason for such obscurity is rooted in the politics of Yugoslavia, which became a communist state modeled after the Soviet Union and run by Josip Broz Tito.

Gen. Mihailovich and his Chetniks, who supported the abdicated Serbian monarchy, were the archrivals of Marshal Tito and his Partisans.

But the Allies needed the support of Joseph Stalin, whose forces were bearing the brunt of Adolf Hitler’s aggression.

Influenced by communists who said that Gen. Mihailovich was a Nazi collaborator, the British and Americans sided with Marshal Tito and withdrew support for Gen. Mihailovich, according to Gregory A. Freeman, author of “The Forgotten 500.”

In 1946, despite protests from American airmen who said the Chetniks had protected them, Marshal Tito’s government executed Gen. Mihailovich.

The story of the mission was suppressed under the Tito regime.

“The communists were in control of Serbia from 1945 to 1995. That’s 50 years, and any mention of Mihailovich was a no-no, and so were any feats of bravery and escape and saving of airmen,” said Mr. Vujnovich, who graduated from Ambridge High School in 1933. “What aggravated me more than anything else is that we couldn’t get the truth out.”

That’s changing, however.

In 2004, Mr. Vujnovich traveled to Belgrade with Art Jubilian, 85, the Toledo radioman, and two other veterans for the 60th anniversary of Operation Halyard. They visited the village of Pranjani, where a plaque was unveiled on the site of the old airfield.

This summer in Ohio, Mr. Jubilian was honored for his role in parachuting into Yugoslavia to help organize the rescue. Joining him was a local airman, Carl Walpusk, 84, a former state trooper from Moon.

And yesterday in Astoria, N.Y., the Virginia-based OSS Society paid tribute to Mr. Vujnovich and other veterans of the OSS — the forerunner of the CIA — as part of a ceremony honoring U.S. agents who helped the Greek resistance.

Mim Bizic, 67, the unofficial historian of the Serb National Federation in Pittsburgh, said Mr. Vujnovich deserves every award he gets. “He was the point man,” she said. “This is such an interesting part of history that nobody knows about. I love it.”

Fleeing Hitler

Mr. Vujnovich was born to Serbian parents in 1915 in a section of the South Side dominated by Serbs. He grew up speaking Serbian and English.

When he was 14, he moved to Aliquippa and two years later to Ambridge. After graduating from high school, he worked at a Heinz vinegar plant for $1 a day.

In 1934, he left for college in Belgrade on a scholarship from the Serb National Federation. He studied medicine and met his future wife, Mirjana, a teacher.

After a second meeting in 1939, they became a couple. They spent two years as carefree university students, but it all changed in 1941.

Mr. Vujnovich witnessed the April 6 bombing of Belgrade by the German Luftwaffe. Running for his life, he saw a streetcar obliterated by a bomb.

“The streetcar and the dozens of people inside exploded in a bloody mess of body parts and metal, limbs flying through the air and landing all around,” writes Mr. Freeman in “The Forgotten 500.”

The book recounts numerous escapes as the couple tried to flee Yugoslavia in the ensuing weeks. Finally they managed to board a Lufthansa flight to Bulgaria.

Mirjana did not have a passport. But her seat mate on the flight was Magda Goebbels, the wife of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

Mirjana had been airsick and Mrs. Goebbels had showed her sympathy, patting her hand gently. When the plane landed and an officer asked for passports, Mrs. Goebbels dressed the man down, saying, “She’s sick. Help me with this woman or you will hear from me!”

They made it to Bulgaria.

After an odyssey that took them to Turkey and Jerusalem, they ended up in Cairo, only to find the city in a panic because of the advance of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

At a church in Cairo, Mr. Vujnovich met George Kraigher, a Serb who was head of Pan American World Airways. He offered Mr. Vujnovich a job as assistant airport manager in Ghana. Mirjana took a job at the Yugoslav embassy in Washington, D.C.

When Pan Am was militarized for the war effort, Mr. Vujnovich accepted a commission as a second lieutenant and took charge of an airbase in Nigeria. One day, two OSS men visited and asked him to sign up.
After passing a final exam in which he infiltrated Baltimore shipyards to ferret out secret ship-building information, he became the operations officer stationed in Bari, Italy.

‘I want my men out of there’

By then, Gen. Mihailovich had been sending telegrams to alert American authorities to the presence of downed U.S. airmen in his territory.

One arrived at the Yugoslav embassy. Mirjana wrote to her husband about the plight of the air crews.
He enlisted the help of Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the 15th Air Force, to send in C-47 transport planes under the noses of the German occupiers.

“I saw Twining and he thought it would be a good idea,” Mr. Vujnovich recalled. “He said, ‘Yeah, I want my men out of there.’ ”

The lead OSS field agent, the late George Musulin, was a former tackle on the University of Pittsburgh football team who played for the Steelers in 1938. He had parachuted into Yugoslavia in 1943 and made contact with Gen. Mihailovich.

After the Allies cut ties with the guerilla leader, Mr. Musulin had been pulled out of Yugoslavia at the insistence of Winston Churchill, a Tito supporter at the time.

But in Bari, he told Mr. Vujnovich that Gen. Mihailovich and the Chetniks were hiding the airmen from the Germans and that about 100 of them were near the general’s headquarters in Pranjani.

The rescue plan called for building an airstrip, without tools and under the threat of German discovery. The Chetniks would continue to herd in downed airmen.

Mr. Vujnovich assembled a team of agents to parachute in and lead the effort. He wanted to go himself, but he received a telegram, signed by President Roosevelt, that said, “Former naval person objects to George Vujnovich going into Mihailovich’s headquarters. Therefore he will not be sent.”

The “former naval person” was a code name for Churchill.

The first OSS team, including Mr. Musulin and Mr. Jibilian, jumped on Aug. 2, 1944, met with Gen. Mihailovich and got to work directing the airmen to finish the airstrip.

Because of the terrain, it would be only 700 feet long, barely enough for a C-47 to use.

The airlift and the aftermath

On Aug. 9, a herd of cows fortuitously sauntered onto the completed strip just as German planes flew over. The pilots left, apparently thinking the runway was a farmer’s field.

That night, four C-47s made a harrowing landing, picked up loads of men and took off, barely clearing the treetops.

More planes came the next morning, escorted by American fighters. A total of 272 airmen had been rescued in two days. Over the next six months, another 240 made it out.

Mr. Vujnovich is especially proud that no one died in the mission. But he still gets agitated at the aftermath.
After the war the Tito regime indicted Gen. Mihailovich, once named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” for resisting Hitler, on charges of treason. Veterans of Operation Halyard protested, to no avail.

Among them were Mr. Walpusk and another state trooper and former airman, the late Paul F. Mato of South Connellsville. In a Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph story, both said the Chetnik leader “is getting a raw deal from the Allied nations.”

Former airmen chartered a DC-3, stenciled “Mission to Save Mihailovich” on the fuselage, picked up colleagues in Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and flew to Washington to make their voices heard.
None of it helped.

Gen. Mihailovich was executed by firing squad July 17, 1946, and buried in an unmarked grave.
Two years later, after lobbying by Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Truman posthumously awarded him the Legion of Merit. But according to “The Forgotten 500,” it sat in a State Department drawer for nearly 20 years until a Chicago congressman, Edward Derwinski, found out about it in 1967 and insisted the text of the citation be made public.

The medal itself was not delivered until 2005, when Mr. Vujnovich, Mr. Jibilian and other veterans personally presented it to Gordana Mihailovich, the general’s daughter.

“The next day in the papers, a so-called historian of the communist Partisans said it was all a lie. He said the Partisans saved 2,800 airmen. There weren’t even that many airmen in Yugoslavia. They could provide no names. We have the names, dates, ages, everything,” Mr. Vujovich said.

“I don’t get angry anymore. I think it’s silly and stupid. Everything was covered up from beginning to end.”